• Published 15th Oct 2013
  • 3,206 Views, 198 Comments

The Price of Harmony - Priceless911



While Star Bolt tries to forget his life of sin. An ancient evil sits and waits for the day that its prison will weaken so it can break free and finish its goal that was started 2000 years ago. The extinction of the alicorn race.

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Prologue & Ch1 The Cloaked Stallion

Prologue

The howling wind and the flowing water were the only sounds he could hear, and considering what he heard prior to falling unconscious… this sound terrified him. Slowly Star Bolt opened only one eye as the other was submerged in the gently flowing water around him. Looking around from where he laid, Star Bolt could tell that he was lying in the shallow river that flowed through the valley. With every bone in in his body aching from the catastrophe. Star Bolt rolled from his side onto his back. As he looked into the sky, he could see a small clearing in the surrounding dust, and through that clearing, he could see the orange colored sky that was supposed to be dusk… but he knew that it was closer to twelve o’clock midnight.

Seeing this only deepened his sadness, as he tried to roll over and pick himself up. As he picked himself a few inched from the mud that acted as a suction cuff on his body, he felt a sharp pain his wing that was so immense that the rest of his body became limp as he fell back to the ground, splashing into the water below him. With the softly flowing water cleaning off the mud that was on him, he rolled to his side and looked at a broken sword shard that was embedded into his left wing. Star Bolt reached up and gripped the shard, then trying to ignore the pain he started to pull on it. The increasing pain that the sword fragment made on his wing was so immense that Star Bolt started to cringe as the blade started cutting his hoof as he pulled. Finally, with one last pain-riddled tug, Star Bolt pulled the sword shard from his wing, flinging it across his body and making it land on the riverbed as he screamed in agony.

Laying on his side as he breathed deeply holding back the extreme pain of his wound, Star Bolt slowly opened his eyes and looked at the sword shard that laid on the riverbed. While looking at it shine in the light of the half-set sun, he started thinking about the pony who owned the sword. As he thought about him, he could only close his eyes in disappointment, “I… I’m sorry Armor… I’m sorry I couldn’t save you. I couldn’t save your princess. I couldn’t even protect your sist…”
When Star Bolt realized something, He struggled to pick himself up, “T-Twilight!...”
Star Bolt struggled to hold himself up as he stumbled out of the shallow river and looked around in concern. The dust around him was still too thick to get a good view of anything; however, it was clear enough to see the edges of the riverbank so he followed what he could see till he was back on the shore.

The pain of his wing and the weight of the celestial armor he was wearing didn’t help the wounded stallion as he continued stumbling up the riverbank, “TWILIGHT!!!, SPITFIRE!!!, RAINBOW DASH!!!, ZECORA!!!”
As the weak stallion felt weaker thinking about who could have survived such a tragedy, He sat down to catch his breath as tears began rolling down his face, “Anypony!... Please… I… I can’t be alone... I can’t be the last…”
As Star Bolt looked up, the dust in the air had settled to reveal the ruins of the once beautiful city that was broken from its foundation and slid down the mountain. While looking at the ruins, he sighed as he shook his head, “C-Canterlot… It’s gone… it’s all gone, I knew this would happen someday, but… I never thought I would be alive to see it… nor did I expect it to happen too fast to save anypony.”
Star Bolt thought about the one responsible and glared at the city, “It’s his fault… Celestia… Cadence… Luna… I’ll get him for this… I’ll kill him with my bare hooves. To this… I swear it!...”


The Price of Harmony
Chapter 1
The Cloaked Stallion

With the moon shining brightly above, The Royal Guards surrounded the small cottage as the officer stood in the front yard, “Commander Bolt!!! We know you’re in there! Come out peacefully and there won’t be any trouble!”
As the front door of the cottage opened, an earth pony came out and replied to the officer, “You ponies are trespassing on private property! Leave my farm now!”
The guard replied, “Sir! We have nothing against you and your family… But we have reason to believe that you are harboring a criminal of Equestria in your home! We kindly ask that you surrender him to us so that he can face justice.”
The stallion yelled back, “Criminal! I think you got the wrong farm!!! Cherry Jubilee’s Farm is to the south of here!”

The officer disregarded the comment and replied, “Sir we know Commander Bolt Is here! Please surrender him to us and we will leave your family in peace!”
The stallion held his hoof to his ear in a mocking manner, “what was that? Commander who? Sorry nopony here by that name.”
The guard became irritated, “Sir! I would ask you to take this seriously. Commander Bolt is a dangerous threat t…”
A mare stood at the doorway of the cabin holding a newborn filly as she interrupted the guard, “If my husband says nopony is here, then nopony is here! Why don’t you just leave us alon…”

Just then, the mare silenced herself as she felt a hoof on her shoulder. She looked to the cloaked stallion who was standing just out of the guards view as he spoke softly, “its ok… you don’t have to protect me. I’ll go to them.”
The mare tried to argue, “But Mr. Star… please let us hel…”
“I’ve seen this coming a mile away… its better I face them now then to bring trouble on your home.”
The Mare calmly stepped aside as the mysterious stallion trotted past her and into the front yard. As he trotted passed the farmer, he spoke, “You don’t have to do this Star… please let me help you.”
Star Bolt smiled as he put down the hood on his cloak, “Its ok sir… I can handle this. There is no need for you and your wife to get involved anymore than you already are.”
“But…”

Before the stallion could try to make an excuse, the royal guard officer called to him, “Are you Commander Bolt of the Nightmare legion?”
Star Bolt looked the guard in the eye as he replied, “My name is Star Bolt… the pony you seek died a long time ago.”
The officer wasn’t fooled for a second, “By order of Princess Celestia of Equestria! I hereby place you, under arrest. Will you come quietly?”
Star Bolt stared at the guard with no expression, as he replied, “No… I won’t.”
The guard smiled as he replied, “Then we will take you by force! Soldiers! ARREST THE TRAITOR!!!”
At that moment the royal guards hovering overhead, dove down on Star Bolt from behind. Star Bolt held his ground until the very last second when he quickly untied his cloak and flung it upward fooling the diving ponies, making them think that Star Bolt had jumped into the air himself.

As the diving pegasi guards tackled the cloak, Star Bolt ducked down as the pegasi slammed and pined the empty cloak on the ground in front of him. But just as they realized their mistake, Star Bolt turned and kicked the pony in the back of the group, causing them all to fall down over each other, as Star Bolt opened his wings and took to the skies flying over the farmhouse and into the field so that he could better watch his numerous attackers. After the guards chased him into the field, the officer yelled to their target, “Give it up Bolt! You can’t take us all on!”
Star Bolt smiled confidently as he replied, “Modern Royal Guards are nothing but a joke… I’ll take you all on… and to be fair, I won’t use my sword.”
Star Bolt patted the sheathed sword on his side, then braced himself for another attack as the officer reiterated his orders, “Remember soldiers! Princess Celestia wants him alive! Nevertheless, do what you have to do to take him down… ATTACK!”

Almost immediately two ponies charged Star Bolt from his front as he smiled, “Let’s play.”
With a strategy already planned, Star Bolt charged forward at the attacking ponies. Just as the two ponies tried to punch him, Star Bolt continued at his speed as he rolled over, and fell on his back with his wings open, tripping the two guards as he slide under their hooves, causing the guards to face plant into the ground. Before they could react to the surprise attack, Star Bolt used his wings to vault himself from the ground and slam his hooves on his attacker’s head why they still were on the ground. As the now unconscious soldiers went limp, Star Bolt smiled as he looked around, “Who’s next?”
just as he looked upward, he spotted an attacking pegasus guard who was already diving for him. Thinking fast, Star Bolt picked up one of the unconscious guards and tossed him into the air, hitting the diving Pegasus, and causing him to hit the ground at full speed.

With no time to comment, Star Bolt ducked and dodged an attack from another guard that snuck up behind him with a sword. The frustrated guard continued to swing the sword over and over as Star Bolt kept taunting him, “Little higher… now lower… warmer… warmer… colder… you’re almost there…”
The frustrated stallion yelled as he brought his sword down in a vertical swing, “SHUT UP!!!”
As the blade hit the ground, Star Bolt placed his hoof on top of it and held it down, “And to think you’re a sergeant of all ranks.”
Using what force, he could while keeping the swords blade in the ground; Star Bolt raised his other front hoof and punched the guard in his face. However the guard only jerked with the punch and remained standing so after the guard shook his head and glared at Star Bolt he smiled, “Is that all you got… Traitor?”
Star Bolt cleverly smiled, “Nope, I’m just getting warmed up.”

Putting himself at risk, Star Bolt released the sword and placed his front hooves on both sides of the guard’s head, then using all the strength he had, he smashed his forehead against the royal guards face, causing the guard to fall backwards and hit the ground unconscious. After the impact, Star Bolt took a step back, stumbling as he mumbled, “Probably should have removed his helmet first...”
Shortly after regaining his balance, Star Bolt could hear the slushed sounds of three soldiers charging him from behind as they charged through the mud. Star Bolt immediately reacted by opening his right wing, and turning at an angle, while he used his open wing to scoop up mud and fling it into the faces of his attackers. As the three guards stopped their charge while they quickly wiped their eyes, Star Bolt looked at the ground around him. There was mud and water all over the ground, so he immediately thought up a brilliant plan.

Star Bolt then flung the rest of the mud from his wing as he jumped into the air and flew over the stunned soldiers, landing on the other side of the shallow marshland. Then as he looked at the setting water on the ground, he smiled menacingly as the officer yelled, “Thinking about fleeing? Go ahead! You know that you won’t get away from us that easily!”
Star Bolt smiled as he called back, “You’re so pathetic! Here you thought you could beat me and all you’ve done thus far is play in the mud.”
The Officer yelled, “YOU WON’T WIN!!! GIVE UP NOW!!!”
Star Bolt shook his head, “You forget what made me famous in the first place!”

As Star Bolt stood there smiling at his foes, the guards could see lightning start to arc in his eyes as the officer yelled, “HE’S GONNA USE THE LIGHTING ORB!!! STOP HIM!!!”
Almost immediately all the royal guards charged, forward toward the legendary soldier in hopes of stopping him from using his powerful technique. As they continued, Star Bolt’s eyes continued to show arcing electricity, but no cloud appeared over his head. The charging soldiers continued their efforts until the officer suddenly spotted what was happening. The officer quickly flew into the air as he called to his soldiers. “GET OUT OF THE WATER!!!”
Before the soldiers could react, Star Bolt took one step forward and placed his electrified hoof onto the shallow water of the marshlands that the soldiers were charging through.

The ground immediate lit up, as electric arcs flew from his hoof and channeled themselves through the water, electrocuting everypony who was still on the ground, causing them all to fall forward into the shallow waters, unconscious. After the momentary light show had vanished, Star Bolt took a couple of deep breaths to regain some energy, then he looked at the only remaining guard hovering above him. The officer looked at the concern less look that Star Bolt gave him, and then at his unconscious soldiers as he panicked, “… you’re… YOU’RE A MONSTER!!!”
Afraid for his life, the lone royal guard tried to flee through the air as a cloud appeared over Star Bolt’s head, “I’ll show you monster!”
Just then under Star Bolt’s control, a bolt of lightning flew from the cloud above his head and hit the fleeing Pegasus, causing him to fall out of the sky.

Shortly after the Pegasus hit the ground and the cloud dispersed, Star Bolt realized something important, “Oh no…”
Star Bolt galloped through the still electrified marshlands until he reached the fallen officer. Then with worry in his heart, he felt the officer’s pulse, “… Oh thank Luna… I thought I used too much juice with that one.”
As Star Bolt sighed in relief, the farmer and his wife approached the scene, “Th-those guards?... are they?”
Star Bolt shook his head, “Don’t worry… they aren’t dead. But very few will remember what happened here, and even fewer will want to talk about it.”
The mare spoke, “Are you alright Mr. Star? You ain’t hurt are you?”
Star Bolt shook his head, “Other than a headache… I’m fine. But it looks like I’m gonna have to leave again.”
The farmer spoke up, “Are you sure? I’ll bet we can find a place for you nearby. And who knows. May if we explain what happened, the princess will forgi…”
“NO!”

Star Bolt looked away from the couple as he continued, “The princess won’t understand… and she won’t forgive anything. I’m better off just leaving.”

The two ponies were concerned as the farmer held out a bag of bits, “Then take this… it ain’t much… but I reckon it will help you either way. You helped me during my wife’s delivery. I don’t know anypony else who would help perfect strangers deliver a foal in the forest, so I owe you anyway.”
As Star Bolt took the bag, opened it, and counted the bits inside, then he took a hoof full out and gave it back to the farmer, “There… I can’t accept it all, that little filly of yours did most of the work. I was only moral support.”
Then the farmer gave him his cloak as the mare spoke, “Will you be alright Mr. Star? Where will you go from here?”
As Star Bolt put the cloak on, he replied, “Don’t know… I guess I’ll just have to travel the road and see where it takes me. But if these guards ask… tell them I’m on my way to Canterlot.”

The farmer and his wife looked at each other then back at Star Bolt as the farmer asked, “… are you?”
Star Bolt laughed, “What are you crazy? If I wanted to go back there, I wouldn’t have gone thought this trouble to prevent these royal pains from taking me back… I just think that if you tell them this, they will stop searching for me and wait instead… at least till they realize the truth.”
As Star Bolt and the farmer started to laugh at his idea, the little filly saw them laughing and smiled at the joy they were showing. Star Bolt smiled back at the little filly as he put the cloaks hood over his head, “Well maybe the next time I cross through I’ll stop in for a visit. Till then, you better take care of that filly of yours.”
The farmer smiled, “Of course, and you take care of yourself too. I don’t care what the rumors say, you’ll always be welcome in this house.”
As Star Bolt turned to leave he asked, “Have you thought of a name for her yet?”
The mare smiled, “Yea… I was thinking of something like… Gem.”
Star Bolt couldn’t help but smiled at the idea, “Gem… hmm… that sounds like a good name. Well you take care.”

Then with nothing more to say, Star Bolt trotted out of the field and onto the road. As he traveled, he started thinking about where to go next. It has been two whole years since he faked his death and began his life as a wanderer and in that time, he has been to every major city in Equestria. That is, every city excluding Canterlot. Nevertheless, out of the small cities, his list was getting shorter and shorter. His biggest worry was running out of places to go, and having no choice but to leave Equestria. In the past two years, he has traveled the world trying to forget the life has had more than a millennium ago. He tried to forget when he carried the title of Commander Bolt and brought forth a war that was fought in the shadow of an eclipse. He wanted to forget his service to Nightmare Moon, and the officers he called family. However, with Princess Celestia sending wave after wave of search parties after him, he found it impossible to keep himself hidden for long. It was a wonder how Princess Luna still believed him to be dead despite the fact that Princess Celestia and Prince Armor of the Crystal Empire are spending countless resourced to capture him.

Star Bolt looked up at the sky and paused as he saw a shooting star race across the night sky. As he looked at that, he sat down and sighed, “Luna… are you crying again?... is it still over me?”
Caught in his memories of trying to cheer up Luna when she was sad, Star Bolt didn’t notice a newspaper that was being carried by the wind as it flew against his face killing the moment, as he reached up and grabbed it. After grabbing the newspaper, Star Bolt took a closer look at it when he saw a help wanted sign in bold print on the outside. Star Bolt then placed the paper against the ground and began reading the article. It read:

Help Wanted!
Looking for help during applebuck season.
Hoping to find good strong pony for heavy labor and long hours.
Will pay what’s fair depending on the work.
Contact Granny Smith at:
Sweet Apple Acres
2010 Apple Line Rd,
Ponyville, EQ

After looking at the ad, Star Bolt thought to himself, “Hmm… Ponyville. I don’t think I’ve been there before.”
Star Bolt placed the newspaper in his saddlebag as he pulled out a map of Equestria, “Ponyville… Ponyville… Pon… Ah! Here it is. It’s only a few miles away. And it’s close to the Everfree Forest. I may drop in on Zecora while I’m there. Welp, looks like I’ll be applebucking for my next job.”
As Star Bolt put the map back into his bag and continued on the road, he started thinking to himself, “I wonder what Ponyville will be like. And why does that place sound so… familiar? Oh well, I guess I’ll find out when I get there.”


Back in Canterlot, Princess Celestia found herself standing in a blackened abyss with nothing in sight. As she looked around in confusion, she started to see a glowing light above her. With a curious stare, Princess Celestia looked at the light, as it split into six different colored gems, pink, green, blue, yellow, red, and purple. Looking at the gems, she immediately recognized them as the gems that made up the Elements of Harmony. The gems then lowered themselves until they circled her and hovered in place as she thought to herself, “Something is off”
As she observed the elements closely she realized something, “These aren’t our elements… then wh…”
She paused as she heard a cracking sound come from behind her. Princess Celestia turned around and looked at the pink gem that was hovering behind her, as it slowly started cracking up.

Celestia became nervous, as the cracks slowly spread across the gem’s surface until finally; the gem shattered into many pieced and fell to the ground. As Princess Celestia looked upon the shattered gem, she gasped, “No… this is…”
all of a sudden, the gems around her changed from their bright colors, to a dull gray, then she heard a terrifyingly evil voice, “Princess… oh princess… does thou remember thee?... tis time.”
The now scared princess looked above her to see a spiral of black sand and white glowing eyes. Princess Celestia took a few steps back in fear, as the remaining gray gems melted into the ground and moved toward her till they covered her hooves and solidified, holding the helpless princess in place, “No… no, it… it can’t be…”
The voice continued as the black sand molded itself into multiple swords, “Time… To pay thy PRICE!”

With special emphasis on the final word, the swords dropped from above in an effort to skewer the princess, but as the blades made contact with her skin. Princess Celestia sat up from her bed in a cold sweat. Though it seemed to be only a nightmare, Princess Celestia knew it to be more then that as she climbed out of bed, put on her crown and trotted to the main throne room. As she entered, Princess Celestia spoke, “Princess Luna!”
Princess Luna quickly wiped the tears from her face and looked up at Princess Celestia in surprise, “Sister? Morning isn’t for another few hours. Is something wrong?”
Ignoring the fact that Luna was crying, Princess Celestia nodded her head, “I had the vision again.”
Princess Luna replied with worry, “Was it him again?”
Celestia nodded her head, “It was…”
Princess Luna stood up and began pacing, “What… what should we do sister? The visions are getting closer and closer… at this rate it should only point out that he will escape in…”
“Three months… maybe sooner.”

Princess Luna sat down and began thinking over their schedule, “Three months… that’s only a few weeks after the grand galloping gala. Will Princess Twilight Sparkle be ready for it?”
Princess Celestia nodded her head, Princess Twilight and her friends know what their task is… but you and I both know that the Elements of Harmony cannot defeat him. Tomorrow I will go check on Princess Cadence and Prince Armor. I can only hope they are ready to help too. I will also go speak with Captain Spitfire of the Wonderbolts… we will need all the help we can get.”
Princess Luna put her hoof on her head in anxiety as she asked, “What about the Griffin King?”
Princess Celestia replied, “I sent Discord there to ask him personally for help in this matter.”
Princess Luna sighed as Princess Celestia asked, “What is it?”
Luna replied, “A lot of help he will do… let’s not forget he is partially responsible for this.”
“Sister, aren’t you being a little hard on him.”
“I only speak the truth.”

All of a sudden, a voice echoed through the throne room, “Now Luna, why would you go and say a thing like that. You’re going to hurt my feelings.”
All of a sudden, Discord climbed out of one of the black tiles on the checkered floor as he continued; “Now I go out of my way to help you, and still you chose to shun me? Why would you say such hurtful words?”
Princess Luna glared at Discord and replied, “You know perfectly why.”
Before Discord could reply, Princess Celestia changed the subject, “Discord, What did the griffin king say?”
Discord replied as he shrugged his shoulders, “King Talon is being a sour puss as usual; he says that unless the Griffin Kingdom was threatened too, then he didn’t want to get involved with pony affairs.”
Princess Luna spoke up, “But doesn’t he know that this involves the Griffin Kingdoms too?”
Discord sneered at Luna and replied, “I’m not talking to you… so there…”

As Discord stuck his tongue out at Princess Luna, Princess Celestia sighed as she repeated the question, “But doesn’t he know that this involves the Griffin Kingdoms too?”
Discord replied as he pulled a balloon out from behind him, “I told him that it would be better to pop this balloon before it’s too high, but as usual the griffin wanna play by their own rules.”
Discord began blowing up the balloon and twisted the balloon into an animal that looked like a griffin, as Princess Celestia sighed, “I know it’s probably a waste of time… but perhaps I should go see him later this week.”
Princess Luna sighed, “I suppose it’s a good idea… but what can we do till then?”
Princess Celestia sighed, “We need to keep this as quiet as possible. If word gets out that he will return then Equestria will be torn into a state of chaos.”

Discord smiled as he held up the balloon griffin and a needle in the other hand, “Oooh, my favorite kind of state.”
Princess Celestia looked at Discord and replied, “That goes double for you… not one word.”
Discord motioned towards the balloon, “How about a pop?”
“Discord!”
The draconequus sighed as he replied, “Alright, alright, fine… I won’t say anything… but you own me one princess.”
Discord then held up the balloon and stuck the needle in, but as he did, his entire body popped like a balloon, leaving the real balloon griffin to gently float to the top of the room. Overlooking Discords somewhat unusual action, Princess Luna continued, “Will we really be able to stop him sister?”
Princess Celestia turned around and started trotting out of the room, “We have to… because if we don’t, the Equestria will share the same fate as Eden. And the pony race will share the same as the alicorn.”