• Published 7th Aug 2014
  • 8,297 Views, 236 Comments

The Final Days of Man - Anima Reaper



Armies clash in Equestria over an ancient feud between two powerful races. Ajax ,the last human, holds Celestia accountable for the extinction of his race. He will go to any lengths to see her brought to justice.

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Chapter Four

Ajax sat on the edge of a cliff overlooking a large exotic landscape. His legs hung over the edge, dozens of miles off of the ground. The land he stared out at was engulfed with color and beauty unheard of, even in Equestria.

The habitat was so alive, it illuminated the horizon with wild unimaginable colors. Its landscape was vast yet still interconnected within all aspects of life. Ajax watched as massive creatures with long necks grazed across the plains in front of him. The extraordinary behemoths would take bites out of the clouds in the sky as they slowly crossed the land. One of the creatures curiously lowered its head near Ajax and looked at him with its large eye. Ajax sat with his chin resting on his hand, as he looked back into the animal’s eye. The creature lost interest and raised its head above the clouds and continued on its journey.

“It’s rude to spy on people you know…” said Ajax.

He stood up and turned around. His long black hair was flowing freely, and he did not have his usual metal gauntlet on. Slung across his back was his massive onyx blade.

“No point in continuing with this farce any longer. I know you’re there. You have been watching me for quite some time.”

Ajax stood silently as a breeze blew across the mountaintop. After some time had passed, a voice finally responded to him.

“I'm curious, how long did you know I was here?”

Luna stepped out of the shadows and approached the human.

“I have known for quite some time what you were up to. You must think you’re quite clever.” replied Ajax.

Ajax gazed at his right hand, opening and closing it. His actual flesh and blood, no longer a metal gauntlet, the hand was muscular and sinewy.

“Luna, the princess who rules over all planes of the dreaming world… I suppose your sister put you up to this. She probably hoped you could gain some useful information through my subconscious, but alas it was all for naught.”

Luna raised an eyebrow as she started to walk around Ajax in a circle.

“I have seen your dreams, human. You seem to enjoy looking like…this.”

Luna pointed a hoof at Ajax’s new appearance.

“But tell me. Why do you never dream of the other humans? Is the pain of remembrance far too great for you to bare?”

Ajax watched silently as the pony circled around him. Luna stopped, facing him.

“Tell me, what will you do when you have to confront all those whose lives you have taken, all of those whose lives you have destroyed?” asked Luna.

“I will kill them again if I must!” snapped Ajax.

He pointed his sword toward Luna. She chuckled, despite Ajax’s sword being inches from her face.

“Do you think you can harm me? Have you forgotten that we are in a dream?”

Luna flew up into the sky. The light of the moon shone behind the alicorn changing the exotic world into an empty plane of pure black.

“You think just because this is a dream that you are safe?” sneered Ajax.

Ajax began ascending through the air towards Luna.

“This is MY dream! You are in MY world!”

Ajax quickly swung his sword, emitting a wave of black fire. Luna’s horn glowed with purple as she shot out a devastating wave of magic into the fire. As the magic engulfed the flames, the moon began to glow with a bright light. It quickly began shooting a pulse of white energy down into the dark empty floor. Ajax stood still as the bright light encircled him.

“What’s the matter Ajax? No robot army to hide behind!?” said Luna.

Ajax stepped out from the rubble, unharmed by the moonbeam. The human began to twitch. Luna studied him for a moment, suddenly realizing that Ajax was growing larger. He grew exponentially in size until he towered over everything in the new world and with a mighty blow, he shattered the moon in the sky.

“What’s the matter Luna? Did you like that large rock?” said Ajax with a smirk.

Luna frowned at the giant human.

“Impressive, you have an incredible amount of control over your dreams, even for a lucid dreamer."

As Luna spoke, all light began to vanish from the dream, returning the world to a state of darkness. Small lights began to flicker everywhere, and as they got brighter and brighter, they filled the dream with the light of the cosmos. Planets and comets began to glide past the two giants that stood in the middle of space.

The pony and human stood surrounded by galaxies, their eyes fixated on one another.

“You know, this could be all over if you just wake up. If we continue any longer I won’t guarantee that you ‘will’ wake up.” said Luna with a cold smile.

Ajax had a similar grin as he grabbed a nearby planet. He juggled it with his right hand as he spoke.

“You want to peer into my mind? Very well, you shall peer into the darkest depths of my soul!”

Ajax hurled the massive planet at Luna. The pony was knocked back into the darkness, falling into the spiraling void as a red light filled the sky. A blood moon illuminated the princess as she crashed into the ground.

“Augh!” cried out Luna as she fell onto something hard.

The pony rolled around as whatever she was on top of crumbled beneath her hooves. The pony peered through the darkness and realized she was on top a mound of skulls. Each skull was a different species, shape, and size. The stench of rotting flesh and blood filled the air. The pony looked around and saw only blood for miles around. Bone claws, hooves, and hands reached outwards from under the blood, grasping at floating skulls and pulling them into the darkness. The screams of the innocent filled the pungent air.

“What’s the matter Luna? Can’t handle a little nightmare?” chimed a horrid voice.

A massive creature emerged from the blood wearing a crown constructed from teeth. Large ribs grew out from the shadow’s back arching over its shoulders. Empty eye sockets stared at Luna as the rest of the fiend manifested from the remaining corpses. Luna’s heart nearly burst right out of her chest, as she realized that the thing speaking to her right now was Ajax.

The shade’s sickle like talons slashed into the piles of bone ripping out marrow and intestines. The creature slowly skittered up the pile of remains towards the alicorn. Luna pushed her hooves against the bone trying to escape the monster, but the creature was already on top of her. The beast’s skull grew exposed tendons and muscle as a single blood shot eye grew into the skull. Skin dripped down the demon’s jaw slipping onto the horrified pony.

“YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I HAVE ENDURED. THE AMOUNT OF DEMONS I HAVE SLAIN IN ORDER TO SURVIVE! LOOK INTO MY MIND AND SEE WHAT I HAVE SEEN!

Luna froze in terror. She had never seen anyone in Equestria dream up a monstrosity like this. The creature wheezed as it drew breath.

“WE ARE NOT SO DIFFERENT…you and I...”

“Like hell we are!” shouted Luna.

The blood moon cracked from the pony's shout. Blood began to rain down from the sky. Luna realized she could no longer move; all four of her hooves had been stitched to the pile of bone and flesh without her realizing it. She looked the fiend straight in the eye.

“I am nothing like you!”

The demon reared its head back as white hair grew in patches on top of its skull. Two long ribs extended from the abomination’s back stopping only inches from Luna.

“I HAVE A BEAST IN ME….BUT I KNOW YOU HAVE ONE IN YOU AS WELL…SHOW ME WHAT YOU REALLY ARE! NIGHTMARE MOON!”

The demon drove the extended ribs into Luna’s eyes. The alicorn shrieked as the images of the dead flashed before her eyes. Luna saw images of Nightmare Moon and other horrifying images flash before her eyes. The image of the evil alicorn let out a maniacal laugh before everything vanished... Luna awoke in a cold sweat. She was now safe in her bedroom, but she was too horrified by the nightmare to rest easy. She sat quietly thinking about the night terror she had just witnessed.

‘Ajax may not be from Tartarus, but clearly guarding the Everfree Scar has affected him…for the worse.’

Luna looked out her bedside window at the shimmering moon in the sky. The mare in the moon was more visible than ever before.

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“Hey! Ajax!”

Ajax awoke to Trixie nudging his shoulder. Ajax closed his eyes one last time before finally opening them.

“What...?” he grunted.

The sound of metal wheels clicking on rails could be heard in the background as the two talked. Ajax and his companions had hopped on a train in order to reach their destination a bit sooner.

“Nothing, I just wanted you to stop sleep talking so much. You were talking all night… Do you always do that?” asked the unicorn.

“How am I supposed to know the answer to that?”

Ajax rubbed his eyes and looked around at the empty cart. Jax-4’s head was resting in a nearby corner, no longer attached to his broken body.

“He’s been awfully quiet lately. It’s actually quite nice.” remarked Trixie.

“I will believe it when I hear it…”

Ajax sat up and unrolled a map of Equestria. Trixie sat back down and waited for him to finish whatever he was doing.

“If we cut between Appaloosa and Dodge Junction we should reach the Badlands before nightfall…”

Ajax used his fingers to measure distance on the map.

“We should actually hop off the train in a few minutes... Don’t want to accidently end up in Dodge Junction and create a scene.”

Jax-4’s eyes lit up.

“I guess it’s much easier to travel without an army, as we will now reach our destination much earlier than expected."

Ajax glared at Jax-4, momentarily considering the disembodied head's comment. After a few seconds of thinking, he sighed and folded his arms.

“I suppose you are correct…”

“You seem to be handling the whole losing thing quite well by the way,” said Jax-4

Ajax looked over at the robot’s head and shot a spark of fire out from his index finger, grazing the robot’s head.

“Don’t think I feel sorry for you now that you're only a talking head. Keep acting impudent and I will trash you like I did with the better half of you. Besides...we didn’t lose. As long as a single pony was injured on that battlefield we have won. I have a factory that can make an infinite amount of you useless self-proclaimed soldiers…”

“So what's the plan now?” asked Trixie.

“First we need to find a way to deal with that annoying pegasus… She is too fast for any of our cannons to have a shot at taking her down... we might have to hire someone,” groaned Ajax.

He walked over and picked Jax-4 up.

“Go ahead and put out the word that we are looking for a skilled mercenary capable of top air speeds. Tell them that we will pay them well...very well.I expect results by the time we finally return back to the north.”

Jax-4's eyes pulsed with light.

“I have already begun creating flyers to be passed around in notorious taverns. I will have a list of potential employees by the time we get back.”

“Good. It seems we have finally found a good use for that big mouth of yours.”

“By the way, did you see where my hat went?” asked the robot.

Ajax ignored him and walked back over to the map and began to gather his belongings. Trixie sat with her hooves hanging out of the cart, she watched as the open plains slowly rolled by. Recently she hadn’t been able to travel, but now she reminisced on how nice it was to travel freely across Equestria. The pony let out a sigh, as she stared out into the distance.

“You don’t mind if I take this, right?” asked Ajax.

Trixie shook her head as Ajax lent down and picked up metal conical hat sitting next to her. The man placed the metal hat back onto Jax-4’s head.

“It’s time to jump by the way.” said Ajax.

He walked up next to Trixie and looked out the cart door. The unicorn nodded and hopped off the cart, slowly gliding down to safety. Ajax slammed down near Trixie, his boots digging into the ground. His new armor was no longer in pristine condition like before, it had regressed back into its rugged state because of the recent battle.

Ajax stood up holding Jax-4’s head and hoisted a bag over his shoulder.

“Let’s keep moving, we got a lot of ground to cover.”

Only a fool would choose to travel through the deserts of Equestria unprepared, but far from home and short on supply, the three fools pressed forward. The desert’s sun was unforgivingly hot and although Ajax and Jax-4 didn’t seem to mind the heat, Trixie wasn't as strong-willed.

“I can’t take this for much longer! How much further must we travel?” groaned Trixie.

“If it would shut you up, we could stop for a break,” sighed Ajax.

The three took shelter in a nearby massive arch of rock. They entered and saw a glistening pool of water in the middle of the den.

“Well, it is about time we got a break!” cheered Trixie.

She took a step forward, but Ajax grabbed her ear.

“Ouch! What the hell did you do that for?”

Ajax pointed at a pile of bones nearby.

“Oh…”

Jax-4 eyes shot a wave of sweeping lasers that scanned the cave.

“I believe there is a potential threat nearby,” stated the robot.

Ajax dropped Jax-4 and drew his sword while Trixie drew a magical tome from her sack.

“How could you just drop me at a time like this!” exclaimed Jax-4.

“Hush! I am trying to listen…” whispered Ajax.

Faint noises could be heard, but nothing that gave away what exactly they had just walked into. Trixie took a shot at something with a bolt of lightning.

“I saw something move!”

A demonic feminine laugh filled the room.

“Well now aren’t we a bit jumpy…” The creature slowly stepped into the light; it had the head of a human girl, but the body of a lion with large eagle wings. Ajax pointed his sword toward the beast and held his ground. The monster took a few steps forward.

“What a nice meal… it has been ages since I last tasted human.”

Ajax leaned forward and grinned at the monster.

“Go ahead and try!”

A massive blast of black fire shot out of Ajax’s gauntlet toward the beast, but the fiend quickly retreated back into the shadows.

“What’s the matter sphinx? Scared?” shouted Ajax.

“My, I never thought I would see a human again, let alone one who wielded the curse of black fire…I must admit things might not go as I originally planned,” responded the sinister voice.

The sphinx’s voice echoed throughout the rocks with no clear direction.

“However, I think we can come to an agreement.”

Ajax turned around as a shadow moved across the wall.

“Oh yea?! What kind of agreement?”

The sphinx’s face peered out from behind the shadows. The woman’s head smiled revealing hundreds of sharp fangs.

“I overheard that you were looking for the changeling hive. I could show you the way, but you must answer the riddle of the sphinx…”

“What happens if we get it wrong?” asked Trixie.

“Then I have earned my meal fair and square, don’t you think?”

“No problem, we will accept your challenge!” shouted Jax-4.

Trixie gasped at the robotic head.

“Easy for you to say tin-can, she couldn’t eat you even if we did lose!!!”

Ajax crouched down next to Trixie.

“Relax, every human knows the famous riddle of the sphinx. The answer is mankind after all. You know the one, about the fur legs in the evening and the tool legs in the afternoon.”

"I don't think that's how it went..." said Jax-4

"Well it was something along those lines..." coughed Ajax.

The sphinx’s voice echoed throughout the cave.

“True, that is a famous riddle and a riddle of my people, but there is another riddle foreign to your kin…” The sphinx disappeared into the shadows again.

“It goes like this…’There are two sisters: one gives birth to the other and she, in turn, gives birth to the first. Who are the two sisters?’”

Ajax scratched the back of his head. He looked over at Trixie and shrugged.

“Why are you looking at me? You said this would be easy.” yelled the unicorn.

“You are the scholar in the group, you should be able to figure it out!”

“Guys I think I got It.” whispered Jax-4.

The human and pony leaned in and stared at the robot’s head intently waiting for his answer.

“The answer is…mankind”

Ajax threw the robot across the room into the rock wall.

“YOU IDIOT! OF COURSE THAT’S NOT THE ANSWER!”

The sphinx chuckled at the frustrated human.

“Times ticking…I would spend less time fighting and more time thinking if I were you.”

Ajax and Trixie tried to think of an answer but neither could think of anything reasonable.

“Your time is up,” said the sphinx.

Ajax’s stood with his burning black fists glaring at the sphinx
.

“We need more time!”

The sphinx backed away.

“One more minute…” groaned the sphinx.

Trixie’s eyes suddenly opened wide.

“The answer is ‘day and night’!”

The sphinx hissed at the unicorn, she had figured out its riddle.

“I shouldn’t have allowed another second!” sneered the monster.

Ajax patted Trixie on back.

“Impressive Trixie, I didn’t know you had it in you.”

Trixie adjusted her hat with a sly smirk.

“What? Have you forgotten that 'The Great and Powerful Trixie' is a master of all riddles?” said the triumphant pony.

Ajax shook his head as he fetched Jax-4 across the cave. He dusted off the robot’s head as Trixie drank from the cave's reservoir. The man pulled his hood back over his head as he walked back over to Trixie. The unicorn could no longer drink another drop of water.

“So sphinx, would you be so kind to point us in the correct direction?” said Ajax with a victorious smile.

“Continue west through the valley of gloom. There you will find the changeling kingdom.Be warned human...the changeling queen isn't as inviting as you think,” muttered the sphinx.

Ajax bowed graciously before the voice with a smug look. The three left the cave and headed off towards the sunset.

The Equestrian desert wasn’t only notorious for being one of the hottest places in all the land, but it was also infamous for it’s cold temperatures at night. Only a fool would choose to venture through the desert at night unprepared. The three fools however pressed forward into the night. Ajax was unhindered by the cold and so was the robot, but Trixie’s teeth were chattering wildly.

“Are you not cold? Are you never hot? How can you just continue walking, when it is colder here than it is in the north?” cried Trixie as her teeth chattered.

Ajax looked back at the shivering pony.

“I have the black fire burning inside of me. I can’t be burned by the flame, but I can use it to keep me warm.”

Trixie let out a shiver as she tried to cover herself with her cloak a bit more.

“Y-you never explained what that b-black fire really is.”

Ajax continued to walk as he talked.

“We call it the ‘gift of Traeger’, named after the first human ever to wield the power of the black fire. Others would say it is a curse, but whoever is born with this power is destined for greatness.”

Ajax handed Trixie his cloak.

“Go on and take it, before you complain some more.”

Trixie took the cloak and wrapped herself in it.

“I don’t need your kindness… you could care less for my well being.”

Ajax rolled his eyes.

“I guess trying to stop your whining is actually impossible.”

Ajax raised a fist signaling for Trixie to stop. He crouched down and peered over a nearby rock.

“We’re here…”

The changeling empire was unlike anything Trixie had ever seen before. There were no houses, shops, or town square. There was only a giant mound that seemed to be constructed out of clay. Thousands of holes filled the mud skyscraper. Ajax shuddered, disgusted by the changelings home.

“Ugh… I hate changelings…”

“How do we get an audience with the queen?” whispered Jax-4.

Ajax stood up and wiped sand off his shoulders.

“Simple, we just walk in and introduce ourselves. I mean, what can she do about it?”

Trixie was at a loss for words. The shocked unicorn managed to squeeze out a few words as the human walked off.

“W-what! Such a foolish idea!”

Ajax, however, didn't care for what the unicorn thought. He had already taken Jax-4 and walked off. Trixie shook her head as she dashed to catch up.

The halls of the hive were narrow and filled with the same strong odor. Ajax stepped in a puddle of green slime.

“Oh, for fu-“

Ajax slowly turned and saw a changeling staring at them with wide blue eyes.

“Hello?”

The changeling quickly scurried down the hall and vanished.

“Well, they definitely know we are here now…and the fact that we just let ourselves in doesn’t…”

Trixie froze before she could finish. The halls had begun to shake as hundreds of changelings poured down the hallway, crawling down the walls and ceiling. Ajax, Trixie and Jax-4 looked back, only to see another wave of changelings approaching from behind.

The changeling queen wasn't the forgiving type, especially for those who break into her hive. The three intruders were brought into the queen’s chamber wrapped in green cocoons. All the changelings began to buzz in harmony as two large black doors slowly opened. Queen Chrysalis entered the royal chamber and approached the three interlopers. The queen was silent as she inspected what could quite possibly be her next meal.

“Let them speak!” shouted the queen as she slowly lowered herself onto a jagged black throne.

She watched as the slime surrounding her guests slowly eroded away, freeing up their mouths. Ajax burned away the rest of the casing and stepped forward. In mere seconds thousands of changelings formed a wall blocking him from the queen. Ajax raised his hands up in the air and took a few steps back. Ajax cleared his throat before speaking.

“Queen Chrysalis, I am-“

“I know who you are…” interrupted Chrysalis.

Ajax turned his head slightly.

“Ah, so you have heard about what happened at the Crystal Empire.”

Chrysalis didn’t say anything. Ajax coughed and looked back at Trixie and Jax-4.

“My queen… we have come with a proposition for you.” said Jax-4.

Chrysalis looked on at the disembodied head and raised a hoof. Changelings brought the robot’s head to her. She inspected the foreign object in her hooves before tossing it back to her guards. She slowly flew down next to Ajax at an uncomfortable distance.

“You are quite the sensation in Equestria right now.”

The changeling began to drag a hoof lightly across Ajax’s shoulder and back as she circled the human.

“So tell me, what proposition does the metal head speak of, human?”

Chrysalis’s hoof quickly shot toward Ajax’s throat, hovering only an inch away from his neck.

“Do you treat all of your guests so disrespectfully?” questioned Ajax.

Every changeling perched on the walls hissed at him. Chrysalis raised a hoof, silencing everypony.

“You must be forgetting that you are an intruder in my kingdom. You are the one who is acting disrespectful right now… I will be asking the questions, or would you prefer that I turn you into food for my children right now?”

“You don’t know who you are talking to, do you?” said Ajax.

“Oh, but I do. I know your kind very well. I was young back then, but I remember your kind very clearly...”

Ajax reached into his bag and cautiously pulled out a newspaper. Chrysalis read the paper regarding the siege on the Crystal Empire.

“Impressive, but what about the part where Canterlot destroyed your entire army?”

Ajax froze and looked into the changelings gaze.

“How did…”

Chrysalis snickered and turned away from the baffled human.

“Changelings have eyes throughout all of Equestria…”

Ajax shrugged.

“Well, you got me there, but I guess that is why I am here. You see, the reason I came here today was so that you and I could work together to take down Celestia. By the sound of it, you and your changelings would be very helpful with this war.”

Chrysalis chuckled and shook her head.

“Celestia? You’re after Celestia, right? You think I would just walk into something like that all over again?”

Ajax stepped forward and shouted at the changeling queen.

“In the north I proved that the tyrant could bleed! I intend on killing her with or without your help. I just thought you would like a little revenge since they made a fool out of you.”

The level of his voice didn’t seem to persuade her any further on the matter.

Chrysalis walked away with a sly smile.

“I do admire your passion... I will think about it. You shall have your answer by tomorrow. Until then feel free to make yourselves at home.”

In moments Ajax, Trixie, and Jax-4 found themselves thrown into a cell.

Ajax yawned as he laid against the cell wall.

“I guess it was late anyways…” said Ajax as he folded his arms and closed his eyes.

“You seem pretty confident about all of this,” said Trixie as she flipped open a dusty book.

The old tome was filled with loose papers and faded ink stains.

“I have been studying this long distance teleportation spell from one of the books in the library. Go ahead and give the word and we can be back in the vault in a flash. It is experimental though so a few things might go wrong…”

Ajax opened one eye.

“No need. We will just wait until tomorrow.”

“I may be low on power, but even I can tell that she isn’t really thinking about the offer. It looks like to me they will turn you two into breakfast tomorrow,” said Jax-4 as his dim eyes lit up the cell.

Ajax laid quietly undisturbed by Jax-4’s remarks.

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“Wake up!” shouted a changeling covered in black and green armor.

The guard opened the door and glared at the the three prisoners as they stood up.

“The queen will see you now.”

Queen Chrysalis sat on her jagged throne with a smile as she watched her prisoners enter the throne room. She seemed to enjoy watching her prisoners ordered around by the guards.

Ajax stepped forward.

“So, have you decided yet?”

“I have decided that your plan to take down Celestia is rather foolish,” said Chrysalis as she inspected one of her hooves.

Ajax frowned at the queen.

“However, the only way Celestia will ever be defeated is if we work together. So I will help you, so that me and my changeling may expand our home out of this desert.” said Chrysalis with a grin.

Ajax smiled as he looked up at the changeling queen.

“Excellent...”

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Crimson red skies filled with pegasi and projectiles could be seen for miles all around. A lone alicorn dashed through the streets of Canterlot. Twilight Sparkle quickly hurried to find her friends.

Canterlot was under attack by Ajax and the city needed their help.

“Augh!!!”

Twilight turned and saw Rainbow Dash pinned under a pile of bricks. She had crashed hard into a building at top speed causing it to fall on top of her. The light blue pony spat out blood as she tried to crawl out from under the rubble. The bricks burst off the pegasus as she slowly lifted herself to her hooves.

She trembled, still shaken from the recent crash.

“Thanks Twilight, it’s hell up there...Watch out!”

A flaming boulder crashed near the two ponies, spreading a wall of scorching fire. Rainbow Dash and Twilight tumbled across the ground as if they were ragdolls. Twilight was covered in ash as she slowly stood up and trotted over to Rainbow, but the pegasus wasn’t responding.

“Rainbow Dash!” cried Twilight as tears filled her eyes.

“Twilight!”

Applejack came out of nowhere and knocked the alicorn away from Rainbow Dash. A tide of black fire swept over the pegasus. Twilight watched as her friend was devoured by the flame. Her sadness was now instantly replaced with a burning hatred,an insatiable rage that caused her hooves to shake, blinding her with fury.

She slowly turned and saw Ajax walking through the burning streets of Canterlot. He held both of his swords, each dripping with the blood of battle. Twilight’s eyes fixated on the human as she lost control over herself
.

“Wait, Twilight!” shouted Applejack, but Twilight couldn’t hear a single word that her friend was saying.

She had made up her mind that she would avenge Rainbow Dash, right here, right now. Ajax stopped as Twilight slowly approached him, he raised both of his swords behind his back and before Twilight could say anything or do anything he swung the blades forward. His infamous black fire ruptured out of the ground in a cone in front of him. Twilight immediately shot up into the sky, her wings wrapped around her shielding her from the fire. The alicorn spread out her wings, dispersing the flames as she shot towards Ajax.

The alicorn slammed into the man. Ajax’s feet dug up the paved road as he tried to hold his ground against Twilight. The pony pushed her horn against his chest and shot a massive burst of magic that sent him flying.

“The world sees you as a monster and all you did was prove them right! I will have my revenge on you for what you did to Rainbow Dash!”

Ajax appeared midair behind the alicorn, his arm holding his sword in front his face ready to strike at an instant. Black embers danced around his long white hair as Twilight slowly turned to meet the human's eyes.

“If it is revenge that you want, I suggest you get in line!” roared Ajax.

He swung his sword, but Twilight vanished into thin air. She reappeared behind him charging another blast from her horn. Ajax smashed his right foot into the ground and pivoted at lightning speed by using the momentum of his previous swing. His sword froze midair, glowing with Twilight’s magic. Ajax tried to force the sword to swing, but Twilight was using every bit of her magic to hold the sword in place. Ajax let go and charged forward knocking Twilight square in the face with his gauntlet. The alicorn was knocked senseless from the blow, she stared at the red sky as she sailed through the air leaving a trail of blood behind her. Before Twilight could even hit the ground Ajax caught up to alicorn and took her by the horn and slammed her overhead into the ground.

“As long as I hold a grip on your horn you are powerless, pony…”

Twilight struggled, but her strength was nothing compared to the human. Her magic couldn’t be focused as long as he was crushing her horn with his fist. Twilight struggled to open an eye under the pain. She saw that Applejack was now behind the unsuspecting human. The earth pony reared her front hooves ready to strike, but her body jerked backwards. Ajax had noticed the orange pony and stabbed a firm, burning, open palm right through her chest.

Impaled on the man’s arm, Applejack struggled as her world grew dark. She took her last breath as blood slowly dripped out of her mouth. Applejack slowly slid off Ajax’s arm and hit the ground.

“Now I am covered in blood, great…”

Twilight screamed as she squirmed against his grip, she hated how powerless she felt.

Ajax looked down at the alicorn.

“Don’t think I have forgotten about you. Once I am done with you I will burn all of Equestria to the ground!”

The last thing Twilight remembered was a fist flying towards her, but before it could hit she awoke screaming in her bed. Twilight looked around the room, alarmed from the nightmare she had just had. Spike and the other three ponies heard her screams and rushed over to her side.

“Twilight are you alright?” asked Pinkie Pie.

Twilight gathered her thoughts and tried to accept the fact that everything she had experienced was just a dream.

‘I can’t believe it was just it a dream, it all seemed so real.’

“Twilight!”

Twilight nearly fell out of her bed when Rainbow Dash screamed her name. Her friends looked at one another before helping their friend up.

“Gosh Twilight, what’s the matter? Is yesterday getting to you?”

Twilight shook her head.

“I am fine, I just had a bad nightmare…I saw Canterlot in ruin...Ajax destroyed everything…”

Applejack placed a hoof on Twilight.

“Aw there is nothing to worry about sugarcube, we aren’t going to be seeing him for a long time after the whooping he just got.”

“He escaped though… he is out there...and he’ll be back," argued Twilight.

Rainbow Dash struck a triumphant pose.

“When that day comes, we'll be here and then we’ll kick his butt again!”

Twilight stood up with a worried look on her face.

“What if it was a warning, a bad omen of what’s to come?”

Pinkie Pie still had her bubbly attitude despite the serious conversation.

“Why don’t we just do some reconnaissance, some investigation you know? Some spying?” asked Pinkie as she rolled around in a spy costume.

Twilight placed a hoof on her chin and thought about what Pinkie had said.

“You know what? I think that could be a good idea. If Ajax is up to something we could warn Equestria before it is too late. I mean, as long as we keep a safe distance we should be alright.”

A familiar laugh was heard outside their window. Spike, who was closest, peeked out and fell backwards as Discord let himself in.

“Oh Twilight, I heard about your plan to do a little bit of spying. Sounds quite interesting…things around here sure have been boring...I would love to spend some quality time with my dear friends,” said the draconequus with large puppy-dog eyes.

Rainbow Dash flew up so that she was face to face with the tall draconequus.

“What makes you think we would bring you along?”

Discord paced around the pegasus.

“I know that you might not trust me, but I did find Ajax the first time. I would think I would be able to do it again. Unless, you know where he is right now?”

Twilight looked at her friends, as they all waited for Twilight to ultimately choose whether Discord would accompany them on their journey.

“Very well Discord, You may come.”

Discord clapped his hands together in excitement.

“Excellent! I will come, but on one condition.”

“Name it…”

“We bring dearest Fluttershy with us, it has been so long and I do miss her so.”

Twilight nodded.

“We will head back to Ponyville and bring Rarity and Fluttershy with us. I planned on doing so before you even asked. If we are going to do this, we will need the whole gang.”

“Well I just wanted to bring Fluttershy, but I suppose you can bring Rarity also…”

“Alright! let’s get going" shouted Spike.

Twilight looked at Spike.

“You may come along Spike, but you must stay quiet and hidden at all times.”

The baby dragon nodded.

“You won’t even notice that I was there.”

Twilight smiled as Spike jumped onto her back. The baby dragon, four ponies and draconequus set out for Ponyville.

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The moon slowly rose over the horizon as day turned to night in Canterlot. Princess Luna stood on top of her balcony steadily lifting the moon to it’s correct position in the sky. She let out a sigh as she stepped back inside. Celestia sat waiting for Luna. Luna approached Celestia. The princess of the night had a sorrowful expression; cleary something was on her mind.

“Sister, I must speak the truth. I don’t think what we did today was the right thing to do.”

Celestia stood up and walked past Luna.

“I know that. What we did was a necessary precaution, it may not seem right, but it was the right thing to do for Equestria.”

Luna turned around and walked up next to her sister. The two alicorns stared at the starry night.

“Did you hear that they took Discord with them?” said Luna.

Celestia nodded.

“I hope he continues to prove loyal to Canterlot until this is all over…”

Luna frowned, reminded about what was originally on her mind.

“I still don’t think using a dream to trick Twilight into chasing after Ajax was the right thing to do. Even if it is for the benefit of Equestria, she trusts you as her former mentor.”

Celestia looked at Luna. She clearly wasn’t happy about tricking Twilight either.

“If there is anyone who could ever defeat him once and for all, it will be those six ponies.”

Luna turned away and walked back into the castle.

“Don’t forget about the ball we are hosting tomorrow, the guests expect you to be there, so you should rest well tonight.”

Celestia seemed to care very little for celebration, she continued to stare at the open sky lost in her thoughts.

“Don’t worry about me, I will be fine…”

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Thick air and the creaking of freezing metal filled the empty corridors deep beneath the snowy surface. The metal construction deep below the ground had no central heating. A sole machine tirelessly labored constructing robotic soldiers by the minute. Jax-4 now had a replacement body similar to the one he had before. Ajax stood in front of him counting the amount of soldiers the machine had produced.

“We still haven’t created another suitable force… the longer we wait the more we are at risk of being found.”

Ajax bit his thumb as he stared at the green text on the black monitor. Jax-4 stretched his body as he spoke.

“I heard that Canterlot is hosting a party today. Supposedly they are celebrating their victory over you.”

Ajax stood up and turned to the robot. As he clenched his thumb in his fist, blood squeezed in between his fingers.

“Where did you hear that?”

Jax-4 shrugged.

“Supposedly that is what the changeling said. I don’t know how credible she is, but if that is the case I doubt they are worried about you threatening Equestria again any time soon.”

Ajax held up his thumb and watched as blood pooled in his open palm.

“They think that since they won one battle that the war is over? Have they so easily forgotten the massacre at the Crystal Empire?”

Jax-4 pulled out a folder and began digging through papers.

“Well, I suppose it was good for something. It did build enough notability in Equestria for us to obtain a new ally. Now then, I recall you asking for a mercenary. I have sorted it down to two remaining applicants. Have a look and tell me which one piques your interest.”

Ajax took the folder and flipped through the papers inside.

“Go ahead and get the pegasus, I don’t care much for gryphons…”

Jax-4 nodded.

“Also, there is something else in there that I thought might pique your interest.”

Ajax flipped through a few pages, stopping at a page. His eyes darted across the lines of text on the page as he gripped the stack of papers.

Meanwhile Trixie went from bookshelf to bookshelf looking for a new book to read. Chrysalis sat at a table in the middle of the room, watching as the unicorn garnered a stack of books.

“Augh, I can’t take it. This is so boring! Why must we wait? My changelings are ready to strike at any moment. What could the fool be doing?” groaned the changeling.

Chrysalis had grown impatient waiting for Ajax to finish whatever he was doing.

“You should learn some patience, when the time comes to attack Canterlot he will let you know.”

Chrysalis snapped her jaws at Trixie.

“How dare you talk to a queen in such a manner! Why you-”

Chrysalis grabbed the table with her hooves as the floor and walls shook violently. The huge stack of books Trixie had gathered toppled on top of the changeling. A violent burst of green energy exploded under the pile of green books.

“I am going to go see what that idiot has been up to this entire time!”

Trixie jumped up and started to grab the burning papers from out of the air. Before the unicorn could say anything Chrysalis had already stormed out of the room.

“No you idiots! Look what you did did… great, just great…” sighed Ajax.

Ajax was yelling at a dozen robot workers who had knocked over some massive metal obstruction. Ajax threw his hands up as he walked away.

“Go ahead and try it again…” mumbled Ajax.

Chrysalis burst into the room knocking away robot guards with one sweep of her magic. Jax-4 dashed in front of the furious queen and quickly drew his samurai blade. Ajax placed a hand on the robot’s shoulder as he stepped in front of him.

“Something wrong Chrysalis?” asked Ajax.

She chuckled hearing him talk so light heartily towards her.

“I have been waiting for some time now. Tell me, do you think I am some subject for you to command? I will not sit idly by and wait for you to finish playing grab ass with your toys.”

A large shadow loomed over them as the robots began to lift what they had just dropped. The massive robot stood over one-hundred and fifty feet tall. Similar to Jax, it also had massive shins and forearms, but looked much more ancient. The steel was older, thicker, and heavier. Four large pistons jutted out of the robot's back, extending an extra twenty feet over it’s head. Large exhaust pipes curved over the robots shoulders giving an image of curved tusk like shoulder pads. Chrysalis forgot about how upset she was for a moment as she watched the glorious giant slowly brought up to it’s feet by a series of wires and rope.

“Glorious isn’t it? One-hundred and sixty-three feet tall, reinforced dwarven steel joints allowing massive strain and quick movements. Two-thousand tons of raw engine strength with five foot thick steel plating. Equipped with dozens of weapons beyond it’s time and to top it all off, it has never been used before.”

“You plan on using this thing?” asked Chrysalis, still amazed by the steel titan.

“Sadly we have a problem. The machine was originally designed to combat the larger inhabitants of Equestria such as giants, hydras, and so forth, but it never saw a single day on the battlefield since there was nothing that could power the beast without running out of energy in a few seconds.”

Chrysalis scoffed.

“What kind of idiot makes something like that and doesn't even think about powering it.”

Ajax had his fists on his sides as he looked at the giant weapon.

“The Auric family may not of thought how to make it work, but I think I know what we can use to power it. Something Jack nor his father ever thought of…”

Chrysalis walked away, she didn't care for the human's technology.

“Well hurry up! I will find something to do while you try to wake up the giant, but I have limited patience.”

Ajax looked back as the door closed behind Chrysalis. Jax-4 gave Ajax a nudge with his elbow.

“Seems like you and the queen are getting along. Maybe you can become a king all you need to do is...”

Ajax’s eyes shot daggers through the robot’s motherboard. Jax-4 backed away cautiously.

“What’s the matter? I did some research on humor and I thought I would try making a joke. Was it not funny?”

Ajax spat on the floor and walked up to the robot.

“No. It wasn’t.”

Ajax took a folder from Jax-4’s hands.

“I am going out for a while. You will need to watch over Chrysalis while I am gone.”

“Very well, where are you going? If you don’t mind me asking?”

“Something your creator wasn’t even clever enough to think of, or maybe he was just too afraid to try.”

Ajax handed the folder back to the robot.

“With all due respect my liege, I don’t mean to insult you, but if there was something so blatantly obvious that could’ve powered this monstrosity I am sure Jack would have thought about it.” Ajax ignored the robot and stepped into the elevator. Jack opened the folder and noticed that Ajax had etched something in the center of the robot’s chest.

“My, that is indeed an interesting idea…”

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Bright colored fireworks shot into the sky, signaling the start of the royal ball. Ponies from across Equestria came dressed in their best outfits or their best work clothes. No pony was denied access to the ball, it was the largest celebration to ever occur in Canterlot. Celestia and Luna stood at the entrance and greeted each one of their guests. Celestia looked up and saw a familiar face in the crowd.

“Shining Armor, it’s good to see you. How have you been? Did you bring Cadence with you?”

Shining Armor was dressed in his red and gold uniform, he saluted the princess before speaking to her.

“Yes ma’am. Cadence is already inside trying to avoid the large crowd of people.”

Celestia chuckled.

“Go ahead, we will meet up with you once we are done here.”

Shining Armor saluted the princess and entered the ball. He was surprised, despite this being the largest party ever there seemed to be plenty of room for all of the guests. Nearly half of Canterlot had turned into one giant festival. Shining Armor scanned the crowd looking for Cadence.

“There you are.”

Shining Armor jumped, his wife had snuck up on him. The surprised stallion turned around to his wife.

“I was just looking for you… You look lovely by the way.”

Cadence smiled at the blushing unicorn.

“Thanks…”

“So uh, How's the party so far?” wondered Shining Armor.

Cadence looked at all the ponies dancing and having a wondrous time.

“All the ponies keep giving me their condolences for what happened at the Crystal Empire. I suppose I appreciate the thought, but what I really enjoy seeing is ponies acting like their normal selves again... Look how happy they are…”

Shining Armor was more happy at the fact that Cadence was smiling again.

“I am going to go grab something to drink. You want anything?”

“Surprise me.” responded the alicorn.

Shining Armor accepted the challenge.

“Alright, Excuse me for one second.”

The pony found out that as he got closer to the banquet table the thicker the crowd became.

‘I suppose it makes sense everyone would crowd around the free food...’

While on his way Shining Armor noticed that a door leading out to the balcony was slightly open.

‘That’s it! I will cut the crowd by going around it with the balcony.’

The unicorn stepped outside and noticed a lone pony leaning on the railing staring out at Canterlot. He recognized the pony.

“Hey, Horizon Star.”

The earth pony turned around and looked at the unicorn.

“Hey, sorry if I didn’t notice you.” replied the earth pony.

Shining armor walked up to him.

“Why are you not inside? This whole thing is practically for you anyways. You were the one who led the army flawlessly into battle.”

Shining Armor looked at the party inside.

“Why should my victory be celebrated? It’s what I am expected to do on the battlefield. Just as a garbage man collects the trash or a teacher teaches a student. I did only what I was called to do.”

Shining Armor raised an eyebrow. He walked up to the railing next to Horizon Star and looked out at Canterlot.

“So I guess you don’t like the party, huh?” said Shining Armor with a heavy sigh.

“The only reason they are doing this is because they want to get everyone to forget about Ajax. It’s bad for your business when ponies are afraid of something, well unless that something is you.”

Shining Armor seemed to have forgotten that he was supposed to bring Cadence a drink. He was now focused on talking with Horizon Star.

“Who do you mean by ‘they’. Do you mean the princesses?”

Horizon Star shook his head.

“‘They’ are the people who rule over the big businesses in Equestria. Celestia and Luna only co-operate because the last thing they need is to have two wars on their hooves, a war of aggression and an economical one.”

Shining Armor thought about what he had just said.

“Interesting, I never thought about it that way.”

Horizon Star shrugged.

“But who knows, I could be dead wrong and everything I said was a hoax.”

Shining Armor laughed.

“I don’t think it sounds too far fetched. Oh, by the way, I heard from Celestia how you wanted to be a royal guard not too long ago.”

Horizon Star let out a slight cough.

“Did she now?...”

Shining Armor nodded.

“She said that you really liked our ‘cool’ gold armor…”

Shining Armor nudged the earth pony with a childish grin.

“Anyways, I just wanted you to know that we are now opening the recruiting process to give everyone an equal opportunity. Earth pony, pegasus, unicorn, all now have the same opportunity to join the academy.”

Horizon Star smiled.

“Wow, I don’t know what to say…That’s great.”

Shining Armor patted a hoof on Horizon Star’s back.

“You know, we could sure use a pony like you. I feel kind of cheated that we didn’t get to recruit you the first time. So what do you say?”

Horizon Star was shocked.

“You're asking me to join the royal guard?” Shining Armor gave the pony a big heartfelt smile. Horizon Star looked out at Canterlot once more.

“Thanks, but… I no longer desire to wear cool looking armor or attend any exclusive academy… The only thing I care about now is protecting the citizens of Equestria. I would even trade my own life in order to protect them. No armor no matter how ‘cool’ could be more valuable than that. So I must respectfully decline since I feel that currently, I am in the best position to achieve my goal.”

Shining Armor bowed before Horizon Star.

“You patronage is truly amazing. I am glad Equestria has someone like you leading her armies.”

“Shining Armor?” said a surprised voice.

The unicorn slowly turned around. He knew he was in trouble.

Princess Cadence stood in the doorway staring at the two ponies.

“Um, coming dear.”

Cadence walked back inside followed by Shining, but the unicorn turned back to Horizon one last time before heading back inside.

“If you don’t want to celebrate your own party at least come inside and do it for Equestria.”

Shining Armor winked at Horizon Star as a pink hoof dragged the unicorn inside.

“You still owe me that dance mister.” shouted Cadence.

“Of course! I wouldn’t have missed it for the world sweetheart.”

Horizon Star looked out at Canterlot one last time before going inside.

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“Trixie.”

Trixie’s eyes slowly opened to Ajax towering over her. The pony rubbed her eyes and looked up at him. Ajax poked her on the forehead.

“What’s the point in you having your own room if you are just going to keep falling asleep in the library… Anyways, get up and put on something warm. You and me are going out.”

The half awake unicorn received a unpleasant awakening when the cold wind blew a mound of snow into her face.

“Where are we going?” she said muffled by the snow.

Ajax marched in front of the pony holding a map.

“Relax, we aren't far… Hey it’s like old times, remember?”

Ajax held up the map and waved it around. Trixie didn’t seem to care for the fact. Thankfully, she had brought a thick cloak to keep herself warm this time, so she was in a better mood than usual. Ajax and Trixie hiked for nearly an hour before the two reached the top of a large hill.

“Here we are.” said Ajax peering over the edge of the cliff.

“And where exactly would that be?”

The pony nearly had a heart attack when she looked over and saw a lake of lava below. Ajax knelt down and took his sword off his back. For some reason he had only brought one blade wrapped in a thick coat of bandaged cloth. He slowly began to unravel the cloth as Trixie continued to look down at the lava.

“So… What are we doing here…?”

Ajax had finished removing the cloth and lifted the giant sword into the air. This blade wasn’t the same weapon that he had always used. This sword was red with a dragon's head on the end of the hilt.

“Don’t worry. Your job is very simple. You said you learned a mass teleport spell, correct?”

Trixie nodded hesitantly.

‘I don’t like the sound of that...’ she thought to herself.

Ajax stood up and placed the blade on his back, letting the line of bandage fly off with the wind.

“Alright then.”

Ajax picked up Trixie and jumped over the cliff. The unicorn flailed wildly as the two fell towards the lake of lava below. Ajax pushed his legs off the cliff wall and flew across the lake of lava landing inside a hidden cavern.

“Why don’t you ever say something before doing something stupid!”

“Simple, because then you wouldn’t have let me done it.”

Trixie was fuming, but eventually calmed down. She looked around and saw that the cavern they were in was surprisingly massive. Ajax drew his sword and stepped forward. The two ventured deeper into the cave.

“What was that?” said Ajax.

“I didn’t hear anything…” replied Trixie.

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At the entrance of the cave, Discord and the mane six had followed Ajax and Trixie.

“I knew coming here was a bad idea! My makeup is starting to run!” complained Rarity.

“Why would you wear makeup when you're going on a spying mission? said Rainbow Dash.

“Some of us try to look our best at all times, unlike others…”

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes.

“Shush, I think they went this way. We have to be quiet…” whispered Twilight.

“Why would anyone choose to jump into a volcano…” questioned Fluttershy.

Discord appeared behind the yellow pegasus.

“I have no idea, but I have always been fond of volcanoes. Something about the sheer amount of chaos they can cause?… No, that couldn’t be it..”

“I agree. I happen to enjoy it here.” remarked Spike.

Discord looked over at Twilight.

“I have done my part Twilight… I suggest you keep your distance or things could get ugly.”

Twilight nodded.

“You did a great job at finding him again. Don’t worry about us though, we will keep a safe distance at all times. Hopefully we can find out what exactly he is planning or better yet where he happened to find a personal army…”

The six ponies, baby dragon, and draconequus ventured into the cave after Ajax and Trixie.

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The ground shook as a large figure emerged from a dark crevice in the wall. Tixie stepped back while her horn glowed with magic. Ajax extended his arm out in front of her.

“You do know that is a dragon, right?!” whispered Trixie.

“We can still get out of here before he notices us.” added the unicorn.

Ajax looked over at Trixie before walking towards the dragon.

“Don’t tell me thats why we are here…” whined Trixie with a defeated expression.

“Dragon!” shouted Ajax as he pointed his sword toward the firebreathing lizard.

The dragon’s pupils went thin after locking onto the human.

“Tell me, are you Altragio the Wise?” demanded the human.

The dragon’s laugh filled the underground chasm with a low-tone heart sinking rumble. When the dragon spoke, each word felt like a blast of wind. One could only imagine what it would be like to hear the dragon roar.

“You dare enter into our home? I shall make sure that this foolish mistake is your last.”

Flames ignited in the dragons mouth, escaping in between its sharp teeth. Ajax drew his sword, unphased by the dragon’s threat. Before the dragon could do anything a bellowing roar shook the entire cavern. Another dragon with a long white beard emerged from deep within the cavern.

“Galzra! What is the meaning of this!”

Smaller dragons varying from all sizes followed behind the great bearded lizard. Galzra turned towards the giant dragon.

“Altragio, this human has ent-”

“I do not care! Must you always settle everything with violence! You will end up killing yourself some day if you don’t change your ways, my son.”

Both Altragio and Galzra were far larger than any of the other dragons inhabiting the cave. Galzra laid down before Altragio.

“I am sorry father, please forgive me.”

Trixie nudged Ajax and whispered under her breath.

“Ok, so tell me exactly what is going on here. What use could we have for dragons? If you think that you can get them to help you with your war tough luck. Dragons care not for the conflicts of any other race beside their own.”

Ajax placed his sword on his back and looked over at Trixie.

“I got this under control. Just remember be ready to teleport us when I tell you to.”

Trixie hesitantly nodded. The giant bearded dragon slowly lumbered over to the human and pony
.

“Human? I know your kind… Whatever you are here for can’t be good.”

Ajax smiled and stepped forward.

“I will go ahead and cut to the chase Altragio. I have come here to challenge you to a duel of fire. According to your races ancient laws you can’t refuse. So without further adieu…”

Ajax drew his red sword and pointed it at Altragio. The dragon looked at the human and walked away. Ajax stood bewildered by the dragon’s response.

“What are you doing?!” shouted Ajax.

The dragon looked back as he continued to walk away.

“I refuse your challenge.”

Ajax stuttered trying to think about what to say.

“I j-just challenged you to a duel of fire! You can’t just walk away!”

“I just did…”

All the other dragons began to follow Altragio back into the recess of the cave.

“Have you no shame! What is wrong with you? Dragon’s are supposed to be a proud race! Have you fallen so low, you giant lizards?” screamed the frustrated human.

Galzra stepped forward as fire shot from his nostrils. Altragio raised his tail in front of the enraged dragon.

“Ignore him my son… The humans are a clever race, although small, always be cautious…”

Ajax looked towards the dragon he met earlier. He pointed the blade towards Galzra.

“You! I challenge you to a duel of fire, since your father is an overgrown gecko. Face me coward!”

The dragon had lost all patience with him. Galzra charged forward and halted only a few meters from the man.

“You will pay for your tongue. This is a matter that must be solved with violence!”

The dragon's throat vibrated with each word shaking the cave. Ajax smiled and drew his red sword. The dragon shot a breath of fire behind Ajax. Trixie had to jump out of the way to avoid being burnt to a crisp. The dragon’s breath slowly created a ring of fire.

“The rules huma-”

“I know the rules...dragon...This isn’t my first duel.”

The dragon raised its head interested by the human’s claim.

“Is that so? Tell me human what was the name of the dragon whom you had dueled? I am sure his name was forever stained that day.”

Ajax smiled at the firebreathing lizard.

“His name was Craessus. You might have heard of him.”

Galzra laughed at Ajax. The dragon was laughing so hard one would think that he was over exaggerating the laugh in order to insult him.

“Galzra you fool! Pay attention! He speaks the truth!” shouted Altragio.

“I didn’t recognize it until now, but that red blade is indeed the legendary weapon forged by the three dwarven clans with the sole purpose of slaying dragons! Galzra you imbecile that human wields Dragonblight!”

Galzra snarled at Ajax.

“That’s impossible Craessus died over a thousand years ago father… That would mean that his man is over a thousand years old!”

Ajax was stretching his arms and legs as the dragons pieced everything together.

“I don’t like thinking about how old I am, but I do suppose it was about a thousand years ago… We already started the duel and set the ring of fire. No backing down now, dragon.”

Trixie backed away sensing that the battle would soon begin.

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Twilight and her friends had taken refuge behind a series of large rocks near the cavern wall.

“I think they are going to fight.” said Rainbow Dash.

“Why would Ajax fight a dragon? This doesn’t make any sense.” said Twilight as she peered over the rock.

“Don’t worry guys. Watch as that dragon tears him apart” said Spike.

Twilight grabbed Spike and pushed him back down.

“This isn’t something for you to watch Spike.” remarked Twilight as she pushed the dragon back down behind the rock.

“I am going to grow up sooner or later…” Spike folded his arms as he scowled.

The dragon breathed a terrifying cone of flame towards Ajax, but Ajax remained motionless holding his sword in front of him. The dragons fire split as if it had it a sharp corner before it could touch the human. Galzra chuckled.

“You think that just because you have a way to deal with my fire that you have won!? A dragon’s hide is tougher than any metal, our claws sharper than any blade. You are still doomed!”

“Sadly this won’t be much of a fight…” sighed Ajax as he slowly walked towards the dragon.

The dragon swept it’s edged tail toward him, but Ajax effortlessly flipped over it. The tail swung back around and flew towards Ajax. The dragon roared in pain. Ajax had cut his tail off with one sweep of the red sword.

“What part about legendary dragon slaying sword don’t you get? This sword was designed for a dragon far more powerful than you or anyone dragon have ever known. What makes you think you stand a chance?”

The dragon had reached the edge of the ring of fire. Ajax slowly approached the fearful beast cloaked in his black fire. Galzra turned to Altragio.

“Father you must help me!” Altragio slowly shook his head.

“No my son… Once you started the duel, there was nothing I could do for you…”

Ajax lept through the air towards Galzra and drove the red blade into his neck cutting his throat.

The dragons corpse crashed down into the ground. Every dragon breathed fire into the air as an ode to their fallen brother. Trixie was overcome with relief. She didn’t know what she was going to do if Ajax had lost the battle. Twilight and her friends however saw it as another murder on Ajax’s hands. Spike nearly ran out to give Ajax a piece of his mind, but Applejack had caught him before he got too far.

“No Spike, I know what you are going through right now is hard, but please understand rushing out there isn’t going to change anything.” Spike looked up at Applejack with tearful eyes. She could only return a frown to the baby dragon. Altragio stepped in front of the human and pony.

“You have won the duel of flame… Was it our treasure that you had come to take? If that is the case you may have it… I only wished that you didn't have to kill my son in order to obtain it…”

Ajax wagged his finger in front of the grieving dragon.

“No, I want something else.”

“Very well, what is it that you desire? It is your right to claim your prize.” sneered the dragon.

Ajax stepped forward and drove the red blade into Galzra’s chest. He stepped into the giant lizards corpse. Trixie nearly vomited seeing Ajax step into the giant lizard. Pinkie Pie actually had vomited, the stench of the dragon’s insides filled up the entire cave. Moments later Ajax emerged pushing out a large heap of flesh.

“This is what I want.” said Ajax with a sinister smile.

Ajax had ripped out the giant dragons heart from his chest.

Altragio’s nostrils flared with a bright flame.

“I will not allow you to butcher my son’s remains in front of me and expect to walk out with his heart.”

Ajax looked over at Trixie and gave her a thumbs up. Trixie continued to stare at the blood soaked man wondering what exactly was he thinking.

“The teleportation spell Trixie?!” shouted Ajax.

“Oh right!”

Trixie’s horn glowed with magic as the two vanished along with the heart. Altragio roared in pain at the loss of his son. The dragon quickly turned to the corner of the cave and breathed a wave of fire.

“I know you are there! Come out! I can smell your flesh!” Twilight and everyone else came out from behind the rocks worried that the dragon was going to incinerate them.

“Please don’t hurt us mister dr-”

Pinkie was interrupted by the furious dragon.

“Why are you here!” growled the grieving father.

“We were following around the human. If you would allow us we could go after him.”

The dragon turned away and hung his head after realizing the ponies weren't associated with the human.

“Do whatever you want… I don’t care anymore… My son was the most important thing to me in the world and now he is gone.”

Altragio loomed over the the corpse of his only son. His son laid lifeless with his chest ripped open covering the ground with his blood. Every other dragon large and small surrounded Galzra’s corpse. Each dragon took a deep breath and began scorching the body with their fire.

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, sleep well my son.”

Altragio hesitantly began to breathe fire on his kin. When nothing more remained of the body, the dragons slowly returned back the deeper parts of the caverns.

“Poor dragon…” said Fluttershy with a concerned expression.

Everyone took a moment of silence to mourn the death of the dragon they never knew. He was only just another victim of Ajax’s blood-stained hands. After the silence finished Twilight rushed over to where Ajax and Trixie had vanished.

“Quickly! While the magical rift left behind is still fresh.”

Discord perched over Twilight as she began to study the area where the two had vanished.

“Excuse me Twilight, but what are you doing?”

Twilight's horn was glowing with magic.

“I don’t know how, but it seems Trixie has gotten a lot better with her magic. She teleported them out of here to an unknown location far away, but I can follow the rift left behind which would lead us to where they are now.”

Twilight looked back at her friends. They all nodded letting her know that they were ready. The alicorn’s horn glowed with bright magic as they all teleported. Suddenly they found themselves in the middle of a hallway made out of steel.

“Well I guess we’re here…” said Rainbow Dash.

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Jax-4 walked into Ajax and Trixie working on the giant robot. Jax-4 saw the giant dragon’s heart laying against the wall.

“So how exactly is this going to work?” Ajax walked over to the dragon’s heart and looked at the robot. Ajax punched the heart causing it to spew fire.

“I see…” said Jax-4.

“Anyways, I thought you should go ahead and meet the pony you recently hired.”

A blue green pegasus with a long mane made up of different shades of blond entered the room.

“Interesting place you got here… name’s Lightning Dust by the way… I heard you were in need of a fast flyer?”

Ajax wiped his hands with a towel and approached the pegasus.

“Correct, I heard you will do any job as long as the pay is right.”

Lightning Dust smiled at Ajax.

“Sure will… I hope you know that working for you might make me a pretty big criminal… I wonder if you got enough coin to make up for it.”

Ajax snapped his fingers. Two robots brought in a giant chest filled with thousands of different rare gems. Lightning Dust grinned.

“That’ll do…”

Ajax kicked the chest towards the pegasus.

“I have kept my end of the deal, now make sure you take care of yours.”

Lightning ignored him as she began to go through all the different types of gems in the chest. Jax-4 watched as the pegasus giggled at the rare stones.

“Where did we get all those gems exactly?” asked Jax-4.

Ajax put on a pair of goggles and began climbing to the top of the robot.

“The machine that creates all the robots happens to also dig up a lot of junk while digging for minerals”

Jax-4 looked at the shimmering chest filled with rubies, sapphires, and emeralds.

“Right, Junk…”

The robot walked up to the pony who had started to sort the different type of gems.

“Lightning Dust follow me, I will le-”

Jax-4 looked at a blaring screen that emerged out of his arm.

“Ajax!” shouted Jax-4.

Ajax was busy hooking up the heart to a series of tubes and wires.

“I’m in the middle of something, damn it!”

Ajax continued to plug wires into the monstros heart.

“We have intruders!”

Ajax emerged from the machine smudged in black. He removed his goggles and focused his eyes on Jax-4.

“That’s impossible…”

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The ponies, baby dragon, and draconequus carefully tread down a corridor. They were ready for anything and were constantly on the lookout. Suddenly the ground opened up underneath them. They all screamed as the plunged into the darkness, Rainbow Dash tried to grab hold of her friends, but there was no way she could carry everyone. Before they could hit the ground robotic arms plucked each one of them out of the air. A bright light shone down on the eight prisoners blinding them. Ajax stepped out from the darkness into the light.

“Well, well, look who it is…” said Ajax as he approached them.

Twilight tried to fight against the steel shafts that held her hooves, but the steel was far too strong. Suddenly the entire room was lit up revealing all of the other villains. Twilight looked at everyone else before focusing on Trixie.

“Trixie!” shouted the alicorn

“Hello there, Twilight…” said Trixie with a smile.

“Lightning Dust! What are you doing here?” shouted Rainbow Dash.

The mercenary was inspecting one of her gems sitting on one of the various machines in the room.

“Long time no see, Rainbow Dash… After you got me kicked out of the academy I had to find some type of work. It’s your fault I am in this business, I was pretty much guaranteed to become a wonderbolt until you had to go and ruin everything. Anyways, don’t get too mad at me. I just got here.”

“Oh, this looks interesting.” stated a chilling voice.

The ponies recognized the sound, but couldn’t see Chrysalis anywhere. Twilight's eyes darted from all the weapons and villains in the room, but didn’t see the changeling.

“Right here…” giggled Chrysalis.

Twilight looked up and saw the changeling queen hovering over them.

“This is bad!” shouted Applejack.

The orange pony began to struggle against the metal bonds on her hooves. The metal rang as it slowly started to bend. The earth pony took a hoof to the stomach. Lightning Dust had dashed forward and had driven one of her hind hooves into Applejack.

“None of that. I am getting paid quite nicely for this…”

Rainbow Dash still couldn’t believe what Lightning Dust had become. Not too long ago they were good friends, but now she had become the enemy.

'This is worse than I thought! I knew he wasn’t going to give up, but this… His army if far stronger than ever before! We must warn Celestia.’ thought Twilight.

Ajax watched as the commotion unfolded.

“I am glad to see that everyone just so happens to know each other, but let’s get down to the matter at hand. Looks like I have new prisoners, but sadly I don’t have any prison to put you in. That leaves only one alternative.”

Ajax drew his sword and pointed at each pony and dragon, until he stopping on Discord.

“I am going to leave you alive… I have a few questions for you draconequus…”

Twilight smiled at Ajax.

“It’s over… We know where your hideout is…The armies of Equestria will come for you.”

Ajax shrugged.

“What good is that information since you all are about to die? remarked Ajax.

“Excuse me. I think this is where I am supposed to come in.”

Ajax turned around and saw that Discord had slipped out of the bonds unnoticed.

“What the… You were just…”

The draconequus vanished and reappeared wearing a magician’s outfit.

“Behold! Watch and be amazed as I make these little ponies, disappear!”

Discord pulled a drape out from his sleeve and threw it over the baby dragon and six ponies.

“Tada!”

Everyone had vanished except Discord. Ajax shot a blast of black fire at the trickster.

“Woah there! You almost hit me with that one!”

Discord jumped inside his magician's hat and vanished. A blast of black fire incinerated the hat, leaving no trace.

“Damn it! You let them get away!” Shouted Chrysalis.

“Doesn’t matter we will see them again, soon enough…”

“What do you mean?” asked Trixie.

Ajax hit a switch, pulses of electricity coursed through wires and into the dragon's heart sitting in the middle of the giant machine. The heart began to beat rhythmically as dragon fire coursed through the machine's engines.

“With an army like this we can just skip all the bullshit. We're going to Canterlot...”

The giant machine sounded a loud horn for a good ten seconds as it came to life. The robot slowly stood up nearly hitting the ceiling.

“J.A.X.-002 Pandora Prime Online, awaiting further instruction.”

Ajax looked back at the others.

“Go, get ready, it’s time we paid Celestia a visit.”

Author's Note:

Hey guys, thanks to everyone again who has favorited my story. It really does mean a lot to me and is what drives me to keep putting out these long chapters. I have just started my junior year at college so sadly I will have to start making later dates for the chapters to come.


Expect the next chapter: 9/19/14

P.S. Best of luck to everyone else who has also started another school year :D