by Xz Hacker

“Deeper Into the Night”

Chapter Seven: “Deeper Into the Night”

The next morning Rarity awoke and found her self surrounded by buildings. She shot up and looked around. “Princess Luna?” She asked, fright showing in her tone.

Luna descended from above. “Ah Rarity, we are glad to see you have finale awoken. We apologize for our absence, but when we awoke we were here in Canterlot, and felt we should explore.”

Rarity surveyed the buildings. Luna was right, they were indeed in Canterlot, but something felt off. “It certainly looks like Canterlot, but... I can't help but feel something is wrong.”

Luna nodded. “Yes indeed. Canterlot does not feel the same without its populace crowding the streets.”

Rarity nodded in turn. “Yes, it almost feels... dead.”

Suddenly, as if on cue from Rarity's words, she saw a lone pony enter the street from a nearby building, behind Luna. Rarity watched for a second as the pony slowly turned and began walking towards them. “Luna, look, somepony else!”

Luna looked towards the pony as he slowly shambled towards them. “That is no mere stallion.” Luna said firmly.

Rarity looked closely at the on coming creature. Luna was right, its eyes were sunken in and very gray. It also appeared to have several wounds across its body, most of which appeared to have never healed in the slightest. As Rarity stared at the creature, Luna turned to see another one behind Rarity. “Rarity behind you!”

Rarity didn't have time to turn all the way around, before another similar mare was on top of her, struggling with Rarity. It opened its mouth inches from Rarity's face, she could smell the rancid decaying breath of it. Luna sprang forward. “Rarity!”

Luna collided with the creature shoulder first, knocking it away from Rarity quickly. Rarity jumped to her feet. All around them more of the half-dead ponies were exiting the surrounding buildings, it wouldn't be long before they were totally encircled. “Luna, please get us out of here!”

Luna nodded and wrapped her fore-hooves around Rarity. She spread her wings and hunched on her back legs, preparing to spring into flight. Just then the creature she had shoved off Rarity grabbed her right wing and bit into it. Luna let out a scream of pain and fell over to her left. Rarity fell from her hooves, but quickly got up. Luna wrestled momentarily with the creature before shoving it off, sending it flying towards a nearby wall.

Luna got up and spread her wings again, but a twinge of pain crossed her face. The bite had seriously injured her wing. “We do not think we can fly like this!”

Rarity ran over to her an inspected the wing. It was not bleeding, but it had definitely had a bite taken out of it. Even if she could get off the ground, flight for more than a few seconds would be impossible. Rarity looked into Luna's eyes with desperation. “What about teleporting us?”

Luna stood tall and closed her eyes. Nothing happened. She opened them again. “No, we have no magic either.”

Rarity began to panic. “What are we going to do?”

Luna's eyes became defiant. “When cornered, with no other option, one must choose between fighting and dieing.”

Rarity looked at the seriousness in her eyes. “But... this is all a dream right?”

“The spell we used to get here makes this more than a dream, while we cannot truly die here, make no mistake you can be harmed.”

Rarity turned to face the hoard of creatures surrounding them. “How ever can we fight all of these things?”

Luna sighed. “If you cannot vanquish them with your mind, at least give us the tools to do so with our own hooves.”

Rarity understood, she closed her eyes and focused. When she opened them she found herself holding a sword. She turned to Luna to see her wielding a similar, but larger version of the same blade. Luna smiled. “This will do. Rarity! Today we fight for our lives.”

The creatures were all nearly on them now. They were boxed in all around, with no hope of running. Rarity swallowed. “Here goes nothing.”

Luna charged fiercely into the group nearest her, sword in mouth. She began viciously swinging, chopping many of the hoard to pieces. The first of the creatures was only a few steps away from Rarity, at which point it lunged.

Rarity stumbled back for a second, sword in mouth, and holding the creature back with her hooves. It chomped its teeth at her, at which point she let out a small scream, and turned her head, taking off the creatures. As it fell to the ground blood spattered Rarity's face. She had no time to panic about the blood as four more creatures were on her before she had the chance.

She swung at the first one, but only managed to get her sword stuck half way into its neck. The other three surrounded her quickly. She pushed the creature that her sword was stuck in off her, and pulled her sword out. The creature to her left was closest and made a lunge. Rarity stepped back and to her right, and barely dodged as the creature fell in front of her. Then, less than a forelegs length away from the other, she quickly swung her sword, hitting the creature but only injuring it.

Rarity back pedaled some. Behind her a creature grabbed her. She squealed and turned around, quickly beheading it. Another lunged at her from the crowd. She held her sword pointing towards it head preemptively. It impaled itself with the force of its own charge.

The fight continued on for over an hour. Panting and covered in blood, both Rarity and Princess Luna stood back-to-back in the middle of the street. The last creature came towards them, which Rarity quickly dispatched it with a single silent blow.

After several seconds of standing there, they both fell down to the ground, dropping their swords. Luna looked over her shoulder at Rarity laying behind her. “For the future, please refrain from saying how something appears 'dead'.”

They both looked at each other for a moment and began to laugh. Despite how much they had both struggled over the last hour, neither of them could help but laugh now that it was over.

After she stopped laughing, Rarity smiled and turned around to face Luna. “Normally I am against violence, but I have to admit, there was a certain degree of fun in all of that mess.”

Luna nodded. “Long ago we wielded a sword as a warrior. We have not felt the joy of a true battle for over two millennia.”

Rarity looked at her. “Two millennia? I knew that you were... or should I say I knew you have lived a long time, but I'm starting to wonder just how long is long.”

Luna shook her head. “Apologies, but we think it is best if you do not know.”

Rarity paused and thought. “These three years... they won't mean much to you, will they?”

“The years themselves will not bother us, for whatever they may hold three years will be nothing to the time we had spent locked away on the moon. However... there is a degree of joy we feel, from being able to so closely bond with another.”

Rarity blinked. “You consider this bonding?”

Luna laughed. “Believe us, several thousand years ago, there were no greater friendships than those forged on the fields of battle.”

Rarity smiled. “I'm not quite sure what I would have done in this nightmare without you.”

“Tis nothing. The realm of dreams is our domain after all, we could not let you suffer through alone.”

“Thank you, truly... thank you.”

The rest of their day was spent gathering food from buildings around Canterlot and looking for a new place they felt safe to sleep. That night the monster that had stalked Rarity did no appear, and they slept soundly.