The sun cast a warm glow on the small town on the edge of the Everfree forest. The inhabitants of Staliongrad never had much, but they were thankful for the daily sun and the nightly moon brought to them by the two Goddess Monarchs of Equestria. They had been even more pleased when one of the Princess's many apprentices had moved to the town. Staliongrad was unique in all of Equestria. It was the one place where the mares were not the majority of the population. It was on this kind of day that the mayor of Staliongrad decided to visit a familiar place on the edge of the forest. He was a small stout grey pony with a thinning black mane, but a full handlebar mustache he prided himself in. He made his way in, he had a secret about this place he visited and hoped no one to ever find out.
His secrecy had always been dismissed by the non-intrusive ponies of Staliongrad, but one newcomer unicorn, took it upon herself to investigate. She followed at a distance to see, the Pony make his way to a small cottage with a small stream of smoke coming out of the chimney. The Mayor looked around, glancing from side to side before pushing the door open with his hoof. The unicorn was curious by nature; her magnifying glass cutie mark fit her perfectly. She couldn't be seen though; she darted around the house till she finally spied a window. Levitating a telescope out of her saddle bag she took a look. She saw no fireplace from which the smoke could be coming. Only a steel hatch which the mayor had opened, the smoke seemed to be coming from there. The Mayor descending with the hatch closing with a loud thud behind him.
"Oh. Bluebell what have you gotten yourself into?" The blue unicorn asked herself. She thought about going into town, but she still was very new, and did not have anyone she could trust other than her familiar. Bluebell rushed into the cottage. It was empty other than an oven mitt on a wooden table, and the steel hatch. Bluebell turned the hatch door with her magic opening the hatch to reveal a passage way leading down into the ground. Walking down it she saw the mayor tossing log after log onto a huge bonfire. An underground stream seemed to be flowing very quickly. She wondered to herself about the purpose of such a fire, that is when she noticed it. A massive block of ice, containing a large orange dragon sat on the other side of the massive cave. Bluebell was awestruck. She had seen full grown dragons before, even talked to them, but this one was different. Its snout was shorter, and it was much larger. Its teeth and claws seemed sharp, and unless her vision was failing her there was blood frozen upon them. The ice block was melting, and it was the source of the underground stream. She hadn't noticed before, but other ponies too were throwing logs onto the bonfire.
"A Dragon Cult." Bluebell knew this was something she had to tell the Princess about immediately, but if this was a true Dragon Cult, than they needed to be delayed. Bluebell focused all her energy into her horn. She had never been particularly adept at conjuring or destructive magic; though, she was a master of the control and defensive spells. A great lightning bolt arced from her horn shattering some of the roof of the cave, damming the stream causing flooding. She turned to run when she heard a shout.
"There! That's the Pony who did this!" A stampede of angry hooves followed the Pony as she rushed her way up the stairs. Slamming the door shut she levitated the wooden table onto the hatch, hoping it would by her some time. She rushed back to the Staliongrad library she quickly moved several bookshelves in front of the first floor door and windows.
"Chenoa!!!" she shouted. She laughed to herself every time, a hawk named after a dove. The golden bird descended, wondering why her master was moving all the furniture she could to barricade the doors.
“I need you to take a letter to the Princess.”
Chenoa craned her neck; Bluebell had graduated the Princess’s tutelage years ago. She no longer needed to send letters. Quickly scrawling a message telling the urgency of the situation, she tied it to the Hawk’s talon as banging began to occur at the door. The Hawk turned not wanting to leave her master. Bluebell pushed her out the window, the Hawk would have returned if not for a crossbow bolt fired at the Hawk. The Hawk turned and left at top speed. The Staliongrad police force had complete trust in their mayor. He had lead them for many years, and if he said that a newcomer was dangerous and needed to be taken care of they believed him.
Bluebell paced the room, as the door continued feeling the loud effects of the ponies battering it. Thankfully for her it was a solid oak door. She began drawing lines in the room using her horn to carve out ornate runes and wards to strengthen the building.
“Don’t worry Mayor Bristle will have taken her into custody before the sun is down. “
“Captain Cameo” the Mayor had raised his voice more than the brown earth Pony was used to “She is extremely dangerous. If she is to be taken alive, she is to have her horn and tongue cut out.”
“Mayor Bristle!” Captain Cameo was shocked “Why in Celestia’s name would you want us to be so brutal?”
“Are you contradicting me Captain?” For an older stallion the mayor projected his power quite fiercely upon the larger pony
“Then I suggest you carry out your orders. I will be back shortly” Mayor Bristle left at a full gallop and headed back to the Everfree Forest.
Captain Cameo was confused, and angry. He had no intention of following the mayor’s orders.
“Boys stand down” The other Earth Ponies looked at him with confused glances.
“No “But Captain”s with me. Stand down that’s an order. I want to try and talk to this unicorn.”
Captain Cameo approached the library his men had taken the crossbow harnesses off their backs as a sign of good will. The Captain knocked on the door.
“Miss Bluebell? May we talk?” The second story window opened, and a magical glow enveloped the Captain, and levitated him up through the window. The other police ponies released a few gasps of amazement, never had so much magic been seen in Staliongrad, not since the traveling magic act came through many years ago. Captain Cameo found himself in a bedroom with many scuff marks on the floor from the recent dumping of furniture to barricade the door. The room was carved with runes, glyphs, and wards almost completely. Standing opposite to him was a blue unicorn, her horn pointed at him glowing and ready to strike.
“Miss Bluebell, what did you do that makes Mayor Bristle need you taken out so badly?”
“I discovered his deep dark secret.”
“Now what secret would that be?” Captain Cameo was skeptical, he had been police captain for ten years and an officer for another ten before that, he was confidant he knew every little secret of this town.
“Outside the town, there is a small cottage. Underneath is a block of ice which contains what I believe to be an elder dragon. He is working to thaw the beast out!!!”
“An elder dragon? Now what in the hay is that?”
“An elder dragon.” Bluebell said as she levitated one of the few books remaining in the room is one of the six primeval dragons, from which all dragon kind descend. If this is to be believed he seeks to awaken Atherion, the fire dragon. He was the fiercest of all six dragons, the vast majority of the dragons are descended from him, and any variety that breathes normal fire comes from him.”
“Even if I believed all this Elder Dragon nonsense, why should I believe the mayor is trying to awaken one?”
“You have to trust me!” the Unicorn’s up till now defiant voice wavered, Cameo had heard that voice often enough. It was one of desperation, begging for a last chance.
“All right all right. Let’s go see this cottage with the scary dragon.”
Bluebell’s face lit up
“You’ll see! You’ll see! You won’t regret this Captain. Follow me!” The unicorn lead the Captain through the complex maze of booby traps she had laid on the floor. Her horn glowed with magic and tossed all the furniture aside, the door swung open.
The Unicorn exited with a full gallop shouting to the police ponies
“You heard her boys” The Captain said as he chased after. The Police ponies gathering their wits soon followed as well.
The Mayor opened the hatch and sealed it. He did not want any disturbances. The slow and steady way would no longer work. Though the dragon was mostly thawed, there was a chance that messenger hawk could ruin his plans. He laid his saddlebags down.
“Listen everypony!!!” The mayor shouted his voice booming throughout the cavern. “Take one of these, and then bring the fuses to me!!!” The mayor produced several crude sacs filled with gunpowder, as a child he had always enjoyed making fireworks. As an adult he had advanced those talents. The various ponies came and took the sacs and placed them at the base of the large icy prison. They then returned to Mayor Bristle with the fuses.
The police ponies and Bluebell reached the cottage, and Bluebell rushed in. The police ponies rushed in and saw the steel hatch.
“I told you!”
“Easy miss we haven’t seen no frozen dragon yet.” The Captain tried to open the hatch only to find it locked from the inside.
“Allow me” Bluebell’s horn began to glow, she was weary from all the magic she had performed, but she knew she had enough left to unlock the door. She concentrated and a shunting sound was heard. The unicorn felt weak.
“Try it now. I’ll stay here. I am too tired to go on.”
“Murphy stay with her.” Captain Cameo lead the remaining police ponies down the stairs. He saw the mayor striking a match, and then turned to see the ice block.
“Sweet Celestia have mercy! Stop Mayor Bristle!!!”
“Celestia cannot save you now!!!” Mayor Bristle lit the fuses, as he was tackled by several police ponies as a brawl ensued between the other cultists and the police. A deafening explosion was heard. And chunks of ice fell to the ground. All in the cave stood in awe, as a mighty bellow resounded through the lair. Wings slowly spread weak, from time frozen. Fire flickered as the dragon breathed upon itself, unthawing its body.
“Oh mighty Dragon. We are your humble servants. Grant us your power!” Mayor Bristle said as the other cultists knelt before the dragon. The Police Ponies stood quaking in terror. The Dragon seemed unconcerned with the ponies, but rather looked towards the ceiling and began flapping his wings. He smashed through the roof sending chunks of rock everywhere.
Above ground the cottage was shaken and the back wall was ripped off as the mighty dragon ascended
“O Sister Sovereigns save us.” Murphy said as he backed in fear of the beast.
“We were too late!” Bluebell screamed in despair.
The Dragon began flying into the sky, eyeing the nearby town. A mighty roar went off as he breathed a fiery inferno towards the town. He was surprised to see it still standing though. There in the middle of the town square was his old foe, clad in armor, her horn aglow with magic; her mighty wings carried her to the dragon’s level.
“Atherion, you have been freed from your prison.”
“Yes Celestia. No thanks to you and your sister. How long has it been since we last met?”
“The Dragon wars ended several millennia ago Atherion. Surrender, I do not wish to slay you. Though if you threaten my people anymore, I shall be forced to do so.”
“I no longer sense the powers of harmony within you Celestia. You cannot match my power!”
“I am not the young mare you did battle with last.” The dragon mocked her licking the blood of his foreclaw.
“I am far more powerful!” Celestia’s eyes began to glow and a translucent light construct took the form of an alicorn around her.
“You are weak from your imprisonment. You are the one who is out of their league.”
“You cannot slay me Celestia, with me goes fire, and the world, will be frozen in those winter nights.”
All the citizens of Staliongrad had gathered to see this momentous event. A battle of gods. Their very voices shook the foundation of the Earth.
“With me goes fire?” Bluebell was quite confused and picked up her fallen telescope to better observe the battle.
Celestia charged the dragon, the avatar of light’s horn cutting into his shoulder. The beast roared in pain. It clawed at Celestia’s avatar. Though Bluebell couldn’t be sure, she was confidant she saw the Princess wince within. Lightning arced from within the avatar from the princess' horn several bolts, struck the creature. The dragon breathed fire, so hot it was felt by those on the ground below. Celestia’s avatar seemed to be shrinking.
“I told you. You are weak Celestia.”
“No Atherion. You don’t know how powerful I really am. You see monster I have a magical connection with my sister. I have a new trick in my arsenal.”
Gasps came from the citizens of Staliongrad as the sun began to disappear behind the moon, creating a full eclipse.
Celestia began to shine brilliantly, and magical energy fired from her horn, dissipating the avatar completely, slamming the dragon into the Everfree Forest floor. The ground broke apart and the dragon was pushed further and further beneath the surface. The ground then began to heal, trying to seal the dragon, another jet of fire. There was no avatar to protect Celestia this time.
“Princess!!! Bluebell cried out and focused all her remaining strength into her horn. A powerful burst of magic launched to the sky and collided with the dragon’s flame, and though it was not strong enough to block it, it was able to move its course ever so slightly so that it missed the Princess. Bluebell smiled and fainted, and was thankfully caught by Police Pony Murphy’s hooves. Celestia resumed, she now charged towards the hole in the Earth descending, as a mach cone formed around her. She collided with Atherion trying to escape. A large boom shook the air as birds fled the forest in fear. She stared into the intense anger of Atherion’s eyes.
“Celestia we are both elder creatures, why do you care for the pathetic little meat bags?”
“I am truly sorry. For what I must do, and that you cannot understand love.”
“I need not love. I have power!”
Celestia allowed a tear to slip her eye, and she began glowing with a fierce intensity again.
“Atherion. For the threat you pose innocent life, I am offered no choice, but to imprison you once again in the Earth.”
Atherion lunged and made a slash with his claw. It knocked Celestia’s armor off her as though it were mere paper. Celestia winced in pain, as the dragon had as he had in their last battle drawn blood. Celestia began her transmutation spell. Rock and dirt began forming an icy prison once again The Dragon snarled and once again was incased in an icy prison. Celestia looked sadly upon the elder creature, once again saddened. After the dragon wars only three elder creatures still roamed the Earth. Not long after that, she and her sister had to lock Discord away, followed by her own sister. Though her sister was now free, Celestia felt guilty trapping the other gods of Equestria, because they threatened her favored ponies.
She couldn’t dwell on that though. Her subjects were no doubt worried and in need of reassurance. She lifted her armor with her horn, to cover the gash she had received.
“If they see their beloved monarch has become injured, they might panic. Better to smile and pretend nothing is wrong.”
Celestia ascended from the hole and landed once again in the town square, as the moon again left and the sun began shining upon Equestria once again.
“Bless that younger sister of mine.” Celestia thought as she noticed a chariot being pulled by two guard pegasi. The chariot landed in the square carrying one passenger. A golden hawk, with a bandage around a wing.
She turned to the citizens of Staliongrad, who were all kneeling in reverent awe of their Princess.
“Where is my devoted student Bluebell?” The citizens remained in a respectful silence, when a galloping was heard in the distance. Poor Police Pony Murphy was pulling a wagon with several unconscious police ponies and Bluebell on board. Police Captain Cameo limped behind.
“Princess.” The two police ponies kneeled.
“Arise, my valiant little ponies, and tell me your names.”
“I am Police Pony Murphy, your majesty.”
“Your parents named you “Police Pony”?” Celestia jested.
“No your worship, my first name is James.”
“I see, and you?”
“I am Police Captain Mulberry Cameo at your service Princess.”
“And where are the ponies responsible for freeing Atherion?”
The two Earth ponies glanced at each other.
“They got away, while we were retrieving the other officers and Ms. Bluebell your Majesty.” Captain Cameo interrupted wincing expecting punishment.
“You have done well.”
The two Earth ponies glanced at each other, this time with a smile.
“Seeing as the current Mayor is now a criminal, and based on your heroic actions of the day. I appoint you acting Mayor of Staliongrad. Rise Mayor Mulberry.”
“I cannot go by Cameo?” The new mayor asked nervously.
“You must go by your first name. It is a sign of trust among the ponies you lead.”
The Earth Pony sighed and Celestia simply smiled. Bluebell awoke and tried to get out of the cart only to fall to the ground. Bluebell quickly righted herself and moved towards the Princess.
“My faithful pupil Bluebell, it is good to see you again, come we have much to discuss. I’m afraid I must take you away from Staliongrad for a while though.” Bluebell began to walk towards the Chariot only to wobble again.
“Murphy help Ms. Bluebell” his Captain and now Mayor ordered.
“An excellent idea Mayor. Officer Murphy you shall accompany us. Ms. Bluebell will certainly need your help.” Murphy looked to the chariot, which the blue unicorn hand now fallen asleep in.
“Yes your majesty.”
The trio now aboard the chariot, watched as Staliongrad and the sun disappeared in the horizon behind them.
Author’s Note: Never thought I’d be one to like My Little Pony. I also swore to never read or write fanfiction. All three of those things are behind me now. This is my first attempt at fanfiction and I would like to thank all those in the DeviantArt and the Brony community who encouraged me to write.