• 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: 11 - A Nightmare Falls

A DJ in the Night
By: Michael A
Chapter: 11 - A Nightmare Falls

The air was cold, and the night was dark. The world was at peace, oblivious to the evil that lurked in the shadows of the night. While Equestria slept, darkness ran unhindered and unnoticed to most that lived in the relatively peaceful country, allowing it to do as it pleased without fear of repentance. Well, almost unhindered. As there were things that went bump in the night, there was also those who vowed to defeat them. Luna was the princess of the night, guardian of the darkness and protector over the land when her sister’s sun slipped behind the horizon. She watched over her ponies dreams, saving them from their nightmares and deepest fears, protecting them from their own minds. But, her job wasn’t limited to the subconscious, as there was more that went bump in the night then what went on inside the mind. Her guard, the Night Watch, vigilantly watched over Equestria while it slept, fending off all those who would do their wicked and sinned deeds while the world slept.

In some places, the night was a time for rest, contrary to the day. Canterlot, however, isn’t one of these places. The night was just as active as the night. Young escaped in their youthful rebellion, clubs hopped with ponies who didn’t want the night to be the end of their day, and students of the many universities that were located in the grand city plowed away at their studies.

Needless to say, it was one of the cities that never slept.

Princess Luna sat on her balcony that hung from her observatory tower on one of the top spires of Canterlot Castle, her eyes watching over the moving lights and distant sound that echoed and shown from the city down below. The princess smiled, joyful that ponies actually appreciated her night, and was proud that her ponies had developed an entire culture based on her night. She was glad, more joyful than she had been in a long, long time.

But, not everything was as perfect as it seemed.

Her friend, the first pony who had treated her as an equal and made her feel not alone, was still missing, his body possessed by the same demon that had calmed her those many moons ago. It had been a month. A month and nine days, to be exact, since she had seen the demon take its full hold over Neon, and snuck away back into the shadows. The midnight alicorn had tried everything in her power to find her friend, spending many a night and day scouring over the land. But, she had come up with nothing, no sign of Neon or the cult that followed his possessor. She had not given up hope, knowing fully well that the nightmare would eventually return, and she hoped that he would bring her friend with him.

The Princess let out a long sigh, her eyes shifting to the night sky above her. She had performed her duties already; raising her moon and making sure it had safe passage around it’s orbit, performing her required duty during the public night court, and even checking over her stars and all that hung in the night sky to make sure that they were in their proper place, performing their proper task. It was now that she found herself longing for company, or something to take up her bored mind. Other than Neon and her sister, the midnight alicorn didn’t have anypony who she could call a true ‘friend’; somepony who she could pass the time with and ‘hang out’ with, as the kids called it, nowadays. Her sister was currently sleeping, and Neon was, well…

Luna let out another sigh, shaking her head as she turned to make her way back into her chamber, intent on spending the rest of the night in bed, reading or going to be early. But, she stopped when she just passed her internal threshold. Her horn lit up and glowed with a bright blue shine, her legs spread to an offensive position as she let out a commanding growl. “Why hath thou breached the scarcity of our bedchambers?” she announced, her voice demanding. “Who are thee, and why art thou here?”

A lone, hooded pony stood stock still in the middle of the Princess’s room, it’s face and all discerning features hidden by the black robe that covered its body. The figure took a step forwards, facing the princess, but keeping its form hidden. “Princess Luna… I have been sent here by the Dark Lord to relay a message.”

Luna’s eyes lit up, her offensive stance faltering as hope glistened in her eyes. “What have you come to say? Speak, messenger!”

The cloaked messenger nodded, pulling out a scroll from beneath their robe and tossing it in the direction of the princess. She caught it in her magic, floating it over to her. “You are expected to read his message in full, following its steps to the exact detail, lest you wish for your friend to suffer a fate worse than death itself,” the hooded pony said, disappearing in a puff of magic as soon the last words were spoken.

Luna wanted to follow, to cast a spell to track the magical signature of the teleport, but she thought better of it. Nightmare was smart, and wouldn’t allow himself to be found so easily. No, he was methodical and patient, everything his did thought out to the tiniest of details. This thought only granted her with a moment’s pause, and she soon unraveled the scroll that she had been given, reading it over.

I’m not going to delay, or digress. You are to follow these directions to the letter if you want to see your friend again. You know exactly what I am capable of, so I do not have to explain that I can make him suffer a fate far worse than death.

You are to meet me at my old kingdom at the stroke of midnight, no sooner and no later.

You are to bring no one, nor tell anypony of your destination. If you must tell somepony, then you are to say you are taking a flight to clear your head.

Once there, you are to go to and wait at the center fountain until instructed to do otherwise.

You have little time, Princess, so I suggest you begin your journey.

I will be waiting.

The princess read over the letter a few more times, committing it to memory. She knew it was stupid to go alone, that she should tell her sister or guard. But, this may be her only chance to save her friend. Nightmare would know if she delayed or tried anything, and would most likely flee before either her guard or her sister could respond.

“This is most certainly a trap…” she muttered, her horn lighting up and the scroll lit up in ethereal fire, burning and crumbling to ash in her magical grasp. “But, we see no other alternative. Hold on a little longer, our friend, we are coming.”

The journey to the old kingdom wasn’t long by distance, but the flight might as well have taken years. She had donned her royal armor, and had muttered to one of the maids that served her room that she would be out for a midnight flight, just in case anyone got curious about her absence. Since then, she had been in flight, making her way towards the center of the Everfree Forest, the sight of an old kingdom that she had not seen in a thousand years.

Eventually, her flight ended when she landed at the edge of the ruined city. Her hooves thudded on the uneven cobblestone that was once the grand main road but was now misshapen and overgrown. She trotted forwards, making her way to the center. The nightmare had chosen the fountain for a reason, as all roads in the city lead that to that exact position. Luna’s eyes shifted from side to side, her body and mind on high alert. She saw nothing, nor felt anything. She felt like she was alone, but knew better than to believe it.

Her hoofsteps stopped when she stood at the base of the once grand fountain, its black marble construction cracked, covered in overgrown green. “We are here, Nightmare! We have come alone, as you have instructed! Show yourself!” she called out, her ears patiently awaiting a response.

“Punctual, just as expected.”

Luna’s horn lit up as she turned towards the voice, a bolt of magic surging from the base and firing from the tip, casting a bolt of pure magic. The bolt flew through the air, and Death Note Jumped from his perch on one of the pillars that surrounded the fountain, narrowly missing the magical blast as it struck where he had just been. The pillar exploded on impact, black marble flying in all directions. The Nightmare landed on the ground at the pillars base, seemingly oblivious to the destruction that occurred just behind him.

He stood tall, ruffling his wings and stretching slightly. “Well, that is an interesting way to say, ‘hello’, don’t you believe?”

Luna growled, stomping her hoof. “Nightmare, we have no time for such foolishness! Give us back our friend, now!”

“Tsk, tsk, tsk,” the Nightmare taunted. “That is not the way to ask, Luna.”

The Nightmare circled the mare, trying her patience and resolve. The mare tried to keep her cool, to stop herself from lashing out. It was working… for now.

“Where is our friend, Nightmare? I had your word he would be released unharmed if I followed your demands.”

The nightmare stopped pacing just in front of the statue, a creepy smile plastered across his muzzle. “Your friend is safe, for now. You have fulfilled your part of the bargain, and in time I will honor my end. But first...” He then jumps up, his wings catching the night air as he took to the sky, circling before landing on the top layer of the black marble fountain. “You are an honorable opponent, Luna, and I know that you will not go down without a fight. So, I prepared for this eventuality.” The nightmare nods his head to something in the distance, and soon the air flashes as a large shield rises around the duo, the dome of magical energy encompassing a decently large area around the two.

Luna watches as the shield goes up, her eyes scanning and seeking out each of the unicorns who stand sentry outside of the shield, their horns bright and magic holding the magical prison in place. The mare shakes her head. “What is your game, Nightmare?”

Death Note trots casually around the top layer of the fountain. “It’s simple, really. I will fight you, and if I win, I take your body. If I lose, your friend takes back his.” He gives a toothy smile. “Simple, is it not?”

“But why?”

The nightmare rolls his eyes. “Because it is no fun beating someone who knows they will lose.” He turns his gaze down to the princess, his grin spreading. “No victory is truly won without hope; being just out of reach of victory. That, is when I will win. When I crush all hope, I will break you.”

The princess of the night’s horn glows as she pulls out her twin sabers from their sheaths, their magic-infused metal gleaming in the moonlight. “You will fall, Nightmare! We will smite you down where you stand. You are a cancer, and must be destroyed.”

The nightmare’s smile is replaced with a serious mask, his emotions fleeting away as he prepares himself for combat. He jumps from his perch, landing just in front of the princess. His horn glows, thick black armor appearing on his once naked coat, a black scythe connected to it’s side. The demon raises the cursed blade, beginning to circle the mare in front of him.

Luna hovered her blades close to her, her body low and slow as she counters the Nightmare’s circling; both remaining face to face. Tension fills the air, ancient magic is called as both charge their spells. The shield glistens above them, a reminder that only one can leave.

As the tension reaches its peak, the nightmare is the first to strike, swinging his curved blade at the princess. Metal meets metal as Luna easily deflects the blow with her own blade, using it’s twin to send her own attack. The volley continues, each side swinging for an attack, only to have the other counter. The sound of ancient steel striking fills the once silent air, the cries of the fight echoing into the far distance.

Luna goes for another strike, one blade piercing as the other goes for a slash. The nightmare barely blocks the stab but was struck as the other blade graced his side, leaving a deep gash in his side. The nightmare retreats, clutching his wound with a hoof.

“Lucky shot!” He calls out, firing a bolt of magic at his opponent.

Luna dodges the beam of magic, rolling out of the way on the ground where she had just stood explodes in a cloud of dirt and rock. She does not survey the damage, instead countering with her own bolt of magical plasma. The nightmare puts up a shield and deflects the blast, its power sizzling to a stop as his wall of magic absorbs the blast. The princess waists no time and sends a hail of further attacks at Nightmare, each one deflected with ease. Her current tactic showing no effect, the princess takes to the air, her horn igniting as it builds with magic. The air practically cools as the princess draws her power from her element, finally releasing a ball of built up magic. It lands near a dodging nightmare, who takes a moment to smile as his skillful avoidance.

But, his cocky expression falls as he turns to the blast sight, a small, black dot floating just above the crater. Light bends around it as it begins to suck in the immediate area around it, both it and its attraction growing as it absorbs more of the ground below. The nightmare acts fast, digging in his bladed weapon into the ground as he begins to be sucked into the spawned singularity, his magical grip on the weapon the only thing stopping him from being sucked into oblivion.

“Seriously, Luna?!” He calls out, his horn charging as he sends a small white orb into the growing ball of mass. It is instantly absorbed, and soon after the black spot begins to expand, this time its power lessening as it expands. Then, it stops, collapsing in on itself as it instantly is sucked into nothing, and the nightmare falls to the ground as he is freed from the gravitational field. He rises to his hooves, brushing himself off. “Well played, Luna. Now, it is my turn!”

His horn ignites as he pops out of existence, appearing above the fountain once again. Magic crackles from his horn as a blast of dark, magical lightning strikes from its tip, striking the ground. Almost instantly, the shadows of the battlefield begin to dance, shifting and rising as they eventually form the outline of ponies. The shadow figures charge towards the princess, who strikes them down one-by-one, her twin blades swinging with deadly accuracy.

Once the last one falls, the princess makes her play, the shadows forming around her in snacking patterns, inching towards her foe, who fires bolts of magic at the approaching shadow creature, chipping away at its dark form with each hit. The creature slowly shrinks, a final blast destroying its trace from existence. The nightmare stands victorious, but the strikes clearly winding him. Luna trots forwards with purpose, her form still strong.

“Give me my friend, Nightmare. If you do so now, I will allow your demise to be swift and painless,” Luna speaks, her words monotone, but her face showed her seething anger.

The nightmare laughed, his evil cackle growing louder and louder. “You will not kill me, you fool! If you kill me now you will lose your friend’s body, leaving him to wander in internal ether.” He steps forwards. “You will fall, because you know what will come next if you don’t. Your only friend will die, and his death will rest on your shoulders.” He takes another step. “And you will be alone…”

Luna pauses, her neutral face taking on a contemplative expression.

The nightmare notices this, and smiles. “That’s right, you already lost.” He laughs. “And to think you were so close!”

The Princess of the night’s face contorts in anger, and she slashes out at the cause of her aggression. The nightmare smiles, his horn blinking as the outline of a very familiar pony comes into view. Her charge halts instantly, her eyes going wide as she is locked in place.

“Luna, don’t worry about me! Kill him, end it now!” I scream, squirming as my spectral body is held in place by my possessor's magic. “Just end it now!”

I watch as Luna’s eyes begin to water, her blades shaking as she takes a step back. “N-neon?” She mutters out, staring at me with pained, yet hopeful eyes.

I nod. “Yes, it’s me, now end him before he ends you!”

The princess shook her head. “No, I can’t! If I do you will be lost, and I would never live with myself if I let that happen!”

My eyes go wide, her words hitting hard. I go silent, unmoving for a moment as I process the situation.

“Do it…” I hear myself say, the words popping out almost on their own.

Luna’s eyes water, and her swords clink to the ground. “I… I can’t,” she begins, kneeling down. “I submit to you, nightmare…”

The demon smiles, trotting forwards and up to the kneeling princess. I scream, begging for her to get back up and finish him. I knew it would kill me, I know how hard of a choice it must be, but it had to be done! I squirmed as screamed at the Nightmare, pulling at the magic that restrained me in place.

“I told you before, Luna… I will always win,” the nightmare spoke, his horn igniting. A small, dark tendril slowly snaked its way towards Luna’s horn, it’s eventual contact causing the princess to scream in pain. I watched as the princess was engulfed in a dark glow, the light inside of her being pulled out by the Nightmare’s actions.

I screamed again, fighting as hard as I could to break free. Finally, I felt something give. With a final tug I felt the magical bonds break as I was sent rocketing forwards, my spectral form slamming right into the dark tendril…

The world around me was black, and empty void that continued forever. “Where the hell am I?” I asked nopony but myself, confused on what the heck just happened. I go to take a step forwards, but stop as a chilling voice fills my ears.

“Well… it seems like you messed up my plans, once again!”

I go to turn around, intent searching for the source of the voice. But, before I can even turn my head, something slams into my side, pain flowing up my side as I go flying.

“You know, I really should have just killed you, would have been much easier!”

I look up, and I whimper as I see the ghostly form standing above me. It’s eyes are soulless black, while it’s body is a dark shade of grey. It looks like a pony, but it’s shifting and mist body prevents me from getting a good look at it. She spectator stands above me, eyes staring into my very soul.

“Y-you… you’re him!” I squeak, trying to scamper away. I am caught by some magical fiend, however, and slammed back into the ground. I scream in pain.

“Yes, I am the one who’s plans you keep getting in the way of, you idiot!” It calls out, stamping a ghostly hoof. “And I was going to give your body back, too.” He lifts a hoof, intent on smashing in my skull. As it falls, I just barely roll out of the way, scrambling to my hooves.

“What are you?!” I scream at the creature, trying to keep my distance.

It rolls it’s eyes. “How have you not figured it out by now?!” He screams. “I am a pony, you idiot! I was once like you, and I was able to preserve my soul as my body rotted away. I thought I would be immortal, but I made the grave error of not taking account that a soul cannon, on it’s own, interact with the physical plain. My solution to this was to find a host, and your princess was the first willing one I would find.” It… he smiled. “So lonely, she was, that she was willing to let me take over to relieve herself of the pain.” He shook his head. “Such a foolish move.”

That’s it? “That’s it?!” I scream. “You enslave a princess, my friend, and turn her life into a living hell just because you wanted a host?! You fucking monster!”

He rolls his eyes, once more. “Your words are meaningless. I did what I did to survive, and you would do the same if you were in my position.”

I scoffed. “No! I would never steal something like that from someone! You ruined her life, took everything from her, and from me!”

“I didn’t ask you for your permission, mortal!” He growled. “It is time for you to die so I can take what I have worked so hard for!”

The creature lunges at me, and I jump out of the way just in time, avoiding its deadly attack. I turn to run, but change my mind. Running won’t do anything, I thought, I must fight back! With newfound purpose, I turn and lunge at the creature, who stands in shock at my actions. My shoulder makes contact and it falls to the ground, and I waste no time into landing punch after punch on its head.

“Get out of my body, you monster!” I manage to land a few good hits before I am thrown off of him, landing on my back against the strange, non-tangible ground. I quickly rise to my hooves, my horn lighting up as I send every magical spell I knew at the creature. I was not well versed in combat, but that didn’t mean that I didn’t mean that I couldn’t cause damage. Lightning crackled from my horn as I sent bolt after bolt at the creature, his body sizzling with every hit. Years of working with electronics and waved had filled my magical que with all sort of interesting spells, one of them being fucking lightning!

The beast let out a scream of pain, but still charged at me. His movements were fueled by anger; powerful, but clumsy. I dodge his attacks, sending bolt after bolt, spell after spell, attack after attack. Soon, both of us stood exhausted in the middle of oblivion, my body and mana spent, while his body sizzled. I tried to cast another spell, to finish it, but I had overtaxed myself too much, my mana supply running dry. Magical burnout, at the worst possible time.

The beast cackled, smiling with rows of phantom teeth. “It seems like you have run out of tricks, little pony. You fought well, but it was not enough.” He smirks. “I will tell your princess you died with honor, as I suck her soul from her body!”

No… “No!” I screamed, my tired body fueled with rage as I rushed forwards, catching the creature off guard. I lowed my head, and soon felt my horn slam into something. I pull back, and watch as the demon, the nightmare, stares at me with disbelief, before turning to look at the punctured hole in his chest, oozing black goo.

He took a step forwards, before falling to his stomach. “How… How did you?”

I stand over the fallen creature, my face contorted with anger. “You can threaten me… but nopony threatens my friends!” And with that, I raise my hoof, slamming it down on the creature's skull…

My world returns, the back fading as the real world comes back into view. Huh… who tilted the world? I thought, before practically smacking myself as I realized that I was laying on my side. I tried to get up, slowly rising to my hooves as everything protested, pain and soreness erupting from every part of my... body.

My eyes go wide as I look down, my hooves and body no longer ghostly or opaque. They were whole! I jumped up and down, screaming in happiness. “I got my body back!” I cried out to the heavens. “Take that, you freakin' psycho!”

The celebration was cut short, however, as a soft groan breached my hears. I stopped bouncing, turning to find Luna laying on her side, body smoking and badly beaten. “Luna!” I screamed, trotting over to her and standing by her side. “Luna! Are you okay?! How many hooves am I holding up!”

The princess groans, her eyes opening, but swimming. “We see… seven.” She cocks her head. “How do you have seven hooves, Neon?”

I scream in happiness as I pull her into a hug. I hold her tight, but probably too tight as I soon hear her gasping for air. I release her from my bone crushing hug, blushing slightly as I help her to her hooves. “Hehe… sorry.”

Luna shakily rises to her hooves, before tilting and almost falling over, only to be caught by me. I hold the mare up, stabilizing her. “Neon…” She begins, nuzzling my head. “It is good to see you back…”

I smile, nuzzling the mare back.

“What a touching reunion…” a voice calls from behind us. My eyes went wide, but eased when I didn’t recognize it as the Nightmare’s. I turned, helping the princess as we faced the once who addressed us.

Several hooded ponies stood around us, with many more that I could notice at a distance. The one who had grabbed our attention steps forwards, his face holding anger. “What happened to the Master?! What did you do to him?!”

I smirked. “He’s dead, you fools,” I began. “I killed him!”

They all looked at me with disbelief, but seeing nothing to contradict my statement soon caused their skepticism to slowly die down. “If… if that is true, then he would have wanted us, his followers, to avenge his killer.”

My eyes go wide, and I begin to back up. I look to Luna, who I notice is desperately trying to cast a spell, any spell, but failing. The group slowly gets closer, the distance between us and them shortening by the second. I close my eyes, holding Luna close as I wait for them to strike.

“That is enough!”

I wince as I feel something land hard in front of us, the commanding voice practically knocking me over. I open my eyes slowly, only to have them shoot open. Celestia stands in front of us, her mane ablaze and her normal royal regalia replaced with golden combat armor.

“You will all yield!” she screams, her horn pulsing as a blast of magic explodes from the tip, sending those who had once surrounded us flying back. At the same time, dozens of royal guards five bomb from they sky, landing and immediately engaging the hooded cult. The Solar Princess’s horn lights, a shield appearing around all three of us. She then quickly rushes to her sister, looking her over with concerned eyes. “Luna! Are you alright? Where is the nightmare?!”

The midnight gray alicorn smiles, nuzzling me. “It is gone, ‘Tia… I am free.”

Her eyes go wide, and she instantly shifted her gaze to me. I nod. “He’s gone, Princess.”

It takes her a moment to process that information, but she soon shakes her head, seemingly pushing the thought away for another time. “That is good news, but I believe that is a matter to discuss for another time. Right now, you two need medical attention.” The mare then chuckles. “This should be fun for you, as Luna has told us all about your enjoyment of teleportation.”

My eyes go wide. “No! I hate--”

But, I am cut off as the words fades to white, and the most irritating, unnerving experience of my life starts for the second time...

Author's Note:

And the arc is over! Thanks for reading, and stay tuned because the shipping train is about to set sail!

Whoot! Whoot!

And remember to leave a like if you enjoyed, and I always love to read your comments! They always bring a smile to my face, weather good of bad.

~ Michael A.