Celestia watched the Everfree forest and the sun she was carefully gliding into horizon. A strange feeling was starting to well up from inside her, one that filled her with a feeling of dread. Luna had informed her of the mission that was being undertaken by Twilight and her friends to retrieve young Applejack's memories.
But something was bothering Celestia greatly. Maybe it was just her imagination, or maybe it was the thought of the dangers that Everfree forest was going to be revealing on this venture. But either way, she could almost tell something big was going to be happening, and it would be happening very soon.
The cry of the guards caught Celestia's attention. Turning so that she could look at the guards, a surprising sight, something she hadn't known in a while over the years, caught hold of her. A pair of guards were escorting in a young unicorn filly. "This filly here was adamant about seeing you. When we told her to come back at another time she handed us this note."
Gently taking the note into her magic, Celestia brought the note into view so that she could read it. The merest modicum of a frown began to form as she read to the end of the note.
"Let her speak with me privately," Celestia commanded to her guards. "She may need to explain how this note came into her possession."
The guards saluted before leaving the room altogether. Celestia took her time before speaking again, she observed the filly. The filly was a light brown unicorn with a light golden mane that was tied into a single braid, a blue hair band keeping the front of her mane in check. Her eye were a soft, almost radiant, blue color, with an almost adult like shine of intelligence.
"Might I ask what your name is young filly?" Celestia asked once she finally finished scrutinizing the filly.
The deadpan tone in the child's voice came through as almost overconfident, or maybe even brash. "Let's not mince words Celly." Shock and surprise took over Celestia as the filly approached with a regal stride. "I'm sure you can already see past my spell, unlike those incompetent guards."
"I'm afraid you may be mistaken about me." Although it would normally be a bad idea to reveal ones hand like that, but under the circumstances felt no need to hide anything.
With a sigh the filly looked up at Celestia with obvious disappointment in her eyes. The fillies horn began to glow a wondrous shade of golden yellow, only a few shades darker than Celestia's own magical aura. The aura quickly enveloped the little fillies body and started reacting as if unraveling a complex spell.
A moment later and the unicorn filly had miraculously changed into an alucorn. Most would thing the filly had cast some spell to make it only look as though she had wings, but Celestia could tell that there was no such trickery. The feeling that touched her the moment the filly had changed was all to real. It was the feeling that all other alucorns have when close to one another.
"Well than," The filly said in a brash tone, "My name is Radiant Lining, and I am here to tell you that a second tier is going to be born soon."
If it weren't for the hundreds, if not thousands, of years of practice at maintaining a stoic expression Celestia probably would have let her jaw drop and her eyes pop out of her skull in surprise. She could only manage to ask one question out of the thousands of questions that were swamping her mind. "Who are you?"
With a simple smile and shake of her head, Radiant Lining turned to Celestia with a smile. "Just a messenger." was all she said before teleporting away in a flash of golden light.
Celestia dropped the note she had been holding in her magic the entire time and trotted out of the throne room. She had to get her sister and go, there was little to no time that could be wasted.
The thumping sensation that reverberated through my body sent chills down my back. It was almost like small little earthquakes were happening, but the feeling was kind of familiar. Ah couldn't exactly understand why the feeling felt the way it did, but it did.
That's when a beast emerged from the other side of the field. It was a large beast at least four times my size, and it's body was almost like the night sky, a somewhat clear dark blue with stars speckling it's body. The head had a long snout and large horns that curved towards the top of it's head. A star marked the spot right in the middle of it's brow. The whole body of the creature was muscular with long tail attached to it.
“What in tar-nation is that thing?” Ah ask as it looks through the field. Jumping just to the left of the entryway of roses, Just barely missing being spotted by the creature as it turned to look in my direction. 'Think before you speak Jackie!'
A loud puffing sound grabs my attention. Taking a quick light breath Ah peak around the corner of rose wall that separated the forest from the field.
Looking in the creature almost seemed to be looking in my direction, but Ah could tell it was looking more downward. Following it's gaze Ah felt my breath catch in my throat. Laying there right in between me and that creature where Rarity and Fluttershy, both were still unable to move because of the gases the flowers have been giving off.
'Not good.' Ah thought as the creature snorted and lowered its head. Pounding a hoof to the groundn, Ah watched as it took a stance and got ready to charge.
This was bad Ah had to do something, but what. How could Ah save them from a raging beast with horn that looked like they could impale me.
The beast charged forward with a look in its eyes that can only be described as a lust for the kill. Ah reacted without thinking and dove into the field, leaving behind the safety of my hiding spot. The beast didn't seem to take notice of my arrival immediately and that's when ah saw my chance.
It was a race to my friends and although the strange creature was bigger it certainly wasn't faster. Jumping into the air Ah leaped over my friends. The beast was only a couple of hoof steps away from the final blow to Rarity's life. Rolling into a tight ball Ah flipped into the air, then in a quick and almost blinding move, Ah curled and extended my hind legs to land on the creatures head.
Although there wasn't much weight behind it, the momentum behind the action forced the creatures head to plummet toward the ground and send the horns straight into the dirt. Ah could only hope that what Ah had done might save my friends lives because Ah didn't have the chance to watch and see what happened.
The follow through with the action came before knew what had happened. My body twisted back into a ball and rolled across the back of the beast. As if ah was possessed by something ah uncurled enough to hit my hind legs and launch me through the air.
A satisfying thud resounded as ah landed on all four hooves with a skid across the ground. Dust and flowers were flying everywhere as ah spun on my hooves to see if my friends were okay.
Ah watched as the bodies of Rarity and Fluttershy, who were falling to the ground after possibly being thrown into the air, landed with a thud a safe distance from the beast. A feeling of relief spread through me as they landed with soft thuds a safe distance away almost right next to opening.
Letting out the breath ah hadn't realized Ah'd been holding and turned just as the creature turn around to see what had stolen it's kill. Dirt was falling in clumps from it's horns, face, and snout. It's already blood red eyes looked even more blood shot and enraged as it noticed me.
In a flurry of rage it stamped it's hooves and charged forward with a lowered head.
Instead of executing the same move as before ah waited until the last possible second and turned on my left hind hoof, then rolled to the side. Unfortunately ah was just a fraction to slow, ah noticed when the bright red liquid was dripping onto the flowers below. Ah had been hit but judging from the blood lose not very deeply.
No pain, no feeling, just the frightening realization that ah was hurt. Ah was looking at the wound for a little too long and realized it almost to late. When ah finally registered the rumbling, grunting, and overall loud sound of the beast running at me. It was too late to get out of the way, the creature was only a few hoof steps away, and closing in fast.
My only chance was another turn and dive maneuver. So Ah readied for action as soon as ah possibly could in the split second ah could get before the beast hit.
It was a split second more than ah had. In one second the beast hit trying to dig its horns into my sides as Ah tried to jump to my right this time. The force of the impact was enough to send me flying into the air. If it weren't for the fact ah couldn't feel anything, Ah'm sure the pain would have been over whelming.
With a hard smack into into the ground and flower, ah realized that ah wasn't spreading around that much blood, only about as much as before the hit. Taking a quick glance at my left side, ah was just able to see the dark green aura the conformed around my torso.
Realization hit me like a tone of bricks. I turned my gaze and saw the beast was standing between me and my friends with a general air of contempt. But ah wasn't paying the creature any attention, instead ah was looking over to where Rarity was and noticed the dark green shimmer of aura surrounding her horn. She had used her magic to protect me.
A deep booming roar came from the creature as it started to trout in my direction.
Ah had to think of something, and fast. For some reason this creature seemed to be immune to the Asphidil plants affects, its strong, fast, and easily enraged. There has to be some way to beat this thing, but how?
That's when an idea suddenly hit me. It would take some work and a little luck on my side, but it may be the only way ah could defeat this thing.
As the beast approached ah readied myself for the battle to come, knowing that it would be a hard battle to win.
As the beast neared it lifted its front hooves and a readied itself to crush me under its weight. Ah took my chance and rolled quickly to avoid the deadly blow. As ah passed under the creatures under belly ah unfolded and bucked my hind legs right in between the beasts hind legs.
The creature let out a cry of pain and anguish. Rolling to my right ah ran towards the rose bush wall that surrounded the field. Ah didn't look back to see if the beast was following me.
As ah jumped through the bushes ah could barely see a thing, but my eyes were quick to adjust. attempting to ignore the slightly shifting shadows ah could see jumping from tree to tree, ah started running from the bush wall trying to find a good hiding spot.
Carefully ah tried my best to observe my surroundings. Clusters of trees were all over the place. My easiest choice was jump into one of the clusters and try and work my plan from there.
Just as ah jumped into one of the nearby clusters of trees the Beast burst forth in a raging roar. Thankfully it seemed to be unaware of my location and started searching for me in a rage. Staying as still as ah possibly could ah waited until the beast passed by me.
Carefully I scanned the area to find whatever ah could to help me. That's when ah saw the perfect cluster of trees right by the brushes that had one little detail that could very well be perfect for the plan.
The Taurus minor was getting more and more angry by the second as it searched for the pony that had caused it to become enraged.
"Hey you overgrown idiot!"
Turning to find out what the sound was, the Taurus became more enraged at the sight of the tan pony with a golden mane and tail, and bandages across its forehead, stood by the rose bushes with a stone in its hoof. "Come and get me you big galoot!" it yelled as the pony threw the rock.
The tiny stone bounced harmlessly off the Taurus's head, but the effect was still enough to send the beast into a focused rage. The pony jumped through the bushes.
Enraged by the ponies taunts the Taurus rushed through the bushes, only to see the pony in the center of the field. A slight bit of glee filled the Taurus, readied to charge in for the glory of the kill.
In a rush of adrenaline the Taurus charged forward, hooves beating into the ground. Knowing this pony was rather tricky and hard to kill, But not caring in the slightest because was too enraged to care. The Taurus just wanted to end this Pony's life by its using its razor sharp horns slice the fool to bits.
At the last minute the pony pivoted and dodged just to the left, rolling out of the way. The Taurus came to a grinding halt turned to see where the pony had gone. Now the pony was standing by the rose bushes again. giving a challenging look at the bull as if taunting it even further.
The Taurus flared its nostrils and pounded the front right foreleg into the ground, glaring at the creature like there the pony's life was forfeit. Smiling the pony jumped through the rose bushes again.
Charging forward the Taurus burst through to the other side of the rose wall.
Instantly the pain that rushed through the Taurus's skull was jarring, it couldn't even register what happened before it went flying through the rose bushes.
Now instead of feeling enraged, the Taurus felt a twinge of fear as the pony came walking out of the bushes looking confident. The beast had lived a good life and didn't want it to end here, so very quickly it decided to do the one thing that had never needed to be done before, run with its tail between its legs.
With a sigh ah thanked Luna's moon, who's light ah basked in, for the luck that gave me what ah needed to pull that plan off.
Walking over to where Rarity and Fluttershy lay unmoving ah picked up Rarity first and took her out the entrance where we had come from and placed her out of the flowers rang. After making sure that there wasn't something dangerous near by ah went back and retrieved Fluttershy.
When ah finally got back, Rarity was slowly trying to get up. "Jackie, darling," her voice sounded a little labored, and she looked tired, but the second she saw me she just about jumped to her hooves with worry. "What happened to you? You ran away from us and your cut and bruised all over!"
It was almost impossible to keep the light chuckle from coming out as ah laid Fluttershy down on the ground. "Ah'm surprised you haven't figured it out yet." ah say as ah explain everything that had happened and what ah had figured out.
. . .
"So it looks like maybe ah have a day or two left before ah could be dead." ah say feeling the weight of my own words hit home. The dark dread that felt like a tree hanging over my head about to crush me.
In the time it had taken to tell Rarity about what had happened Fluttershy had awoken and was now doing her best to treat the wounds ah had gotten from my fight first so that she could treat the worst of it.
"JACKIE!" Rarity yelled as she got up from the sitting position she had taken when ah had started telling her about everything. "I do not ant hear you talk like that again. We will get the horrid creature that has done this to you and right what has been wronged."
The burning flames around Rarity's eyes burned brightly as if ignited by the passion of her words. Flipped her mane causing her tied back hair to rest over her right shoulder. "You will live a long life if we have anything to say about it!"
Ah looked up at her in amazement for a second, something about Rarity in that moment made my heart race a little. She is so determined to save me that she looks like she would be willing to fight for me just to make sure ah got there. In that moment she looked so much more beautiful than normal.
"She's right Jackie," the soft voice of Fluttershy caught my attention. "We all will fight to help you, however we can."
A soft smile spread across my face as ah felt a warm feeling spread through my body, now more determined than before to see this to the end. The only sad thought that ran through my mind at all was the fact ah wouldn't be long for this world no matter how this ended.