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Spit it out, you idiot!

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The first emotion is betrayal. The second is anger. The third is curiosity, and that's the one he goes with as a voice calls for him by name, asking him to open his eyes.

Link does. The room is bright and dark. Blue lights and black metal and red dots. Blue water draining from around him, leaving him cold. He gets up from his empty little pool to look around, though there's not much. There's just the pool, a pedestal, and a door. Link checks the door first, since getting out of that room feels like a very urgent priority. It doesn't have a handle. Doesn't bulge even if he kicks it. It has to open somehow, but he can't see how. His fingers can’t get a hold on the smooth surface. He wastes a long time on that, before finally giving up.

The pedestal is the next thing to examine. There's more blue light on it, and a weird rectangular stone decorated with more of those lights. When he touches it, something reacts and the stone is raised so he can easily grab it. He doesn't.

"That is a sheikah slate," the voice tells him encouragingly. "Take it. It will guide you after your long slumber."

Slumber feels like an understatement. Link doesn't think a nap would have left him this lost. He's not sure though. His mind his mostly blank. All he has is the curiosity he feels. The anger he's refraining. Still, what else can he do but take the slate? He thinks he trusts the voice, at least a little. Beside the slate has something familiar to it. He might have seen it before he fell asleep.

The moment he grabs the slate, the door opens. No wonder he couldn't find a handle, the bars that formed the door rise up in a way he's almost sure doors don't normally do. The slate must have been linked to some sort of mechanism. It's intriguing and if he had tools to open that pedestal and see what's inside... Later perhaps. For now he is more curious about the next room.

It looks very similar to the first room, blue and red light on black metal. What he finds there is mostly rotten boxes, but also some carefully folded clothes in a chest. Those clothes don't really fit him, but seeing them reminds Link that being naked is not, on the whole, something he's supposed to do. At least he's a little less cold that way. The rotten barrels and crates hold nothing of interest, but there's another door, similar to the first save for a large seal on it, and another pedestal. If this place was built by logical people, the pedestal should open that door too.

When he approaches the pedestal, the voice in his head speaks again.

"Hold the sheikah slate to the pedestal," she says, confirming his suspicion. "That will show you the way."

Link can't help but feel annoyed she is guiding him through something to basic. He's just done that a first time, does she think he is stupid? But of course, it's possible the voice is just a figment of his imagination anyway. He doesn't think voices usually come out of the blue like that. 

When this second door opens, it's a lot more dramatic than the first one. This door was clearly designed to tightly keep under lock the contents if the rooms, keeping them away from the outside. Because the outside is right there, so close; Link can see the sun shining on him, feel its warmth on his skin and a breeze of fresh air. 

"Link," the voice calls him. "You are the light. Our light. That must shine upon Hyrule once again. Now go..."

Link doesn't need to be told twice. He runs outside, barely noticing how run down the corridor to freedom is, the rubble under his boots, the grass growing around shallow pools. The broken stairs do get his attention a little, but he can feel the wind coming from outside and that overrides any concern he might have. He climbs up the broken part and runs again until there's grass under his feet and fresh air around him. He runs until he meets a cliff, and stares at the world around him, immense and so bright after the darkness in which he awoke. Everything is so vast and so green and he can go anywhere he pleases because he has no idea who or where he is. He is free .

Somewhere to his right, Link spots movement. A figure dressed in dark colours seems to be looking at him, but it doesn't make any signs at him. Link watches it walk toward a fire. It's intriguing. At the same time the dark colours on that figure remind him of the room he was just in, and that's displeasing. Why go to the one dark spot nearby when everything else is bright and beautiful?

Turning away from the figure, Link looks at the hill from which he just emerged. The rocks around the door look climbable. He could get even higher. Higher sounds good . Climbing comes easy to him anyway. He's done this before. He's enjoyed this before. He’s enjoying it now. When he's up on the hill, Link notices another campfire. This one belongs to three creatures, red and bright and dancing as they wait for some meat to cook. They look a lot more friendly than that dark figure earlier, so he starts walking towards them, smiling and waving his hand. They answer by squealing angrily. One grabs a weapon and runs toward Link, while the others start throwing stones at him. Link runs away, wondering if he startled them perhaps. He'll have to try again later when they have calmed down. For now he just climbs higher yet, until the voice comes to him again.

"Link, go to the point marked on your sheikah slate," she orders.

Annoyed to be bossed around, Link checks the slate. There's a mark for his position, and a pulsing yellow circle for his destination. It looks far though, and he didn't like the tone of the voice. Surely there's no hurry anyway? Aside from the creatures he startled, everything seems at peace. He can explore a little, maybe find something to eat, and if the voice isn't happy that's her problem.

It's a good, pleasant day. Link finds some mushrooms to eat, fresh and tasty, and a puddle of water he drinks from. It tastes a little muddy, but he saw birds drinking from it so surely it can't be bad. Further away there's an actual river but when he gets too close the temperature drops fast. There's snow on the ground, which doesn't taste of anything, so that makes it nicer than the puddle water. On the other hand, the cold of the snow burns his fingers and his too small clothes offer little protection against the temperature. Link gives up on checking the river for that day, until he can find something warmer to wear.

Without much to do where he is, Link climbs down the cliff again, slow and careful, until he's in front of a small forest. 

A forest filled with mushrooms. 

Night at this point is approaching and a smarter man would look for a place to sleep, but Link is too excited about the prospect of a mushroom feast to care. Those first ones were very good, and here there are new ones. Link has no memory of a life goal, so he gives himself one: to taste all the mushrooms around. 

In the golden light of sunset, Link has fun. He's lucky enough to quickly find a little clearing with nothing in it but some rocky outcrops and many, many mushrooms. It looks like this place has never been harvested, which is odd because Link has seen a camp of red creatures not far and he spotted a fellow mushroom muncher among them. In fact, when he looks back toward the trees, Link sees that same creature has followed him, weapon in hand, and is looking at him hesitantly. Link waves a big, nice, fat mushroom towards it, hoping to lure it closer so they can try to talk. It would be nice to talk. The voice he hears sometimes is more interested in orders than conversation, so she doesn't count. 

Sadly, the creature prefers to lurk under the trees. Its loss. Link was ready to share some of his harvest for a chance to make a friend. Instead he lets the sheikah slate absorb his mushrooms for safe-keeping, and climbs on the outcrop to have a better view of what's left to gather. 

Under him, the rocks start moving. 

Link remembers the word earthquake, and he knows that the ground rising up on its own is, on the whole, not good news.

When the shaking stops, Link finds himself on top of a rocky creature. An angry sounding one, although Link too would be angry at being climbed on, so he can't blame it. The being is moving under him, turning and tossing in a way that clearly aims at getting rid of the unwanted hylian on its head. Understanding that need, Link hops down, landing without much grace but also without hurting himself. He’s done this before. He’s trained for jumping and landing well.

"Hello friend," he says, the sound of his own voice a little strange to him. Maybe he doesn't normally speak much. "Sorry for waking you." 

The creature's only answer is a loud rumble as it raises one arm. It is waving! Link smiles, happy that finally something will communicate, until he realises the arm is actually being thrown at him. He dashes to the side, barely avoiding being hit by massive rocks, but behind him something is touched and cries in pain. The red mushroom friend. 

Without thinking Link dashes to the source of the cry. He is relieved to find the red creature still alive, though after being hit by the huge stones its right arm has a few more bends that it should. The creature looks panicked at the sight of him, but Link doesn't have time to care. Behind, in the clearing, he can still hear the rumbling cries of the rock creature and when he glances that way, he sees it readying another attack. 

Again there's not much thought involved. Link grabs the wounded red creature in his arms (it’s heavier than it looks, but Link discovers he’s stronger than he expected so it’s fine) and runs away with it, saving both of them from being crushed to death. He runs until his lungs are on fire and his feet won't carry him anymore but at least he can't hear the rock creature anymore. 

With that taken care of, Link turns his attention to the red being in his arms. It looks positively terrified of him, but that might just be because it's wounded. Its arm is broken, and dark bruises are starting to appear on its body. It doesn't look like it will die, but Link is fairly sure he's no medical expert. He does have some idea of what must be done though. A broken arm needs a splint so it can heal straight. Luckily they're still in the forest so wood isn't an issue. Putting down in new friend on a grassy patch, Link easily finds a suitable branch. He'll need something to hold the splint in place... But that's easily settled too. The shirt he found that morning is coming apart at the seems anyway, so it's no hard task to rip off the sleeves. With everything he needs ready, Link turns again to his new friend who cannot keep its eyes from the stick in Link's hand.

"It's to help you," Link explains, still surprised at how odd his own voice sounds. "I won't hurt you. My name is Link and I'm your friend."

Unimpressed, the creature scrambles with its good arm to gather some dirt and pebbles and weakly throws them at Link.

"It's okay friend," Link says as soothingly as he can, kneeling down near the terrified creature. "It's been a rough day, but I'll help. Do you have a name?"

When Link touches the wounded arm, the creature cries out in pain, a pathetic little sound.

"So you're Meep, uh ?" Link retorts, trying to keep his voice light. "Well Meep, I won't lie. This will hurt like a bitch. Feel free to shout at me."

And Meep certainly screams its lungs out as Link attempts to put the bones back in the right position, but it soon goes silent and limp. Passed out, not dead, which is a relief. Link firmly attaches the splint in place, hoping he isn’t causing more harm than good. He has the vague feeling he's done that before, but to be honest he has that feeling about nearly everything.

His work finished, Link realises he's exhausted. It has been a very long, very odd day. He should be a little more worried about not knowing who he is and about hearing a voice that gives him orders, but on the whole things are good. There's a lot to explore, mushrooms to eat, and if he's lucky there are friends to be made. What more could he ask for?

Quickly dining on another mushroom, Link takes a few more out of the slate and puts them down near the red being so it has something to eat when it wakes. Then, because he can't keep his eyes open anymore, he lays down near his new friend and quickly drifts to sleep.


Trilling sounds are what wakes Link again. He cracks an eye open to see Meep munching on the mushrooms left for it. The creature stills for a moment when it notices that Link is awake, but the call of the mushrooms is stronger and it starts eating again. Link sits up, slowly to not spook his new friend, and inspect the creature. The right side of its body is covered in black bruises, but it doesn't seemed disturbed by that. Meep also did not rip away the splinter, which means it's intelligent enough to understand the branch is there to help.

"Can you understand me, friend?" Link asks.

His only answer is a trilling sound and a growl. But it is an answer, he's sure of it, and that's good. One of them can learn the other's language. He doesn't mind if it has to be him. To show good will, he mimics the sounds his new friend just made.

Meep stares at him, a frown forming on its face. It growls again, a little lower this time, and Link quickly copies the sound.

Again Meep stares for a second, its frown deepening. The next sound is a trill that Link struggles to repeat perfectly, but Meep's ears perk up at the attempt. It understands what Link is trying to do. The red creature points at the half eaten mushroom on its lap and growls. Link points too and mimics the growl. He's learning, and Meep smiles at him, no longer scared.


It takes a few days for Meep's arm to fully heal, which seems rather fast, but Link can't be sure. Those are a busy few days anyway, spent between looking for mushrooms and learning Meep's language (Meep doesn't seem able to form the sounds Link uses to speak, but it does appear to try and memorise them anyway).

When its arm is back to normal and the splinter removed, Meep offers to take Link to the others like it. It means more friends, so Link readily agrees, gathering more mushrooms along the way since that helped in getting Meep's good graces.

Three red creatures are chatting around a campfire when they arrive. Meep chirps at them to announce their presence, but it is Link that really gets their attention. The three red creatures sniff the air and growl threateningly, showing their teeth in a way that could never be mistaken for a smile. Meep says something while Link tries holding out a big red mushroom their way, but the three of them just get angrier, the largest one grabbing a club and waving it in the air. Meep insists, putting itself between Link and the others, its whole body tense and ready for a fight even though it has no weapon. Link can't let things come to that. He puts down the mushrooms, still wanting to show his goodwill, and backs away slowly, his arms raised to show he's not a threat. 

The three creatures calm a little as he goes away, but Link hears Meep call out to him. He can see his new friend hesitate, glancing between its brethren and the weird pink being that fed it mushrooms for three days. To Link's surprise, Meep growls one last thing at the other three and runs to his side. 

He can't help a smile. 

He's got a friend.