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The Warrior's Garden

By PoppedAnon
Created: 2023-09-05 20:51:42
Updated: 2023-09-05 21:11:49
Expiry: Never

  1. >The familiar roar of pain and disbelief reverberates in your ears before it is silenced by a horn through it's jaw.
  2. >Now quiet you can hear the super-chaingun rev up and you run to cover, being a small hill of corpses.
  3. >You don't know how long you've been in Hell, but you do know that your rage hasn't abated even slightly.
  4. >You throw a random demon's corpse at the mechanized spider demon and without hesitating run out of the opposite side of the pile and charge the thing.
  5. >In a second it realizes it's mistake and in that same second you are already upon it, rage turning your hands into the most deadly weapons in this realm.
  6. >Your ammo is long gone, but it doesn't matter.
  7. >You are tireless, and you've finally found the true leader of this place.
  8. >"So, you've managed to get this far. I'm not surprised, you were always very capable." says the familiar voice of Samuel Hayden.
  9. >Though you only worked with him when he showed you the means of killing more demons, you never trusted him and he was never a friend.
  10. >It's been years since your first encounter but despite him putting on the face of helping humanity, you could feel the lies and the taint when you first heard his name.
  11. >Doctor Samuel Hayden, three sixes.
  12. >Even his name, S. Hayden, marks him.
  13. >But it doesn't matter, you rip the chaingun off of the dead demon, and manage to find a few shotgun shells
  14. >They won't last long, but anything that kills demons is good in your eyes.
  15. >You walk into the ziggurat, that is besieged by the wraiths that you set free all those years ago.
  16. >Every demon that would be deployed to stop you are already dead
  17. >"I've already ceased all demonic attacks on humanity, so why do you still come? Why do you still rage?"
  18. >You walk through the melted doors into the antechamber and make your way upward.
  19. >There is the odd demon cowering or fleeing.
  20. >You make sure they don't escape.
  21. >As you reach the uppermost chamber you see him
  22. >"Is it because of, her?" he asks
  23.  
  24. >There she was, whole and unhurt.
  25. >Looking around frightened by everything around her.
  26. >"If you fight me, I very well may fall. I've seen you work, and I'm not so arrogant to think I cannot fail. But that won't bring anyone back, turn around and I can begin my work to do just that. Starting with her." he says
  27. >She floats in a sphere of red energy, desperately trying to flee.
  28. >For a moment you are tempted, but you aren't a fool.
  29. >You feel her foot against your chest, the one that you kept to remind yourself that the most innocent are the first to be taken, the first to be defiled.
  30. >The first to be corrupted.
  31. >You level your only working weapon and shoot the rabbit before charging Hayden.
  32. >It screams an unholy roar as it is blasted apart.
  33. >"I did not think that would fool you, but I had hoped that it would make you hesitate longer."
  34.  
  35. >You empty the chaingun into his armor, doing little but enough.
  36. >Dodging all matter of hellish blasts you plant the barrel of the old but still reliable shotgun at the small break in his armor and fire.
  37. >"Aaaah! If you kill me, another will take my place. One who isn't intent on sparing humanity!"
  38. >You discharge the spent shells and slam in two more in an instant and fire again, before he has time to retaliate.
  39. >He swipes at you, and you jump back. Avoiding the blow and the explosion of energy with it.
  40. >The splintering cracks are now a gaping hole pouring blood and argent energy.
  41. >You do what you always do and shoot the glowing bit until the demon falls.
  42. >"Even now, I know I cannot kill you," Something from behind you pulls hard. "But I cannot have you stop what I have wrought."
  43. >The blood does not stop, at all. He is dying, but you want to be sure.
  44. >You ignore whatever is trying to interfere, reload and fire at Hayden again.
  45. >"Argh! I will settle for a tie. Humanity will have it's Argent Energy, and you will have a hell you cannot escape from. A hell you cannot fight."
  46. >"Farewell, we won't see each other again."
  47.  
  48. >What is pulling on you gives a final powerful tug and you are pulled through a portal.
  49. >The last thing you see before it closes is Hayden's head fall upon the floor.
  50. >The flaming sky you had grown accustomed to is replace by a typical blue one.
  51. >Fluffy clouds pass you as you fall.
  52. >You turn in the air to see where you are falling to.
  53. >It seems to be a forest on the edge of a small hamlet.
  54. >For the first time in years, you don't hear screaming, roaring, or burning.
  55. >For the first time in years you don't smell rot or brimstone.
  56. >As you near the forest floor you activate your jump boots to ease the landing.
  57. >You land quietly, with only the crunching of leaves and twigs to announce your presence.
  58. >You look around, but can only see trees and grass. Can only hear the singing of birds, and the scampering of squirrels.
  59. >Still, you hold your shotgun at the ready and move forward.
  60.  
  61. >You are Twilight Sparkle, and you've received a letter.
  62. >A dire one if the hastily written horn-writing is to be judged.
  63. Twilight Sparkle, gather the Elements of Harmony and meet Luna and I at the edge of the Whitetail woods. A magic blacker than any seen on Equestria has opened a portal and a creature passed through. Discord has been deployed to ensure that another will ever open, and the mayor has already been alerted to evacuate the citizens to city hall. This is urgent. Signed, Princess Celestia.
  64. >"But I haven't gotten the pinchie knee that tell me of something scary happening. Buuuut I did get a doozy and I might need to throw a welcome to Ponyville party!"
  65. I don't think anything that uses "magic blacker than any seen on Equestria" is going to be interested in parties, or being friends.
  66. >"Well whatever it is, I'm glad Celestia had the foresight to keep the stallion-folk safe. I hope we can handle it. I admit I'm worried, sugarcube."
  67. >"Hmph! There is nothing to worry about, we have the elements and the princesses will be there! We will route whatever ruffian we face!"
  68.  
  69. >"Yeah, just point us at the butt we have to kick, Twi!"
  70. >"I don't know, if it's enough to have the princess worried, we should be careful."
  71. Good point, Flutterhsy. Ladies, we have our tasks. With the princesses by our sides, I just know we'll be alright.
  72. >You then turn to your number one assistant.
  73. Spike, I need you to go to city hall wit the rest of the civilians. I won't hear any argument.
  74. >"I didn't plan on arguing, this sounds serious. I mean not even Discord is popping in to joke around. I'll be safe Twilight."
  75. >He reaches up to give you a hug, that the rest of the girls share with him, before he runs out of the castle.
  76. >"Don't worry, Twilight. Spikey is very resilient for a colt. He'll be alright."
  77. Thanks, Rarity. Ok, let's go girls.
  78.  
  79. >You've been walking for a while now, but nothing seems out of the ordinary.
  80. >The deer, the squirrels, the birds. All of them were just normal animals.
  81. >The water was so clear and clean you could see the bottom.
  82. >Your suit said it was 100% pure and safe to drink, and it was the best tasting thing to pass your lips in ages.
  83. >You walked in the direction of the town, being slower than usual and enjoying the peace despite yourself.
  84. >Still you eventually reach the forest's edge, where strangely colored horses are lined up.
  85. >And a couple are flying.
  86. >You grasp your shotgun, but don't make any moves.
  87. >They don't seem demonic, and them not making any moves feeds into them not being demonic.
  88. >"You can smell the taint on him, can't you sister?" the blue one said.
  89. >"The air of the realm father fought is thick upon him, as is the stench of blood." white replied.
  90. >Their horns charged with energy.
  91. >It felt so different than what you were used to that you almost ignored it.
  92. >If Argent energy felt like a blazing inferno this was a hot summer day, and a cold winter night.
  93. >By their words, and reactions you knew.
  94. >They thought you were the demon, and had the right response.
  95. >So you do something you haven't done in ages.
  96. >Ran.
  97.  
  98. >They gave chase, and you dodged their blasts same as you had done before, but you could't raise your weapon to them.
  99. >To do so would be to do what Hayden wanted.
  100. >You are no innocent, but you aren't so damned that you'd take the lives of those who are.
  101. >Soon though, the option won't be yours to make. Even though the woods prevent them from flying they can keep pace with you, and a few more have joined them.
  102. >So you decide on a half measure, as you pass a tree you fire your shotgun into it and pull it down.
  103. >It doesn't make much of a barrier, but it does slow them enough for you to escape their sight.
  104. >Once you do, you book it. Sharp turn from your original path, jump boots used every step of the way.
  105. >The woods become darker, but soon you clear them too, and find yourself at a cottage.
  106. >It's small, but you see wildlife all around it so it must be abandoned.
  107. >First you make use of the river outside of it to clean your armor somewhat.
  108. >You don't dare take it off though.
  109. >You go inside taking care not to step on any critter caught in your path
  110.  
  111. >A white rabbit stares at you for a while, nose twitching.
  112. >In a bit of nostalgia you take one finger and rub the top of it's head, like you did for Daisy.
  113. >It looks like it's ready to bite you at first, but even a wild rabbit like this appreciates a good scratch.
  114. >Soon though it hops out through a small hole in the building, but another takes it's place.
  115. >In a matter of time you're surrounded by animals looking for pats and scratches.
  116. >You laugh, and give them their fill.
  117. >However, you realize that you only bathed in the river so the trail will still lead them here if they follow their noses.
  118. >So you get back on your feet and leave the cottage, towards the town. Hoping that you can either show you aren't a demon or at least shake the pursuers who've only seen you in the woods.
  119.  
  120. >You are Fluttershy.
  121. >And Ms. Robin did see somepony matching the description you gave her.
  122. Thank you very much, I'll make sure to give Mr. Robin extra feed tonight.
  123. >She chirps her reply, and where she saw her before flying off.
  124. >You turn to your friends, and princesses.
  125. Oh dear. Ms. Robin said that she saw the monster go toward my house, we have to hurry! All of my animal friends are in danger!
  126. >You don't wait for them to reply, and instead of using your aching legs you take wing and navigate the forest between you and your home
  127. Don't worry Mama's coming.
  128.  
  129. >You exit the forest and see everything in it's place
  130. >Barry Bear waves at you, and you fly over to him.
  131. >He growls out that he was scared when the monster went into your house, but nocritter was hurt.
  132. Thank Celestia.
  133. >"Yes, Fluttershy?" the very mare asks, not far behind you.
  134. U-um, Barry says that the monster took a bath and went into my home for a while, probably to rest, but it soon left.
  135. >"That's it? What's the deal with this monster? First it runs away then it takes a bath and has a nice nap? What is it, a stallion?!"
  136. >"Loyalty has a point, sister. Father described those monsters as ruthless, fearless, and reveling in brutality, destruction, and death. All that this creature has hurt so far has been a tree.
  137. >Maybe she is a nice monster.
  138. >"Well, princess, the bear said that she left so it probably scampered back into the woods." Applejack then turns toward you, "Fluttershy ask some critters around her if they saw where done she run off to."
  139.  
  140. >You nod and fly to your house where you see Angel Bunny jumping up and down trying to get your attention.
  141. What is it Angel? Did you see the monster?
  142. >She chittered out about how the creature not only did no animal harm, but was the best head scratcher most of them had ever seen.
  143. >Not only was she not a monster, she had a good heart.
  144. >"Well, Fluttershy what does he say?" Twilight asks.
  145. Girls, I think that we may have been all wrong here.
  146.  
  147. >The town was empty.
  148. >Maybe the big horses got the word out, because the houses looked lived in, and the streets looked like they were recently used but there wasn't any other being in sight.
  149. >There were apple carts, a bakery, even a store filled with nothing but couches and writing quills.
  150. >Soon you were in what looked like the city center.
  151. >You approached the largest building, before the doors opened up and a small blue horse walked out.
  152. >"Y-you will go no further, monster! For I, the Great and Powerful Trixie, will see to the safety of our stallions, and children!" she proclaimed.
  153. >This is where they all were hiding.
  154. >From you.
  155. >She fired a small ball of pink energy at you and it splashed against your suit like a water balloon.
  156. >The suit didn't even register it as an impact.
  157. >She's terrified, but still standing firm.
  158. >You approach slowly and crouch until you are as close to eye level as you can get with the small horse.
  159. >You reach under her chin and give it a gentle scratch.
  160. >For a moment you can feel her quivering before it relaxes as she understands that you don't mean any harm.
  161. >Her tongue lolls out before she pulls it back in and hums in contentment
  162. >You then reach up and stroke her head, careful not to muss her mane.
  163. >When your hand returns to your side, she is smiling widely at you.
  164. >You're smiling too.
  165. >"I-is it safe?" you hear another feminine voice ask.
  166. >You look up to see a tiny white horse poking her head out of the building.
  167. >"Sweetie Belle, get back inside! Princess Celestia said that the monster is extremely dangerous!" you hear an older voice cry out from inside.
  168. >"But she's just patting Ms. Trixie." the horse replies, green eyes trained on you.
  169.  
  170. >She mutters that she's a brave mare before leaving the safety of the building.
  171. >He big eyes stay on you as she approaches.
  172. >"Hello, my name is Sweetie Belle. I don't think you're mean Ms. Monster, just...big."
  173.  
  174. >You are Sweetie Belle.
  175. >And you think you may have been lying when you said you were a brave mare
  176. Hello, my name is Sweetie Belle. I don't think you're mean Ms. Monster, just...big."
  177. >She doesn't have a face, her skin is like super hard and scratched all over, and you think she has a minotauren boomstick.
  178. >Her head turns toward you, black featureless face studying you intently.
  179. >You should've listened to Mayor Mare.
  180. >Her hand leaves her side and curls up into a tight ball that she holds in front of you.
  181. >For a second you're scared of being struck, but she just holds it there.
  182. O-oh!
  183. >You announce as you figure out her intentions.
  184. >You pull in your left hoof a bit to balance, and lift your right.
  185. >You then bump her curled hand with your hoof.
  186. >The hand opens back up rapidly, like an explosion
  187. Boom!
  188. >Then the fingers wiggle as she draws them back to her
  189. >"Sweetie Beeeeeele!" you hear your sister screech.
  190. >Now you're scared again, but only because you may end up grounded.
  191. >She gallops to you, looking scared herself
  192. >She must think that Ms. Monster is still mean.
  193. Rarity! She's nice, she didn't hurt anypony at all. Show her Ms. Monster.
  194. >As Rarity reaches your side, she lowers herself to look around you. Seeing that you aren't hurt she turns to Ms. Monster.
  195. >"Thank Harmony, between the letter and that weapon you used to in the forest well...just thank Harmony.
  196. Rarity look, do the thing Ms. Monster!
  197. >"Trust her, the Great and Powerful Trixie was mere moment's away from unleashing her full magical might before 'Ms. Monster' showed her kindness." her voice then got a little low, "You'll never go back to Aloe and Lotus again."
  198.  
  199. >You are Rarity.
  200. >And before you can react "Ms. Monster" as she's been named already has a hand scratching behind your ear.
  201. >Oh no.
  202. >Without thinking you lean into it, begging for more attention like Opal on her affectionate days.
  203. >Then the creature opens it's hand and gently strokes your face.
  204. >Carefully avoiding mussing your mane, carefully avoiding mussing your makeup, and even avoiding your false eyelashes.
  205. >She then strokes your cheeks massaging the muscles in your jaw with two digits
  206. >She concludes it by rubbing underneath your chin.
  207. >And supports your head, because if she didn't you would be laying down in the dirt
  208. Darling, either you're male, or Rainbow was right about me.
  209. >You hear Sweetie Belle laugh, but you don't care.
  210. >Bliss.
  211. >You've found it in the hand of a monster.
  212. >"Well my little ponies, it seems that I was mistaken. When the portal opened up I assumed one of it's denizens had sent a scout to our world, but you have nothing in common with the demons my father fought."
  213. >At the word demons, the fingers holding you become stiff, and slowly release you.
  214. >You see the green clad being stand and turn toward Princess Celestia.
  215. >"I now believe you, like my father, are one who fights those low monsters."
  216. >You see her nod firmly, those same gentle hands that gave you such relief close and tighten into fierce weapons.
  217. >Princess Luna steps forward as well.
  218. >"Our noble father, single hoofedly fought off their last incursion. And banished every single demon to the last. The scar of that great conflict remains, it is now known as Tartarus. Since then not another demon has trod upon Equestria."
  219. >Her ears lower, obviously remembering something painfful.
  220. >"Like all stallions, his first instinct was the protection of his foals. And all of Equestria are his daughters and sons. Though he was lost to us. So too is the demon's ability to trespass."
  221. >"We feared he had finally fallen when you arrived, but Father's protective magic holds true to this day."
  222.  
  223. >You clench your fists even harder. Hayden had sent you here, hoping your rage would have you tear through this world, and its people.
  224. >Horses.
  225. >You regard the large white one, and she sees past your helmet.
  226. >She looks directly into your eyes.
  227. >"If, like my father you wish to continue the fight, then I cannot aid you."
  228. >Your eyes widen as she continues.
  229. >"Father's magic shields and isolates Equestria. To attempt to open a portal back will expose us all to demonic invasion. I would see the death of my sun before I would allow that!"
  230. >She's determined, nothing you do or say would sway her.
  231. >Good.
  232. >However, your work was still unfinished. So long as even one demon drew breath....
  233. >"We see thy, ahem, your rage. We know it is righteous, but it will find no outlet here. If there is any peace to be found warrior, find it in our father's final edict to those who chose to fight alongside him."
  234. >At once both the white and blue horses closed their eyes and spoke.
  235. >"We fight against weeds in our garden. They seek to spread themselves while choking the life out of all else. We will not allow them purchase in our soil, we will not allow them to wilt one flower. We will pull them out by the roots to the last, using our teeth if we have to. We will rip and tear, until it is done. And once it is done, those of us left will return and bask in the beauty of the flowerbed we preserved."
  236.  
  237. >They opened their eyes, now shining with tears.
  238. >The white one was the first to speak.
  239. >"Warrior, it is time to bask. Though it isn't your flowerbed, it is one that you have no doubt aided during your fight. Even if we may have been ignorant of it."
  240. >You feel a warmth on you shin.
  241. >The tiny white horse is leaning on you, the warmth of her hoof getting through to you.
  242. >"You never told me your name Ms. Monster."
  243. >You feel a similar warmth in your chest.
  244. >Reaching up, you grab and pull off your helmet.
  245. Hello, Sweetie Belle. My name is-
  246.  
  247. >You send out the pulse of Argent energy.
  248. >Every single demon remaining will rally to the ziggurat, in obedience
  249. >Where the vengeful wraiths will wipe them out.
  250. >The synthetic energy made by the Crucible can be produced without leaving Earth or Mars vulnerable to demonic invasion.
  251. >After all, once the wraiths are finished, there will be no demons to invade
  252. >You did all you did, for the benefit of humanity. Though you accept that the portion of your brain you cut out may have affected what methods you took.
  253. >Allowed you to accept far more losses in life than you should have.
  254. >You deserve this, you realize.
  255. >Laying in a pool of blood, body desperately trying to last a bit longer.
  256. >Give your mind a few more moments.
  257. >You send out one last pulse, and you feel nothing in response.
  258. >They came, and fell
  259. It is done.
  260. >This structure may survive for a time, but you'll be dead soon enough.
  261. >Dead alongside everything else in Hell, except for the soon to be sated wraiths.
  262. >You didn't eliminate evil from the world, or usher humanity into an eternal golden age.
  263. >But hopefully in the long run, you will have done more positive than negative.
  264. >Even if you had to watch as many innocents die, maybe this is enough
  265. >There will never be another invasion, there will never be another demon.
  266. >You feel your thoughts slow, the strain of holding your breath despite decades of having lost the capacity.
  267. It is done.
  268. >The corpses will be burned to dust, so will the bones, no doubt only the remains of the titan's battle will be preserved to show any who trespass his heroism.
  269. It is done.
  270. The optical feed continues to show you the floor, but you feel your ability to process it fading.
  271. >The harsh orange rock fading, pitch blackness closing around it
  272. >You didn't leave anything undone, no information to exploit, no way to create new demons even a million years from now.
  273. I am done.
  274. >Your vision has gone completely black.
  275. Please, tell me I've done enough.
  276. >...
  277. >...
  278. >...
  279. >You see a white light.
  280.  
  281. >Before you could finish your introduction you saw a small note in your helmet.
  282. >You pick it up and see a scribble of a strange snake with a goat's head and mismatching parts, above some crayon-written text.
  283. >"Hi, my name is Discord. I'm Fluttershy's friend, and the others' I guess. Please don't kill me when you see me. That will make Fluttershy sad. She's the yellow one with the bunnies, so if you want a pet she's the one to talk to. Aren't I helpful?"
  284. >"Please don't kill me Signed Discord."
  285. What's a Discord?
  286. >Like the note said the yellow one, Fluttershy is the first to speak up.
  287. >"Well, s-sir, Discord is my friend. He looks strange-"
  288. >"And acts strange," the blue one says interrupting.
  289. >"B-but he isn't a demon or anything so nasty. He's a draconequus and though he still has some ways to go, he's become a really good friend."
  290. >"You sure he isn't one of those 'demon' things?" the blue one asked again.
  291. >"Loyalty, if you saw the lowest demon committing their tamest acts, you would have night terrors for decades." the larger blue one said, firmly.
  292. >"Whatever Discord may have done in the past, whatever he may do to you and your friends, he was never the greatest evil on Equestria. And not even that great evil could be called a demon. To do so would both vastly underplay the threat of demons and the sacrifice of Father and Mother" the white one said, sounding like a disappointed father.
  293. >"Never. Never jest about demons, Rainbow Dash." the blue one finished.
  294.  
  295. >So Discord isn't a demon, nor works with demons.
  296. >Don't see why he was so worried about me hurting him.
  297. What is a draconequus? Does it look like a demon? He seems afraid that I would slay him in this letter.

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