• Published 23rd May 2016
  • 5,950 Views, 436 Comments

Tartarus Forged - SvenFoxx



Twilight winds up in Tartarus and is forced to adapt to survive. When she finally gets out, how will this new Twilight change things?

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21. Never Tell Me The Rules

Celestia stared at the armor, not moving from her place on the floor. The encounter with her sister played through her head.

There was a time when Luna was the wise one between them. Though… perhaps she still was. This all wouldn’t have happened, after all, if Celestia just hadn’t been so… so… Well, she wanted to say arrogant, but the fact was that it was important.

“Celestia... Sister… Can we speak?”

“Not now, Luna. I need to get this sorted before we wind up with a Civil War right on our doorstep.”

There was a sigh. “I understand.”

That was, Celestia was sure, where it started. She had turned her sister away. It was for an important reason, yes, but said reason could have waited to hear out Luna’s woes. It wasn't arrogance, no. It was neglect.

Technically, Celestia was just doing her job, but that didn't help either. She also had a job to look out for her younger sister.

Her gaze wandered to the armor again. The Aegis of Rulers. A cursed armor, both terrible and necessary. Only three times in her incredibly long life had Celestia ever wore the black and gold armor. Only once did she wear it in Equus.

“Your Highness! Please! You know what it will do to you!”

“…I’d rather lose everything I am, than watch that monster torture my sister any longer. Wouldn't you do the same for your family, Chancellor?”

"Well... yes. But... Your Highness...

She remembered the warnings all too well. She hadn't cared.

"Celestia, Celestia, Celestia. When will you learn? I would think you of all beings would know a change in armor won't stop me."

"..."

"Wait... No! How is this possible!? Get back! Get away! Stop! Please!"

She still remembered his face, and her imprisoned yells, as her magic crushed him alive.

‘How far has this gone, that I’m even considering it?’ Celestia thought to herself, standing and approaching the armor. ‘…I don’t know how long I can hold off, Twilight. If this isn’t resolved soon, I don’t think I’ll have any other choice.’

---

A good distance away, Twilight was oblivious to the Princess’ prayers. With Pinkie depleting her magic to nothing as she had, Twilight had no choice but to play hard ball with Chance, and pray she didn’t end up dooming them all.

She lucked out in Tartarus, relatively. If the rune failed and sent her flying across dimensions again, she may end up anywhere. A world that was worse. A planet that was barren. Outer space… Even the surface, or the inside, of a star. And she may end up dragging the others with her this time.

So she prayed, and opened the floodgates.

A shockwave rippled outwards, causing the gathered ponies to flinch. Then they watched in amazement as Twilight, Pinkie, and the rune-inscribed stone between them lifted off the ground. Magic was pouring from Twilight almost explosively, and it was all being directed into the stone.

A thick purple stream of magic began flowing into the rune array, which was glowing solid white, and then send an equally thick stream of grey magic into Pinkie’s chest. Already, Pinkie seemed to be doing better. Her coat was regaining color, and her mane was becoming poofier.

But she didn’t wake up. On top of that, the stone was beginning to shake from the strain of having so much magic pushed through it. Twilight clenched her muscles, despite knowing it wouldn’t have an effect on her magical output. ‘C’mon…’ she urged inside her head.

Nothing. She wouldn’t wake up. Despite her magical levels rising, despite her body physically beginning to recover… Pinkie Pie wouldn’t wake up. Twilight’s heart began to drop into her stomach, an terrible numbness overtaking her body. The flow of magic into the stone thinned.

Unbidden, a memory flowed through her mind.

“Your job, Twilight Sparkle, is to kill. When I say, you will slit throats. When I command, you will smash skulls. When I demand, you will decapitate bodies. When I’m done with you… you will be nothing more than my personal killer. My Dog. And killing will be the only thing you can do.”

‘He was right,’ Twilight realized, her flow of magic almost completely petering out. She closed her eye. “Tirek was right,” she whispered.

“Who?” Applejack asked, approaching warily. “Is Pinkie okay?”

Twilight glanced at her. She noticed the wariness. At this point, she was beginning to fall into her own dark thoughts. ‘She’s wary of me. She’s scared of me.’

No one noticed the shifting of shadows near a tree.

“Twi? Is Pinkie okay?”

Twilight looked at Pinkie, who, oddly, was still floating, surrounded by an aura of grey magic. She noticed her own magic still flowing to the stone, albeit slowly. It was darkening. ‘Is that… Dark Magic?’ Cold realization mixed with the numbness in her limbs. ‘Is that why she won’t wake up? I killed her?’

She looked at her hands. In her eye, they were no longer purple, but a dark, bloody crimson. ‘I killed her. He was right. I can only kill.’

Applejack stopped, noticing the aura of magic around Pinkie shift. It flared, squirmed, and then it changed color, becoming blue. Pinkie’s eyes, despite being closed, began emanating a blue glow.

Another memory flashed through the haze building in Twilight’s mind, slicing through the dark thoughts like the Light Sword through the Shadows.

“Rules are… no fun when all they do… is cause pain.”

“You’re… not a bad Pony… It’s all a choice… Just… choose good.”

She remembered the joy. Pinkie felt joy. And it came from meeting her.

Twilight eye turned to Pinkie. “Rules…” Her gaze slowly hardened with determination. “That’s right. You break the rules. You’re doing it now, for crying out loud!” She swore she could hear Pinkie giggling at that. “You know what? Screw the rules!” She stood up and pointed her hands at Pinkie, palms out. “I’m done playing to the tune of others! The rules…” She called on her magic. It came easily… easier than it ever had. “Can go…” Her eye and hands began glowing with magic. White magic. “To Tartarus!”

The shockwave of magic came again, but this time it was gentle, like a midsummer breeze. An extremely thick stream of radiant magic lanced outwards and completely overwhelmed the stone. It shattered in a blast of stone shards. This would have been worrying, if the stream of white magic hadn’t connected with Pinkie’s blue aura instantly and without any problems. The aura flared… and started grow.

Sunset’s eyes fluttered open after the wave of white magic passed over her. She sat up with a groan, just in time to witness what happened next.

“Get back here right now, Pinkie! I’m not letting you kill yourself just to snap me out of it!” Twilight yelled, the magic roaring from her hands and eye intensifying .

“Hmm… No, not yet. This isn’t what I need, but… there is potential,” a strange, deep voice filled Twilight’s mind, before vanishing. She ignored it.

A second shockwave lashed out, this one a little rougher, and Twilight was lifted from the ground. Her eye and hands blazed with brilliant white flames of magic, and her teeth were bared in bloody determination, unwilling to let a soul like Pinkie’s pass on now. The world would be a much darker place without a light like that.

“I said…” she started. The magic flared one more time, brighter, bigger, and all-encompassing. “WAKE UP!!!” Twilight roared.

Everything went white. Everyone yelled in shock and tried to scramble away, but they were engulfed.

---

Nightmare Moon shrieked as the partition she had observing the group was violently returned to her body. “How!?” She cried in outrage. “How is she using… no,” she stopped herself, thinking. “It’s not the Elements of Harmony. But it’s close." She growled. "I think it’s time to take the kids gloves off.”

She turned to where her latest project was growling and grumbling. She grinned. “Time for a little family reunion.”

Author's Note:

Hello! Twilight's taking a page from Pinkie's book.

You gotta wonder how reality feels about its rules being kicked like that so often...

The song is Praetorian Guards, by... I think Immediate Music. I think. I have very little access to the internet until next month, so I couldn't really spring for some deep research.

Finally, I updated the World of Tartarus Forged blog for any who are interested. Find it here.

EDIT: Thanks to badninja for pointing out that I made Luna the older sister on accident. Fixed.

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