Categories > Games > Zelda > Gatecrash0 Reviews
Chapter 9: Swordfish
Mega Man noticed the dirt under his treaded feet gradually turning to sand. The temperate climate was also starting to increase in heat. "We're getting closer to the desert."
"Yeah, not much farther now," Link commented.
"This land doesn't seem spaced out enough to have a desert climactic zone so close to a temperate zone."
"Uhhhhh... well, the plateaus there prevent a lot of precipitation from coming down and uh... I don't know, I'm not a weatherseid."
"A fortune teller who specializes in telling the upcoming weather."
"Ah, a meteorologist."
"We have the same thing where I come from, only we call them meteorologists, and... well, yes, that's all." Mega Man was about to say they used actual science to predict weather, but he thought that might seem insulting.
"Do they do anything with meteors?"
"No, it's just a name."
"Why do they call them meteorologists if they don't do anything with meteors?"
"Our language is a very strange one."
"You should try reading ancient Hylian some time."
Soon they entered a steep valley. The ground was now pure sand and the snaking path was dotted with copper-green boulders on the landscape. Crows and vultures glided in the distance, searching for carcasses to feed on. Luckily, they weren't circling, as far as they could see.
Link took an unbeaten path into a claustrophobic crevice in a plateau wall. The high cliffs closed off the light coming down into a width barely big enough for a person. Mega Man looked around warily. "This is the entrance to the thieves guild?" he asked.
"Last time I was here, it was. There was a small set up of thieves here, they gave me some rupees. No idea why, though," he commented as he squeezed around a corner.
Mega Man's strong sense of justice was getting to him. He had to resist the urge to play the enforcer and arrest every last one of them he saw. The customs were different here. The laws were different. And he was nowhere near an authority here. Yet, they didn't seem to have any police force at all.
"So, if there's a thieves guild here, why don't we call the authorities and have them arrested?"
"Ha, they'd be out of here so fast before you even finished telling a soldier. They have ears everywhere. Besides, they're not much threat. Not in the grand scheme of things, at least."
Link adjusted the sword at his side, pulling it closer into his body. He side-shuffled into the initial gap spackled with jagged outcroppings of stone.
"Watch yourself," he said as he switched back to a normal gait.
Mega Man turned to the side and followed Link in. The temperature was much cooler in this ravine, due to the shadow. A crow perched over the edge high above looked down upon them, but remained as still as a statue.
Link set his boot on a projection from the wall, climbing over a break too small to walk through. Finally, they reached a small cul-de-sac ending the crevice.
"Oh, it's you again," Link said acerbically.
Mega Man couldn't see from behind Link's body who he was talking to, even as he tried to peer over his shoulder. All he could notice was a slice of sunshine permeating the pit around them. He squeezed between the cliff and Link and saw a middle-aged man with thick jet black hair and an equally thick mustache standing in front of a wooden door. He said nothing to Link's comment.
"Who is this?" Mega Man asked.
"I met him before, an ex-member of the thieves guild. I guess they let him back in." Link approached the man. "Where'd your sign go?"
The man said nothing.
"Hey, you remember me, right? You opened a treasure chest for me?" Link waited a few seconds for a response and received none. He crossed his arms, thinking about what to do next.
"Maybe he's deaf," Mega Man suggested.
"No, he's talked to me before. Come on, man, I kept it a secret, just like you said. Can you let us in?"
Again, no response. The silent thief merely looked at Link and cocked his head slightly, like he was going through the motions of talking without actually talking.
"We're not gonna make trouble. We just need some information. It's important."
Link turned back to Mega Man and started digging in his pockets. The blue robot said, "Are you thinking of climbing over?"
"No, actually, I was thinking bribery." He fished out a set of purple gems from his knapsack and presented them to the silent treasure opener. "Would sixty rupees change your mind?"
Mega Man, although surprised by this tactic, realized the logic right away. Nonetheless, the stratagem was wasted.
"Try more," Mega Man advised.
"Okay," Link gritted his teeth as he poked around for more. "A hundred rupees. Come on man, you gotta take it."
The middle-aged man remained as silent and steadfast as ever.
"Is that a lot?" Mega Man added as a side-note.
"I thought it was," Link said slightly astonishedly. He put the rupees back in when he saw the thief was strangely uninterested.
"Perhaps it's some sort of secret phrase," Mega Man suggested. "We use them a lot in my world."
"Oh, yeah, um," Link tried to think of potential secret words to a thief. "'Blind'... 'rupees', 'Chris sent me'..."
"God, debug, admin, root, password, password-one, one-two-three-four-five, one-four-seven, love, secret, default," Mega Man chimed in.
"Getting a little obscure there."
"These are the most common passwords in my time."
Link shook his head dismissively. Nothing they said made any difference in the middle-aged man's expression or body language. He pondered the obstacle in his way. He was no stranger to such things, but they were usually in the form of a wall or locked door. Obviously he couldn't use violence against an ordinary citizen, especially not one who had helped him in the past. Those who seemed no threat often were the biggest ones, he thought as he remembered Blind's disguise. Hitting a locked door never helped either. Maybe a threat might make him budge though.
"All right, buddy, if you don't let us through, me and my pal here are gonna have to get tough."
"You hear me?" Link stepped back into a battle stance and held the hilt of his sword still in its scabbard. He glowered menacingly at the thief as Mega Man looked aghast.
"You're not thinking of using violence against him?"
"No, of course not," he whispered, "Just play along," he said as he winked. Mega Man got the idea and stepped back, brandishing his Mega Buster.
"Step back or we will open fire," Mega Man said forcefully.
Link muttered something about having to work on that and cautiously shuffled forward. Still holding his sword with one hand he came toe-to-toe with the unmoving thief, crouched down into a battle position. Using his other hand he slowly reached out and took hold of the silent man's shoulder. He did nothing. Gently, Link began pushing the man aside. Surprisingly, he yielded to the pressure and pleasantly shifted aside from the doorway.
Link's eyes opened with amazement as he stood back up. "Well, uh, thanks." He looked back to Mega Man. "That went pretty well," he grinned.
"Yes... it did," Mega Man responded, a little confused and a little wary.
Nonetheless, the two opened the door and entered the cliffside cavern.
"Throughout my years, I have done many things, I have helped many people. I have always been on the side of good, or at least I thought I've been. Everything I've tried to do, I've done for the good of mankind. I always thought, someday, people would rise above their violent tendencies, their primate instincts of 'kill or be killed', 'take it before someone else takes it and defend it with your life'. Greed, avarice, selfishness.
"But other people have shown me that some habits are hard to break. They are the ones who make it necessary for weapons to exist in this world. Sometimes I wonder whether the existence of such weapons encourages people to use them. But perhaps not. The weapons are not to blame, it is the people who use them. People use them for their own devices, to further their own ends.
"Then does that make me any better than them? For I make weapons as well, to further my own ends. These ends may be noble. But does it make me any different than the madmen who wield them? The results are always the same - people get hurt, great works are demolished, resources are wasted, all because of one single man, who somehow can't be stopped. One bad apple can truly ruin a whole bunch.
"And so I make the sacrifice. I sacrifice my own work, I sacrifice my own legacy, to keep humanity going. To keep it out of tyrannical rule, to keep it out of returning to the dark ages when people fought each other over petty concerns. For some reason, we must still keep a tie to that era in order to keep it safe. Maybe it's part of human nature that can't be taken out. But why does it have to be my sacrifice?
"No, not my sacrifice. My children. My work. I wanted my creations to never know a world of hate and greed - insanity. I wanted humans to be able to accept robots as fellow partners in life. Yet some people don't agree with that, and some people take it too far. There can never be a happy medium. People can't accept such things so easily. It takes generations, and it will be a time that I won't be able to live to see.
"But it's that hope that makes me do the things that I do. That makes me sacrifice my children to serve man. To protect them. Cause they're the only ones who can do it. They're the only ones with the power to. And I'm the only one who can give them that power. I wonder why I was chosen with this 'gift'. But, for the better of humanity, I must use it. May whatever powers higher than me forgive me for what I've done.
"It was bad enough I had to make Rock into what he is today - a war machine. I gave him a taste of power. Far more than he should have gotten. Many sleepless nights I spent wondering whether he would abuse it and become far worse than those he was meant to defend against. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I feared he would become overwhelmed with it. The only thing that stopped him was his strong sense of justice, something I never imagined a robot could have with the A.I. I programmed into him. He surprised us all.
"I can only hope that his sister will be the same."
Dr. Light steadily approached the operating board, where Roll lay, his shadow covering her like a shroud. Her start-up procedure was about to complete its process. Her eyes began to flutter erratically. Suddenly, they burst open, pupils dilated, glazed at the ceiling. The first thing she looked at was Dr. Light.
"Good morning, Roll," he sighed. "How do you feel?"
"I feel..." Roll flexed her arm, looking at the latex glove and arm, covered in gauntlets of armor. "...good."
Next Chapter: The Thieves Guild