• Published 5th Aug 2013
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The Titan's Orb - Old Man Dusters



Callum lives a sad, violent life in the human world... But that is soon to change as he meet some unexpected visitors that will change his life.

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Chapter Twenty - Piece by Piece

“His name’s Blu, I found him a few minutes after you all got into the water and walked off.” Fluttershy explained, stroking the parrot’s neck.

“Who’s a pretty pony? Who’s a pretty pony?” Blu squawked kindly as she stroked him.

“Oh you…” Fluttershy giggled.

“So, does he talk well?” I asked.

Blu answered for himself by taking off and landing on my shoulder.

“Just fine! Just fine!”

{Standard…} I thought to myself.

“This is all fine and dandy, but can we please find this orb shard now?” Applejack pleaded.

Blu flew back to Fluttershy as I turned around to face Applejack.

“Good point, it shouldn’t be far now, let’s try to find it before the sun goes down.” I said.

I took my phone out of my pocket and went to my ‘Albums’ area, where I had conveniently taken a screenshot of the orb shard’s location before the ‘Maps’ app closed. Blu glided over and perched himself on my shoulder to take a look, giving a long ‘hhmmmm’ as he observed the screen. We were closer than expected. The shard’s location was about a mile from our location.

“We’ll find it and still have time for dinner by the looks of things.” Rarity said, looking at my screenshot.

At that, my belly growled. It was at that moment that I realised that I hadn’t eaten a thing for the past two days, I was absolutely starving.

“Speaking of dinner, let’s have a snack now, I’m famished…” I sighed.

“You’re what?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“Hungry.” I replied bluntly.

“Why didn’t you just-”

“Because why not?” I interrupted, knowing she was going to question my elegant wording.


I took my rucksack from Rarity and opening it up.

{Mother… Fucker…} I thought angrily to myself.

My bag had been raided; all the food was gone, along with my phone charger.

“Oh dude, that sucks…” Rainbow said sympathetically as she peered over my shoulder to look in the bag.

“What’s happened?” Rarity asked.

“Callum’s bag got looted.” Dash answered.

“Oh darling… What have they taken?”

“Everything except my spare clothes.” I grunted.

“Do you think they’ve taken our stuff too?” Applejack asked.

“Impossible, the bags are enchanted with Discord’s magic.” Twilight told us.

“Discord’s?” I quizzed.

“Discord put the enchantment on our bags, they’re not just bigger on the inside, but the internals of the bag is in a completely dimension itself, it can only be properly opened by the bag’s owner.” She explained.

“So it’s basically the TARDIS?” I asked.

“The what?” The whole group asked at the same time.

“Never mind…” I said, shaking my head.

“Time and relative dimension in space! Quark!” Blu squawked loudly.

“Well at least you get it.” I said to the parrot.

“So, why did you want this crocodile up here?” Applejack asked.

“The same reason I just checked my bag.” I grumbled.

“You’re not thinking what I think you’re thinking… Are you…?” Fluttershy stuttered.

I nodded, and there was a small moment of silence.

“What do you mean?” Rainbow Dash quizzed.

“Do you think it’s time they knew?” I asked Fluttershy.

“I think so, yes.” She replied.

“Can you tell them?”

“Okay.”

I took a step back and let Fluttershy break the news to the group.

“Everypony, I have to make a confession on Callum’s behalf, can you all come closer?” She asked.

The group happily obeyed, unsure of what was about to be said, Fluttershy looked at all the faces, she looked confident which was odd, seeing as she was normally nervous when it came to talking to a group.

“Now, Callum has told this to me, and I see no problem with it, it is natural, and I want you all to show understanding and kindness to this.” She said peacefully.

The group all nodded, besides Twilight of course, who scowled at Fluttershy with a look that basically said ‘just get this over with.’

“Callum, much like many animals back home in Equestria, is an omnivore. As well as normal food, he eats meat.” Fluttershy explained.


Silence.


Pure… Unnerving… Silence…

I looked from face to face, whom were all looking back at me, unsure how to take in what they had been told. In their eyes I could see them battling their mixed emotions, fear, trust, horror, understanding...


The silence seemed to last for an eternity, before Rainbow Dash finally spoke.

“Dude, is this a joke? Or are you being serious here?” She asked me.

“I’m being serious.” I replied.

“Right…” She quickly said, nodding very slightly.

“Like I said, he is a monster.” Twilight spoke proudly, lifting her chin into the air.

“He is not a monster.” Fluttershy gasped.

“No Fluttershy, it’s alright. Twilight’s quite right to feel that way. This will obviously be quite a shock to you all, it’ll take time for you to come to grips with it.” I said kindly to Flutters.

“Not really.” Pinkie said happily, bouncing up to me, “As long as you don’t eat me, I don’t see a problem with it!” She giggled, running off to grab a stick.

“What?” I said quietly, rather astounded by Pinkie’s reaction.

“She’s right; it’s just the way of your species. Griffons eat meat, what makes you so different?” Rarity smiled.

“Yeah, it’s just who you are Sugarcube, I feed Winona tinned dog food, that’s got meat in it.” Applejack joined in.

A big smile started to light up my face, I had not expected this sort of reaction at all. I had made a problem out of nothing. Clearly all the old fan-fictions I’d been reading in the past were inaccurate, meat genuinely wasn’t a problem. Sure, the ponies themselves didn’t eat the meat, but they seemed not to care whether or not others did.

“Remember Callum, our world isn’t as pristine as your make-believe cartoon makes it out to be, even the best parts of Equestria have bad patches. Eating meat is far from the worst of things that have happened, and still happen back home.” Rarity told me.

“Such as?” I asked.

“I’d rather not go into it, but trust me, there are just as many bad parts to Equus as there are to Earth.” She replied.

{I highly doubt that…} I thought.

“So, you’re kind to the animals and all before, right?” Dash asked.

“Of course, I have respect for all animals, including Mister Crocodile here.” I said, nudging the croc with a foot.

“Why do you respect that? It tried to kill you!” Dash asked in surprise.

“He’s a carnivore, and a predator. It’s just his nature, in his eyes I’m just its next meal, it’s the way it goes.” I explained.

“It’s the ciiiircle… The ciiiircle… Of liiiiiiife!” Pinkie sang.

We turned to face her to see she’s used the stick to draw a circle in the ground with the word ‘life’ written in the middle of it.

“Yeah, that.” I chuckled.

“Why didn’t you tell us sooner?” Applejack asked.

“Well, I thought you’d all react really badly to it.” I said.

“Nonsense darling, we come from a world with a large diversity of species, all with different diets and physical needs. We aren’t bothered in the slightest, right everypony?” Rarity said to everyone.

Everyone nodded and smiled.

“Just so long as you don’t prepare the meat around us; eating meat is one thing, but tampering with a corpse is another.” Rarity finished.

“Oh of course, I wouldn’t even dream of cutting up a body around you lot.” I replied.

Fluttershy cringed.

“So, I assume you wanted the crocodile up here to eat it?” Applejack asked.

“That’s what I was thinking, yeah.” I answered.

“Well, I don’t blame you, after all that stuff back there with Ingeo, you must be starving!” Rainbow said.

“Indeed…” I grumbled as my belly caused more discomfort.

“So, how are you going to eat it?” Dash asked.

“Well, not raw, before you assume that. I’ll just cut the good bits, put it in a bag, and cook it later tonight when we make camp.” I replied.

“Need a bag?” Rarity offered, levitating a plastic bag out of her saddlebag.

I took the bag and smiled, before turning to the croc.

“You guys head off to find the orb, I’ll catch up when I’m done.” I told the six.

“I’ll lead! I’ll lead! Off to get a shiny!” Blu squawked and started flying off.

“Wait! Come back!” Fluttershy wailed, running after him.

{That parrot is a genius…} I thought.

I had instantly clocked onto the parrot’s idea, he was going to lead us to the shard.

“How does he know the way?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“He saw my phone; he probably knows what we’re looking for.” I answered.

“Allons-y! Allons-y!” He carked and flew off away from us.

The group ran after him as I turned to the crocodile.

“Alright fella, lets open you up…” I mumbled, taking the knife from its throat.

I stood above the creature, before I plunged the knife into it and began to skin the animal…



“You’ve got quite the muscles Mister…” I hummed as I removed the croc’s shoulder muscle.

I’d skinned many an animal before back home, having four acres brought many squirrels and rabbits to the land, giving my brother and I plenty to shoot, but I never killed for fun, I only ever killed to eat.
I put my hands under the animal’s ribcage, the ribs would most likely be one of the tastiest parts with the right seasoning. I pulled on the ribs only for my bloody fingers to slip, I may have cooked rabbit and squirrel, but this croc was bigger than me! This was a rather big challenge and learning curve for me, I was no butcher. I picked up the military knife and began to hack at the top parts of the ribcage, hoping for the best.

“You’re not exactly a hatchet, but you’ll do…” I said to the knife as it was able to break off some of the bone holding the ribcage in place.

A good few hard strikes later, the left rack of ribs came loose.

“Nom…” I chuckled.

This job, though bloody, was actually rather enjoyable. I liked living off the land back at home, so to kill and skin a crocodile was quite a treat. While many people find it disgusting to get bloody, I find it interesting to open up a creature and examine the insides. It was basically like dissecting a frog in a biology lesson, just on much bigger proportions…



After a good five to ten minutes of removing the muscles from the croc, I had filled the plastic bag to the point where no more meat could be squeezed in. I used the back end of the military knife to saw through the tail, as the majority of the tail was pure meat. I tied up the top of the bag and looped the handles through one of my belt holes; I then stuck the tail in my rucksack, leaving the bloody end on the outside the bag to ensure the whole thing didn’t get bloody.
I slid back down the bank to the water just to wash my hands and arms, as they were rather blood-soaked.

As I was climbing up the river bank again, I looked back to see another crocodile moving towards me.

“Fuck off.” I barked as I climbed back up to safety.

I took a deep breath inwards as I stretched, gaining a satisfying crunch in my spine. The wrestle with the crocodile was actually rather thrilling,
looking back. I had expected it to be a lot scarier, I remember the first time I was attacked by a crocodile on Far Cry Three, I wasn’t expecting it and almost lobbed the controller at my screen, since then I’ve always had a thing about crocodiles…
I slung my rucksack over my shoulder and stretched once more before heading off in the same direction as the ponies.

“Let’s a’go! Wahoo!” I sang to myself, mimicking Super Mario.



I had been walking for no more than a minute when I saw Blu flying towards me.

“Kill me now! Kill me now!” He squawked.

I raised an eyebrow as he landed on my shoulder.

“What’s up?”

“Pinkie doesn’t stop talking! Squeaky squeaky!”

“Yeah, she takes a lot of getting used to.” I told him.

“Now you tell me! Now you tell me!” He cawed.

I kept walking with him on my shoulder, and we headed off to meet the others again.


I’d been on the move for a good five minutes before I caught up with the group; I assumed they had slowed down for me. As I reached them, Blu hopped off my shoulder and flew ahead.

“Not far now! Caark!

“Hm…” Dash hummed, frowning at the bird.

We continued following the bird as we were led through the woodland. The plastic bag brushed my hand as I walked, reminding me that I needed to get the meat chilled to prevent food poisoning later on.

“Hey, Rarity?” I said as I walked beside the unicorn.

She gave a friendly, curious hum.

“Didn’t you say your bag came with a fridge?” I quizzed.

“I did.” She smiled.

“Could I keep the bag in there? Just so the meat’s not spoiled, I’d rather not have food poisoning.” I asked her.

“Of course darling, there’s a space left at the bottom.” She happily answered, removing her bag and opening it.

When the bag opened, it looked just as normal as ever, as though there was nothing inside. Rarity’s horn lit up and the bag flashed, the content of the bag was now covered with a lid. I leaned forward and opened the lid to find it was like a cooler box.

“That’s cool…” I sighed in awe.

“It’s not half bad.” Rarity agreed.

I took the plastic bag and placed it inside, as my hand entered the box, it was cold. Obviously that was expected, but the true extent of magic existing in real life still caught me off guard…
After putting all the meat into the fridge, I closed the lid and Rarity resealed her bag, I looked up to see Blu doing barrel rolls and other fancy manoeuvres as he led us to the shard. I curiously watched the parrot as he performed his aerial display, he was clearly intelligent, was Fluttershy the reason behind his conscience? Ordinary animals on Earth were nowhere near as smart as Blu, so he must be having some influence from Fluttershy.

“Flutters?” I said as I walked beside her.

The pegasus hummed curiously, looking at me as we continued to follow the bird.

“How did you find Blu exactly?” I asked.

“Just perched on a tree, minding his own business, preening his wings. I called to him and he looked at me, before going back to preening, so I sang to him. That’s when he flew down to me and stood on the ground, I started talking to him, making eye contact in a polite way, and he just decided to talk back.” She explained.

“So you’re saying, when you sing to animals, they respond to you?” I asked.

“I guess so, yes.” She replied, looking down shyly.

{So, you don’t need a horn to possess magic… Interesting…} I thought to myself.

I had it figured that Fluttershy had some form of natural enchantment on her voice, singing seemed to cast a spell. When she sang, whatever she sang to would feel a connection with her, a bond, so to speak…



“For Celestia’s sake… More damn water!” Applejack growled.

I looked up to see we had indeed reached another watery area, not as big as before though, it was somewhat of a lake, a very big lake.

“Shiny in the pool! Shiny in the pool!” Blu croaked as he landed on my shoulder.

“The orb shard?” I asked.

“You got it Doc! You got it!” He chirped.

“Wait, you’re saying the shard’s under that water?” Dash asked.

“Apparently so.” I replied.

“How do we get it?” She quizzed.

“Swim?” I suggested rhetorically.

“Yeah, I don’t swim.” Dashie snorted.

“None of us do.” Applejack told me.

“What?”

“We don’t swim too well, hooves aren’t the best for aquatic movement you see.” Rarity said.

“But, Pinkie swam in plenty of episo-”

“Imaginary TV show, reality. Contrast it.” Twilight snapped, glaring at me.

“But even here on Earth, horses can swim.” I told them.

“We can swim, just not very well.” Rarity explained.”

“So you’re saying I’ve got to go, aren’t you.” I asked, already knowing the answer.

“Eeyup.” Applejack grinned.

I rolled my eyes.

“Dude, I’ve seen you swim, you’re good.” Rainbow said.

“Stalker.” I spat back, sticking out my tongue.

“With pride.” She giggled back.

“What if there’s more crocodiles in there?” I asked.

“I can scan for life.” Twilight spoke up.

“That’d be very helpful.” I smiled.

Twilight’s horn lit up and a thin purple laser beam shot from the tip of the horn and into the lake, where it expanded, engulfing the whole lake, it only lasted for about three seconds.

“Good news, and bad news.” Twilight told me.

“Go on…?”

“I found the shard, it’s over on the right side, near the middle of the lake.”

“And the bad news?”

“There are seventeen crocodiles in there.”

Perfect!” I shouted.

“You’re still getting that shard.” Twilight growled.

I sighed in frustration; I’d had enough crocodile encounters for one day.

“Surely we can bait them away to one side of the area?” Rarity suggested.

“Possibly.” Twilight grunted.

“Clone me again, use him as bait.” I pointed out.

“Actually, that's a pretty decent idea… For once...” Twilight mumbled.

I chuckled as Twilight was forced to be impressed by my thinking.

“Right, stand still.” She ordered as her horn lit up.


The same process as before took place and a purple hue outlined my body as I felt warmer and warmer. The white ball of light formed before me, taking my entire structure, my DNA, and replicating it into a complete copy of myself. The ball grew bigger and bigger, before it flashed brightly, in its place stood, well, me…

“I’ve gotten thinner.” I mumbled.

“That’s what you get when you only eat one bowl of rice a day.” The clone replied.

“More muscly too…”

“Indeed we have.”

“Kinda sexy too…” I whispered.

“I knew it!” Rainbow Dash screamed.

“For goodness sake, I’m not gay! It was a joke!” I growled.

“It’s okay me, your secret’s safe with you.” My clone said.

“Dude, don’t do the whole ‘you’re me and I’m you’ malarkey.” I retorted.

The clone stood up straight and saluted.

“Sir! Yes sir!”

I facepalmed…

“Dudes, are you going or what?” Dash asked.

We both looked at her in sync.

“But of course…” We said.

We looked at one another.

“Stop doing that.” We both ordered.

“I said stop!

The whole group was laughing at this point, watching my clone and I say every word in complete sync.

“Callums! Stop arguing and get a move on!” Applejack laughed.

We stopped, only for the clone to playfully punch my arm, I punched him back, he punched me back harder. Seconds later we were on the ground wrestling.

STOP THIS AND GET THE ORB SHARD!” Twilight screeched.

Playtime, over.

“Righty tighty, let’s go kill myself.” The clone said before stretching.

“You don’t feel the pain, right?” I asked.

“’No, the second he makes contact with that water, his nerves disintegrate.” Twilight answered for me.

“Oh good, here I was thinking you truly hated me!” The clone chuckled.

This caused the whole group to laugh, which only made Twilight growl.

“I can always revert that.”

“Nice pony! Nice pony!” My clone squawked, impersonating Blu.

“Don’t copy me! Don’t copy me!” Blu carked.

“Get the orb shard, you’re stalling.” Twilight ordered.

“Maybe because I don’t want to jump into a crocodile infested lake!” I spat back.

“I’ll teleport you in if you’re not careful…” She hissed.

I gulped.

“Right… Me! Go kill yourself!” I shouted.

“Me! Yes, me!” My replica replied, before skipping along the edge of the lake to the other side.

I shrugged, assuming Twilight had also modified his mind-set so he actually wanted to die or something…
I opened up my rucksack and retrieved my swimming goggles from one of the inner pockets.

“I thought they took everything but your clothes.” Rarity quizzed.

“Goggles are wearable accessories; does that not count as clothing?” I retorted.

“Touché…” She hummed.

I took off my shirt, followed by my shoes and socks.

“Dude, what are you doing?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“Taking off my clothes.” I replied bluntly.

“Why?”

“So I can swim better.”

Dash simply hummed as I proceeded to take off my cargo trousers as well, that was when Fluttershy yelped and came up to me.

“If you prod those bite wounds, I’m going to tickle you to death.” I growled.

“But they haven’t been treated!” She told me as she got even closer.

“Treat them after I get the shard.” I ordered.

“But they look really sore.” She mumbled, brushing my lower thigh to inspect the wound.

“Right, I warned you.” I grunted.

“Eep…”

“When I come back with the shard, expect my wrath.” I playfully spat, glaring at her.

She squeaked, trying to stifle her grin.

“Callum. Shard.” Applejack said, bringing me back to my task.

I faced the water and put on my goggles, before looking to the clone and nodding. The clone ran ankle-deep in the water and ran in circles.

Here fishy fishy fishy FISHEEEEY!” He called in a high pitched voice.

He kicked the water about and jumped around to attract every crocodile in the lake, and in mere seconds I could see them rising to the surface, their dark bodies under the water become more visible as they slowly drifted to my clone.
I slowly walked into the water, lightly placing each foot to avoid attention from any crocodiles nearby.

Step right up! Step right up! Living, breathing, all you can eat buffet! All cuts of meat! Liver too!” The clone yelled as he skipped around the shallows.

“You really are insane…” I heard Rarity say from behind me.

On the special’s menu! Guess what I’ve got!? A BRAIN! Juicy brain! Barely used! Come and get it!

I frowned, before I jumped in shock as a crocodile launched itself out of the water at the clone, who miraculously dodged the unexpected attack.

I said BARELY used croccy boy! Not entirely useless!” He roared with laughter as he continued hopping around the lake.



I decided to finally take the risk and went below the surface. Surprisingly the water was clearer than I thought, I could see a good three, maybe four metres ahead, enough to see a croc if one came to me.
I rose my head above the surface and looked to the shore, the clone had now definitely got the attention of all the crocs, he was skipping across the lakeside with about six or seven crocodiles now lying on the shore from attempts to grab him.

Coccy croccy doo dah! Croccy croccy doo dah!” He sang as he skipped.

I moved using the breaststroke to reduce my presence in the water, and moved towards the centre of the lake. I was nearing the centre when I decided to check below for the shard, I took a few small breaths, before I inhaled deeply and went below, my vision taken over by a sea of green. After swimming down a few metres, I found the bottom and slowed down.

{Come on shard… Where are you…?} I thought as I slowly glided along, using my hands to claw myself along faster.

I looked left and right constantly, hoping to see something. I was disturbed in my search by a muffled sound, it sounded like someone screaming, and coincidentally I needed another breath of air so I swam back up to the surface, as I was ascending the sound got louder and louder.
The second my head rose about the surface I could hear the dying screams of my clone, I looked across the lake to see him desperately crawling to the bank, his leg was horrifically torn and the shore was dyed red with his blood.
A crocodile lay by his side, it turned to face him and snapped his other leg in its jaws. He screamed in agony and tried to pull away, only for the croc to perform its death roll. Even from the middle of the lake, I could see his calf muscle split open and blood pour out over the croc’s muzzle, he screamed and screamed as he was dragged back to the water, where three other crocodiles joined in on the slaughter.

{You made him feel pain…} I thought in anger.

Twilight, fucking, Sparkle, was just as much a monster as I was when I killed an innocent man, she made my clone feel pain when she had the choice to remove it, what was even worse was that she lied about it!
I grinded my gritted teeth beneath my closed lips, I was going to grab the shard and deal with her as soon as possible. I took another deep breath and swam to the bottom of the lake, the screaming of my clone once again becoming muffled, before it died out entirely.

{Come on you shiny little bastard, show yourself…} I thought.

And as though my thoughts had been answered, I saw a dim glow to my left. I swam towards it to see the mud of the lake glowing quite brightly, I approached the mud and stuck my hands it, digging down to find the shard, after clawing for about a foot into the mud, I felt something hard. I stuck my hands in deep and grabbed it, and suddenly felt a great warmth within my head, and briefly saw a bright light.

{I AM REBORN} A Scottish voice screamed inside my head.

Needless to say, I was confused, but I was still underwater and didn't have the time to question it; I tightened my grip on the object in my hand and pulled it out.
Before my eyes, held within my hands was a glowing gem, it was about the same size as a fist, and was rather cone shaped.

{Got you…} I thought.

I suddenly felt like I was being watched and turned around, only to see a crocodile about a metre away from me. I nearly screamed in shock and lost all my air, but kept myself as calm as possible and observed the creature. It was side-on from me, and seemed not to notice me, but as I attempted to move away, it turned to face me.

{I’ve still got air in my lungs, bring it on big boy…} I thought menacingly.

I pulled the military knife from its sheath and gripped it firmly, then stared at the crocodile, waiting for it to make the first move, after about five seconds, it struck.
As the beast sped towards me with a mouth open wide, I got an estimate of where its jaws would snap, and did a little barrel roll of my own and evaded the attack as it brushed past me, where I quickly counter attacked with the knife, stabbing its eye and pushing the blade all the way into its head, quickly killing it. The animal jolted and shook violently for a second before going limp and sinking to the ground, I pulled the knife out and made my way to the surface, putting the knife back into its sheath. My lungs had been spent and were beginning to hurt, and my head began to ring.

I finally got to the surface and took a large gasp of air, before I made my way to the shore.



Behind you!” Rainbow Dash shouted from the bank.

I looked back to see another crocodile swimming towards me.

“Fuck that shit.” I growled and swam faster.

I knew the crocodile would pick up its speed if I did, but if I swam fast enough I was certain I’d reach the shore before it caught me.

“He’s gaining on you!” Applejack called to me.

I swam even faster, at my absolute maximum. It’d be easier if I didn’t have the orb shard in one of my hands though. I finally reached the shallows and was able to stand on two feet but that didn’t stop the crocodile, as it unexpectedly launched itself out of the water at me and slammed its muzzle into my back, knocking me over.

CALLUM!” Rarity screamed at the top of her lungs.

I rolled over and was able to place my hand on its lower jaw, when it made an attempt to snap at me, I rolled again and was able to get to my knees. It struck again and tried to bite my body, but missed and its head ended up underneath my belly. Without warning it lifted its head up and thrust forward, taking me off my feet and flipped me onto my back, I grunted in pain and rolled back a second time to avoid its next attack, it snapped at my head and I moved just in time, as the jaws snapped shut no more than an inch from my nose.

“Alright you bloody bugger…” I growled deeply.

I was able to squat, so my legs were ready to spring. As the crocodile launched at me once more, I hopped to the side and then pounced onto it, pressing my knees into the top of its head and neck to keep it rooted down. I put my hands on its muzzle as it attempted to thrash about and knock me off.

Don’t die!” Fluttershy wailed, sobbing with fear.

The crocodile thrust its head back, causing me to lose my balance, I let go of its muzzle to steady myself, and reached for my knife, I removed it from the sheath and was about to strike when it chose to do a death roll and sent me rolling with it. The knife was knocked from my hand as my arm hit the ground and the crocodile’s neck ended up on my legs.

The knife! Quick!” I shouted to Rarity.

She quickly used her magic to levitate the knife towards me, when the croc moved itself again, rising up and then planting its muzzle on my chest, I quickly wrapped my legs around its neck to prevent it from moving again, it tried to open its mouth to snap at my head, but could not reach me, it could however, reach my arm, and grabbed my wrist. I shouted in pain and used my other arm to keep its mouth from clamping down and causing any serious damage.

Bring the knife above its head!” I boomed.

Rarity did so, and levitated the knife to the centre of its head. I quickly used my free hand to punch the croc in the eye, causing it to let go of my wrist, and I grabbed the sides of its head as I used all my might to roll the creature over. Luckily, the crocodile tried to roll again, and went with me onto its back, where the knife was pushed into its head. I put my hands on the underside of its head and pushed down with all my weight, causing the knife to go deep into its brain, and kill it.



I rolled off the creature and flopped onto my back, panting with exhaustion.

“I… Hate… Crocodiles…” I puffed.

As soon as the croc had stopped twitching, Fluttershy rushed to my side and checked me over for injury.

“Are you okay?” She asked, full of worry.

Tears were streaming down her face; she had honestly thought I was going to die.

“I’m fine; the bite’s not that bad.” I said, looking at my wrist to find blood oozing out of the bite holes.

Regardless of the blood, they weren’t actually that deep, a touch of Kuphilla Amanzi and I’d be right as rain. I finally sat up to see the other looking at me in awe.

“You’re a legend…” Dash said.

“You took care of that croc like a farm-colt takes care of a raging bull at a country show!” Applejack cheered.

I chuckled and picked up the orb shard, wiping off the mud and giving it a proper look. The shard was beautiful, it was translucent with a dark navy blue colouring, but as I turned it around in the light it also had shades of a lighter blue and a deep purple.

“It’s beautiful…” I mumbled.

“Finally… The first shard…” Twilight said, walking towards me.

I turned to face her, instantly recalling her cruel act with the clone.

“Give it to me.” She commanded.

I glared at her, carefully think about how to respond to her, along with thinking about how I’d just watched myself being torn apart by crocodiles, feeling pain, when no pain had to be felt…



“Don’t look at me like that, give me the shard.” She ordered.

I handed out the shard, and let her take it with her magic; she stared at it, taking in its beauty.

That was when I punched her in the face…

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