Stone awoke with a gasp. He heard what sounded like the cackling of fire coming from his right. He rolled over and looked at the fire. Laying on one side was the Princess. Sitting on the other was a bipedal, who must’ve seen Stone roll over.
“I see you’re awake.” He said.
“Yep.” Stone said sitting up. “What happened? How did I get here?”
“We were fighting on the ice lake when it cracked and we fell through.” Steve explained.
“Oh. I think I remember now.” Stone said raising a good to his chin.
“You and this alicorn fell through. I ran to the edge of the ice to try and pull her out, but the ice underneath me cracked. Once I went underwater, I swam after her body which was knocked out by the cold, just like you. Speaking of which, you hit your head on the ice, but you were still awake, barely. It didn’t take long for the cold to get the better of you. You went unconscious due to the extreme cold. I dragged you and her down to this cave and blocked off the water. Then, I used my logs to build a campfire. You probably don’t remember it because you have hypothermia. That usually leads to memory loss.” Steve explained. “By the way how are you feeling right now?”
“I got a huge bucking headache, and all my limbs are sore.” He said.
“Makes sense. Just keep warm while I try and find away out of here. Tell me if the alicorn wakes up.” Steve said.
Stone nodded. He watched as the bipedal walked off into the darkness. Then the memories came back.
”Stone!” He remembered the Corporal frantically cried. He remembered the horrified look on the others’ faces. Lastly, he remembered why he was there in the first place: the creature. Why did he save him. It didn’t make sense. He even saved the Princess. But why?
Steve sighed as he looked for an exit. He knew as soon as the Sargent remembered everything, he wounds trust Steve, but Steve needed to care for them. He had to go back. He reached the end of the cave. Nothing. Just a huge rock wall.
“Well, I suppose I could mine a way out. But that would be to risky because of the water.” He told himself. “I’ll check on the two and see if they have any ideas.”
He turned and headed back to the campfire. There, he saw Sargent Stone standing there, spear in hand. While he held it firm, it wasn’t pointed at him. Steve sighed.
“Listen, St-.” But Stone cut him off before he could finish.
“Why did you save us? You had no reason to. Why?” He asked.
“Because it’s not your fault. There was a huge misunderstanding, and Twilight Sparkle sent a letter to the princesses about it. Once they received it, they decided to take military action. You know the rest. I didn’t want to fight any of you. And I definitely didn’t want to-.”
“Kill us.” Stone finished. “I always wondered why you didn’t, despite having all the reason to.” He sighed. “What’s your name?”
“Excuse me?” Steve asked in a questioning tone.
“We gotta start somewhere. What’s your name?”
“Sargent Stone Hoof.” Steve said. “Yeah I’ve heard you say that before.”
“Oh. Okay. Nice to meet you Steve.” Stone said extending a hoof.
“Nice to meet you, too.” Steve replied shaking his hoof. They were interrupted by a groan. They looked over to the white alicorn laying on the ground.
“Ow.” She said, rubbing her head.
“Your highness.” Stone said running over to check on her. “Are you okay?”
“Not really, Stone Hoof.” She replied.
“You good?” She heard someone else say from behind. She rose her head and nearly gasped at what she saw behind him.
“Wait. Aren’t yo-.”
“It’s okay, Princess.”
“But isn’t he-.”
“The creature.” Steve finished.
“Yes!” She shot back quickly.
“Your highness, with all due respect, he just saved our lives. He didn’t have to, but he did it anyways.”
“Really?” The alicorn asked.
“Yes. I talked to him. At first I was a bit skeptical, but I found out the truth later. Can you, please, trust him?”
“Alright.” She said shooting a glare at the crafter. “But where are we?”
“In an underwater cave.” Steve answered. “You were knocked out by the extreme cold and I pulled you and Stone into this cave. Then I quickly blocked it off. Now I’ve gotta question for you, what’s your name? I got Stone’s, so what’s yours?”
“I am Princess Celestia. What’s yours?”
“I’m Steve. So you’re the other princess I read about.” Steve said.
“You read about me?” She inquired.
“Yep. I decided to ‘borrow’ a book from the library to get more information about this world.” Steve explained. “Don’t worry, I returned it.”
“Wait, what do you mean ‘this world?’” Stone asked.
“I’m not from this world. I don’t know how or why, but I somehow managed to get into this world.”
“Well, what was your world like?” Celestia asked.
“Horrifying. It used to be crawling with civilizations, but, now, it’s practically empty of all civilizations. When night rolls around, I have to either sleep or fight vicious monsters, each equipped with their own way of killing you. Whether it’s by touching you like zombies, suicide bombing like creepers, or shooting a fucking laser beam from their eye like guardians, they all have a way to kill you. Three skeletons, a monster that shoots at you with bows and arrows, got transported with me in my sleep. I was able to shoot all three of them, but I accidentally hit a pony. That’s how it all started. Since, most beings from my world just fall over and disappear, I had no evidence to prove it was an accident, so I was forced to flee.” Steve explained.
“Most of that flew over my head.” Stone said. “Except for that last part.”
“Same here, Sargent. Steve, I am terribly sorry for this misunderstanding that resulted in your ultimate shunning from pony kind.” She said.
“Eh, it’s alright. After all, it was mostly my fault.” He said. “Nonetheless, it’s time to put that behind us and find a way out of here.”
“You’re right.” Stone said. “Have you tried digging? I hear you are somehow able to do it exceptionally fast.”
“No. I don’t wanna risk it flooding.”
“Then what do we do? We can’t just sit here and wait to be rescued because the rescue team has no idea where we are.” Celestia said.
“And I don’t think you can teleport us out of here, ma’am.” He said. He pointed up, above her head at her horn. Or at least where it should have been. It was extremely broken, almost down to her head.
“Here, drink this.” Steve said handing her a bottle with a red liquid.
“What is that?” She asked skeptical.
“A potion of healing. It should instantly heal any damage sustained.” Steve explained.
She grabbed it from his hands and quickly swallowed the liquid down. Stone and her gasped in shock when they saw her horn grow back. Not fully but quite a bit.
“Thank you, Steve.” She said.
“No problem, Princess.” He told her.
“Please, just call me Celestia.” She said.
“Okay, Celestia.” He smiled.
“Hey, guys!” Stone called out.
“What is it, Sargent?” Celestia asked.
“I think I’ve got a plan.” He said. “Does anyone have anything that can float?” Steve quickly caught on to the plan, or at least had a hunch.
“Yeah. All items where I’m from float.”
“Perfect. You have anything we can write on?”
“Yep, I’ve got a book and quill right here.” Steve said.
“Rip out a page so-.”
“We can send it to the surface.” Celestia finished.
“Exactly.” Stone smiled a cheeky grin.
“But how are we gonna get it out of here?” She asked.
“We tear down the wall.” He said.
“I’ve got an idea.” Steve said.
“So how are we going to find them?” The Corporal asked with a worried tone.
“I don’t know.” Shining Armor said, equally worried.
“Sir! There’s something floating in the water!” A guard shouted. The captain picked it up. It was a note.
“Guards. Look for a stream of rising blocks underwater.”
“There!” One shouted. There was a stream of cobblestone blocks flowing to the surface from a cave.
“They’re in the cave.” He said. “Quickly, we’ve gotta find away down there.”
“Sir, the weather pegasi are here.” Another guard said.
“Perfect. Get them to warm up the water.”
“Don’t worry Stone, we’re bringing you home.” Corporal Eagle said under her breath.
“You know this great plan of yours is looking really lousy about now.” Celestia said.
“Now’s not the time.” Stone said. “Steve throw another block in.”
“Alright, but I’m almost out of cobblestone.” He told him, before chucking another cobblestone into the water. They were standing on a platform, Steve made, that was high above the freezing cold water. Steve was throwing cobblestone into the water in an attempt to alert the other guards. Steve felt something brush his shoulders. He looked up to see small pieces of the rock roof falling. Not enough to crush them, but definitely something to be worried about.
“That roof doesn’t look very stable.” Steve said. “It appears the ice has made cracks in it.”
“Yeah, but it was perfectly fine when we first got here, so what’s going on?” Celestia asked.
“The water is getting warmer.” Steve said. “One way or another the water is getting warmer, and the ice in the cracks is melting.” A shiver was sent down all their spines when they heard a small cracking.
“I don’t think it will last much-.” Celestia was cutoff mid-sentence by the roof coming crashing down. She quickly caught it with her magic, but the force of the water was too much, and she was slowly being pushed back.
“Get against the wall!” Stone yelled. Steve and him retreated quickly while Celestia slowly backed up. Eventually, her magic gave away and she was struck in the head by the rock roof. Stone managed to create his own shield deflecting all the debris away from him. Steve simply put up his shield which was just as effective. The water kept them pinned up against the wall. It was much warmer now so Stone was able to retain consciousness. Unfortunately, Celestia couldn’t. Steve closed his eyes, preparing for the worst. He was slowly losing air.
Then, all of a sudden, it felt as if all the water was pushed away from them. Steve opened his eyes to see all the water flowing out to the ocean.
“Of course, I should have known!” Stone said smiling.
“This river leads out to the sea, but during the winter, it’s usually blocked by layers of ice. Now that it’s melted it’s all flowing out to see. They must’ve built a dam further upstream. The captain’s a smart stallion.”
“Stone!” The Corporal and captain cried out. They were on top of the newly formed ravine. He waved back at them, dropping his barrier. Steve and him fell back on the platform with Celestia’s limp body.
“Sister? Sister can you hear us?” Luna asked, frantically. No response. She scowled as she looked up at Steve.
“Oh boy.” Steve said.
“Princess, calm down.” Stone tried to assure her. “He didn’t do it.”
“Nonsense. There’s no way he couldn’t.”
“Ma’am, I need you to-.” He was cutoff by a furious Luna.
“Out of my way!” She angrily yelled, charging right at Steve. Only to be blocked by a barrier.
“Stone, what are you doing? Get out of there!” His friends shouted.
“I’m doing what’s right!” He yelled. “Steve, we need to get out of here.”
“Don’t worry I’m already on it.” He quickly pulled out his pic and began to tunnel away from them. Luna shook her head for a second before turning to the guards.
“Get them! We must tend to our sister.”
“Yes ma’am.” They said fearfully. Stone dodged one attack, before deflecting another. He quickly ran after Steve, mouthing to words to his friends before he entered the tunnel,