• Published 19th Dec 2016
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The Pieces Lie Where They Fell - Evilhumour

A thousand years after the death of Mane Six, a new generation of Bearers are chosen.

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Chapter Sixteen: Xvital

Chapter Sixteen


“Are you well, Vix-Lei?” Rex asked as the minotaur sat up after she had fainted.

“I’m good, Rexy-I mean, Rex,” she blushed, rubbing her hair out of her face. “Sorry ‘bout that; seemed I needed to be talked to by your demi-goddess to get some sense into my noggin.”

“Must have been a very long talk,” Wind muttered his breath with Night snorting in agreement before the two glared at each other. The two were still butting heads, but at least it had cooled down for now.

“Eh, long enough,” Vix-Lei shrugged, with her Element shifting around her chest. “Pinkie was clear enough for me to understand what I was doing wrong.”

“Pinkie?” Xvital asked, tilting her head as she tried to place which of the Virtues she was talking about.

“The Wise Oracle, though her name is really Pinkamena Diane Pie but she likes Pinkie Pie a lot more,” Vix-Lei tilted her head. “Didn’t seem all that jazzed by being called the Wise Oracle; didn’t yours not like her name too Page?”

“No, Fluttershy told me she didn’t like it at all,” Page Turner said, the unicorn nuzzling against Night Blade. “So what is your Element?”

“Laughter, and trust me, if I knew that’s how your demigoddess really acted, I might convert,” Vix-Lei snorted before looking around the room with caution in her eyes.

“Actually, the Virtues themselves were never officially deified; they were considered to be the Twin Goddess Princesses’ elite warriors who were only brought together in times of crisis,” Rex said, once again proving to be a fountain of wisdom. “Only Mi Amore Cadenza was considered a demigoddess that was to marry a mortal pony before the unpleasantness with the Changelings occurred.”

“Yes, Shining Armor was to be the Consort of Love before Chrysalis killed them all,” Page Turner said causing Rex to face her with confusion on her face. “I grew up in the Great Library and I heard and learned a great deal,” she said as an answer that seemed to satisfy him.

“So what does that mean, Laughter?” Xvital asked as Vix-Lei began to feel her head for some reason. “How was that a weapon? For that matter, what about Kindness? I mean, you can’t stab someone with kindness, right?”

“Well, Pinkie told me that we act like the ones to make sure you guys don’t get too serious, you know, being the sane one?”

“Well, that’s reassuring,” Night grumbled.

“And mine, Night, is to make sure we stay acting morally right,” Page said fixing a glare at Night who winced and muttered an apology at Vix-Lei.

“That’s all good but how are they going to stop anyone?” Xvital said with none of them giving her an answer. “Look, I don’t know how you two got your Elements but-”

“I got mine by making all of you laugh,” Vix-Lei said before looking at Page. “And I am sure she got hers by being nice or kind to that changeling?”

“I suppose,” Page said looking a bit nervous. “Does that mean we need to act a certain way to get the rest going?”

“I don’t think so, Page,” Rex said, pulling out a notebook. “Balance said simply that we need to be true to ourselves; if we were to force it, I highly doubt it would register for our Elements.”

“And don’t forget what it said about the last one,” Wind Breaker chirped in. “The last one will only come in after we got the rest?”

“Yes, so one of us isn’t going to get our Element by a random act,” Xvital said with a huff. “On on hand, if we keep things up, we should be good by the end of the week.”

“But on the other hoof, I doubt we’ll be that lucky,” Night said glumly.

“Right guys, change of topics but what are our plans to get out of Canterlot?” Vix-Lei asked, squatting down beside her with one of her hammers almost poking her in the face. “Don’t worry, that’s Lady Kabonk, my fluffy hammer.” Vix-Lei reached up and squeezed the hammer head before brushing her hand on her blue, yellow and white skirt. “Senior Hardhead is the other one.”

“Good to know,” Xvital said to herself, eyeing them both. They were near identical even to her appraising eye and she prided herself in picking apart details-it was how she passed counterfeit books and stuff over the years and not getting caught by the cops. “And… I guess the plan is to risk the bridge; if Night’s right about the Captains, then the Guards are going to be breathing down our necks in no time. And if you are right about the Bane of Tartarus being our foe, then we need to move fast.

Everyone winced at that; while all officers made Xvital uneasy, knowing at that Gentle Step was after them was downright nerve wracking. The only thing that could rattle her more was if he showed his head- she was nowhere ready to deal with that!

“So we’re going to use the Blas Bridge?” Wind Breaker asked.

“Yeah, and we’re going to go now,” Xvital said, her ears flicking. “It’s dark so we’ll blend in with our dark coats, people are still celebrating so there will be a crowd to cover us, and it will take time for the Guards to get their act together and cover all the bridges.”

“Once we get to the other side of the Cantagel Canal, I do believe I can aid in our departure from Canterlot; I live in the East and while I do not partake in such activities, I was observant in listening to what my former pack and my neighbours mentioned about the defense structures of the East. There are a number of holes that the Celestia Guards do not know about,” Rex said. “After that, I do believe we will have an easy way to your doctor Xvital?”

“Docto-oh yeah, I get ya,” Xvital said with a grin on her face. “Operates out of a temple dedicated to Luna.”

“Well that isn’t sacrilegious or anything,” Page said with a frown before shaking her head. “So what do we do if we get cornered or the Guards spot us?”

“We’re going to work in teams again; Night, you are with Page this time and Wind, you’re still with me,” Xvital said, watching Night perk up at this. “Night, I trust you can protect her with your life, and Wind, you’re mobile with your wings. Rex, you’ve got your potions, right?”

“Yes I do and in fact,” Rex reached into a pocket before pulling out pieces of cloth. “In case another of my smoke potions goes off or I need to use a sensory potion, press this against your face and you will be fine.”

“What about if you use something will blind us?” Night raised an eyebrow. “My eyes can’t really take flashes of light all that well.”

“I am well aware of such facts, Night Blade, and again, my handkerchiefs will protect you,” Rex said with a bit of growl in his voice.

“Okay, focus here,” Xvital snapped her fingers to drag their attention back her. “We want to move quickly and quietly but we should be ready to hit back hard and then dash away. May I?” Xvital asked, reaching out for Vix-Lei’s real hammer which Vix-Lei pulled out with her hand. Nearly toppling over from the sudden weight of it, Xvital couldn’t help herself from squeaking as she used all three hands to hold it upright. “Santo dios, como carajos agarras esto con una mano‽”

Everyone turned their heads to Rex who simply coughed before saying, “She is inquiring how you are able to lift that hammer single pawedly.”

“Ah,” Vix-Lei plucked her hammer up before sliding it back into the sheath on her back. “I’m just a bit stronger then most, is all.”

“Okay, with Vix-Lei’s hammer power, Page’s magic and Rex’s potions, we have heavy hitters, with Night and me being good at close combat, right Night?”

“I am the captain of the West team for the swordponyship tournaments for a very good reason,” Night said with a bit of pride in his voice.

“What about me,” Wind asked, leaning close to her. “How do I figure into all of this?”

Xvital sighed, shaking her head. “Do you have any weapons on you, ever used anything beyond your claws?”

“Well no, but-” Wind Breaker began before Night cut in.

“Then you’re pretty much dead weight,” he said in a snide tone that made Xvital sigh in frustration. “The Guards are trained to fight ponies and griffons, and having nothing to defend yourself puts you and the rest of us in serious danger.”

“I’m sorry, but buying and wasting my time with a sword or some crap like that doesn’t help me with my debts; unlike some ponies, I have obligations and responsibilities to see to.”

“Okay, enough you two,” Xvital snapped, glaring at Night before looking around the room. “Maybe you can pick up a pole and use it as a stick or something.”

“I wouldn’t advise that,” Rex said as he began to go through all the bags, waving Night to give him his, and began to reorganize things. “It would look suspicious to start with and secondly, how would he carry it?”

“Dammit, you’re right,” Xvital groaned into her hand. “And it doesn’t help you’re like half the size of normal griffons.”

“Hey, from what I’ve heard, most of the griffons here are from the high mountain regions back in the griffon lands, so I’m just from another area I guess,” Wind shrugged his shoulders. “And I’m not that short.”

“Regardless of the fact, Night is correct you could be a liability,” Rex interjected, moving the food he and Page got into another bag after muttering to himself. “In any case, fighting should be our lowest concern and my goodness you have a lot of expensive wines, Wind Breaker.”

“Yeah, and I am not leaving them behind,” he growled, eyeing his pack. “Took me a long time and a lot of money to get some of them and I haven’t even had some of them yet!”

“While that is all good, I-”

“Let him keep his wine and booze, Rex,” Xvital said, taking charge again. “He sold a number of bottles when we were out and we’re not ready to deal with a griffon getting onto the wagon.”

“How many times do I have to say that I am not an alcoholic?” Wind’s grumbling broke off a fit of coughing with him rubbing his throat at the end.

“It would help me believe you if you were to pour all your alcohol down the drain,” Night snarked at the fuming griffon, who seemed ready to lunge at the batpony at this point.

“Night, stop that,” Page swatted at him before turning to face Wind Breaker. “I am sure you have your reasons and while I can smell the alcohol from here, you seem to be functionally pretty well.”

“Well yeah, I only drink to get buzzed,” Wind Breaker said as he leaned backwards. "There was a job I was doing a few years ago, where a couple of other griffons and I had been hired to redo the surfaces on the roof of an apartment building. While we were working, some earth pony wandered out of the roof access a few buildings over… and we realized too late that he was so smashed off his plot, he'd forgotten he wasn’t a pegasus and was trying to fly." Wind Breaker closed his eyes. "Between how fast he went and how far away we were, none of us could have caught him before he jumped off the roof. One of the others actually tried to catch him as he was falling, but he didn't get close." The griffon sounded solemn as he remembered what happened next. "That pony fell almost eighty feet straight down, and shattered all four legs when he landed. If one of the unicorns below hadn't managed to cast a cushioning spell on the ground at the last minute, the impact probably would have killed him, even with his natural durability. Last I’ve heard is that the pony is completely wheel bound now and you know how little Canterlot is handicap accessible."

The others all winced, and Night Blade had an apologetic look on his face.

"Even before that, I never drank enough to get more than a buzz, and after that, I had all the more reason not to do it. Even without the laws against public intoxication," Wind Breaker concluded.

Night gave him a look before tilting his head. "Sorry,” he said plainly, eyes looking to the side.

"It's not your fault, you didn’t know," Wind Breaker told him. "Besides, I heard he sobered up for good after that. Hasn't touched a drop since, according to one of the guys he used to drink with."

“That’s no surprise,” Vix-Lei let out a soft whistle before she glanced at the two. “So you two good now?”

Both of them looked at each other for a moment before shaking their heads. “I honestly doubt it, to be honest,” Night said. “I know you won’t be blind stinking drunk and put Page in danger but I still can’t bring myself to trust you and…”

“Yeah, and you are still a spoiled noble brat that I just want to punch in the face,” Wind Breaker replied while running a claw down the back of his head.

“Okay, if you two are finally done,” Xvital looked at the two of them, really hoping she’d get them to put their grudge away for good in the near future. “Let’s get ready with the plan, shall we? We don’t have long, so let’s get this done quickly and smartly.”

Pulling up the map of Middle North, she began to brainstorm with the rest circling around her to pitch ideas and notions to how exactly they were going to fool the Magi of the Star Guards along the bridge that housed the machines that powered the entire city.

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