• Published 16th Apr 2012
  • 3,691 Views, 114 Comments

Long Way Gone - DiscordsAdvocate



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

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Chapter 2

WARNING! THIS IS A DIALOGUE HEAVY CHAPTER! NOT MUCH ACTION, SORRY!

Edited by frieD195

It rose up from its respite within its temple. The green aura covering its pitch-black form, the energy of its very nature was dim. Its wound festered. It would soon be dispatched for another century if it didn’t find a way. It roared.

CURSE YOU NEWMAN! AND ALL YOUR KIN!

And the goddesses that saved them…

It pondered for many moments on its next course of action…revenge. If it will be defeated again, it will make him pay. It will teach this mortal why he and all his kin should fear it, goddesses or no. But it needed an edge, a way to beat him. He cannot count on besting him physically alone. And it would need to dress its wound with something…or someone. Yes…

The Wyrm looked around the surrounding land for a perfect servant to fulfill the task at hand. A flock of mountain vultures; messengers of death and big enough for the task. The mystical beast looked around and found an object belonging to its mortal nemesis. Must be a trinket, no matter, it will be the perfect bait. It exhaled its corruption into the flock until it took the largest of them. Within seconds, the Wyrm was its new master. It obediently picked up the trinket and took flight to the southeast.

NOW GO, MY SERVANT. GO TO HIS VILLAGE AND BRING ME HIS PROGENITOR!

The Wyrm then returned to its rest, contemplating its next move.

Meanwhile

“And so, with Ahuitzotl defeated, huh, sounds like Newman name, strange.” Darius commented.

Twilight giggled. “You’re almost done.”

“Yes,” Darius cleared his throat. “and the sapphire statue secured. The world was safe and sound once again, thanks to Daring Do.”

Twilight smiled impressed. “It must be great to have knack for learning like that. Have you always been able to learn languages this fast?”

“I have an edge, you might say.” Before she could inquire on that, he changed the subject. “You ponies have some fantastic heroes. I would love to meet this Daring Do.”

“Uh, she’s a fictional heroine, I’m afraid.” Twilight replied.

“Fiction? Oh, right. Made up. Why make up such a, what is the word,” He paused, the thought one he learned earlier. “awesome tale?” He looked at her quizzically.

The lavender pony returned his quizzical look. “Don’t your people tell stories for fun?”

Darius took a breath. “Yes, but those chants are real. There is much of our world we tell about. Our chanters often compete to telling the story better through art, dance, song, and acting. None of it is made up.”

Twilight scratched her chin. “Ah, but is it sometimes exaggerated?”

“Exaggerated…yes, sometimes. It’s silly, but some chanters…um…embellish a tale.” He put the book away.

“You might say we make up stories because they sound exaggerated and exciting.” She returned the book to the bookshelf.

Darius raised an eyebrow. “So it’s entertaining to be lied to?”

Twilight giggled at the strange expression on his face. “No. It’s entertaining to imagine if it were real. But doesn’t an acting chanter deceive the audience in making believe to be a character?”

She had a point, Darius thought. “You reason like a sage, Twilight.”

Twilight gave a confident smile. “Hm, I’ll take that as a compliment.”

“I think I understand your language well enough. Your people share many words that we do, in fact, and some basic customs. What would you say should be my next step?” He asked as he stood up and stretched.

Twilight thought for a moment before hearing a knock at her door. “Oh! Well, I think we need to make sure you have a place to stay,” She walked to the door. “a way to earn money, and then when Spike comes back tomorrow, we can request an audience with Princess Celestia.”

“Celestia? Such a grand name! Fit for a princess.” The Newman remarked.

Twilight smiled before opening the door. “Good evening everypony.”

“We’re all here Twilight, as requested!” Applejack said at the head of the group. “Dash filled us in on tha alien.”

Twilight let them in. “Yes, I’d like you all to meet Dari-“ Her introductions were interrupted when Pinkie Pie zipped passed Applejack and Twilight, spinning them around dizzily as she approached Darius.

Darius braced himself and fell back on the couch now face-to-face with the very pink pony. He was fully alert to what might happen next.

“Welcome to Equestria, Mr. Alien! Sorry you didn’t get a bigger welcome, but we are so glad you’re here, have a cupcake!” She tried shoving a cupcake into his mouth but he quickly dodged. Pinkie blinked. “Hey,” She then tried futily again and again to get that cupcake to his mouth but the agile human moved his head out of the way each time. “Common, it’s good, I promise,” No luck. “I’ll put extra sprinkles on it!” By this time Darius shifting side to side avoiding the cupcake before Pinkie was now trying to physically get him to be still.

Rarity, Fluttershy, and Dash were busy getting Twilight and AJ back to their senses as Pinkie Pie chased the Newman around the living room. (and for some reason, Yakety Sax was playing in the background)

“It’s a Pinkie Pie special!” She tried pouncing on him before Darius leapt over her, landing at a corner. Finally the pink pony managed to corner the man. “Take…THE…CUPCAKE…” She huffed as her eyes burned with righteous determination. She placed the cupcake against the palms of his hands, then suddenly changed her demeanor to the most adorable pleading face, “Please?" She gave him the cutest Pinkie eyes.

Darius never met any creature as manic as she, and seeing that her friends haven’t restrained her, he assumed this was her usual behavior. He sampled this…confection, and it was surprisingly good!

“It’s good.” He swallowed. “And you are?” He cautiously asked, hoping she’ll calm down now.

Pinkie Pie suddenly became friendly and happy. “Oh! I’m Pinkie Pie. Well, Pinkamina Diane Pie, but you can call me Pinkie. So where are you from? How did you get here? Are there others like you? Is Ubisoft™ going to sue us for copywr-“ She was cut off when she was teleported to the couch by Twilight with her magic.

“Now dun’t scare the poor fella, Pinkie.” Applejack approached. “Hi there. Names Applejack. I’m the owner of Sweet Apple Acers here. Rainbow Dash tells me yuh met her near mah barn.”

“Ah, you’re a farmer. A pleasure to meet you.” He bowed.

“Farmer? Huh.” She smirked and tipped her Stetson hat. “An’ a successful businessmare, plus the most honest pony in Ponyville.” She said proudly and rapidly shook the man’s hand.

“Yes, whoa!” By the Sun and Moon, she was strong! He was tempted to invoke Dark to keep his arm from being dislocated. By the goddess she is strong! “Yes, a fine virtue. Businessmare, a merchant? Of course, you obviously sell what you harvest.” He shifted his shoulder to make sure it wasn’t detached.

“Yuh got that rite sugarcube.” She chuckled and gave him a bag of apples. “Here ya go. Consider this a welcoming gift from mah family to you.”

“Thank you,” He took them and put the bag aside. “and my name isn’t Sugarcube. It’s Darius, Son of Manden.” He corrected her.

Dash landed beside AJ. “She always calls people sugarcube. Think of it as a compliment.”

“Ah, it’s endearment. I am honored to receive it.” He replied, eliciting a smile from the ground pony.

“Speaking of businessmares and honors.” Beamed Rarity. “It is a pleasure to meet you. I am Rarity, fashion designer and owner of the Carousel Boutique. I am charmed to meet you, Son of Manden.” She bowed politely.

“An esteemed pleasure, Lady Rarity. Fashion designer is as a clothier, if I may boldly compare?” He bowed on one knee.

Rarity smiled. “So polite. You may boldly compare, sir. But no average clothier can do justice to my skills. If you don’t mind me saying, and not to insult your choice of dress, darling, but if you would like some personalized styles of...what are those called, trousers? I am more than happy to oblige you.” She replied.

“I may take you up on that offer, m’lady. Once I can pay for your talents.” He said pleasantly. Reminds me of the noblewomen back home, he thought.

“Oh no, darling! It won’t cost you for the first two pairs. You’ll need a change of clothes to start you out. Besides it’s not often I may challenge my skills in designing for bipeds.” The white unicorn flicked her wavy mane with one hoof in elegant confidence.

Darius bowed putting his hand to his heart. Such generosity, he observed. “You are a credit to the hospitality of Ponyville.” He then noticed a strand of pink hair from the other side of the door.

Dash noticed too. “Oh geez. Come on Fluttershy, I told you he was cool!” Dash trotted and pulled the yellow pegasus inside by her tail. “See? He isn’t scary at all!”

Fluttershy looked at the Newman in awe and fear. “…hi.” She squeaked.

“Flutter…shy.” He matched the words. “Is it your role in this world to be bashful?” He knelt down and smiled gently to the mare.

Fluttershy blinked, but seeing as he was no longer towering over her, she got more comfortable. “N-no, I take care of the animals.” She said with nervous haste, partly trying to hide behind her mane.

“A tamer of beasts?” He asked for clarification.

Fluttershy blinked, then smiled warmly. “Tamer? No. I’m more of a healer and caretaker.”

“As that ponies are vegetarians, animal caregivers must be held in high honor.” He ingratiated the pony.

Fluttershy blushed, now much less bashful. “Oh, I’m not that special. But thank you.”

Darius turned to Dash. “And I have already met Ponyville’s most awesome pegasus.”

She flashed her confident grin. “And don’t you forget it, big guy.”

“Well, now that we are all here…wait, where is Pinkie?” Twilight asked.

Pinkie burst from the kitchen door pushing a cart with seven bowls of vegetable stew and glasses of iced tea. “Hope you don’t mind I commandeered your kitchen, Twilight. My goodness you made a mess in there. Doesn’t Spike teach you anything about cooking? Oh well, don’t worry about it. You all weren’t planning on skipping dinner, were you?” She giggled, it’s not a party, but she had one planned for the new guest.

Twilight scratched the back of her head and smiled embarrassed. “Thank you Pinkie.” She cleared her throat. “Well, while we eat, how about we let Darius explain where he came from, how he got here, and then we will ask questions?” She looked at the Newman for approval.

The Newman nodded. “Yes, let's.” This was more like it, he thought. Telling stories with good food, like back home.

They gathered as Darius sat at the center of the room. He only took occasion sips of that savory broth. Though, he noticed the ponies used their hooves to grab at their spoons. How could they grip with those things? He shook his head and began the chanting.

“I won’t go into too much detail about our creation stories, for it is a long tail and none but our elders could do justice in chanting that.” He took a deep breath. “My people are the Newmen, we have existed sense the Goddesses bestowed upon us great boons, that is…blessings. While the goddesses control the light and dark in our everlasting sky, we were bestowed with the magic to care for our land. I learned that here in Equestria, the forces of nature are managed by you ponies.” He nodded to Twilight, acknowledging what she taught him. “We Newmen do not manage them physically. Sorcerers, sages, and priests move the clouds, call the rain, speak to beasts, work the land, and read the stars.”

“Oh my. So your people use magic to make the weather?” Fluttershy asked.

“Yes. We even have rainbows in our land, though they a rare sight. They are signs of life, a good omen to us.” He smiled to Rainbow Dash, who returned his smile. He resumed. “We Newmen lived since the day the Goddesses bestowed these gifts to us. So our civilization grew. We live in villages, few towns, large and small, and one great city.”

“Didn’t he just say two Goddesses control light and dark, sound familiar to you?” Dash whispered to AJ, who nodded scratching her chin.

While Twilight listened, she magically pulled down her map of Equestria and hovered it in front of everypony. “You’re saying the Newmen dwell here?” She magically highlighted the lands marked ‘Lost World’.

Darius looked at it for a moment. “Yes, the formation of the Ley Line matches our maps.” He nodded. “So…that is how far I am.” He muttered to himself. Lost World…how appropriate, he thought.

“But how did you get here?” Rarity asked.

Darius took another deep breath. “In our land, there is a great and powerful beast, known as the Wyrm. It is a deathless creature, which means it returns after being dispatched for a period of time.”

He was interrupted by Pinkie Pie. “Ooh ooh. That sounds like Discord. He’s a mean and chaotic guy that comes back every hundred years…usually.”

The Newman nodded. “So your kin have their own Wyrm to deal with? Well, this Wyrm is a destroyer, an ever hungry creature of entropy that threatens to gobble up creation.” He explained. “It would eat the Ley Line and destroy all the magic of the world to satiate him-“

“EAT THE LEY LINE?!” Twilight and Rarity exclaimed in unison. The other ponies silently gaped.

“How can anything eat the purest of magic?” Rarity asked in horror.

“Even the wisest of sages cannot answer, Rarity. The Wyrm…just is.” He sighed. “But the Goddesses of creation did not leave us helpless to combat it.” Darius stood and let Light and Dark show. On his torso, his right tattoos glowed blue, while his left tattoos glowed red. “Very few can bare the blessings of both Goddesses. I am one of those honored few. In our tongue, we call such an Avatar.”

Twilight gaped. “I’ve never seen anything like this.” She hopped off the couch and approached Darius, shining her horn like a flashlight over the markings. “It’s like they channel magic, but in different ways. The blue is serene and taps into the magical field, while the red is vibrant and gives from the magic field to your body.” She returned to her seat. “Is the blue the reason you learned our language quickly? I bet it enhances your memory too.” She postulated.

Darius nodded. “Light is the magic of the world. It is wisdom, vigil, and that which gives our sorcerers, sages, and priests the power to move the elements. Dark is aegis, strength, vigor, and that which gives Newmen the power to overcome any test of strength.” He smiled. “Each of us receives a blessing when they come of age, some light, some dark.” He then noticed Rainbow Dash staring.

“Beautiful.” The Cyan pony mumbled, then noticed Darius looking at her. She regained her composure. “I mean, your cutie-mark is cool!” She said.

“Is that what your kin call them? Those symbols on your flanks, yes? They symbolize your calling?” He asked.

Rarity answered. “Well, what makes us special, but yes, it often symbolizes our talents. And on that note, our flanks, good sir, are considered amongst our intimate places. So please refrain from staring.” She politely warned, blushing herself having noticed he was looking at their marks.

He nodded rapidly with a chuckle. “Right, ‘eyes up here’, as our women say.” He gestured with his fingers to his eyes, the pointed to theirs. That elicited the ponies to giggle.

“Where did you get your cutie-mark, Darius?” Fluttershy asked.

“They were bestowed upon me when I Dreamstepped, that is, sleepwalked, into the high temple many years ago. I had my vision there, granted by a deceased Avatar. In that vision, she chose me to be her successor, and rend the Wyrm before it would destroy all creation.” He said.

“He sounds like a big meanie.” Fluttershy replied, displeased by the prospect of this Wyrm destroying anything in its path.

“It is. Hence the reason why I was given this.” He manifested his sword, also channeling both powers through its mystic runes, “A gift from my father.” He showed it proudly.

The other ponies backed away, frightened, with Applejack and Dash remaining in front as if they were protecting them.

Tuath! He scared them! He acted quickly. “Please don’t be alerted. It isn’t dangerous to any friend or ally, I wouldn’t dare to harm any…anypony.” He laid it down in front of them. “It channels the powers of Light and Dark. My father forged it for me.”

The ponies were somewhat relieved. “It’s not made of a metal I have ever seen.” Rarity looked at it. “So, this sword is for self-defense, I hope?” She asked.

Darius smiled. “Of course! We hold life as sacred as you and your kin do.” He noticed Dash eyes were staring at his tattooed body.

He took the sword back and it disappeared into a tattoo in the palm of his hand. “I fought it. It was a fierce battle.” He held back the grueling details. “I dealt it a great wound, though I know not if it has fallen.”

“But why hurt it?” Fluttershy asked “I mean has anyone even tried talking to it?”

“Fluttershy, this creature has murdered many in its long lifespan. It does not care about life as we do. We must defend ourselves. More than that, defend all creation. I would take that sin upon myself if it meant stopping the destroyer.” He sat down. “Well, I hope I did stop it. For it sent me all the way here after I struck my mightiest blow. Not one of my people has ever crossed the Ley Line, less we be destroyed by its energies.” He sighed. “So here I am, a long way gone from home.” He frowned and looked to the ground, feeling the sadness well up.

He suddenly felt himself surrounded by pony hugs. He tensed all around. By the stars! Did these ponies have no sense of personal space? But feeling the sincerity of their caring in their hugs (and their soft fur) he relaxed into it, but did not touch them. He didn’t know if or what would be appropriate to return the gesture.

“Your poor man, being so far from your people. Have you family there too?” Fluttershy asked sadly.

He choked back any further grief. “Mother, father, grandfather, siblings, relatives. I’m sure they worry for me.” He said as they ended the hug, but sat around him. “Thank you for your concern.”

Yet Dash kept a hoof on his arm. “Maybe they won’t worry forever. Princess Celestia is our…um…goddess here. She can help you. And you’ve got us all on your side.” Dash smiled and sniffed, holding back her own tears for her new friend’s predicament. She was a tough pony, but she had big heart.

“You give so much to this stranger.” He looked back at her, smiling softly. “But I don’t wish to be a burden on all of you.”

The ponies looked at each other and nodded as if they all knew what the other was thinking. “Darius, we are the Elements of Harmony, chosen by Princess Celestia to bear the strongest elements of friendship. It is our duty to handle situations like these when they emerge. In no way are you burdening us.” Twilight explained.

“Yeah!” Pinkie hopped up and down. “And besides, we’re not just being hospitable. We consider you a new friend. And friends help each other.”

“Sugarcube, if we have to sail you all the way to the southern Ley Line and try to get you across, we will.” AJ flashed that similar smile to Dash’s.

Applejack and Dash must have been sisters in their past lives, Darius thought. Those two share a lot in common.

The ponies and Darius sat silently as the man took all this in. He got on his knees, crossed both hands over his chest, and bowed. “You have my greatest gratitude…friends. I will be forever in your debt.”

“Aww, come on Darius. You don’t need to repay us.” Applejack chuckled.

“It is my people’s tradition to repay those who do good for us. So let me repay you all any way I can. You need work, I will work. You need help, I will help. You need support? I will be that support. You are in danger, I will rush to your aid, no matter the peril.”

The ponies shared a giggle. He began to scowl as if offended. Rarity interjected. “Please don’t be offended. We never met a stallion as selfless as you, Darius. There is no need to throw yourself into any danger on our behalf. We aren’t helpless.”

Darius blinked. Was she doubting him? Well, as a man, he must make it clear his courage is sincere! He flashed a grin worthy of Rainbow Dash. “I’ll face any danger, Rarity. Compared to the Wyrm, I doubt there is anything her I cannot handle.” There, that should convey his bravery to them. A man’s sincerity must not be doubted by any woman, so sayeth his uncle.

“Awesome!” Dash hoofed him on the arm. “We so gotta hang.”

“Hang? Hang where, and from what?” He asked bewildered.

“Hang anywhere! I mean, where would you hang out back home?” Dash asked confused.

“We don’t hang ourselves Dash. We hang things like food to keep out of reach of…” He was the interrupted by Applejack.

Applejack laughed. “She means a get-together, Darius.”

Darius blushed very briefly. Those damn thoughts of mine, go back down between my trunks, he thought to himself! “Um…in what context?”

“Like friends, dummy!” Dash crossed her hooves smirking. “What did you think I meant?”

Darius had to come up with something quick! “Nothing, excuse me, I should finish eating. How about you all tell me about yourselves?” He ate his still-warm stew and let his hosts take over the conversation. Each Pony described themselves as they felt comfortable. Darius translated this information to how his culture would interpret it.

Twilight, a lore-mistress.
Rarity, a fine clothier and merchant.
Pinkie Pie, a cook and reveler.
Dash, a crafter of weather and athlete.
Fluttershy, caretaker of beasts.
Applejack, a famer and merchant.

Then they spoke about Princess Celestia and Luna, those that moved the sun and moon, and how they were granted the Elements of Harmony, each according to their strongest virtue. Darius dropped the spoon.

“Your…princesses...can move the sun and moon?” He froze in shock.

“Uh, you okay there sugarcube?” Applejack waved a hoof in front of his eyes.

“Oh yeah, he said they’re, what did he call them? Goddesses? Who create light and dark?” Pinkie Pie reminded the group.

“That does not sound like a coincidence.” Rarity pointed out. “Darling, snap out of it.” She flickered a light in front of his eyes using her magic.

Darius shook himself out of his shock. “I’m sorry. It’s just that the possibility of meeting them, I would very much like that.” He took a deep breath, reminding himself they must wait for this fellow named Spike before they can request an audience with these two Alicorns. “You have taught me a great deal, friends, if I may call you that now. Tomorrow, I wish to begin repaying you for your hospitality. I come from a family of craftsmen and women back home, so at least let me offer those skills to you in exchange for your hospitality.”

“Oh no, you shouldn’t simply be working for anyone without pay.” Fluttershy said.

“I assure you, it’s no trouble.” Darius replied. “I only request the bare necessities in exchange.”

“Yes it is trouble, young man.” Shy and bashful Fluttershy was suddenly transformed into a more assertive yellow pegasus. “No friend in Equestria would work another like a slave in exchange for their barest needs! You will have a comfortable home here and income so you can afford whatever you need and want! And that is final!” She said that with a stern look and nod.

“Y-yes ma’am.” The Newman replied, feeling a cold bead of sweat on the back of his neck, like he felt when he occasionally made his mother angry. “Then I guess I should exchange what money I have.” He took his pack and revealed a bag of doubloons, golden coins with symbols of sun and moon on either side. “I have about fifty. What can I get with this?”

The ponies gaped, admiring the pile of heavy coins he possessed. Applejack was the first to answer after a moment. “A one bedroom house for your size, furnishings, food for a week, clothes, and a little bit left for whatever you don’t need.”

Darius gaped. Gold must be rare here if he can afford all that with just fifty! “Convenient."

Applejack pulled aside Rarity and Pinkie Pie as Darius showed off the other stuff he had. Mostly survival gear of primitive nature. Finally, after Twilight decided to let him stay the night in her guest room, the trio approached the Newman.

“Sugarcube, yer gonna spend tomorruh with tha three of us, while we help you shop and learn how marketin' works here, that ahright?” She asked.

Pinkie was already out the door, mumbling something about cake and music.

Darius didn't pay that any heed, but nodded to AJ. “That would be wise.”

He then turned to see Dash hovering near him. “But we are gonna hang later, right?”

Darius shot her a grin. “It depends. How fast can you do laundry?” He hoped she understood the joke. He saw some ponies hanging clothes out to dry, so assumed they did their laundry the same way here as his people did back home.

Dash was confused at first, then snickered before she burst into a brief fit laughter. “Good one.” She smiled. “Tell you what, I’ll join you guys tomorrow.”

“Great. How about you show me how ponies have fun here?” If there was one thing his grandfather taught him, it was if one must wait, then one should wait well. And Darius agreed. Besides, the Wyrm was either dead or too diminished to be a threat for a long time. He could afford a respite after his long ordeal.

“Heck yeah!” Dash beamed. “Good night, Darius. Good night everypony!” She took off at amazing speeds. Darius stood in admiration. He wished he could fly like that.

The other ponies bid their farewells to him, while Twilight showed him to the guest room. The bed was too small for him. So he took the bed-sheets off and placed it over his bedroll. He had not slept this safely and quietly in many months.

Meanwhile…

The Wyrm stirred in its sleep. Every once in a while, its wound would pain him. Keeping itself from dying was an uphill battle. But it had time for its plan to come into fruition. Still, it would be foolish to wait. The land North of them, they were there, it knew. But did they know he was there? It should not take the chance. Maybe its enemy was weakened as well. Then it should strike while he was vulnerable. It then noticed the Ley Line. A storm was brewing within the turbulent energies. Perfect!

It quickly scanned the field around his temple and breathed its essence into the obsidian statues. Their bodies came to life, like stone men brandishing their weapons. They approached the Wyrm. Their seams, symbols, and eyes brimmed with the Wyrm’s power.

MY GOLEMS! I SHALL SEND YOU TO THE NORTHERN LEY LINE TO A FARAWAY LAND. FIND THE ONE WHO WOUNDED ME, AND KILL HIM.

The living statues bowed and walked into the oncoming Ley Line storm as it raced with incredible speed and ferocity. The Wyrm’s magic took effect as the Golems were picked up by the storm, like a strong wind. The storm carried them their eventual destination, the land of the equines.

(Sorry if this was too dialogue heavy. But I had to establish the ethos of the Newmen and flush out character development between him and the ponies). Don't worry, there will be more action later.