Tartarus Forged

by SvenFoxx

16. Grief and Ambition.


Applejack looked up, having to wipe the rain, which was falling in a torrential downpour, from her eyes, and found Pinkie Pie standing there. She was holding out a hoof, smiling sadly. “Pinkie?” she asked, voice raw.

“You can’t stay out here forever, you know.” Pinkie said.

Applejack looked back at the headstones, and felt her spirit get crushed all over again. She laid her head down. “I got nowhere to go. Leave me alone Pinkie,” she muttered.

Pinkie reached for Applejack, but was intercepted by a hoof, which she could see through.

“My granddaughter said to buzz off!”

Granny Smith stood… er… floated in front of Pinkie, looking stern.

“Leave me sister alone!”

Applebloom appeared next to Granny Smith, glaring.


Silent as a breeze, Big Mac appeared next to Applebloom, gaze determined.

And behind them, standing watch over Applejack’s prone form, was her parents. They watched the encounter with impassive eyes.

Pinkie blinked. “Why are you getting in my way?” she asked.

“Applejack said she doesn’t want to be bothered. So scram!” Granny Smith declared, waving her cane threateningly.

“But she needs my help!” Pinkie tried to reason.

“We don’t care! Leave!” Applebloom said forcefully.

Pinkie frowned. ‘This… isn’t like the Apple family,’ she thought. Said thoughts were put on hold when she had to frantically avoid Granny’s projectile cane. It flew by her harmlessly.

“Hey! I didn’t even do anything!”


Pinkie froze as the large shadow of a stallion far bigger than he had any right to be fell over her. She gulped. “Bic Mac?”


“I can’t leave. I have to help Applejack,” Pinkie said, not turning to face the stallion. She wouldn’t put her back to Applejack.

Big Mac frowned.

“And why do you think you can help our daughter?” Sweet Apple, Applejack’s mother, spoke up.

Pinkie felt a twinge in her heart. It had been a long time since she had heard the voices of Sweet Apple and Orange Jack. “I… She’s my friend. I have to be there for her.”

Orange Jack, Applejack’s father, quirked an eyebrow. “It doesn’t seem like she wants your help. The friendly thing to do would be to let her grieve in peace.”

Pinkie paused at that. He wasn’t wrong, but at the same time…

“I don’t care,” she said, frowning at the ghosts of Applejack’s family. Ghosts that shouldn’t even exist, since most of them were still alive. “If Applejack wants to grieve for your deaths, that’s fine, but letting her do it alone is wrong. She should be surrounded by her friends and family when she does.” She glared at the spirits. “None of which you are!”

Rearing up, she stomped her hooves, eyes glowing with blue light. A shockwave of powerful magic billowed outwards, shredding the illusions standing in her way into wisps of dark blue mist.

Only Orange Jack and Sweet Apple remained, the wave of blue magic having passed through them harmlessly. Pinkie glared at them in defiance as she approached. Applejack yelped when the pink mare forwent permission and just grabbed her, throwing her over her back.

“Hey! What in tarnation are you doing!?” she yelled, struggling.

“Helping my sister,” Pinkie said, marching away. The rain started to let up.

Applejack froze, and slumped. “We’re cousins at best, Pinkie,” she sighed. It was an old argument, since it was never determined whether or not the Pie family were a branch of the Apple family or not.

“Don’t care. I say you’re my sister, so you’re my sister.” She paused, and then continued. “You’re family, and family doesn’t abandon family.”

The rain became a drizzle.

Applejack felt herself tense, and then she laughed. She was also crying, but she didn’t care. “Oh man, I’m really out of it, ain’t I? Can’t believe I forgot.”

Pinkie shrugged. “Pain does that,” she said.

They looked at each other.

“Blood is thicker than water…” Pinkie started.

“Family is thicker than blood,” Applejack finished.

They vanished in a flare of blue light, leaving behind not an ashy rain soaked field with five graves, but rather a sun drenched hill, on top of which only two headstones sat. Both were well cared for.


Applejack’s eyes opened, and she rolled over, getting her hooves under her. She brought a hoof to her head. “Ow…” she muttered. “Somepony better stop ringing that bell…”

Pinkie smiled at her cousin, and then moved over to Rarity. She placed her hooves, glowing with a blue aura, on her friend’s side.

Applejack approached, watching.


Rarity felt a hoof on her back and looked up. She grimaced, imagining that her make-up must have been an absolute mess.

But seeing Applejack standing there smiling at her made her forget about makeup. “Applejack?” she asked curiously, rubbing at her eyes and standing up. “Are… are you here for the spring reveal as well?”

“Nah, not really my thing. Though Pinkie seems to be having a good time.” She pointed a hoof.

Rarity turned, and her eyes widened at the sight of Pinkie modelling one of her light blue jean jackets. Celestia and a few other faceless nobles were oooohing and aaaahing at the design.

Rarity watched as Pinkie went from dress to dress, and every noble she passed had a blue light wash over them, before suddenly they couldn’t get enough of the various pieces on display. They loved the clothes. They loved the designs.

They loved her work.

Pinkie passed Rarity’s mother, and had to dodge the hoof that made a grab for the outfit she was wearing. Rarity’s mother looked livid. “No! I refuse to allow you to plant ideas beyond her station in my daughter’s head!” she growled.

Rarity’s grimaced at the rebuttal, but before she could fall apart Applejack enveloped her in a hug.

Pinkie looked at the pink Unicorn, squinting. “You’re… Rarity’s mom?” she asked curiously.

The mare straightened. “Yes. I am Fashion Wishes, and I work in Manehatten as a store clerk.”

Pinkie nodded. “Right, right. So… why aren’t you supporting her?” She pointed at Rarity, who looked surprised at the sudden attention.

The pink mare sniffed. “My daughter fails to understand that nobility is a class that will never give her the time of day, no matter how great she thinks she can become. She was lowborn, just like all of her family, and that will always dominate her life.”

Pinkie scoffed, and that really surprised Rarity. She didn’t think the eternally grinning mare had it in her to scoff. “Maybe you’re right,” she consented, which twisted Rarity’s heart. “Maybe she never will accomplish her dream.” Rarity bravely held back a sob, looking down. “But I don’t care.”

Pinkie stomped a hoof. The world seemed to shudder, and Rarity looked up in confusion. Fashion Wishes looked surprised.

“She could want to be a singer in a seedy bar for all I care. That’s her choice.” Pinkie leaned forward, eyes narrowed. “What I care about is that she’s my friend.” Her hoof lashed out, grasping Fasion Wish’s shoulder like a vice. “I’ll always be there for her. She wants to sing? I’ll be cheering at the front of the crowd. She wants to farm? I’ll help her plow the fields with a grin.” Her hoof erupted in an inferno of blue light, and Fashion shrieked in pain, leaping away. “She wants to design clothes and try to be an elite? I’m going to stand next to her and make sure she knows she always has somepony rooting for her every step of the way.”

Fashion hissed, and Rarity felt herself beginning to smile. She returned Applejack’s hug.

Pinkie grinned at the nightmare creation. “And no illusion is going to stop me from helping my friends enjoy their passion,” she declared, her eyes glowing.

Fashion Wish shrieked in sudden pain again, and then exploded in a burst of dark mist. Pinkie blasted it with blue light, making the remnants vanish completely.

The world shattered.


Rarity awoke with a gasp, and found Pinkie and Applejack standing over her. She looked back and forth between them, eyes almost wild. “Did that… What…?” she muttered, confused.

Her confusion increased when both mares hugged her. “I don’t know if any of that was real,” Applejack started. “But I’m with Pinkie. We’re your friends, Rarity, and you can always count on us to support you.”

Rarity smiled and returned the hug. Pinkie pulled back after a moment and moved to Rainbow Dash. They both followed, laying their hooves on her shoulder as Pinkie put her own glowing hoof on Rainbow Dash’s chest.