• Published 5th Jun 2012
  • 1,215 Views, 22 Comments

One Reality - Aburi



Three desperate friends are flung to Equestria when an experimental portal malfunctions.

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Prologue

Prologue


Fero peered suspiciously at the wavering outline of the portal before him, wishing he understood the physics behind it better. Although it was still a prototype, the technology behind this black disk had successfully transported live animals halfway around the world. But never anything sentient. And now they had to trust it to take their precious regent to safety.

The idea of trusting such untried technology made Fero shudder inside, and he once again estimated his chances of flying those he cared about to safety. After all, they were small enough not to hinder his flight. He knew that he could carry his three friends well past the fighting, but the distinctive sound of large caliber weapons could be heard even as far away as they were. He didn't know where they had found such weapons that had survived the Tearing, but escape by air was incredibly risky.

He considered the young leader of his little nation as she stood beside him. Amber was tiny; at four foot eight inches tall she didn’t even reach halfway to his shoulder. She was slender with long blond hair that reached mid-back, stopping right between her wings. Fero had often tried to argue with her about giving up her ornamental wings, but his heart wasn’t in it. They were her only vanity, and he had to admit she was one of the few people who could pull off the angelic look.

However, it was neither her size nor her appearance the anyone noticed about her. Amber had a strength of presence that had to be experienced to be believed. Most people were so overwhelmed when meeting her that they never realized that she was shorter than them.

His mental rambling was cut off by Mark’s voice over the intercom. "OK Blackie, Sam's on his way to you and the receiving station has given the go ahead. I'm on the way with the rest of the crew."

"Even at a time like this he calls me that..." Fero grumbled, making Amber interrupt her own musings to give him a quick grin.

A moment later Amber's other guard Samuel arrived. He may have been insignificant in size compared to Fero, but he was still a giant compared to the rest of the population. He had modeled himself after the old werewolf myth and balanced himself well enough that he was comfortable on two legs or four. He had long since mastered the art of knowing exactly what posture was the most intimidating at any given time and his presence at Ambers side had ensured that meetings with even the most antagonistic of people stayed peaceful. But in the very few times that intimidation did not work, he was willing and able to perform truly Herculean feats in the defense of his country and his liege.

Sam had just passed the doorway when an explosion near the entrance blasted him off his feet and across the room. Fero instinctively reached out with a wing to catch the tumbling wulven before he bowled Amber over, but he was too late to catch the piece of rock that clipped her shoulder.

Fero quickly looked over his back at their experimental escape route. He thought the portal still looked stable; but with the building falling apart around them, he doubted it would last.

"Times up Amber. We have to get out of here." A trace of panic was threatening to creep into his usually moderate tone as he transferred Sam’s unconscious form from wing to claw.

"No. We will wait for Mark." Though she must have been in a great deal of pain, Amber spoke the order calmly. Just one of the many reasons Fero admired her.

But it was no longer safe here. Sam had passed out from the blast and Amber was injured. I hope Mark can catch up, "Sorry princess, we're going." And I hope someday she forgives me for this...

Fero scooped her up before she could protest and, with one friend in each hand, closed his eyes and launched himself through the portal.

As he passed through the portal it flared brightly and then winked out, closing as all of its power was used in one unexpected burst.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

At the royal palace in Canterlot, Princess Celestia was listening to the first of the day's petitioners for morning court. A carrot farmer was currently describing the his new variety of crop in exhaustive detail. As near as Celestia could tell, this particular farmer didn’t actually want anything, he just wanted to know that she cared. And Celestia did care; she was always pleased by her ponies ingenuity.

However, Celestia was not able to properly appreciate the session. She was thoroughly jolted out of her comfortable morning when she felt the emissions of a spell which utterly shocked her. She had trained herself long ago to detect teleportation magic misfires, as only near instantaneous reaction had any hope of saving the unfortunate victim. Not to mention that very few unicorns that ever mastered the skill, and Celestia knew most of them personally.

What she felt though implied at least two contradictions and one outright impossibility. It was without a doubt a teleportation spell, but it was targeted over a mile in the air where no unicorn would ever teleport to even unconsciously. Like all teleportation spells it was immensely complex, yet was also incredibly clumsy based on the amount of magic leaking. And it was too powerful. Only herself or Luna had the raw power that was contained in that burst of magic, but Celestia did not recognize the magic signature at all.

Celestia pulled herself together and addressed the petitioner. “I’m sorry, but something urgent has just come to my attention, did you have any further concerns?”

“Oh, um.. no, your majesty,” He had paused when the Princess’ head jerked up now simply looked confused.

“Very well then, please be sure to register your new crop with the council of agriculture.” Celestia motioned her guard over. “Please spread the word that today's morning court session is over. Also, tell the division captain on duty to meet me in the west conference room.”

She barely waited for his acknowledgement before teleporting herself to the conference room. Once there she began the preparations for a scrying spell. It only took a moment to prepare, but she fretted over every instant of delay.

As Celestia activated the spell, a large globe of magic formed in the middle of the room. Moments later the spell found its target and a scene appeared.

Unfortunately, what they saw raised more questions than answers.

The spell was designed to show two views of the same location, a display of the present as well as a target timeframe. The target timeframe was several seconds before Celestia felt the teleport.

On the bottom half of the globe, showing what was happening in the present was a black dragon, obviously tired, gently spiraling down from a great height.

In top view a hideously violent magical eruption was shown. In its wake the dragon could be seen tumbling about for a moment before diving to catch something. Once it had caught whatever was falling, it settled in to glide toward the ground.

With more questions than answers, she contacted her sister.

<Luna, are you still awake?> Telepathy had always come easily between the sisters, but even more so as they had become closer after Luna’s return.

<Unngh... You have the worst timing Tia. I had just gotten to sleep, is something wrong?>

<Yes, I think so... but I’m not sure what. It felt like somepony botched a teleport into our airspace about a mile up. The magic signature was all over the place.>

It took Luna a moment to wrap her sleep-addled mind around that. <I see. Are you in the west conference room?>

<Yes, Thank you Luna, I’ll see you in a moment.>

Even barely awake Luna’s teleport was so graceful that Celestia barely felt it even in the same room. As powerful and practiced as Celestia was, it was Luna that was the artist of the pair, even in magic.

“I’m sorry to wake you little sister, Allow me to replay the spell...”

“Yes, let us see what has disturbed you so.” Luna said, still slowly waking back up. Celestia patiently waited while the image replayed itself.

“Tis a dragon.... Sister, has teleportation advanced so much that a unicorn can overcome a dragon's resistance?”

“No,” Celestia said, “as far as I am aware, what we just witnessed should be impossible. You or I could perform such a spell, but no unicorn alive could teleport a mature dragon very far. It may be possible for several unicorns working together to perform such a feat, but such a group would require a high level of skill, and would never have been as clumsy as what we just witnessed.”

While the princesses were discussing the matter, a pegasus in a division captain's uniform entered the room and stood by respectfully.

Celestia soon addressed the new arrival, “Captain Storm Wind, I will need you to -”

“There is no time sister, look!” Luna interrupted as the dragon’s strength gave out and it plummeted to the ground.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Both princesses could not go to investigate. Equestria did have enemies and should something happen to one sister, the other must be free to act. They agreed that Luna should go, simply due to the fact that Celestia had many other duties during the day.

Luna arrived with Storm Wind moments after the dragon hit the ground. She was too late to help, but was treated to yet another riddle. For some reason the dragon had flipped over and wrapped its wings around itself just before impact, so that it landed on its back. The mystery dragon had however slowed its fall enough that it was still conscious when they descended.

The dragon looked wrong to Luna somehow, but it took a few seconds for her to process the reasons. It had an adult's proportions, but no spines on its crest or tail. Instead, its tail sported an odd sort of fin. Its wings were disproportionately large, and its eyes were oddly small.

Luna’s first impressions were mixed. She was impressed that it was still awake given how far it had fallen. She was also confused by its odd appearance and that, for some reason, it had flipped over at the last second and landed on its back. She also couldn’t help but be amused by its expression.

While not as expressive as the dragons she was accustomed to, there was no denying the expression of pure disbelief the creature had when looking at her and the guards. Had the situation been less serious she would have been unable keep from laughing at the look on its still upside-down face.

"Identify yourself." Captain Storm stepped forward and took the lead while Luna was taking stock of the situation.

If anything the look of confusion grew. But after a moment it turned its head over and responded: "Nerlit hal fintrak?!"

"..."

There was a pause as the ponies tried to make sense of the odd sounds emanating from the creature. Luna could not believe her ears. She was completely unable to understand. The thought of a creature speaking but not being understood was completely alien to her. "Can you not understand us?" She gently asked, stepping up beside the guard captain.

Once again it took a moment to respond. This time the sounds it made were more fluid like her own speech, but still unfamiliar.

"En vou lin yomalta, yin va nedderwa?" The question obvious even though they could make no sense of the words.

"I'm sorry, I still don't understand..."

This time, instead of responding with words, the dragon slowly and carefully unfurled its wings, which had been wrapped around its barrel, and gently unclasped its front claws. Resting inside were two more strange unconscious creatures.

One was large, about the same size as Luna herself. It looked like a cross between a diamond dog and a timberwolf. She could not tell if it was meant to walk on four legs or two. It had reddish-brown fur and was wearing an unfamiliar style of armor. Mostly Luna noticed the muscles. This was obviously a very strong specimen of whatever species it belonged to. Even asleep it was intimidating, she imagined it could be outright frightening awake.

The other one was, if anything, even stranger. A bit smaller than an adult pony, it was pale and furless under its clothing. Its golden mane had seen better days and it appeared female. Luna guessed this one was bipedal like a diamond dog or a minotaur, but where those two races appeared coarse and brutish, this one was slender and built gracefully. To top it all off it sported a pair of small white pegasus wings.

Then Luna noticed that the female was bleeding from a deep cut on her shoulder. A quick look at the dog creature showed that it too was bleeding, but from its ears.

"Grathta nothru..." The dragon spoke in a soft voice which belied it's massive frame, "Tath tra so sen sentra, teth grathta."

There was no mistaking the pleading in its eyes, and no real need for any words. Luna simply meet the dragon’s gaze and nodded solemnly.

With a small sigh of pure relief, the massive creature passed out.