• Published 24th May 2013
  • 14,982 Views, 659 Comments

Five years of Ice, A thousand years of Flame - Lucky424

I went under for five years waiting for a cure. Something went wrong.

  • ...

Chapter 3: Awakening

By the time Prince Armour and his contingent arrived, the fireponies were already on scene, and had quenched the main fires, and were working on the smaller ones. Once they were out, he moved forward to the strange object. It was sleek, like it was designed to fly, but one end of it was destroyed beyond repair. Moving around the other side he noticed a hole torn in the strange metal, and saw a massive pile of blood on the ground. Looking around he spotted another patch, and another, heading in the direction of the city.

“Guards, on me!” They all charged to him and saw what was on the ground. “Four of you stay here with the fireponies, the rest with me!” They took off galloping, not sure what they were looking for, but the safety of their city was their main priority. They entered the boundary and heard the screaming right away, seeing ponies running to their homes and sealing them shut.

You leave me no choice!” They turned in the direction of the shout in time to see a flash from around the corner. As they ran towards the other street, a unicorn guard came flying through the air, unconscious. Two guards went to assist and the others rounded the corner then came to a halt.

There was a massive creature, bipedal, pounding on a crystal pony's house. Crystal from the Crystal Empire was one of the strongest materials known to ponykind... and this thing was almost through, the door being extremely cracked. Shining Armour could hear a family inside, panicking. He charged his horn and shot out a flame spell, watching as the creature stopped all movement as its back was engulfed.

The flames died down and they could see blistering skin, and then it slowly began to change colour, returning to the same shade as the rest of it, leaving no evidence of the spell. It slowly turned and looked at the guards, growling, as they charged their horns. It stopped and sniffed, stopping its gaze on Armour, then let out a thundering roar and ran at them. The unicorns let their spells lose, but it didn't even slow the thing down. They turned and ran to the castle, where they could contain it and get more help.

It didn't take them long to reach the castle, where a line of soldiers were already waiting. They parted to allow Armour and his guards in, where they turned to once again face the creature. It came thudding around the corner and stopped seeing all the ponies before it. They all charged their horns, and the creature began sniffing again, once more picking out Shining Armour, his captain noticing. “Your majesty, you must get inside the castle! It is after you!”

Before anypony could react, Cadence came rushing out. “Shiny, what's going on?”

“I don't know Cadence, but we have to make sure you stay safe. Get back in the castle.” She nodded once and then teleported away. The creature stopped then, looking at where she had been stood, and once more started to sniff the air, looking towards the lower levels of the tower. It let out what could best be described as a satisfied growl, before turning around and walking away. Some of the soldiers went to follow, but were halted in position. “Stop! It wants you to follow it, it will try to divide us! Hold your ground!”

They could hear it growling, and looked round at the different streets anxiously. The growling was getting louder, but they couldn't see it. There was a blur from the roof tops as it leapt from them to behind the line of ponies, swatting the guard captain aside and grabbing the prince around the neck, before dashing in to the castle.

The inside of the Crystal Castle was complete chaos. None of the guards had a chance to attack, as it still had a hold of Prince Armour's neck, and was showing no signs of letting go. The only thing they could do was try and slow it down, sealing the doors to the royal couple's bedchamber, where Princess Cadence had taken refuge. The banging on the doors slowed, then stopped completely. One of the pegasi guards flew out a window to see what was happening on the other side.

It was clear, so he tapped three times on the door, and the guards poured out, looking for any sign of it. As the captain was about to issue their patrol routes, they heard a scream from above. They all galloped to the stairs and darted up them, seeing the creature dragging both Cadence and Armour into their sanctuary, and closing the door behind them. They rushed over to burst in, but they heard things being moved around, and the doors would not open, even for magic. They looked at each other before the captain gave out his orders. “Pegasi, to Canterlot! All of you, we must call for aid, and we can not risk the messenger not making it!”

The selected ponies saluted and rushed towards all available exits, be it windows or doors, and took wing, looping around the tower once and turning to the south. The unicorn guards all turned back to the door. “Be ready for anything! Our duty is to keep them safe!”

Princess Cadence watched as the strange creature pulled their bed over and blocked the door, before turning to look at her. Shining Armour struggled in its grip, sparking his horn and sending a jolt of electricity coursing through its body. It dropped him to the ground as it convulsed, and he ran in front of Cadence, blocking her from the creature. As expected, it stopped moving and stood there as its body healed itself. It then lunged at Armour, who sent another bolt through it, but again it shrugged it off, raising its fore limb and striking him in the face.

He flew through the air and impacted the wall, sliding down it into a heap on the floor, not moving. Cadence was instantly in front of him, horn alight. The creature turned to her and snarled as she let the attack loose, but again with no effect. Its limb came up again, and she felt an impact in her face before everything went black.

Canterlot Castle. A normally serene and pleasant place to visit, even more so when Princesses Celestia and Luna were having their afternoon tea in the gardens. It was a time when guests could see the rulers relax and just be normal ponies, like everypony else. Well, with the exception of the snobby nobility, to which Luna and Discord had a wonderful time pranking, whether night or day court. Today was not one of those days.

There were lines of guards streaming out of the gates, heading to the single train track that would take them to the Crystal Empire. Celestia and Luna were at the front, leaving Princess Sparkle to run things in Canterlot for the time being. The only two ponies alive who had seen the armour they were wearing was the Royal Sisters themselves. It was a sight to behold, and it also struck something unknown into the ponies lining the streets. Fear.

They boarded the train and settled in for the long journey. Even the pegasi were on board, conserving their energy for when they needed it...

Pain was the first thing to register, followed by a really bad headache. Slowly opening her eyes, Cadence saw the moon was now out, meaning she had been unconscious for a few hours. She looked round to see Shining Armour laying down on the other side of the room, a rope around his neck stretching up to the rafters. She groggily got to her hooves and started to walk towards him, but felt a tugging around her own neck, she turned her head and saw a rope attached to her, going to the rafters as well. It allowed her to lie down, but she had only made it a metre from where she was.

She began to gather her magic to release her, but as soon as her horn started to glow the creature appeared from the shadows and pushed her to the floor, at the very limits of the rope. She felt it start to choke her, and she stopped the spell. Once the glow disappeared, the creature got off her and allowed her to move back.

Armour groaned and struggled to his feet, looking over to Cadence and attempting to run over, being stopped short by the rope and pulled backwards, hitting the floor in a coughing fit. “Shiny, don't. It wants to keep us apart for some reason.” He then noticed the creature in the room, instantly lighting his horn. “No, Shiny, don't!” It was too late, the creature lashed out at him again, not as hard and knocked him to the floor. “Let's just see what it wants.”

“But do you know what it is?” The captain looked to Celestia, then back to the door.

“No your highness, I have not seen anything like it before. I don't understand how you can not get inside.” Luna came away from the door, having finished her analysis as to why their magic could not open it.

“'Tis simple, Cadence has put a shield around the room. She has trapped it in there with them. It can not leave, not while she is in there. We will need an proper master of teleportation magic. There is only one mare I know of that could do it, and she could be here very quickly.”

“Luna, I know Twilight is good at it, but from Canterlot to the Crystal Empire? Even as the Bearer of Magic, she does not have that amount of power.”

“I did not mean to say she should. Remember when Fluttershy's rabbit Angel annoyed Spike too much?”

“Indeed I do, and I hope he create flame big enough for it to work...”

Armour and Cadence sank to their haunches, watching the creature watch them. It turned around and picked up a book, dropping it in front of Armour. He just looked at it confused, before shrugging, and flipping it open. The creature growled and slammed it shut, picking it up and dropping it to the floor again. Armour lifted it up in his magic, to which the creature turned away, puling out another book and placing it in front of Cadence, who began to levitate it as well.

The books started to pile up, until Armour dropped his half, not being able to hold that amount. Cadence, however, kept adding more and more. The creature pushed over the books Armour had dropped, and she began to levitate them as well. She smiled as the creature made a new noise, something that was a mix of a growl and a purr. “Don't smile at it, we still don't know what it is going to do to us!”

The creature turned and roared at Armour, showing the it was the alpha in the room, and challenging it would have consequences. Bad ones. Armour lowered his head to show submission, but his gaze never left his wife. He tried one last gamble, a way to see how intelligent this thing was, and to get near his wife. He raised his left foreleg up and pointed to his horn, and the ring that was there. The creature leant over and sniffed, then just growled at him. He then pointed his hoof at Cadence, who brushed her mane aside to show another ring, and then pointed to a picture on the wall.

The creature grabbed a cup from the side instead and held it up to Cadence, who just stared at it. She shrugged once then looked to the creature. It pointed to her horn, then to the cup. She then realised it wanted her magic. She recalled a spell to summon water, one that had a tinge of the caster's magic in it. She called it fourth and poured more magic than water in to the cup. It then placed one in front of Armour, who did the same.

It picked both up and drank them, then put them down in front of both them, asking for a refill. They complied, and the creature only drank Armour's, setting Cadence's down by the bed.

The creature pulled down the picture and stared intently at it for a moment. It was a painting of their first kiss as a married couple, the day of their wedding. The creature growled once and threw the picture out of the window. It got up and pulled out a knife. Armour watched in horror as it grabbed Cadence by the horn and placed the knife by the base. She held her breath as it started to cut, but then let out a scream.

Armour took hold of the knife in his magic, and placed it to the neck of the creature, telling it not to do that again. Instead of backing away, it just gripped it in its limb, and drew it across. Blood started to spurt out as it fell to the floor, crawling out of their view around the bed, where they heard a gurgling sound as it tried to breathe. The saw its foot twitch a few times and then it was still.

Twilight was still recovering from being sent by dragon fire, and this was the fifth time she had ran to ran the plant pot in the corner. A roar from inside drew the attention of all ponies in the corridor. “Well, now my lunch is gone, I think I should get in there. I'll combine it with an invisibility spell, so its shouldn't be long before I get out of there with them.”

They heard Cadence let out a scream and Twilight disappeared in a flash of light.

Armour got the knife and cut Cadence loose, then himself. He rushed over to Cadence and looked at her horn. Thankfully, the cut was not very deep. His horn lit up in the tell tale glow of yellow healing magic, sealing the wound. For couples like them, that area was quite sensitive, and he gave it a quick kiss. Cadence gave a shudder and embraced him. A groan from the other side of the bed drew their attention, and they made their way around it, very cautiously.

I came to expecting to see cracked view screens and other busted electronics, so when I found myself next to a bed, I was a little surprised. I pulled myself up and started coughing, my throat being extremely dry for some reason. I noticed a cup with some liquid in on the side, and gave it a quick sniff. It smelt of blueberries, so I gave a shrug and gulped it down. I heard someone talk to my side, but didn't understand the language, so I turned to face whoever it was. I got a very big surprise. “Who the fuck lets horses inside their rooms?”

They just stared at me wild eyed whilst I stared back at them. A sudden pain behind my eyes caused me to cover them with a hand. I fell to the floor as the pain got even worse. I heard the voices speak again, but I still didn't understand. I rolled around the floor holding my head. “Help!”

Cadence and Armour backed away from the thrashing creature. A moment ago it seemed so different, as if there were two creatures inside fighting for control. It eyes were also different, they weren't so wild, and even looked worried. Now, they showed the emotion of somepony who was very frightened. Then they had warned it not to drink the cup, but it didn't listen, or didn't understand, and now it seemed to be fighting for control. They were so entranced that they didn't notice the flash behind them.

The creature stopped all movement, and they thought it was over, but then it rolled to look at them, its eyes gone from the deep blue they were a moment ago, now a shade of yellow. It stood up to its full height and roared at them, advancing. It stopped and sniffed the air, before turning around. It made its way to the door and seemed to just lose sense of everything. It then flung its right fore limb out, and Twilight appeared flying through the air.

She shot out her wings and stopped her movement, hovering in the air. The creature took an exception at this and tried to snatch her out of the air, but she was agile enough to evade it. It looked around once and jumped at the wall, rebounding off and ending up above her. It fell towards the ground and just managed to get its arm to hit her wings.

They fell to the floor and it reached out to grab her but she teleported away. The creature looked around confused, before spotting Twilight on the other side of the room behind it. It roared again and jumped at her, and she just evaded it the same way. After a few attempts, she ended up next to Cadence and Armour, finding her sister in law pushed against her. “Quick, get Cadence out of here!”

She didn't have time to argue and the mares disappeared in a flash of light. The creature looked around the room for them, but upon finding them missing, turned to Armour and growled. The door burst open and the guards flowed in. “Stand down!” The guards all stopped moving and backed away a little. “Hey big guy, have some of this.” A cup was floated over, and he filled it with some of his magic, sending it to the creature. As it took a drink, he leant to his side and spoke to the captain. “How deep is the mine?”

“Deep enough, sir. There's no way it can get out of there.”

“Good. Clear me a path straight there, I'm going to lure him down.”

“Yes sir!” The captain saluted and ran out the room, issuing orders to the other guards. Armour remained behind, keeping an eye on it. He gave it a few minutes and then pulled the cup away, earning a warning growl. He refilled it and floated it back over, but slightly closer to himself. As he hoped, the creature stepped forward, grasping for the cup. He led it out of the room, past the shocked princesses, and towards the stairs. The creature jumped down them and ended up in front of him. He gave the cup to the creature who just took hold of it. He carried on walking, seeing the creature still following. They made it to the mine and Armour heard a growl from behind him, and turned to see the creature holding out the cup. He floated it over and refilled it, but held it near the edge of a spacious mine shaft. The creature leapt forward to the cup, but didn't see the hole. It missed the edge and fell into it.

Armour collapsed to the floor, utterly exhausted.

Four days. For four days there was the sound of feral roaring coming from the mine shaft. It didn't even sleep. It just kept trying to get out. It would always climb a different way, but the unicorns had made a whole section of the shaft smooth, and it just couldn't get a grip, falling to the floor each time. It stayed down for a while after each fall, and its recovery time increased after every attempt. Shining Armour was stood on the edge with the guard captain. “So, how long has it been out this time?”

“A little over an hour, sir. It should wake up in a few minutes if we have it worked out right.” The echo of growling came up the shaft. “There's our boy, never under for long.” They cast illumination spells in to the shaft, seeing it once more climbing up the side. But something was different. It was looking carefully at the smooth section. It got just below it, and instead of jumping straight up, jumped across the other side of the shaft, pushing against it and still getting higher.

Its trajectory started to drop again, but it just managed to get a hold above the smooth section, and began pulling itself up. Armour and the captain panicked as it climbed even faster now. They sent bolts of electricity at it, trying to slow it down or force it back to the bottom of the shaft, but they couldn't hit it. They moved back in to the tunnel as it crested the edge and came after them. They turned down a corner and Armour stopped, reading his horn.

The creature bounded around the corner on all fours, spotting the prince, and leaping for him. Armour waited till he saw the yellow of his eyes, and sent out a powerful shield spell, sending it in to the wall. Once he cancelled the spell, the creature dropped to the floor. Armour stood still, waiting for it to move. After a few moments it stirred, raising itself up. It coughed a little and spat blood on the floor. It looked up at Armour, the eyes returned to the blue from a few days ago. It then collapsed to the floor and stopped moving. Armour approached and noticed it was barely breathing.

Author's Note:

Nopony got any idea what's happening to him yet? Anypony? Come on, somepony's got to recognise it!

Now the next question.

Mine involves water balloons.