• Published 24th Jul 2015
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Chrome, The path he walked - RIPoste



Chrome was a friend to many, but he was no more. Now, Overlord Lueur walks the plane in his stead, an enemy of all. A dark lord in the eyes of many, the villain laughs and weeps as he remembered how he came to be...

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Past 4: Unseen Roots

Sometimes, things happen without us knowing why, and we would never be able to explain them without searching for the reason. The Question lies with what we do next, do we search for answers? Or do we wait for them to show themselves?

Past 4: Unseen Roots

Present

Lueur stared upon the glowing crystal statue that was Tirek.

“A pity that you needed to put him down,” Stated a feminine voice behind him.

Not turning around, Lueur nodded absently, lost in his gaze at the statue. Though the outer exterior was clear, one could see a dancing stream of purplish green magic flowing within. Moving hypnotically like a snake within the prison, it seemed to be seeking an exit. However, Lueur would never let that magic escape, for to do so would spell the downfall of all that he had ever built.

“Beautiful, don’t you agree, herald?” Continued the voice, “Chaos magic, in its purest, rawest form.”

“And the only magic that could guarantee my defeat.” Added Lueur, finally angling his head so that he could see the newcomer out of the corner of his eyes.

A light blue earth pony well into her prime stood behind him. She was garbed simply, a plain brown robe draped around her. However, on closer look, one could tell that she was blind.

Or so one thinks.

To the normal bystander, they would only see her discolored, unseeing eyes and feel pity for her cause. To magicians, they would only be able to have a faint sense of the obscure aura about her. However, to Lueur, he could feel the level of devotion that this earth pony had towards her cause.

To hasten the rebirth of the Original Beings, that was the cause of the Archbishop of the Cult of Origins.

Granted with the ability to ‘see’ the light and dark within any single being, the Archbishop was able to discern the ‘balance’ within any single soul. Despite being unable to see the world as it appears, she was allowed to see the world as it truly was.

“Indeed,” replied the Archbishop, “The Origin is the greatest manifestation of balance, only Chaos magic could disrupt its flow.”

“Which is why we have to keep it sealed,” finished Lueur, “our success depends upon it.”

Silence descended upon the two beings as they each delved into their thoughts. A silence broken by Lueur.

“How goes her initiation?”

“I do not know,” admitted the Archbishop, “the battles of will had begun, and not even I could see what the two gods have in store for her.”

“True, though I do hope they would loosen up a bit…”

“You love her, herald?”

“I care for her,” corrected Lueur, “protecting her was my promise to someone who had and still matters to me.”

“But you love her?”

“No. I had stopped loving, not since discovering what a farce it was.”

“What about that rainbow-maned Pegasus?”

“You are pushing it…”

“My apologies, herald…”

Lueur turned away from the Archbishop, annoyed at her antics. He had loved, once, and he had been abandoned when it mattered most.

Even now, he could still remember when it had begun. He did not know it then, but he could see that it had started then.


Five Years Ago…

Rays of the afternoon sun shone down on the grounds through gaps in the leaves of the massive amount of trees within the Fillydelphia Nature Reserves. Thousands of critters jostled about in the undergrowth as they added their voice to the ever-growing chorus of the forest. It was a peaceful, serene scenario, except that there was at least one particular green Pegasus not in the mood to enjoy it.

Chrome was very annoyed.

Treading in the dark undergrowth was not his style, nor should it be any Pegasus’ way of approach.

‘Why did I even agree to this anyway?’ Complained Chrome internally, as he grimly trudged his way through the thicket of a forest, Dark Jet by his side.

They had spent five four years at the Flight Protégé Institution, and had went through various trainings, trials and tribulations together. However, when working as a team, there was bound to be disagreements and arguments among the members.

‘And why does it have to happen on our graduation exam?’

They had been separated into groups of threes for their final examination, and their goal was to traverse the Fillydelphia Nature Reserve searching for colored sticks hidden within the reserve. The number of points varies with the time taken for each group to retrieve a certain number of sticks. A way to keep the competitive spirit up in the tension of the exam.

‘Except that the tension is getting to all of us…’

Chrome was paired with Dark Jet and Tallsign for this, and despite having friendly relations with each other; they were not exactly the best of chums. Meaning, they were prone to hour-long arguments.

Dark Jet had initially wanted to scour the trees for the hidden colored sticks. However, the problem lies in the fact that the Instructors had hinted that the sticks were scattered throughout the forest. They had not explicitly stated that the sticks would be hidden in the trees. Also, the fact that the test was named, Zero Altitude Survival Hunt, was already hinting that the sticks would not be placed at above ground level.

This led to Tallsign and Dark Jet having a long bicker about what was to be done, eventually ending up with a plan that was much worse than it sounds. They were going to take turns scouring the trees, while the other two search the undergrowth. In Chrome’s opinion, that method would be what Captain Rearsweep would label, ‘unfeasible’.

Unfortunately, logic rarely applies when you had two over-enthusiastic companions who agreed on the same prong of approach.

‘I just can’t believe that I need to spend at least two days with these guys…’

Yeah, they were given enough supplies to last them for three days straight. In fact, they were even informed that the fastest team to ever complete the course took two days, three hours and fifty and a half minutes, give or take.

Using his wings and fore hooves to push apart a bush, Chrome grinned as he beheld a long thin cyan colored cylinder sticking out from the leaves he just cleared.

“Two days?” Muttered Chrome, “Not if I got anything to say about it.”


A few hours later

“That’s it?” Stated Dark Jet, “These are all we have?”

“Yeah…” Muttered Chrome, the light green Pegasi struggling to stay on his feet

“Sorry about this…” Added Tallsign, which was ironic, for he looked as he had felled into a quicksand and was subsequently pulled out. Which was exactly what happened.

“What are you apologizing for? This is a team effort.”

“Oh right.”

Despite his words, Dark Jet was still unhappy with his team’s performance. They had been searching a portion of the reserve all day and yet only managed to find four of the required color sticks.

And he was right about some sticks being hidden in the trees, due to the fact that ‘zero-altitude’ actually stands for ground level. Apparently that was either something that his teammates did not know, or that they are just so narrow-minded as to assume ‘zero-altitude’ meant that it had to be literally only the ground…

Time had been wasted trying to scour both the grounds and the trees for colored sticks, while they could had saved much more time by flying among the trees, where they could have sped things up due to flying.

Sighing, Dark Jet turned towards his teammates.

“We should rest, get some sleep and something to eat.”

“Sure.”

“Well,” Piped Tallsign, “I’ll go to that river I saw just now to wash up, and search for some more sticks.”

“Yeah, you do that. We’ll get the camp up.”

Without a second word, Tallsign turned about and headed off into the undergrowth. Adding his footsteps into the growing chorus of the woodland realm.

Nopony was worried, but then, nopony ever believed that the unexpected would happen because they never seen it.


Minutes passed, and Dark Jet’s annoyance at Tallsign’s tardiness became that worry as the minutes became hours. In fact, Tallsign was taking so long that it was either absurd, he had some stomach problems or he was in trouble.

“Uh… Dark Jet?” Called Chrome, “Tallsign’s taking awhile, do you think he’s in trouble?”

‘Well,’ Thought Dark Jet, ‘at least he spoke up.’

“Let’s go look for him.” Decided Dark Jet, following the path Tallsign had taken.

The forest was dyed orange in the light of the evening sun, however, grim as the mood was, neither Chrome nor Dark Jet was in the mood to enjoy it. Their imagination taking hold of them as they wondered what happened to their friend.

They trekked slowly through the woods, their hooves crushing the fallen leaves, an aura of seriousness surrounding them.

“Dark Jet, there’s hoofsteps here!”

Snapping his head around, Dark Jet could see the freshly trodden earth that Chrome had indicated. Indeed, they were fresh, but the ground was also slightly muddy, and with the lack of rain that means somepony had stepped into the water recently, and there was only one Pegasus that they had known to go to a water body recently.

“Tallsign should have passed through here.” Muttered Dark Jet, “Let’s go!”


Some time later

The night sky had enveloped the world in its loving embrace. The moon of the night smiled down upon all of Equestria; however, there were some places that not even the light of the night could reach.

The Fillydelphia Nature Reserve was one of them. With vast numbers of trees managing to block out most of the light of the sun, it was no surprise that the inside of the woodland realm was but a blanket of darkness. Nopony in their right mind would ever dare to venture about the woods at this time.

Unless you decided that Chrome and Dark Jet happened to be among those few souls that happened to not be in their right mind. At the moment.

The two Pegasus were discussing their current plans as they walked, following the sound of each other’s voices rather than by sight. For in this darkness, they were as blind as bats.

“Right,” muttered Dark Jet in his no-nonsense voice, “First phase, we are going to stick together and try to retrace our tracks.”

“Check.”

“Second phase, we would have to find as much of those sticks as possible before returning to the rendezvous point, where we’d have to wait for Tallsign, who would most definitely be heading there.”

“Check.”

“Final Phase, after this entire darned test is over, we are going to have to chew Tallsign off for taking far too long in his trip to the river.”

“Checking that. Totally.”

“Now, let’s get moving, follow the so- *Wham!* OW!”

Chrome briefly heard the sound of something striking a tree hard, squinting in the direction of the sound futilely, Chrome called out.

“Dark Jet, you okay?”

“Yeah,” Replied Dark Jet, “just knocked into a stupid tree, anyway, just follow me.”

Chrome gave his affirmation and started treading in the direction of his friend’s voice.

‘Weird though,’ Thought Chrome as he walked, ‘I had thought I would be afraid of the dark, but somehow, it feels… sort of safe, like I don’t need to be afraid…’

“Hey, Dark Jet,” Started Chrome, “I got this weird feeling, like somepony was watching over me, are you sure that the instructors were not privately supervising us, I mean, if they are, should we try calling out to them?”

Chrome waited for an answer. A very unnatural long wait.

“Uh, Dark Jet? You there?” Called Chrome.

No reply.

Voice rising in panic, Chrome’s voice rose in panic.

“Dark Jet? Where are you!?”

Unfortunately, only the darkness and the faint rays of light were there to answer his reply. Face paling at the recognition of what happened, Chrome could only think up a phrase for this situation.

“Oh crap.”


The next day

Rearsweep sat next to a table propped up just outside the edge of the Fillydelphia Nature Reserve. Sheltered from the burning sun by a large umbrella, Rearsweep took a quick glance at the edge of the forest. Though she could not see much apart from the trees and foliage that made up the woods, Rearsweep could tell that there were no motions that indicate any of her students approaching.

Not like they would be able to finish the course in record time.

Taking a sip from the cup of tea, Rearsweep breathed a sigh of relief and satisfaction. Despite always showing herself as the model Captain at the institution, she had to have some time to relax.

However, she was certain that none of her students would fail the test, or even get injured, for that matter. She had seen them grow from young foals into almost fully-fledged adult ponies, and despite the spooky tales about Fillydelphia Nature Reserve, there were next to no dangers within the place. It was much more like an unattended park rather than an actual nature reserve.

Taking another sip from the cup of tea, she held it in her mouth, enjoying the taste of the Eastern Equestrian Black T-

“Guys look! There she is!” Yelled a very familiar voice, “Instructor Rearsweep!”

Spitting the tea out of her mouth in a fountain of brown liquid, Rearsweep hurriedly wiped her mouth with a handkerchief as she turned her eyes skywards.

“Chrome?” She asked aloud.

Sure enough, it was them, Chrome Windcutter and his two teammates diving down to the ground.

“Instructor Rearsweep, ma’am!” Saluted Chrome as soon as he touched down before her, “We finished the course!”

“Wha-“ Began Rearsweep as she registered what her student had said. Whipping out a pocket watch, she quickly registered the time, and checked the date on a nearby calendar before fixing her students with a disbelieving stare.

“One day, six hours and thirty two minutes? That’s an Institution record!”

“By the way, marm,” Said Dark Jet as he laid a few objects out on the table. “Here are the sticks! We got a bit too many though.”

Disbelievingly, Rearsweep counted out the colored sticks laid out before her, before replying weakly.

“Fourteen?”

“Sorry about that, ma’am,” Said Chrome, “I found a bit more than usual, is that a bad thing?”

“I’m afraid so,” Replied Rearsweep, still stunned at the speed her students had completed the test. “We did hid an excess amount of sticks for you to find, however, the absence of four of this meant tougher luck for the others to find more.”

“I told you, Chrome.” Said Tallsign, “you should not have been so enthusiastic about finding these extra pieces.”

“Like you’re one to talk,” Rebutted Chrome, “who’s the one who took so long going for a ‘wash-up’ and got lost?”

“Hey! I was searching for more sticks! And I found four!”

“And we found ten between us,” snorted Dark Jet, “and we did most of the finding at night, you got anything to say to that?”

“Night?” Exclaimed Rearsweep, “You were searching for the sticks in total darkness?”

“Well, we kinda got lost,” admitted Dark Jet, “but Chrome found me in the end, and we managed to pick up some sticks on our way to find Tallsign.”

“You found each other, despite getting lost?”

“Well, I just followed some tracks on the ground, and some sticks just so happen to be in places lit up by what light the moon could get into the forest.” Replied Chrome sheepishly, “it wasn’t easy, but we managed to group up together in the end.”

Leaning back in her seat, Rearsweep mulled this new information over. Aside from the fact that they had found their way across the forest in the dark, her students had apparently finished the test in almost a full day earlier than the previous record holders. This was amazing, even seemingly impossible, considering the circumstances.

There was also the chance of cheating involved, Rearsweep reminded herself, where ponies attacked other groups and bullied them into handing over the sticks. However, a simple truth reader device would be able to tell lies from truth.

And one such machine was on the table now, and it had not ringed, not once, meaning that the truth had been spoken.

‘Well,’ Thought Rearsweep, ‘I just need to ask them a question, just in case.’

“Ahem,” coughed Rearsweep, “just to make sure, I’d like to affirm that you did not steal this sticks from other groups? Or make them give it to you in any way?”

“We won’t do that, ma’am!”

“No way!”

“Definitely not!”

The device had not ringed, and somehow that was the least of all the surprises that Rearsweep had seen in the past fifteen minutes. Turning her eyes back to the three indignant faces of her students, Rearsweep smiled.

“The machine here,” she tapped the Truth Reader with a hoof, “did not ring, you know what that means?”

Her three students shook their heads in puzzlement.

“Uh uh."

“No.”

“Is it something bad?”

“It means,” smiled Rearsweep, “I’m going to write a letter of recommendation to the Royal Equestrian Airforce Officer’s School for Tallsign, who had expressed his interest in going there, and letters of recommendation to the Wonderbolts Academy for Chrome and Dark Jet, who both wanted to further their studies at that place.”

Bewilderment was among the foremost of her students’ reactions, which erupted fully into joyous expressions full of pride and gratitude.

“Thank you, Ma’am!” The three of them saluted simultaneously, roaring out their gratitude to their smiling instructor.

‘Well,’ Wondered Rearsweep, ‘I like their reaction, but I’ll like to see the reaction on Cousin Spitfire’s face when she hears that her record here had been beaten by a full day.’


Two months later

“This is just wrong!” muttered Dark Jet, “How could they do this?”

A group of Pegasi was seated inside Chrome’s room, Cloudaxe, Tallsign, Lightningstreak, and Spiral Dive… Even Instructor Rearsweep was there, and of course, Chrome and Dark Jet were there too.

It was supposed to be a joyous occasion, where a bunch of old friends gathered together to banter and brag about their hard earned futures, in the form of acceptance letters.

Except, that one of them was rejected, and nopony ever expected Chrome Windcutter to be rejected from any possible paths he could take in his flying career.

Upon the floor of the room lay a piece of parchment, it read.

Salutations to the Pegasus Chrome Windcutter.

I am Admiral Arrow Heart of the Wonderbolts, and though I had hoped to send you a letter detailing your acceptance into the Wonderbolts Academy, it would be my utmost regret to inform you that due to unnatural circumstances, we had to reject your application for entry into the W.A. I am deeply sorry for this and I sincerely hope you do not feel that this rejection was due to doubt of your skills or records, but that of unforeseen situations and interventions.

I for one have no doubts that you would become an esteemed member of our team should you be given the chance. However, despite the failure of your application, I sincerely believe that the day would come where you would be accepted into the Wonderbolts, but as of now, it would unfortunately not be realized yet. Please do not let this affect you in any way, for from what Dr. Silverfeather had briefed me, you are a very outstanding flyer, and we both hoped that you would overcome this setback and continue to improve your skills.

Fly Strong,
Arrow Heart
Admiral of Wonderbolts

“This is just a stack of hay!” Ranted Dark Jet, “how could they reject you but accept me?”

“Do you know anything about this? Instructor?” Asked Lightningstreak in a dangerously calm voice.

“No,” croaked Rearsweep, more out of anger than from shock, “but you can bet my year long salary that I’m going to have a long talk with both Dr. Silverfeather, Admiral Arrow Heart and my cousin about this.”

“Don’t bother,” smiled Chrome sadly, he had already gotten over the shock of the rejection and was reading the contents of the letter again, “It says here that it was just unforeseen circumstances that prevented my entry, and she also said that I would be given a chance in the future.”

“But it may just be pile of horseapples,” Pointed out Tallsign, “she may just be writing empty words to make herself feel much better.”

“Even so,” laughed Chrome hollowly, “I’m going to take that chance and hold her to her word. Besides, it’s not like the world’s going to end, right? I’ll just go somewhere else…”

“Well,” snorted Dark Jet, “still seems like a pile of hay to me, if they’re gonna say that unforeseen circumstances stopped them from picking you, then how are they going to explain picking me? Or anypony else for that matter?”

“Maybe I’m just not as good as you guys yet.”

“That’s just a bunch of buck,” Swore Dark Jet, “you were the best acrobatic flier, I mean, you could perform all kinds of stunts that require balance perfectly! No way in Tartarus am I buying their lies!”

At that instance, the door opened, and Rain Wake trotted in, holding onto another letter with the Wonderbolts insignia upon it. Upon seeing the dark clouds hovering upon her friends’ faces, her cheerful smile trembled with nervousness.

“Um… Letter for Chrome? From the Wonderbolts?” Holding the letter out, she passed it to Lightningstreak, who almost snatched it from her.

“Humph,” snorted Cloudaxe, “More letters of apology? Hey Lightning, if it’s anything but good or important news, you could tear it up.”

“Don’t worry,” Smiled Lightningstreak, giving one of her winning smiles as she ripped the envelope off the parchment inside, “I have every single intent to do just that.”

A few moments of silence passed, as the group allowed Lightningstreak to browse the contents of letter. As they did, they saw her various changes to her expressions.

Her look of contempt changed to one of disbelief, than to one of amazement. Now, almost as though she was dazed, Lightningstreak spoke aloud.

“Well, I don’t know if this is good or bad news,” She said, eyes still upon the piece of parchment, “But you have got to hear this, Chrome.”

END

Author's Note:

Hello All! I hope you all enjoyed Chrome Past 4, though, I'm pretty sure that all of you would be having lots of question raised at this new chapter! Want them answered? Wait for the next one!

It's going to be out in 2 weeks again, btw, sorry!

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