• Published 26th Sep 2014
  • 4,626 Views, 149 Comments

The Needs Of The Many - SapphireWings999

I don't know how I wound up here, but suddenly everypony is relying on me for their survival after a terrible curse has fallen over the land. This is not the Equestria I remember.

  • ...

Chapter II: Into Everfree

After a decent walk, I found myself at the edge of the Everfree Forest. With the gloom that shrouded Ponyville, the forest was looking even darker than usual. As I turned on my flashlight on my phone and stepped into Everfree, the thoughts of Pinkie and Fluttershy rang in my mind.

Please bring our friends back safely, their thoughts echoed in my mind when I was leaving the castle, and, by the Princesses rule, please be careful.

As I slowly ventured through the forest, I didn’t hear much noise from any of the wildlife. In fact, I hardly saw any signs of wildlife at all. In most situations like this when I’m nervous, I’ll sing to myself whatever song happens to be running through my head at the moment; in this case, it was Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal. Don't ask me why; maybe it was that whole "heading into the Danger Zone" mentality that brought it up. As I sang quietly, I wandered through the darkness and silence for several minutes before coming to a river.

Suddenly, I saw movement off to my left. Looking over, I spotted something that I couldn’t believe: a manticore drinking from the stream. I was filled both with a sense of Awe at the sight of this magnificent creature but also a sense of fear in that I hoped it didn’t come after me. I just stood there frozen for a few minutes as I took in the sight of it. Its giant bat wings were blacker than night, its mane glowed like the final sunset, and its long scorpion tail was raised at the ready for any unsuspecting foe.

I decided to turn off my flashlight, back away slowly, and wait until he’d left before continuing on. Unfortunately, as I stepped backwards, I snapped a twig. Quickly, I dove behind a nearby boulder just as he started to look in my direction.

I stayed there completely petrified as I hoped he didn’t come my way. I held my breath as I heard his footsteps, soft, but still noticeable, coming closer towards me. Soon the footsteps stopped, but I could hear his heavy breathing and feel his hot breath like a raging furnace coming from the other side.

I desperately looked around for something to defend myself with, but all I saw were some small stones. This gave me an idea. I picked up one of them and threw it towards a tree, praying that it would hit it.

Sure enough, it made a loud “clack” sound against the tree that caught the manticore’s attention, causing it to run off into the forest away from me. I let out a sigh of relief at this narrow escape and quickly crossed the river before it came back.

After I was a safe distance away, I stopped to catch my breath. No sooner had I paused then I heard heavy footsteps coming my way and rustling in the nearby bushes. Picking up a rather large tree branch to defend myself, I slowly inched my way towards the underbrush. Raising it above my head, I prepared for whatever came through. Suddenly, I heard voices from the brush.

“Ugh. This overgrown shrubbery is certainly not doing my mane any favors. This’ll be just a nightmare trying to groom.”

“Where tha hay could they be? Ah feel like we’ve searched ev’ry last inch of this dang forest ’n still nothin’. Ah’m soo tired ma dogs are barkin’.”

I lowered my branch. Those voices. Those accents. Could it really be them?

“Personally, I think we should take a brief rest once we get out of this thicket.”

“Ah agree jus’ so long as it’s brief. They still need us. We’re prob’ly tha only ponies out here lookin’ fer ‘em.”

Finally the bushes parted as an orange Earth Pony with a cowgirl hat and a white Unicorn with twigs and leaves tangled in her violet mane and tail stepped out into the open. Spotting me, they froze in their tracks while I just stood there staring at them.

“Applejack?” I spoke. “Rarity?”

“Who are ya and how tha jumpin' Junebug do ya know our names?” Applejack asked, slightly confused.

“Oh, Ah’m sorry. Ah’m Dayvid and Ah came from tha castle where yer friends had mentioned that you two were out here by yerselves lookin’ fer 3 young fillies.”

I hadn’t realized that I had slipped into a Southern accent til after the words had already escaped my lips. Even though I was born in New England, my mom’s side of the family came from down south and often spoke with a strong thick accent. Having grown up around them, I’d often slip into the accent unknowingly during basic conversations with anyone. My guess is that being around Applejack served as somewhat of a mental trigger for that.

“Wait. Ya speak jus’ like me?”

“Sometimes. It kinda pops up ev’ry now ’n then. Ah get it from ma mom’s side of tha family.”

“Well you are quite right about one thing,” Rarity remarked as she tried to shake the debris off her coat. “We came here looking for our sisters and their friend, who you could almost say is like a younger sister to our Rainbow Dash.”

“Yes Ah’m quite familiar with Rainbow,” I answered with a smile, gently untangling the twigs and leaves from Rarity’s mane and tail. “When Ah left, Ah had sent her off ta Canterlot ta find out why they hadn’t heard from Princess Celestia.”

“Oh my. You don’t mean to say that Celestia still hasn’t replied to Spike’s letter that he sent almost a day ago, do you?”

“Sadly, yes.”

“Ah got a bad feelin’ ‘bout this,” Applejack mentioned. “It’s already been hours ’n we still haven’t found ‘em.”

“Well Ah could help out with that. Hell it’s tha main reason Ah came here: ta find you guys ’n Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, ’n Scootaloo.”

“Thank you, darling,” Rarity replied with a warm smile. “It’s certainly much appreciated.”

I smiled back at her, but my smile soon disappeared when the three of us heard screams in the distance.

“Help! Somepony! Anypony! Help us!” a small voice with an ever familiar accent rang out.

“That’s Apple Bloom. They mus’ be close by,” Applejack stated. “Don’t worry, Apple Bloom. We’re comin’ fer ya.”

The three of us ran towards the sounds of the screams with me and Applejack, quite possibly the fastest Earth pony in Equestria, running neck and neck. I’m not quite as well built as most, but if there’s one thing that my friends in high school would always compliment me on, it was my speed.

Finally reaching a clearing, the three of us saw the Cutie Mark Crusaders surrounded by Timber Wolves. The wolves’ eyes were glowing bright yellow as they crept closer to the terrified young fillies.

“HEY!” Applejack shouted. “Leave ma sister ’n her friends alone!”

The wolves then turned their attention to us as Applejack charged one head on. As it charged towards her, she stopped, swung her flank around, and bucked it in the jaw, shattering its face. Rarity joined in with this also. While they were fighting off the wolves, I snuck around to make sure that the CMC were O.K. They were still trembling as I approached them.

“It’s O.K.,” I reassured them. “Ah’m a friend. Yer safe now. Ah’m gonna get ya outta here.”

Picking them up, I turned around only to find that the Timber Wolves were no longer interested in Applejack or Rarity and had turned their attention towards me. They started to come around the sides, cutting off my retreats as I was backed up against a boulder. In that moment, the sense of fear was palpable amongst me and the CMC. As I held them close, the Aurora Borealis aura sprang from the four of us briefly.

What the flying feather was that? I heard Apple Bloom ask.

Was that the Aurora Borealis? Sweetie Belle questioned.

Wow. That was Awesome, Scootaloo remarked.

Oh great, I groaned, inwardly. More pony voices in my head.

Suddenly, the lead Timber Wolf pounced at us. The four of us screamed as I held out my right hand in front of it, as if I thought it would stop it in midair. Instead, I discovered that a ball of fire shot out from my hand, causing the attacking wolf to explode into burning kindling. Seeing this, the other Timber Wolves ran off in fear as I just stared at the hand that had shot the scorching blast, confused as to what had just happened. Applejack and Rarity stared at me with shocked expressions.

“What… tha hay… was that?” Applejack finally spoke.

“Ah… Ah don’t know,” I answered back. “Fer some reason, all this crazy shit has been happenin’ ta me ever since Ah first got here.”

“It certainly is rather unusual,” Rarity remarked.

“When Ah entered Everfree, Ah was also lookin’ fer Zecora. Ah was hopin’ that she’d be able ta-”

“Sis, you’re bleeding!” Sweetie Belle cut in, shocked.

“She’s not the only one!” Apple Bloom panicked. “Applejack’s bleedin’ too!”

As I looked at the two of them, I realized that this was true. Rarity and Applejack both had deep gashes in their hind legs that were bleeding profusely. In a matter of seconds, about a pint of blood had pooled out from each of their lesions. I watched in horror as they both collapsed from blood loss.

“No no no!” I screamed out, nervously, as I put the CMC down on the forest floor.

Running over to the two ponies, I looked at their wounds. Thinking fast, I applied pressure on them with both hands to stop the bleeding. So, naturally, it shouldn’t have surprised me when the Aurora Borealis aura magically emerged from the three of us in that moment. Within a few seconds after it vanished, Applejack and Rarity were healed and they came to, coughing as they tried to catch their breath.

“Sis!” Apple Bloom exclaimed, running over to Applejack. “Yer alright.”

“Rarity!” Sweetie Belle exclaimed, hugging her sister.

My heart was touched by this sweet moment as the two pairs of sisters were reunited. It made me think of my own younger siblings back home. As I thought of them, a twinge of sadness came over me. Would I ever get to see any of them again? These thoughts quickly vanished when Applejack looked at me with a smile.

“Thank ya,” she stated, gratefully, “fer savin’ us.”

“Anytime,” I replied.

“Now what was it you were saying again?” Rarity asked.

“Oh right,” I remembered. “Ah was sayin’ that Ah had also come here lookin’ fer Zecora in tha hopes that she’d be able ta explain what tha hell’s happenin’ to me.”

Almost as if on cue, I heard a rustling from a nearby bush and out stepped Zecora. She had a grave look on her face as she approached us.

“Zecora,” I finally spoke. “Just tha pony Ah was lookin’ fer.”

“Yes, I’m quite aware that you were seeking me out,” she replied, “for these strange occurrences have filled you with much confusion and doubt.”

“Ah have soo many questions fer ya, but Ah don’t even know where ta begin.”

Zecora replied almost instantly, as if knowing what was on my mind

“Among humans to travel here, you are not the first. There was one who arrived before you and cast this curse. It was many years in the past when she first came; a beautiful girl slightly younger than you, Crystal by name. The land was in ruin from Discord’s chaotic reign and the princesses worked hard to heal it again.

“When it was revealed that in magic Crystal was quite skilled, Celestia took her under her wing teaching her by her own freewill. She hoped she would help out with repairing the land. Unfortunately, things fell out of hoof or, in this case, hand.

“For, you see, she was tempted by witchcraft and dark arts. This deadly seduction of power soon blackened her heart. She sacrificed beauty and youth for immortality and power, taking on a hideous form that made many ponies cower.

“Celestia and Luna would have none of her dark magic here, so, using the Elements, they banished her, freeing the ponies from fear. This hag spent the next 1,000 years all alone, in a barren wasteland, practicing witchcraft on her own. She plotted revenge against every princess and pony that lives, for her deep-rooted hatred won’t let her forget or forgive.

“Celestia, Luna, Cadence, and Twilight too have been placed under a cursed sleep that can only be broken by you. The ponies here have been cursed as well. Living in fear, there life has become hell. They only have a short period of time to live, unless you intervene with the human touch you give. Only by forming a bond with a human host can they hope to survive and not become ghosts.”

All of this was a lot for me to take in at once. I sat down for a little while as I started to feel light-headed.

“But how do Ah have these powers?” I asked. “Ah mean… Ah jus’ blasted a wolf ta hell with fire. That ain’t natural.”

Zecora opened her mouth to answer, but her body started to break out in tumors right in front of me. Panicking, I reached out to touch her, knowing full well that she would revert back to her healthy self and that I’d hear her thoughts. Sure enough, I heard her voice echo in my head.

Because you work hard to save the weak, I will help you out with the answers you seek. At the old princesses’ castle ruins is where you must look. Inside the library, you will find a few useful books.

Thanks, Zecora, I replied, mentally.

And with that, Zecora retreated back into the forest.

What’d she say? Apple Bloom asked.

“We have ta go ta tha ruins of Celestia 'n Luna’s old castle. She said that Ah’d find tha answers in some books from tha library.”

“Well what’re we waiting for?” Scootaloo replied, enthusiastically. “Let’s go.”

And so, with Applejack and Rarity leading the way, we headed off to the castle ruins, but nothing could prepare me for what I would find there.

* * * * * * * *

After several minutes of walking, we finally arrived at the ruins. Even for a castle that was in serious disrepair, I still felt a sense of wonder and amazement at the sight of it. It made me speculate how much grander it must’ve looked a millennium ago.

“Whoa!” I remarked in Awe.

“Ah know right?” Applejack replied.

“Well we best be heading inside to find those books,” Rarity stated.

And so, crossing the rickety bridge, we made our way inside, walking down many empty hallways towards the library. As we neared the library, I noticed something hanging from the ceiling: Bats. Ever since I was really little, bats have always been one of my favorite creatures. I always thought they were both cute and mysterious at the same time. Also the fact that they are often associated with the night, my favorite time of the day, made them all the more fascinating to me. Not wanting to wake my furry, winged friends, I looked back at the others, putting my finger to my lips in a hush before directing their attention to the sleeping night-flyers above and sneaking along quietly.

Finally, we reached the library. Looking at the many books that were covered in centuries of dust and cobwebs, I realized we were going to be here for a while.

Everypony, take a stack of books and skim through them, I thought. Look for anything relating to what Zecora mentioned. We’ll be able to get more done that way.

Rarity, Applejack, and the CMC nodded understandably as we all split up to our own separate corners. Taking a stackful of books in my arms, I settled down in a corner and got to work, skimming through pages.

Nearly a half hour had passed by and none of us seemed to have found anything. My vision started to blur from boredom as all the words and sentences I was reading bled together.

“Uh Dayvid? Ya might wanna come over here,” Applejack stated, nervously.

Snapped out of my half drowsy state, I made my way over to her along with the others.

“What is it?” I asked. “Did ya find somethin’?”

Applejack didn’t look at me but instead pointed her fore hoof at a page in the book she was reading. Looking at the page, I read the passage aloud.

“‘In centuries yet to come, a great tragedy will fall upon Equestria, casting it into a darkness nopony has ever known. When that dark hour of fear comes, a Messiah will rise up; a firstborn descendant of horn and wing, to defeat a yet unknown evil and restore Harmony to our great and beautiful land. Signed, SS.’ Who’s SS? ’N who’s this ‘descendant of horn ’n wing’, whatever tha hell that means?”

Applejack removed her hoof from the page to reveal a picture that shocked me upon viewing.

It was me. Right where Applejack’s hoof had been was a sketch of my face. There was no logical explanation for how that could be there; how I could be there. I stumbled backwards as the room began to spin.

“Ah’m… tha ‘descendant of horn ’n wing’? Ah’m supposed to be this… ‘Messiah’ for tha inhabitants of Equestria? What does ‘descendant of horn ’n wing’ even mean anyway?”

“Maybe it means descendant of a Unicorn and a Pegasus,” Sweetie Belle explained, “maybe even an Alicorn. Either way, Unicorns and Alicorns can use magic.”

“But that don’t make any sense. Sure Ah’m a firstborn, but Ah’m also jus’ a nobody from Massachusetts. Ah don’t have powers, Ah’m not a Messiah, Ah’m not a pony descendant, even ma ancestors were average Joes ’n Janes. Besides, Celestia 'n Luna were tha only Alicorns around when this prophecy was made 'n they've never even had any descendants so there’s no way that Ah could be this… this savior that tha book says Ah am.”

“This is true, but, at tha same time, if ya don’t have powers, then how’d ya explain that fireball ya shot at that Timber Wolf back there?” Apple Bloom asked.

“Ah don’t know. It was jus’ some freak accident; a mistake.”

“Well whatever it was, it seems that, until it’s proven otherwise, you’re Equestria’s only hope,” Rarity stated.

“And speaking of powers,” Scootaloo brought a large book over, “I found this ancient spellbook that you might want to use. Maybe you could learn some more magic to battle this hag if she ever shows up.”

Reluctantly, I accepted the book from her as well as picking up the book Applejack had. Looking out the window, I soon noticed how late it was getting.

“We should prob’ly start headin’ back ta Ponyville now,” I stated.

As we started heading out of the castle, we heard a fluttering noise above. Looking up, we spotted the bats flying down and out of the castle. The CMC started to scream in panic at the multitude of bats that descended on us while Applejack and Rarity tried to calm them down. I, on the other hand, stood there welcoming the oncoming barrage. It was an Awesome moment as I felt every one of these bats whirling about me in a mad frenzy. Before long, the swarm was gone as I stood there with a smile on my face.

“Aren’t bats truly Awesome creatures?” I remarked.

Author's Note:

So I tried fixing up some of the pacing issues here but I'm not sure that I did such a good job. Pacing isn't one of my strong points. Also I know that some of you are probably facepalming at the fact that my character now has powers and are probably groaning that he's just going to become an invincible OP character like Neo as the story progresses. I promise you that this isn't the case. In later chapters you'll see that he actually gets beaten by his opponents at times and that he does have limits with his powers. Anyways, leave comments below with stuff you think I should work on and I hope to see you guys on the next chapter.