• Published 13th Sep 2014
  • 5,653 Views, 258 Comments

The Seventh Element - PaisleyPerson



Thestrals are thought extinct. But what will happen when one moves to Ponyville? Disguised as an earth pony, Acrylic does her best to fit in. Can she keep the secret, or will she expose her entire race?

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Chapter 27: The Great Escape

Author's Note:

A/N: I’m most definitely not a song writer. That’s why I borrowed PrinceWhatever’s song Between Fairy Tales and Happy Endings featuring Liquid Cobalt and ISMBOFepicly. It fit Acrylic’s situation so well I had to use it. I’ve altered the one verse near the end just slightly to better describe her situation, but again, I DO NOT OWN THIS SONG. Used with permission- Thanks, PrinceWhatever!

Chapter 27
The Great Escape

“Hey,” a gruff voice called from the front of the cell. The guard’s hoof knocked against the bars, as if he didn’t already have my attention. “You have visitors.”

“Acrylic!” Pinkie happily chirped.

“Pinkie!” I galloped to her, only to be stopped by the iron gate. She took a glance at the things sticking out of my back, and her happy composure faltered for a moment. The smile she put on afterwards was obviously forced.

“How are you?” Rainbow started, the only one genuinely happy to see me.

“Fine,” I lied. I looked past her at the five other ponies in the hallway. “I didn’t think you’d all come. Thank you.”

“Aw, come on. We couldn’t leave you here.”

“I coulda.” Rainbow scowled at AJ, but I tried to ignore her.

“It’s okay, Rainbow. I can’t blame her for being angry.”

“Angry? I am furious,” Applejack boomed so loudly the guards even looked over. “You tricked me into likin’ you! To bein’ friends with you!”

“I liked you right back, AJ. Why can’t we be friends now? What’s so different?” Applejack looked around at the expectant faces around her, and regained her composure.

“Well, maybe we can try again when this gets done an’ over with.”

“You mean it?” She didn’t answer. I searched Twilight’s grim face for an explanation. They all seemed to know something I didn’t. Yet, no pony spoke. “What’s wrong?” They still didn’t say a word. “What is it? What aren’t you telling me?” Twilight nudged Rainbow forward a pace or two. “Rainbow?” Now, even she couldn’t meet my gaze.

“Acrylic, there’s something you gotta know...” she rubbed her arm, trying to find a way to cushion the blow she was about to inflict.

“Rainbow, just spit it out.”

“Celestia decided what she’s going to do.” I my back went rigid, and I slowly straightened up. My fate had been decided.

“Go on. What’s the sentence?”

“Acrylic, I-”

“Don’t sugar coat it. Just give it to me as it is,” I demanded.

“She thinks she’s found a way to get the evil part out of you. But... it’s going to...” she choked on her words, voice fading out into Fluttershy’s inaudible level.

“Rainbow, speak up and just tell me!”

“It’ll take your wings, too,” she tearfully spat. I froze. My wings? Gone?

“No. No, no, no, no, no! Anything but my wings. Keep me in prison the rest of my life. Banish me to the Everfree. Turn me to stone! Anything but that!”

“I’m sorry. It’s out of my hooves.”

“You can’t! You have no right!” I screamed.

“You had no right to keep this from us in the first place.”

“It was my secret to keep! Rainbow, you have to talk her out of it. Please,” I begged.

“I can’t. I just can’t. No pony will listen to me,” she bit her lip. I angrily shoved off and away from the bars, huddling at the back. They had no idea how much flying meant to me. I couldn’t give that up!

I looked back at my wings, so many emotions whirling inside me that I couldn’t keep them straight. Limited to the confines of my cell, I couldn’t have thrown a temper tantrum if I wanted to. There seemed to be no other way to release the hurricane of emotions. Not once since coming to Ponyville had I broken out into song. Sure, I’d joined in my friends’ musicals on occasion, but I’d never poured myself out into my own melody. That was about to change.

I settled into the cot, looking up at the slivers of light filtering in through the bars. The walls sang a mournful tune in perfect timing to my grieving heart.

...

“I used to be the one

“Stuck on the sidelines;

“But lately things have started to change.

“I would've never thought

“That being the way I am

“Could make everything end up this way.

...

“This is never what I would have expected;

“There’s nothing wrong, but they still want me corrected.

“Why can’t you just let me do what I do?

“I’m not hurting anyone, so why are you?

“Why are you?

...

“How could you try and change who I've always been?

“What did I do wrong?

“I never wanted any of this.

“I’m sorry if I ever offended any of you,

“But I am who I am,

“There's not much more that I can do.

“A wise mare once said that friendship was magic.

“The way I see it, it’s been nothing but tragic.

“I tried my best and it wasn’t quite there.

“A fairy tale but no happy ending for this mare?

...

“I just don’t know what went wrong.

“They don't love me anymore; I’m so alone.

“Now I’m left out, on my own.

“I wish there was somewhere for me to call home.

“Is it not enough that I’m in the background?

“You wanna drop me because of the wings I found.

“Well, I apologize if I ever made you sad,

“But I will not be sorry for being who I am.

“This is who I am.

...

“How could you try and change who I've always been?

“What did I do wrong?

“I never wanted any of this.

“I’m sorry if I ever offended any of you,

“But I am who am;

“There's not much more that I can do!

...

“A wise mare once said that friendship was magic;

“The way I see it, it’s been nothing but tragic.

“I tried my best and it wasn’t quite there.

“A fairy tale but no happy ending for this mare?”

...

I looked back at my friends, teary eyed. Their eyes, too, were soggy. Some still refused to look at me. I pounded the wall, breathing heavily from exertion. How could they do this to me? How could they not see through this? I needed them more than ever; I was more frustrated, scared and angry than I’d ever been.

...

“How could you try and change who I've always been?

“What did I do wrong?

“I never wanted ANY of this!

“I’m sorry if I ever offended any of you,

“But I am who I am;

“There's not much more that I can do.

“A wise mare once said that friendship was magic.

“The way I see it, it’s been nothing but tragic.

“I tried my best and it wasn't quite there!

“So will there ever be a happy ending for this mare?”

...

Without looking back, I could tell that they were all horrified. Slowly, one by one, they all filed out. Even Rainbow Dash left me. I could have screamed.


My pillow was soaked with tears. I’d cried myself dry. Everything was gone. My wings were going to be taken from me; my friends had already left me. The only thing I had left was Torchwood, but even he may not want me after Celestia’s transformation spell. He didn’t even know what was going on to be able to come and save me. Spike couldn’t deliver the message; he didn’t know where Midnight Armor was, and I couldn’t even get him alone to tell him without risking the guards eavesdropping.

After I’d heard that Celestia intended to remove my wings, I’d taken to hiding them once more in hopes it would inhibit her spell. Without night flights, wing springs had resumed. They greatly disturbed the guards who kept constant watch over me. It wasn’t my bones popping so much as the startled clanking of armor that woke me up in the middle of the night. I gave an annoyed growl, and tried to tuck myself back in the scratchy sheets.

“Well, what kind of a way to greet a friend is that?” I jumped, and the rusty cot squealed in protest. I looked around the cell, heart pounding. The guards had gone limp outside. Then came... a snore? No royal guard I knew fell asleep on the job. Unless...

“Yoo hoo! Up here.” Discord was reclining on the ceiling.

“Discord!” I gleefully shouted. “Get down from there!”

“Why would I want to do that?”

“Because even with wings, I can’t give you a hug up there.” He gave a ‘reluctant’ sigh before twirling to the ground. “What are you doing here?”

“I heard you’d been... found out, as it were. I thought I might stop by; provide moral support, you know.”

“You didn’t have to knock the guards out. Celestia’s allowing me visitors now.”

“Oh, how kind of her. Even so, I’m not too fond of royal guards.”

“I’m with you there, pal,” I sighed, sliding back against the cold wall. Silver moonlight filtered in through the ventilation screens. There were no windows, but tiny barred slits near the top of each cell allowed fresh air inside. It danced along the floor, and played along the bridge of Discord’s nose as well as the tip of my hoof.

“It’s not fun, being imprisoned, is it?” Discord good-naturedly stated. “Of course, becoming a statue is much more uncomfortable. You can’t ever scratch when you get an itch.”

“I wish that was the worst that could happen to me.”

“Oh, that’s right. Celestia passed her sentence today, didn’t she? What has she decided to do with you?” Even for Discord, his tone of voice seemed all too casual.

“Did she send you to get it over with?”

“Pardon?”

“Are you here to take my wings?”

“What?” Real, actual concern showed on his face for the first time. “Is that what she’s going to do?”

“Sorry,” I bit my lip. “I remembered Twilight once told me that you had the ability to remove her horn back in the Canterlot Labyrinth. I thought maybe Celestia sent you to take my wings, too.”

“I’m sorry.” He slouched against the wall with me in pity. “For what it’s worth, I’d never take your wings.”

“I know, Discord.” I shut my eyes. “I’d rather be encased in stone for an eternity than lose them. Flying... it’s everything. It’s freedom. It’s an escape from the world when responsibilities become too much. When everything else is gone... the sky is always there.”

“I never thought about it that way before,” Discord admitted with a cock at his head, looking back at his own wings. Most aerial creatures took them for granted, him included. “No, this just won’t do.”

“What won’t d-” I was cut off as Discord snapped his eagle claw. Bright light filled my mind, and the next thing I knew, we were standing in the ballroom.

“Now, go on. Get out of here before somepony sees you.” That was it. I was free. No more bars stood in my way.

“Discord, I...” happy tears welled in my eyes. I jumped on him, burying my face in his fur. It took him a moment to return the embrace.

“What are you waiting for?”

“Thank you. Just... thank you. I’ll never forget this.”

“I would hope not.” I cast him one last smile before turning for the balcony.

“HALT!” My blood turned cold. I was so close to freedom. I was not about to be stopped by some random patrol.

“Go!” Discord yelled. “I can take care of them.” As promised, the two guards almost instantly shrunk down to the size of dolls. Their high-pitched protests were quite amusing to Discord and I both.

I completed my journey to the balcony, and took to the air. What I wasn’t expecting was an entire platoon of Luna’s guards on night shift, as well as a renewed protection spell to surround Canterlot. As if things couldn’t get any worse, the moon princess herself glared down at me from her tower.

Before I knew what was happening, horns were blaring, and soldiers poured in from all directions. I gave a powerful flap of my wings, propelling me away. I had nowhere to go, but I refused to return to that cold, dark cell. I only hoped that Discord could somehow save me. Still, I didn’t think he was powerful enough to take on Canterlot’s entire royal guard, Luna and the newly arrived Celestia all at once. I just had to keep moving.

I felt the tingling of magic whizzing by as spells were cast by the unicorn guards. A couple of spears came close to home, but Celestia instantly called those off. I was needed alive. I twirled through the houses, dodging all the spells conjured up. I was much too fast for the pegasi, so they weren’t hard to dodge. Now the problem was staying out of sight. All this commotion was causing the city to rouse. I couldn’t let them see! Or could I? I had been wishing for my situation to leak to the newspapers, hadn’t I? This could be my chance. Even Torchwood would eventually catch wind of tonight’s events if it turned out in print. I started letting the public catch the occasional suspicious glimpse of my silhouette while I pinpointed the liveliest areas. Then I gave them good views of the creature before them. I wasn’t satisfied until the first camera clicked. Then I just had to concentrate on my game of keep away.

I soon realized that I’d only been running from the guards. Where had the Princesses gone off to? And where was Discord? Wasn’t he supposed to be helping me? My heart dropped like a stone. What if he’d lured me out? Surely he knew about the protection spell? Why would he leave me to such a fate? Was he reverting back to his old chaotic self? Looking at the panic in the streets, it seemed reasonable enough. This was chaos for sure. That is, until I remembered that he was my friend. Discord would never do that to me, of this I was sure. But where was he? A flash of bright light from the castle balcony reminded me that I had bigger things to worry about. The Princesses were on their way.

My mind still whirled. If Discord knew about the protection spell, why hadn’t he teleported me straight home? Was the shielding blocking him from doing so? He’d gotten in alright. Then a thought came to me. Celestia had said that this spell kept evil out, but would it keep evil in as well? Looking back at the fresh squadron of pegasi soldiers coming after me, I didn’t see how I had a choice but to find out. My mighty wings took me higher and higher. Luna and Celestia’s horns were charging. I let flames flutter out from my hooves to show them that I was prepared to fight back. I wouldn’t need to; the barrier was too close now. I held my breath; closed my eyes. It was time to take a leap of faith. One more mighty stroke of my wings closed the distance.