The Birth of Pyrelight

by Vidi Kitty

Obstinate Vitality


When I looked down at what remained of the city, all I could see were ruins. Many buildings still stood, faces blacked and cracked, though most had been gutted by the flames. I could see a tower off in the distance, standing tall among the rubble that surrounded it.

For just a moment I considered taking a closer look before a chill went down my back. If Manehattan had been struck, what of the other cities? What of my home in the mountains? Surely She had to have known this was coming, had to have some way to keep Her chosen city safe.

As I drew near to the shoreline, I could smell death in the air. There were fewer bodies in the streets this far from the epicenter, though nothing moved below me. I came to the boardwalk and paused a moment on a lamp post. The Pony of Friendship stood out in the bay, its rusted shell scorched but intact. I thought for a moment that someone might have been able to survive in the base of the structure since it seemed to have held against the inferno better than most buildings. I took flight again, hoping to find someone alive to give me hope that I wasn't alone in this new world. That's when something int he water caught my eye.

A pony floated in the bay, face down with a blackened side. The swells slowly rocked her, pressing her into another unfortunate pony who floated in the sea. I could only stare as I glided overhead, too shocked to move otherwise.

There were hundreds.

Up and down the boardwalk, bodies drifted. The ones who weren't blackened looked red and blistered. I had seen angry flesh like this before, when one of the cooks at the castle had spilled a large pot of stew. These ponies had fled to the water to escape the flames, only for the ocean to boil in rage with the intensity of the flames. I immediately flew back into the city, panicked by the site. No one deserved such a fate.

*** *** ***

I had flown steady for a time, keeping myself near the coast before banking inland to follow one of the main roads. I forced myself to look down as little as possible. I had seen enough horrors from this city to cover all of my lifetimes and many more to come. The rubble of the city had given way to smouldering suburbs. Soon I would be leaving this awful place behind, and I couldn't help but worry about what I would find when I got to Canterlot once more.

Maybe I would arrive and everything would be fine. Maybe She would fly out to meet me, overjoyed that I had made it home despite this disaster.

A skywagon on its side, passengers little more than burned husks spilling out the open top, snapped me out of this fantasy. It was too easy to hope for the best, but I knew better than to expect the worst. Being nigh immortal had taught me the importance of patience. Speculation would only cause me more undue stress... or set my hopes up to be crushed.

The building on the outskirts of the city seemed to have fared the best. Most were still burned, some had lost a wall or two, but the flames had burned themselves out mostly before reaching this point. I thought I saw tracks in the ash leading from one of the more intact houses, but decided against a closer look. I was nearing the last few buildings before passing into the hills outside of the city and could not wait to put some distance between myself and what I had seen here.

A piercing scream broke the silence, sending those thoughts from my mind.

*** *** ***

It was a good life. Simple and happy. Nothing to worry about except catching my next meal, or maybe the eye of one of the others. No one bothered our kind, not counting the dragon fledgelings that came down from the mountains once in a while, but they bothered everyone.

So it was with some surprise that I stared down at this strange four-legged creature at the base of my tree.

Her coat was the most vibrant green I had ever seen. It seemed to radiate light with how bright it was. Her hair was short and wavy, a mix of deep violet and blue. Eyes that matched the blue in her mane stared up at me in wonder as I regarded her with a cautious curiosity. Having gone though my first cycle, I had been around long enough to see a few of the hoofed creatures of the forest. Deer who lived in their small family groups, never staying in once place long, while the large buffalo preferred the grasslands just beyond the trees. Never before had I seen one so small, nor so brightly colored. She had a single horn on the top of her forehead that glowed gently and she moved a stick across a small flat object.

After a few minutes of this, she walked beneath my perch, and I was forced to turn around to continue looking at her. A small frown formed on her face as she looked up at me, and she moved back to her original spot, again putting her behind me. While I turned again to look at her, she let out a small huff.

Again she surprised me as she spoke in the same language as I had heard from the buffalo. "Now how am I supposed to draw you from behind if you keep turning towards me?" she asked. I cocked my head at her, only picking out the meaning of a few words.

She floated something out of the pouch on her side and lifted it up to me. I leaned back for a moment before curiosity got the better of me and I looked in the shallow container. Seeds. Seeds could be hard to come by with all the furry critters hoarding them away, but I had sampled enough to know that I liked them. Some were familiar, but there were some new kinds I had never seen before. I coo'd softly as I pecked at the bounty before me. After a few moments, the bright creature pulled the tin back, and I ruffled my feathers at her for removing my treat.

"Now let me draw you from the other side, and you can have the rest."

Tilting my head at her again, she rubbed her hoof against her chin for a moment before brightening up. She motioned at me, spun her hoof slowly in the air, and pointed behind me, smiling softly. She gently shook the tin of seeds at me for emphasis.

She seemed nice so far, so I wasn't too worried about having my back to her. And I could really go for some more of those seeds. All I had to do was be patient...