• Published 29th Jan 2014
  • 520 Views, 32 Comments

Through Adversity - Dynasty-Kaine



The council of five that collectively rule the pegesi cities is falling apart, and only one stallion's destiny has any chance of helping them. When Celestia calls on him, will he answer that call or turn and walk away?

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Chapter 2: On The Wings Of Innocence

Author's Note:

Re-Edit of Chapter 2, Enjoy!

Avalon scrambled to retreat from Celestia's anger. He was barely able to remember to grab his saddlebags as he rushed out of the room. He had never seen her mane become the very essence of fire before, but this time he must have truly pushed her too far
.

He leaned against the wall for a moment outside the door, panting, and as he regained his breath he heard something else he had never heard before: crying. The sun princess was crying, because of his actions.

He descended the stairs slowly. With a heavy heart, he entered the bar's main foyer again. He was numb to the music and atmosphere around him.

He just wasn't the type for what Celestia wanted. Why couldn't she see that? Then again, back in his younger days at a leadership academy, he was the absolute top-rated leader.

They had called him ruthless, cold, calculating, but most of all reckless. He had always told his superiors that this was because they couldn't see past the moment, and that the good intentions were there, just not apparent. He never lost a team member in all his time there, not even once. He was marked careless for being the one often times in the most danger, frequently sacrificing himself for the others in the non-violent exercises. More times than most though he would lose himself in the moment and fight with little remorse. He usually came up with plans that were beyond his team’s abilities, but somehow always improvised if they suffered drawbacks.

The stallion chuckled at the memories. He couldn't believe that, every time the other leaders and their respective teams came up against him, they couldn't get past him. Avalon was like an impassible wall of iron. He even once was able to fend off two teams for over five minutes, securing his teams rear as they retreated. His team members called him “Ironsides” or “Iron Wall Avalon.”

These were all just practice exercises, but it was nonetheless impressive to most of the higher-ups in the academy. However, Avalon always caught bad flak from his silmarillion blood. He never cared though, and would always say to his peers: "It doesn't matter what blood flows through you, 'cause the only thing that counts are your actions in the face of adversity!"

He stopped in his tracks, noticing he was now outside the city on a small hill. Crickets were chirping peacefully. The stars sparkled, the moon stared down at him. Sympathetically, he thought.

"One's actions in the face of adversity,” The stallion lamented this. He stared at the moon. “Guess that makes me a hypocrite, doesn't it?"

Avalon's team had passed their final assessment with flying colors, and Avalon had taken that as his cue to leave. He had only attended the academy on his mother's dying wish. To “humor his father and go,” after years of resisting it. He loved his mother, so he obliged, but after his time there he learned that this would not be how he let his destiny flow. He dropped out the day before he would have been presented his graduation papers, and headed home to collect his things before he went out to find his own way.

Avalon chuckled. “Dad, looks like Celestia continues your work to this day. She is a little less effective on me than...” He stopped, choking slightly. He seemed deep in thought. “I'm sad that you can't still be around..."

His father had passed 200 years ago. To a silmarillion, this was just a short time. After all, Avalon was two thousand one hundred and sixty three years old. His dad died around this age as well, give or take ten years. A streak shone from Avalon's eye, as a tear flowed down his face and fell away.

"Well, this is just getting to be too much melancholy for me to stomach. Hmm.” He thought for a moment. “Maybe I can find that rainbow-maned twit Bifrost up in Cloudsdale. Sun and Stars know he'd be better company than myself!" He laughed.

Avalon spread his wings, flapped them once for balance, and gained an immense altitude easily. He remembered the reservation that Celestia had made him, but decided he would come back for that another time.

"Priorities, Avalon,” he chided himself, “and this is a good time that has been waiting a while. I wonder how he's doing, and how that daughter of his has grown?" He wore a full-hearted smile as he flapped up to speed, easily leaving Canterlot far behind him in a few short seconds.

Avalon was a speed flier, and that had always been apparent. He could span the continent in a few days, maximum. Within an hour he saw the familiar clouded paradise which was home to him: Cloudsdale.

He circled for a moment before he landed at a humble little home. It was quiet, but the lights were on inside, and it was the last address that Bifrost had given Avalon. The stallion had known the family for many years now. Every generation, for some odd reason, always formed a strong bond with him. Bifrost had formed a bond stronger than usual with Avalon, though, and it reminded the stallion that that hadn't happened since the first time he encountered the family, back in his academy days.

He reached out with a hoof and rang the doorbell. He heard an irritable groan come from within the home. He could tell Bifrost was approaching, with his usual grumbles of, "Gah, why in Celestia's name do ponies find it amusing to bother me at night...”

Bitfrost opened the door, his rainbow mane as sleek as it was the day they had met, his coat a much dimmer shade of cyan blue, more like a blue-grey color. Bifrost's eyes went wide in surprise. "Avalon?" He wondered aloud.

Avalon stood up on his back hooves and extended his forehooves outward in a melodramatic, showy manner before declaring, "In the flesh, Frosty!"

The stallions embraced in a brotherly hug for a moment. "It's been a while, hasn't it ol' friend,” the rainbow-maned stallion asked with a smile. “What brings you here tonight?"

"It's Tia,” Avalon stated. “She and I had our usual chat about what destiny demands of me. I got a little overly reflective, and, well, I thought it would be nice to see an old friend. My thoughts are nice sometimes, but tonight didn't seem wise to stay in my head."

"Nice, in your mind?” Bifrost retorted, a smirk wide across his face. “Hah! You mean dangerous!” He mulled the idea over in his head. “Well, if ya let me get my stuff together, we could go out for a drink, if you'd like?"

Avalon laughed. "Works for me! Is my favorite place still open?"

"Pfft, barely,” Bitfrost turned to go inside, “but I have a feeling you're behind that place having enough money to stay open!"

Avalon watched as the lights went off one by one inside. He had forgotten how simple and humble Bifrost's home was. It was the kind of home the purple-maned stallion had always wanted for himself, when it was time to settle down.

His thoughts drifted back to a time when he thought that was going to happen, but as soon as the memory took form in his head, he shook his head and dispelled it. This wasn't the time. Bifrost came out of the home ready to go with his own saddlebags. He closed the door and locked it tight. They began to walk over to the place, rather than fly, so they could have more time to catch up.

"Well, you know, I might have had something to do with the bar's welfare,” Avalon admitted, “but I can't take all the credit. They brainwashed me with their amazing drink concoctions after all!"

"More like they drugged you!” Bifrost playfully accused the gray stallion. He suddenly looked serious. “Wait, is there something you aren't telling me about that night?"

"Maybe, but let's not ruin our friendship over the past, now!" Avalon replied with a devilish smile.

"I knew it!" Bifrost declared. He changed his demeanor to be softly flirtatious. "You always did want to get me in bed with you. You should know I'm too much for you to handle."

Avalon laughed then said, with overly emphasized tenderness, "Oh, but how do you know it's not the other way around, Frosty, my big, strong stallion!" They looked at each other for a moment, before exploding into laughter.

They reached the front of the bar they were looking for, still laughing. It looked run down, and it badly needed rebuilding, but that was precisely why Avalon loved it. It was a part of the old-world Cloudsdale architecture. It sang out to his soul. He had always made donations to it, even on his journey. The gray stallion sighed as he opened the door for his friend. "After you, snookums."

They were both snickering as they got a seat at the bar, Bitfrost to Avalon's right side. The stallion that worked the bar came up, a knowing smile on his forest green face. His mane was short and blonde, his eyes a deep brown.

"Stiff Brew!” Avalon exclaimed. “It's been ages! My muffin and I would like to commandeer some of your finest mixes!" Avalon declared, still seeing if he could get Bifrost to facehoof first.

"Avalon, it's been awhile,” Stiff Brew declared in a deep bass, “and I can't begin to thank you enough for all you've been doing fer me, even while ya been on yer journey." He looked between Bitfrost and Avalon. "Still playing that facehoof game, I see.” He shook his head. “You two. We all know how that'll end, don't we?"

Bifrost wrapped his left forehoof around Avalon's waist as he replied. "Why of course we do, Brew. It's whomever gets into bed with me first."

Avalon couldn't resist, he facehoofed. Hard. "Gah, Frost! You had to go that far?"

Bifrost burst out laughing so hard, he fell out of his seat. Stiff Brew just shook his head and said, "He has to win every time, doesn't he. Anyways, what'll you be havin'?"

"Hmm.” Avalon briefly thought on this. “How ‘bout two of our usual's, Cloud Kickers." Avalon declared. He reached to his saddlebags, to get money out.

Brew held his hoof up. "No payment needed, boyo. What with all you've done fer me, I can at least allow ya a drink 'er two on the house."

Avalon stared back at him, surprised at first. Then he smiled and put his bags down. Brew went back into the brewing area to get the drinks started. Bifrost finally managed to compose himself enough to get back up onto his seat.

"I hate you sometimes, Frosty. I hope you know that." He stared stonily at the rainbow-maned stallion.

"Aww, don't stare at me like that,” Bitfrost pleaded. “It's not my fault you can't resist the facehoof. So what did'ja order us?” He stopped for a moment, frozen in horror. “Please don't tell me you got me one of the drinks you usually get," the grey-blue stallion said hesitantly.

Just then, Brew brought over two large cups with a hazy-looking blue liquid in them, as well as shot glasses filled with a hazy-looking red liquid.

"Two Cloud Kickers on the house!” Brew declared with an evil smile. “Bottoms up, Bifrost!"

Bifrost looked at the drink, then the stallions around him. "I hate you both so much right now."

Brew and Avalon replied at the same time. "We love you too!"

Avalon grabbed his and then Bifrost's shot glass, dropping them individually into the bigger cups. The combination of the liquids caused them to brightly swirl, mixing into into a color neither of them could resist drinking: rainbow. How Stiff Brew did it, neither stallion knew, but one thing was sure; the barkeep's name held true with his drink. The friends toasted their reunion and took a deep drought of the poly-chromatic drink. Both of them coughed after their drink. It was called a Cloud Kicker for a reason, mostly cause it felt like you just got bucked in the gut by Equestria's strongest pony.

"Whew, Brew, that always hits the spot. Harder than ever!" Avalon declared happily, feeling warmth spread through his body.

The warmth was quickly replaced. The sound of pegesi flying at high velocities overhead shook the bar. If the silmarillion knew anything, he knew only the official guards of Cloudsdale were authorized to fly at those velocities. What Avalon didn't understand was why there had been a need to do so at this hour. The shock in his demeanor apparent, he finished off his drink and quickly trotted outside, Bifrost stumbling behind him.

"What was that about,” Avalon said, confusion edging his gaze as he caught the direction the guards had headed. “They only have authorization to do that if there is a threat to the people!"

"That's been happening more often lately. Didn't Celestia tell you?” Bitfrost inquired. “It seems like the Council of Five has been fighting amongst each other lately. They don't trust one another anymore. It's skirmish after skirmish here.” Bifrost informed his friend. “They cover it up, using everything they can, but we aren't stupid ponies. We know something is up. Everypony does what they can to ignore it though, just hoping it'll go away," A look of sorrow mixed with anger edged into his eyes.

Avalon cast a look of great concern upon his friend, before turning away and spreading his wings to take off in the direction of the guards. He had to know more about the situation, and if Bifrost followed, it was his choice, but it didn't matter to Avalon right now.

Within a few seconds he hovered above a scene that disgusted him. The Captain of the Guard was holding a simple pegasus up in the air by their throat, lance ready to strike. He wasn't going to wait to ask why, because no matter how he looked at this, it was wrong. You weren't allowed to pass execution on anyone not proven guilty first.

"Stop this madness!" Avalon ordered, as he dived and tackled the captain, knocking him aside. "Last I checked, the guard wasn't permitted to execute simple pegasi without trial by jury! Innocent until proven guilty?"

The Captain looked up at Avalon, regained his footing, and checked him before responding. "Last I checked, your citizenship to pegasi cities was suspended, Avalon Ironsides."

"Don't call me Ironsides, it's a ridiculous nickname!” Avalon blurted, before taking a breath and saying, “I am honored the Captain of the Guard knows the circumstances of my departure. Now tell me what gives you the right to execute the innocent?" the stallion asked with disgust.

"I don't make the orders, Avalon,” the Captain told him. “You should know that. I just carry them out. Additionally, they aren't innocent, there have been deaths the past few days!” the Captain got a fire inside his voice. “The person you’re trying to defend is an assassin with express orders to kill Council leader Hurricane Rush. We are carrying out orders from Hurricane himself! Either get out of the way, Avalon or we will arrest you--" the Captain grunted as Avalon punched him in the stomach.

Avalon didn't hesitate any longer. He knew he couldn't win this fight with words. The gray stallion head-butted the captain off his hooves, then proceeded to disarm the other guards, and disable their movements with pressure points. The corporal of the patrol, quite frightened by this display of strength and finesse collapsed in fright.

"Urgh, that's impossible,” The captain muttered as he tried to get up, failing. “No pony is that strong..."

Avalon slowly strode over to the pegasus that had remained lying there, staring wide eyed at what had just happened. The stallion held out a hoof offering to help the other, and the pony reached up and took his hoof. They pulled themselves up far too fast though. Avalon noticed a second too late as he felt a cold chill hit him in his chest.

"You should've listened to the captain,” the pony said, “he knew what he was talking about, heir to the throne, Avalon." The cold voice slithered quietly into his ear like venom.

He felt the cold steel pulled from its place as the assassin stepped back. Avalon put his hoof to his chest then brought it up within his sight. He saw blood. He put his hoof down again.
As he closed his eyes, he heard a voice in his mind that was clear as day. Life is ours to keep, death be not theirs to reap. Judgment is upon them, and their end is neigh.

Through gritted teeth Avalon snarled his next words. "You fool, you should've taken my humility and ran!"

Avalon's last thought finished the first voices cryptic rhyme. And death is NOT an option!

As he opened his eyes, magic spilled from them in a white, blinding light. The assassin-pony shrunk in fear as he rapidly approached, before Avalon picked them up. He held them in the air by their throat. The pegasus struggled violently, not in defiance, but in sheer terror at the sight. They dropped the blade they had held. Avalon stood on his rear hooves, his wings fully extended, shielding others from the view that was about to take place.

Avalon spoke in a loud, echoing, and unnaturally neutral voice. "You, Flashwing. have thus earned this day your Judgment.” The pony stopped struggling to goggle in fear. “I make this Judgment with a heavy heart, as I do not like to pass decisions on any pony. Yet you, in your infinite ignorance, have thrown my humble kindness aside, and have thrown your final card."

"I-I-I--” Flashwing stumbled with words. “What are you?!?" Flashwing sobbed. Tears glistened in his eyes.

"Your jury, judge, and, though it pains me, your executioner.” Avalon's new voice replied, with little emotion. “You do not have the right to take the life of one whom spares yours."

"E-E-Executioner!” Flash screamed. “W-Wait you can't be serious? Weren't you helping me a second ago?” Flash's words were rapid as thought. “You can't do this!"

"Your chance went out the door the second you turned on your savior. Goodbye, dear Flashwing. Your talents among your people will be gravely missed." Avalon's new voice stated. A tear streaked down his face.

He dropped the pony, and his hoof struck out and hit Flashwing three times. The yellow pegasus convulsed mid-fall, and lay on the clouds motionless afterward. Avalon closed his eyes and retracted his wings, tears streaming down his face. He fell to the ground as well. His wound had closed, but blood matted the area where it once was. Flashwing now stared endlessly at the night sky.

Sometimes Avalon cursed his inner survival mechanism. He didn't even fully understand it. It was one of the many reasons he did not wish to become prince. The eerie power would be more prevalent. Being a silmarillion had its benefits, but most times Avalon felt it was a curse.

At this point, in his mind it clicked. Maybe what the pegasi needed was someone to re-balance them as a group. It was possible there were just a few ponies that were causing the chaos that now plagued the pegasus population. In order to help them, he would have to learn to control the power, curving the harshness of its punishments, and the stallion only knew of one way to find the answer for this. It was a Zebra tribe he had earned the name of Dragonshpere from.

He sighed loudly as he heard Bifrost come up behind him. The wheels of destiny could only wait so long. It seemed at last they were turning against his wishes. He heard his dad's words again, the same mantra.

“Avalon, greatness is not always something we choose, it sometimes is forced upon us. All we can do is make the best with the responsibilities that are cast upon us. You cannot run from this fact forever. It is your destiny."

"Then I guess it's time I accepted mine, Father," Avalon mumbled.

He stood up again slowly, and turned to face the Captain as well as Bifrost. The Captain seemed to be the only one able to recover even slightly, his men were apparently still unable to regain their wits.

"What happened here, Avalon?" Bifrost asked. His eyes were wide in surprise.

Avalon walked over to his saddlebags, which he just noticed had been knocked off in his tussle with the guards, and retrieved a simple rubber duck. He went to Bifrost and dropped it in front of him.

"Sometimes,” Avalon began, “the choices we need to make in life are as simple and pure as this rubber ducky. That was what Celestia was trying to make me see. Now, I ask that you, my friend, take her this duck. Tell her I understand now what I must do. With luck she will still be at The Hot Trotter club, drowning the sorrow I brought her selfishly this evening. Take it, and fly fast Bifrost."

"I--uhm, okay but,-- Avalon,” Bitfrost hesitated, “what will you do?"

The stallion turned and walked away before speaking loudly, with as much authority as he could muster. "Captain, tell Hurricane that Avalon has returned. I wish to see how the Council will react to this threat.” He decided to answer his friend. “Bifrost, I'm going to find answers that I will need for taking up my mantle. I shall see you, in time."

Avalon leapt into the sky, quickly making the pegasi below him look like ants. He jolted forwards, and within mere heartbeats he hit the sound barrier, and shattered it with a boom. It echoed hundreds of miles around. He didn't care for names, but Celestia insisted on calling it the Mach 3. The name had stuck shortly after that, as he couldn't deny that it sounded like something he would name the high velocity trick.

The Captain stared in astonishment, his ears ringing loudly. "Wh-What was that?" he questioned, louder than he thought he was speaking.

Bifrost picked up the duck and stared at it. "That, Captain, was the Mach 3. It rivals my daughter's sonic rainboom. In fact, it's faster than it."

Nonplussed, Bifrost took to the skies and flew his fastest towards Canterlot. With some luck, he would see the princess at the club. It was the least he could do for his friend as he faced a destiny they both knew he didn't want any part of.