• Published 7th Aug 2014
  • 8,296 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.

  • ...
40
 236
 8,296

Chapter Six

Rain continued to fall in Canterlot, flooding the entire city, but the flames of war continued to burn within its walls. Ponies were hunted down in the streets by changelings and robots alike.

Shelters that were intended to protect the citizens of Canterlot, turned into mere buffets for the changelings to feast upon. Mare and stallion, filly and colt, the changelings gathered every last pony and encased them in their green slime.

The endless army of changelings and machines continued to pour into canterlot with no sign of ever stopping.

Pandora Prime continued to give Discord a solid beating. The draconequus seemed to have bitten off more than he could chew. Pandora Prime jabbed its stud covered knuckles into Discord’s soft underbelly. The robot twisted its fist, grinding into the draconequus’ ribs.

“GAH! Mindless abomination! Cursed wretch! I shall have your wretched skull mounted over my fireplace!” howled Discord.

The enraged draconequus coiled around Pandora Prime constricting the robot’s powerful limbs with his body. Discord began to slash and hack at the robot’s thick steel with his eagle's talon and lion’s paw. The giant robot struggled, but Discord’s boa-constrictor-grip was too strong for even Pandora Prime’s strength to muscle through.

The robotic giant's thick plating started to give way to Discord’s furious onslaught, but in a burst of energy Pandora Prime spun its entire upper body, knocking Discord off of it. They took a moment to rest, waiting to catch their breath and letting their engines cool off, before they charged again at one another.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rainbow Dash circled the skies of Canterlot, she had been knocking changelings out of the air ever since the war started. Using only her two hooves, she had protected Canterlot from any changeling in the sky. The pony placed her hooves at her sides in a triumphant manner after taking down another wave of changelings in ten seconds flat.

Before she could make any snarky remark, a bolt of lightning struck the pegasus knocking her out of the sky.

“What...? Did I get too close to the storm…?” thought the pony as she hurled towards the ground.

The second lightning strike was only a confirmation to her suspicion that the strike hadn't been a coincidence or an accident. Rainbow Dash caught a glimpse of Lightning Dust zooming past her when the second bolt of lightning struck. Rainbow Dash crashed through a rooftop, the pegasus nearly destroyed everything in the establishment when she crash landed.

Lightning Dust gently floated down through the hole expecting a counter attack, but Rainbow was gone. Lightning Dust stood in the middle of the room under a dim spotlight as rain began to pour through the hole in the ceiling. The pegasus’ squinted her eyes as she tried to peer into the darkness, but she couldn’t see a darn thing.

“How could you!!!” shouted Rainbow Dash as she tackled Lighting Dust.

The two ponies crashed through a wall and tumbled into the flooded streets of Canterlot. Rainbow Dash finally got a good look at the blue green pegasus.

It was indeed Lightning Dust, but clearly Ajax had suited her up for battle. The pegasus had two pipe rockets strapped to her back and a pair of futuristic goggles on her forehead. Each of her hooves had a long sharp glaive attached to them protruding outwards.

“You like it?” said Lightning Dust as she looked back at the jetpack.

“Yea Jax-4 let me borrow this bad boy… You must be super jealous…”

Rainbow Dash stretched her wings. The light blue pegasus shook the rain off before looking Lightning Dust straight in the eye.

“Do you really think you can keep up with me? You couldn’t even pass basic training at the Wonderbolt Academy… remember?”

Lightning Dust became infuriated when she heard Rainbow Dash bring up the Wonderbolt Academy. She slammed into the light blue pegasus with the combined force of her wings and jetpack. Despite Rainbow Dash receiving the blessing of her element of harmony, Lightning Dust was able to keep up with her, thanks to the jetpack on her back. The two ponies soared through the air striking at each other at mach speed. One could only see a streak of rainbow colors and bolt of lightning left by the two supersonic creatures.

The sheer force of the two pegasi trading blows sent ripples in the air, dispersing the rain.

“You don’t have to be the villain!” shouted Rainbow Dash as the two pegasi traded another series of quick attacks.

“I’m not the villain! All I do is work for the highest bidder!” answered Lightning Dust.

Lightning Dust nailed Rainbow Dash directly in the face with both her front hooves. Rainbow Dash shook off the blow and regained her composure in the air, she touched her nose with the tip of her hoof and saw that she was bleeding. Lighting Dust didn’t give even give her a second to breathe, she charged at Dash with everything she had.

“My whole life I prepared to become a wonderbolt! I trained so hard to make sure nothing got in my way! I stayed up every night working my hide off doing another lap or one last set of exercises!”

Lightning Dust delivered a mighty blow with her right hoof into Dash’s stomach. The pegasus’ eyes nearly shot out of her skull as her mouth gaped.

“And then you came along! You had to ruin everything! You made sure I was the first one kicked out of the academy! It’s because of you I had to become a mercenary! “

Rainbow Dash plummeted towards the ground once again, but this time caught herself before crashing. The pony bounced back into the air with everything she had. However she halted her attack when she saw a massive shadow looming behind Lightning Dust.

“What’s the matter Rainbow? Are you scared? Figures, I was always more brave than you...” boasted Lightning Dust.

Pandora Prime was standing right behind Lightning Dust, but the giant robot didn’t seem to notice the pegasus or just didn't care for her. Rainbow Dash glanced behind her and saw that she was hovering in front of Discord. Lightning Dust and Rainbow Dash found themselves in between a battle of giants.

“Lightning Dust! This is insane, one of us could die!” shouted rainbow Dash, but Lightning didn’t seem to care for a single world the pegasus said.

Pandora Prime and Discord began another round of fighting, but this time with two pegasi caught in between them. Rainbow Dash and Lightning Dust didn't stop their own fight despite the massive claws and fists flying past them. Neither Rainbow nor Lightning would back down from this fight.

A massive wall of steel flew past the ponies tearing a vacuum in the air nearly causing them to spin out of control into a giant lion’s paw.

The two ponies began to exchange blows with their hooves in close quarters combat, neither seemed to even give a damn about blocking their opponent’s punches. Rainbow Dash and Lightning Dust continued to beat each other silly as the two massive monstrosities mimicked the two violent pegasi.

Rainbow Dash knew that it was pointless to try to reason with Lightning Dust, the best thing she could do for the pony was to knock her out before she got herself killed. Pandora Prime’s massive fist sailed underneath the two pegasi. Lightning Dust landed atop the metal hand and retreated backwards as the robot readied another punch.

She used the force of the robot’s next punch to propel herself forward and crash into Rainbow Dash. The two ponies crashed into the furry chest of Discord, they struggled as they tried to escape the draconequus’ chest hair.

Dash successfully made it out, but at that very moment she took a right hoof to the face. Then a left hoof, then another right hoof, Lightning Dust swung her hooves like crazy into the light blue pegasus. Rainbow Dash lifted both of her hind legs up to her chest and kicked Lightning Dust away.

Lightning Dust yelled at the top of her voice as she recklessly charged at Rainbow Dash once again.

“I can never forgive you! You don’t know what it’s like to live your entire life knowing that you can never achieve your dreams!”

Rainbow Dash’s view of the charging pony was instantly replaced by a massive wall of metal. The giant metal obstruction was Pandora Prime’s fist.

When the robot pulled its fist back Rainbow Dash’s saw that her fears had come true.

The titan’s jab had hit Lightning Dust, thankfully she was only grazed by the colossal blow, but nevertheless she was out cold. The pony gently fell from the sky as if she had been overcome with a deep sleep. Rainbow Dash grabbed one of Lightning’s hind hooves and gently lowered the pegasus to the ground. She had only a moment to look at her old friend before hearing another cry for help. Rainbow Dash disappeared in a flash leaving Lightning Dust laying against the wall of a random alley.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“This isn’t good, no that’s underselling it, this is quite possibly the most disastrous situation to ever befall Canterlot!” shouted Horizon Star.

Twilight, Apple and Pinkie Pie stood around the pony as he rubbed his hooves against his temples. Canterlot was losing the war by a large margin, every soldier who didn’t turn out to be a changeling was already captured or gone. Horizon Star was trying to think of what they could do to turn the tides, but every suggestion he made was shot down by Twilight and her friends. He was growing desperate, every idea he gave was a wild card.

The pony was grasping at straws for ideas now.

“Fine! Why don’t we just-”

Before Horizon could finish his next crazy idea a pegasus blew through the window of the shop that they were hiding in. The pony crawled on the floor and used the last bit of his strength to relay information.

“Enemy...at...Royal...Palace…need...help...”

Horizon Star made his decision in a heartbeat. The wide-eyed pony dashed out of the room before the guard could even finish the message. He turned to Twilight, Pinkie, and Apple while he sprinted out the door.

“You three must do all that you can to try to expel all changelings and metal humans from the city! I will go and make sure that Celestia is alright!”

Twilight raised a hoof.

“Wait!”

but it was too late.

Horizon Star was already gone. The earth pony ran through the streets hurdling over collapsed guards and piles of debris. He didn’t have time to stop and check on any of the soldiers, his eyes were fixated on the shining palace in the distance.

It was just like the old days when he ran around the streets of Canterlot as a young colt, chasing the golden palace in the distance. He thought about the moment all those years ago when he made the decision to become a royal guard.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Look at you! You’re such a loser! How do you even stomach seeing yourself in the mirror!”

Three young colts gathered around a young pony whose back was pressed up against a wall. Horizon Star wasn’t the toughest pony, but he was undoubtedly clever. He had no idea why these three unicorns picked on him everyday, he never did anything wrong, but they would always provoke him for no reason.

“Things would be so much better if you just stop showing up to class, sheesh you're such a burden to your mother. I hear she has to work two jobs in order to afford this school. Typical for an earth pony I suppose, they should just ban your kind from Canterlot.”

The three unicorns snickered at their friend’s cruel remark.

Horizon Star wasn’t going to settle for anypony bad mouthing his mother. His father died a war hero leaving his mother to take care of him herself. She worked twelve hours a day, seven days a week, just so they could make ends meet.

“How about I make an imprint of my hoof on that ugly face of yours!” threatened Horizon.

The three young unicorns backed away as a shadow loomed over Horizon Star. A school teacher grabbed Horizon Star by the ear and dragged him inside. After receiving another boring lecture as to why one shouldn’t settle disputes with violence Horizon Star was sent back to class.

It was Friday, which was nice since school bored Horizon. The colt slipped into the classroom and tried his best to sneak to the back of the class. The teacher was in the middle of reading a story. She was reading a tale about a hero fighting against a villain who had stolen all the candy in the world. The filly’s book ended with the hero returning everyponies candy, as all books for young ponies do.

It wasn’t Shakespeare, but every colt and filly loved the story.

The teacher closed the book and looked around the classroom.

“Anypony wish to comment on the story?”

One of the unicorns that was bullying Horizon earlier stood up.

“What?! He just gave everyone their candy back? That’s so lame… He could have just taken it all for himself. It’s not like he was obligated to give it back or anything.”

The old mare chuckled at the selfish little student.

“I suppose he could have done that, but then he would have become the villain of the story.”

The unicorn shrugged and sat back down. The old mare looked over at Horizon Star.

“What about you Horizon?”

The young earth pony was dragging his hoof in circles on his desk.

The colt looked up at the old mare.

“Oh… Well I liked the part where he gave everyone their candy back.”

The old mare chuckled.

“And why did you like that part?”

“I guess I liked how everyone cherished him after he brought their candy back. Even though at the beginning of the story he was an outcast, everypony accepted him when he became a hero...”

The old mare nodded her head as she began to doze off.

“Yes...yes...we all would like to be the hero of the story…”

The old pony fell asleep mid sentence. A young filly slowly stood up and looked back at the rest of the class.

“Shhhhh! She fell asleep again. Let’s get out of here before she wakes up.”

The young ponies scattered as their teacher continued to snore. Horizon Star returned home to a small house, but he didn’t seem to mind the size, it was only him and his mother after all. Horizon Star stepped inside and wiped his hooves on a welcome mat.

“Is that my special little pony I hear?” said a voice.

Horizon Star’s mother poked her head out from behind a corner. She was a young mare with a long red mane. He obviously didn’t inherit his short black mane from her...

His mother was in the middle of preparing dinner, but she always made sure to greet Horizon when he came home from school. The young colt looked at the ground and walked passed his mom without saying a word. The young mare sensed that something was wrong, she immediately stopped everything she was doing and followed Horizon Star back to his room.

“Horizon? is everything alright?” asked his mother as she entered the room.

Horizon Star sat on his bed with both of his hooves under his chin. He looked up at his mother and managed to force out four soul-crushing words.

“No one likes me…” said the young pony with a whimper.

The young mare sighed as she sat next to her child, she placed a hoof around Horizon and pulled him in close.

“That’s not true. I love you with all my heart, sweetie.”

The young colt blushed and continued to look down at his hooves.

“Today in class the teacher read us a story… about a hero who saved the day and was loved by everybody.”

Horizon’s mom had a smile that could warm even the coldest heart.

“That’s nice, did you like the story?” asked the mare.

Horizon Star nodded slowly.

“I want to be a hero when I grow up… Just like my dad!”

Horizon stared at his mother with determined eyes. She chuckled and hugged her little hero.

“You’re already my hero sweetie, isn’t that enough?” Horizon pushed his mother away.

“No! I am going to be a hero like my father! I am going to join the royal guard and follow in his hoovesteps!”

His mother’s expression darkened, she no longer had the heartwarming smile.

“I won’t allow it! It’s far too dangerous I can’t bear the idea of losing you! I… I can’t… not after your father.”

“But I want to be a great hero just like my daddy!” exclaimed Horizon.

“Just stop saying that! Why must you always bring that up…? Your dad wasn’t a war hero! I just said all that stuff because I was too ashamed to tell you the truth.”

Horizon felt as if a dagger was thrust deep into his heart. He didn’t believe her, she had to be lying…

“No… Your wro-” stuttered the colt, but his mother was quick to interrupt him.

“Hush! Your father was killed during a barfight. He was a good for nothing drunkard! The only thing he ever did right was… give me you. Horizon… please… don’t go trying to be a hero, ok? If I lost you...I...don’t know what I would do with myself.”

The young colt looked out the window and stared at the shining palace in the distance. He looked back at his mother and placed a hoof on her shoulder.

“Mom, I will become a hero that is loved by everyone in Equestria. I will become a royal guard and I will make you and dad proud so very proud. I don’t care if dad wasn’t a hero because….. you've always been my real hero…So... thank you, but I got it from here.”

The young mare could barely see her son’s wide smile through her tears.

“I don’t know how… but I did a great job raising you…”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Horizon never became a royal guard like he dreamed.

An earth pony in his position never even had a chance to achieve such a prestigious position, no matter the test results. However he was never really bothered by this fact.

The three unicorns who had bullied him in middle-school moved on to become royal guards, but he…

He moved on to become a hero...loved by everyone in Equestria…

When Horizon Star finally reached the royal courtyard he immediately saw why the pegasus went searching for help. The last defensive line in all of Canterlot was trying to hold it's ground in the royal courtyard against a sea of changelings. The wave of black equines continued to crash against the blockade, the soldiers weren't going to last much longer.

Horizon Star hopped from changeling to changeling before clearing over the blockade.

“General?!” shouted one of the royal guards.

Horizon only took only a second to formulate his strategy.

“Fall back! Abandon the courtyard! Use the palace’s main entrance as a chokepoint! Our forces are spread too thin trying to hold the enemy out here!”

The wall of guards slowly moved inch by inch towards the palace entrance, each guard continued to hold their shields against the pitch black swarm of changelings.They created an arc around the entrance and began to retreat inside one by one.

Only ten or so guards were needed to hold the changelings at bay now. A guard collapsed next to Horizon Star.

“Thank you, general… you saved us. If it wasn’t for you, well… I shiver thinking what would have happened... ”

Horizon Star pulled the soldier back up to his hooves.

“You can thank me later… But for now, your fellow soldiers need you!”

Horizon pushed the soldier back to the blockade as another voice asked him a question.

“Say general, do you know where Celestia is?”

Horizon turned around to face the pony, but it wasn't a pony that he was turning to face. Ajax, the one who behind the siege, stood in front of the earth pony. Horizon’s mouth moved up and down, but no words came out. Ajax drew one of his massive swords and began to drag it across the milky white throne room floor.

“What’s the matter, general? Don’t tell me that you're surprised seeing me here? War’s pretty much over…time for me to get what I have earned”

Horizon glanced back and saw every soldier giving it their all trying to hold the changeling army at bay. He couldn't quit now, as long as he drew breath he would fight for the Equestria he believed in. He looked back at Ajax and widened his hoovestance.

“I won’t tell you a damn thing…”

Ajax folded his arms and place two fingers on his head. The man shook his head as he slowly approached the earth pony.

“You would be a worthy opponent for a game of chess, but not for a sword fight… Shame, that you had to choose to act like a hero. You could have just told me what I wanted to know, but now I am going to have to kill you…”

Horizon Star drew his silver shortsword, the shortsword looked like a dagger compared to the human’s enormous butcher blade.

“Stop!” shouted a familiar voice.

Horizon Star turned and saw Shining Armor pacing down the hallway. The captain of the royal guard trotted up next to Horizon with a confident smirk.

“I got this. It’s my duty as the captain of the royal guard to protect the princess. You get out of here.”

Horizon slammed a hoof down.

“I will not run from this battle! We shall fight together!” stated Horizon Star.

“NO!” shouted Shining Armor.

Horizon Star took a step back. Shining Armor looked at the earth pony with a stern expression.

“You are more valuable than I. Your skills on the battlefield place your life above mine. Equestria could always get another captain, but not another general like you… You are our sole tactician who knows how to lead an army, if we lost you then all of Equestria is doomed... So like I said, GET OUT!”

Horizon Star took a few hoofsteps back before turning around and disappearing down a corridor.

Shining Armor turned to his opponent and galloped forward.

“You will pay for what you did to the Crystal Empire!”

Shining Armor’s pink magic morphed into a long polearm that began to swing wildly at Ajax. The human effortlessly blocked each attack using only one of his swords.

“Ah yes, that’s right. You and the crystal princess are married. How could I forget? I wonder if you will make the same foolish blunders as your spouse.”

The polearm swept at Ajax’s feet, but the human flipped back into the air easily evading the magic spear. Shining Armor brought the pink polearm backwards, placing it at his hooves.

“How about we just skip the warm-up and go all out?”

“My kind of soldier…” said Ajax with a gleeful smile.

Shining Armor’s horn illuminated the room with his bright pink magic, the ponies golden plated purple armor became encased in a series of thick magic sheets. Various types of weapons ranging from maces, axes, daggers, swords and shields began to hover behind the captain of the royal guard.

Ajax raised an eyebrow as he drew his second sword.

“It’s not about how many weapons you got… It’s about how you use them.”

“I know…” whispered Shining Armor as every single weapon flew at the human.

Ajax was surrounded by a flurry of blades. Each weapon began to slash, crash and tear into the man's armor, he tried to fight against the glowing blades, but they were far too fast even for him.

Ajax exploded with black fire sending the weapons flying. He glared at the unicorn still ignited with the demonic fire. Shining Armor walked towards Ajax as dozens of magic swords began to rotate in a circle behind his head, each one pointed towards Ajax.

The man sprinted across the room as the barrel of magic swords began to fire. The pink swords shattered as if they were made from glass, barely missing the superhuman soldier. Ajax found an opening in Shining Armor’s attack and quickly charged forward and swung his massive onyx blade. The huge slab of steel crashed into one of the pink kite shields surrounding Shining Armor. The magical shield didn’t even budge against the full force of the human’s swing. Ajax drove a punch into the thick plate of pink magic using his metal gauntlet.

The captain of the royal guard slid backwards, his magic plating had shattered from a single blow of the human’s metal fist. Ajax shook the burning gauntlet while nodding at Shining Armor.

“Not bad for an equine…”

Shining Armor created a large buckler shield with his magic.

“Thanks, want to see more?”

The unicorn charged forward and smashed the shield across Ajax’s face. He swung the shield again, but Ajax grabbed the buckler with his iron gauntlet and kicked Shining Armor across the room.

Ajax raced forward dragging his two huge swords behind him. The tips of the blades screamed as they grinded against the hard palace floor. Ajax swung both of his burning blades against the pony’s glowing magic armor. The armor cracked, but held up against the strike. Shining armor smiled seeing his armor take Ajax’s attack head on. He looked up at the human with a victorious grin, but Ajax grinned right back at him. When Shining looked back at the massive blade he saw exactly why Ajax was grinning. The burning blade grew darker and darker with black fire before releasing an explosion of the demonic flame.

Shining Armor was sent crashing through the palace walls. Ajax charged at pony and swung his swords against the pony as he skipped across the floor. He continued to bounce the unicorn around the room as if it was some type of sick twisted game. Each hit detonated another burst of black fire that would send the unicorn flying in the opposite direction. Shining slid across the floor, his armor was now in shambles.

The pony pushed himself back up to his hooves when he felt a blunt force crush one of his hind legs.

“AAaAAaH!” exclaimed Shining Armor as he fell over.

Ajax had stomped on the ponies hind leg, shattering the bone inside. Ajax circled the pony similar to the way a shark circles its prey. After waiting for Shining Armor to calm down a bit, he proceeded to crush the unicorn’s other hind leg. Ajax grinded his boot against the pony’s crushed tibia, sending shockwaves of unimaginable pain running up Shining’s spine. Ajax took his foot off the crushed leg, Shining Armor gasped for air trying to cope with the pain of his shattered legs. Ajax ignited his left hand as he crouched down next to the unicorn. Shining could feel the intense heat of the fire burning only inches away from his face. He spat in the face of danger, his resolve could never be broken.

Ajax stood up and wiped the spit off his face, he took a few steps back as his gauntlet also started burning with his signature black fire.

“Everyone knows what you put on the line when you choose to fight a war… Everything. I learned that the hard way and so shall you.”

Ajax shot a jetstream of ebony fire that engulfed the unicorn within seconds. The muffled screams of Shining Armor were drowned out by the roaring flames. Ajax slowly walked passed the twitching body that used to be Shining Armor…

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Canterlot had fallen, every last able bodied soldier found themselves barricaded inside the walls of Canterlot’s throne room, praying for reinforcements that would never come.

Throughout the entire streets of Canterlot robots and changelings watched as the battle of giants came to an end.

Discord had grown tired, he couldn't remember the last time he exhausted his magic, but having to grow his size to ridiculous proportions had drained all of his energy. Steel however never grows tired, fueled by the flames of the great dragon Galzra, Pandora Prime swung with the same jaw-crushing force that he had from the beginning. Discord took blow after blow knocking him sillier than he already was. Pandora Prime readied what would have been the last hit needed to win the fight, but before the robot could deliver the final blow, Discord vanished.

The draconequus had changed back to his original size and started to fly away. It was an anti-climactic victory, but a victory none the less. One couldn't be surprised that Discord wasn't willing to lay his life on the line for Canterlot. The victorious robot pumped it’s heavy arms in the air and released its deafening trumpet, signaling its victory over Discord.

Throughout Canterlot robots and changelings cheered for the victorious behemoth.

The storm overhead grew stronger and stronger with no sign of ever stopping.

Twilight, Applejack, Pinkie and Rainbow found themselves in the same situation as everypony else. The four ponies were trapped inside the royal throneroom barricading the windows and doors trying to buy more time. Applejack was struggling, she tried to hold dozens of changelings back using only a banquet table and her strength. Changelings growled at the orange pony, as she continued to beat them back with the long wooden table.

“Twilight! I need help over here!”

Twilight however was busy stopping changelings that were swarming through the busted stained glass windows.

“I am a bit busy!”

Every pony focused on holding back the robot/changeling army unaware that Ajax was already deep inside the castle searching for Celestia.

Shining Armor continued to struggle for his life, he couldn’t scream for help since his voicebox had been badly burned by Ajax. He tried to crawl back to the throne room where their fight had originally started, but the unicorn didn’t even have a sliver of strength left.

Shining Armor wasn’t even halfway down the hall when he fainted.

Shining Armor was going to die only a few yards away from his little sister.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Horizon Star burst through two wide doors and slid across the floor nearly crashing into Celestia. The white alicorn looked down at the earth pony.

“What is it?” asked Celestia.

“Ajax is in the castle! He’s fighting Shining Armor at the moment! We are losing badly princess, I am sorry I thought we-”

Horizon froze mid-sentence. A shadow had moved across the ceiling catching the pony's eye.

“CELESTIA!!!” yelled Horizon.

The shade launched itself down towards the princess. Celestia looked up and saw a sword only inches away from her face, but suddenly the sword moved to the side missing her.

The sword hadn’t actually moved at all. Horizon Star had leapt forward and pushed the princess out of the way. The steel samurai sword punctured the earth ponies flesh and in a flash, cut Horizon Star in half.

Horizon Star watched the world spin as he flipped through the air, the shock of being cut in half numbed all of his senses. He didn’t realize what actually had happened until he looked back at his hind legs.

The only thing connecting him to the other half of his body was a twenty foot trail of blood.

Jax-4 menacingly stood up straight, his two red eyes glaring at Celestia.

“How unfortunate… That was supposed to kill you…Celestia...”

Celestia hadn't even acknowledged the robot’s presence yet. She was fixated on her general, who had given his life to save her.

Horizon Star dragged himself towards the robot with his front legs. He left a trail of blood and innards as he crawled across the floor. Blood poured forth from his mouth mixing with his tears.

“Not like this… A hero can’t die like this…I was suppos...”

The earth pony refused to die, his dream to become a hero and make his mother proud kept him going.

But no matter how unwilling he was to let his dreams go, his body was done.

The earth pony keeled over and died.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!”

The princess’ scream could be heard throughout all of Canterlot. Tears streamed from her eyes evaporating into a pillar of gold fire that surrounded her.

Still sobbing the alicorn turned to Jax-4.

The robot felt fear for the first time.

“Uh oh…”

Celestia screamed another blood curdling cry as beams of solar fire erupted around her shooting into the heavens. The alicorn fixed her gaze upon Jax-4, tears of golden plasma dripped down the sun god’s cheek as she hurled towards the robot.

Jax-4 had one chance, the only way he could have defeated Celestia was with his surprise attack, but now… his only hope was to escape.

The robot tried to make an exit through a nearby window, but the unforgiving princess smashed into the samurai and pinned him against a wall.

Celestia stared at the robot with her golden burning eyes. Jax-4 grabbed her face and pressed his thumb into the princess’ eye.

The robot’s thumb turned to liquid metal as it touched Celestia’s pupil.

With one sweep of her horn the alicorn severed the robot’s arm. Jax-4 slid down the wall and tried to escape. He could deal with a missing arm or a hole in his chest, his body had seen worse. The Alicorn furrowed her brows and grit her teeth as she watched the robot attempt to flee.

Jax-4 fell flat on his face when a golden chain grappled onto his left leg. The chain seared into his metal as it slowly dragged him back to Celestia. Jax-4 gripped his sword with his only arm and cut off the leg. He propped himself up on the samurai blade and tried to hobble away.

A second chain lassoed around the robot’s neck, he tried his best to push forward, but Celestia’s magic was too strong. Jax-4 fell to his knees as the magical bond choked the robot. He clawed at the leash around his neck, while kicking his last good leg. Jax-4 cried out his final words as he was dragged backwards

“Jack… I guess we finally get to meet… I hope tha-”

A beam of golden fire erupted from beneath Jax-4 annihilating every last part of the robot. Circuits, gears and processors scattered across the floor still smouldering from Celestia’s magic. The hollow head of Jax-4 rolled across the floor, but stopped when a steel boot pressed down on top of it.

Ajax looked down at all that remained of Jax-4, he kicked the empty robot’s head across the room towards Celestia.

“You broke my robot.” said Ajax in an unsympathetic tone.

Celestia wasn’t so lighthearted.

“You fiend! You two legged, flesh-eating, murderous monster!”

Ajax scratched the back of his head as the alicorn continued her rant.

“I knew humans were monsters, but you’re in an entirely different league.”

“Still trying to justify your genocide I see…” growled Ajax.

“Justify? There is nothing for me to justify! As I already told you, your people killed themselves. The desire human’s have for war is truly remarkable, even now the only solution you seem to be able to come up with is more bloodshed.”

“Enough! You are so self-absorbed in your own little world that you hide behind the corpses of your own people, and yet you still deny your crime! Me and my comrades fought unimaginable abominations while we were trapped in the Everfree Scar! We held up our end of the bargain, but obviously sparing the human race was too difficult for you!”

“Silence! Obviously there is no reasoning with you… No matter what I say you will always blame me for the extinction of your race…” shouted the princess.

“If what you say is true then why did you leave me to rot?! The only reason I guarded that cursed land was because I thought it was the last hope for my people!”

“I knew you wouldn't be able to handle the truth! You would have just caused more chaos just like the others! Equestria would have been better off if you had just died along with your race all those years ago!”

“A thousand years and that is your best excuse! Pitiful!” roared Ajax.

He drew of both his swords, but casted away his massive onyx blade. He gripped his marble white sword with both hands and held it steadily in front of him.

“Jack, Vyndon, Sin-Faye, Rexx, Lucy… EQUESTRIA MAY HAVE FORGOT THEIR NAMES, BUT EVERY DAY...EVERY NIGHT… THE MEMORIES OF MY FRIEND'S DEATHS STILL HAUNT ME!”

Ajax pointed the white sword at Celestia.

“I pray that you too will keep them in your thoughts as you slowly die…”

Ajax charged forward eager to finally obtain revenge after so many years. His jade eyes turned blood red as the nails on his hand grew long and sharp

“CELESTIA!”

A typhoon of black fire crashed against a barrier of golden fire, the two flames entwined as they shot up towards the sky destroying the roof overhead. Ajax roared an unholy cry as his teeth grew jagged and sharp.

Celestia watched as Ajax slowly turned into a monster.

“So, this is what you truly are… A monster…”

‘The gift of Traeger’ that which provided Ajax his black fire, fed off the human’s rage providing him with tremendous power, but changing him in the process.

Ajax continued to cry out as he let his rage take control. He gripped his marble sword as he glared at Celestia, the white sword was now teeming with the demonic fire. The half-man half-monster swung its sword at celestia, releasing thin waves of ebony fire. Pillars crumbled as the laser like waves swept through them. Celestia’s golden barrier grinded against the hellfire, Ajax charged forward and slammed his gauntlet against the tide of flame, pushing it through Celestia’s shield.

The alicorn slid back, but immediately raced forward, leaving a trail of burning gold hoof steps behind her. Ajax smashed his sword against the ground in a fit of beastial rage. With one sweep of his arm he hurled a downed column at the princess, but Celestia blew right through the masonry. An enormous golden image of the alicorn appeared behind her, mimicking her every move. The golden alicorn impaled Ajax atop it's horn and dragged him through the castle walls.

Celestia waited to see if she had done it, if she had really defeated the monster.

“That all you got?”

Ajax stepped out from behind a cloud of dust, the man’s flesh had turned into black fire. The walking figure of shadowfire chuckled as it retook a solid form.

Ajax’s long white jagged hair had grown longer, it now trailed on the floor behind him, his eyes were pitch black with burning red irises. Sharp jagged teeth filled the monster’s mouth, the creature howled as two long bones emerged from its back. A series of small thin femurs began to spread outwards turning the protruding bones into two large wings.

Ajax gave Celestia a smile that showed off his new dental work.

“What’s the matter Celestia?”

Ajax’s bone wings ignited instantly when he spoke. Trails of shadow fire ran up and down, side to side, across the skeletal wings.

“I watched my friends die one by one… I watched my empire burn… You can't expect a man to look good after all that…”

Ajax’s mouth gaped open as he gagged, the human began to pour liquid darkness out of his mouth. He looked up at Celestia as trails of the dark matter squeezed in between his shark-like teeth. He reared his head back before spraying a wave of darkness.

The human had become the embodiment of hatred and revenge.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Back at the front entrance of the palace Twilight and her friends tried their best to hold out against the swarm of changelings, but there were only a handful of guards left, changelings began to swarm through every possible hole they could find.

When suddenly a bright blue light filled the room expelling the changeling army.

“What in the hay was that!” stammered Rainbow Dash.

Princess Cadences stepped forward, her horn glowing bright with magic. The princess had created a protective barrier around the entire building. Twilight rushed to the side of her sister-in-law, Cadence was weak, she had already used to much of her magic when she and Shining Armor had created the first barrier around Canterlot.

“Cadence! Are you alright!” gulped Twilight.

The pink alicorn slowly raised her head and looked at the worried pony. She shot twilight a broken smile.

“Of course I am… Don’t worry about me… We need to make sure that there are no more changelings around…”

“Oh, dear… Well I have some terrible news for you sweetheart…” giggled a heinous voice.

Queen Chrysalis stepped forward, she had a vivid green aura of magic circling around her. The changeling extended a hoof as she watched the magic course around her.

“I have had such a wondrous time ransacking your city, I dare say that I and my changelings are actually full…”

The last defense for Canterlot watched as the changeling queen destroyed the barrier created by Cadence with a single bolt of green magic.

A horde of changelings rained down and clustered near their queen, ready to strike. Everypony stared at Chrysalis anxious about what she was going to do. The queen however didn’t give the order for the changelings to attack. The changeling queen started to circle Twilight and Cadence, the two alicorns wondered what she was planning.

“Me and my children thank you for the bountiful feast that you have given us. We have enough leftovers to last us for months.” remarked Chrysalis.

“Shutup, you monster!” cried Cadence.

Chrysalis chuckled at the enraged alicorn as she grabbed Cadence’s cheeks with both of her hooves.

“Oh Cadence, looking lovely as ever I see. Tell me, how is Shining Armor doing? It’s been quite some time since we last talked.”

“Why would you help Ajax! I knew you were a monster, but I thought you were above bloodshed!” yelled Twilight.

Chrysalis dropped Cadence and trotted over to Twilight.

“You think I am helping Ajax?” asked the changeling.

Twilight was confused as to why Chrysalis would ask such a question, unless....

“I had planned to betray him from the start, but then I thought ‘Why not kill two birds with one stone.’ He could start a war that would provide me and my changelings with a glorious feast, which he could die in…”

“Wait why do you want Ajax dead?” pondered Twilight.

“That’s none of your business ‘Princess’ Twilight…” answered Chrysalis.

Chrysalis began to inspect one of her hooves.

“Honestly, I thought you would be more concerned with the fact that Ajax and Celestia are fighting to the death as we speak…”

Everypony gasped, while they were caught up with trying to protect the palace, Ajax snuck inside in an attempt to assassinate Celestia.

The changeling queen sighed at all the stunned ponies.

“Well, me and my changelings will now abandon this farce, I hope you see to it that Ajax doesn’t leave the city alive.”

The changeling army swarmed up to the sky and flew away back towards the badlands. The remaining robot soldiers were the only thing left of Ajax’s army. Unlike the changelings the amount of robotic soldiers left was quite small...

“Everypony hold the line! I will go and check up on Celestia!” screamed Cadence as she bolted down a hallway.

Twilight chased after her.

The two alicorns galloped down hallways as they frantically searched for Celestia. Twilight rounded a corner when she heard a horrific scream.

Cadence screamed as she fell to her knees in front of Shining Armor. Twilight rushed over, Cadence looked back at the pony with streams of tears pouring out of her eyes.

Twilight took a step back, before her was the charred remains of Shining Armor. Twilight placed a hoof over her mouth as she began to cry.

“Wait!” shouted Cadence.

The corpse in front of her gasped for life, Shining Armor wasn’t dead, or at least he wasn’t dead yet. Cadence screamed at the top of her lungs.

“SOMEPONY HELP!!!”

Two medics heard the princess’ cry from down the hallway. Twilight and Cadence were trying to use what little knowledge of
first-aid they had to try and save Shining Armor, but nothing was working.

“Shining Armor, Shining Armor! Shining Armor speak to me!!!” cried Cadence.

Cadence continued to hold onto the stallions hoof when the medical ponies arrived.

“Princess you need to let go of him!” cried one of the medical ponies.

Cadence continued to sob as Twilight pried her off Shining Armor.

The two medics carried the stallion away on a stretcher and rushed him to the makeshift hospital setup in the throne room.

She despised Ajax for attacking the Crystal Empire, but now… She hated him. Ajax had taken away the only thing she ever truly loved, her Shining Armor.

Cadence’s eyes burned bright blue with magic, the alicorn screamed at the top of her lungs, releasing a shock-wave of magic throughout all of Canterlot.

Twilight was the only one who could understand her pain. For the first time in Twilight's life she felt hatred towards someone.

The hatred Ajax had brought into the world was spreading like a disease...

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

An explosion of ebony and gold fire bursted down a corridor as Celestia and Ajax continued their fight. The two demigods continued to crash into one another releasing powerful bursts of energy after every strike.

“Why won’t you just die!” howled Ajax as his burning wings pushed him forward.

He swung his metal fist into the princess’ barrier, shattering both the metal gauntlet and the barrier. Ajax swung at Celestia, the alicorn used her wings to push herself to the side, but Ajax’s sword clipped the pony.

Celestia cried out as she rolled off to the side, crashing into a wall.

Ajax looked at where his gauntlet used to be, in its place was a decrepit, burned, scarred hand. He looked over at Celestia and dragged his sword behind him as he approached the alicorn.

“Now it finally comes to an end, my old enemy… Today I end the feud by claiming victory."

Ajax looked up at the cloudy sky above him.

"Smile upon me now brothers and sisters as I avenge you.”

Then a miracle happened, as if god himself had chosen to save the alicorn.

Before Ajax could deal the final blow a pillar of white magic erupted underneath him, sending him flying.

Celestia pushed herself upright and watched as Luna landed next to her.

“I am glad to see you…” groaned Celestia as she inspected her wing.

Luna smiled at her sister.

“Forgive me for being late, I was caught up in something else…”

A erruption of black fire grabbed the two alicorn’s attention. Ajax stomped forward, now holding both of his swords in his hand.

“I don’t care I will crush you both if i have to!” yelled the human.

“YOU!!!” roared another voice.

Ajax turned to see Cadence and Twilight enter the room. Ajax tilted his head, he had never seen the pink alicorn in person before.

He finally put it together.

“Ah, you must be the Crystal Princess. I suggest you stay out of this. This is a fight beyond your abilities.”

Cadence’s eyes ignited with blue fire as a wave of rage overcame her. Ajax was about to learn that despite not being a good tactician the Crystal Princess was no laughing matter.

Thick clusters of crystal gathered around the human’s legs, holding him in place. Ajax laughed at first, but found breaking free of thick crystalline shards quite difficult.

“I am going to kill you.” stated Cadence as she trotted forward. Ajax could tell she meant business.

He opened his mouth, but only gave a gasp as a long spear made out of crystals drove through his chest. He looked down at the spear as blood began to pour out of his chest.

“How… How are all of you hear, what happened to my army…” gasped the human.

“Chrysalis betrayed you!” shouted Twilight as she stepped forward.

Ajax grit his teeth.

“I knew it! I should never have trusted a changeling! They are the scum of the earth!” screamed the frustrated human.

Celestia and Luna stepped forward.

“Sister, I think we should just go ahead and give him a sentence right here, right now.” stated Luna as her horn glowed brightly.

“I agree…” added Celestia.

Ajax looked around at the four alicorns, he knew that he had no hope of winning this battle. The human shot the crystal bonds around his legs with a blast of shadowfire and shot upwards into the sky.

“Oh no you don’t!” shouted Twilight as her horn glowed brightly.

Ajax instantly teleported back down to the ground in between the four alicorns. Since he had no hope of escaping, Ajax lashed out at the four alicorns. A sheet of crystal shot out of the ground and grabbed his right leg as shards of crystal pelted against him. Golden chains wrapped around the human burning into his flesh. A blast of purple energy ended the human's struggle, Ajax was sent rolling across the floor.

He reached out towards the alicorns, but they answered his cry for mercy with a destructive pink-blue-yellow-purple swirl of magic. Ajax was now in pieces. The only thing that kept him alive was the Curse of Traeger, through his hatred the man was able to defy death itself.

Ajax continued to gasp for life as he crawled across the floor towards his swords. The alicorns watched as the human struggled, trying to continue with the fight. They pitied him, another blast of magic knocked the human back to the ground.

Celestia stepped forward and gave the dying man his sentence.

“For your crimes against Equestria and her people, I Celestia sentence you to death.”

Ajax despite being bashed, beaten, torn and burned tried to reach for Celestia, but his body was far too weak.

The alicorn whispered under her breath as the man fell backwards.

“Now it finally comes to an end, my old enemy”

Then a miracle happened, as if god himself had chosen to save the human. A monstrous metal hand broke away what remained of the ceiling and clenched the ground around Ajax. Pandora Prime lifted the clump of floor which Ajax had been laying on up into the sky.

Trixie and Lightning Dust sat atop the robot’s shoulders. Trixie noticed the empty head of Jax-4 laying in a nearby corner.

“Goodbye, Ja...Yamamoto” whispered the unicorn with a frown.

The four alicorns glared at the robotic monstrosity, but before any of them could even try to stop Pandora Prime the giant robot fired a series of cluster missiles at the alicorn.

As the princesses dealt with the missiles, Pandora Prime dashed across Canterlot. In no time, the robot cleared its walls and ran off into the distance.

“Do you think Ajax will live after all that?” asked Luna while she watched the giant run off.

“I don’t know” aswered Celestia.

Canterlot had won. Countless citizens had been captured and thousands of soldiers had lost their lives, but it had won.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Back in the north, cries of agony rang throughout metal hallways deep below the ground as Ajax was thrown on top of an operating table.

Trixie watched as thousands of robots scurried around trying to figure out what to do. She grabbed a nearby robot with her hooves and picked it up. The tiny machine was only about two feet tall and a foot wide.

“So what’s going on? Is he going to make it?” asked Trixie.

The robot was essentially just a tv on wheels, a line displaying voice frequency appeared on the screen as it talked.

“We aren’t doctors. All we could do for him is give him an oil change and change his gears, but I don't think that's going to help…”

Ajax interrupted the robot with a cry of pain. His body continued to burn away dead clumps of flesh. The only thing keeping him alive through the pain was his rage. Trixie looked back down at the machine.

“So what exactly are you trying to say here?” asked the unicorn.

The robot took a while to respond.

“He is going to die within the next forty-eight hours, unless we find him a proper doctor.” stated the robot.

Trixie thought about what the robot had said as she slowly placed the machine back onto the floor.

She walked towards the exit, but before she could reach it a morbid hand reached out and grabbed the unicorn’s hind leg. Trixie gasped when she felt something grab onto her, the unicorn looked back and saw the burning remains of Ajax staring back at her.

The human held onto her, staring at her with his bulging eyes, the human's eyelids had been seared off, even his teeth were exposed since his lips had fallen off.

The creature tried to speak, but only a pool of drool poured at its mouth. Trixie pulled away from the creature and slowly backed away horrified.

Ajax continued to reach out to her as she left the room.

The unicorn paced around outside the room thinking about what she was going to do. She never liked Ajax in the first place, she only was here because he gave her no option in the first place. Trixie could just run off and let Ajax die, there was no way the robots were competent enough to save his life. The unicorn continued to think about what she was going to do when a voice called out to her, interrupting her train of thought.

“He’s beaten up pretty badly, eh?” asked Lightning Dust.

Trixie looked up at the pegasus.

“Yea…”

Lightning Dust shrugged.

“Oh well, what can we do about it. I say we just ditch the guy. I mean we did our jobs.”

“Excuse me? What exactly do we pay you for around here? Do you honestly think that you're going to just walk away from here, just like that?"

Trixie didn't even think about what Lightning Dust said when she snapped back at her The pegasus backed away surprised by the unicorn's devotion.

“Okay, okay… Sheesh…So what’s the plan?” asked Lightning Dust.

Trixie couldn't believe what she just did, she began to wonder if abandoning Ajax was what she really wanted. If it was, then why did she defend him just now?

“Well?” inquired Lightning Dust, interrupting Trixie’s train of thought for the second time.

The unicorn took a deep breath and looked up at Lightning Dust.

“We’re going to find him a doctor…”

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The rain finally had stopped in Canterlot, the sun shone down on the ruined city. The ponies were in the middle of hosting a funeral, Celestia stepped up to the podium. The alicorn was dressed in black and spoke with a heavy heart.

“Today we have lost many good ponies, we extend our prayers and condolences to the families of the deceased. Among those lost today was Canterlot’s sole general, Horizon Star.

I didn’t know Horizon Star that well, which saddens me. Never throughout my entire life have I ever witnessed such a brave and courageous pony. He pushed himself ever since he was young to become something great.

Today, he saved my life...”

Celestia choked up a bit when she said the last line, but took a deep breath and continued..

“Which makes me sad because I know that I will never get the chance to thank him for it... Today, he proved that he was a hero far more worthy of protecting a princess such as I.”

Four royal guards slowly began to lower a golden coffin, Horizon Star’s helmet rested on top.

A mare with a long red mane ran forward and threw her hooves around the coffin.

“No! Horizon, no, no, no… Please! I don’t know what I will do without you! I can’t lose you too…”

Nopony had the heart to separate the mare from her only son. Everypony could only watch as the mare exhausted her tears.

After the funeral was over, Canterlot continued to conduct search and rescue missions as it tried to rebuild. The hospital’s were flooded with ponies who had been injured in the war.

The chaos continued into the dead of night.

Luna and Celestia were atop their castle’s balcony. The beautiful starry night sky shone overhead, the destroyed city of Canterlot below…

“I had a nightmare last night Luna…” whispered Celestia.

“I know, I was there…” replied Luna.

Author's Note:

While I have your attention I just want to take the time to thank everyone who reads my stories. I appreciate each and every like/favorite and I strongly believe that my writing skills as an author have only improved after each chapter.

That being said I am interested to hear your thoughts regarding the story. It can be about what you like, what you didn't like, what confused you, or anything in between.

Expect next chapter: 10/10

:pinkiehappy: