• Published 3rd Jul 2012
  • 6,137 Views, 253 Comments

Where There is Smoke - Fizzy Orange

Lunaverse story. Trixie, Pokey and Raindrops investigate strange fires occuring all around Ponyville. Meanwhile, Corona unleashes one of her minion on the world to get her revenge on the Elements. Could the two events be related?

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Chapter 1

Corona was walking.

She could hardly believe it herself. To be reduced to this! Sadly there was no other way as she was still too weak from her recent defeat to teleport her minions around, and she didn’t dare leave behind the only support she had in this world to be devoured by roaming beasts. As feeble as the zebra was, she still knew her way around this dastardly Everfree Forest, and her humble hidden home had been covered with enough wards that even Luna had failed to find her in her moment of weakness. The baby dragon wasn’t much, and he certainly could use a lesson in loyalty from his striped friend, but he made for a decent beatstick should the need arise.

Now Celestia felt much better than in the direct aftermath of her defeat, and yet too weak to risk any major confrontation. Still, the zebra’s hut was too small for a Queen such as herself, as such she required new lodging, and that is what they intended to claim with this little walk. Up ahead, visible through the thick foliage and undergrowth, was a large cave on the side of a rocky peak, large enough that she could set herself a worthy throne as she waited for her power to recover. Maybe even carve the entire stone formation into a grand palace celebrating her glory.

“I really don’t think this is a good idea Z,” whispered Spike, unaware that the alicorn walking ahead of them could hear him.

“Do not fear little scaly one, our Queen’s power you mustn’t question,” replied Zecora in her usual rhyming style.

“But that guy is huge!” said the baby dragon, spreading his arm as wide as possible.

“Size will not matter, if the Sun he does anger.”

“Quiet!” ordered Corona, turning to face her two minions with anger etched on her regal face. “Minions should not be heard, unless your Queen requires it!”

Zecora and Spike jumped in fright and they both bowed silently. The rest of the walk toward the cave was done in a blissful silence. Finally they entered the large cave, a strong aroma of sulfur assailing their noses as they made their way further inside. They soon came in front of a ridiculously large hoard of riches. Gold, silver, jewels of all kinds, all piled up into a mound taller than Corona herself.

The ponies had shunned her favorite metal, gold, in favor of Luna’s silver, but there were still plenty of species in the world that appreciated gold. Dragons were in general big fans of it. A dragon needs to eat gems, and the magic contained within, to feed themselves, but gold and silver were amassed mostly out of sheer greed, altough in a pinch a dragon could eat any mineral to survive. Greed was a powerful impulse with dragons, and when it went unchecked it causes them to become horrible greedy beasts that grow in size alongside their hoard.

Corona looked upon the pile of loot with a smile. The gold would be used to fashion her a worthy throne, while the gems and silver could be used to bribe those pathetic mortal nobles so she could pester Luna from the shadows during her recovery. All she needed to do was take care of the owner of that hoard. An owner who was slowly waking up from his nap on top of said hoard.

The large red dragon’s nostrils twitched as he took in the strange scents of the alicorn, zebra, and baby dragon. His eyes snapped open and he sat on his haunches, staring angrily at the intruders.

“This is my cave! My hoard! Get out!” he bellowed, in a loud rumbling voice.

Corona’s wings flared dramatically and she floated up, holding her head at an height that allowed her to look down upon the giant beast.

“We are Celestia! We are the Sun! We are thy Queen! Bow!” she declared stoically.

The dragon glared back at her defiantly, obviously annoyed at the goddess. He snorted once, shooting a plume of dark smoke right into Corona’s face and she began coughing loudly. Her coughing was halted when a large, red, clawed hand swatted her out of the air, ramming her with the force of twenty charging buffalos. The alicorn was sent flying into the nearby cave wall, her loud impact causing the stone to crack. She landed flat on the ground, to twin gasps from her two minions. The alicorn laid motionless for five agonizing seconds before her eyes snapped open again, full of fury and scorn.

“We were ready to show thee mercy, to welcome thee to our employ,” she said, standing up slowly. “Thou darest lay thy filthy mortal hands upon thy goddess? Then mortal hands shall be thy downfall!”

Corona’s horn began to shine brightly, illuminating every dark corner of the cave. The display was somewhat impressive, but not the brightest Zecora had seen from her Queen. The Zebra could guess that she was preparing a spell of great power, but that she was also struggling. Beads of sweat were beginning of roll down Corona’s face when Zecora realized what that spell was. Spike also realized what it was.

“Oh no! Please no no no no! Anything but that! No!”

Zecora ducked out of the way quickly as the spell flew from Corona’s horn. Her quick movement sent the baby dragon flying off her back. He comically did a few spins in the air before he was hit by the beam and engulfed in light. The red dragon, who, so far, had only watched the display with mild curiosity, was suddenly taken by surprise when a fist, much bigger than his own, seem to grow from the light and deliver a powerful uppercut to his face. The red dragon was spent sprawling backward into his pile of loot. Disoriented he looked up and his eyes grew twice their size, terror appearing on his face.

Before him stood the artificially aged baby dragon from earlier. Fully powered by the greed Corona would constantly deny having, the purple dragon now stood at least two head taller than the red one. Furthermore, his eyes, devoid of any spark of intelligence, spoke of nothing but violence and anger. With a roar, Spike threw himself at the other dragon.

Zecora watched the fight with a strange mix of awe, fascination, and horror. With each powerful hit from Spike she winced, and with each of the red dragon’s cries of pain she flinched.

“Ooh that is a most brutal spectacle, it makes my blood curdle!” she said, as her Queen walked up to her.

A loud cracking noise echoed through the chamber, and both Corona and Zecora quickly stepped aside just before a large piece of the red dragon’s horn landed between them.

“Impressive,” conceded Corona, appreciation in her voice.

Another series of impact and roars brought Zecora’s attention back to the fight. Corona brought up a shield of radiant light just in time to block a stray splatter of draconic blood. Zecora, however, was left defenseless and found hersely sprayed in red. She stood stock still, shocked and surprised.

After a second she finally spoke. “I can taste it in my mouth.”

Corona eyed her servant with curiosity. The lack of rhyming was rather surprising and she was waiting to see how the zebra would follow through. Much to the alicorn’s surprise the zebra just turned around and began to vomit behind a rock.

Meanwhile the red dragon’s howls of pain had turn to whimper as he begged his assailant to stop. Finally, tired of this game, the giant Spike grabbed hold of his bloodied opponent and with a mighty heave threw him out the cave entrance. The unmistakable sound of cracking wood filled the air as the red dragon crashed through the trees outside. That was soon followed by the sound of a fleeting dragon. The purple dragon roared in triumph just as light engulfed him, leaving behind a baby dragon sleeping in a pool of his victim’s blood.

“Thou shall clean this cave and your companion, once thou have finished relieving thyself of thy lunch” Corona ordered, looking back at Zecora. “And go bathe thyself too, thou reek!”

The alicorn began to pace around the cave, admiring the various pieces of her new treasure, and already planning where her throne would be. The cave wasn't bad for a temporary lair, and it would be better once there was a few more holes to let light from the sun flood in, and a few drapes wouldn't hurt either.

As she did so she began to think out loud. “Our draconic minion was most impressive, however he is not a dependable asset, merely the best tool in an empty tool box. I need someone else to go and hassle those accursed corrupted Element wielders! Someone I can count on,” she said, before stopping in front of a gold plate being used to hold bright red rubies.

The colors reflected in her eyes and a malevolent smile spread across the mad alicorn’s face.

“Yes! She must still be alive… Luna sealed her off somewhere and I must free her. I need her. I need Philomena!”

Zecora let out a squeal of surprise as she slipped on a puddle of blood and ended up falling backward into the different puddle she had left behind that rock.

Corona flinched at the scene. “Ew!”

My little pony, My little pony
Ahh ahh ahh ahhh...
My little pony
Friendship never meant that much to me
My little pony
But you're all here and now I can see
Stormy weather; Lots to share
A musical bond; With love and care
Teaching laughter; It's an easy feat,
And magic makes it all complete!
You have my little ponies
How'd I ever make so many true friends?

The humid air of the jungle was alive with the sound of critters, birds, and the thunderous roar of the nearby waterfall. Life was simply everywhere in this sea of green, regardless of the oppressive humidity and harsh heat. However all that life seem to suddenly scurry away in fear, leaving nothing but the sound of the waterfall to breach the silence.

Corona, the Tyrant Sun, landed on the rock outcropping overlooking the pool at the bottom of the waterfall. The mad alicorn’s eyes were back to being blank but her mane had yet to recover its flaming quality just yet. She surveyed the scene, noting that it was exactly as the information she had obtained said it was. Those had been well-spent silver coins, and it had given her something to do during these last few months.

An isolated southern valley, a rocky cliff, and a waterfall falling into a moon crescent shaped pond surrounded by trees adorned with strange blue fruits. Were those supposed to be bananas? And of course the air was as humid as she had been led to believe. Nothing could catch on fire under normal circumstances. The presence of Celestia, the Sun herself, was not a normal circumstance. She began walking toward the waterfall following a rocky path. When she was close enough that she could step behind it, the water seemed to recoil at her very presence and allowed the self-proclaimed Queen to walk into the hidden cave beyond without getting her mane wet.

At the end of a dark, gloomy and wet tunnel, laying in a shallow recess of the rock filled with water, stood a bronze box with symbols dating back to the time Luna and Celestia ruled together. This box was yet another reminder of Celestia’s past, and the profound betrayal of her misguided little sister.

“Thou hast rest long enough. Awaken, our servant! Wreck havoc in our name! Burn away our enemies in thy flames! Rise from your ashes once more, Philomena!” said Corona, her horn shining like the sun.

In a flash all humidity in the dreary cave was eliminated, the walls and floor turning as dry as they would be in the desert. The powerful hoof of Corona shattered the bronze box, and it erupted into flames almost immediately. Corona let out a hearty laugh as the whole cave was engulfed in bright flames.

“Make haste, faithful servant! May thy flames deliver burning vengeance upon the fools who defied us! Hear our will Philomena: may Ponyville be consumed by thy ravenous fire!” she declared, between two bouts of maniacal laughter.

This was going to be glorious. Of this Corona held no doubt.

Trixie exited town hall with a beaming smile on her face, an expression not shared by Pokey Pierce - her assistant - who was following her. The administrative assistant to the Representative of the Night Court of Luna was carrying a pair of saddlebags decorated in the same pattern as Trixie’s cape and hat, and sported an expression of pure boredom.

Trixie trotted ahead happily before turning toward her assistant. “I can’t believe they finally asked for my help breaking a tie on a city council vote!”

“Yeah, you have to wonder how they could manage before the Great and Powerful Trixie came to town,” replied the unicorn stallion.

Trixie frowned and resumed walking, her smile slowly returning. “Hush you! It’s the first time I got to exercise that particular executive power! It feels…exhilarating to have an impact on everypony’s life! It feels like I’m truly part of Ponyville’s political landscape now!”

“Yes! I’m sure that your decisive vote on the question of whether the next official flyer would be blue or green will be celebrated for years to come. Should I frame our copy of the city council reunion transcript?” he asked with so much simulated genuine enthusiasm that it took Trixie a second or two to realize he was being sarcastic.

“No,” said Trixie, frowning again, “however I want you to make me two hoof written copy and put it in a special folder so I can keep a record of all the times I’ll have an impact on the city council.”

“You’re just saying that to give me more work,” said Pokey, before snickering a little, “I must have poked a sore spot if you feel the need to point out your relevance to me.”

Trixie brought a hoof to her face. “That was just terrible! Sometimes I wonder why I even put up with you.”

“Maybe because you know you’d have to hire someone else if you fired me? Maybe because you know you’re a terribly demanding boss and only somepony as perseverant as me would stay longer than a week? Maybe because you had my background checked and you are one hundred percent certain I’m not currently plotting your demise alongside some shady Night Court noble. Currently,” said Pokey, with a genuine smile, snickering as he added that last part.

Trixie rolled her eyes “Maybe we should take this act on the road, we could make a killing at vaudeville.”

Pokey’s eyebrows jumped high in surprise and he stopped walking. “And share the spotlight with little old me? Who are you, and what have you done with the Representative?” he asked, pointing an accusing hoof at Trixie.

“Of course I’d still get top billing,” said Trixie, putting her hoof to her chest in mock offense. “Now enough fooling around. Let’s head back to the office and finish up for the day.”

The two unicorns continued to head toward the residency, Trixie falling into silence as Pokey began to tell a long and convoluted story. Thankfully for Trixie, something was about to come up that would afford her some freedom from all that rambling.

“…And then I said ‘I’m not, and don’t call me Oatmeal’! It was hilarious,” said Pokey before breaking into a hearty laugh.

Trixie was about to thank Luna the story was over before a voice resounded over Ponyville.

The horror! The horror!” cried out a familiar voice.

This is horrible! Horrible!” came a second voice

Everything is burning away! Somepony help!” continued the third voice.

The two unicorns turned into the direction of the cries, a small puff of cloud was escaping from behind a nearby building. Trixie looked at Pokey Pierce and the stallion nodded, much to Trixie’s confusion.

“This looks serious, for a change. Let’s go boss!” said Pokey, galloping toward the smoke.

Trixie blinked multiple times, looking between the cloud and the spot her assistant used to occupy. “Oh! You mean we should… Hey! wait for me!”

And with that she took off after the stallion.