[Standing outside the walls of the devastated Hyrule town and the castle beyond, Warhammer watches the ending of a well-known climactic battle.]

WH: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Whoever said that must have been a villain, for only a villain knows how far one has fallen.

TWHammer presents

Innocent Corruption

A work of fanfiction based on the game designed by Shigeru Miyamoto

Breathing heavily, the young man who wielded the Master Sword rested upon his weapon and felt relieved that the battle was over.

He had traversed through many dungeons, seven years back and forth through time, and a horrid mockery of his home, to come to this end.

Now, the evil was defeated and the hero was confused as to what to do next.

He felt a hand reach upon his shoulder and he turned to see Princess Zelda, now older since he last saw her as a child. She appeared quite tired and with an exhausted smile on her face.

"We did it," he whispered.

She nodded, "Yes... it's over. Ganondorf has been banished forever and now all this horror can be overcome." Her hair was frazzled, her dress was dirtied and torn, her right arm and hand were also bandaged, and several small cuts lined her head and arms. Though she too was smiling, her look quickly became downcast and forlorn, "Yet, I cannot help but feel this is all my fault."

"What do you mean?"

"It was my insistence that lead you to open the gates of time and to the Sacred Realm. So, it is my fault that Ganondorf was able to acquire the Triforce of Power."

"But you did the best you could."

"Besides," chirped a small voice that emerged from the small light that flew out from Link's hat, "no one's perfect."

She smiled sadly, "Yes, but just think of how many innocent people died because of my actions. All because of the greed of one man."

Link nor his fairy companion could say nothing to that.

"You know, Link. It was fortunate that the Triforce got divided among three instead of one. Because when only one has it all, there's no telling what sort of nightmare would be wrought," she sighed again and leaned against him.

Almost on impulse, Link wrapped his arms around the exhausted princess and allowed her a moment of comfortable silence before she continued. "I envy you, Link. Did you know that?"

Surprised, he answered, "Really? Why?"

She brought her face back and smiled, "Because, when you were put to sleep for all those years, you retained your innocence and naiveté. It made you immune to the temptation that drove Ganondorf to acquire the Triforce of Power."

"But what about you? If you had them, you'd definitely do a lot of good things with its power."

The sadness in Zelda's face grew as she started to chuckle. "You flatter me too much, Link. I'm just as vulnerable as anyone else. You see..." she took his right hand, found the glowing triangle and started to circle it with her left index finger, "I too know what it's like to desire all the Triforce. And because of your loyalty you would give me the Triforce of Courage..."

Navi started to shake at the growing malignancy in her voice. What frightened her more was from her eyes, Zelda was changing drastically. The fairy saw a maelstrom of light and dark swirling around the princess.

The smile on her face started to grow dark, "...and in the place of an evil king, you'd place upon this world an empress of the shadow. Yet, I would not be the nightmare that Ganondorf was... no..."

The anxiety in Link's eyes grew when he saw the light of the Triforce reflecting off of her own eyes. In those eyes, madness started to swirl. "Men and women would live or die at my will, I would have the strength of time itself, entire worlds would venerate me as a goddess, and my reign would be unquestioned and absolute!"

Try as he would to pull away, whatever madness had possessed Zelda gave her the strength to hold onto his hand in a vice-like grip. "All who worship me shall love and fear me! All who defy me shall perish! All would be mine!"

"Link!" Navi cried and dashed towards the princess, only to be held in place by an invisible force shield. Navi knew that most people had moments of weakness, yet never before had she seen one of them turn into madness such as this.

Finally, he yanked his hand free, and at that same instant, the madness had left princess, Navi could move again, and Zelda collapsed to the ground. Sweat drenched her form and her eyes were filled with fear. "Oh Link... I'm so sorry. I... I couldn't control myself."

Zelda pushed herself to her feet and with a look of self-loathing, said, "That is why I must send you back and close the gates of time now. You must also go away. Far away. Until I can control its power. I would not know how much longer I could hold myself back from trying to take it from you by force if you did not leave."

Link asked worriedly, "Is there any chance that you can beat this?"

The princess shook her head, "I don't know."

To her surprise, Link said with the same smile he had when they had first met, "You can beat it. I know you can."

Now it was her turn to smile, "Thank you, Link." She extended her hand, "May I have the Ocarina back?"

"Oh yeah, sure." He reached into his pack and pulled out the small woodwind instrument and placed it in her hand.

"We may never meet again, Link. I will not know what you have done when you return to the past. However, let it be known that I was glad to know you."

The Hero of Time replied happily, "Me too."

"Oh!" Navi piped suddenly, "Thanks for all the help, your highness."

Zelda smiled back to the little light with wings, "Think nothing of it, Navi. And Link, farewell and be careful."

She brought the ocarina to her lips and began to play the notes, which had sent Link to the future. Within seconds, a pillar of light gathered around Link and Navi. The pillar soon took both of them into the sky and into the past.

When she was certain that they were gone, a vicious smile crept upon her lips as she mumbled, "Enough of this farce." In an instant, the clear blue sky, which had surrounded her, vanished and reverted to the desolate waste that was the remnants of Ganondorf's castle. In the center of the ruins, the king of the Gerudo lay on the ground, bound by glowing chains with his arms forced to stretch forth from his body.

Walking calmly to the bound Gerudo, Zelda could not help but be proud of the little production she had produced. Though Link had indeed defeated Ganondorf at his most powerful, Zelda had no intention of banishing him to the Dark Realm, where the stuff of nightmares waited for such wayward souls.

At least, not yet.

Instead of using the power of the Sages to banish him, she had altered the spell to bind him temporarily to this world. Now only one thing remained before the rest of the spell would take effect.

Kneeling beside Ganondorf, she allowed him to look at her triumphant grin.

"It must be hard, Dragmire, knowing that you were defeated by a boy. Worse yet, a boy in the body of a man. How long have you lived? Two hundred? Three hundred years? And he had the mentality of a boy of twelve? I thought better of you."

Ganondorf frowned, "It doesn't matter what you think, Princess. Once I get out of these chains, I'm going to wring that delicate little neck of yours until your head has popped off!"

Zelda could not help but chuckle. Even with the Triforce of Power being an integral part of him and, in essence, a part of all three of them, he had no clue as to what would happen next. "Just keep saying that if it makes you feel any better, Dragmire."

She stood up and walked several paces behind the chained Ganondorf and all he could hear was her footsteps and the sound of stone rubble being moved apart. It was the next sound, which made his blood chill.

The sound of a sword unsheathing gave him a good idea what the princess was planning.

His horror only grew when he found that hefted over her shoulder, Zelda carried Link's abandoned Goron Sword as if it were a big toy. As frightening as the size of that massive sword was, the grin on her face drove fear into the very deepest reaches of his corrupted soul.

"Don't you dare, Harkinian!"

"Or you'll what?" she challenged. "You're not in any position to say such things."

She held the giant sword in both of her hands and said calmly, as if admiring its make. "I always knew the Gorons knew how to make great things. I've seen their bombs actually grow from the ground and can be used the very second they're picked. Those bombs are actually much more powerful than the Hylian versions, strangely enough. They can create armor that can withstand heat from the very center of a volcano. And best of all, they can make swords that can cut through flesh and bone with the greatest of ease."

Ganondorf's scream of defiance fell upon deaf ears as she raised the weapon high and with one stroke, decapitated his right hand in the middle of the forearm. Zelda casually dismissed his silent agony as she placed the giant sword away, took the dismembered hand from the ground, and observed the glowing piece of the Triforce held within.

Placing her hand on the back of the bodiless hand, she began to utter in a tongue more ancient than any civilization that the Gerudo man had ever known. Yet, from his time in wielding the Triforce of Power, he had an idea just what she was saying. She was speaking in the same language the three goddesses used.

To his subsequent horror, he saw the Triforce of Power flow from his decapitated hand and into hers. The princess gasped suddenly at the great influx of power and reveled in her new supremacy.

When the pain became more bearable, he whispered, "Devil child..."

When Zelda opened her eyes at his words, he could tell that she was now no different that the wicked-minded little girl he had seen all those years ago. The same child that stumbled onto his plans of double crossing the king. To his surprise, she had come to him with the idea of opening the Sacred Realm where they would divide the Triforce.

Though he had planned on grabbing all the Triforce for himself, imagine his surprise when Zelda had run off with her piece during the intervening years. She had been hiding, planning, waiting for Link to return. She knew the boy would have the ability to defeat him.

Cold, merciless, and apathetic were few of the many cruel words that could describe the true Princess Zelda. The Princess knelt before him and said with a voice that reflected the cold smile she wore, "It's ironic. You were the only one who saw me for who I really was. Yet the difference between you and I was that I knew when to make my moves. Though your brutish method of charging ahead had its successes, it proved to be your downfall and my victory."

Now it was Ganondorf's turn to smirk. "To think that everyone thought it was I who murdered the king as he slept. Though I do appreciate you doing it for me, I would have preferred doing him in myself."

"Indeed, you were a wonderful scapegoat. And now, as we part, I must admit, Ganondorf Dragmire, you were a most useful puppet." She then stood up, "But alas, now your use to me has met its end, and a puppet that can no longer be used is mere garbage."

She raised her hand and in that same divine language, commanded the chains to vanish and a portal to appear behind him. The vortex opened its maw wider and a wind began to pull its query inside. With his only hand, Ganondorf struggled to prevent his permanent exile, yet as drained as he was from the previous battle, he found his grip slipping.

With his dismembered hand still in hers, the princess let the body part go casually and it fell into the hole.

Ganondorf wanted to scream that she would not get away with this. Yet, he knew that she had orchestrated this whole war and now she was merely tying up the loose ends. Now, the greater irony was that Link was the only hope Hyrule had from this mad woman.

"By the way, Dragmire. I wouldn't worry about Link. He's been resting peacefully for years. It was strange. You see, I remember some years after he returned from our time he came to me. In a far away land called, Termina, he picked up a strange disease. He continued to search for a friend of his and he had let this sickness nearly kill him. He hoped that I could have given him an antidote for it."

Zelda was just about to laugh out loud as she continued, "All of this was not easy to do, since before he left for Termina, I coated the Ocarina of Time with my own variation of a very slow acting, yet potent Sheikah poison. By the time he reached me, the poison had worn away from the ocarina and I could do nothing to counteract it. You should have seen what happened. I was sobbing in anguish upon telling him of his inevitable fate."

This time, the princess could not hold back and she laughed. Normally, one would be comforted at the sound of laughter. Hers, however, did exactly the opposite. This mockery of a laugh offered no comfort and reveled in the pain and suffering of others. "The best of it was, he was the one who suggested I take his Triforce as he lay on his death bed."

She removed the bandages on her right hand, held it up, and revealed all three Triforce glowing from the back of her palm.

"With your last moment in this world, know that you gaze upon divinity." Zelda silently proclaimed with a calm that terrorized the Gerudo king even more so than before.

At last, Ganondorf's grip had failed and he tumbled into the gateway to the Dark Realm, with its only entrance closing immediately. The curses of revenge did not get past the non-existent entrance as the Gerudo man fell into eternity.

Walking away from the ruins, Zelda could not help but chuckle again. This land had finally awakened from a nightmare - only to end up in another one.

The End

[From outside the walls of Hyrule, Warhammer waits patiently as Zelda walks past him and into the New World that she will create.]

WH: This is the first time that I've written a story with a bad ending. Well, personally, I wouldn't mind getting ruled by Zelda, but sadly, this ain't the same Zelda we all know and love. But I can't help but want my women to be evil! I love evil women! Or at the very least, morally ambiguous.

Though the main idea came from was originally my other fic 'The Force of One', what really set this fic into motion was watching the movie, Lord of the Rings, where Galadriel goes crazy upon the temptations of the ring. Did I mention I love evil women? So, all the credit belongs to J. R. R. Tolkein. The brilliant man who knew C. S. Lewis and wrote some of the best books of all time.

Ok, now I know you asking, why Zelda? Because doesn't everyone deserve a chance to be evil? Also, I have never seen any other fic where Zelda comes off as my definition of strong, but then again, that's just my opinion. I'm also giving credit to Lisa and Jules, two good friends of mine and excellent authors of Zelda fanfiction. If you can find their stuff on FF.net and/or the Net, read it as soon as you can.

If you liked this fic, let me know. Even if you didn't like it, let me know. More specifically, tell me exactly what you liked about this... please?

In closing, everything in this fic belongs to the almighty Nintendo. I do not, nor have I, nor will I ever own any of this.

Well, that about ends it and I got to get going before Zelda comes back to kill me.

[Warhammer jumps out of the way before a massive energy sphere creates a large hole. The author runs for his life as Zelda runs after him, tossing energy spheres, and laughing like a madwoman.]