Davie, David, Whatever
Severa Brycaren, Morning 8, Hyrule Field (Bordering the Faron Woods)
It all melted away. The surge of celestial and time energies were too much for her mind. Severa did not recognize where she now stood, when she now stood, or even if she did at all.
“Who are you?” A man resembling Davus stood before her, though he was softer in appearance, and certainly not the same person.
“I am the spirit of broken realities. I represent what could have been, and what is not.” Cryptic enough for Severa, she drew her sword, thinking it to be a trap. But there was no sword to draw. She stood in plain clothes, and realized at the same moment, that she knew no combat training nor magic.
“Are you going to kill me, take over my soul? What is your trick? I have had enough problems for one lifetime. If you seek to manipulate me in the ways your face reminds me, you might as well kill me now.” She hesitated saying the words. She didn’t find death such an honorable exit, not at the moment, not like she used to. She looked to her right.
A Zora. Stella, the one from the battle.
“Stella Delphinus.” The not-Davus spirit looked her over, and then back to Severa. “And Severa...Fulmaren, if we are to use your real name. My name is David, or as my brother called me, Davie. I don’t exist. Severa, you are here because for a moment in time, you also did not exist as you are now.
Stella, you are here because your future is broken, damaged. It has slanted to an angle imperceivable by a mortal, and now sits uneven, waiting for direction.”
“What is this place?” Stella asked. David smiled warmly in response.
“It’s one of the many halls of possibility. It is connected to the imagery shown to you by Davus during your fight. Severa, your father has managed to visit this place more than once, and even given it names of his own, though it has no other name except to be called forever. This place does not exist in permanence. It is just a possibility, and a doorway to all other possibilities.”
Severa felt calmer, but still frustrated at the cryptic nature of it all. Her commoners attire and soothed mind were growing on her, and the memory of her rougher and more combative life were fading. But the question in her mind since she arrived still pushed at the edge of her thoughts.
“You haven’t really told me why I, or she, are here. You say it’s because of the battle...is that it? We just ended up, and no one else? Certainly others present were subject to the same energies.” David continued to smile.
Severa’s frustration grew, and with it, the link to her original self. She felt the weight of a sword at her side again. But with her frustration came the hint of a smile. The sarcastic smile of her father was hers again too.
“You have no idea. You were trapped here like us, you just can’t remember.” She was practically mocking him. “I am going back to my life, I’m not getting stuck here as a forgotten spectre like you.” She looked at Stella. “Good luck to you.” Severa shut her eyes tightly, imagining herself as she was before being transported away.
She opened her eyes, and saw only high peaks surrounded by clouds. She stood upon a ledge overlooking a cloudy abyss. The flicker of David was in her mind, he was right, that place really did lead to any other possible reality. She wasn’t back to her own life, her own world, she was somewhere else. The real test would be finding her way back. She said a small prayer for the Zora, Stella. Hopefully she would also find her way back, and become neither lost, nor ghost, as she and David had.
Severa - Planes of Unreality, Infinity
The ledges were a blur beneath her foot, the clouds a streak in the corners of her eyes. Her feet slammed heavily against the ground, and the very world seemed to shake with each step.
Nothing was discernible to her. Images would appear for moments, and then pop out of existence. The only consistency were the blurred ledges and streaking clouds. It was no different than any dream, save for the absolute realness of it all.
Skittering creatures ran across the lines of the sky, like spiders, but nothing she’d ever seen. The clouds cracked and purple zagging bolts of energy would flicker for a moment, fading into a blue smoke. Each puff of smoke would flourish into a face from Severa’s memory before popping out of existence. With each pop went the memory of the face. Who were these faces? She tried her hardest to focus.
“Eliza-” Pop. Unreconizable.
“Sirius, Da-” Poof. Who?
“Mothe-” She forgot mid-thought. She knew her memories were fading again.
“Who is doing this? Where am I?”
She wasn’t walking anymore. There was no ground, the white surroundings were back. The faint buzzing hum of the unseeable infinite air around her was filling her brain, filling her life. The memories of everything rushed back once more. And once again, David stood before her.
“I expected your soul to be ripped apart by the multiverse’s distaste for those that try to control it.” David was here, but Stella was not. For all Severa knew, even this realm of David’s existed in more than one place. David immediately interjected.
“It doesn’t exist in more than one place.” Severa recoiled as his answer handily revealed that he had been reading her thoughts. He smiled that same smile. Warm, but unsettling thanks to his resemblance to Davus. “There’s no difference between speech and thought here. There’s very little separating us from merging into a single entity. Your entire perception of this room is in your mind, this room has no physical construct, nothing here does.
Your mind is fading from reality, you fell through the cracks for a moment, into a world that wasn’t made for you. But it seems that the universe’s partner in crime, fate, has decided to push you back here again.”
“Am I here just because of random chance? What is fate?”
“Fate is just the preferred path of the cosmos. We individually assign meaning to it for our own personal gain, any true universal meaning is beyond the comprehension of any mortal or god that I’ve seen. But it’s certainly not the same thing as chance, that is a story we have neither the time nor means to go over now.”
Severa was growing tired of lectures about life and eternity. Her entire goal in life was pursuing solutions and answers, something that perhaps had been sown into her soul by Sirius. After all, she was smart enough to get by, but certainly lacked the mad scientific drive of her parents. Why then, should her life be so governed by the same principals. The question of ‘why’ was harmless seeming, but perhaps the scope to which it had risen in her life was too much to bear.
“That’s an awful lot you just thought about.” David seemed keen to remind her that internalizing something was futile.
“...Whatever fate is, it put me here, maybe just to force me to look at all these things again. Maybe that’s all I really need to do, focus on what matters. The rest will fall into place.”
Stella Delphinus/Zora's Domain/Night 7
Stella continued to fight her way through the undead hoards that were plagueing her homeland. As time went on their resistance wore down, and the former Zora general was sure she was getting close to her target. That's when she saw him, the leader of the skeletal pack. He stood over the king, threating the injured monarch and making demands.
"Crap! I've only got one chance to make this right!"
Though lacking her staff Stella ran in running with razor like fins drawn to her side. Unseen as she blazed in she leapt into the air and pounced down on the cloaked stalfos. The strike should have cut the being clean in half, but suddenly he disappeared. Stella looked around shocked to find he was gone, along with Tiburon, the room, and the rest of the world around her.
"Alright, what just happened? Where in Hylia's name am I?"
Stella was starting to get worried, thinking that perhaps she had died in battle and been sent to some cursed afterlife. That is when she found two humans looking at her. One was a familiar looking woman from the battle with Davus, while the other looked like Davus himself.
"Thanks...You too" Stella said as Severa faded out of the room. She then turned to speak with the only other person on that plane of existence.
"So Davie. What exactly is it that you or fate want from me? Not to seem rude but I would very much like to leave this place. There is a war going on and many lives hang in the balance. What do I need to do to get back and help my people?"
David, Planes of Eternity, Never
“"So Davie. What exactly is it that you or fate want from me? Not to seem rude but I would very much like to leave this place. There is a war going on and many lives hang in the balance. What do I need to do to get back and help my people?"
“I go by David now, and just like your recent acquaintance of Severa is currently experiencing, you must pass a test. I did not make the test, nor do I know how you were selected. I simply know as part of what I am, that this is your next step.” David opened a door behind him, which beyond was a clear sight of the world Stella was being sent to for this test.
Severa was there, standing on top a black tower, backed against the edge by a group of Gerudo and Zora. Leading them, was another version of Elizabeth, one who unlike her recent counterpart, had fallen fully to darkness and become one with it.
In the distance, beyond the tower and the great forest surrounding it was a burning red fire.
Stella looked on in awe, seeing all these familiar faces, but recognizing nothing as being quite what she knew.
“Enter Stella, and save Severa from the fate of a collapsing world.” Stella looked at David inquisitively. He continued on with an explanation. “Many worlds fall heavily to darkness, or become so purified of it, that they can no longer exist alongside those worlds of balance. So they fall apart, collapse inward, slip beyond known reality. Not even the doorways of this unending realm could lead us to wherever a dying universe goes. You may only recognize Severa from the recent battlefield outside your home, but fate has decided. So now you can either follow fate’s test alongside her, or refuse and test fate.”
“If it means getting back to what matters and saving my world, I’ll do it.” Stella leapt through the portal and was suddenly alongside Severa, who seemed to have expected her.
Stella, The Broken Universe of Shadow
“Just in time, my old friend here is not feeling so chummy today.” Dark Elizabeth inched closer. Her face had lost its deadly beauty, traded for a visage of gradual undeath, and fangs that only a demon could sneer through.
Corpses rose from the tower around Elizabeth. Versions of those Severa and Stella knew, wearin the same horrifying long toothed demonic smiles and dead aura. Polaris, Taden, Chamdar, Davus, Soldat, and one that neither recognized, a winged angelic woman that was most somber. She was not dead like the others, she seemed more like a spirit than a physical construct.
“This world is dying.” She seemed to be quietly sobbing as she said the words. Severa and Stella were both distracted, leaving Dark Elizabeth to take her chance. She leapt forward, her battalion of risen dead behind her. “JUMP!” The angelic woman suddenly hissed.
Severa grabbed Stella and fell backwards away from the impending doom of the undead, and hurtled off the tower towards the fog below. As they fell, both could hear a sound like ticking clocks and rushing water, with a faint buzzing behind it all. Then, woosh!
The Beaches of Final Despair
The fog cleared, and they were sitting on a beach, watching a very wrinkled Zora laying flowers down on a grave. Severa dared to look upwards for a moment, and was met with the image of the world they had just left. The fires had closed in on the tower, and burned up into nothing. Wherever they had been no longer existed as they knew it.
Severa turned her attention back to the old wrinkled Zora, whom Stella was approaching.
The Zora turned, and Severa for the first time in many, many years, choked back a scream. He had no face. Not from injury, nor seemingly from magic. It was simply...nothing. She couldn’t look at it, understand it.
And then she heard the screaming, and looked. It wasn’t Stella, it wasn’t her own voice. It was this faceless thing. Screaming into their minds, clawing at their souls. It hated them. It wanted to consume them, and it would. Severa felt paralyzed, never before feeling such fear or incomprehension.
And then she saw that spirit again, floating somberly.
“It’s ruining everything. This beautiful lake, and the old Zora. He was the last of his kind, tending to their legacy as they spread their culture to the skies and away from the sea. He’s been consumed by whatever it is that feeds on the death of these worlds. His very essence has been eaten.” She seemed sickened, marking the first time Severa had seen a ghost, and seen a ghost that somehow looked like it had a stomach ache.
“My name is Eve.” She turned away. “My world was burned down in a great war of elements, a war that has ravaged world after world, jumping from universe to universe, always ending in fire and darkness, and then GONE.”
The screaming was louder now from the faceless Zora, and he was walking towards Stella and Severa. Severa’s eyes were instead fixed on the ground. It wasn’t sand anymore, it was a pile of broken clocks, sundials, and fragmented crystals.
“What you see is the echo of the future.” Eve muttered. “Time itself will collapse and take all worlds with it, if your world and its inhabitants do not stop hurting the timeline.”
“Ah, enough, stop stop stop stop!” Severa covered her ears and stumbled over the clocks, as the pile grew larger, and she began to slowly sink into it. She grabbed onto Stella’s arm, and felt a bond like never before.
“We have been here longer than you realize.” Stella looked back. It had been only a few minutes since they traveled from the first universe to this one, hadn’t it? And then the memories began flooding back to both of them. The conversation with Eve, the horrifying scream of the faceless Zora. Those hadn’t happened moments apart, but years. The scream had frozen them in time and unfrozen them over and over, allowing them to witness the landscape around them decaying and shrinking just like the other universe. The creature was attempting to keep them disoriented in time until enough years went by and they were consumed by the collapse of the universe.
“Let’s go!” Stella seemed cognizant again of the situation, and the two dove into the water, with no other real options as the available landscape was rapidly shrinking. Their only hope was to find another passage out of the world. It seemed that in collapse, a universe would began to open doorways to other as a desperate attempt to stay whole, to stay attached. It was eerie, as if the world itself was panicking and shuddering in fear and pain. Stella dragged Severa along, who struggled to keep her breath as they went under and over the water’s surface.
And then, the water gave way to a purple haze, and they were falling.
The Ruins of a Recovering World
This place was familiar. Severa had been somewhere like this before.
Their fall had been cut short by the sudden arrival of solid ground, ledges similar to the ones Severa first walked upon when starting her alternate universe jog. Things were quiet for a moment. No dark counterparts to friends, no screaming faceless beings. Just quiet wind, clouds, and cliffs.
“It’s dead here.” Stella said. She wasn’t wrong. There was truly no animal or people sounds. No sign of civilization except one single tower hovering upside down, and the rubble of a something very very large, moon sized even. Severa felt the urge to sit, and Stella followed suit.
“I feel like I’ve known you for years all of a sudden.” Severa smiled. “I’m a lot harsher back in Hyrule, but it doesn’t feel necessary here. It seems like this place is different than the others. Like it isn’t going to collapse because it’s already got a hero.” She stood back up in an instant, pointing to the tower and the fragmented large object. They were going in reverse.
“Look at that!” Severa shouted, watching as the pieces all slammed together while pulling back further and further into the sky. A raging fire reversed course shrinking to the center of town. And then. BOOM!
A swamp, a mountain, a range, a beautiful coastline, and a large bustling town all appeared. The objects that had reversed course were now in the form of a great moon. A voice spoke behind them, they expected it to be Eve from the other two worlds, but she was nowhere to be seen.
“Heh heh heh heh....You are not needed here. This world already is doomed, or has its hero. Whichever happens in the end is not for you to decide. You should leave.” They looked at the man speaking. His large bag adorned with masks was very imposing, despite his peculiar attempt at a friendly smile, it did little to offset the general creepiness of it all.
“How do we leave?” Severa asked, not daring to question the traveler. The man sighed and took out two masks, each one of no particularly striking design, just plain tribal in appearance. “You wear these, and walk through this mountain cave. It will surely send you to where you next belong.”
The two nodded in agreement, and donned the masks as they walked into the cave, leaving the third universe behind.
Stella gazed around in confusion as she and Severa vanished from the previous world and appeared in another. In her ears echoed the roar of waves crashing upon a vast white coastline. Gulls cried out as albatross soared over the clearest shades of ocean one could ever see. Just out from shore small structures covered in brilliant coral swayed in the currents, barley visible from land. In Stella's mind a rush of familiarity washed over this landscape.
"I know this place! It’s the Eastern Ocean! This is my home" she said to Severa. "Well, I mean at least it use to be home for me. I suppose it's been more years then I'd like to believe. I lived here when I was growing up, back when my family was still alive. I'd still be living here had I not joined the guard."
Severa could hear a hint of longing in her voice, perhaps a sense of nostalgia for times long past.
"Never mind that though. Something still seems off. For a nation at war things are too peaceful here. I can't quite put my finger on it, but this place somehow seems... different."
Severa and Stella both looked at each other as they felt the ground below them begin to shake. Something was digging its way upwards towards where they stood. The duo jumped backwards and Stella readied her fins for any possible confrontation. Out of the earth rose a Mogma with brown hair and goggles. Shaking the sand off himself like some kind of dog he gazed at a shiny shell in his hands, clearly pleased with his prize.
"Heh heh, man do I love the beach..." It was then Kourtz noticed them. "Yo! Hi there gals. You here to watch the accession today?"
Stella ran over and pinned the Mogma to the ground under her fin.
"Thief! Your the worm that stole the trust! Tell me, what did you do with it? Speak truthfully and I might let you live!"
"WHAT??! I didn't steal anything of yours! As if I would risk stealing anything on a day like this."
Stella swung down to hit Kourtz in the face, only for her fist to be blocked by another Zora.
"Stand down! He's telling you the truth" said a male Zora covered with purple tattoos.
"Kaimu? What are you doing on his side? He's one of the Hyrulean agents that started this war!"
"This war?" Kaimu looked at her in confusion. "There hasn't been a war in this land since Hylia killed the Demon King more than 1000 years ago. This poor man had nothing to do with that. I don't know you are, but your making a terrible mistake."
"You don't know who I am? Then that means..." The way Kaimu worded it confirmed her suspensions. They were still stuck in some alternate reality.
"...I apologize then. I suppose it was was wrong of me to attack you like that. I'm not quite... from around here shall we say."
Stella reached out her hand to the Mogma and helped him up. "Nah, it's fine. I'm sure you didn't mean it. I've got no reason to be mad at you." It seemed strange to her that Kourtz seemed so polite and forgiving. What could have could have compelled him to steal the trust back in her world was beyond Stella's compression.
"Anyways would either of you know where we could find a portal of some kind? Its the only way we can get back to where we belong."
"Oh you'll find a lot of them during the ascension. I doubt you'd want to go through em' though. They only lead to worlds where evil still exists. It's sad to think that good people live in places like that..."
"What exactly is this ascension you keep talking about" said Severa.
"I don't understand how you don't know about it" said the alternate universe Kaimu. "This world has been almost completely purged of all evil. Soon we shall slip into a realm too bright to be seen by mortals."
"And suppose we wanted to travel between worlds while that was happening?”
"Who knows? But once it's complete there is no going back."
"Well then we'll just have to get out before then" said Severa.
Stella looked over her shoulder and gasped like she had seen a ghost. For at that moment she might as well have.
"Hello Kaimu. Sorry I'm late. I was just talking to the clan chief of the east costal tribe." In front of her stood Kaimu's wife Fiora, alive and in the flesh. But far more important to Stella was the man behind her.
"Father??!" Indeed it was. For the first time in years she lay sight on Castor Delphinus, leader of their clan.
"DAD!!!" Stella ran over and hugged him, sobbing over his shoulder.
"Stella, what's the matter. It's not like you to cry like this."
"I'm sorry dad, I'm sorry I couldn't protect you or mom. I've tried to grow strong since then, but I'm... I'm not a worthy leader for our clan." Stella realized her father as he was in this world had no idea what she was talking about, but she spoke on anyway. Her whole life she wanted to tell him this, and never again would she have the chance to do so.
"I don't know whats going on here, but there's nothing to be upset about. I'm proud of the strong, beautiful woman you've become. Regardless of whats gone on I could never think of a better custodian to our clan. Nothing could ever change that."
It was at that moment it started. The ground began to quake, subtly at first but then more violently. Beams of light shone down from the heavens as it seemed the entire would was about to be torn apart by a storm of holy energy. Countless portals began to appear in mid air as this earth faded away from the universe as mortals knew it.
"Stella we have to go. Get into this portal here! Hurry"
"Wait, No! J-Just give me a few seconds more to be with him. I can't leave my father behind like this!"
"We don't have a few seconds. This world is ending, and we'll be trapped her forever if we don't get out now!"
"Please! NO! You don't know what it's like! I never got a chance to say good-bye before he died. I'll never live it down if I can't tell him how much he meant to me."
Severa stood dumbstruck at Stella's act of stubborn defiance.
"BITCH, Get in that portal NOW!!!
Severa grabbed Stella by the neck with her gauntlets and flung her in head over heels. Severa jumped after her just before the world exploded in a apocalyptic display of light.
"So, there's another one, is there? If I didn't know that everything is possible, I'd question the possibility of three of you coming all at once, from the same eventuality."
Ella blinked at the man, unsure of where she was or what was happening. But at least she could still see him. "What?"
"And considering I both did and didn't just explain this to those other two, I both am and am not a bit put off at having to go over it all again."
Ella couldn't help but repeat herself. "... What?"
The man just shook his head with a slim smile. "This world doesn't exist, Miss Huntley, not in any real sense. It is a causeway of 'could bes' and 'could have beens'. My name is David. You just joined a group battling what was my brother, Davus Fulmen. In that fight, he and your companions... broke your reality." He shrugged. "Some of you were... phased to here through the little holes and tears that left in probability."
None of this was helping Ella in the slightest. "I don't... what are you saying? Am I dead?"
David laughed. "Well, now there's a question! Yes, you are. But, also, no, you are not." He reached toward her. "But I'll just let the bridgeways teach you, instead." He pushed her forehead, and she stumbled through a bright light.
Ella looked around her. She stood in the dead of night in Hyrule Castle Town. A woman concealed in a dark cloak walked by her, clutching a crying basket. Curiosity bested Ella and she watched as the woman knocked on a door, leaving the basket before running to disappear into the streets and alleys. Ella, with mounting suspicion, tiptoed to the basket and found a note nestled with a small babe. The note gave the truth of the situation.
She cries too much.
Ella clasped her hands to her mouth. It wasn't possible. Was it?
The door opened and Ella turned with a start. Her eyes grew wide. There he was. He looked haggard and disheveled, but it was him. Marlow Huntley. Her father.
She tried to throw her arms around him, tears welling in his eyes, but she passed through him. David's voice whispered inside her head. "You can't change the past. Not yet."
Marlow rubbed his eyes and squinted at the basket and note. "Cries too much? Bah! Not my problem." He turned and the door slammed.
The wild dogs of Castle Town did not share his opinion, and were happy for the easy meal.
"Cries too much? Bah! Not my problem." He turned and slammed the door.
The babe cried as the chill of night took its toll, until morning when silence once again gripped the street.
Marlow's eyes furtively glanced left and right down the street. He grabbed the basket and took it inside. A few moments later there was a loud thud and the crying from inside stopped.
A drunken Marlow stumbled out of the door, tripping over the basket. He belched as he pushed the thing away from him and went off in search of more booze.
Ella stopped watching. She had fallen to the ground sobbing into her hands. Still she saw the flashes. Still she could hear every time the crying stopped. Every time she died, abandoned even by the man who had loved her as his own.
Severa Fulmaren, Alternate Universe, A Time
“I knew it.” The voice was feminine. Bernard it immediately from the Library memories. Severa Fulmaren. She was staring at Bernard - who was still projected into the air like a ghost. She had no shock, no surprise, just irritation. “My father always does this, forcing spirits into things, then claiming it was an accident.” She squinted at Bernard. “How in the hell is this even possible? We are in another universe, and somehow my dad’s notebook just shows up? You’re probably not even the real one. No wait, you probably are.” Severa turned, as if to address the entire cosmos. “You think this is funny?!”
Bernard couldn’t help what he said next.
“That’s the most like your father you have ever been, usually you’re just mean spirited like your mother. Good to see the more eccentric elements are coming in.” He smiled, knowing there was nothing she could really do to him. Severa was spared the expense of replying to him, when a fourth traveler warped in besides them.
She appeared to be in shock, a kind that Severa and Stella were themselves dealing with. Seeing world after world of yourself, in some form. Always familiar, but terrifying to deal with. Questions about her own life, and its very meaning were slowly bogging down Severa’s mind.
With great effort, Severa shelved the questions plaguing her, and extended a hand to Ella. She noted the alertness of the girl’s eyes, no longer the eyes of the blind.
“You know me.” Severa said, calmly, softly. “Whatever you have decided about me, from when we met in the forest is not who I am here, now.” Severa gestured to herself. “You are lost like us. Something beyond our sight, beyond our minds has changed the very world we stand in.”
The creak of bones halted whatever bonding moment Severa was attempting. All three travelers looked around the now very visible pirate ship, their eyes locked upon the advancing stalfos guards.
“We have fought together before, with uh, mixed results.” Severa shouted, somewhat needlessly given the relative silence of the location. She lowered her voice, and stepped backwards to form a tighter circle with her allies. “Let’s make up for that!”
The Ghost Ship - Alternate Universe of the Great Sea - End of Days Severa Brycaren, on call to the Universe
“Hey.” Severa said to her companions. They didn’t reply, but she knew they were listening. The stalfos were closing in, and with every inch, her confidence grew, as did her bravado. “I would like to show you gals something.”
“Gals?” The disembodied voice of Bernard floated to her ears.
“Yes.” She said with no hint of humor. “Welcome to my world.” She paused. “Well not literally of course, this is obviously not my wor-”. Bernard fiercely interrupted her.
“Could you be anymore like your father?” She proved that in fact she could be, by slamming the book into her bag. She heard a muffled ‘ow’ and smiled to herself, glancing at her friends, who were also smiling. The Stalfos were within striking distance, but something was holding them back.
“Okay! Let’s get this out of the way right now!” Severa extended her arms, revealing her gauntlets to be glowing brightly, the sun and the moon ever her weapons of choice. The energy was coalescing around the group, forming a shimmering ring that the Stalfos could not cross. “I am my father’s daughter, and in this moment, I have seen my purpose!” She raised her hands up slowly, and the shimmering ring rose up with them. “The winged one known as Eve sees us as the cure to a neverending line of darkened worlds. Well she is not wrong, I can feel it in my soul, I can feel my destiny, which shapes me as I shape it!” She slammed her hands down, and the deck of the ship exploded into a thousand splinters beneath them, plunging the entire group into the chambers below.
Severa focused her mind upon her gauntlets, and funneled the energy into her allies, minimizing the damage from the fall. The front line of Stalfos were not so lucky, having collapsed into a heap, but plenty more came from behind them.
“So, who’s going to break the ice?” She asked, beckoning them forward. But it was a ruse, for she kept the energy ring in place, preventing their advance. For supposedly lifeless skeletal drones, they seemed surprisingly agitated at their situation. “I am Severa Brycaren....Severa Fulmaren.” She paused and reflected for a moment. “Just call me Severa.” She rushed forward, breaking past the defensive ring and punching clear through a Stalfos. She flipped backwards to rejoin her allies, who looked itching to join in on the fight. Severa gestured to the crushed Stalfos remains. With a mocking flick of her wrist and a curved smile that only her father could teach her, she offered her final words to the Stalfos before releasing the protective ring and inviting battle.
As Severa's odd energy shield faded, the Stalfos charged at the trio of women. These undead things did not know fear, much as Severa attempted to instill it in them. Ella tore her knives from their hiding spot in time to parry a blow from the jagged sword of a Stalfos. It roared an inhuman sound at her and slammed her with it's rounded shield. She gave a short thanks the thing had not been adorned with spikes as she stumbled away, but the act did give distance between her and the attacker. She caught herself on the deck of the ship and spun herself, sweeping the Stalfos' legs from under it as it charged. The monster tumbled onto it's own sword, but she jabbed her blades through its deteriorating hauberk as she regained her feet.
Another Stalfos approached from the crowd, giving her no time to catch her breath before defending herself once more. She jumped aside the thing's great thrust and threw her shoulder into it's shield. In an odd reflection of her previous encounter, the Stalfos stumbled backward. She pounced and slammed the pommels of her knives into its temples; the Stalfos' skull cracked and shattered.
Then she heard a rattle behind her and turned in time to see the Stalfos she had stabbed readying to dismember her. Apparently simply stabbing through empty bone did not incapacitate these monstrosities. She tried to hop backward and tumbled over the Stalfos she'd just eliminated. Her eyes closed and her knives lifted, but she knew it would be too late. Flashes sparked and popped in her dark vision. Would this be another wasted life, like all those she'd seen before?
A sharp crack assaulted her ears and she had a moment to wonder at the lack of pain before doubt came on her. She hadn't been split shoulder to hip. Her eyes cracked a smidge and she saw Severa standing over a broken pile of bones. This unexpected ally cracked a crooked grin.
"So, did I make up for our previous encounters yet?"
Ella took Severa's out-stretched hand and regained her footing.
"I think it's a good start, but there's plenty of Stalfos left." She turned, adjusting her knives in a martial stance. "Which of the three of us is going to get the highest tally?"
Stella Delphinus/ Alternate Universe Ghost Ship/ ???
"Sounds like an interesting challenge. You're on!"
Stella broke away from the two and honed in on a stalfos carrying a rusty looking halberd. She had lost her staff back in the real world and, while she could make due with fins and fists, she needed a replacement weapon to truly shine. The undead monstrosity swung down only to miss as Stella rolled to the side. With a swipe of her fin, she cut through the brittle bone of the skeletal arm and took the pole weapon for her own.
Thrusting backwards she crushed the stalfos through the chest. Then in a second strike she brought the full weight of the halberd down into the skull of another combatant. One of it's ally's ran in with sword drawn, and Stella managed to block it's rusty blow. However she failed to see a second monster to her side, and this one landed a hit on her chest with a stone club.
Stella started panting heavily in pain after she was knocked against the wooden walls of the ship.
"Grrr...It'll uggh... take more than that to bring this old girl down!"
Stella channeled the full extent of her strength into her arms and swung across the chest. The two stalfos managed to block the blade with their shields, but the force of the blow knocked it out of their hands. The Zora woman quickly dropped her weapon, leaped in with fins extended, and decapitated the monsters heads simultaneously with a spin attack to the neck. She then picked the Halberd back up and cut a stalchild in two before her.
"Ha, that's five! What are you girls on?"
"Twelve" said Ella.
"Sixteen" replied Severa.
Stella was shocked at their kill count. "How could someone with no military training more than double my tally so easily? And to not even get hurt in the process" she thought in quiet. Though she wouldn't admit it, such things embarrassed her to an insecure extent. As a former general in the Zora army she couldn't let a cult member or a teenaged human overpower her like this. In frustration she ran back into the fray, determined to bring down the most enemies.
Severa - Alternate Reality Pirate Ship - ????
The Stalfos just kept coming and coming. It didn’t make any sense. They were on a ship that Severa was certain should have been sinking with the amount of visible water and damage.
Ideas of a wide assortment scattered across her thoughts, but the loudest and most prominent thought was the need to escape.
She stole a glance backward while continuing to fight. Another room, just behind them. She hadn’t noticed it in the initial battle. It was potentially a way to the top of the ship again, or it could box them all in. A snap decision had to be made.
“Let’s go!” Severa ducked an attacking Stalfos, as Stella cut it down. All three moved through the door and into the next room. What greeted them was in every way worse than what sought to escape.
Three corpses chained up, recently deceased. Alternate versions of each one of them. Skeletons piled the floor around the corpses. Others had perished here as well, long before. This was some kind of prison ship, sailing an ocean of fog, if it could even be called that.
Severa had made sure to enter the room last, so she was closest to the door. With all of the gawking at her dead alternate self, she was unaware of the Stalfos coming up behind her, readying its deathblow. The axe was on its downward swing when Ella and Stella at last noticed, but it was too late. Severa saw the fear in their eyes, and swiveled on one foot. In one smooth motion, two cloaked creatures darted out of the corners of the room, one pushing Stella and Ella back, and the other pulling Severa out of the way. In the same motion, the savior of Severa also cut the head cleanly off the Stalfos, before impaling it upon a long blade against the wall.
Both impromptu rescuers dropped their cloaks, eliciting very little immediate reaction from the group. The faces were not familiar to them, though Severa saw a glimmer of familiarity in one. The first cloaked individual was clearly a Tokay, perhaps the alternate version of a creature none of the group had ever met.
The second was a disfigured human looking face. It was on the brink of old age, and undeath, as if an elderly man had died and instantly become a zombie, with none of the pesky bothers of waiting around in the ground for several decades first.
One thing that stood out was his eyes, Severa found his eyes as alive as a young toddlers. A semi-permanent note of guilt and wistfulness called out from his eyes, though the expression on his face was little more than focused fury. He motioned for his ally, who threw back his cloak completely, revealing his Tokay form to be encompassed with a mass of shadow energy, taking the form of a great spider. He scuttled out into the next room, and the prompt sounds of Stalfos destruction began ringing in the air.
The remaining man creature put up a silvery colored barrier in the doorway, and nodded, either to himself or the to the group, it wasn’t clear.
“Kotage will give us some privacy. I’m lucky I found this one, most of the others I’ve encountered have been dead from self inflicted wounds, or alcoholism.” He paused, and Severa was deeply reminded of her father with the next line. “Though they are one and the same.”
She had a rising suspicion. She glanced at Stella and Ella, neither one gave any impression of understanding what was happening. Severa was grateful for sharing that in common with them. But she could tell, they were not feeling the same suspicions she was. She turned and stared at the disfigured man. It was his turn to be shocked.
“Severa?” His jaw, as old and rotten looking as it was, seemed in danger of falling to the floor as it hung open in surprise. He shut it without dropping his gaze, and repeated himself. “Severa? You are the spectre that follows me in the shadows?” He seemed poised to go off on a rant, but paused. “You are not accustomed to this yet.” He grasped her chin, immediately filling her with terror, and total paralysis, except for her vocal chords.
“...Who...” She asked, beginning and ending the word with a long stare back.
“All this suffering I cause, all this pain. My body is ripped apart by the elements that I have disturbed, my soul fused with an insatiable need to fix, to undo. And yet still the universe punishes me by making my only daughter follow in my footsteps and purify the evil I have brought upon so many worlds.”
Severa began to understand. This was without a doubt, her father Sirius.
“I am not Sirius.” He said, immediately leading Severa to wonder if she was being tricked, and could this creature read her mind.
<My telepathy is limited to conversation with those scarred by my scientific tampering. As you were once my daughter, you perhaps have the strongest bond of all.> He sent the thought to her with a moderate amount of force, as if in an attempt to speed up her grasping of the situation.
The barrier this Not-Sirius had put up was starting to fade. Severa’s eyes darted to Ella and Stella. They seemed transfixed upon her and this thing claiming to not be Sirius. There was no fear, nor intent to take action on their part. She didn’t know if it was magic, or a powerful respect for the unknown on their behalf. Severa’s eyes darted back to this creature.
“Why do you say I once was your daughter? What is our relation?” Severa was asking a simple question. But it seemed to be a struggle for him to summon an answer.
“I was Sirius, some time ago.” He began with the simplest answer one could give despite the multitude of additional questions it spawned. “I paid for my crimes and my body died, but that was not enough to atone for the damage I’d done. The angel-.” He stopped at the word angel. “There are those who use this word in a reverent way. They cannot see that an angel is just another type of creature, seeking a goal. It simply happens to have more influence than most.” That sentence alone was the closest hint of Sirius that Severa saw in him, with the exception of his one initial comment.
“Sirius died, and I rose from the ashes, bound by an oath to Eve that I would walk across the multiple worlds and try to repair the damage that I’ve done. I was made immortal in soul, but my body decays and dies each year, and I am forced to feel agony both physical and spiritual until my new body rises and houses my soul. I lose more of what I was as Sirius each time.”
Severa felt a nagging question in her head.
“What is your name?”
“Morton Waypost. I named myself after a Garo of the same name that lived during the Epoch Era. A Garo who fell in the battles of the western desert. We will perhaps have more time to discuss our common link with Eve, but for now I offer all three of you an escape from here. This Ghost Ship will collapse soon and kill all aboard, turning them to Stalfos for all eternity. Follow me, and you live a little longer, and increase your chances of returning home.
Stella Delphinus/ Alternate Universe Ghost Ship/ ???
“Morton wait” said Stella grabbing the old mans shoulder. A look of deep depression could be seen in her eyes. Since she had walked into the accursed cell he gaze was fixed upon the three skeletons chained up in the room. “Please tell me the truth. Were those people… us?”
Morton paused for a moment. “Yes, those were alternate versions of you I believe. Now please follow me, there is little time”. Stella stammered on reluctantly behind.
“What’s the point of this really” exclaimed Stella, her apathy for the situation having reached a new low. “If I die here, there will be infinite other versions of me that succeed or fail regardless of what I do. Hell I don’t even know if I have a purpose back in my own world. I never though I had a special destiny before, but at least before I came here I though I was unique in my own way. Now I know that in the grand scale of the universe I’m just a completely disposable Zora identical to my other world counterparts. No one will even remember me if I die.”
Morton Waypost turned to her with an ironic look of familiarity on his face.
“Do you really believe that?”
“Yes. I suppose I want to live, but I don’t see any value in my life if I’m not a unique individual in any way.”
The old cloaked man let out a sigh.
“A long time ago I though the same way as you. Sirius, he… I once believed that clones, people from other worlds, or people from alternate histories were all completely devoid of value and disposable because there were so many of them. What I discovered only too late was that every one of them was unique in there own way. That version of you that died was not exactly like you, rather like an identical twin. She could have had a different personality, had a different upbringing, or simply made different choices that what you would have.”
“Either way, that way you chose to live is your own. Nothing in the universe can decide that for you. In that way we are all different from one another, and we all have value in the eyes of the Goddesses.”
The conversation between the two was cut short as water began to fill the room.
“Were out of time for this” said Morton. “If you wish to stay and die, then that is your decision. If you want to live, then I suggest you enter this portal before this ship sinks into the abyss of this endless ocean.”
Stella eyes blurred as her vision failed to adjust for the darkness of the new realm they found themselves in. Though she wished for nothing more than to all have this experience all come to an end she still followed the others through a hidden portal Morton had showen them.
“Well any idea where were at this time?”
Examining her soundings Stella saw that they were in a dark forest, not unlike that of the Lost Woods on a moonless night. Fog had set in around them, making it difficult to see anything in front of them. The thick foliage made it imposible to tell where they were at, while the lack of sound coming from the woods completed the isolation of this world.
“I’m not sure if this place is real at all” said Ella.
“What makes you say that?”
Stella’s neck craned skywards to meet the heavens. The clear sky above was filled with a magnitude of stars that dwarfed those that could be seen on even the darkest of nights. Indeed it would have been be impossible to see at all what she was witnessing back in her world. Planets, galaxies, entire worlds were clearly visible, and all of it seemed to be impossibly close. The constellation Stella recognized as Delphinus, the one her clan was named after, shone radiantly amongst the infinite blackness of the cosmos.
Growing up back on Earth it seemed so dim, cold, and remote. Here she could sense its glowing warmth across her scales and seriously felt as though she could pluck the balls of light with her fingers. Never in her life had she seen something so otherworldly beautiful. Her breath taken, Stella could hardly tare her gaze apart from what she truly believed to be the entirety of the universe before her. That was until the ground below them trembled, and the forest around them began to grow dark.
Stella could feel the forest grow cold and saw her breath on the chill of the air. She sensed a tingeing sensation behind her which was what she assumed Humans called the hair razing on the back of their necks. Her vision darkened as the void of the woods seemed to grow around them. Something out there was watching them. Something frightening omnipresent.
Ella Huntley/???/The Astral Forest
Ella followed Severa and Stella though the woods. Trees pressed in thick upon them from all angles. Dim, sickly light barely filtered down the heavy foliage above. The silence of this place was unnerving, oppressive. Not even their footsteps could break the sounds of isolation around them. Ella's ears burned, straining to catch hint of even the slightest chirrup of cricket call.
Three times now she had slipped into a daze and almost lost the others. Three times she had gazed up at the canopy and imagined it as a reversed field of dark stars. And three times now she had snapped back to the here and now with the tickling idea she had head a murmuring whisper.
This time she spoke up about it.
"Am I the only one who thinks she's hearing that?"
Stella paused, glancing back. "Hearing what?"
Severa's expression was markedly more concerned as she answered the Zora's question. "Like a soft whisper, passing your ears to mount itself in the back of your mind. When you finally notice it's there and think on it, it disappears."
Ella nodded. Severa has just put to words the thoughts she had been unable to form.
"You know," Stella murmured, "I don't think I like this forest much at all."
"Mn," Ella agreed with a nod.
Annie/Afternoon 8/Forest Battle
Annie's vision faded suddenly; she lost all awareness of the forest around her. She heard a voice, echoing in her head; "You have a great destiny, but that destiny is not here and now. Let us shine through time." Her consciousness faded and she fell to the ground, unnoticed by anyone in the battle.
Annie awoke in an unfamiliar forest. In fact, she had become very familiar with the forests of Hyrule and knew that this was not Hyrule.
"Where am I!?"
She began looking around, somewhat concerned. Maybe this was just a dream? She did still have Illumise, and everything else that she had had before. For some reason she had the urge to run- to find the exit? To wake up from this dream? She began to run towards the brightest light she saw in hopes of finding some answers.
Severa, Alternate Universe Forest
Years of running away from home had taken Severa to plenty of forests. She knew forests. They all had their own secrets and surprises, and were always filled with life. The whispers of this forest murmured the opposite of such ideas. There was no life here. The trees, while alive in outward appearance, gave a presence of death.
Severa wondered why Morton hadn’t followed, but ultimately she had no knowledge of him and all thoughts lead to dead ends. Yet with his arrival, seemingly came a replacement. A familiar face. Another Hylian who Severa did not initially share pleasant greetings with.
“Where am I?!” She seemed to be running in place, unaware of the three others around her. Certainly she would have recognized them, yet her eyes looked beyond all three, into the depths of the forest.
“Annie? Annie!” Ella shouted at her. No reply. Severa’s old aggression began to seep back in as Ella shouted.
“Would you stop it? She can’t hear you!” Severa immediately relaxed her expression after saying the words, and backed off a step. “No...I’m sorry, that wasn’t right.” Ella seemed relatively at ease. She said nothing, giving just a single shrug. The tension however, remained.
“We can’t leave her, we have to find a way to help.” Stella chimed in. She jumped back as Annie suddenly started convulsing, then abruptly stopped and fell. All three rushed in to catch her, and slowly lowered her to the ground.
“I’m awake!” Annie sat upright, and immediately began looking around. “I was just...here...” She seemed confused, even more so when suddenly making contact with the group.
Severa, The Dark Alternate Forest
“Annie! Annie!” Ella shouted at her, while Severa looked on puzzled. Stella, while more welcomed than ever before, continued to hang back a few paces from the group.
“I think she’s okay.” Severa tried to calm Ella. “She’s just drifting in and out. It’s not exactly normal to fall through universes in your dreams, and wake up actually in an alternate reality.” She scratched her head in a manner identical to that of her father. “We can carry her, taking turns when she passes out. Won’t be hard.” Severa motioned from Ella to Stella. “Agreed?”
Her companions nodded.
“I imagine she’ll wake up soon anyway.” Severa pondered her statement for a moment. “And then perhaps fall asleep again. Who knows!”
The group departed, with Severa taking first shift on carrying Annie. Severa wondered about all the things she had just seen. The winged woman, Eve. She stood out amongst the wave of dying worlds thrust upon Severa and her friends. She struggled to remember what Eve had even talked about with her, and in truth had no real sense of when she had spoken with the woman. Time itself struggled to present meaning to her as it used to. She had seemingly not aged at all, a few hours at the most. Yet, she knew with certainty that decades had flown by when she was trapped by the faceless creature.
Creatures like that seemed to feed on the terror and suffering of others, arriving to witness and celebrate the apocalypse. And how many worlds saw rescue? The young hero saved Termina from its demons, and yet Severa had seen the final moments of other worlds, final moments of fallen versions of her own friends.
She thought of Beth, and despite the presence of her newfound friends, loneliness crept in. It felt foreign, but it was no stoppable force. It washed over her, and she suddenly felt weaker.
“Careful now Severa.” A voice echoed in her ear. Bernard. She regained her strength, perhaps out of sheer irritation at the deceased Zora’s voice. Why would she even feel irritation, she did not know this dead fish-man. With calm familial dread, it dawned upon Severa. It was the book. It formed a mental link with his owner, and traces of Sirius had been left behind. For the moment, it seemed being irritated was the difference between dropping and not dropping Annie. Severa gathered her strength, and kept pushing forward through the forest.
Stella Delphinus/ The Dark Alternate Forest/ Day Unknown
The ominous void of the lifeless forest was beginning to wear on Stella's mind. Walking a few paces back from the other girls she kept her head on a swivel looking for an exit or any sign of possible ambush. Yet nothing. Stella began to realize she had no concept of how long she had actually been gone from her world. Had it been hours, or minutes, or perhaps even days?
The feeling of isolation stirred up a sense of instinctive fear she hadn't felt since she was a little girl. The more she looked at the people before her the more at unease she felt. Of all the races in Hyrule that could have ended up in here by accident, why was she the only non-human of the group. At first Stella thought it was just the paranoia of the woods getting to her, but the more she dwelt on the subject the more concerned she became.
"With our two races at war who's to say these girls will still be on my side the moment we get back to the real world. What if they try to get back without me and leave me trapped in here forever?"
Caught in the moment Stella began staring at Ella. Both of them walked wordlessly beside one another, discretely looking the other down. The Zora captain could swear she saw Ella slowly reaching for the knives on her side, and Stella's grip on her Halberd tightened accordingly. For what seemed like an eternity she waited for her to make the first move, yet the Hylian did nothing. As the silent trek continued dark thoughts began to slip into Stella's mind.
Even if her companions meant her no harm, she would perhaps be forced to kill them regardless if they were to join the Hylian war effort. After all when it came down to it none of them truly cared for the survival of the Zora race. Even Severa's alliance to Tiburon was purely dependent on whether Bryce remained loyal to her people. If they wouldn't remain loyal then perhaps then she should consider striking first, preemptively of course.
Stella visualized how such an outcome would end if she were to act. Caught off guard Ella would be killed instantly. Severa would not have time to react and would soon be cut down, cold steal crushing brittle bone. And for the final Human she would do things more slowly. Stella would slit the young girls neck in her slumber then drink deeply from her blood. Such thoughts were so empowering...
Becoming reborn in the carnage of their demise Stella would triumphantly return to her world. With her newfound strength she would lead her people as an embodiment of ruthlessness and power. The blood of the Hylians would stain the streets of Castle Town red and all the races of the world would tremble before the might of the Zora!
"That's utterly screwed up! What the hell is wrong with you" Stella thought to herself.
Sure she didn't care much for the Hylians, but never had she been that bloodthirsty before. She usually hated unwarranted death and destruction. The longer she pondered on her previous thoughts the more alien they seemed. She even had the unconscious girl to thank for saving her from Davus. She could never go through with something like that. Every fiber in her moral being would be against it. Yet she couldn't deny that such a thought was in some way twistedly satisfying...