• Published 5th Nov 2014
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Starcrossed - The Drunken Sailor



Flash, a young poor stallion makes a decision that will change both his life and the life of Princess Celestia's favoured student: Twilight Sparkle

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Chapter 4- Breakthrough

Chapter 4- Breakthrough

Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.

The sound repeated like an impetuous metronome, over and over at the same constant rhythm. Every now and then it would be punctuated by a shout or an exasperated grunt. Thus passed the next half hour as Twilight watched the stubborn pegasus stallion that she had met that morning repeatedly pound against the walls of their crystalline prison.
Twilight was trying to remember if she had seen the pony before. He looked somewhat familiar, but then again she had seen at least a few dozen guards over the last two days of her stay. Guards were already a relatively common sight in Canterlot's royal district, but the streets had been crawling with them since the threat of attack. She could have seen this stallion at any point and mistaken him for just another soldier.

Not that it would affect her opinion of the dumb brute much given their less than pleasant introduction earlier. Well, maybe even the term brute was a bit too generous given how light framed this stallion seemed for a guard. He'd have fit in more as a racer or acrobat in Twilight's opinion. Maybe he was just a courier for the military.

Perhaps it had just been the circumstances they met in, but Twilight sincerely disliked this stallion from all she knew about him. He was rude, clumsy, and incompetent. The only concession she had to make was that, from a purely empirical point of view looking at the facts, he was a rather attractive young stallion. Even then, it took more to soften Twilight up than simply a strong jaw and broad shoulders. She'd been around enough guards in her lifetime to get a feel for the patterns.

Twilight's experience with military ponies began literally at birth. Her father Nightlight was a decorated officer in the Royal Guard. He even was officially recognized as a member of the knightly order, The Knights of the Two. Being selected to become a paladin was an honor few soldiers had ever claimed, and yet her father and brother both had been honored with the titles due to their valor in combat.

However, her father and brother were both officers, men of exceptional character, intellect, and bravery. She learned from when she was young that was not always the case. Most of the stallions who made up the guard were just dense thugs who lacked a single brain cell among a whole cohort. Once she had been begrudgingly set up on a blind date with a fellow guardspony by her brother. All he did the entire date was brag about his former hoofball prowess and try to awkwardly hit on Twilight with lines like, "You're the hottest filly in this place!" Needless to say there wasn't a second date.

She turned her attention back to the fool pounding into the wall. "You know that isn't going to do anything."

The male pegasus just kept heaving himself at the wall. "I. Don't. Care," he answered, punctuating each word with another vain attempt to tackle the wall.

Twilight rolled her eyes. "All I'm saying is that's solid Purple Crystallite. This stuff doesn't budge. Why do you think they built the castle over it?" she pointed out.

"I said I don't care," Flash grunted through gritted teeth.

Twilight got up from her seated position, becoming more and more frustrated with this stallion's stubbornness. "Hey! I'm trying to talk to you. You're not doing any-"

Flash spun around, fury plain as day on his face. "Would you just shut up already? I mean Celestia almighty! You're the whole reason I'm in this mess!"

Twilight's tone suddenly matched his in both anger and volume. "What? How am I the reason you're in this mess?"

Flash's eyes narrowed. "If it weren't for you running into me this morning, I'd have just made my rounds and come on back to the mess hall and had a nice big bowl of oats waiting for me. But, no. Instead I got caught up in your mess."

Twilight raised her voice, quickly losing her cool. "Oh, yeah? Well then why did you stay? When I went inside the cathedral, you could've easily left like the others. So why didn't you?"

Flash grunted in frustration, shaking his head. "I don't know... maybe... maybe I just felt a little sorry for you," Flash said. He genuinely had felt for the lavender unicorn. It wasn't too long ago he had been abandoned with no resources, no friends, and most painful of all, no Swift.

However, in the heat of the moment, Twilight must have mistook the empathy for snark. "Sorry for me? I beg your pardon? I don't need any pity."

Flash scowled "Fine then, don't accept kindness when it's given. Let's see how far that gets you in life." The Pegasus resumed his relentless assault on the wall.

Twilight glared at the Stallions back for a few minutes before letting out a sigh. She was being unfair she admitted to herself, her and this Guard were stuck down here together and there was no point in giving him a hard time because of her mistakes and her problems.

"Look." Twilight said a bit grumpily "I'm sorry, okay?"

Flash paused in his wall assault and looked back at the lavender mare, to be honest he was quite surprised by the apology. He awkwardly rubbed the back of his head.. Well... Helmet.

"Yeah, well, I suppose I'm sorry too." He said "It's not really your fault I got stuck down here."

Twilight nodded, a scowl coming back to her face "Your right, it's the fault of 'Princess Mi Amore Cadenza'" she said in an angry fake-snooty tone.

"Yeah, do you know exactly what in Tartarus happened up there? I don't recall hearing that Princess Cadence had turned into a psychopath." Flash said.

Guiltily surprised that the Stallion even knew what a psychopath was, Twilight answered "I don't know, she was so kind when I was young... I don't know what happened to her." Twilight looked up with determined look in her eye "But I know she has to be stopped."

Flash had to admit, the mare had spirit and he couldn't help but respect that. "Well we can't do that while we're stuck down here." He turned back to the wall and was about to smash into it again when the mare spoke up again.

"Don't waste your energy, we should think of a different way."

Flash sighed and removed his helmet, letting it clank to the ground "Your right" he said, turned back to face the lavender mare and sat down.

This was the first time Twilight had seen the Stallions features in full light, and she was a but embarrassed to admit that she was a but taken. With a strong jawline and equal features, the features gave a sense of both sophistication and ruggedness.

"What's your name?" Twilight suddenly asked, startling the Pegasus.

"Flash Sentry." He said "You?"

"Twilight Sparkle."

Flash cracked his first smile "Pleasure to meet you, Twilight Sparkle."

Twilight's breath caught in her throat, but she managed to return the smile "And you as well." She said, Flash's grin widened and bit before he said.

"Now if you'll excuse me I have a wall to break down."

Twilight's eyes widened "But I told you, you can't-" she was interrupted by Flash Sentry running and tackling the wall once more, his armour clanging against the crystalline and echoing through the caves.

"-Break through it." Twilight finished as Flash bounced off, he went to tackle the wall again when Twilight shouted "Wait!"

Flash looked at her "Look I know it's pointless but unless you have a better idea.."

"But I do!" Twilight exclaimed, jumping up and brushing past Flash. She placed her ear to the purple crystal that the Pegasus had been smacking against and placed her ear to it. She began tapping her hood against the wall and listening carefully.

"What are you doing?" Flash asked, but Twilight only waved her hoof frantically at him.

"Hush!" She commanded and Flash shut up, too curious to question her motives.

After a minute of tapping and listening Twilight sprang back from the wall "It's hallow!" She proclaimed.

"Hallow?" Flash asked.

"Yes! Stand back!" They both stood away from the wall and Twilight charged her horn, purple energies gathered and manifested at the tip of the artifice, a bolt of magical energy struck the Crystal and sparked across it's surface, cracks followed in their wake and the wall crumbled down into dust.

On the other-side seemed to be a long hall that lead far past their vision. But what got their attention was the bedraggled and ruffled mare that lay on the ground. It was Princess Cadence.

Twilight, her horn still sparking from magical outflow, contorted her face in rage and ran full-pelt at Cadence. Who only had time to recognize Twilight and say "Wait, it's-" before she was tackled by one-hundred and twenty-three pounds of lavender fury. Twilight overshot it though and rolled off of Cadence, who in turn jumped to her hoof's

"Twilight! It's me! Cadence! The one up there is a fake!" She pleaded.

"Like I would fall for that!" Twilight scoffed, charging her horn for a deadly spell but hesitated when Cadence began to hop oddly on her hooves, as if dancing.

"Sunshine, sunshine." She chanted, hopping. Then she leaned down and covered her eyes with her hooves as if cowering.

"Ladybugs awake." She sang, uncovering her eyes, then sat up again.

"Clap your hooves." Cadence clapped her hooves against Twilights, who's horn lay dormant now.

"And do a little shake." She said in conclusion, shaking her rump in Twilights direction.

Flash was more than a little confused at the display but it seemed to have an effect on Twilight as her anger dissipated and she ran over and embraced the Princess.

"Cadence.." She said, squeezing her.

"It's good to see you too Twilight." Cadence said, returning the hug. They split apart and Twilight immediately began talking.

"But if your down here, who's up there about to marry my brother!?" She said.

"There's no time to explain, we have to get up there and stop her!" Cadence started galloping down the hall "Come on!" Twilight and Flash exchanged one look before sprinting after her.

~~*~~

The trio burst through the doors to the wedding hall, the fake Cadence and Captain shining Armour stood at the altar where Celestia stood. Cadence trotted right up and pointed at her double-ganger.

"She's a fake!" Cadence declared "A Changeling!" The crowd burst into chatter an shouts of surprise as the fake Cadence convulsed, a ring of green fire surrounded her and encompassed her entirely, the fire grew before dissipating and revealing a completely different creature.

This one was tall, as large as Princess Celestia, and coal black in colour. Her hooves and body appeared to have holes running through them as well as her jagged horn. Her wings appeared to be insect in nature.

Cadence took a step forward but the insect laughed mockingly

"Ah, ah, ah." She said "Don't want to go back to the caves, now do you? Ever since I took your place, I've been feeding off Shining Armor's love for you. Every moment he grows weaker and so does his spell. Even now my minions are chipping away at it."

"Soon, my changeling army will break through. First, we take Canterlot. And then, all of Equestria!"

Flash was wondering where he had gone in life, honestly, why was he stuck in the middle of an invasion? He could have been sleeping in the barracks right now. Luckily he was spared from making any actions by Princess Celestia stepping forward.

"No. You won't. You may have made it impossible for Shining Armor to perform his spell, but now that you have so foolishly revealed your true self." Celestia lunged forward and locked horns with the Bug Queen "I can protect my subjects from you!" Celestia flared her wings and took to the air, manifesting her magic as she did so, golden energies swirled around her and the sunlight streaming through the various windows appeared to intensify.

Celestia shot a beam of energy at her foe and the Bug Queen met with her own sickly green beam, the two energy blasts met and seemed to struggle for dominance before Celestia's beams was push back and everyone was bolden by a flash of light.

As the light faded, one could here a pin drop as Celestia slumped to the ground, her tiara clanking to the ground. No one moved for a fraction of a second before the screaming started, the hall quickly fell into a panic as everypony rushed out of the hall. Flash lost sight of Twilight in a sea of Ponies, in seconds the hall was empty of civilians.

Meanwhile the insect was chuckling menacingly "It appears the power of Shining Amour's love was greater than I thought."

Before Flash could stop her Twilight had galloped to Celestia's side along with the six bridesmaids-the six mares from before.

They spoke briefly-Flash let out a breath to see that the Princess wasn't dead-before the bridesmaids threw off their dresses-Flash felt his face heat up-and approach the exit.

"Come on Flash." Twilight said. One of the remaining guards tossed a sword and sheath to Flash who nodded his thanks, they left the Guardsponies with the Insect, their spears lowered and slowly advancing on the laughing Queen.

Flash strapped the weapon to his side and ran with the six mares down the Main Street of Canterlot, above them the purple sheer that Shining Armour had conjured up was cracking and shaking, hundreds of small black insects, similar to their Queen, poured through the holes and descended upon them.

They were soon surrounded by the insect horde, all of them hissing, clicking, and leering at them. Flash took his sword in his mouth and stepped forward, blocking Twilight, he may have just met her but it was his duty as a Royal Guard to protect the innocent. And he knew know that she definitely qualified.

The situation got a bit more complicated as one by one the Changeling's were enveloped by green light before transforming into copies of of the six mare's and Flash. Barely a second passed before the insects attacked.

Flash lost sight of the five bridesmaids but managed to stay by Twilight, she herself kept a rapid-fire blast of purple beams slamming into the Changelings. Flash held them off her back , slicing through their brittle chitin shells and making them bleed a green ooze. Wave after wave came sporting all sorts of faces. A fellow guard, Shining Armour, Twilight, that rainbow mare, Princess Celestia, Swift Hoof smiling at him and beckoning him closer...

Wait, what?

Flash pushed a Changeling off of him and stared through a gap in the horde, Swift Hoof was there, alive and well, smiling at Flash and beckoning to him. Flash couldn't think, somewhere in the back of his mind a small voice screamed at him for believing such an obvious ruse but it was drowned by the sheer joy he felt at seeing his brother.

The sword dropped to the ground with a loud clank, Twilight looked behind her and saw that Flash was looking at something with an intense look. Her unasked questioned was answered when he suddenly yelled "Brother!" And took off into the horde.

Twilights calls fell on deaf ears, Flash pushed the Changelings out of his way to reach Swift but soon lost sight of him. Frantically he looked around for his brother but stopped when a sharp pain exploded in his back.

Flash slowly looked down and saw a wickedly curved black horn jutting out of his chest, blood leaked from the hole as the spike was pulled out. The last thing Flash Sentry saw was Swift Hoof standing there and transforming into a laughing Changeling, a mare screamed his name and he blacked out.

Author's Note:

And thus, my work begins.

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