• Published 21st Mar 2015
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A DJ in the Night - dj_neon_lights

Neon Lights takes it upon himself to help a particularly lonely mare loosen up and have a good time, and boy is he in for a surprise when he learns who this mare truly.

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Arc II - Chapter: 10 - A Nightmare Rises

Author's Note:

Aaaaand here comes another chapter! Again, sorry that it took so long to shove out. But! This little arc with the Nighmare is coming to a close, and when it does the story will start to settle down. Lessons will be learned, and lives will be changed forever.

There is one big thing that I want to emphasize in this arc, though, and I really hope that I can actually convey it right. I'm not gonna say what it is yet, but it should become more apparent in the next chapter.

Speaking of the next chapter, this next one shouldn't take half as long as this one did, and if I follow my outline and expand as much as I want too it'll actually turn out to be quite long, easily the longest in the story. There will be a lot of action, a lot of emotion, and a lot of conflict as this arc comes to an end! Thanks for sticking by, and I'm going to try (but don't quote me on this) and get this next chapter up by Christmas.

Happy holidays and, as always, leave a comment and a like if you enjoyed, or even if you didn't; I love reading you guy's (and gal's) opinions and input on my stories, good or bad.

~ Michael A.

A DJ in the Night
By: Michael A
Chapter: 10 - Nightmare Rises

"How could you have failed me?!" screamed Death Note, smacking the frightened follower across the face and sending him flying into the wall of the chamber. "I set everything in motion, told you exactly what had to be done, and, in the end, you let us get trapped inside of a mortal body?!"

The group of the Followers of Nightmare had been summoned moments before, only to find that their new ruler and "savior" totally pissed.

The leader of the group, shrouded in his hood, meekly stepped forwards. "N-nightmare?"

"Death Note!"

The leader winced, shuttering at the explosion of his voice. "S-sorry! Death Note, we sincerely apologize that we failed, but isn't you in a mortal body good enough?"

The Nightmare growled. "No, it is not. If I wanted a mortal body I would've chosen one of you as my host, you fools! Mortal bodies cannot handle my power for long, which is why I require the host of an immortal!" He stomped his mighty hoof, cracking the floor beneath him. "I am surprised that this body had held up for even this long—it's host's will is the only thing holding it together. I can sense it is strong, but not permanent. No, I will need to transfer to a proper host, and do so soon." The Nightmare turned his head and gazed at the dark orb that sat on its pedestal, it's dark energy slowly fading and flickering. He sighed, shaking his head. "If I do not find a proper host soon... I shall be no more..." The room was silent, Death Note standing completely still next to the orb.

The Nightmare's head suddenly shot up. "Wait! I had an idea!" He turned to address his followers. "'Maybe this is not a complete loss after all." He looks down at his host body, smiling, then turning to the corner to where I currently sat, my head buried in my hooves, ghostly tears sliding down my muzzle and vaporizing as soon as they made contact with the floor. "Yes, this is not a complete waste..."

“Luna, please, I beg of you to calm down!” Celestia pleaded with her sister.

Luna paced back and forth in her room, her eyes streaming tears, but still holding rage. She was a mess, several powerful emotions filling her head: anger, sadness, regret. All of them fighting against each other, each one trying to become dominant. She had teleported to her room after hours of searching for her friend had yielded nothing. She had wept, she had screamed, she had cried. Celestia had appeared moments after being alerted of her sister’s presence back in the castle, and had since been trying to calm her ruling counterpart.

“Luna, it’s gonna be okay, I promise you,” the older sister spoke, her words soft and almost motherly.

The midnight blue alicorn shook her head, stamping a hoof into the marble floor. “No! It is not ‘okay’. We have failed to protect him, our friend, from the same evil that plagued us for a thousand moons! We have failed not only him, but also our citizens.” She choked out a few more sobs, before wiping a few remaining tears away from her muzzle.

Celestia, risking her own safety, crept closer to her sister; her emotions augmenting her powers, radiating unstable energy. It is never wise to approach an emotional alicorn, their power, when not controlled, can kill. Even Celestia could feel the power radiating from her sister, and this was beginning to worry her. But, even so, she risked it and wrapped her hooves around her sister, holding her in a comforting embrace. Luna shuddered, both from the sudden contact and from another sob.

“There there, sister… it is okay. We will fix this, I promise you,” Celestia coed into Luna’s ear, running a hoof through her mane.

The younger sister’s sobs began to lessen, the rampant energy in the room dying down as Luna regained control. With a few soft sobs and some more comfort from her sister, Luna regained her composure, wiping away the few stray tears that remained.

“You are right, dear sister, standing here and weeping will do nothing for the current situation. We must think, we must regroup, we must think not of what is lost, but of what we can do to recover.” Luna stood tall, her mood changing entirely from sadness to determination. “Have your scribes recover as much as you can about the cult you hath spoken about only days ago, while I think of a plan of releasing my friend from his… my, Nightmare.”

Celestia nodded, a small smile gracing her lips with her sister’s change in tone.

Do you know what it feels like to have your soul forcefully torn from your body? Do you know what it feels like to watch as an embodiment of evil walks around in your skin? Do you know what it feel like to have both of this happen, and be helpless to do anything about it? Well, I do, and it sucks.

I watched as that… that creature masqueraded around in my body. I watched him from the corner, my sadness turned to anger. I wanted to end him. I wanted to tear him from my body and throw him down to the pits of tartarus myself. But, I could not. I was a ghost, a spectral being that could not interface with the physical world. And, what made things worse, is that he was the only one who could see me.

What am I to do? I cannot act. I cannot call for help. I cannot fight. I cannot struggle. I can’t do anything! This was a living hell, being able to watch the world go by, but not be able to do anything, talk to anyone, or even be noticed by anyone!

But, I did have one thing.

After my sadness had turned to anger, and my anger faded to regret, I heard it. It started off as a simple tune, like the base track of a song. The sounds around me all mended together. Hoofsteps became drums. The soft sound of the drip of water from an unknown source became the piano. The ambient sounds of life all morphed into an unknown symphony, one that we all hear that we never recognized.

It was beautiful, and it helped calm me when my world had shattered. Usually, I was the one making music, compiling random sounds into a rhythm that everypony would love. But… it seems like we all make music, in a way. We are all instruments this organic symphony, conducted by some unknown figure.

But, somepony, no... something had taken my instrument. Stolen it from me, ripped it from my hands and left me with nothing, only able to watch and listen to the song around me. The symphony was beautiful, but it was off. He didn’t play my instrument right.

I am going to get it back…

Death Note let out a deep, annoyed sigh. He was currently sitting at his mock throne in the main chamber, watching the dark flickering of the orb in front of him. It oscillated from a strong, full black, to a static grey. It was dying… he was dying. He had finally freed himself from the ether and back into the physical world, but not fully. Half of him still remained in the either, trapped there until he could find a host that could support his power. This mortal body that his idiot followers had gave him was not enough to support him, allowing any more would destroy it. At the same time, the longer he remained separated, the sooner he became to fracturing., his soul and magic splitting into different pieces, the cycle continuing until there was nothing left to split. A millions entities of the same origin would disperse, and soon fade to nothing.

He let out another sigh, turning his host’s head towards the disconnected soul. It layed there, ghostly tears no longer falling, his sadness replaced with an empty expression. The Nightmare turned his host’s head back to the orb. He did feel pity for the poor soul, he himself knowing what it was like to be a soul without a body.

But, sacrifices had to be made.

The Nightmare stood up from his throne, trotting down the length of the room and towards the far wall, where the only entrance to the chamber was located. He had a plan, a way to get a body that could support him. His followers had been sent out to put the pieces in motion, all that remained was for him to wait...

Luna let out a loud, audible sigh, her chin resting on a hoof as she gazed out the window of her observatory. A lot had happened in the past few months. She had met a friend, and for the first time in a thousand moons she had felt that she mattered; that her role of princess actually mattered. She was the princess of the night; of shadows, dreams, and of darkness. And for so long she had felt that only meant that she ruled under her sister’s shadow, of the Sun and all it’s light brough. But, that mindset had changed. She now realized that there were those who thrived in the night, who loved that which she had created. She felt needed, wanted, and that gave her a feeling of purpose.

But, just like that, it was taken from her. Her friend was taken from her by a demon from her past; a creation of her jealousy and anger. He was just one pony, but he was also the pony who had changed her life. He meant more to her as a friend. He was like a knight in shining armor, come to save her from her monster. Luna let out a small chuckle, the thought of Neon in proper knighted armor popping into mind. But, that moment of laughter soon fleeted as reality came back to her. Her knight was kidnapped, taken from her by the same demon that had plagued her for so long, even after she was freed from his control.

Right now, it was up to the Princess to rescue the Knight. Except, she didn’t know where he was. After her chat with her sister almost a week ago, Luna had done as much research into the cult that worshiped her demon as she could. Reading every report, following every lead, speaking with anypony that she thought could help her. But, even after a week of trying everything she could think of, she had come up with nothing that could help her find her friend.

She had exhausted all that she could do, left with the only one option, and one that she had feared she would have to resort to: Waiting for them to do something. The Nightmare wasn’t one to stay in the shadows for long. No, contrary to his shadowed nature, he wanted to be known. He wanted all to fear him, know his presence. And it was only a matter of time before he did so again.

She sighed, shaking her head. Focusing on that which she couldn’t control only ended badly, as fearing what was to come never aided anypony. She shook her head, pushing the train of thought away and replacing it soon with a more recent matter: her job.

How petty the role of a princess has become, the alicorn mused, her eyes staring out the window. In a way, she wished for a return to the olden ways, where life was more black and white. Back when the princesses had to deal with war, border disputes, or other issues that had to do with the nature of a whole, and required a central representative for the nation. Now, her job consisted of resolving petty disputes, problems that had no reason for a princesses intervention. That is what the court had become: a place where the stupid of disputes went to die. Had the ponies lost their ability to lead themselves? Or had her sister become too soft of her subjects, letting them use her as a universal decision maker, rather than solving the problems on their own.

She chuckled, taking her head away from the window and trotting towards the center of her room. Her horn ignited, the large telescope that stood in the center of the observatory slowly began to rotate. Luna trotted over to the lense, the mechanism stopping once it was in position. The alicorn peered through the lense, using the many dials to adjust the focus to allow her a clear view.

“Hmm…” Luna muttered, rotating the telescope slightly. “Seems that one of my stars has fallen slightly out of orbit…” The alicorn muttered, scanning the surrounding sky for the culprit of the celestial anomaly. After years of practice, it didn’t take long for the princess to spot the entity causing her night sky to be abnormal. A celestial dwarf, just barely too small to be a planet, had managed to wander out of the orbit of its neighboring sun. Luna’s horn lit up again, and the mistake was corrected, the planet moving to its proper place. Most ponies believe that Luna shaped the stars and moon in an artistic rendering, but they were wrong. Every star, every planet, every asteroid had its place; all in perfect balance. If that balance was interrupted, the disaster would strike. It was the one thing that the nightmare had let her keep control of when she was possessed as Nightmare Moon, as even he understood the importance of her job.

After a few more scans, Luna found no more anomalies and was satisfied with her handiwork.

Her sky was in perfect balance.

All the pieces were in place, all pawns ready for one last stand. It was not a plan thousands of years in the making, nor was it even well thought out. No, it was a hobbled together idea, a concept, that might work. The Nightmare stood in front of his kingdom, a once great empire that now lay in ruins in the middle of the Everfree forest. He remember it all, every nook and cranny of the land he once ruled. He stood on a once a grand courtyard, that once held statues depicting his mighty rule as Nightmare Moon.

Now, however, the years of decay had taken its toll; the statues were toppled and rotted from decay, the once grand lunar garden fully engulfed by the haunted forest’s many weeds, and even the columns that had lead up to his palace now lay on their sides.

All around him, where a timeless empire should have stood, was nothing, only an ancient reminded of what could have been. He hated it, every toppled building of the forgotten city only brought with it more anger at his failure, his defeat by the sister of his possessed.

He grumbled, snorting before turning around, heading back into the cave that was once his palace. He weaved in between the rubble, making his way down an invisible path. Soon, he stood in front of a large, black border, its presence slightly out of place, but easily overlooked if you didn't know what you were looking for. His horn lit up, and with only a flick of his magic, the large stone moved, allowing him just enough room to head past. Behind the boulder was a secret cavern, one he had made shortly before his fall. The cavern was the entrance into a system of catacombs, ones that were enchanted to make any who did not know the way wander forever, trapped in an infinite loop. The Nightmare trotted forwards, all light disappearing as the boulder slid back into place.

His hooves guided him through a remembered path, one that he could only follow through only memory and not through sight. The eyes deceived while the mind held true.

His pace eventually led him to his hidden chamber, his sanctuary. It was his ‘throne room’, the same one that held the obsidian pedestal that held the orb that flickered with dark energy. He trotted towards the orb, placing his hoof on its surface. The magic inside was attracted to his touch, it’s seemingly random patterns of movements now focusing on the spot where his hoof touched. The orb’s outer shell held contain the lose magic that was held within, but its energy and presence could still be felt through it’s protective case. What the magic actually was, well, it was a secret, one that he held closest to himself, never uttering it to a soul. His followers knew to stand away from it, warned harshly of the consequences of what would happen if they disobeyed.

Death Note removed his hoof from the orb, trotting over to his throne and sitting on the dark marble material. His gaze shifted to the side, and his eyes instantly met with the ghostly specter, with me.

I gazed death at the creature that sat in front of me, my eyes practically burning with hatred. The damned nightmare laughed, chuckling at my unspoken threat.

“So, it is now when you finally show anger?” he spoke, his works half-hearted, mocking, even.

My left eye twitches and my jaw tightens. I remain silent, not wanting to give him the satisfaction of an answer.

He rolled his eyes, batting me off with a hoof. My hoof. “Oh, stop your petty tantrum. You have lost, and I have won. Accept your reality, as it is the one that you must now live with.”

Okay, now that’s it. “You expect me to stop? You expect me to lay down and submit to what you have done; accept the hell that you have put me through?!”

“I expect you to do nothing, as I do not care,” he began nonchalantly. “You have served your purpose, and done so well. I have no need for you anymore.”

I snorted, standing to my hooves and pointing my icy glare in his direction. “So that’s it, huh? You got what you wanted from me, so you’re just going to toss me aside?”

He nodded. “Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m going to do,” he begins, turning to face me. “Do you understand what you are right now?”

I slowly shake my head, my anger still pointed at him.

“You are a spector, a spirit without a form to manipulate on the physical plain. You currently rest between the plains of existence, sandwiched in between the physical and spiritual.” He chuckles, shaking his head. “Ironically, you currently reside in the same place that I once rested on, before I took your body. Sucks, doesn’t it?”

I growled. I didn’t care where I was, or even what I was. All I cared about was getting my body back, and sending that monster to the furthest depths of Tartarus, forever tortured for his sins. “Why the hell are you telling me this? What do you possibly have to gain by reminding me of this?”

The alicorn shrugged. “Making conversation, I guess. Unlike you I was trapped without having someone to talk too, so I wouldn’t push your luck. You do not know what it is like to be alone like I have. No, you can’t even begin to fathom what it is like to live and not able to be seen; to exist and only be able to watch as the world moves around you, oblivious to your presence!” His mocking tone was now gone, replaced with annoyance and anger. “You should be thanking me for not letting you remain in the hell that I was trapped in for thousands of years! Be blessed for the grace that I have given you!” The alicorn stood from his throne, his eyes burning with dark magic as he trotted towards me. I backed up, trying to stay as far away from him as I could. “Now you know my pain! Now you know what it is like to be truly alone, to be forgotten!”

I backed up into the wall, my spectral form pressed up against the solid material. The enraged alicorn in front of me stared me down, his death stare not leaving me. Moments passed, but it could have been years. I was afraid, my own anger at the creature in front of me had drained and replaced with fear. I wanted to remain calm, to stand up to him and say that I wasn’t afraid. But I couldn’t. He was right, I did hold no power. I was completely at his mercy, and it took me until now to completely grasp it.

Eventually, Death Note let out a loud snort, turning away from me and returning to his throne. I felt my nerves calm the further he got away, and I was soon calm enough to snap out of my fear-induced daze. I slowly made my way back to my corner, my gaze not meeting that of the creature I shared the room with.

The Nightmare’s calm demeanor had completely vanished, replaced with annoyance and anger after his confrontation with my spectral form. He sat there, his eyes locked with the orb that still glowed with dark magic, and did nothing else.

I wanted to process what had happened, to figure out the significance of the Nightmare’s words. But, I couldn’t focus, to shooken up to think straight. All I could think about was my own mortality, and what life would be like if I was stuck like this forever. Did I age? Could I even die? What would happen if I was stuck like this forever, not being able to interact with the physical world anymore? All these questions brought me more fear, all stemming from the same central point.

I was alone.