• Published 15th Sep 2014
  • 10,047 Views, 243 Comments

From Darkness To Light - Pixel_Spark



When an insidious evil threatens the Crystal Empire, the Princesses must call upon the most unlikely pony; Sombra. Can he overcome his own darkness in order to save the empire from a far worse one?

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Changing Heart & Lessons Learned

Sombra slept through the medical treatment, only waking up later on, in the evening. In the hospital again.



His whole body ached. His leg still hurt, but didn’t feel as bad as earlier. He struggled to his feet, pain lashing through him as stiff, aching muscles objected to the change from lying down.



As he sat up, he felt something in one shoe stab into his hoof. Kicking it off he rattled loose a shard. He remembered now, the thing had broken apart, this shard must’ve gotten into his shoe when they hit the ground. Now he got the feeling someone else needed to see it. Wearily he got to his hooves, putting his shoe back on, weakly levitating the shard in front of him as he walked the halls, wondering where to find the purple Princess pony.



He heard the high pitched giggling of the one he dubbed "the cotton candy" pony, and headed in that direction. They were in the palace library, sat around a table at the far end. Off to the side, a large fire crackled merrily away. While the empire possessed a big library housed in a separate building, the palace library contained more sensitive documents, kept under magical lock and key, as well as regular books.



The ponies were surrounded by books, well, the purple one was. The Rainbow pony was reading a comic book, and the pink one was giggling over a recipe book for party cakes.



He halted, feeling utterly displaced amongst the warmth and happiness of this scene. He felt odd without the cloak wrapped around him, but the thing had been torn to shreds then used as a blanket.



Conversation tailed off as they spotted him. He looked tired, his sides speckled by bandages, all the cuts sustained from the cliff-plummet. When he took a further step forward, Twilight Sparkle seen him wince just a little. Then she seen he was using his limited magic to float something. A small, rough cut something that seemed to catch the light…and absorb it just as fast!



"Whatcha got there..?" Applejack found her voice. Sombra didn’t speak, just levitated the crystal over to Twilight Sparkle, setting it on the book in front of her.



"What’s this thing?" she asked, staring in fascination at it.



"From that things core," he said "this is what they are at heart."



"Whoa!" Twilight Sparkle sat bolt upright "this is from the thing that attacked Rainbow Dash and Rarity? Incredible, with this to study..." she was enraptured by the possibilities.



Sombra showed no reaction, merely turning to walk away. As he did, the other ponies spotted the aforementioned cutie mark Rarity had described.



"Hay!" Rainbow Dash’s shout stopped him in his tracks "what happened out there, what did you DO?"



"Ah, yes!" Twilight Sparkle stopped gawking at the crystal shard to look over at Sombra "we need to know what happened?"



"Did you not hear the whole tale already?" he said haughtily, looking at Rarity and Rainbow Dash.



"Yes, I heard THIER sides," Twilight Sparkle came round the table until she was standing in front of Sombra.



“I impaled it with a tree branch,” he said bluntly “it cracked the core. It tried to reform itself, so I made sure it was destroyed.”



"What was that thing?" Twilight Sparkle asked him.



"Pure fear and hate," he said at last "It doesn’t possess a heart you can reason with.”



"Oh dear." Applejack said at last "ya sure?"



"Certain," Sombra growled, his frown deepening "when I grabbed the core it showed me glimpses of itself. I got a faint sense of what it is."



“And that is…” Rainbow Dash asked in an almost unaffected drawl, yet not sure she really wanted to know. Sombra’s crimson eyes caught the firelight as he turned back to face them. The orange flames reflected off his jet black mane, that flowed like silk as he moved.



“That THING is powerful dark magic, it even gives ME a sick feeling. All I got from it was fury and hunger. Beyond that, nothing. You think I was a ngihtmare? More fool you.”



“Oh.” Rainbow Dash said.



“Why is it HERE?” Twilight Sparkle asked. Sombra shook his head, gaze distant as if trying to figure it out.



“I don’t know,” he said at last, sounding annoyed at the fact “wait-”



That dream he’d had came back to him now. He’d all but forgotten about it, after he’d snapped at Celestia then stalked out of the medical bay.



“Wha’s the matter?” Applejack asked, seeing a look of confusion, then for a split second, unease, flicker across his face.



“That first dream…“This world will fall like all the OTHERS.”” he quoted, stressing this last word “that thing is a parasite, going from place to place!” he shook his head, curiosity sparking behind red eyes. Twilight seen this, and hoped he would be a bit more accomodating. She reached up a hoof towards him to get his attention, and spotted on a subtle level, a nervous, angry flinch, the way he angled himself away from her. He didnt like anypony getting close it seemed. Not for the first time, Twilight began to wodner if there was far more to Sombra than first assumed?


"It wants something. That is all it gave away." Sombra said coldly, turning away from them again, back to sounding unconcerned, expression blank once more.


“Oh dear…” Twilight Sparkle shook her head “we are not its first port of call then..”



“If this things a pro at raiding worlds, the why is it not overrunning the place by now?” Rainbow Dash asked.



Pinkie Pie frowned, then blew a raspberry. She hadn’t a clue.



“Perhaps this is the first world with such a heavy magical population?” Twilight Sparkle postulated.



“It must sense something here can harm it..” Sombra muttered.



“Yeah. YOU.” Rainbow pointed out.



Sombra thought about this for a moment, “it’s testing the waters, seeing how this world will attack it.” With his back to the six ponies, he foud it easier to quash his hatred of these pastel-colored prison guards he'd ben saddled with. He could almost believe he wasnt a captive of this choker and this age.



Twilight Sparkle looked at the crystal shard he’d reclaimed "I’m glad you were able to save a piece of it. Maybe we can learn about it..."



"Why didn’t it attack YOU?" Applejack asked out of curiosity



Sombra snorted, uttering a callous-sounding laugh that made them shiver slightly, as he turned to go, "darkness doesn’t care for darkness, it seeks only light to destroy.." then he swept out of the library.



"What’s THAT menna mean?!" Rainbow Dash blurted in the silence.



"He’s referring to his own darkness..." Celestia materialized from behind a bookshelf "he believes it ignored him because he is just like it."



“And that’s NOT the case?" Rainbow Dash asked. Celestia thought a moment;



"Not entirely. This is not the same Sombra I knew back then. I believe he is changing. Little by little."



“Really?" Pinkie Pie asked.



"I think so.." the Sun Princess nodded "that shard of the crystal heart is opening his world, and maybe even his heart. He may be resistant to it, but if there’s even the slightest part of him that seeks warmth and light, I believe it has the potential to grow.."



"Me too.." Twilight Sparkle said at last.



"He DID save me, and carry me back…" Rainbow Dash admitted.



"He fought that thing when he could have saved his own skin and ran.." Rarity said.



"He likes my cakes!" Pinkie Pie pointed out.



"And the little filly.." Fluttershy smiled at the memory.



“Is that from the creature?” Celestia indicated the shard of black crystal. Twilight Sparkle gave a nod;



“Its very strange, I can see what Sombra meant, this feels like nothing belonging to our world...” she turned it over, seeing again how it seemed to suck in the light and warmth, radiating a cold, unsettling feeling in return.



Rarity half listened to them, half planned something…

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Over the next day, with Sombra confined to bed by the doctor, who was concerned that the unicorn had a death wish, Rarity started work on ANOTHER cloak. She’d finished Luna’s in record time, with Fluttershy’s help. Now they were putting the finishing touches on something new;



It was a deep red fabric, around its edges was a black velvet trim, with gold thread stitching it on. The collar was a soft grey, much like his armor. It was lighter then the previous cloak, but still nice and warm, lined with a soft material.



"It's beautiful.." Fluttershy sighed as they sat back to look at it..



"Yes! Much lighter than that old thing! Red suits his coat and mane coloring very well, but this style is much more modern then the fur trimming!" Rarity nodded, pleased with her work.



"Shall we go give it to him..?" Fluttershy asked. Rarity took a deep breath and nodded. Together they headed for Sombra’s room, and met Twilight Sparkle mid-way.



"Anything on that crystal?" Rarity asked.



"Nothing yet, but based on what Sombra’s told us, were not dealing with something that can be reasoned with. As if its just raw hunger." Twilight Sparkle shuddered. Then she noticed the package Rarity carried "what’s in that?"



“A new cloak I made..." Rarity said "the fall shredded that old thing he wore, so I replaced it with something better!"



Twilight Sparkle smiled. Rarity’s generous spirit picked the best times to show up, and here it was again. Sombra had helped save Rainbow Dash and Rarity herself, so she’d made him a new cloak.

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The trio headed to Sombra’s room. Twilight Sparkle knocked on the door.



"Come in," the blunt voice replied. They nudged the door open and filed in.



Sombra was sat at the window, resting his front hooves on the sill. He appeared to be watching the tear in the sky.



"It's angry.." he said almost prophetically "it knows this world will fight back."



"Then we'll match it!" Twilight Sparkle understood what he meant "we won’t let this thing do any more damage..."



Sombra looked over his shoulder at them. On seeing three of them standing there, he figured Celestia had summoned him for some ridiculous task again. With a wobble he got to his feet.



"What has she sent you here to ask?" he said heavily, his expression blank as before.


---He's keeping so much suppressed...-- Twilight mused. --I wonder why he did what he did?--


"Nothing!" Rarity said brightly, setting the package down she unravelled the ribbon holding it and the cloak floated into the air. Before Sombra could question what she was doing, Rarity had looped it over his back and deftly tied the golden clasp. It fell elegantly to the floor, the subtle pattern catching the light.



"What....?" Sombra blinked, admiring the warmth of the fabric. It fell in a clean, flowing cut, stopping just past his shoes.



"The thing you were wearing was so last century.." Rarity beamed "plus that dive off the cliff somewhat ruined it!"



Sombra was stunned. This was a gift? Not a forced offering, like he’d made his subjects do in the past, but a present.



He took a few steps, feeling the fabric swish easily out of his way as he walked.



"It's perfect!" Rarity cried in delight at her handiwork "I got the measurements just right!"



"Yes.." Sombra seemed utterly bewildered by the gesture.



"It's to say thank you.." Fluttershy decided to help him out.



"What...for?" he asked uncertainly. His expression was a mix of wary and confused.



"For helping Dashie and I," Rarity bobbed her head "from that filthy..THING. Plus I insisted on appropriating your old one…"



Sombra was floored, what was he meant to say to that?



It felt like the hardest thing he’d ever had to do, speak those words he’d considered beneath him. His mind flashed back to that little filly, how she’d thanked him for the simplest thing, helping her. This was the same thing. The link between emotion and action at last formed, He heard himself speak;



"Hmh...thank you." he said abruptly, the words foreign and unfamiliar.



Rarity was taken aback, but pleased. She’d expected him to be as standoffish as he’d been since arrival. Twilight Sparkle felt certain there was hope for Sombra after all. This was a teeny tiny step, but he’d had presence of mind to make it.



"We’ll let you rest.." Fluttershy stammered, and they scooted out of the room, leaving a bewildered Sombra to admire the newly made garment.



He wasn’t sure what to think. Rarity had made this for HIM. Why should she care? But the shy pony had said it was a thank you. By throwing the tree branch (and himself) at that monster, he’d saved the two ponies and as a result earned Rarity’s gift.



--It’s this choker Celestia has put on my neck...its little more than a portable jail sentence…-- he felt a surge of anger and snarled, raising a hoof to tear the cloak off him. Then he hesitated. Why didn’t he want to do it? Why did he care?



His head was buzzing again, he was tired. He dragged himself to the bed and lay down to have a nap.

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When he woke up, he discovered someone had had left a small box just inside the door. Trotting over he read the note:



"This was in the lining of your cloak, it fell out when I was disposing of it." - Flash Sentry.



Ah, that’s right, the black crystal wasn’t the only one he’d found. Upon crash landing into the clearing, he discovered the black cores detonation had blasted open a nearby rock. Inside, it was full of a gorgeous blue stone, with flecks of shimmering gold throughout it. A chunk of it was loose, so he’d kicked it free and stuffed it into a tear in his cloaks lining. He’d forgotten about it until now.



He stared at the crystal, it WAS a beauty.. He could feel a faint power shimmering from it.



His mind flashed back to the past, when he’d obsessively gathered every crystal in the kingdom in the hopes of finding those with magical properties. But he didn’t recall this one.



For a moment the temptation to keep it, use it somehow to escape flashed into his mind. But it halted. He stared out the window again, at the sky tear. More and more he was being drawn to it, fascinated by it. Like somehow he was fated to see this to the end, beyond that he didn’t like to think. No doubt he’d be locked away in the darkness again.



The unicorn who’d given him the cloak, popped into his mind. Shed had a collection of stones in that room she’d been working in. They’d dragged him on that expedition because she needed jewels. But the creatures attack had cut that short.



Giving her the gem would repay her for the cloak, he wouldn’t feel like he somehow owed these crazy ponies anything. As if he didn’t have enough on his mind…



He continued absently justifying what he was about to do as he headed out of the room, searching for Rarity.

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Inside the palace there were enough guards posted so he didn’t need to have one follow him, for which he was very glad. The last thing he fancied was an audience.



He located the room at last. The door was open, so he slipped in. Rarity had her back to him, humming away as she worked at a sewing machine. The sound masked his hoof steps, so he decided to just drop it off and leave. He floated the crystal over to the table next to the door, then snuck out.

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Rarity stopped when she caught a glimmer out of the corner of her eye. She did a double take when she seen a crystal on the table. A crystal she never thought shed see in her life. It was worth a fortune. Scooping the gem up with her magic, she sped out the door, spotting a familiar cloak swish round the corner. Putting on a burst of speed, she caught sight of him;



"Wait!" she cried. Sombra skidded to a halt, but didn’t turn round.



"Ahem.." she coughed, a bit unnerved by his silence "where did you find this? It’s so beautiful."



"In the forest where I fell," he said bluntly "inside a rock."



"In all my years designing dresses, I’ve never come across this stone, only seen it in books!" she looked at the crystal "it’s exceptionally rare..."



"Hmph, that matters not to me now, I have no purpose for it. At least your expedition wasn’t a total waste of time with this.." he shrugged dismissively and carried on down the hall.



"Well, that was very generous, thank you!" Rarity said in a rush "I will make excellent use of it!"



Sombra didn’t answer, didn’t seem to react, just vanished out of sight, back off to his room.



Rarity looked again at the crystal. It was so pretty, and it was a large chunk too! Done right, this could cover a few outfits, offset with other jewels too of course…



Her mind abuzz with potential ideas, she trotted back towards her room. Then she heard a thump and a snarl of pain. Worried, she ran back down the hall and turned a corner. Sombra had collapsed, and from the way he was shivering, the pain was bad. She watched as he tried to get up, only to crumple to the floor again. She caught a flash of blue light from around his neck. Princess Celestia’s choker, the one she’d made to suppress his powers.



Unsure what else to do, Rarity threw back her head and shouted at the top of her voice;



"HAYYY! SOMEPONY GET HERE QUICK!!"



This had the effect of three palace guards coming running towards her. She was sat beside a by now unconscious Sombra, trying to wake him. They took the scene in and called for the stretcher.

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Rarity followed them to the med bay. She’d put the crystal in the seamstress bag she wore on her back, to hold all her needles and tape. The doctor asked her what had happened; Rarity told her tale whilst the doctor unlatched Sombra’s cloak and set it aside so he could check if any of the cuts and lacerations had re-opened since he’d bandaged them before.



"I have no IDEA darling. One minute he’s just fine, albeit as obtuse and moody as ever, then suddenly I hear a cry of total AGONY," she took a breath, and carried on "I raced over there, and he’d collapsed. That thing around his neck was causing it I think..."



The doctor frowned as he checked Sombra's heart rate. "That’s odd, this is twice now this has happened."



“Twice?" Rarity asked. The doctor nodded.



"His previous injuries, I assumed they’d caused the erratic heartbeat. But this time, if as you say, he was merely walking around, that shouldn’t cause the same symptom. Let alone pain like you described. It would be enough to make him black out however..."



"Is he alright?" Rarity found herself asking "he doesn’t look well!"



The doctor shrugged "I can only examine him when he’s unconscious, he wont let anypony near him when he’s awake, and I’m not letting him hurt my staff! He‘s violent and unpredictable!"



"Right, he’s not a pony person..." Rarity said quietly.

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She left to go find Princess- well, any of them! They were all working from the empire in light of this current crisis.



By luck she encountered Princess Luna, raiding the kitchen for her version of a midnight snack...a midday snack!



"Greetings Rarity.." the Princess of the night floated a platter of cake "would you care for some?"



And so they sat down to share some tea and cake, one of Rarity’s favorite things.



"You look troubled," Luna said as they tucked in "what bothers thou?"



"Well, something rather odd just happened. I mean, it was unexpected…"



“Tell us, maybe we can assist thee!" Luna said.



"Well, I was working on my latest dress, when I see somepony drop off a crystal on the table by the door. I ran after them, and it was Sombra!"



Luna raised an eyebrow "he dropped a crystal off to you? Were thou expecting it to be delivered?"



“Goodness no, and it was an exquisite gem, one I’ve only ever dreamed of finding.." she floated it out of her pouch to show Luna.



"My my, that IS beautiful!" Luna remarked.



"Isn’t it just? Anyhoof, I asked him where he’d found it. he said it was in the part of the forest he landed in after he fell off that cliff. He said he had no use for it, and that this way my expedition wasn’t a total loss...."



"Hmm...so he intended it as a gift perhaps?" Luna asked "unusual, especially from someone who’s obsession was collecting powerful crystals a thousand years ago!"



"Really?" Rarity asked "I see.."



"Then what?" Luna asked.



"I thanked him for giving it to me, he didn’t answer, just walked away. Then I hear him crying out in pain. It sounded bad, so I ran over." she frowned "he’d collapsed, something was wrong..."



Luan frowned "Sister did say his state of health appears to be fluctuating ever since he got here. Let us go speak with her!"



Finishing off their cake, they trotted away in search of Celestia.

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Celestia was sitting in the room of the palace reserved for her to work in, reading a scroll. She rolled it back up when she seen Rarity and Luna approaching.



"Is everything alright?" she asked.



"We bear an unusual tale sister, well, Rarity doth.." Luna indicated the unicorn.



Celestia nodded for her to begin. Rarity began describing the whole cloak thing, ending in the fact the grumpy unicorn had actually THANKED her.



Celestia rose one elegant eyebrow.



"That was my reaction," Rarity said "he actually seemed to like it, getting a present I mean.."



"What else?" Celestia asked, seeing the flicker of concern on Rarity’s face.



"Well, he came by my sewing room, and left a beautiful crystal for me.." here she held it up again "even though it’s a really rare one, he gave it to me! I chased after him, managed to catch up long enough to say thank you, then the next thing I know, he’s passed out from the pain, and that thing you put around his neck was glowing…”



Celestia thought it through "I believe its a reaction to your element, my dear.."



“Me?" Rarity said "I don’t understand, Princess.."



"I have become more and more convinced this is down to that shard of the crystal heart. It’s changing, or rather, HELPING change him," Celestia nodded "First up was when he went to the crystal market with Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy. She is the element of kindness...and I believe he showed it by allowing that filly to get so close THEN aiding her. Second, the forest. Rainbow Dash’s element of loyalty, triggered when he rescued and returned her to the palace when he could have abandoned you both. And now Generosity. Your element my dear. By giving you that gem he showed a less selfish side to himself."



"Wow.." Rarity said at last. "I guess I shouldn’t be surprised he knew the crystal was special, I mean, his cutie mark IS crystals!"



"Indeed. Kindness, loyalty and generosity. Each incident has expressed one of the elements of you six," Celestia smiled "While I cannot fathom why it causes such pain, I believe the shard is changing his heart and mind with every incident, forcing him to see the reality his madness denied before. Learning such a valuable lesson for somepony like Sombra isn’t an easy process, nor a painless one..."



"What should we do..?" Rarity asked.



"Keep trying," Celestia said "I have the feeling Sombra is a big part of what we need to fight that thing..."

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Once back in his room, Sombra felt the tensions ease off his chest. He hated being in any state of vulnerability, yet he kept blacking out and waking up in the doctors care. So he made every conscious effort to flee soon as their backs were turned.



He burrowed under the covers, having discarded his cloak and armor, and fell asleep instantly.



But it was not to be a peaceful sleep. The nightmares were back. Just fuzzy memories, but they were memories he never wanted to see again. Memories of a time when he’d been weak, pathetic, always subject to other pony’s cruelty.



--Enough!!-- he thought desperately, and the next second he jolted awake, his stomach churning. He soon found himself being painfully sick, a heavy fit of shivering wracking his body. What was wrong with him? Why was his past returning NOW?



At last he crawled back to bed and blacked out.

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When he woke the next morning, it was to a guard knocking on the door bearing a breakfast tray. He set it down and left, the door shutting behind him. Sombra eyed the tray, but in the end the lavishly buttered toast was all he managed. Even that made him feel a bit off, but luckily stayed down.



A note on the tray told Sombra was told he was to rest, the Princess, (Twilight Sparkle, he assumed), would not be sending for him today. He got up, putting on the cloak Rarity had made for him.

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His head still felt a jumble, so he went outside for a walk around the gardens. He noticed (or rather stumbled across) a school tour group being led around the grounds. They halted when they seen him stride past, the kids eyes wide. He was a big and scary pony. Behind them, the teacher stared. Even with the Princesses in control of him, she was a little frightened of him.

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Sombra was walking past some massive shrubs when he heard a giggle. He paused, hearing it again.



“Boop?“



He knew that sound..



Curious, he wriggled into the centre of the hedge, surprised to find it was hollow. Inside it was the giggling filly from the market.



"Boop! You found me!" she cried, apparently as a greeting.



"Greetings little one." he managed at last.



"You’re the pony mommy talked about. She said you were scawwy...are you?" she asked this so bluntly, with such honesty that he faltered.



"Your mother is right." he said after a pause.



"I don’t fink so.." the little filly shook her head.



"And why, pray tell, is that?" he asked. She giggled.



"You talk funny! Like a king fwom my stowwybooks.."



The irony made him wince, but she carried on regardless;



"You just looked lonely, so I figured I’d say hi!"



"Or Boop…" he muttered.



She giggled, rolling around in the leaves "I do that to evewyone I meet! Its how I say hi!"



Sombra didn’t have anything to say to that.



“I’m Bwight Spark!" she declared at last, sitting up and shaking leaves out of her mane. "Whas yours?"



“Your mother didn’t tell you?" he said almost jokingly, but it sounded bitter.



"She did, but I fink its nice to have somepony tell me.."



Shaking his head at the impossible-ness of this child, he at last said "Since you need to know so badly, it's Sombra."



“Sombwa.." she mimicked "she said you used to be a ruler like Pwincess Cadie.."



"In the distant past. You’d serve yourself better not asking about that." he told her.



"Really..?" she pouted "I know she said you were a meanie back then, but the Pwincesses bwought you back, so you cant be all bad?"



“You’re very insightful for a little one," he pointed out.



"Mommy says I have little sparks of ideas, like my name..." she peered at her flank "still no cutie mark though...say!" she looked cheerful again "you got a cutie mark? Can I see?"



Baffled by this hyperactive filly and, frankly amused, he levitated the cloak to show the cutie mark Rarity had been marvelling at.



"OOH!" she bounced up and down "its pwetty! I like the cwystals!"



It was the darndest thing. This cluelessly adorable filly didn’t seem scared of him, of his past, of who he WAS. She was no fool however, but she wasn’t scared. She was a unicorn, she had to be able to sense something of his magic. Its darkness, the wrongness of it…



"Are you lonely?" she asked suddenly, reverting back to the reason she’d first approached him at the market.



"I have been alone my whole life," he said darkly.



"What about your pawents?"



He paused, he hadn’t thought about his family in years. Right form when he was a foal, he’d displayed a strange magic that his parents had been fearful of. DARK magic. This fear had made them resent him. He’d been angry, and that anger had stewed inside him until the day he’d run away from home.



He’d gone on the run, disguising himself with his magic, which had grown steadily stronger the longer he travelled. At last, he’d come across the crystal kingdom. They’d been mourning the passing away of it’s previous ruler. Her husband, the new king, had interrogated the angry young Sombra and offered him a place at the palace.



But his bitterness hadn’t abated. The palace staff shied away from him, afraid of what they’d started calling "the dark pony". In the end he'd snapped, and darkness had overflowed his heart. He’d taken over, rapidly enslaving the ponies of the crystal empire, and stealing the crystal heart for himself, keeping it in the tower of the palace. Every day he’d fought to unlock its secrets, forcing the ponies to mine for crystals that he thought could unlock its secrets. But none had.



Bright Spark seen the sadness that clouded his eyes, seen the way he suddenly seemed to tense up, and bounded up to poke his nose.



"Boop!" she cried, looking hopefully for a smile, or something! “you alwight?”



It took immense effort, but at last he managed the smallest of nods.



"Yay!" she said, pleased with her handiwork.



"Bright spark!" they both jumped as they heard a voice, far away in the distance.



“Uh oh...teacher’s looking for me..." Bright Spark looked guilty "I was menna be at the picnic, I fowgot!"



"Wed better go then, I think I know where she’s holding it.."



She obediently followed him out of the hollow hedgerow, and they began to trek towards where Sombra guessed they’d host a picnic.

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Sure enough, they were setting up camp on the massive front lawn.



Sombra stooped, and bobbed his head at the gathering "there you go little one. I must leave now."



“Why?" she asked.



"You want your whole class to run off screaming?" he asked. She giggled.



"You’re not that scawwy!"



"Perhaps not to you little one, but then, you seem entirely fearless..."



"Fanks!" she giggled. They were standing right beside an open window, out of which drifted some lovely smells.



"Ooh, that smells so good.." Bright Spark bounded up and down trying to see what was inside. Being significantly taller, Sombra wandered over.



"It’s that cotton candy pony, she’s making MORE cakes...." unable to help himself he said, loud enough for Pinkie Pie to hear "who’s going to eat THAT much cake?"



She bounced over to the window. "Hihi grumpy!"



“Stop calling me that!" he growled.



"Well you ARE a grumpy boots!" she laughed.



He was already lost, and she’d only spoken two sentences to him.



"Hihi!" Pinkie Pie could hear a second voice, and, looking out the window, she spied Bright Spark bouncing about the ex-rulers hooves.



"Whatcha making?" she asked.



"Cakes, lots of cakes!" Pinkie Pie declared "you want some?"



"Ooh!" Bright Spark's eyes widened, then she looked over at her class "but my fwiends..."



"Oh, I got plenty!" Pinkie Pie grabbed a basket, and at a speed that made Sombra’s head whirl, filled it to the utter brim with cakes, more then enough to feed a whole class.



This she handed out to Sombra, who gave her a funny look.



"Why are you giving that to ME?" he objected. Pinkie Pie rolled her eyes.



"Silly, because she’s too tiny to carry it, she’d probably fit IN the basket!"



Sombra looked at little Bright Spark, who was eyeing the basket with utter rapture.



"Point taken.." he said begrudgingly "you’re just doing this to make me look foolish aren’t you?"



"Nah! If I was going to do that I’d tie an apron on you-" here Pinkie Pie heard the oven timer ding and squeed "they’re done!"



Suddenly eager to escape Pinkie Pies clutches before she really DID try tying him up in an apron, Sombra grabbed the basket with his magic and hauled it away, with Bright Spark trotting alongside.



"Woww...so many cakes! That was super nice!" she beamed at Sombra.

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

The teacher called Bright Spark’s name, and sighed in relief when she got an answer. She turned, seeing her trotting across the grass...then she seen who was with her.



The class all gawped. But fearless Bright Spark didn’t falter, she just bounded up to the teacher, babbling;



"Guess what, the pink pony in the palace kitchen gave us all these cakes!"



Sombra stopped a few feet away and set the basket down. He straightened up, aware of the uneasy glances boring into him.



"I couldn’t cawwy them, I’m too small!" spark bounced around the basket, "Sombwa carried 'em!"



More silence.



"Ah W-well.." the teacher struggled to find the words "That’s very nice Bright Spark, but you shouldn’t just wander off..."



"Okayy.." Bright Spark did her best to look contrite, but Sombra had to suppress the urge to laugh. That little filly was quite the actress!



He inadvertently caught the teacher's eye when she was pulling a face that said she had come to the same conclusion as Sombra.



"She lives up to her name;" he said suddenly "you have a very bright student."



Then he uttered a farewell, and turned to go.



"Bye bye!" Bright Spark waved a hoof as he vanished, then turned to her gobsmacked teacher "see? He’s not that scawwy miss!"



The teacher didn’t know how to respond, she eventually shared out all the cake is the basket amongst her children, while Bright Spark talked about the pink pony who’d given them to her!

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

Sombra reflected on the weird morning as he walked back across the palace grounds. That little filly was bold and brazen, but she didn’t seem scared of him. So many had reacted to him with fear in the past he’d become accustomed to it. Even though it had stirred up such bitterness, he’d never tried to change his fate. Now it seemed he had a die hard fan in that little filly. Who, despite knowing his past from her mother, didn’t care!



These last few days, he’d been dragged, kicking and snarling, into a different world. One filled with light and life.



He settled down under a shady tree and drifted off into a light sleep.

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

He was woken by that familiar voice. Sitting, he pricked his ears up.



"Go on, say it again...."



"Pwease..."



"Ha!"



Pwease? Wait, he knew that voice. Bright Spark?



He got up and trotted over towards the voice. He didn’t spot the class teacher, also on the lookout for the missing filly again..



"Leave me awone!" Bright Spark sniffled. The two fillies, one with a lemon yellow coat, pink hair, and a dragonfly cutie mark. The other grey with yello, and a glittering green bow cutie symbol.



"You're so lame, no wonder you’re still a blank flank, why don’t you learn to talk properly! Who knows, maybe your cutie mark is a dictionary!"



Bright Spark burst into tears and dodged past them, running round the corner. They ran after her, but a second later they bumped into something solid and shiny.



Blinking, they realised they were looking at their reflections, in a set of armored shoes. They backed up, gazes following the way up to the shoes owner.



It was the dark pony from the market, and the cake incident. Sombra.



Bright Spark was sitting up on his back. He’d lifted her up and out of the way when he’d strode in.



"Sombwa!" she cried in delight!



"I told you before, little one, you have nothing to fear from them!"



The two fillies stared in wide eyed shock. Bright Spark REALLY was friendly with that scary pony!



He glared at them now "You belittle a filly that has the courage to walk up to a monster of darkness and show no fear?" he drew himself up to his full height and glared down at them "she has nothing to be ashamed of! "



Bright spark looked at him in awe.



The two fillies looked scared.



"How she speaks is irrelevant!" he declared "the honesty of her words is enough to put her above anypony that tries to demean her!"



The two fillies just gaped.



"He’s right girls.." a female voice spoke up. All whirled, seeing the teacher standing there. she looked cross.



"I have warned you two before about bullying, now I see you at it again.."



The two fillies bowed their heads, looking a little ashamed.



Sombra groaned internally. He hadn’t meant for an extended audience!



"You two go on ahead to the front of the castle!" she told the two bullies "I’ll be having a talk with your parents later! That is NOT how we treat somepony at Crystal School!"



The two slunk away, casting sulky glares at Spark’s protector.



Once they were gone the teacher looked at Spark, sitting atop Sombra’s back, giggling as she batted at his flowing mane.



"What are you doing?" Sombra asked dryly.



"Your mane is so much awesome!" she giggled. Sombra just shook his head slightly.



"Are you alright Bright Spark?" the teacher asked.



"I’m fine, miss Petalbwoom!" spark said "do we have to go too?"



"I’m afraid so my dear. Let’s go.." she hesitated, took a deep breath and looked at Sombra "I would like to speak to you a moment.."



“If you wish," he said bluntly, his voice emotionless again.



Spark trotted on ahead whilst Petalbloom gathered enough courage to say "I heard what you said...in her defence. She’s a very sweet filly, but she gets picked on because of her speech defect."



"Hmph.." Sombra stared ahead as they walked "I told her before, now and at the market, and I will say it again. A little thing that can walk up to somepony like that, without fear, should be commended. Few display her courage."



"I hope she will take that on board. I think you’ve done more for her then ever I could. Thank you."



"She does not fear an atrocity of darkness, I cannot fathom why she fears those little ones." he said coldly. "if that is all, I must go."



"Aww..." Bright Spark bounded over on hearing this. They weren’t far from the palaces main entrance. "I don’t wanna go! Can't you come wiv us?"



“Not unless you want an armed platoon of royal guards following." Sombra raised one eyebrow at the guard hovering nearby.



"Oh, hay! There y‘all are!"



They all jumped as an orange pony spotted them an walked over, it was Applejack!



"Pinkie Pie was asking if the kids enjoyed the cakes?"



“We loved 'em!" Bright Spark beamed at Applejack.



Seeing this trusting, happy little filly made Sombra’s mind wander. All those years ago, he’d been reviled and beaten for what he was, for who he was. He could see that same fear of mistreatment in this fillies eyes. Buried under all the darkness and anger, a small part of him insisted history not repeat itself...



A stabbing pain interrupted his thoughts, and he felt the world spin on its axis, the ground seeming to lurch. He closed his eyes, fighting it back,



"Oh my- are you OK?" it was the teachers voice.



"Sombwa?!" Bright Spark ran back over, peering up at him.



"Its nothing.." he snarled through clenched teeth.



Applejack frowned when she seen the choker around his neck flare brightly for a split second, then he collapsed to the ground.



--This is what Rarity said happened...-- Applejack frowned.



"Hey, can y'all hear me? What’s the matter?" She crouched beside Sombra.



"I...I don’t know..." Sombra tried to raise himself but the jewel glimmered again, forcing him back to the grass.



"Oh man, what do I do?" Applejack looked about for somepony, anypony to help.



"What’s happening, is he sick?" Petalbloom asked.



"There is no need for concern.." Celestia appeared from nowhere. Sparks eyes widened, she was pretty, her colourful hair like a flowing river.



Celestia smiled at the teacher, speaking softly "he has a minor ailment, causes fits and dizziness...the doctor will be along shortly.."



"We have to go, the class is waiting," the teacher said to Spark.



"But Sombwa is.."



“Do not fret child..." Celestia looked over at her "it will pass soon, he just needs some rest..."



"Bye bye Sombwa..." Bright Spark sniffled at last "get weww soon!" then she was reluctantly towed away by the teacher.



"Relax, Sombra.." Celestia’s voice was lilting, like music. She bowed her head, so he horn met his. The magic flowed from her to him, making the biting pain a little less awful.



"What’s goin’ on?" Applejack asked "what’s with that doo-hickey?" meaning the choker.



"What is this thing..." Sombra growled, closing his eyes as a feeling of sickness washed over him, but at least the pain faded to a dull ache.



"It is but a limiter, not a tool to cause harm."



"That aint what IT thinks.." Applejack added.



Celestia smiled faintly, then leaned in closer to Sombra, so only he could hear her...



"You know your heart is changing...don’t you? That’s why it hurts..."



"Why did you bring me here...." Sombra asked, wanting a real answer "because you need darkness to fight that thing?"



"WE brought you here, because of that, but it appears the crystal heart of this empire has other plans."



"What difference does it make?" he muttered.



"You’ll understand in time." she stepped back. he shakily wobbled to his feet, but looked on the verge of passing out again.



She called two of the guards to bring him to the palace doctor. As they left, Applejack looked up at the Princess.



"What’s really goin' on here Princess? That looked like it hurt real bad.."



"So far he has had three other fits similar to this one. Each time its in direct response to the elements of harmony."



"So this was in response to somethin‘?" Applejack asked.



"Yes..." Celestia smiled "I was observing him from the castle, I seen him defending that little filly. Perhaps it was nosy of me, but I used my magic to hear their talk."



"And what’d they say?"



"He said she should be proud for having the courage to face up to a monster. A very honest way of saying it..."



"Honest...honesty! Whoa nelly, you sayin’ that was cause of me? Mah element and all..." Applejack looked startled.



"Do not be worried Applejack, I think this is for the best. Each time has been when HE himself has demonstrated those qualities.."



“Ya mean.."



"Kindness; at the market when he first let that child get close without retaliating; Loyalty, when he didn’t abandon Rarity and Rainbow Dash in the forest, and Generosity when he broke a barrier to thank Rarity for that gift by giving her that gem. And now, admitting he is or perhaps WAS, a monster..."



"Wow.." Applejack looked out across the grounds "so then he really IS tryin'?"



"It seems so. Even I am surprised, back then I thought him full of nothing but hatred. He had so much deep seated anger at the world..."



"Did ya ever find out why?" Applejack asked.



Celestia shook her head "little is known about his past. I have been unable to find out anything about him in the years since his imprisonment."



"Mebbe.." Applejack shrugged "mebbe he got picked on only to a WAY worse degree?"



"I’ll have to keep a watch on how this unfolds, it seems that little filly plays an important role in his reformation."



“You think it’s possible?" Applejack asked.



"I think so...perhaps that was the hearts design all along...to teach him how to rule.." then she pottered away. Applejack stood awhile longer, pondering it all, then was startled by Pinkie Pie sneaking up on her, investigating where the apples she'd asked her fetch had gotten to!

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

Curled up in his bedroom, Sombra couldn’t help but think about Celestia’s words. These were feelings and emotions he’d never allowed himself. Hope, kindness.


He’d been given another chance, brought back to life from the darkness. His fury at being stripped of his power and forced to endure all this malarkey about friendship and honesty, was fading a little. Part of him still recoiled against it, it was pointless. If you trusted somepony they’d turn on you! That was a lesson he’d learnt early. Ponies feared his darkness, feared and hated HIM.



But now...he’d met one innocent soul who didn’t care what he’d done, she was just curious about HIM. Wasn’t scared, wasn’t fearful, just curious.



--Little spark to light the darkness...-- he thought absently, before falling asleep.

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

The dream he had that afternoon was the most awful yet. In it he could see from the POV of one of those things...watching the townspeople from the tear in the sky. He felt the disgusting animosity within it. It had no room for persuasion, it would take what it wanted. Much like he...



But something inside even HIM objected to this thing. What had these ponies done to deserve...this. What had they done to deserve HIM?



It was like seeing into a mirror for Sombra. In this thing he seen the same fear inducing cruelty he’d inflicted all those years ago. But this thing did not care.



A part of him snapped, and in his dream he rebelled against the things darkness as it swirled around him, lashing out....



In the final moments of their contact, he seen the things plans. Seen the ponies below, glowing from within, their innocence. It wanted to feast on them, but the attack on it had damaged its strength. That thing he‘d fought was a scout, created from this things power. By destroying it when he’d done his cliff top dive, he’d caused the nameless thing great pain and fury. It had attacked rainbow because she glowed brighter than most, so too had Rarity.



He awoke sharply with a gasp.



He staggered drunkenly about, struggling to regain his balance. But at last he steadied out, and raced out of his room, coming face to face with the guard.



"Where’s Celestia?!" he blurted.



"She’s in her temporary office room.." the guard said "I’m under orders to-"



“Forget your orders!" Sombra bellowed, his anger rising "she will want to hear this!"



Clearly, he wasn’t going to dissuade him, so the guard reluctantly escorted him down there. As they walked, he couldn’t help notice the sheer tension radiating from the unicorn. Whatever he was so wound up about really had him on edge!

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

Celestia was surprised to see Sombra at the door, along with the guard.



"Its all right, you can go.." she told the guard. He looked a little unwilling, but in the end he obeyed the Princess and left.



"Something’s bothering you, if you came charging down here so fast!" she remarked. Sombra stayed just inside the door as it clicked shut.



Celestia paused mid way to the desk that’d been set up for her. Sombra looked a little...was it possible for him to appear "freaked out"? Something in his eyes indicated this wasn’t just him coming to rail at her about bringing him back to save an empire that had defeated him.



"You’ve seen something..." she guessed at last. A minute twitch from him indicated she was right.



"It takes magic, energy...the very core of what is inside..." he muttered, eyes half closed in memory "you shine like stars to that thing."



"Then it attacked Rainbow Dash..."



"She was closest, the first it had seen. It would’ve gone for the other one too, had it had time.."



"Were it not for you tackling it off a cliff." Celestia finished "there must be a bigger entity at work..."



"Perhaps so.." Sombra muttered.



They were interrupted by a frantic pounding on the door.



Sombra stood back as it came flying open, and Flash Sentry came barrelling in.



"Princess...Celestia...there’s a squadron of the guards, they were attacked by something-"



Celestia shared a look with Sombra.



"That thing wasn’t alone..." he muttered.



"Follow me," Celestia said, hurrying after Flash.



Luna was sleeping, and Cadance was out, so that left her to deal with this.

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

They arrived in the same medical room Sombra had woken up in oh-so-many times. Three Pegasi and two Unicorn guards. Two of the former and one of the latter were on beds, all passed out.



The Doctor did a double take when he seen Sombra following Celestia. Why was HE here?



"What happened?" Celestia asked the closet guard. The freaked out Pegasus flapped his wings and looked up at her;



"This THING...a..a.." he tried to conjure up the words he needed…



"Wobbly black mass?" Sombra volunteered.



"Yes a...how did you...?"



Celestia looked at Sombra.



"It's the same thing," he said bluntly.



"The same as that which attacked Princess Twilight Sparkles friend," Celestia explained "she fainted much the same..."



"What happened to the creature?" the Doctor asked.



"I-it got away...." the guard said. This made Sombra twitch, although nopony noticed.



"We tried to fight it, but it just absorbed the magic attacks, and anything we threw just passed right through." the unicorn shook his head "In the end, after we pretty much used up every scrap of magic we had, it darted away and we lost it!"



"Were you aiming for the core?" Sombra muttered.



"Core…?" the dazed guard shook his head "there WAS no core, it was solid black!"



Sombra frowned. Celestia looked at him.



"The one you fought, it had a core at its centre. Twilight Sparkle showed me the piece you brought back."



"This thing had no core ma'am..." the guard said.



"Where did it go?" Sombra said. Something was gnawing at his subconscious, a nagging headache-y feeling...



"Uh...w-well...we don’t know...."



"Then you need to find it!" Sombra suddenly raised his voice "It’d taken what it could from YOU, now its likely after somepony else!"



"You think that’s its purpose?" Celestia asked. Sombra began pacing back and forth, the elegant red cloak swirling about his body.



"I already told you. It sees you all as walking, flapping magical batteries!"



"Then why didn’t it attack us too?" the remaining conscious guards asked.



"You said you fought it? My guess is it’s still working out what this world has. It’s first attempt to feed went south after its first scout was attacked and destroyed. Now its trying again, and it doesn’t want to be caught out twice!"



They all stared in shock.



"How can you..?" the Pegasus stammered. Sombra whirled on him, the light catching his red eyes and making them gleam like gems.



"That thing is darkness, and I know things about dark magic you’d pass out after hearing!" he snapped.



"That I don’t doubt.." the Doctor muttered.



"Then maybe you can track it down.." Celestia said. "You destroyed one already.."



"Destroyed?" the unicorn asked "how?"



"Easy," Sombra said "Shatter that core. The sharper the object the better."



The remaining conscious ponies (plus doctor) stood in silence as Celestia pulled Sombra aside to talk to him. Whatever she said, he shook his head. She frowned, then said something else. He scowled, but whatever shed asked, he relented, looking as dour as possible in the process.



"I will send Flash Sentry with you," she said as she turned back to the guards.



"Ma'am, we want to go too..." they looked determined. Celestia understood their need to find the thing that’d attacked their fellow guards, but warned them to be careful.

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

And so, it was the two guards, Sombra and Flash Sentry that left the palace. The sky outside was shifting towards dusk. The streets were quiet, most shops closed by now. A soft breeze ruffled Sombra’s mane, and he sighed. He was tired, but he got the feeling his headache wouldn’t die until that creature did!



"How’re we supposed to find it in a whole town?" Flash Sentry asked.



Sombra ignored them, walking slowly down the street, listening for even the slightest sound.



It came like a shrill whistle. It was only as he started running in that direction that he realised it was a scream.



"Hay!" the unicorn guard spotted Sombra suddenly tense up, his ears pricking up. Then he took off with incredible speed.



"After him!" the Pegasus guard creid. Flahs Sentry stared in bewilderment as they all chased after Sombra. He could certainly run, they were just able to keep up with him!



Then they too started hearing the chaos on the wind. Sounds of screaming, panicking.

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

At last they reached the area where the screams began.



Just as Sombra rounded the corner, he seen a small foal being lifted out of a window by the dark mass, which was clinging to the side of the crystal home like a weird goopy jelly. Inside the residence, the child’s mother was screaming, crying for her child.



Sombra looked about, searching for something, anything-



"Mommy!" the foal screamed. The thing holding him felt all kinds of scary, and cold!



Thwack.



A rock bounced off the side of the house, drawing the things attention. It snarled, as its slitted yellow eyes focused on Sombra and the royal guards.



"So..you came back for me?!" it cackled.



"Leave the kid alone!" Flash Sentry yelled.



"As you wish.." it laughed, and tossed the child to one side like a toy. The foal screamed. Flash Sentry took off, soaring in to catch the child before he hit the ground.



"Its OK!" he assured the shivering kid.



The thing flowed down from the house and assembled itself in the houses front garden. The yellow eyes fixated on Sombra.



"You...." it said angrily "are a problem. Eradicate.."



“Hmph!" Sombra snorted "stow your yapping you pathetic little mould pile!"



"How dare you!!" it screeched, flinging itself at Sombra. He ducked and dodged round, grabbing part of it’s jelly-like body in his fangs, biting as hard as he could and swinging the thing round. It flew through the air, smashing into a street light and hitting the pavement with a splat.



"Eugh.." Sombra coughed. That thing made him feel sick!



A bolt of magic flew into the blobby shape and made it reel. It twisted its body to stare at the unicorn guard.



Sombra looked around, he needed something SHARP.



There, a few houses down, some gardening implements had been left out. he ran over, glancing over them...aha!



He levitated the pitchfork and heard a scream.



The thing had its coils around the unicorn guards neck and was trying to drain him....



Kicking off, Sombra put as much speed and power behind the shot as he levelled the pitchfork implement at where he could see the things heart.



There was a sound like a thunder crack as it struck home. And got STUCK.



With the four pointed spear sticking out of its side, the creature dropped the guard and rounded on sombra.



"I will tear you apart!" it shot into the air, forming into a dozen arrows. A small portion of darkness remained, swirling around the core, with the tines of the fork still partly lodged in it.



The arrows burst outwards in a random formation, before homing in on Sombra. He smirked. Just a little closer...



He ducked low, keeping his eyes fixed on the arrows, letting instinct and memory guide his body as he raced forward.



Flash Sentry gawped as Sombra ducked left and right, ducking under, and on one occasion, jumping OVER the arrows trajectory. He was surprisingly agile for a big guy!



Sombra didn’t waste the opportunity. He jumped, grasping the pitchfork handle in his teeth, using sheer brute force and his body weight to give the implement a hefty twist-



KABOOM!



It sent a fissure through and through the core, shattering it as its predecessor had. The following shockwave caught Sombra by surprise, he was still holding the pitchfork!



For a moment, ground and sky got tangled up, and he hit the ground hard enough to temporarily black out.



A few seconds of darkness...far away voices...



He groaned, getting to his feet. He checked himself, no broken bones, great. He’d had enough of those!



His eyes widened when he seen the core exploding had torn up a chunk of the crystal paving.



"Whoops.." Flash spoke from beside him.



"Huh.." Sombra muttered.



His head ached afresh, but this time just from a bump to the head.



"Let's go." he said sharply.



Flash Sentry looked around at the ponies gathered in their doorways, whispering and casting glances at himself, the guards, and of course, Sombra.

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

After reassuring the ponyfolk, the tired group returned to the castle. Celestia was standing by the door, waiting to hear if they’d found it..



"It's gone!" Flash Sentry said with a salute.



"Good..." she sighed in relief "were you able to see the core?"



Flash Sentry shook his head.



"We just seen it get stabbed with a pitchfork, then explode!" the Pegasus guard blurted "all I seen was a black blob, no core, no nothing!"



"Hm.." Celestia looked at Sombra, who stood behind the guards "seems you alone can see their weak spots."



"Guess that’s why it said he was a problem..." Flash Sentry added "I got the impression it wants him gone."



"Hm, perhaps it knows your not like everypony else. I will deliver this news to Twilight Sparkle. All of you go see the doctor, you look like you need the rest!"



"Pah, I’m fine.." Sombra muttered.



"Then what about that bump on your noggin?" Flash Sentry asked. The angry unicorn rounded on him;



"Will both of you shut up!" Sombra snapped, then realised the problem "dangit!!"



"You’re concussed," Flash Sentry said, waving a hoof in front of Sombra’s face "you hit the ground pretty hard..."



"You’re both going to get a flank kicking if you don’t leave me alone!" Sombra snapped. he stomped off, muttering;



"Ish no different from being drunk!"



"What’d he say?" Flash Sentry couldn’t help a laugh.



"I’ll deal with him," Celestia chuckled "you all go get some treatment, you can give me the details tomorrow!"



"Yes ma’am!" they chorused.

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

Celestia went in search of the concussed Sombra.



She found him pretty fast, he was wobbling his way down the hall. He grumbled as she indicated a nearby couch, but didn’t seem to have the energy to go any further.



Getting the feeling trying to make him se the doctor would be a waste of time, she did a little spell to alleviate the bump on his head. He still looked worn out.



"Did you sense anything further?" she asked. He closed his eyes, drifting in and out of consciousness;



"Only a little..."



"Sombra.." Celestia looked concernedly at him; "my sister is the dream walker. If she can walk amongst your dreams, she can perhaps see something. I ask that-"



His eyes glinted briefly as he opened them to stare at her, then he angled his head away and answered;



"Ugh, stop pretending. I have no choice in the matter!" he retorted "just do what needs to be done to kill this thing and end this!"



She regarded him a moment, then nodded "Tonight then," as he turned to leave she added "I suggest you return to your bed, you have endured a great deal."



"Hmph, no more then I deserve no doubt.." he said harshly, then sleep overwhelmed him and he passed out.

Author's Note:

Finally, my stomach is better....@__@ BUT, my scanner is broken. T_T I cant scan my drawings....it sucks.

Chapter 2 kindly edited by Dream Seeker! ^^