• Published 10th Dec 2013
  • 1,007 Views, 56 Comments

Skyclad & Honor Bound: A Millennia Past - Mr Anomalous

Rainbow Dash, the Bearer of Loyalty, is a brave, capable mare. But her loyalty & bravery will be put to the test as she becomes thrust in a time that is not hers, and the fate of a world rests in her hooves.

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Chapter I: Let The Games Begin

The eldritch monstrosity leering out from the page of the thick, heavy, and dusty old tome sent a nerve wracking shudder down throughout entire length of Twilight’s spine and rippling out the rest of her body. It may have only been a crude, two-dimensional charcoal sketch, however the text it was swaddled in conjured a small life of it’s own as the hideous images it conjured sprang forth. The monster roared in savage glee as it hurtled over its parchment barrier, devouring Twilight with a motion as casual as breathing or flicking ones tail, marking the beginning of it’s bloodthirsty, ruthless rampage across Equestria.

Again, Twilight shuddered, aghast that such being could even be conceived of in some pony’s or zebra’s twisted mind, let alone actually exist, if in some other plane of existence. . Such monsters were best left sealed in whatever respective hellfire and brimstone choked dungeon they had been condemned to, there was a reason that so many thousands had perished in doing so. But it wasn’t as though merely reading about them to satisfy some darker curiosity could actually do any harm, right?
No, Twilight told herself once more, not at all.

With a freshly steeled resolve, Twilight’s eyes lunged back down towards the page and her eyes darted back and forth, ravenously devouring all they could lay themselves upon, and soon finished it. She turned the page eagerly, unveiling a new beast of Tartarus, however this time the bookish mare was prepared, and the fresh abomination remained locked within its parchment prison, where it rightfully belonged.

Again, again, and again, Twilight greedily leafed through page after page. Voraciously flying through the ancient tome- deeper, deeper, still deeper Twilight immersed herself, learning of the revolting monsters locked deep within the abysmal, flaming confinements of Tartarus. She learned of their deeds also, ones that inspired awe, horror, fear, and even hatred. Mortem, who fed off of the misery of souls as he took the lives of their loved ones . . . Nemesis, the creature who stood for no being higher than he . . . Cthulhu, the beast, the monster of greed, and the devourer of worlds . . . and worst of all, Man, whose deeds numbered so great, so despicable and vile, that the book wasted no breath in even attempting to decipher them in their entirety.

But every single one of these soulless, heartless, sadistic monstrosities, and the countless lesser demons, were defeated, one after the other, by her. Again, she turned the page in anticipation. Twilight smirked. There, depicted soaring majestically in the the azure fields of the heavens, atop a swarm of cowering demons, smiling with a serene assurance, was a mare who seemed possessed of all the gifts the gods could offer a mortal being- and then some. There was naught but speculation as to her true colors, and the myths varied as much as the colors themselves; bedazzling electrum, to pure iridescent gold, and, the least flattering but perhaps most sensible, the entire spectral range of the rainbow.

Twilight was jolted from her thoughts as the door, flung open without any warning, crashing against the adjacent wall resoundingly. The startled librarian whirled around, wings flared, ready to carry her away if needed. For a moment she tensed as a silhouette emerged, but a warm smile soon took hold in place of her previous one of confusion.

“Rainbow Dash!” She heartily greeted, relievedly wiping her brow as subtly as she could manage.

“Yeah, hey Twilight,” the visitor mumbled, idly scuffing her hoof on the floor, glancing away bashfully.

Twilight frowned perplexedly; Rainbow wouldn't make eye contact - which was highly unusual for the brash mare. However, she then recalled why Rainbow was in her library at all if it wasn't to return a book, and a knowing smirk tugged at the corners of her mouth.

“Rainbow, there’s no need to be bashful, it’s perfectly natural for a mare to want to improve, especially you!”

“It’s still embarrassing. . .” Rainbow trailed off, averting her eyes once more.

Twilight shook her head, exasperated, and decided to divert her friend’s attention, if only for a minute.

“Guess who I found?” Twilight trilled in a singsong voice, gesturing towards the open book which had, until moments ago, been the site of another study session. Rainbow slowly ambled her way across the threshold of Twilight's home, and her host gently closed the door behind her, shutting out the gentle breeze.

"Who? . . . ." Rainbow asked warily as she trotted over to the open book in the center of the floor amid the maelstrom of rumpled and depressed pillows interspersed with books and what looked like the remains of more than one attempt at cooking. Twilight didn't answer, instead opting to let Rainbow see for herself. As Rainbow crossed over to the indicated tome, she casually flopped next to it, laying her eyes on the yellowed and age battered page in question. Rainbow gave a half-hearted grin, sighing slightly as she did so, "Ah."

"Yup." Twilight beamed.

Rainbow lapsed into silence, keeping her slight smile, her mind filled with images and visions of the mare only she and Twilight knew of. The unshakable nigh-demigod crudely sketched upon the page, who seemed so similar to Rainbow.

"You know, Rainbow, I'm a bit surprised; I was sure a pony like yourself would be at least a bit boastful about looking so much like the legendary 'Mist Warrior', it does seem like something you might do."

Rainbow let her attention linger on the descriptions and depictions of her ancient look-alike, but spoke to Twilight as she did so, clarifying: "Well, she is known mostly to the Pegasi, and the legends of her are pretty old . . . ."

Twilight shook her head in defeat - Rainbow Dash, strongly resembling an ancient legend and not mentioning it even once? It was so unlike her . . . .

The battle lost, Twilight instead brought up the reason for Rainbow’s coming in the first place.

"So, Dash, I've got that potion finished." mentioned Twilight in a manner that suggested it was simply an extra, not as though it were the entire reason for Rainbow to be at her library at that time.

Rainbow Dash frowned and pursed her lips, glancing towards Twilight inquisitively. "Where is it?"

"I've got it right here," Twilight assured her, magically floating a corked flask from somewhere in the room and passing it over to Rainbow.

"Just two doses a day, each just a mouthful, for a few weeks and then you won't be needing glasses anymore."

Rainbow Dash thanked her friend and Princess, a shade of scarlet creeping up her face as she did so, and left via a window left open by Spike to assure Twilight didn’t suffocate in book dust.

Rainbow, relieved that her harrowing ordeal was over, began to sail toward home, the usual ecstatic rush that she felt whilst flying replaced by thoughts of the the strange mare in Twilight's book. Twilight had easily deduced that she and Rainbow looked similar, but what Twilight didn't know was that, according to Rainbow's father's mother one chilly winter night snuggled next to her, she and the Mist Warrior were in fact related. This was a topic of slight controversy among the Dash Clan, because one side, her father's, were believers of their lineage, whilst her mother's side believed the ancient mare herself a myth, and thus Rainbow's supposed relation to any ancient heroes was rendered moot. As a matter of fact, Rainbow's parent's story bore a slight similarity to the quintessential Romeo & Juliet, save the tragic ending. Her two families were not always on the most amiable of terms.
Rainbow Dash herself knew not what to believe. Of course, if her grandmother was correct, that was pure, refined awesome, but Rainbow wasn't too sure. That, among other reasons, was why she usually kept quiet about any relations, factual or fictitious, to the Legendary "Mist Warrior."

Rainbow's thoughts waned slightly, but never ceased utterly, as her attention shifted to the upcoming dark mass on the horizon that was her home, and she gently landed upon the front porch, little puffs of moisture enveloping her hooves and fetlocks as she did so, the sun just touching the horizon as she did so.

Unlocking the front door, Rainbow glanced at the time and decided to turn in early. She had the day off tomorrow, and getting to sleep earlier than usual would mean less sleep tomorrow and more free time.

It wasn't long before she found herself comfortably ensconced in her voluminous bed, sleepily grinning in comfort- cloud beds were amazing. Her thoughts, unfortunately, persistently denied her leave from the world of the living until much later than she had hoped, but the cerulean mare was indeed asleep within the hour.

The dream started out normal enough. In fact, it was a bit too normal; it seemed to be, in essence, a simple recap of her time at the Golden Oak's Library. The only thing different was the sound. Everything was . . . everything seemed to be trying not to be heard. The voices, the creaking of the branches, the hoof-steps, they all echoed and lazily pooled around Rainbow's head, eddying and bubbling like a tranquil little stream.

It was when she eventually took her leave through the window that things changed.

The world outside the library clearly was not Ponyville. The buildings, it seemed, had been superseded by broad expanses of green fields, the tall patchwork grass reaching up and brushing the turbulent sky. But it was abnormal. The flatness was unnerving, and it extended onwards and for infinity. As Rainbow cautiously glanced over her shoulder, she saw that even Twilight's library had vanished.

Rainbow persisted in flying onwards, and gradually, the coarse weeds and grass began to grow lusher and thicker. Replacing the scraggly brush with wild, overgrown verdant fields. The sky’s hue slowly darkened, becoming stale, diluted, streaked with smoke and sooty clouds. An acrid stench permeated the air, a pungent amalgamation of smoke, metal, and other odors that Rainbow could not identify.

Rainbow’s world imploded, her vision jolted a million different directions, her body shunted from the air and catapulted violently, without remorse, into the packed soil. Something had hit her. Hard.

Rainbow's vision was tinged with spots, blurring into a dreary darkness, the noise of the world around her became distorted and patchy. Fragments of memories forced their way to the surface of her subconscious.

"This one is new . . . ." a pompous voice, one brimming over with pride and greed, sadistically hissed in glee at Rainbow’s pain. His voice staticky, crackling in the darkness.

"Yes. Where did she come from? Her coloration is rather, unique . . . ." ruminated a second, more solid, thoughtful and even refined voice.

And then, with a heaving gasp, Rainbow Dash awoke. But it was not the welcoming and familiar walls of cloud that greeted her eyes, assuming what lay before her could be considered a greeting.

The odd smells from the night prior were multiplied by tenscore, the burning stenches forcing their way into Rainbow's nose like a full on buck from Applejack focused on a cold chisel, driving away the last vestiges of sleep and punting her fully into wakefulness. Rainbow retched, emptying her stomach of it’s contents, heedless of where it landed. She moaned, a hoof flopping into the puddle of vomit on the ground, the puke matting her mane and streaking her coat.

The fetid odors saturating the air reeked of rotten, burning flesh, the tang of metal, fire, and smoke. Her world was hot and stuffy, a burning cesspit with her in the center, covered in her own vomit. All she could sense was an indiscriminate blur, withholding not only information, but freedom as well, the denial hemming her in, caging the pegasus lying sprawled helplessly.

Voices wormed their way into Rainbow's consciousness, and soon two pairs of hooves, their grip as hard and unrelenting as iron seized her, and began dragging her off to Celestia knew where. Rainbow reacted on pure instinct, gnashing, kicking, and struggling feebly, her thoughts still hampered by the clinging stupor of unconsciousness. The humdrum voices cleared, as did Rainbow's eyesight, just enough to faintly discern her surroundings, with enough time to spare to see and process the blunt butt of a spear speeding towards her skull.


Author's Note:

Hehehe . . . .

Things are heating up, it looks like. Just what is going on, eh?

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