TiM: A Tyrant's Words

by Twidashforever

A grim Truth

South of Canterlot

Shimmering Night flew through the air with her wings spread wide. She loved moments like this. Night did not lie to Luna; she desperately needed to stretch her wings. With the air flowing under her feathers, she felt amazing. The wind beneath her wings was the greatest feeling in the world. As the daughter of Rainbow Dash, she was fully trained in some of the most technical aerial maneuvers possible. Yet for Night, it was all about this feeling. The physical enjoyment of flight was what she flew for. It was what she wanted and enjoyed the absolute most about it.

Night closed her eyes, allowing her to focus on all the other sensations. She listened to the wind flowing past her. She felt the air pockets above and beneath her. The cool air felt amazing after all this time. Ever since the rogue God was finally dealt with, too much of her time was spent dealing with the problems of others. She spent her time ruling Equestria with Princess Luna. While it was a role they were grooming her for since her birth, it allowed for none of the freedom she now felt. Truly, she did not feel this way since she last flew with her former husband Bright Dawn.

Her mood soured when his name came to her mind. Shimmering Night still could not believe that he said what he said. Even after three months, it still haunted her dreams. His words, she would remember them for the rest of her life. They were so hurtful, so spiteful, and what's worse, he believed that he was doing it for her. He called her mom, Twilight Sparkle, a monster. He said it was for the good of her and Equestria that she had died… She could never forgive that; Night could never forgive him, not after that. Still, she would be lying if she said she it still didn't sting. The loss of companionship also hurt. That was part of the reason why she wanted to go on this hunt.

When someone you love betrays you like that, at that level, it always leaves a mark.

"Night, hey Night!!" Ataxia's yelling got her attention.

Night looked up from her flight, she was off course. The Wonderbolt squad was fifty degrees to the left, heading on a direct course for Appleloosa. She was not. Night mentally facehoofed; she could not believe that she allowed her thoughts to distract her so. The foe they faced was dangerous to the extreme and she was letting memories of her ex-husband distract her like this.

“Sorry, sorry.”

“What’s going on? You seem a little distracted.”

“A little.”

Shimmering Night looked at the dragacorn. If you asked her a year ago what she thought about Ataxia, she would not have given a favorable opinion. The two used to be best friends growing up, however that all seemed to change over the years. Now, to put it kindly. It was only after prodding by both her parents that Ataxia was even invited to her wedding. Before, she never understood why Twilight and Rainbow excused every action the mare made. Regardless what trouble she would cause, or how much destruction, the two would simply fix it all and then talk to her.

She now knew that Ataxia was the Avatar of Chaos; it was little wonder that she always got into trouble. After all, it was her birthright.

Looking at her, she admired the sheer power of Ataxia’s new form. Everything about it was impressive to the alicorn. It seemed every time she transformed, Ataxia’s dragacorn form was growing. She was the length of three earth ponies now and easily taller than any alicorn with scales that shone in the light of Luna’s sun. While her face was that of a dragon’s, nopony could look upon it without seeing Ataxia’s features in it. She was also the only dragon that Night knew of with a unicorn’s horn. The Dragon Steel Armor Rarity made for them all became part of Ataxia’s scales, it acted as a form-fitting glove that appeared and disappeared with her transformation. It was as much a part of the mare as the blue scales that ran down her back.

If her looks were impressive, then Ataxia’s abilities were even more so. Ataxia’s full power was still unknown. She was always impressive with magic, yet her current abilities put all of that to shame. It seemed as if there was no limit to what she could accomplish now. With Twilight’s memories gone, Ataxia was the strongest magic user in Equestria. Not that she just needed her magic. Ataxia’s front claws could slice right through the strongest stone. Her flame burned hot and long enough to hurt other dragons, which is something Night swore was impossible before she saw it first hoof.

Ataxia stopped the group and made them wait for Shimmering Night to catch up. Technically, she was the lowest ranking pony here. However, she has operational command of all hunts, a task appointed to her by Princess Rainbow, Luna, and Night. While all hunts were two pony teams, she was the de facto leader of each one.

When Night caught up with the group, she was stopped by Ataxia’s claw on her chest. Ataxia looked at her with judging eyes. “Can you do this?”


“Look, I know it's been awhile since your last hunt, but I need you here, now. Therefore, I need to know before we go any farther if you can be here with me. Otherwise we will turn around and get Luna.”

“I can do this.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.” Night stared Ataxia in the eyes. She met the dragacorn’s gaze with no hesitation in her. Ataxia simply smiled at that.

“Ok then, but no more getting distracted, ok?”


As the group continued on, Ataxia could not help but steal glances at the purple alicorn. Shimmering Night went through so much in the past six months. She lost both of her moms at different points. Her husband ran for and won the title of King Asshole. To make matters worse, her mom, Twilight Sparkle, has no memory of who she really is. Ataxia could not imagine a worse set of circumstances.

Although, she did admit Shimmering Night rose to meet each one head on. The mare was amazing. Where most would have simply cried in the corner, Night fought back against what life forced upon her. Shimmering Night took over as co-ruler of Equestria after Celestia’s death. She even participated in these hunts with her every now and again. It was impressive if Ataxia said so herself.

“Hey Night?”


“How much longer do you think it’s going to be until Twilight is back to normal?”

“Can we not?”

“C’mon, there's not much else to talk about.”

“How about the weather?”


“It hurts less.”

“Oh, sorry.” Ataxia did not consider that. She mentally berated herself. ‘How would I feel if something happened to my mom?’ Although, a thought did occur to her. “You'll feel better if you talk to someone you know.”

“What if I don’t want too?”

“Then we got a three hour flight of really uncomfortable silence.”

“I know, it’s... It's just hard having to lie to her like this.”

“What do you mean?”

“I can’t even tell her she is my mom…”

“What? Why?”

“Rainbow asked me not too, she said that according to Cadance, it would not be wise to force Twilight back into her old life like that, that the time would come to tell her everything, but not all at once.”

“Buck that!”

“She made me pinkie promise.”



“Well don’t think of it as lying, think of it as not telling the whole truth.”

“A lie of omission is still a lie.”


“Omission: it means to leave something out or exclude something.”

“Why didn’t you just say that?”

“I did.”

“No, you said omission.”

She could not help but crack a grin at that remark, Ataxia ‘dropped’ out of school at a very young age. Sometimes she would forget that and talk over Ataxia’s head. At times like this, it was best to simply nod and agree. “You’re right, I’m sorry.”

“Now you’re being condescending, aren’t you?”

“Hey that’s a big word for you.” Night laughed at that; unfortunately, it was exactly what would make the situation worse. Ataxia launched a flame attack right in front of Night's flight path. She avoided it at the last second by diving down underneath it. There was no real intent to hurt the alicorn, but Ataxia did want to send a message.

“Ok, message received, sorry.”

“Thought so.”

Ataxia looked back just to make sure Night was not hurt in some way. She pulled her punch on that. Still, it was hard for her to gauge exactly how much power to put into things like that. She did not want to injure her friend, not in any real way anyway.

Ataxia cringed when she saw that some of Night’s rainbow mane was a little singed. Extending her wings, she allowed the alicorn to pass her before coming up from behind to do what she could for her friend.

“What are you doing?”

“Fixing something.”

"What?" Night asked.

Deflecting, Ataxia quickly changed the subject. “For what it’s worth, Bright Dawn was a fool.”


Looking over the damage her stunt caused, Ataxia quickly cast a spell and regrew the burnt strands. In a flash of white, Night’s mane was back to its rainbow beauty. Despite herself, Ataxia’s hooves stayed on Shimmering Night’s mane a little too long. She almost lost herself in the feel of it before Night commented.

“Are you done?” Night asked her friend, unsure what was going on.

“Oh… Yeah.” Ataxia sped off, quickly passing all three members of the Wonderbolt squad leading them. She needed to put some distance between whatever ‘that’ was and the blush on her face.

A very confused Shimmering Night followed.



“Knock, Knock.”

A black energy beam shot out of the darkness to meet this intruder. He expertly dodged it with a roll to his right. Six shadow hands quickly followed it up trying to reach for his limbs. Each one would pull him apart in their grasp if they caught him. He laughed at these tricks. With a dive through the air, the black pegasus took wing. Flying around the hands, he forced them to tie themselves up in knots.

Several more energy beams shot out, after dodging the first three, he positioned himself between his attacker and the knot of hands. When the fourth shot came, he dodged to the left and laughed as his attacker’s magic was forced upon itself.

“We can keep playing these games if you want to, you'll just lose though.”

He heard a growl in the distance. “Ahh, did I make you mad? You know you can’t catch me, regardless of how much power you have.”

“You’re not as fast as you think you are.”

“Yes, I am. No one is as fast as me.” The black pegasus cocked a grin and beat his hoof to his chest.

“Correction, none was as fast as you. You've been dethroned.”


The lights came up around the cave, for the first time since entering he gazed upon his attacker. On the other side of the cave a unicorn stood, a brown cloak covering his form. “Dear brother,” he spoke. “You've been gone for far too long. A lot has changed in that time.”

“Well, it’s not my fault that they took the target to Canterlot. You just got lucky, if they took her to Manehattan it would have been me.”


“After you got your ass kicked? No, not really.”

“Keep it up Blood; see what happens when you really piss me off.”

“What and watch you miss more, Night?”

“You might be surprised what I'm capable of with this body.”

“You could never fully control the power of your host, you do it wrong. You rely on deception and lies to take over, sharing their power and relying on them to lend their strength. I break them fully before consuming their very essence.”

“We can’t all wait months before fully taking over like you do, besides this host won’t complain about anything like that.”

“Oh, why's that?”

The unicorn pulled back his hood. Revealing a face that decayed from too much time spent rotting in the river. The shock of it caused his brother to fall to the ground. He immediately wrapped the errant pegasus in a magic cocoon that threatened to squash him entirely.

“But, the dead cannot support us! They don’t have enough magic….”

“This one did and what I've learned… it would fill a library brother. He knew just about every dark spell in existence. How he stayed on their side for so long is a mystery to me.”

The pegasus attempted to free himself, only to find that it was impossible. He was caught, and that was the end of his story. Still, it was a waste not to find out what information he could. “So, what name do you go by now?”

“Grim Night.”

“Unoriginal, but fitting. You can call me Blood Dawn.”

“Then good bye, Blood Dawn.”

Before Grim Night could start to squeeze his brother to death, both of their heads snapped to the north. Two powers were on their way and getting closer as they spoke.

“It’s not supposed to be her!”

“Ahh, did your plans not go the way you wanted? I’m so sorry.” Blood Dawn sarcastically replied to his brother’s outburst.

“Was this your doing?!”

“Yes brother, somehow I knew exactly what you were planning and took steps to ruin it. Came here and let myself be trapped. Only to laugh at you as you killed me. This was exactly my plan.”

Grim Night dropped his arrogant brother. “This changes everything. I planned for Princess Luna.”

“Really, it’s the ‘other’ one that ruins your plans. Not the powerhouse that's on its way?”

“I already have something in store for that one.”

“Really? What?”

“Lord Tirek.”

“Tirek? Are you sure about that brother? At best he’s unstable. At worst he'd gain enough power to kill us both.”

“Don’t worry, in this body I'm more than match for him if he gets out of line. Not that it will come to that of course.”

“Of course, well if the other one is the issue, I think I might be able to help you with her.”

“You’re offering to help me?” Why do I feel like there is a price for this assistance?”

“Of course there's a price. I don’t know what you are planning but I want in. You have a way with plans that either succeeds spectacularly, or blows up in your face. I’m not blind to everything around me brother. I know how powerful these ponies have become. I wouldn’t last long on my own. Therefore, for this once, I will place my bets on you, and whatever you are cooking up. Besides, I want a shot at whomever you said is faster than me.”

“Hmm. Forced to work with you… It almost seems not worth it. Very well, I will accept your help. But tell me, how will you distract the other one?”

“That’s the easy part.” The black energy recalled from around his face revealing the features of Bright Dawn. “I am her husband after all.” He said in Bright Dawn’s voice.

The two brothers started laughing together. The sound of it echoed out of the cave.


Fifty miles east of the Crystal Empire

“Twi… Twi…”

“Five more minutes…”

“Twi, you got to get up.”


“Because you should have been at your next study session at nine.”


“It’s past noon.”

Twilight shot up, she could not believe that she overslept for her next lesson, “No, no, no, no, no. My professor is going to be so mad at meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” Unfortunately for the panicking alicorn; she forgot that she did not fall asleep on a bed. Her screams trailed off as she fell from the cloud she and Rainbow slept on.

“I gotcha!” Rainbow yelled as she swooped down and caught the alicorn in her hooves. In Twilight’s panicked state, she clung tightly to the cyan pegasus that saved her life. Twilight’s heart felt like a jackhammer pressed against Rainbow's chest.

“You know you can fly, right?”

Twilight began a series of deep breathing exercises to catch her breath. After a few inhales, she replied to Rainbow’s comment. “Actually, can you carry me the rest of the way? It would take me too long to fly back on my own." Rainbow’s heartbeat caught up to Twilight’s on that suggestion, a fact that did not go unnoticed by the alicorn.

“Sure Twi, hold on tight, ok?”


Rainbow broke the sound barrier, treating Twilight to the first sonic rainboom she could remember.

Two minutes later, they arrived at the base of the Crystal Palace. Rainbow gingerly set Twilight down on the ground. Not fully letting her stand on her own until she regained the use of her legs. “That was amazing, Rainbow!”

“I know I am.” The cocky mare replied.

Twilight began walking up the stairs to the palace before looking back at the pegasus. “Thanks, by the way.”

“For what?”

“For everything…” Twilight blushed a little while making that comment. “You've shown me so much in these past months. You have been so patient with me despite everything. For that I wanted to thank you.”

“You haven’t seen anything yet!” Rainbow took off into the sky, treating Twilight and the entire Crystal Empire to the sight of two sonic rainbooms going off back to back. Twilight watched in awe until the display was over. She smiled again before heading up the stars to get yelled at for missing her lecture.

Up the steps, she ran into the last pony she expected to see but the one she wanted to talk to the most. “Cadance, may I ask you a few questions?”

Princess Cadance smiled at the mare; she already knew what was on Twilight’s mind. She could feel it growing from all this distance away; her plan was working. “You can ask me anything Twilight. You know that.”

Twilight sheepishly looked down at her hooves. “I know, it’s just that with everything that's happened, I wasn’t sure but…”

“But what?”

Twilight’s resolve strengthened, after that last flight lesson, she couldn’t help but see Rainbow Dash in a different light. “Let me ask, what do you think of Rainbow Dash?"



The first thing Ataxia noticed about the town of Appleloosa was its complete desertion. She could not spot a pony anywhere in the town. There was no sign of this Lord Tirek, the Wonderbolts that should have been keeping an eye on him, the ponies that lived here, or the buffalo that were native to this land.

Ataxia set down in the center of town, and a look back at the others caused her to feel slightly guilty. She did not intend to leave them so far behind. Not like this anyway. Night and the three Wonderbolts were still a few minutes out. “Slowpokes,” she said under her breath.


As soon as Appleloosa came into view, Shimmering Night put on an extra burst of speed. While Ataxia was more than capable of fending for herself, Night did not believe that she fully appreciated the threat Lord Tirek represented. He was sly, conniving, and deceitful. In his last attempt, he managed to convince Discord to betray his friends in a false promise of freedom.

Her training with Rainbow paid off. The mare arrived a full minute ahead of the Wonderbolts that were leading them. Landing next to a sarcastically napping Ataxia, she hit her friend in the gut with her hoof.

“Ugh, what was that for?”

“You should know better than to leave your backup on a hunt.”

“Wow, you read the book on this didn’t you?”

“I wrote the book actually, wait you didn’t read it?”

“You’re kidding right? Me, read a book?”

“Tell me at least Luna read it.”

Ataxia laughed even louder at that.

“So neither of you read it? All that time wasted…” Night sunk down on her haunches.

Ataxia wrapped a leg around the purple alicorn and helped her stand up. “Just think, if you didn’t give me a copy of the book, I wouldn’t have anything to keep my door open.”

“My book is not a doorstop!”

“Really? 'Cause that’s what it’s doing.”


“Hey now, remember rule three, no giving away our position unnecessarily.”

“Wait… I thought you said you didn’t read it?”

“I may have skimmed it.”

The three arriving Wonderbolts interrupted any further conversation the two might have had.

“Sergeant, where are your squad mates?”

“I don’t know, ma’am. They should have kept their distance; this is ominous to say the least.”

“It means an impression that something bad is going to happen.” Night spoke to Ataxia.

Ataxia looked at Night. “Thank you for that, now if you don’t mind I'm going to begin the hunt for the creature that is responsible for all of this. Sergeant, fly above and see if you can find what happened to the other two Wonderbolts that should have been on guard.”

Ataxia left the group and began walking around town, a loud “Humph” following in her wake. The three Wonderbolts saluted Princess Shimmering Night and took off into the air. Night turned in the direction of her friend, she was about to follow her when a flash of black appeared in her peripheral vision. It went by so quickly that she could not even see what left it.

She dismissed it as a shadow playing tricks, at first. The third time it occurred Night knew something was up. She tried to feel it out with her magic. Nothing came back, and while she was not as skilled at sensing others as some other ponies, Night knew that should not have been the case. Something was definitely wrong here. Something bad happened here.


The noise came quickly in the distance. She did not imagine it, worse she recognized that voice. ‘It couldn’t be…’ A large part of her wanted to go find Ataxia, to tell her something is seriously wrong with this place and they needed to regroup. However, logic was not ruling her thoughts right this moment. Night chased after the noise. If he is here, she wanted to know.


Ataxia turned another corner, she wanted to put as much distance between her and miss know-it-all as she could. She still could not believe how awkward the flight down here was. She was definitely not feeling like her normal self and she had no idea why. Unfortunately, she was not paying attention to where she was walking and ran face first into the back of a buffalo lying on the ground.

That snapped her out of her funk as she took in the sight of the carnage all around her. Dead ponies and buffalo lay everywhere. In the center of it all was a massive form hidden under a cloak. Lord Tirek was holding one of the Wonderbolts in his hand as the other two lay dead at his feet.

Ataxia watched in horror as he finished draining the magic from the Wonderbolt and snapped its neck. The body of the dead pegasus fell to the ground with a thud.

“So, they sent out their monster hunter to stop me?” Tirek said as he turned to face the dragacorn.

“You… You killed them?”

“Yes, you see I've learned a lot from my last visit up here, the mistake I made was leaving my victims alive. If they’re dead, I have no fear of losing the magic that I take from them. Although, I do have to say; I don’t particularly care for the taste of buffalo.”

“You're… you’re a monster.”

“Have you looked in a mirror lately?”

“I know what I am.”

“Do you? Do you honestly know what you are?”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You my dear, you are the biggest monster of all.”

“Liar! I know what I am; I was told the prophecy.”

Tirek took a step forward, walking towards the dragacorn. Ataxia responded by setting the ground in front of him on fire. He lifted his leg in shock before turning his gaze back to the dragacorn. “You know nothing, young one. I was there the day the prophecy was foretold. Would you like to hear what did not make it into the books?”


Shimmering Night followed the whisper out of the town. Every rational thought told her that this was a trap; that something wanted to separate them and she was playing right into their hooves. She did not care about rational thought right this second. She needed to know if he was here, why he was here, and if he had any part in what was going on.

The black blur seemed to be stalking her; always out of the corner of her eye. She would never see it directly as it darted from shadow to shadow. It was never in the same place for any amount of time and never when she looked in its direction.

The whisper led her into a cave out on the outskirt of town. Night readied herself, whatever it was, when the trap finally sprang, she would be ready for it. Casting the strongest shields she could, Shimmering Night walked with her head up into the cave.

After casting a light spell, her jaw dropped at what she saw. At the back of the cave was Bright Dawn, he smiled at her with that cocksure grin she swore he stole from Rainbow.

“Hey Night.”

“Dawn…” So many emotions ran through her at that moment that she could not process them all. It had been three months since she last saw him and the rumors she heard were not good. Yet here he stood, as if it were only yesterday that they were still married. “What… What are you doing here?”

“What? I can’t see my wife anymore?”

“We are not married Dawn, not anymore.”

“Funny I seem to remember a wedding, a ceremony, and reciting my vows. While I will admit, our honeymoon was slightly delayed, we still had one. You are quite the screamer you know.” He winked at her.

Shimmering Night wanted to yell at him, buck him in the teeth, banish him to the moon, and kiss him all at once. She was not sure which emotion would win in the end either. “That may well be, but you know it’s over after what happened three months ago.”

“Ahh, yes… when you threw away our marriage vows to defend your mom. Shame, I thought they meant more to you than that. How did yours go again? Oh wait I remember: You are my best friend. I give myself to you. I will love you in good times or in bad. When life seems easy and when it is hard. I will hold you in the highest regard. I pinkie promise all this to you.” He started laughing at her. “Unless you don’t like my mom, then I'll call it off in the blink of an eye. Oh, no, my fault; that last bit was implied wasn’t it? You know you’re lucky Pinkie Pie is not alive anymore, otherwise she would be rightly cross at you for breaking a pinkie promise.”

Anger began coming off Night in waves. “What’s your point?”

“Oh dear, I made you mad didn’t I. Well a good husband always puts his wife first doesn’t he? C’mon, let’s kiss and make up.”

Night met his puckered lips with a small blast from her horn. It was not enough to do any real damage; she just wanted him to shut up. The beam went right though him like he was not even there. Night ran up and waved a hoof through his form. “An illusion!”

“You always were a smart one, Night.”

She spun around, directly in the entrance to the cave was a black pegasus. The stallion grinned a wicked grin at the alicorn.

“Who are you?”

“Oh, I’m hurt, you don’t recognize me. I guess I can’t blame you, I do look a little different after all.” The black magic around the pegasus started melting away, revealing the form of her ex-husband. “No dear wife, it’s not a trick. This is really me, the me that you helped create.”

Night looked on, speechless. The illusion knew too much, too many personal details. This was her husband, or what remained of him anyway. “Bright Dawn, what happened to you?”

“Oh, so close. However, I'm no longer the one you loved. You can call me Blood Dawn. Want to guess how I earned that name? I do have to thank you though; it's so much easier to destroy the will of mortals when they have so much to lose. Bright Dawn’s will, well that took me a while. He still held out hope that you would take him back you know.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Hmm, maybe you aren’t that bright after all. Well I'll spell it out for you then, I'm the reason why your husband turned against Twilight. Yes, that’s right; when the Shadowbeings captured him instead of you, they implanted me into him. It was so easy, a simple suggestion here and there, about who was responsible for all the heartbreak in Equestria. Simple little tricks and he became utterly convinced that the only way to save the mare he so loved was by getting rid of Twilight Sparkle. It was utterly devastating hearing you all turn against him like that. Wait? Did I say devastating? I meant hilarious. Because I never altered his thoughts, I merely implanted suggestions; none of you even suspected that he was acting different for a reason. Well, timing it with Tartarus's master plan helped too. Without that, the process could have taken years to come to fruition.”

“You lie!” Tears begun coming from Shimmering Nights eyes as she processed all this creature told her.

“Come now princess, does this look like the face of a liar to you?” Blood Dawn grinned at the stricken alicorn. “You know it’s true, just look into your heart. A decade with the same stallion chasing after you, you know him far too well for it not to be the truth. All the pieces fit together nicely.”

“Give him back,” she cried out.

“Oh, you want him back? How about no. Don’t feel bad though, I couldn’t even if I wanted to. I will say this; his soul was delicious. He suffered every day after he left you. The poor dear even tried killing himself almost every single night. I wouldn’t let him though.” He walked closer to the devastated alicorn, his every word like daggers plunged into her heart. “I'll tell you this, in the end I showed him the truth of it all. I showed him what I did. His screams were like music in my ears.” Blood Dawn laughed as the princess wept tears into the ground.