Harmony's Warriors: Soar

by Avenging-Hobbits


Act III -15 - I See the Bad Moon Arising

Act III:
“Hammer of the Gods”:

Chapter Fifteen:
“I See the Bad Moon Rising”

Luna silently pulled her sword out of the center of the Bifrost and slipped the blade into its sheath. Her eyes were already affixed on Midgard and she could see that Spitfire and her friends had landed safely at the exact location where Rainbow had been deposited. She was about to attune her ears on Midgard when another sound, the heavy footfalls of a large animal caught her attention. It was coming from behind her, which was odd, considering that most creatures of the size to produce such a sound only lived on such inhospital realms as Hellaheim or Drakespire.

She turned towards the direction of the sound, her sharp eyes spotting what seemed like a massive wolf running towards her. Luna’s eyes widened in realization when she spotted a familiar blue unicorn seated on the back of the wolf, her jaw tightening as she pulled out her sword again as the wolf raced down the Bifrost bridge itself.

The wolf came to a halt about twenty feet away and Luna watched warily as the unicorn climbed down from its back, whispering something in his ear and giving him a loving pat on the head. She trotted up to Luna with head held high, Gungnir in hoof and her long black cloak flowing behind her.

“Best Beloved Trixie, why have you brought the troubled Fenrir here? He was bound for a reason,” Luna said, refusing to allow Trixie the first words. Trixie’s confident expression fell and her eyes looked up at Luna with noticeable coldness.

“Auntie Luna, I wish passage to Equestria,” Trixie said curtly.

“Best Beloved, you did not answer my question. Why have you brought Fenrir here?”

“The reasons are my own, Luna. As All-Mother, I order you to allow me passage,” Trixie said, her tone becoming wroth and she stomped her hoof on the ground with a sharp clack. Luna gazed at her niece gravely.

“Trixie, long have I worried that the burden of power would suit you ill,” she said, “And now I have seen my fears confirmed.”

Trixie ground her teeth. “Luna. Obey my command and no harm shall befall you. Grant me passage.”

Luna shook her head. “To allow you to pursue such a task would be folly. Your actions thus far have been ill advised and impulsive. But loosing Fenrir out from his prison is beyond the pale, you know full well that he is cursed and that he could spread his curse to the nine realms.”

“Silence!” Trixie shouted and Luna paused, narrowing her eyes. Trixie’s expression grew stony. “I know what I do, dear Aunt. Now, grant passage for my son and myself or suffer the consequences.”

“Whatever consequences I suffer will be little to pay if it means the safety of these realms Trixie,” Luna replied coldly. “Now return Fenrir to whence he came, lest I take it upon myself to take him from you.”

Trixie’s entire face filled with wrath and she drew her body up tightly, hoisting Gungnir in an aura of brilliant green magic.

“Luna. You have continued to show open defiance to me for far too long,” she began, sounding as if she was trying to keep her voice from exploding in a scream. “As All-Mother, the one held in highest authority, I relieve you of your position as Sentinel from here till I so deem fit. Now step aside and hand over your sword.”

Luna said nothing, instead she gazed intently into Trixie’s eyes and she could have sworn that they briefly flickered emerald before shifting back to their standard purple. Taking a deep cleansing breath, Luna stood up straight, smoothing out her armor as best she could before addressing Trixie.

“You have made your decision, and now, I shall voice mine. I made a promise to my sister the day she appointed me to this position a good two millennia ago: I promised that, for as long as I drew breath, I would defend her, her children and the realm from any harm, whether internal or external. Even when you revealed to me your appointment as temporary All-Mother, I felt it would be best to continue my pledge, if only because it was what Celestia would have wished me to do. I swore to protect you from harm, and if you do not cease this course of action, you will destroy yourself. But now I see the error in my ways. Your actions are yours and yours alone, that is true. But if your actions are to bring about Ragnarök and destroy the kingdom I hold so dear...then I must forcefully end your schemes.” And with that, she took a step forward and readied her sword to at the very least subdue Trixie. However, she was greeted by an explosion of green light and she felt herself being covered in what felt like tar and oil. The next thing she knew, she was being held upside down.

“What foul trickery is this, Beatrix?!” Luna shouted, struggling as hard as she could against the sticky fluids holding her inside the semi-translucent green cocoon. Her eyes widened when she caught sight of the large, box shaped object that Trixie pulled out from underneath her cloak. It was Den Hjerte Eske.

“Beatrix! Beatrix, what are you doing with-” The fluids, which had been slowly seeping down her body to cover her completely, covered her mouth, silencing her panicked protests. As the semi-translucent fluid continued to cover her head, she felt as if a cloud descended over her mind and everything became misty.

“Don’t worry Auntie,” came Trixie’s voice, sounding suspiciously clear amongst the haze of everything else. “Just rest dear Auntie, and all will be well.”

Despite her best efforts to resist whatever spell or dark magic Trixie was attempting to cast over, as soon as the word ‘rest’ reached Luna’s ears it echoed through her mind, ringing clear in the thick fog. She felt weary as if she hadn’t had a single night’s rest in a thousand years and her eyelids became heavy, closing slowly and blocking off the sounds of the outside world. Every sound from every realm faded into the darkness, leaving only one word, a word that now sounded like the sweetest sound in the universe.

Rest.

Trixie smiled as she watched the blue alicorn’s eyes close and her aunt drift off into a deep sleep. Once she was sure the alicorn was secured under the spell, she clicked her tongue and Fenrir came walking up to her, nuzzling her gently.

“I love you too, dearest,” she cooed, simultaneously lifting Luna’s sword, which had fallen to the ground. “Now come,” she whispered, beckoning for the titanic wolf to follow her. The pair stepped into the Bifrost and Trixie plunged the sword into the central mechanism. She looked towards Fenrir with her horn glowing and Fenrir’s eyes turned green, mirroring her magic.

“Now, my son, go forth, and rain havoc upon them. Leave no stone atop another. Destroy everything,” she said. Fenrir’s growl reverberating through the chamber before he lunged into the Bifrost, disappearing in an explosion of light.

“Good boy,” she whispered, a dark smile spreading across her face, already planning the next stage of her grand scheme in her mind.

//////////////////////////////

“Okay, Scootaloo, can you sense it?” Rainbow said, leaning close to Scootaloo to help her balance the broom handle-turned-wand in hoof. Scootaloo shrugged slightly.

“I don’t know Rainbow, what’s my magic supposed to feel like anyway?” she asked, shifting on her hooves slightly in an effort to keep her balance. Rainbow shrugged slightly herself.

“That depends, Scootaloo. Each pony’s magic is distinct, individual to that pony and that pony only. But, most of the time, it should feel like an almost electric warmth in the center of your chest,” she said. “Now, since this your first time, it would be best to probably close your eyes tightly, and just focus on that feeling okay?”

Scootaloo nodded, closing her eyes tightly, trying her best to sense the ‘electric warmth’ Rainbow was talking about. Of course, once her eyes were closed, any ambient noise jumped into prominence, shattering her efforts at concentration.

“Darn it, I don’t feel anything, it’s too noisy!” she huffed, shaking her head and opening her eyes again. She saw Rainbow shaking her head slightly, a knowing smile on her face.

“Well, don’t worry, that happened to me as well on my first time. My Auntie Cadence, however, gave me a very good piece of advice,”

“What did she say?” Scootaloo asked, raising her eyebrows in hopes that this ‘Cadence’ whoever she was, had the secret. She honestly really wanted to find out how to use magic. She had always loved the way a unicorn could carry things without their hooves or mouth, or how they could just teleport anywhere they wanted with just a thought. In fact, her whole life she had always had an interest in magic and mythology, so now, given the opportunity to finally pursue that dream, she most certainly wanted to know everything she could. “Please tell me!” she said, hopping up and down eagerly. Rainbow held out a hoof, motioning for her to calm down somewhat.

“Calm yourself, Scootaloo. What she said was that one should try and seal off the outside world, just ignore all that sound and noise, and just focus on finding that electric warmth. And you know what?”

“What?” Scootaloo asked, leaning forward eagerly.

“It worked,” Rainbow said, smiling and puffing her chest out slightly. “I was able to finally wield Mjolnir like a true warrior.” Her smile faded again, the sad nostalgia returning to her face. Scootaloo took a step forward, doing her best to put her foreleg on Rainbow Dash’s shoulder.

“Um...Rainbow, if it makes you feel better, I think you’re awesome even without Mel-er-Mal--your hammer,” she said, and she could see Rainbow’s expression lighten up slightly.

“You really think so?” she asked, raising her own eyebrow slightly, looking down at Scootaloo with a hopeful gaze. Scootaloo nodded, a smile on her face.

“Absolutely,” she said, before pulling Rainbow into the tightest hug she could muster. Rainbow returned the hug, and Scootaloo could have sworn that she heard her crying ever so slightly.

“Thank you so much Scootaloo… you have no idea what that means to me.”

Scootaloo snuggled up against the larger pony, simply enjoying the warm fuzzy feeling that only a hug could give her. It reminded her of her mother’s love, and that was the best kind of memory. “Thanks, Rainbow…”

They sat there for a few minutes, simply enjoying the hug before Rainbow released her. “Now, do you want to try again and see if you can do it?” she asked, looking down at Scootaloo with confidence. Scootaloo nodded.

“Sure thing!” she scampered over to the broom handle, picking it up again and pointing it towards the pile of cans they had set up across the incomplete Firth of Fifth grocery store. She closed her eyes tightly, and, like Rainbow had said, tried to tune out any ambient noise. She instead focused her attention on that warm electric feeling in her chest. As she concentrated, she could feel it spread through her whole body, culminating at the end of her hoof.

“Oh I think I got it!” she called out, and she felt a strong, crackling feeling at the tip of her hoof.

“Excellent! Now, all you have to do is will your magic into the stick. Just picture it pouring into the wand and coming out the other end.” She heard Rainbow call out, an audible sense of pride in her voice. That pride was enough for Scootaloo and she focused her energy, willing it as best she could into the broom handle. She then took careful aim at the cans, and could feel the power building, tension being focused at the end of the old broom handle and then just as she was about to blow the cans away-

FOUND YOU!!!!” Came a loud shout of joy, and Scootaloo nearly jumped out of her skin, sending a glowing ball of magic flying wildly towards a baby blue pegasus stallion, who ducked just as it flew overhead, grazing his dark blue mane.

“Scootaloo!” Rainbow called out, already running over to the small filly, giving her a quick once over. “You alright Scootaloo?” she asked, sounding deeply concerned. Scootaloo only nodded, “yeah, Rainbow, I’m fine, and who’s that?” she asked, and Rainbow looked in the direction where Scootaloo was pointing, her face brightening at the sight of the stallion, who was eying the broom handle as if it were a poisonous snake.

“Soarin?!” Rainbow gasped, standing to her hooves and quickly trotting over to the stallion. “...What are you doing here?!” she asked, her face the very picture of bafflement. The stallion simply smiled, spreading his arms wide and pulling the still visibly surprised Rainbow into a hug.

“Why, we are here to bring you back!” he said as he hugged her, releasing her from the hug and then looking at her back, a confused expression on his face. “What happened to your wings and cutie mark Rainbow? They’re gone…”

Rainbow bit her lip slightly, flexing her shoulders in a self-conscious manner. “Consequences for my foolishness, Soarin.” she said, looking at her back with a nostalgic look in her eyes. However, after a quick sigh, she straightened up. “But that’s the past. I’ve managed to find a place to stay with this young filly and her aunt. Soarin, I wish you to meet Scootaloo. Scootaloo, this is Soarin.” Rainbow said, motioning towards Scootaloo and then towards Soarin. There was a somewhat awkward pause between the three, with Scootaloo shocked at the fact that this stallion apparently knew Rainbow as a friend. Not to mention the fact that he was dressed in armor that looked as if it had come out of some sort of fantasy movie.

“Um...hi, Mr. Soarin,” Scootaloo said sheepishly, waving her foreleg slightly. The stallion beamed, spreading his arms wide and pulling her into an unexpected hug.

“Any friend of Rainbow is most assuredly a friend of mine young filly!” he said jovially, lifting her clean off the ground in his bear hug. It felt good to be hugged, but the sheer tightness of the hug made Scootaloo feel as if she was getting every ounce of air squeezed out of her.

“Um...thank you, Mr. Soarin…” Scootaloo gasped, slightly pushing against him. Rainbow walked up and gently tapped Soarin on the shoulder.

“Soarin, she’s a mortal… I suggest you loosen your grip slightly.” Soarin turned to face Rainbow, his face breaking out into a blush.

“Oh! My apologies,” Soarin’s death grip loosened almost instantly, and he plopped her down on the ground gently. “I do tend to get carried away sometimes,” he said, looking down at Scootaloo apologetically, giving her a slightly embarrassed smile.

“Oh, that’s okay, Mr. Soarin,” Scootaloo said. “You know Rainbow Dash?”

“Know her? Why, I know her like the back of my hoof! In fact, this reminds me of a story about the time we were in Drakespire and…”

Rainbow chuckled at the sight of Scootaloo’s enraptured face as she took in Soarin’s off the cuff retelling of one of their adventures. She was about to interject to clear up a small discrepancy in his story when she heard a familiar scratchy voice call out to her.

“Rainbow?!”

She turned to see, much to her surprise, not only Spitfire, but Flitter and Cloudchaser as well, all dressed as if they were about to charge into battle. Spitfire’s expression was one of glee, a somewhat surprising sight given her usually rough around the edges nature.

“Spitfire?! What are you doing here?!” Rainbow asked, turning away from Scootaloo and Soarin to greet Spitfire with a bear hug.

“We came to bring you back, don’t you know!” Flitter interjected, jumping into the bear hug as well. Cloudchaser stood by, sword at the ready, seemingly on the look out for any threats. Rainbow couldn’t believe her ears.

“Wh-what do you mean bring me home? I can’t go back there. What part of banished did you forget?” she said, turning to look at Spitfire quizzically.

“There’s more at work here than just your banishment. Trixie is playing a game and we all fear it’s end move.” Spitfire answered, her face serious.

Rainbow blinked, unsure of what Spitfire was saying. Rainbow knew full well that Spitfire and Trixie had held animosity towards each other for quite some time, but Spitfire wasn’t one to hurl false accusations, no matter how much she might have disliked Trixie. “Game? What sort of twisted game would that be, Spitfire?” Rainbow finally asked, still trying to wrap her mind around what Spitfire was insinuating. “My sister is All-Mother beca-because my actions brought about Mother’s death!” She continued, tears forming in her eyes. She was about to break out into a full on sob when she felt Cloudchaser pull her into a tight hug, something very atypical of the stoic pegasus. She then released Rainbow, looking her dead in the eyes intensely.

“Rainbow….your mother lives. She is, however, simply in The Slumber. Whatever Trixie told you about her death is an abject and horrible lie,” she said sternly, hoof on Rainbow’s shoulders. Rainbow shook her head. Her eyes darted between Cloudchaser, Scootaloo and the others, hoping against hope that this was some sort of elaborate prank. Anything but what was so obviously the truth.

“B-But w-why would she tell me such a horrid fantasy? She is my sister, Cloudchaser...my kin!! Why?!” She asked, her face contorting from sorrow to rage. Cloudchaser shrugged ever so slightly and shook her head.

“I have no idea why she would do such a thing,” she replied simply. Rainbow blinked tightly several times, clearing away her tears before letting out a long sigh. When she opened them again, her face was noticeably stern, but still carrying with it the signs of someone who had been betrayed in the worst way.

“It must be some sort of Changeling mind magic...its the only explanation. I have to go back...lest some horrible fate befall Trixie.” she said, already starting to leave. “There is no way Trixie would stoop this low. Not with me. No matter the pranks or deceptions she might be prone to, she’s always been honest and straightforward with me, Spitfire, of that there is no doubt.” And with that, she set out towards the center of town, determined to get to the bottom of things.

///////////////////////////////

Pinkie Pie scampered along a rooftop, keeping a close eye on the quintet of pegasi walking down Main Street. Her eyes narrowed slightly as she watched the group come to a halt, before the fiery mained yellow one motioned for the group to split up, and each pegasi broke off to go down a different street.

"So.... splitting up, are we?" she whispered under her breath, and she reached up to her ear, silently activating the earpiece she wore.

"This is Pink Hawk calling the Nest… the ren faire four have split up. Do you want me to see where they go?" she asked, tapping her hoof slightly as she awaited a response.

"That's a negative, Agent Pie," Came the smooth voice of Agent Sanmi. Pinkie scrunched her face up in confusion.

"Why? I thought I was supposed to keep an eye on our new party guests?" she replied, quickly ducking behind an AC vent to avoid being spotted by a workpony on the roof across from her.

"Change of plans. The energy sensors are going off the charts and Spike wants you to check it out if possible," came Sanmi's voice again. Pinkie furrowed her brow, casting a quick peek around the AC vent to check on the location of her original targets. She let out a silent curse at the sight of the empty street below.

Just as she did so, she felt her right foreleg tingle, sending a vaguely electric warmth go through her chest. Her eyes narrowed. Warm electric right foreleg tingle? That usually means somepony is using teleportation magic... She thought, enacting her earpiece again.

"Just got a electric warm right foreleg tingle...where's the energy thingy coming from?" She asked, carefully omitting the fact that she had lost the pegasi.

"Same place as before. Should be to the northwest of your current position," Sanmi replied, and Pinkie turned to her right, looking to the northwest to be greeted by the sight of a bright flicker of light, followed by a dull rumble that sounded vaguely like thunder. As the sound faded away, she felt her whole body suddenly vibrate violently, almost as if she had stuck her hoof in a live electrical socket.

"Whooie! Just got a Doozy! Something fun is coming up for sure!" She giggled, already peering out towards the northwest, hoping to catch a glimpse of whatever had caused her to get a Doozy. A Doozy usually meant something totally unexpected and crazy was about to happen.

"Did you see anything?" Sanmi asked over the earpiece, and Pinkie nodded slightly, catching sight of a large black shape standing in the center of what looked like a large ring shaped burn mark. However, even with her stellar vision, she couldn't really tell exactly whatever it was that was standing there.

"Looks kinda like a big doggie..." she replied, pulling her binoculars out of her mane, taking a quick bite out of the candy bar that had apparently tagged along for the ride. She lifted the binoculars to her eyes and peered through, the image jumping into focus, the built-in display already showing her the distance between her and the giant dog.

Her eyes widened to the size of dinner plates as her absolute worst fear was made manifest before her.

"Well, Pie? See anything?" Came Sanmi's voice again. Pinkie simply nodded her head fearfully, taking a big gulp before speaking.

"Ye-Yes..." she said, her voice quivering, a wild contrast to her normal happy tone.

"What is it?"

"Th-the B-Big Ba-Bad W-Wolf..." she replied, her voice a fearful whisper. For as long as she could remember, something deep inside of her had always told her that wolves were dangerous, something to be terrified of. Even with all of her grandmother's words of encouragement and her father's aggressive and stern training, no one so far had been able to cure her intense, morbid case of lupophobia. The next voice she heard was that of Spike.

"Pinkie, can you hear me? What about a Big Bad Wolf?" He asked, his tone firm, yet understanding.

"W-Wolf...B-Big...M-Mean...Scared..." Pinkie stammered, gulping again, quickly moving on to nibbling her lower lip tensely.

"Relax, Pinkie...can you tell me where it is?" Spike asked again, and Pinkie's eyes darted to the location display in her binoculars.

"About a half-mile to th-the northw-west...Do I have to go?" She asked fearfully, hoping that Spike would be sympathetic and cut her some slack.

"No, its okay, I'll handle it. Just relax, and I'll need you to arrange the potential evac of the town got it? Just in case worst comes to worst." Spike answered and Pinkie nodded, tucking her binoculars back in her mane.

"Okie dokie loki..." she replied, secretly hoping that maybe her eyes had just played a prank on her and that Spike would soon call back with the happy news that there was no wolf and that everything was fine. But if her eyes were telling her the truth (and they'd never lied before), Spike was right. She'd need to have an evac plan set up for the innocent townponies.

Just relax Pinkie...even with the Big Meanie Wolf, I swore to keep ponies safe...even if it scares me...

With that last thought, she said a prayer to brace herself and then darted towards the Town Hall.

///////////////////////////////

“That’s worrying..." Spike muttered, furrowing his brow and shaking his head in response to what he had just heard from Pinkie, coupled with what he was seeing on his laptop screen. Pinkie was usually the last one to be scared of anything. Except wolves. The vehicle he was in sped along the desert terrain, bouncing violently as it would occasionally run over a large rock or some other obstruction.

"What's wrong sir?" A lean zebra mare sitting across from him asked, raising her eyebrow slightly.

"The energy readings are off the charts," he replied, rapping his claws on the door handle slightly. "And it doesn't help that Pinkie got scared by whatever it was."

"Why'd she say a wolf though? I mean there hasn't been a wolf in this part of Equestria in at least a hundred years," Sanmi asked, leaning forward slightly.

"I have no idea, but taking into account how strange things have been lately, I say we keep our minds open. Agent Pie isn't one to make stuff like this up," Spike replied as the vehicle finally came to a stop. The two traded glances as they opened the doors. Spike exhaled through his nose, causing a puff of green smoke to briefly form as he saw what stood before him.

“That is one big wolf,” he stated simply, before reaching into his jacket to pull out the bottle of whiskey, taking a quick sip. Slipping the flask back into his jacket, he reached for his long time friend, a megaphone, lifting it to his mouth to call out the creature. The wolf, meanwhile, simply stood there, it’s entire body tense, as if it were confused. Spike paused, silently putting the megaphone back in the car.

“Might be best to err on the side of caution with this one. Get the tranq gun, Roh-jaz,” he said nonchalantly. However, as soon as the words left his mouth, the wolf raised his hackles, letting out a low, rumbling growl, before crouching low to the ground and charging the nearest vehicle, sending it flying like a toy. Everyone bolted to the ground as fast as possible, the wolf moving to attack the car like it were a piece of meat, tearing it to pieces. This was greeted by a hail of gunfire and magical spells, which the wolf seemed to notice, letting out another angry growl before bolting off towards the town, moving faster than any wolf Spike had seen.

Spike stood up, dusting himself off and looking around. “Everybody all right?” he called out, and a series of groans came as the response.

“Everypony’s fine!” Sanmi called out, shaking off some dust and checking to see if her ever-present Bo-staff was intact.

“What was that thing anyways?” Roh-jaz asked rubbing his head as well, apparently making sure his first aid kit/spell reagents were safe.

“According to Agent Pie that was the big bad wolf…” Spike said, looking over the wreck of one of the cars. “And I think the stories underestimate his punch,” he added, slipping his sunglasses back on.

“So, Commander, what’s the plan?” Sanmi asked, her face serious and body poised for combat.

“The plan is evacuation and containment,” Spike answered, already walking towards the remaining car. “I already sent Agent Pie to begin the evacuation. So that means our job is going to be setting up a perimeter in order to keep the damage as contained as possible.”

Sanmi’s shoulders slumped visibly, but she nodded anyways, already moving to the car to prepare.

“Now, does anyone have a working radio? We need to fill in Base Camp,” Spike ordered, before taking another shot of his whiskey. He looked down at the bottle for a moment, simply shaking his head.

Knew I’d need this today...