• Published 8th May 2013
  • 4,310 Views, 333 Comments

Po-Ni-Oh!: Rise of the Heroes - flawlessvictory20

Follow the exploits of young pegasus named Star Driver as he sets out to become the next King of Games.

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Chapter 11 - Enter the Mysterious Puppeteer

----4:15 pm----

The light sounds of water as it dripped from the ceiling to the floor filled the ears of Star Driver. He could also hear faint voice conversing amongst each other.

“What are we gonna do with him?” asked one voice.

“We're gonna wait until we receive orders from Ranger,” spoke a familiar voice.

“So, we're just to guard him until we do?” asked a deep voice.

“Yep, that's our job.”

As he cracked his eyes open, Star Driver let out a belated groan.

“Did anypony get the number of that bus?” he said a little groggy.

“Looks like he's awake,” spoke the familiar voice.

Star Driver sat up he noticed his hands were bound by black diamond shackles. He then observed his surroundings. He could tell that he was in a rustic looking room. It was drab and grey granite walls with quartz lining. In front of him were cell bars made some kinda green crystals. As his vision became clearer, he saw his captors grinning widely in front of his cage.

“Morning, cutie,” said Mere Ka, with a wink. “You sleep well?”

“Yeah, like a baby,” he responded sarcastically. “Where am I?”

“You're in the lair of the legendary mercenaries 'The Moonstone Wolves',” Fusa spoke with pride.

“The Moonstone what?” asked Star, tilting his head.

“The Moonstone Wolves!” Mere Ka repeated.

“The What Wolves?” Star asked, scratching his head.

“The Moonstone Wolves!” answered Mambay.

“The what-what?”

With their annoyance at its peak, the three bellowed,


“Oh... And who are you?”

“Well, our legend dates back to-” Mere Ka started to explain, before being cut off.

“Wait, I seemed to have stopped caring,” spoke Star, with a mischievous grin.

This caused Mere Ka to press a button right next to the cell door. The floor then began to illuminate with a blight yellow glow. Within seconds, Star was zapped with a massive surge of electrical energy. He let out a pained scream as his very being was shocked by a strong electrical current. After a few seconds of torture, Mere Ka released the button, which stopped the flow of energy. Star fell to the ground with a hard thud.

“You should really learn to tame that tongue of yours,” hissed Mere Ka.

She turned to Fusa and Mambay.

“Go let Ranger know we have the kid,” she ordered.

The two then leave to inform Ranger of their captured prey. As he lay on the ground, Star silently cursed his sarcastic retort.

'Yeah, I guess I deserved that one.'

As the crowds headed back into the stadium for the final match of the day, Fluttershy awaited the arrival of her friends. She looked at the time and began to worry about her dear friend Star Driver.

“I wonder where Star is? He should've been here by now,” said Fluttershy, as she looked at the clock.

At that moment, she noticed Twilight and the others had arrived at the gate. Waving them over, she saw they each had various prizes that they've won from the different vendors. As they reached Fluttershy, Spike noticed the absence of one pegasus.

“Hey, Fluttershy. Where's Star?” asked Spike.

“I don't know,” she sheepishly smiled.

“What do ya mean?” asked Applejack. “Wasn't he with you?”

“Well yes. But, he went to the hotel to get something and said we'd meet up here. But I haven't seen him since,” she said, a little worried.

It was at that moment, she felt a sharp pain in her chest. She closed her eyes and grasped her chest. It was then Fluttershy saw a faint image of Star Driver laying on the ground in pain.

'Something's wrong with Star... He's hurt,' she thought.

“Fluttershy? Are you okay?” asked Twilight.

“Y-Yes, I'm fine,” said Fluttershy, as she snapped back to reality. “I-I'm gonna go check the hotel to see if Star still in his room.”

Before Twilight could respond, Fluttershy took to the skies.

'I've never seen her take off that fast before,' thought Twilight.

She knew that something must be wrong.

“Maybe one of us should follow her,” suggested Twilight. “She seemed pretty worried about Star.”

“I'll go,” volunteered Spike. “I'm sure Star just took a nap and is still asleep.”

“Probably, but just check with her to be sure,” said Twilight. “Here's use this.”

She tossed a small silver crystal to Spike. As he looked at the gem, she noticed his confused gaze.

“It's a 'Teleportation Crystal'. Just say the location you wish to go to and it will transport you there.”

“Really? Cool,” he said in awe.

With the crystal in his claws, he spoke his destination.

“Crystal Imperial Hotel.”

In a silver flash, the young drake vanished.

High above the Crystal Empire, Fluttershy flew through the skies at a rapid pace. She desperately wanted to prove that the image she saw was incorrect.

'Please be there...' she thought.

After a few seconds, she found the hotel. She landed by the front door and quickly rushed inside to the front desk. The desk clerk was busy sifting through papers when she noticed Fluttershy approaching.

“Good afternoon and welcome to the ' Crystal Imperial Hotel'. How can I help you?” the desk clerk spoke with a smile.

“Has a pony named Star Driver been here? He's a participant in the dueling tournament,” asked Fluttershy.

“Star Driver....let me think,” the clerk responded, tapping her finger against her chin.

“He's about a head taller than me, a spiky brown mane, and seafoam eyes.”

“Oh! Yes, there was a stallion just like that here a few minutes ago,” the clerk answered. “After he came down from his room, he said something about 'heading to meet his destiny' or something like that. He was rather energetic.”

“Do you know about how long ago that was?” asked Fluttershy.

“Hmm, about 10 or 12 minutes ago.”

“Oh...t-thank you,” she said, as she turned to leave.

As she stood in front of the hotel door, Fluttershy's mind began to race.

'If he left already, then where could he be?'

Her thoughts were interrupted by the sudden appearance of one purple drake.

“Hey, Fluttershy,” said Spike.

“Ah! Sp-Spike, where'd you come from?” she asked, still clasping her chest.

“Sorry about that. Twilight gave me this crystal that lets me teleport,” explained Spike.

“Oh, okay. But what are you doing here?” she asked.

“Checking up on my bro,” he smiled. “So, was Star here?”

“No. According to the clerk, he left about 10 or 12 minutes ago,” she explained. “I'm starting to get really worried.”


“I just have a feeling that Star is in trouble,” Fluttershy spoke, as worry filled her words.

“Don't worry, Fluttershy. I'm sure we'll find him if we start looking around for him,” assured Spike.

“You're right, Spike,” she said, still a little concerned. “Let's go.”

The two then leave the hotel and head for the town.

----4:30 pm----

Back at the Moonstone Wolves lair, as she watched Star struggled to get his hooves Mere Ka let out a mischievous chuckle. Now in a sitting position, Star was still able to slightly grin.

“That was a shocking experience,” he weakly chuckled. “So what do you guys want from me?”

“Sorry, kid. But we don't ask questions we just follow orders,” explained Mere Ka.

“So, what's your name?” asked Star Driver.

“I'm Mere Ka,” she said.

"Mere Ka..." he huffed.

At this Star narrowed his eyes at Mere Ka. The look of defiance she saw in his seafoam eyes made her chuckle.

'Even now, he still has a defiant spirit,[/i'] she thought. 'That makes him all the more delicious.'

She leaned closer to the cell.

“Why so mad, my little Star Driver?” she asked, with a half-lidded gaze.

At this he merely huffed.

“Gee, I don't know. Maybe because I'm being held captive by a bunch of dogs for some unknown reason, and I am about to miss the most important duel of my life!” barked Star Driver.

“What's so important about some silly tournament?” she asked.

“I wouldn't expect someone like you to understand,” he scoffed.

“And what is that suppose to mean?” Mere Ka spoke, with a little annoyance.

Star remained silent.

“I'm talking to you, kid!”

His lips remained closed.

“Ah, I see the silent treatment, eh?” she speculated. “Well, we got all the time in the world to get to know each other.”

Star Driver merely turned his back to her.

“Aw...that hurts, Star,” she pouted.

This immediately got his attention, as he ears slightly twitched. He slightly turned his head.

“Only my friends can call me that. And you are not my friend!” Star Driver said, gritting his teeth.

“We can be if ya want,” she smiled, with a half-lidded gaze.

“No thanks,” he spoke, with annoyance.

“Party pooper,” she brooded.

Like a foal on Hearth's Warming Eve, Ranger was thrilled at his newfound magical prowess. As he practiced with simple levitation and teleportation spells, he heard a knock at his chamber door.

“Who is it?” he called out.

“It's Palpa, sir.”

“Come in.”

He used his magic to open the door, and entered in was another female Diamond Dog. It was Palpa, the smartest of the Moonstone Wolves and elder sister to Mere Ka. She was a tall, slender Diamond dog. She had light grey fur, sharp cerulean eyes, and spiky brown hair. She wore an aquamarine single strap shirt, teal skirt with goldenrod covering, black choker, turquoise armband, and cool gray wrist gauntlets.

“Sir, Mere Ka and the others have returned with the target,” she said.

“Excellent! And I assume that they weren't spotted?” he asked.

“Yes, sir,” Palpa confirmed.

“That's good work, Ranger. But that's to be expected from the legendary mercenaries,” spoke a voice.

The two turned to see the hooded stallion standing across the room. Palpa quickly stood in front of her leader.

“Who are you? And how did you get in here?” she barked.

“Stand down, Palpa,” ordered Ranger. “This is the liaison to our client.”

Heeding his orders, she retreated her position.

“My, such loyal minions you have,” chuckled the hooded stallion.

Palpa glared at the hooded figure.

“Who are you calling-” she began, before being cut off by Ranger.

“They're not minions, every member of my crew is family,” spoke Ranger in a serious tone.

“My apologies, I meant no disrespect,” the figure stated.

“So, what are you going to do with him,” asked Ranger.

“I merely wish to speak with the young stallion,” said the figure.

“What about?” asked Ranger.

“It is the business of my mistress,” answered the figure, as he walked past the two.

As he walked past her, Palpa felt an eerie chill creep down her spine.

'What was that just now?' thought Palpa, as the figure walked out of the room. 'There's something wrong about this.'

She then turned to her superior.

“Ranger, I don't trust that guy,” she spoke. “Do we even know who he is?”

“Don't sweat the small stuff, Palpa. After this will be able to leave this place and rebuild our once great tribe,” spoke Ranger. “If he gets too out of control, I'll put him in his place with this gauntlet.”

Assured by his confident words, the two follow the figure.

Back in his cell, Star continued to ignore Mere Ka's attempts to have a conversation as he tried to figure out a way to escape. He looked around his cell and saw no openings, except the bars and locked door.

'I'm running out of time,' he thought Star Driver. 'I gotta think of a way out of this.'

He turned his attention to his very talkative captor. Mere Ka smiled as she felt that he would finally talk to her.

“Yay, so you finally wanna talk?” she asked.

“Not really,” Star spoke, in a deadpanned tone.

Mere Ka puffed her cheeks.

“Why're you being so bland?” she pouted. “What happened to that fiery stallion I saw in the alley?”

“You jumped him and threw him in a cell,” he explained.

“Well, why not make the most of it. You'll never get an opportunity to talk with a sexy female like me,” she responded, with a wink.

“Eh, six out of ten,” stated Star.

Mere Ka felt like a knife had pierced her heart.

“Now, that's just mean,” she spoke, in a mocked hurt tone.

“Hey, I call'em like I see'em,” shrugged Star.

Mere Ka stuck out her tongue in which Star just scoffed.

'How can he be immune to my charms?' she thought. 'Even Ranger can't resist me for too long. I wonder if it has something to do with that yellow pegasus?'

A sly grin then sprawled across her muzzle.

“What?” asked Star.

“I guess you only have a thing for that yellow pegasus, huh?” she asked.

“You leave 'Shy out of this!” he barked.

“'Shy? That's a weird name for a pony,” she responded.

“It's short for Fluttershy,” he stated.

“So, have you two been intimate?” she asked with a mischievous smirk.

“Th-That's none of your business!” he stuttered.

“Just what do you see in her anyway?” she asked.

“Like I'm gonna tell you that,” he stated.

“I bet it's because she has big boobs, isn't it?” she spoke slyly.

“N-No...,” he spoke with a massive blush.

“My, my. You're so defensive, Star,” she playfully teased.

“I told you, only my friends can call me that!” he glared.

“Y'know you're cute when you act all pouty like that,” cooed Mere Ka.

To this, Star merely rolled his eyes.

“Hey, I've been meaning to ask you something,” Mere Ka said. “What with that pendant of yours?”

“What about it?” he asked with an arched eyebrow.

“It looks really valuable.”

He clutched the pendant tightly to his chest.

“Easy, kid. I was just asking. If we wanted that thing we would've taken it when you were knocked out.”

“I see...” said Star.

“Where'd you get it anyway?” she asked.

“Well, it was given to me by a very special pony,” he spoke.

“Who was that? Your precious Fluttershy?” she mocked.

“No...it was my mom,” he spoke somberly.

Mere Ka noticed his defiant demeanor was changed to a melancholy one. As his ears fell flat, she could tell that just saying that affected him greatly.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

“What's it to you?” he coldly responded.

“You seem kinda down. Did something happen to her?” she spoke.

“W-Well, she died when I was very young,” he sighed. “This pendant is the only memento I have of her.”

Mere Ka wasn't prepared for his answer. She figured that he would've blown her off, but instead, he actually opened up to her.

“I-I'm sorry. I didn't mean to-,” spoke Mere Ka.

“It's okay...” he replied.

“If it's any consultation, I can relate to how you feel,” spoke Mere Ka.

This caught his attention.

“Really? How's that?” asked Star Driver.

“I lost my mom too,” she spoke, as she turned her head away from him.

“Oh...I see.”

He saw the same sorrowful expression he's seen before in the mirror those many years ago. After a brief sniffle, Mere Ka turned her attention back to Star.

“It was a long time ago, so don't worry about it,” she smiled. “I guess we got that in common.”

“I suppose so...” he responded.

The two shared a brief laugh. They were soon interrupted by the arrival of the rest of the Moonstone Wolves and the cloaked figure.

“Open the cell Mere Ka. Our guest would like to have a word with him,” instructed Ranger.

“Yes, sir,” she answered.

As she opened the cell door when Star exited the cell the figure looked at him with an ominous grin.

----4:45 pm----
“Have you seen a spiky mane pegasus come through here? He has a white jacket, about a few inches taller than me, and has a cheesy smile?” Spike asked a group Crystal Ponies.

They all shook their heads.

“Oh, well thanks anyway,” sighed Spike.

The group continued down the street. It had been fifteen minutes, and neither Spike nor Fluttershy could find hide nor mane of Star Driver. And nopony had apparently had seen him at all.

'Bro, where are you?' thought Spike.

SPIKE!!” bellowed Fluttershy.

Spike turned to see the timid mare frantically running to him. Behind her was a silver coated crystal dog. As she reached the purple drake, she took a moment to catch her breath.

“Fluttershy, are you okay?” he asked.

When she looked up into his eyes, Spike saw the fear and panic in them. He knew something was wrong.

“It's...Star... He's been...kidnapped....” she managed to speak, though still winded from running so fast.

“Kidnapped? What are you talking about?”

“Well, I was asking around to see if anypony had seen Star anywhere. Nopony said they'd seen him, and I started to get worried. So I got the idea to ask some of the local animals in they've seen him,” she explained.

“Huh, that was a good idea,” said Spike.

“Well according to this nice puppy I found, Star was chasing some girl dog down the street into an alley,” she said. “But it was a trap because a few moments later he saw a big dog carry him off.”

“Does he know where?” asked Spike.

“Yeah, but we gotta hurry! Who knows what they're doing to Star,” spoke the worried mare.

“Right. Okay, pup. Lead the way,” ordered Spike.

Without a moment to lose, the crystal dog ran down the street. Not far behind, the two friends followed after him.

'Hang on, Star! We're coming to rescue you,' thought Fluttershy.

Back at the hideout, now outside of the cell, the cloaked figure stood before Star Driver.

“Greetings, Star Driver,” the figure spoke.

“How do you know my name?” he asked.

“That's not important now,” the figure answered. “I'm here because my mistress sees something special in you.”

“Is that so?”

“Yes,” spoke the figure. “I've been instructed to extend an invitation for you to join our ranks?”

“Ranks? What are you talking about?”

“I mean joining us, the Abyssal Knights,” explained the figure.

“Abyssal Knights?” he asked with his head tilted.

“Yes, we are servants of the true ruler of this realm, Empress Ehm,” spoke the figure. “And with our help, she will come back and claim what is rightfully hers.”

“Uh-huh,” said Star. “I think you've been reading too many comics, bro.”

“Fool, these are not mere words. What I speak is the truth. Our mistress was sealed long ago, and now at long last, the time has come to set her free.”

Both Star Driver and the Moonstone Wolves stood dumbfounded. This unknown pony was talking about something you'd read in a chapter of Daring Do book. After an awkward silence, Star simply chuckled. An action that confused the hooded stallion.

“Is something funny?”

“You really expect me to believe that? I've heard better tales on Nightmare Night,” chuckled Star.

“This no mere tale. Join us and you will be granted untold power. Anything in this world that you would desire will be yours,” he spoke.

“No thanks, Captain Crazy,” Star spoke, as waved off the figure's statement.

The figure extended his hand the captive stallion. Star felt his body being lifted up. As he hovered few inches off the ground, he felt his body was completely immobile.

“What the...?” spoke Star, as he tried to move his body.

“That's a shame,” said the cloaked figure glared at a shocked Star Driver. “Because I been instructed not to take 'no' for an answer?”

Star felt his body being pulled toward the figure.

“What are you gonna do to him?” asked Mere Ka.

“I'm merely going to show this foal the truth,” the figure spoke in a dark tone. “Even if it's by force!”

Star now hovered barely a few feet away from the figure. But before he reached the figure, Star's pendant began to glow brightly. Within seconds, Star was free of the figure's control and fell to the ground.

Without a second to lose, Star made his way to the exit. Before he could reach it, Star felt the same paralyzing force from before. He turned his head to see the leader of the Moonstone Wolves had him in his magical grasp.

“Where do you think you're going, kid?” scoffed Ranger.

“Lemme go!” said Star Driver, as he struggled to get free.

“Not a chance, kid,” chuckled Ranger.

With one fluid motion, Ranger slammed Star into the ground. This made Mere Ka slightly flinch.

“Was that really necessary, Ranger?” asked Mere Ka.

“What do you mean, Mere Ka?” asked Ranger, his attention still focused on Star Driver.

“I mean he's a just kid. I'm sure he wouldn't be able to anything,” she explained.

He launched an aura claw from his back and pinned her to the nearby wall. As he turned to her, Ranger spoke darkly,

Remember your place, Mere Ka!

It was then Mere Ka saw something she had never before seen. For the first time, she saw a sinister gleam in his eyes.

'Ranger... What's gotten into you?' thought Mere Ka.

As he turned his attention back to Star Driver, the others were shocked by his action. Palpa charged at him.

“Ranger, what are you doing?!” she shouted. “Put my sister down right now!”

Ranger didn't respond to her words. Baring her claws, she lunged at him.

“Ranger! Put her down!” yelled Palpa.

Once again, Ranger launched another aura claw and pinned Palpa to the ceiling. She struggled to get free.

“Ranger, what is your deal? Why are you doing this?” bellowed Mambay.

“I...can't...control...it! What's...happening...to...me...?” Ranger struggled to speak.

They heard the cloaked figure darkly chuckle.

“That's to be expected.”

“W-What're you...talking about?” asked Ranger.

“Did you really think that I would give you such a powerful artifact like that without taking a few precautions?” the figure chuckled.


“It's simple really. That warning I gave you about that gauntlet draining your life was a lie. I merely said that to bait you into my real objective.”

“And what was that?” asked Mere Ka.

“Elementary, my dear. You see, I placed a spell on the artifact. The more he used it the stronger the spell became. Now, he's under my complete control.”

The figure demonstrated this fact as he moved Ranger's body against his will.

“Stop that! Leave him alone!” bellowed Mere Ka.

The figure merely scoffed at the captured maiden.

“Not a chance, my dear. In fact, I think I will recruit all of you as servants to our mistress.”

With a wave of his hand, the rest of the Moonstone Wolves were under his control. As he released both Mere Ka and Palpa from their imprisonment, he turned his attention to Star.

“Now, where were we?” the figure spoke. “Ah, yes. We were going to see if we could get you to change your mind.”

The cloaked stallion, along with the now mind-controlled Ranger, slowly walked over the Star Driver. As the stood before the captive stallion, a sinister smile snaked across his snout.

“Now, Ranger. Grasp his forehead with your left claw,” the cloaked stallion instructed.

Just as he was instructed, Ranger placed his claw upon Star's forehead.

“Now speak the words, obscura animi ruptus.”

No sooner than Ranger spoke those words, Star Driver's head was encased in a violet aura. Within a few seconds, Star felt a massive electrical surge engulf his very mind. The immense shock caused him to cry out in pain.

“This would've been so much easier if you would've said 'yes'.”

Author's Note:

Sorry for the late update. I recently got married, so life's been hectic the last few weeks:twilightsheepish:.
But thanks to The Notebook I was able to keep this chapter on track :pinkiehappy:

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