• Published 24th Aug 2013
  • 6,872 Views, 147 Comments

Fallen From Grace - The Grimm Reaper

Twilight has failed as a princess and her Alicorn status has been stripped away from her.

  • ...

3. Resolve

Twilight's new home gave her a sense of tranquillity. It was quiet, the perfect place for an indoor pony like herself. The only light were the lanterns hinged to the rocky walls on either side of her chamber. Upon becoming a member of The Fallen, she was given a room as spacious as her old Library. In the wall furthest from the doorway, shelves had been carved out to house her own collection of books. These consisted of scientific studies from Starswirl the Bearded, mythological studies from the same pony and a few of her own works, including a few volumes of diary entries dating back to when she first joined Celestia's school for gifted Unicorns. In essence, she was in her element. Nothing could be heard, nothing besides what was hers could be seen. Her space represented her magic, both were new, raw but organised and completely under her control.

She never believed such solitude existed. It was exactly what she wanted, or what she would have wanted years back before she made friends. A knock on the door interrupted her journal entry writing.

"Come in." she said to the intruder. The door opened to reveal Zero standing there in all his glory. Twilight learned quickly that Zero was a perculiar pony, even by the Fallen's standards. He was like she used to be, primarily a loner, but not unwise to the names of those around him. Another fact that she learned was that Zero liked wearing his cloak, covering his cutie mark. She still hadn't managed to get him to reveal why.

"Am I interrupting anything?" he asked, stepping through.

"Not at all, Zero. What can I do for you?" Twilight asked, closing her journal. Zero approached the lavender mare, looking puzzled.

"It's your approach to your friends. I know you've explained it to me, but I just can't seem to wrap my head around it. If you bare no grudge against Celestia, why make them suffer?" he asked. Twilight understood his confusion. She saw a hint of herself in the way he approached social activities.

"It's an experiment, Zero. By discarding them as my friends, I eliminate the element of Celestia in the relationship. Now, if they refuse to give up on me and fight for my friendship, it will be on their terms. Celestia's orders were the basis of our friendship, now by starting anew with them, Celestia will have had no part in it." she said.

"So if they pursue you as you hope they will, you will essentially be severing the role Celestia had in the formation of the friendship as well as strengthening the bond altogether?" he asked.

"Exactly." she replied. "Of course, whether or not they will pursue the relationship is a gamble I've decided to take. This is me putting my faith into my friends." she said. Observing Zero, he seemed to understand most of the plan. No doubt the 'faith' end of the statement befuddled him. "Now, might you answer a question I've been yearning for an answer to?" she asked. Zero dropped his confused expression and focused all his attention onto her.

"What would you like to know?" he asked.

"Something Pavonearse said before I joined only struck me as odd after I became a Fallen. He said that we were powerful but few in number." she began. Zero nodded, affirming that he too remembered what he'd said. "I'm wondering if Pavonearse has an underlying goal that he failed to mention to me. Something in the back of my mind is telling me that despite how few we are, we could be perceived as a threat. I'm wondering if we have any plans to go to war with anypony any time soon." she said.

Zero contemplated her words carefully. "The Fallen are not a family striving to make our mark in the world by decimating other nations or races. We simply wish to be together. It is true that we are powerful and few, but so are Alicorns. By that method of thinking, they too could be perceived as a threat, the only difference then would be that they have already taken over the individual species of pony and built their way into society as a royal family." he said. Twilight understood where he was going with this.

"But what if there are those within The Fallen that wish to make their mark in the world?" she asked.

"Then let them. We will not tame the direction in which we take our lives unless they do something wrong in the name of the family as a whole. The only ones who reserve that right are Pavonearse and myself. We are the fathers of this family." he replied.

Twilight didn't feel better with the answers she was given. "Zero, I know it's not my place to question him, but I feel it in my gut that there's something not quite right with Pavonearse." she said.

"You're right. It isn't your place to question him." Zero said with a coldness that suggested she was treading on thin ice with his patience. She folded her ears back and looked away in shame. Zero took a deep breath and let it out slowly through his nose. "But... Should I find a change in him, I'll let you know." he said. Twilight looked back to him with a smile on her face.

"Thank you, Zero. I'm sorry to burden you with such a disturbing notion on my second day as a part of the family. I'd imagine you and Pavonearse have quite a history together." she said.

Zero nodded, looking up to one of the lanterns lighting Twilight's room. "Ours is a strange relationship. I first met Pavonearse in my home of Saddle Arabia. He seemed like any other Unicorn to me, until he showed me what he truly was. I was under the delusion that I was the only one. He explained to me his story and how he became what he was through a gift from one of his patients. She was an archaeologist who found a spell that would turn any pony into an Alicorn so long as the words were spoken. Pavonearse became an Alicorn while the archaeologist's transformation failed. She died soon after due to a cave-in at an archaeological dig.

Pavonearse became interested in what would happen if he'd failed to become an Alicorn and sacrificed the form just to know. The rest you experienced for yourself. Pavonearse was and still is rich. He founded The Fallen and named me his partner because he found me exceptionally interesting." he said.

"And how did you become one of us?" Twilight asked.

"I didn't." he replied. Twilight looked at him in confusion. "I was born a Fallen. My cutie mark was born with me. I was believed to have been an omen in my country after they witnessed my silver wings, which appeared a minute after my birth. I am a pure Fallen. A Pseudo-Alicorn." he said.

Twilight was gob-smacked. She understood why Pavonearse had taken an interest in him. To him, Zero would be the only true Fallen in the family, the rest, including himself would be cheap knock-offs. She then noticed the indifference in his expression. "And this family you both built doesn't seem to bring you much joy." she replied.

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"You just seem as if you're going through the motions, like The Fallen doesn't even matter to you." she said.

"The Fallen are Parvonearse's children, not mine. I am family in name only. Truthfully, I am simply the Guardian, a friend to Pavonearse whom he can confide in and trust. I'm not one of you, my cutie mark is a testament to that. It didn't change like the others' did." he replied.

Twilight understood him better now. Zero felt that because he did not possess a number in the same style as those of The Fallen, he was not one of them. "Zero, yours is a unique cutie mark. Nopony has ever been born with one before. I believe your cutie mark didn't need to change, because you are what we all should strive to be like. Even Pavonearse lost his cutie mark and gained the Number 1. I believe that makes you the best of us, you are the heart and soul of The Fallen." she said, trying to put some happiness in his seemingly sad and bleak life.

"What good does that do me?" he asked.

"You're special, just like Princess Celestia and Luna, who control the sun and the moon. You are a unique being." she said. "And I'd be happy to introduce you to my friends when they reach me."

"You truly believe they won't take your word for it and give up on you?" he asked.

Twilight smiled at him. "They're all very stubborn in their own way, Applejack and Rainbow Dash most of all. Trust me, Zero; my friends will turn your life upside down and change it for the better. Look what they did for me." she gestured to herself. Zero seemed slightly uncomfortable.

"Do you... really think they'll like me?" he asked. Twilight smiled and leaned forward in her seat. She gave him a soft kiss on the cheek.

"Of course. I already do." she replied, earning a light blush from Zero in return. A knock on the door interrupted them and a Fallen with a blue mane and light lime coat, like a key lime pie entered.

"Sorry for the interruption, Sir, Madam; Pavonearse wanted me to inform you that five ponies have entered close to the Borders of Timber Wolf territory. He believes they may be Twilight's friends." the fallen said.

Twilight's eyes widened and a grin appeared in her face. "Told you they'd come for me. Come and say hello." she said, hopping off the seat. Zero followed her lead, nodding to the Fallen who nodded back and went about his business.

"Ah can't believe she'd be hidin' here in the Everfree Forest. Our Twilight's smart as a whip. She wouldn't endanger herself by livin' here. Ah'm tellin' y'all, she's gone to another town or city." Applejack argued with the others as they traipsed through the forest, careful not to trip over the roots of the trees that surrounded them.

"And I'm telling you, Twilight must have come here. She's into magic and all that stuff, so she must be living with Zecora! Besides, when we asked around, somepony said they saw her going into the Everfree with a hooded figure. Who else but Zecora wears a hooded cloak like the one we saw Twilight with?" Rainbow Dash retorted.

"Anypony could wear those, Dash; they're cloaks! They ain't some special Zebra garment." Applejack snapped back.

"I agree with Applejack on this one, Rainbow Dash. Zecora's cloak was very tatty, while Twilight's was almost professionally made." Rarity added. Applejack gave Rainbow Dash a smug grin while the chromatic pegasus just growled at her.

"So Twilight's better at stitching than Zecora, big whoop! Who else would take her into the Everfree?" Dash argued.

"Trixie might, in the hopes that she loses her in the forest and gets eaten by something." Pinkie Pie said. Everypony stopped in their tracks and looked at Pinkie angrily. "Heheh, sorry." she added.

As they continued their trek together, they began to feel the sensation of being watched. Deep within the shadows of the forest, golden eyes followed the movements of the five ponies with hunger in their hearts and food on their minds. The Timber wolves those eyes belonged to were truly blessed to have had prey wandering into their territory.

Author's Note:

Now, there might be some confusion as to the mention of The Fallen. The Fallen is the name of the organisation/community/family under which the ponies who share the name as a label for their species exist. You'll be able to tell when I'm mentioning The Fallen as an organisation as opposed to an individual member of the species like so.

When I'm mentioning the organisation, I'll have the word 'the' in the name 'The Fallen' capitalised, like so.

When I mention the Fallen and the word 'the' isn't capitalised, that's an individual pony. Hope this helps to clarify some things.