• Published 13th Feb 2016
  • 1,601 Views, 40 Comments

Through the Snow - Ice Star



Onyx is a young crystal pony with a twisted mind. Starswirl the Bearded whisked him away from his home with promises of being his apprentice. Sombra is a strange creature who never wanted to be remembered. However, we don't always get what we want...

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Part Six: Broken Youth

"R-reason one: I was superior to him from the start, so it makes sense that I'll continue to be..."

I swallowed and my gaze shifted from one star to another, all of them glittering against an indigo sky. I was lucky to get a chance to see them. I took a deep breath, hoping to calm down but it came out shaky.

I was lucky to get a chance to see anything.

"Reason two: I'm not an idiot. Idiots don't survive and I know that I will since I'm smart."

I picked out another star in the sky, faintly twinkling. I was sitting on the balcony overlooking this strange country, all was quiet below only a few flames of green-and-purple to be seen but even they were dwarfed by the moon, even though it was covered by a cloud its glow still managed to escape.

Half my world is nothing but black and I'm the only one that knows. I can't ever let it slip and I let the paranoia eat at my mind because it's the only thing that keeps me from another smug retort and whatever deplorable way I'd be maimed if Onyx discovers this.

"Reason three: I know that I'll get through this without losing myself..."

I'm stuck here whether I like it or not unable to run from anything and currently being forced into a life I never wanted while a voice in my head tries to rip me apart from the inside out. It only got worse when he forced this glorified circlet upon my head.

Another swallow from me and I flop down on the cold balcony no longer wanting to count stars or add up reasons any more.

All I want is this to end. I want to be alone forever in a half-dark world as long as I know that it's my own, with no voices and where I'll never see a face other then my own and all I'll ever hear is silence instead of screams. I just want to be my bitter sarcastic self where nopony will ever find me and I won't cry any more and there will be nopony ever again.

A few strands of my mane fall in the way of my right eye, concealing it more then I like. It doesn't bother me, not being able to see out of the left one since I barely had use of it for long. I almost forget what it was like to have use of both anyway.

I reach up to move those strands out of my face before catching sight of my hooves.

The armor on them is covered in blood that isn't mine, which is typical. What's less typical is that I know that I wasn't the one who wielded whatever weapon he choose this time. This time, it was him.

I like the sword. Everything's over so easily with a sword, or at least it is when I use one. I'd have liked to have had my own sword in another time, but I can't have anything but myself and whatever pain is alloted to me. Perhaps it's not as bad as what they get. I don't care, both are awful. He's awful. He likes a knife best because of how he can prolong things.

I'm not the evil one. I'm not the good one. I have to burn it all afterwards. I don't leave that much blood afterwards.

I wonder what it's like, not seeing as much blood as I have without developing a hollow-eyed stare. A pony would do that. I've seen it. Blood is everywhere. Ponies are born in blood, which must be revolting and maybe I'd actually pity them if they didn't have knives of their own, all the things they said about me. I don't care about them, but there's something that isn't right here.

...If for ponies there is lots of blood when a young pony, a foal, is born, does this mean that Onyx is trying to kill me too? Weapons aren't alive, but I'm not a weapon no matter what he says. You don't have to kill a weapon and he's already made it clear that I'm too precious for him to kill, just not in a way I imagine a typical pony would.

My eyes are the color of blood. That's what these crystal ponies say. Well, some of it. Mostly they just scream the most horrible things at me, and I can't quite understand it all. I'm not sorry, but I don't want to do this. I'm not doing anything right but am I doing something so wholly wrong as well? I don't know.

I slam a hoof against the ground and stare up at the darkness.

I would have built my entire world onto the possibility of never having Onyx inside my head.

...Except that possibility didn't exist.

Without Onyx I wouldn't be here. Although I don't need him, Onyx certainly depends on me. Or rather, he depends on having control over me and my currently miserable existence. My life was only brought about by the twisted fantasy of a child. My existence, however miserable it is, was dependent on something other than whatever it takes to make a pony, or any kind of organic life. I'll have to learn what that is some day, if I'm me. There's bound to be something recorded on such a subject. Onyx knows something that appears to deal with the subject, but his knowledge is never without distortion, just like the rest of his twisted mind.

I'm on the wrong end of a metaphorical sword but he's putting all his energy and idiocy into a war he'll never win. He doesn't know that he's fighting a one-sided battle against an opponent that only ever gets stronger, and even though my magic is not infinite he will never compare to me. His only power lies in the bond of the spell and that twisted Book's seduction of such a bloodthirsty mind, and a stupid one as well.

I wiped the blood onto the scarlet cape I wore. The cape of a king. It's not my cape because I'm not the king. I'm not a royal like the tyrant, King Onyx, as he would have styled himself if there was a shred of honesty to him. I'm certainly something above the common lot though, such rebellious potential lies in myself even though I am bound - partially - to what most would consider higher, at least in the superficial social construct of 'status'. It's such a petty thing, really.

Petty, small. Smaller than a king, held as pettier than the royal family. One whose rebellions, however meaningful, will most likely be small.

A Lord or a Lady. That's what I am.

Lord Sombra? Lady Sombra? What's the use in having two different titles for something? 'Lord' certainly has a better ring to it, I suppose. I am Lord Sombra.

I, Lord Sombra, wonder what it's like outside of this place. All the books I've found so far depict an awfully big world most of which isn't even covered in snow, but with mountains. As much as I like snow that possibility sounds amazing - to have something else out there. There's all sorts of history as well, with images of the gods and goddesses and so much literature I can't make sense of, and many blue prints to memorize, but I have a harder way working my way through those since my current reading ability leaves much to be desired. One day, I'll learn.

One day I'll see all that. I told myself I'd live and I would, perhaps I'd become an adventurer. They aren't bound by anything or anypony.

I, Lord Sombra, vow to escape this meaningless struggle for power, counterproductive competition, and needless material 'gain' that others have busied themselves with. I will not be drowned in mindless social pursuits or allow myself to die and be a pawn to those who wish to rule. I will act on my longings to leave such a despicable parasitic relationship if I am able to. I will not act on my best behavior for this monster who thinks his desires rule my own.

I will leave everything, and continue discover the world as it is.

For irony's sake, I am the Right-Honourable Lord Sombra. I'm everything that no pony ever wanted, and I won't bow to anypony, any god, or all who think they can order me about. I will be alone, forever.

Everpony's demon will make every rebellion count, they're like stars, nearly infinite and unique. Each star is a reason I'm better than Onyx and each rebellion will only serve to demonstrate this.

Everpony's demon will act upon this vow in any way that proves tactful and beneficial to himself as soon as he removes his forehooves from his face and ceases crying, shaking under the scarlet robes with blood spattered edges that are illuminated by the moon's light.

I'm the Right-Honourable Lord Sombra, and I couldn't give up even if I wanted to, but it doesn't make me any less lost, no matter how many stars I count.

Comments ( 19 )

A bit of a late/odd question for the author. This story is in one of the folders for the transgender bronies group, despite it not appearing on the group list at the side of the story here. Im pretty certain only stories with trans characters go in that group and as far as I can tell this story doesn't have any obvious or implied trans characters. Im assuming one of the commentators or readers of the story put it into there by accident or thinking that there was trans characters in the story when there actually weren't. Or maybe there are trans characters in this story and I wasn't paying enough attention. Maybe you put in that group? I dont know either way, I just thought I would ask about it.

9026397
I actually put it there! Sombra is kinda trans, and as a result, most of my stories with him that feature anything were his gender and gender expression comes up tends to be put in there. This story didn't have it strongly as some of my others, but the newest chapter from this story was a revised version of one in an anthology in the group, which features more overt themes of what Sombra's gender is/means/etc. I thought that it wouldn't hurt to put in the group to see which readers are interested, and if any confusion and such was brought by it, I'd just remove it. It's been removed now. :twilightsmile:

9026827
Ah fair enough

9027318
Sorry for any confusion!

9027322
Nah its fine, dont worry about it

So throughout it all, Sombra was, in a way, innocent to so many things he was accused of. I mean obviously, he's not innocent at all, but there's many things he was forced to take the blame for because he's trapped in the mind of some twisted pony who's Hellbent on causing death and destruction for his own joy. The fact he still has that bit of wonder for seeing the rest of the world seems to remain as well, though I'm not sure how much of that was ever shown in the present time, but I guess so long imprisoned can make you even more cynical than you were before!

That being said, is Sombra still half blind in the present? He's been shown to have the magic to heal others if he needs to, unless he somehow healed Twilight in another way, but no one's ever healed him. His blindness has also never been mentioned before either, and since his eye was described as milky I imagine that would've been brought up at some point. Unless he uses magic to cover it anyway.

I know it might be considered a small thing, and it might be strange, but I sorta like that little detail? As someone who's got a pretty much functionless left eye, it's one of those traits that sticks out to me. One of those 'enjoyment in seeing your faves with the same disability/sexuality/some other feature as you' moments I suppose.

10170266

So throughout it all, Sombra was, in a way, innocent to so many things he was accused of. I mean obviously, he's not innocent at all, but there's many things he was forced to take the blame for because he's trapped in the mind of some twisted pony who's Hellbent on causing death and destruction for his own joy. The fact he still has that bit of wonder for seeing the rest of the world seems to remain as well, though I'm not sure how much of that was ever shown in the present time, but I guess so long imprisoned can make you even more cynical than you were before!

Sombra's dubious innocence (as opposed to experience here, rather than guilt) has been one of my favorite things to write. His circumstances are bizarre; he can't have ever grown up naturally yet the world is still new to him. He doesn't trust ponies and shows cynical tendencies from his first moments, but takes quiet joy in the little things he observes in the world around him.

Bold of you to assume that Sombra doesn't have mixed feelings about banishment. 👀

That being said, is Sombra still half blind in the present? He's been shown to have the magic to heal others if he needs to, unless he somehow healed Twilight in another way, but no one's ever healed him. His blindness has also never been mentioned before either, and since his eye was described as milky I imagine that would've been brought up at some point. Unless he uses magic to cover it anyway.

Depending on how he is blind, the milkiness can clear up. The same goes for healing. If the nerves are disconnected, that can be healed just like a person would be able to get surgery for that in our world. If the actual eye is impacted or damaged, then he'd likely be using magic to cover it up and be less likely to be healed.

He's still blind in the present; his regeneration skills are limited. With the story not being told from his perspective (yet) it does limit the ability for it to be featured when other characters are entirely oblivious to the fact.

I know it might be considered a small thing, and it might be strange, but I sorta like that little detail? As someone who's got a pretty much functionless left eye, it's one of those traits that sticks out to me. One of those 'enjoyment in seeing your faves with the same disability/sexuality/some other feature as you' moments I suppose.

I try to represent different things in my stories, though in terms of disability I think most of the ones I've featured thus far have been primarily mental struggles. There's LGBT+ horses, though. Be prepared for them. I'm glad this resonated with you.

10170779

Bold of you to assume that Sombra doesn't have mixed feelings about banishment. 👀

I'm sure he does, but I'd assumed with every single early experience being an awful one, I just threw cynicism at the top of the list!

Depending on how he is blind, the milkiness can clear up.

I'd always assumed the milky coloring of blind eyes was scar tissue, but considering my own blindness wasn't caused by trauma, it's not really something I've really gone out of my way to research. Still appreciated it though.

I try to represent different things in my stories, though in terms of disability I think most of the ones I've featured thus far have been primarily mental struggles. There's LGBT+ horses, though. Be prepared for them. I'm glad this resonated with you.

Mental struggles are absolutely something I've noticed already, and also write. Looking forward to seeing the LGBT+ horses, though after reading the final chapter of this story it seems evident that I've already found one! Yeah, I noticed that bit with Sombra.

10170876
I occasionally have to do bouts of research on weird overly specific topics for stories. An unpublished story I’m working on required me to look up information about everything from Victorian snack foods to exsanguination.

10275643
Thank you! This one doesn't get a lot of attention so I'm always delighted to see people digging it up.
10275661
I never thought to describe them as headmates, especially since I think that's usually used for two characters with equal claims over a body and don't hate each other. This is... not so much.

10276377
yeah, but magic and soul summoning / creation kinda break all the "normal" rules of plurality anyway

and technically headmates can hate each other it's just not generally healthy, which i think applies in this case

10276666
Ah, so those darned kids and their wizardry screw up everything. Pfft.

Interesting take. So King Sombra is just a psychopath summoned into existence by a sociopath, and forced to live with him. Quite a unique idea. And some part of me is rooting for Sombra while hoping that Onyx gets what he deserves. Or at least is cast out forever, maybe into the depths of hell.

May have to put this one in my Favorites. I'm eager to read the rest now and find out what happens.

10914580
This is one of the stories that needs revision work, and the next ones do too. At least, as of me typing this, but if you want to check out the rest of the storyline, it picks up in Crystalline, which is on the front of my page. It is the first in a five-story series. Though I'd also be extremely hesitant to call Sombra a psychopath, and I'm not sure why you did, since he lacks the traits for the condition and exhibits multiple contradictions to it in-story. The rest, regarding the eventual fate of these two, I can't really answer without spoiling the other stories.

Thank you for reading, upvoting, and taking the time to comment!

10915285
Well, I'm using older definitions that someone gave to me that seem to explain it fairly well, which might be the cause of the confusion.

A psychopath is someone who doesn't see other people as people. They're not necessarily sadistic but they do lack empathy.

A sociopath does see other people as people. And they have a problem with that.

Even if they're not perfect fits, this is why I think Sombra is a psychopath and Onyx is a sociopath. The former doesn't want to hurt anyone but isn't opposed to it, while the latter pretty much has put that at the top of his list of priorities. That's why I used those words to describe them.

Even so, these are still individuals. These definitions are somewhat generalized, so even two people who fall underneath the same term may exhibit different behavior, or at least have different tastes and goals. They only explain how their minds work, not who they are at their core.

I hope that helps clear things up a bit. Not saying I'm right and you're wrong, but more trying to show you how I see it. In any case, you've written some very good stories, and I look forward to reading more of them. =)

10915742

Even if they're not perfect fits, this is why I think Sombra is a psychopath and Onyx is a sociopath. The former doesn't want to hurt anyone but isn't opposed to it, while the latter pretty much has put that at the top of his list of priorities. That's why I used those words to describe them.

I wasn't sure if you were using the older definitions (which I tend to go with, especially in-story) or you were trying to suggest Sombra could be diagnosable as one under the previous or current criteria. Sombra not being opposed to hurting others but not unwilling isn't a sign of psychopathy, and while it is notably atypical for somepony his age, it's not out of place. He has no real desire to refrain from hurting just anyone, and he has no plans to go out of his way to do so. He has less empathy, but not little to none. However, Sombra is also surrounded by a genocidal fuckwit, an abusive sorcerer, and has loose knowledge of various species he's never really interacted with. The concept of death is something is more apathetic of, not entirely devoid of emotion to. There is nopony around him he cares about or who doesn't want to hurt him. The concept doesn't really exist in his mind yet. Sombra has no healthy social interaction or reason to even extend/use empathy.

10916019
Hmm. Fair point. I guess I'll read the other stories to refine my judgement.

10918855
I look forward to further comments. :raritystarry:

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