• Published 23rd Apr 2014
  • 3,457 Views, 294 Comments

MLDC Next Generation: Know Fear! - Michael_Ravencroft

"Starburst of Equestria, you have the ability to instill great fear!"

  • ...

I am what I am...

[Power levels at 100%.]

Starburst had finished recharging her ring, and was now donned in her Fear Lantern uniform. The trio below her still looked upon the Princess with combination of disbelief, a little anger, disappointment, and pity. Starburst felt like she should say something to them; reassure the three that she wasn’t doing this because she was acting out, possessed by the ring, or even rebelling to become a criminal. She was doing this to protect them, and all ponies who were losing their lives in this senseless war. But Star could see from the looks in their eyes, any attempt at explanation wouldn’t be sufficient to sway their thinking.

That’s fine…Actions speak louder than words, when the griffons are defeated, and Equestria is safe, it’ll make all this seem like a bad dream. I’ll have to remember to do something for the families of those Guards…

Star shook the depressing thoughts out of her head, she couldn’t afford to dwell on them now, not when she and Sunny still had to escape the castle. The Fear Lantern walked past the paralyzed ponies and met up with Sunny Skies, who smiled confidently seeing the young mare in her full, heroic glory.

“Thanks Sunny, I…”

“Hey, no thanks necessary Star, but, if you’re thinking of a way to repay me, maybe you can allow me a kiss for my troubles,” said Sunny, smirking slyly.

Starburst blushed, “Sunny that’s not funny! I’m being serious here!”

“I know. So am I.”

Star’s blush intensified and she went quiet for a little bit. She then said in a low grumble, “One – and I mean ONE kiss! That’s all, nothing more! You even try something I’ll literally fly you to the moon and leave you there!”

Sunny chuckled, but accepted the terms. “Very well, but I’m not talking about no quick peck on the lips or cheek. Gotta make sure you’re ready for the real thing with that coltfriend of yours.”

“DEL!? I-I – He’s – We just started dating and –!”

“Relax; we’ll worry about that once we get out of here.”

Star tried to calm down, but Sunny was making it hard to do so after making her promise to do something like…that after they were safe and away from danger. “Alright, so, what’s the next part of the plan?”

It was now Sunny’s turn to blush, rubbing the back of her head nervously. “Um…to be honest, this was as far as I got…”

The young pegasus mare’s eye twitched upon hearing that confession. “Let me get this straight…You planned a jailbreak, and a theft, only to not think of an escape plan for it all!!?”

Sunny raised her hooves in a placating manner, “Hey, hey, calm down! I had an idea, I just thought that maybe you could use your rings power to ghost us!”

“‘Ghost us’, what does that mean?” asked Star in confusion.

“You know that thing you do when you pass through walls and become invisible.”

Starburst made an “O” face when she understood the analogy, but she wasn’t sure if she could actually do that. She knew that the Intangibility and EM Distortion functions could do that for her, but Sunny was a different story. And even if she could find a way, those two abilities in tandem drained good portion of the rings energy, and Star believed they’d need every ounce of energy the ring had to get away.

“I’m not sure if I can do that for the both us, and the only other way I could see this working is if I carry you and use the rings abilities then, but my wings would be hindered, and I’d have to rely on levitation, which will also drain the power faster.”

“I could always carry you on my back and then you could use those abilities, you’re, um, ‘petite’ enough that I don’t think you’ll get in the way of using my wings.” Sunny suggested.

Starburst’s deadpan expression conveyed just how much she liked that plan, about as much as having both her wings broken and all her teeth pulled at once. She was not about to be carried around like some helpless filly, when she was unconscious and beaten up or when she burned herself out and collapsed from exhaustion, that’s a different story. But not when she was physically capable of walking and flying was that going to happen.

[Starburst, it is possible to expand the EM Distortion to encompass other objects, or, in this case, subjects.]

Starburst held up her right hoof, bringing the ring close to their level. “You can really do that?”

[Affirmative. However, it is not advised to use both EM Distortion and Intangibility functions at the same time while supporting a second, ring energy will be cut down considerably.]

“Shouldn’t be that much of a problem, we’re a couple of fast flyers. All we need to do is head to a platform and take off from there, no passing through walls or anything.”

Starburst thought it over for a bit. “We’ll have to move fast, after that little performance, they’ll have the whole city on high alert.”

“Then let’s move!”

Starburst and Sunny galloped through the halls of the castle, luckily, undetected, for now. Sunny attributed this to the false direction she gave the Guards, making them think Starburst was escaping via another route. The whole time they ran, Star continually sought to convince Sunny that she didn’t have to come with her, that she could still save her career, Starburst even told her that she could blame her, say she was brainwashed by the power of ring during her stay in Ponyville, and not have to spend all her time on the run with her. And, as always, her response was thus:

“Forget it; you aren’t weaseling your way out of our deal! And besides, there’s no way I’d let you go this alone! We’re a team!”

The mare was stubborn, but nonetheless, Star was appreciative of her loyalty and friendship. She thought that one day in the future they’d look back on this time in their lives, when they were both older and the war was over, and have good laughs over the craziness of this whole situation, and no doubt Sunny would regale others of the embarrassing things she said to her, and all the times she got her to blush.

The pegasus mare duo finally made it to an unoccupied landing pad. Starburst looked to Sunny, and Sunny to Starburst, with a nod of confirmation from both Star’s yellow aura covered her entire body. A thread of yellow light snaked its way towards Sunny, and upon contact, spread itself over her form. In the next second, the EM Distortion field was brought up, making both mares invisible to everyone but themselves.

Star and Sunny spread their wings and galloped towards the platform, flapping as they gained speed for takeoff. Within a few seconds the two of them were airborne, gaining altitude as they climbed higher. Starburst took one last look over her shoulder, to the castle she had called home for so long, and to the ponies who occupied it, family, friends, all would soon be after her, labeled a criminal.

[Alert: Energy field detected.]

Starburst and Sunny flapped their wings hard to stop their movement upon hearing the rings warning, but it wasn’t fast enough, the two of them hit something, hard. The two of them nearly went into free fall if it weren’t for Star’s ring levitating them both. Star looked to see what they had hit. Something rippled in the sky, sending waves out across a vast expanse that seemed to go on, covering the sky around Canterlot Castle.

“What in the blue Tartarus is this!?” asked Sunny, gesturing to the force field.

“A barrier, erected over the castle to keep us from escaping. Guess I’m going to have to use phase us throu –”

Suddenly bolts of magical energy were launched into the air, they whistled like fireworks as they flew higher into the air. Once they had reached a certain altitude the bolts exploded in midair, bathing the area in bright light. At first nothing happened, the two orbs merely illuminated the sky like flares. But it soon it became apparent what their real purpose was.

[Warning: Electromagnetic disturbance, EM Distortion failure.]

Neither mare had time to ask what that meant as the aura field began to lose some of it shimmer, and it didn’t take long before some spot lights were aimed right at them.

“I think we’ve been found out Star!”

At that moment another whistling sound echoed through air, following an explosion of force that nearly sent both Star’s and Sunny’s minds reeling from the strength of the burst. They began to descend quickly as the blasts kept bursting in the air. Star could tell that the blasts weren’t necessarily being aimed at them, more like where they were going. They were being forced to go where they wanted them to.

Star and Sunny finally landed on the polished, ivory stone of the castle grounds, panting and rubbing their heads from the slight headache they were feeling.

“What were those?” asked Star.

“Concussion rounds, they fire condensed air and energy. When the ordinance explodes it sends out a wave of force that buffets the target, both mentally and physically, more for crowd control than for taking out a target. Or in our case, making us go where they want us to,” said Sunny as her gaze narrowed.

Starburst took a look around them; indeed the concussion ordinance forced them to land right in the clear, where a battalion of Royal Guards was waiting for them. Many of the RG’s had bewildered and pensive expressions, as if quarreling with an inner turmoil that they were trying to apprehend a Princess of Equestria. Some looked at Sunny Skies with angry eyes, after the news that the unicorn Royal Guard, Pinpoint, betrayed Equestria and helped the griffons capture High Princess Twilight and Prince Valiant Heart, they were on edge about traitors amongst them.

Star could feel their fear and anxiety feed their slight paranoia. And if she were honest with herself, she was a little paranoid as well.

“That’s enough Star,” said a familiar voice.

Starburst looked in the direction of the voice and scowled. “…Lance.”

The alicorn Prince walked boldly towards them, his eyes locked with Star’s. The area became tense, a thick and heavy layer befalling all those nearby as the two cousins stared each other down.

“You need to stop now Star, before you make things any worse for yourself!”

“How much worse can it get!? You, Mom, Dad, you’ve all pretty much labeled me a murderer! A criminal! How much ‘worse’ can it really get!?” asked Star, her voice carrying a hint of sarcasm.

“……Starburst Senturia Sparkle……By order of the Royal Guard, I’m placing you under arrest. Will you come peacefully, or,” Lance’s horn glowed with magical light, drawing his dual broadswords from their sheaths and readying them for battle, “will I have to take you in by force?”

Despite this whole bad situation, Starburst couldn’t help but a let the sides of her mouth curl up into a grin. “You know, Lance, I’ve always wanted to fight you in a serious bout,” Star’s ring shined, before her materialized two scimitar constructs, “guess now’s as good a time as any.”

“All Guards, stay back,” he ordered.

“Sunny, you need to step back too, way back.” Star suggested.

The sun yellow mare wanted to tell Star that they should get out of there, but with the barrier up, and those cannons aimed at them, their options were limited. At the very least, Starburst fighting her cousin would by her enough time to figure out a way out this mess.

Star and Valiant began circling the other, their blades dragging against the ivory stone, piercing the ground and cutting it as their blades let out a screeching sound of metal against rock. They stopped for a moment and regarded each other. The looks in their eyes was deathly serious, neither one wanted to harm their opponent, but knew that this was an unavoidable fact of battle. Star may be angered by her cousin, but she had no desire to harm him beyond making him submit.

The night air shifted direction in that instant, signaling the start of the fight. Valiant Heart dashed towards Starburst with a speed she hadn’t seen even in their training sessions. She brought both blades to form an X, blocking the first strike, but because of this, Star was unable to block the second sword now barreling towards her. Star’s eyes widened as she saw the sharp blade draw closer, but at the last second, the sword switched to its flat side and smacked up against Starburst’s left side, sending her flying.

Many of the Guards dropped to the ground to avoid her slamming into them. Starburst continued to sail until she impacted against a stone wall, leaving an impression of herself in the wall itself. She grunted in slight annoyance and soreness that she wasn’t able to dodge that attack. Starburst flared her aura as she broke free from the wall and zoomed towards Lance. The alicorn stallion flared his own magical aura and took off into the sky, prompting Star to follow suit.

The a royal blue light and yellow light clashed in the skies above Canterlot Castle, the ringing of blades striking each other sounded through the air and carried further by the acoustics of the mountain range. Starburst had never seen her cousin fight like this, his gaze was more serious, his power and speed were twice that of what she felt during their sessions.

“Did you forget who showed you how to fight with a sword in the first place, Star!?”

Lance went in for a thrust, but Star quickly parried the attack, moving in for a diagonal slash across his armor, just enough to make him feel the power of her strike rather than to pierce his armor. But Lance was ready for that, his horn flashed and in an instant he appeared behind Starburst just as she swung her sword, cutting nothing. Starburst whirled around, using the same style of fighting she used with Shadow Wing and Steel Wing, combing her dancing and fighting skills into a new form of fighting style.

Starburst twirled around, her swords dancing with her, blocking several strikes from Lance’s swords. The alicorn stallion was caught off guard by the change in his cousin’s fighting style, she dodged his attacks with such fluidity that he thought he was fighting air. Starburst managed to get in close, holding off his blades with her own; she cocked back her right hoof, energized it, and punched Lance right in his chest plate. The ring released a small burst of energy, sending Lance flying into one of the nearby castle towers.

“You may’ve taught me, but I’ve learned a few new things since then!”

A light shined from beneath the rubble of the ruined tower, and just as quickly, a beam of magical energy shot forth from the beneath the debris. Starburst surrounded herself in a bubble of yellow light as the beam smashed against her shield. The bubble cracked here and there, but Starburst wasn’t about to give up. Concentrating, she powered up the bubble and turned it into a beam of yellow energy that clashed against Lance’s beam, pushing it back.

The pegasus mare and alicorn stallion were locked in a clashing of beams, one pouring their energy into their attack to overwhelm their opponent, sparks of royal blue and yellow light shot off in different directions at the meeting point of their two attacks, roaring and churning from the conflicting powers, sending out pulsing, thunderous waves with each pounding of the beams.

Down below, however, the Royal Guards and Sunny Skies watched the fighting as it continued up above, in sheer awe of the Prince and Princesses’ powers. Sunny could tell that Starburst had really gotten better at combat thanks to her past battles, but Captain Valiant Heart, despite not having a ring like Star, was able to match her. There was a slight twinge of fear that Starburst could lose to Valiant Heart, he did teach the mare everything she knew of combat, and from what she had told her, Starburst hasn’t yet seen what her cousin was capable of when he got serious.

The only thing good about this fight is that neither of them are trying to kill each other, but still…Star still lacks the experience needed to best her cousin, and magic already has an adverse effect on her powers.

The two beams could not withstand it any longer, the center exploded, sending waves of royal blue and yellow light in all directions. The shockwave alone was strong enough to knock many ponies on their rumps or flat on their backs. Sunny had a good view from her new position on the ground, watching as Starburst created a hydra construct around her body. The nine headed monster hissed and roared at Valiant Heart as their eighteen eyes gazed upon the Captain of the Guard.

Four of the nine heads all lashed out, striking the area where Valiant Heart was standing. Each head collided with the tower, sending up a puff of dust with each impact. A cloud settled over the area, obscuring the hydra heads and Valiant Heart. After ten seconds of waiting, a flash of royal blue light appeared behind the four heads. They were about to attack again, but Valiant Heart got to them first. With blinding speed, the four heads were sliced to pieces in the wake of multiple royal blue light slashes.

Valiant Heart brought the weapons he used to do the deed. A pair of swords made of pure magical energy, the blue light lapped off the blades like fire, making his intense eyes shine with a greater intensity. Sunny could see it from here, Star was caught surprised once again, her expression made that clear enough. Valiant Heart’s Mana Blades were his signature weapons, but he only ever used them when he got serious in battle, and right now, Sunny could tell that the fight was going to get more intense.

Still, this did not deter Starburst; the two cousins went at each other once again. The sky erupting into thunderous booms with each impact of their attacks, it was either out of pure curiosity or awestruck for the battle that the Royal Guards didn’t want to arrest Sunny or pay her any mind. She certainly wasn’t complaining, but there was one thing that unsettled her about what one of Guards was talking about with one of the lower ranked Guards.

“The Captain is holding his own, even against the Fear Lantern!” The Private said.

“So…what can we do, we’re not exactly at their level, not by a long shot!”

I don’t like where this is going…

“………Contact one of the closest cannon turrets, tell them to load a…lethal round and prepare to fire it.”

Sunny’s eyes went wide and watched as the Private pull out a CommCrystal, she then rushed towards the young earth pony but was quickly blocked by a few pegasus and unicorn RGs.

“Are you insane?! That’s Princess Starburst, daughter of High Princess Twilight Sparkle and High Prince Flash Sentry, and you’re going to kill her!”

“Shut up traitor…We’re not going to kill her. Private, once they’re loaded, tell ‘em they are only to cripple her, aim for her wings.”

“You bastards!”

Sunny’s eyes quickly scanned the castle towers, looking for the hidden turret the Guards had contacted. Out of the corner of her eye, Sunny saw movement from one of the towers, a cannon muzzle pointed up, rotating around to find the perfect firing angle. Sunny looked to the turret, and then to the quarreling ponies above her, if she made a Beeline for the turret, the Guards would surely stop her, but…there was a second option.

Starburst was panting hard, never before in their many training sessions, and sparring matches had Valiant Heart fought her with such resolve and intensity, it was almost overwhelming. She knew her cousin was a gifted fighter, but not to this degree, it slightly angered her that he was holding back during their sparring matches. Now she contemplated how many of those matches she supposedly “won” were just given to her. But that was the past, and this, this was the present.

Magic had certainly seemed to be a bit of a problem with her constructs, not being a unicorn like Anthea, or an alicorn like her mother or Lance, Starburst had no real way to counter magic attacks, other than to overpower them with her spirit and strength, but even that was wearing thin, it took a little more effort to use her constructs and to maintain them due to their fragility against the mystical might her cousin, and others like Shadow Wing, wielded.

Now the two were hovering in the air, sizing the other up as they chose the best way to fight. Starburst had a claymore sword construct grasped in the crook of her hooves, while Lance still wielded his dual Mana Blades. She noticed that the stallion had a slight smirk on his face, whether it was out of superiority or, maybe, genuine respect for her fighting skills, she did not know. She hoped for the latter rather than the former.

“You really have gotten stronger Star,” said Lance.

“Thanks, I didn’t know you were this strong,” said Star.

“I meant it though, you really would’ve been a great Royal Guard, and you would’ve been my second-in-command in no time, and later, Captain when I decided to retire. I looked forward to the day I could mentor you through the Academy…”

Starburst lowered her sword a bit and sighed deeply, “You really suck Lance…I could’ve used you that day…If you were there…Maybe…Maybe none of this would be happening.”

Lance looked saddened, even more so than he did earlier in the dungeon cell. “I know…Star, please just surrender…I admit it, I wasn’t there when you needed me, and I’ve made all the wrong choices up till now, but let me make up for it now! I’ll do whatever it takes to help you; I’ll fight for you Star! I swear it!”

Star looked at her cousin, gazing at his shimmering eyes, seeing within them the determination and conviction of his words. The young mare felt the grip on her construct sword loosening, at the same time she saw that Lance’s swords were lowering as well, not into an attack position, but much the same way as hers was. Star decided to take a chance, she released the construct, and to her surprise, Lance released his Mana Blades. He was sincere.

“Lance… I… I …”

“It’s alright Star, I mean it. I’ll help you.”


Everything happened in slow motion for Starburst. There was the distinct sound of cannon fire, the distressed voice of Sunny screaming at her, the surprised look on Lance’s face, she watched it all as it began to change and gradually speed as if somepony were playing with some film reel. Starburst watched as bright light formed behind Lance, but before she could inquire what it was, Sunny Skies appeared before her.

“Sunny what are you –!?”

“I’m sorry…!”

Sunny grabbed hold of Starburst and threw her off to her right, catching the Fear Lantern off guard by the action. From the angle she was now at, Starburst watched as a bright, light-blue beam shot passed Lance, startling him as he moved to evade the attack. That same beam continued to sail, heading right towards…


The beam pierced through the mare’s chest, she stiffened in midair, her wings locked up. There wasn’t even a scream of pain as the beam sailed on and eventually dispersed into particles. Starburst, and even Lance, stared at the sight before them. Sunny then began to fall from the sky, Starburst immediately shot towards her friend, catching her in a bubble of yellow light and joining her inside of it. Starburst gasped upon seeing the wound, it had burned all the way through her, blood trickled from the corners of her mouth. Star’s vision became blurry as panic and tears started to build up.

“Sunny! Oh, Faust, please stay awake, stay with me, c’mon!”

The sun yellow pegasus mare coughed, making more blood spill from her mouth, she lazily looked up at Star and gave her usual smirk.

“Well…that hurt…”

Starburst didn’t know what to do, her mind quickly remembered that her ring could heal wounds, minor, but maybe it would be enough! She then pointed her ring at Sunny, “Ring, heal her wounds!”

[Unable to fulfill request.]


[The light of Fear is not a healing light. My functions only allow me to heal minor wounds to my bearer.]

“Dammit!!!” Starburst cursed.

“It’s alright…”

“No it’s not! Sunny I’m taking you to the hospital, now!”

Sunny raised a shaky right hoof to Starburst’s chest, making the Fear Lantern pause. “It won’t don’t any good… By the time you get me there…I’ll be dead…I got about a few more –” Sunny coughed up a little more blood, “seconds, before I…”

Starburst brought Sunny close to her, squeezing tightly as if thinking this would keep her from slipping away. “No! No you won’t die! We…We survived Stalliongrad, fought through that Tartarus together! I need you…You’re the only one who…Who believes in me!”

The soldier mare chuckled lightly, “I do Star…But now, you have to believe in yourself. Believe in the Starburst, that I do………Can I ask you one last thing…?”

Starburst separated herself from Sunny a little, looking down at her comrade. “Anything…”

“Since…Since it looks like I won’t b-be able to collect on that payment…Can I…” Sunny closed her eyes, a slight feeling of shame befalling her, “Forget it….”

Starburst put her hoof on Sunny’s cheek, making the mare open her eyes and look up at the young mare. A sad smile was on her face, but it was one that spoke the answer to her question. Star leaned down, closing her eyes slowly, prepared to give her friend this…last show of her gratitude and friendship.

[Life signs: Zero…]

The young mare opened her eyes, seeing Sunny’s eyes closed and a content smile on her face. “No…Hey, c’mon Sunny… I-I haven’t even kissed you yet…You can’t zonk out on me now, this is embarrassing enough as it is…Sunny…? Sunny…? SUNNY!!?”

The bubble landed on the ground, disappearing into particles of yellow light. Star hadn’t even noticed, she just continued to stare at the lifeless body of the only pony who risked it all because she believed in her, and now she was gone. Star held Sunny’s body close to her, sobbing loudly, not caring in the slightest that Royal Guards, or anypony else for that matter, saw her.

Lance flew down and landed with a thud, shaking the ground slightly. He then looked angrily to all his Guards, staring daggers into each and every one of them. “Who gave the order to fire?! I didn’t authorize any use of the cannons!”

“Sir, we were just –”

“QUIET!” Lance ordered in harsh tone.

Suddenly, something snapped in Starburst, anger, cold fury, it all welled up inside her, flowing through her body. The ring shined with intense yellow light as her body glowed with a fiery yellow aura.

“You crush my dreams…” Star laid her friend’s body down gently as she spoke, her tone cold and menacing, “Then my family turns its back on me…” The aura grew stronger, the ring building with power. “I save countless lives and for my trouble I am labeled a criminal by those I trust and love…!” The wind kicked up as Starburst’s power began to grow even stronger, “But when I find something that gives me purpose and hope, you and my mother want to take it away from me! And now, when I find somepony who truly believes in me, and calls me friend, you kill her!”

“Star that was an accident! I didn’t order that!”

“You’re all liars…and you’re all weak!” Starburst’s eyes were no longer the shade of magenta they once were, but were now a bright yellow, filled with the power of her ring. With a wave of her right hoof, Starburst created a shockwave that slammed against all the Guards, sending them flying like ragdolls into the walls and through some windows. Starburst then looked over her shoulder, to the turret that killed her friend.

“Star don’t!”

The Fear Lantern pointed her ring hoof at the turret and fired a single beam. The structure exploded into a shower of stone and fire, but not a moment later, that same turret exploded a second time, detonating from the ordinance that was stored within it. Starburst stared at Valiant Heart, her body silhouetted against the burning fire of the turret.

“You don’t have what it takes to defend Equestria, Valiant Heart, nor does my mother…None of you do.”

Valiant Heart recreated his blades and dashed towards Starburst. She evaded his first strike, but it was only a feint for the real one from the left blade. Starburst’s eyes shifted in the same direction and in that instant arched her back, letting the blade pass over her. Valiant then went into a flurry of slashes, but Star moved with such grace and speed that it baffled the alicorn stallion. An after image started to appear in her wake, making Valiant either over or under calculate where he was to land his blows. It disturbed Valiant Heart, seeing how drastically her fighting style changed, and even more so with the change in her eye color.

Just then, Starburst created a claw construct around her right hoof and thrust it forward, grabbing Valiant Heart by the throat and hoisting him up. Star began to apply pressure, but before she could do anything, Valiant Heart’s Mana Blades cut the construct arm off, making Star back away, taking to the air once again. Her body shined brighter, illuminating the darkness of the night. Starburst flared her giant wings as the yellow light coalesced around them, in the blink of an eye her wings became pure light energy, letting out sparkling particles of the golden light. Star brought her hooves before her, and to them formed a sword unlike the others she had created.

Its guard was oblong shaped, and had the insignia of the Fear Lantern Corps upon it, the blade was single edged like a Neighponese katana, but the edge blazed with yellow energy. Starburst then took an attack stance and with a flap of her energized wings and took off! An after image was forming in her wake with each movement, her eyes still shining as she headed straight for Valiant Heart.

The alicorn stallion met her in the air, their blades clashing. Starburst brought down her sword for an overhead strike, but it was quickly parried by Valiant Heart’s left sword, allowing him to lead with a thrust from his right blade. Star wasn’t one to be caught off guard by the same trick twice. She quickly created a shield around her left foreleg and brought it up to block the magical blade. Sparks flew as the two grinded against each other, letting Valiant and Star slide past each other.

Valiant Heart took advantage of Star’s recovery, bringing one of his Mana Blades up and slashing it towards her. But Starburst was quicker than he anticipated, using the same incredible speed to dodge the attack. To her left hoof, she formed an orb of concentrated yellow light; she then struck the Mana Blade with the orb and detonated it. The resulting explosion disrupted the flow of mana to the magically constructed weapon, causing it to disperse. Starburst then raised her sword, charging it with her yellow light of Fear. Golden particles of light flew towards the blade, setting it ablaze.

Starburst then slashed in a wide arc, unleashing a powerful crescent wave of light right at Valiant Heart. The Guard Captain formed a shield bubble around himself, just in time for the wave to impact against it. The power and force of the attack was stronger than he had imagined, it was literally pushing him back. Valiant was about to attempt a teleportation spell, but stopped when a second wave crossed over the first, forming a glowing yellow X. The two attacks together doubled the strain on the shield, causing it shatter, and leaving Valiant Heart to take the brunt of the wave.

The X shaped blast sent him straight into the ground, causing yet another explosion when they hit. A crater was formed in the same shape was the two arc waves, Valiant Heart was at the center, groaning in pain as he rose up slowly. In the blink of an eye, Starburst had reappeared before him, the blade of her katana only mere inches away from his throat. The alicorn stallion tensed, becoming perfectly still.

“Do you understand now, cousin? This is the resolve that is needed to defeat the Griffon Empire, something that our Royal Family lacks. All of you showed me that I can’t rely on help from anypony, not the family I trusted and loved, and not the Royal Guard I admired and respected.”

“Star you don’t –!”

Starburst then removed her blade from his neck, spun, and back hoofed Valiant in the face, sending him sprawling to the ground.

Star pointed her blade at him again, showing that this wasn’t a request. Cupping his now throbbing cheek, Valiant Heart looked upon his cousin. Her expression was calm, but her eyes held a fury behind them the blazed like the light that now shined within them.

“This is what you and our family have made me into, what I’ve had to become to realize what I am meant to do, so thank you.” Starburst then looked to the body of her dead friend and comrade, floating in protective sphere of yellow light. “Give Sunny Skies a proper burial, full honors, am I clear?”

Valiant Heart nodded.


Star’s katana lowered, she then began to rise up into the air, taking one last look at Sunny Skies. The katana faded away as her aura wrapped around herself, and in a matter of seconds, she disappeared from sight. Not even Valiant could sense her.

One of the Royal Guards, having picked himself up from the earlier assault, made his way to his Captain. “Sir, do we pursue? Send out a search party?”

Valiant Heart took one last look into the sky, and, with a heavy sigh, he spoke, “No…start helping the others get back on their hooves and…” The alicorn stallion looked to the body of Sunny Skies, “……And get a coroner down here, I want Lieutenant Sunny Skies’ body handled with care, and that’s an order!”

The Guard saluted and went off to do just that. Valiant Heart walked over to Sunny’s body. He then used his magic to maneuver her forelegs so that her front hooves rested upon her chest. He then cast a spell over her body that would keep it from being harmed by anything until she was moved to the morgue. The alicorn stallion looked upon the mare, her content smile, it haunted him.

“Rest in peace, Lieutenant Sunny Skies…”

Author's Note:

To Be Continued…

Proofread by: joeSFX