Vex had spent hours plotting their course when the alarm bell sounded. Dragging himself over to the intercom system, Vex decided to see what all the fuss was about.
“Rivet, what happened? Are we under attack?”
Vex listened until he heard a burst of static and a voice come over the intercom.
“We aint under attack Vex… Not yet at least, But we have arrived at the buffalo camp and well… Just see for yer self.”
Vex grabbed his revolvers, sliding them into his holsters. Grabbing his duster and Stetson, Vex stormed out of his room and up to the deck. The scene that greeted him was much more controlled than last time. Taking time to survey his surroundings, Vex spotted his fellow Wardens. “Arcanian, what is going on out here?”
“Well, it seems Luna was correct about the camp. However I do not think we will be getting many clues from it.”
Trotting up to the railing, Vex scanned the camp… Or at least what was left of it. The Diamond Dogs had been thorough, leaving only scorched earth and charred bodies.
“Let’s get down there and see if we can’t find where they are heading.” Vex ordered while a single thought dance through his head. I hope I am making the right call.
The constant bickering of diplomats had become so grating to Luna that she had to leave yet another meeting or risk a full mental breakdown.
How, pray tell, can such beings live in harmony when they can’t even agree on the color of the sky. Luna thought to herself as she marched deeper into the castle. Now I see why Artemis never invited those types to his parties. But still it troubles us to think that even if we are on the same side we still cannot agree on a course of action. Vex, I hope you and your Wardens can solve this issue quickly.
Entering her chambers and sitting at her desk, Luna began to plan tonight’s star arrangement. She was putting on the finishing touches when she felt a familiar presence, one that was most certainly unwelcome.
“Chrysalis, thou has ten seconds to explain thy presence before we turn thee to dust.”
“Luna my dear, you words wound me, I only wish to talk.” Chrysalis said as she glided out from one of the many shadows that hugged the walls of Luna’s bed chamber.
“Thou wishes to talk. Surely thou art jesting.”
“Luna I do not wish to argue, I only wish to offer my hive’s help in this Diamond Dog problem.”
“Thy help is unneeded as our dear sister has forbade any military action.”
“Really? That didn’t seem to stop you from sending out… oh what are they called”- Chrysalis put a holed hoof up to her chin-. “Ah yes, the Wardens, she did not stop you from sending them out. Though I wonder, does Celestia know about them; does she know that against her wishes that you reinstated the Warden program?”
“Thou would not dare tell her.” Luna replied with a growl.
“Oh and what is in it for me? Because all you seemed concerned about is your precious little ponies. While every day my Changelings are taken by those inbred mutts.” Taking a moment, Chrysalis recomposed herself.
“But then again who would blame you. After all, Changelings are just parasites that need to be eradicated completely.”
“Do not offer me your petty sympathies Luna! All I am asking for is a change to help end this nightmare for my kind.”
“Fine, what would you like to put forward?”
“I have a group of changeling Jägers waiting at Greystone Gorge, they will be expecting your Wardens in three days’ time.”
With her final bit said, Chrysalis melded into the shadow and disappeared, leaving Luna to her thoughts. She is right, our sister would hunt down our Wardens if she knew that we had restarted the program. She never really was fond of using ponies as expendable chess pieces, maybe because it is easy to become attached to them, like how we have become attached to our Wardens. I only hope that events do not turn out like they did last time.
With a heavy sigh, Luna decided to sleep for the rest of the afternoon.
Vex and his team had sifted through the camp for hours and had still come up empty hoofed. Vex knew they needed to call off the search with night fast approaching and with a good chunk of the crew unable to see at night, it would make this task nearly impossible.
“Alright, listen up everypony, we are camping here for the night and will resume our trip at first light.” Vex was greeted with murmurs of agreement as the ponies and griffons of the Eclipse picked their sleeping areas and pitched their tents.
“So you going to catch some shut eye or you going for a night flight?” Nova said as she trotted up beside Vex.
“I believe a night flight is in order, after all it has been quite some time since I have stretched my wings.” With that Vex took to the air.
“Hey wait for me.” Nova said with a laugh as she followed Vex into the evening sky.
Vex had lost track of time when they saw the first salvos of cannon fire off in the distance.
“Vex was that cannon fire? Is it directed at us?”
“No it was not directed at us Nova. But somepony is starting a fight.”
“We need to get the crew and go help.”
“My thoughts exactly Nova.”
Two bat ponies streaked through the night towards the silhouette of an airship in the distance.
Somewhere in the Red Stone mountain range
“Master, the attack has started like you requested.”
“Good and what of the new slaves, how are they faring?”
“There was an incident in one of the minor clan’s caves. It seems one of the slaves thought wise to be brave, he was seriously wounded.”
“It matters not, there are plenty to replace him. Move him to isolation and let him die of his wounds.”
“As you wish, my master.”