Deep within an ethereal plane exists a place long forgotten by mortals and barley remembered by spirits. Known in its early days by a name unpronounceable by any modern creature, it is now simply called the Eternus Shard. It is a remnant from precosmic times when the universe was still forging dimensions and time was becoming time. Here an ancient soul dwells as he watches the world and observes modern times, hope in his eye as he gazes into the flames of the great fire basin set in the middle of the chamber. He has currently been keeping an eye on the recent mortal heroes of the Equestrian kingdom, taking note of their achievements and their crimes. Though there is one amongst them he has noticed with great interest. A little dragon with more to him than many would bother to give credit, unless they have been saved by his intervening claws from impending doom. Perhaps now with his new growth of flight it is time to give rise to a new and possibly true champion for the world? A thought and decision from the old one as he reaches out a claw towards the image of the little dragon with a bolt of lightning shooting from his appendage into the fire and disappearing. What will be will be, no matter what any would desire otherwise, not even he.
Location: Ponyville Train Station
Spike was making his way onto the train with a duffle bag grasped in his left claw and a scroll in his right. He'd been asked by Twilight to pick up some historical scrolls from the Dragon Kingdom from its archivist, Blacktip. Once on the train Spike found his seat and sat down. He took note that besides two ponies and himself, this section of the train was empty.
"This is sure to be a quiet ride. Guess I'll snooze for most of the trip." spike declared as he got comfy in his seat, and rested his eyes.
Later Spike awoke with jolt as the train car shook strongly. As his mind adjusted to the waking world once more he noticed that the interior lights were on and it was dark outside."Wow, I really overslept. It's already night." looking around Spike noticed that the two ponies from before were gone, guessing that they must've gotten off at another stop.
Since he couldn't go back to sleep Spike pulled out one of his favorite books, a graphic novel of the Power Ponies, and a rather thick one at that. It featured the first 100 issues of the series, including the origin story. Spike had been saving this book for his next long trip as he wanted to be undisturbed so he could enjoy the story and immerse himself in it. But before he could even crack it open he noticed something odd outside. The stars in the night sky started to blurr by faster than they should have with the trains average rate of movement. Turning his attention fully to the sky he was definitely sure something wasn't right. Putting his book back in his bag, Spike hopped out of his seat and went to the front of the cars door to go to the next car to find the conductor. Opening the train door he moved to the next car to find it empty and as he progressed further up the train he found it completely empty. Finally he arrived at the locomotive, finding it both empty, alien looking, and operating itself.
"What's going on here?!" Spike shouted in a panic.
As if to answer him a white light starts to shine a short distance infront of the train. Looking out the side of the window Spike's eyes shrink alittle as he and the train are encompassed by it. Once the train stops moving and gives a whistle that it has stopped, Spike slowly open his eyes. Looking around he sees that he's in a colossal pristine white train station. There's nocreature around as he takes it in. As he thinks about trying to get the train to reverse its course, a deep voice calls out to him.
"Come to me." it echos out.
Spike is hesitant but the voice calls out again
"Come." it calls again with greater command.
Spike considers trying to run, but he doesn't know where he is nor has anyway of determining how to get help. Then he remembers he could use his magic fire breath and thus starts back towards his things.
"Come to me!" the voice calls out to him once more.
Doubling his speed, Spike arrives at his bag. Grabbing a scroll and quill he starts writing for help. When he breaths his fire on it, it doesn't disappear but simply turns to ash.
"Come to me." the voice keeps calling out to Spike.
Looking out the window Spike sees only one option.
"Guess I got no other choice." Spike says to himself as he begins walking off the train.
Once off he notices how smooth the floor is, the material felt better than marble and showed no sign of tool marks or scratches. Not wanting to have the voice call for him again, Spike starts heading towards the only exit he can see, a large hallway entrance with torch lighting seen within. Following the path of the hall he notices several things about it. The material of the hall is different from the material of the indoor train station. Second, that there are different doors and archways, with the rooms of each archway filled with different things. Thirdly and most noticeably, the hallway was big enough that it looked like former Dragon Lord Torch could fit in it! As he neared the end of the hallway he could see a giant fire basin. Approaching it he is in awe at the size of the flame, so much so that he has yet to notice the colossus seated upon the throne behind it who has his one eye upon the young dragon.
"Welcome young dragon." the colossal cyclopean greets Spike, making him jump and look up.
As Spike looks up at the voices owner his heart nearly stops.
"W-w-w-WHO ARE YOU?!?!?!" Spike croaks out it terror.
The mysterious giant eyes Spike for a moment before releasing a deep chuckle and addressing Spikes question.
"No need to worry young one. I am the one who has summoned you here. But let us not speak in such darkness." he tells Spike before waving his claw in the shadows.
At his wave the torches on the chamber walls ignite themselves and illuminate him, allowing Spike to take in who it is before the little dragon. A gargantuan dragon with pale marble white scales and colossal red scutes like those of prehistoric creature. Upon his head are three horns; two that curl once like a powerful mountain rams own horns and a single one located upon his snout similar to a rhino. A pair of great white wings can be made out folded against his back. Notable along with his size and features is the scar upon his left eye, which is missing.
"I am the Warlock. Caretaker of the Eternus Shard, the place we reside at this moment." the Warlock informs Spike.
W-what do you want with me?" Spike stammers out.
"I have summoned you to take on a great responsibility and honor." he answers.
Spike calms down some at hearing this.
"What are you talking about? What great responsibility would you need me for. I'm just a little dragon." Spike declares.
The elder colossus smiles and waves his claw at the fire, it's colors change and swirl as images come forth. Images of Spikes deeds.
"Over the course of your life thus far you have dealt with many things other dragons have or have not faced. Greed, Friendship, Evil, Disasters, and more." the Warlock lists off, "And yet with how often you have been neglected, used or abused, you have maintained a strong heart." he states even further as the images in the flames change to all the times others had forgotten him, used him, or let him get hurt in some minor way, such as when that spring trap from the Castle of the Two Sister launched him through the air.
Spike was less than thrilled at having to see those experiences again.
"Ok. So you're impressed with what I've done. But what is this responsibility you're wanting me to take on? Spike asks dryly as he wants to go home as soon as he can.
The elder dragon is silent for a moment.
"I suppose some impatience is to be expected considering the circumstances of your arrival. Very well young dragon, here is your answer. I have summoned you here to take my place as mantle bearer of the First Bolt and become the new champion for your world." the Warlock answers Spike.
Spike is speechless at what he has just been told.
"..... uh, what?" is all Spike can manage to finally say.
"To put it simply for you, you will become similar to those heroes in those comic books you collect." he simplifies it for Spike.
"WHAT?!?" Spike yells out.
The Warlock lets out an amused bellow at Spikes surprise.
"A shock I'm sure young one. But you shouldn't be too surprised after all I have listed about you." the Warlock says as he calms down from his jubilant moment.
"But what is that mantle of the first bolt? And how would it make me a super hero?" Spike questions the Warlock.
"To answer that young one we must start at the beginning of everything." the Warlock informs Spike as he begins explaining all that Spike will need to know.
"At the beginning of the universe; before Equistria, before our world, before time had formed into what it is now, there was the first things of the universe. And the First Bolt was the first bolt of energy to exist. It carried power like none since it. It was eons before its power was discovered. It's discovery brought much argument amongst the group of creatures that discovered its strength and weakness. For you see the First Bolt not only amplifies ones abilities and grants powers but also magnifies ones own mental aspects and heart. If somecreature was strong of heart or mind then that creature would become a force of good. But for one whose heart or mind leaned towards darker aspects then in turn those aspects become magnified and risked them becoming evil. The later of these two possibilities was true of near half the creatures that had discovered its power and so it was discussed on how to best handle it before they became engulfed by it. One creature amongst them was chosen to wield the First Bolts power and to guard it from evil. While there was some resentment at only one wielding the power it was for the best. It revealed to each who they were more than anything and allowed for them to forge a path for the better. As time past and generations came and went the need for the First Bolts power in the world waned. Creatures discovered other ways to defend themselves and evil forces were sparse in number. So eventually the First Bolts power was left here at the Eternus Shard with I to guard it from being abused and bear its mantle until the world needed a champion again." and with that the Warlock concluded his story.
Spike was in awe at the story he had just been told. And there was so much he wanted to know but there was one thing he had to ask.
"That's amazing. But if this is really as important as you've told me, then am I really the best choice?" Spike inquired of the elder dragon.
"The very fact that you show humility in your doubt is but further proof to me. You young dragon, thou are worthy to carry the mantle." the Warlock says resolutely.
Spike takes a moment to really think it over, out of everycreature in the world he had been picked to take up this big responsibility. He knew that it was no small decision. Looking up at the Warlock he had his answer.
"I accept the responsibility of bearing the mantle. I will carry it with pride and honor. Spike states, causing the Warlock to smile.
"Very good, young dragon. I now pass the mantle unto you." the Warlock declares and from out of thin air a bolt of lightning not seen since forgotten times strikes down onto Spike and imbues him with the power of the First Bolt.
Spike's form changes and grows. His scales turn red as rubies, his scutes a near golden yellow, his underbelly & wing folds turn white as snow, and a large lightning emblem forms down the middle of his mighty chest.
"Rise anew champion, for you are no longer simply Spike. Thou are now the Mightiest Mortal of your world. You are Bolt!"
Spike looked at himself and flexed newly empowered muscles. He could feel the energy of the First Bolt. It was inside him, it was apart of him.
"This power... it's beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I feel like I could do just about anything." Bolt says aloud only to touch his throat, "My voice, it's changed too!" he declares.
The Warlock nods at Spikes declaration.
"Indeed, that and many other things have changed. Your natural abilities have been enhanced and you have been gifted with additional abilities as well." the Warlock informs him, "You have strength that no other mortal will be able to match, no mortal threat shall be able to pierce your hide, you will be able to attain speeds unknown even to the swiftest of flyers, and many more abilities that you shall discover in time.
"Amazing!" Bolt declares as he flexes his arms upward, "Twilight and the others will be so amazed by this once I tell them!" he declares, only to be cut off quickly from that thought by the Warlock.
No! Bolt, you are never to reveal your identity or any of this to another creature." the Warlock informs Bolt.
Bolt is surprised at the Warlocks words and sternness.
"What? But why not? It's not like I can hide this change from them." he gestures at his changed form, "And why would it be so bad for them to know any of this?" he asks the Warlock with a frown.
The warlock remains calm as he addresses Bolts questions.
"Hiding this new form will be of no issue. You have the ability to change back into your natural form and back to your current state. You need but speak the word of power now bound to you with meaning and that word is Eternus." the Warlock tell him, "But as to why you cannot speak of any of this to another creature, that mistake has been made before several times. And each time it endangered other creatures as well as put the Eternus Shard in danger. Those creatures fought to gain the power of the First Bolt for their own desires and to pillage the secrets kept here. There are dangerous items housed here to keep out of reach from fools. And knowledge of your true identity, this place, or of your powers origin can place those you care for in danger should another learn of any of these things." the Warlock enlightens Bolt of the dangers he could and would face should he tell others.
Bolt is silent, he wanted to say that wouldn't happen but he knew better after all he'd seen. All the villains that had caused havoc, the creatures who had craved power or revenge, and even the pettiness he'd heard & seen from regular ponies.
"Ok, I see your point. The risk is a very real one." Bolt admitted and conceded, "I won't tell any other creature about this place, I promise." Bolt said, giving the Warlock his honorable word that he'd protect the secret of the Eternus Shard and all related to it.
The Warlock nods, "Good. I am glad you understand young one. Now it is time for you to return to your trip to the Dragon Lands, but as your smaller self." he informs Bolt.
Bolt nods and exclaims, "Eternus!" transforming himself back into his normal body.
Spike bids farewell to the Warlock and returns to the train. As the train starts moving again, Spike suddenly finds himself back on the regular train with the two ponies from before asleep in their seats. The trolley stallion comes into the car with his cart full of treats. He asks Spike if he wants anything and the young dragon turns down the offer to buy anything. As the trolley stallion goes on his way Spike turns his attention to the scenery outside and lets his mind mull over the events that just happened. He was a super powered champion for good now and he couldn't tell anyone it was him. He smiled alittle at the irony of his childhood wish to be a superhero. Just like his heroes he had to keep his identity a secret.