• Published 4th Aug 2013
  • 6,151 Views, 197 Comments

A Shadow Among Light - Theforrealdeal

It's not easy trying to escape the legacy of an evil tyrant, especially when that tyrant is your father.

  • ...

Chapter 1

It was dark.

The floor was cold, hard, wanting nothing other than to give pain in any way it could. In this case, the only requital was a sore neck and back.

That tends to happen, however, when you fall asleep on a hard floor.

His head was in a blur. It felt as if a dense fog had made its way into his mind, clouding his vision and disorienting his thoughts. He was laying on his side, legs outstretched across the floor. The young stallion inhaled deeply, then let out a long groan, bringing an unpleasant sound to the lifeless room he occupied.

After a few long minutes, the fog in his head started to clear and he soon realized he had no idea where he was. He cracked open an eye, trying to gather any information on his surroundings. Nothing. Without lifting his head, he tried rubbing his eye with a hoof. Again, nothing.

Any attempt to see was fruitless. The darkness would not allow it.

He was starting to worry. He went over a mental checklist to confirm he was okay, making sure he still had feeling in his body.

Legs? Check. Hooves? Check. Tail? Check. Eyes? Check. Horn? Check. Ears? Check. Mouth? Check.

Satisfied, the young stallion decided to lift his head off the cold, unforgiving floor. He instantly regretted this decision however, as the pain from an extended period of inactivity flooded into his neck. His head fell back to the floor with a flop. Several consecutive and unsuccessful attempts later, aggravation found its way into his mind.

After a minute of mental preparation and with a frown printed across his face, the stallion forced himself to his hooves. His wobbling legs struggled to lift his body but eventually reached their goal and held him upright. He staggered in place for a moment; his balance hadn't quite returned yet. His body swayed from side to side as his hooves failed to cooperate.

Eventually his hooves planted themselves on the floor and he stood firmly in place. Double checking to make sure his hooves were still under him, he promptly shook his head, clearing away the last of the cloudiness. He opened his eyes as wide as possible and looked about.

"What happened? Where the hay am I?" he thought to himself as he searched the unknown surroundings.

He tried to think back to what could have happened. He thought hard yet no memory would come. Every time he felt close to a breakthrough, it suddenly vanished from his mind.

As he tried to remember, the stallion realized something and asked himself in shock, "Who am I?" The thought hit him with the force of a hurricane. He started to panic.

"What's going on here? Why is this happening? Why can't I remember who I am?" Thoughts and questions were flying around his head like a swarm of angry bees. His heart rate increased as he became more worried. Every logical answer he tried to create caused several new questions to arise, all of which brought him to the same two questions.

"Who am I? Why am I here?"

Slowly, the stallion calmed himself enough to keep his thoughts straight. He hadn't reached an answer, but had decided to move on anyway.

"I need to figure out where I am first. Maybe that will help me remember," he spoke quietly to himself, still scared by the fact that he didn't recognize himself.

It was still pitch dark but the harder he looked, the more he could make out the shadows of various things in the room. He looked down at the floor. It was smooth and cool to the touch and lacked any crevices to suggest tiling. "Must be some kind of stone," he thought, "if I could just get some light, I could probably tell what it is."

Slightly aggravated, the young stallion lifted his head up and began moving forward. The first step was slow and painful on his sore muscles. His legs felt heavy, which made each step short and tedious. Every step was an entirely new ordeal to overcome. It was as if he was carrying saddlebags full of bricks. Lead bricks.

After what seemed like hours, he reached the wall in front of him. Placing a hoof on the wall, he felt around for something, anything he could use to see. His hoof tapped something sticking out of the wall just below his eye level. The protrusion was pointed upward and away from the wall at an angle. The base of the rod felt like wood which connected to a box on the wall.

After further investigation, the young stallion noticed a grip at the end of the wooden rod. Gripping it firmly with a hoof, he yanked downward. The rod barely moved. He pulled harder, though nothing showed for the extra effort. The stallion moved forward, putting most of his body weight on the rod. He strained and pushed down with all the strength he could call upon. After several seconds, the rod finally shifted downward. The mechanism squealed as the rod swung down along with his body until it stopped with a satisfying clank. Breathing heavily, the young stallion stood back, proud of his accomplishment, and waited for something to happen.

Nothing happened.

He stared at the lever, his mouth hanging open. The lack of a result took him off guard. "Wha... why?" He tried to form words but couldn't.

Even with all the problems he was facing, fate was determined to ensure that nothing was going to go his way. Not even a simple lever would accomplish anything for him. He continued to stare at the device as he tried to both calm himself and form a new plan.

The stallion’s confusion and agitation failed to let him notice a steady hum coming from above him. The humming came from an orb that was suspended in the middle of the ceiling. The sound steadily grew louder as magic flowed through the orb. The orb suddenly flashed a bright white light that illuminated the entire room.

Caught completely off guard, the young stallion instantly forgot his confusion as the harsh light bombarded his senses. The new pain made him quickly close his eyes and lower his head to the floor. The unrelenting glow of the light continued to make its way into his vision, forcing him to shield his blinded eyes behind his hooves. Tears dripped from his face as he tried to blink the pain away.

When he finally found the strength to open his eyes, he found that he was looking at his hooves. The fur over his hooves was a dark grey that matched the color of his coat. A few strands of his mane blocked his view. He moved the deep black hair from his face and looked at the ground.

The floor was a glossy shade of blue and had a reflective shine to it. This was not stone as he thought earlier, however. It was crystal.

This was very intriguing to him as he had never been to a place that had crystal floors. Although, if he couldn't even recall his name, he probably wouldn't be able to remember going somewhere with crystal floors, he thought. Wherever this is, it must be a pretty fancy place.

He looked up from the floor and took his first look at the room that imprisoned him. Directly in front of him was the wall that held the lever. The wall itself was made of a similar crystal as the floor, but had a much lighter color to it, almost white even. Next to the lever, was a collection of wheels and nozzles protruding from the wall. Each had a label underneath that the young stallion didn't bother to read. He assumed they were there to control the building's plumbing system. Some pipes running in and out of the wall with various gauges on them further supported his theory.

The walls on both sides of him were full of shelves. Spare pipes and tools covered the wall to his left while the wall to his right held various cleaning supplies. An old feather duster sat next to a bottle of what looked like soap on one shelf. A mop and broom leaned in the corner of the room. "Must be some kind of janitor closet," he hypothesized.

Despite the fact that there was a wall of cleaning supplies next to him, most of the things in the room were dusty. The small irony made the stallion think. He speculated why the cleaning room would be under a blanket of dust. Either the building was never in disrepair and nopony ever bothered to get the tools to fix it, or nopony has been here in a while and the place is deserted. He observed the pipes again. Everything seemed to be working and the gauges on the pipes showed they had pressure. "Well, it probably wouldn't be running if this place was deserted," he thought. "So why is everything covered in dust then?" Just another question to be added to his list of questions.

All his questions bounced around in his head, growing restless in their search for answers. Every new thing he learned only presented more questions. He still didn't know where he was, who he was, and why he was here. Those three questions were like anvils placed on his spine, trying their best to bring him down.

The thought of not knowing anything about himself made the weight of them all the more real. His mood began to sink under the pressure of the anvils as he thought.

No. He wasn't going to let these questions bring him down. He could figure this out. The stallion comforted himself. "I just need to take this one step at a time," he mentally encouraged himself. "First, I need to figure out where I am."

The stallion turned to the last wall he hadn't observed yet. The first thing he saw instantly revived his fallen mood. A door. Finally, an exit.

Upon walking up to it, the stallion noticed something, the door was rather small. His chin was a few inches higher than the top of the door. Now that he thought about it, the whole room seemed pretty small. The room was only about two lengths of himself long and equally as wide. The ceiling was well within his reach, he thought he might even touch his shoulders to it of he stood on his hind legs.

"Why is everything so small?" he wondered. His thoughts would have to wait however, as he wanted to leave the small room as soon as possible. He didn't want to waste any more time contemplating his ideas and the room. He needed some progress.

He reached for the door handle, or rather he reached down for it, and grasped it in his hoof. The handle was cold to the touch and sent a cool sensation through his foreleg. He lowered his head to fit through the doorway and as slow as the sun rises, opened the door, peering out a little bit further as the it swung inch by inch.

What was beyond the door shocked the young unicorn. A grand hallway, decorated with everything one would expect only in a royal household, lay out before his eyes. The hallway was curved and followed the shape of the building. The ceiling was significantly higher than the one in his little room, held up by massive crystal pillars that lined the walls all the way down the hall. Along the wall opposite of him enormous windows in between each pillar allowed sunlight to illuminate the room.

The floor was made of the same blue crystal as the one in the small room. Only this floor seemed much shinier, as if it had been waxed and polished recently. He could see the reflections of the sun light reflect off the floor and project a brilliant color on the wall.

His mouth hung open as he looked, amazed at the grand hallway that lay out before him. He assumed that he must be in a mansion of some filthy rich pony. If not that, then it must be a palace or castle. The small room he had come from before seemed even smaller in comparison to the hallway. It was like comparing the size of a grape to that of a grapefruit.

He slowly stepped out of the doorway of the small closet, finally able to lift his head up. Without bothering to close the door, he walked to the nearest window. Through the colossal window he observed a great panorama of a town. No, not a town, it was much too big to be a town. What the stallion saw was a magnificent city.

The city wrapped around his viewpoint in a circular fashion. Buildings and houses of various sizes stretched a mile or so in each direction. An organized grid of streets and walkways divided the city. Beyond the circular city were vast fields were large crystal formations protruded out of the ground at random.

The city streets were completely empty. "Odd for a city this big. There should be dozens of ponies about." He looked down and realized something. He was very high up. The ground seemed well over a hundred feet below. Even the tallest buildings in the distance were significantly lower than where he was standing.

Out of the corner of his eye, he thought he saw movement on the ground. He double checked to confirm and saw, for the first time since he awoke, another pony. He blinked a couple times then checked again. It wasn't just one pony, there were three. From where he stood, they looked like miniature toy figurines that foals would play with.

They were almost directly below him and were walking towards a cluster of tents and stands. There were several more ponies over there, almost a dozen in that one spot. He looked closer and saw a group of ponies waiting around a stand that seemed to be making and selling some kind of hats. Not very far from the hat stand, a couple dozen ponies sat in some bleachers that surrounded a small, rectangular field.

Two ponies stood at each end of the field, each garbed in decorative armor that covered their heads and backs. Their armor wielded lances that attached to their sides. The stallion could only see their manes and tails from his point of view, he couldn't tell if they were mares or colts. The pony at the far end of the field had a pink mane and tail while the other had a rainbow colored tail and mane.

The unicorn heard the soft and muffled sound of a horn blow come from outside. Almost immediately, the rainbow maned pony charged at the other, lance pointed directly at the opponent. The pink maned pony hesitated for a moment, then did the same. The two rushed towards each other, the rainbow maned pony galloping significantly faster than the other. Then a moment before impact, the pink maned pony stopped in place, but the other didn't even slow. The pink maned pony could only brace as the opponent's lance met its target.

The stallion could only wince and turn away from the window as the rainbow maned pony sent the pink maned pony flying through the air. The crowd cheered and the rainbow maned pony trotted about the field in victory.

Everyone seemed to be having a good time. Everyone but him. He was stuck in this monstrous tower trying to figure out who he was and what happened while everyone else was at that carnival enjoying themselves.

Looking down at his hooves, he sighed, turning away from the window. He slowly walked down the hall, his eyes never looking up from the floor. "I don't know what to do," he thought. "I don't know where to go. I'm all alone in this great hallway without a single clue of what's going on." His walking started to slow. "Why me? What did I ever do? Am I being punished for something?"

His walk slowed to a stop before he finally gave up and sat down right in the middle of the hallway. His head hung low as he sat there and thought. The crushing weight of the anvils returned to him. "How can I ever figure out what to do if I can't remember anything... let alone remember my own name?" He held tears back from running down his face. "Can't anypony, anything help me?"

Just as the gates holding back his tears were about to break, a small noise hit him, causing his ears to perk up. The sound awoke him from his miserable state of self pity and he lifted his head up, looking in the direction of where the sound came. It sounded like a door being opened.

He stood up and trotted towards the source of the sound, curiosity with a side of hope powering every step. As he made his way down the curved hallway, a feeling of excitement boiled inside him. "Maybe it's somepony that could help me!" he thought with hope. "Maybe they could tell me where I am, how I got here, and what to do!"

The young unicorn realized something. "I don't know why I'm here. I could have even been foalnapped and that could be my captor down there." The excitement and hope he felt earlier drained like a bathtub, making him stop in his tracks. "Maybe it's a guard coming to check on me!" he thought. His heart started pounding within his chest, the dangers and fear of the unknown weighing down on him.

He darted out of the center of the hallway and pressed against the wall. He didn't know who, or what, was down the hall but he needed to find out. Nothing was making sense from the time he awoke in the room up to now. It was about time things started.

Hugging the wall, the young unicorn cautiously walked towards the source of the sound. He made sure to be as quiet as possible. Silent hoof-steps are a difficult task however when the floor is solid crystal. Nonetheless, the stallion did his best to keep his hooves quiet.

As he slowly made his way down the curved hallway, an open door peeked its way into his line of sight. He stopped in place and watched, waiting for whatever it was that opened to door to reveal itself.

He stared at the door for what seemed like ages until a little ruckus came from the open doorway. Whatever was inside was moving things around. The stallion crouched low where he stood pressed against the wall, trying to keep a low profile. The open door blocked his view of whatever was happening inside. He sat there, motionless, not a single sound could be heard from him.

The noise stopped and for a moment; the hallway was absolutely silent. The unicorn's heart slowed, each beat was like the pounding of a drum. He worried his heartbeat could be heard by whoever was in the room. The silence was deafening. Each passing second of it threatened to drive the young stallion mad. Sweat formed around his forehead. His eyes never left the door; they hardly blinked. His ears were pointed directly at the door as well, trying to pick up any sound that might be coming from the room.

Out of nowhere, the heavy silence that lingered in the hall broke as the slow and steady clopping of hooves against the crystal floor came from the room. The stallion's body tensed, preparing for anything that stepped out of the room. He prepared for anything, but expected the worst, ready to sprint away if necessary. He pressed himself even closer to the wall and continued to stare. His gaze was that of a hawk in search of his prey.

A swirl of dark blue peeked its way from behind the open door. It stretched further into his view until he finally recognized it as a tail. The rest of the figure soon followed the tail out from behind the door. He scanned over the being carefully. It had a sandy white coat and a dark blue mane and tail that matched that of the open ocean. Its eyes were a light brown that were similar to the color of the mark on its flank which was a rolled up scroll with a golden seal.

The stallion let out a long breath he didn't realize he was been holding. He was so relieved to see not an angry guard or a horrible monster, but a pony, a crystal pony mare to be exact. The fear that clouded his mind cleared, relief left in its place. He was expecting nothing less than a monster coming to finish him off. He sighed and lifted his head.

The mare was pulling a small empty cart out of the room. Pulling it off to the side, the mare walked over to the door and closed it. She grabbed the cart and pushed it down the hall, away from where the stallion was still crouched against the wall. She gave no sign that indicated her knowledge of his presence.

The stallion stood up and slowly followed the mare, choosing to keep a good distance. "Maybe she can help me," he thought. "I just need to find out where I am after all."

His pace gradually increased as he tried to catch up to the mare. The sound of his hooves clacking against the hard floor became louder as his walk quickened. The mare paid no mind to the sound. She was too busy with her own thoughts and pushing the cart.

As he closed the distance between them, he began to notice something odd. Every moment he got closer, the mare seemed to get shorter and shorter. Soon, the stallion was only a few feet behind the mare and he towered over her. The mare was nearly a full head shorter than he was. She looked like an ordinary pony to him, why was she so much shorter than he was?

He pushed the thought aside and finally decided to speak. He opened his mouth to say something but stopped himself before any sound escaped.

"What should I say? Should I tell her I don't remember anything?" he questioned himself. "Can I really trust this pony that I've never talked to or even seen before?"

Despite his apprehension, the stallion gathered himself and prepared to speak, clearing his throat.

"E-excuse me, ma'am?" he finally choked out. His voice stuttered through his nervousness. "I'm a little...lost, right now. C-could you tell me where I am?"

Without looking at him, the mare simply stated, "Why you're on the 124th floor of the southern tower, dear." She continued to push her cart down the hall. "There isn't much up here, you should really get back to the Crystal Fair! I'm only up here because the pony running the traditional basket stand needs more supplies."

The stallion only succeeded in expanding his confusion. "South tower of what? What's a Crystal fair?"

"Um... South tower where, exactly?" he questioned the mare. He felt like a lost foal. Well, he was certainly lost, but at least he wasn't a foal.

The mare giggled softly and replied, "The south tower of the Crystal Empire castle, silly! There's no other place in the empire with this many floors, let alone any other towers! Everypony knows that!"

"Oh... yeah," he faked a laugh. "...I knew that," he lied through his teeth.

He now knew that he was in some castle in a place called the Crystal Empire. It wasn't much information to go on, but it was all he had so far. He was going to work with the little he had. What was this fair she mentioned earlier? Was it the same carnival he saw through the window?

He decided to ask. "So what's going on at the fair right now?

"Oh there's so much to do!" she exclaimed and began excitedly listing the various attractions the fair had to offer. "There's a petting zoo, a traditional hat stand, so much good food to eat, there was a jousting match, but I'm not sure if it's still going. Oh! I also heard there might be a face painting stand pretty soon!"

Her description of the fair, sounded a lot like what he saw earlier. The mare stopped in front of a seemingly random door. "Well I just need to grab a few things for that pony before I head back to the fair."

"Okay, well thank you for helping me out miss..." he trailed off, he didn't know the mare's name.

"Oh, silly me, I've forgotten my manners!" she apologized with a quiet giggle. "My name is Gazette."

"Well thank you Miss Gazette. I guess I'll be on my way now."

"Oh it was nothing at all!" she assured him. "I'm glad to help a pony in need anywhe-"

Her statement was cut short as she turned around from her cart and saw the stallion standing before her. Gazette's mouth hung open while she took a good look at the thing a few feet away from her. She had to look up to see the red eyes staring back at her; her own eyes widened. Her ears laid flat against her head.

The stallion just stood there under the mare's gaze; he was starting to feel uncomfortable. Gazette was staring into his eyes with her mouth stopped halfway through a statement. He didn't know what to do, his discomfort only grew as time carried on. The air around them seemed to get warmer and he could feel sweat forming on his forehead. He tried to relieve the tension by offering an uneasy smile.

The sandy white mare didn't move.

"I-is there something wrong?" he asked, the awkward grin vanishing and left concern behind it.

No response. Not so much as a blink of an eye came from the frozen pony.

"Uhh... miss Gazette?" He lifted his hoof to take a step closer.

His sudden movement caused the mare to recoil. A terrified scream came from the mare as a response. The shrill sound surprised him and he reeled back. Her loud screech of death made his ears ring.

Before the unicorn could recover, Gazette spun around and sprinted away from him. As she ran, the stallion could hear her cry out between gasps, "It's HIM! It's HIM!" Her screams echoed through the hallway, he could still hear them despite the fact she was out of his sight. The echoes became softer as the mare got further away until he could no longer hear her.

The hallway was returned to its original, quiet state save the lone stallion that stood in the middle trying to comprehend what had happened. His mouth hung open slightly as he stared at the place where an earth pony mare was standing not thirty seconds ago. He was completely and thoroughly confused at the reaction the mare gave him. It came directly out of nowhere to him.

The stallion tried to think of what might have caused this. He thought about Gazette. She seemed like a nice pony when he talked to her, certainly not one who would flee in terror when she met someone. There must be a different reason then. He didn't notice anything that might suggest a mental handicap. She didn't scream before while she was talking to him without looking at him. It was only after the mare looked at him did she scream.

He thought about himself. He realized that he was the one that made her scream. What was it about him that frightened the mare? "Did I do something that would scare her?" he questioned himself. "Did I say something I shouldn't have?"

"What did I do?"

He continued to speculate his problem until the sound of hooves rapidly pounding on the floor reached his ears, distracting him from his thoughts. The sound was getting louder.

He looked up and saw two ostensibly white stallions charging at him. One was a unicorn and the other was an earth pony. Both were clad with gold armor and helmets. He stared at the two as they advanced until one of them shouted, "There he is! Get him!"

Realizing their intentions, he spun around and ran. He ran as fast as his hooves could take him. Fear and confusion filled his thoughts. A minute ago, ponies were running away; now they were chasing him.

As the stallion ran, he scanned the hall looking for a doorway or a corridor he could turn down. He spared a look behind him, the two guards were slowly advancing on him. Fear forced him to run faster. He didn't know what would happen if they caught him; he didn't want to find out either.

Up ahead of him, a large crystal bust of a unicorn sat against the wall in between windows. The stallion ignored the brilliant craftsponyship of the statue and how the sunlight passed through the transparent rock, shining rainbows on the floor. Instead, he focused his magic on the crystal, surrounding it in his dark aura. After he ran past it, he used his magic to force the statue over. The crystal fell and crashed on the floor, landing a few feet in front of the two guards.

Both guards skidded to a halt right before the fallen statue, lightly bumping into it. The stallion looked behind him and saw he wasn't being chased anymore. A smug grin grew on his face but it quickly disappeared when he saw the two guards jump over the statue and continue their chase. The small obstacle didn't stop the guards but it gave him a significant lead ahead of them and a little more time with it. He needed all the time he could get.

The young stallion continued to gallop as fast as he could, exerting nearly all his energy into getting away from his pursuers.

He needed to find an escape.

The end of the hall came into view and he saw a large wood door at the base. He rushed up to the door and pushed it open. Inside, a spiraling staircase ran both up and down.

He looked up the stairs, then down. He didn't know which way to go. To get to the ground he needed to go down. However, there could be more guards coming up the stairs. If he went up, he wouldn't be able to get to the ground and leave this castle.

The stallion stepped through the doorway, ducking his head to clear the top, and climbed up a few stairs. Once he was out of the guard's view, he turned around and slid behind the open door.

As he expected, the guards rushed through the open doorway and charged up the stairs, running right past him behind the wooden door.

He waited a few moments until the sound of the guards faded before moving out from behind the door and slowly walking down the stairs. As he descended, the stallion made sure to stay quiet, not wanting to alert any other guards that could be nearby.

The rest of his trip down the flight of stairs was uneventful. He eventually reached the bottom and stepped off the last stair. Two large doors stood in front of him, big enough to where he wouldn't have to lower his head to make it through. He looked at them and hoped it would lead to the outside, to freedom.

The young stallion reached for one of the handles and grasped it firmly in his hoof. The thought that more guards could be outside made him cautious. He paused, took a deep breath, then slowly pushed the door open. He opened it just enough to stick his head through.

Beyond the door was a large open courtyard. Two other towers identical to the one he was at stood equidistant from him. All three towers acted as pillars holding up a massive triangular dome that sheltered the courtyard. Above the dome was the main body of the castle.

The entire structure was monumental. The young unicorn stood in the doorway in awe of the impressive white castle that stood over him. The courtyard beneath was equally as massive. Crystal covered the ground and extended across the courtyard.

The stallion looked at the center of the courtyard and saw a tall pillar covered with a purple sheet of fabric. About a dozen ponies gathered around the covered pillar, each trying to look at it. One pony, an orange mare with a blonde tail and mane topped with a stetson hat, was rushing from pony to pony trying to keep a perimeter around the pillar as they came to take a look.

A flood of frightened ponies came racing into the courtyard and surrounded the pillar. The stallion quickly closed the door to avoid being spotted.

He turned away from the door and sighed, so much for leaving the castle unseen. If he tried to go outside, he would surely be seen. He didn't want to have ponies screaming at the sight of him again and calling guards to chase him down. One hot pursuit was enough for him.

On the other side of the room was a smaller door underneath the staircase. The unicorn had been so focused on leaving that he hadn't noticed it. He walked over and opened the door which revealed a small restroom.

"I could hide in here until everypony leaves the courtyard I guess," he thought as he examined the room. There was a large mirror on the wall above a counter with a sink and faucet. Another door sat along the wall opposite the mirror. The symbol on the door suggested the facilities within. He didn't bother going in to confirm it. Instead, he walked over to the mirror and stood in front of it.

Before him stood a very tall unicorn that stared back at him with ruby red eyes. He looked too old to be considered a colt, yet not quite old enough to be a stallion. A long, pitch-black mane laid over his head and neck. It was disheveled from what seemed like days without care. His tail was the same dark color as his mane and was similarly unkempt. His dark grey coat was surprisingly neat compared to his mane and tail, yet it was still a little messy in some places. The full moon adorned his flank with a single howling wolf silhouetted in front of it. The colors of his fur and hair blended so well, if it weren't for his deep red eyes, one might mistake him for a silhouette of a pony.

Other than his sheer height, there was nothing about him that should have intimidated Gazette, at least, not to the point of screaming bloody murder and sending guards after him he thought. The stallion stared at the two red eyes staring back at him. The same question that bothered him before came to his mind, "Why?"

"Why did she run from me? What is wrong with me?"

Tears formed at the around the edges of his eyes as his questions taunted him. He was lost in a massive city full of ponies that wanted to get him for reasons he didn't understand.

"Why did the guards chase me? Couldn't they at least talk to me first?"

He was scared, lost, confused, and worst of all, alone. There wasn't a single pony there to help him, they were only scared of him.

"Why were they so determined to get me? What did I do to deserve this?"

He wasn't sure if he would be able to make it out of the city since it was so big. It didn't help that he would stick out amongst the other ponies.

"I'm not a monster, I'm just a regular unicorn. Why was she so afraid of me?"

All his thoughts returned to one burning question that plagued his mind ever since he woke up. "Who... am I?"

The ground began to shake beneath his hooves. The stallion paid no mind, too deep in his thoughts to notice. A wave a white light flashed throughout the room. As it shined, the stallion shut his eyes. When the light passed over him and the shaking stopped, the stallion opened his eyes and looked back at himself in the mirror.

Old thoughts and memories exploded into his mind like a tornado ripping a house apart. They played across his mind as he remembered them.

His mouth dropped open, and he gasped.

"I remember..."

Visions of shackled ponies and a wasteland flashed across his eyes. A dark unicorn in iron armor and a red cape with a long curved red horn stood in his mind. A long toothy grin spread across the armored unicorn's face and it laughed viciously.

His eyes fell. His heart dropped through his chest. He felt sick to his stomach.

"...I remember everything...