“They can’t do this! I’m not going to let them just black bag you like this!” Barnes roared.
He was beyond furious, prowling around his office, ready and eager to break something. He huffed and swung his arms about in frustration but never actually with the intent to inflict damage.
The Detective had never seen him so agitated, and he had seen the Chief plenty agitated before. This was on a whole different level and it was frightening. Link remained quiet for the time being, but the rage flowing through the older man was beginning to suggest he might need to step in.
“Wizards!” Barnes shouted, almost laughing, “That government puppet actually has the nerve to stare me in the face and tell me he is going to protect you from wizards! Are you serious!?”
“Easy, Chief… easy… just calm down. Remember your blood pressure.” Link said gently.
He was oddly calm about all of this. He tried his best to settle the older man. It was more than slightly worrying to see his face so red. It looked like it was about to burst.
“Calm down!? You want me to calm down!? What the hell did you do out there last night!? I want answers! Don’t tell me you can’t remember! That might be good enough for the royal mouthpiece out there but not for me!” the Chief bellowed.
Link moved to the credenza behind Barnes’ desk, pulling out the thin metal box housing his medication. A single tablet was retrieved and he handed it over for the Chief to take. It was snatched out of his hand and downed without consideration for water.
“I wish I could tell you, boss. But… I honestly don’t know what happened. I know that something happened, something I caused, that I can’t explain. Whatever I did, it allowed both Lilly and me to survive what should have been fatal. I can’t begin to understand what it was. Yates seems to know more.” Link explained, hoping it might help ease the tension, at least a little.
Still enraged but no longer interested in the imagined destruction of his office, the older man had calmed some, but not much. He turned sharply to look at the Detective with eyes so stern it made Link shrink in his uniform.
“Yeah he does, and he’s keeping all of us in the dark! And it’s got something to do with that left hand of yours! What did he see!? Show me!” Barnes demanded.
The officer lifted his hands in hopes of somehow placating the large man.
“Easy Chief… I’ll show you. But… besides you and Yates, there were only two other people who knew about this, and one of them was Colin. I don’t want everyone knowing about this.” Link said.
He pulled the glove back on his left hand, revealing the triangular mark. It silenced Barnes, puzzling him as he studied it. He didn’t see much reason for it to be kept quiet, but it did explain the Detective’s curious habit to always keep his hands covered.
“You’ve been hiding a tattoo?” the Chief asked, “Why so much secrecy? It’s just some ink.”
The Detective shook his head, removing the glove completely as he gazed down at the symbol on the back of his palm. He had been worried about it for years now.
“It’s not a tattoo. It’s been there for as long as I can remember. It’s a birth mark I think. If it does turn out to be a tattoo, my parents must have been really strange to get it put on a baby.” Link said.
He pulled the glove back over the mark, concealing it as he always had. As he re-seated his glove in its proper place, the significance slowly began to dawn on Barnes.
“You don’t think that stuffy bastard thinks you’re-” he began.
“After what they showed us from their feeds,” Link interrupted, “I’m not so sure he’s wrong. I’m kind of scared. What if that happens again? What if I’m in a crowded area and I go off? What if I kill someone? Some innocent bystander… what if I can’t control it?”
“Why didn’t you tell anyone about this?” Barnes asked, suddenly finding reason to use a quieter voice once again.
Link moved away, turning to stare out the window at the other officers going about their business. He sighed and closed his eyes, thinking back.
“How do you think people would take it? Either they would freak out thinking the hero of the goddesses walks among them and they start begging him for his favor, his protection, even revering him. Or… I get treated like I’m mocking the legendary hero,” Link explained, “Wouldn’t exactly look good for a police officer to be seen as an irreverent heretic would it?”
Barnes opened his mouth as if to say something, wanting to make a point about how people didn’t believe in the old myths anymore. He stopped just as something clicked in his mind.
“You got beat up a lot as a kid because of it didn’t you?” he asked.
“Yeah. Mr. Parsons came up with the idea for the gloves. Easier to deal with getting picked on about never taking them off rather than heresy,” the Detective said then clenched his left hand into a soft fist, feeling the material wrapped around his fingers flex with him, “Colin never doubted it for a second. It’s kind of why he and I were as big about learning swordplay as kids. I didn’t really believe I was that special. I kind of hated the mark because it meant I got beat up. It didn’t stop me from fantasizing. What kid doesn’t dream about being a hero?”
“So… you’re actually buying this crap about wizards and a dark master and the reclamation and all that? You’re telling me you believe this garbage?” Barnes asked.
“Chief,” Link said with a sight, “I know what I saw out there. This wasn’t some parlor trick. He didn’t have a flame thrower hiding in his sleeve. He was killed by the monsters he summoned to kill me. He believed I’m part of that mythical line. And… that flash of light. I don’t know what it was but… I need to find out. I think Yates can get me whatever answers I’m looking for. No matter what this thing on my hand means, I need to know.”
Barnes sighed, falling into his chair with a heavy thud. He didn’t like the situation in the slightest. Giving up jurisdiction over a case was always a source of extreme distaste. But to lose the case as well as one of his officers to the higher ups in the central city? That stunk of conspiracy and cover-up.
“Alright… alright, I won’t block it. Just come back in one piece.” the Chief said.
He winced as he realized he probably should have worded that differently. Link melted into a somber expression. It was actually of some comfort to know that he wasn’t alone in the sentiment.
“So you were thinking the same thing too,” he said and looked back out into the rest of the precinct, spotting Lilly who would probably take the news incredibly badly, “Don’t worry. I’ll try not to do anything stupid. Just… keep an eye on Lil for me would you? You and her dad are friends. Keep an ear to the ground through him.”
The Chief nodded. He would have done so without being asked. The fact that the request had actually been put into words suggested that Link felt a sense of finality to all of this. He wasn’t sure he was going to come back, no matter what he might say to the contrary. As he stared out at the young lady, the Regent, his aides, and a few armed men walked by the window shortly before opening the door.
“Detective,” Yates said as he entered, “If we’re not interrupting anything, we’re ready for you.”
The young man looked between the Regent and his men before looking past them out into the office, spotting Lilly. She had noticed the armed guards and began making her way over to Barnes’ office frantically. Link turned back to the Chief, giving him a slight nod. It was such an insignificant movement, but the gesture it represented conveyed so much. Barnes offered the same slight nod, his way of promising that he would look after the young lady. From there, the only eye witness to the events of what was being called a ‘cultist incursion’ was escorted out of Barnes’ office. The rest of the precinct took notice, some having been looking that direction already. Others were only made aware by Lilly’s panicked approach.
“Link!” Lilly shouted, “Link what’s going on!? Stop! You can’t arrest him! He didn’t do anything wrong!”
She was screaming by the time she was within arm’s reach. The two guards moved to put themselves between her and their charge. Lilly made no effort to control herself. She pushed against them, trying to shove her way past as she cried out for the only connection to Colin she had left.
“Let her go,” Link ordered, raising his voice when they didn’t comply right away, “Let her go!“
Unable to control himself, Link snapped sharply at the two royal guards and they stepped aside, letting the young lady through. He was almost bowled over as he caught her, squeezing his would-be sister tightly. She was practically in tears all over again, and for good reason. There was the very real threat that she was about to lose another important person in her life.
“What’s happening!? Where are they taking you!? You didn’t do anything wrong!” Lilly sputtered.
“It’s okay,” Link said reassuringly, “I’m not being arrested. They want me to go with them. It’s some sort of witness protection thing. I won’t be gone long. A few days, maybe a couple of weeks. This can’t take that long to resolve.”
“I don’t care! They can protect you here! You can’t leave! His body’s not even cold yet! You can’t leave me too!” Lilly fired back.
Her screams had given way to sobs. Her world was falling apart. No one could blame her.
“I’ll keep in touch. I’ll call you when I can. They’ve got to have some sort of sophisticated encryption… I bet they can secure any call so no one can hear or trace it,” Link said and gripped the lady gently by the shoulders and pushed her away just far enough to look her in the eyes, “This isn’t goodbye. It’s only see you later. You have my word. I’m coming back.”
Just as before, he wasn’t entirely certain about that, but he wasn’t going to leave her feeling like someone was going to come inform her of his death the way he had been of Colin’s. She must have been able to sense it. It did little to console the frantic woman. She shook her head and fought against Link’s grasp as if breaking free of it would wake her up from this nightmare.
“No! Calling isn’t good enough! You have to stay! You have a job to do! We never got to celebrate your promotion! I can’t do this without at least one of you and Colin’s gone!” Lilly practically shrieked.
“Yes you can,” Link whispered, “You’ll survive. You always have. You’re strong. Stronger than you think.”
The Regent waited as patiently as he could, looking down at an antique time piece connected to a chain fastened to his belt. They had a tight schedule to keep and the girl’s tearful farewell was putting them behind. He wasn’t unfeeling to her plight, but he could not delay any longer.
“I’m sorry, Miss. I understand how upsetting this is for you, but we really must be going. You have my word that you and the Detective will see one another again. I swear to it, on the blood of my family line.” Yates said.
He lifted a hand and placed it across his chest, bowing forward gently. It was a heartfelt display of benevolence. It gave Link reason to pause. Elitist this Aaron Yates might have been, but there was something about him that was decidedly more. There was a word he couldn’t quite place, an ancient word usually attributed to people in his position. It carried with it a connotation of always acting for others, for what was right. It took the Detective a moment before he finally realized what it was he was hunting for. And then it clicked.
Regent Aaron Yates wasn’t just a Regent in title. Suddenly, the situation he had come to investigate, the mysterious circumstances surrounding Colin’s death, his interest in the mark on the back of Link’s hand; it all began to come into focus. There was something much bigger going on.
Lilly looked over to the Regent, trying to dry her tears just long enough to issue a powerful threat no one–regardless of standing or status–would dare take lightly.
“You listen to me you pompous, arrogant, swaggering asshole… you took my fiancé from me. I’ll be damned if I’m going to lose my brother, one of the only two people left I can still call family. If anything happens to him; if I see you at my door waiting to give me his badge, I will pin you to the ground and cut out your heart myself! Do I make myself clear!” the relatively modestly sized woman shouted, raising her voice to that of a bellow on par with the Chief.
In spite of her dreadfully tear-stained appearance, she was imposing enough to make the man’s entourage cower backwards slightly. The guards included. Yates himself stood his ground, prepared for whatever fury he might need to endure. It wasn’t out of arrogance. He knew how well deserved it was. He simply returned her gaze, took her hand in both of his, and spoke gently and plainly.
“Neither of you can understand how important he is. His life will be kept safe, even if I must give mine for that cause. If I fail in that mission, I will await your blade.” Yates said.
Lilly was suddenly rendered silent. Link was as well. A Regent pledging a life debt. The young lady stared in shock as her hand was lifted to Aaron’s lips. A chaste, chivalrous kiss was placed carefully on the back of her palm. It was not scandalous. He treated her as if she were of higher standing than himself, deserving of the utmost respect.
“Well… see that you do…” Lilly responded in a quiet, somewhat confused voice.
It was all she could muster, even if it didn’t quite make sense. Such behavior was rather unheard of in this day and age, let alone from the upper crust of society. The Regent stood back up and turned to the young man standing in a veritable pool of his own uncertain jealousy.
“Very well. Detective? Shall we be on our way?” Yates asked.
The whole scene left both Lilly and Link more compliant than they might have been otherwise. The two shared a brief look just before the officer turned and was escorted away. The rest of the precinct watched as one of their own was taken into Her Majesty’s custody. Odd how they still used the word ‘majesty’ considering the title the monarch operated under these days.
The walk was brief, taking them to the garage where a sizable craft awaited their arrival. It was a long, sleek thing, appearing to be tall enough to house two levels. There was no visible seam to show where they could enter. It appeared to be a single, long piece of fuselage. Then, as if from nowhere, it opened. A rectangular hatch pushed outward, light shining from around it. The panel slid outward from its housing and then rotated down on a hinged base, providing a staircase for those who wished to board. Yates climbed the short steps and disappeared in. His aides were close behind. Link followed and his ‘personal guards’ stepped in as well. With all aboard, the door rose back up to its upright position and sealed shut vanishing just as well as it had been hidden previously.
Through the tinted windows, the world of the garage outside turned and slid away, giving way to the sky outside. It wasn’t until Link finally looked away from the window to search for the Regent that he noticed he was inside a rather lavishly furnished setting. It was not unlike the interrogation room, though less for interrogation and more for traveling, bathed in luxury. Such waste of energy and money, Link thought. Yates was seated in a chair with a high back. Next to him stood a table with several documents on it. Paper documents. Apparently it wasn’t just the revolutionaries who printed things on physical media.
“We took the liberty of stopping by your residence while you spoke to your chief,” the Regent said, “I personally gathered a few of your belongings, things I assumed you might need or want to keep close. No one else entered your home. We’ll be assigning a detail to keep watch over it while you are in our care. All financial concerns with respect to its maintenance will be taken care of. Please, have a seat. It’s at least an hour to the central city at this relaxed pace.”
Relaxed pace indeed. They had to be streaking away from Faron at speeds his cruiser–and for at least one day, it was his–could only dream of. The young man took the empty seat across the end table from the Regent, glancing at the papers he seemed to be so interested in.
“So, when are you going to tell me what’s really going on?” Link asked.
Yates paused and looked over the page in his hand, puzzled by the question.
“I’m sorry?” the Regent asked.
“You, those aides of yours, the armed muscle,” Link said as he looked back over his shoulder at the two men watching him carefully, “The interrogation, taking me into custody, matters of national security, all of it. When are you gonna let me in on the loop? It’s not every day we common folk are graced by the presence of a legit noble. Normally you send down people who just have the title but no real bloodline to use to lay claim. You’re the genuine article.”
His voice dripped with sarcasm at the end of the comment. Yates simply let it slide. He was used to the general public holding such an ill opinion of his ilk.
“So you noticed I’m not just any Regent. Bravo. Only a select few pick up on the subtle differences between nobility like myself and the more obstinate elected or appointed officials. You are a credit to your line.” Yates said, a hint of annoyance in his voice, but it was mixed with a small degree of delight.
“Yeah, about that… what do you know about my line?” Link asked.
“Oh a great deal, Detective,” the Regent said, “The symbol on your hand told me exactly what I needed to know about who you are and how you managed the feat we recorded last night. When the time is right, you’ll learn more about that. I’m not the one who makes that call though. For now, suffice to say that symbol makes you very special.”
Link sighed in frustration, covering his eyes with a single hand as a migraine began to threaten his well-being.
“Is there anything you actually can tell me?” the Detective asked.
The Regent put the document in his hands down on the end table, turning his attention completely to the young man.
“Yes. I can tell you about the hooded man,” the regal fellow said, “He’s a member of a cult obsessed with bringing down the whole of Hyrule. They wish to throw us all back into the dark ages. No technology, no computers, no sophisticated weapons. They call it the ‘Reclamation’ as you heard him declare just before his death. They seek to reclaim the natural order of things… and kill every Hylian man, woman, and child that stands against it. You had the misfortune of running into one of their wizards, and yes, that word is correct. What you saw him perform were feats of magic; ancient magic the world has long since forgotten ever existed.”
Incredulity claimed the Detective’s face. He could scarcely believe it in spite of having witnessed it firsthand. Denial was a powerful demon.
“So, that whole shtick you pulled in the interrogation room, asking me incessantly about what I thought… if I would call him a wizard… you already knew.” Link said.
“Yes, I did. I apologize if I upset you with how insistent I was. I simply wanted verification for our earlier conclusions, and to see what sort of rumors might begin to spread. Controlling the flow of information is terribly important after all.” Yates replied.
“It’s fine. It’s a tactic we use in our interrogations all the time. Felt like you were trying to trap me in a lie or force me to be honest,” Link said, “Anyway… wizards… magic… all that stuff in the old legends is true?”
Yates nodded quietly.
“Indeed, depending on which version of which legends you’re referring to of course. Don’t worry, the answers are coming. For now, I would like to focus on the matter at hand. This wizard assaulted Lady Mallory because she possessed something he desired. You remember the necklace I’m sure,” he said and reached into his pocket, retrieving the item in question, “You see, this isn’t just a simple symbol of one’s faith. It’s much more than that.”
The Regent had brought it with him. Link had figured it might be important evidence and that it would likely have come along, but seeing it still caught him off guard. A renewed desire to see all of this through filled him, if only to get the necklace back to Lilly.
“So what is it exactly?” Link asked.
He pretended to not be aware of the idea that the pendent was indeed an item of power. Such was a tactic he had learned during his time on the force; feigning ignorance to draw out information, if only to learn how much the other knew.
“I think you already have an inkling of what it might be. It was the other half of the cause of that brilliant light,” the Regent said, “You saw it glowing didn’t you?”
Astute fellow, navigating the matter so expertly. Link swore silently to himself, not liking how easily the Regent handled him and his tactics.
“Yeah, it was glowing,” the Detective said in a bit of a grumble, “And I’m guessing you can’t tell me what it is, can you?”
“It isn’t up to me to determine if you should know. That’s for someone higher to decide. Now we have a good deal to go over and not an especially large amount of time to bring you up to speed. If you will forgive me, I must ask you to hold your questions while I try to share what I can before we arrive. Once we land, there won’t be just a great deal of free time to spend in casual conversation.” Yates said.
“Before we get into that, can you answer me one thing? How the hell did you get the interrogation room to do that?” Link asked.
Yates chuckled and reclined softly in his chair.
“A very high power holographic emitter. It creates the illusion of space, and it can provide an environment necessary for conveying a specific emotional state. Usually intimidation.” the Regent explained happily.
Link frowned. Intimidation had been the purpose, and it had worked terribly well. It probably also served to distract and keep a subject off balance.
“Well you damn sure pulled it off.” he said.
“My apologies if it disturbed you,” Yates said, “Now, shall we begin?”
Link didn’t protest, even though he wanted to. The Regent went on about his relaying of information, detailing the most fundamental aspects of magic, details about the cult but not much, and even a few vague points surrounding his brother’s death that he had not been permitted to know previously. Some of it was terribly illuminating. Much sounded like the ravings of a madman. Link was having a difficult time telling the difference.
The time passed swiftly. There came a distinct impression that Yates was more than just a little desperate to educate the Detective on current events, certain matters of state, and other such relevant details. There was more unrest in the kingdom than the news let on, and likely for good reason. Being off in Faron, the town was fairly isolated from all of it. But with the protesting and canvassing revolutionaries, as well as last night’s wizard appearance, that isolation was fading.
Their craft slowed as it approached the central city region. The castle standing proudly in the heart of the town gleamed in the sunlight. None of the general air traffic was permitted within ten kilometers of it as was the norm. Their craft however was welcomed by an escort of smallish two-person fighters. It seemed unnecessary but Link wasn’t about to question it. It was protocol, and protocol existed for a reason.
“We’ll be landing shortly. When we do, I’ve been ordered to take you to see someone of great importance. It is vital that you show the utmost respect,” Yates said, then changed his tone to one of deep earnest, “Do not ask questions freely or as a cynical man. Do so only when you have something thoughtful to say and in genuine need of being answered. The irreverence I permitted–because it was understandable at the time–will not be tolerated.”
The young man rolled his eyes. Time to put on his best manners. Link resigned himself to behave as requested as he felt the craft come to rest ever so gently on the deck of the hanger they had entered. He had to hand it to them, they had excellent pilots. It didn’t hurt that the equipment in question was top notch. Still, he was just as much a doubter as ever.
“I wish you’d relax. You’re kind of freaking me out a little. You make it sound like I’m gonna meet Princess Zelda.” Link said.
The Regent rose from his seat as the door they had used earlier opened once again. It provided stairs down to the flight deck of the hanger where all aboard were meant to gather. Yates beckoned the Detective to follow and to do so in a timely fashion.
“This is not a matter to trifle with,” the Regent said, “These are not people you keep waiting. And these are times you do not behave in any manner other than that of a gentleman. Come along, they’re waiting for us.”
He took the young man gently by the arm to pull him towards the exit. The grasp lasted only moments, letting go only just a few steps into their approach. The two guards from before moved to stand on either side of Link, still stuck on what the Detective considered ‘babysitting detail’.
As they drew near the doorway, the young man could see out into the hanger, finding it fairly dull in design. It had been established with no recreation in mind. It was a military post alright. What it housed was of greater interest and struck Link as outright impressive. Countless single or two person fighters could be seen stretching on forever. Bombers, interceptors, strikers, carriers; a wide array of ships sat motionless for all to see, providing a telling facet of the kingdom’s life, or at least that of the higher-ups.
The group emerged from the shuttle then stepped down the make-shift stairs and approached a young lady and her entourage. It was a much larger group than the two aids and two guards Aaron had brought with him. Some were dignitaries; others were soldiers in the kingdom’s employ; and one was personal assistant of the woman at the center of it all.
The lady tapped her foot impatiently. She had her arms crossed, waiting for the two boys to finish their little outing. She was not pleased. Her clothing was conservative yet intimidating. She wore a pair of glasses, thin frames, wide but short lenses she could look over to scowl at them with, possessing a hint of gold at the ear-rests. Her dirty-blond hair was pulled back in a neat, no nonsense bun though a few thin locks draped down from her bangs. This was a woman not to be trifled with, as Yates had stated. She spoke up as the two she was most interested in climbed down off the vehicle’s door.
“Well it’s about time. You couldn’t have gotten him here on schedule, could you? You promised me you’d have him here by noon. You’re an hour and a half late. The rest of the day is shot! Do you know how many appointments I have to keep!?” the woman scolded.
The Regent nodded and lifted a hand to his chest, bowing deeply and apologetically.
“I humbly beg your pardon m’lady. You can understand how difficult it might be uprooting someone from their life in a day. Allow me to introduce Detective Link of the Faron Police Force. Detective, First Minister Terentia Roslin.”
Suddenly, the young man felt very out of place and overcome with a sense that he was in very real danger. He swallowed hard and stepped forward to present himself, unsure of how to address the lady. He bowed much like the Regent, feeling terribly awkward.
“It’s an honor ma’am.” Link said.
The tremor in his voice made it quite clear he knew precisely who she was. It was difficult to find someone in the whole of the kingdom who didn’t know her name.
“Hello, Detective,” the Minister said in a curt greeting, “If you don’t mind, I have other matters to attend to.”
She turned sharply on her heel and began to walk away, leaving the baffled Link behind. Aaron stood upright and began to follow, not noticing the Detective lagging behind in confusion.
“Ma’am, I do apologize again for our tardiness. There were factors we had not accounted for but everything has been taken care of.” Yates explained.
“Good. Your efficiency as always is a shining example to the rest of us,” Roslin said as something of a gentle slight against the Regent, but nothing serious, “I take it Detective that you-“
The lady cut herself off as she turned her head and suddenly stopped. Link wasn’t there beside her as she had expected. She sighed and looked further back to find him a good five meters away.
“Are you coming or not!?” she shouted.
The officer jumped and hurried himself over to the group as they waited impatiently, some of them staring harshly at him. He was already feeling quite uncomfortable here.
“Sorry.” Link offered apologetically.
The group pushed on as he caught up, the First Minister continuing on with her train of thought, prefaced with a quick lesson for the Detective.
“Don’t be sorry, be attentive. Things move fast around here and my time is pretty short so you’d better learn to keep up. I walk, you draft. I talk, you listen. When I ask you to report, you keep it to bullet points. I don’t like repeating myself so you’d better catch everything the first time. Understood?” the Minister said in a lecturing tone.
“Yes ma’am.” Link replied sharply.
He suddenly felt like he was in basic training.
“Good boy,” the woman said in a slightly demeaning tone, “Now, as I was saying, I take it you have been debriefed?”
“Interrogated is more like. Felt like I was being accused of a crime or something.” Link said.
“Bullet points, Detective. That’s the first time I’ve had to repeat myself to you. You’d better make it the last,” the Minister said pointedly, “You shared all the information you had on the incident?”
“Everything I can remember, yes ma’am.” the Detective said, keeping his statement short and to the point.
The Minister lifted a hand, gesturing to draw in a member of her entourage. One of her aides stepped in close, walking backwards at a brisk pace just in front of him. It startled Link but he tried his best to keep pace without bumping into the young lady waving a scanner up and down his form.
“Size 10, medium length,” she said then stepped back aside, tapping away on a pad she carried with her, “Do you have any conditions, allergies, or injuries that are not listed in your medical file, Detective?”
“N-no… it’s… it’s all in there.” Link answered, confused by the sudden shift.
While the young lady with the scanner was tending to him, the Minister was busying herself with some matter of state another member of the crowd had brought to her attention. She kept it short and to the point, sounding almost like troop deployment strategies. An odd way to approach plans for a ceremony they referred to as ‘the seasonal ball’ but it worked. It made sense to cultivate that sort of attitude when one had so many demands on their time.
“You really caught the attention of a lot of people with the little stunt you pulled last night. I can’t say I’m terribly pleased it went down like it did. We’ve been trying to keep a tighter lid on all of this. You just blew it wide open in a blaze of glory,” Roslin said and turned to look at the Regent, “Did you get it?”
Yates nodded and lifted a hand towards her outstretched palm, placing the necklace in her grasp.
“True to his nature, our good Detective managed to wrest it away from the grasp of the thief.” the Regent said.
She peered at the triangular pendent carefully, regarding it for a brief moment as if to confirm its authenticity. When she was satisfied, she closed her hand around it and dropped her arm back to her side, swinging in time with her brisk stride. Link watched that hand from the moment the necklace landed in it to when it fell back to her side. He wanted it back, but to ask for it now seemed improper.
“Good,” the Minster said, “At least there are still a few things you can count on to be true.”
“I’m sorry, I’m a little lost here. You people keep talking like you know more about me than I do.” Link said, finally unable to hold back his incredulity on the whole situation.
The First Minister came to an abrupt halt, turning squarely on her heel again to face Link eye to eye. The rest of the group came to a grinding halt as well, all of them focused squarely on him as she spoke.
“I’ll keep it simple for the sake of time,” the powerful woman said, “We do. We know more about who you are, what you are, where you came from, and what that means than you could possibly begin to understand. Had your parents survived, they might have explained the mark on your left hand.”
Link moved to cover the back of his left palm with his right. He wanted to say something about that, to ask something, but he didn’t get the chance.
Roslin continued on without missing a single beat.
“You see, Detective, we made a mistake. We brought your brother, Colin, into the fold thinking he was the one we were looking for. What you said at the memorial, about him being touched by the gods and enriched the lives of everyone around him; that wasn’t entirely untrue, though it was slightly inaccurate.” she said.
Now they were keeping tabs on his exact words and actions. That left him feeling terribly uneasy, as if big brother was indeed watching his every move.
“Every word of it was the absolute truth. Colin was a good man.” the Detective said, feeling the need to defend his fallen brother.
“Yes, he was… but he wasn’t touched by the gods. You were. And you enriched his life. So much so that we thought he was you.” Roslin said.
Link furrowed his brow incredulously.
“You thought he was me?” he asked, sounding as if the notion was beyond ridiculous.
It sounded so fundamentally wrong. In an age of information and immediacy, how could they mix up the identities of two people?
“We did. He was more decorated, older, fit the profile we were looking for more closely than you did, and he had the necklace.” Roslin said rather plainly.
The Detective was getting aggravated again, this time not caring that he was staring at the right hand to the monarch of Hyrule. He had heard enough talk about the necklace being so important.
“What is the big damn deal about that stupid necklace!? Why is everyone after it!? It’s just a lump of metal!” Link shouted.
He knew it was probably going to get him punished, even knowing that the necklace was in fact not just a ‘lump of metal’. He was just so tired of being kept in the dark.
The crowd stepped away with a collective gasp. No one talked to Terentia Roslin like that. She didn’t seem fazed though. She understood his frustration. It still didn’t excuse his behavior. Instead of scolding him for it, she simply lightly pushed him aside with a single, gentle guiding hand so she could walk past him. He had gotten so turned around he didn’t realize she wasn’t walking back the direction they had come. Instead, they were headed somewhere new.
There were two doors behind him, large, ornate, and heavy. Roslin was more interested in opening them than she was reprimanding the young man who had just spoken to her very much out of turn and with far too little respect. She only permitted it because he had only just arrived and he was so ill informed. Link’s questions died on his tongue and his eyes widened as he spotted the doors. It took him only seconds to develop some idea of what lay on the other side.
“I will let the leading authority on the matter explain it to you.” Roslin said sternly.
She shoved the doors open and the group passed the Detective as they walked in. Link followed as they entered a great hall. He hadn’t even noticed the path they had taken through the castle. He had been so oblivious of their momentum he had simply not paid attention to anything other than Roslin. He would need to develop his navigational skills so he wouldn’t get lost while following her again. At present, he wasn’t even sure if they were on the same level as they had started.
Light shined in from high above. A brilliant stained glass window filled almost the entirety of the distant wall. A balcony rest at its base with two gently curving staircases gracefully sloping down towards the floor they stood on. It was a very fine floor at that; stone, highly polished, and intricately detailed to create a beautiful pattern of color and shape. Inlaid in the center in solid, contiguous pieces of gold shined the royal crest of Hyrule. As he approached the center of the room, he looked up to the balcony, his eye unable to be drawn away from its artistry. The natural light finally revealed a figure standing before the window, facing it with their back to the newcomers.
As the group slowed to a stop, the figure turned about. A flowing cloak hung across the lady’s shoulders, draped comfortably there almost as if she and it were part of some moving sculpture. A long white gown–emblazoned with the Hyrule royal crest–covered much of her form. A tiara held her hair back as she peered down at the small crowd with soft, serious eyes.
“First Minister, to what do I owe the pleasure?” the regal woman asked.
“My lady, as you requested, Regent Yates has brought him to us. This is Detective Link,” Roslin said and turned to face the officer, “Link, I present to you her grace, Zelda, Potentate of Hyrule.”
The entire room turned to face their monarch, bowing, some even kneeling in her presence.
Link was utterly speechless.