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War in Canterlot by Viridiansteel

By VinylSS
Created: 21st October 2020 04:10:56 PM

  1.  
  2. > "Anon I need to talk with you"
  3. > "Remember the day when earth was destroyed by the apocalypse and you became the last of your species?"
  4. > "Well I was the one that caused the end of your world"
  5. > "At the time I judged humans as an horrific threat and I eliminated them"
  6. > "But after meeting you, after talking with you, i realized how stupid and wrong I was"
  7. > "Please anon forgive me! I am sorry!"
  8. > *sobs*
  9. >A cold sweat washes over your body and the pit of your stomach feels constricted
  10. >You catch your head in your hands and feel light headed
  11. "W-what did you say?
  12. >Tears start to well in Princess Celestia's eyes
  13. >"I'm sorry Anon please try to understand ,humanity was growing out of control"
  14. > You can't hear the rest what she says, your ears are ringing and the thump of your heart is beating faster inside your head
  15. > Stumbling you find a wall to lean on and proceed to empty the contents of your stomach on the palace floor
  16. >"Anon!"
  17. >She tries to rush to help you but is stopped by your raised hand towards her
  18. "D-dont come near me! Dont even try to touch me!
  19. >As you try to regain your footing your mind is overwhelmed with emotion
  20. >You've never felt so angry in your life, not just at her but yourself as well
  21. >How could you be so gullible!
  22. >Ever since she offered to help you find the reason Earth was destroyed she's been pulling the strings behind your back
  23. >Its now only because you got so close to the truth that she decided to tell you out right
  24. >What the fuck did she expect your reaction to be a fucking kiss and a hug?!
  25. "I...I need to be alone"
  26. >Your tone is low, there's almost no malice in your voice anymore
  27. > Something has changed, you have never spoken to Princess Celestia or any other pony like this before
  28. >There was something inside you bubbling to the surface
  29. >Something... human
  30. >"Anon, please listen to me"
  31. "No...no more listening. I need some time to-to think"
  32. >Using the wall for support your hunched body makes its way towards the main gate
  33. >"Anon..."
  34. >You can hear the regret and sadness in her voice but now was not the time for regrets or sadness
  35. --------------------------------------------------------------------
  36. >It's been years since you were last here
  37. >Since that day you found out what happened to Earth
  38. >To its people
  39. >To your friends
  40. >...Your family
  41. >Everything you've done,
  42. >The creatures you've killed , the things you've learned , The lines you've crossed... Everything! was leading up to this moment
  43. >You now stand no longer a naive little fool. But a human man.
  44. >Strong
  45. >Wise
  46. >And wilful
  47. >"What are your orders sir?"
  48. >A stout diamond dog stands beside as you look down to the gruff voice
  49. >You contemplate for a moment a cool breeze blows across the field and the smell of grass and smoke hits your nostrils
  50. >You inhale with vigor and breath a satisfied sigh
  51. >The smell of war
  52. "It would be rude not to knock first, don't you think Gouge? "
  53. >The mail plated dog gives you a sly grin
  54. >You raise your arm , the sunlight hits your dark emerald green plate armour and make light dance and around of it
  55. >Pausing for a moment , a sentence speaks aloud in the quiet of your mind
  56. >Before you utter it quietly to yourself
  57. "...For Earth"
  58. >Pulling down your arm the first of the trebuchets releases its destructive force on ponyville
  59. >Demolishing its walls like sand stone against the tide
  60. >It crumbles away so easily your troops howl and cheer as they begin to rush what little troops Princess Celestia as formed against you
  61. >They look like ants from where you are
  62. >You can hear the cries and shouts of dying creatures and ponies
  63. >And the clash of of steel on steel
  64. "I think they heard us Gouge"
  65. >The dog chuckles as you return the sly grin it gave you and waves for the next trebuchets to pull
  66. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  67. >Looking on from your vantage point , you watch the second volley pulverise the battlefield
  68. >The diamond dogs aren't very capable when it comes to aiming
  69. >But they make up for their severe lack of mental capabilities with numbers and ferocious attitude in a scrap
  70. >Gouge waves for the third volley to be flung when  three minotaur clad in harden leather studded armour approach you
  71. >The two of smaller minotaur's at the back carry embossed brazen shields with a sigils of a green serpent devouring a red sun , its body coiled round the orb on a field of dark azure.
  72. >They each carry a large mace on their belts and the two smaller ones a spear in hand
  73. >But the biggest one of the three carries a bastard sword on its back with a cobalt handle      
  74. >You greet them with a cool demeanour
  75. "What news from the vanguard Captain Clove Hoof?"    
  76. >The largest brown minotaur at the front of the three speaks in a concerned tone
  77. >"General Anonymous sir, the vanguard are holding the line but we're taking on heavy loses"
  78. >Gouge continues to wave onwards but keeps his eyes on what's happening between the exchanges
  79. "And?"
  80. >The two smaller minotaur shoot each other a worried glance
  81. >"General sir, I request that we pull the my troops back and allow reinforcements to sweep in from the north west side of the field, and pincer the enemy"
  82. >You place a gauntlet hand on your chin stubble
  83. "And what will your forces be doing during this, manoeuvre ?"
  84. >"It will give the vanguard a chance to retreat back to recuperate and proceed with another strike against the enemy forces, General sir!"
  85. >Smiling under your gauntlet you move closer to the large man bull
  86. >He stands more than 6 foot and 5 over you but as walk over to him you can see the tension in his body
  87. "Tell me Captain, do you understand the meaning of 'vanguard'?"
  88. ----------------------------------------------------------------
  89. >Clove Hoof takes a step back from you
  90. >His mouth babbling the shape of words but no sound comes out
  91. >Eyes darting everywhere searching for something before he utters in a tight voice
  92. >"V-vanguard means err ermm"
  93. >He stammers for the right words, his once orotund voice now wobbly
  94. >Staring him straight into his dark brown hard eyes, watching them move around in his head
  95. >You  patiently wait for him to find his words
  96. >"It means the err the foremost division that takes its place in f-front of the army sir"
  97. >A smile is revealed on your face when you lower your gauntlet hand and congratulate him in a modulated tone
  98. "Good. Now tell me, what kind of vanguard moves from the front lines of a battle, to the back?"
  99. >The bovine lummox shoots you a perplexed look
  100. >"Th-they don't sir"
  101. "They don't... "
  102. >Reaching up with an opened hand you grab the hairs on the chin of the shaggy furred cretin and pull down
  103. >Bringing his eye level to yours
  104. " THEN EXPLAIN TO ME WHAT MY VANGUARD CAPTAIN IS DOING HERE!?"
  105. >Clove Hoof places his arms outstretched for balance as you lurch him down further  
  106. >His hard eyes now wide with terror as you continue to speak , the other two bulls are stiff as stone sentries looking on
  107. "You're vanguard! You're supposed to hold the front lines because that's your job!
  108. >Moving past his horns you place your forehead on his flat broad skull and speak with a matter-of-fact tone
  109. "If you're at the back here how can you be commanding the troops at the front!?"
  110. >Mouth agape he performs the same charade of changing the shape of his lips with no sound accompanied  
  111. "Are you a coward Captain?"
  112. >The bulls eyes stop darting and make connection with yours
  113. "Was you wrong when you told me that minotaur's are the bravest of the brave?
  114. >His eyes are now locked in a gaze. Motionless, unblinking you continue
  115. "Stronger than steel? Capable of great feats when under pressure? Or were you wrong Clove Hoof? Just a  desperate craven calf, freshly pulled  of his mothers tits!
  116. >The eyes of the bull are dark stone again, as you feel resistance you let go of his chin to watch the crumpled beast rise like a tower
  117. >Mouth no longer uncontrolled but now replaced with thin lips puckered inward to the shape of a frown
  118. >A tempered sword of rage has been forged with your words
  119. >Now you need to point it in the right direction
  120. "If you want to prove yourself true again, then get back out there and bring me the head of Shining Armor! Then you'll get your 'reinforcements' "
  121. >An inhale of air and a booming cry like the sound of a war horn tells you the mythical beast is out for blood
  122. >The two stone sentries that stood behind now banging their shields with spear in hand and joining in unison to the war cry
  123. >Captain Clove Hoof unsheathes his bastard sword and holds it with one hand while the other signals his escort
  124. >Pushing of their hooves they make way back down the hill and into the fray once more
  125. >Three timber wolves rush to meet them and they grab hold of the bark and climb aboard the backs of the foul breathed mounts
  126. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  127. >Wind rushes past you kissing the side of your head as you watch the bulls charge
  128. >Satisfied with the pep talk you move back to Gouge who is now laughing heartily
  129. "Signal the trebuchets to hold Gouge, I don't want the new sortie being crushed"
  130. >Gouge hiding the sniggers under a hand raises the other in the air to signal hold
  131. >As he does this a cloud moves in front of the sun's rays, its size and shape like a floating content  creating a blanket of shadow over the ensuing battle below
  132. >Peering upward you stare at it with narrow eyes
  133. >A familiar tightness in your stomach sends your thoughts hurtling back to your days in ponyville
  134. >You know what that is
  135. "Gouge"
  136. >The dog ears stand at attention hearing your dead voice and looks with you at the cloud ominously in the sky
  137. "Ready the ballista's. And tell your dogs that if they don't aim properly they'll find themselves being used as ammunition for the next volley "
  138. >Gouge gives you a small nod before running on all fours to the hundreds of other dogs barking at each other loading trebuchets behind you
  139. >Briefly you glance to see cragadile's still chained up and muzzled for each trebuchet , taming and capturing those ugly things was worth it
  140. >They move slow on land but they don't need to do much apart from pull your war machines, which they have more than enough strength for
  141. >Saving your own troops the effort
  142. >You begin to make your stride towards Mefist
  143. >Lying on her belly the ash wood timber wolfs head attentively  watches the fighting , ears twitching to the ringing of metal on metal in the distance
  144. >Taking in a deep breath you exhale with a loud whislte
  145. >Mefist's head swivels to your direction and she stands back up on her paws and bounds towards you
  146. "C'mon girl , take me to Gren!"
  147. > She skids on her side as you grab hold of the bark on her shoulder with both hands and pull yourself onto her back in one motion
  148. >Leafy green tongue lazily flopping in her mouth she races towards the back of your reserves
  149. >Thoughts of you and Princess Celestia stir in the back of your mind taking you back years into the past
  150. >After all if it was not for her helping you investigate what happened to Earth and teaching you about Equestria, you would never have known how or where to find and tame all these creatures
  151. >Those times when you felt close to her when you would find a lead on perhaps the whereabouts of more humans and she would join in your revelry
  152. >Only for you to be frustrated and disappointed when it came back as a dead end
  153. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  154. >In your head plays a scene in your life you've not thought on for years
  155. >She would comfort you with honeyed words "Don't worry Anon, I'm sure we'll find something one day. What's important is that you never give up hope. And  you are with friends here, in Equestria"
  156. "I know your highness, I just"
  157. > A pressure in your throat halts your sentence and makes your voice cracked
  158. "...I  just wish I could find one, just one other person"
  159. >Rubbing your eyes clear of the moisture in them away with your index finger and thumb you stand up from the desk
  160. >Trinkets and paper clutter the smooth varnished surface
  161. >As you go to walk to the balcony you pick up a small rusted and chipped music box
  162. >Turning its key and watching as it flips open to reveal a small figurine couple dancing in the centre, the inside of the lid is mirrored and its reflection shows many dancers
  163. >Now a relic of your home, the melody fills the still room with its chimes  
  164. "I feel like every time I get close to- to something! It's just ripped from under me"
  165. >Placing the box on a dress table you stare out the balcony watching the evening sun set in the mountains against the sky painted a hue of pink and orange  
  166. >Biting your bottom lip as hard as possible, trying to fight back the wetness of your eyes and failing
  167. >A cascade of tears tickles your cheeks  and crawls under your chin to drip against the floor
  168. >"Anon..."
  169. >Princess Celestia steps to your side, the sound of her hooves tapping against the polished marble floor reverberate off the walls of your chamber
  170. "I don't know what I'm doing anymore, I feel like I'm going mad!"
  171. >A pearl fathered wing curls around your shoulder
  172. >Its warmth radiates against your back and pulls you close to its owner
  173. >Celestia rests her head to yours being careful to mind her horn and closes her eyes
  174. >She speaks in a soft tone almost as hushed as a whisper
  175. >"I know you think I can't possibly understand your torment  Anon, but even if it takes one hundred years we will keep searching"
  176. >You chuckle through the sobs
  177. >Her glistening eyes open and express a confusion
  178. >Catching your breath you explain with a half smile
  179. "Humans don't live past much shy of 80 years, and even if they do they become frail and weak. I wouldn't be able to search as hard as I have been on my own"
  180. >A tear runs down Celestias cheek as she closes her eyes again
  181. >"I'll be here with you, by your side, every step of the way"
  182. >Your heart rises in your chest when you hear say that
  183. "Thank you, your highness "
  184. >"Please, call me Celestia"
  185. >Pulling you closer her head now rests on your shoulder and her wings shroud you
  186. >You return the hug by wrapping your arms around her and muster up the courage to say
  187. "Thank you ....Celestia"
  188. ------------------------------------------------------------------------
  189. > Breaking away from the hug you look into Celestia's bright lavender eyes , her face starts to lean in closer to yours
  190. >"General!"
  191. >A haggard old voice passes through her lips
  192. >"Anonymous, dammit!"
  193. >Sitting on top of a panting Mefist you are brought back from the dream like state by Gren
  194. >An old diamond dog with a tall lean body an arched back and thick grey speckled bushy eyebrows with matching moustache and beard
  195. >He's wearing a dark azure jerkin and holding a long silver lance  
  196. >"Where the hell have you been boy, I saw that thing looming over from the west end ten minutes ago!"
  197. "Apologies Gren, I was talking to a bull about some tits"
  198. >Shooting you a look like he's trodden in something and caught a smell of it he replies
  199. >"For fucks sakes lad, this is no time to be talking about yer blue fantasies!"
  200. >Dismounting from Mefist you pat her belly and she sits on her haunches still panting
  201. >Her green tongue lolling out the corner of her mouth
  202. >You still feel strangely light having been awoken from your thoughts and speak in a flat voice
  203. "I know Gren, are they ready?"
  204. >The old dog rolls his eyes
  205. >"You tell me lad, the rest of em have been behaving but it's your spitfire that's been causing the most trouble!"
  206. >Hearing a loud hiss and the barks of dogs you begin to pace towards its source, Gren following in suit using the lance like a oversized walking stick
  207. >"The little bitch has been snapping at anyone who tries n gets near her, she even tried to take a chunk out of my beard!"
  208. -------------------------------------------------------------------------
  209. >Making a pretend gasp noise you jest at the old dog
  210. "My goodness Gren, the thought of someone trying to take a bite out of your tough old hide? the poor thing"
  211. >Gren looks up at you an sneers
  212. >"Careful lad, you're not so old that I won't take you over my knee and give you a good thrashing"
  213. "Buy me dinner first old dog"
  214. >A smile cracks under Gren's moustache and you return it in like as a diamond dog mutt is thrown at your feet    
  215. >You look up to see diamond dogs barking and encircling a giant green wyvern hissing and spitting while its thorny tail slams into another mutt  
  216. >They have nets and lances in hand trying to impede the serpents movements
  217. "STAND DOWN!"
  218. >The mutts all jump when they hear you strident voice but the wyvern is still thrashing its tail around and hissing
  219. >Backing away the dogs retreat slowly as you move carefully towards the distressed creature
  220. >It still hasn't noticed you yet , its attention occupied still by the dogs
  221. >Holding your arms up in front of you and try to speak appealingly
  222. "Serend"
  223. >The serpent whips round with its rows of serrated teeth on fearful display in its maw giving a long loud hiss
  224. >Spittle marking your face and armour like little beads  
  225. >If it wanted to it could easily slice through your armoured  body with one bite
  226. >Your finger tips centimetres away from the teeth
  227. >The feeling that if you don't move your hand now you're going to be charging into battle with a nub on the end of your arm
  228. ------------------------------------------------
  229. >The urge to pull your arm back is yelling through your head but you hold it and wait for the wyvern to stop hissing
  230. >It lowers it jaws so you can see its pale yellow eyes glaring at you
  231. "Easy girl, its me"
  232. >Retracting her teeth she closes her jaw, and lets out her vibrant pink snake like tongue  
  233. >She gives you a couple of flicks against your fingers with the forked end
  234. "There you go, see it's alright"
  235. >Serend brings her head under your arm and nuzzles against your chest plate
  236. >As you held her head in place caressing her neck, diamond dogs move to saddle Serend
  237. >Wyverns are ill tempered beasts from the farthest lands in the east
  238. >Unlike dragons the wyverns were smaller in size and couldn't produce fire from their maw.
  239. >Their strength more aligned with speed and the commanded of aerobatics while in the sky
  240. >Serrated teeth and thick talons attached to powerful legs enabled them to rip, tear and slice through even the sturdiest of blockades  
  241. >But the prized weapon of the wyvern was their barbed club tails that when in full swing with their speed hit like cannon balls
  242. >Capturing and training them proved to be a more difficult task than the cragadiles
  243. >But once you had a matriarch under control you had an entire nest of the winged serpents at your disposal  
  244. >Saddled and ready you move along Serend's slender neck  to her body with your hand gliding over her green jadeite scales
  245. >Climbing atop her back Serends head surveys the area around her, you push your feet into the holsters locking you in to a inclined position to your seat
  246. >Gren cautiously moves closer unsure if Serend will turn again
  247. >Passing you the silver lance he had been using to hold himself up
  248. >You tuck the lance under your arm steadying the point in the air
  249. >"Well, that was quite an interesting display. I was sure of it that she was gonna clamp down on your melon"
  250. "Serend wouldn't do that to me, would you girl?"
  251. >Patting the wyverns back her head curls around and meets your gaze with a blank stare
  252. >She gives the air a few licks and then resumes her scoping
  253. "See? She loves me . Poked her tongue out and everything"
  254. >A beaming shit eating grin spreads across your face, the old dog shakes his head in response
  255. ------------------------------------------------
  256. >"Alright boy, this is it..."
  257. >He raises an open hand to you
  258. >With your free hand you clasp his forearm with a sure grip
  259. >"Don't do anything stupid out there!"
  260. >His haggard stern voice has shifted to a wobble in his throat, you've never seen the old dog like this before
  261. >Feelings of nerves start to bubble and turn your stomach, and you take more deep breaths
  262. >The plate armour feels more heavy now on your shoulders and you can feel yourself sweating profusely
  263. "I'll try not to old dog"
  264. >"And remember..."
  265. >The old dogs grip tightens around your forearm as you both speak together
  266. "Yer stick em with the pointy end"
  267. >"Yer stick em with the pointy end"
  268. >A smile on his face appears but in his sunken blue eyes you can see his worry
  269. >"Give em something to fight for..."
  270. >With that the old dog loosens his grip and moves away, a young pup rushes to his side to keep him up
  271. ----------------------------------------------------
  272. >Seeing the old dog protest but still taking the pups help, you watch them leave
  273. >Your attention focused on the pup with a solemn stare
  274. >He wears a half helm a skew on his head and a vest of chainmail, a plain short sword strapped to his belt
  275. >The pup looks past his shoulder and meets your stare
  276. >He's too young to be here...
  277. >Pulling on the reins of Serend you whirl her to see all 20 division's of sky riders  
  278. >Ivy green, dark scarlet, indigo, rust and every conceivable colour of wyvern are scattered in the open meadow .  
  279. >On their backs are diamond dogs and on the bigger wyverns, minotaurs sit
  280. >All of them in custom armour to ensure they are as aerodynamic as their partners  
  281. >They don't show it to you, but you can feel the tenseness in the air
  282. >Aside from drills this'll be the first time they fly into battle  
  283. >A white bull man wearing steel scale mail steps to you
  284. >He has one small and one large horn and hands you a dark emerald green barbute
  285. >Placing the helm between your legs you take another look at the bull
  286. >The scar running down his eye to his chin is unmistakable
  287. "Brigadier Ribeye, when the riders and I lead the sortie send in a contingency of your best men to bolster the main assault on the ground"
  288. >"Yes General"
  289. >The scar running through his lip makes him talk out the side of his mouth but it doesn't make his bassy voice any less intimidating
  290. "After that Field Marshal Gren is in charge with any superseding commands"      
  291. >"Understood General"
  292. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  293. >Turning your attention to your squad again you inhale as much as you can through your nose
  294. "Soldiers, when I came to you I was broken!"
  295. >They take note of the situation and raise their eyes to you some lifting their visors to see who is shouting
  296. "A shell of a man, betrayed and crushed by the ones I thought I could trust dearly!"
  297. >Riders stirring in their seats, squire pups handing begin handing out weapons of silver lances and javelins to those without
  298. "I told you of the atrocities committed against my kin, my friends and my entire species!"
  299. >Having their full attention now you push Serend to pace up the line
  300. "But here I am today, my resolve and my will stronger than ever!"
  301. >Each and every one of their faces are still, watching the last human in Equestria rally them
  302. "I may be the last of my kind, but I have not given up hope! Hope, that these atrocities may never be felt by any kind again! Be them dog, minotaur or man!
  303. >The tenseness in the air feels to be dissipating, you place your helmet on your head as you continue
  304. "So when you ride out there today remember what it is you're fighting for! Fight for your families! Fight  for your friends! FIGHT FOR YOUR SPECIES!
  305. >An ardent flame has sparked in your troops
  306. >They howl and cry out with ferocity their wyverns hissing in chorus
  307. "If it's your time to die out there, it is your time to die! I will not ask for the impossible. All I ask when you ride with me! Is you take some of the bastards with you!
  308. >You whirl Serend to look in  the direction of the battlefield , who lets out a loud hiss herself
  309. "LETS RIDE!"
  310. >Flipping your visor down you spur Serend forward
  311. >Her large leathery wings unfurl and push her off the ground
  312. >It only takes a few flaps before you can feel the wind rush past you as Serend takes you to the field in the sky
  313. ---------------------------------------------------------------
  314. >The cloud continent that now casts its shadow above the blood soaked fields looks like a hive, alive swarming with griffins and pegasi alike
  315. >You knew this was coming,that fortress in the sky was Cloudsdale
  316. >Wind whipping around you makes it difficult  to hear much
  317. >But the cries of dogs and minotaur's is clear
  318. >It sends a chill down your spine
  319. >In the pit of your stomach you feel like eels are writhing , making you feel sick
  320. >Leaning back into your saddle more you lower your lance
  321. >Your vision is stifled some by your helmet but you can feel a presence
  322. >Behind you four other riders have formed to make an arrow head formation with you at the point
  323. >Through your peripherals you can see they are your squad members
  324. >Your squad
  325. >Viper squad
  326. >If they were doing it properly that would mean that Bane squad and Cyclone squad were either side of yours
  327. >Tightening your grip on your silver lance you take aim making sure to relax your body
  328. >As you fast approach your first targets
  329. >Some armoured griffins hovering in the air
  330. >Before they even have time to notice, you're already on them
  331. >You can see the whites of their eyes as you puncture your lance through a griffin's wing
  332. >Blood sprays your silver lance scarlet as the force of impact pushes into your arm and jolts your lance upwards
  333. >It hurts slightly but you were prepared for it  
  334. >The unknown griffin flaps its wing frantically and screams in a shrill voice as gravity sends it plummeting to the ground        
  335. >Your arm aches as you lower your lance into position again
  336. >But the surge of adrenaline will soon see to your pains, the adrenaline surge of your first kill in this war
  337. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  338. >Lancing at everything that comes within your reach
  339. >The ride is turbulent as Serend ducks and weaves through pegasi and girffin's littering the air
  340. >The enemy is panicked
  341. >They'd never seen the creatures your riding before, and they certainly weren't prepared for more than one hundred of them
  342. >Its exactly what you were hoping for
  343. >Celestia probably thought she would have control of the skies during the battle giving her a huge advantage
  344. >Even against your war machines
  345. >But you had surprise on your side
  346. >And that's all you needed in battle
  347. >Your squad buddies cheer as you pierce a orange pegasus in gold armour through the bottom of his jaw and into its head
  348. >"VIPER SQUAD!"
  349. >Raising you lance upward allowing the wind to catch the lifeless body and slide it off your lance
  350. >Its blood slapping you plate armour and helm
  351. >Choosing to remain silent you lower the point to position once more
  352. >There was still so much to do
  353. --------------------------------------------------------------
  354. >As you pass through the swarm of enemies you pull on Serend's reins to turn her for another run
  355. >Noticing your ballista's are under siege from pegasus ponies  
  356. "Kurjack! Tell Bane Squad to move to the ballista's!"
  357. >You shout over your left shoulder hoping the wind carries your voice
  358. >Seeing as Kurjack breaks off the formation to line up with Bane Squad must mean he heard
  359. >A bright flash zips past your vision causing Serend to scream
  360. >You wince from the sudden pain to your retinas
  361. >Spots float around your eyes, as if it was not already hard enough to see with the helmet
  362. >Throwing your head back the helmet is caught by the wind and takes it off for you
  363. >Eyes blinking to the new light of the world you can see the carnage of the dog fights
  364. >Griffins and pegasus ponies are dropping from the sky unable to handle the speed and devastation of the sky riders
  365. >You can see bolts of light wiz through the air from unicorns trying to shoot the wyverns down
  366. >Peering to the ground you can see a large brown minotaur wielding a bastard sword fend for himself against an enclosing force of ponies  
  367. "Serend, down!"
  368. >Serend tucks her wings in and falls, aiming for the minotaur
  369.  
  370. -------------------------------------------------------------------------
  371.  
  372. >Bracing yourself for the landing, Serend opens her wings at the last second gliding and then slamming on top of a gold plated stallion
  373. >Her powerful talons going to work crushing him under her
  374. >The landing took a bit of wind out of your lungs but you join her by thrusting your lance into a unicorn through its neck
  375. >It falls when you pull the lance away making gurgling noises as it chokes on its own blood
  376. >While the unicorn bleeds out, Serend has already moved on to a blue pony locked in between her jaws  
  377. >Its makes a horrific noise as Serend closes her mouth slicing through the armour, flesh and bone
  378. >Behind her tail bashes another stallion sending it rag dolling 10 meters away    
  379. >"General?"  
  380. >Clove Hoof stands bloody with an embossed brazen shield in one hand and his bastard sword in the other
  381. >Standing to his back you see one of the smaller minotaurs that was with him when he left, it looks worn out from the struggle
  382. >Barely holding up its shield and javelin  
  383. >A few feet from them, among the stained grass and dead, you recognise the body of the other
  384. >Its entrails hanging from its belly like pink cables  
  385. "Reinforcements have arrived Captain, I'm sorry we couldn't make it sooner"
  386. >You look over to the body of the fallen minotaur again
  387. >Clove Hoof sees this and remarks by tapping the shield he carries
  388. >"He lived well"
  389. >You nod taking note that the shield Clove Hoof now carries was the one of the fallen bull
  390. >As Serend gulps whatever part of the ponies body she had in her mouth, you can see the hill top being washed over with black
  391. >The new contingency you asked for stampeding to meet with the other forces
  392. "Meet with the reinforcements and let them take over the line Captain. You've lived well enough today"  
  393. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  394.  
  395. >"General sir, I apologies for not brining Shining Armor's head for you. I had him on the run till we were cut off by his escort"
  396. "Don't think on it anymore Captain, your new orders are to keep this bull and yourself alive"
  397. >The Captain blows some air out of his nostrils
  398. >He's frustrated and tired
  399. >But you both know he can't keep this up for long
  400. >"General sir! Before you go...please, take this"
  401. >Presenting the shield to you, there's a glinting in his hard eyes
  402. >"He'd want to be doing the most he can"
  403. >Humbly reaching to take the shield you gaze upon the sigil
  404. >Its surface is scratched and its charred on one corner but the green serpent devouring the red sun on a field of dark azure in the centre is still bold in colour
  405. "What was his name?"
  406. >Your voice is soft when you inquire  
  407. >The large brown bulls bottom lip quivers for a moment as he recomposes himself
  408. >"Oxalis Hoof, sir"
  409. >You don't say anything  
  410. >Sliding your arm into the strap of the shield
  411. >With your shield arm you tap your chest plate where your heart is
  412. >Clove hoof curls his hand into a fist and does the same
  413. >Spurring Serend you take to the skies once more
  414. >Leaving the bull to mourn his son
  415. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  416.  
  417. >Its harder to see without your helmet blocking the wind as you rise on the back of Serend
  418. >It forces you to squint as the hard air assaults your face
  419. >Joining your forces in the sky you notice on what's left of the walls surrounding  Ponyville a legion of unicorns standing on top, taking pot shots at the other squadrons
  420. >The hot  bolts of magic strike a sky rider of his seat and burn through the wyverns scaly hide
  421. >Again the wind wrapping your head makes it difficult to hear but in the distance the cry of the wyvern can be heard as gravity takes it
  422. >Taking care not to come in range of the unicorns you aim to fly past them
  423. >Raising your lance has high as you can with your arm aching in response
  424. >The signal to form up
  425. >Within seconds riders are already with you coming in from below , above and either side
  426. >It was lucky that they could see the signal with all the flashes of magic arcing through the air
  427. >You are five in formation, the wyverns silently gliding far away from the unicorns
  428. >As you soar over the walls you take a glance down
  429. >From what you could see it looks like Ponyville has been completely evacuated
  430. >Unponied apple carts look as if they have been abandoned days ago along with the cottages residence
  431. >Why would they build a wall around an empty city?
  432. >There is no time to find the answer now, you were far enough over Ponyville to make your turn
  433. >Pulling the reins, Serend turns with them flying on her side along with the rest of the formation keeping it tight
  434. >The g forces push you into your saddle and makes it hard to breath  
  435. >A whistle noise can be heard as you all make the turn and line up
  436. >Making the formation glide low and quiet to take the unicorns unaware
  437. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  438.  
  439. "Just a couple more yards..."
  440. >Muttering to yourself as you move out of your saddle to squat
  441. >Making sure your feet are still locked into their holsters
  442. >Griping the reins tightly with your shield arm, the point of your lance now aiming in the air
  443. >You brace for impact
  444. >Coming up from behind the unicorns on the wall you stand in the saddle
  445. >As you do Serend lets her tail lower slightly
  446. >Before breaking out of the glide with a loud flap of her wings and swinging her tail
  447. >A unicorn has just enough time to snap a look behind him to see a squad of winged serpents hiss before colliding  
  448. >Serend's clubbed tail connects with a bit of the wall with a loud smash followed by the pounding of the other wyverns tails smacking the wall
  449. >The collision shakes you up and down hitting the seat of your pants, Serend lets out a hiss as she readjusts herself in the air  
  450. >Debris crashes to the ground as you look back
  451. >Where the unicorns once were, only a crumbling wall remains with no sign of life on top of it
  452. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
  453.  
  454. >Flying high it would appear as if enemy reinforcements have joined in the fighting
  455. >The temporary riders split off to meet with their original squads
  456. >Battling below is even with both sides not receding an inch
  457. >You scout the area trying to find the other members of viper squad but to no avail  
  458. >Ballista bolts are being fired into the mass of undulating figures on the ground and through the air
  459. >The hill is clear of pegasus ponies and a few members of Bane squad are moving through the air in a figure of 8 above them
  460. "Nice work Bane Squad"
  461. >Only Serend hears your hushed talk and she takes no notice
  462. >Coming to meet you in the air you spy Kurjack returning on his red jasper wyvern, most likely from helping Bane Squad
  463. >Gently you tug at Serend's reins which slows her to a hover in the air
  464. >Kurjack whirls his wyvern to your side to hover as well and gives a guttural shout  
  465. >"General Anonymous! The pegasus harassing the ballista's fled!"
  466. >Some relief at last
  467. "Good work Kurjack! Where's the rest of the Vipers!?"
  468. >"They left with Cyclone Squad sir! For Clouds Dale above us! We thought you were hit when you fell!"
  469. >A big smirk spreads across your face at the thought that they kept fighting hard even when you were gone
  470. "Not a chance Kurjack!"
  471. >The dog gives a loud laugh as he slaps the side of his head
  472. >"By the way General! Gouge says cheers!"
  473. >You had almost forgotten about Gouge the gruff speaking marksman
  474. "Is he alright!?"
  475. >"Aye sir! He's on one of the ballista's!"
  476. >Pointing with his silver lance to the hill you look to the ballista's and nod
  477. "Go get the Vipers! Tell them to find me in the field!"
  478. >"What will you do General?!"
  479. >As he asks an arc of ethereal blue light crackles and fizzes and passes through  one of Bane Squads wyverns wings
  480. >Sending it crashing down into the ballista Kurjack was pointing at
  481. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  482.  
  483.  
  484. >Sitting in your saddle your eyes wide with shock as the ethereal bolts decimate the other wyvern crashing it into a couple more ballista's with it
  485. >The earth is singed and ablaze with blue flames on the hill
  486. >Following the bolt from its trajectory you can see a pegasus with a horn, as dark as night in the air
  487. >Turning back to Kurjack you yell    
  488. "GET THE VIPERS NOW!"
  489. >Kurjack snaps back from looking on with his mouth agape and spurs his wyvern up into the cloud above
  490. >While you spur Serend towards the new enemy
  491. >She screeches moving so fast like a bat out of hell you can barely keep your eyes open against the wind
  492. >It makes your eyes water
  493. >Approaching  the little black pony it appears to be getting alot closer than expected
  494. >Raising your shield to help against the incoming wind its hit with a loud metal ding
  495. >Hard
  496. >It rocks you in your seat, you feel like you might have dislocated your shoulder from its socket from the pain and the collision has pushed the air from your lungs
  497. >Serend whirls herself in the air and hisses as you come face to face with the attacker
  498. >"Doth mine eyes deceive me? A serpent riding a serpent? This day hath been one for o' queer sights indeed "
  499. >The shakespearian sultry voice of the attacker belongs to the alicorn, Princess Luna
  500. >Her ethereal night mane sways softly even among the high winds
  501. >The armour she wears is covered with her symbol of the crescent moon
  502. >On her head her horn glows with aura which has enveloped a spear aimed directly at you
  503. ------------------------------------------------------------------------
  504.  
  505. >Regaining your lost wind and breathing through the pain, with teeth clenched you growl along with Serend's hissing
  506. "Luna"
  507. >Huffing she spits back at you in contempt
  508. >"Fie upon't thou, speakth not in such familiar tongue base worm. Tis /Princess/ Luna to thee!"
  509. "Your titles mean nothing to me on this field Luna"
  510. >Rolling your shoulder in its joint making sure it has not actually dislocated, you sneer back at Luna
  511. >How could such a tiny pony have such strength?
  512. >Alicorns truly are powerfully frightening creatures  
  513. >Her eyes narrow as she gives a grimace
  514. >"How like the beast thou rides, mine personage is not as in like to my sweet sister. Anonymous"
  515. >Returning her grimace with your own scowl the old familiar feelings of hate boil to the surface at the mention of Celestia
  516. "Thank you for the complement Luna, I find Serend and I share many similarities"
  517. >Patting Serend's back she gives out a sudden loud hiss to which Luna is startled by
  518. "She also doesn't like watching her own kin die"
  519. >Dipping into the reservoirs of anger you've harboured for these long years your voice is grave and deep
  520. "And you are right again, you're nothing like your sister"
  521. >The alicorns turquoise eyes widen with outrage
  522. >"ENOUGH! I will hear no more o' thine treacherous tongue, DIE!"    
  523. >Lifting her head, her horn glows bright before she unleashes as shockwave clapping loud as thunder
  524. >Serend takes initiative and dives under it
  525. >The wyvern mother is pissed, you no longer control her    
  526. >Good
  527. >Both of you know who to focus your wrath upon now
  528. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  529.  
  530. >Coming up from below fast, Serend beats her wings with powerful strokes
  531. >Aiming her open maw of teeth at Princess Luna
  532. >Readying your own weapons you raise your shield and aim your silver lance
  533. >Sheer force of speed and gravity combined keeps your back in the inclined position
  534. >The alicorn has already spotted you and dances around Serend's mouth
  535. >Her armoured hoofs grind along your lance as she spins her aura coated spear into your shield again with a grunt
  536. >It reverberates through to your arm shooting another spike of pain up it
  537. >If you weren't locked to your saddle it would have definitely sent you hurtling towards the earth  
  538. >But Serend is not done yet, she makes a sharp v turn in the air to make chase
  539. >Now diving down upon Princess Luna
  540. >This time her talons on her feet unfurl
  541. >Princess Luna's eyes never left sight of you
  542. >She sees it coming and twists her body away and thrusts her spear under Serend's wing
  543. >It catches and tears through Serend's leathery wing flesh causing her to corkscrew in the air
  544. >Rushing to meet the ground, Serend screams
  545. >Your eyes are squinting from the wind and the g forces almost pull you from your seat
  546. "C'MON SEREND!"
  547. >Barking at her to get back in the air you clasp the reins and pull
  548. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  549.  
  550. >Pulling the reins with one hand does nothing
  551. >Releasing your lance to the mercy of the wind behind, you grab hold with both hands and pull harder
  552. "DON'T YOU QUIT ON ME!"
  553. >Serend's head begins to arch up as she stretches her wings out as far as she can to counter the spinning  
  554. >By some sheer chance of dumb luck a passing squad of sky riders under you jets by  
  555. >Their flight path creates an updraft which Serend catches on her wings  just before you become too acquainted with the fight on the ground
  556. >You breathe a sigh of relief as Serend is soaring again
  557. >Ears pop from the rapid change in air pressure  
  558. >The smell of blood below is thick catching in the back of your nose and you can hear the fighting closely than ever now
  559. >Looking over to Serend's wing you can see the flesh as been torn some leaving a dark red streak
  560. >The torn flaps slapping in the air
  561. >But she can still catch some breeze under it
  562. >Relief is short lived when a ethereal bolt fizzes past your pauldron and hits the ground in front of you
  563. >Earth showers over you as you turn to see Princess Luna in pursuit firing another bolt from her horn
  564. >"I will have thine life this day! tilly-vally!
  565. >Weaving  and dancing gracefully as a ballerina through the air, the injured wyvern manages to dodge the incoming bolts one after the other
  566. >Serend picks up the speed as she makes a burst dash for the walls of Ponyville
  567. -----------------------------------------------------------------------
  568.  
  569. >Deafening wind wraps your entire body as Serend flees from the tenacious alicorn
  570. >If Serend's wing wasn't cleaved she could have out flown Princess Luna
  571. >But as things were, all she can do is avert the thunder like bolts harassing her
  572. >Passing over the wall of Ponyville Princess Luna's relentless assault ceases
  573. >"Thou vile eel-skin tuck! Face me thou yellow bellied worm!"
  574. >Her halted firing must mean she's either tired or she does not wish to harm the homes with her reckless blasting
  575. >Giving that moments ago it seemed the barrage would not stop, it must be the latter
  576. "Okay Serend, if we can't out chase her, we'll out manoeuvre her"
  577. >You speak loud enough for Serend to hear but low enough that your voice is lost to the raging winds behind
  578. >The serpents pale yellow eyes look back to yours as if she acknowledges what you said
  579. >Sometimes it feels like Serend really does understand what you're saying
  580. >Approaching the Town Hall you give your wyvern some last words of encouragement
  581. "Okay girl, you can do it"
  582. >Flying low Serend makes a bee line for the Town Hall as if to crash into it
  583. >At the last second she shifts her body on its side while you move your body with her
  584. >It's a tight turn you can feel the air pressure as you narrowly avoid decapitating yourself on the support beams of the hall
  585. >She shifts her body again to head down to Sugarcube Corner  
  586. >Hearing Princess Luna guffaw behind you
  587. >"Thou thinkest to scurry away? Then I shall play thy game"
  588. "Hell's horses"
  589. >Cursing under your breathe the alicorn Princess makes the turn
  590. >It would seem Princess Luna new her way around town as well
  591. >But there were still many turns and paths to take
  592. -------------------------------------------------------------------------
  593.  
  594. >En route to Sugarcube Corner you make ready for the next turn
  595. >Dust and litter in the streets kick up into the air as Serend and Luna whiz through the streets
  596. >If Princess Luna does catch you the only way to defend yourself is with your shield
  597. >The sword strapped to your hilt might help some, but its reach wouldn't be enough to fight back
  598. >"How doth it feel to be back, Anonymous? If thou has feelings anymore?!"
  599. >She's trying to make you lose focus
  600. >Don't listen
  601. >"Mine sister and I, all of the ponies took thee into our bosom when thou had nowhere to go!"
  602. >Remain vigilant
  603. >"Now thou sacks our city and murders its ponies. Did thou plan to betray us all along? Or are all the element of humanity heartless monsters?
  604. >...
  605. >She doesn't know
  606. >Conflicting emotions storm within you
  607. >A sinking feeling weights upon your heart
  608. >While your blood boils
  609. "You know nothing of my people, Luna!"
  610. >Exclaiming back with a roar, she's touched a nerve
  611. >And distracted you
  612. -----------------------------------------------------------------------
  613.  
  614. >Serend pushes off the comically large muffin spire of Sugarcube Corner to jettison down Stirrup Street
  615. >Breaking some of its structure with her talons
  616. >The sudden impact pushes most of your organs up in your body and hurts your spine where you had twisted on it to shout back at Luna
  617. >You feel as if your about to wretch as a lump gets stuck in your throat and a hot sweat courses through you body
  618. >In recompense some lose debris causes Luna to go off course slightly
  619. >Crashing into the ground, she turns into a dot behind you
  620. >Choking on the lump in your throat you struggle to speak
  621. "No Serend,huurgh...to... there "
  622. >Wearily pointing to the giant tree Serend whirls herself to your order
  623. >To the now abandoned library
  624. >Serend moves her wings into a glide as she approaches the green leaves of the tree
  625. >Latching on with the tiny claws of her wings the leaves rustle as she gently clambers into the foliage to conceal herself
  626. >Sluggishly releasing the clasps of your holsters you fall from the wyverns back on to a branch, your armour clanks when it hits the thick wood
  627. >In the dark of the leaves, Crawling to the trunk of the tree you prop your aching back against it
  628. >Everything hurts, your body complains from the harsh trials it's been put through
  629. >While your head thumps with the  beginnings of a headache
  630. >Even poor Serend is exhausted from the skirmishes  
  631. >She places her heavy head across your lap, her body curls up rising up and down with her forked tongue flickering in and out of her lips
  632. "We've fought well today Serend..."
  633. >Your voice is quiet and haggard and the lump in your throat feels to be going
  634. "Perhaps we've earned a rest, just for a short one..."
  635. >As you place a hand on the wyverns head your eye lids grow heavy
  636. >Its quiet here, you can't hear the fighting anymore
  637. >Giving Serend a few caresses of her scales  before you give up and let sleep take you
  638. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  639.  
  640. >Its dark in the palace
  641. >Walking down the long empty hall your steps echo off and into the ceiling
  642. >On the pillars in hanging baskets are white sweet alyssum flowers
  643. >The scent of pollen and clover honey purveys the air
  644. >Looking up there are banners hanging with a sigil
  645. >A black and white alicorn dancing, surrounded by stars on a field of sky blue and in the centre a crescent moon and sun
  646. >The banners seem alive as they sway in a nonexistent breeze
  647. >As you walk you notice the stained glass windows beautifully displaying Equestrian history and prophecies
  648. >One of the windows catch your attention and you stop to inspect it
  649. >Where all the other windows depict ponies or demons this one shows a man clad in green armour
  650. >He's on the back of a creature you recognise but can't think of the name of
  651. >It sends goose bumps all up your arms and the back of your neck when you look into its yellow eye
  652. >A faint sound of music is coming from further down the hall
  653. >You begin to walk again, gliding almost as you follow the sound to its source
  654. >A storm outside rages tapping the windows with rain droplets
  655. >Seeing a flash fill the halls for an instant you count to yourself like you did when you were a child
  656. "1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9"
  657. >You hear the rumble of thunder
  658. "9 miles away"
  659. >The music is clearer now as you come closer to a giant pair of royal purple doors with gold etchings of vines
  660. >They looks heavy but as you push against it with an open hand it feels light as a feather
  661. >Opening the door slowly the music grows even louder sending shivers up your spine
  662. >Inside is the grand throne room
  663. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  664.  
  665. >Pillars reaching as high as 15 feet hold a chequered purple and pink ceiling
  666. >In contrast the floor is polished marble mirroring everything in the room upon it
  667. >More stained glass windows fill the room as tall at the pillars    
  668. >Treading along the salmon pink carpet you look upon the throne
  669. >Its completely covered in gold with embossed patterns and two chalices of purple roses at the bottom steps
  670. >Getting closer to the throne the music is now deafeningly loud
  671. >On the seat of the throne something undulates and writhes under a maroon cloth
  672. >There's another flash of thunder that makes the shadows of the pane glass windows seem alive as you make your way up the steps
  673. >This time there is no need to count as the thunder crackles making the room tremble
  674. >Finally at the source of music you reach out to take the cloth of whatever is moving under it
  675. >Right before you do the music stops along with the savage storm
  676. >The air feels eerily still, hairs prickle on the back of your neck
  677. >Hesitating for a moment you dread what you might find
  678. >But with a deep breath  you wrench the cloth off to find
  679. "A music box?"
  680. >The cloth reveals a small steel ornate box, its lid closed
  681. >Its hot to the touch but it does not scold you when you pick it up
  682. >Inspecting it for the turn key yields no results so you try to force it open by digging your nails under the lid
  683. >It stays jammed shut
  684. >Struggling with the music box a warm hand gently falls on your shoulder
  685. >Turning your head to find who it belongs to reveals a woman and a man
  686. >The woman is dressed in a white gown while the man is wearing black suit trousers and a white shirt and black tie
  687. >They have warm smiles on their faces  
  688. "Mom?...Dad?"
  689. >Your eyes well up finding them here, the entire room is packed with people talking and walking about
  690. >Some of the their faces you recognise as family and friends the rest of the people are blurry to you
  691. >"Hello Anonymous"
  692. >Mothers voice is silvery as you remember
  693. >"You're not gonna get into like that sunbeam"
  694. >Dad is jovial as usual as he chuckles to you trying to force open the box
  695.  
  696. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  697.  
  698. >Taking short breaths and face tingling you allow a torrent of tears to soak your cheeks
  699. >Embracing your parents you squeeze them together and sob uncontrollably  
  700. "I thought I'd lost you"
  701. >They return your embrace with a warm cuddle
  702. >Mom:"Aw sweetheart, there, it's alright"
  703. >Dad: "What are you crying for you daft sod? We didn't go anywhere"
  704. >Retrieving your head from their shoulders you wipe the tears and snot away with the cuff of your sleeves
  705. "I had this nightmare, you guys were gone, everyone was gone. I thought I was on my own"
  706. >An arm warps around the back of your shoulders
  707. >"Would you stop leaving your crap everywhere? How many times do I have to pick up after you?"
  708. >The arm belongs to your brother
  709. >He has his gleam smile spread across his cheeks as he puts the music box back in your hand
  710. >Somehow you must of dropped it without realising
  711. >Shrugging him off you grin back at him
  712. "You're the messy one out of the two of us bro"
  713. >Making his way down the steps he chortles back to you
  714. >"Guess that makes you the emotional clean freak, right? HAH!"
  715. "Fuck you"
  716. >"Buy me dinner first dick head"
  717. >Dad: "Lads, don't swear in front of your mother for fuck sakes"
  718. >Mom:"Charming!"
  719. >Mom hits Dad playfully on the arm and dad beams a smirk
  720. "It's like you guys never left me"
  721. >Their eyes express a sadness when you say that
  722. >Mom: "Sweet heart we'd never leave you"
  723. >Dad:"Yeah, can't get rid of us that easily mate. Made of tough stuff we are"
  724. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  725.  
  726. >Mom takes you by your hand and puts it on the music box lid placing her hand over yours
  727. >Mom:"As long as you hold us in your heart, we will always be with you"
  728. >Dad scruffs your hair up a little before gently putting his hand behind your back
  729. >Dad:"As long as you remember us we'll always be by your side sunbeam, and we'll always love you no matter what"
  730. >The tears in your eyes don't seem to be turning off
  731. >Embracing them again making sure to keep hold of the music box tightly  
  732. "I'm never gonna lose you again"
  733. >They wrap their arms around you in return and say in a sad voice
  734. >Dad:"I know you don't want to son, but..."
  735. >Mom:"We were never going to be around forever, Anonymous"
  736. >In a quiet voice they say together
  737. >Mom:"You have to let go"
  738. >Dad:"You have to let go"
  739. >Balling into them your eyes blood shot and face stained with crying
  740. "No! you were taken from me! I have to keep you here, safe, with me!"
  741. >Once more chillingly together
  742. >"Let go..."
  743. >The entire throne room feels to be trembling
  744. >You squeeze harder scared to release them
  745. >As you do your parents feel soft
  746. >Too soft
  747. >Looking up, their visages turn dark and look to be wailing with no sound coming out of their mouths  
  748. >The storm has picked up again and shakes the room so violently the windows shatter,  the walls and pillars crack
  749. "NO,NOOO!!"
  750. >Screaming in protest your throat hurts
  751. >Everyone in the room including your brother staggers before they are hurt by some force and blown away like dust into nothing
  752. >Melting in your hands your parents horrific tortured faces collapse in on themselves
  753. >As their entire bodies turn to ash as you fall to your knees
  754. >Hitting the dirtied marble steps the walls and ceiling are torn away by the storm to reveal a shadowy blood stained sky and your city burning
  755. >Here again
  756. >You relive the day when the world died
  757. -------------------------------------------------------------------------
  758.  
  759. >A blistering heat in the raging winds makes your lungs feel as if they are on fire with every breath
  760. >In the air you can smell nothing but smoke and dirt and blood
  761. >Sobbing you struggle to your feet, still clutching the music box
  762. >The box and yourself are blotched and  blackened by your parents ashes
  763. >Tears on your face boil and burn  
  764. >And though you still feel like you're crying nothing comes out
  765. >All that remains of the room are the now filthy marbled steps and the throne covered in soot, half melted
  766. >Hobbling down the main road you put your hand up to shield your eyes against the dust that slaps your face and body making you cough and hack
  767. >Lightning and thunder in orange bolts strike down unforgivingly, scorching whatever they touch
  768. >Above the sky was awash with sheets of grey and dark red with the clouds catching the orange of the fires balls that showered in unrelenting force
  769. >Their impacts create giant bright flares of light and sound of bombs exploding
  770. >With each meteor that strike a shockwave cause more dust and dirt to hit you
  771. >Ground quakes under you and slabs of road are torn apart creating fissures
  772. >The music box is sent spinning out of your hands, along with you
  773. >Scrambling to try and get it back you can't get your footing as the earth is lifted beneath you
  774. >Staggering and falling over your feet the box spirals to the edge of a chasm
  775. >Leaping you catch it before it goes over as you peer down into a dark abyss below rubble clips the sides of the chasm in to the black nothingness
  776. >Standing stable again you see the box lid has been broken
  777. >Slowly a sense of compulsion dares you to open it
  778. >When you do everything around is silent as the thump-thump of a bleeding heart is revealed
  779. "I don't understand wha- Gurargh!"
  780. >A pearl white horn runs through your chest from behind, dripping in scarlet  
  781. >Eyes open
  782. >Its cold except for your lap
  783. >Serend has her head resting  on you
  784. >Droplets of rain from the leaves of the tree tink against your armour and tap on your head running down your face
  785. >A rumble of thunder can be heard far away as you look through the leaves to an overcast sky that has opened the heavens and poured itself on Ponyville
  786. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  787.  
  788. >Unsure of how long you've been asleep you try to move your still aching body
  789. >Slowly sliding out from under Serend's slumbering head and using the trunk of the tree to steady yourself
  790. >That dream, or nightmare is still fresh in your mind. The images playing back and forth as you try to suss out the meaning of it all.
  791. >If there is any meaning
  792. >It has reawakened a lot within you, feelings you thought you'd never feel again
  793. >Faces you never thought you'd see again
  794. >Staring out from between the veil of leaf and branches you can see gouts of smoke rising in the far distance
  795. "Luna has been busy"
  796. >Feeling something touch lightly against your elbow you see out the corner of your eye that Serend has awoken
  797. >Raising your arm you let her head nestle under it and pet her broad brow
  798. "I hope you rested well Serend, we've got a war to win"
  799. >Taking a couple of steps backwards you turn to jump on the wyvern's back to your saddle, locking your feet into the holsters once more
  800. "Climb"
  801. >Twirling on the thick branch, Serend begins to scale the tree
  802. >Her powerful talons dig  into the bark and the claws of her winged arms reach hooking  and scratching into anything that can support her weight
  803. >At the top of the tree she periscopes her head  to check out the area before moving the rest of her body up with you
  804. >The gentle kiss of the rain greets you both
  805. >Droplets explore down your neck and into your armour soaking you through
  806. >It makes you shiver but it's not that unpleasant, it gives you a sense of clarity  
  807. >Another rumble of thunder
  808. >Examining the horizon you stare where the smoke rises
  809. >A compelling sense of duty demands you return to the field
  810. >But the fighting won't stop anytime soon and you're already worn and tired
  811. "I must stop this war at its source"
  812. >You angle your head to focus in the direction of the mountains
  813. >To Canterlot castle      
  814. -------------------------------------------------------------------------
  815.  
  816. >Still and calm
  817. >You've already made your choice
  818. >Great causes are fuelled by personal desires
  819. >And your desire ignites like wildfire even against these wet conditions
  820. >Spurring Serend she displays her wings and beats the air  
  821. >Airborne once more she hastens onwards for the mountains
  822. >The rain no longer kisses you but pelts at an angle as Serend shoots through the incoming storm
  823. >But you don't care, you keep your glare fixed on the mountains
  824. >You feel cold and empty
  825. >Braving the gales and getting to the castle are the only things on your agenda
  826. >The gusts make the ride uncomfortable and turbulent
  827. >A thunder crack sounds off near you
  828. >Adding a concern to your now growing list
  829. >You're hesitant whether you should try to breach the clouds above or stay the course
  830. >Another discharge comes booming down
  831. >That one was closer than the last
  832. >The tempest seems more aggressive than ever
  833. >A third boom almost deafens and blinds you  
  834. >"Finally I have uncovered thee! thou shalt not flee thy fate a second time!"
  835. >Through the harsh downpour you hear Princess Luna's irked voice
  836. >Peering behind you witness a battle worn Luna hunt you down
  837. >As a bolt of ethereal magic from her horn clips your pauldron charring it
  838. >Serend screams taking note of what's happening and begins to increase her pace while flying erratically  
  839. >Inside of you armour your shoulder feels like it's been seared off
  840. >Flinching from the pain you retain hold onto the reins and try to comfort the strike with your other gauntleted hand
  841. >"Huzzah! slaying thy beasts hath improved mine aim!"
  842. >She wasn't bluffing
  843. >All it would take is one well placed strike and its over
  844. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  845.  
  846. >How could she have found you so quickly?!
  847. >Was she still searching inside the walls of Ponyville for you?
  848. >Waiting for you?
  849. >There was no opportunity to have these questions answered as another bolt barely misses Serend's wing
  850. >"There is nowhere to hide this time thou loggerheaded clay brained snake of nature!
  851. >Her voice is enraged but raspy
  852. >Whatever she's been doing since you rested has taken its toll on her
  853. >But she doesn't seem to be relenting with her magic
  854. >She hammers bolts one after the other viciously attempting to punish you
  855. >Serend is struggling to navigate the high gales while desperately trying to elude Luna at the same time
  856. "Serend! Up!"
  857. >It's all you can think to do to in your panic
  858. >You'll be flying blind in the clouds and at more risk from being struck by the thunder and lightening
  859. >But if Luna is desperate enough, she'll either follow and be in the same danger or risk losing you again
  860. >Serend rigorously beats her wings ascending higher and higher and higher  
  861. >"NO!, I will not be humiliated again!"
  862. >Luna has caught on to your plan
  863. >She joins in thrashing her wings to Serend's escalating speed
  864. >Frantically firing bolts of magic that sizzle and crack
  865. >You pierce the heavens
  866. >Before you lays a vast grey expanse of haze
  867. >Lightning and thunder rumbles all around you and casts shadows of giants with each flash
  868. >Its hotter up here and harder to breath but the air currents have died down some at least
  869. >Turning in your saddle you try to spy Luna
  870. >Everything is a grey as far as the eye can see
  871. >The mist is so dense it feels as if you could cup your hands and catch it
  872. >Aside from the thunder and lightning and heat the atmosphere is very still
  873. >Peaceful almost
  874. >But the tension in your body still has not receded yet
  875. >Is it safe to fly out of this ocean of grey yet?
  876. >You haven't heard a peep from Luna
  877. >Maybe you should--
  878. >"I WILL NOT BE DENIED!"
  879. >An ethereal blue bolt from above incinerates through Serend's wing flesh
  880. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  881.  
  882. >Shrieking Serend flaps frantically trying to catch a breeze, a gust, anything
  883. >Bursting forth from the clouds you and Serend careen rushing to meet the earth
  884. >Your stomach has turned
  885. >Heart hurts pounding in your chest
  886. >Threatening to break out your ribcage
  887. >Breath short
  888. >Struggling to get oxygen
  889. >Pull on the reins
  890. >It doesn't help
  891. >You're going down
  892. >A mad instinct takes you over as you pull your knife from your belt and cut the billet strap
  893. >The saddle with you slides under Serend to her chest
  894. >A fade black takes you
  895. >...
  896. >Opening your eyes, your vision is blurry and you feel groggy
  897. >Head is buzzing and your ears have a high pitched ringing sound
  898. >You unlock the clasps to your holsters
  899. >Something catches you
  900. >A sheet?
  901. >no its too thick
  902. >And warm
  903. >As you're vision focuses
  904. >It becomes apparent that Serend has saved you
  905. >She had coiled herself into a ball with you at the centre wrapping herself with her wings
  906. >Protecting you from the crash
  907. "Serend?..."
  908. >You croak calling her name  
  909. >She doesn't move
  910. "Serend, get up"
  911. >...
  912. >Nothing
  913. "No...no, no, no don't you dare!"
  914. >Inside her wings you crawl to her
  915. >Putting your ear to her body where the heart of the wyvern mother is
  916. >And wait with baited breath
  917. >...
  918. >thump-thump
  919. >Its weak, but it's there
  920. >Releasing a shaky sigh of relief
  921. >Your head rises and falls where she fills her lungs
  922. "Keep breathing"
  923. >Crawling again you move to get out of her wings
  924. >Her arms are heavy but they are persuaded as you push them aside
  925. >Light blinds you as you step out from the safety of Serend's life saving embrace
  926. >The sky is still pouring its self down on you
  927. >Looking around you recognise where you are
  928. >You're in the streets of Canterlot
  929. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  930.  
  931. >The Ivory walls and gold spires of Canterlot are empty
  932. >Abandoned just like Ponyville
  933. >All you can hear is the rain and the ripple of the protruding spires flags swaying in the storm
  934. >Glancing back at Serend she's still coiled up
  935. >Covering her body is a striped orange and brown cotton canvas, matted with blood
  936. >It looks like she crashed into one of the many store front canopy's  
  937. >Treading through the wet street you go to remove the sticky sheet off Serend
  938. >You can't tell how bad it is
  939. >There is syrupy blood mixing with the rain and running from her mouth
  940. >Her eyes are closed but her shallow breathing is still passing through her nostrils
  941. >Maybe she's unconscious, you don't know how hard she hit the ground but it must have been enough to knock her out
  942. >Getting down on one knee you stroke her head of jadeite scales and whisper
  943. "You've done enough...stay and rest a while longer"
  944. >It pains you to leave her here like this
  945. >But there's nothing  you can do for her even if you wanted to
  946. >Until she wakes up you won't know how bad it is
  947. >A hot tingling sensation bothers your shoulder
  948. >Reaching over to rub it you see your right pauldron has been melted
  949. >Revealing your tender seared flesh, still warm and throbbing in pain
  950. >Scraping your half and a half steel long sword from its black leather scabbard you angle the edge under your arm  
  951. >And begin to saw
  952. --------------------------------
  953.  
  954. >Cutting the strap, the melted pauldron clanks and splashes against the stone street with a clunk
  955. "No use in wearing it once it's done its job"
  956. >Rolling your shoulder around a couple of times in it joint, testing for any pain
  957. >Nothing you can't handle, its sore but the rain is helping. Soothing its fiery temper
  958. >Proceeding now on foot you explore the city streets
  959. >You did not anticipate that the rich snobs and upper class of Equesteria would be willing to leave their possessions behind let alone the city its self
  960. >Celestia must have taken every precaution to ensure the safety of her ponies
  961. >But where could they have all gone?  
  962. >Pondering the missing ponies you find yourself in the flowery  peace gardens of the city
  963. >A fountain placed at the centre  
  964. >The water is not spouting forth from the Roman designed spring    
  965. >Still, gazing upon its beauty even in this grey and grim sky
  966. >It makes you sort of glad that no ponies are around to witness the travesties of this war
  967. >Involving the innocent in the bloodshed is not something you would wish upon them
  968. >Besides they are not the ones that need to be held responsible for Celestia's actions
  969. >Peering over the ivory marble edge into its rippling waters you can see bit coins on the floor of the fountain
  970. >Ponies probably threw them in their for wishes or luck
  971. >Through the downpour you can hear the clip clop of hooves against stone
  972. >A sense of dread fills you
  973. >Pivoting round to face the incoming sound
  974. >Luna stands haggardly breathing before you, wings spread open
  975. >Her armour broken in places and scratched
  976. >Mane flowing down to her hoofs
  977. >Horn glowing with aura surrounding a spear with a broken haft
  978. >Her eyes dark under her helmet glint with an ambition for blood
  979. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  980.  
  981. >Your grip becomes iron on the handle of your sword
  982. >"Thou shalt not survive this day, Anonymous"
  983. >Lowering her head Luna aims her horn at you
  984. >You raise your shield
  985. >It glows brighter and the fizzes with sparks before it returns to its original aura
  986. >She strains again
  987. >But has the same result
  988. "Luna, you're too tired to continue this fight. Yield now -"
  989. >"Silence!"
  990. >Cutting you off she readies her broken spear
  991. >"I do not need mine magics to defeat thee"
  992. >Galloping for you she thrusts with her spear point
  993. >Letting the shield take the strike you parry and swing at her  
  994. >Just brushing the side of her helmet she manages to propel herself backwards using her wings
  995. >Another attempt slicing down with the edge of her aura coated weapon
  996. >You catch it with your blade and riposte
  997. >The peace gardens are filled with the sound of metal on metal ringing through the empty city
  998. >As you and Luna perform your sword dance  
  999. >The sharp blades kiss each other and sing when they connect
  1000. >Allowing your shield to join in against the heavier hits
  1001. >Your weapons move fast enough to cut curtains in the downpour
  1002. >Moving close enough you whirl to bash her with your shield
  1003. >The dark night pony is pushed away
  1004. "Yield Luna!"
  1005. >Glaring up from under her furrowed brow she sneers at you
  1006. >Through her exasperated panting you hear
  1007. >"I will never yield to a traitor"
  1008. >She rises off her hoofs and rushes you
  1009. >Spear thudding against your shield over and over and over
  1010. >You can't help but block and back track
  1011. >"We took thee in! Treated thou like family!"
  1012. >There's no opening
  1013. >"Expected nothing in return!"
  1014. >She catches you in the arm
  1015. >"Thou disappears, for years! Then brings an army to siege us!"  
  1016. >The shield is knocked aside
  1017. >Her spear point thrusts for your head
  1018. >Deflect it just in time but the force sends you to your seat
  1019. >Luna puts her wait on her forelegs and pin your arms to the wet ground
  1020. >The point of her blade presses into your throat
  1021. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1022.  
  1023. >Both of you panting, you lay still
  1024. >Holding the gaze of the enraged mare
  1025. >It will be your last sight
  1026. >"Mine sister would want to see thee one last time Anonymous, yield... "
  1027. >You answer only with a cold stare
  1028. >It means death even if you yield
  1029. >The rain droplets pelt you and Luna curving under your eyes and making them wet
  1030. >"...Why...why dost thou continue to hurt us in this way!?"
  1031. >This time you speak, but with a dead voice
  1032. "Celestia, never told you why?"
  1033. >Her mouth curls downward but in her expression was one of earnest
  1034. >"Sister would not speakth of thee when thou had vanished, only eye offending brine was mine answer when I inquired on the element of thou"  
  1035. >All these years
  1036. >Celestia had kept it a secret of what she had done to you
  1037. >Never telling another soul
  1038. >Not even her little sister
  1039. >A half smile creeps along your face
  1040. "Luna, do you really want to know why I left?"
  1041. >The alicorn's eye widen to your question
  1042. >As she mouths a word
  1043. >A green lumbering beast screeches from one of the ivory roofs  and sweeps down with its club tail
  1044. >Luna's spear pulls itself away from your throat as she kicks you in the chest to take off backwards on her wings
  1045. >Her kick smacks your head into the stone and causes a ringing to return to your ears
  1046. >The green monster moves like a panther jumping and scaling the walls of buildings spitting blood all the while
  1047. >Rubbing the back of your head you try to sit up
  1048. >The shield you were using to block is a ragged mess so you toss it aside
  1049. >Luna is cautiously flitting around the gardens avoiding the beast as it pounces and then climbs again
  1050. >Inspecting what's happening a revelation hits you that Serend is conscience
  1051. >One of her wings still has a slice through it while the other has a cauterized hole
  1052. >She can't fly
  1053. >But it's not stopping her from snapping and lashing out at Luna
  1054. --------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1055.  
  1056. >Thrashing her tail to-and-fro, Serend is fierce with her attack
  1057. >Luna is having a hard time weaving past the incoming strikes
  1058. >Standing and picking your sword up you look on as they go at it, unsure of what to do
  1059. >It's too dangerous to try and stop Serend
  1060. >Calling her would prove to be a useless gesture
  1061. >Going in means you forfeit your life
  1062. >Last time it was just a tantrum
  1063. >This
  1064. >This is a full wyvern frenzy
  1065. >All you can do is stand and watch
  1066. >Either Serend wears herself out or Luna dies
  1067. >You were so close though
  1068. >Maybe Luna would have heard you out
  1069. >Maybe she could have even joined you
  1070. >Telling her everything now would only serve to break her concentration and get her killed
  1071. >The only thing you can do is wait and see what happens
  1072. >During all of this war you've never felt so pathetic
  1073. >And useless  
  1074. >Serend's movements are wild
  1075. >In the air she navigates with such precision and tact
  1076. >But on the ground she is erratic and unrefined  
  1077. >Slamming into walls
  1078. >Skidding and scratching against the wet stone surface
  1079. >Biting the air and whirling her tail    
  1080. >Her club tail whams into a shop window shattering and scattering glass everywhere
  1081. >When she tries to pull it back out it must have hit a support beam as the shop roof caves in and collapses the building
  1082. >A billow of dust and earth envelopes them both
  1083. >It's unclear what's happening
  1084. >Hearing only Serend's screeching and Luna's struggling grunts
  1085. >You can't make out what their shadows are doing
  1086. >The you hear it
  1087. >A blood curdling shriek
  1088. >Your heart drops in your chest as your bowels turn to water
  1089. "No..."
  1090. ----------------------------------------------------------------------
  1091.  
  1092.  
  1093. >As the rain fall settles the dust
  1094. >Only Serend is visible
  1095. >Hunched over something
  1096. >Everything seems so still in contrast to what was happening moments ago
  1097. >Serend has stopped rampaging
  1098. >She shrieks again when Luna retrieves her spear from the belly of the wyvern
  1099. >Blood spews out with it, Serend sprawls to the ground
  1100. "SEREND!!"
  1101. >Howling you sprint to her
  1102. >Bounding over any obstacles in your way
  1103. >Wishing, praying  your feet would carry you faster
  1104. >Luna flits away from her kill
  1105. >Using this opportunity to take a brief respite from the clash
  1106. >Collapsing on your knees next to Serend's head
  1107. >She whines
  1108. >Eyes are swivelling in her heard searching for something
  1109. "I'm here girl"
  1110. >Snivelling you put your sword down and cradle her bloody head
  1111. >Her pale yellow eyes shake as they focus in on you
  1112. "It's alright Serend, I'm here. Just hold on okay?"
  1113. >Glimpsing up you see a pool of blood forming under her body
  1114. >Seeping through the crack stone pebbles and mixing with the rain
  1115. "No, no no no no this can't be happening. Serend, stay with me"
  1116. >Caressing her scales you rock back and forth watching as her eyes begin to glaze over
  1117. >Her vibrant pink tongue comes out and lazily flicks at your hand
  1118. "See Serend, you're gonna be alright. I'll save you, I'll find a way, I-I'll patch you up and we can fly again girl"
  1119. >You try to smile but your mouth keeps wanting to turn down
  1120. >Her eyes gaze deep into yours
  1121. >Sometimes it feels like Serend, really does understand what you're saying
  1122. >Her whole body relaxes as she breathes out through her nostirls
  1123. >And her pupils dilate  
  1124. "...S-Serend?......"
  1125. ---------------------------------------------------------------------
  1126.  
  1127. >Only the sound of gentle rain answers
  1128. >On your knees still holding Serend's now limp necked head,  you stay frozen
  1129. >The rain masks you of all tears and mucus that drips from your face
  1130. >A stammering whimper passes through your lips
  1131. "Please... don't leave me"
  1132. >Tightly embracing her, you keep looking into her eye through  wet curtains
  1133. >Praying she moves
  1134. >But her eye remains still, droplets of rain tapping it and trickling down the side of her face
  1135. "Please...please, I can't lose you too"
  1136. "Why am I so weak? If I was braver I could have saved you, if I was stronger I could have"
  1137. >Your words become incoherent as you bawl your eyes out  
  1138. >Wailing an inhuman cry for the mother wyvern
  1139. >Forgetting everything  around you and only thinking on the tragic events of your life
  1140. >It's like a faucet has been turned on
  1141. >You haven't cried like this since you were told about...
  1142. >Earth
  1143. >Time seems to stand still as you mourn Serend
  1144. >As your wails slowly die down to a quiet sob
  1145. >A haggard sultry voice quietly speaks
  1146. >"Anonymous..."
  1147. >You feel numb
  1148. >Nothing else is coming out
  1149. >Sniffing you listlessly pick up your sword
  1150. >And rise like an obelisk of lament
  1151. >Turning your head in the direction of Luna
  1152. >Worn out and petrified, Luna looks into your dead, expressionless eyes  
  1153. >"I prithee thee Anonymous, please listen-"
  1154. >Toneless you cut her off
  1155. "No, I'm done listening"
  1156. >Your voice feels sore from your wails of agony
  1157. >It hurts
  1158. >But you don't care
  1159. >Sluggishly walking to Luna
  1160. >You drag your sword along the stone pavment
  1161. -------------------------------------------------------
  1162.  
  1163.  
  1164. >Luna struggles to levitate her broken, blood soaked spear
  1165. >"Please Anonymous, try to understand"
  1166. >A brief  flash of thunder brings Celestia into your vision
  1167. >Lifting your long sword from the stone pavement, you grasp it in both hands
  1168. >Her mouth is still moving while she backs away from you
  1169. >But whatever she is saying falls on deaf ears
  1170. >You just want her to shut up
  1171. >Swinging your blade with a cold anger downwards knocks her spear to the ground
  1172. >Her aura coats the blade and brings it back up to defend again
  1173. >Another heavy swing smacks it out of the aura as you keep pressing towards her
  1174. >All she does is back track and defend
  1175. >You hammer hate filled swing after swing
  1176. >You backhand her with your gauntlet covered fist, knocking her helmet spinning off
  1177. >A knee finds her chest, up heaving her from the ground while your other hand catches her under the chin
  1178. >Dangling in the air before choke slamming her back to the floor, head first
  1179. >Standing over the Princess she wheezes and crawls from you
  1180. >Beating her wings she attempts to escape in the air
  1181. >Taking  her broken spear up you hurl it with all your fury  
  1182. >It strikes one of her wings, sending her careening into the fountain breaking the body of water below
  1183. >Blood begins to spread through the clear waters creating cloudy wisps  
  1184. >Dropping your sword you wade into the cold damp
  1185. >The alicorn splashes the water  trying to flap her pierced wing  
  1186. >But she can't get any lift
  1187. >Kicking her legs she exerts herself to swim
  1188. >But she's too tired
  1189. >Lunging  on top of her you grab hold of the back of her neck  
  1190. >Pushing her under  
  1191. >Letting her up to gasp for air
  1192. >Coughing and sputtering you hear her beg
  1193. >"Please Anonymous! *hack* Stop this! "
  1194. >Then plunging her back into the drink
  1195. >Her wings slap the cold surface and you where she flails
  1196. >But you keep her head under
  1197. >And wait for the bubbles to stop
  1198. ----------------------------------------------------------------
  1199.  
  1200. >The flailing is coming less and less
  1201. >In your head you hear strangers voices
  1202. >FINISH HER! DO THIS FOR HUMANITY! FOR SEREND!
  1203. >ONLY THE BLOOD OF GODS WILL SATE US AVENGER. BLEED THE SUN DRY LAST SON OF EARTH. DRAG IT FROM THE SKY INTO THE GRASP OF THE SEA, LET HER SPUTTER AND DIE AS WE DID!
  1204. >FINISH HER!!!
  1205. >Shaking your head of the voices you see something
  1206. >In the water, a reflection
  1207. >In the ripples a dark green spirit in the rain stands where you stand, with hollow circles for eyes
  1208. >You're becoming a monster
  1209. >Is this what you've become?
  1210. >Luna doesn't deserve this
  1211. >Its Celestia you want
  1212. "This is not me"
  1213. >Regaining your senses you toss Luna out of the water  
  1214. >She hits her back against the inner rim of the fountain
  1215. >Convulsing as she spits up water and gasps for life
  1216. >Blood from her punctured wing leaks and drips onto the surface  
  1217. >Wading to her all she can do to stop you is dully put a foreleg against your chest
  1218. >"Please *wheeze* I - I yield. I don't want to d-die*cough* I beg of thee!"
  1219. >With precise motion you push aside her foreleg
  1220. "Shut. Up."
  1221. >Eyes streaming with water and soaked to her furs
  1222. >The little dark blue alicorn silently watches you and cries
  1223. >Taking hold of her horn you wrench her head back and lean close to her ear
  1224. >Which produces a scared squeak from her
  1225. "Luna, you're going to listen to everything I have to say"
  1226. -------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1227.  
  1228. >Luna's eyes are fixed on you with terror, she refrains from moving
  1229. >Afraid of the consequences
  1230. "When I arrived here, do you remember? I searched endlessly for evidence that my world may still be alive?"
  1231. >Nodding her head slightly in acknowledgement,  you continue to lecture the Princess
  1232. "Do you know why I could only find pieces of my world? trinkets, books, useless technology and garbage?"
  1233. >"N-No"  
  1234. >Jaw clenched you let some of your frenzied rage slip into your cold voice
  1235. "Your sister, Celestia, planted those items for me to find. She had found them long ago and put them in front of me to lead me on a wild goose chase!"
  1236. "All because she wanted to give me hope. Hope that maybe some of humanity might have made it here as well"
  1237. "But everyone I'd ever known and loved was taken from me. EVERYONE!"
  1238. >Luna whimpers when you move from her ear to yell in her face
  1239. "Celestia took them from me, along with my world. She judged that humanity was too dangerous to allow to live because of the feats we had achieved. In case our worlds ever made contact"
  1240. >Luna's eyes widen and her bottom lip quivers
  1241. >"N-no. That cannot--"
  1242. >Wrenching her head back again she yelps and returns to be silent once more
  1243. "My world was nowhere near advanced enough to be capable of interdimensional portals like yours. And even if we were our first priority wouldn't be to attack the creatures that existed there!"
  1244. "But that didn't stop your sister. She imbued our sun with her magic turning it red. The temperature of my world was raised with such an intensity  it made everything burn, our oceans evaporate, Even the air we breathed hurt."
  1245. "It destroyed our atmosphere, we were no longer protected against  meteoroids that came crashing into my planet as large bolides. Causing more death and destruction"  
  1246. "Your sister single handedly ended my world because she thought humans were destructive evil creatures. But for all the evil that humans had done we also achieved many and great goods as well"
  1247. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1248.  
  1249. >Luna still listens with and intense quiet
  1250. "Even though my people had dictators who controlled people and killed thousands, we stopped them.
  1251. "Even though countries struggled for basic medicine, food and water. We helped them."
  1252. "Even though some of my people were intolerant to others, we educated them to see through their intolerance and be more kind"  
  1253. "We cured diseases, we created ways to connect with each other and understand one another on a world wide scale.
  1254. "We'd always defined ourselves by our ability to overcome the impossible and stride for a better future."
  1255. "Tell me Luna, did we deserve to die because of a few past mistakes that we learned from and tried to better ourselves from them!?"    
  1256. >Luna's watery eyes expressed a sympathy
  1257. >But her mouth said otherwise
  1258. >"It-it cannot be true, mine sister is righteous and noble she would never do such a horrific deed!"
  1259. "Really Luna? You'd think I would go to war on a misconception? It's the truth Luna, Celestia told me she had done it herself."
  1260. "It is why I left. It is why I fight. It is why she must never be allowed to do something like that again!"  
  1261. "I will take everything she has worked for to protect from her, including you..."
  1262. >Fear returns to her turquoise eyes
  1263. >"What doth thou mean?"
  1264. >Curling your hand into a fist you smack Luna in the face with your gauntlet  
  1265. >Her head hits the rim and renders the alicorn Princess unconscious
  1266. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1267.  
  1268. >Picking up Luna in your arms, you trudge out of the fountain and lay her next to some violet flowers
  1269. >Taking your sword back in hand you swing it to remove any droplets of rain and slide it back into its scabbard
  1270. >Then, going back to the body of Serend and sit next to her head
  1271. "I'm sorry Serend."
  1272. >Placing a gentle hand on her you can feel she is starting to grow cold
  1273. >You sit for while till the grey clouds give way to an orange sky
  1274. >Hearing the beats of wings above, you look to its source
  1275. >Three wyverns are flying down to you
  1276. >One of the wyverns looks older than the other two, with wisps of hair growing on its chin
  1277. >And on the back of the large, old, royal blue wyvern rides Gren
  1278. >He has swapped his blue jerkin for scale mail  
  1279. >"Anonymous! Where the hell have you been boy?! I thought you were dead! "
  1280. >He doesn't sound mad but he doesn't sound particularly pleased either
  1281. >Your voice feels hoarse
  1282. "Gren? What are you doing here?"
  1283. >The wyverns land near you before Gren speaks again
  1284. >"When Luna came back from chasing you she pretty much decimated the riders, ol' Velkin an I here went to take the fight to her. But before we could get close enough she up an darted off again"
  1285. >Beginning to make his slow descend off the wyvern Gren continues
  1286. >"Me and the boys tried to track her down but, well...you know Velkin aint much of a flyer and my nose ain't what it used to be Hah!"
  1287. >You don't laugh
  1288. >You can't laugh
  1289. >"Whats the matter with you lad?"
  1290. >His bushy eyebrows and moustache turn down when he peers around the gardens
  1291. >Noticing both Luna on the flowers and Serend's now watery blood on the pavement
  1292. >"Boy...I'm sorry about Serend... but I hope you didn't "
  1293. "She's knocked out old dog"
  1294. >Cutting him off before he irks you anymore you stand to meet the riders
  1295. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1296.  
  1297. "How many riders are left?"
  1298. >A pup in chainmail on a olive wyvern speaks up
  1299. >The pup that you saw before you left for the skies
  1300. >"less than 30 sir..."
  1301. >Out of 100 only 30 riders are left
  1302. >Glancing over back to Luna, you feel like you should have killed her after all
  1303. >Gren:" But even though we've lost many comrades today, it will have been worth it to take Princess Luna. With her in our grasp we can force Celestia to sign a treaty. We'll never have to fear her again!
  1304. >Gren:" And your vision for a equal world may come to fruition. You've done it my boy!"
  1305. >Looking back to Serend you can't feel any joy
  1306. >Even though Gren is happy with the results, you still feel hollow
  1307. "At what cost Gren?..."
  1308. >Grens sunken eyes move to a remorseful expression as he places an old paw on your other pauldron
  1309. >Gren:"Lad, I know you liked that wyvern. She wouldn't bond with anyone else but you, most probably thought of ya as one of her own. You were certainly the only one brave enough who could get near her"
  1310. >Gren" In war we lose things that are precious to us, it rips those things away. But the memories of those we lose will always be with us. And the cause they fought for must have been worth dying for"
  1311. >Gren" I've seen enough bloodshed in my day to understand that. The cause you fight for is the unification of Equestria and ensuring what happened to your world never happens again"
  1312. >Gren" And that's a damn good cause to fight for if I ever died for one!"
  1313. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1314.  
  1315. >Walking back to Serend you look into her yellow pale eyes
  1316. >Where a sharp pupil once sat now a dark plate rests in its place
  1317. >"You think she'd want to see you sulking like this lad?"
  1318. >Memories of when you researched the wyverns in the east and first caught her come flooding back to you
  1319. >She was always hissing at you and threatening to bite whenever you came to feed her
  1320. >Eventually Serend got used to you coming and going
  1321. >Till that day when she poked her tongue out at you and let you get closer enough to pet her
  1322. >Then you designed the saddle to ride on her back  
  1323. >At first it was an uncomfortable experience, you'd always hated heights. And you especially disliked flying
  1324. >But you practiced with her everyday as she carried you higher and higher into the skies  
  1325. >Your fears dissolved and it became a thrill you enjoyed
  1326. >Then when she took you to her nest, a hollowed out mountain that scraped the clouds and caught the sun
  1327. >Filled with wyverns, both her own brood and wyverns that were part of the nest  
  1328. >A breath taking sight of colours and strange creatures in different shapes and sizes, flying in the cavernous mountain
  1329. >They never bothered to kill you when you met them
  1330. >Serend made sure of that, she was the matriarch and a mother to most of them
  1331. >These memories will always remain with you
  1332. >Reaching round her head and placing a hand over each of her eyes and closing them
  1333. >You whisper so that Gren can't hear you
  1334. >And your eyes begin to well up again
  1335. "Goodbye Serend..."
  1336. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1337.  
  1338. >Upon saying your goodbye the other three wyverns move in closer and notice that Serend has passed on
  1339. >The two riders are surprised when they move on their own
  1340. >Its hard to tell in their snake like eyes but it would seem they are also sadden by her passing
  1341. >Gren:"Obie, get the muzzle will ya?
  1342. >The young pup reaches into his satchel and pulls out a custom muzzle with a black crystal sleeve positioned where the forehead of a pony would go  
  1343. >Another of your innovations, created to take unicorn prisoners should they plea for mercy
  1344. >You had done some research on the properties of crystals in this world
  1345. >And there were numerous types, but black crystal seemed to have a nullifying effect on magic
  1346. >Gentle placing the muzzle over Luna's face and horn Obie picks her up
  1347. >Gren:"Be gentle with her lad, we'll patch her up back at the main camp, so we don't want her injured any further"
  1348. >Obie:"Yes Gren"
  1349. "Do you know that pup, Gren?"
  1350. >Leaving Serend's side for the last time you ask about the young pup
  1351. >Obie looks worried when you inquire about him
  1352. >Gren:"I bloody ought to, he's my grandson"
  1353. >Shooting Gren a befuddled look you turn your attention to Obie
  1354. "Pup, how old are you ?"
  1355. >Obie:" I'm 20 years old sir"
  1356. "...Don't lie to me."
  1357. >Obie looks like he's about to wet himself when he hears your matter-of-fact tone
  1358. >Obie: "I-I'm 16 sir"
  1359. "Fucking 16?! Gren! what is he doing here?!
  1360. >Gren:"Calm down lad, he's not been involved with any fighting. He's just my squire"
  1361. "You think the enemy gives a shit about that! He looks geared up enough to be a soldier!"
  1362. >Raising your voice to the old dog turns his expression sour
  1363. >Gren:"Boy, you've been through a lot. But you best watch your tone when you speak to me. As long as he is in my company he is protected well enough."
  1364. >Gren:"The whole damn reason I let him sneak through was because he wanted to see you!"
  1365. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1366. >Stumped by that statement you're not quite sure what to say
  1367. >Gren:"He wanted to see General Anonymous, the hero. The creature from another world that helped our people in technology and invention"
  1368. >Obie: "I'm sorry sir I didn't mean to make you mad"
  1369. >He seems contrite
  1370. >Feeling slightly guilty you let out a sigh
  1371. "That may be the case Gren, but he's still far too young to be involved in this. He needs to leave.
  1372. >Gren:"And he will, as soon as we rendezvous with the forces will sound for a tactical withdraw. Obie, put Luna on Maximus's wyvern"
  1373. >Obie:"Yes Gren"
  1374. >The young pup carries Luna on his back to a muscular scale mailed dog sitting on top of a orchid coloured wyvern  
  1375. >Gren:"There"
  1376. >Gren just seems to be confusing you today
  1377. "There what?"
  1378. >Pointing to the olive coloured he says it again with emphasis
  1379. >Gren:"There!, your new wyvern. If you're so against the pup being involved in the war then take his wyvern, he'll ride with me and Maximus will make sure Luna stays secured"
  1380. >It feels way too soon to move on
  1381. "Gren, I don't need another wyvern"
  1382. >Gren:" I suppose you're going to flap your arms and fly yourself off this mountain then aye?"
  1383. >He has a point
  1384. >Obie: It's okay sir, she doesn't really listen to me anyway. Do you Silpheed? "
  1385. >The olive wyverns orange eyes don't move from their position, as she keeps looking upon Serend
  1386. >Gren:"If I remember correctly she's one of Serends hatchlings. The eldest one of the nest I think? She'll be a bit of a handful at first but I'm sure it's nothing you can't handle"
  1387. >As they move back to mount up they stop to notice you haven't budged from your spot
  1388. >Gren:" You coming lad?"
  1389. "I will Gren, I just...need a moment"
  1390. >Getting on top of their mounts ready to ride, with Luna in captivity, Gren looks back
  1391. >Gren:"Okay lad...I'm not gonna tell you to suck it up. But this is the heart of enemy territory and  we will be leaving the field when we get back. So don't take too long"
  1392.  
  1393. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1394.  
  1395. "Wait, Gren"
  1396. >Gren:" What is it lad?"
  1397. >Running over to the shield you tossed aside you pick it up and hand it over to Obie now on the back of Velkin
  1398. "Obie, this shield belonged to a brave minotaur named Oxalis Hoof who gave his life today. Its protected me through this war. Just seems right that I give it to someone worth protecting more"
  1399. >The pup appears delighted at the gift of the ragged shield and gazes upon the sigil
  1400. "Look after yourself and your grandpa for me. But if you ever do something stupid like sneak into a war again, I'll slap you with it"
  1401. >Obie holds the shield up as if you protect himself from you
  1402. >Gren:" Hah! I don't need protecting, I fought and survived in over 4 wars and I know my way around the battlefield  
  1403. >Raising an eyebrow to the Gren's boast you address Obie again
  1404. "See what I mean? The old dogs delusional, he's gonna need all the help he can get"
  1405. >Smirking at your own remark Gren lets out another loud guffaw
  1406. >Obie:" I will sir"
  1407. >Gren spurs Velkin to the air
  1408. >Obie:" We'll see you back at camp soon General Anonymous sir!"
  1409. >Waving them off you say quietly to yourself
  1410. "Yeah...sure"
  1411. >With that the blue and orchid wyverns take off into the orange painted sky, leaving you and Silpheed behind
  1412. >Watching till they are out of sight you then walk in the opposite direction past the wyvern
  1413. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1414.  
  1415. >You manage to walk a couple of feet till you feel the movement of something large behind you
  1416. >Turning your head, Silpheed is following you
  1417. "No...go"
  1418. >Coldly you talk back to her and point in the direction that the other wyverns took off in
  1419. >She twists her neck up and looks behind briefly before staring blankly back at you
  1420. "Get going, go on"
  1421. >Gesturing her to shoo she flaps her wings to fly up and perches atop a building roof still staring at you all the while
  1422. "No you stupid lizard. Go away!"
  1423. >Her response is to poke her tongue out at you
  1424. "Fine! stay up there for all I care"
  1425. >Returning to your march you storm off
  1426. >Only to hear the beat of her wings again and for her to land in front of you
  1427. >Blocking your path
  1428. >Your patience is starting to wear thin
  1429. "Look, where I'm going there is no coming back Silpheed. You'll only end up getting yourself ki"
  1430. >Stopping yourself from saying the word
  1431. >You can't even bear the weight of the thought of losing another wyvern
  1432. "Silpheed, leave. Please."
  1433. >A little bit of grief seeps into your voice
  1434. >As Silpheed tries to move closer to you and you bitterly snap at her
  1435. "Get out of here! Go on, leave!
  1436. >The wyvern ignores your abusive tone and pushes her head into your hand before giving it a few licks with her tongue
  1437. >She can most probably smell Serend on you
  1438. "Stupid wyvern...I'm not your mother..."
  1439. >You caress her scales a couple of times before you push her head aside and command her
  1440. "Now scram, get lost!"
  1441. >The orange orbs of her eyes watch you intently, trying to figure you out
  1442. "I SAID FUCK OFF!!"
  1443. >Barking at her she backs off before taking wing into the sky
  1444. >You don't have to keep watch of her now
  1445. >She's not coming back
  1446. "...I saved her...for you Serend"
  1447. >Staring upwards into the gleaming  orange hue sky you lock onto the palace.
  1448. "But there's no saving me from what I will do"
  1449. >You march through the abandoned streets of Canterlot
  1450. >Aiming for the palace
  1451. ---------------------------------------------------------------
  1452.  
  1453. >Heading for the palace you swap marching for a quiet saunter as you progress through Canterlot
  1454. >Its eerily quiet in these streets
  1455. >Where vendors and shops would be bustling with activity
  1456. >Only the cold air dashing through ivory alleys serves to meet you
  1457. >It is more like a ghost town than the upper-class district
  1458. >And the closer you get to the palace, the higher the chance of running into soldiers should be
  1459. >But you haven't encountered any yet
  1460. >There should have been some patrols marching around the perimeter
  1461. >Its highly unlikely that Celestia would send all her guard to fight
  1462. >Nearing an intersection of road you hear two voices chattering
  1463. >You hug the wall with your back to it and cautiously shimmy along the building
  1464. >Peering round the corner you can see a group of 6 guards a good few meters away
  1465. >6 of them would be difficult to take down on your own even if you caught them by surprise
  1466. >And they're appearance is different from the other soldiers you've seen
  1467. >Heavily armoured gold steel plate and chainmail vests underneath
  1468. >Celestia certainly has improved her royal guards protection since you left
  1469. >That design looks familiar
  1470. >Lurking you try to listen in on the conversation between two of them
  1471. >Guard  1:"Not too long ago now, in that direction"
  1472. >Guard 2:"Are you sure?"
  1473. >Guard 1:"Positive, word from the battlegrounds says things like those were swarming our troops before Princess Luna arrived. Has to be them."
  1474. >Guard 2:"Then they might have sent a small party to make an attempt on Princess Celestia. Inform her majesties elite, as for us we need to tighten our search. No pony gets in or out without my say "
  1475. >Shit
  1476. >They must have caught sight of Gren or Silpheed
  1477. >That 2nd one is giving orders, so he must be the officer in charge
  1478. >It would be a lot more easy to determine who was who if they weren't all white stallions  
  1479. >The 1st  three of the group turn to head to the palace while the officer and two others are making for your direction
  1480. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1481.  
  1482. >Steel greaves clip clop against the pavement, getting closer and closer
  1483. >Without missing a beat you snatch up a loose pebble of the floor and hurl it over the roof tops
  1484. >The sound of the pebble echoes and reverberates through the empty streets
  1485. >Officer:"You hear that?"
  1486. >Other guard:"Could it be them?"
  1487. >Officer:"If it is let's not waste time talking, come on"
  1488. >Pressing yourself against the wall you try to make yourself as thin as possible
  1489. >Two armoured stallions gallop past without looking down the alley
  1490. >Charging towards the noise
  1491. >...Two?
  1492. >There were three heading your way
  1493. >An armoured head comes into view from the corner of your eye
  1494. >Your heart feels like it stops beating as you hold your breath
  1495. >The stallions head almost turns to you in slow motion
  1496. >His eyes meet yours
  1497. >Before he can call for help you grab him round the snout with one hand, slamming him into the ivory brick
  1498. >With the other hand you unsheathe your blade pressing the edge under his chin and above his chainmail vest in one fell motion
  1499. "If you yell for help, I will kill you"
  1500. >The stallion nods
  1501. >Now that you're closer to one you can see the armour they are wearing is something you designed and gave as an idea to Celestia
  1502. >It gives more protection than the regular armour and has little to no weak points
  1503. >But you made it
  1504. >You know exactly where to cut
  1505. "I'll show mercy if you answer my questions, how many of you are here?"
  1506. >Moving your hand a little you allow him to speak while still maintaining your hold
  1507. >"Too many for you "
  1508. >He knows, he's just stalling
  1509. >Who knows when the other two will notice he's missing
  1510. >Pressing the blade further into his throat you interrogate
  1511. "Okay then, I guess math isn't your strong suit. I'll try to give you one that's not so hard. Where is Princess Celestia?"
  1512. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1513.  
  1514. >Blood trickle down the edge of your sword where it bites into the stallions neck
  1515. >"She's in the throne room with her elite guard"
  1516. "Well done, now really use your brain for this one. How many elite guard are there?"
  1517. >The blades edge seems to be persuading him better than you'd hoped
  1518. >"4 , there's 4 of them guarding her"
  1519. "See, isn't this much easier if you're cooperative? Now last question. Do any of you know about the passage on the left wing?"
  1520. >The stallion gives you a quizzical look
  1521. >"The what ?"
  1522. >Your lips turn into the shape of a cruel smirk
  1523. "Thank you"
  1524. >"You're gonna let me go now right? You said You'd show mercy if I answered your questions?"
  1525. >The panicked guard attempts to jog your memory
  1526. "That's right I did. I said I'd show you mercy. You just gave information to the enemy who will now use it. That's high treason against Princess Celestia. So yes, I will grant you mercy"
  1527. >Running your blade across the stallions throat a fountain of scarlet gushes forth drenching your arms and chest
  1528. >The unknown stallions eyes roll to the back of his head and his body goes limp as it collapses to the floor
  1529. >Wiping the blood off using the inside of your elbow you sheath your sword again
  1530. >Now you know where she is, how well guarded and that they were never told about the secret passage on the left wing of the palace
  1531. >You had been shown that entrance by Celestia herself when you were exploring the palace for the first time
  1532. >Discovering how it was built
  1533. >Fitting that you should use it now to end her
  1534. >Checking that the guards weren't on their way back, you dragged the body into an alley. And dump it.
  1535. >If Celestia was using your diagrams you had gifted to her for her royal guard, her elite were going to be more trouble
  1536. >You'd have to get in quickly and stealthily in order to take them down  
  1537. >But first things first , you need to gain access to the palace
  1538. -------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1539.  
  1540. >For a moment your thoughts linger
  1541. >You felt a sense of guilt for the unknown stallion
  1542. >But if you had not done it, he would most certainly have told the others
  1543. >The guards were already on edge before you had arrived and if they knew how many you are
  1544. >It wouldn't of taken them long to find you.
  1545. >On Earth the punishment for high treason was to be hanged or drawn and quartered
  1546. >Even though those acts had been abolished because they were considered archaic and barbarous
  1547. >In this world, it still is very archaic
  1548. >Maybe they would have incinerated him by unicorn firing squad  
  1549. >But if Celestia could kill off an entire world because she thought it was dangerous
  1550. >You can't imagine the horrors she would have inflicted upon a stallion that gave information to the enemy
  1551. >...Or she might have shown leniency to her ponies
  1552. >But either way this is still a war and he won't be letting anyone know you're here
  1553. >Slipping past patrol after patrol you are as quiet as a shadow
  1554. >Becoming one of the spirits in the ghost town
  1555. >A patrol almost found you out before you creped  through an open window and hid inside
  1556. >Allowing them to pass by without being detected  
  1557. >Canterlot was like a maze if you did not know your way around  
  1558. >But nothing had changed or been knocked down
  1559. >It's not long before you're on the main winding road that curves round to the peak of the mountain
  1560. >Atop of the peak is the palace
  1561. >There were less structures to hide by but that did not matter
  1562. >The rocky cliff face where the palace sits atop was your desination
  1563. >In front a waterfall drops from the overhang of the palace to splash and churn in a reservoir below
  1564. >Checking that no pony is in sight you prowl out of cover to behind the reservoir  
  1565. >There is some daylight to help you see what you are doing as you start to feel up the rocks
  1566. >But nothing is budging
  1567. >A sense of urgency grows the longer you feel at the wall, you begin to wonder if it is still here
  1568. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1569.  
  1570. >Realising that you need to feel the rocks a little lower, around pony height
  1571. >Your hand glides over a loose stone
  1572. >Placing your palm over it you twist and push the stone into the cliff
  1573. >The sound of something heavy clunking into place emanates from inside the rocks
  1574. >As a section of the wall withdraws into the cliff to reveal an opening leading to a dimly lit passageway
  1575. >The sound of the wall scraping against the inside of the cliff is a low rumble, low enough that its sound is masked by the waterfall
  1576. >You enter the cavity and as you do the entrance reseals itself behind you
  1577. >It takes a few moments for your eyes to adjust to the faint light, you can hardly see your feet
  1578. >Lights gently  flicker and make shadows dance against the walls as you walk down the narrow tunnel  
  1579. >You have to duck your head moving further into it and use the wall to hold yourself in case you trip on anything
  1580. >The rocky surface is cool to the touch
  1581. >Its uncomfortable cramped, this passageway was really meant only for ponies
  1582. >You wonder if no pony knew about this passage who lit the candles?
  1583. >As far as you knew, only yourself and Celestia know of this secret tunnel
  1584. >What if there were others who knew of its existence
  1585. >That would mean this secret tunnel was no longer a secret
  1586. >While still holding yourself with one hand you place the other on the pommel of your sword
  1587. >The thoughts are interrupted when you come across a wooden door with iron ornaments
  1588. >Removing your hand from your pommel you budge the stiff door open leading to a tall room
  1589. >In the centre a rock spiralling staircase comes into view  
  1590. >The stairs lead up and into the darkness above
  1591. >Looking into the dark abyss a determination sets on your face
  1592. >Closing the door behind you, you now scale the steps for the long climb
  1593. --------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1594.  
  1595. >They seem to go on and on and on into nothingness
  1596. >Treading the steps gives you time to think on what you need to do
  1597. >If what that stallion said was true, Celestia is protected by 4 royal elite guards.
  1598. >There's not a chance you can take them all on and her
  1599. >You need to do something to draw and separate them from her
  1600. >Once she's on her own then you move in
  1601. >But what could you do that would be a big enough distraction for royal elite guards to take note of?
  1602. >They only get involved if the Princesses or the palace were in danger
  1603. >And you are just one man
  1604. >Your head hits the ceiling as you reach the top of the flight
  1605. >Rubbing the sore spot you try to peer into the black
  1606. >Its darker up here, so much so that you can barely see your hands in front of your face
  1607. >You feel a strand of cobweb snag against your chin and brush it off
  1608. >Using your arms to feel out what you can't see you touch against a slab of wall
  1609. >Its heavy
  1610. >Pressing against it slowly with your shoulder light filters through the cracks as it slides ajar  
  1611. >And you can hear voices
  1612. >More guards
  1613. >Lining your eye up with the light seeping through you can see two well armed guards with spears and swords at their sides, trotting along and conversing
  1614. >Their  voices are low but you can just make out what they are saying
  1615. >Guard 1:"Well Princess Luna went out into the field and she's just as important to protect as Princess Celestia is"
  1616. >Guard 2:"Yeah, but that doesn't make her weaker, Princess Celestia is the one who controls the sun after all"
  1617. >Guard 1:" Ah, but doesn't Princess Luna control the moon? It may not be as grand or dazzling as the sun but it's still an important role to protect"
  1618. >Guard 2:" I suppose..."
  1619. >Guard 1:" Besides ever since a few years ago the Princess hasn't been quite like herself"
  1620. >Could they possibly be talking about?
  1621. >Guard 2: "When was this?"
  1622. >Guard 1: "You know, about the same time that monkey, minotaur...troll thing was living here"
  1623. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1624.  
  1625. >Guard 2:" Oh yeah! I remember that thing, always going on about hoomanity and research"
  1626. >Guard 1:" Yeah hah! Well, just around the time it first arrived here Princess Celestia didn't seem to have that air of power she usually carried"
  1627. >Guard 2: "I think I know what you mean, she did get tired more easily constantly helping that thing with... whatever it was doing
  1628. >Guard 1:"That's what I'm getting at! as soon as it arrived here Princess Celestia just seemed more drained. Most probably why she's locked herself up with the Elite guards.
  1629. >Guard 2: "I bet the monkey thing had something for that, what with all its tinkering"
  1630. >Guard 1: "I also heard from one of the couriers that it's the monkey that's leading this siege"
  1631. >Guard 2:" Really?! I thought the monkey was attached to Princess Celestia, why would it attack us?"  
  1632. >They stop moving to stand and converse more
  1633. >Guard 1:"'Ere...you don't think she and it were?"
  1634. >Guard 2:"Were what?"
  1635. >Guard 1:"Oh don't play innocent with me. Do you think they were mates?"
  1636. >Guard 2:"I think they were good friends, yeah. What of it?"
  1637. >The other guard raises his voice before lowering it again
  1638. >Guard 1:"NO you daft plum! Do you think they were..."
  1639. >Making a motion with his front hooves the stallion bumps them together several times making a clopping noise
  1640. >It takes a moment but the other guard seems to understand
  1641. >Guard 2:"Oh! oh, by the beard of Star Swirl no. Not a chance in tartarus. Our Princess with something like that?! bleagh! No she's much more refined. Plus I think she's got more of an eye for me.
  1642. >You couldn't really care less about such acts with Celestia, even more so now than ever
  1643. >And the fiery urge of blowing your cover and just cutting them both down in the middle of the hall runs rampant through your head
  1644. >Guard 1:"I suppose you're right, no way that the Princess would like something as weird looking as that thing was"
  1645. >Try to suppress it
  1646. >Guard 2:"Yeah and he had some weird looking things on his hooves too, thingers I think it called em. What a freak."
  1647. >The fiery urge rises
  1648. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1649.  
  1650. >Guard 1:"And you need to wake up thinking Princess Celestia would fancy you? No no no, now Princess Luna, with that voice of hers. She's the Princess you'd want.
  1651. >A roll of the eyes from the other guard is obviously displayed before they set off again
  1652. >Guard 2:"Oh yeah sure, that ancient way of speaking must be a real mood setter in the bed room. With her 'tis thee's' and 'art thou's'. You're the one that's living in a dream.
  1653. >As they move off they keep bickering with one another till you can't hear them any longer
  1654. >Assuming it's all clear you push the slab to enter the halls of the palace.
  1655. >The polished marble floor, ivory walls, red carpets and stained glass windows are all as you remember them.
  1656. >Glancing at where you came out from, the slab block was actually a marbled statue of a mare holding a parchment in a silk gown
  1657. >You push the statue back into place to ensure that nothing seems off.
  1658. >And then skulk the halls of the palace
  1659. >You still have not thought of a way you could get Princess Celestia vulnerable
  1660. >Although according to the conversation you heard she does not seem to be at full strength
  1661. >Perhaps your theory of how Earth was eliminated was true, you only listened to half of her confession before you left some years ago
  1662. >She might of exhausted herself turning Earth's sun into a red giant when she destroyed it
  1663. >That process should have taken billions of years but if her magic can move star perhaps it could do other things as well
  1664. >You had began to suspected her when she displayed her power over this worlds sun to you for the first time
  1665. >Thinking if she could control this star perhaps she could control others too
  1666. >Not being adept at magic such things were, for now, still beyond your comprehension
  1667. >But it was of uncertain doubt that Celestia was the one who tampered with Earths sun
  1668. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1669.  
  1670. >They mentioned she was always tired after helping you with your investigations
  1671. >It was too much of a coincidence that every time you found a lead Celestia would join you in pursuing it
  1672. >The lead would then become a dead end or just give you back more questions than answers
  1673. >Another theory but after her confession it just made sense that she would be the one ensuring you never found out
  1674. >You'll have to ask her when you see her for the last time
  1675. >Somehow you had managed to creep past well armed guards without being spotted
  1676. >Dodging guards has guided you to a familiar section of the palace
  1677. >A sense of nostalgia of roaming these halls enters your mind
  1678. >As if guided by an unknown hand of fate you have wound your way back
  1679. >To your old chamber quarters
  1680. >Your hand automatically opens the tall ivory doors with glided flowers as if by some force of habit
  1681. >Orange light spills into the dark room from the open balcony window
  1682. >A layer of dust has settled on your varnished desk, still littered with papers and trinkets
  1683. >All of your furnishings have dust on them
  1684. >It looks like nothing has been touched apart from the bed linen
  1685. >Royal purple satin sheets cover the queen sized mattress  
  1686. >Wandering through your old chambers everything is still in place the way you left it
  1687. >Opening one of the desks draws you pull out a small red wax candle and some matches and light it
  1688. >Shaking the match to die
  1689. "Everything is here..."
  1690. >The illuminated room bares all to you
  1691. >All the clues that you used to find pieces of Earth.
  1692. >The books you recovered and read  till they were memorised word for word
  1693. >Tomes bound in thick leather, old parchments yellow and curling, diagrams, schematics even old newspapers
  1694. >Were all meant to help you in your investigations  
  1695. >They're all still here
  1696. >Examining the desk you search for something
  1697. >Realising the last place you left it was on the dresser by the balcony
  1698. >Turning your head towards the open balcony and orange light
  1699. >A small rusted metal music box covered in dust, sits atop a dresser
  1700. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1701.  
  1702. >Picking the music box up you blow and wipe away the film of dust
  1703. >Most of its shine has worn over time
  1704. >Taking it over to the desk you inspect the box in the candle light
  1705. >Visions of the vivid dream you had resurface
  1706. >Opening the lid doesn't reveal a human heart but the figurine dancers
  1707. >The mirrored inside still reflects the tiny couple making more
  1708. >Turning the box upside down you press down on the bottom and it clicks
  1709. >Removing the bottom reveals a hidden compartment and inside a piece of paper that has been folded a dozen times over
  1710. >Unfolding the paper you lay it flat across the desk and use trinkets to hold the corners
  1711. >Putting the music box back together you turn its key
  1712. >Its tune fills the still chamber once more as you read the unfolded paper
  1713. >Dear Princess Celestia
  1714. >Forgive me for my handwriting, I wanted to convey these feelings to you in person but I lack the strength.
  1715. >It's been almost a year now since you took me in.
  1716. >The hospitality, kindness and understanding you've shown me, even though I am a stranger in this world have been in abundance.
  1717. >I don't know if I can ever fully repay you for these acts but I will try.
  1718. >It has become apparent and clear that Earth is gone.
  1719. >I won't be able to go back and the people I knew are only images and memories in my head now.
  1720. >No matter how hard I search or wish it, I will always be the last human.
  1721. >While this does sadden me to think of, I cannot change it.
  1722. >Over the course of my time here I have tried to make friends
  1723. >While the ponies have been more than willing and kind enough to indulge my presence.
  1724. >I feel none of them understand me like you do.
  1725. >You have always been there for me, helped me and given me a hope.
  1726. >I sometimes fear what my life would have been like if you had not found me.
  1727. >Therefore I humbly wish to propose that I join your royal guard.
  1728. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1729.  
  1730. >I may not be strong now but with training I can be. I will be able to protect you as you have protected me.
  1731. >It would honour me and humanity if I could do one great thing in my life, by protecting my savoir.  
  1732. >I have the skills and knowledge to create and replicate technology from my own world.
  1733. >It may not seem like much compared to your magic at first. But over time, innovations could be made to improve upon my designs.
  1734. >I understand you see the other species in this world as somewhat dangerous to ponies like the diamond dogs.
  1735. >But my world fondly believed that in order to improve you must be willing to embrace other cultures.
  1736. >Allowing them to intermingle with your society may help improve them
  1737. >As well as adding their work force and input into my own designs may also yield splendid results.
  1738. >Either way  whatever you choose I still hope to join your guard so that I may be by your side till the end of my time
  1739. >Faithfully yours  
  1740. >Anonymous
  1741. >Sitting back in your chair a maelstrom emotions churn in your head and stomach
  1742. >Regret, anger, sadness, embarrassment  
  1743. >You were going to give this letter to her the day she decided to confess
  1744. >You were a fool to trust her
  1745. >And an even bigger fool to want to protect her
  1746. >Staring into the candles calm flame you ponder on what might have been
  1747. >Imagine if you had joined her guard
  1748. >You would have just become another pawn for her to use when she pleases
  1749. >If you had made all the things you were going to make, she would have become an even greater power than she already is
  1750. >The more you stare into the flame the more these thoughts play in your head
  1751. >And the more they play, the more you realise she must not be allowed to have them
  1752. >If she has read or used them, she cannot be allowed to do so again
  1753. >Now you know what kind of distraction will work
  1754. >Placing the music box back onto the dresser
  1755. >You go back to the candle on the desk and the hold letter over its naked flame
  1756. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1757.  
  1758. >Watching the letter twist, blacken and flare up
  1759. >And dropping it onto the desk with the other parchments
  1760. >You grab the rest of the matches and a few more scrolls and watch the fire engulf the top of the desk
  1761. >The dust and old paper are eaten by the flame as curls of ash float in the room
  1762. >Old tomes went up with a whoosh and scrolls unfurled as if some ghost was reading them
  1763. >Picking up one of the burning tomes you throw it onto the bed
  1764. >Satin is devoured by the fire as it crawls over the royal spread
  1765. >Then taking one of the scrolls and torching the silk curtains that hanged either side of the balcony
  1766. >Orange glow now fills the room and embers are carried to shadowy phantoms dancing on the ceiling to the tune of primordial fire
  1767. >As you leave the room you close the doors to let the fire crave the oxygen outside of the chamber
  1768. >Lighting another match you set a scroll aflame and torch all and any hanging banners, plants, fabrics anything that will burn
  1769. >In your wake you leave a burning trail in the hall that once lead to your chambers
  1770. >And make your way to the throne room
  1771. >The hall to the throne room looks as it did in your dream
  1772. >But the setting sun beams colourful lights through the stained glass windows
  1773. >And there is no man in green armour riding a wyvern depicted in any of the windows
  1774. >But you are already here
  1775. >And you may not be riding a wyvern but you bring instead
  1776. >A destructive force of nature with the temper of a wyvern
  1777. >Hiding behind one of the marble pillars you wait
  1778. >Calm, calculating and patient  
  1779. >Your heart feels elated in your chest
  1780. >Forgetting all the wrongs you've done
  1781. >All the lives you've taken
  1782. >And proud of how far you've come
  1783. >A panicked guard stampedes to the throne room, shouting
  1784. >"FIRE ,FIRE IN THE PALACE!"
  1785. >That did not take long, but even magical ponies can fear something as ancient as fire
  1786. >He bursts  into the tall glided doors of the throne room still screaming
  1787. >"YOUR MAJESTY, FIRE!"
  1788. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1789.  
  1790. >One guard enters and five come out
  1791. >Four of the guards wear armour similar to the rest but their helmets are of a different craft
  1792. >They wear cloaks of gold pinned to their chests by jewelled broaches of imperial topaz in the shape of a sunburst
  1793. >They gallop past you capes flowing behind and when they turn the corner you move in
  1794. >Slamming the giant gilded doors behind you shut, locking them
  1795. >And grabbing a dropped spear and barring the doors for extra precaution
  1796. >A light voice echoes in the room from behind you
  1797. >"Hello Anon"
  1798. >Hearing that noble tone brings a mixture of feelings but an ardent passion of hate is the strongest amongst them
  1799. >Your voice was soft in response
  1800. "No one has called me that in a long, long time. Celestia."
  1801. >Facing the voice the vast spacious throne room greets you
  1802. >Marble pillars stretch high and hold the vaulted like cathedral ceiling  
  1803. >Tall stained glass windows beam colours of blues, oranges, greens, purples, yellows and reds onto the reflective marble floor with the light of the setting sun
  1804. >Banners depicting sigils of a orange sun on a field of red, white crescent moon on a field of dark blue
  1805. >And the sigil of two alicorns one white the other blue dancing around a sun and moon on a field of sky blue and white stars all hang from the ceilings
  1806. >A maroon carpet leads your eyes past two chalices of purple roses up some steps to a tall gold throne embossed with patterns
  1807. >Sitting on her haunches is Princess Celestia her ethereal pink, green and blue mane seems alive as it moves with no breeze to assist it
  1808. >All in gold steel custom armour inlaid with silver scrollwork and ornamentations
  1809. >At the centre of her chest piece, a sunburst orange chrysoberyl
  1810. >Her pauldrons are encrusted with gems of purple sapphires with an eagle spread winged  
  1811. >You tread on the long maroon carpet
  1812. >And approach Celestia
  1813. -------------------------------------------------------------------
  1814.  
  1815. >"I Imagine I have you to thank for the fire?"
  1816. "You burnt my world, only seems fair I burn yours"
  1817. >Your voices are soft but echo enough inside the room to hear one another
  1818. >Celestia remains seated as you walk the length of the carpet to her throne
  1819. >"I had always hoped you would return, Anon. But not like this"
  1820. "I go by General Anonymous now, your highness"
  1821. >You perform a bow with an over the top motion to convey your 'allegiance'  
  1822. >Her brow furrows up and her expression is one of hurt
  1823. >"I told you, you could call me Celestia"
  1824. "HAH! such a gracious Princess you are, Celestia. I should be so lucky we met"
  1825. >Celestias eyes glint with the coming formation of tears
  1826. >"Anon, please stop this, this  war. Ponies, griffins, dogs and minotaurs alike are all dying while we speak"
  1827. "I am not the naive fool I once was Celestia! I know you'll just wet your eyes and pretend to care before you dismiss the minotaur clans and the dog packs back into their desolate lands"
  1828. "You were always a very good actress weren't you?"
  1829. >She stands and raises her voice slightly annoyed by your harsh tone
  1830. >"I would do no such thing!"
  1831. >Ecstatically you raise your own voice
  1832. "That's it! right there! show me some of that oh so righteous anger, Celestia. The same righteous fury you used to kill my planet! Tell me how you did it again?, I'd LOVE to hear it!"  
  1833. >That silences her for a moment as she looks down at her armoured hoofs  
  1834. >"Anon...I-"
  1835. "Go on tell me! Exactly how you did it!"
  1836. >Gesturing with your hands you circle them palms facing up
  1837. "Yooooou?..."
  1838. >Her voice is quite and soft again
  1839. >"Please, Anon"
  1840. "NO! I have a right to know, Celestia. Tell me."
  1841. >Still looking at her hoofs she says nothing
  1842. "Tell me..."
  1843. >She doesn't budge
  1844. "TELL ME!"
  1845. >Yelling at her raises her head, her brow has furrowed down now and her eyes are moist with tears forming in the corners
  1846. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1847.  
  1848. >"I aged your sun...I judge humanity to be creatures of war and death that brought nothing but suffering  and destruction to themselves and every other living being"
  1849. >"I used my powers to turn your sun into a red one and. And. A-and"
  1850. >Tears stream down her cheeks as she can no longer continue with what she was going to say
  1851. >Slowly you clap your hands
  1852. "BRAAAVO Celestia, bravo. And the Oscar goes to the one, the only, Princess Celestia! take a bow!"
  1853. >Cheering and whistling you continue your sarcastic rant
  1854. "And look at all these people! god damn, it takes some real stones to admit what you've done in front of all of them"
  1855. >Spreading your arms out you twirl gesturing to the empty throne room then continue stepping towards Celestia
  1856. >Her tearful face turns into a scowl
  1857. >"I never imagined you'd turn out to be like them, Anon. I saw in you a kindness and willing to learn and a sweetness that most humans did not display.
  1858. >That puts a halt to your pace and to your sarcastic tone
  1859. >"But just like them you've turned into a creature that breeds war"
  1860. "When you planted the seeds of destruction and deceit , I was what you reaped, Celestia."
  1861. "You see, when a human is pushed to their absolute limits, that is when we grow the most. But if you push us the wrong way, we push back"
  1862. "Honestly what did you expect me to think or do? give you a hug and tell you 'It's okay, I didn't like my people either'?"
  1863. "I may have had my qualms with a few but I would never wish for the destruction of them, just for justice and remorse to find them"
  1864. "I would have thought with all your teachings YOU would be the one to preach honesty and understanding, not me"
  1865. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1866.  
  1867. >Gazing out of one of the colourful stained glass windows to the setting sun you are lost in thought
  1868. "Did you ever even ...I mean, what was I to you?"
  1869. >Celestia's scowl fades from her face
  1870. "Was I just some sort of exotic pet you kept around to make yourself feel better? So you could lord over me and laugh behind my back?"
  1871. >Stepping forward from her throne she attempts to assuage you
  1872. >"Anon, I never thought of you like that. You were a dear and close friend to me"
  1873. "Is that why whenever you joined me on my investigations, you caused them to become fruitless efforts? Because there was never any hope of finding any other humans?
  1874. >A look of stunned shock shows in her eyes as she freezes in place
  1875. "I always knew Celestia, it was too much of a coincidence not to see the patterns."
  1876. >Her face contorts into a sadden grimace
  1877. >"I did what I thought was right Anon, I couldn't bear to watch you lose your mind."
  1878. >The room is still from the silence between you both
  1879. >Celestia has returned to staring at her hooves
  1880. >While you continue to gaze out the window
  1881. >A soft sound comes from your lips after a moment
  1882. "You know. There was a time when I would have laid down my life for you. To protect you, as you had protected me"
  1883. >Out of the corner of your eye you can see her head rise up to stare at you intently
  1884. "There would have been nothing in this world that would have stopped me from being by your side, till my time was done"
  1885. "I truly believed I could do that. I even thought I could learn to l..."
  1886. >You stop yourself from saying that word
  1887. "Such a notion would have been considered wrong on Earth"
  1888. >"Anon, we can still. There is still time to--"
  1889. >Cutting her off with unsheathing your sword
  1890. >The scraping noise inside the scabbard echoes throughout the room
  1891. >Your voice is grave and solemn
  1892. "Our time is done. I will do what I believe is right. I will unify this land and all who inhabit it. And I will end you. Draw, Celestia."
  1893. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1894.  
  1895. >Wiping her eyes clean of moisture her disposition turns serious
  1896. >"I too will do what I believe is right, Anon."
  1897. >Her horn glows a yellow gold aura coating and drawing a steel long sword from her side
  1898. >Its golden jeweled handle shines bright in the evening sun as she holds it in front of her
  1899. >Her blade has been pattern welded beautifully with the design of ripples on water
  1900. >Your insides feel twisted and your heart races but you move forward, iron grip on the handle of your own long sword
  1901. >Celestia does the same and approaches her face not changing from her determination
  1902. >Both of you swing your blades
  1903. >They connect and ring throughout the empty throne room
  1904. >The blades skim and kiss each other  
  1905. >As you whirl them through the air
  1906. >Singing their chorus song of combat
  1907. >The both of you swing the blades with such speed and ferocity and precision
  1908. >You make it look as graceful as a dance  
  1909. >Your styles are flawless
  1910. >Neither of you giving the other a chance to flourish
  1911. >Concentration fixes your stare on Celestia
  1912. >And hers fixes on you
  1913. >Travelling across the floor your reflections follow on the marble surface.
  1914. >Your mirrored selves do as you do
  1915. >Every swing, swipe and parry and thrust.
  1916. >Every step and turn and twirl.
  1917. >The flashes of steel bouncing the light of the sun creates sprites that whizz round the room
  1918. >Your blades slam into each other as you both push against them
  1919. >Both opposing forces lock your blades together
  1920. >Struggling to push the other of balance
  1921. "Your form is impeccable, Princess"
  1922. >A snarl snaps on her face
  1923. >Celesita runs her blade across yours to slice at your head
  1924. >Twisting the handle of your sword her edge misses by a hairs width and you return the favour
  1925. >Leaning forward your blade scrapes down her edge to her neck
  1926. >Only for her to twist her sword to pass the slice harmlessly through her flowing mane  
  1927. >And back into a clinch
  1928. >You suddenly start to cough as something invades your throat
  1929. >A black smoke has seeped into the throne room
  1930. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1931.  
  1932. >From the doors, the sound of the of the wood being pounded again and again comes from behind them
  1933. >"PRINCESS! PLEASE OPEN THE DOORS!"
  1934. >The lock and spear barring the door hold it shut
  1935. >Celestia glimpses at the doors before returning focus on you and the locked blades
  1936. >Celestia:"Shining, evacuate the palace immediately!"
  1937. >Shining:" OPEN THE DOORS!"
  1938. >Celestia pushes all of her weight into her blade and sends you back
  1939. >She then steps back away from you
  1940. >Holding her aura coated blade in the air
  1941. >You move to hound after her
  1942. >Celestia:"Leave Shining, evacuate the guards now! That's an order!"  
  1943. "I am hurt, Celestia!"
  1944. >Swinging your sword  to beat down against her
  1945. >Striking with both hands on your handle
  1946. >To smash her blade aside
  1947. "And here I thought, you would only make time for me!"
  1948. >Each blow with more force than the last
  1949. "This does put some strain on our relationship"
  1950. >Shining:"PRINCESS?!"
  1951. >Celestia:" GO, SHINING!"
  1952. >Parrying your strike
  1953. >She moves to swipe at you
  1954. >Catching it you both return to your life threatening sword dance
  1955. >The pounding on the door has ceased but the smoke still creeps through the cracks
  1956. >Both yours and her swings come in hard and fast
  1957. >No matter where you strike
  1958. >She reaches it
  1959. >Slicing up, you manage to scratch a pauldron
  1960. >After that her swings become more vicious
  1961. >You parry some
  1962. >Only for her sword to swing round again and again
  1963. >A bite at your unprotected shoulder
  1964. >Flinching from the pain you step away
  1965. >She presses as you do
  1966. >An over head cut comes down on you
  1967. >Catching it you deflect it to the side
  1968. >And back hand her with a fist
  1969. >She recoils turning away
  1970. >And her back legs kick out
  1971. >Stopping her armoured hooves with your sword
  1972. >The force knocks you down
  1973. >Sending your sword spinning
  1974. >You land of your back
  1975. >As a shadow looms
  1976. >Princess Celestia stands over you
  1977. >And thrusts the point of her sword down
  1978. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1979.  
  1980. >Within a beat you shift your head to the side
  1981. >The edge of her blade chinks against the marble
  1982. >With an arm you smack one of her forelegs out from under her
  1983. >Knocking her off balance
  1984. >As she comes down you tuck your legs under her belly
  1985. >Using what leg strength you have
  1986. >Pushing her off and over you
  1987. >Scrambling to your feet you scurry to your sword
  1988. >You roll into it and pick it up vaulting into a stance
  1989. >Celestia is already on her hooves and bearing down at you
  1990. >"I cannot let this continue."
  1991. >Her horn glows
  1992. >You are enveloped by her gold magic
  1993. >It lifts you off the ground
  1994. >Starting to hover up
  1995. >But slowly halt floating in the air as a pressure begins to squeeze at your body
  1996. >Celestia has clear strain on her face
  1997. >"I. Don't. Understand?"
  1998. "Allow me to educate you, Celestia"
  1999. >You shrug out of her magical grasp
  2000. >The magic dissipates around you and you land back on your feet
  2001. "I've been messing with black crystals for some years now"
  2002. >Celestia turns even more pale then her usual pearl coloured self when you mention black crystals
  2003. "And thanks to the diamond dogs relentless excavating and mining skills"
  2004. "I have managed to gather an ample supply to create a fabric with enough crystal shards woven into the seams to endure even your magic"
  2005. "I haven't perfected it yet, as you can see"
  2006. >You gesture to your scorched shoulder where some of the fabric of your long sleeve shirt has been singed away
  2007. "But it should be more than enough to negate your hold on me"
  2008. "Did you really think I would come here without planning for you to use your magic?"
  2009. >The black smoke thickens at your feet
  2010. "You should know me better Celestia"
  2011. >She lowers her head
  2012. "Ashamed, that your one strength can do nothing but slightly singe my clothes?"
  2013. >"No"
  2014. >Her horn glows once more
  2015. >"You did not cover your entire body "
  2016. >Your eyes widen from the realization
  2017. >As Celestia blasts an ethereal white bolt from her horn aimed at your head
  2018. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2019.  
  2020. >You move your arms to block the hit
  2021. >A burning heat strikes at your gauntlet vambrace
  2022. >Knocking you across the floor onto your back again
  2023. >The metal on your forearm corrodes to leave a hole
  2024. >Your arm feels like it's burning
  2025. >Your black crystal sleeve underneath is burnt and thin
  2026. >The doors suddenly burst open snapping the spear that barred it, in half
  2027. >A black billow of smoke crawls through
  2028. >Shining armour and the 4 elite guards pour through with it
  2029. >The scent of burning upholstery fills you lungs and stabs your nostrils
  2030. >Shining:"Princess, forgive me for disobeying but we must leave!"
  2031. >Wearing his signature custom purple gold steel armour, he looks to Princess Celestia
  2032. >His sight follows hers to find
  2033. >Shining:"You?!"
  2034. >His surprise at seeing you warrants a hostile low tone
  2035. "Hello Shiny, I was hoping for your head today"
  2036. >Vindictively you greet Shining Armor with a crooked smile  
  2037. >As you stand to your feet again holding your injured shaking arm close to your body
  2038. >The smoke catches round you appearing as if you wear a black cloak of haze
  2039. >Shining:"Your armies have abandoned you Anonymous, they are in full retreat. It's over, surrender  "
  2040. >Shining and the elite guard move to Celestia's side forming a line in front of her
  2041. >Their spears all lowered ready to charge into you at a moment's notice
  2042. >And Shining Armor's sword floats in the air surrounded by the violet aura of his horn
  2043. >Placing your head in your injured arm's hand you look as if you despair
  2044. >A chuckle escapes through your mouth
  2045. >The ponies all show a discomfort at your laugh
  2046. >All of them, except Celestia. Who still stares you down
  2047. >Shining:"You've lost Anonymous, you are outnumbered and your forces are gone."
  2048. >Stifling your laughter you speak
  2049. "No Shining, I have won."
  2050. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2051.  
  2052. >Shining gives you a incredulous look
  2053. >Shining:"What are you talking about? Have you gone mad?"
  2054. "Not quite yet, Shiny. You know, I'll never understand what Princess Cadence sees in you. I guess she likes em big and dumb"
  2055. >Shining looks as if he is about to charge you on his own when Celestia puts a hoof in front of him
  2056. >Celesita:"Anon, what have you done?"
  2057. "As sharp as ever, Celestia."
  2058. >Examining your arm where you were hit, you smile to yourself
  2059. >Your arm still has a searing heat from the blast. But its pleasing to know that the woven shard fibres hold up to testing.
  2060. >If you took a direct hit to any part of your body that wasn't covered, it would certainly mean an intense wound if not death  
  2061. >But something seems off, Luna's attacks melted your armour and scorched some of the fibre off
  2062. >Celestia's blast seems to have corroded the armour but has left the fibre intact if not slightly burnt
  2063. >Is she possible
  2064. >Holding back?
  2065. "My troops would not leave the fight unless they had good reason to. And defeat is not one of them"
  2066. >Shining snaps
  2067. >Shining:"Then why else would they run with their tails between their legs?!"
  2068. >A shit eating grin spreads across your face
  2069. >And a epiphany smacks Celestia's, as she whispers
  2070. >Celestia:"Luna..."
  2071. >She starts barking orders at her guard
  2072. >Celestia:" Shining, take the guard and tell all available pegasi that they must track down the opposing forces . But they are not to engage"
  2073. "It's too late Celestia, by now my riders will have already taken Luna in chains to our main camp."
  2074. "Even if you do manage to track them down, none of your ponies will be able to get within 100 miles of Luna"
  2075. >A hot flash of anger appears in Celestia's eyes
  2076. >Her horn begins to glow more heavily with aura
  2077. >She rears up and slams down on her forelegs releasing a huge shockwave of white from her horn
  2078. >You can do nothing as the force flings you from your feet
  2079. >Smashing into a stained glass window
  2080. >Your cheek has been sliced by a stray shard of glass
  2081. >As You fall
  2082. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2083.  
  2084. >The glass shards dazzle and shine as they fall with you
  2085. >You feel the impact of the ground
  2086. >But it envelopes you and you hold your breath without thinking
  2087. >Struggling to reach the surface, you are in a moat that runs around the upper palace level
  2088. >The current carries you as you breach and gasp for air
  2089. >Still clutching your sword
  2090. >Your armour is light, but not so light you can stay afloat
  2091. >You take a couple of gulps of moat water before you reach the bank
  2092. >Crawling onto dry land once more
  2093. >You spew up some of the water and take a quick glance around
  2094. >The current has swept you to the back of the long stretch of water gardens of the palace's cliff side
  2095. >A canal runs into the heart of the garden to a wide circular shallow pond
  2096. >It splits into many channels coursing through the gardens in spiral patterns  
  2097. >Weeping trees with pink blossom blooming, flowering dogwood and amur maples are dotted around
  2098. >Small shrubberies and flower beds of many colours are planted in the centre of the spirals of grass and water channels
  2099. >There is no time to admire their beauty as you are blown away by an explosive force from behind
  2100. >It throws you further onto the gardens grass and rolls you out of control
  2101. >Celestia has taken wing to the air and fires another bolt near you
  2102. >Clumps of dirt and water are sprayed across the beautiful garden and you with them
  2103. >Rolling to your feet you run to a nearby weeping tree as Celestia flies past on her spread open pearl wings  
  2104. >It gives you a chance to notice that the 4 elite guard are galloping from the back entrance of the palace into the gardens
  2105. >Shining is not with them
  2106. "Coward"
  2107. >The palace has plumes of black smoke rising from its west side and now through the throne room shattered window
  2108. >The guards draw closer and you stay by the tree to meet them.
  2109. >Staying under the shade as to deter Celestia from firing any more bolts and burning her garden along with her palace
  2110. >The guards encircle you, spears all pointed at your person
  2111. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2112.  
  2113. >This is not what you had planned for
  2114. >But you need to focus on your enclosing foes
  2115. "Okay colts...whenever you're ready?"
  2116. >Brandishing your long sword with both hands you take a wide stance
  2117. >You can't avert your eyes off this situation
  2118. >But knowing Celestia could swoop in at any given moment puts you on edge
  2119. >One of the guard to your left makes a lunge at you with his spear
  2120. >You smack it aside with your blade
  2121. >Turning to slap another spear from behind you
  2122. >Then another
  2123. >And another
  2124. >You turn with every motion of your sword
  2125. >Preventing any incoming points from piercing your blind spot
  2126. >You knock a spear down and stamp on it
  2127. >Breaking the head from the haft
  2128. >You let out a grunt from a dull pain that hits at the back of your thigh  
  2129. >Turning to see a spear
  2130. >It has punctured through your cuisse into your back leg
  2131. >Blood is trickling out and dripping from the incision  
  2132. >Swiping with your sword across the haft, you cut it just below the head of the spear
  2133. >The dull pain throbs into a more searing one
  2134. "You fucking little bastard!"
  2135. >You swing madly at the spears hovering near you
  2136. >Knocking them aside
  2137. >Spinning to the guard that got you
  2138. >He lowers his spike helmet
  2139. >Attempting to impale your stomach
  2140. >With you injured leg your knee catches under his chin
  2141. >And your sword swipes down to his neck
  2142. >It bites deep into his chainmail shirt
  2143. >Scarlet sprays fourth like a sprinkler as you wrench your blade back
  2144. >Another dull pain punches under your sword arm
  2145. >You let out a roar of anguish
  2146. >Grabbing hold of the haft
  2147. >Stopping it from pushing in further
  2148. >You snap the wood with your elbow
  2149. >And pull the rest of the broken haft out
  2150. >Its covered in a syrupy scarlet
  2151. >Your blood
  2152. >Eyes wide with fury you move to strike at the guard
  2153. >Celestia dives in with her armoured hooves out stretched
  2154. >Her heavy force slams into your back
  2155. >Sending you hurtling through the air
  2156. >Rolling with a thud into the circular shallow pond at the heart of the garden
  2157. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2158.  
  2159. >Celestia lands in front of you unsheathing her golden sword once more
  2160. >The remaining 3 elite surround you again
  2161. >2 now brandishing long swords with gold inlaid black handles and the other still carrying a spear
  2162. >You push yourself up to kneel
  2163. >Pulling out the head of the spear in your back leg you wince in pain and toss it aside
  2164. >Your wounds throb and pulse with a sharp pain
  2165. >As if they were being stabbed over and over again
  2166. >Blood dripping into the shallow waters from under your arm and leg
  2167. >Tired and struggling to catch your haggard breath
  2168. >You peer up at Celestia
  2169. >Her face shows a sad disdain looking down at you
  2170. >Through your panting your voice croaks
  2171. "Isn't this what you wanted Celestia?"
  2172. >Spit congregates in your mouth and you swallow
  2173. "Me, bending the knee like a good little pet?"
  2174. >Her bottom lip quivers and her eyes begin to form tears at the corners again
  2175. >Her once noble voice wobbles
  2176. >"It wasn't supposed to be like this..."  
  2177. >Rising you shakily stand to your feet grimacing  
  2178. >The puncture in the back of your leg sends a stab of pain down it as you put your weight on it
  2179. "And what was it supposed to be like, Celestia?"
  2180. >"I don't know anymore...but it wasn't this."
  2181. >You try to raise your sword
  2182. >The wound under your arm throbs harder complaining at the work of lifting the heavy blade
  2183. >"You were supposed to be better than them."
  2184. >Pissed off and fatigued you sharply rebuke her criticism
  2185. "That's what infuriates me even now. How self righteous you think you are. By what right do you judge an entire race!?
  2186. "Humanity may not have been perfect, but we always tried our best!"
  2187. "No matter how we stumbled, fell or strayed of the path. We would always pick ourselves back up and keep moving forward."
  2188. >As you step to her the guards step in closer as well
  2189. >Through a clenched jaw you speak partly out of anger and partly out of pain
  2190. "There were children on my planet, Celestia...babes that hadn't even said their first words or taken their first steps"
  2191. "And you took them."
  2192. >Your mouth turns into a frown as your chin scrunches and eyes well up
  2193. "You took them in fire, you took them all"
  2194. "I heard the wails of my friends and family as they burned alive. Their screams, will haunt me for as long as I live"
  2195. "Every time I close my eyes, I can see them"
  2196. "Yet you still spout nonsense about how my people were creatures of suffering and destruction! The only creature I see that fits that description..."
  2197. >You point the end of your sword at her
  2198. "Is you."
  2199. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2200.  
  2201. >Tears lightly tickle your cheeks anew as they race to your chin
  2202. >Celestia's purple eyes leak as a few drops of tears fall from her face
  2203. >The guards stand firm in their resolve to protect their Princess
  2204. >Though they seem disquieted by your speech
  2205. >"Please Anon, lay down your sword"
  2206. "Don't you get it? I will NEVER stop fighting you."
  2207. >Raising her sword she takes her stance
  2208. >"Anon, don't make me do this"
  2209. "Why not? ...Might as well finish what we started"
  2210. >You hardly have any strength left
  2211. >Tired and wounded  
  2212. >You take your stance
  2213. >...
  2214. >It is still for a moment
  2215. >Only the sound of water gentle running through the garden and your exasperated panting can be heard
  2216. >Your heart is pounding in your chest
  2217. >The orange orb in the sky slowly fading from sight on the horizon
  2218. >Wind gentle kisses at your cheek...one last time
  2219. >You step and swing in at Celestia
  2220. >The blades bounce off each other
  2221. >Pivoting on the balls of your feet
  2222. >Whacking away a spear from behind
  2223. >Gaining enough momentum to flourish an incoming sword swing
  2224. >And another
  2225. >Surrounded, you rebound your strikes of theirs
  2226. >Spinning and twirling your sword like a baton
  2227. >Changing hands
  2228. >Doing everything you can to stop from being struck
  2229. >You dance like a green ghost through their attacks
  2230. >Avoiding blows
  2231. >Splashes sound as you tread through the shallows of the pond
  2232. >Steel and wood being struck join in melody
  2233. >Moving your way further to the gardens edge
  2234. >Which looks out to Ponyville in the distance
  2235. >A slice at your arm spatters red onto the green grass
  2236. >You collect more cuts as you move
  2237. >Each one sending jolts of pain through you
  2238. >A spear thrusts from behind again
  2239. >Twirling on the wood, grabbing hold and pulling on its haft
  2240. >You snatch it free from its owner
  2241. >Slapping the guard in the helmet with the spear-butt
  2242. >A slice at your back cuts deep through your armour
  2243. >Crying out in agony, you fall slamming on your knees from the shock spike of pain
  2244. >From the cut a scarlet waterfall pours from your back
  2245. >"NO! Don't kill him!"
  2246. >Celestia shouts in protest
  2247. >Dropping the spear you collapse
  2248. >Catching yourself before you thud to the ground
  2249. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2250.  
  2251. >The guards back off
  2252. >All now brandishing swords
  2253. >The pain is unreal
  2254. >Every cut screams as your muscles spasm
  2255. >Your heart is hammering in your chest
  2256. >A feeling of wanting to throw up hits your stomach
  2257. >But all you can do is gasp and wheeze for air to comfort the burning in your throat
  2258. >All your armour feels to be pulling you down
  2259. >"We need him alive... to trade for my sister"
  2260. >Even now as you bleed, Celestia still plans on using you for her own gains
  2261. >Struggling to speak through your exhausted breaths
  2262. >Your voice is soft and low
  2263. "While I die, all you think of is how you can use me."
  2264. >Trying to rise to your feet again the guards move back in
  2265. >"No! stand down!"
  2266. >Celestia barks the order to her guards
  2267. >Using your sword as support
  2268. >You stand again, your legs threatening to give way from the strain
  2269. >"Anon...I will not let you die"
  2270. >Her voice seems to try and convey comfort
  2271. "You heartless witch...kill me..."
  2272. >"Anon, I beg you-"
  2273. >Celestia attempts to move to you
  2274. >And you take a swing wildly at the air in front of her
  2275. "KILL ME!"
  2276. >Blood and saliva escapes with your shout
  2277. >The weight of your sword staggers you backwards
  2278. >Your foot almost slips from under you
  2279. >Readjusting your footing you peer behind you
  2280. >Standing on the edge of a cliff
  2281. >The drop down is a long one
  2282. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2283.  
  2284. >"ANON!"
  2285. >You hold your sword out to stop her from moving closer
  2286. >A smile cracks on your tired face
  2287. >And a weary chuckle escapes you
  2288. "It seems like you won't finish me...too afraid to commit the total genocidal extinction of my species, huh?"
  2289. >Celestia pleas as you stare out into the abyss below
  2290. >"Anon, stop please! Get away from there!"
  2291. "I'm not going to let everything the dogs and minotaurs have fought for be for nothing! I will not be a bargaining chip for you to trade."
  2292. >Celestia's eye widen with fear
  2293. >"Anon...please...don't do it."
  2294. >Balancing along the edge of the cliff you smile back at the alicorn Princess
  2295. "Don't worry Celestia, I won't let you have the burden of wiping out a race...I wish you ...a long lasting life"
  2296. >Celestia's wide eyes well up and her lips turn down
  2297. "Goodbye...Celestia"
  2298. >Using the last of your strength you throw your sword at Celestia
  2299. >Her guards move in front of her path to block the incoming blade
  2300. >And her
  2301. >As you spread your arms out and fall backwards , allowing gravity to take you
  2302. >"NOOOOO!"
  2303. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2304.  
  2305. >Deafening roar of the wind rushes and sweeps past you
  2306. >The ledge you were on grows small quickly as a blip in the distance
  2307. >Your breathing is deep
  2308. >And your heart is leaping in your chest as if to try and escape your fate
  2309. >But you feel lighter than you have in ages
  2310. >You don't struggle
  2311. >Embracing the feeling
  2312. >Its almost liberating to know you don't have to fight anymore
  2313. >Your wounds have stopped crying in agony and now only tingle
  2314. >Everything you've done
  2315. >The creatures you've killed
  2316. >The things you've learned
  2317. >...The lines you've crossed
  2318. >Was it inevitable leading up to this moment?
  2319. >Droplets of tears leave you behind as you fall
  2320. >Gouge the marksman
  2321. >Oxalis hoof
  2322. >Your riders
  2323. >Your friends
  2324. >Your family
  2325. >You would be meeting them soon
  2326. >And even
  2327. "Wait for me, Serend..."
  2328. >Closing your eyes
  2329. >You accept what will meet you at the bottom
  2330. >...
  2331. >...
  2332. >...
  2333. >A black envelopes you
  2334. >...
  2335. >Its...
  2336. >Wet?
  2337. >And smells?
  2338. >Opening your eyes
  2339. >You can see a vibrant pink tongue?
  2340. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2341.  
  2342. >You stay like this for what seems like hours
  2343. >Unsure of what's happening you remain still
  2344. >Before you are spat up and placed on the ground gentle
  2345. >Strands of long saliva stick to you and your armour
  2346. >Its dark
  2347. >Night has taken cast its veil on the land and the scattered twinkling stars are the only lights to greet you
  2348. >A large head prods at your chest and a tongue lashes and laps at your cuts
  2349. >It stings but your too tired to fight back at the damp assault
  2350. "...Silpheed?"
  2351. >The large head turns to show you a orange eye gleaming at you , inspecting you
  2352. >Silpheed had returned
  2353. >She must have caught you in the air as you careened to what you thought was your end
  2354. >Soft and wearily you speak to your rescuer
  2355. "You stupid lizard...you really don't listen do you?"
  2356. >She inhales through her nostrils and laps at your face more
  2357. "What the fuck do you think you're doing? Are you planning on eating me?"
  2358. >You let out a fatigued laugh as she pushes her head against you
  2359. "Alright. Okay ahaha. Stop now . Ahahah st- hahaha stop , Silpheed. Si- Silpheed! Knock it off!"
  2360. >Snapping you push her head aside and she stops but continues to look you up and down
  2361. "Jeeeesus!...control yourself"
  2362. >Taking a break from the tongue bath you look to your surroundings
  2363. >Night has shrouded all and you can recognise no land marks
  2364. >All you can tell is that you are in a wide meadow
  2365. >Exhuasted you lie down on your back
  2366. >The light impact reminds you of the gaping wound you collected
  2367. >To add injury to insult Silpheed rests her head on your belly
  2368. >Her heavy head weights you down on the wound
  2369. >As you look at the billions of stars in the sky
  2370. >You quietly whisper to yourself
  2371. "I'm sorry. I was not strong enough. Wait a little longer for me, will you?"
  2372. >A shooting star zooms through the blue dark sky
  2373. "I promise...I  will keep fighting..."
  2374. >With that you grab onto Silpheed's head
  2375. >She raises you up and curves her neck to sit you on her saddle
  2376. >Locking yourself into the holster sluggishly you fall back to rest
  2377. >Silpheed takes to the skies and soars off into the dark blue beyond
  2378. >The stars watching over you
  2379. >That will keep you to your promise
  2380. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  2381.  
  2382. >"And that my pups is the tale of General Anonymous, the last human in Equestria. Whom helped unite this land we live in today."
  2383. >An old dog sits in a quaint wooden chair within the confines of a cosy cottage
  2384. >On the wall hangs a old ragged shield with a sigil of a green serpent devouring a red sun on a field of dark azure
  2385. >In a bed lies three little pups
  2386. >"Granpa Obie, is that the end of the story?"
  2387. >The old dog strokes his grey beard and raises a bushy brow to show a green eye
  2388. >Obie:"Hmmm?"
  2389. >A small little pup with brown and white fur sits up in his bed
  2390. >Brown pup:"I mean is that it? General Anonymous never got his revenge?"
  2391. >Obie:" You wanted a tale of revenge did you?"
  2392. >Another little pup in a coat of dark grey also sits up
  2393. >Grey pup: "Well, yeah? I mean I thought that's what Anonymous wanted! But he never got even close to defeating Princess Celestia!"
  2394. >Obie:"And supposing he did get his revenge? He would have killed the one creature in this world that controls our sun, the very thing we use to grow life on this land"
  2395. >The old dog stands from his chair to re-tuck the pups back into their bed
  2396. >Obie:"And if he had succeeded in his plan my grandfather, your great, great grandfather would not have been able to make Celestia sign the treaty to allow equal rights and rule for all creatures in Equestira "
  2397. >Obie:"We would not live in the world we live in now where all creatures are treated with respect and equality, regardless of their species"
  2398. >A little black pup squeaks from under her covers
  2399. >Black pup: "Granpa, how do you know all this? Even the parts you weren't there for?"
  2400. >Obie:" I was  there for some of it and Anonymous himself told me of his trials and tribulations, in later years he and I became very good friends. Now then, it is late and it's time for bed"  
  2401. >Obie rises again and goes to close the white wooden door of the pups bedroom behind him
  2402. >Black pup:"Granpa?"
  2403. >Obie stops before closing the door
  2404. >Obie:"Hmmm? Yes?"
  2405. >Black pup:" Did Anonymous ever come back?"
  2406. >The old dog smiles from under his grey beard
  2407. >Obie:"He did my sweetling, but that is a tale, for another time....."
  2408.  
  2409. End?
  2410. (Continues to next story WiC: Court of Changelings currently W.I.P/On hold)
War Canterlot

War in Canterlot by Viridiansteel

by VinylSS