• Published 17th Jun 2013
  • 4,785 Views, 341 Comments

Longma - JeckParadox



The Longma, the 'dragonponies' or 'batponies' have started returning to Equestria. Now a Princess herself, Twilight goes to Princess Luna to ask about the Longma's origins, but ends up responsible for an empire of monsters.

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5. Racers & Killers

"Hey!" Rainbow Dash shouted, pumping her wings. "Crow!!"

The Longma spread his wings for an instant and was pulled back, closing the gap between him and Rainbow. "Hey! Did something happen? Do I need to head back?"

"What, no! I just thought we should try racing to Ponyville."

Crow gave one of his wild smiles. "Ohh?"

"Yep, why not? I'd like to see how fast you can go without feathers."

"Really? And here I was wondering how you managed to even catch up to me with those fragile things."

Rainbow narrowed her eyes, her smirk becoming wider. "Did you just call my wings 'fragile'?"

"Yep! Now then, I'm on actual business, so we can't do a long race... just to Ponyville and back?"

"I thought you didn't know where Ponyville was?"

Crow gave a sly smirk. "I have a basic idea. Well, I'm going, you can try to beat me... but you won't." And with that, he shot forward again, going impossibly fast.

"Care to bet on that?!" Rainbow shouted, chasing after him.

"Why not!" He shouted behind him.

"This is why!!" Rainbow shouted, taking a steep dive.

Crow watched her, ready to save her should she not pull up in time, but still continuing his path. She was moving fast enough now that she left a rainbow trail behind her.

His eyes widened as a shell of air started forming around her. She was going too fast for a Pegasus. He sighed to himself, "The Princess would get mad if I let you kill yourself like this." He then began spinning as he dived, a tornado forming around him.

Rainbow's eyes were almost shut at this point... but she was sure she was going fast enough now. She arced her body and pumped her wings one last time, and the world exploded into color and sound. She was fired straight up, arcing toward Ponyville at impossible speeds, a rainbow shockwave spreading in her path. "Try to catch up with me now!!" She taunted behind her.

But then she got a chill as a black drill.. no, a tornado, fired past her, a long dark tunnel following in it's path and cutting straight through the wave of color. It was humongous one moment, and the next, it was half a mile in front of her, a speck. "No freaking way." Rainbow whispered as the tornado was dispelled, Crow braking in the air to come down safely in Ponyville. "No way!" She yelled, pumping her wings into overdrive, she felt the cushion of air forming past her as she approached the Rainboom speed again.

He was fifty feet from the ground. She was over eight hundred. She groaned as she broke t...hrough the barrier again, making an even larger shockwave and sending her crashing past him and into the dirt.

The Longma merely gaped at the crater, flapping silently for a minute, before touching down and helping Rainbow up.

"I... feel sick." Rainbow began.

"You... you did that thing twice..."

"I never did it before... did I win?"

"...uh... yeah, surprisingly. Though would you consider it cheating if you made the ground several more feet away
in an instant?"

"Whudduya mean?" Rainbow Dash said woozily, stumbling.

"You created a crater bigger than my apartment."

Rainbow Dash turned her head and looked at the crater with pride. "So that's what happens after two Sonic Rainbooms..." She managed to let out before almost collapsing.

~~~~

Rainbow led him to the library, where Crow set her down on a nearby chair. "Oscuridad! It's me!"

Rainbow looked up, still woozy from breaking the sound and light barrier twice, and her eyes widened in terror. "Sombra!!" She screamed, looking at the unicorn with a curved horn, sharp teeth, and eyes and a mane that emanated dark magic.

The Shadhavar merely frowned. "Crow Moon, who's the mare?"

"A close friend of the Princess's!" Crow said, saluting.

"Are you absolutely sure? I refuse to allow anypony uninvited to enter Her Highness's abode."

"Her Highness has explained at length that this is a public library, and that she'll let whoever wants a book in."

The Shadhavar's expression didn't change. "I'll have to speak to the Princess at length about this. This place is horrifying. The basement is unprotected and unshielded, making it worthless as a bunker, her home is extremely flammable. And any assassin could simply claim to be a student a waltz in!"

"Well, Jaeger sent me here to tell you not to change anything yet!" Crow reported cheerfully.

"Oh... did he now?" Oscuridad took a few steps toward Crow. "I am the Captain of the Guard. He cannot give me an order unless it is by direct command of my Princess."

"Uh... it was! She insisted we don't change anything, she still wants it to be public... and she still wants to live her life like she was before, she wants us to interfere as little as possible!"

Oscuridad raised an eyebrow. "Well then, that's different." He made a formal bow toward the shocked pegasus. "Greetings, I am Captain Oscuridad, of the Night Empire. Personal servant of the former Queen Nightmare Moon and Princess Twilight Sparkle. It is a pleasure to meet the friend of my liege." He bent down and kissed Rainbow's outstretched hoof, causing her to blush. At least it got her out of shock.

"You're not fooling anypony Sombra!" Rainbow Dash said with a growl, stomping a hoof. "I thought we destroyed you in the Crystal Empire!"

Oscuridad raised an eyebrow. "How would you even know that name?" He asked slowly.

"Simple, you tore apart the Crystal Empire less than a year ago! I know you, there's no other pony with eyes and a horn like yours, no matter what color you change to... or how much taller... or... now that I think about it, you almost look like a completely different pony."

Rainbow Dash looked at him with a look of pure confusion. "Shadhavar." The pony said after a time. "One of the Lunar races, we are also part of the Night Empire." He explained further. "We all have the eyes, the fangs, the horn." Rainbow Dash looked at him more closely and she hit herself in the head. Obviously this wasn't Sombra. The most glaring difference being that the Shadhavar in front of her had a much lighter coat, almost white. He had a black mane as well, and had similar red eyes, and she noticed the magically-charged red tip of his curved horn, but he was taller, thinner, the bone structure and shape of his face different. They could have been related, but this was clearly a different pony.

"Uh... sorry.. I mistook you for somepony else."

"Hm. I'll forgive it, you are one of the Princess's treasured friends after all. How did you get those injuries, if I may ask?"

"Oh, I er.. well, me and Crow were racing here from Canterlot, and I had to do a few tricks to get the lead.. you probably saw the explosions a few minutes ago..."

"That was you two?! I thought we were under attack!" Oscuridad growled. "Crow Moon, you allowed yourself to race dangerously against a friend of the Princess?! You got her injured you foal, the Princess will have your head and I'll gladly fetch the axe myself!"

Crow merely became more wild-eyed. "If it comes to that, might I duel you, Oscur?"

"Whoa, whoa, nopony's dueling anypony, or getting executed! It was my fault, I was the one who asked for the race, and then I over-did it."

"He should have just given you the victory." Oscuridad said. "He is a knight of the Night, he should have understood the situation and declined to your race in the first place, he is at fault here."

"Now listen here oscar-dude or whatever your name is, nopony's getting executed. It was my own darn fault!"

"We'll take this up with the Princess when the time calls for it. For now, Crow, you have your warning, no more dangerous races with the Princess's friends."

Rainbow Dash narrowed her eyes and got to her hooves. "I'm heading back, are you Crow?"

"Yep! I told the Captain everything he needs to know."

"Then let's fly slowly and safely back to Canterlot." She shuddered. She had hoped to never say something like that in her life.

"Understood. And please, do fly safe. I'm sure the Princess would be devastated if you were hurt." He watched as the two left, before frowning to himself. "...how exactly did that blank-flank survive a thousand years?" He almost whispered, looking at the books of the library.

~~~~

"What's with that guy?!" Rainbow said angrily. "How is it that you're getting blamed for my crash?!"

"I'm a soldier, it's my responsibility to protect the Princess, and in this case, I was supposed to be protecting you, or at least, I've done wrong by not protecting you. It shouldn't bother you too much."

"I mean, that was one of the closest races in my life! Even if broke both wings I wouldn't regret it...You're really fast! What was that drill-thing you were doing?"

"Tornado Devil." He said smiling. "It's a great technique, saved my life a few times in the war."

Rainbow Dash's eyes widened. "Crow! You should try and join my team! You're an amazing flyer!"

"Oh? Maybe in a few years, when I'm done with my bodyguard work and leave the military... what's it called?"

"The Wonderbolts!" Rainbow Dash said proudly. "Only the best flyers in Equestria are allowed in, I actually only got into the academy a few months ago, but it's going great! I'm working with the best, I think you'd fit in great!"

She turned to see Crow's reaction, but he was a distance behind her, fluttering in place. "...hehe... the Wonderbolts?" He looked her in the eyes and she shivered, his jade eyes were wide and wild, even more beast-like than normal. And they seemed incredibly hungry and dangerous. She had looked dragons, bears, and hydras in the eyes and not felt a twinge of fear... but for that moment her instincts told her that Crow Moon was the most dangerous thing in the sky. "You mean they're still around?!" He gave a loud "Bwa", like he was going to start maniacally laughing, but he caught himself.

"Y-yeah, interested?"

"Oh definitely... his smile was gigantic, as big and bright and white as Pinkie's, but made of savage carnivorous teeth. "I can't tell you how pleased I am that they managed to recover, who do you think trained the second squad? The Princess herself?" Rainbow was slowly and stealthily moving farther and farther away from the slowly growing madness in his eyes.

"I.. I don't know, why would she? I think it was a pony named-" Rainbow was gaining a little confidence, she was in a subject she knew like the back of her hoof. "-Cumulus, a retired Wonderbolt. The current first generation died valiantly in the... civil war..." Her shiver was returning, for a different reason.

"Oh, yes. I can personally guarantee that all twenty of them died, though it wasn't 'valliantly'. I wonder how much detail they give in your academy? Did they mention how the Wonderbolts bombed the entire left tower? Or how they killed over three hundred Longma in that attack, all civilians?!" He beat his wings and suddenly he was much too close. "Or how the entire squad of twenty,twelve mares eight stallions, died by the hooves of one furious high-speed scout over the course of ten minutes?"

Rainbow couldn't handle it. She flew back as fast as she could to Canterlot. "Those freaks are insane!!" She hissed to herself. "And Twilight's alone with five of them!" She hit her head once, not slowing. 'Calm down Dash, your making a foal of yourself. Everypony's there. Crow's the most dangerous, Pinkie could handle the other five herself probably, Fluttershy could too, if she stopped holding back, and it's not like Applejack, Rarity and Twilight are bad in a fight.. they'll be fine, just fine.'

Crow was suddenly in front of her. She panicked and shot under him, but he was catching up easily. "I admit, Wonderbolt, that your Rainboom trick's pretty powerful, I can't keep up with it... but just flying? Those sun-baked fragile feathers won't get you too far very fast Wonderbolt."

"Shut up! Leave me alone!" She dived around him and tried to catch him in a whirlwind of color before making her escape, but he just spun himself and seemed to sift through her winds. Passing between each stream like he was hopping from one stone of a pond to another.

"I'd never hurt you... you're my Princess's precious friend. But know this... any time any single one of you Wonderbolts feel like dueling me... I'll accept, and I'll trounce them, and I'll beat them to an inch of their lives... I won't kill of course... the war is over... after all..." the wildness in his eyes was slowly fading, and he began breathing heavily. "Darn it..." he hissed. "I did it again!" He turned away from her and hit himself on the head repeatedly.

Rainbow took the chance to fly to Canterlot as fast as her 'fragile' wings could take her.

~~~~

"Rainbow you poor dear, what happened?!" Rarity asked, bringing a blanket over the nervous Rainbow Dash's shoulders.

"He... Crow... he... he killed the very first Wonderbolts!"

Twilight winced. She let out a sigh. "Yeah... they're soldiers, Rainbow... and they were at war with us... but that was all in the past... right?" She said hopefully, walking up to her friend.

"But.... they actually killed ponies?" Rainbow shook her head. "How can you hang around with them, knowing that?!"

Twilight looked at the five Longma on the other side of the room. Sanguine wasn't showing any emotion, as opposed to her usual smirk. Den looked somewhat ashamed. Crescent had a sort of proud frown. Kalt and Jaeger however, didn't show any shame at all, accepting the ponies' fearful and awkward looks in stride. Crow still hasn't returned.

"I... I guess it just hasn't sunk in yet." Twilight offered. "Sorry you got so..." She didn't want to say 'scared' considering she was speaking to Rainbow Dash, "..ruffled..." was what Twilight finally decided on.

"Ruffled?! Ruffled?!" Rainbow asked, almost angry. "I was terrified for a minute there! I've never been scared of anypony or anything in my whole life!!"

Pinkie frowned. "What about when you were at the young flyers competition and you were crumpled in a quivering heap?"

"Th-that was just nerves... no-not actual fear... I mean like... I thought for a second that he was going to try and kill me guys!"

Twilight frowned. Enough was enough. "Guys... could you all leave for a second, maybe try and find something for Dash to drink? I need to have a... talk... with my guards."

All five bodyguards winced, but stood at attention.

"Wait! i mean er- you're the Princess, so you don't have to, sorry, but er... Rainbow?" Crow asked, fluttering into the window. Fluttershy flinched as she saw him land in the room, but to Rainbow's credit, she stopped shivering at once and met his eyes.

"What?" Twilight asked. "Haven't you scared her enough? There was no reason to tell her about that Crow!"

"No, no.. I want to listen to what he has to say." Dash said quietly.

Crow sighed and bowed his head. "I... I was out of line, and out of control. I... when I'm about to get into a fight I go a little... battle crazy... I let it get the better of me, I was out of line bragging about killing the Wonderbolts... and I totally understand if you want to kill me now. But..." He shook off a boot from his back leg, Rainbow winced as she looked at the burn marks. "... we were at war, and that doesn't excuse much...but the Wonderbolts... well... they killed countless Longma... and I needed revenge... and I got it. But you're not part of it! The current 'bolts aren't part of it!" He put his forehead to the ground, kneeling in front of Rainbow. "I was completely out of line, and I'm in the wrong. I defer to your judgement, and am at your mercy."

Rainbow frowned. She didn't know what to think at this point. "What does that even mean?!"

Jaeger stepped forward and pulled a blade from a small sheathe attached to his side. He set the blade on the ground and slid it toward Rainbow. "He's offering his formal apologies, and you a chance to get revenge."

"...what?"

"If you want to, you can kill him. He insulted you, and admitted he was in the wrong. It conflicts with his royal duties. If you see fit, you or the Princess may now execute him."

The mane six merely gaped at Jaeger. "...what?" They all said at once.

Rainbow shook her head furiously. "I'm not going to kill somepony!!"

"Of course not!" Twilight growled, putting a hoof down on the blade, crushing it with her rarely-found Alicorn strength. "Ponies don't do things like that anymore!"

Crow didn't lift his head. Rainbow looked down at him and let out a long sigh. "...I... I forgive you... but don't you dare insult the Wonderbolts' good name ever again. Alright? They're the best ponies in Equestria."

"I... alright. I won't insult the current Wonderbolts." Crow resigned. "Though my offer for duels still stands." he said, looking up to her hopefully.

Rainbow let him get up and took a step back, putting on a brave face. "I think I might take you up on that sometime."

Twilight smiled, glad that things had been resolved so quickly. "So, why did you guys have to go to Ponyville? Something about a... I forget his name.. is he another member of your team?"

"Captain Oscuridad." Jaeger said with reverence. "Captain of the Night Guard. At the moment he's at the Ponyville Library, defending it alone."

"He's in the library?!" Twilight asked.

"And he looks like Sombra." Rainbow said, frowning.

"What?!"

Kalt sighed. "She means he's a Shadhavar. Do you guys remember Sombra?"

"He was a member of the royal guard, but he resigned and ran off to the Crystal Empire. A coward." Jaeger said with distaste.

"You're just mad because he got all the free gems he wanted to himself." Den and Kalt hit him on the head. "What?"

Author's Note:

Fun fact; I have a very clear visual image of what's happening in my story as I write it, very, very clear. So when I was writing the scene where Crow relives the fight I got chills at his face. I might draw it some time and put it below.... ugh... shivers.

*Edited slightly to resolve a few continuity errors, pointed out rather... 'colorfully' by Vates Despero