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A My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Fanfiction
By Andrew J. Talon
DISCLAIMER: This is a non-profit fanbased work of prose. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is the property of Hasbro, and the reinvention of the lovely Lauren Faust. No copyright infringement is intended, please support the official release.
- - - - - -
The dragon gang from then on enjoyed themselves immensely, slapping each other on the back, pushing each other into lava pits, and chowing down on goats and gems. I took a spot on the edge of the group, and Spike joined me with a resentful expression.
"You didn't have to come here," he muttered to me. I passed him a gem I'd been tossed for food, and maintained a careful vigil. The rest of the dragons seemed more occupied with eating and joking amongst themselves than looking our way. Though I'd been accepted, the looks Garbles and what appeared to be his crew gave me were guarded. Like I was now a threat to his dominance in the group.
"Sure I did," I said softly. "If it's dangerous and stupid have you ever not known me to do it?"
Spike just kept glowering. I sighed.
"Besides, Twilight and the others..."
"They're here too?" Spike asked in disbelief, looking suspiciously over at a very odd green dragon named Crackle, who was imitating a bird on a stone mound some distance away.
"Just to keep an eye on you-"
"This is what I was talking about!" Spike growled angrily. His glare was baleful. "I'm never going to figure out who or what I am if you don't stop trying to protect me!"
"Tell him we're fully accepting of his life choices but we just want to be near enough to keep an eye on him if something goes wrong!" Twilight said over my headset.
"If he gets in over his head, wouldn't he prefer to have us there?" Rarity added.
"It's really just for his own good," Fluttershy said.
I thought about everything they said, and I looked down a the glowering Spike.
I sighed. "I know," I said. "You're right."
"EH?!" Cried the ponies.
"So relax," I said. "We won't stand in your way."
Spike looked up, blinking. "Really?"
"Nope," I said.
"HEY! FIRE BELCHING CONTEST!" Garbles yelled. "Let's see who can make the biggest!" He grinned over at me. "Hey! Smaug, you want in on this?"
"No," I said, "but I think Spike," and here I looked over at him, "would like to do it. Right?"
Spike blinked a few times, and then grinned. "Yeah!" He ran off, leaving Garbles to laugh.
"Hahaha! Putting your little bro through the wringer, huh Smaug?" He asked.
"Let's just say I'm not feeling up to it," I said calmly. Garbles smirked and turned. The rest of the dragons joined him as they lined up for the competition.
"Andrew, you should have explained our position! Now he's going to do reckless things!" Twilight protested.
"You mean, like joining the dragon migration as a baby dragon?" I asked.
"He has a point," Dash said.
"Still!" Rarity said.
"Relax," I said. "t's like he said, he has to figure this out on his own and us telling him that would be kind of redundant. Besides, I'm sure he'll be fine..."
The sounds of several dragon belches were heard, as flames shot into the sky. They were followed by a very pathetic looking burp, and the clatter of a scroll.
"What's this? 'Dear Twilight Sparkle, from Princess Celestia...?' HA! You burp puny pony crap!" Garbles laughed, joined by the rest of the dragons. I looked over at Spike, who bore this humiliation as best he could.
- - - - - - -
Unfortunately, in the other tests of Spike's capabilities as a dragon, he fell pretty damn short. Quite literally, especially in the case of "dragon toss". In each of these events though, to help him out I declined to participate.
I mean, tail wrestling? My tail would have been torn to shreds and then I'd have been screwed.
King of the hill? I only shoved that dragon into the lava because I caught him off guard. I didn't fancy scrambling up the hill in this heavy armor anyway.
The worst contest though? Lava diving.
Yes, the dragons would jump off the cliff into a pool of molten lava to make a huge splash. As we stood up atop the cliff, Garble grinned nastily at all the gathered dragons.
"All right... Whoever makes the biggest splash, wins! Ready?"
As before, Spike shot a glare at me to keep me from interfering. I slowly nodded, and backed away.
"What's he doing?" Twilight asked. "Come on, tell me!"
"ALL RIGHT!" Garble shouted. "COME ON! LET'S GO!" He jumped in, casuing a huge splash of molten rock to erupt from where he hit. The other dragons followed, one at a time, until only myself and Spike were left.
"Oh? Not gonna participate again, Smaug?" Garble taunted with a grin.
"As I recall, you're the only one who likes to go swimming in lava, Garble," I stated calmly. The other dragons laughed, and Garble growled but said nothing else. He looked over at Spike, peering uneasily over the edge, and snorted smoke.
"You gonna chicken out too, Pony?" He asked.
Spike started, glared down, and closed his eyes. He then took a step backwards, and leaped off the top of the cliff. I watched him fall, down, down, down... Until he hit the lava hard. The other dragons gaped in amazement, even Garble.
"Woah... What a belly flop!" Garble said.
"Ugh... How was that...?" Spike asked. The red dragon grinned.
"Nobody's ever done that before! You're one heck of a dragon!" Garble said. The other dragons hooted and cheered, and I allowed myself to smile.
"Looks like he's finally been accepted," I said, as I slowly made my way back down to the crater floor.
"That's wonderful!" Rarity said. "He's doing great! I knew he could do it!"
"So, um, mission accomplished? Can Andrew come back now?" Fluttershy asked. "I-I mean, we can keep an eye on Spike from here..."
"No, we still need him around," Twilight vetoed.
"It's very dangerous though, I think he should come back," Fluttershy insisted.
"I don't think so. And I think he agrees with me," Twilight said coldly.
"I think he'd like to leave now," Fluttershy said, just as coldly.
"And I think he'll stay!" Twilight said.
"Andrew doesn't have to listen to you!" Fluttershy growled.
"He doesn't, but he likes to!"
"Not in this case!"
"Uh, guys...?" I tried, but the arguing continued. It faded a bit, and Rarity coughed.
"Sorry Andrew darling, it seems they're having it out..."
"Want us to give you the blow by blow? Mane pulling includied?" Rainbow Dash asked dryly.
I sighed. "No thanks."
"You really should do something about this, you know," Rarity said.
"I know, I know," I said.
"OI! SMAUG! GET OVER HERE!" Garble shouted. "CONGRATULATE YOUR BROTHER!" He grinned nastily. "Or are you just gonna talk to yourself?"
I growled. "One problem at a time..."
- - - - - - -
Garble was kind of like that schoolyard hot shot. You know the one. The kinda guy without a soul who struts about like he owns the place, enforcing power through the theft of milk-money and a posse of equally big guys watching his back. How do I know he doesn’t have a soul? Hell, the guy’s a ginger.
He only paid me some respect because I earned it the only way you could with a bully-By kicking his ass but not rubbing it in too much. Still, after Spike had proven himself he seemed more focused on bonding rather than competing. As the shadows grew long around the volcanic crater, he had the dragons sit down around a small pool of lava. He grinned nastily, the setting sun casting his features into stark relief.
“Alright, you scale bags,” Garble started as he sat Spike down right next to him. “Scary story time.”
My eyes rolled out of pure instinct. Oh boy.
“What kind of story are we talkin’ about, Garble?” one of Garble’s friends piped up. Another one of ‘those.’ This dragon was the small snitch-type that hung around the bigger kids, reeling around their shoulder and attempting to look tough just ‘cause he hung with the tough kids. “Huh, Garble?” he continued sucking up to the taller dragon. “What kind of stories we gonna tell, Garble?”
Garble quickly silenced him – for all our sanity’s sake – with the threat of a pimp-slap. “We’re talking about...” a wide, toothy and evil grin spread across the teenager’s face.
As instinctive as my eye-rolling came, came a cold shiver. Just that look in the dragon’s eyes, I could tell this was all going to end in tears.
Everyone gasped. The little suck-up snitch stiffened like he had suffered a fatal heart attack and slipped from his perch.
Spike scratched his head, completely unfazed. “Uhhhhh...”
I derped. What? That was pretty much what I wanted to cry out. Unfortunately I’d have to sit out on the explanation on this one, for the sake of my cover... and the soft contents of my fleshy body that I would like to remain internal.
“Humans ain’ real, Garble. They can’t be real, can they Garble?” the snitch dragon squeaked, quaking in fear.
“Oh, they’re real.” Garble’s voice went low and sinister. “You’re looking into the psyche of cold blooded killers. Monsters of a whole other world that have rended the flesh of countless ancient dragons. You’re learning of... humans.” I could hear the Twilight Zone theme playing away in the back of my head, even as I wrestled with the implications.
“I heard they can kill a dragon with a stare.” One of Garble’s friends shuddered. Garble smacked him over the head.
“No you idiot!” Garble scolded. “They kill dragons with magic wands.”
I coughed. “Magic wands?” I blurted out, hardly disguising my voice.
So terror struck, the dragons didn’t even notice the change in my tone.
“Magic wands.” Garble confirmed. “Great branches of steel, they spit hellfire and metal, enough of it to break dragon-armour and pluck us right out of the sky!”
His friends gasped with terror.
Spike and I sat by confused, casting each other a furtive glance. Were they talking about normal humans? As in... my species?
“Normally two legged creatures, almost like monkeys but without the hair. They have grotesque rounded ears and patches of fur that cover their faces like masks of shadow. Lost, pig eyes they can look right into your brain and steal your thoughts," Garble hissed.
“They wear a second layer of skin over their bodies, sometimes metal, sometimes the very scales of their dragon victims.” Garble continued, his voice low and menacing. “And if you try to bite them, your teeth will shatter like glass. They can see and watch you always, their eyes glowing an eerie green glow in the night, and they can see as clear as day. They move with the shadows, blending into any environment, treading quietly the borders of light and dark. They’ll eat anything to survive, from plants to the flesh of our fallen brethren. They’ll cut you open without a second thought, pull out all your warm bits and cook you up in a stew! They’ll even find you momma’s unhatched eggs and snatch them away to scramble ‘em up and have ‘em for breakfast. And if you try to fly away...”
One of the dragons was hugging his tail for comfort...
“They’ll follow you on a flying chariot of steel, trailing fire hotter than any dragon’s blaze!”
Guns and jets? I thought in disbelief. But Twilight said they had no records of humans...
“Then we can hide underwater.” One dragon said shakily. “Our fire may go out, but no-one can hold their breath as long as a dragon... r-right?”
“You fool.” Garble whispered with his eyes narrowed. “They don’t need to hold their breath. They carry bubbles of air on their back and can survive without fresh air for as long as any dolphin! You cannot run...” he paused for dramatic effect. “And you cannot hide.”
I gulped, feeling strangely vulnerable.
“The humans will hunt you, and they will find you... and they will kill you," he finished, flaring his wings out dramatically. The other dragons gasped in fright, huddling around each other, while Spike and myself sat in some disbelief. Garble stared and snorted.
"What? You Ponyville pansies aren't scared of humans?"
"Of... Course not," Spike said bravely. "They're just a... A fairy tale!"
"Oh? You brave enough to face humans, huh?" Garble asked. He grinned. "Then how about a little... Excursion?" He grabbed Spike, and took off. "Come on! We're going phoenix hunting!"
"Ah?! Wait, hang on!" Spike cried.
"Hold it Garble!" I called. Garble grinned down nastily at me.
"Follow us! If you can keep up!" He taunted, flying off with a few of the other dragons. The remaining dragons stared at me, and I tried to stand up straight.
"Well... Guess I'm going phoenix hunting," I said, striding for the lip of the volcano crater.
This was going to end badly, I just knew it...
- - - - - -
As I scrambled my way up the slope of the crater, my headset buzzed.
"Andrew? Andrew, can you hear me?" Twilight asked.
"Loud and clear. We've got a problem." I began.
"A couple of dragons took Spike," I said. "They're headed off to go hunting for phoenixes."
There was a chorus of feminine gasps over the radio.
"That's dangerous! He might be burned alive! Even dragons can't handle phoenix fire well!" Twilight gasped.
"Did you see where they went? Where did they take my Spike-Wikey?!" Rarity demanded.
"They're headed..." I squinted in the direction of the sun, retraced the course... "North-east I think."
"Can you get a better view?" Twilight asked.
"If I got to the top of the crater wall, yes," I said.
"Good! Get out of there, quickly but carefully!" Fluttershy said. "Try to find them by looking from the top, then get out of there!"
"No, then they'll be suspicious," Twilight argued. "He needs to stay put where it's safe!"
"Safe does not belong in the same LANGUAGE as DRAGON," Fluttershy practically snarled. I could imagine Rarity holding a hoof to her forehead-I knew I would be.
I really need to resolve this... Have us talk this out, them in human form so it's easier to read them... Maybe with a mud pit and bikinis-SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!
"It's a little late for me to stay put anyway," I pointed out, grunting as I pulled myself over a boulder. "I'm almost out of the crater."
"Good!" Fluttershy said. I could hear Twilight's teeth grinding over the radio. Man, was I in for it. Odd that that was what I was dreading, more than the dragons even!
Well... Okay, not very odd at all.
"All right, can you see where they took Spike?" Asked Twilight, with a resigned sigh.
I huffed, and cleared the crater. I sighed, enjoying even the slight dip in the temperature outside the volcanic crater. I shielded my eyes with my glove, and I could make out faint shapes in the distance.
"There," I said. "I can see them! Let's see... Sixty degrees, by..." I did a rough guess with a rock's shadow nearby, "fifty, maybe... Four miles away, fading fast!"
"Good! Rainbow Dash is pushing the balloon hard," Twilight said. "And... yes, I can see you!"
I scanned the skies. "I can't see you..."
"I made the balloon invisible," Twilight explained. "It was rough but it was the best way to let it approach this close... Where did you think we were?"
I had a sudden mental image of a very silly, and poorly made dragon costume supported by four ponies. I shook my head clear of the odd thought.
I looked down the slope and sighed. It was steep and covered in boulders, and steam drifted up from piles of rocks that were probably bits of molten rock the volcano had burped up. Below that were miles of forest, with rivers snaking across them. Here I was decked out in heavy armor, at best resembling a poor Power Rangers monster. Low on water, no food, armed only with my sword.
"We can swing around to pick you up," Fluttershy said. "Rainbow Dash is just fast enough to catch up."
"What do you mean, just fast enough?" Dash demanded. I relaxed and smiled.
Thank you God. Thank you.
It was then I felt two pairs of grasping claws on my shoulders, and I flew up.
"Eh?!" I cried, and I looked to my sides quickly. Two of the teenaged dragons were carrying me up, grinning at me from either side. I felt almost weightless, carried by the two teenaged dragons. I was just feeling very happy all of a sudden that I hadn't eaten anything in a while.
"Hey, c'mon Smaug!" The one on the right said tauntingly.
"You gonna go phoenix hunting with your brother, ain'tcha?" The other snickered.
"Andrew! Andrew, are you all right?!" Fluttershy cried.
"What's-Stay calm! We'll think of something, just stay calm!" Twilight cried, not sounding calm at all.
"Ah, look fellas, I appreciate the lift but if you don't let me go, I'm going to twist your tails off like twigs," I said with a growl. The two dragons looked uneasy, sheepish.
"Ah, right Smaug."
"No problem Smaug! We were just wondering why you weren't flying."
"I mean, it is a little unusual-"
"Tails. Twisted right off. Like that," I said, snarling low in my throat. The two dragons gulped.
"No problem, Smaug!"
"Whatever you say!"
"Good," I said.
And then they let me go.
"ANDREWWWWW!" Screamed in my helmet as I plummeted for the valley floor below.
And strangely, I wasn't screaming with the ponies. No, the only thing I could say as I fell to my doom was:
"... I probably should have seen that coming."
Amazing how articulate you can be when faced with a messy death from several thousand feet up.
- - - - - -
I edited up the ending to make the story a bit longer. I hope you enjoy the addition! And I'll be getting my degree in only a matter of weeks! Huzzah!