• Published 3rd Sep 2013
  • 1,378 Views, 35 Comments

The Time Has Come - Commissar Rarity



[Humanized] Trixie discovers her family's secret past as demon hunters, and finds herself travelling the same path, heading to the distant lands of Prussia, to save a castle besieged by demons. But who is this mysterious girl following Trixie?

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Rules of Nature

Torchlight was the only thing keeping the darkness at bay. Trixie shivered, keeping her eyes on the shadows. She was beginning to regret going down into the dungeons. So far she hadn’t seen anything, but the sounds of chains rattling, eerie wails, and bells chiming had echoed down the tunnels.

Trixie slid forward, legs kicking wildly. She landed on the ground, splashing water everywhere. Slowly, she stood up, rubbing her wet bottom. Her next few steps were cautious as she tried to avoid slick spots.

The long hallway she had been traversing for the past hour or so finally seemed to be ending. Or, at least, that’s what she assumed from the wood door at the end of the tunnel. Drawing her sword, Trixie kicked open the door, and rolled into the next room. She promptly hit a steel fence. It buckled, and she backed away, heart pounding at the near-miss.

Looking around, she saw that the circular room she had entered was built around a giant pit. A creaky-looking fence surrounded the pit. It was likely that even the slightest bit of force would dislodge it like she almost had.

Cells lined the walls, dark blots with metal grates separating the black from the dirty brown bricks of the wall. Corpses sat near several of the cells, most of them griffons. Trixie couldn’t see into the cells very well, making it easy for her to decide not to get too close to any. She’d read too many books where the heroine took one too many steps towards a cell and had been grabbed by a diseased madman.

Gingerly stepping around a mass of broken bricks, Trixie continued down the path. The curvature of the room made it hard to avoid getting close to the cells. Trixie closed her eyes and wished under her breath that they were empty.

It was, of course, at that instant, that a clawed hand shot out of the closest cell, and wrapped itself around her arm. Trixie screamed, and grabbed at the hand to try and loosen its grip.

The beak of a griffon peeked out of the cell’s recesses, and a croaking voice rang out in the silence. “You aren’t one of them, are you?”

Trixie managed to break free of his grasp, and shook her head, still panting from the shock. “No. I’m a demon hunter.”

The griffon sighed. “Thank the feathery rump of the goddess! I know my way around this place. Can you get me out of here?”

For a moment, Trixie almost said no, but then she nodded. She could find a way. In fact, something had just occurred to her.

“Step back,” she said. With a flourish, she produced her catalyst, and jammed the end of it into the lock. With a bright flash, the lock melted, and the door swung open. The griffon exited, limping on all fours.

“Thanks a lot,” he said. “I thought I’d rot in there for sure.” He offered his left claw to her, and she shook it. “Name’s Wynward. I was part of an expeditionary force to assess the castle. The rest are all dead. At least, I hope they are.” He shuddered, golden eyes breaking away from Trixie. “I’d hate to know what horrible things the demons have done.”

Trixie nodded. “Do you know your way around this castle? I’m lost. They sent me to clear out the castle–”

Wynward laughed, his voice a sharp caw. “What a fool’s errand. Not even if you went into the depths of Tartarus itself could you clear the castle of evil. That leader of the occultists made that clear. This place is cursed.”

“You’ve seen their leader?”

The griffon nodded. “A brute of a man, seven feet tall or call me a liar. Always wrapped in a robe the colour of blood. I’d be surprised if even the occultists have seen his face. His words are honey, but you shouldn’t believe them.” Reaching into his fur and feathers, he produced a small piece of parchment. “Regardless, I know my way around this place. Every griffish castle is built around the same basic floor plan, with changes made to accommodate the surrounding landscape. This map should guide us through the dungeons into the sewers–”

Trixie sighed. “Of course there’s a sewer level.”

“It gets better,” Wynward replied. “They say the sewers are guarded by a dragon made of metal.”

“How exactly does that work?” Trixie cast a worried glance around them. She felt as though there were something wrong nearby.

The griffon only shrugged. “It’s just a legend. Maybe at one time there was a small drake living in the sewers and the tale grew.”

A bell chimed, very close. Trixie spun towards the sound, flipping her sword up into a ready position. Wynward ducked behind her, poking his head out between her legs.

A group of five strange beings stood there, each gripping an oddly-shaped bell that hurt to look at in their three-clawed hands. In the centre of the bell, a green-white light radiated outwards, making it a fusion of bell and lantern.

The creatures themselves must have been demons, for Trixie doubted that such things could exist in the natural order of things. Their heads resembled an elephant slightly, though the trunk was made of segmented bone and had holes in it like a flute. Each wore a brown robe that looked like it was made of silk, since it shined in the light. One demon’s trunk rose, and with its free claw blew a wavering note through the holes, confirming Trixie’s flute suspicion.

Trixie beckoned them on with a hand. The one in front took a step forward, raising its bell-lantern. It shook the bell, a cacophony of ringing filling the air. The green light arced towards Trixe, striking her in the chest before she could react. She stumbled backwards, tripping over Wynward. Both of them collapsed, Trixie’s bum landing on Wynward’s face.

As the jailer-demon took another step forward, lowering its lantern, it made a keening wail. Trixie leapt up, taking a quick swing at the demon. Her goal was to dislodge the lantern from its grip, nullifying its one advantage. The demon seemed to fly backwards away from her blow, joining its brethren.

Trixie swore, anger bubbling up inside her. Everything else she’d fought so far had been sublimely stupid. And now she was facing demons that could actually put up a good fight. She charged the group, preparing to do the same rapid-fire assault she had performed on Sunset earlier.

Before she could even start, the leader’s head seemed to disconnect from its body, raising itself. Where its neck should have been, there was only a mass of tentacles. A set of tentacles shot out of its neck hole and wrapped themselves around her arms, pinning them to her sides. It began to pull her towards it, the only sounds in the room Trixie’s panicked panting and the grotesque wet sounds of tentacles returning to their bloody home.

Two gunshots rang out, and the demon’s head exploded. Trixie hit the ground, and turned as she picked her sword back up. Wynward stood near the corpse of a fellow griffon, spinning two massive pistols in his hand.

Smiling, Trixie turned back to the jailer-demons. They were starting to back away, the death of their leader having obviously unsettled them. She rushed them again, and started swinging her sword early this time to fend off any unseemly tentacles. None of the demons tried what had previously failed, instead raising their lanterns of one accord.

Trixie slid under the energy beams this time, slashing at their feet. In one slice, she managed to cut the demons down at the knees. Unlike the previous demons she had faced, these vanished in a flurry of green light as soon as she had cut them down.

Looking back, she saw the same had happened to the first demon, she had just been too busy gawking to notice.

“I thought the captain had died,” Wynward said quietly, standing over the corpse he had raided. “When this is all over I’ll come back to bury you.”

“He was your captain?”

“Yes, she was. She was a great warrior. I’ll put her guns to good use.” He turned back towards her, holstering the guns he had pilfered. “I’ll lead, you follow.”

Trixie had no objection to that. Let the big guns go first.

***

They soon entered the sewers. Trixie had to pry a heavy metal grate off the wall to do so. She was surprised at her own strength. She could only suppose that her ancestor’s memory had awakened the inner strength all demon hunters have.

The grate opened up into a steep inclined tunnel that sloped down. They had to slide down, which soaked both of them to the bone.

“And here I was thinking I was done getting wet,” Trixie grumbled after they reached the bottom.

Wynward whipped out his guns. “There’s something strange in the air.”

“We’re in a sewer. What do you think is in the air?”

He shot her a dark look. “I don’t mean that, I mean–”

A low growl echoed through the large chamber they had slid into. Two large red eyes opened, revealing that some creature dwelt on the ceiling. Revealing itself with a roar, the dragon flew down from the ceiling, landing with a splash that served to soak the two even more.

The dragon was shiny silver, betraying its metal nature. Trixie had no idea how a living being could be made of metal. She could only assume it was a golem of some sort.

Wynward began to fire and strafe, his bullets bouncing off the dragon harmlessly. The dragon swatted him aside, sending him flying out of Trixie’s sight.

Trixie rolled out of the way to avoid the same fate, and ran towards the dragon. This is really dumb, she thought. It was too late to change her course. Running to the side of its leg, she made a flurry of attacks to its leg. She could see reddish-orange scorch marks where her blows landed. This sword is amazing!

The dragon roared in pain, and brought its leg up to squash her. She ran to its other front leg and did the same. Her sword was a blur, the heat of its friction slowly melting the leg of the dragon.

With a moan, the dragon collapsed forward, having lost its balance. Trixie ran around the dragon’s head, and jumped. She landed between its glowing eyes, and started her run again. Slashing her sword as she went along, she ran down to the middle of the dragon’s back. The dragon began to stir, sending her off balance. Being made entirely of smooth metal, there was nothing for Trixie to grab hold of. There was no fur, no jagged scales, no spines.

Trixie hit the ground rolling. She’d had plenty of practise with safe falls so far. Breaking into a run, she glanced back at the dragon. The melting scars from her blade still lingered on the dragon’s form. A plan began to formulate in her mind. If she could somehow get enough blows and then apply enough force…

The dragon bellowed, and a gout of flame erupted from its mouth. Trixie dodged at the last second, flames licking at her jacket. It was wet enough that the flames couldn’t get enough traction to set her coat ablaze.

Trixie sprinted towards the dragon again, sword slashing quicker than the eye could see. This time, her blows were focused on the stomach of the dragon. Molten steel dripped from the slashes she made in the belly.

She slid to a stop, water spraying everywhere. Her heart pounded. It almost reminded her of the Ursa Major in its sheer size. How did this thing get down here?

The dragon staggered from the blows, but quickly recovered. Moving quickly, too quickly for her to react, it brought its closed fist down on her.

Time seemed to slow down, and Trixie could see it come smashing down. A voice spoke in the back of her head: Use your strength to stop it, Trixie.

Trixie brought her hands above her head, dropping her sword to the ground. She caught the fist in her hands. To her surprise, all it did was stagger her slightly. Somehow, she was holding the dragon’s fist in her hands without being squashed.

An idea came to mind. It was totally crazy; a one-in-a-million shot. But she had the dragon in the palm of her hand, so why not try?

She began to spin the dragon’s fist, and slowly her movements began to move the rest of the dragon. Then, with all her might, she threw the dragon across the room, its tail crashing into the ceiling, sending mortar and bricks showering down upon the two. The dragon struck the ground, cracks appearing in its skin where Trixie had slashed it. It flew upwards, wings extended and mouth open, ready to launch another fire ball.

Trixie leapt towards the wall, bouncing off it and flying towards the dragon, tip of her sword extended, ready to pierce the dragon’s metal skin.

The blade struck home, shattering the dragon as she flew through the metal body. Moving too fast to stop herself, Trixie slammed into a wall. She dropped her sword and slid to the ground. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see the dragon falling to pieces, as well as the body of Wynward.

Fumbling with her jacket, Trixie pulled out a pack of cigarettes and slipped one into her mouth. She lit it with a spark of flame from her catalyst.

“Mind… sharing?” came a raspy voice. Trixie looked over to see Wynward crawling towards her, still alive.

As he reached her, she put the cigarette in his mouth with an unsteady hand. The griffon puffed on it a few times before coughing.

“These things aren’t good for your health,” he muttered. “Good thing I don’t have to worry about that.” Wynward handed the cigarette back to Trixie, who accepted it wordlessly. “I never thought it’d end like this… Dying in a sewer with only a human for company. I planned on living to a ripe old age, dying with friends and family to keep me company.”

Trixie offered the cigarette to Wynward again, but he didn’t take it. Looking closer, she saw that he was completely still. Her mind raced as she fumbled to check his pulse, dropping the cigarette. She couldn’t find a pulse, but then again, she had no idea where such a thing would be found on a chimeric creature like a griffon.

Wynward was dead.