I stood there, looking up at the electronic billboard that would reveal the names of the selected fighters, the blackness of it's background revealing no part of the selector's cruelty. It's been one year since he took over as ruler of the dimensions, the only four ones that had life on them, that is. My eyes observed every little fact to be seen from the billboard. It named the four dimensions in order their fighters would be selected. Five white letters, spelling out the word EARTH shot onto the unimportant background. After three seconds, more letters began to flow onto the screen. Once the dimension was named, I remembered the actual chances of anyone from Earth winning this. Minecraftia is full of warriors that always know what to do in a fight, how can anyone on Earth combat them...? The next set of letters raced onto the screen below Minecraftia, revealing an unfamiliar name of Robloxia. Suddenly it hit me. Robloxia was unspoken of because of the amount of violence the people there are used to, it's the deadliest dimension known to exist. My heart sank, there was no chance of anyone I knew winning this. Then, the strangest name I've even seen floated onto the screen... Equestria... I had no knowledge of this other dimension, but my thoughts began reeling.
Who is actually going to win? Are they going to make sure it's balanced...? I thought this for one reason, that if it was entertainment for him, he would like to see a fair fight, not a domination, right? That's when i realized what was happening. I was one of the best people I knew when it came to archery. My heart sank as the name Theodore appeared under Earth. I was the first selected fighter for Earth. After noticing to other names I had yet to hear of anyone familiar, Alexander Johnson and Scott Roland, I already knew i was done for, but i continued watching the billboard anyways. I wanted to know if it would be an actual fight at all. When i saw the names of Murk, Indead, and 3vil, my heart fell right down to my leg. Murk was one of the best ranged fighters from Minecraftia. With two melee professionals like Indead and 3vil, the fight will surely go to his favor..!
But yet, I decided to continue watching the billboard. Under the dimension of Robloxia arrived the names of Skyscreamer, Skullly, and Bot. I had little knowledge of Skyscreamer and Skullly, but i knew who Bot was. When Robloxia was first discovered by Professor Conan, Bot was spotted from a distance, fighting off what looked like an entire zombie horde with his bare hands..! There was no chance of winning, none at all. I began to walk away from it all, when I remembered there was one more dimension, that i knew nothing about, not even it's inhabitants. In a matter of seconds, the -what i suppose are- names appear on the board. Rainbow Dash, Applejack, and Fluttershy. I paused for a minute. I noticed the word shy was part of the last one's name. Did he really just send what is probably a harmless creature into a bloodbath...? I paused for a minute, thinking of what I'd do in the arena. I know I could never bring myself to harm beautiful creatures, but if it's between my life or theirs... I just don't know...
Shortly after the names appeared, the billboard reset to it's original black background, stating that the warp gate would open in an hour to take us to the battle planet of Dyxteria, a horrid place that looks just like Earth, just blood-stained and more rural. An hour is all I have to say good-bye to my friends, and my life... But i had no friends to say good-bye to. Maybe this is how it's meant to be... I think to myself, since no one ever cared for me, this might be my time to make them know who i am, or to just go on and die since no one will care. But I'll decide that when i get to the river, for each bridge can only be crossed once it's created, and that one is only just a blueprint.
As the brain-dead officers arrived to take me toward the warp gate, I had one last thought to process. Who am i going to ally? This question lingers in my mind by the time I'm sent into the gate, the swirling lavender vortex consuming me from the homeland feeling of the surrounding lands. I shut my eyes and heard voices, screams, laughter, animals, and even the stillness of water fly passed my head, begging me to peak and become lost in their tunnels.
Suddenly, i found myself in a dark room, with twelve beds... and i understood, glancing around to all the other warp gate exits. The room had a bit of space between the beds, which all formed a semi circle around a large mahogany table. On the other side of the room was a small indoor range, with target dummies lined up for practice. It had a single rope that went up into what seemed like a tower. The walls were white, a couple windows near the top here and there, and a single fireplace with what looked like twelve chairs in a half circle surrounding it. The other warp gate exits began to activate, and eleven different creatures fell out of them, landing next to their own beds. I glanced to my right, noticing two humans take a quick peak around the room. They must be Alexander and Scott, I thought, being as to how they were humans like me.
The other creatures had quite an impact as well. The ones from Minecraftia looked as if they were made from building blocks and a big skull without a brain, judging from how two of them landed on their heads. The one that didn't was obviously Murk, with his silver skin, beige shirt, leather jacket, navy blue jeans, and black cape with a pair of silver shoes. It was quite easy to tell them apart from the creatures from Robloxia, who followed the same type of block-like body, but had a smaller and rounder head. Then, when i glanced at the three remaining creatures, I felt immediate pain. Each of them had four legs, a round body with a noticeable neck and a fairly big head. Two of them had wings. From the amount of colors in one of their hair styles, I began to believe that the cyan colored one was named Rainbow Dash, but I still couldn't figure out the other two.
A voice called out to us from hidden speakers, transmitting a deeply pitched voice towards us as the room began to brighten up, "You have two days to enjoy yourselves here and make alliances before the battle begins. Choose wisely."
As soon as the voice stopped speaking, I saw the three pony-like creatures, which i'll just refer to as ponies, group together and talk to one another, still in their side of the room. I noticed the Minecraftians and Robloxians begin yelling at eachother, envolving the word 'copier' quite a bit, and after observing the other two humans step in to try to help their favorite side, i decided to head over to the ponies. As they saw me approach, the yellowish one stepped backward behind Rainbow Dash, who looked toward me and took what I believed to be a defensive stance over her friend.
"What do you want? The two day limit isn't up yet," she snaps at me, expecting me to back down away from her group of friends.
I nodded, "I know, it just began moments ago," I stated, taking note to call the yellow one Fluttershy due to her shy action, and to call the orange one Applejack. Then, a little symbol on the side of their... area... made its way to greet my eyes. The cyan one in front of me had a cloud with a rainbow lightning bolt, while the orange one had three apples, and the yellow one had three butterflies...
Rainbow Dash just snorted, "Don't try to get smart, what do you want?" she asked me again, and it was blatant that she was becoming annoyed with me just standing there.
I had to pick my words carefully to avoid getting into a fight with this creature before the battle even began, "Well, the voice claimed we could make allies," I started, trying to see if Rainbow would figure out where this was going.
The yellow one, Fluttershy, peered out from behind her friend, a frightened look all over her face. She gasped when she saw me look at her, before quickly darting back behind Rainbow Dash.
Rainbow Dash just sighed, "Why would we ally? We'd just have to fight each other eventually..."
I frowned, understanding what she means, "But do you have any evidence of that?" I question, a thought bolting from my mind to my mouth. "Who are you to say, perhaps, believe that we are forced to kill each other...?"
She paused for a minute before looking back towards Applejack, who was nodding her head, and Fluttershy was beginning to have a faint, but noticeable, smile come onto her face, "Sure," Rainbow Dash began, "I think we could ally..."
I smiled softly, then glanced around the room, noticing that the Minecraftians and Robloxians finally stopped arguing. I then nodded my head towards the fireplace, "Care to sit down for a while?" I ask them casually, beginning to step towards the fireplace.
Rainbow Dash looked back towards her friends, who both nodded. She nodded her own head before following me over towards the fireplace. A deep-maroon rug was laid out, infront of the chairs near the fireplace, and it matched the sleek, black floor. The floor, at this point, was clearly made from basalt, which had a texture that was comforting, for stone, that is. As we made our way over towards the fire place, I heard a voice say something, but it wasn't the deep voice from before.
"Well, everyone," the voice began after clearing it's throat, "we all probably only have two or three days left to live with the exception of one of us, who i won't name because it'll start a fight, so we should probably just ignore the fact that we are really enemies, at least for these first two days..."
Right after the voice finished, several others murmured in agreement. Looking over my shoulder, I saw that the speaker was the Robloxian named Skyscreamer. I shot him a friendly smile before continuing over to the fireplace. As i slumped down into one of the chairs, the three ponies decided to lay down on the rug, which i guess was made of a soft cloth, which made it harder to pick my feet up off from it. Needless to say, the three ponies were laying down on the rug. These were who I was going into this fight allied with, and I know i would never hurt them, but that forced me to ask myself one question, What if it is between my life and theirs..? Would I just let them go, knowing that it means I would die? There was only one answer to this question, and that is the easy option.
I sat there, staring into the fireplace, its embers leaping up and slowly falling back towards the charred wood it burned on. I looked over to the the beds on the other side of the table, which showed eleven of the twelve beds with creatures in them, me being the only one awake. I couldn't sleep. I was kept awake all night from the disturbance of what will actually happen in the battleground... What if it actually comes down to me and them... the three of them? After this thought, I began thinking of everything that could possibly happen. I could just ditch them.... Maybe i'll outlive them...
After about three minutes, I found myself arguing with myself. Maybe I'll run ahead at the start and make them think i got lost.... No, come on, that's just cruel...
"Hey," a voice right next to me spoke in a whisper, but it was so unexpected; I shot upward and slammed into the chair, which then fell backwards, making the back of my head slam into a conveniently located pillow right on top of the basalt floor. When I craned my head to look at who it was, Rainbow Dash was there, covering her mouth with one of her hooves, a beautiful sparkle in her eyes as she tried to keep herself from laughing.
Now how could anyone bring themselves to kill creatures like this..? I thought to myself, letting out a suppressed sigh. The battle started at daybreak, I actually zoned out during the entire two-day period of allying. "What's with the sigh, Theo?" Dash asks me, a partial look of concern overcoming her face...
"I-It's about what you said back on the first day," I began, deciding that, since we're both probably going to die, there's no need to keep secrets, "About us having to kill each other after everything else happens," I paused to sigh again, being as to how Rainbow just looked at me, not understanding my point, "In the two days we got to pick allies, you've become one of the only things I actually care about," I concluded, hoping she understood what I meant now. Her response was for the cyan color of her cheeks to turn into a tomato-colored red.
I smiled before putting the chair back up. While I began to make way to my bed, she was still following me. And almost the second my head hit the pillow, I was asleep. But not before I heard the words; "I don't want to have to fight you..."
The next morning, I was woken up from the deep voice speaking to us from the hidden speakers, "Today is the big day, fighters! I hope you picked allies you don't care killing, because the main way of winning this is to kill off everyone else," As soon as that line flew out, my heart fell to the ground, erupted, and then regrew on its way back up as the next phrase was spoken, "but, there is a second way to win. If you can find the hidden crown somewhere in the arena," the deep voice continued, "and then place it on the pedestal in the middle of the center crown, you and two others of whom you choose can return to your lives, or cross over into another dimension, if you want."
Hope flickered up inside of me. The crown. That's it! That's the answer to this massive problem! Or, it was. Because there's three that I need to allow home... not two. If one of them die, then i guess it could work... I decided this would have to be my strategy, to see if one of them would die before we get the crown...
"Just a special reminder, there will be monsters from each of your dimensions..." The voice stopped to laugh as the creatures around the room looked at each other, the Minecraftians seemingly more worried than the others, especially Murk.
Murk interrupted the voice, "So help me Notch, if there are creepers in there-"
He was cut off when the voice replied, "Oh, there'sssss not that many of them...."
"Damn it," Murk muttered, stomping his foot into the ground so hard, i literally saw a dent in the basalt tile.
"Well, with that," the voice rang out from it's hidden location, "let us begin...."
Instantly, we were warped out of our own warp-gates to a different location, each of us were inside a little glass case near an open field with a giant crown-shaped object in the middle. It looked like it was made of solid gold, and some helpful items like a shotgun, a sword, a sledgehammer, and some bacon were just some of the things that were there. There was also a tall pedestal in the middle, made of silver by the looks, that had a little sort of projector aiming upward. Around the outside was a thick forest, probably full of monsters like the voice said. I looked around at the other glass pods, spotting Rainbow Dash, Applejack and Fluttershy in ones near mine. The bloodbath was about to start. I look over to my left, noticing Indead and Murk nod to eachother as Murk points to the diamond sword in the center. So long as I get the sledgehammer, i'm in the clear....
"Begin..!" Calls the voice, and the glass sinks into the ground. Instantly, I notice Murk, Alexander, Skyscreamer, Scott, Indead, and Rainbow Dash all head towards the center crown. I copy their movement, being only milliseconds behind Murk as he reaches the center. He grasps the diamond sword and instantly swings it at me. I sidestep easily, and grasp the sledgehammer. He takes one glance at it and stumbles away, just as everyone else begins to arrive. I grab the three strips of bacon, and a little flower that was on the side, and run towards the edge of the forest, where Applejack and Fluttershy are waiting. One second later, Rainbow Dash joins us. Turning back to look at what remains of the fighters who failed to escape, and surprisingly enough, found only Skyscreamer laying there, holding what looks like a golden sword, while crawling out of the center. I begin to make my way to him.
"You need some help, Sky?" I ask him. He responds by nodding his head towards a small bottle on the side of the crown, that i have not seen before. It glowed a bright pink, and had a flowing liquid inside of it. I grasped it and threw it towards him. One of his hands shot up and caught it before he drank it down.
"We weren't exactly friends anymore, Theo," Skyscreamer replies to me as his wounds instantly heal, "but I'll remember this if i have to choose between killing you or Murk..." He then runs off towards the forest away from the side my group was at.
"So," I begin, approaching the group, "What's the plan...?" I ask, knowing that if i took lead, they might suspect something like that.
Rainbow Dash steps forward. "Well, the main problem is that there's four of us and only three of us can get home if we find this crown."
Applejack nodded, a frown appearing over her face, "We can't get all of us home if we wanna try ta get ya home too, Theodore..."
I sighed, "We'll just have to cross that bridge when we get there, let's go find this crown first..." I say, and begin heading off deeper into the woods, when suddenly I hear a loud BANG!
Fluttershy shrieked and hid behind Rainbow Dash, who had a confused look on her face, "What was that?" Dash asked.
I shrugged, and then actually thought. "It might've been a creeper," I say to them, turning and continuing to travel deeper into the forest, "They are silent until they get close to you. Then they hissssss, then boom. Unless you have the fastest reflexes in the multiverse, you're done for."
Thats when we all froze, hearing a gentle hissssss from right over my shoulder....
"FLIPPIN' 'MERICA!" I shout towards the hiss, hearing the SPLAT! of the creeper's head as my sledgehammer sends it flying. The blood splatters all over us, but none of us are hurt. "THAT, my friends, is HOW YOU KILL A CREEPER." I say, putting on a pair of sunglasses from my pocket. I began to move further through the forest, the 3 other sets of hoof steps ensuring me that the ponies were still following. The trees began to clear out at one point, revealing an open meadow... with a chest in the middle of it!
"Stay back," Rainbow Dash says skeptically, "it might be trapped..."
"And like you want to see if it is?" I ask her, walking up to the chest- when i suddenly froze, spun around, and saw half a diamond sword cutting through Fluttershy's body...
The blood flowed out onto the grass around her. She collapsed, revealing a blocky figure bolting for the woods. Dash was the first to react, she races after the blocky figure, taking my personal sledgehammer with her. All I was able to do was watch the blood slowly trickle out from Fluttershy's body... Applejack was crying so many tears, I don't think her eyes will ever be dry again. Suddenly, from right behind us, I heard that chest open. Someone was rummaging through the items in it. Spinning around, I see the blocky body of Skyscreamer, digging into the chest.
"Hi Theo- I noticed you had a bit of a .... bloody situation," he calls, pulling out a glass vial filled with some pink liquid from the chest. He then waves it in the air for me to see, "this look useful to you?" He asks, already beginning to throw it to me.
I catch the healing potion in one hand and flip the cork right off. Slowly and steadily, I pull the sword out from Fluttershy's body and pour the healing potion into her mouth. Applejack stops sobbing, but her tears continue flowing like a river. I turn my head and notice Rainbow Dash returning from the woods with a bloodied sledgehammer, meaning she obviously reached and annihilated her target. She returned, her eyes glazed over in tears.
It was until that moment that I had forgotten that Skyscreamer was even there in the first place, "Thats a bloody sledgehammer... I think 3vil learned to never kill ponies again..!" Skyscreamer chuckles as he notches an arrow in his bow as he heads to the other side of the clearing, towards a jungle-looking area. Rainbow Dash turns towards his voice, then begins to ignore it. I stand there, holding the sword that used to be in Fluttershy's body... which did not have a wound for it anymore. The wound had completely vanished from Fluttershy's body. Shortly afterward, she coughed. Again. She spit out some blood, before her eyes shot open.
She sat up, looking around to see if she was in that place dead ponies go... where ever that is. "No, no," I begin, chuckling a small amount, "you're alive, right with the rest of us."
She paused for a minute, a confused look overcoming her face. her hooves shot to her lower chest, where the wound used to be. When her hooves felt the smooth surface of her body, she started to stand up. As her eyes looked down, she yelped and jumped out of the crimson red puddle, "D-d-did I do all of that?" She asks, the blood on her hooves slowly dripping off...
Rainbow Dash was already hugging her friend before I could respond. Applejack joined in on the hug a moment later... I still just stood there, hugs... aren't my thing. Even with three adorable creatures giving me that look, i still prefer to not participate in hugs... atleast, not in public. Anyways, with Fluttershy revived, we decided to continue.
"So, that means that theres at least one combatant dead?" I ask, motioning towards my bloodied sledgehammer. Rainbow Dash nods, explaining that unless he can regrew a head, he's dead. "Thats harsh," I mumble, "so he became the filling between a sledgehammer and a tree..?" I ask. Rainbow Dash nods. "Fantastic! A cute looking creature enjoys making heads explode!"
Fluttershy looks at me, partly horrified by my comment, while Rainbow Dash and Applejack look at me as if I'm crazy... which I am. "What?" I ask them, "No humor allowed in the darkest of moments?" After a moment of silence, I say, "Or atleast after the darkest of moments...?" Yet again, there was more silence. "Okay, come on. Just crack a damn smile."
Still, none of them react to it. Apparently, my reaction to common events, such as murder, does not support humor in this... arena. Suddenly, Fluttershy breaks into a blatantly forced smile, but it has this noise sort of like a squee that forces me to laugh.
"Alright then, we should probably try to survive for the rest of the time..." I remark, beginning to head off of the clearing into the surrounding jungle. Then, the one thought I had from before returns to my mind...
You just saved one of their lives... but you also just put yours in jeopardy. Finding the crown won't matter if only 3 people can return alive.
I knew this would haunt me until I eventually die in this cursed arena. But, I had another plan... I was not focused on dieing, coming out of this alive would surely get me more friends... right? We'll just have to kill one of them at the end... then convince the others that she died of... natural purposes... Yes, that's the ticket.
"Ya know," the orange pony, Applejack, began, "I don' think that we planned this out al' well."
I knew what she was talking about, but Rainbow apparently didn't. "What do you mean?" She asks, her voice a mixture of confusion and... worry...?
"Ya know," Applejack continues, "Theres four of us left, but only three get to live if we ever find th' crown."
I sighed, apparently loud enough for Rainbow to hear me. "You do got this planned out, right?" She questions. My reply is a very slow shake of my head. "W-What do you mean?"
"Look, I don't think that it is reasonable to just start bombarding me with questions. I didn't have to use that healing potion on your friend there. Don't make me regret giving you something if you are just going to annoy me to hell." I barely even noticed the words come out of my mouth. Nice job, moron. I think to myself, They'll totally just let you live with that one, insulting the shy one in front of all of their faces.
Rainbow glared at me. It gave me a feeling that if one of us would end up dieing at the end, it would be either me or her. But that thought dropped once i saw the look on Fluttershy's face... the amount of guilt that passed through my body was indescribable. Perhaps even incomparable. Her eyes were round, glazed in tears that slowly dropped down on to the grass, drifting over the impossible to be ignored gigantic frown her mouth was making. I looked away and kept walking. But my heart was seared over with something I would never forget until I fix it... but that will have to wait.
In the mean-time, Rainbow was saying something that I did not catch, my guilt was sabotaging my hearing, but I caught part of it, "... bucking no-good, greed-filled, incompetent...." Just that was enough to slice my heart into a fifth piece, and it made me remember who I am. I am Theodore from Earth, I have no friends, and no one cares about me- at least, until now.