Monday, May 29, 2017

The Courage of Link Flashblade Haddock

So, I know it took me AGES to actually write and publish this, but hopefully I've actually gotten enough steam to finally wrap up this story. I do love Dsplash, so I want it to have a fitting end, but I am just so short on free time, and these Chronicles take a lot of work and heart to compose. So, what I suppose I am saying is that I plan to finish the story out, but the Chronicles may (I'm not saying this for sure) start to hop around like they did at the beginning. We'll just have to wait and see what my schedule allows for.

So, as for the Chronicle itself, I'd advise re-reading the last one I published just to get a reminder of where we are in the story. Heck, if you'd like to read ones even further back, that would probably be good. This one is a MAJOR plot event, so be prepared. It was so hard to write this... because I knew it was one of my most defining plot moments, so I didn't want to mess it up. Hopefully it will have been worth the wait!

Dimension Splash Chronicles
Event: The Courage of Link Flashblade Haddock
Pov: Hiccup, Toothless, Link, Venevonix, and Eminis
Time: Year 10.69 of Hiccup and Link’s existence in the game

     Hiccup tightened the straps on Toothless’s saddle. His mouth was dry and his hands felt distant, detached as they performed these familiar movements. He tightened the straps on his own flight suit, making sure all of the equipment was securely attached to him. Endeavor was at his side, and the sword it felt heavier than usual. Toothless could feel Hiccup’s tension, and it made the dragon uncomfortable and edgy. The Night Fury wasn’t completely sure what they were about to do, but he knew it was going to be very, very dangerous. 

     The plan was not complicated, but its simplicity did not mean it was without peril. Hiccup was going to use Endeavor to return all the characters who were from Thor and Stark’s world back to their dimension. He hoped to be able to transport them directly to Asgard. According to Thor, that would be the most defensible place to land if the Gemnodes mounted a counter attack on them. As far as anyone could tell, the dimension they were going to jump in had only progressed a few years in time since Thor, Tony Stark, and Steve Rogers had been taken from it. This meant the time in that world probably ran at around the same pace as Hiccup’s world. This was good, it meant the characters would not age to death upon returning home…hopefully.

      Hiccup wanted to go with just himself and Toothless, but he knew he was not going to be able to get away with doing that again. He was bringing the heroes back to there world with more than just his dragon as backup. Link was coming along, and though Hiccup didn’t see a real need to bring more characters into the line of fire than was necessary, there was no point in arguing. Link would need a mount to enter this new world, and Skari had readily volunteered. It still shocked Hiccup to see that Skrill act so completely unlike his old self. It wasn’t that long ago when Skari would have given anything to kill Hiccup just so as to hurt Toothless, but now he was volunteering to come and protect him. 

      The morning air was cold, and the entire village of Berk watched as Hiccup and Toothless walked slowly out to the edge of the cliffs overlooking the sea. Thor, Ironman, Spiderman, and Captain America walked up beside the boy. Link was attached, somewhat awkwardly, beneath Skari on his specialized saddle. Everything was ready. Hiccup looked to the crowds who were watching. Their faces were anxious, but Gandalf looked keenly into Hiccup’s eyes. The old man was leaning on his staff, his long beard blowing in the chilled wind of the morning, and he nodded firmly to Hiccup. The wizard believed he was capable of pulling this off, everyone was depending on him, so as nervous as Hiccup was, he had to try. As he mounted Toothless, Hiccup glanced over to Link. “You ready?” he asked.

     “Ready as we’ll ever be.” The Hylian said, gently stroking Skari’s underside. The Skrill and Toothless locked eyes. They had caused one another such great hurt, but now they both had only one thing in mind. They would work together to keep their boys safe, or they would die trying. 

     Link’s Terrible Terror whined loudly. Astrid was holding him tightly in her arms. Link had been very firm, the little dragon was not allowed to come. Back in the Gemnodes world, he had been given incredible power, enough to challenge some of the most lethal enemies and come away unscathed, but this wasn’t that world. He was a normal, little dragon now, and Link didn’t want him getting hurt. Astrid felt very much like the squirming dragon in her arms. Link was being allowed to go, while Hiccup had asked her to stay. She understood why. Link possessed abilities that crossed all dimensional planes. He could wield his magic in the dimension Hiccup was about to dive into, and with it his Master Sword could prove to be an unstoppable weapon. He was more capable than her, but she still wanted to go. It was a far greater sacrifice for her to sit and watch than it would be to follow, but it was a sacrifice she was willing to make for Hiccup.

     Toothless paced towards the edge of the cliff with Hiccup strapped into the saddle on his back. The boy and dragon looked down the face of the cliff. The ocean was surging hundreds of feet bellow, crashing violently into the rugged stone. Hiccup breathed in slowly, closed his eyes, and then breathed out. “Ok, bud, let’s do it.” he whispered. Toothless launched off the cliff, and Hiccup ratcheted the dragon’s tail fin into gear. The Night Fury shot upward, climbing high into the cold air. Hiccup gripped Endeavor firmly, as Toothless stalled high in the air. Then, slowly, the dragon’s nose turned downwards, and he and Hiccup shot down in a black, whistling blur. Hiccup pulled Endeavor in front of himself and focused his mind on Thor’s home. They passed the cliffs of Berk, it would only be a few seconds before they crashed into the water, but the Toothless took no precautions. He sped down, faster and faster, and then there was a blinding flash, and the boy and dragon vanished into a gaping white rift. 

    Link turned to the watching heroes. “Let’s get going.” Skari leapt off the cliff, spiraled gracefully in the air, and then dove down into the rift. Spiderman, Thor, Stark, and Rogers took running starts and then leapt out above the blinding light. The sound of rushing wind and crashing sea filled their ears as they fell, but in a split second that sound was replaced by the unearthly silence of the inter-dimensional world. 


     “There!” Venevonix shouted. “That’s them, I feel sure of it.” 

     “Then let’s go.” Eminis said. “Let’s finish this.”

     The two Gemnodes vanished from their world. The two shining shapes entered the void.


      Hiccup and his campions landed in the very center of Asgard, much to the surprise of the guards who were positioned there. At first, the Einherjar assumed this was an attack, and they brandished their golden shields and drew their swords. Hiccup and Toothless came through first, both blinded by the brightness of the rift. Toothless stumbled as he landed, and the Einherjar shouted angry demands. “Drop your weapons and Identify yourself in the name of the Alfather!” 

      “Whoa, whoa, whoa!” Shouted Hiccup, putting his hands up in the air. Toothless was snarling angrily beneath him. Their vision was becoming slightly clearer, and they could see dozens of glittering golden shapes circling around them. “We come in peace!” Hiccup yelled. “Trust me.”

     Then, out from the rift came Link and Skari. The sight of yet another dragon and armed figure did not convince the warriors of Asgard that these strangers were peaceful, and they closed ranks. By now, some of the artillery towers had been primed and were pointing down towards the rift. “Surrender!” The captain of the Einherjar yelled. “Drop your weapons and surrender!” 

    “Just let me explain.” Hiccup pleaded. He was not about to drop Endeavor. Then, just as the soldiers were preparing to take Hiccup by force, another shape fell from the rift. The bright red cape, long golden hair, and mighty hammer Mjolnir made the figure unmistakable. The Einherjar stepped back in shock. “Thor!” the captain shouted after a long pause. 

    “Yes, I have returned.” Thor said, shaking his head and blinking. The rest of the heroes came through the rift behind Thor, and the guards stood in wonder. Thor had been missing for three years, gone without any explanation, and now he was back. It was unbelievable. Odin would be more than pleased to see his first born return. Without him, Asgard had become more and more difficult to run. Perhaps Thor would be the new king of this mighty golden kingdom. 

     The rejoicing of the guards was short lived. Up from a watch tower near the edge of the city, a lookout spotted another white gash forming. This one was on the bridge that connect Asgard to the Bifrost. He turned and shouted down to his companions. “Another rift! There is another rift opening!” The message was passed along quickly, and it reached the captain of the guard in less than a minute. He turned to Thor and asked, “Do you know anything of this?” Hiccup’s heart dropped into his stomach, and his face grew deathly pale. His lips parted slightly, and he whispered, “They are coming.”


      Venevonix flew through the inter dimensional space. Eminis was with him, but slightly behind. He knew what he was planning to do, and he hoped she didn’t expect anything. He entered into the world of Thor, floating above the glistening rainbow bridge. Then, in one quick motion, he turned to the rift and crushed something small in his hand. It was a shrouding sphere. Out from the slits of his white glowing hand came a cloud of dark, inky blackness. It swirled around for just a moment, and as it did so all eyes on the planet, even those that we hundreds of miles away, turned for just a moment towards the cloud. Then, just as quickly as it had formed, the dark haze dissipated, and as it did so both rifts closed with a sudden and violent snap. Venevonix turned from the place where the rift had been, his crimson eyes locking onto Asgard. “I’m sorry Eminis, but I must do this alone. Believe in me.”

     Eminis had seen the rift closing. Her exit from the eternal whiteness of the void was gone. She immediately knew what had happened. How could she have not foreseen that he would do this? “No… NO!” She shrieked. She dashed around the void, trying to use her power to open another rift, but it was no use. The shrouding spheres could seal off a dimension for a short period of time. No one could get in or out.

     Fear. Eminis felt it, and it was maddening. She was helpless. All she could do was wait and hope that Venevonix was safe. She stared out into the void, trembling, and with broken tones breathed, “Please come back to me. You must come back…”

     Venevonix began to slowly make his way toward the city of Asgard. He would need to move slowly on the approach, just to check and see what kinds of enemies he would face. After all, Hiccup was completely trapped here, so why not take his time? Then a deep and powerful voice shouted from behind him, “Halt!”

     Venevonix turned. A huge man was striding towards him. His armor was all leather and gold, his skin dark, and his the irises of his eyes were a burning red. It was Heimdall, the watcher of worlds. He held a long, heavy sword loosely in his hand, and he was followed by a small group of elite guards. These were Asgard’s first line of defense. Very few had ever made it past them. Venevonix turned to face them, his eyes beginning to smoke streams of red. Heimdall continued to walk forward, and he spoke with a solid, stern tone. “Identify yourself. Are you friend or foe of Asgard?”

     “I am friend to my Lord and to his Purpose.”

     “And what is that Purpose?” Said Heimdall, as he took a step closer and drew his sword in more tightly across his body. 

     “To see the Opposer killed, to see all of his friends dead at our feet, and to rule every last inch of time and space. Asgard’s petty rule is at an end, and I will see to it that Thor’s reign will end before it ever begins.” 

     “If that is the case, then I see little more use for words.” Heimdall swung his sword lightly to the side, moving the massive blade with ease.

     “I agree.” 

     Heimdall charged Venevonix, and his troops followed closely behind him. The massive warriors swung his sword directly at the Gemnode’s head, but the glowing white form vanished in a flash. Heimdall started, then turned, correctly expecting the Gemnode to appear behind him. Venevonix materialized in the air right in the middle of the guards. As he solidified, his body released a shockwave of energy, and the men where knocked to the side. Heimdall watched in horror as their bodies burst into white flame. Before they could even fall to the ground, the flames had consumed them completely. Clouds of snow white ash fell silently on the glistening bridge. Heimdall grit his teeth. “You will pay for that monster.”

    Venevonix was silent, but he reached out his arm with his palm facing forward. Out of his palm came a  perfectly symmetric diamond, no more than four inches long. The white, glistening shard floated in front of his hand, and then suddenly it ejected a solid black liquid. The liquid glisten in the sun as it twisted and turned, forming the shape of a long, thin sword. In a heartbeat, the fluid had turned into a razor sharp rapier, completely black except for the small white diamond in its hilt. The Gemnode grasped the weapon and pointed it smoothly toward his enemy. Heimdall took a deep breath, then with a shout he leapt toward the Gemnode. He swung his sword around and down towards the Gemnode’s skull, but with blinding speed Venevonix parried the blow. The golden blade of Heimdall went flying through the air. Venevonix’s blade was not only fast, it was stronger and heavier than anything Heimdall had encountered. Before he had a chance to realize what was happening, Venevonix moved again, decapitating the great warrior in one lightning fast sweep.

     Venevonix turned from the fallen warrior’s body and fixed his eyes on Asgard yet 7again. “How many more? How many warriors will die because of you Hiccup? You will drown in the tide of blood you have created.”


      “Prepare yourselves.” Thor turned and began to lead his troops towards the gates of Asgard. “This is a foe unlike any we have ever faced.” The warriors of Asgard brandished their weapons. Pilots mounted their flying warships, and gunners prepared their mighty artillery. 

     “We will fight too.” Rogers said firmly. He pulled his shield from his back and glanced over at Tony Stark. “Are you ready?” Stark closed his visor, “He’s on our turf now. Let’s send him home in pieces.” Captain America turned to Hiccup. “We knew this might happen. You’ve done your part, gone beyond the line of duty. We will hold the monsters here or die trying. You… you need to leave. They are here for you, and perhaps if you escape they will leave this world.” Spiderman looked over his shoulder in the direction of the gate. Then he turned to Hiccup. “Besides, even if they don’t leave… even if we all die here, the worlds need you. You’ve started this, and you are gonna finish it. But you can’t do that fighting here.” Hiccup nodded stiffly. He wasn’t completely convinced that he agreed with this, but Link was giving him a glaring look that made it clear that the Hylian would not allow Hiccup to stay. Toothless looked worriedly up at Hiccup. The dragon desperately hoped that they would leave. He could not bare to lose the boy again. Hiccup’s chest felt tight and his hands trembled as he looked at these heroes he had learned to call friends. “Alright… you’re right. Good luck…” With that Hiccup and Link both coaxed their dragons into the air and began to soar away from their terrible enemy. Hiccup couldn’t make himself look back, his eyes faced forward trembling as his heart screamed against him. The heroes of the the dimension turned and rushed towards the gate. If it was a fight the Gemnodes wanted, it was a fight they were going to receive.


     Venevonix was under fire. The turrets surrounding Asgard fired towards the small white form, annihilating everything around him. However, the Gemnode would not be repelled. He had changed the shape of his ink black sword, and now it was a flat, broad blade. With blinding speed, Venevonix Diamond twirled the sword around him, deftly deflecting the searing bolts of energy. As the Asgardian flying ships raced in to attack, they were mowed down by the ricocheting turret blast. Now that the turrets had no further use, Venevonix decided to destroy them. In a white blast he vanished, leaving a burning hole in the ground behind him. He then appeared in the air behind the guns, held his broad sword behind him, and rushed forward. Before any of the gunners could do anything, the gemnode had blazed straight through the tower, and with a devastating sweep of his blade the entire tower was sliced through. Venevonix kept moving, cutting straight through tower after tower. The remaining flying ships were far too slow to keep up with him, and almost every defensive tower on Asgard toppled to the ground in flames. 

     Venevonix slowed in the air. The flying ships caught up with him, and they rocketed into attack. The Gemnode calmly parried their blasts as easily as he had deflected the the turret fire. The ships began swirling around him, making it harder for him to defend himself. Still, Venevonix diamond held his position, dancing the massive blade around himself. Then, he began to parry more quickly, using only one hand to spin his sword. With his other hand, Venevonix released a small handful of shards. Each tiny, white piece of crystal ejected ink black liquid, and the liquid solidified into the shape of a large throwing knives. Venevonix grasped his new weaponry, twirled around, and released the knives in every direction. Each knife found it’s target, striking the ships hulls, and as soon as the blades had embedded themselves, the ships disintegrated into burning, white dust. Venevonix recalled his small weapons, and he turned his burning eyes down onto the city beneath him. The majority of it’s defenses had now fallen, and soon there would be no one to stand between him and Hiccup.

     Just as Venevonix was contemplating his inevitable victory, half a dozen rockets struck him from behind. He was caught off balance, stunned by the power of the blasts, and sent falling to the earth bellow. Tony Stark hovered behind him, the launch pods on his suits smoking. “We got a hit, now let’s finish this.” He shot down towards the falling Venevonix, pointed his arms forward, and unloaded a massive barrage of projectiles. Every energy weapon he had designed, every hidden missile, all that his Mark XXV had to offer was sent blazing into Venevonix. The Gemnode had come back to his senses quickly, and he pulled his defensive blade in front of himself, but it did not protect him completely. Half of Ironman’s barrage hit home, striking Venevonix in the shoulders, side, and top of the head. Each connecting hit caused the white gemnode to spin as he plummeted down through the air, but eventually the blaze of attacks paused, and Venevonix regained stability in the air. He stopped his descent and locked onto his new target. “You’ll die for that.” He said, and then he launched forward towards Stark, blade poised to slice him out of the sky.

     “Not if my backup kills you first. Thor!” Tony Stark flew as quickly away from the Gemnode as possible, but he was not going to avoid the blow. However, Venevonix had again left himself open, and Thor leapt from the ground towards him. Before he could defend himself, Thor reached him and swung Mjolnir down onto the Gemnode’s skull. This sent the blazing white form of Venevonix straight down into the golden pavement below. Thor and Tony Stark were quick to land near the crater Venevonix had made, and Captain America and Spiderman were already waiting for them. The black smoke from the Gemnode’s crash obscured their vision, but they could feel the Gemnodes anger tangibly in the air. “This is it. We take him or he takes our world.” Rogers said, pulling his shield up in front of him and slowly pacing towards the smoke. “Hey, they’re only all-powerful, what could possibly go wrong?” Peter Parker quipped as he jumped onto a nearby shard of a building and prepared to launch himself towards the crater. From deep within the dark smoke, small bolts of white lightning sizzled out onto the pavement. A loud, head-splitting ringing shot out from the crater, and immediately the smoke was blasted away in a blaze of white light. Venenvonix stood floating in the middle of a deep pit, his body glowing like a small sun, his eyes burning blood red, and his hands tightly gripping two slightly curved, black swords. “If you would stand between me and my prize, I will rip the life from you all.”


     Toothless and Skari beat their wings madly as they rushed around the backside of the city of Asgard. This would be a perfect place to build up speed in order to open the rift. Hiccup and Link could hear the crash of the collapsing towers behind them. The city was being demolished at a terrifying pace, and Hiccup dearly hoped that his friends could defend themselves and their world… but it did not seem likely. Hiccup swallowed his guilt and anger, and be pulled out Endeavor. “You ready?” He shouted over to Link. His brother nodded, and Hiccup ejected the blade of his sword, but something was deathly wrong.

     The shard at the point of his blade was not glowing. It looked completely lifeless. Usually it cycled through a glorious spectrum of color, giving off a blinding gleam, but now it looked like nothing more than a pale bit of glass lodged at the end of his sword. Link and Hiccup both noticed it, but Link called out, “We have to at least try. Perhaps it acts different in different worlds.”

     “Right.” Hiccup held it in front of him and then looked down at Toothless. “Let’s go bud!”. Toothless roared, clawed at the air, and then nosedived downward. The gem still did not glow. Faster and faster Hiccup and Toothless shot down, but still no light. Then, just before it was too late, Hiccup pulled back on Toothless’s saddle. “Stop!” the dragon shot out his huge wings, catching the air like two great black parachutes. The strain hurt the dragon, and his yelped lowly as he and Hiccup tried to stop their descent. The ground was fast approaching. The Night Fury focused, and with a powerful twist and upstroke he corkscrewed back up into the air. As they climbed back up to the hovering Skari, both Hiccup and Toothless panted hard. “I don’t understand.” Hiccup looked over at Link. “It didn’t respond at all. It’s like it has died.” 

     “Or it is being blocked.” Link said, his voice cold. “Perhaps there is a way for a Gemnode to keep us from traveling.”

     “So you are saying… We go back and fight?” Hiccup asked. Hiccup’s stomach felt cold. He had seen what these things were capable of. But he would not give into fear. These were his friends fighting for him, maybe dying for him, and perhaps he could help. After all, he was with Toothless, and his faithful dragon had already sealed the fate of one Gemnode.

    “I’m saying I go fight. You stay back, and you only engage if there is a clear opening.” Link said firmly.

    “But—” Link’s glare cut Hiccup short.

    “We need more from you than your death, Hiccup.” Link said. 

     “Alright… Toothless and I will be careful.” Toothless shook his head, sending a shudder through his whole body. He was preparing his mind and his body for what was to come, and he could feel the fire beginning to burn in his chest. 

     “Then let’s go.” Link looked up and nodded at Skari, and with a deafening shriek the Skrill shot back towards the city. Skari was many things, but cowardly was not one of him.


     Venevonix flung a large, double sided axe towards ironman, but before the weapon could make contact Thor batted it to the side. Venevonix teleported with a flash and grabbed his wayward weapon out of the air. He then reformed the axe into a seven foot long claymore. He dashed toward Thor and swung the blade with lightning speed. Thor barely managed to place his hammer in front of him in time, but the sheer force of the blow sent the Asgardian flying back through a nearby wall. As soon as Venevonix had finished his blow, Rogers was on top of him. He swung his shield down toward the back of Venevonix’s head, but the Gemnode caught the weapon in his hand. Spiderman swung in and delivered a kick directly to Venevonix, but this time the Gemnode did not even budge. He twisted Captain America around by the shield and hurled him to the floor. He then quickly changed his sword into a long knife, and plunged it towards the fallen hero’s chest.

     “No!” Stark flew headfirst into Venvenonix, grasping the Gemnode by both shoulders. He knocked his enemy off of Rogers and several feet back, but Venevonix was clearly able to somehow increase his mass, and soon he stopped moving. With a swift backhand Venevonix sent Stark flying, and then in the same instant he released the long dagger, striking the Mark XXV suit directly in the arc reactor. The suit began to power down, but before it shut off completely Stark yelled, “Eject!”. The suit broke apart and flew off of Stark’s still moving body, and as it did the pieces disintegrated into white ash. He had narrowly avoided death, but now he skid across the ground, rolled, and slammed into a nearby pile of rubble. His face was bloodied and his body motionless. 

     “Stark!” Spiderman swung down, narrowly using his spider sense to avoid two more of Venevonix’s deadly throwing knives. He picked up the body of his friends and jumped to a nearby building. “I gotcha buddy, I gotcha!”

     Thor’s hammer came flying out of the debris where the Asgardian had fallen. Venevonix dodged it, and it returned to Thor. Venevonix formed another slender rapier and prepared to try and deal with both Thor and Captain America. He flew into Rogers with a flurry of stabs and swipes, but none of them made it past the vibranium shield. Then, from behind, Thor threw his hammer again. Venevonix threw his hand out towards it. Thor stopped and stared, and even the Gemnode looked shocked. He had caught Mjolnir.

     “Well, isn’t that interesting.” Venevonix rushed forward and slammed into the stunned Thor with a powerful blow from Mjolnir. Again Thor was sent flying through a wall, but this time it did not look like he would be returning. As Venevonix turned to face his last opponent, his face was met by a blinding blow from Captain America’s shield. Rogers pressed his advantage, and he got in close to the Gemnode. He delivered blow after blow, and it seemed as if Venevonix would not be able to pull himself out of the heated onslaught. Rogers punched, again and again, and then with one great rush he struck the Gemnode’s head with a direct uppercut from the shield. A small crack appeared on Venevonix’s face.

     Venevonix regained his composure. He let the hammer hover by his side. “You fool! Do you really think you have a chance?” Venevonix brandished his long sword and then formed a dagger in his other hand. “Maybe I don’t. But we’ll die before we let the Purpose stand.” Rogers said firmly, looking the enraged Gemnode directly in the eye. Venevonix rushed forward, and Captain America raised his shield to defend himself. Then he gasped, and fell to his knees. Venevonix was behind him, his sword stabbed directly into Roger’s back. The Gemnode seemed to breath a sign of relief, and he withdrew his sword. Rogers was still on his knees, and Venevonix floated quietly behind him. “You are wrong. The Purpose will stand. The loss of your life is a waste, and it is the Opposer’s fault that you are dying now.”

     A bolt of lightning shot down from the sky, and it struck directly into the the floating Gemnode. “I’m coming Rogers! Just hold on!” Venevonix turned and locked onto his attacker. “Link. So you are here as well…”

     Venevonix reached his hand out towards the now diving Skrill, and the dragon stopped midair and shrieked. “You are not my target boy. Stay out of the way and you might just live.” Venevonix made a tossing motion with his arm, and Skari and Link went flying into the remains of a nearby tower. The dragon and boy hit the wall hard and then fell the the ground. Dislodged rubble fell with them. Skari roared out in pain as the rubble landed on him, pinning his wings and tail beneath it. Link crawled out from beneath him, looking back at the dragon frantically. More rubble fell, making the situation even worse. Link looked over his shoulder. Hiccup would be the next one Venevonix attacked, and he had to get to the Gemnode before that happened. “I’m sorry Skari. We both know I have to stop him.” Link turned and rushed towards where Venevonix had shot him down. “I’ll come back for you, I promise!” The Skrill watched after his boy, sickening worry filling his heart. 

     “Show yourself boy…” Venevonix scanned the sky. He knew Hiccup would not be far from his brother. The Gemnode turned and deflected a massively powerful acetylene bolt. His sword glowed bright orange from the heat, but his body was unscathed. “So there you are.”

     “Toothless, move!” Hiccup shouted. The dragon whipped the the air, flying away from the Gemnode as fast as he could.

     “And so the Opposer falls.” Venevonix lifted Mjolnir from his side. The hammer summoned a deadly bolt of lightning, and the energy ripped through the sky striking Toothless out of the air. The Night Fury’s heart stopped completely, and he began to tumble limply toward the ground. Hiccup was still barely conscious from the blast, but he could feel it. The life was leaving his dragon, and they both were plummeting to a certain death below. Toothless’s crashed into the ground, and his rolling body crushed Hiccup’s form beneath it. The two friends were still connected by their harness. Neither Hiccup nor Toothless drew breath. Their two hearts that beat as one beat no longer. 

     “NO!” Link screamed, rushing towards the Gemnode with the Master Sword drawn back for a powerful swing. He swung down as hard as he could, but the Gemnode turned and met him, blade to blade. 

     “It’s over, Link. We can end this now. You don’t have to die here.” Venevonix pushed Link back with his sword, but the hylian immediately regained his footing. 

     “Maybe I don’t have to die today, but you do!” Link executed a masterful double strike, and there Gemnode parried one strike, and phased through the other. 

     “Impressive! You always were my favorite swordsman.”

     “Shut up!” Link jumped into the air, whirred around, delivering a devastating spin attack, but the Gemnode teleported away from him. Venevonix then cast his hand forward, sending a wave of psychic energy that threw Link into a wall. The Hylian cringed in pain, but immediate got back on his feet.

     “If you are so interested in me, then fight me like a true swordsman! Enough tricks! You and me, to the death!” Link pointed his blade directly at the Gemnode and the saluted to the side.

     “You can’t be serious. I would destroy you. You are lucky I use my tricks. If I played on your level, you’d be dead already.”

     “Prove. Prove it you coward!” 

     “I don’t want to end you, Link. I truly don’t. The Opposer is dead, and there is no need for you to join him.”

     “I won’t be joining him. You will. You and every other Gemnode. One big sweep. I’ll end you one after another. Extinction. End game. Now fight me, fight me or I will hunt you and your kind for the rest of time!” Link screamed his threat, his face burning in anger and despair. 

     Venevonix sighed. “Very well, out of respect I will play on your level. Swords only. To the death. You have threatened everything I value, and though I have watched you with admiration… do not think I will not enjoy proving just how powerful I am. Have at you!” 

     The white Gemnode phased into a different shape as he rushed at Link. His torso grew long, thin legs that appeared to skate along the ground. Apparently he was serious about leveling the playing field, for he held only one long blade in his hand. Link was barely able to parry his first strike. The Gemnode was uncannily fast, but at the same time his blows were strong enough to nearly knock Link to the ground. It was clear that Venevonix had taken the skills of many warriors that Link had battled in the world of the Gemnodes. Link made a downward slash, and the Gemnode deflected the blow with a graceful circular parry, making a quick stab in counterattack. Link bent backwards, and the blade narrowly missing his shoulder. Then, outside of Venevonix’s line of sight, Link smirked angrily. Marth. 

     Link went on the offensive again, taking his sword in both hands and stabbing forward. Venevonix met this with a sidestep, and then came down with two diagonal strokes. Link parried these as well, and though they were incredibly strong, he noticed again a familiar style. Vader.

     Venevonix noted Link becoming tired, and he launched a double strike. Link blocked both hits with expert precision. Seriously? That’s me.

    Link then decided to use his enemy’s going on the offensive to his advantage. He let his guard drop, acting even more exhausted than he actually was. Venevonix stabbed, twirled, and stabbed again. Shen. Link thought as he met each blow. He made sure to block as sloppily as he could, but he was barely able to keep his sword in his hands. 

     After another dozen onslaughts from the Gemnode, Link was nearly on the ground. Venevonix had turned the combat arts of the greatest swordsmen against him, but still he was alive… barely. He had fought many of these enemies before, so the experience was helping, but he would not last much longer. 

     “I expected so much more. Perhaps I was wrong to think so highly of you. It appears that I truly have become the greatest swordsman of all worlds, and now I end you. Know that you died with honor!” Venevonix leapt up into the air, spun like a huge flying saw, and descended on Link. Ike. Link’s heart filled with anger, and he rolled to the side, and Venevonix’s blade came crashing into the ground, cracking the pavement. 

     Link did not speak a word, just yelled as harshly as he he could. It was time to take advantage of his strategy. The Gemnode had been lulled into a sense of security, but Link had far more fire left in him than Venevonix had assumed. For the first time, Link’s swing met with the crystal body of the Gemnode. It made a notable dent, and Venevonix looked up in shock. Before the Gemnode could react, Link brought his sword down on the Gemnode’s blade, knocking it to the side and preventing him from parrying. Then, in one smooth motion Link landed a perfect double strike. The first stroke hit Venevonix in the shoulder, the second in the side of the face. Venevonix let go of his blade and shielded his face as he screamed out in pain, but Link did not let up. 

     “For my brother!” Link leapt from the ground and spun in a whirlwind like attack. Strike after strike, the Master Sword tore into the Gemnode and knocked him back several feet, small fragments of white crystal scattering along the golden ground of Asgard. 

    Venevonix’s eyes burst into blood red flames. He reached to his side and grasped Mjolnir. He rushed at Link swinging the hammer furiously to the side. Link backflipped and barely dodged the blow. His long green cap was torn from his head, and as soon as he landed, Venevonix was on him again. Link held his Master Sword forward to take the blow, but it was far too strong. The Hylian was sent flying backwards and he tumbled along the ground. As he looked up, he could see the Gemnode leaping towards him, lighting coursing around the hammer as he prepared to bring it down. Link looked to the side, grabbed the first thing his hand met, and braced for impact.

    Mjolnir struck Steve Roger’s shield, and the shockwave sent Venevonix flying back onto his back. Mjolnir fell to the ground, and in the blink of an eye, Link was back on his feet. He tossed the shield to the ground, turned his sword downwards, and jumped high into the air. His blade was aimed straight for the crystal skull of the Gemnode, and Link descended with a loud shout. This was the blow he had used to end Demise, and now it would end the monster that had stolen him from his world, stolen Zelda, stolen Hiccup. 

    There was a sickening crack, and Link stopped in air. His sword was less than an inch from Venevonix’s brow. Silence. Link gasped, and then he looked down and saw blood from his chest trickling onto the Gemnode. A long spike of crystal had ejected from Venevonix’s chest, and it had punctured straight through Link. He could feel it, feel it going straight through him. It was cold, numbing, awful pain. The warmth of his own life pouring out. 

    “I did not want this.” Venevonix said, his eyes meeting Link’s. The boy’s lips trembled as his breath stuttered out. His face turned deathly white, and one cold tear fell from his eye onto the face of the Gemnode. 

    “The—” Link coughed, and his hands trembled. His blade was still right at the head of his enemy, but he didn’t have the strength to press it through. “The Purpose. It is wrong. It has killed so many, it may have killed me, but Hiccup will stop it. He…” Link ground his teeth in pain. “He will bring peace. He always does. He’ll escape the you I know he’s still alive. You’ve failed.” 

     Link paused, glancing to the side. Then his eyes locked with those of his enemy. “How many of you will die for the Purpose. How. Many. More?”

     Before Venevonix could answer, the figure Link had seen in the corner of his eye rushed into the scene. Thor summoned Mjolnir to his hand, and then will a bellow he brought the hammer down onto the hilt of Link’s sword. The bright white blade smashed down into the Gemnode’s skull. Venevonix shrieked, his body writhed and burned with light, and then in an instant he burst into hundreds of shards. Link and Thor where thrown to the ground. When the blinding haze of white smoke cleared, all that was left of Venevonix was scattered shards and the Master Sword buried deep into the ground. 

     Thor picked himself off the ground. He looked around frantically, saw a tattered green figure on the ground, and rushed over to him. “No. No. NO! Link, stay with me. Stay with me you fool. You fought alone. You took that thing on alone…” Thor Lifted Link’s head, and the hylian weakly opened his eyes. “Well, technically… you were the one who beat him.” Link rasped.


     Hiccup woke up with a jolt. He gasped for air and tossed his head around blindly. All he could see was white light, and he felt as if he was being shoved violently back together. His spine popped, sending at first a wave of pain, but then sudden relief through his body. He leaned up, still blinking hard and trying to see. Then the world became clear. The small dagger in the sheath of his forearm, Deathquencher, was just beginning to fade. Hiccup looked behind him, and sudden horror filled his mind. Toothless was lying motionless in a pile of rubble. His body was contorted, unnatural, horrible. The crash had broken him to pieces. “No… No!” Hiccup scrambled towards his dragon, tripping over bits of building in the process. He fell to his knees at Toothless’s side. “Please bud, not like this…”. Hiccup reached his hand out to stroke the dragon’s lifeless head, a tear quickly forming in his eye, when suddenly warm light began to beam out of his right forearm yet again. Hiccup almost could not dare to hope. Could this blade really reverse death?

     Hiccup pulled out the small blade. It was such a little, fragile thing, so unlike what it had once been when it was Souldrinker. The gem in the hilt was blue, but the fluid inside of it seemed nearly empty. Hiccup watched and prayed as the light edged towards Toothless. Please, please let this work. 

     Tendrils of white energy caressed the Night Fury’s black body, lifting him slightly off of the ground. Then, after a pause that felt far too long, the dragon drew breath. His body began to twitch and jerk, his bones healing and his cuts closing over. The light faded slowly, and the energy gently dropped the dragon to the ground. Hiccup rushed forward, grabbing his dazed friend’s face and holding it to his chest. “Oh Toothless! I thought I’d really lost you!” Hiccup held back a sob as Toothless murred quietly. 

     An unearthly screech ended the boy and dragon’s touching reunion. Hiccup looked and saw a brilliant flash of white light, then billows of smoke rolled through the streets towards him. Something fell at his feet with a clink, and he stooped down to see what it was. It was a small piece of glowing white crystal, but the light faded out of it almost immediately.

     “It can’t be…” Hiccup’s heart rose. This looked exactly like what had happened when Sardilic had perished, except this time the shards seemed unable to penetrate the dimensional fabric. Perhaps Venevonix really had locked the dimension? This would explain why Hiccup could not escape earlier. However, this new ability of the Gemnodes seemed truly frightening, and for a moment Hiccup worried that he would not be able to ever leave this world.

     Hiccup looked over at Toothless, his face about to break out into a triumphant smile, but the dragon’s eyes were deep with sadness. Something was wrong, Hiccup suddenly felt it too. “We need to go. We need to go now.” Hiccup jumped onto Toothless’s back, and the dragon rushed towards the source of the explosion. 

     As soon as Hiccup reached the scene, his heart wrenched inside his chest. He could see the Master Sword imbedded deep within the ground, not far off Steve Rogers was motionless on the ground. Thor was stooping over a small green form, and Mjolnir was laying several paces away, tossed aside. Toothless did not make a sound as he slowly, fearfully paced forward. “No…” Hiccup choked. “gods, no.”

    Hiccup dismounted Toothless, Thor glanced up at him, his face covered in dust and blood, streaked by tears. “I’ve tried healing stones, nothing works. He’s still here… But he won’t last long.”

    Hiccup fell to his knees, and Link opened his eyes. The young warrior whispered. “So I was right, you’ve lived yet again.” Link smiled. “I knew you would… I knew… I—”

    “Link, stay with me, Hiccup reached forward and placed his hand on his brother’s shoulder. “Stay with me. I can fix this.” Hiccup reached for Deathquencher. He drew the blade and held it towards his brother, but there was no light. Nothing.

    “No. No! Work! WORK!” Hiccup yelled furiously, his face contorting in rage. “Please work!” The blade refused to respond, and Hiccup dropped it in sorrow. It shattered like glass as it hit the ground. Hiccup fell forward onto his hands, his face beginning to stream with tears. Link looked at him calmly. Hiccup gasped, “Why? Why now!” 

     “It’s going to be okay.” Link said quietly. Trying to force a smile for his brother, but grimacing in pain instead.

     “What part of this is okay?! You are dying. You are dying because of me! This whole stupid thing! This whole stupid thing is my fault!” Hiccup looked away from Link. “I didn’t want it to be you. Why couldn’t that knife have left me for dead… why couldn’t I save you?”

     “You already did.”

    Hiccup tossed his head in frustration and heaved a hot sigh. Then he locked eyes with Link and asked him firmly, “When? When have I ever even come close to what you have done for me? You saved me again… and again… and again. All I’ve ever brought to you is pain and sadness. You would have been so much better off without me. So much better!” Hiccup sobbed and covered his face with one hand.

     “You really don’t get how special you are, do you?” Link spoke quietly. Hiccup continued to cry, unable to look at his dying friend. “You saved me from being alone. I would have been ashamed of my life if it were not for you. I would have happily lived my days fighting and running around on stupid escapades…” Link drew a stammering breath, “but you gave me a family, you gave me people to love, you gave me a reason to stand up, look evil in the face, and be courageous again.”

     “But, I don’t want to lose you. I can’t go on without you. They will just keep killing and killing. We’ll never stop them.”

     “We stopped one. We’ve saved this world. Isn’t that good enough for today?” Link smiled, and a small smile broke through Hiccup’s tears. “Yes. Yes, that’s certainly good enough for today.”

     “Good. Now, Hiccup, I need you to help me. Just this one last thing for me. When I… go… my Triforce is going to need someone to bear it. I want you to take it back to my world. I can only imagine the horrors that have ravaged the world and the people I love. I know that Zelda is gone, Skyloft too probably, but it is still my world. It has been out of balance all this time, and it needs this Triforce back. Will you promise me that you will do that?” Link reached his hand out weakly towards Hiccup. Hiccup grasped it firmly.

     “Yes. Yes, I promise. But… please—” Link did not give Hiccup time to finish.

     “One more thing. I know the guilt destroys you. Toothless and I both. We watch you carrying all this death and destruction on your shoulders, but it is not your fault. I know I originally advised… originally…” Link coughed, and a small trickle of blood ran down his chin, “against your plan to stop the Purpose, but you were right. You were always right. This is not your fault.” Link’s eyes suddenly began to stream tears, and his voice became choked. “Do you hear me? This is not your fault. It is their’s. So, whatever you have to do to stop them, do it. Keep opposing them. Make them end the Purpose or put an end to them. You must keep going, even if you go without me.” 

     Link turned to Toothless. The dragon was utterly silent, his eyes wide with grief. “You keep on watching over him. Don’t you ever lose him.” Toothless blinked and crooned quietly.

    “You know, I could… could—” Link’s voice began to trail off, “not be prouder to have been your… brother.”

     The light left Link’s fierce blue eyes. The Triforce left his hand and entered into Hiccup’s. Hiccup’s face contorted, and he placed his face on Link’s shoulder and wept. Toothless leaned his head back and howled, one long, somber note. Not far off, Skari’s heart broke as it had never broken before.

     After a few moments that felt like a lifetime, Thor touched Hiccup’s shoulder. Hiccup looked up, his eyes red. “We need to get you and your dragons out of here. We can use the Bifrost. We’ll hide you in a realm where the Gemnodes cannot find you until you are ready to leave. I’ll help you carry him.

     Hiccup stood to his feet, his body feeling cold and silent. He hardly remembered what happened next. When he finally came out of his thoughts he was in a cave with Thor, the Master Sword was laid on the ground next to Link’s motionless form. Hiccup turned away and bit his lip. 

     Toothless was outside. He and Skari were standing in the rain, two dark shadows in the cold, bleary night. 

     “He said he would come back…” Skari clacked in shock. Toothless had no comfort to offer. He had felt this before, and he truly knew no way to escape the pit Skari had been plunged into. “He said he would come back…”

     The gemshard in Edeavor began to glow again, and the light caught Hiccup’s eye. He stepped up quickly, picked up the blade, and began to walk out of the cave. Thor looked up. “What are you going to do now?”

     Hiccup stopped in his step. The cold, quiet sorrow still raged inside his chest. “I…” Then out of that cold, a terrible, deep, burning broke forward. “I am going to end the Purpose. It doesn’t matter what it takes. For the sake of my brother, I will keep going. He will not…” Hiccup’s stern voice again broke in sadness, “will not have died in vain.”


      A rift opened in Asgard as soon as the lock ended. Eminis rushed out, moving at blazing speed. She whizzed like a bright blue arrow, freezing everything and everyone in her path. She reached the square where Venevonix had fallen, and immediately she saw the remains of his skull.


     Eminis whispered in heartbreak. She began to fall to the ground, reaching out and grasping the fragment of her friend. She held it to her chest, and everything around her fell silent. A field of cold spread from her, edging out and covering everything. No guards dared approach her, all shots fired at her with turrets met muffled ends as they disintegrated into tiny flakes of ice. She stayed motionless for hours, the chill of her heart slowly covering Asgard until the entire city had to be evacuated.


     Tony Stark stood angrily outside of the city. Spiderman walked up slowly to him. “You holding up ok?” The young man asked.

     “Okay?” Stark turned. “No, I don’t think that’s the word for it.” 

     Stark turned and looked out towards the edge of the rainbow bridge, countless stars dotted the horizon. “We lost Steve, we lost Link, and none of us stood a chance. It’s just lucky that we didn’t lose a rookie like you too.”

    “Mr. Stark—”

    “It’s settled. I’m not stopping until I put a suit of armor around our world. I don’t know how, but I will do it. I won’t let all of this have happened for nothing. The next time those monsters step into our world, we are gonna kill them at the doorstep.” Stark turned and walked away, his face tight in frustration and grief.


     Hiccup and Toothless walked through the rift, back into the grounded plaza of Berk. Link was draped across Toothless’s back, and Hiccup wore the Master Sword over his shoulder. Stoick’s faced dropped. Link’s Terrible Terror hunkered and shrunk back, whining in sorrow. No one dared ask what happened. Hiccup looked out over the crowd of people. Dozens of faces, dozens of worlds represented. Link had died not just to save him, he had died to save these people. It did not matter what it took, Hiccup would live every waking moment making sure that his brother did not die in vain.


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