• Published 24th May 2020
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Up to Fate - Onomonopia

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A Small Kindness

Pinkie twirled through the air before conjuring numerous portals around her. The oncoming meteors that had been about to crush her vanished into the portals, reappearing a moment later the size of pebbles. She chuckled as they plinked off her helm before she spun to face whatever else Star-Swirl had conjured up.

The wizard didn't disappoint.

Behind him was a colossal kraken made of water, which towered over her. Each of the dozen tendrils came slamming down towards Pinkie, who clapped her hooves together. A barrier in the shape of Anubis' symbol appeared between her and the kraken, blasting apart the tentacles when they touched it. Pinkie summoned more of the symbols above the kraken and sent them raining down, impaling the watery beast and blasting it apart.

"It seems that you have learned how to best my beasts. Now let us see what happens when I turn your whole world upside down!" Star-Swirl laughed. He slammed his staff into the floor and the whole universe flipped around. Pinkie was sucked into the sky, before rocketing towards where Star-Swirl was conjuring a nasty looking spell.

'He has altered the gravity of this room. Counter by flying or ripping control of gravity from him,' Nabu advised.

Pinkie had another idea. She reached out with her hooves and grabbed hold of two of the planets that floated by them, hurling them towards the wizard. While these "planets" were more like the size of large buildings, Star-Swirl still had to cease his spell and craft a barrier around himself to keep from behind crushed. Pinkie used this opportunity to take control of the rooms gravity, multiplying it for the wizard while restoring hers to normal.

"Not a bad idea, my pink friend. But it's clear that you still need some practice!"

Star-Swirl's body began to glow and a moment later he floated up off the floor, a smile on his face. Pinkie narrowed her eyes as she began to weave some chains in her hooves, but was stopped by Nabu.

'He has entered the astral plane. Which is impressive as normally one needs to leave their body to do so,' Nabu informed her. 'This has freed him from your gravity spell.'

"So what's our play?"

'Suck him into the amulet of Anubis,' Nabu instructed. Pinkie circled her hooves twice, before driving them to the side of the amulet on her chest. The amulet roared to life in a flash of light, which then began to suck Star-Swirl's astral form towards the golden helmed mare. Star-Swirl smiled at the act, before he regained solid form above Pinkie and sent lightning bolts raining down.

Pinkie thrust up a single hoof and summoned a shield around herself, one that absorbed the lightning bolts as they struck. She then channeled all of the magical lightning into her helm and fired a single, concentrated blast of pure lightning towards Star-Swirl. The wizard hurled himself out of the way as the lightning cracked by, igniting his hat in the process.

"Hehehe, I think you've been thinking too hard, Star-Swirl. There's smoke coming out of your ears," Pinkie teased. Star-Swirl fanned out the flames before smirking at Pinkie, willing his staff to his side once more.

"You have rapidly learned how to counter and redirect magic. Your defensive capabilities are impressive," Star-Swirl said. "But your offensive spells are still lackluster. With the power of Nabu backing you, you should be more than easily able to overpower me and shatter any spell I try to throw at you. So either you are an incredibly slow learner when it comes to offensive magic. Or, if I had to wager a guess...you are not trying."

'The second choice is the correct one,' Nabu told Star-Swirl.

"Nabu! Tattle tale!" Pinkie pouted.

'It is never a good idea to lie to your instructors, especially with the fate of this world on the line,' Nabu said. 'Tell him your reasoning, young Pinkie.'

"I...don't want to," Pinkie muttered.

'She does not wish to hurt another.'

"Nabu!"

"Pinkie...that is a very noble idea," Star-Swirl said. He floated over and placed a hoof on her shoulder, giving her a sympathetic smile. "And you are right. Magic should only be used to harm another as a last resort. But sadly, we are at that last resort. The old world is gone, Tirek has won, and you are the only one who can usurp him. Talks will not work on him. Tirek respects one thing only and that is power. So you must answer in kind."

"I...know. But it's just..."

"Just what, my young pony?"

"The last time I truly wanted to hurt somepony with this...power, I nearly wiped out the planet," Pinkie whispered. "Nabu's power brought to life my darkest thoughts...a part of me I thought I had been rid of. Using this power to defend myself and my family is one thing, but...if I wave my arm the wrong way, that could be a city. If I think about tearing apart the world, it could happen. I'm...terrified of using this power to harm others. Because Nabu showed me I could easily wipe another being out of existence if I wanted to. I...wanted Jack gone. And a moment later...he was. I was apart of that. And that infinite power...scares me."

"I see...you are a far stronger pony than I thought," Star-Swirl thought with a nod.

"What do you mean?" Pinkie asked.

"You are scared of the infinite power you now posses. Good. Only a true fool would not be scared of that much power. But your real strength isn't how you use the infinite power. Any fool could do that. You have the strength of character and will to contain it. To hold it back. You may not know this Pinkie, but your will is all that hold's back Nabu's full power."

'It is true. I have given you full access to my power, to the point that I believe you can handle,' Nabu confirmed. 'And you have kept it at bay, never once loosing control. That takes a strength of character that I have seen in only those who have previously worn my helm. It shows that you are worthy to stand among them.'

"Awe shucks, you're making me blush," Pinkie said.

"I do not know what to tell you about your desire to not harm. It is something that you yourself will have to make peace with one day. But I do know what Tirek was like in the old world and this one. He will only listen to power," Star-Swirl warned.

"Then I guess I'll have to deal with it when the time comes," Pinkie replied. She reached up and removed the helm as the universe around them returned to Star-Swirl's basement. Nabu floated in the air as Pinkie put a hoof in her mouth and popped her mane back out to it's normal shape. "I hate to train and run, but I've got something to do really quick! I'll see you in a bit!"

Pinkie was gone in a flash of pink, leaving only a trail of confetti to show where she had gone. Star-Swirl looked at the trail for a second before he sighed, looking up at the helm that floated silently.

"Are you sure about this, Nabu?" Star-Swirl asked.

'Sure of what?'

"Her as your champion. I mean, she has a kind and strong heart. One of the strongest that I've ever seen. But she does not have it within her heart to strike down a foe. To take a life. I know that, for a moment, she wished Jack gone, but I see the guilt in her eyes. I see the hesitation and restraint in her attacks. If it comes down to it and she is forced to fight Tirek...or even the other...I cannot see how she can stop them."

'You leave that to me, Star-Swirl. I will see she does what needs to be done,' Nabu said. 'But even you must admit, she has come along quite well in a single week.'

"She...has a knack for being creative. And creativity is the lifeblood of magic," Star-Swirl admitted. "But if she continues to refuse to fight..."

'That is enough of that. I believe that you are needed upstairs,' Nabu mentioned. 'Leave me. I must think on matters.'

Taking the hint, Star-Swirl left the helm and headed up the stairs. He wanted to believe in the helm, in the god Nabu, but he remembered the old world. He remembered how strong the Elements were, he remembered the fury of Tirek and his full power...and even though he never laid eyes on it, he remembered in the depths of his soul the power that dwarfed them both. Even with Nabu, it would take a miracle for Pinkie to defeat that being. If she continued to hold back...he foresaw only darkness in that path.

"And speaking of darkness," Star-Swirl muttered. As the wizard reached the top of his stairs, he saw that everything in his house was dark. The candles were all out, the blinds were shut and even the moon couldn't get in through the skylight. He gripped his staff a little tighter as he walked through his house, a spell on the tip of his tongue as he reached his living room.

"SURPRISE!"

Star-Swirl nearly cast down lightning in response as the lights blazed to life, whipping around to see the entire Pie family at his table. A massive banner hung over the table with the words "Thank You" written on it, confetti rained down and on the table was a single cake, that also had the words "Thank You" written on it in icing.

"What...what is all this?" Star-Swirl asked.

"It's a thank you party, silly. What does it look like?" Pinkie giggled.

"It's been over a week since you took us in, and we wanted to do a little something to thank you," Cheese continued. "To thank you for taking us in when we had nowhere else to go, to thank you for teaching Pinkie how to master the magic power that has been thrust upon her...and to thank you for doing the impossible and keeping our Lil' Cheese entertained while he's been locked inside all day long."

"The game that you showed me is so cool!" Lil' Cheese exclaimed. "Our voyage across the sea. All of the battles we've had against dragons and ogres! Taking over the entire kingdom by buying out my competitors! And then there's the magic you show me! How you teleport! How you make star sail around the room at night, so it's like a real life meteor shower! Or how you always manage to find a bit behind my ear! You're incredible!"

"I...I do not know..."

"Star-Swirl," Pinkie said, turning the old pony's gaze towards her. "When I first met you, you said that you felt the land of friendship and kindness still existed within me. But you took in three strangers into your home, fed and sheltered them, and helped them out. So to me it looks like that old world doesn't just exist within me, but you as well."

"So thank you," Pinkie finished. She motioned for him to sit down and, once he had done so, sliced a piece of cake and offered it to him. "Thank you for being so kind."

The old wizard stared down at the cake, going silent for a full minute. He then looked from Pinkie to Cheese to the foal that was trying to reach the cake. "I...I can't remember the last time I had anypony...do this for me. Not it this world or the old one. The last time I was surrounded with...with..."

"Friends. The word your looking for is friends," Cheese finished.

"Yes...friends...what a nice sound," Star-Swirl said. He then looked down at the cake, smiled and levitated a piece into his mouth. "And it's cherry. My favorite. How did you know?"

"Silly. I might not be able to use magic to tear apart space and time, but if there is one thing I can do, it's throw a perfect party," Pinkie winked. "Now hurry up and eat, because we all got presents for you!"

"You'll only get mine if you tell me where you keep finding that bit!"