Forever Can End in Seconds: Part II
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"Forever Can End in Seconds: Part II", Chapter 1

Forever Can End in Seconds: Part II

By: Kasuto of Kataan

Chapter One

The first thing he noticed was the silence. It was very quiet here. No-it wasn't silent. There were a few noises here. He heard a steady dripping noise coming from somewhere behind him. The sound of the dripping made a barely audible echo. He judged that he must be somewhere large, like a cave. He tried listening more closely to determine if there was anyone or anything else here. He couldn't hear anyone else; the only noises that hinted at anything living was the sound of his own breathing. A blindfold covered his eyes, and he could see nothing. After trying to move, he realized that his arms were tied tightly to his back, and his ankles were bound to the legs of the chair.

The realization that he was alone immediately sent him into an analytical mode, studying every bit of information he could gather from his situation. Link tried to think of where he was and how he got here. He racked his brain trying to come up with some memory, any memory. It slowly came back to him; he remembered walking through the lawn of the castle. He was going to see Zelda to give her a bouquet of flowers. He'd taken the more scenic route through the castle grounds, admiring the rare and beautiful flowers that grew there. He remembered his plan to have a picnic on the castle grounds, near the cluster of flowers that Zelda liked the most. But something had happened before he reached the castle-something that wasn't quite right. He remembered the flowers-it was a beautiful bouquet of blossoms he had found in the Kokiri Forest, from rare plants that only grew in a single meadow. There was something in those flowers that was bad, he remembered a bee. Yes-there was a honeybee inside one of the blooms. He recalled the stinging sensation. The bee had stung him. He had been stung numerous times, and it was only a minor nuisance to him. But there was something different about this bee sting; at the moment it pierced his skin he felt the most peculiar sensation. It had been like nothing he'd ever felt before. The pain was quite intense, flowing from the sting site up his arm and into the rest of his body. The sting incapacitated him, leaving him writhing helplessly on the ground. He remembered someone approaching him. It must've been a woman, because he recalled her saying something, and it was a woman's voice, but what she said eluded him.

The sudden sound of a footstep from behind him caught his attention. There was a slight echo with each footstep, which only agitated Link further. He could tell that this person was being deliberately mysterious. "Who's there?" he asked finally. The footsteps came closer. "I can hear you; you might as well answer me." He was growing ever more impatient as the footsteps finally reached him and the person stood in front of him. He could hear the breathing of whoever stood before him. "Well?" he insisted.

"Well what?" relied a snide female voice. "Do you expect me to come right out and answer your questions? It doesn't look like you are in the position to be making demands."

"I just want to know why I'm here," he replied frankly. He'd been in enough bizarre situations in his life, so it didn't surprise him to be held hostage. The only thing he wanted to know was why he was here and why he was the one being tormented.

"You are here because you are my master plan," the woman replied.

Oh great, Link thought. Another insane person who thinks that I'm part of their master plan.

"Oh please, I'm not insane," she said. "I would think that a person as intelligent as you would be able to figure out that you're more than just an ordinary person. Everyone you've ever met has told you that."

It was true. Many people had told him how he was such an extraordinary person; he heard it all the time. Sometimes he actually grew sick of compliments and people trying to emulate him. All he wanted was to live a normal life, a life free of heroism and responsibility. "What is it that you want?" he asked. "Money? Power? Are you planning on holding me for ransom? I'll tell you right now that I don't have any money and neither do my friends."

"You're not a very good liar," she said. "Everyone knows that you're in cahoots with the Princess of Hyrule. If I were to hold you for ransom, I could make a fortune. That girl would pay anything for you."

"Then you should also know that Zelda would also use any amount of force to get me back. She probably already has a whole army looking for me. And if I don't escape on my own first, you'll be in for some serious punishment. I've been in worse situations than this."

"I am well aware of your past adventures," she whispered, leaning so close to his face that he could feel the heat of her breath. She reached her hands behind Link's head and untied the blindfold. As his eyes focused and adjusted to the dim lighting in the room, the image of a middle-aged woman appeared before him. She was of average height and build, although her frame was a bit more muscular than most women. She was wearing a simply grey tunic that was unadorned. Her hair was a deep brunette color, with a few streaks of gray. But her face was what struck Link the most. The expression she wore showed obvious malice and ill-intent, but it also looked smug, as if she were seriously enjoying seeing Link like this. Her eyes were even worse; the green eyes she possessed would have been beautiful on any person other than her. But this woman's eyes were predatory, and...evil.

"What do you want with me?" he asked, attempting to give the coldest stare he could.

"Revealing my intentions too soon would take all the fun out of this. Don't you agree?" Link didn't respond, he only continued his icy stare. "You are quite an enigma. In many ways you are helpful, caring, and always trying to please. You make it your job to go out of your way to make others happy. Yet in another sense, you are fierce and determined, and you never let anyone get the better of you. You're a walking contradiction."

"Oh? And how did you come to that conclusion?" he asked, surprised that she could accurately describe personality, but angered that she would put him in this situation. All he knew was that he wasn't going to give this woman what she wanted.

She purposely delayed her response, to make it appear as if she were seriously considering it. Then she starting pacing circles around his chair, staring at him intently. After a few revolutions around the chair she stopped in front of him and stared directly into his eyes, sending a chill down his spine. "Where shall I begin?" she asked rhetorically. "Your name is Link, and you have lived the vast majority of your life in the enchanted Kokiri Forest. But you were always troubled with your life there. You were always different than everyone else because you didn't have a magical fairy following you wherever you went. Of course, among the Kokiri people, this simply doesn't happen. So they ridiculed you, mocked you, and used every opportunity they could to make you feel alienated. Your only solace was your friend Saria, who was considered a normal Kokiri girl, but also had a deep understanding of your problems. For most of your life, you two were inseparable. She was always there to listen to your problems, and to comfort you when you were upset.

"You lived your life like this everyday for most of your childhood. Then you started to become plagued by prophetic nightmares. This led to quite an amazing series of adventures. I won't bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that you were the mythical Hero of Time who was prophesied to free the world from the grip of an evil tyrant. And you did quite a good job. I'm sure it must've been upsetting when you found out that you were to be sent back to the time you came from, as if nothing you did ever mattered. No one would remember the difference you made, none of it even happened. The only people who knew of your adventures were those you told your tales to, and those who were gifted with perception far beyond those of normal people.

"So you wanted to go back and have a normal life, but Fate wasn't going to allow that. As soon as you get back from your journey, you decide to take another journey to find the fairy partner that had mysteriously left you. You found her annoying and pestering, yet you still felt an emptiness inside you because she left. So you wound up finding yourself on another world, and ended up saving that one from an evil force much like the one you banished in Hyrule. Once again when you returned, no one knew of your journey, and your tales were the only evidence to back them up.

"So once again, you wanted to live a normal life. You befriended the Princess of Hyrule, who thankfully had a recollection of you from before you created the alternate timeline. In the process of developing your relationship, you once again had to save the universe from another evil force bent on destroying all life, only this time your little girlfriend helped in the process. And that evil force, or what remained of it, was bent on destroying you from the inside out. And as usual, you managed to defeat it, but only with the love of your girlfriend, the princess.

"Then your love and devotion to her was put to the test when there was an attempt on her life." The woman walked closer to Link and leaned forward. "It must've really angered you to see that man torturing Zelda, didn't it?" she said in a tone intended to purposely upset him. "That was the first time you had ever felt pure hatred for another human being. You wanted to torture him, kill him, cause him pain that was infinitely worse than what he did to Zelda. In the end, you came to your senses and rescued her, but not after inflicting serious injuries on him. And you were rewarded by receiving the Star of Nayru and being knighted by the king. That is quite an accomplishment for any man, but the fact that you were a child made it all the more extraordinary.

"Then your life actually improved somewhat. By a series of strange happenings, you managed to discover that you had a twin sister, who had been separated from you shortly after birth, in order to ensure the survival of at least one of you. By a very sad twist of fate, you ended up in the peaceful Kokiri Forest, while your sister was taken to an orphanage, which burned down. As long as she could remember, your sister had been living on the streets, with no home or shelter, and subsisting on whatever food she could steal or dig out of the garbage. A few twists of fate, along with a little supernatural help, enabled you two to find each other. It was a happy time for you both, your sister had a place to live and a family, and you were able to flee your own flesh and blood from a hellish existence. You of course never admitted it to anyone, but you felt as if it were your fault that she had been given such a terrible life. You would lie on your bed late at night, wishing you could take away your sister's pain and anguish and bear it all yourself. You always do seem to have rather masochistic tendencies, always wanting to take other's people's burdens as your own.

"You sister later on fell in love with a mutual friend, who also happened to be female. But being the loving, supportive person you are, you accepted her choice and encouraged her. I won't judge either you for that, since I really have no room to speak on matters such as those.

"And a while after that, you were cursed with yet another adventure; more responsibility on your part. It was up to you and your gifted friends to prevent a crazed woman from achieving her wish of death by killing millions of people along with her. Once again, you succeeded. And you and your friends discovered more about yourselves, hearing that you might very well be the long-prophesied Supreme Oracles, who were destined to rebalance the forces in the Universe.

"And that leaves us where we are today. I have to admit that your life accomplishments to date are far greater than those of entire generations of heroes. And you're not even fifteen years old. I am impressed." She then stared at him, truly reveling in his look of shock and confusion.

"How..." he mumbled. "How did you know all that?" He was totally flabbergasted that she was somehow able to know all these intimate details of his life. Only his closest friends knew any of this stuff, and he had never seen this woman before in his life. He had a terrible feeling in his gut, telling him that this was not a situation that he could easily worm his way out of. There was something about her that made him suspect that she had more things planned than just screwing with his mind.

"You're not the only gifted person here," she mocked. "There are other people in this world who have abilities far superior to your own." Link gave an icy stare, angry that she was answering his question with more riddles. "I suppose I should introduce myself, it's only fair considering I already know you quite well. My name is Yasha. It's a real, pleasure, to meet you." The predatory look in her eyes when she said pleasure made Link cringe. There was something about the way she said it that made him terribly uneasy.

"What is it that you want from me? You told me my entire life story, but that doesn't explain why I'm here." Link only hoped that getting this woman to talk would give him some insight as to how her mind worked, so maybe he could figure out a way to defeat her. When she had been talking, Link was quietly trying to loosen the roped tied around his wrist, but had given up when they proved to be too strong and too tight. The chair was made of heavy ebony and appeared to be somehow bolted to the floor, so even tipping the chair over was impossible.

Yasha chuckled at the determined look on Link's face. He's definitely going to be a challenge. "My, my, you are persistent. Telling you what I want would ruin the fun of forcing it out of you. Although... I will eventually need your willing consent, but we'll worry about that later." Link wasn't quite sure what she meant about consent, but he knew that he certainly wouldn't give her consent to do anything. He would fight till his dying breath if that's what it came to. "Oh trust me, you will be broken," she added, as if reading his thoughts.

Link scoffed at her remark. She obviously didn't understand how strong he truly was. He wasn't going to let some woman who was totally off her rocker get the best of him. There was no doubt in his mind that he would triumph. "So are you going to tell me what this is about? Or are you going to beat around the bush all day? How do you seriously expect me to give in to you if I have no idea what you want?"

"Explanations will come all in good time. The first thing we need to do is to get you into your proper attire." Link gave a confused look for a moment, but then resumed his defiant stare. Yasha just grinned and walked behind the chair. He could feel her quickly loosen and untie the ropes binding his hands. Before he could even attempt to move his arms, she clutched them with a powerful, vise-like grip that surprised Link. "Please, I'm not as weak as you think. All men are alike, you think that women are weaker than you. Trust me, I'm perfectly capable of holding you still, fighting will only make things more difficult for you." Not paying attention to her words, Link continued to struggle. After untying his arms, she quickly locked a pair of iron shackles onto his wrists. The shackles had no give whatsoever, both cuffs were welded together, giving no freedom of movement. Next, she cut the ropes surrounding Link's ankles, and fitted them with similar shackles, only these ones were connected with short chains, giving his legs more freedom, albeit not much.

After securing him in shackles, Yasha forcefully pulled the struggling Link out of the chair and dragged him to a corner of the cavern. He tried to squirm and fight as much as he could, but the efforts were futile. Link knew that he couldn't escape at this very moment, but he wasn't about to submit and go along with her wishes. So he did everything he could think of to make her know that he wasn't going to give in, he squirmed and bucked like an angry bull, he yelled and screamed, and he hurled every insult he could think of at the woman. Yasha dragged him into some kind of barred cell and threw him to the ground, slamming his head against the rock wall. This incapacitated Link long enough for her to lock his leg shackles to a chain on the wall.

She stepped back out of the range of his chain and watched Link gradually attempt to sit up, wincing at the bleeding scalp wound on his head. He unconsciously moved his hands to run the wound, but failed after he remembered that his arms were bound. "This is going to be your new home," Yasha said, sounding like she was showing him some fancy mansion. The floor was hard, rocky, and dank. There were scant areas of moisture on the floor and walls of the cell, probably from condensation, and there was a distinct musty smell coming from the mildew growing in the cracks in the rock. The cell itself was completely bare, with nothing in it but the chain embedded in the wall that was locked to his handcuffs. The makeshift jail cell was a small, round alcove in the rock with iron bars embedded into the front end of the little cave. Yasha was standing in the open doorway of the cell, staring at Link. "So how do you like it?" she asked. Link spat at her, but the spit only managed to barely touch her ankles.

áShe smirked at him and left the cell for a second to fetch something from a table in the far corner. Yasha quickly returned brandishing a very formidable looking dagger. She walked up to Link and put one foot on his shoulder to hold him down, while holding the knife a few inches from his face. "That outfit you're wearing isn't very appealing. I'm going to have to remove it for you." She leaned over and pulled up the bottom of his tunic, then effortlessly cut it from the waist all the way to the neck line. After cutting the sleeves, she ripped the clothes from his body, exposing his bare chest. Then she removed his belt and cut the bottom of his tunic off, leaving him clad only in a pair of ivory-colored undershorts. Yasha took the remains of his clothing and threw them into pile in the middle of the main cavern, not really caring where they landed.

Link began to shiver slightly after realizing that it was a little chilly in the cave. He wanted to wrap his arms around himself, but was only barely able to sit up, and having his hands bound behind his back only made things more uncomfortable. Yasha walked back to the cell and stared Link from head to toe, with an almost predatory look. "For such a young man, you really are quite impressive. I'm sure you owe your wonderful physique to the frequent exercise you do. It's a wonder that you're not bombarded with women whenever you walk through the town." Link wasn't sure what the purpose of her comments was, but he certainly wasn't feeling flattered by them, in fact, it sickened him. She kneeled down beside him and ran her fingers down his chest, sending terrible chills down his spine and bile up his throat. He quickly wormed away from her and nudged himself into the corner.

Yasha chuckled at his reaction.á "You're absolutely fearless when it comes to fighting life and death battles, but when a woman touches you, you cower in the corner. But that doesn't matter now, I'll get what I want from you later."

"Don't you ever touch me again," he commanded forcefully, trying to look as dead-serious as possible.

"Typical male behavior," she chuckled. "Even when you men are in a helpless situation, you still try to take control, or at least pretend that you have some control. You need to learn to be submissive, and let other people tell you what to do."

Link seriously thought this woman was insane. The thought that she wanted him only for some kind of sexual pleasure crossed his mind, but he vowed not to let her do anything of the sort. "So that's what this is about?" he asked. "Do you have some kind of obsession with seducing teenage boys? Or are you just upset that you couldn't land a husband?" At the moment, a war of words was the only battle he could fight.

"Oh, this has nothing to do with seducing teenage boys... although, sometimes that does come as an added perk." Link's face clearly registered his disgust. She sighed. "Yes, I'm well aware of your rather old-fashioned views concerning matters such as those. I know you're madly in love with the princess, and eagerly await the day when you finally marry her and be whisked away into a magical world of marital bliss. But I am sorry to say that you won't be marrying her...ever."

The finality of her statement only angered him further. "You can't tell me what to do. I will get out of here whether you like it or not."

Yasha only smiled and shook her head. "Your optimism surprises me, most people would be begging for their lives or groveling at my feet now. Good for you, but it'll only make things worse." She walked within reaching distance of him and stared down at his stern face and defensive posture. Before he could even react, she kicked him hard in the gut, making him double over in terrible pain. He coughed and choked as Yasha laughed and walked away. "I'll leave you alone to think about things for a while. I'll be back later." Link could barely watch because the pain made him wince and contort into a fetal position; all he saw was her walking off out of sight.

Yasha sat in a room separated from the main chamber in the cavern. Long ago she had made a home out of one of the many large caverns in a vast system of caves in the mountain range next to the infamous Death Mountain. There were no towns nearby, and no one else who called the caves home. Even the Gorons had no settlements here. But Yasha liked this place, it was isolated and quiet, perfect for the things she needed to do here.

The room she was in now acted as her bedroom and primary living area. It had all the comforts of a normal home, only in a more dark setting. She chuckled to herself upon remembering the look of determination on Link's face and how it suddenly disappeared when he'd gotten a small kick in the stomach. It was funny how a person's demeanor could change when a little physical pain was introduced. Of course Yasha knew that Link had been through worse pain than she was currently giving him, so more drastic measures would have to be used on him. She knew very well that he was a strong person, not only physically, but emotionally as well. But every man has his weaknesses. She was fortunate to know most of his weaknesses. Yes, he put on a strong fašade, but inside, he was much more delicate. He had a fear of failure, a fear of not being good enough. And he had other weaknesses as well; he would willingly die for his friends and family, and was fiercely loyal and dedicated to them. Using his love for his friends, and his inner fears of failure and weakness could definitely be used to her advantage. She just had to find the right order in which to break him down. Yasha wasn't sure which weakness to exploit first. Zelda was his obvious weak point, but she wanted to save that revelation for his final breakdown.

If she didn't have such devious plans for him, his na´vetÚ would be charming, almost cute. She was well-aware that the young man put on a warrior face when he needed to, but she knew deep down how he truly was. He had been through very trying experiences; traveling through time and vanquishing evil demons could take a toll on the person. But hardships did not define one's maturity. Even when he had fought in his own future, he was still a child in the body of an adult. Link had no idea what he was doing, he did as he was told, like a good little boy should. He had been through more in his few short years than most people did in a lifetime, but that didn't make him more than an impressive child. And Link lived his life among the Kokiri, once believing he was one of them. How is he able to become a man living among children his whole life? Yasha smiled; he may be growing into a beautiful young man, but his mind was as innocent and immature as anyone his age, perhaps even more so.

Link didn't even know the extent of his own powers, the raw, untapped energy within him. But Yasha knew all about those powers, he was one-of-a-kind, her mother lode of spiritual energy. It would be so easy for him to lose what he didn't even know he had. He would definitely suffice for what she needed. But spiritual energy wasn't all that he had to offer. He was also a beautiful and robust young man, perfect for having a little fun. Why throw away the container just yet? She might as well use him to his fine advantage. Once again, Link's innocence would be his downfall. He obviously had no idea how attractive he was, apparently he never seemed to notice the other girls gawking at him. But she would show him how the world saw him, she would have to take the last bit of innocence away from him before he finally fell.

Link sat against the cold, hard rock of the cell wall and stared at the little droplets of water condensing on the ceiling. He had no idea how long he'd been sitting there, but it must have been several hours. Dozens of escape plans and ways to beat that woman raced through his head, but none of them seemed remotely possible. He was in shackles, inside a sealed cell, what could he do? He had no weapons, or keys, or anything at all. The damn woman even stripped him to his underwear. He shivered a little bit and tried not to think about it. It was cool inside the cave, not terribly cold, but chilly enough to make him uncomfortable.

But what made him even more uncomfortable was Yasha. He had no idea what she wanted and what she planned to do to him, but she knew it wasn't good. It made him shudder to imagine that predatory look on her face. Why was she obsessed with him? He'd never seen the woman before in his life, but she seemed to know every little detail about him. And he couldn't suppress that eerie vibe he got every time he looked at her. It was as if she was invading his soul. But he wasn't exactly sure what she was trying to do, so he couldn't adequately defend himself. The only thing he could do was somehow try to find out her plan, and act accordingly.

In the meantime, he'd thought about how he managed to get himself in another mess like this. Why was it that every psychotic maniac in Hyrule always had it out for him? When he'd been sent back to relive his childhood, he didn't expect to end up in more trouble than his adventures as the Hero of Time. He wanted to wake up in the morning, do things that normal people do, and go to bed at night. So why did he end up with more and more responsibilities every single day? He was sick of being responsible for the fate of the universe. He wanted to live a life without worries and responsibilities, but apparently Fate had other things planned.

Now he only hoped that Zelda was sending out search parties or something. He couldn't stand being so helpless, but he knew that this time he would have to be the one to be rescued.