• Published 13th Mar 2012
  • 14,198 Views, 1,080 Comments

Inner Glory - Erindor


A utopian society cannot exist without the corpses of the revolutionaries.

  • ...
50
 1,080
 14,198

Chapter 36: Bide
PreviousChapters Next

Chapter 35: Bide

The ever-brightening moon watched over a barren, gray wasteland. The world seemed to be holding its breath, waiting for some critical moment. Silence fell, and all was still.

Then, all at once, the plane was filled with life. Simultaneous flashes of light deposited ponies and griffons alike, each confused and disoriented. One acted faster than the rest. Off to the side of the dispersed crowd, Lustrous Revolt dug her hooves into the ashy earth, focusing intently. A short psionic pulse echoed across the battlefield. Kill all in your way. Then to me.

Fights began breaking out once again, slowly at first as neighbors realized they were enemies, then quickly as the slowest caught on. Lustrous Revolt marched from what had once been her library towards the center of the conflict. Any griffon foolish enough to get close to her was vaporized without a second glance. In the skies above, a wicked blur flitted around the battlefield, griffons dropping wherever it paused. Gunfire filled the air, as well as the occasional cry of terror. Absolutely wonderful, but a waste of time. There were more important things to be done.

With a whoosh, Temperament materialized next to her. Intricate yet beautiful armor adorned her, streaked with blood and ash. A longsword hung at her side in her telekinetic grasp. She stabbed it into the ground, and nodded to Lustrous. “So. I take it your meeting didn't go well?”

“Hahaha, shut up. She had a source of power I wasn't expecting. Its signal was very different than traditional arcane ones.”

“Don't make the same mistake again, then.”

“I intend not to. Like I said, shut up.”

A shadow of a pegasus dropped in front of them, breathing heavily. “The skies should be clear for a couple of minutes. We should head out soon.”

“As soon as the others get here.”

An overconfident griffon nearby leaped towards Spectral Slash, who rolled sideways, catching the griffon's stomach with her bladed wings as it jumped over. The griffon cried out in anguish as its innards spilled out, and was quickly silenced. Spectral Slash stuck out her tongue in disgust, shaking her head.

Two more ponies joined the other three, the orange earth pony wielding a submachine gun and the yellow pegasus grasping a small, bloodstained knife in her mouth. The knife slipped out of her mouth and into a telekinetic grasp, eye glowing. “Where's Pinkamina?”

“She lost her resolve. She allowed the Reality pony to get the best of her.”

“Bah. What a weakling. When we find her, she'll get what she deserves.”

“We have no time to lose.” Lustrous Revolt turned, thinking about where their quarry would have been most likely to go. They'd need food, and they didn't know about the abbey. Stonehill would be the most logical destination. “We'll stop at dawn. Until then, keep up the pace.” The group stormed off through the battle. Griffons occasionally attempted to strike at them, thinking they had an easy, distracted target. All were dealt with swiftly. They finally burst free from the conflict, and rushed into the night.

Nearby, the Moon Pool churned, untouched by the earlier magical blast. The water seemed to be struggling against itself, as if it were attempting to rise to the distant moon. It rested for a moment, then gave a great heave. The water crashed upon the shoreline, the black water tainting the exposed earth. Each droplet resisted gravity's pull, seeming to pull at the loose pebbles, but all were finally reclaimed. The water settled moodily. The stars above twinkled brightly, as if mocking the attempted escape. And all the while the moon watched thoughtfully.

{- - -}

Lux paced feverishly. That unicorn had been gone for quite some time. She had expected the gods to maybe talk to her for ten minutes or so. Not several hours. Something must have happened.

More importantly, something bad was going to happen soon, and Lux was still unsure how to act. The sun had set, and the moon marked midnight's approach. And yet, the largely nocturnal citizens of Stonehill continued to mill about, still heedless to her warnings. And that unicorn was still missing.

Lux realized she had never asked for her name. She only knew her as some strange, benevolent alternate version of Lustrous Revolt. And, apparently, a dear conversational friend of the gods.

Lux galloped back to the stone altar. There were only minutes before the predicted event. She had been visiting the altar about hourly earlier in the day, but had increased the frequency of her worried check-ins. Still nothing. The stone remained silent and immobile. She sighed. She had to know.

She picked up a sharp rock next to the altar, and cut a small incision into her leg, allowing the blood to drip. The pool remained stationary, no matter how hard she willed it.

She frowned softly. This had never happened before. They had always come when she called. Maybe she needed more blood. She deepened the wound, a steady flow now pouring out.

She watched for some time. No, something else was wrong. This was more than enough blood. She staunched the bleeding and sat, puzzling. What was she to do? With this knowledge she had, she couldn't sit and do nothing, but regardless of what she did, the event would happen anyway. The only difference was whether or not she was prepared. She needed to be strong for the upcoming event.

With a soft breath, she closed her eyes, focusing on her inner mind. Her energy reserve was more than enough for most spells, but she might need more power. There weren't any good power sources nearby, except...

She blinked her eyes open, looking towards the stone. The runes beckoned. Lux leaned over them, feeling the inherent energy they expressed. There was something tantalizing about how they whispered to her. Reality slowed around her. She couldn't take her eyes off of the runes. They were all she knew.

She traced their twists and turns with her hoof. She hadn't noticed it before, but the letters responded to her presence. She paused of a moment, words coming to her mind.

“Siln'ta.”

The runes pulsed red in response. Her heart pounded, and her mind swam. In the back of her mind, something told her to retreat. But the lure was much stronger.

“Nou'soon.”

A humming sound filled the air, like a crystal goblet that had just been struck by a spoon. The dormant energy in the rock was brought to the surface. So close, and so thick, she could almost grab it. She stopped for a moment, confused. Why had she wanted power again?

To protect her people. Yes, that was it. But this power promised so much more. Whispers joined the humming. They reminded Lux of all the cruelties the citizens of Moon Pool had done towards her. They breathed of her potential, questioning why she had been held back so long by those who refused to hear her words?

Truth wasn't meant for the hard-hearted. They chose to be blinded by their lies, and so in their lies they would remain, and burn.

“Sko-kal!”

The stone altar cracked, collapsing upon itself as if it had been hit by a massive hammer. The runes pulled themselves off the surface, and began orbiting around Lux, who had lifted off of the ground. She gasped in shock and pain, her eyes igniting with white fire. Then, all emotion was drained from her features. She hung there for several minute, limbs limp.

Finally, a soft, warm smile came over her face. “I am Truth.”

The excess power around her pulled into her body, filling it with light. Then, a confused look took her face. “No, something's wrong... I can't...” Her confusion was replaced by horror.

“They'll all die. Unless I save them. From me. I was blinded from the true meaning of the prophecy. It was a warning about me. All along, I was the danger. I am not whole.”

She bent over in pain once again, and a burst of glory erupted from her form. From the secluded cave, she could hear cries of anguish from the unfortunate bystanders as the first anti-matter wave hit them. Lux held her hooves in front of her face, pondering what she had just done, and was about to do. Which was worse, she wondered? The plague, or the cure?

Lux began moving her excess energy. She had to make this right. She had destroyed her only communication with the gods, and had certainly taken on more than she was ready for. If she didn't handle this now, there was no guarantee of safety. And, with her expanded consciousness, she knew that if she let go of the power she was now being consumed by, there would be no rebirth. Not for her, nor for her victims.

Another wave burst from the harried unicorn. This one, intentional, yet just as deadly. A mercy kill. The world went silent. She formed some of the power into a spike of sorts, driving it into the ground. A tingling field of energy began pouring from it. She sighed. She would be at the mercy of fate. Until another broke the chain, she would, sadly, become a permanently lost soul. She cursed silently. All because she couldn't see what, in retrospect, should have been blindingly obvious.

It seemed Truth would remain restrained for some time more.

The heavens began moving backwards.

{- - -}

A single breath fell from the huntress' lips as she stalked her prey. The rabbit sniffed around the bushes, not ten feet away. The huntress stepped forward until she was just behind the fluffy victim, so close she could see individual hairs shiver from its shallow breaths. Sensing the presence, the rabbit craned its head upwards. After a moment, it lost interest and bounded a few feet away.

It was too easy. It almost felt like cheating.

But hunger doesn't remember honor.

The huntress bounded forward, and grabbed the rabbit by the scruff of its neck. She chuckled as she shed her disguise. The rabbit squealed in terror and struggled to break free from the firm grasp, as it realized what it had thought was a harmless and peaceful doe was actually a terrible predator.

A score of chittering shadows melted from the surrounding trees. Their reflective blue eyes were cold and unfeeling. They surrounded the huntress, who stood calmly and quietly.

“It's time to feed, my children. I kept it fresh.”

She set the rabbit down. Completely surrounded and scared witless, it didn't move, even as the shadows jumped forward and sunk their wickedly sharp teeth into it. Its cries of pain were soon silenced, and were replaced by slurping.

The huntress smiled a half smile. It wasn't enough to sustain them, but it was a start. After a few more kills, their strength would be enough to challenge larger prey. Then this world would know fear once more. How convenient it was that the essence of love had a more abundant counterpart in this world. Blood. In some ways, she preferred it. There was no need for subtlety. Only enough trickery to get close. Then it was all over. Sustainability was the only problem.

The shadows finished feeding, looking up to their leader, seemingly begging for more.

“Stay here, stay silent. I'll call you when I find more.” The huntresses' jagged horn flared up with green energy. Similarly colored flames engulfed her body, leaving behind a slender and graceful doe once again. She bounded off into the forest, dark plans swirling through her mind.

Hatred burned in her heart, reminding her of the pain of solitude. She remembered all who had ever wronged her. The bullies of her childhood, her forgetful parents, the stallion who had promised all and given nothing... and of course, him.

The dark one she could never forget. The one she could not forgive, but nor could she blame. The only one she could not touch.

The Metaspectre. She spat his name out as she ran.

Through him she had gained everything she wanted, only to realize her life hadn't become as perfect as she had imagined it would. But still, she was forced to admit,she got what she had bargained for.

The huntress slowed as she realized where she had been subconsciously heading. Again, she spat in anger. The abbey. The wonderful stronghold against the hatred of this world. Just another Canterlot to defeat in her quest for power. And this time, she wouldn't make the same mistakes.

She turned and bounded away. As confident as she was that she would eventually be the abbey's downfall, she wasn't foolish enough to stick around to see if the Restorers were on patrol.

Later.

There would always be later.

Patience was needed. Patience got kills.

Once again, she slowed as she came across another creature. The buck turned and smiled. “Hey, I haven't seen you around before. What's your name?”

“Lily.” Chrysalis smiled genuinely behind her organic mask, though for a very different reason than the buck inferred.

Oh yes. Patience got kills.

PreviousChapters Next