• Published 3rd Feb 2015
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Sleep - Dark Avenger

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Cosmic Wall

"Think you could tell me a story about the moon?" the filly said. She swung her legs idly under the bench.

"Of course, my dear," Luna said. "What would you like to know?"

"Why are there so many holes in it?"

The princess chuckled. "Those are craters."

Ali nodded. "Yeah, those. Where'd they come from?"

"Well, you see..." Luna turned her gaze up to the night sky. "There's lots of rocks in space. Sometimes, a few of them try to fall on our heads. But most of the time, the moon acts like a shield..." She trailed off and shook her head with a smile. "No... a noble guardian who protects our world from these big rocks."

"Wow, really?" The filly grinned.

Luna nodded. "Mmhmm. The moon took many many blows for all of us. That's why we can sleep safe at night."

Giggling, Ali turned her gaze upwards as well. "That's so amazing. Hmm..." She pouted. "And all I ever heard was that old ponies' tale."

The princess did not reply for a while. "I see," she whispered.

"Do you think any of it is true?" The filly looked back at her friend again. She frowned upon noticing Luna's somber expression. "I mean, if the moon was so good to us, how could 'The Mare on the Moon' be any different?"

The alicorn looked up again, eyes focusing on one of the smaller craters, which was barely noticeable among the giant ones around it. She stared at it for a while and gave a deep sigh.

"Well, at one point, things got a little... complicated..."



A bright beam of silver light slashed across the column, slicing it in two. The heavy stones broke apart and crashed to the ground with a thunderous roar. A cloud of dust and smoke erupted from the blast, swirling when a being with large white wings sailed through it. They moved frantically to propel the alicorn through the chamber. Sweat drenched her coat from the effort, her lungs burned, and her heart pounded in her chest. She glanced behind her back and gasped, diving quickly to avoid another beam, which struck the far wall and made it collapse. Once near the ground, she lit her horn and used a burst of magic to bounce back into the air, just in time to dodge the next shot.

"Very impressive, Celestia," a menacing voice boomed over the roar of the falling debris. It echoed throughout the chamber, sending a chill down the princess' spine. "But do you intend to keep dancing all night?"

Celestia came to a halt in mid-air and wheeled around to meet the gaze of her pursuer. Her body shook from the exertion, and several parts of her coat were burned or covered in dust. She winced as the dark figure cackled wildly and emerged from a cloud of smoke. Tears formed in the white alicorn's eyes from the sight of her corrupted sibling.

"I beg of you, sister..." she replied. Her voice shook slightly. "Cease this at once. This isn't—"

She gasped again and dove out of the way, another beam slicing through the air mere inches from her face. More shots followed in quick succession, barely giving her time to dodge. A hit to the ceiling created a blast that stunned her, allowing the next beam to strike directly, which sent her flying across the chamber. She cried out in pain, and her aura of magic formed up just in time to shield her as she blasted through the wall.

The Nightmare cackled and flapped her wings to follow close behind. Her horn glowed, sending volley after volley of destructive energy against the wounded alicorn.

"Beg? You don't know what it's like to beg!" she roared. "You never had to beg for anything!"

Celestia quickly dove to the side, the beams shrieking past her and slamming into the forest. The trees in their path were either ripped apart or set ablaze. She flew low, taking cover between the buildings around the castle to avoid the next wave. One by one, the structures made of heavy stones crumbled from the attacks.

"But perhaps you can learn tonight. You will beg with all your strength for everything I'm about to take away from you!"

The barrage gave a short pause, and the glow of the Nighmare's horn intensified. Moments later, she leveled her horn with the princess and released a giant beam of energy. A large explosion shook the earth, obliterating most of the remaining buildings. What little was left barely stood on its supports, the proud bastions reduced to hollow skeletons.

Once the smoke cleared away, a white figure wrapped in a golden aura came into view at the center of the explosion. Celestia sucked in the air through gritted teeth, eyes twitching as she struggled to pour her magic into her shield. Her ears twitched, and her eyes widened when she picked up on screams coming from the distance. Glancing behind her back, she noticed a group of ponies climbing out of one of the ruined structures. They frantically tumbled out from among the collapsed walls, only a few of them daring to look up at the combatants, while the rest ran for their lives.

Taking a deep breath, the alicorn turned back to her opponent. The Nightmare raised an eyebrow as Celestia's aura faded away, while her horn shone even more brightly. Moments later, a golden beam shot out from it, heading straight for the dark creature. She raised a shield of her own, but the beam did not strike against it. Instead, both ponies were wrapped in a golden aura and disappeared in a bright flash. The Nightmare blinked away at spots in her vision, and her limbs moved around as she felt a sudden change in the air around her body.

"Oh? Taking our little game someplace safe?" She laughed again as she took in her surroundings, finding herself and her opponent drifting in high orbit. "Want to keep your precious subjects out of harm's way? Hmmm..." Her lips curled into a wicked grin, exposing her fangs. "So be it. I'll just tear you apart first."

They exchanged spells for a while, lighting up the dark void of space. The Nightmare fired countless destructive bolts, while Celestia just kept blocking them with her shield. At times, she would advance on her opponent, forcing her back and making sure they both stayed away from the planet.

"Can you feel it, Celestia?" the Nightmare hissed. "Can you feel the agony crushing every inch of you? Can you feel the darkness closing in?"

The princess groaned, agony and fatigue clearly written on her face. Her aura faded more and more, and some of the Nightmare's beams managed to break through it, singing her coat and tossing her great distances.

"This is the fate that awaits them all... and there is nothing you can do to stop it."

Throughout the whole ordeal, Celestia never said a word. She took every blow one by one, at times looking like she flew into their path deliberately. Even the Nightmare hesitated in her attacks after a while, her smile fading as she watched her opponent. There was no sign of a counterattack, merely the same effort to keep them away from the planet.

"Feeling remorse, aren't you?" the Nightmare growled. A slight tremor entered her voice. She then gave a sigh of pleasure and nodded her head at the surface below. Great fires could be seen raging all over the continent, billowing smoke that engulfed what the blaze had not touched yet. "Ah, just listen to their cries. The suffering they got, you deserve a hundredfold!"

She fired another volley of beams. No shield was raised to block them. Each impact knocked the princess back several miles, and she cried out in pain as her skin burned. Her eyes shut tightly, and she coughed up a small amount of blood.

"Why won't you fight back?" the dark being whispered to herself, pausing in her attacks again. "Why are you... letting me hurt you?"

"Hmm... but I must admit," she went on aloud. "The delicious screams they gave? They almost made up for what I had to endure." She gave a low chuckle. "Mmmm... I loved every second of it."

Celestia gasped, her eyes widening.

"ENOUGH!"

For the first time, the Nightmare was taken aback, the roar of her opponent shaking her to the bones. A blinding flash of light burst from where Celestia stood moments before, and a fiery being took her place, eyes burning with anger. Before the Nightmare could react, it lunged forward, lashing out with waves of fire akin to solar flares. They both burned and struck with the force of a giant blade, landing a series of powerful blows on the dark mare, knocking her back.

The burning figure did not relent and aimed her horn at the Nightmare, releasing a monstrous stream of fire. It collided with the dark alicorn, making her scream in pain. The stream pushed her with tremendous force, straight toward the moon floating in the distance. Within moments, she crashed against the gray surface and disappeared in a large cloud of dust.

Celestia followed close behind, landing next to the point of impact. She took a deep breath, and the flames embracing her body calmed down somewhat, revealing her new figure. Bright golden armor adorned her body, emitting an aura of wavering light, not unlike the corona of the sun. Orange flames bled from her eyes as she watched her opponent, who lay sprawled out at the center of the crater.

The Nightmare stirred and coughed a few times, hooves trembling a bit as she got back up. Glancing to her side, her eyes narrowed as she met the gaze of her sister. Great anger radiated from the white mare, and the sun behind her wavered, glowing brighter as if responding to her mood.

"So you do possess a fire beneath that cold shell," the Nightmare growled. "Hmph... Pity that it won't help."

She turned to face her opponent and stood tall, wings spread. A silvery glow appeared in the dust around her hooves. It wavered in sync with the light of the sun, matching the brightness of the fiery orb.

"The sun may be powerful," she went on, "but that only gives the moon more light to shine!"

The glow spread to the armor on her body, and she lowered her horn, releasing a bright stream of energy. It rushed toward Celestia, carving a deep trench into the lunar surface along the way. In response, the princess unleashed another torrent of fire. The streams collided halfway between them, the blast kicking up tons of dust continuously.

"Cease this, Luna!" the white mare boomed. "It will lead to nothing but pain and destruction! I know that's not what you want!"

They circled around, both straining against the pressure they mounted on each other, while the streams tore up more and more of the moon's surface. Eventually, the Nightmare held fire and kicked off from the surface, blasting at her opponent from above. Celestia followed suit, and the two hurtled through the void once more, exchanging deadly attacks.

"You know nothing!" the Nightmare screamed back. "I'll never live in your shadow again!"

She took back the initiative, forcing her opponent to retreat across great distances to avoid her attacks. Entire mountains were torn out of the moon to be used as large rocks to crush the white alicorn. In response, Celestia no longer held back. She lashed out with powerful solar flares, pounding and scorching whatever they touched. She made every effort to subdue her sister, or at least keep her away from the ponies below.

But that was no longer the Nightmare's plan.

"It's time we traded roles," she said.

Anger gave way to shock on Celestia's face when she noticed her surroundings. The brawl guided them into the shadow of the planet, with only the moon reflecting the light of the sun in their direction. The Nightmare's armor glowed even brighter, while the aura of her sister faded.

"I can step into the light..." She cackled wildly. "And you shall live in darkness!"

The dark mare did not even bother with magic this time. Before Celestia could react, the Nightmare barreled straight into her, making them both plummet toward the surface. Celestia cried out in pain and struggled helplessly, unable to break out of her sister's deadly embrace. Within seconds, they tore through the upper atmosphere, strong winds ripping at their bodies from the great speed of their descent.

Just before the moment of impact, the Nightmare let go of the princess and spread her wings, halting herself in mid-air. She watched Celestia flail her limbs, her horn vomiting sparks as she tried to summon enough energy for a spell to save herself. A heartbeat later, a thunderous boom rang out as the white figure slammed into the ground.

The Nightmare gave a low chuckle as she descended near the newly-formed crater. Her eyes bathed in the sight of her sister, who lay motionless at the center, her armor cracked and broken all over, and her aura all but gone. As the glow disappeared, the burn marks on her coat came into view once more.

Chuckling again, the Nightmare's horn lit up, and a cage made of silvery metal formed over the Celestia's broken body.

"You shall be my prisoner for all time," she said. "My personal trophy to remember my victory. And best of all..." She grinned widely. "My source of amusement."

The ravaged armor disappeared in a bright flash, replaced by a jester's outfit. Celestia blinked, and the bells on the fabric rang as she squirmed, trying to get a look at herself.

"A fool you were, Celestia." The plains were replaced by the interior of a large castle. The Nightmare sat down on her throne and waved for her servants to prepare dinner, while her magic lifted the cage and placed it beside her. "And now my personal fool you shall be. On display for everypony to laugh at while they bow before my might and—"


"Whaaat?" Ali pouted. "No way, that's not how it happened."

Luna giggled a little. "All right, all right... I suppose I did exaggerate some of the details."

The filly huffed and crossed her arms. "Geez, I never knew princesses could be so silly."

"To be honest, I was hoping you'd have fallen asleep by now."

Ali stuck out her tongue at the princess. The mare chuckled again and gently pulled the child into a hug. Sighing deeply, she then glanced up at the sky, her eyes tracing along the edges of the same small crater on the moon.

"It's not easy talking about this, you know..."

"Why not?" the filly asked.

"Hm... I don't know." Luna shook her head and smiled, turning back to her new friend. "After all... it's just an old ponies' tale, right?"

Author's Note:

Yes, this chapter is named after that level in Sonic Adventure 2, although I'd prefer to say it's only a reference to the title and the background music. The level itself is... forgettable...

Usually I'm against blatant "epic epicness", but after all the melancholia and whatnot I've been making lately, I figured "why not have some fun and do a space battle?"

Believe me, no matter how cliche it may look, it's still a hell of a lot more pleasant than what I originally planned as a conclusion...

Comments ( 3 )

That was awesome! But is this story complete now? That's too bad :pinkiesad2: It's been cool.

Also, wasn't this your inspiration, instead of Sanic?

6243934

GOTTA GO FAST

Yeah, it's the Gru song that inspired the "space battle zomg!11!" parts, but the title is definitely taken from that level in SA2, or to be more specific, the theme of said level. No connection beyond that, it's just me liking the song and thinking the title fits.

Did I favorite this already? Darn it, I already did. Liked it too. Blasted one vote per person rule :rainbowwild:

Love this version of NMM and her battle with Celestia.

it's still a hell of a lot more pleasant than what I originally planned as a conclusion...

Alternate ending? NMM using those perfect fangs on terrified townsfolk? Yes? :pinkiehappy:

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