Will fill out later...
LTV 1.7 Celestia’s Exodus (Final Chapter to Part One)
The two mares looked out over the Great Room, the largest open area of the entire Resistance base. It was completely filled with ponies of all species surrounding a raised stone platform. The crowd’s roar was nearly deafening as it echoed through the massive cavern, forcing them to flatten their ears. The air was filled with pegasi floating above, carrying even more foals looking to be rescued by Celestia. Heartsong’s heart sunk in her chest, realizing how close to impossible it will be for Veridian to be chosen.
There was a tapping at her flank and she jumped in surprise, turning around to see who it was. She looked up to see herself staring straight into Princess Sola’s eyes. She quickly bowed down in respect and was dismissed by the Princess, “You may rise Heartsong, I’m here to deliver your ticket and to observe the ceremony.” Sola levitated her ticket to Heartsong who took it graciously in her hoof, reading the number to herself, “2548, Thank you your Highness.”
Heartsong looked back to see Nurse Redheart hugging a young filly who looked identical to her, who she figured was her child. She noticed even the filly had a cutie-mark, identical to her mother’s. Heartsong looked back to her own blank flank and sighed. “Mother?” asked the filly, “Why do none of the ponies here have cutie-marks like us?” Redheart widened her eyes in embarrassment that her child had just asked that in front of Heartsong. “Oh my, I haven’t told you before, Dear?” The filly shook her head and Redheart sighed, “I might as well tell you, considering this may be the last time I ever see you.” She somehow managed to say that without stuttering, blinking, or crying; Heartsong was impressed.
Princess Sola and Heartsong with Veridian listened intently to Redheart’s speech: “My dear filly, everypony in Equestria has a special talent just patiently waiting to be discovered. You and I are extremely lucky to have found ours. Here, in Stalliongrad, the oppressive Communist government forces us to work jobs that they decide for us. It is very rare for a pony to be put into a job they are good at, so almost all of our comrades go through their lives without finding their special talents and die with a blank flank.” Redheart paused for dramatic effect then continued, “And that, is why Celestia does this for us. She comes to save you foals from the evils of this place, so that you may live your life the way you want to.” A tear had formed in her eye and hung there, glistening different colors from the various colored lanterns that hung around the cave walls.
There was a sudden, collective gasp from the crowd followed by cheering. Princess Celestia had emerged from the entrance, surrounded by four royal Canterlot guards, all pegasi. Princess Sola let out a small snicker; making fun of the less intimidating armor they had, compared to the spiked armor her own guards wore. Heartsong noticed and teasingly nudges Sola’s side. Celestia stood back, surprised at the number of ponies that needed her help, then walked through the crows who parted to let her through. To the amazement of everypony watching, she gracefully leaped up to the raised platform and her guards pushed the crowd back to form an empty circle around it.
Princess Celestia stood up, proud, peering over the crowd before announcing in the traditional, royal Canterlot voice, “Comrades of Stalliongrad! I have come before you all today to once more bring your younglings to safety and protection. I have secured them homes with loving parents who will take care for them as they would their own children.” She took in another breath, “I humbly apologize in advance for not being able to help every foal out there. I wish I could..” A green Pegasus glided toward the center, carrying a giant, brown, cloth sack, alighting in front of Celestia and laid the bag at her feet before flying off. “Now, for the sake of time, let us begin!”
The feeling of anticipation was nearly tangible. The entire herd of ponies had gone dead silent; all eyes were affixed on Celestia and her golden glowing horn as she randomly pulled out three tickets. They glowed the same color as her horn while they elegantly left golden trails, swirling around her entire body until they stopped, hanging in front of her imposing eyes. Their golden trails slowly dissipated until Celestia began to read off the first numbers.
The ponies’ gazes all turned to their own tickets to follow along as she read aloud, “3…” Most of the ponies, including Heartsong, groaned in unison as they were already eliminated by the first number. “7…” Heartsong noticed that Redheart’s eyes grew steadily wider, still staring at her own ticket. “3…” Redheart bit her lip, tapping her hooves nervously, one number away from her child’s salvation. Celestia paused for a second, gazing out toward the audience before reading the final number, “8…”
Redheart stood there silently, letting her ticket drop. As it gently alighted on the floor, she turned away, tears forming in her eyes. “Let’s go my dear…” She solemnly said while she trotted away with her filly. Princess Sola and Heartsong watched as she walked away from the ceremony defeated, and decided they should let her go. There was but a single Pegasus mother cheering and crying at the same time as she flew down to the empty circle the guards had formed, landing with her child; a white coated, purple maned colt.
Princess Celestia let the first ticket disappear into thin air with a sudden gold flash, and then continued to the second, “Again, it starts with 3…” Another moan and angry clopping of hooves erupted over the crowds as a squad of Sola’s royal guards pushed their way through the angry herd of ponies, taking their places in the circle. “7 again…” Celestia let out a quick, little ‘hmm’ as she read the third number, “3…” She raised her brow inquisitively, finding it odd.
Heartsong quickly realized that Redheart still had a chance and snatched her ticket off the stone floor; Princess Sola leaned over her shoulder to look. “6!” Sola and Heartsong gasped together, she had won! Heartsong stood there, dumbstruck as Sola started to push her side, “Go! Go get her! Quickly!” Heartsong sort of shuffled her hooves unsure of what to do at first, but then took off in full gallop before jumping and flying off toward where Redheart left. She quickly caught her, not having gotten far due to her solemn trotting, and called, “Redheart! Nurse Redheart! You won! You must come quickly!”
She looked from her filly’s hooves and up to Heartsong, who seemed like a guardian angel, hovering there with her white coat and straight, golden mane. Without another word, she scooped up her child in her muzzle and threw her on her back, galloping. “If they don’t show up soon, they will be disqualified and I shall pull out another number!” announced Celestia just before Redheart came crashing through the crowd and stumbling in front of the guards.
Heartsong smiled, having taken her place next to Sola again, distant from the rest of the crowd, in the back. “One ticket left…” Heartsong sighed. Sola nudged the mare with her onyx capped hoof, “There there Heartsong, Veridian can still win, it’s just going to take a bit of luck.” “The Raffle is rigged!” cried some angry pony, getting a furious reaction from the crowd, nearly starting a riot. More of Sola’s guards streamed in from the tunnels and with some difficulty, managed to quell the unrest.
“Comrades! I promise you, these are entirely random, which makes it possible for them to have similarities.” Celestia stated. The second ticket flashed out of existence as she began to read off the third and final ticket, “2…5…” A flicker of hope sparked within Heartsong but was soon extinguished when she read “5…1…!” No cheering came from the crowd, only silence and weeping. Princess Celestia looked around, attempting to find the winner, but none approached. She then warned and counted down, “If I don’t have a winner when I finish counting, I shall choose another. 10…9…8…” Everypony turned their heads around frantically, desperately hoping nopony would go up. “3…2…1…” Then a sudden golden flash eliminated somepony’s chance of salvation as she said zero, and one final ticket sprung from the bag in a golden trail with a noticeable hint of green. Everypony’s hopes were rekindled as they returned to gaze at their tickets, “2…5…” Princess Sola took Heartsong’s hoof in hers as Celestia read, “4…” She stared silently at the last remaining number, a single digit holding her child’s fate... “8!”
Heartsong gasped and immediately took off in a gallop, spreading her wings and leaping into the air, soaring above the herd of disappointed ponies, and crash-landing hard on her hooves next to Redheart. The nurse jumped, embracing Heartsong in a hug that was only disrupted when the winning ticket fell to the floor, striking it on its edge, and exploding into a pure green flash.
The crowd gasped when Celestia magically levitated Veridian off of Heartsong’s back and removed the cloth hiding his wings. She glared and frowned angrily, returning Veridian to the group of foals on the floor. She brought her golden capped hoof up off the ground then stomped down hard yelling, “This is Imposs-…” She was interrupted by something she had stepped on, it seemed soft and delicate. Looking down and lifting her hoof slowly from where she stomped, having left an indent and cracks in the ground, she stared at the last thing she would expect to see; a small plant, no, a clover. A nice-sized, vivid green, four-leafed clover lay there, smashed into the indent of the stone floor.
She stared silently, contemplating what to do until she was interrupted by a slowly growing, dull roar above where she stood. The sound quickly grew into a chain of booming explosions, shaking the massive cavern. Then, an ear-shattering crack filled the room as a gigantic stalactite broke free from the roof, filling the room with sun light from the outside world, falling point first at Celestia and the foals. She was stunned and unable to move. Princess Sola, faster than the eye could see, hurled herself over the entire Great Room, at the falling monstrosity, knocking it off course and crashing into the opposite wall from her where it crumbled harmlessly.
Again, another round of explosions shook the cave as the roof continued to crumble, dropping jagged boulders by the hundreds over the pony’s heads. The unicorns and pegasi started focusing their magic and flying to stop their incoming deaths, but to no avail. Princess Celestia formed a force field around herself and the foals who she had magically pulled to herself, boulders striking and rolling off the shield.
The quaking sent the crowd scattering, trying to escape the onslaught, but were too slow. Cries and shrieks of agonizing pain from ponies everywhere, crushing of bones and skulls emanated through the Great Room, only to be silenced with death. Veridian looked out as ponies, mares and foals alike were buried alive, making dull thudding sounds, and then looked to his mother… his beautiful mother, staring back at him silently as the boulders crashed throughout the room. She reached her hoof up and placed it on the force field, crying, hoping to feel her colt one last time, when there was a sudden smashing on her rear, crushing her in half and forcing her to the floor, pinned. She cried out a deathly shriek, looking up to the sky to see another figure falling toward her face. A soviet Pegasus descended from the sky, armblade strapped to their hoof, and crashed onto her head, sending blood spewing from both sides of her neck, and to the horror of Veridian’s watching eyes, ultimately ended her life.
Looking up, Celestia saw a swarm, darkening the skies, of enemy soviet pegasi divers, hurtling toward whatever ponies managed to survive the cave-in. Princess Sola and her guards were engaged in combat, greatly outnumbered, while armored soldiers of both Resistance and Soviets poured from the many tunnels around the Great Room, surrounding the Princesses on all sides. Sola called out to Celestia, “Sister, take the foals to safety! Get out of here while you still can!” She knew this would be the Resistance’s final stand. The Soviets had secretly planned a full scale invasion.
Celestia nodded, levitating the foals onto her Pegasus guard’s backs and took to the sky. Followed by her royal guards, she flew straight up and out of the hole the Soviets blew into the roof of the cavern, and looked down at the carnage. Mangled bodies lay under what was once the roof, their protection from the outside world had become their end. The cold stone floor was caked with pools of blood running from the crushed and slain. The sounds of metal on metal and metal on flesh reverberated around the crater that just moments earlier was a tranquil safe haven.
The Princess streamed tears down her cheeks, looking at the final object that lay on the ground; the clover she just as easily crushed as the Soviets did them. Reluctantly, she turned to her guards who had just dispatched a few enemy pegasi, sent plummeting to the ground, and said, “Let’s go, we need to get these younglings out of here.” And with that, they fled the terrible disaster in the direction of Canterlot.