• Published 23rd Dec 2013
  • 579 Views, 8 Comments

DARWIN Guardian of the Sun & Moon - akklessens



This story tells the tale of a man name Darwin Maximus who created a portal that allowed him to enter other universes, but though events he soon find himself becoming the protector of two young fillies and their names are Tia and Luna.

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Chapter Four: Kindness Part-One

Chapter Four: Kindness Part-One

The bright blue sky blinded me as I stared at it, a commercial plane flying by. I soon noticed I was in the body a small boy, no older than twelve. As the boy’s head lifted up from where he lied on the ground, he saw a boy clearly older than himself, pointing his finger at him.

“You better stay down if you don’t want to get your ass kicked,” demanding the older boy, obviously a bully. As the bully turned his head to look behind him, the grounded boy saw another bully beating a young Asian child, same age as himself.

“You know why you’re getting this?” asked the attacker. “Because your goddamn people killed my dad! And now I’m gonna take it out on your ass!”

“Please stop, I was born in the U.S. My family has no ties in this war,” the Asian kid said in pain.

“SHUT UP!” yelled the bully as he continued to punch him. The bully that had pushed the boy down joined the other as they kicked the Asian kid nonstop. As the boy on the ground looked at the suffering kid, watching him be abused by the two bullies, he felt a great rage brewing inside of himself.

Without a second thought, the boy sprung to his feet, grabbed one of the bullies picking on the Asian kid, and punched him square in the face. He went down fast, crying and balling like a baby. Thinking how pathetic he was, the boy completely forgot the other bully. Before he could act, the other bully grabbed him by his collar, turning to face him as he looked angrier than ever. The bully spoke with a fist clenched and raised, preparing to strike.

“You shouldn’t be getting involved in things that aren’t your problem, Darwin,” the bully growled, punching the kid, and all that was left was darkness.

***

As I awoke, I realized it was just another dream. No, it was a memory from my childhood.

“You shouldn’t be getting involved in things that aren’t your problem,” I repeated quietly to myself. Looking to my right, I saw two sleeping ponies: Tia and Luna. I had made a deal with them; I was to be their protector and escort. The crystal kingdom was where they needed to go, but the only problem was I had no idea where that was.

***

Restoring corrupted data. Process: 70 percent.

***

Four days, it’s been four days since I agreed to help Tia and Luna. We had been hiking through the forest, which seemed to stretch for miles, ever since the break of dawn, hoping to get an early start. However, that was hours ago, and the only one who kept up with me was Tia, trotting a few feet away. As for Luna, she was falling behind far too many times, with her small body and tiny legs making it impossible to keep up with her sister and myself.

“Tia, I need you to carry your sister, she’s falling behind,” I instructed, glancing back at the poor filly. She was taking steady steps, gasping for air. Tia looked at me with shock, her expression becoming annoyance.

“Why can’t you do it? Aren’t you our protector?” Tia said, pointing a hoof at me while reminding me that I was working for them.

“I’m already carrying too much weight as it is,” I explained nonchalantly, gesturing to the pack on my back. “I need you to do this.”

I knew Tia didn’t want to, narrowing her eyes at me like it would change my mind. Thankfully, she relented, sighing deeply as she fell back a bit to walk beside Luna. I watched over my shoulder as Tia explained what I had requested, and Luna obliged quickly, and with enthusiasm. She hopped on Tia in a flash, grinning widely as Tia groaned. It was actually quite funny really, a horse riding a horse, ha.

“What’s so funny?” Tia asked, raising a brow at my smiling face.

“It’s nothing really,” I replied, waving it off with humor in my voice.

***

Two hours had passed after that conversation, and there was still no sign of any town or even a village. It was then I heard a small grumble along with a whinny sigh. Wondering what it was, I turned to my side and saw Luna was walking next to me.

“I’m hungry,” she said, her face showing exhaustion. Looking to Tia, I could see the same on her, and faced Luna again

“Well, I guess it’s a good a time as any to rest,” I said, stopping as I pulled off my backpack. As the the two fillies sighed in relief as they sat on their haunches, I knelt down and opened up my backpack. Searching through it, I found out we only had two apples and half a canteen of water left. I could easily refill the canteen with a nearby river, but I wouldn’t be able to find any edible food around the bare forest. We needed to find a town quickly so I could stock up on food or else we would starve. But we also needed to get a map of this country - Equestria, as Tia called it - and a compass to direct us to the Crystal Kingdom.

“Okay, we only have two apples left,” I explained as I took out one of the fruits. “We’re only having one for now. We have to save the other one for tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow!?” Tia replied, not liking it one bit. “We can’t live off one apple.”

“Look, were dangerously low on food,” I said sternly, making her back away shamefully. “We need to conserve what we have left.”

I pulled out a knife and sliced the apple into three pieces, one for each of us. I held out two pieces towards the fillies, “Here, make it last.”

Tia grudgingly wrapped the two slices with her magic, floating them over to Luna and herself. Luna grabbed it out of the air with her hooves, smiling at the food given to her. It made me curious as to why Luna couldn’t use magic herself. She was an alicorn too, wasn’t she?

“Luna,” I said, catching her attention as she bit into the apple slice again. “Can’t you use your magic?”

“Well, I’m not very good,” she replied bashfully, looking off to the side, “I have a hard time flying too.”

After hearing that, I examined her wings and compared it to her sister. I suppose ponies around Luna’s age had a difficult time adjusting to their wings, like new born birds.

Still a bit curious, however, I asked, “Have you ever tried?”

“I have, but…”

Clearing her throat suddenly, Tia interrupted, “She’s just not good enough yet. She needs more time and practice, okay?”

I was about to apologize for sounding rude, but Luna beat me to it. “Not good enough?” she scoffed, offended by her sister’s words. “I am so good enough. I can do what you can do. Watch.”

Concentrating and grunting, Luna tried with all her might to use her magic to lift the apple piece into the air. Her magic did envelope the slice for a time, but quickly died out and fell to the ground, causing Luna to sigh sadly. I reached for the apple, after wiping the dirt off, and gave the piece back to Luna.

“You don’t have to prove anything,” I said with a small smirk, “Just eat your food, alright?”

She looked at me with a smile and took the piece with both of her hooves.

After a few minutes of silence, I stood up and glanced at the sky, not liking what I saw, “We should keep moving before it becomes nightfall.”

Despite our efforts, we still couldn’t get anywhere, and eventually the sun set, the stars twinkling into view. “We’ll have to make camp for the night,” I said aloud, crouching down and getting my backpack. After pulling a few blankets from my backpack and placing them around, I went to work on a campfire.

“I know we’re not supposed to eat again today,” Tia said quietly behind me, catching my attention. She was staring at her hooves, knowing what she was about to ask would get a negative response. “But…”

Luna didn’t let Tia finish as she exclaimed, “We only have one apple left. We need to save it for tomorrow.”

“Luna,” Tia said in surprise, slightly taken aback that her sister would be so bold. “Aren’t you hungry?”

“Of course I am,” she said, sticking out her chest, but it quickly deflated as she slouched where she sat. “It’s just…”

I knew it was hard for two fillies to go without food for so long, but it was for the best. Sighing, I finished up lighting the fire, placed a few logs on top of it, and spoke to them, “Like I said, Tia, we only have one left, and we would be out of food if we ate it now. It’s not like you can eat grass.”

“Well, actually, we ponies can,” Tia replied matter-of-factly, “But that’s a peasants’ dish.”

“Oh my god,” I groaned, slapping a hand to my face. “You were definitely pampered.”

“Wait,” Luna said suddenly, her eyes wide in shock. “We can eat grass!?”

“Yeah,” Tia answered, and hastily added, “But like I said before-”

“Alright,” I interrupted, “it’s bedtime. We’re going to be getting up at dawn again.”

“But we’re not even tired!” Tia complained, hopping up and down defiantly.

“Yeah, let’s just stay up a bit longer!” Luna whined. I growled, but hid it from the fillies. Kids could be such a pain sometimes.

“Come on, Darwin, please?” the two fillies said simultaneously, giving me puppy eyes. Luckily, it was too dark to make out their faces, so I was impervious for the time being.

“Go to sleep. Now,” I ordered bitterly. Both fillies caught my tone, and hussled into their sleeping bags. They didn’t move a muscle after that, and I assumed they had fallen asleep. Not tired indeed. Compared to them, however, I couldn’t sleep a wink. I was worried and nervous; we were on our last apple, and there was still no sign of any civilization. I knew I needed to rest for another long journey the next day, so I closed my eyes, and waited for dream world to take me.

***

I was the young boy again, my younger self. I was entering a room that I remembered to be the family room. There was a man, sitting at a recliner turned away from me to face the fire place. I opened my mouth to speak, but no words were said. Instead, he spoke up in his deep, authoritative voice, “Let me guess, you got into another fight in school and you got your ass kicked, didn’t you?”

“Yes,” I replied, my eyes facing the floor.

“What was it this time?” he questioned.

“These bullies were picking on a young Asian kid and-”

“Was he Chinese?” he questioned again.

“Yes,” I said hesitantly. A moment passed before the man took a deep breath, shaking his head.

“You know why I called you ‘Darwin’?” he asked the boy, but continued on without a response. “Because of this man of the same name and his theory of Natural Selection. The survival of the fittest. The weakest shrivel and die, only the strongest can survive. You are a survivor, Darwin, remember that. Before you were born, the doctor said that the umbilical cord was wrapped around your neck, and if your mother attempted to push you out, she would have suffocated you. She wanted you to live, and told the doctors to perform a C section, but you came out feet, making the matter worse. The doctors got the rest of your body out, and with quick action, they were able to cut the cord and get you oxygen. They thought you wouldn’t make it, and your mother cried and cried for hours begging god not to take you. Now, here you are. Alive and with no damage done.”

“But that kid, if I didn’t-”

“That boy was born weak and that was why he suffered,” he explained sternly, “and you will too if you continue their senseless attempts. Now return to your room, I’ll call you for dinner when it’s ready.”

“Yes, father,” I said glumly, about to leave the room while feeling much worse than before.

“You know, Darwin,” the man said with a thoughtful tone. “You shouldn’t be getting involved in things that aren’t your problem.”

I only nodded silently, and left the room, closing the door behind me.

***

I woke with a start, leaning forward a bit as I breathed softly. My brain replayed the dream in my head, and I shook my head, wishing to drive it out.

“Dad,” I said to myself, looking at my hands, “God, I hate you.”

It was still to early to wake up, so I reluctantly laid back down and drifted back to sleep. The next morning, I got out of bed groggily, feeling the effects of not getting enough sleep. Tia and Luna were still fast asleep, snoring softly and peacefully. Glancing to the sky, I saw the sun was peeking over the distant mountains. It was dawn. I didn’t want to wake the fillies up, but we had to get going. So, regretfully, I shook them out of their sleep, but they struggled and tried to go back to bed. It took some time, but I finally got them to wake up. They were tired, and really wanted to fall asleep again, but they knew I would just wake them up again until I got my way.

Luna came up to me, rubbing her eyes with a hoof, and said, “I’m thirsty.”

I nodded, pulling one of the canteens out of my bag, only giving her a small amount to save what we had. Then I went over to Tia and gave her the same amount, and lastly I drank a bit myself. Putting the canteen away, I felt Luna rubbing her muzzle against my leg for attention.

“I’m hungry too,” she told me. Tia said the same, but we only had one apple left, and I knew we would need to save it for later. After that, we would be completely out of food. Dammit, why couldn’t we find any food in this god damn forest!? I looked to the sky, remembering my dream: ‘You shouldn’t be getting involved in things that isn’t your problem’. In my private thoughts, seeing that I was involved in something that I couldn’t handle once again.

I thought, ‘I could just walk away and... No, no why the hell would I think that? They may be horses… I mean, ponies, but they're just children. What kind of a man would just abandon two young girls alone in the forest? If I left them back in the forest, they would have been killed by that manticore, or die slowly out here. Why am I thinking about this? We need to keep moving.’

Before I turned my head away from the sky, I saw something from the corner of my eye. I turned towards it. It was pretty far away, but it was pretty clear what it was, and I cracked a smile

“Are you alright?” Tia asked, looking up at me with a puzzled expression.

I replied with one word, “Smoke.”

“What?” Tia and Luna asked simultaneously

“Look,” I said pointing into the distance “smoke. You know what that means? It could a sign of civilization, which means it could be a town with food and supplies.”

“And a bath,” Tia added, looking happy with a small squeal. Luna chuckled at her sister’s reaction. Tia noticed, however, and gave Luna a dirty look, telling her to stop that.

“Come on you two,” I said to them with a chuckle of my own, “Let’s go!”

I found myself running faster than I had ever run before, hoping to find some help with the state we were in. Glancing back, I could see Luna riding Tia, so she wouldn’t be left behind again. I turned my head back seeing a light seeping through the trees. It must have been the exit to the forest. As soon as we stepped into the light, and the brightness blinded me for a moment. When my eyes eventually adjusted to the light, I saw it. A god damn town. It was fairly big from my point of view, having buildings that reached taller than the wall that surrounded it. I saw lines of horses… I mean ponies that lead to the entrance of the town, guarded by two earth-bound ponies. The lines of ponies were made up of a variety of the subspecies with pegasi and unicorns. Tia and Luna caught up to me, their eyes bright with enthusiasm. They were about to walk over to join the lines, but I put a leg out to stop them.

“What are you doing?” Tia asked, looking up to me with a hint of annoyance.

“I just thought of something,” I explained, as I looked down at them, crossing my arms. “Now please remind me, beside you two, no one has ever seen another human, right?”

They nodded, and I continued, “And you two are royalty looking for refuge?”

“Yes, but why is that a problem?” Tia asked with a raised brow.

“Well we can’t let anyone know that you’re royalty,” I stated, “Or else that would cause a scene. But I think it would be worse if anyone saw me. I would freak everyone out.”

“Everypony,” Tia corrected with a raised hoof. “It’s pronounced ‘everypony’.”

I looked at Tia with one thing in mind. “You got to be kidding me,” I muttered, rubbing my forehead. I shook off my disbelief, and faced the girls. “Anyway, we’ll need some disguises before we enter the town. Now, I think I packed some ponchos that just might work.”

Pulling out my backpack, I searched through it for a brief moment before smiling. I was right. I found two plain ponchos, and one of them fit me perfectly. The other I could use for Luna and Tia, with a little work. I could make two small ones for Tia and Luna easily. Taking out a pair of scissors, I cut up the other poncho careful, making sure they were even. After a few minutes, I had two small filly-sized ponchos.

I slipped the ponchos over the fillies heads, covering up their wings and cutie marks. The ponies would think they were just regular unicorns. As for me, I just hoped no one took too much notice of myself. But then I came to realize that his would never work. It would work fine for Tia and Luna, but I would stick out like a sore thumb.

“Okay girls,” I addressed to Tia and Luna, an idea running through my head, “change of plans. We need to do some reconnaissance before we try to get in.”

Though Tia and Luna were a bit perplexed by my notion, they nodded, and we snuck around, hiding behind the town walls. Behind cover, I peeked over and saw two guard ponies, guarding the entrance as they spoke with a mule.

“I won’t ask again,” one of the guards said harshly, “Let’s see your citizen papers.”

“I told you I have them right here,” the mule snapped, holding his papers in his hoof.

The other guard raised a brow and took the papers from the mule and looked it over, his eyes scanning over every little detail. After a moment, the guard suddenly dropped the papers onto the ground and the other stomped on them, smearing it against the dirt.

“Wait, Stop!” the mule cried out in horror.

“Well,” one of the guard ponies demanded, as if nothing had happened, “where are your citizen papers now?”

“You just had them and then your friend ruined them!” the mule yelled, his anger flaring up.

“No, I didn’t,” he insisted, and I could tell he was trying not to smirk. “Did you see me do something like that?” he addressed to the other guard.

“Nope,” the other guard said, equally keeping his smile down, “I didn’t even see any paper work. He must just be another illegal immigrant who snuck into our great country.”

“Hey!” the mule called out, You can’t just-”

“WE CAN, AND WE DID!” the guard shouted, furrowing his brow at the mule. He must have hit the end of his rope. “Now, get out of our sight before I smash my hooves into your head!”

The mule, completely terrified at that point, nodded frantically before taking off away from the town.

“What a bunch of assholes,” I whispered, shaking my head.

“What are those?” Luna asked, looking up to me with curiosity.

“It’s nothing,” I replied to Luna, not wanting to tell her about curse words at a young age.

“So Darwin,” Tia spoke up, her shoulders slump as she stared at the two guards. “How are we going to get in?”

I stepped away from the corner, as I knelt down to the two fillies’ level, “We’ll have to get in illegally.”

“But that’s against the law!” Tia said in shock, her eyes wide.

“Well, I think they’ll let you two in,” I started, gesturing to them, “But there’s no way I’m letting you two go in without me, and if the guards wouldn’t let a mule in, there’s no way they’ll let me in. So I’ll need to check along the wall, see if there’s a back door we could sneak in.”

Unfortunately, while I was talking, someone interrupted right behind me.

“HELLO!” someone shouted, scaring the living hell out of me and making me jump. I was lucky I had caught myself before I had fallen. I turned around, there stood a pony with a wide smile. It was a stallion with a pink coat, curly pink hair, and blue eyes. At first, his smile creeped me out, but I eventually found this smile more cheerful than anything.

“I couldn't help, but hear that you needed help getting in to Haybin, am I right?” the stallion said rapidly, catching me off guard, “Tell me if I’m right, I’m usually right about these things, or maybe I’m just hearing the same thing again. No wait, I’m not wrong, I’m right. I’m always right about everything. But wait tell me who are you first.”

That guy was… wow. “Yes,” I answered uneasily, drawing out the word. I attempted to start a real conversation with him, but he was talking again before I could try.

“YES!” the stallion said, giving a fist pump, or I guess a hoof pump. “I knew I was right, because I could never be wrong, because if I was wrong I would never be able to help anypony in need of help, but if I’m always right then I get everything right and that would make things boring, and boring isn’t fun at all. Why is this confusing me?”

“Excuse me,” I asked him before he say another word, “who are you exactly?”

“Oh right of course, I should always introduce myself when somepony I never met comes by, they’ll think I’m some kind of weirdo.” It was like he was reading my mind. “Anyway, my name is Cocoa Pie.”

“Co… coa… Pie?” I said to him.

“Yes, well my real name is Pecan Pie,” Cocoa explained with a roll of his eyes, “but everypony calls me Cocoa as a nickname. I mean everypony in my home town called me that, everypony at my school, and even everypony all over Equestria calls me Cocoa Pie, so I just stuck with it. So… what’s yours?!”

I blinked, “Um… Darwin.”

“Darwin?” Cocoa questioned with a giggle, “I never heard a name like that before. I mean, I know a Silver Grape, Dawner Goner, Heavy Ringer, Fantastic Leaper, Midnight Glitter, Super Fantastic, Sleepy Meme, Horse Shoe, Flipping Coin, Jumping Mc Jump, Dum Dum rig Mong, Pecky, Shooting Dawn, wait let me see… Oh right and I know a-”

Oh my god, was he really going to keep talking like this? I was trying to intrude, but I didn’t know if it was considered inconsiderate or rude to do that. However, at that moment, I needed him to shut up for five seconds, at least. I was about to speak up, that is, until Tia did it for me.

“Excuse me,” she called out gently, silencing Cocoa instantly, frozen in place, “you said you were willing to help us, right? What do you have in mind?”

Cocoa Pie took one look at Tia and gave a big gasp for a solid six seconds, and bowed afterwards.

“Your Majesty!” he breathed, “It’s an honor to meet you.”

Wait, how did he know that Tia was royalty? She had her puncho on, so her wings were covered. That wonder drifted off quickly when I realized that he was practically giving away our cover. Slightly panicked, I grabbed him and hid him with us before he could make a bigger seen. After I let him go, he let out another gasp, which lasted for another six seconds.

“I knew you were different,” he expressed with a smile, “but I never seen anything like this!”

I gave him an odd look before I replied, “You mean my hands?”

“Hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand , hand, hand, hand, hand , hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand,” he said repeatedly Luna came into his vision, “Wait, is that another princess? It’s also an honor to… Wait a minute. What are they doing with you? HA! I know what you are! You’re a prince who casted a spell on himself and now you need to a wizard to help you fix it, or maybe you’re a alicorn in disguise. No, no you’re a boy, or maybe you’re a kidnapper. A kidnapper who has taken the princesses and are going to make an exchange in town for millions and millions of bits! Or maybe you’re nothing but a evil, no good, meany pants! But you don’t look evil enough, maybe if you had a mustache. Aaaah, I didn’t bring a mustache.”

“What the hell is wrong with you?” I asked, feeling very overwhelmed.

“What my friend actually means,” Tia interrupted quickly with a tinge of nervousness, “is can you help us get into the city?”

“Oh yeah, I can help you,” Cocoa said with a nod, “I’ll put you in a cannon, shoot you into the sky while you do loop de loops in the air and land on a trampoline I conveniently place in the town square. Or was it a glass of water?”

Before he said anything else, I stated with a small smirk, “Or we could hide in that wagon of hay and you can pull us in.”

Everyone took notice of the abandoned wagon, and Cocoa groaned, dipping his head in disappointment, “Alright, if you want to do it the boring way.”

“A wagon of hay?” Luna repeated, glancing at the object in question.

“Well, after hearing about Haybin, I just-” I said before the town name finally sunk in. A town named Haybin... in a world of horses. I really hoped I wouldn’t hear any more horse puns while I’m in this world.

Shaking out the thought, I briskly ushered everyone over to the hay wagon. I helped Luna into the hay wagon, then Tia, and lastly I climbed in myself. Once I was sure we were hidden in the hay, I checked outside, seeing Cocoa strap himself to the head of the wagon. I said, “Ready.”

With enthusiasm, he responded, “Okie dokie lokie!”

What he said confused me, but I knew I didn’t have time to argue. I simply remained under the hay, keeping myself from moving at all. I could feel the wagon shaking as it was pulled along the dirt road. It was only a few seconds afterwards did we hear anything.

“Halt!” I heard one of the guards shout. Dammit, I knew things were going too easily. I peeked through the hay, seeing Cocoa converse with a guard at the gate.

“Is there a problem?” Cocoa asked with a nervous smile

“Yes, you look familiar,” spoke the guard from the left.

“Wait, I remember you,” the guard on the right muttered, his eyes narrowed, “You’re that crazy earth pony, Cocoa Pie.”

“Yep, that’s me. Good old crazy Cocoa Pie,” he replied, his voice wavering as he glanced around.

“Well, you can enter,” the guard on the left conceded, “just stay out of trouble, and don’t make another scene like last time.”

I’m guesting that this wasn’t Cocoa’s first time here, but I was too relieved to think about it. Still being able to see through the hay, I looked around and saw many different ponies in many different colors. Unicorns, Pegasus, earth-bounds, griffins … after blinking a few times, I shook my head and looked again. A real, brown and white griffin. I knew this world was magical with the unicorns, Pegasus, and manticores, so griffins should have exist as well, but I still couldn’t believe it.

I soon spoke to the girls, “Can you see this? A real griffin.”

“Well of course that’s a griffin,” Tia replied with indifference, “You mean to tell me that you never saw a griffin before?”

I replied with a nervous grunt. “You never saw a griffin before!?” Tia exclaimed in surprise “That’s just like saying you never seen a dragon.”

After hearing that, all I could say was, “Dragon’s exist too!”

“Ssssooooo, where do you need to go?” Cocoa asked, not shocked in the least about my limited knowledge.

I dropped the subject of new mythical creatures before addressing Cocoa, “Oh right, we need to find a pawn shop.”

“Pawn shop?” Cocoa repeated confusingly, indicating that pawn shops hadn’t really been established yet.

Sighing inwardly, I said, “I mean, a general goods store where I can trade goods for money and other supplies.”

“Oh, well I know just the place”, he said with a small cheer,” And the owner is really nice, he’ll do business with anyone as long as they have business to work with!Just stay in that pile of hay, and I’ll take you right there.”

“So what do we need?” Luna asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Yes,” Tia added, “I would like to know?”

“Well, we need a map of Equestria, a compass, and money to buy food, water and supplies,” I explained, counting off the items with my fingers.

“We’re here!” screamed Cocoa, surely making everyone look over to us and causing a scene, even though the guard told him explicitly not to do that! I pushed some hay out of the way to see clearly, and there was the shop. A sign that hung nearby said ‘Goody Goods General Goods’. I really hoped Goody Goods wasn’t the owner’s name. With a quick check of the area, I snuck out of the wagon to a position where I was hard to spot with Tia and Luna following my lead.

“By the way, thanks Cocoa. You really-” I said, but cut myself off when I noticed that he was gone. I quickly looked around but he was no where in sight.“Where did he go?”

The girls shook their heads, causing me to wonder how he was able to slip away without any of us seeing him. I was curious as to where he could have gone at the moment, I had more important things to get done. I turned to the store, and pulling my hood farther down to cover up more of my face as I opened the door. As I entered the shop, I saw a unicorn with a brown coat and a long thin beard behind a wooden counter. The store itself was littered with food, water jugs, and other miscellaneous wares.

“Hello, welcome to Goody Goods General Goods,” the pony said with a smile, “I’m Goody Goods and I’ll be your vender today.”

“Son of a bitch,” I mumbled to myself. I quickly shook off the irritance of the similarities and asked, “Do you buy goods and have a map and compass?”

“Yes and yes,” Goodie replied with his ever present smile.

“Good, come in girls,” I said with a wave of my hand, allowing Tia and Luna to come inside.

However, we were quickly stopped by Goody as he said, “Sorry, but foals aren’t allowed into my store. It’s just a store policy.”

Great, no kids allowed. Cocoa Pie did mention this was a good store, and I really didn’t know this town very well. I needed to get what we needed and leave, and fast. I soon turned to Tia and Luna and knelt down to their level. “Listen, we’re in need of supplies so I want you two to wait outside for a few minutes while I get what we need, okay?”

“But-” Luna started before I stopped her.

“Luna, please, be a big girl and wait out with your sister,” Luna shook her head as a response, but I ignored it as I turned to her sister. “Tia, keep Luna and yourself safe, and please… don’t get into trouble.”

“Don’t worry just do what you need to do, we’ll be waiting,” Tia said before she and Luna left the store As for me, I turned to the counter to make my transaction.

“You know,” Goody muttered, stroking his beard with a hoof, “I’ve never seen somepony like you in Equestria.”

After hearing that, I thought I was screwed, thinking he’d call the guards or something along those lines. “But I don’t care,” he said with an indifferent tone, “as long as you have money, you’re welcome in my shop anytime.”

Well this guy sure was a greedy bastard, but thank god he was fine doing business with me. “Now then,” as the shopkeeper returned to our bartering, ”let’s get down to business. You wanted to sell some goods?”

“I do,” I answered with a nod, my hands pulling off my bag, “Just one second.”

With bag in hand, I knelt down and unzipped it. Carefully, I sorted what I needed and didn’t need, placing the unnecessary stuff on the counter. I noted that the shopkeeper was looking at my hand with a stunned look on his face. He finally saw that I was staring at him, and smiled back and looked away with an awkward cough. After I placed everything I wanted to sell on the counter, Goody examined them intently, his expression being very unimpressed.

“Is that all?” he asked, gesturing to the stuff. I nodded, and he continued, “Aren't you going to buy something?”

Hearing that I replied, “Well, I don’t really have any money.”

“WHAT!?” he shouted, his eyes widening before he simmered down a bit looking off to the side, “Ah, I mean… well, I don’t offer trades in my store, so I must ask you to leave.”

“But Cocoa pie said you would trade and buy stuff,” I pointed out.

“COCOA?! ”he shouted before sighing tiredly, whispering, “Why am I not surprised?“

“Well to be honest,” the shopkeeper said with a long pause, “I’ve never seen any of this before, and I’ve seen many thing from all over Equestria. Yours looks like it was from some far off land or even another world. But if that’s it, I’ll buy it for fifty bits.”

I assumed that bits was their currency in this world, but since it was a free market, I decided to haggle him. “I’ll sell them all for seventy-five.”

“Do you think you could haggle with me?” he replied with a angry tone. With quick thinking, I remembered Cocoa Pie, and decided to use that to my advantage.

“Okay,” I submitted, unable to stop the sly smirk on my face, “but I think Cocoa is right outside, and I need some help carrying my stuff out. Hey, Co-”

“STOP STOP!” he yelled frantically, holding his hooves out, “I’ll buy everything for sixty bits.”

“Sixty-five,” I replied.

The shopkeeper grumbled, “Fine, deal.”

“Good,” I nodded before remembering what I needed, “Oh and I was wondering if you had a map of Equestria, a compass, and some food.”

“Yes, yes I have those,” he said dejectedly. Using his magic, the shopkeeper levitated a small chest - which I assumed where he stored his money - on top of the counter. He then casted a spell to open the box, making it glow for a moment. Quickly opening it, he dug into the box, tossing my sixty-five bits on the counter. Before closing his box, the shopkeeper halted, and looked up to me. “Pardon me,” he asked rather nicely, “but what’s that around your neck?”

I looked down to my chest, noticing the golden chain was shown slightly, and with a small tug, I pulled it out completely from the cover of my poncho. The shopkeeper was stunned just looking upon it, his gaze glued to it. “Those Gems…” he muttered, “The craftsmanship… Where in the name of our King did you find that beauty? I’d like to buy that from you for five hundred bits.”

My eyes widened a bit at his offer. Five hundred bits was a lot; He really wanted it if he was offering that much. Even still, I already had the answer ready before he asked, returning to my neutral expression before speaking, “No”.

“Very well, six-hundred,” the shopkeeper said hastily without a hitch. Six hundred!? He was willing to buy my amulet for six hundred now!? That was almost nine times more than what I was making with this junk, but I needed the amulet for its magical properties. I remember the orange armor appeared on my arm that helped me defeat the manticore. I knew I couldn’t just get rid of it.

“No,” I said again, being stern emphasis my decision.

The shopkeeper shook his head, giving a defeated sigh, “You’re very persistent, aren’t you? Very well, seven hundred and fifty, but that’s as high as I’ll go.”
Damn, this guy really wanted it that badly. I actually hesitated a moment before saying yet again, “No.”

“Fine,” he mumbled with a unhappy tone, but it quickly died out as he said,”What a shame, that would have looked lovely on my wife. Anyway, here’s your sixty five bits. Now, you said something about a map, compass, and food?”

Happy to get what I needed, I smiled, “Yeah, I need a map of Equestria, a compass to help navigate, and enough food for a week.”

After some bartering, I got what we needed, with enough food to last a week with careful usage. And I still had thirty bits to spare. I placed the money with the rest of our supplies in my bag as I swung it over my back.“Thanks,” the shopkeeper said with a bit more glee than necessary. “Come back to Goody Goods General Goods if you want some goods.”

I cringed as he finished that statement. God, I hated this guy’s name. Well, I shouldn’t really care. Since I got what we came for, I needed to get out of here before someone noticed me, or worse, the shopkeeper would tell a guard that some creature not of this world just came by his shop for some supplies. I knew I was just overthinking it, but it was better to play it safe, especially with my job protecting the girls.

Pushing the door open, I stepped out of the shop, my eyes to the ground. “Tia, Luna, I got what we need. Are you girls hun-” I started before realizing that they weren’t where I left them. I quickly glanced around all over while still remaining undetected, but they were no where in sight. “You have got to be kidding me,” I grumbled, slapping a hand over my forehead, “God damn it.”

***

This wasn’t good. This wasn’t good at all. I told them to wait for me; I left them alone for five minutes and they both disappeared. I had only been their protector for less than a week and I already screwed it up. God, they could be anywhere, or worse they could have been taken by someone or… Damn it, I needed to find them as soon as possible! Just as I thought that, I heard a noise that sounded like a young fillies, and I knew that cry. Luna. Following the voice as stealthily as I could, I rushed over to see if it really was Luna, hoping that Tia was there with her. I soon found myself running through an empty alley way, hearing Luna’s cries as I got closer and closer. As I neared the end of the alley, where Luna had to be, I knew it wouldn’t be wise to run right in. So I slowed to a walk as I neared the opening, taking quite footsteps.

As I reached the edge of the next alley way, I peaked my head past the wall to see what was on the other side. And there they were, Tia and Luna. Luna was behind Tia, looking a bit shaken as tears welled up in her eyes. Though I wondered what was wrong, I couldn’t help but be glad that Tia was there, doing what I had asked her to do: protecting her little sister. My eyes wandered past them, further down the alley as I spotted who they were facing. It was just... more fillies. But they weren’t girls, they were boys, and I believe ‘colts’ was the correct term for a young male horse. From what I could examine, there were only three of them, and they were all unicorns. Besides Luna, I thought Tia had the situation under control, but I prepared myself in case something happened.

“So you think you can take me on?” the colt that stood in the middle, a sneer on his snout.

“If you continue this path, then yes, I will use my magic to stop you!” Tia threatened, her eyes narrowing.

“Maybe we should leave Deep Pocket,” said the colt to the left, his expression one of worry

“Yeah,” the other colt to the right, looking just as scared, “We’re not saying we can’t take her on or anything. It’s just that this is getting stupid, and we should just do something else.”

“Will you two stop acting like a bunch of fillies!?” the one known as Deep Pocket snapped, causing the other to to flinch, “She’s obviously bluffing. I bet she can’t even do a floating spell.”

I was unable to stop myself from cringing again at the these weird names. Even though this was an alternate version of my universe, I still had trouble adjusting to the items and customs.

“It’s called telekinesis,” Tia replied, confidence brimming in her words, “And for a unicorn, you seem to be lacking in magic yourself.”

Deep Pocket growled, “Well, at least I have something you don’t, blank flak.”

“Blank flank,” I repeated to myself, “What the hell is a Blank flank?”

As I examined the situation, I noticed the three colts had symbols on their flanks. That Deep Pocket brat had what looked like a sack of gold, the one on the left had a pinwheel, and the one on the right had a forge. As I recalled, neither Tia and Luna had a symbol on their flanks. But as I thought even further, I believed that the colts symbols were tattoos. Wait, were those tattoos? Did their parent really let them have tattoos on their asses? I knew this was another universe, but I had never meant a parent that would allow someone at their age to even have a tattoo. Let alone on their ass.

“I may not have a cutie mark, but at least mine won’t be some sack of gold, what does that even mean?” Tia said, making me proud that she showed him who better.

Deep Pocket looked like he was about to lose his temper, and then he yelled, “Oh yeah, if you think you’re so much better than me, then I’m going to stomp you into the dirt, and then that little filly is next!” I was really starting to hate this little bastard. I knew Tia could take him on no problem, but after he threatened Luna, I knew I have to step in.

“Alright, that’s enough,” I said, stepping into the scene.

“And who do you thi…” he trailed off, as he noticed my size and angry expression. Then he screamed, “MONSTER!” He took off away from me out of the alley and into the street which lead the other two to screaming and running as well.

“Darwin? How did you…?” and before she could finish her sentence I interrupted her with a strict voice.

“What the hell were you two doing?!” I scolded, crossing my arms as I did. Tia cowered away from me slightly, but that didn’t deter me. “I told you to stay near the shop, you two had me worried sick. What if someone found out who you two were, or worse, hurt you? Well, answer me!”

Before I could get an answer, I heard a small whimper coming from behind Tia. I checked to see if it was Luna, but it wasn’t, though she was there. Behind Luna was a smaller body. I looked closer and saw a younger colt, bruised and beaten.

“It was my fault,” Luna explained, dipping her head low “I saw him being chased by those bullies. Tia told me to stay, but I couldn’t just let him get beaten. I’m sorry, Darwin.”

I gave a long pause in thought for a moment before sighing, “We’ll talk about it later.” I examined colt closer, and I noticed his coat had strips. “Wait, is he a zebra?” I questioned. I knew this world was populated by horses, so I shouldn’t excuse zebras from appearing as well. Even still, I expected that they’d live in warmer climates like Africa.

I walked a bit closer to get a better look at him, but the sound of a female voice halted my movement. “What are you doing to my son?!” I turned to see who had spoken and saw a cloaked creature. The cloaked creature with the female voice then rushed towards me. In a quick reaction, I grabbed Tia and Luna and moved out the way. She approached the injured zebra colt, taking off her hood as she did and revealing that she was actually an adult female zebra. She must have been the colt’s mother.

Based off her reaction to seeing her son hurt, there was no doubt she would blame us for being the cause of his injuries. I opened my mouth to explain the situation to her, but she interrupted me before I could say a word. “Stay away form my son!” she shouted, glaring at us as she held a hoof over her son in protection, “If I see you again, I’ll kill you!” Putting the injured zebra colt on her back, she trotted away through the same alley she came in.

“Is he going to be okay?” Luna asked, looking up to me with concern.

“I don’t know,” I answered honestly with a shrug, “but it isn’t really our problem. We got what we need, now we just have to get out of this city. Once we leave, I’ll tell you what happened with me.”

“But how are we going to get out of here?” questioned Tia as she stomped a hoof, “With Cocoa Pie gone, who’s going to get us out of town?”

“I’ll figure something out,” I said with a wave of my hand, taking a few steps away from them, “but first, I’m I going to see if the coast is clear.”

“But what happen if somepony finds us?” asked Luna, “You’re not going to hurt them, are you?”

I took a deep breath, “I’ll try to restrain myself.”

What was I saying; if the situation got any worse, I’d have no choice but to fight. I could possibly take on one or two pony guard with no problem, but if I went up against a hand full, that would really become a problem. Then again, I could use that power I used against the manticore. Honestly, I think it was called. But I don’t know how to call it. From that near death situation, I honestly had no idea how I did that. But at the moment, I had to get Tia and Luna out of this place.

As I peered over to the street see if the coast was clear, I caught sight of that Deep Pocket kid talking to some stallion. Taking a good look at him, I could see that he was middle age, wearing a rich renaissance hat, and had a tattoo of coins falling into a pile of coins. I could safely assume he was Deep Pocket’s father.

“Don’t worry, son,” the stallion said, patting Deep Pocket on the head. “The guards will find this monster that attacked you.”

Attack? I didn’t doing anything to him, except stopping him from hurting Tia and Luna. But seeing that the father was wealthy, I could see how his son would become a little bastard.

“In the mean time,” the stallion continued, dropping his hoof back to the ground, “Tell the gate guards that the front door must be closed until this monster is found.”

Well, this just got a lot harder. We won’t be able to leave through the front door, and we won’t be able to walk along the streets to escape either, or it would be a hell of a run for all of us.

“Bad news, girls,” I said as I walked back to them, “The whole town is looking for me and the front door has been shut tight.”

Tia groaned, sitting on her haunches with a huff, “Well, now how are we going to get out of the city?”

“Darwin?” Luna asked, her tone indicating she was slightly afraid.

“I don’t know,” I said with gritted teeth, frustrated at the situation overall.

I faced back towards the street, and saw a guard heading straight toward our position. I told Tia and Luna to move and lead them back to the Goody Goods… I mean, the general goods store. When we got closer, I noticed a shadow coming from another part of the street. The shadow became a guard as he walked closer. I quickly stopped the girls and we bolted for another alley way. We continued to move along, finding the alleys being more of a maze with it’s weird path of corners and dead ends.

After some time, we found ourselves in a three way path. As I looked down both ways, I noticed that there were guards placed at both ends. Turning around in hopes to find another route, another guard was heading this way. Realized that we were trapped, I knew that the only way out was to fight. Then, out of the blue, I heard a voice, the same voice as the female zebra from earlier. Frantically scanning the alley, I eventually faced the ground and saw her head poking out of manhole cover.

“Get in if you don’t want them to get you,” she said hastily. I didn’t know the town would have a sewer system, but boy am I glad it did.

“Okay, girls,” I called to them, failing to hold back a faint smile, “We’re getting out of here.”

As the zebra pushed the manhole cover out, I grabbed it and dragged it off to the side, trying to keep the noise down as low as possible.

“What?” Tia said in shock, finally seeing where we would be going, “Absolutely not. It’s filthy down there.” Without a second thought, I grabbed Tia and dropped her in the sewer hole before she could do a thing. I then grabbed Luna and jumped down. As I landed on my feet, I realized that the fall was much shorter than I thought. Then again, this world was full of ponies, so pony sized sewers should have been expected. Not only that, but I had to lower my body so I wouldn’t hit my head. Before I did that, I had to cover our trail so I went up and pulled the man hole cover back where it was.

Returning to the sewer, I noted that the area really was filthy. However, I pushed that thought away as the zebra stepped closer to us. “If you are wondering why I saved you,” the zebra said, looking to each of us in turn “It is because my son told me what really happened.”

“Well… Thanks,” I said with an appreciative nod, “but how did you know we would be near this place?”

“I over heard the guard speak about the lockdown,” she explained, “and I guessed that you wouldn’t leave the spot where I left you. So I took the sewer system, and luckily, you were under a manhole cover.”

“So you just assumed where we were and got lucky?” I asked, not liking that fate was responsible for our safety.

“Yes,” she answered simply, “Now, follow me, I will take you to my home. It’s the least I can do for you all.”

“Yes, please,” Tia replied floating in the air, making sure not to touch the sewer water that ran along our feet. Seeing Tia fly away, I knew that Luna was walking around in the muck, and seeing her disgusted expression, I could tell she didn’t like being in the water either. So I picked her up, and put her on my shoulders. I could faintly see her smile as she gave my neck a small squeeze, causing me to give a warm smile myself. Facing the zebra again, I saw how shocked she was as she stared at Tia’s wings before reverting a serious expression.

“So you are an alicorn princess, I see,” she observed looking Tia up and down before studying Luna. “This has been an interesting day.” With that, she turned back and we followed her through the sewer. The silence reigned for some time, and having enough of it, I decided to engage in a conversation
.

“So, what’s your name?”

“You ask many questions, you know that?” she replied snidely, showing a smirk as both Tia and Luna giggled.

I raised a brow at them before replying, “Well, I was just being polite, that’s all.”

Giving a humorous grunt, she said, “It is more polite if you give your name first before I do.”

“Very well,” I agreed, somewhat taken back by her logic, “The name’s Darwin Maximus. Now what’s yours?”

“Za, my name is Za,” she answered, and I had to admit, it was a good name. Even still, it was another name that wasn’t a name. However, after hearing the names Goody Goods and Deep Pocket, I don’t know why I was complaining about how different this world was compared to mine.

“Thanks again for saving use back there, Za,” Tia said still flying over the water, “If you don’t mind me asking, but how much longer until we reach the end?”

“We’re almost there, look up ahead,” she said, pointing her leg forward towards a bright light at the end of the tunnel. The light got closer and closer as we approached, and after a while my eyes adjusted to it. But what I saw was something I didn’t like. We were at the edge of town, evident by the tall walls, but the state of the place held much to be desired.

“What is this place?” Luna questioned with worry, holding me tighter.

With a shake of my head, I replied, “It’s a slum.”

Author's Note:

I like to apologize, a thousand time over for being late on this chapter and I know it been six months so again and a thousand times, I’m Sorry. I hope you like this one :).

O right credits. Forgot

I wrote this & Superdale33 edit it.

End credits. Bye.

Comments ( 1 )

this story is awesome ^_^

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