• Published 16th Apr 2012
  • 3,697 Views, 114 Comments

Long Way Gone - DiscordsAdvocate



A story loosely based on Outland, crossovered with MLP: FIM.

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Chapter 1

Long Way Gone - Chapter 1 (edited)

He slowly rose, and was thankful that the Goddess Dark was enough to save him. The landing was overwhelming, and he was sore all over. Maybe it was due to the battle.

The Wyrm…did he kill it?

No, merely dealt a great injury to it. Would it be enough? Only time would tell.

It was dark, but he could sense his surroundings had changed. The land was flat. No hills or gorges. These weren’t the same trees as back home, either. Where had the Wyrm sent him? Across a great sea, across a land of mountains, grass, rivers, and what looked like towns and cities. He couldn’t remember much it was a very quick experience. Yes, he was not in the Rift anymore. He was somewhere else, spurred as far away from the Wyrm as it could send him.

He couldn’t do anything about that now. First, he had to find shelter, food, and seek out the people of this land, if there really were any people here. But first he had to know just where to go.

Light, my wisdom, my magic, my serenity, my vigilance through the unknown.

The stars spoke back to him, telling him where North was. His senses attuned to see further ahead. There was a light over the horizon of the trees, distant and faint, but indicating civilization. So he began walking there, pack on his back, his body bearing the luminous markings of Light, providing the lantern to guide him to path that seemed to go in the direction of the lights.

An hour passed as he journeyed. The trees and ground bared the fruit and vegetables to nourish him. The river water was clean and soothing to wash down his thirst. At least nature was still there by his side!

He stopped to eat, cleaned his clothes, and cleaned himself. The water was cold, but he had to cleanse the Wyrm’s blood off of him. He could bear it. Once he felt ready, he resumed his journey. To keep his mind occupied, he ascertained his surroundings further. There were animals here, mostly small ones. Another hour and he sensed larger ones near, stalking him.

He was being hunted. They revealed themselves from behind the foliage. Creatures made of branches, yet prowled on all fours like a hunting-beast!

Dark. My aegis, my resilience, the strength to conquer any challenge.

The markings on his body changed color as the alpha pounced at him. He reacted, kicked up under its chin with a leaping backward summersault, sending it flying into one of the trees. That should scare off the others…spoke too soon. They were angrier now. He had no choice but to form his blade, it sprang from his hand, brimming with the power of dark. The omega attacked first. With the flat of his blade he blocked its advance then sent it careening into one of its pack. The last stood alone, growling as a warning. At least it had the wisdom to know it was outmatched. But it would protect its pack no matter what. The others whined in submission. With respect to the lone beast’s courage, the man let them be and ran back in the direction he was going, fast.

He must have run several miles, aided by the physical superiority the blessing of dark provided him. Finally, he stopped before he exhausted his vigor. Bringing fourth the Light, he continued his journey.

It came back to him, the realization those hunting-beasts were made of plants! Strange. He could see he was about another day’s journey from the town ahead. He pushed himself until midnight was nearing. He managed to find a cave where the nearby river created a small brook inside, yet enough ground to sleep on. It was perfect to keep his scent hidden. He set up a campfire at the mouth of the cave and unrolled his bedroll, letting the sound of his fire and the river to keep him company as sleep took him.

Meanwhile…

“Tia, did you feel that?” Luna burst into Celestia’s office.

Celestia briefly yawned before she could answer. It was late, almost time for her to sleep. She had just set the sun down into the horizon. “Yes, Luna. Though I could not do anything about it while setting the sun.” She and Luna trotted up the stairs to her tallest tower. On the balcony was a telescope of intricate design, using three lenses made of crystal. “It was a ripple in the Ley Line.” She said looking through the telescope, which was pointed to the Northern Ley Line. “It’s calm now, though.”

“But those are rare! And what we felt was as if…something crossed over from it.” Luna looked up to Celestia. “I mean, nothing has crossed the Ley Line in ages!”

Celestia pondered that for a moment. “I don’t know what it was or where it happened. There is only so much I can divine. Though, I felt as if whatever crossed shared two sides…one with me.”

“And one with us too, sister.” Luna said. “Will it make itself known?” Luna asked her big sister.

“I wish I could say, Luna. Don’t worry about it. If we can sense it, it is bound to show itself again.” She smiled warmly. “I should really get some sleep. Shall we go and meet my little ponies this weekend?” She asked.

“Really? Oh yes, we would love to go with you this time!” Luna beamed as she practically danced in excitement..

Celestia giggled and nuzzled her sister. “Good night, then, sis. Enjoy the Canterlot nightlife.” She went to her bed as Luna resumed her duties to tend with the night ponies.

Next morning…

The man awoke to a fine sunshine. The sky was a perfect blue. He welcomed the morning, and a warmer bath this time! After getting cleaned and dried, he foraged more of nature’s bounty for breakfast and refilled his canteen.

While he resumed the final stretch of his journey, his mind was now occupied with worry. Where was he? How far was he? His family, his quest, what if he couldn’t go back? What if he failed? He shook his head. No, not now. Father taught him not to flood one’s mind with burdening thoughts. Address them only when they need be addressed. He swallowed his fear and pressed on.

It was hitting noontime when he reached a cliff overlooking a…town? It must have been, the buildings were…odd, but recognizable nonetheless. He could see creatures walking around; they must be the denizens of this civilization. He recognized a larger structure, must have been a storehouse for crops, judging from the fields and fields of orchards nearby. But what caught his sight was that of a blue-blur flying overhead in his direction.

What was it? How could anything that small fly like that? Was it a bird? But it left a trail of a rainbow in its path! Beautiful! What magic gave it such a gift? Was it an angel? Rainbows were a good sign, a sign of life given by the rainclouds back home. So this must be a good creature, he hoped. He blew the loudest whistle he could, in the hopes he could get its attention. It is wiser to meet the first outside the borders, in case you need to run, so sayeth the Elder.

Rainbow Dash stopped in her flight-path, overhearing a whistle. A whistle! A stallion was calling her! She grinned, not sure if she should answer it, or turn him down. What the heck? Maybe he’ll be cute this time. She overheard it again. Heh, a persistent colt. She bolted in the direction of its origin.

“Ready or not, stud! Here comes the Rain…!” She stopped mid-flight…again…face to face…with some kind of…creature.

The man looked at this…equine…with wings! If he could call it an equine. It was sky blue, its mane was the same color of a rainbow, and it had a symbol on its flank. Oh well, better greet it…her, yeah probably a ‘her’. He didn’t know why but it seemed…feminine. But her eyes shined with intelligence.

“Atánadë?” He asked. (Greetings?)

“OHMYGOSH!” She jumped in midair, startled, and kept her distance.

Tuath, he cursed to himself! Must have scared her. But she could speak, apparently. But he didn’t understand the words. But like any new race, he did his best to appear as unthreatening as possible. He put his pack down and got on his knees and held his hands up.

“Nyë tun falë nui mecti.” He said gently. (I mean you no harm.)

Dash blushed in embarrassment, being started by this seemingly harmless...biped. But hearing his ‘words,’ she couldn’t make out what he was saying. “Huh? What did you say?” She looked at this…creature. “You’re like a shaved diamond dog, but…” She fluttered around him, eying him suspiciously. “You’re definitely not anything I have ever seen.”

He let her observe him from all sides. My, what a dexterous creature, he thought. Almost adorable with those eyes searching him. She could fly and maneuver like a tree wasp. That probably wasn’t a good description, but honestly, that was the closest creature he knew that could match her in the air.

Well, for a strange creature, he seemed okay, Dash thought. His clothes were odd, though, covering himself from the waist down. And those markings on his torso, they were cool! But what were they for? It was like he wore a giant cutie-mark on his body! Did it cover him completely? And what does it mean for him?

“What did you say earlier? Can’t you talk right?” She landed in front of him, standing on all fours, wings by her side.

Tuath! The Elders hadn’t prepared him for this. Well, maybe his intentions could be understood. He put his hands together and smiled, then bowed to her then gave her a look of expectation. Let’s start with greetings, he decided, then work our way up to other things.

Dash scratched her chin with a hoof trying to ascertain the intentions of that. “Oh!” She said in realization. “Right, uh.” She waved one hoof to him. “Hi there.” She said in awkward pleasantry.

The man chuckled. Well, at least we’re at greetings now. “Hi there?”

“Yeah,” She nodded. “Hello!” She said cheerfully.

He gathered from her words ‘Hi There’ was a greeting, ‘Yeah’ was confirmation, ‘Hello’ was another greeting. He then pointed to himself. “Darius,”, introducing himself.

“You’re a Darius?” She asked, raising an eyebrow. Weird name for a race. “Oh well, I’m a pony!” She pointed to herself.
“Ah, Pony” He said with a smile, keeping up the positive outlook of learning her language. This will take some patience.

“Aryana atánedi falë, pony.” (Nice to meet you, Pony)

Dash was stumped now. Wait…was that pleasantry as Rarity would call it? Oh gosh, he thinks her name is Pony! She waved her front-hooves rapidly, indicating an error. Okay, he got the intent of that, she hope. “Rainbow Dash.” She said pointing to herself. Then she got an idea and took a nearby stick in her mouth. She drew a shape of a pony. “Pony.” She pointed to it.

Rainbow, he thought! They shared the word rainbow! And what better name for one who is colored as such! He made a sound of understanding (ooooh) and nodded. He then took his finger and drew a stick figure of a Newman. “Newman.” He gestured to her, acknowledging her name.

“There we go.” Dash nodded smiling, getting it. “Hello, Darius…Newman.”

“Hello, Rainbow Dash…pony.” They both shared a chuckle.

Well, they got as far as who and what they were…but what now? She was not good at this. Poor guy was out of place here, Dash thought. There was no way she could do this by herself. That’s it, Twilight!

She softly put a hoof on his hand and gave a gentle smile. “Come with me. We're gonna see a friend.” She gestured with her other hoof towards Twilight’s tree-house.

Darius followed. But a thought entered his mind. Wait, is she taking me to her home? I hope it doesn’t mean she’s offering THAT! I hardly know her, much less speak…oh, stop thinking dirty thoughts you fool! They probably don't share THAT custom! She’s probably offering shelter, maybe she’s taking me to see a wise pony? For now, he decided to keep Light and Dark within. No need to scare these creatures with powers they may not know.

They walked through town as several other ponies saw Darius following Rainbow Dash. Some stood in shock, others were confused, some fled. Darius watched them in awe. They were so many different colors, some with horns on their heads, some with wings! What blessing did creation give to such beautiful creatures? And they all had those markings on their flanks like Rainbow Dash does! His initial wonder was replaced with combinations of discomfort, awkwardness, and guilt. They were frightened of him. He guessed it shouldn’t be a surprise, he was so alien here. He sighed.

Dash’s ears caught his sighing and saw his solemn frown, then noticed the other ponies reacting in fear. She slowed to walk by his side and tapped him on the thigh. “It’s okay, big guy. Stick with me and my friends and they’ll like you too.” She gave a confident grin in his direction.

He didn’t understand what she said, but he was sure she was trying to comfort him. That helped, as he let her know putting a hand to his heart in gratitude.

“Is that ‘thank you’?” Dash asked.

“Thank…you?” Darius said needing clarification.

“Okay, um…me.” She pointed a hoof to herself. “You.” She pointed to Darius. “Me, Rainbow Dash, pony.” She pointed to herself. “You, Darius, Newman.” She said.

“Ah!” Darius got the pronoun. He then inquired “Thank?”

She put a hoof to her chest. “Thank.” She smiled.

He nodded and tapped his heart again. “Thank you, Rainbow Dash.”

Dash giggled. He’s a nice guy, weird, but nice, she thought. They resumed their walk.

Their remaining walk consisted of Darius pointing to different objects. In the thirty minute walk, he learned the, that, what, is, yes, no, my, his, her, they, and your, along with many objects they passed. He refrained from inquiring about body parts until he was sure that was okay to talk about. He was grateful Dash named the things he requested.

Wow, he was a fast learner, she thought, but he didn’t seem like an egghead, judging from that honed body of his. But why did he wear those...what do the Minotaurs call them? Pants? She shrugged and continued walking.

As they neared the tree, he saw a rainbow in the sky. “Dash! What that-er-what IS that?” He corrected himself and pointed to the temple in the clouds. It was amazing!

The cyan pony saw where he was pointing and grinned. “Oh yeah, that is my home.” She grinned. “I’ve got the best place in my neighborhood.” She chuckled.

“Home?” He asked.

My, home.” Rainbow Dash nodded.

His eyes widened realizing she must have lived there! “Your!?!” He glanced at it again. “Whoa.” He said in absolute astonishment.

Dash giggled, then was nearly startled when he stepped much closer by her side to bring his arm trailing a line to his finger in her sights, pointing to the rainbow fountain at her home. He smelled nice, she noticed. Was that his natural scent? She couldn’t guess. But she also noticed herself blushing, but hoped he didn't.

Darius also observed that the cyan pony smelled nice, like flowers, he gathered. “Is that a rainbow?” he traced it again.

That helped Dash regain her composure. “Yeah Darius!” She smiled and showed off her main and flicked her tail. “That is a Rainbow!” She giggled. “Like it? Well of course, who wouldn’t, especially on me?” She spun in the air and posed, showing off her mane.

Darius smirked and chuckled at her showing-off. He gestured for them to continue walking towards that giant tree. Dash walked closer to him.“You’re okay, Darius.” She said as they finally reached Twilight’s door.

“Thank you.” He replied. “You’re okay, Dash.”

“Okay?” She looked somewhat offended, then flew up in front of him. “Let me educate you on another word. I’m AWESOME!” She zipped into the air and flew around in a spectacular show of aerial stunts.

Darius watched amazed, and applauded her. He deduced awesome was better than okay.

“Dash? Door?” He tried getting her out of her ego spasm.

She heard and stopped in front of him, creating a quick burst of wind in his direction. “Awesome.” She grinned at him.

“Yes. Dash is awesome.” He rolled his eyes but smiled to assure he meant it. “Door?” He pointed to redirect her.

Dash landed and knocked on the door. They at least shared similar customs: knocking before entering, Darius noted.

“Hey, Twilight!” She called out.

“Coming!” Another voice faintly rang from behind the door. The door opened to reveal a lavender pony, crowned with a horn on her head. She smiled at Dash. “Oh, hello Dash, what brings youuuu…” She looked up at the Newman in front of her.
“D-Dash! What is that?” She asked, trying hard to keep her calm, but obviously nervous.

“Oh, don’t you know?” She made a foxy grin. “This is Darius, a Newman. He’s visiting here. Common Twi, I thought you eggheads knew about this stuff. Don’t you know of the Newmans?” She trotted inside, Darius followed suit with Twilight keeping her distance.

“Newmans? There are no books on that! At least I don’t think there are!” She ran about her encyclopedias in a panic. “Oh no! Did I miss that lesson at school? Maybe its in the Equestrian Geographic?!”

Darius gaped. The books were floating on their own. Nobody was looking in his direction, so he briefly invoked Light. And he saw it. The magical auras surrounding the floating books and the origin of its power emitting from Twilight. She was a magician! Were all horned ponies like that, he wondered? He quickly dispelled it as their attentions were returning to him.

Dash thought she caught a strange pattern of light emitting from Darius’s tanned body, illuminating those markings on him. But she passed that off as Twilight’s magic passing over him.

“Oh dear, was Celestia expecting me to meet him?” She frantically searched through other books, creating a pile on the floor. “First dragons, now a Newman. Have I really gotten that far behind in studying?”

Dash snickered, then broke out in to laughter. “No Twi, but I had you going there. This is the first time anyone has ever seen someone like this.” She pointed to Darius, chuckling.

If Darius didn’t know better, he guessed Dash was being devious to the purple pony. So she was a joker too.

Twilight stopped and scolded the cyan pony. “Oh Dash. This is the first contact with a new race, and your using him for pranks.”

“Ahh lighten up, Twi. Anyways, me and Darius are cool.” She tapped Darius on the thigh.

Dash certainly wasn’t afraid to touch him, the man noted. Thank goodness she didn’t touch him between his trunks. That would be awkward.

Twilight sighed. “Does he understand us?”

Dash frowned. “A little, I mean, I taught him the names of objects, and some sentence stuff. But I’m no lingo instructor, y’know?” She shrugged. “Figured, you could help. I have to go back to work, anyways.”

“So, we have a language barrier. Let me see.” She found a book. “Ah, ‘Meeting New Intelligent Life, 2nd edition’.” She happily read out loud and perused through the book.

Dash kept their guest entertained as he pointed at different objects throughout the house. Dash named them off: Book. Floor. Stairs. Shelf. Flowers, etc. Just like they had done outside. And Darius committed each word to his perfect memory. One gift of Light was he never forgot anything. Their language was a bit messy, he thought, but it strangely made sense.

“Okay!” Twilight said with enthusiasm. She then trotted over to Darius. She bowed. “Hello, I am Twilight Sparkle.” She said.

Darius smiled and bowed in greeting. “Hello, Twilight Sparkle.” He got her name.

“Yes.” She nodded. “You are Darius, a Newman?”

Dash groaned. "I just told you he was."

Twilight told Dash under her breath. "I'm just following what the book says, Dash." Dash simply rolled her eyes.

Darius ignored that exchange and went along with Twilight's introduction. This was going to take a while. “Yes.” He spoke, noting the slight changes in the sentencing. “You are a pony, yes?”

She nodded. “Nice to meet you. Welcome to Ponyville.” She continued.

Darius mentally noted ‘Ponyville.’ That sounded like a place. Maybe this town, or land. Who knows? He also gathered this horned pony must have been some lore master, or a sorcerer.

Twilight closed the book and put it aside. “Okay. I think I can work with him until evening." She told Dash. "Can you get the others to meet us here tonight? I’d send Spike to do it but he’s on vacation in Canterlot to learn about the latest on dragons. I’m going to do what I can to teach him the basics of our language.”

Dash nodded. “You got it boss.” She fluttered up to Darius. “Twilight will take care of you for a bit. But I’ll be back later. Stay frosty, big guy.” She grinned and winked before flying out the door in a flash.

Darius watched her fly and smiled. Well, at least he had made one friend here. He hoped Twilight would be the same. Twilight seemed studious, but Dash’s confidence indicated she was strong willed, probably strong in general. He liked that. He wondered if other winged ponies could fly like her. His attention was torn from her to Twilight as she cleared her throat, bringing fourth another book with pictures, and written words. This must have been a language-teaching book.

She smiled at him. “Let’s see how far we can get, okay?”

The Newman nodded, seemingly understanding her intentions, but paused after his stomach growled.

Twilight looked as he patted his stomach, then gestured as if bringing something to his mouth. “Oh! Um, gee, I wish Spike was here, I can’t cook to save my life. One moment!” She head to the kitchen. A moment later after hearing clanging and clattering around, he sat down as the lavender pony brought out two trays. One with a steaming pot that smelled of tea, and another tray with bread, cheese, and some berries.

No cashews. Tuath, he loved cashews. He could really go for some.

“It isn’t a three star meal, but it’s delectable.” She hoped to Celestia he wouldn’t be poisoned by this spread. But judging how his eyes looked at it with enthusiastic hunger, she probably chose right.

“Thank you.” He said tapping over his heart.

Twilight smiled. “You’re welcome,” she poured them both a cup and joined him as they both sipped the tea and let it sooth them.

“Mmmm.” They said in unison. This was good tea, Darius thought. Well, at least they knew how to make the good stuff here.

And with food and drink, Darius began learning through the material she provided. They had several hours before the other five could finish their respective jobs and meet them. And Darius was learning fast.

Credits
Author - mavis13
Editor - frieD195