• Published 3rd Sep 2013
  • 1,358 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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The Stains of Time

The weight of the two guns on Trixie’s hips exaggerated her stride, giving her the swagger she once had as a stage magician. Despite the memory of whose guns they had been, Trixie liked the swagger she had. The days of travelling the world as an entertainer were long over – they had been ever since her disastrous performance at Ponyville. Since then she had been nothing but a con artist.

And now she was helping people. It was such a giant leap that Trixie had to stop walking for a moment to consider it. She frowned, tapping her finger on her breast. Was it her inner self that caused this change, or was it memories of her grandmother asserting dominance? If it was the latter, she didn’t like that. She was her own woman; she didn’t need someone else making her decisions for her.

She shook her head, and continued moving down the dank sewers, occasionally pulling out the bloody map Wynward had been using. From her best guess, she was on the right track. Eventually there would be a ladder and a drain leading to the royal baths.

“Lo and behold, the magics of Trixie find the way out,” she muttered with a smirk, stopping before a rusted ladder.

She poked it tentatively. When the ladder didn’t immediately collapse in on itself, she smiled, and mounted it. It was a surprisingly short ascent, stopped only by the appearance of a heavy-looking drain. Trixie may have grown in strength, but she wasn’t strong enough to dislodge it with one hand. She produced her catalyst, absent-mindedly going through a quick sleight-of-hand movement, and pressed it to the drain’s bottom. There was a loud pop, and the drain levitated upwards, allowing Trixie to slip underneath it and into the royal baths.

The royal bathhouse was a mess. Scum had sunk deep in-between the tiles, and the tiles had become so discoloured from the moss and scum that it was impossible to tell what the original colour had been. Sunlight drifted in from the hole in the ceiling. The roof, or what was left of it, was scattered across the room. Trixie made sure to step carefully to avoid slipping on the puddles that had formed. Getting really tired of all this water, she thought.

Trixie took out the map and flipped it over. She was surprised to see the main floor of the castle. Wynward had not referred to it being more than just a map of the dungeons. It made sense though: what griffish soldier would come unprepared? “Preparation” seemed to be the middle name of all griffons.

Turning the map this way and that, Trixie examined it, trying to find the royal baths. Finding it in one corner, she pulled out her catalyst, and with the tip, drew a line from the baths to the throne room. A shimmering purple trail marked the path she had drawn, leading straight to a door marked “TO Forest of Hesitation”. She didn’t know why she chose that door to end the trail at; it just seemed right. Maybe it was her grandmother’s memories asserting themselves again, or maybe it was just latent demon hunter instincts.

Either way, Trixie had a new destination: the Forest of Hesitation. It sounds like a great place for a vacation.

***

The marble-lined, cobweb-filled halls of the castle were surprisingly empty. Oh sure, there was the occasional painting full of disturbing images and sometimes a broken suit of armour. Trixie learned quickly to ignore the paintings, as most involved a demon eating a chick, or sorrow-filled griffons committing suicide. From the strange feeling of dread she felt in the pit of her stomach she got every time she even glanced at a painting, Trixie had no doubt she’d join the painted griffons if she continued paying attention to them.

A scattered piece of armor moved. Trixie whipped out her sword, preparing to bring it striking down. A mangy rat that was supposed to be grey poked its nose out of the piece and sniffed at her before scurrying off between her legs. Trixie sighed, and returned the sword to its sheath. An hour of walking and the only life she’d seen was a pest. She could have sworn demons ate rats. Maybe that particular specimen was too mange-ridden and filthy for even a demon to eat.

Consulting the map for the umpteenth time, Trixie found to her delight that the throne room was up ahead. Breaking into a run, Trixie head for the twin doors that would mark the entrance to the throne room. The guns slapped against her sides, and she was sure they’d leave bruises.

Dust kicked up with every step she took, hiding the dirty red carpet from view. Demons, reflected Trixie, are not very good housekeepers.

Slowing to a halt, Trixie saw that the doors had been ripped from their hinges and no longer existed. She took a slow step forward, passing through the threshold. Her breath caught as she saw that the throne room was full of gold, jewels, and other riches. They practically filled the room, covering the once-white marble floors. Some even spilled over on the red carpet that led to the throne.

Looking around at the many, many treasures, one golden image caught Trixie’s eye. The lower half was a snake, jade embedded in the sides and back. The upper-half was a woman, quite busty, with a golden mask covering her face. Her skin appeared to be carved out of jade. A naga, Trixie thought. It must have been tribute to the griffon king from them.

In the centre of the room was a golden throne. It looked like every other type of throne Trixie had seen in books. Griffons evidently lacked imagination when it came to chairs. She stepped up to it, and rapped it with a fist. Dust kicked up, and she sneezed.

Out of the corner of her eye, Trixie spotted something. Walking over to it, she picked it up. It was a fancy-looking circlet, with a purple gem of some sort fused into the gold. She slipped it on, and smiled. It was a feeble replacement for the hat she had lost long ago to a bad bet on a Wonderbolts race, but it looked much prettier.

Trixie returned to the throne, and sat down on it. With an exaggerated flick of her hand, Trixie said, “Court is now in session! Come and share your treasures with the great and powerful Trixie!” Whipping out her catalyst with another exaggerated flick, Trixie levitated a heavy-looking silver chest over to her. Kicking it open, she saw it was filled to the brim with jewels.

She giggled to herself, and ran her hands through the jewels. There was enough to choke a dragon in there! “I think I know what to ask as payment for this job,” she said to herself, leaning back in the throne, her fingers now weighed down by the various rings she had found inside.

“Trixie will now hear your grievances! But please do not weigh her down with such plebian troubles as taxes, she’s very moody right now.”

“We have a grievance,” came a sibilant voice, joined by the clinking of gold coins against each other. “A certain human has come into our realm and disturbed its flow. She has killed many of my brothers and even now disgraces the throne of Lord Hastur with her presence… What does this Trixie have to say for herself?”

Trixie opened her eyes, and saw the snake-woman she had mistaken for a statue slithering down from the top of the treasure pile. She could see a smouldering orange light in the face holes of the mask.

“Well, for starters, it wasn’t Trixie’s idea. Blame the griffons. They stabbed h- eh, me and guilted me into doing this.”

“And yet,” the snake-woman hissed, “you still murder our people and harass us.”

“Hey!” Trixie was on the verge of snapping. “You’re demons! You don’t get to lecture me.”

“Who is the true demon? Is it those who wish to live their lives in peace, or those who disturb the peace? All we want is a home in this realm, free from the flames of Tartarus, and no-one will allow it!” The serpent slithered up to the chest, leaning her massive bosom to rest on its upturned lid. “Surely you agree that life is worth living in peace?”

Trixie had no words. The years of her life she spent on the road were the happiest time in her life. Nothing to weigh her down, just her and the open road.

“Perhaps you know better than I think,” the woman said, reaching forward with gold-clad fingers to caress Trixie’s cheek. “Yes, you do. You know the hurt of rejection, the pain of seeking vengeance. And the pain of being unable to fulfill your thirst. Yes, we are more alike than I thought.”

Trixie slapped her hand away, wiping the scent of the demon off her face. “We’re nothing alike.” Kicking the chest, she knocked the serpent-woman over and got off the throne. “Have your Throne of Hussies, or whatever. Just leave me alone.”

“Your quest ends only in death,” hissed the snake, coming up to her and draping her golden arms over Trixie’s shoulders. “I am Ardent, lamia queen to Lord Hastur, and soothsayer. I have seen it. Two enter, one remains. Which of you will it be? The disgraced traveler or the fallen student? Both have a ways to go before their end.”

Trixie jerked her shoulders, breaking the lamia’s grip again. “Don’t you have babies to eat? Just let me go.”

“I have seen through the stains of time, and if you leave her, I know the blood of my Lord will be on your hands. This cannot come to pass.” Ardent reached into her armor, and drew out twin sai – three-bladed daggers from Neighpon. “I cannot permit you to leave.”

“Oh come on!” Trixie shouted. “Do I have to fight all the time?”

“No,” said the lamia. “You can roll over and die, like a good girl. Otherwise our blades must cross.”

With a weary sigh, Trixie pulled out her sword with a flourish, spinning the blade. “I’m getting real tired of having to fight my way through this place.”

“Then you should not have come here,” Ardent said. “It pains me to come to this. I thought you might leave us be. We only desire coexistence.”

Trixie frowned at that, almost letting her sword drop. Then the voice of her grandmother spoke up. They only want coexistence – us being their slaves, of course! Drop your blade, Trixie. Do it and serve them. She scowled, and brought her blade back up.

The lamia sighed, and slithered into an attack position. Then, quicker than Trixie could see, she flung a sai towards her. Trixie deflected the sai, noticing it was bound to the lamia’s hand by a sparkling ribbon. She slashed at the ribbon, but the sai retreated before she could land the blow.

Ardent coiled and leapt at Trixie, slashing her in the shoulder and flying over her head, landing on the pile of treasures. “Queen Trixie! Bathe in your opulence!” She coiled again, and sprang into the air, slamming into the pile, sending it collapsing on Trixie.

Trixie slashed at the falling treasures, knocking them to the sides and shattering statues. Gold coins showered her face with a pelting sting. Gritting her teeth, she followed Ardent with her eyes, getting ready to attack.

“Let the rain of decadence spill over you!” Ardent slithered over to another pile, getting ready to do the same thing.

“Screw this,” Trixie said, and slammed the sword into the floor. She pulled out the twin pistols she had recovered from Wynward’s corpse and began to channel her magic into the guns. They were long since out of ammunition but Trixie was taking a gamble. If she could successfully create magic bullets, then she could easily take out the lamia.

Her risk paid off in spades – as she pulled the triggers, bullets made of spiraling purple shot out of the muzzle, striking Ardent in the chest. The lamia, dizzied but not very hurt by the magic bullets, stumbled and fell down the treasure, bouncing off statues and chests.

To Trixie’s surprise, Ardent righted herself, and skied down the pile until she reached the throne. The lamia wrapped herself around the throne at full speed, and slingshotted herself at Trixie. Unable to avoid her, Trixie took the full brunt of the impact.

Another surprise awaited Trixie. The lamia began to spiral around Trixie, starting to constrict her. Ardent removed her mask, revealing a jade-scaled face that was fierce in its snake-like beauty. “Time to wrap things up!”

Blackness surrounded Trixie’s vision, and she started to gasp. She could feel the heavy coils of the lamia suffocating her, slowly driving her ribs deeper into her chest. Trixie’s eyes rolled up into her head, making a choked gasp. Drool dribbled down her cheek as Ardent slowly increased the pressure.

“You’re such a weak girl.” A nasal voice drifted into Trixie’s closing ears. With all her might, Trixie turned her head and refocused her vision. Twilight Sparkle stood with her hands on her hips in a simple dress, seraph wings outstretched. “You couldn’t beat me at a magic duel and now you’re dying to the first thing anyone would’ve thought of when fighting a lamia.”

Trixie managed to choke out a strangled “Sparkle” before the pressure on her lungs made her wheeze again.

Sparkle walked over and tapped the lamia with a finger before looking up to Trixie, mouth twisted in disapproval. “It’s quite simple to break free from a lamia’s grip, Trixie. You just have to apply force to the right spots.” She tapped the lamia in a few other places. “Oh, and believe in the power of friendship, or something like that.” She shook her head. “But still, it’s pitiful for even a beginning demon hunter to get caught in a trap like that. I can’t believe you, Trixie. Who would even hire you for something important like this? Just let Sunset Shimmer do all the work and go back home.”

Trixie’s eyes glowed red, and a burst of energy exploded from her body. Ardent shrieked as she was blown away from the woman, tumbling into the throne headfirst.

“Shut up, Sparkle!” Trixie shouted as soon as she caught her breath. Blinking, she saw that the annoying now-princess was nowhere to be found. She stumbled unsteadily over to her sword, and pulled it out of the ground. With another set of blinks, she saw that Ardent was picking herself up, rubbing her head where it had struck the throne.

Staggering over to the lamia, Trixie drunkenly swung her sword. It actually managed to hit Ardent, taking a chunk of golden armour with its swing. The lamia hissed, and began to attack with her sai, jabbing the twin blades at Trixie’s stomach. Trixie spun her sword, letting only a few stabs through.

Ardent slithered backwards, lapping at the blood that tinged the tip of her sai. She had drawn first blood, and was intent on enjoying it. She didn’t have time to, as Trixie began to swing madly at her. Most of the blows missed entirely, but a few cleaved apart Ardent’s armour and sunk into the flesh below.

The lamia jerked, feeling the blade’s bite. She leapt backwards, and flung a sai with magic. This time, Trixie dodged it, and slashed at the shimmering magical ribbon. The blade cut through the magic, and the sai detonated with magic feedback. Trixie smirked as Ardent’s smouldering eyes widened in panic.

Taking a long stride towards Ardent, Trixie prepared to do the forward leaping slash she had perfected on previous opponents. The lamia leapt upwards at the last moment, landing on another pile of treasure. Trixie swore, pivoting to face the demon.

“What do you fight for that gives you such strength?” rasped Ardent, clutching at the hand that had suffered the brunt of the magical feedback. It looked like the gold had melted into her skin of jade.

Trixie stopped mid-swing. What was she fighting for? Herself? Her ancestor? The griffons?

Ardent took advantage of Trixie’s confusion, and began to levitate a marble statue of a griffon holding a spear. With the last of her strength, she flung the statue, sending it spiraling towards Trixie spear-first.

Trixie snapped out of it when she saw the statue hurtling towards her. As she tossed aside her sword to grab her pistols, time seemed to slow like it had when the dragon tried to crush her. Barely aiming, Trixie pumped magic through the guns, shooting the statue. The statue crumbled with every shot, until there was only a singular claw grasping the spear. Holstering the guns, Trixie grabbed the spear as it flew by, and threw it at Ardent.

The lamia couldn’t avoid the spear. It pierced her in the bosom, pinning her to the wall. Ardent writhed in pain, grasping at the spear, trying to pull herself off it.

Trixie leapt into the air and landed on the treasure pile, barely maintaining balance. Slowly she worked her way up to Ardent on her hands and knees. When she reached the top, the lamia was barely holding onto life.

“You are stronger than I thought,” Ardent managed to say, blood dribbling from her mouth. “You defeated me, queen of the lamias. I thought I would bear more clutches and watch my children grow old. You truly are a demon hunter.”

Trixie only nodded in silence. Ardent coughed and looked up at her killer. “You were wrong.”

“What?” Trixie’s eyes widened slightly, and her face bore lines of confusion.

“My Lord and many others would not agree… but I did dream of coexistence…” With a rattle, the fire in Ardent’s eyes died, and so did she.

The throne room was silent except for the clinking of coins.