• Published 14th May 2012
  • 4,504 Views, 181 Comments

A Change of Heart - ChaoticHarmony



A story about a Changeling

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Images in Fire

Chapter 10: Images in Fire

To everypony reading this, thank you so much for sticking with the story so far. It's about to get a lot more "Actiony". I know that's not a word, but whatever, I am a WRITER! I can do things like that.


Flames flickered off the horn of the changeling next to her. Bright shuddered as she felt the warm heat of it, and winced as she saw him fall down on his knees, shaking from exhaustion. After they, or rather she, ate breakfast, Needle moved the stone from behind the leaves he concealed it behind. He had been trying to open the portal for hours since then, getting more and more tired with each attempt. Desperation was shining on his eyes, which were flowing with more tears at each failure. Needle was on the verge of killing himself by exhausting his magic. It was time to stop.

As Needle worked to stand up for another attempt, Bright laid a hoof on his shoulder. “No Needle, you can’t open the portal right now. You’re just not strong enough.” She was surprised that he stayed still and let her touch him, and even more surprised at his instant hostility.

He jumped back away from her, teeth bared in a threatening snarl. “No, she will die if she stays any longer there,” he hissed through his tears, “I will not give up until I open a portal and drag her out of there, even if I die in the process.” He turned around and lit his horn once again. His knees buckled as soon as the flames started, and he fell down next to the stone, crying into the dirt. He wiped away his tears, and assumed his stance once more. Bright lifted him with a veil of blue magic, stopping his concentration, and suicidal portal opening.

The force in which he struggled against her hold astonished her. Needle should have been too exhausted to stand, but now he constantly attempted to free himself from her grip. “Let me go! I have to save her.” He said sobbing, “Cherish needs me. She needs me to save her!” Green light flashed from the changeling, blinding the unicorn. Bright was suddenly slammed bodily into a tree, pain flashing across her flank. The look on the face of the changeling in front of her was absolutely terrifying. “Do NOT get in my way.” He spat at her, venom coating his words, “You may be Cherish’s sister, but I will not hesitate to end you.” He turned back to the stone slowly.

Bright finally succumbed to the pain that gripped her body, tendrils of black creeping across her vision.

000

Looking over his shoulder, Needle saw the unicorn fall limp leaning against the tree. Not sparing much of Cherish’s time to look at her, Needle turned back to the resilient stone. It sat there, dead-black in the rays of Celestia’s sun. Stomping a hoof into the ground, Needle sank to the ground, tears flowing green onto the dirt. He wasn’t able to open the portal. He couldn’t save her. His staying with her would cause her to die. He would cause her to die.

No. This thought overwhelmed all others with its force. I will NOT give up on her. Even if there is no chance, I will KEEP TRYING! The last words of that thought were like a roar. He felt a new strength flooding through his body, wiping away fatigue and hunger. Wiping away his tears, he stood up once more, ignoring the pain that was flaring in his body, green fire flickering along his horn’s jagged edge. He prepared the portal spell again, drawing on his new strength.

Just as he was about to launch the spell, he heard a twig snap behind him. With battle reflexes kicking in, Needle whirled to see a red and orange pegasus standing over Bright. Quickly changing his spell to a killing one, Needle approached the pegasus, who was staring at him in absolute terror. Rage building at this unwary pony, Needle unleashed a lance of green flames.

When the smoke cleared, the red pegasus was gone.

000

That crazy thing tried to kill me! He killed Bright and now he wants my blood too! Phoenix sat above the monster wrapped around a tree branch. As the smoke floated to his hiding place, Phoenix’s lungs urged to betray him to the changeling. Fighting the urge to cough, Phoenix hung there, eyes watering until the thing bent down to Bright, nuzzling her and listening to her chest. It’s almost as if he’s checking if she’s alive. Phoenix shook his head slightly, No way, that monster must have killed her, and Cherish too. When that thought crossed his mind, Phoenix’s blood shot to a boil. He began to see with a red that wasn’t from his mane. The small, logical voice in his mind screamed at him that he was being a stupid, headstrong fool. Of course, as usual, he ignored it.

He flew at the changeling with a scream. Fire, red and green both, circled the clearing at they tumbled around. The green fire shot off in concentrated beams, attempting to get at Phoenix, but the changeling was obviously disoriented from both the surprise attack and Phoenix’s own flames. Phoenix himself was surprised at the flames, if not for the same reason as the changeling. They were a deeper red than usual, pulsing in time with his rapid heartbeat. They continued to toss in the dirt, evenly matched. Green flames struck red ones and exploded in blinks of blinding light. Both blinded, they stopped struggling for a moment, long enough for their vision to clear enough to see their targets. Phoenix could feel the monster’s energy falter, and he pushed his advantage. In a matter of moments, the match was decided with Phoenix’s hoof was poised to crush the skull of his opponent, which was driven face-first into the dirt.

Phoenix raised his poised hoof, screaming in rage and sorrow for Cherish. Then a streak of blue light slammed into him.

000

Bright was awakened by a shout. Grasping her surroundings, she saw two different fires dance around her. A green fire beam lanced by her head, while red fire circled around her, singing parts of her coat. She was confused and lost as she watched the two figures struggle on the ground. She watched as the ponies struggled to overpower the other, but they were evenly matched. She watched as Needle’s hooves began to shake with exhaustion. How he managed to fight after trying magic all day, she would probably never know.

Suddenly the pegasus flipped on top of Needle, pushing Needle’s face into the dirt so his horn couldn’t fire at him. Suddenly, her thoughts returned to her in a rush. Needle is our only chance to get to Cherish! She started galloping towards the two, magic building in her horn. She cast a force spell just as the pegasus raised a hoof with a shout, preparing to crush Needle’s life, and her chance of saving Cherish.

The pegasus lay on his side, groaning. Smoke curled slightly from where her spell had struck him. She stomped up to him, fury unleashed. “And what,” She started, stamping a hoof right in front of his face, “Do you think you’re DOING?” Anger coursing through her blood, she took deep breaths and found they did nothing to cool her temper. “Why would you crush my one chance to save my sister?”, she asked with a deadly soft voice.

She could barely hear his soft reply, accented with tones of his own anger. “I tried to kill him for killing you and Cherish.” He looked away from her, shame painting his face.

She leaned down to him, her tone was still dangerous. “Why were you here in the first place? This is hardly a place to go for a stroll.”

His eyes tried to further distance themselves from hers, embarrassment coating his every word. “I was following you two. You are Cherish’s sister. When I heard that she wasn’t dead, why wouldn’t I go and try to help.”

“So why didn’t you make yourself known to us before?”

“Because, my fear kept me back. I had no idea if it was really you or not. Why would anypony in their right mind journey with a changeling?”

Why indeed. The pegasus still sat there, watching her in silence as she contemplated what to do with him. It was already too late to send him away, he knew where they were going. Looks like we’ve got no choice but to let him stay along. We might need him later. She stuck out a hoof to pull the pegasus to his feet, being none too gentle with him.

Wincing, he muttered “Thanks” and started to limp away from her.

She instantly smacked a hoof into his flank. “Where did you learn to talk to ponies? What’s your name?” He growled out his name, and she recoiled in shock. “You’re that pony that sets fire to everything?” When he shook his head violently, she put on a less accusing tone and said, sticking out a hoof as she did, “My name is Bright Light, I’m Cherish’s sister, as you already know.”

Taking her hoof with his own, Phoenix Wings shook it once.