The Exile of Equestria

by EBecK

Chapter 2

The Exile of Equestria

Chapter 2

Run. That was all I could think about, all I could do, nothing else mattered, all I had to do was run. Run and don’t stop running, for if I did...I was doomed.

I was running blind, through darkness. Cold, spine-chilling, hair-raising darkness. I didn’t know where I was going and I didn’t care. All I wanted to do was run. I was being chased by dark figures, silhouettes of ponies with blazing red eyes. They wanted me gone, they wanted me consumed. They wanted me to perish by the very fear they had been materialized from. Then, the inevitable happened; I stumbled and fell. I could not get up, something was holding me down. Some incorporeal force that I could not comprehend to its fullest; fear. I gazed helplessly at the otherworldly creatures that slowly moved towards me. It was then I saw a familiar shape; a unicorn with neatly brushed mane...Twilight. She was among the shadowy figures as a being of darkness herself. Same dark form, same shining red eyes, same fear. She along with the others now came closer to me, pressing down on my body. I could feel the crushing pressure of several hooves and I seemed to be sinking into the ground, into the abyss, into oblivion. Lower and lower I went, and the last thing I saw was the many black hooves that crowded around what would soon be my grave. And then...I awoke.

I gasped, lifting my head up and viewed my surroundings; I was in a cave, an exit was not too far off, and I was sweating profusely. My breathing became heavy, I was shivering in the cold dampness of what I called home. I prepared to get up and stand, but when all four of my legs went straight, they began shaking. I was still engulfed in fear and I needed to quell it. I slowed my breathing and closed my eyes in an attempt to regain my composure. After a few moments, most of the shivering and shaking had been calmed and I started towards the exit. When I exited, I noticed that it was night; the stars were out, acting as pictures for their canvas in the skies. The moon was full and bright, playing its role as the sun in the night. The rock walls that hid my cave from passersby still stood tall and firm, even with the occasional rock slides that broke the silence of the quiet dusk. However, these meant nothing to me, I just wanted to sleep without being haunted by the nightmare that plagued my mind. It was just one dream, the same over and over; I’m being chased by shadows of ponies and eventually swallowed up. What did this mean? Having a bad dream once merely says your mind is pulling its cruel pranks, however, having that same dream multiple times shows a possible future through the use of augury. I kept pondering to myself what exactly this all meant as I walked along the rocky path at the bottom of Ghastly Gorge.

Within my head, I was forced to recall the painful moments of what had occurred in Ponyville; I came there foolishly hoping for a change of lifestyle, yet I was given one. That one pony, who gave me not a nasty look, but sign of friendship. Twilight Sparkle, the only pony in my life that ever introduced herself to me and asked for my name. I was confused, yes, but as time passed I began to understand a bit more why she wanted my friendship. She didn’t care that I was different, nor did she give up when my abilities weren’t to her complete liking. She pressed on, determined to be my friend. When I first saw her friend, Fluttershy, she too was scared of me. So I ran off, I thought she was just like everypony else; too afraid to even give me direct eye contact. I later discovered that to be a mistake. I was goaded into casting my dark spell because of some naive remark, and the unfortunate shy pegasus just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, talking to the wrong pony. She was caught in the web of fear I had woven, the pure innocent filly now forced to feel the drowning pressure of all the despair and anger I had poured on her. It was too much. I remember her crying, so bitterly that one couldn’t help but feel sympathy towards her and at the same time, one couldn’t help but feel infuriated at the cold-blooded monster that had done such a thing. That kind of attention was not new to me. What was new was the sadness and anger Twilight showed me. I had refused to give my apologies for I thought it was pointless. There was an argument, one thing led to another and I ended up hurting Twilight as well, but not through a spell, through a verbal assault. She was heartbroken, she only wanted to be my friend and I threw in the trash while she was watching. She couldn’t help but cry at that, she felt the same anger the others had and she wanted me gone...or else she would see to it herself. I felt fear for the first time in a long time, and once again, I was exiled.

I now walk alone, with only shadows that keep me company. I didn’t know where I was going. I never knew were I was going. I just go where my legs take me. The only pass time I had was kicking a rock in front me, moving it forward with every kick. My thoughts were filled to the brim with wonders of what the nightmare was saying. Was Twilight really going be my end? Am I forced to walk alone for as long as I lived? Does my sheer existence serve any purpose? What can I do? I was lost. Lost without a shred of hope. I became nervous, trying to expect something to happen, but nothing did. My nervousness turned into paranoia. It was almost like I wanted something to happen, I needed something to happen, I wanted some change in my life that made some kind of difference to what I was plunged into when I was born.

“Why is it so boring here?!” I screamed, kicking the rock as hard as I could, which hit the rocky side of the gorge. The echos of my voice faded into silence, and I was left standing alone with no response. I bowed my head in disappointment and continued my trek. Suddenly, I heard a noise; an echo. It sounded like a high-pitch screech. I turned around and stared off into the distance, trying to locate the source of the strange sound that penetrated my eardrums. For a second, I heard nothing, but my my patience was rewarded when I heard another sound. This time, it sounded like wind blowing through the gorge, but it came in short bursts. As the sound moved closer and closer, I felt my legs begin to wobble again. Was fear taking a hold of me in its chains again? But why? I kept my vision on the dark distance of the gorge and finally saw a figure. It was a avian of some sort, a bird who flew nearer and nearer to my position. If it’s just a bird, I thought to myself, why am I so afraid? I knew now that the short bursts of wind came from the flapping of this bird’s wings, but what fear does such a thing induce? The flying creature was now with my line of sight and the questions of why my fear had taken its grip on me were answered. This was no ordinary bird, it was a GIANT of a bird. It now hovered over me, each flap of its wings felt like a temporary hurricane had hit me. All of it’s feathers were of a light brown color, and it had a huge, curved, yellow beak like that of a giant eagle. It’s eyes were of a strange tan color and it’s wingspan measured up to longer than the distance it would take to go from one end of Ponyville to its opposite end. It’s talons were deadly sharp and big enough to take hold of a two story building with ease. This beast of a bird was unlike any other flying creature, it was...

“A roc!” I exclaimed, a bird of prey that had apparently made its nest in the gorge and my echoing had disturbed its rest. The roc looked down upon me from above and gave another screech. I covered my ears, for it was loud enough to make a pony lose its hearing sense. I was unsure about what to do next to resolve this dilemma, so I did the first thing that came to mind; I ran. I ran as fast as my legs could carry me. The roc made yet another ear-piercing wail and flew right after me. If I was anywhere besides a narrow gorge, that bird would have caught up to me, but the walls on the sides decreased its speed and maneuverability substantially. My small form could easy slip in and out of the tight spaces that the rocks and walls presented me with. The bird, however, had to go above the gorge, then back down into it without hitting the walls or losing its sight on its prey, me. I was unaware of the time I had spent running and I didn’t even feel tired fro doing so. However, both senses returned to me when I saw what was in the closing distance; the end of the gorge. Not stopping, I jumped onto a ledge, then proceeded to move to an adjacent ledge, repeating the process over and over until I finally reached a spot where I was unable to locate a path. The top of the wall was too high up for me to jump to it. I heard the roc coming closer and I attempted to teleport up to the exit of the gorge, but my fear had shakened my focus and I was unable to complete the spell. Nevertheless, I kept trying and trying until I was worn out. Then, the expected happened, the roc now set its sights on me, hovering near the edge of the ledge I stood on, waiting for the right moment to strike. The fear in me stirred ferociously and my whole body was shivering. That gave me an idea. I prepared myself for the spell that had brought me so much suffering, so much anger, so much fear. I was going to take all of that and raze it into the mind of the beast that stopped me in my path. Tired and exhausted, I put all my effort into casting the fear mongering spell, my vision faded into clouds of darkness and I listened for the bird’s battle cry. My head lowered, and I was ready. The atrocious avian gave a loud screech and dived to my position. My head snapped up and I looked the thing directly in the eyes. I felt all the fear that I had bottled up, all the anger I had created, all the sorrow I had produced and threw on my foe. The roc drew back, with a wailing cry and I felt triumphant that my spell had hit. However, the roc was now blinded by its own fear, running into the rock walls, causing an avalanche of boulders to slide down the canyons. I turned my attention upward and saw a barrage of boulders come at me, picking up speed. I dodged several of and barely missed one that nearly scrapped my face off. I then felt a CRASH behind me and saw that it was yet another close call with a stray rock. As I moved towards the wall, I was pulled back, as if I were chained to the floor. I might as well have been, that last boulder had trapped my tail, rendering me immobile. The fear I thought I had rid myself of returned as I saw the roc become less reckless and shedding its shroud of fear. It shook its head and retain its focus on me, angry that I had gotten the better of it for that moment. It flew back a few inches, raisin its talon in preparation for a strike. I was scared for my life, thinking about how this was to be my doom. Yet, when the roc flashed its talon with lightning speed, my instincts told me to duck, so I did. I dropped my body to the ground, and the talon narrowly missed my head and even swiped the boulder that was my trap off of me. But still, I yelped in pain. I knew I had felt its talon scratch my skin, but where? When I attempted to get up, I felt my right hind side limp back down, causing me to lose my balance and fall to the floor. I looked behind and saw a wound on my right flank. It was one big scratch that had split the cutie mark I bore in half with a diagonal slash. I clutched my flank, attempted to ease my immense pain. However, I didn’t think it would matter; the roc positioned itself for another attack, raising its talon once more. This is it. I thought depressingly, I’ve nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and I’m paralyzed with this wound’s pain. This really is the end for me. It probably should’ve been long ago since the day I came into existence. The enormous creature let out another screech and I close my eyes, still clutching my flank, waiting for the inevitable to happen, just like my dream predicted...

Suddenly, I heard a loud BOOM, followed by a second screech coming from the roc. It was a yelp of pain. I opened my eyes to see what the commotion was. The talon it had raised was emitting smoke from a burn wound. I then realized that the skies were darker with storm clouds, and a thunderous storm had come. The roc must’ve been struck by a stray bolt of lightning. However, this theory proved ineffective as another bolt zapped the roc’s head, confusing it. The roc now focused it’s attention on the ledge above, as did I. There I saw a pony, an alicorn, whose mane was flowing and bore the colors of the night sky. She was taller that most ponies and wore a dark blue coat with a crescent moon in a black sky as a cutie mark. I recognized her as the sister of the ruler of Equestria, Princess Luna.

She stood bold in the presence of the bird that wanted her as dinner, showing no signs of fear or cowardice. In fact, she spoke to the creature with a blasting volume and a regal tone, “Begone fowl thing! Thou shalt do no further harm to this colt!” The roc screeched again at Luna, who then proceeded to strike it with another bolt of lightning, “Begone!” she commanded, “Or thou shalt feel my wrath!” Multiple hits of lightning finally got the message to the now less than intimidating bird, which flew back towards the other side of the gorge.

I watched the princess of the night standing triumphantly as the roc flew off. I blinked once and saw now that she had disappeared. Bewildered, I darted around the area to see where she went to and then, “What is thy name?” My sight instantly looked in front of me and there I saw Princess Luna in all her glory looking down on me with a serious look. I tried to get up, but the pain brought me down once again, “Do not attempt to rise,” Luna ordered, “unless thou delights in creating his own pain?”

I knew she was being sarcastic, but I just wasn’t in the mood. I looked up to her and replied, “My name is Darkbright Occolt. You are Princess Luna, correct?”

“Thou speaketh the truth,” Luna answered softer than before, but still maintained her regal tone, “We have heard the cries of the beast known as the roc and came here with the utmost haste to see what hath riled it up.”

I turned my gaze to the ground, “I think that might have been my fault.” I said remorsefully., “But I was unaware that there was such a beast here.”

“Few know of this creature’s existence,” Luna stated, “We intended to keep it that way for the safety of everypony.”

“I won’t tell, if that’s what you’re implying.” I said quickly.

“That would be most excellent.” Luna said smiling, then going back to serious, “Now about your injury...” Luna stepped over to my side where I was holding my flank, “Please remove your hooves so as we may get a better look.”

I reluctantly and slowly moved my hooves out of the way. Even the slightest breeze may my side twitch. Luna examined it for a moment, then softly put her hoof on it, sending a spark of pain to my flank, “Nnnnh, that doesn’t feel pleasant, Your Highness.”

“Forgive us,” Luna apologized, still examining the wound, “but we needed to know how bad it was. Any feeling of pain at the slightest touch indicates this wound must be treated immediately.”

“Can’t you use some kind of magic to heal it?” I asked blatantly.

“Magic cannot be a solution to every conflict,” Luna replied, “this wound is far too deep for our magic to be effective, however, we can treat it.” Her horn glowed a nightly blue and she touched my flank with it. I felt a short, but sharp pain, followed by a relaxing feeling. My eyes began to droop and my vision began to fade. Before I knew it, I was in a deep sleep.

When I awoke, it was to the smell of smoke. I opened my eyes and raised my head. I was lying on a bed of grass,next to a fire and Princess Luna was on her stomach, legs bent, sitting upright. She saw me awake from my slumber and asked, “Didst thou have a nice rest?”

“Yeah.” I replied drearily. It occurred to me that I didn’t have that nightmare when I went to sleep. Perhaps Luna’s magic calmed my nerves? Speaking of which, I turned to examine my injury; it had been bandaged up, leaving my wound and what was left of my cutie mark unseen.

Luna continued her conversation with me, “What is thou doing in Ghastly Gorge in the first place?”

Once again, my eye contact fell to the floor, “Because I have nowhere else to go.”

Luna raised an eyebrow, “What is thou saying? Surely, thou must have a home to return to?”

I shook my head, “No. I don’t.”

Luna now looked shocked, “Thou surely jests! Thou art pulling my leg, aren’t thee?”

I looked her in the eyes and slowly shook my head again. Luna had a baffling look on her face for a moment, then calmed her expression into a saddened one. Just then, her eyes lit up and she looked at me curiously, “Might thou be the one Twilight Sparkle mentioned?”

Now, my eyes lit up and my ears perked up at the sound of the name I just heard, “What do you mean?” I asked eagerly.

“Twilight Sparkle sends my sister, Celestia, letters. Reports on what she has learned on friendship. However, her most recent one was somewhat...distraught.”

“What was her most recent one?” I asked, curious to know what she might have said about me.

Luna smiled and her horn glowed. From out of nowhere, a scroll appeared. “Why don’t thou see for thyself?”

I took the scroll with my own magic and opened it. I was eager to read what she had written, yet at the same time, I felt as if this was an invasion of privacy. But, if Princess Luna approved it, I guess it isn’t much of a concern. As I began to read the letter, I could almost hear Twilight’s voice echo through each word:

Dear Princess Celestia,

Today, I met somepony whom you wouldn’t expect to get a lot of friendly looks. He had a black coat and dark red mane. He was feared by everypony he walked past, not one of them tried to extend an invitation of friendship. Kind of reminds you of your sister’s incident on Nightmare Night, doesn’t it?

I stopped and looked up to Princess Luna, “You were feared once?”

“Yes, we were.” Luna replied blankly, “Everypony thought we were still Nightmare Moon. We thought we would never be loved, until Twilight Sparkle helped us overcome that obstacle. She helped us use our previous form to scare others in a playful manner instead of a cruel manner, for the sake of the celebration.”

So she was feared as someone she was but isn’t now. I thought, However, I’m feared for who I truly am. I don’t think the same solution is going to work. I kept on reading:

I showed him around Ponyville and introduced to my friends, yet he still seemed upset about something. I later learned that he had a dark power; he could use his magic to create illusions that produced fear! Can you believe that?! He even had the cutie mark for it. Anyway, even knowing this, I still wanted to be friends with him. But after I finished showing him around, he ran off and I followed after him. When I got to where he was, he was met by an angry crowd of ponies. I was worried, so I hurried as quickly as I could and found my friend Fluttershy crying on the ground. When I asked what happened, she mentioned that pony’s name. I didn’t want to believe, but the more he kept on the defensive, the more convinced I became that he was responsible for this. He wouldn’t even apologize because he thinks that he shouldn’t have to over what he called an accident. We argued for a bit, but the catalyst behind it was he went as far as to question my relationship with you as my mentor. I told to leave and never return and he eventually did. I know this was supposed to be a report on friendship, but I think that some ponies just aren’t capable of making friends. I’m still kind of in tears right now, but all I wanted was to be his friend. Apparently, he just wants to be alone. I can’t believe what took place today really happened, I wished I could just forget about him and act like we never met, but I can’t. I can’t stop thinking about him; about how he goes through life alone with nopony to talk to, I almost feel sorry for him. But he can’t see the error of his ways, so that just makes him a lost cause. I’m sorry for this report, Princess Celesta, but I just needed to say something to you.

Your faithful student,
Twilight Sparkle

Lost cause.

That signaled to me that Twilight thinks I’m incapable of making...and she was right. Yet still, I felt absolutely horrible, a quivering in my stomach, the feeling of letting her down reared its ugly head again and I felt like crying once more. I sniffled and tried to release my tears, but I couldn’t. The feeling of wanting to cry, but being unable to do so made me want to cry even more, but I couldn’t. All I could do was sob. I let out a wail and began to sob loudly, my throat became scratchy and my voice was failing me. I took deep inhales every so often to catch my breath, then continued my weeping. Princess Luna held a sad, sympathetic look, “Thou must let it all out, for it is unhealthy to keep such powerful emotions inside.”

I was in the midst of sobbing dryly when I got another feeling; a feeling of wanting comfort. I needed some kind of something to stop my unpleasant weeping, but the only one within my vicinity was...

“P-Princess...?” was all I managed for now, but I got Luna’s attention.

“Yes, Darkbright?” she asked.

I sniffled, then sniffled again still sobbing without tears, it felt so terrible, “I-I-I...I need a hug.”

Princess Luna nodded and she scooted over to me, put one of her front hooves around me and held me close. I rested my head against her soft coat and pulled my body closer to hers. Luna close her eyes and I felt her neck touch mine. Finally, I could feel a liquid pour from my sockets. I was now crying with tears, which made me feel a bit more comfortable, but my sobbing did not desist. We continued to hold our current position until I had finally calmed down. I wiped my eyes with my front hoof and spoke clearly now, “Thanks for that, I just feel awful about disappointing her like that.”

Luna released me and replied, “Then why not make amends and apologize?”

“Because...because...”I stuttered, “because she...threatened to destroy should I return.”

“WHAT?!” Luna was shocked, this couldn’t be he same Twilight Sparkle, could it? “‘Tis a lie! Thou must be remembering it wrong!”

I shook my head solemnly, “I wish I was, but I’m not. Plus, something that serious isn’t hard to forget.”

Luna sighed, “Thou dost have a point. But didst thou really do something that horrible?”

“Of course I did.” I replied regrettably, “I did something I wouldn’t fess up to; I hurt her friend and now she hates me for it.”

“But dost thou hate her?”

“What do you mean?”

“Dost thou hate her for hating you?” Luna explained, “Or dost thou accept this?”


Luna raised her head, “Or maybe thou art afraid?”

I blinked in surprise, “Afraid? Of what?”

“Of Twilight Sparkle’s threat.”

I was silent. Was I afraid of her threat? Of course I was. If I wasn’t, why did I have to run? Why couldn’t I have had to stand up for myself? It was one simple thing that has been with me ever since I left; fear. I knew now that it was the same fear I used that prevented me from returning. I spent so much time inducing fear into the souls of others, I never took the time to conquer my own fears and thus I was vulnerable to them, which caused me to be exiled.

“I know what I must do now. Thank you for your wisdom, Your Highness.”

Luna smiled, “We are pleased that you have found a solution, but you must rest now, for it is dangerous at nightfall.” So I did.

When I awoke, I felt the grass tickle my hooves, but it wasn’t the flat grass used in my bed; it was sprouted grass from the ground. I looked up and saw that I was sleeping in the base of a tree trunk. Princess Luna must have taken me out of Ghastly Gorge. I exited the tree and squinted my eyes when the sunlight hit me. In the distance, I saw a town; it was Ponyville. I was far enough so nopony could see me, but close enough so that I could walk there. I stood up and looked behind me. My wounded flank was still in a bandage, but I felt little pain. I had bigger focuses: I needed to redeem myself, I needed to mend my ways, I needed to conquer my fears.

Although I was unsure how I would repair my relationship with Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, or any other pony, I knew that I would find the answer in due time. Fear was my talent, and I was set up to master it.