• Published 26th Feb 2015
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[Archived] Scales and Carapaces - ProjectZerro



During Spike's travels throughout Equestria, he comes across a certain starving changling queen. Against his better judgement he decides to help her, this one act of kindness will put in motion a tale of loss and gain.

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Chapter 5: Nightmares/Spike's Strength

Spike walked down the trail unable to look down. Whenever he did he was met with a lethal glare. “…so…do you want to know why I have to go back?” Spike coughed trying to find a way to ease into saying sorry.

“That would make sense would it not?” Chrysalis’s voice was sharp. Spike visibly flinched and sighed.

“W-well I was expecting to be back home in a few days…since its-“

“I’m sorry for holding you up then.” Chrysalis cut in making Spike shiver. “I should have asked you if you were busy first.”

“Come on Chrysalis that isn’t fair. I know you’re mad because you broke down again, but you can’t keep-“

“What’s it like?”

Spike blinked and looked down at Chrysalis meeting her eyes, “Ponyville?” She nodded, “Well…it’s a town. A little piece of living next to a dangerous forest that’s actually pretty tame in hindsight…”

“What is the forest called?” She turn back around as Spike began to speak.

“The Everfree, it’s full to the brim with really dangerous creatures and ruins. For all I know nopony has actually explored the entire forest, but I do know a friend who lives there though…” Spike started thinking about the ever rhyming Zecora. How her potions and such saved the day a few times and how kind and knowledgeable she always was. “She’s actually one of the ponies, or zebras in her case, which helped me figure out more about dragons before Altos.”

“What is in the town?” She teased her now teal mane, enjoying to feeling of Spike’s happiness pouring from his memories. She wasn’t feeding this time however, she thought it was a waste, but wanted to listen, also…it would be kind of rude.

“Oh there’s lots of stuff, Sugar Cube Corner, the Sweet Apple Acres, Carousel Boutique, Cherilie’s school. There’s even an orphanage pretty close by to the town. We have a really big marketplace, a hospital, a movie theater, a spa, a café…” Spike suddenly quieted down, a lump building in his throat, “We had a library…”

Chrysalis blinked when a sudden stream of sadness poured out from behind her, she quickly turned around and looked at Spike. “Sir Spike?”

“…the library…our library, our home…was destroyed years ago, I know it seems silly to be sad about it even though it happened so…so long ago…but…it was a home I loved…the home we shared, so many memories…gone with the blink of an eye…but…whenever I think about it…”

Chrysalis shivered as a powerful feeling of happiness over took the sadness. Spike was now bursting with love.

“We made new memories, we had a new home, and soon we met new ponies, the ones that were sent by Celestia to help us take care of the castle. It took months to figure out the layout and what each room would be, but we figured that out. It was hard figuring out how to feed everyone and pay them for their service, but we solved it together. Twilight and the others were always on top of every crisis, no matter how small.” Spike raised his head up and let his dragon wings flare out at his sides, showing off just how big they were. “It was a long time before I was able to be any use, but when I grew up, it stopped being Twilight and friends, and instead it became Twilight, her dragon assistant and the elements of harmony.”

A hot tear rolled off his cheek and a proud smile built on his face. “I helped…I was there to help them at last. I saved RD from a jagged edge by jumping after her and taking the blow, everyone freaked out by I wasn’t so much as scratched. Applejack and I teamed up to stop a tribe of Diamond Dogs from taking over a mining town while the others tried to settle things peacefully. When Pinkie and Fluttershy were chased by a rouge dragon, I put my dragon magic to the test and out grew it to keep them safe. I can’t even count the times I’ve help Twilight or Rarity…”

Chrysalis didn’t notice she was staring at Spike as he spoke, she was trapped by his powerful emotions for his friends, his town…his home. “And now I’m helping you.” Chrysalis snapped herself from her daze and saw Spike looking her in the eyes, a red haze built on her face, “So please…tell me if it gets too hard…”

Spike smiled and Chrysalis sighed, but returned his smile, “You are a very strange drake, unnatural to a fault.”

“I try.” Spike chuckled.

“…that is a good quality to have for one so young…” Chrysalis finished loud enough for Spike to hear.” She place a hand on his claw getting a blush out of the drake. “Keep that part of you…no matter what.”

Spike blinked and smiled, “Be careful what you wish for.”


The sun began to set over Everfree, and ponies everywhere were either chatting wrapping up their work day or heading home. Twilight was relaxing at Sugarcube Corner, she had finally put on some more casual clothes, a purple jacket and dark blue skirt. She never had a problem going out in public, besides the odd tourist, so she just went were she pleased at times without trouble. She would much rather be at the castle but Blue had told her to take a few days off.

“Yo Twi! Equestria to Sparkle!”

“Huh!? What?” Twilight looked up and saw the owner of the rather tomboyish shout. A cyan colored pegasus with a rainbow mane and tail to match had walked up next to her and was raising an eyebrow at her. She wore an open crop jacket with the sleeves rolled up to her elbows, a dark blue sports bra and jean shorts. “Oh, hi Rainbow, sorry I kind of zoned out there for a bit.”

“I noticed, so what’s up? I heard from Rares that you got kicked out of the castle?” She took a seat across from Twilight and leaned on the table, “What up with that?”

“I kind had a really bad nightmare about Spike…and then I tried to keep myself busy so I couldn’t sleep…then Blue got mad…”

“Once an Egghead always an Egghead.” She sighed and leaned back in her chair, “So you too huh?”

Twilight’s ears twitched and her attention was drawn to Rainbow Dash, “You had a nightmare as well?”

“Well yeah.” RD said with a wave of her hand, “But it was nothing big, just some random dream about Spike learning how to fly from me…and then flying off without a word…” She began to sink into the chair she sat in, “It bummed me out for the whole day…”

A gust of wind fit Twilight and RD hard as a pink fluff ball of energy ran over, wearing a crop shirt over a long sleeve shirt and tight jeans. “OMGITOTALLYHADADREAMLIKETHATWITHSPIKETOO!”

Twilight tried to pick at the ringing in her ears, “Pinkie tone it down and slow it down please.”

Pinkie shook her head, “Oh you silly I said I had a dream like that about Spike too! I came over to the castle to ask him if he wanted to come partying with me but…” She suddenly got uncharacteristically quiet, “He started yelling at me, saying I was loud and didn’t take anypony seriously, and he said he was sick of me and wanted me to shut up forever…then he tried to attack me…”

Twilight and Rainbow looked at each other, “BUT!” Twilight picked at her ear again, “I know Spikey would NEVER do that to me, or any of us! And Spike loves my parties, he’d never say no.” She crossed her arms in pride and Rainbow laughed a bit.

“We really do miss Spike huh?” Twilight said with a smile and Rainbow and Pinkie nodded, “When he gets back all of this is will be something we can just laugh about…” And a sudden glaze took her eyes, “Right?”

Rainbow shot a hand out and grabbed Twilight’s, causing her to look up at her and Pinkie, “You bet you Twi.”

The gleam returned to her eyes and she smiled, “Thanks girls, it’s just been really hard…I’ve always had him with me…I’ll never get used to it.” Pinkie poked Twilight and motioned for her to scoot over, Twilight moved one chair over and Pinkie sat down and hugged her.

“We miss him too, he’s a big part of our merry band of freedom fighters!” Pinkie shout with a fist raised high.

“Freedom fighters? Of what exactly?” Rainbow asked even though she thought the idea was pretty cool.

“Duh, for cake and sweets! And for Spike’s special pancakes!” Rainbow and Twilight laughed aloud, getting a confused look from Pinkie.

“I can…get behind that movement.” Twilight said between laughs. Rainbow nodded in agreement as Pinkie just shrugged and giggled with her friends.


Spike and Chrysalis were continuing down the path that lead to Ponyville, they were a few days away but Spike said if they kept up their speed of travel they should arrive in about three days, which was perfect timing.

As to why was what Chrysalis had been pestering Spike about for the last hour. “Why won’t you tell me? You said it wasn’t anything dangerous so what’s so important that I can’t know!?”

“I’m telling you it’s nothing to worry about until the day arrives, you’ll know when we get there.” Spike continued to push the wheelchair, they had made some good time considering for how long they stood and talked.

“I wish to know now! Insolent reptile when I am back to full strength I will make you pay for having me in the dark like this!” Chrysalis spit out with faux anger, she didn’t mind secrets she was just curious.

“I’m so frightened I might just die right now.” Spike spat back with sarcasm already knowing what was coming next.

“I will hold off on your punishment so that you can take me to your home, I do need you around after all, so don’t die…ever.” Chrysalis joked back with a sliver of seriousness in her voice.

“Ma’am yes ma’am.” Spike saluted and continued pushing her. Spike came to a halt and looked around quickly.

“Sir Spike?” Was that the first? “What’s wrong? What’s going on?” Chrysalis watched him scan the trees.

A flash of red flew out from the trees and Chrysalis flinched as it went past her, and landed on Spike’s shoulder. She looked up and her eyes bulged, “A-a ph-phoe-phoenix…why is there a phoenix on your shoulder?” She was sure she was in shock.

“This is the little friend I told you about, his name is Peewee and he’s been my second eyes ever since I started my training, and it looks like somepony wants to steal from two unsuspecting travelers.” As if on command, once Spike stopped talking the phoenix Peewee screeched and four figures came out of the trees.

The four figures stepped into the sunlight and showed themselves to be four nicely sized diamond dogs, each with muscles sprouting around their bodies. “Give us your bag and the girl and you can go lizard.”

Chrysalis was about to whisper to Spike so that they could come up with a plan but behind her was only Spike’s bag and Peewee standing on it. She quickly tuned back around and two of the four dogs were on the ground out cold, and Spike was standing in a fighting stance she had never seen before.

“I haven’t had a work out in days. Thanks for this guys.” A happy and innocent smile on his face as he looked up at the two standing dogs. He had his claws up to about temple level, his feet slightly wider than his own shoulder width apart and back slightly hunched. His left foot was out forward a bit along with his left claw. Chrysalis was just as dumbfounded as the dogs, but she was stuck wondering what happened to the dogs on the ground.

“Well you gonna stand around or run?” Spike’s voice was fueled with a confidence you don’t pick up overnight. The large dog growled and rushed at Spike and threw its fist at him viciously. Spike moved a single step to the side and the dog missed completely, Spike changed his stance in a second and raised his arms up in front of his face creating a box-like shape. Then delivered several crushing punches into the dog’s chest and stomach, effectively lifting it off the ground. Spike jumped back a few steps just before the dog fell to the ground out cold and reformed the box in front of his face, but unlike before he was bouncing slightly back and forth.

The third dog stood in horror as Spike smiled at it with a pleasant look on its face, it growled lowly and pulled out a large jagged knife from belt and charged at Spike. Spike stopped bouncing and raised his claw to his muzzle and a blue light crackled from his mouth, he said something in a low voice and in a flash charged at the dog with such speed one could mistake it for magic. Everything calmed down when Spike took his hand from the dog’s chest, a burn mark appeared when Spike removed his clawed fist. He turned and walked back to Chrysalis, the dog falling on the ground with a thud soon after.

“How did-? What did you-? What was-!? My head’s beginning to hurt…” Chrysalis held her head and sunk into the wheelchair. She was happy that the fight was over but she was undeniably happy Spike was unharmed. That let her have the time to replay the scene again and again in her head. “What in Faust’s great world was that!?”

Spike was stretching his arms and back and bit, “Some martial arts I learned from Shining Armor.”

Chrysalis’s mood sunk at the mention of the one who defeated her with what she considers food.

“Calm down, anyway, I came to Shining one day and asked him to rain me as hard as he could so I could how to fight. He happily accepted.” Spike shivered at the memory of the painful training he went though, stepped up from what was normal because he was a dragon. “And even after completing the more advanced training he still wiped the floor with me…”

“What kind of martial arts? I’m familiar with a few, but the two you used have me baffled.”

“Oh I was using Muay Thai and some basic boxing, oh Muay Thai is kickboxing by the way.” Spike said as Peewee, noticing the lighter weight of the bag, lifted it up and flapped near Spike.

“And that last move?” Chrysalis looked at Spike’s clawed hand, she could still feel a trace of powerful magic coming from it.

“A technique I learned from Altos, dragon stuff, it’s complicated. Anyway we gotta get a move on, there more where they came from.” Spike picked Chrysalis off the wheelchair quickly and wrapped his tail around the arm rail. “Hold on!”

Chrysalis nodded and wrapped her arms around Spike’s neck quickly. He opened his wings wide and gave one powerful flap before he flew straight up in the sky. He picked up speed and corrected himself to fly with the extra weight. Chrysalis looked out over the trail they had been walking and past the trees as Spike flew over it with her in his arms.

“Despite the sudden company…at least the view is nice…” Chrysalis said loudly so Spike could hear. She looked at him and he gave a nod a flashed a big toothy grin, like he hadn’t just beaten four large dogs without taking a hit.

Spike flew for a good while until Chrysalis could no longer see the dogs even with magic enchanted sight. He flew down and came to a slow and tender stop at a crossroad. He put the wheelchair down and let Chrysalis sit down before he sat against a tree and relaxed his wings. “Sorry about this, you see I would’ve flown us there, but I’m not very good at carrying somepony with me. My wings are pretty much out for the day.”

“I figured something was up, you are still pretty young so it understandable.” Chrysalis sighed lightly and looked at Peewee, who was now looking at her, “Could you tell your little friend to not look at me like food?”

“Peewee, she’s a very dear friend, be nice.” Spike called out to Peewee. The phoenix flew to the wheelchair arm rail and nuzzled Chrysalis’s cheek happily, he chirped a bit and flew to Spike’s shoulder, “Yeah she does huh?”

“W-what did it, I mean, he say?” Chrysalis blushed a bit for some reason.

“He said you’re very pretty and that he wouldn’t attack you, you seem like a kind person.” Spike smiled and rubbed Peewee’s head lightly.

“I don’t think I can be considered kind…”Chrysalis blushed rightly and hid behind her hood.

“I think you are.” He heard an ‘eep’ and chuckled, “Let’s set up camp, we’ll be in Ponyville in no time if we wake up early.”


Spike sat up on his sleeping mat and looked over at Chrysalis, she was fast asleep, “Must be exhausted.” He dug into his bag and pulled out a gem and a letter written differently than Twilight’s.

Spike

I’m not sure if or how soon you’ll get this, but Twilight is starting to worry me. She had a nightmare about you, she claims is a vision of the future. I think she was scared but it’s always good to be cautious. I have no idea when you plan on returning but please return soon as possible.

BlueSky

P.S.: Don’t tell Twilight I sent you this, she’d have me hung.

Spike chewed on the gem quietly and looked up at a branch. On it was Owlowiscious and Peewee both asleep. Normally Owlowiscious would be awake but he trekked through a lot of distance in a short burst to bring him the letter he was holding.

“I’m coming home big sis, just wait, this’ll be the best surprise I can give you.” Spike smiled and ate the rest of his gem before laying back down to sleep.

To be continued…

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