• Published 9th Dec 2013
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Half-Hour Horses - HoofAndQuill

A collection of short prompt-based stories, from Thirty Minute Ponies.

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A Glorious New Order [Drama?]

(Prompt: Song "Be Prepared" from The Lion King.)

(I've always liked this song. Also here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHP4VbhtGJ4 )

I've never seen earth ponies as particularly essential. They're dull, and exceptionally dour. But perhaps they've a glimmer of potential, if allied with my vision and power.


Sombra stepped carefully along the path as he walked through the darkened fields. To each side of him toiled countless earth ponies, even now in the cold, arctic night. They pulled their plows, they planted their seeds, they cleared snow and ice from the long winter just passed. The Platinum Kingdom was surrounded by fields such as these. The earth ponies weren't slaves, exactly, though they were only paid in sunlight, warmth, and protection.

He chose a spot, and stopped walking. Truthfully, any place would do. The ponies didn't look up from their work, and so none of them knew who exactly was among them. Sombra cast aside his simple cloak, and revealed the bright, steel armor he had worked himself. He lit his horn, if it could be called light, and flared a dark violet magic across the fields.

It worked. Sudden he found himself with hundreds of eyes on him, and nearly as many knees bent in subservience. As was expected; he was a unicorn, after all. He waited for the ponies to gather around him, and for the quiet murmuring to cease, before he began his speech.

"Earth ponies. I know that you are simple folk. Some unicorns would call you uneducated, filthy, and unworthy of life in the city. But as ignorant as they all think you are, give heed to my words. I come to you with a proposition."

He scanned the field, scowling internally at the many blank stares he was afforded. A few eyes, however, sparkled with understanding. With hope. Those were the ones he needed. He forced himself to make eye contact with each dullard in turn. "You must understand, there is enough there for every pony. Many of you are incapable of the planning and the logistics of running an empire. I am not. But I need allies for this, I need allies to free you from your bonds."

Those precious few stood, and even dared approach. Good. "This will take time. It will not be immediate, but you must prepare. There are those among you that know of metalwork. Beat your plowshares into swords. Take up the bow. A new era approaches, one of light and freedom."

One colt in the throng, standing only a few feet from Sombra now, spoke out. "What will we get when you're in charge?"

The child was immediately pulled away and scolded in hushed tones by a nearby mare, but Sombra merely smiled. "There will be danger, child, but through the sword and fire we will forge a new kingdom. An empire! We will throw down the unicorns controlling this land, and you will have your vengeance on your oppressors, when I am placed in command. We shall work together for this new future!"

More of the earth ponies around him stood, and Sombra's magic burned in his breast. He could feel their emotion powering the crystals in his saddlebags. Yes, this is what he needed. Anger, vengeance. "Listen to me, ponies. No longer will you toil in the fields, passing all of the best produce and craft to your betters, but you will stand among the glittering palaces in the city, and eat your fill!"

Several ponies cheered, and the enthusiasm spread like wildfire. There was an uproar, a clattering of farm tools and a stamping of hooves on the ground. Sombra felt his power surge and flare violently. He shouted, his voice amplified and given power by the throbbing of emotion in the crowd. "Death to the Queen! Long live the King!"

"Death to the Queen! Long live the King!" The crowd shouted in excitement, and raised tools in teeth and hooves, shouting loudly into the air.

Sombra's magic laced around several of the brighter stallions and mares, the spells he'd woven whispered and twisted through their ears and minds. He spoke quietly, and they quickly calmed their compatriots, though the fire of rebellion grew in each heart. Sombra spoke loudly again. "This will take labor. It will take fighting and blood will be spilled on both sides. The future is bright with power and heavy with gold and gems, but only with my leadership will we be able to rise to power together."

There was a murmur of agreement through the crowd, and Sombra smiled at the hundreds of earnest, determined expressions. "So prepare. Save your money. Eat well, and work hard. Grow stronger, make your swords in secret. Prepare, and I will do the same. My plans reach far, and wide, and the roots of this rebellion run deep. When the signal comes, you will know it. With all of the earth ponies behind us, who can stop our glorious new empire? Who can stop the rise of the new King Sombra?"

Another cheer rose through the crowd, and at Sombra's behest, his new lieutenants urged everyone back to work for now. The crystals in his saddlebags thrummed with stored power, and he pulled his cloak back over his armor. His horn glowed as the magic and raw emotion flowed from the storage into his body.

Sombra began walking, as the earth ponies selected the tools to be reforged into weapons. Another night, another field, another hundred troops. Tomorrow he'd have another few hundred more. Sombra smiled, no longer bothering to hide his fanged appearance.

Yes, they would prepare. He would prepare. Soon, his army would be complete, and a new order would arise. His order, and when he was alone as the sole remaining unicorn in the new Empire, bolstered by his carefully attuned crystals, who could stand against him?

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