I stood in the armory, putting on my custom armor. It was a battlemesh light enough to keep you moving, but durable enough to keep a sword from breaking through. The leggings were the same, as were the boots and gloves. I had the blacksmith make special headgear for me. I always liked gasmasks, even if it wasn’t the right time for them. This one was special though, as it had the same mesh lining it’s outside.
“Are you ready yet?” Silvers voice rang throughout the large room. I turned while getting my mask on. She wore her same old training gear, and gave me an awkward look. “What is that on your face?” I shook my head playfully.
“It’s a special mask that keeps out harmful gasses. That, and it looks awesome.” She had a laugh with me as I grabbed a bow and a quiver of arrows, as well as my sword. My sword was a complete replica of the daedric sword from Skyrim. I got to making it two weeks ago, and as soon as I finished, all of my markings spread onto it as well. It’s strange, when you think about it.
I moved towards Silver, sliding my sword into it’s sheath. “Spade should be here soon. The invasion begins in three hours. Ready?” she asked me. I gave her a thumbs up, and thank god that I have them. “Glad to hear it. You have been training extremely hard, are you sure you can handle this?” At her remark, I made the largest flames in both of my paws, forcing her to just stare in awe. I snuffed the flames out as quickly as they appeared. “Enough playing around, we have to go wait for him.” I nodded as we left for the living quarters.
- - - - One hour later - - - -
I leaned back against the stone wall and looked towards the opening. If he doesn’t hurry, I am going to scream bloody murder. Silver was sitting next to me, and was just as impatient. We heard the sounds of multiple hooves at the entrance, and I was shocked.
“Well, it’s been a-” Was all I could mumble before being tackled by a over-excited Rainbow Dash. I smiled under my mask at the look on her face. “What’s it been, seven months?” Man, she is quite heavy for a pegasus.
“Everypony thought you had died!” I looked blankly into her rose eyes. All I could do was laugh at this. After everything I had been through with these ponies, and they think that I was the one who would die out here. If anypony, it would be Rarity. Fluttershy always had The Stare.
“Amiga, what in Equestria could...” I stopped speaking, realizing what I was going to say. There was something that could take me down, and it was coming in one month, or in an hour and a half. “Lance,” I said remembering his cover, “why did you bring her? She could get badly wounded.”
"None of your business really. But if you must know, I was on my way here from my home when she," he said casting a mock angry glance at Dash, "ran into me right outside of my door. I couldn't change her mind on coming so I just let her. Don't you worry kid, I'll keep an eye on her and make sure nothing will happen."
"I can take care of myself, thank you very much!" she said with enthusiasm.
"I'm sure you could, I'm sure you could. But a little help here and there never hurts." He winked at me. I rolled my eyes under my mask. He turned towards Silver. "Okay, down to business. The first thing I need is for you to get three felled trees from outside and bring them in here. Second, I need you to show me around the cave. I need to know the ground I'll be fighting on." She gave me a nod, calling for a few Diamond Dogs to go outside and retrieve the trees he asked for.
"If you could follow me, I'll show you around." she said, turning away from us and heading down a long, vaulted corridor.
Lance turned back to us for a short moment. “Dash, meet me at the end of the hall in five minutes. Catch up with Zin for a bit before I need you.” He trotted off, leaving two friends to an endless conversation of questions and answers.
She moved away and let me resume my leaning on the cave wall. “Why are you living here and not telling any of us? Is it because Celestia has the posters up?” She said as her eyes gave me a pleading glance.
I smiled at her. That old pain was still looking for me. “Sort of, Dash. I came here because they needed me, and in a way, I needed them.” I ruffled her mane with one of my paws. She shot me a playful glance. “Celestia and I are not on good terms at the moment. She kept me in her dungeon for three months, and I broke out.”
Her jaw dropped to a point where it might as well have hit the floor. “What did you do for her to keep you that long, and how did you escape?” Her voice having more concern than shock.
I took a deep breath. “I did nothing but have more information than her. As to how I escaped, it will be better to show you.” She was about to speak when I let the flames flow in my right hand and a concentrated air ball in my left. As I dispersed of the magic, she could do nothing but stare in awe. “Do you want to know the full reason Lance is here?” She eagerly nodded her head.
I took a seat and let out a sigh, hoping she could handle what she got herself in to. “What he said was true, that we are in trouble. The entire clan is going to be killed, and I know now that I cannot stop it. The only survivors being Grim, Silver, and me. I highly doubt that you would return to town knowing this, but I trust that you can follow orders well. You are loyalty, after all.” I gave her a smile, even though she couldn’t see it.
She trotted off to where she needed to meet Lance and I decided to rest a little longer. I would need my energy for when the battle begins.
- - - - - - - - - - -
‘It is time, third. Time for you to grow your power, and test it on those against you. Welcome stage three.’
I looked around in the dark void. “Stage three? Who are you?” My voice echoed through the darkness.
‘You will see me before the war begins, before the death, before the destruction, before the world throws the least expected at you.’
I felt ground beneath me, yet I still had the feeling of weightlessness. My body had the sensation of heat, but this time it was a mix of pain and warmth. My body started to be covered in blue flames.
‘Become stronger, faster, smarter. Unleash your power on those who appose you, third. Embrace your gift and change the future.’
I took a deep breath as the fires intensified, changing the brightness of my lines. Instead of lines, they now formed what looked like tribal symbols. “When is it time to face my unnamed enemy?”
‘Soon, my dog. Soon. Now wake up, they’re getting worried about both of you.’
I didn’t even have time to respond. My eyes flashed open to the bright lights, and a worried Rainbow Dash, accompanied by Lance laying Silver next to me.
- - - - - - - - - - -
Rainbow Dash was the first one to break the silence, "Zin! Your markings, they've changed! Are you alright? What happened?" Her voice full of concern
Silver was the one to answer her. "He's reached the third stage. His transformation is almost compete now." She proceeded to offer me a paw, which I took, and got up. After getting up, I wiped some of the dust off.
I gave them all a smile. "Just one more thing about me Dash." I shot a quick glance at Silver as she fell to the ground, quickly curling into a ball with her eyes closed and a snarl on her face. I moved to her side and sat down, putting a paw on her head. I could feel the energy from her body, which made me feel a little bit awkward.
I could hear the muffled conversation Dash and Lance were having, but I was more focused on Silver. Her markings changed to match mine as she woke. I helped her up and we turned to face the two ponies.
Silver looked straight at Lance and let out a slight chuckle. “Still I get nothing from you.” I just looked at her confused, but only for a few moments. I completely forgot that she gets better with telepathy. She turned to me and nodded. ‘Get out of my head, Silver.’
I shook my head. “Alright, keep out of their heads for the time being. We have work to do.” I turned back to Lance. “The supplies you have requested should be back soon. I just have one question to ask you.” I moved closer to him and leaned over a little. “You’ll have to show her sometime, Spade. When do you plan on doing it?” I backed up a little and returned to my spot beside Silver.
She put a paw on my shoulder. “Go tell the clan to prepare for the invasion. They will spread out like we planned, using the areas designated.” I gave a quick nod and dashed backwards to the living area.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
When I entered the entrance hall, I did exactly what we talked about. I put both of my paws around my mouth and used a little magic. “All dogs, report to your posts with the weapon of your choice. It’s almost show time!” At this, every dog started coming out and moving quickly. Megaphone without the megaphone, like a boss.
After spending most of the remaining time on preparing the clan, I went back to find a pillbox and sleeping ponies. I felt a paw on my shoulder, and immediately knew who it was. “Do you have the spell ready? It could take their numbers down very quickly.”
I turned to face Silver. “If I use it, I will be left unable to cast magic during the battle. Are you sure you want me to do it?” She gave me a nod that I wish hadn’t happened. I let out a groan and leaned against the wall. “If you say so. I just hope it works like we aim to.” She gave me another nod and went back. This is going to be one of those days, I can just tell.