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Chapter 27: The Triforce
Chapter 27: The Triforce
"Link! You cannot do this. This is absolutely out of the question."
Zelda scuttled down the stairs, following so close to Link she was practically jumping on his back. He ignored her callings and concentrated on getting his friend down the stairs. He was of a single mind now. The pain in his shoulder had forced him into a mental state of a single track - get Mega Man to the Triforce.
"Link, are you listening to me? Argh," she screamed as she caught her dress on the banister, slowing her down. "Stupid dress," she fiddled with the hooks on the railing, finally ripping her sleeve out of its grasp. "Link!" she raced down the stairs and caught up with him. "Link, you are not thinking straight. This is absolutely not an option."
"This is the last option."
"Do you even know the full power of the Triforce? It is omnipotence personified. It's the end all and be all of all things. Men have gone mad over it. It's been the cause of Hyrule's trouble since it was created."
Link snapped his head to Zelda, "Don't talk to me like I'm one of those people who got lost in the Dark World. I've used the Triforce. I held it up in triumph over Ganon's crumpled body. I know exactly what it's capable of. I was the one who saved it. I was the one who rebuilt Hyrule with it. I think that gives me a little leeway to use it as I see fit."
"The Triforce is a forbidden relic now. No one is allowed to touch it. That's why it's locked way down here in the heart of the castle. You, me, and the king are the only ones who know it's down here. Of course, now he does as well."
"What are you saying Zelda? Just spit it out," he snapped angrily.
"I don't trust him." Zelda glowered down at him from the step above. There was fury in her eyes. If there was one thing in the world she had to protect it was the Triforce from falling into enemy hands. Her duties were few, but she took them very seriously. "There, are you happy? I said it."
"You don't trust him? How can you say that after all he's done."
"I do trust him, but not as far as the Triforce is concerned. It's far too powerful to be taken lightly. It's not to be used for getting whatever you want like this."
"Have I ever used it like a spoiled child? Just gathering what I want like a kid in the candy store. Saying you don't trust him is like saying you don't trust me."
"As far as this is concerned, yes. You're letting your emotions get to you. What if he had planned this all along. Waiting for the right time to strike. He could be an agent of Ganondorf, or someone working on his own devices." Link became suddenly angered by that word - 'devices'. The irony of it bit back deep within him. Zelda continued, "He came from an alternate world. We know nothing about him or his origins."
"I don't need to know about his origins. I don't know what happened to my parents, either. I was raised by my uncle. I could be the son of Agahnim for all I know. So tell me again that origins matter."
Zelda was starting to get frustrated at Link, who just kept walking down the stairs regardless. Mega Man was eerily silent, but still moving. There was little time left for him and he knew it. There couldn't be anything stopping them now, not even their allies.
"Link, you have to stop. I order you to stop."
"I can't stop. You know that. If I stop, he dies. That will not happen." The biting pain in his shoulder surged anew with each step, but Link mustered his courage and continued on.
The reached the bottom of the staircase. A massive wall with the royal insignia faintly carved on it blocked their progress. Two leaf stems curling upwards around it surrounded the Triforce symbol. The design at the bottom showed something like a sun splashing out light rays. To someone who didn't know, it appeared to be a dead end, but it was the last blockade to the chamber.
The two stopped in front of the door, with Zelda standing on one step above them. "I'm not gonna let you in, Link."
"And I'm not gonna move until you do." He glared at the door, holding Mega Man up with his aching shoulder, now trying to lift his weight a little higher with his free hand.
Zelda and Link stood there in a stare-off without the staring. Both had the firmest resolutions to not budge an inch. Time was of the essence and they both were wasting it.
"This vault door takes two of us to open," Link reminded, breaking the silence.
The silence hung in the air again for a brief moment. Link turned up to her. "Come on, Zelda. You know this is the right thing to do. More than you want to protect the Triforce, you want to save a life. His life. He's worth it. It's worth opening the Triforce."
"Link, I wouldn't even do this for you."
Her words were harsh, but she was right. The debate on the Triforce was long and hard, but its power was unimaginable and power corrupts. The final decision was to keep it locked away from mortal's hands as best they could - deep in the heart of the palace, with as few people knowing of its location as possible. This would also prevent the temptation to use it by those who knew even. No one would use it for any purpose.
"I know you wouldn't, Zelda. We all agreed to that. But he didn't!" he cried out, pleading. "He didn't make that choice. He's a stranger in a strange land. He was brought here by some whirlwind of fate and dropped here and he was attacked by our enemies, not his."
"Then maybe it's his fate to die here."
"It's not his fate to die at all! He told me. He is a robot. He is a machine. He can't die. It would be like trying to kill a rock." For some reason, as he spoke the words he understood. He understood what Mega Man was, as if the words were being provided for him. "But whatever it is he does when he stops functioning, he's about to do it. And I can't let that happen. I can't live my life knowing I didn't try. And I don't think you could either. So please. I'm asking you, please, help me."
Zelda thought. She didn't realize the consequences of her actions. For some reason, these last words of Link were starting to get to her. Mega Man, whatever he was, had bravely sacrificed himself for their motives, without knowing why or wanting any reward. It wasn't even part of his destiny, and yet he did it because he wanted to. He had the choice, but he didn't choose this. He was purely innocent.
Zelda stepped down the stairs past Link and Mega Man. "All right, I'll do it. But I'm still against it. And I don't want anyone to know about this. This is a secret we take to our graves."
"Understood," Link nodded, still with a grim, determined expression on his face. He set Mega Man against the wall, leaning him up and approached the vault door.
Zelda held up a gloved hand to the right side of the wall, over the wisdom portion of the Triforce. Link stood at the left side. "Ready?" she asked.
Link withdrew his sword from its sheath and nodded.
Zelda waved her hand in a circle over the crest. Blue starry sparkles trailed from her glowing fingers as the magic spell worked its way into the locking mechanism. Rays of green light splayed out from her hand. Link concentrated and built up strength in his sword. A trail of energy traveled down the metal of the blade and glistened at the tip, pulsating with power. He thrust it into the crest of courage as it glowed. The wall seemed to melt around the blade, letting it pass through like a ripple of water. The crest on Zelda's side glowed bright yellow as well, forced by the magic spell.
The door began raising off the floor with a low rumble. Bits of gravel and dust rained down below as the wall slowly rose up over their heads, portentously hanging over the doorway. As this was going on, Link replaced his sword and came back to Mega Man's side. Picking him up on his hurting shoulder, he pulled him away from the wall and took him into the darkened room, only dimly lit by what came down from the torch-lit staircase. Zelda passed under the archway as well and pointed to each side of the room. Candle holders lit up brightly from her magic touch.
The vault was a large overawing room, built like a chapel. Curtains adorned with the royal insignia hung at each gray brick wall. Each of the three surrounding walls had a stained glass representation of the Triforce. The center of the room had a two tier marble pedestal covered with a red carpet. The three golden triangles of the Triforce, joined together, floated above the silvery granite plinth, ominous, motionless. This was the heart of the castle. The heart of Hyrule itself.
"This is a selfish request," Zelda said indignantly. "If someone with a selfish heart makes a request, it will grant it selfishly."
"That's why I'm not going to make the request. He will."
Link and Mega Man stopped at the edge of the room. He hoisted Mega Man's arm off his shoulder and gently nudged him forward.
"Oh, by the gods, Link. This is so foolish. What if he is not balanced? The Triforce pieces will split and the land will be covered in darkness again."
The legend stated that whoever touches the Triforce will make their wishes come true, but only if that person's heart is balanced in the forces of courage, wisdom, and power. If it wasn't, the Triforce would split. That person would keep the piece that he was strongest in, and the other two would go to whoever in the land was chosen by destiny to keep those pieces they represented. Link was not ignorant of this factor.
"He is balanced. I've seen him through thick and thin. I've watched him on the battlefield, and I've watched him at rest. He will accept the Triforce and the Triforce will accept him."
But inside, Link was worried. Mega Man didn't have a heart to be balanced. He didn't have a mind to make a wish. How could a rock have a desire? Could it? Would the Triforce ignore him like he wasn't even there? Was he really alive? What would the Triforce do? Link suddenly felt a pang of regret and trepidation, messing with god-like powers he did not completely understand.
Mega Man channeled some power to his ocular receptors, diverting some from his more dispensable structures at the moment. He could only afford the necessary systems running right now. As his eyes returned to focus, the first thing he saw was a great yellow light. This light was... unexplainable. One that seemed to grow brighter as he looked at. It was... so beautiful. There was no other way to describe it really. It was if it irradiated a healing sense to it, something beyond Mega Man's robotic comprehension, something that would help people. If Mega Man could put the word 'holy' to anything, this would be it.
He turned back to Link and Zelda, who were standing in front of the doorway, watching him. "What do I do?"
"It's called the Triforce. Touch it with a wish in your hea- in your mind," Link answered.
Mega Man interpreted this as some sort of touch interface to another magic spell, something that had already proven not to work. Link and Zelda seemed to believe it would though, and there wasn't much time left before total system failure. He decided to make the one last request he would be able to fulfill satisfied. Accelerating power to his legs, he approached the object floating in the middle of the room above a pedestal. It was a golden metal triangle, composed of three smaller triangles stacked like a pyramid.
He looked back at the two, still standing at the doorway as if they were afraid to enter the room. They seemed so far away, but he could see their encouraging faces urging him on. He turned back to the Triforce, figuring he had nothing to lose. He reached out his hand and placed his palm on its center.
The Triforce glowed anew, radiating even more holy light than before, spilling it into the room like a flood. Sudden sensations gripped Mega Man's body, overwhelming sensations, unlike anything he had ever experienced. It felt like a million unseen hands were traveling through his body like a bloodstream, weaving in and out of his insides, roaming over his outsides.
"I... I can hear it," Mega Man said. "It's... speaking to me... somehow... But I can't... I can't understand."
"It's working," Link said, noticing his speech patterns were returning to normal.
Mega Man ran diagnostics over his body. The number of errors he was getting dropped to fewer and fewer. The metal of his body reformed and reshaped, punching out the dings until it returned to its smooth titanium shell. His CPU processing strain reduced immensely, no longer having to overcompensate for permeating difficulties. His body was actually self-healing, self-repairing. The feeling was like going to sleep, Mega Man thought. Systems came back online, working better than before. He felt like he was fresh off the worktable again. Diagnostics showed the efficiency of his work output was as close to 100 as he had ever seen. It was as if the Triforce was perfecting his system. It was almost too good to be true.
Suddenly, systems began coming online that Mega Man didn't even know he had, or that had been archaic. Upgrades were downgrading, downgrades were upgrading. Unused code was being used but somehow his system still worked. Something strange was happening. His circuits were in perfect working order, something he was not used to. He was 100 error-free. Mega Man figured he was just unused to the sensation. Somehow the Triforce sensed this and altered its healing powers to not contradict his existing systems. Processing increased, memory cache efficiency was up. The Triforce continued doing its work.
Suddenly, Mega Man felt his weapon copy system activate. He looked down at his arm cannon in shock and confusion. His scanning circuitry activated, analyzing the Triforce he was touching. If his information was right, the learning system was somehow processing the Triforce as a new weapon for his Mega Buster system. Mega Man tried to pull his hand away, but the force was too strong. Either the Triforce, or his own arm cannon, or both were keeping him there. The component continued its reformation independent of Mega Man's requests to cancel it. New instructions were being added to his program that he had no control over. Desperately, Mega Man tried to stop it, but to no avail. Some sort of merge was happening.
The Triforce began glowing brighter than before, reaching beyond tolerable limits, extending to Mega Man's body. Link and Zelda had to shield their eyes. A great humming began echoing in the chamber, high-pitched, the sound of something overloading.
Mega Man screamed.
"Mega Man! Let go!" Zelda shouted.
The humming reached its highest point, almost to where human ears could no longer hear. The light extinguished and Mega Man flew back into the wall, impacting and rolling off, crumpled on the floor.
Next Chapter: The Laws