• Published 3rd Feb 2014
  • 7,795 Views, 774 Comments

TiM: The Truth in Meanings - Twidashforever



TiM #1: If you had the power, how far would you go to save a friend, and would they hate you for it? Would you hate you for it? Actions have consequences and we are not always the ones who pay the price.

  • ...
33
 774
 7,795

Define: Vis-à-Vis

Chapter 14 Define: Vis-à-Vis

Tartarus

Twilight looked on, dumbstruck as a red earth pony walked over to them. He was taller than an alicorn, with muscles that would put Big Mac’s to shame; he had a presence that screamed power. Her magic vision was blinded by what she saw, trying to focus on him hurt more than when she stared at the sun with her telescope. It took a minute for her to collect her thoughts.

“I’ll ask again, Gaia, why are you here?”

That seemed to snap Twilight out of her thoughts. “Excuse me sir, but I’m not sure who Gaia is. My name is Twilight Sparkle, and we came here seeking the master of this place.”

He just looked at them with an inquisitive stare on his face. “Wait… you don’t know.” Whatever he was talking about, it seemed to cause him some distress as he began pacing back and forth.

He seemed to have Twilight’s habit of thinking aloud.

“She doesn’t know. Is this a joke?”

“The damage done…”

“She broke the pacts…”

“How could she gain access…”

“Eros… what did you do?”

Rainbow had enough, jumping face to face with this pony, she started in, “Hey buddy, how about you stop walking around and talk to us.”

Twilight wanted to facehoof at that, ‘Rainbow’s legendary tact, at work again!’ As with everypony that had been on the receiving end, this one did not seem to appreciate it.

“What did you say to me?”

Twilight was desperate; she needed to defuse this situation as soon as possible, she threw herself between the red pony and Rainbow. “Please forgive my friend, she has a habit of speaking before she thinks. If you could, we did just come here to talk. There has been a ‘situation’ in Equestria that requires knowledge we don’t have. We were told to come talk to you about it.”

“Why would I care about some situation in your, ‘Equestria’ is it?

“I, accidently, killed the reaper.”

That seemed to give him pause. He considered this for a minute before replying. “So it was you.... Well then, I guess we really do need to talk.”

In a blink of an eye the three of them were transported away from the crater, and Twilight was glad to see it go. Where they ended up, that seemed to be some take on Celesta’s Throne Room. Augmented to be sure; the normal drab was far too dark for her tastes, with macabre artwork and decorations all around which would have made Zecora’s hut look warm and inviting by comparison.

One of the first things Twilight noticed was how cold it was in here. It was a piercing cold that seemed to attack her bones. At this time, she was unable to throw up the simplest field to try to protect herself, far too exhausted by her earlier battles and the presence of this pony in their midst. A snowstorm was warmer by a long shot. Memories of that event brought a blush to Twilight's face.

“First things first. Twilight Sparkle, is it?” Twilight nodded at that, “And to ensure that I have it correct, your name is Rainbow Dash.” Rainbow just glared at him, nodding her head ever so slightly.

“They called you Tartarus, so can we presume that is your name?”

“That is correct, young one. Please, have a seat.” He gestured over to the couch at the side of the room. Rainbow and Twilight walked over to it and jumped on. It was then that Rainbow noticed how badly Twilight was shivering. She wrapped one of her golden wings around the freezing alicorn.

Twilight was eternally grateful to her friend, as the wing instantly warmed her. She shrunk into the comforting blanket as if it was a hot bath on a cold winter day. If Tartarus noticed, he paid it no mind.

“Before we begin I have two questions. First, who exactly told you to come see me?”

Rainbow fielded this question, “On Equestria, we have this draconequus. He calls himself Discord, the Spirit of Chaos. He’s the one that told us to come here and find you.”

“So, if I understand you correctly, you two traversed through Hades, into Tartarus, and made the Titan Cronus your bitch in order to find me. All on the word of a Spirit of Chaos?”

“It’s a long story, but when you put it like that,” Rainbow shrugged, it had been a far-fetched hope after all. Tartarus just nodded.

“Well it seems my older brother is still up to his tricks.” He said to no one in particular.

“Ok, now second question. Twilight Sparkle, why did you lie to me?”

Twilight jumped at that, “I didn’t lie.”

“Really, so this is an accident.”

Just then, the scene from before played out for all to see. Tartarus’s throne room morphed into an exact replica of Celestia’s. The three of them watched as the events of Twilight Sparkle killing the reaper played out on repeat, over and over, for all of them to see. Rainbow was flabbergasted; they told her what happened. However, The stories did not compare to the real thing. The tone of Twilight’s voice, the look of utter superiority as she spit on the natural order of things for her own desires. The look of horror on Celestia’s face as her student played this out, despite her warning against it.

Twilight hated these memories, being forced to watch them over and over; this was a new kind of hell. She shrunk back into Rainbow’s wings and hid her face. “Ok, stop please.” Her voice was timid.

The vision stopped as quickly as it began, he smiled at the two. “So let me ask again, Twilight Sparkle, why did you lie to me.”

Twilight could not take it anymore, watching herself commit this atrocity, repeatedly, it broke past every defense she had. “I was ashamed alright! I knew what I was doing, but I didn’t care! I wanted Rainbow back, I felt the power inside of me to do it, so I did! I’m sorry alright; I never imagined what the consequences were, or the suffering it would cause.” Twilight buried her head in Rainbow’s wing, crying out tears of sadness from her own stupidity.

Rainbow wanted to be mad; she wanted to yell at the alicorn by her side. Rainbow wanted to jump up and let her fend for herself. The sheer utter arrogance of it all, it appalled Rainbow. However, was she any better? She had done her own share of stupid things in her life. As such, she could not bring herself to do any of those things to Twilight. Regardless what Twilight had done, or how big of a mistake it had been, Twilight was her friend. No, she was more than that. How much more Rainbow could only speculate. As such, Rainbow did the only thing that felt right. The only thing her heart wanted her to do. She reached over and wrapped Twilight in her hooves, cradling the alicorn like a newborn foal.

“Is this what you wanted Tartarus?” Tartarus just nodded, he was satisfied at that answer. “Congratubuckinglations. You got your answer. Now I think it’s your turn to answer a few questions yourself.”

“Take your time, I have a few duties to attend to. I will return in an hour.” In a flash of red smoke, he was gone, leaving the crying alicorn and golden winged pegasus alone.

Rainbow hated this touchy feely crap. She was a mare of action; she loved solving problems head on. Ask her to buck a dragon in the face and she was there in a heartbeat. Ask her to face down a changeling horde head on; she was the first one into the melee. However, ask her to comfort some pony in need, or show her feelings; she would be the first one out the door, just flying in the other direction. The only thing she hated more than that touchy feely stuff was seeing a friend in such pain. As such, she did the only thing she could; she began rocking Twilight back and forth, cooing into her ear. The same way her mom used to comfort her after a bad day at school.

It took Twilight almost half an hour before the tears stopped. When she finally regained her vision, she looked up at the sight of a smiling blue pegasus holding her in her arms. At that moment, it was the most beautiful face she had ever seen. Twilight reach up and hugged the pegasus with all her might.

“You okay, egghead?”

“I will be Dash, thank you, thank you for everything. You… you don’t hate me do you?”

“No Twi, I could never hate you.” It was at that moment Rainbow realized she truly meant it.

When Twilight finally let Rainbow go she snuggled up in the cyan pegasus’s wings again and started to close her eyes, too tired from the day’s events and her crying fit to keep them open. “Dash, is it ok if I rest my eyes for a bit?”

“Yes Twi, go ahead.”

“Wake me when he gets back ok?”

“Ok Twi, have a good sleep.”

“It’ll just be a nap, thank yo-” As if someone had flipped a switch, Twilight was asleep, softly cuddling the blue mare at her side. Rainbow looked at the purple pony nestled in her wings. This mare, which had destroyed the natural order of the world, told off the ruler of Equestria, intimidated a living Spirit of Chaos and Disharmony, fought her way through the underworld on brute force alone, and made a Titan run for its life. She was the cutest object Rainbow had ever seen in her life, “Goodnight, Twi.” Rainbow wrapped Twilight tighter in her wings and kissed her friend on the forehead before settling in for a long wait.

…………………………………………..

Rainbow wanted to be mad; this ‘Tartarus’ had been gone for far, far longer than an hour. That pony seemed to have his own sense of time. ‘Maybe he does,’ she reasoned. After all, what is time to an immortal deity that rules over this place? It was hard to tell, but the best Rainbow could figure it had been a full day since he had left them in the room. However, every time Rainbow’s anger built up, a glance down at the still sleeping alicorn in her lap stopped it dead in its tracks. Sometime early in her sleep Twilight’s head made its way down to Rainbow’s lap. Dash quickly took up stroking the alicorn’s mane, as she did not want to disturb her, but sitting around doing nothing was against Dash’s very nature. Therefore, she decided to count how many times she would run her hoof through Twilight’s hair as a way to keep busy.

At ten thousand-five hundred, Twilight began to rouse.

“Welcome back sleepy-head.”

Twilight yawned, “Is he back yet?”

“No, he seems to have his own sense of time, it’s been way more than an hour.”

“Well he is a God after all,” Twilight’s vision began returning to her, taking in her current situation, her head was nestled on Rainbow’s lap, a puddle of drool had built up below her mouth, soaking the pegasus’s legs, “Ahh!” Twilight screamed and tried to remove herself from her friend’s wings. Dash would not let her go.

“WHAT IS IT?!” if anything Rainbow’s wing seemed to be getting tighter around the alicorn, realizing that Rainbow would not release her while she thought danger was nearby. Twilight began apologizing profusely while desperately trying to clean up her drool from Rainbow’s legs with her hoof. It was not working. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry….”

Rainbow looked down at what Twilight was attempting, ‘so that’s what the fuss was about’, Rainbow thought. “Don’t worry about it, Twi. It’s not like I can feel it or anything.”

Twilight paused and looked at her friend, the expression on Rainbow’s face, the ridiculousness of this whole situation, she did the only one thing her body allowed her to do. Twilight started laughing, it was not long before Rainbow joined in.

A loud rumble from Twilight’s stomach interrupted their laughter; she looked down, embarrassed at her body’s betrayal of the situation. “Hungry, Twi?”

“A little,” it had been a while since she last ate, and the day she had slept though did not help.

Rainbow looked around before it dawned on her that her pack was nowhere to be found. “Uh, Twi, I seemed to have misplaced my pack,” Twilight looked for hers, it was missing as well, “Tartarus must have left them behind.”

As if saying his name was enough to bring him to existence, Tartarus appeared. “Finally awake, I see; you must be hungry.”

A table appeared behind him, full of the most delectable food they had ever seen. Twilight stared on with a hungry look in her eyes. Rainbow simply chuckled with that; sometimes being dead had its advantages.

Twilight went to move, immediately regretting it as the temperature in the room stole the heat from her body. Wrapping herself back up in Rainbow’s wings she glanced at the pegasus, knowing it was unfair to ask her to stay by her side but not wanting to leave the warmth of her wings. Rainbow seemed to sense this as she nodded to Twilight and went to the table with her.

The two friends sat in silence; Twilight enjoyed the food and the comfort of snuggling in Rainbow’s wings, and Rainbow simply enjoyed being in Twilight’s company. Before long Twilight was stuffed, having eaten her fill, Tartarus patiently watched the two, amusement clearly written on his face.

Twilight was the first to break the silence, “So, what are you exactly?”

“Jumping right to it? Very well, I am Tartarus, Primordial Deity and the God of Death.”

“Another God huh? Sorry you’re not the first one down here to make such a claim.” Rainbow said.

“Rainbow, keep quiet.” Twilight really need her friend to shut up at this moment. Thankfully, Tartarus seemed to ignore Rainbow’s jab.

Twilight continued, “So were you named after this place or vice versa?”

“Wrong on both counts actually, this place is me, and I am this place. For you see my ‘children’ can be an unruly bunch. To keep them locked up, it took one of us to imprison them forever.”

“Why not just destroy them?”

“Could you so easily destroy your own children?”

Rainbow thought about it, “No, I guess not.”

“You said ‘one of us’, how many of you are there?”

“Me and three others, Gaia, Chaos, and Eros.”

“Why did you call me Gaia?”

“I cannot answer that.”

Twilight was anything but happy with that answer, but she could tell from the finality in his voice that regardless how much she pushed he would not answer.

“As you well know, the reaper was killed by… well me, this seems to have caused a disruption in the natural flow of life and death. How do I fix it?”

“Finally to the point, huh? Very well, but before I explain what needs to occur, let me ask a question. Have you ever heard of an Occulous?” Both Rainbow and Twilight shook their heads. “I did not imagine you had. Let me start at the beginning.”

Back before the world was created there were four beings that existed, Gaia, God of life and Magic, Chaos, God of Disorder and Change, Tartarus, God of death, and finally the youngest God, Eros, God of love. The four Gods wished to create something truly spectacular, as such; they combined their powers and created the world. For a time, all was well. Everything on the world was completely at peace. The animals all existed in harmony together.

Chaos grew bored; he had given his power to this creation, but was infinitely unhappy with it. Taking his grievances to the others, they decide that intelligent beings should be made to inhabit this world. As such, Gaia and Tartarus got together and created the Titans. There were twelve Titans at first. Each of the four Gods received admiration from three of the Titans. Chaos being chaos, decided that he wanted more for his ‘children’. Blessing them with power beyond the rest. So began a cycle that lead each of the Titans to seek greater and greater power, until at last they turned on each other and began destroying all that was created for them.

What happened next had to be done; Gaia and Tartarus locked the remaining Titans up in a prison created from Tartarus’s own form. That left the four with the original problem; they decided that lesser beings would rule over it all. To prevent the slow buildup of power the four would make unbreakable vows to each other:

Number one: No God can interfere with the natural order, everything would be born, and everything would eventually die.

Number two: No God will directly interfere with the life of mortals.

To maintain this order, Tartarus created the first Occulous. He created a scythe that would cut the souls free of mortals that lost their life. This Occulous would give its wielder access to half of Tartarus’s own power. Ensuring that its wielder would be exactly where he needed to be when he needed to be there. The only thing left to do was to find someone to wield it. Such a creature would be forever bound to the scythe and spend eternity transporting it from location to location, allowing it to do its work. Not just anypony could do such a thing. It was decided by the Gods that only a soul that escaped severance from its mortal coil could wield the scythe.

“It took several thousand years for me to find such a soul. Until then I carried the scythe from place to place. However, I am unable to do so with a suitable wielder in existence. The scythe will reject me if one exists.” Tartarus finished the tale with a slow grin appearing on his face as he looked at the two ponies in front of him. “To think that after all the time that took, another such soul would come walking up to me.” He was glaring at Rainbow with that comment.

Disbelief at such a tale was plainly written on Twilight face; however, when he said those last word she instinctively grabbed Dash and held her closer to her, much to Dash’s chagrin.

“So all we have to do to fix this is find your Occulous thingy and a new bearer?” Rainbow questioned, not getting who the new bearer would be.

“If only it was that simple. You see when young Twilight here killed the reaper; she broke the scythe into three separate pieces. You must reassemble the broken scythe and then find it a new ‘bearer’.

Twilight stared at him. “I don’t suppose you know where can find them?”

“The failsafe I put in would ensure that if anything happened to it, it would return to a God. It was to ensure that no mortal ever got ahold of such power.

“So you have the pieces?”

“Not quite young Rainbow; I have one. I believe my siblings have the other two. Your responsibility will be to recover them.”

Author's Note:

Why did Tartarus call Twilight Gaia?

What does he think Eros did?

Are there more Occulous?

Didn't I say I would answer questions?

Chapter 14 for your enjoyment, Chapter 15 (and the end of Act 2) due out by Thursday!

As always leave your comments below!

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!