• Published 4th Feb 2016
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Hero Souls: Awakening - SvenFoxx



Twilight always knew she was different. She just never imagined it was her soul that was different.

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6. Family Matters

Author's Note:

Rewrite Edit: Ugh. Had to redo this twice because I accidentally closed the window before saving. Anyways, I hope that adresses and continuity issues.

Stay awesome, people!:rainbowdetermined2:

1. Spear of Justice – Toby Fox
2. For the Fans – Toby Fox

Twilight allowed memories of her time as a foal to wash through her mind as she slowly trotted through Canterlot’s busy midday streets. The sun was high in the sky and very few clouds could potentially cover it. A nice day, overall.

After last night’s meeting with Princess Luna, Twilight had left to turn in for the night in one of the many guest rooms in the castle. However, as she neared her bed for the night, a nagging in the back of her mind had bothered her, and ultimately prevented her from sleeping until she addressed it. Finally she gave up and went to the kitchens to boil some tea.

Personally, she preferred coffee. Strong, pitch black coffee… that could possibly double as jet fuel… But the late hour had convinced her it was a bad idea and instead went for some chamomile tea. As she prepared it, she was trying to figure out what was bothering her.

More than once in her tenure as the Princess’ student she had spent the night in a guest room instead of returning home or sleeping in the quarters the Princess had prepared for her, so she knew she was not uncomfortable with the fact that she wasn’t in her own bed.

She supposed it could be the fact that, for once in a long time, Spike was not there with her. He was managing the Golden Oak Library while she was gone, and had already sent her a status update this morning informing her of the books returned and checked out yesterday while she was gone. But her instincts… or rather, the finely honed instincts of a reporter from her previous life told her that wasn’t the case.

So she went on a walk around the castle, trying to clear her mind and think. It wasn’t until she bumped into her brother as he patrolled the castle that everything clicked. She had forgotten to tell her family about her awakening as a Hero Soul!

And while her and her brother caught up, another issue arose in her mind.

Superman. He was an ideal of hope, but he was also a mask and a costume. A hidden identity to protect his loved ones from the enemies his life choices would make. Understandable, considering the vast amounts of darkness permeating the Earth. But Equestria was not nearly as bad off as Earth was. Humans were truly a neutral species, being capable of both wondrous and terrible things with the same ease, but Ponies tended towards the Light more often than not. They had their share of idiots and bad guys, true, but it was rare.

Now she was once more faced with the question; does she hide her power as a Kryptonian? Or does she tell everypony? Or, perhaps, just not say anything and let them draw their own conclusions? She wouldn’t be advertising her powers, but she wouldn’t be actively hiding them either.

This morning, her head was no clearer than last night. In fact, it was further muddled. One thing was very clear though, she trusted her family and friends implicitly. No matter her choice with the mask, they would know.

That was why she was currently making her way towards the residential district of Canterlot, towards the home of the Sparkle Clan.

It was also why she sighed when a familiar sound interrupted her walk down memory lane.

“Help!”

“I said shut up, mare!"

That was immediately followed by the sound of hoof meeting flesh, a strangled gasp of pain, and, oddly, it all sounded muffled.

Glancing around quickly, she ducked into an alley and blurred into high speed, moving through the air too fast for her form to be recognizable. She scanned the city as quickly as she could with her X-ray vision and soon discovered the source of the scream. She appeared above the situation and took it in. Two stallions, one mare, all were Unicorns. There was a magic restricting ring on the mare’s horn, a knife magically held to her throat, and a shimmering barrier that Twilight’s encyclopedic brain instantly recognized as a sound muffling barrier. That would explain the slight muffling she heard. She smirked slightly. One more point for ridiculously enhanced senses.

She immediately pinpointed the stallion hanging back as the source of the barrier, as his horn was lit up with magic while the other stallion’s was not.

“Please…” the mare sobbed, doing her best to avoid moving or risk slicing her neck open. “Don’t… Please don’t hurt him.”

The stallion holding her grinned. “You're new to Canterlot, so it's understandable that you wouldn't know, but the Boss don't like it when ponies fail to pay their debts. And you owe a hefty debt.” He chuckled. "I'll admit, you surprised the hell out of me and my boys with that flare spell of yours, but in the end... we have your son."

Twilight blinked, and then scanned over the alley again. She found a third Unicorn stallion holding a small winged foal in his magical grip, holding a knife to his throat.

“Don’t worry, we won’t hurt him,” the stallion holding the foal said with a grin. “But that only remains true if you don't resist."

“Exactly," the one threatening the mare nodded. "So here's the deal. I'll forgive this little incident and grant you another month to get the money together. I will also release your son... but only after you let my boys and I have a bit of fun. So lift your tail. Or don't. You're choice."

Twilight snarled at this and her eyes began glowing. With a crack of displaced air she hit the barrier forelegs first, shattering it like so much glass, and drilling into the would-be rapist’s back. Somewhere in her mind, she distantly noted the fact that the magic of the barrier slowed her down significantly, likely saving the stallion’s life. She just might have snapped him in half messily if she hit him at the speed she had been moving.

The sickening crunch as Twilight cratered the pavement with his body said he would never walk again though. Twilight currently couldn’t care less. She grabbed the now loose knife falling to the ground in her magic and hurled it at the shocked stallion holding the foal, using it to knock the knife away from the foal. She was millimeters behind it, slugging the stallion in the nose hard. He went rolling away. Twilight caught the foal in her magic and floated it towards his mother as she herself fired a binding spell at the thrashing unicorn that had been maintaining the barrier. Her shattering of it had sent a magical feedback through him, leaving him in brief but agonizing pain.

Letting off two more binding spells, as well as a stasis spell for the stallion with the shattered spine, Twilight turned towards the mare and her child, and smiled as they held each other. The mare was currently fussing over the foal, looking for injuries despite the growing bruise on her cheek.

“Are you okay?” she asked, slowly approaching. She knew from the many times she had saved a woman from this exact situation on Earth that the mare in question would be jumpy and not appreciate quick movements.

The mare looked up and smiled at Twilight through watery eyes. Twilight took note of her appearance as a lithe ash colored Unicorn with red eyes and an orange mane. Her Cutie Mark was that of a dusty looking book. She nodded. “Yes. Thank you.” She looked down at her son, a light grey Pegasus with a white poofy mane similar to Pinkie Pie’s. “Stratus, say thank you to the nice mare.”

The foal looked up at her with storm colored eyes. “Thank you, flying lady," he said meekly.

Twilight blinked, and then realized she was flying a foot off the ground. She dropped to the ground and chuckled sheepishly. “You… ah… wouldn’t mind not saying anything about this, would you?” she asked hopefully, rubbing the back of her neck.

The mare blinked in confusion. “But… why not?” she asked.

“I don’t want everypony to know I can do these things.” Twilight grimaced. “The nobility alone would never leave me alone… never mind the media.”

The mare smiled after a moment. “I understand,” she said with a nod. “My name is Ash Winder. My husband, Crimson Fira and I own and manage the antique shop in the market. Consider yourself on a seventy-five percent discount for life for this.”

“I don’t need a reward for doing the right thing.” Twilight immediately tried to turn down the gift.

Ash smiled. “It may have been the right thing, but few ponies these days will leap into danger for a stranger. It deserves a reward.”

Twilight was silent for a moment. “…Twenty-five percent.” She wasn’t taking a seventy-five percent discount. She’d have the ability to ruin them in her hooves… and if they had antique books, she just might on accident.

“Fifty, plus a visit to introduce you to my husband.”

“…Done.” Twilight smiled… then blinked. “… Can it wait until another day? I was sort of in the middle of something when I heard the scream.”

Ash smiled and waved a hoof. “By all means, go ahead. I didn’t expect it today. May I know your name, though?” she asked.

Twilight smiled, floating upwards. “It’s Twilight Sparkle!” She shot off into the air, vanishing quickly.

The mother was visibly stunned after Twilight left. “Sparkle…” She shook her head and smiled., leading her son back on to the busy streets of Canterlot. "I really shouldn't be surprised."

---

Twilight had gone to ground near the home of her parents, walking the rest of the way. She didn’t want anypony seeing her just landing in front of the house after all. As she approached the house, she took it in.

It was a simple house, two stories tall with a triangular roof. A tower was built into the side that extended three further stories higher than the roof, a tower that Twilight knew well was the library. The entire structure was composed of brick and mortar, and painted a soft blue color. The occasional window offered a glance into one room or another.

She walked up to the door and knocked on it. ‘This will either be really fun… or really bad’. She thought, hearing her father’s heavier hoofsteps as he came to answer the door.

The door opened to reveal a blue furred Unicorn with a dark blue mane and tail that was combed neatly and piercing yellow eyes. Twilight smiled widely and embraced her surprised father. “Daddy!” She almost cried.

“Twilight!” Stalwart Shield exclaimed, returning the hug eagerly. “Twilight, it’s so good to see you!” He pulled back and grinned at her. “And look at you! My beautiful little star.” His grin morphed into a proud smile, before he backed into the house. “Come in! Come in! Your mother and I were just cooking dinner. We’re having chili.”

Twilight licked her lips. Say what you will about the hay substitute ponies use for most meat, but her mother made it work. One wall in the living room was dedicated to the dozens of chili cook-off trophies she had won over the years with it. “Yummy!” she exclaimed, just to hear her father laugh at how silly it sounded. Of course, the jovial stallion that he always was, he laughed.

As he laughed, a glimmering from his Cutie Mark caught her attention, making her smile. It was a silver colored tower shield with the words Sui Sacrificium raised in gold on the front. Translated from Latin, it meant Self Sacrifice. He always gave of himself for his friends and family. What some didn’t know was that his talent also included joy and the ability to spread it, hence why his Cutie Mark shimmered like it had as he laughed in joy.

“Honey! Our little star has come to visit!” he called after his chuckling subsided.

“Really!?”

Twilight braced herself and was nearly sent sprawling by the white and lavender missile that was her mother. “Twilight! Sweetie! I’m so happy to see you!” Twilight Velvet exclaimed happily, nuzzling her daughter.

Twilight Velvet and Twilight Sparkle were very similar in many ways, as the similar names may imply. Their mane style was almost the same, their body structure was similar, and they both had a love of the written word, though Twilight’s love was for reading it, whereas Velvet’s love was in writing it. Twilight Velvet was a white Unicorn with a white mane and tail that had lavender colored highlights in it. Her Cutie Mark was a quill with a purple star as the nub. Finally, she had light blue eyes.

“Hi, mom!” Twilight laughed as her mother hugged her. She wrestled her way free from the grip of her mother and smiled at both of her parents. That smile slowly vanished though as the reason for her visit surfaced in her mind. “I wish I could say this was a social visit… but I have some news to share with you. Shiny will be here soon to join us.” She tried to smile after saying that, but it came out as more of a sad smile.

Twilight Velvet and Stalwart Shield both glanced at each other in concern. They turned that worry towards their only daughter. “Is something wrong, Twilight?” Velvet asked.

Twilight shook her head. “It’s not that something’s wrong. It’s…” She gave a frustrated sigh. “I honestly have no idea to explain this without actually flat out telling you what happened.” She moved past her parents and entered the sitting room, taking a seat on one of the two couches facing each other.

Stalwart Shield and Twilight Velvet took a seat next to each other on the opposite couch. Stalwart frowned as he observed his daughter. Years of experience came to forefront, and he became to analyze the situation. Twilight was sitting oddly, like that green mare that many in Canterlot considered insane, with her face buried in her hooves. She was frustrated, clearly… but she didn’t appear distraught or otherwise concerned.

A suspicion began to worm its way into his mind, but he ignored it. His daughter needed him, and entertaining old fairy tales was not how to be there for her. But strangely… it would not fade.

Twilight Velvet found herself flipping through possible scenarios in her mind so fast that she was beginning to get dizzy. 'Did she get hurt? No, she’s not in pain and there aren’t any bandages or the like on her. Bad break up with a Stallion? No, she’d be crying and distraught. She seems more frustrated than anything’. She blinked as something her daughter said occurred to her. ‘She said Shining will be here soon… so this must be some kind of announcement. The question now is does it involve both of them, or just her?’

As if cued by her thoughts, there was a knock at the door, and then it was opened. “Mom? Dad?” Shining Armor’s voice rang through the home.

“In the sitting room, soldier,” Stalwart called out.

The door closed, and Shining walked into the room. He took one looked at his sister and immediately took a seat next to her. “What’s wrong, Twily?” he asked, placing a hoof on her shoulder. “You seemed distracted last night when you told me to come here, and now here you are looking like you’ve got the weight of the world on your shoulders.”

Twilight smiled thankfully at her brother. “It’s not that bad, Shiny. I just… I really have no idea where to begin.”

“The beginning is usually the best place.” Stalwart said.

Twilight chuckled. “It’s funny you say that. Princess Luna said the same thing when I was telling her about… well, I’ll get to that.” She frowned thoughtfully. “The beginning… I suppose that would be when Nightmare Moon returned.”

“Is this about you being the Element of Magic?” Velvet asked worriedly.

“No, mom-” Twilight started, but was cut off by her mother.

“I knew it! I told that old mare that giving you such a title was too much! My little girl was barely out of her studies!”

“Mom!” Twilight almost yelled, gathering her mother’s attention and ignoring the slight against Celestia with practiced ease. Her mother and Celestia really didn’t get along ever since Twilight dedicated most of her time to Celestia for her studies. “First of all, being the Element of Magic is more than just a title. It’s a state of being. I can no more stop being the Element of Magic than you can stop being my mother. It’s just not possible.” She sighed. “And second, the Elements of Harmony have little to do with any of this.”

“Tell us, my little star,” Stalwart encouraged. “As always, we’ll listen.”

Twilight nodded with a thankful smile to her father. She frowned though as she recalled the day. "You already know about what I did during the preparations for the Summer Sun Celebration. You know I ended up going through the Everfree Forest to find the Elements of Harmony. You also know that it was because of the five friends I made in Ponyville that we managed to use them and save Princess Luna." She hesitated, unsure. Then she steeled her resolve and marched forward. "What you don't know is how close I came to dying in the forest, and the consequences from it."

She told them. She told them everything. She told them about the memories. She told them, and showed them. the powers that came with them. She told them about fighting the maddened Alicorn and all but beating her. She told them of Nightmare Moon managing to sap her strength, and pinning her down. She told them of her friends standing between her and Nightmare Moon, despite the almost assured fact that they would die for doing so. She told them of the Elements being ignited by their young but strong friendship, freeing Luna and healing Twilight. And she told them of her conversation later with Celestia.

Stalwart had long since taken on a thoughtful expression as Twilight continued her story, this time telling them about her previous incarnation as Clark Kent, the Superman.

“His name… my name… was Clark Kent. I was something called a Kryptonian. Their bodies were unique in that the light of a yellow sun empowered them beyond belief. They were stronger, faster, and had amazing abilities beyond anything even the Princesses could do. And I’m his reincarnation." She paused to think, and to give them a moment to digest her words.

“Clark Kent was more than just a hero to the people of his world,” Twilight explained. “He was a guide. He selflessly protected the people of Earth at great risk to himself, asking for nothing in return. In time, the people began seeing him as more than a hero. They saw him as a star. He became the Guiding Star of Hope. His presence alone in any conflict turned the tables. Eventually, the people began to aspire to be like him, and it kicked off a Golden Age of peace.” Here, Twilight sighed. “But despite the peace there were those who wanted to remove Clark from the picture. So many tried. Sometimes, with his abilities, it was easy to fend off. Sometimes he barely survived by the skin of his teeth. And then… and then one of them finally succeeded. But that’s only part of the story.”

“There’s more?!” Twilight Velvet shrieked. Her head was already swimming with the knowledge that her daughter was the reincarnation of some kind of superhero. Now what?

“When Clark died he was stopped from going into the afterlife”. Twilight’s eyes became unfocused. “I… don’t really know what she was. A Goddess, I guess, but she seemed like… more. She told me about some kind of danger to reality itself, to all worlds, and that she was recruiting the greatest heroes in reality upon their deaths and reincarnating them in the hopes that they could stop whatever it is that’s threatening all of creation. When I eventually agreed to do so, she sent me into this life. My memories as Clark Kent were suppressed, and somehow she made it so I could use my powers despite not having a Kryptonian body, but before she did all of that, she… well…”. Twilight paused. "She named me the Soul of Hope."

“…The Great Guiding Star…”

Everypony turned to look at an awe-stricken Stalwart Shield. “Honey?” Twilight Velvet asked.

Shining frowned, what his father said registering in his mind. “Wait… you actually think Twilight…?” he trailed off as he considered it further.

Stalwart nodded, and looked into Twilight’s eyes. “My little star… haven’t you ever wondered why I always called you that? Even before you got your Cutie Mark?” he asked softly.

Twilight frowned and thought back. ‘Now that I think about it… he did call me that before I got my Cutie Mark.’ “Not really, no. Is it important?” she asked.

Stalwart smiled and stood up. He left the room and returned a few minutes later with a large, aged tome in his magical grip. Twilight’s eyes widened when she saw, on its cover, the purple star of her Cutie Mark. “I am the Head of the Sparkle Clan. As such, it is my duty to protect and pass on specific knowledge from head to head”. He placed the book on the coffee table between the couches. “This… this is the Book of Magic. Unoriginal, I’ll grant you… but it describes much more than just magic.” He flipped it open onto the first page, and began reading.

“Cherish the bonds you forge with kin and allies alike, and family will never again be a matter of blood.

“Sacrifice of yourself so others you care for do not have to, and show the world how to be noble.

“Never deceive yourself with shadowed truths and mirrored excuses, and shine so that others will never lose sight of themselves.

“Be happy and joyous, so that others will find cause to also be jovial.

“Be soft like velvet but firm as steel underneath, and walk the path of the gentle giant.

“Sparkle like the Great Guiding Star, and light the darkness of hopelessness and disharmony.” He looked up into Twilight’s eyes. “That is the creed of the Sparkle Clan, taught to every member of the family since Sparkling Wind wrote the words in this book. Ever since then, every member of the Sparkle Clan adheres to at least one verse of the creed, knowingly or not. It is a part our very being.” He motioned towards his Cutie Mark. “I myself have dedicated myself to the second verse.”

He closed the book and tapped the purple star on its cover. “This is the crest of our family, chosen for our deep connection to the only item back then that bore its likeness.”

Twilight’s eyes widened and she gasped. “The Element of Magic!” she exclaimed. Her mother looked just as surprised.

Stalwart nodded. “While there has never been a member of the Sparkle Clan that actually bore the Element of Magic… there was a prophecy. It stated that a Sparkle would flourish and grow under the light of the sun, and bloom into the Element of Magic. They would become the avatar of the Great Guiding Star, and an age of conflict and struggle would follow their awakening.” Stalwart closed his eyes. “The prophecy is… it was mostly considered the ramblings of a madpony. It spoke of the end of all things, those who are double blessed with life that would rise up and protect us.” He smiled at the wide eyed look on his daughter’s face. “I always believed the prophecy was true… and ever since you were born something about you always felt special to me… beyond the special that being my daughter made you. I always had this thought in the back of my mind… “Is it her? Is she the Great Guiding Star?” With every challenge you overcame in life, I became more and more sure of it. And then you got your Cutie Mark… and I knew.”

“But…” Twilight stuttered. Her brain was working overtime. Another prophecy with her at its center?! How many were there?! “But… I’m not…”

Shining grabbed his sister’s head and forced her to look at him He gave her a stern look. “If you say you’re not special, I will hit you” He said with every last bit of seriousness he could drudge up. “You are the student of Princess Celestia. You are the Element of Magic… and now you’re the reincarnation of what sounds like a hero I would have been proud to bend my knees to.” He shook his head. “You have never been normal, Twilight. This is just another level of abnormality is all.” He grinned at her. “You’ll roll with the punches, as you always do, and get back up. Nothing has stopped you from moving forward yet.”

Twilight stared into her brother’s eyes and finally smiled, seeing the absolute love and care he had for his younger sister. She hugged him. “Thank you, Shiny,” she whispered

“This doesn't change anything,” Twilight Velvet said, also hugging her daughter. “You’re my little girl, and I will never abandon you just because you have some kind of destiny hanging over your head. If you ever need me, I will be there.” Her eyes hardened. "And woe be to any who threaten my daughter."

“No harm, physical or mental, will get a glance at you so long as we breathe,” Stalwart added, completing the family hug by embracing his daughter as well. “Blood is only one of the reasons we love you. We are so very proud of the mare you have grown up to be… and we can see you becoming so much more. Keep moving, my little star, and only look back to smile gratefully at the loved ones walking in step behind and beside you.”

Twilight finally let go of her tenuous grasp of her emotions, and cast herself adrift on the unending love of her family. There were tears, there was crying, and she would later vaguely recall saying she didn’t deserve that kind of dedication, but in the end she left her home knowing that she had at the very least three ponies who would always stand at her side and back.

Now it was time to make a decision.

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