Somewhere, not at Twilight's Library, a little green alicorn colt woke up, the lavender flowers helping out the groggy pony to bring him to his senses, and with that he felt his nerves pounding at his head. "Oh darn…" thought the green alicorn colt. "My head sure hurts a lot, I hope it'll clear over soon." He looked through his surroundings carefully, making sure everything was where it was before making a move.
He got out of the bed he was laying down in, yawning very loudly as his muzzle widened to help out match the loudness of the yawn. The yawn was so annoyingly loud that two sentences of this story had to be made to purely show you how damn loud this yawn was. But enough of breaking the fourth wall, its time to get very serious.
The green colt walked around, struggling a bit to keep a foot hold onto his balance, becoming more tedious by the second until he fell down with an "oof". At that moment, two pegasi guards with a golden armor get-up complete with a helmet came in, their wings had their space and stretched out in a battle-ready stance. The white stallions went on the defensive of what would happen next, ready for anything.
"Prince James, is thou harmed?" asked one of the pegasi. James got off the ground, picking himself up by his front legs and sighed.
"Yes, I am fine in this morrow," said James. "Now please…good sirs, thy need space in thou time to become prepared for today's tasks." The pegasi guards nodded their heads, became comfortable and left the bedroom, leaving the alicorn colt alone.
James sighed, the guards mean well, and sure things in Equestria haven't been going good at the time, but are the amount of security necessary? He trotted up to the mirror and looked at his reflection. The horn was sharper and longer than that of a regular unicorn's was perched upon his skull, like it always did. He fluttered about his wings, the graceful movement of them still amazed him, a lot of things did but his wings were sometimes a marvel to him.
Sure it seemed odd, but the feathers looked like an angel had granted him such feathers, they seemed so fragile, so easy to break, but when he used them ponies looked up to him shock and awe as he performed aerial tricks. He was still in learning from his trainer on how to fly properly, despite the movements that put an ease to mind on anypony, still needed a lot of work. He was an alicorn after all, not a pegasus, he needed to do better to fit standards.
James imagined a wonderful dream, ponies in a crowed in a stage that seemed to be more like an uncouth stable but at the time, it was the best they could do. Red curtains covered the stage, woven from some of the best fabrics the royal family could find and looked like it was just barely cleaned and pressed. Usually during this time, the three pony races of the earth, sky and magic would quarrel over the little things, say things out of prejudice and spite of the other race just so the talker could get what he/she wanted. But not here, James could sneakily see the ponies of all races get along fine with one another through a gap in the red curtains. It warmed his shy heart to see ponies get along just fine.
"Prince James, art thou ready?" asked a pony's voice. He turned his head to see a unicorn stallion, in what seemed to be like rags, and smelt of mud. James shook his head to shake off the horrible thought of what had gone through his head about the unicorn, it was one of his mother's lessons, it was not his place to judge a pony. "So no then, noble Prince?"
"Oh um…yes, thy almost ready." said James. He smiled meekly
"Alright, thou subjects wish for thou presence in thy show on this fine day."
"Yes, I am aware." And with that the stallion left his prince's presence. James sprung up his wings, and within a second they were up in full wingspan, he felt proud that he was able to be as fast as he was. However, this was a dream, he isn't this agile in reality, but that didn't damper the feeling he felt at that moment. "Alright…I'm ready…"
The curtains, as if on cue, swayed their way to their own directions to make the stage clear for all the ponies attending. James looked down dramatically, legs spread out far enough from each other for what he wanted and thought would surely "wow" the crowd: a dramatic opener. "Show time!"
James rose into the air as fast as he could, performing a whole bunch of spiral maneuvers in the air, masterfully performed as per the usual of James's day dreams. The buck of reality ignored once again in this dream like it was nothing and kept flying in the air for what it's worth, and by the mood of the stage, it was worth a lot. The ponies all cheered, pegasi marveled in the glory of James's performance, the unicorns seemed extremely impressed and the most intelligent unicorns in the crowd of ponies have theories of flight without wings. Apparently they haven't met Connor, James was chuckling in his head at the thought.
James continued his aerial moves, the more moves he were doing the more envious the pegasi seemed to be. Those that actually WERE jealous of James were wishing they were an alicorn, to be as the same species of their ruler was something everypony at the time dreamt of once. An odd fantasy to point out of what the colt and fillies were thinking of yes, but this was one of the green colt's fantasies, he can do what he wants with his dreams, especially this one.
James, with a smirk on his face was slowly going up in altitude the more moves he performed, going up, and up, and up as he went with one very skilful move at a time. Until finally, he was as up as he could possibly be as of the stage he was on. At that point he went straight for a nose dive.
It started off as a nose dive, becoming more of a free-fall as his long wings seemed to lose themselves to the wind, becoming broken. James look to the crowd who seemed helpless to do anything about James, the pegasi doing nothing to help, or the unicorns with their levitation spells. James could only feel fear, all his paranoia struck out at this exact moment of his dream, the fear of what other ponies would think of this, what his mother would think of this, and what the rest of his family would think. Tears struck out of his face as he closed his eyes, not even closed to ready for the impact that would follow.
When James was about to hit the floor he expected darkness, and when he looked at the ground he did, as he fell through the black hole of the stage.
"What a disappointment he is your majesty…" said a voice in the black void. James just kept falling and falling, the voices of the void echoing in his head.
"Jeez little brother, you're way too weak to fly…" he heard the voice of his older brother, Jacob.
"Don't worry twin, you won't be so much wrong in the future, but for now you really are bad at this…" that voice came from Brett, and words he never thought were gonna come but they did.
"Dammit James! Even I can fly better than you! You're an alicorn for god's sake!" shouted a voice. The voice of his cousin and the self-proclaimed "son of the night", and he believed this was true, Connor was a better flyer than he was, hard, bone crushing training was he able to accomplish flight without wings. Something James had always envied of, his endurance and will.
Pretty soon he landed hard on a cold surface, or at least he felt cold hitting the ground, an instance to say that he was probably dead, but he felt every bit alive. He just felt cold, a very unfamiliar, yet a very familiar kind of cold. All of a sudden, a mirror wide and tall enough for him popped up just a few meters from where he was. He trotted up to it slowly and looked at himself.
He still had his colt form all right and his mane was perfectly curled the way it should be, then he saw something unusual. He noticed his reflection growing until he became his adult alicorn state, it was a fast growth but he saw it all pass by, the day he earned his cutie mark, the picture of a blue seed with green bits on it popping in half to blossom a yellow daisy flower. In his young age the look of his own cutie mark in the reflection didn't surprise him, even though he didn't even earn it at this age yet, nor had any idea what his special talent was. But he saw it happen, his teenage years, until finally at the end of his growth at the supposed age of 25. He looked tall and proud at his reflection at the stallion in front of his eyes. It was more than he thought he was gonna be, but something that he had always was familiar seeing.
"I don't get it, I'm a colt, why isn't this new for me to see?" thought James. Then he saw it change violently, a form he knew all too well…Famine. Then it hit him, he's just having a dream, a nightmare that reminded him of his good years, where things in Equestria made sense, only to have it all go horribly wrong with his vain fears. However, Famine was nothing to be in vain, it was something he once was, tainted him to become his home's destroyer. The tears struck down his little colt face as he collapsed onto his knees, crying as hard as he could.
"Don't cry James…" said a voice. It was soft, cold, deep and seductive to hear all at once, he looked around and saw nothing but the mirror, which still held the image of Famine. "It's just something we all go through…now…join us James…" He saw the muzzle of Famine move up and down as he was speaking the words. He couldn't help himself as the little alicorn colt moved a front leg up to his own reflection. Famine held a strange smile that looked and felt right, James couldn't help but smile. But the moment his hoof touched the glass surface of his reflection on Famine, the smile was just disgustingly evil. In the motion of what seemed to be having his hoof out of the mirror, but when it came out of the glass, it wasn't a hoof, it was a hand with five fingers and claws.
The hand was more black than Nightmare Moon ever was, it seemed too big for the mirror to fit in but it managed to become a larger piece of glass, giving the hand more than enough room to move around. It grabbed a hold of James's hoof and threw him into Famine's form of reality, inside the mirror. James couldn't help but a look of despair of what he had seen, the first thing in his dream that he couldn't recognize at all.
Just like the hand, the rest of the body was bitch black, blacker than the night itself. It was a dragon, but not just any dragon that James ever saw, it was a dragon covered in spikes and scales that seemed to glisten in the darkness of the void. The eyes were more devilishly red than the eyes of War, the sight of them bringing untold horrors of destruction and darkness, but something underneath the skin was something much more sinister, James had a gut feeling about it. It had the height of a regular adult dragon, the same wings of one, but the spikes and scales of this pitch dark dragon was something unnatural, yet it seemed like he was born with these features.
It growled at James's presence as he shuddered in fear, the tears seemed to have evaporated as he wasn't crying anymore. However, he was trotting backwards away from the sight of the tremendous beast. "No…stay b-b-b-back!" shouted James. His shout was one of weakness, the scent of fear hung heavy in the air as a black aura surrounded the dragon. Each step from the dragon's huge feet pounded the ground with the force to crush mountains, making James bounce every time it took a step. "I'm warning you!" James did all he could to at least intimidate the dragon in some way or shape, but clearly nothing that James could think of could even faze the creature.
The dragon brought out a humongous roar that nearly took the skin off of James's bones, it probably would have but James could tell that this dragon wanted something, otherwise he would have died right then and there.
"aaN BahLok Fah HIN LeIN NaaL AlDuIn, DRaaL Fah FIN NOROK DOVahKiin Wah MeyZ, Fah FIN KRUziik DOVah DO VED VOKUN STaaDNAU WIN KeIN ahRK HIN LeIN!" shouted the dragon. The voice of this gigantean dragon seemed to nearly turn James's ears inside out with the volume of the dragon's booming voice. "YOR TOOR SHUL!" At those words, fire came out with the heat to melt diamonds from the giant maw of the black scaled dragon. The flames were just about to engulf James; he closed his eyes to embrace the fire in hot death. The fires hit and engulfed him as he thought of searing pain coming but it never did. Instead he found himself woken up by the shrieks of a familiar voice.
"Dammit James, wake up!" shrieked a voice. It was masculine, it sounded gruff but it was soft enough to hear without the impression of demand in the voice. James woke up covered in sweat, cold hard sweat making his fur patted and messed up along with his mane. His vision was blurry but none the less it was reasonably clear, his brain seized up and had him crawl away on his flanks away from his older brother, chest beating up and down like a bad rhythm as he was hyperventilating. Jacob caught him by his telekinesis spell so that his younger brother wouldn't crawl away.
"James! Calm the hell down!" continued Jacob.
"NO! It-It'll get me! LET ME DOWN!" screamed James. Jacob complied but trotted slowly towards James, not wanting to make any sudden movements. James could see his brother's advances but freaked out and sent a lightning spell towards his older brother, sending Jacob flying to the other side of the room.
"What are you doing James?!" shouted Brett. His untimely appearance worse than ever of any appearance ever. Being his twin would make you think he'd actually be the first one to help you know?
"Stay back! The beast lurks!" shouted James, his hyperventilating getting progressively worse. "The…dragon…it…I don't know…!" Jacob picked himself up from the floor and shook his head to leave out the groggy feeling.
"James…" said Jacob. "What dragon…?" James took a minute to realize his surroundings, they were in his room, or at least the place from where he was staying in for the following week with his family on vacation. It was a luxury hotel, not meant for royalty but to the regular ponies it felt like a huge luxury to even sleep in for a night let alone a week. James took that minute to calm down the best he could, the dragon wasn't here, it couldn't be here, and he sure as hell was going to be okay. He let himself calm down little by little as he stopped hyperventilating.
"This…huge black dragon…it was in my dream of when we were younger…I don't know what it was saying though, it was talking in some weird language or something." said James. Jacob and Brett's eyes went wide, a case like this was not discarded in their time.
"What was its name?" asked a voice the three alicorn stallions knew all too well, the voice of their mother, Princess Celestia. She seemed just as concerned as her other two children, but her expression was flat and bold but her voice was just as calm as ever.
"I don't know, at one point he was saying stuff like…I don't know, something about "DOVahKiin", and "DOVah"…oh sweet lord I had no idea what to make of it…" said James. Celestia trotted up to his sweating son he sat on his flanks on his bed, she seemed more worried at the hearing of "DOVahKiin". She remembers hearing this language before, but it has been probably hundreds of years since she did hear it, it was just so vague.
"It's okay James," said Princess Celestia. "I'll see for myself." She nuzzled James on the cheek as he turned his head in embarrassment, slightly flushing.
"Mom, I'm an adult stallion, not a little colt!" exclaimed James. Jacob couldn't help but snicker at that comment. If Jacob was anything aside from Jacob Lightbringer, he was immature.
"D'aawww, wittle Jaymie-Waymie having da' wiw' nightmares? Let's get MOTHER to fix this situation!" ranted Jacob. His baby voice was stupid to hear and listen but it made Brett laugh his flanks off. Princess Celestia scowled at her two kids as they looked at their mother with fear, instantly their smirks swept off their faces. Celestia really knew how to take a hold of her kids well.
"I'll look into it James, just sit back and relax, let mommy take care of things." said Princess Celestia. Her horn touched James's forehead, they both closed their eyes as Celestia's magic went to work looking into James's nightmare. At that moment Jacob and Brett started laughing as hard as they could.
"Did you hear what she said? Mommy!" exclaimed Brett. At that the two just kept laughing as hard as they possibly could, knowing that their mother couldn't do anything about it, at least not at that moment. After two minutes, Princess Celestia had her horn leave contact from her son's head and had a grave look on her face. They never seen their mother so serious, they actually got worried as the room quickly became deathly quiet.
"I should have known…" said Princess Celestia darkly. She had her eyebrows furled in anger as she stormed out of the room, James couldn't help but pipe up.
"Um…mom?" asked James. Princess Celestia turned her head around to see James worried. "Known about what?"
"The million bit question…" thought Brett. Celestia didn't answer for the longest time. What seemed like an eternity she exhaled a deep sigh and looked at her sons with the up most seriousness.
"That black dragon you saw in your nightmare James," began Princess Celestia. "Is something to worry about."
"Then why not tell us what it is mom? I think we could handle the truth." said Jacob. Princess Celestia took all the emotional strength she could muster to give her sons a warm smile. Even then it couldn't convince them that everything was okay, for it wasn't, not where they were.
"All in due time Jacob, after the little vacation we have is done, I'll let you all know in a week," said Princess Celestia. "But for now, its morning and now plans have changed, I understand it was at the last-minute but right now it's not me that need you, it's yourselves." James, Brett and Jacob did not understand what she had meant at all.
"What I mean is learning about modern culture through your mother isn't as good as actually going out and doing it," said Princess Celestia. "If you had to learn along friends, and yourselves, then this week will be a fun one for you all." She smiled and walked away, deep in thought.
"Damn…" thought Princess Celestia. "We aren't ready…" She walked into the room for which she and her sister were lying in. Princess Luna looked up to Princess Celestia in worry, hearing the screams of James as well. Celestia just looked down upon her, collapsed onto her knees and cried silently. Luna felt bad at this scene; she always knew her sister had a lot of mental strength, and physical. And she could understand anypony breaking down after the events of the Nightmare Moon incident for everypony involved felt broken somehow, especially Connor. But seeing Celestia like this shocked Luna.
"What happened big sister?" asked Princess Luna. She cooed softly into her older sister's ears and nuzzled her neck softly, even got close enough for their bodies to touch, but it seemed to stem the tears out worse.
"I'm not worthy to be called that, not even a mother…" said Princess Celestia. She buried her face into her forelegs as she cried harder into them. Luna brushed her magically flowing mane with a hoof, going slow and softly as to not make a tangle in the seemingly perfect mane.
"No sister you are...please tell me what happened. I'm really worried about you." said Luna. She looked on the urge of tears too but with nothing to else to say but to let her older sister speak, she stood silent. Celestia just looked at Luna with self-pity. She took her face out of her forelegs, her eyes bloodshot from crying as much as she did.
"James is still haunted by Famine…" said Celestia. That part didn't surprise Luna, James was always fairly sensitive and she herself would hate the sight of Nightmare Moon if she ever saw the image of her again. "But what makes it worse is that he's haunted by…whatever this dragon was…" Luna seemed shocked at the hearing of such news, a dragon haunting a pony's nightmare? Sure their size is shocking but for a magical being as powerful as James to fear a dragon? This was something new.
"Apparently it knew about Famine, using it at first to lure James into whatever it was planning to do with him," said Princess Celestia. "I will not tolerate something to use my children…" She said that on a low growl as Luna felt afraid of possibly suffering her sister's wrath. "Well…that's not just it either…do you remember what happened after Connor did the Three Deeds of War?" Oh yes…Luna could remember it all well, and how she felt ashamed for making her son do what she did. Something she knows she'll never let go.
"You saw how the ashes of ruin got onto his fur and mane? Making him as if he was evil incarnate? This dragon looked unnatural just like how Connor did. Same colors too…nothing's right…" Luna had to agree, an unnaturally darker than the night dragon was absolutely nearly impossible to see in Equestria now. "The creature was a male I could tell by the gruffness of the voice it spoke in, but the way it spoke was in the dragon language, I couldn't decipher what…I guess "he" said to James. Something is going on and we have no idea what it is. It infuriates me to not know of something that's important."
"Maybe Connor or one of the regular dragons knows what to do?" asked Luna. "You know his condition, he knows more of dragons then we do." Celestia nodded in agreement to that statement. She wiped her face with a forehoof to get rid of whatever tears were left and some snot, Luna couldn't help but giggle at her older sister when she saw the green goo come out of her snout.
"…Anyways, the point is Luna that we have to talk to Connor as soon as possible, he may hold the answers we need, whatever this dragon is we need to take it down." flatly stated Celestia. She got up, wobbling a bit as Luna helped her up by using her body for Celestia's support. "Thank you."
"Ah, no problem sister!" exclaimed Princess Luna. They both knew what they had to do. They got up and barged in comically into the room of James, Brett and Jacob. "Attention!"
"What the crap was that for?" asked Jacob. He seemed annoyed by his aunt's sudden barging in, it was just too sudden, too fast.
"Listen up you maggots!" exclaimed Luna. Princess Celestia cleared her throat to shut her sister up which she did, and then she began to speak.
"What Luna was TRYING to get to boys is that we won't be spending time with you, the elements will." said Princess Celestia. James, Brett and Jacob all seemed to cheer at both parts of the news, which annoyed Princess Celestia. "What's wrong with me?"
"Oh nothing, good mother, but rather happier to be spending time with a lovely bunch of mares if I do say so myself." said Brett. "For you see, the yellow one is very attractive and I wish to court her." James, Luna and Celestia seemed to just stare at the red alicorn in shock.
"You mean Fluttershy?" asked Princess Celestia.
"Yes, that is her name correct? She may be very shy but she's just too adorable to ignore." stated Brett like it was nothing.
"Meh, the rainbow mane mare's pretty hot." said Jacob. Celestia just couldn't listen to what she was hearing, none of this was right.
"I thought I raised you all better than this! You're talking about the elements of harmony like…like this! This isn't how you speak of mares ever!" exclaimed Princess Celestia.
"Well look we just find a couple of them attractive is all, no big deal." said Jacob. "Actions speak louder than words if I recall." Celestia just shook her head in disapproval. She'd honestly hate for somepony to actually talk about her like that the same way her two boys are thinking of the elements.
"Your right, but still, I ask that you give them more respect when you refer to them. Agreed?" asked Princess Celestia. Jacob shrugged and walked out of the room.
"Sure, whatever mom, now c'mon boys, we got a day ahead of us." said Jacob. Brett and James cheered as loud as they could without disturbing their neighbors and galloped out of the room. Luna chuckled to herself at the sight of the hormonal alicorns leaving the room.
"Pray tell Luna, what is so funny?" asked Celestia annoyingly.
"They may no longer be the four Stallions of the Apocalypse," said Princess Luna "But they haven't changed one bit."
"…That's what I'm afraid of…"