• 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!"

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The Brightest Night

There were few things in life that rendered Starburst speechless. The day her little brother was born, the first time she took flight and soared into the skies, or the first time when she saw how noble and just the Royal Guards were in defending the citizens of Equestria when she was a filly. Now a new first was going to be added to that list, the night when a yellow ring fell from the sky and granted her unbelievable power.

Starburst was standing on the rooftop of a ruined structure. Her body glowed with the golden aura of the ring. Before her, a couple of feet away, laid the dismembered bodies of the griffons that had tried to attack her. Star found herself staring between the glowing ring upon her foreleg and the bodies in front of her, trying to understand how it was that she just did that.

“What…what are you?”

[I am a weapon, designed to harness the power of Fear, and to allow my Bearer to wield it as they see fit.]

Starburst would’ve jumped, if it wasn’t for the fact that the ring was now fitted around her foreleg.

“A weapon, so… what can you do?”

[My functions include: Flight, Protective Aura, Light Constructs –]

“Okay, okay, stop! I don’t understand what you’re saying! Just, just give me a minute!”

Starburst needed someplace to think; someplace away from the carnage she just created. The young pegasus mare then unfurled her wings, she was about to take flight when a yellow aura erupted from her body. At that moment she was propelled into the air, unfortunately it was at ten times the speed she was used to. A trail of yellow light was left in her wake as she soared higher and higher into the sky, screaming her lungs out as she did so.

The world below her started to shrink, at some point Starburst had closed her eyes but couldn’t find the courage to open at that moment. Starburst adjusted her wings, concentrating to make herself stop ascending. Thankfully, Starburst came to a stop. The young mare took a few calming breathes before slowly opening her eyes.

“Oh, buck me…”

Starburst found herself high in the sky. Stalliongrad wasn’t even a speck, all she could see were landmasses and bodies of water. Star looked up and saw the vastness of space, dozens of tiny stars twinkled in the heavens above. Star deduced that she was in the upper atmosphere, at the very least. But the strange thing was she was able to breath, which didn’t make sense since there really shouldn’t be any air at this altitude.

“Where the hay am I now?!”

[Current Location: 600 miles in the exosphere of planet Equis.]

“SIX-HUNDRED MILES!!!?” Starburst looked down once again, yep, that was about right. “Okay, I-I need to get back to Stalliongrad. What if I just angled out and slowly…?”

As if on cue, Starburst quickly began her descent back to terra firma. Just like before, she soared down in a streak of yellow energy, screaming her lungs out for the second time. This time, however, she did not close her eyes and opted to watch every minute of her quick plummet. The landmasses and bodies of water soon gave way to a single large landmass. Afterwards small things were coming into view, little fires, the flash of explosions, and one city that was becoming bigger by the second. Star desperately tried to slow herself down, but it was becoming hard to do so with the strong g-forces.

Her yellow star streak eventually struck a tall structure, piercing through several floors till she came to a stop at the ground floor. Starburst laid there splayed on her back. The teenage mare groaned, not really out of pain, to be honest, she felt none. It was more from the rush of everything that had just happened to her. She then looked up and saw the hole she made through several floors and then the subsequent crater in the lobby.

Well, I'm back in Stalliongrad…that much I'm sure of.

Star then peeled herself off the floor and made her way back up the hole and onto the fifteenth floor. She then found a vacant room and secluded herself inside. It was a simple apartment, a couple of couches with a coffee table set at the center. Three windows that offered a perfect view of the ruined city, and lastly a kitchen that hadn't been used. Despite the situation it really wasn't a bad place to relax. Star plopped herself on the nearest couch and sighed heavily, thanking Faust for the slight reprieve.

"Okay Star, let's assess the situation. I am currently in position of a powerful weapon – that I have no idea how to control – that can also talk, I'm stuck behind enemy lines in Stalliongrad with no back up, Sunny Skies is…is probably dead, but I doubt it, hopefully. And to top it all off no pony knows I'm even here and probably won't know to rescue me!"

Star groaned in frustration. She reached to touch her face but was impeded by the helmet still surrounding her head.

"I don't need the helmet anymore," she said.

[Acknowledged.]

The helmet disappeared and allowed Starburst to feel the air upon her face. She noticed that the air wasn't as heavy as it was when she first arrived; it was clearer and not as heavy with heat and debris.

"Thanks ring. So, you're a weapon, I'll buy that. But why did you choose me, why did you come to me of all ponies?"

[Bearers of the yellow power ring are chosen for their ability to induce fear in other living beings. You, Starburst of Equestria, have such ability.]

"My special talent is 'intimidation', but is that all!? Just because I can scare others, that's the only reason why you appeared to me?!"

Starburst had long considered what her special talent truly meant. It was her cutie mark that helped her decide what she wanted to do, the best place for such a talent would be the Royal Guard, at least that what she had reasoned. It made sense, a Royal Guard needed to be intimidating and fierce, how else would they be taken seriously when trouble started? But to be chosen just because she could frighten ponies, and griffons, into submission, it was almost sinister.

[Another parameter for selection, the bearer must also display that they possess a great since of justice, and are of good moral character.]

Starburst stared at the ring in disbelief, "Seriously?"

[Affirmative.]

"Fear…as a means to bring about justice?"

Starburst thought hard about what the ring had said. True, when she stared down those griffons, it was mainly to instill the fear of the Goddess within them. They had cowered from her gaze, yes, but could her intimidation really be used to bring about justice.

Well, when you think about it, it's not that different from what I wanted to do in the first place, Star thought. The Royal Guard would've given me a way to use my special talent to make criminals fearful of breaking the law, or make killers like the griffons wish they never laid eyes on me. Can I really use fear as a force for good.

Starburst continued to stare at the yellow ring as she debated the logos and pathos of using fear as a weapon to fight evil. However, her inner debate would have to be put on hold, for the ring started to blink rapidly.

"What's wrong?" asked Star.

[Fear of death detected. Multiple hostiles approaching, bearing south southwest, distance 800 meters. Warning: noncombatants detected as well.]

Starburst shot up from the couch and quickly made her way to the center window. The young mare squinted her eyes as she peered down the road, she could make out a mass of some sort, but she couldn't quite make out what it was.

"Ugh, I can't see, I need –!" Answering her wish, the ring created a yellow construct of a pair of binoculars, quite advanced looking ones
from what she could tell. "Um, thanks."

Starburst let the binoculars come closer to her eyes so that she could see. As she looked through them, the construct gadget zoomed in on the faraway image. After some focusing, she was able to see a large contingent of griffon soldiers. At the head of the group was a silver griffon, with a scar over his left eye and mechanical, metal wings. Before him was a unicorn stallion, an earth pony mare, and two fillies.

"Steel Wing," she whispered, remembering the griffon from when he and the other Wing Commanders visited Canterlot, "what in Tartarus are you doing?!"

Steel Wing seemed to be preparing to fight the unicorn stallion, showing little if no concern. Starburst watched as the stallion unleashed a beam of pure magical energy at Steel Wing. Starburst ground her teeth in frustration at the sight.

"Dammit, get out of there! They're armor repels magic! Get your wife and kids and RUN!" Star screamed.

Her cries fell on deaf ears, as the beam struck the metal wings of the griffon commander. Starburst then watched in horror as the griffon swiftly decapitated the stallion in one motion. Star's jaw dropped, she looked away for a moment, cursing the griffons name to Tirek. Gathering her courage, Starburst dared to look again and saw that the mare and fillies were still there, not yet harmed. But by the looks of the four griffons in the group that would soon be change, fast.

"Ring, how can I use you to fight back?!"

[This unit can deploy a number of yellow light generated constructs, anything from weapons, to miscellaneous objects. So long as you feel the power of Fear, the only limit to what this unit can create is your imagination.]

Starburst looked at the binoculars, and thought back to the sword she had created to cut down those four griffons from earlier. A confident smile formed on Star's muzzle as a yellow aura flared to life around her.

"Ring, let's see how powerful you are."

[Affirmative.]


Present...

Starburst stood before Steel Wing and his remaining soldiers. The fear that radiated from the three soldiers was a plain to her as the sun was in the morning sky. She could tell that they were terrified of her, it was almost exhilarating. Steel Wing, however, had just a faint spark of fear within him. His years of service and numerous battles had most likely hardened the griffon commander, making it hard for him to scare easily.

Although she sensed their fear, Star could also sense the mare's and fillies' fears. The mare, the mother of the foals, she feared that her children would be killed by either Starburst or the soldiers, and right now the mare did not know which was worse. The two fillies on the other hand were terrified. Their father cut down in front of them, the horde of griffons slain and decimated, children weren't meant to see such things.

"Miss," spoke Starburst, "take your children and run as far away from here as you can."

The mare seemed hesitant, not sure if she could trust this unknown pegasus. True she saved their lives, but was it only so she could kill them later?

"You don't have a lot of time! You need to run!" Star then looked down to the body of the slain stallion. "Don't let your husband's sacrifice be in vain..."

That seemed to drive the point home. The mare quickly threw her fillies onto her back and dashed off down the road; she turned for a moment and mouthed a "thank you." With her gone, Starburst could now focus her full attention on the four griffons before her.

"You destroyed most of my troops, and spared a mother and her children. I can't tell whether you're the deadliest opponent I've ever faced, or if it's just all for show," chided Steel Wing.

"You're in command of this invasion?"

"I am what of it?"

"That just means when I kill you, this whole thing ends."

Steel Wing chuckled at Star's statement. "Dear girl, you are more of a fool than I previously thought. Killing me may stop the battle, unlikely, but it is possible. But the war will continue."

Starburst crouched low into a fighting stance, "I'll settle for Stalliongrad's freedom for now!"

Steel Wing smiled wickedly, he then motioned with his right claw for his soldiers to attack Starburst. When none of them moved Steel Wing turned his head to look at them with a piercing glare.

Starburst could yet again feel the fear of the three soldiers. They feared her, that was a given, but for some reason they were more afraid of being punished by Steel Wing. One of the soldiers flew up into air and dove down, his claws bared and ready to tear her apart. Although they couldn't tell, Starburst was grinning behind her faceplate. She then concentrated; yellow light began to gather around her right foreleg. When the griffon was in range, Starburst lifted her right foreleg and thrust forward. The light solidified into a claw construct, with rough jagged edges that appeared to be more akin to that of a demonic creature.

The claw construct reached out and grabbed the griffon, catching him at the chest. The griffon soldier flailed and tried desperately to claw his way out of the construct. Starburst found it strange; she felt a slight connection to the claw. She could flex the digits, apply pressure, she was starting to see why her Uncle Spike, as well as Claire and Turquoise, liked using them so much. Getting back to the matter at hoof, Starburst clenched the claw. There was the rather subtle cracking sound, and gasps of air turned into gargled wheezes. The soldier went limp and Starburst, unceremoniously, thrust her claw into the side of a building, the construct fading upon impact.

One of the soldiers took this opportunity to attack Star, drawing his sword and bringing it down in an overhead strike. Starburst quickly jumped back, allowing the griffon's blade to strike the road. The soldier didn't let up, he then charged for Star, slashing with his blade in a frenzied, panicked fashion. Starburst quickly erected an attached round shield to her left foreleg, the insignia of the ring etched at its center. The griffon's blade continuously struck the shield; sparks flew off in every direction as Starburst hovered in midair while the griffon assaulted her.

The shield showed no signs of breaking from the constant attacks, but it was starting to annoy Star with every impact. The griffon drew back a bit and came in for a thrust. Starburst cocked back her right hoof; the ring began to shine with an intense golden light. The moment before the griffon got close; Star punched forward and unleashed a powerful blast of yellow light. The energy beam quickly engulfed the griffon and incinerated him on the spot. Not even ash was left.

Starburst returned to standing upon the ground, staring down the only remaining soldier and the commander, Steel Wing.

"If you value your life, you'll leave now. This is my only act of mercy," spoke Starburst in a deathly serious tone.

It seemed that this griffon was smarter than his now deceased companions. The griffon quickly did an about face and prepared to take off. But before that could happen, Steel Wing used one of the quills on his metal wing to stab his soldier straight through the heart. The griffon soldier looked upon his commander, his expression full of betrayal and disbelief. While the commander's expression remained cold, hard, and unforgiving. Steel Wing then retracted his quill and allowed the body to slump to the ground.

"How could you do that!? He was your subordinate! I showed him mercy!"

"You seem to suffer under the delusion that there is honor in battle. There's only honor for the victor, and for the soldiers who follow the orders, obediently. By turning his back and choosing to run, he had lost that honor, thus losing his rite to be called a soldier. That death was the greatest honor I could bestow upon him," said Steel Wing.

"Even to your own, you act so cruelly."

"It is because of that kind of harshness that we, as an Empire, have grown stronger! Unlike you weakling ponies, your notions of peace, friendship, and love, they've made you soft. You rely on your High Princesses to defend you, to coddle you in times of peril; it is these very shortcomings that have led to Stalliongrads fall." Steel Wing took a moment to regard his fallen and the slain stallion. "But their deaths were not a waste, I've more than learned what you're capable of, or at least I have an idea."

"Oh really?"

Steel Wing began to circle Starburst, prompting the Princess to do the same. "I've learned that whatever power that trinket on your leg possesses, it isn't magic based. Otherwise their armor would've protected them from your assault earlier. It also appears to be versatile, changing to whatever you need it to be upon a whim. Such a weapon is I have to say, quite a bit beyond the capabilities of you equines. For that matter, I'm not sure any nation can claim to be so advanced. Which begs the question of where a young mare such as yourself procured such a powerful item?"

"Not telling."

"Good, there wouldn't be any fun in making you squeal otherwise!"

Steel Wing lunged for Starburst. She quickly flapped her wings and ascended into the air. Star then fired a concentrated yellow energy beam right at Steel Wing. The griffon commander, though he appeared old, had quick reflexes. He sidestepped to the right and flapped his wings to propel him further. The beam struck the ground, resulting in an explosion that buffeted the sliver griffon.

Starburst summoned a volley of construct arrows. With a wave of her hoof the arrows launched themselves at Steel Wing. The scarred one wasn't going to be easily killed like his underlings. He quickly used his wings to deflect or shield himself from hits that would've been fatal. Steel Wing then flew up into the air and flapped his two wings simultaneously in front of him. The resulting flap let loose dozens of sharp panel quills that whistled as they cut through the air. Star ceased her arrow attack and brought up a barrier around herself. The panels struck the barrier with impressive force, pushing her back with each hit.

Steel Wing, using his last attack as a distraction, flew above Starburst. He then balled up his claws into fists and dove down. Cocking back his right fist he then struck the barrier. The power that the punch carried made the spherical barrier go down a few feet. Star looked up and saw Steel Wing and prepared to counterattack. Just then the metallic winged griffon struck again, and again, and again. Rapidly he started to pummel at the barrier, Starburst was having some trouble maintaining the shield. With every strike she could feel the pounding resonate in her skull, making it hard for her to concentrate.

"I see you have a problem with offense while you are defending! I should think that item wouldn't have much trouble attacking and defending, so the problem must lie in the wielder!"

Steel Wing brought both of his fists together, interlocking each claw, and dealing a powerful hammer fist blow to the barrier. That blow seemed to hit Starburst hard, her concentration faltered, causing the barrier to shatter apart like fragile glass. Star fell to the ground, she hurriedly tried to get up, only to have Steel Wing descend from the air and pounce right on top of her. The wind, for the third time that night, was knocked out of her lungs, making her gasp for air, she might've even felt a rip crack.

Steel Wing quickly took hold of her right foreleg with his left claw, bringing the ring closer for him to inspect. "Yes, this is the item from which your power stems." The griffon commander then proceeded to wrench the ring from Star's foreleg, but no matter how hard he tried, the ring wouldn't slip off her. "I see, guess it's plan B: remove the whole right leg."

Star was drifting in and out of consciousness, her chest and stomach hurt, she tasted blood in her mouth, and her vision was blurry. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your perspective, Starburst regained enough of her senses to watch as Steel Wing maneuvered one of his mechanical wings to the crease of her foreleg. Starburst remembered what he had said about taking her foreleg, and with one mighty shout she cried.

"NO!!!"

[Fear Shine: Activated.]

"What was –?!"

The ring let loose a blinding flash of yellow light. Starburst then heard wailing and screaming coming from Steel Wing, thanks to her helmet, she could see exactly what was happening. The griffon was starting to back up from Starburst, screaming and crying in pure terror and agony as the light continued to shine. He tried to cover his eyes with his wings, but even that didn't seem to stop whatever it was that the light was doing to him.

"NO!!! STOP!!! KEEP IT AWAY FROM ME, KEEP IT AWAY FROM ME!!! I DON'T WANT TO SEE IT!!! I DON'T WANT TO SEE IT!!!"

Starburst slowly got up, her chest hurting with every movement and every breath she took. She continued to keep the ring's shine pointed towards Steel Wing, watching him writhe from its withering glow.

"I don't know what you're making him see, or how you’re doing it, but keep shining!"

The light glowed with even more strength, causing Steel Wing to scream in terror to the point where Star thought his vocal cords would snap and that his lungs would explode from the strain that he was putting on them, like she could care less.

Finally, after about a minute of prolonged exposure to the light, Steel Wing took off in the opposite direction; his wails could be heard through the silent streets as they continued to get further and further away. Once she was sure he was gone, Starburst commanded the light to cease. When the light dimmed to its normal glow, Starburst placed her hoof back on the ground, and used the other to cradle her injured underbelly.

"W-What was that?" asked Starburst.

[Fear Shine: yellow light is emitted at a high output, allowing this unit to infiltrate the selected target(s) psyche. Once infiltrated, the yellow light then bombards the target's mind with flash images of the thing or creature that the target most fears. Continued exposure to the Fear Shine induces psychotic breaks and in some cases death, dependent upon how strongly the images are received.]

"It didn't affect me. Can I assume that I can't succumb to the Fear Shine?"

[Correct. However, this unit does not recommend that Bearer use the Fear Shine again. In cases where the target's will in stronger, the effects of the Fear Shine could backlash. Recommend further training before use again.]

"*cough* I'll file that under 'important stuff I need to remember' *cough*." Star could still taste blood in her mouth, and the pain in her chest wasn't subsiding. "Ring, how bad am I, right now?"

The ring created a display, showing Star's body and highlighting certain areas around her chest region.

[Bearer's vitals are erratic. Multiple fractures detected within ribcage, punctured left lung, and hairline fractures detected within right avian appendage. Recommend immediate medical treatment.]

Starburst coughed again, she opened the faceplate enough so that she could spit out the blood instead of swallowing it, after doing that about three times, Star took in a few raspy breaths.

"No can do, right now I'm the only one who can really make a difference in this battle. Steel Wing is gone, which means that they'll be scrambling to figure out what to do next. I need to hit them, and hit'em hard *cough*!"

[Warning: Detecting incoming vessels from the North and South.]

With a mere thought, Star recreated the binoculars from earlier. She aimed them towards the North and spotted a fleet of Equestrian airships coming. When she turned to the South, Star saw a fleet of Griffonian airships also incoming, although their fleet was smaller, most likely counting on the captured anti-air cannons to aid in their air supremacy. Even with reinforcements, if the AA cannons were still under enemy control the chances of them being able to do anything was slim to nothing. Images of the Nightingale started to flash in Star's mind, remembering the sight of the burning vessel as it fell from the sky with all those lives still trapped on it when the ship exploded.

I will NOT let that happen again!

[Power levels now at 80%.]


[Power levels now at 62%.]

"NOT HELPING," screamed Starburst.

The new Fear Lantern was currently in the middle of battle with dozens of griffon soldiers. Construct bandages were wrapped around her chest and midsection, they did a well enough job of keeping everything in place, however, that didn't do much for the pain she was feeling. Despite it, Starburst pushed through it, one way or another, she was going to take control of these cannons away from the griffons if it killed her, and she had no intention of dying today.

Griffons continued to try and stop her, shooting crossbow bolts, lobbing spears, and even going so far as to foolishly engage in close combat. Starburst made them regret that very quickly. Luckily for her, using the ring to fly meant that she didn't have to use her wings to do so, it took Star a bit of time to adjust to flying without the use of her wings, but she was a fast learner.

Starburst continued to weave in and out of city streets, speeding towards the cannons as they came into view. They were truly a marvel of equine engineering, on three towers using twice the amount of blasting powder, with a longer barrel, and improved sights to better acquire a target. The cannons were set up on three different towers, each one had four cannons, and all were able to rotate at three-hundred and sixty degrees, thanks to a powerful magic fueled engine at the base of the fifty stories tall towers that drove the mechanisms that enabled it to swivel. That area was extra fortified to prevent structural collapse and to keep the engines from being hit from stray shot.

The Fear Lantern could already see the cannons getting into position, any minute now the fleet would fly right into a shooting gallery. Star wasn't about to let that happen. She poured on the speed to hasten to her objective. A line of griffons appeared up ahead, releasing wave after wave of explosive crossbow bolts at her. Star's aura field kept the explosions from harming her, but the shockwaves were rattling her insides, which only caused her more pain. Gritting her teeth, Star created a large battering ram in the shape of an actual ram's head. The griffons continued to fire bolt after bolt, but the construct would not break.

Cries of pain and agony echoed out as Starburst smashed through their lines, sending many of the soldiers slamming to the buildings or flying off to parts she knew not where. News traveled fast about the golden armored mare who wielded a strange power, all the griffons in the area flooded towards the cannons, hoping to stop her. When Starburst reached the cannons she let out an annoyed grunt. Hundreds of griffon soldiers were hovering in the air, ready to stop her from advancing further.

"Seriously, did they call in the whole army just to stop me?! That's actually flattering," said Star wistfully.

The air was charged with the roars of the griffons as they all flew towards Starburst. Each one grabbed hold of her, one piling on top of the other. More and more clung on till they were a giant ball of mashed up griffons. Their version of a dog pile, she supposed. A yellow light started to shine in the cracks between the bodies. It flashed more rapidly by the second, until the flashes culminated into one giant burst.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!"

Starburst shouted loudly as the power of her aura threw griffons from her, scattering them to different parts of the city at terminal velocities. She panted hard, yet painfully, as she took in air. Now that the way was clear, she was free to liberate the cannons.

Have to make sure to weed the griffons out. The cannons can still be used to defend Stalliongrad if they try to invade, again, thought Star.

[Power levels at 55%.]

Something told Star that the decreasing power levels of the ring wasn't a good thing, but right now she didn't exactly have time to deal with that at the moment, and opted to try and make her attacks less big and more precise.

Starburst flew through the open window of the first tower. From the outside, flashes of yellow light could be seen emanating from the windows, along the subsequent screams of a fallen griffon soldier. Star worked her way to the top of the tower, surprising the gunners within. Two of them tried to rush her, but two quick claw constructs slamming them into the hardwood floor stopped them dead in their tracks. She then tossed the two griffons out the nearest window, not even wondering if they were conscious. The third griffon brandished his claws and tried to swipe at Star. She wasn't in the mood to be doing some fancy dodging, so she pointed the ring at the griffon and conjured a brick wall. She then launched brick wall straight at griffon. He was then crushed up against the metal wall, with the sickening sounds of pulverized bones and cartilage.

One down, two to go...

It was a simple matter of rinse and repeat after the first tower, and she did it with minimal damage to the cannons. Actually, by the time she had reached third tower gunner's room, she found that the griffons were letting themselves out. Kind of anticlimactic, but it saved her time, pain, and ring energy.

Now I just need to signal our forces that the cannons are under Equestrian control.

Starburst flew out the window and landed at the very tip of one of the cannons. From there she was able to survey that the front line had moved forward considerably within the last half hour. She deduced that it was because the soldiers who held those areas had been moved to try and stop her from reaching the cannons, the remainder of the soldiers either were taken down or ran away when they saw the tide turning. Starburst then raised her right foreleg into the air, concentrating on the image in her mind; she let loose a sphere of yellow light into the sky.

The ball of light exploded like fireworks, taking the form of the Royal Equestrian Flag. It came as a thunderous wave as many of the citizens in the city cheered at once upon seeing her signal. They knew that there was a chance for victory now. That was, until she heard cannon fire whizzing by her head. Starburst watched as the red hot ordinance struck a faraway structure, exploding against it and collapsing it in one shot. Starburst turned around and saw that the Griffonian air fleet had sped up their arrival and were now opening fire upon the city. Whether they knew that their comrades were still down there or not, Star couldn't tell. After everything she had been through this night, she'd be damned if the Empire's air fleet was going to take away their well-earned victory.

Starburst took off high into the sky. She appeared as a shooting golden star as she continued ascend higher and higher. Star then stopped when she was level with the incoming griffon air fleet.

"Ring, how much power do you have left?!"

[Power levels at 50%.]

"Hopefully that's enough..."

Starburst took in a deep, pained breath as she hovered in place. Clearing her mind the best she could as the image of what she wanted formed. Star held out her right hoof, using her left to support it. The ring shined brightly as Starburst focused her mind into creating a weapon that would take out the enemy in one shot.

Up above Star, the construct started to take form. It resembled a cannon, but not of Equestrian design. In fact, the weapon almost looked alien. The futuristic weapon was at the very least twenty hoofball fields in length, height, and width. As the cannon continued to form, the Empire's air fleet started to open fire directly at it, which only made it harder to fully form the weapon.

"I can do this! I can do this!"

At last the cannon was formed, Starburst was secretly thanking her little brother, Nighty, for without him, this weapon wouldn't have ever popped into her head. It was a weapon from a science fiction movie that she took Nighty to see a while back. It featured ponies who traveled through space, in a ship built for combat. The main weapon of this massive ship, was something called a "Wave-Motion Cannon", Star had no idea what that even meant, but when they fired that thing, it completely annihilated everything in its path.
The barrel of the giant weapon started to gather power, illuminating the night sky like a star. The Fear Lantern's ring shined with a powerful yellow light to match the one building in the cannon, Starburst started to sweat as the strain of charging and maintaining the cannon's form took their toll.

[WARNING: Power levels dipping below Bearer safety parameters, recommend immediate recharge!]

"Not really the time! Now help me target those ships!"

Upon her command a modified version of the binoculars appeared over her eyes. The readout showed distance (500klm), wind speed (10 knots), enemy numbers (132), and the effective destructive potential once they were within optimal range. The Griffonian airships continued to let loose cannon fire, some struck the giant construct, and others flew by Star or exploded near her. She continued to hold her position as the ships came into range. Soon the sights within the visor aligned as two big, bold words flashed "LOCKED ON".

"FIRE!!!!!!!"

The cannon released a thunderous blast of yellow light! The darkness of the night was chased away as everything was bathed in the golden light of Starburst's attack. The giant energy ray roared towards the air fleet, with no time to turn around, the fleet was swallowed up in the torrent of fear energy, each ship exploding like a firecracker. But even those explosions were smothered out due to the powerful energy that washed over them. After about fifty seconds the beam died down till it fizzled out into tiny particles of yellow light. They were gone; all one-hundred and thirty-two ships were completely vaporized.

Star continued to hold out her right hoof, despite the fact that the cannon was now deconstructing itself. The visor she wore scanned the area till the readout said "ENEMY COUNT: 0".

Starburst let out a relieved sigh as she allowed her forelegs to go limp, "Good...I...I did it..."

At that moment Star fell from the sky, free falling at a dangerous speed. She felt weak, tired, and beaten; she didn't even have the strength to stop herself from plummeting to the unforgiving ground below. Scrounging up one last effort, Starburst wrapped her body in as strong a protective aura as she could. The young Princess made impact through several buildings before coming to a stop somewhere in the city square.

Needless to say, her body was now in a great amount of pain.

[Power levels at 5.5%, disengaging uniform and protective aura.]

As it said, Star's uniform started to disappear into tiny particles of light. The bandage constructs vanished as well, inviting more pain to rack her already tired body.

[Unit now entering Power Save Mode, Universal Translator and Pocket Dimension Retrieval will remain in effect.]

"*cough*...Good to know...*cough*." Starburst looked up into the sky, remnants of the waning light she used to liberate Stalliongrad still hung in the air. Starburst smiled proudly at her accomplishments, even in her current state, she did not regret it, not one bit. "*cough* Did you see that Mom...? *cough* I *cough* did it...I helped save Stalliongrad...*cough* and I made the night *cough* bright........."

Starburst, with the last of her strength, slid the ring off her foreleg and tucked under her left wing. She made sure to keep her wing tucked tight, not wanting to lose the ring, or risk it falling into enemy control. With that, Starburst lost consciousness, her smile still held fast. The last thing she heard were the powerful cheers reverberating through the air and ground, victory had been attained.

Author's Note:

To Be Continued...