• Published 23rd Mar 2015
  • 348 Views, 20 Comments

A Guidepost in Equestria - Death Pony

An Undead Slayer from the Rifts universe finds himself in a strange land, hoping to prevent another catastrophic event caused by the evil out there in the Multiverse.

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Down on the Farm

Magus shook off his thoughts, smiled at Applejack and said in a slightly forced tone, “Naturally, I believe those that can help others, while not required to mind you, should lend a helping hoof when possible. Now then, if you ladies are all okay, let us make our way to yon Big Mac, as I can tell Miss Applejack here is looking forward to her brother’s recovery.” With that he started slowly walking down the road, waiting for the rest to catch up but the nagging suspicion that he was now in the web of a Great Power and would be dancing to Their tune still upset him quite a bit.

‘Which one is it? Which self-proclaimed god is messing with me? They’ve seen fit to ignore me for centuries, why now?’ Magus fumed inside his mind. ‘Loki? Set? F.S.M? I really don’t need supposedly omniscient beings trying to twist things around right now. Haven’t I done enough!? Haven’t I paid more than anyone should be asked for!?’ Magus was starting to build up some anger.

‘I’m sorry child,’ a female voice quietly echoed in his mind.

Magus nearly stopped walking in shock, but when the voice didn’t respond to his queries, he just shook it off and figured that ‘She’ would only give him crumbs when it was needed; whoever She was.

‘Also, I’m starting to worry about my magic reserves,’ Magus grumbled silently.

Rainbow Dash flew over to Magus with a slight frown. “Yeah, that’s cool. Um, so thanks…I guess? For helpin’ out, I mean I totally would have been fine…but since you went outta your way and stuff…” It was obvious that the pegasus’ ego wouldn’t allow her to give simple thanks, but Magus was a pretty sharp character himself.

“Of course Rainbow Dash, I didn’t realize it was you at first so I sort of just leapt into the fray so to speak. I’m quite sure you could have managed without me, but all the same I’m glad I could at least cushion your landing a bit, I’m not sure the roads would have been improved by a full-blown landing.” Magus just lightly nodded while speaking, as if the thought of Dash needing help was an obvious mistake. Applejack and Rarity both gave a good natured eye roll at his handling of their friend’s ego while Pinkie Pie was using both hooves to stifle her giggles.

Rainbow Dash just smirked at the strange stallion before adopting a ‘stern’ expression. “You talk funny dude, but you seem all right, I guess. That was a pretty sweet grab by the way, for a unicorn I mean. Do you like, play sports or something?” Her face turned to that slight pensive frown she was trying to maintain, as if she wanted to suspect Magus but couldn’t find a good reason why yet.

He grinned. “’A strong mind should exist in a strong body,’ at least that is what my teacher always said. He said, ‘the greatest castle in the realm was of no value if the foundation was weak.’ We played a number of games, such as kick the can and dodge ball when I was young. Since then, I’ve taken to endurance running and the occasional bout of manual labor to stay fit. It also helps to have magic to protect oneself from a hard landing.”

Pinkie Pie popped up next to them. “Oooh I love games! Those sound really fun! You’ll have to teach them to me sometime! Then we can have a big old game with like, the whole town! But why were you being a meanie-meanpants to that poor can? And I have balls aaalll over Ponyville, for you know, bouncy-ball emergencies!”

Rainbow Dash gently pushed the pink pony out of her way with a frustrated look when Applejack came up next to the stallion. “Well now Magus, if’n yer lookin fer some of that ‘manual work’ we could always use another hoof on the farm ‘bout this time of year. Keeps ya fit and we’d keep ya fed.” She was secretly happy they might get another pony out on the farm this year to bring in the harvest.

Rarity was mumbling something under her breath while looking at the ground in furrowed thought. “But darling, don’t you get…sweaty and lathered?” She shuddered at the thought.

Magus said off-handedly, “Sometimes getting sweaty is part of the fun.” Honestly, he wasn’t really thinking about the comment deeply, but Rarity interpreted it quite differently.

The unicorn’s face looked about to burst into flame as she looked over at the smiling stallion, who was looking decidedly innocent as he trotted next to the girls. Her expression quickly smoothed into a feral little smile. ‘Oooohh, what an incorrigible flirt! Rarity is INGRUIGED!’

Rainbow Dash was getting mildly annoyed, “Uh, excuse me? I was talking to him? Thanks,” she added with some sarcasm. “Anyway, I’m the fastest flyer in Equestria, Rainbow Dash! I didn’t hear who you are yet.” She was mugging a bit while floating next to Magus.

“Of course, I am Magus Mender a magical healer. I’m new to Ponyville and we’re on our way to visit Big McIntosh so I can see about fixing him up in much the same way we…were able to see to your slight leg issue.”

“Ohhh yeah! That was cool! One minute it was…uh, a little painful and then ZING, all good. That was seriously awesome dude.” Dash was still rather excited by the display of Magus’ healing prowess but then the embarrassment of landing on top of the stranger cooled her enthusiasm a bit when the rest of what he said suddenly clicked. “Wait, seriously? Big Mac? What’s up with that guy getting hurt all the time? He doesn’t really seem like the clumsy type…” She cut herself off quickly when she noticed Applejack glaring daggers at her. She rubbed the back of her head with a sheepish smile. “Sorry AJ!”

Applejack sighed deeply. “He kept Applebloom from gittin’ hurt when we was tearin’ down that old barn. Silly-filly was playin’ in the wrong place and Big Mac did what ‘ny brother would do.” She perked up a bit and tapped Magus on the withers lightly. “With Magus here tho, why I bet ol’ Mac will be fit as a fiddle.”

“Hay yeah, he’ll have him fixed up in ten seconds flat!” Rainbow Dash said while performing a little loop the loop, then realized she was getting too excited again and returned to watching the stallion as if he was going to either burst into flames or turn into a winged-hydra and fly off into the sunset; or maybe both.

“How is the rest of your family doing Applejack darling? I haven’t been out to the farm in a few days. Is Granny Smith in good health?” Rarity was sneaking sultry glances at Magus while trying to distract herself by talking to her friends.

Applejack chuckled. “Ya know how Granny is. She’d prolly be out there tryin to buck apples if’n her hip weren’t botherin’ her. Still makes the best homemade breakfast spread ‘n Ponyville though.”

The sight of the white picket fence meant they had nearly reached their destination and Magus sighed inwardly in relief. Simply vanishing before he exhausted his magic reserves would be a last resort and would be almost impossible to explain away.

“You have a lovely farm Applejack. I think I may have to take you up on some farming in the future. I think I’d enjoy myself.” Magus was smiling at the field of trees with a faraway look in his eyes, obviously some memory playing in the back of his head. Applejack looked proud enough to burst but noticed the stallion was lost in his thoughts and just smiled at him quietly.

“Best apples in Equestria!” Rainbow Dash proclaimed while looking at her farming friend with pride.

In short order they were walking up to the porch of a careworn farmhouse, complete with a rocking chair, or a pony-version of one having much longer rockers for resting forelegs. Applejack quickly dropped off her cart and led the group into the farmhouse.

“Alright girls, ya’ll just rest here in the livin’ room and I’ll take Magus up ta see Big Mac. We’ll sip on some lemonade after ‘while, so make yerselves comfy. I think Granny is takin’ a nap so keep it down ya’ll.” Applejack said while moving to the stairs. The others agreed and took seats around the space while Magus followed behind.

Quietly following her up the steps, Magus was listening for any sounds that might reveal how many beings were upstairs but all he could catch was the sound of gentle breathing from one of the rooms above.
“This here’s Big Mac’s room,” Applejack pushed to door open as she spoke. “Mac. Big Mac!”

On the bed with a crude support hanging from the ceiling that supported a leg cast was a rather stout stallion the shade of a red apple, also somehow with freckles. He snorted once blowing a lock of orange mane away and looked at his visitors with a curious eye. His body wrapped and supported by braces and slings, he certainly didn’t look all that comfortable but just waited on his sister to explain what was going on, his mane looking slightly disheveled.

“Big McIntosh, this here’s Magus and he’s a magic-healin’ pony. He’s goan' fix ya up right as rain,” Applejack explained while putting one hoof on Magus’ shoulder. “You ready to get up outta that bed yet?”

The red stallion was able to show a parade of emotions with subtle eye movements from surprise to furrowed thought and then finally grudging acceptance. They had rather expressive faces for ponies. “Eeyup.”

Applejack just chuckled while shaking her head. “Alright sugarcube, you got the go ahead.”

Magus walked up to the bed and smiled. “Hello Big Mac. Worry not, there should be no pain although you will feel some tingling at first and once I’m done you may need some rest considering the extent of your injuries. By tomorrow morning you should be fine and ready to return to work. Whenever you’re ready just let me know.”

Big Mac absorbed what was said and although it was obvious he was having trouble believing this story completely he just nodded once, indicating that he was ready.

‘Strong silent type I guess?’ Magus thought. Then he performed his ‘scan’ which honestly wasn’t necessary since he wasn’t healing separate parts of his targets but was adding some theater since this was supposedly a rare talent in ponyland. Magus considered the extent of the damage and figured he would use his greater healing Tattoo, the Phoenix Rising from the Flames. Once in position he slipped the magic into the pony slowly so as not to shock him too badly.

Big Mac gasped a little before managing to stop himself, his wide eye closing shut in an effort to not embarrass himself and his mouth stuck open as the magic began to fill his body. His back and leg warmed rapidly although not uncomfortably hot and began to tingle and itch slightly. Soon enough that faded away along with all the sore muscles and joint pains he had acquired in the last few days while being mostly immobile in the large bed. As he lay there gasping a bit, Magus removed his wrapping and cast with a telekinetic blade and tongs. Once finished with removing his bindings, Magus stepped back and looked at his handiwork.

“I suggest taking a moment to clean your body, eat a light meal, and then rest. Otherwise you should be fine. If you feel any lingering effects, be sure to let me know,” Magus said and then nodding at Applejack, he turned and left the room to wait for her.

Applejack was grinning at her brother’s surprise with a few unshed tears in her eyes. He just looked at her as if he was sure this was all a dream and then managed to get to his hooves with a shaky start as if he was sure his leg would collapse under him as soon as he put any weight on it. It didn’t.

“Feelin’ alright?” Applejack asked.

“Eeyup,” he replied, looking as if he wasn’t sure how that could be possible before moving towards the bathroom to clean up on slightly wobbly legs.

Outside the room, Magus was brooding a bit. He was tangled in something, a big game or worse a GAME between Powers perhaps and he hated being a chess piece for anyone or anything, but more pressing were his magic reserves getting low. The avatar construct had been draining him rapidly considering his ‘condition’ and now he’d used a number of complex spells on top of that. He figured he would play the exhausted mage card and bow out from further activity today. He just needed the bits so he could pretend to secure lodgings away from his new friends, or at least he wanted to think of them as friends.

That was another thing that was bothering him. He had been nothing but cordial and polite, yet it seemed they were taking to him a little too quickly…that irritated him quite a bit. Now he wasn’t sure if they really were that trusting and kind or if they were being manipulated into befriending him just to forward some agenda by some self-proclaimed deity. Powers often only cared about the end-game of their pet projects, and while Magus might appreciate how smooth things were going in his plan towards helping this place survive, once he was gone those same feelings would become pain and suffering for those he left behind, having been manipulated thusly into thinking them close friends.

Magus sighed in defeat. ‘One thing at a time man, not even I can carry the Multiverse on my shoulders. Hell, I can barely carry myself sometimes.’

He needed a smoke and probably a nice alcoholic beverage tonight. Mostly though, he needed meditation and rest before he overdid it.

He turned as he heard Applejack come out of the bedroom and put on a tired smile. “Everything is good I trust?”

She just walked up and gave him a gentle hug. “More’n good Magus. Thank ya kindly.”

He patted her back. “I’m glad, but I must confess, this has been a rather tiring day. I’m afraid I’ll need to cut my visit short today and find lodging; that is if you have a few bits handy?”

Applejack pulled back and held him at arm’s length. “Well shoot partner, ya’ll are welcome to-“

Magus gently raised a hoof and touched her nose. “I know what you’re going to say, and while I’m happy beyond words for the offer, I’ve only been in town for less than a day and having a young beautiful mare put up an unattached stranger for the night upon their first meeting… I’d not let anything even possibly become such nasty rumor,” he smiled warmly. “I’ll find a place to sleep for the night, and I’ll feel better. Don’t worry, I won’t disappear in the night or anything,” he finished with a chuckle.

She seemed both flattered and slightly angry that gossip would cause him to refuse to stay, but he was trying to do right by her and she relented. “Ah guess ah can see yer point. Let me get ya those bits and a couple apples.”

“And I will give your friends a fond farewell while I wait,” Magus grinned.

Applejack trotted off to her room while Magus headed down stairs.

“Sooooo? What’s up doc?” Pinkie Pie asked, while suspiciously nibbling a carrot.

Magus greeted this comment with a raised eyebrow and a smile. “The prognosis is a full recovery by tomorrow morning. Alas my friends, I am rather tired from today’s activities and when Applejack returns I shall excuse myself and find lodging for the night. I need my beauty sleep, as it were.”

There was a chorus of what was essentially a disappointed ‘Awwww~’ but they seemed to understand.

“Darling, you aren’t leaving town or anything are you?” Rarity asked, almost on the edge of tears.

“Nothing like that my Lady. I will teleport back to town and find a place to stay the night.” Magus said in a soothing tone.

“Yeah we TOTTALY have to have a party for Big Mac and M&M! So you CAN’T just leave!” Pinkie Pie added while bouncing in place.

Rainbow Dash seemed torn. “You gonna be around for a while? Cause you know…we could, hang out or something?”

“That sounds like fun.” Magus said smiling. They were either normally this way or Someone was messing around with them. The first possibility was endearing while the latter pissed him off.

Applejack came down stairs with a small bag in her mouth and offered it to Magus who placed it in his ‘bag’ using telekinesis. “Now there’s some bits and a couple of our best apples in there sugarcube. Ya make sure ya stop by and see us again as soon as ya’ll can, ya hear?”

“I will do that. Thank you for giving me a chance to prove myself. Everyone, have a wonderful evening.” With that, Magus vanished in a flash of light leaving the four mares alone in the living room, or at least they thought they were alone.

I watched them from my hidden spot, having released the Magus illusion for a moment, before I headed off towards the forest where I first appeared. Camping out under the stars seemed like a good idea at the time, and it would save some of the money I’d just earned. I nibbled on one of the apples and found it may have been the best tasting fruit I’d had in years. So far, I’d satisfied a number of questions about the place I was in, and could establish with some certainty that I was the first visitor here from another dimension, at least using this Guidepost. I’d need to set up some alarms and watch spells in the morning, but I was too low on reserves to do so tonight. Tomorrow I would need to find a place of study so I could fill in more blanks, like who was in charge of all the little ponies and how I could get an audience with them.

I just had to hope my reward for all of this wasn’t a swift execution. Although, I ruminated that wasn’t such a terrible way to go either in retrospect. I think life imprisonment would actually have been worse; or torture but that seemed about as likely as Zeus stopping by to have s’mores with me tonight. I finally made my way into the wood and dropped my invisibility spell. With a hand gesture I brought up a bubble of warm light to follow me, complete with a smiley face I’d seen some caster use somewhere before. I just thought it was cute and made me look less imposing.

Once I reached the old ruin, I set up a campfire and a simple alarm ward around the camp to warn of intruders. I felt like I was being watched but a scan of the area didn’t reveal anything I could ascertain. Pulling a bedroll from my robe-space, I had a lay down and wished I’d had a better view of the sky, as the night here looked fantastic. If I had time I’d have to map some of these stars for reference and study.

Long life leads to many pursuits; at least in my case it did considering how dangerous boredom was for a living weapon. I’d had time to study music, art, astronomy, and archeology to name a few. Some things I’d spent enough time doing that I could be considered a Doctorate but since every plane was just a little different than the next, it certainly kept things fresh. After a moment I pulled out a small cigarette case and removed a jet black cigarette with a small gold band. Clove cigarettes at least smelled better than their usual tobacco-only cousins but honestly I thought the things looked neat and matched my ensemble.

Once my cigarette was out, I tossed the remains in the fire pit and closed my eyes to meditate before slipping off to sleep. Hopefully, tomorrow would be as successful as today had been.

After all; they say hope springs eternal.

Author's Note:

Also, to be continued.

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