Sorry about taking so long on the update guys! Writer’s block + Vacation don’t mix very well, especially when coupled with trying to run a radio show. Oh well, I’ll stop rambling and let you read the chapter. Enjoy!
The voices of his father and a hissing creature were lost to him, quickly replaced by the noises of howling wind and crackling fire. Even from behind his closed lids, he recognized the green fire that his father makes from his horn. The warm washed over his skin, licking up and down its surface like he was an old friend. He tried to open his eyes, to see the fire that caressed his body in a loving embrace, but they would not open. Instead of moving his eyes, he tried to move his hooves, pushing at the prison that held him still. The walls of his mind seemed as strong as ever, resisting every effort of his to shatter them.
The fire spoke to him softly, whispering words that seemed as if they were just out of hearing. He strained to focus on the sounds, to understand the secrets of the flames. Only syllables came to him, small snippets of a word that faded out before it was completed. The walls of unconsciousness prevented him from reaching towards the words, their sweet sounds beckoning to him from outside. He pushed harder against the unyielding walls, pounding at them with his non-existent hooves. The heat on his body grew, scorching his body as his mind screamed in protest. The words that were whispered were now shouted as the fire roared in his ears. NO HOPE! NO ESCAPE! NO MERCY!
With an agonized scream, Phoenix shoved once more against the wall, the material it was made from shattering into thousands of separate fragments. As each of these shards touched the ground, they disappeared with a hissing noise, sinking into whatever he was standing on. The wind stopped rushing, now blowing lightly over his body and easing the pain of his burns. The flames had disappeared, but their pain lingered and throbbed in time with his beating heart. Though their source was gone, he could still hear the words being whispered lightly in his ear. No hope. No escape. No mercy.
“It appears that Shade was successful.” The voice, which sounded like the edge of a hoof being drawn across a chalkboard, cut through the whispers and echoed against the walls of his mind. The sounds of hooves on stone moved closer to him, making his heart race with every passing second.
“Looks like it, but is he alive?” A hoof nudged into his side and as much as he tried to suppress it, a whimper came from within his throat. “Oh he is. Little thing was playin’ dead.” The hoof returned, this time with much more force behind it. He groaned as the jagged hoof connected, leaving small cuts in the burned skin that only added to the pain. The other voice, a low gravelly tone, laughed cruelly as the hoof kicked again.
“All right, let’s take him to the cell. Stand on your hooves hybrid.” Another hoof dug into his side, pushing him to stand. Once on his own legs, he stumbled into the changeling who had spoken, earning a shove that sent his head into the black granite. More laughter came from the other guard, who hooked his hoof around Phoenix’s neck and dragged him around to stand in front of them.
“Cmon now, move.” Another shove propelled him down the darkened hall, where the air was damp and cold. He shivered as they pushed him further along, the air growing colder to the point where it misted the air in front of him. Without warning, they pushed him into a side corridor and stopped. When he heard their hooves halt, he turned around to look at them fearfully. “Enjoy your stay little thing.” Both of their horns lit with green fire, casting bars of flame to cage him inside the room. Their laughter echoed in the cells as they walked away, and soon he was left with nothing but the fire whispering it’s words in his ears. No hope. No escape. No mercy.
A wind blew over her town. Funny, how ever since she became the captain of the Night Guard, she thought of the little village as ‘hers’. She shivered as it passed through the street she had been walking down, her hooves faltering as her body shuddered out of her control. The gusts carried debris along, throwing it into whatever stood in its way; Bright Light was no exception. She cast a small shield spell to block most of the larger objects like the small stones and newpapers, but it didn’t prevent the tiny particles of dirt from hitting her. She winced as the small objects cut into her coat, pelting her body with tiny attacks that would no doubt leave red marks of irritated skin behind.
Oh thank Celestia that my shift is almost over. I hope that filler gets here soon. I’d hate to have to chew somepony out again. Oh wait, no I wouldn’t, because he’d deserve it. She raised a hoof to smother her small giggle as she thought about it. Oh! I could have him explain to Cherish why I couldn’t come and visit. She put her hoof back onto the ground and sighed, wincing at the occasional impact from the debris on her shield. I certainly feel sorry for those of the Night Guard who can’t make shields. They must be get- Just as she thought that, the wind died instantly, practically dropping whatever had been inside of it to the ground the next second. That’s odd, usually it takes a bit for a wind like that to die down.
She let her shield down and continued walking along the dimly lit street, her horn providing the light that illuminated it. She looked side to side, only slightly looking out for any suspicious creatures lurking in the night. She felt something bubble up in her chest, and put a hoof to her mouth to stifle a loud yawn. As much as I do this, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. She reached the end of the road and scanned down the streets that branched out from the intersection. After nodding to herself, she turned around to make her way back down her assigned road. Another gust of wind smacked her in the face, spinning her on her hooves and pushing her down another path. Her world spun on its axis as she sat down hard, holding her head in her hooves. “Oh Celestia my head.”
A sudden crash made her shoot up with alarm, her dizziness instantly obliterated with the sudden shock. Her hooves clicked on the cobblestones as she galloped towards the source of the noise, using her horn to cast the occasional obstruction out of the way with a magical wall of force. The wind howled in her ears and made her eyes water as she ran, but she kept pushing forward. Being captain of the Night Guard meant she was responsible for watching out for the ponies of the town, and she wasn’t one to shrug off duty. She skid to a halt in the middle of another intersection, her head cocked sideways as she listened for another crash. Sure enough, another sound pierced the night and she continued down the road to her left. The hospital!
She stumbled as the white building came into view, panic momentarily taking her mind away from her grasp as she looked at the large hole in the building’s wall. Shaking her head, she picked her way along the broken stones to peer inside the dark room, her horn casting a small amount of light into it. The outline of a body was revealed with her light, another form bending over it and shivering lightly. She stepped over the broken debris, slowly approaching the two figures. Her eyes searched along the floor as she went and she froze as they passed over a hoof and a wing that would have belonged to a changeling. She pulled her head upward to stare at the two ponies that were in the room, trotting over to them wordlessly as she approached. She lifted the black changeling onto the couch and pulled her sister into a hug. “Hush, little sister, I’m here.”
“They got him. They took Phoenix. They took my baby from me.” Cherish’s voice soon lost coherence as she broke down into wordless sobs. Bright Light hugged her tighter and brushed her sister's mane with a trembling hoof, her eyes passing over Needle’s unmoving body as the wet tears stained her coat.