• Published 24th Sep 2016
  • 1,525 Views, 105 Comments

Rogue Sun - Jninja15

Sunset Shimmer begrudgingly joins the Cutie Mark Crusaders to find their deceased sisters in the wasteland that is now Equestria

  • ...

Chapter 12: The Dragon part 2

“I don’t like this.” Said Soarin as he stood in an open field next to Firefly, a few yards away from the edge of the Everfree forest. “Not one bit.”

“Relax, Soarin. Hardly anything ever comes out of the Everfree forest, and I’m pretty sure the stories exaggerate what’s actually in there.”

“Timberwolves and manticores, I can handle. What concerns me is that we know next to nothing about this contact.”

Firefly sighed. “You’re such a big worry wart. You know that? Besides, if he/she/it plays anything funny we have Vera and Spike just over that hillside with a good line of sight on the entire area.” she pointed a thumb backwards to the hillside where Aloe Vera and Spike were sitting watch, looking down their rifle scopes to their captain and her first officer.

Soarin grunted as he faced parallel to the imaginary line designating the border of the Everfree forest to the rest of the world.

A gust of wind picked up, and a cloud of dust washed over in front of Soarin and Firefly’s sight. Once the dust settled, a figure in a black cloak was revealed to be standing several yards away in front of them.

Soarin and Firefly flinched at the sudden appearance of this cloaked figure, beginning to go for their weapons.

“Do not pick up your firearm, for I mean you no harm.” the figure said in a deep, yet feminine, voice as they held up their hands to show that they were unarmed.

Soarin and Firefly relaxed a little. “You got somethin’ for us to deliver somewhere?” Firefly asked, almost yelling to get her voice over the distance.

“Indeed I do.” the figure said as she pulled a small dark brown wooden box from behind and inside her cloak as she walked closer to Firefly and Soarin, who started walking closer themselves.

When both sides were at arms’ length from each other, the cloaked mare handed Firefly the box. The box was made of a very dark colored wood and had an engraving of three elongated diamond shapes on the lid.

“I take based on your reputation, you do not do an interrogation of your cargo?”

Firefly looked up and handed the box to Soarin, “Not so much. It tends to slow down the processes. Where does this need to go?”


Spike was in the cargo hold, punching a punching bag. Since the captain announced that they would be heading to the Crystal Empire to deliver the package, Spike had voiced his preference to not be on the ground team during their time there.

“Nu-uh! No way! Not gonna happen!” Spike had said as he negotiated with Firefly while taping a gun to his bare side with medical tape. “I don’t like the idea of goin’ in there empty-handed. I may have made myself a few enemies while I was thereabouts few years back.”

Firefly rolled her eyes. “Why are we still discussin’ this?” she said flatly. “The job is to deliver the package to the Crystal Empire, so that’s where we’re goin’. I’m going to need my Dragon Slayer with me-”

“Don’t call me that.” Spike snapped with an unusual calm in his voice.

Firefly blinked, and tilted her head, looking affronted, but quickly let the comment slide. “-with me at all times during this job, we ain’t ever been to the Crystal Empire before so I need all the muscle I can get. ‘Sides, why are you even bothering strapping a gun to your side? You can breathe fire for Luna’s sake.”

Spike blinked and looked away in shame at his gap in logic.

“Take all that off and let’s get ready to go.” Firefly had said with finality.

Spike scowled as he begrudgingly tore the mask of tape off his body, ripping it off like a bad bandage. A couple of scales were pulled off with the tape; he had given the faintest of whimpers whilst managing not to shed a tear.

Spike felt a faint echo of the pain he endured taking off his improvised gun strap, but a pit in his stomach formed when thinking about the title Firefly used.

Dragon Slayer.

He began to throw his punches harder at the punching bag as his eyes became unfocused and the sound screaming began to fill his mind, about a hundred voices. The screaming slowly became louder, and he responded with punching faster and harder, fire subconsciously licking out from his maw.

Then the screaming of thousands of unfamiliar voices flooded his mind, before total silence not one second later, including the mere hundred earlier. Spike froze after landing the next punch once the silence settled in and an icy chill flowed down his spine. (What the Hell was that?)

“Spike?” he heard suddenly as he felt something touch his shoulder. On instinct, he reeled around and swung his arm in a wide arc almost hitting Lotus in the face with a fistful of green fire. She managed to duck down and avoid the punch, tripping, giving a high-pitched startled shriek as she fell.

Spike was panting and in a cold sweat when he realized that he was no longer punching the bag and was thankful that he missed the new target as he extinguished his flames.

“Lotus! Mā de! I’m so sorry. I-I-I didn’t know you were there.” he moved to help her up.

Lotus took Spike’s hand as she got up, taking deep breaths to slow her heartbeat after a possible brush with death. “It’s OK. Obviously, I was interrupting something. I’m the one who should be apologizing.”

“N-no, it’s fine Lotus. I’d- rather not be thinking about that anyways.”

Lotus stood straight as she smoothed out the wrinkles in her shirt. “You’ve been awfully quiet ever since the captain announced that we’re going to the Crystal Empire, not even talking to Button about future Ono plans, or flirting with Aloe.” She said that last bit with a chuckle. She then looked at him in the eyes. “What’s wrong? Why do you not want to go to the Crystal Empire?”

Spike did not make direct eye contact. He continually shifted his gaze as he spoke. “I- made a few enemies there, what more is there to say?”

Lotus craned her head around to try to gain eye contact with him. “A few enemies wouldn’t normally stop you from going back. In fact, I’ve seen you look forward to some. What makes this place any different?”

Spike was silent, his eyes shifting left and right as if looking - desperately looking - for a way to escape this conversation.

Lotus sighed, giving up on looking him directly in the eyes entirely. “I understand now that it must be personal and that you don’t want to talk about it. But if it’s going to affect the job in any way, I’m certain that the captain would very much like to know about the matter.” she patted him on the shoulder and walked away.

Spike said nothing as he nodded and turned his attention back to punching the sandbag.


The crew had arrived in the Crystal Empire, managing to bypass customs with some credentials they obtained from their current employer as a private transport vessel, which proved, on paper at least, that they were in no way related to Twilight’s Empire.

“You will not be able to open this crate.” the mysterious figure at the Everfree forest had said to Firefly and Soarin. “For it will only open to whom it is connected by fate.” she tapped the symbol engraved on the lid.

“They will have this mark?” Firefly asked.

The figure shook her head. “No, and you need not look for this pony, for they will find you, as determined by destiny.”

Firefly shook her head in frustration as she and her crew walked down the side of Main Street towards the town center, leaving only Lotus behind to keep an eye on the ship. They would occasionally ask every other pony they came across if they recognize the marking on the box. (Why must this one be so cryptic?) Thankfully, the client paid them up front for this job, so it could take however long it was necessary to complete this perplexing task.

Eventually, Firefly looked to Spike and asked a question that had been burning in her mind ever since they left the ship. “Seriously. What’s with the getup?”

Spike glanced over himself; he was wearing a heavy tan coat with a hood, a hat with earflaps underneath the hood, and a pair of goggles. All of this on a beautiful summer day. “What? I don’t want nopony recognizin’ me is all.” he tugged on the hood to make sure that it sufficiently obscured his face.

“Come on, Spike,” Button said. “It’s been years since you’ve been here last, right? I don’t think anypony’s gonna recognize you.”

Spike raised an eyebrow. “How many dragons do you know?”

Button opened his mouth; thought about it, then shut his mouth. Then an orange-scaled female dragon walked by, completely ignoring the group while she was having a conversation with another pony she was walking beside. Button discretely pointed to her and grinned at Spike. Spike just rolled his eyes as he adjusted his hood and continued walking.

“Even so,” said Firefly as she slowed her pace and looked up at something in awe, “I’m thinking it might not be so hard.” and all the crew’s eyes landed on a crystalline statue of a dragon holding up a heart shape in one claw with the other at his hip. Even though the figure was of a baby dragon and had no wings, the resemblance between Spike and this statue were uncanny enough for the crew, sans Spike, to stop and stare at it slack-jawed.

“Shèng shǐ,” Aloe said holding a hand to her face, her pinky finger idly drifting into her mouth, “This is what going mad must feel like.”

Soarin glanced around before returning his gaze to the statue, squinting both because the sun was in his eyes and to make sure he wasn’t just seeing things.

“Look,” Spike whispered harshly, “I crossed the Princess here, OK? I don’t know why they would make a ruttin’ statue of me in the middle of town square! So, we could stand around playin’ art critic all day to this eerie-ass piece of work, or we could get on with our increasingly eerie-ass day.”

“I don’t know~,” Firefly said, “Mare said they would come to us, and I believe this spectacle warrants a moment of consideration.” she turns to Spike briefly and smirks.

“I think they really captured his essence.” Soarin mused aloud to the crew.

“He looks kinda... dopey to me.” Button Mash mused in response.

“That’s kind of what I meant.”

Spike rolled his eyes and walked off in a huff, “Whatever. I’m going to the third nearest bar and getting a drink.”

Idly, the rest of the crew turned to follow Spike, all of them finding it difficult to tear their eyes away from the curious town centerpiece.

The crew sat at a table in a distant corner of the “Radiant Cobb” bar. Spike was still glancing about nervously, even more so since the statue and shied away whenever another dragon happened to pass by. At one point while inside the bar, Spike had to scare off a little colt, who - Spike deemed - was staring at him for too long. Thankfully, the colt didn’t attract any extra attention as he ran out startled. During their time waiting patiently for their unknown contact, Button got curious for a taste of beer.

He promptly and violently spat out his first sip. “Āiyā! This tastes like- like-”

“Pee?” Spike deadpanned.

“Yes! Why does anypony drink this stuff?”

Spike casually held up his crystalline glass of the offending drink, staring at the semi-translucent liquid. “When you’ve had a sorry excuse for a day, most ponies use this as a way to drown out those feelings to make them feel better, for a while.” Spike took a swig of his drink. “‘Course yer likely to feel worse the next day because of a splitting headache and a growing list of things you done the past few hours that wouldn’t think you would do.”

Button furrowed his brows as his eyes shifted between Spike and the glass in front of him before slowly pushing his glass away with both hands.

“Well, I’d say that was almost responsible of you, Spike,” Firefly said, “scaring Button off alcohol like that.” she then took a swig of her drink.

Spike snorted a little chuckle as he lifted his mug to take another gulp. And that was the moment a musician took the stage with his guitar and began his song, the first line of which had Spike so startled he snorted his beer through his nose and had everypony else at the table in rapt attention.

“Spike~, the Brave and Glorious Spike.”

Everypony in the bar gave the troubadour their undivided attention with a brief cheer and applause.

“He may have been a babe

But he’s got a heart of gold

Stood up to King Sombra

And gave him what for

Our love for him now

Ain’t hard to explain

The hero of the Crystal Empire

The Brave and Glorious Spike

Our Spike saw the crystal pone’s tremblin’

He saw the fear in their hearts

And he saw that tyrant king takin’

Their livelihood and leavin’ despair

So he said, “you can’t do that to my ponies.”

He said, “you can’t crush them under your hoof.”

So Spike strapped onto Twilight’s back

And in 10 seconds flat

Stole the Crystal Heart from his tower.”

“Spike,” Firefly said, her eyes locked onto the singing musician but leaning towards Spike, “You care to shed some enlightening on this development?”

Spike, his back towards the singer, said nothing as the nervously shifted his eyes left and right, before he hastily replied, “Nope.” and he takes an even bigger gulp of his drink.

“No...” Aloe mused as she ran her hands through her hair, consequently slipping her headband off, “THIS is what going mad must feel like.”

“He may have been a babe

But he’s got a heart of gold

Stood up to King Sombra

And gave him what for

Our love for him now

Ain’t hard to explain

The hero of the Crystal Empire

The Brave and Glorious Spike

Now here is what separates heroes

From common folk like you and I

The Brave and Glorious Spike

With dear Twilight trapped

Had to jump out high with the Heart

Cadence lifted him mid-flight

And they filled the Heart with love

The dragon they call Spike

He saved us from spite

And filled our eyes with stars

He may have been a babe

But he’s got a heart of gold

Stood up to King Sombra

And gave him what for

Our love for him now

Ain’t hard to explain

The hero of the Crystal Empire

The Brave and Glorious Spike!”

The crowd whooped and hollered as the song ended. The crew slowly turned their heads towards Spike, trying to wrap their heads around the fact that they were now basking in the glorious company of this “Brave and Glorious Spike.” Aloe, however, was massaging her temples as she began to rock back and forth in her chair.

Spike, for his part, was sweating bullets. And after he couldn’t take the incredulous staring of his crewmates, he jumped up from his seat and briskly walked out the door.

If he were sweating 9mm bullets before, he was sweating .308s now as he faced a massive crowd gathered at the door, his hood managing to be pulled off by a bypassing patron in his hasty exit and leaving his goggles back at the table. And who was at the forefront of this crowd? None other than the colt he supposedly scared off earlier, smiling.

Somepony from the crowd spoke up, “It’s him! That’s Spike the Brave and Glorious!” The crowd cheered and applauded before Spike bolted back inside and headed straight to the bartender and ordered a glass of the sourest beer available.

Spike began chugging down the glass of soured beer before somepony came in and explained to the bartender who he was currently serving.

The bartender immediately slapped the glass out of Spike’s grasp. “The Brave and Glorious Spike will not have any of that xióngmāo niào!” Spike looked at his suddenly empty hand wide-eyed then to where the glass flew and back to the bartender. The bartender pulls out something from underneath the counter. A bottle of whiskey. “He drinks the best whiskey in the house!” and he holds the bottle high as everyone in and outside the bar cheered as loud as they could.

The bartender poured Spike a glass of the best whiskey in the house, and as Spike lifted up the small glass, he heard the cheers of the crowd die out. It became so quiet that he could hear the clicking of high heels on the stone floor from the door to the establishment. The clicking stopped when it was directly behind him.

Spike, having not taken his drink yet, dared to turn around and came face to face with a pink alicorn mare with a violet mane and gold streaks.

“Spike.” she said with a straight face and monotone voice.

He smiled meekly. “Princess Cadence.”

Firefly and her crew jumped up from their seats and reached for their weapons. Spike held up his free hand to signal for them to stop. They froze; not sure of what must be going through Spike’s mind.

Cadence spared a glance at the ponies drawing their weapons before taking the glass Spike had in his hands. “So! The Brave and Glorious Spike has returned?” she said loud enough for everyone in the room to hear her. Then she raised her voice, “This calls for a celebration!” and she downed the glass. “Drinks are on me!” and she threw the glass down on the floor. And, like the sound of a gunshot, when the glass shattered the cheers of the crowd returned to its previous volume like it was never interrupted. Cadence then pulled Spike into a hug, and Spike hesitantly returned it.

Firefly and the rest holstered their guns and shoved their way through the crowd of ponies to Spike.

“What the Hell just happened?” Firefly asked Spike.

“Princess Cadence is giving you free drinks of the best whiskey in the house?” he nervously responded once he was out of Cadence’s embrace.

“I can make that out quite plainly, but -”

“How the Hell are YOU~ a hero?!” Aloe interjected, her mane beginning to fray.

Cadence furrowed her brow and stepped closer to Aloe. “Spike is the most kind-hearted and selfless dragon I know.”

Aloe let out a long snort before it evolved into loud guffawing. Then, stone-faced, said, “I need a drink.” and walked in between Spike and Cadence to the bartender. She plucked the mostly full bottle of whiskey out of his hand, and hastily said to Cadence, “You’re paying for this, right?” and without even waiting for a response, she started chugging the bottle down managing to empty half of the bottle before she had to come back up for a breath, her step already beginning to stagger.


Spike explained to Firefly and the rest of the crew that he lied to them about crossing Princess Cadence. After Aloe went through five more bottles of whiskey, everyone decided that it was a good time to get her back to the ship. So Firefly, Soarin, and Button took Aloe back to the ship and left Spike with Cadence as she escorted him to the room he would be staying in for the duration of his visit.

Cadence opened the door to Spike’s room and made a sweeping motion with her arm as she did so. Spike gave an impressed whistle. The room was large, well decorated, and had an excellent view of the east section of the Crystal Empire. The room was three times as tall as he was and about as big as the cargo hold of Mal, if not bigger. The bed was a queen size bed with crystal blue sheets, the windows had curtains of a similar color and were made of shiny crystal silk, and the wardrobe - well it was made of crystal too, nearly everything is made of crystal here in the Crystal Empire, especially in this room.

“So, what do you think?” Cadence asked.

Spike wiped his mouth to cover up the fact that he was salivating just a little before he responded. “Great!” (Too great...) “Listen, you don’t have to do this-”

“Nonsense!” Cadence interrupted. “You’re the hero of the Crystal Empire and a dear friend. Which reminds me, there’s somepony I want you to meet. I’ll be right back.” and with a poof and a flash of blue, she teleported away.

Spike heaved a sigh as he looked around the room. “What did I do to deserve this?”

Another poof and blue light signaled Cadence’s return, but this time with an alicorn filly standing by her side, she was wearing white fencing gear and was carrying a protective mask and wooden sword in her hands.

“Spike, I’d like you to meet my daughter, Flurry Heart.”

The filly’s eye grew wide as she dropped her mask and sword and gasped. “Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh! Are you Spike the Brave and Glorious!?”

Spike let out an embarrassed chuckle then took a proud stance. “Yes, yes I am.”

A miniature sonic boom thundered through the room, and in the blink of an eye Flurry already tackled Spike, pinning him against the opposite wall, cracking it, as she bear hugged at his neck, squealing like a fanfilly. “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”

“Choking! Not breathing!” Spike croaked as he used all his dragon might attempting to pry the filly vice off his neck, but to no avail, and the wild beating of his wings were threatening to break the glass of the window beside him.

Luckily, when a blue aura enveloped the adorable little python, she let go of the poor mouse-dragon, allowing Spike to breathe.

As Flurry hovered in Cadence’s telekinetic grip, Spike coughed and gasped for breath and Flurry continued her fanfilly squealing.

“Flurry Heart. Behave yourself.” her mother scolded as she let the little fanfilly down onto her feet.

Flurry only nodded rapidly in response until her feet touched the floor, then she said, “My daddy, Shining Armor, has told me so many stories about you, Spike!”

Spike rubbed his throat as he smiled at his most adorable fan, softly chuckling heartily. “Has he now?”

Flurry nodded her head so hard it half looked like a bow. “Mmhm! You’re my second favorite hero next to him! My favorite story is the one about you and him in the dragon lands! The day they started calling you ‘The Dragonslayer’!”

That title again:


Screams echoed through his mind briefly before he shook them away.

“Oh... R-really? Hey, where is Shining Armor, anyway?”

Flurry briefly glanced at Cadence, who had an apprehensive look on her face.

“He should have been here this morning.” Flurry said chipper and quickly, “Uncle Sunburst said he had some other things to take care of.” she smiled widely and put her hands behind her back, “Can you tell the story of you and daddy in the dragon lands?”

“Maybe later kiddo. For now, I think I want a nap. It’s been a really stressful day so far, and I need some rest.”

Flurry deflated. “Ok. Maybe when you wake up from your nap?”

“Eh-h, maybe.” Spike responded, hesitantly.

Flurry smiled brightly, then walked back to the door, picked up her mask and sword, and disappeared in a flash of light yellow magic after waving goodbye.

Cadence chuckled as she paced closer to Spike.

“Cute kid,” Spike commented. “How long has she been an alicorn?”

“From birth.”

“No way,” he said in a lighthearted manner, “Is that even possible?”

“Apparently.” Cadence paused, “Hey, is something the matter? I saw how you reacted to her telling you what her favorite story was.”

Spike froze. “What about you? I saw how you looked when I mentioned Shining Armor. Did something happen?”

“He’s- dead.”

“I’m... sorry... How did you find out?”

“I had a vision.”

“Does Flurry know about this?”


“You can’t hide this from her forever.”

“You’re not the first one to tell me that today.” she looked down and to her right for a moment, then back up to Spike, “Now, your turn. Tell me your side of the story of you and Shining in the dragon lands.”

Spike crossed his arms, “You heard what I said to Flurry: after my nap.”

She scowled at him. “Ok. But I expect a full explanation.” she turned to leave the room.

“And you’ll get one. And then you can introduce me to this ‘Uncle Sunburst’ of her’s. I didn’t know you had a brother.”

Cadence chuckled, “He’s not. He’s a friend of the family. Have a good nap.” and she shut the door. Spike then closed the curtains, took off his jacket and let out a big yawn as he stretched. That’s when he heard the door open again, this time a pony in a heavy, tattered cloak that covered everything but the black gloves he was wearing, entered the room.

Spike looked at the pony curiously. “Can I help you?”

The pony shut the door behind him and locked the latch. “Yes, I believe you can.” The pony threw a small disk that landed against Spike’s collarbone and thin, steel tendrils sprouted out from all sides of the disk. The threads wrapped all around Spike and began moving him like a mechanical puppet, it forcibly moved him to take two steps back, then down onto his knees with his arms outstretched backward and his head fixed upright.

“Wha? Who are you?” Spike asked.

The pony took off his hood to reveal that he was in fact not a pony, but a dragon, with red scales and a yellow fin atop his head, one of his eyes had no pupil and a scar going down the middle of it.

Spike paled. “Garble!?”


Lotus Blossom opened the bay doors as the rest of her crew, sans Spike, walked in. Half-dragged, half-stumbled by Soarin in Aloe’s case.

“Did chu know?” Aloe slurred loudly, “That Spiek is a bonafide folk hero? *Hic* He gots a song an’ ev’rythin’!”

Lotus cocked an eyebrow. “Sis, you’ve been drinking too much.”

“That may be, but that don’t make it any less the case.” Firefly stated plainly as she approached Lotus.

Lotus craned her neck forward, blinked several times, her mouth gaping like a fish out of water. “Are-are you serious? OUR Spike?”

“Eeyup,” Soarin stated as he guided Aloe through the cargo bay as she giggled and stumbled all the while.

“Pft-he-wha-.” Lotus sputtered incoherently, “What did he do, exactly? Save the princess’ cat from a tree?”

“Technically, she saved him - after he jumped out of a tower,” Button interjected, “but he was recovering an artifact that was necessary to the survival of the Crystal Empire which was hidden away by the previous evil king. And, there are many more stories of his ‘Brave and Glorious’ escapades.” he held up a fairly thick book with a red hardback cover and a minimalist portrait of Spike’s baby face on the front. “This is ‘The Complete Collection of Spike The Brave and Glorious’ adventures in the Crystal Empire - abridged.’”

Lotus looked at the book with interest as she plucked it out of Button’s hand and opened up to the first page. “Did you read anything interesting about our favorite dragon?”

“I skimmed through the whole book and what I found most interesting was the last entry. He was on a job with the Princess’ husband, Shining Armor, in the dragon lands to stop a civil war from breaking out. It ended with a skirmish, but when the dust settled, all the dragons in the vicinity were dead, and Spike disappeared himself shortly afterward.” Lotus immediately began flipping the book to the last chapter. “And you’ll never guess what the title of that chapter is called.”

“The... Dragonslayer.” Lotus read aloud.

Right as she finished, an explosion rumbled in the distance followed by an equally loud roar. Everypony turned to see debris fly from the central spire and smoke pour out from it. Firefly picked up a telescope and focused on where the explosion and roar came from. She saw a giant purple dragon with green spines, black smoke spewing from its maw and its eyes trailing a purple haze as it scaled down the tower before jumping off to the ground. She collapsed the scope and pressed a button, shutting the bay doors. “Lotus! Get this bird up in the air and take us to that tower.”

Lotus slammed the book shut and passed it to Button, slowly but surely making her way to the cockpit. “What’s happening?”

“I don’t rightly know, but it looks like Spike has gone feral.”


“Oh, so you remember me?” Garble said with a manic smile, tilting his head. “I’m surprised you can remember that many victims back.”

“I thought you were dead!”

“You’d like that wouldn’t you?” Garble chuckled while tilting his head to the other side. “Tch. But no, I’m here.”

Spike snorted. “Are you here to kill me?”

Garble closed his eyes and sighed, his smile disappearing, “I’d love to, but sadly, I’ve been hired to do something else. And honestly, after Twilight explained her plan to me, I’ve since bought the idea that this would be a much more delicious revenge.”


“Yesss. Who knew that a pony like her could be so devious, especially to one that is surmounted to be her bastard child. She says ‘Hi.’ by the way.”

Spike growled. “What do you want with me?”

Garble opened one side of his cloak and pulled out one of many knives he had underneath, all of which were gnarled pieces of sharpened obsidian, glowing with a purple haze. “This is a Ganglari knife.” Garble explained as he knelt down to face Spike at eye level. “A special kind of dagger designed by Twilight Sparcake herself. I’ve been told it contains a dark magic that clouds a victim’s mind with sheer rage once it is stabbed into them and melts into them. They also told me that its effects on dragons are especially - potent.” Spike winced as Garble waved the knife dangerously close to his throat. Garble let out a low chuckle. “So, I’m goin’ to stab you with this, let the magic take its hold and release you onto this pathetic excuse for an empire and burn it to the ground,” he said almost gleefully. “Then, whatever survivors are left will tell the tale of when Spike ‘The Brave and Glorious’” he spat the title with venom. “went feral and killed everyone he said he’d protect after having abandoned them for years.”

Spike took a shallow breath, “Why are you doing this?”

“Why?!” Garble growled as he grasped at Spike’s spines at the back of his head and pulled back a little bit pointing the Ganglari at Spike’s nose. “I oughtta’ slice your throat with a normal knife for that. You killed my blood brothers! And it was through their blood that you earned the title ‘Dragonslayer,’ was it not?”

Spike was silent for a moment. “I’m sorry.”

Garble relaxed some as he chuckled darkly, which then grew into uncontrollable laughter as he slapped a hand on his forehead. “You and your stupid pony ideals. Thinkin’ that saying you’re sorry will fix everything. We dragons- real dragons- don’t apologize for anything, we do what we want and destroy anything that gets in our way!”

“Even if it was going to hurt innocent ponies AND dragons!”

“The only dragons who would get hurt are those who followed Ember! And those dragons were weak just like her, and they all deserved to die for their weakness! Putrifying the image of the dragon race with their ‘mercy’ and ‘forgiveness’ and ‘friendship.’ Pleugh!”

Spike snarled.

“But enough about me. It’s time for you to contribute to the image of the dragon race. By destroying an entire pony kingdom!” Garble plunged the knife into Spike’s left shoulder.

Spike screamed in pain as the steel wires went slack, allowing him to collapse onto the floor, and desperately grasp at the knife that now melted into his wound.

Garble, pleased with his work, walked over to the window, opened it, and chuckled. “Thank you for your compliance. Your compliance shall be rewarded.”

Spike stared at Garble with hate-filled glowing green eyes and loosed a torrential breath of black fire just as Garble jumped out the window, blowing out the wall. Spike followed where he thinks Garble went as he quickly grew in size, easily outgrowing the room he just blew a hole in, as he crawled down the tower and landed on the ground.