• 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 Seventeen: Rex, Night Blade, Wind Breaker

Chapter Seventeen


Rex looked at the Blas Bridge and had to admit; the Equestrians did not do things at half measures. It was simply massive; taking up what would be an entire city block in the middle of the Cantagel Canal was a masterfully crafted structure with symbols of their goddesses, demi-goddess and the Virtues-the Elements, Rex mentally corrected himself- worked into the side of it. The Cowl of the Stern Warden, the Veil of the Wise Oracle and the Sea of Stars of the Magi of Stars were all under the Holy Sun and Holy Moon with the Twin Goddess-Princesses standing as tall statues. On the other side would be the symbols of the Lady, the Stallion of Dedication and the Warrior with a statue of the Magi of Stars standing, although a bit shorter than the goddess-princesses. On the walls facing the water were murals depicting scenes of Equestria’s history; the war with the Changelings, the war to reclaim the Crystal Dominance and other major victories with a dash of peaceful scenes. Rex wondered if he would ever get a chance to see the famous incomplete mural of the Six Tribes of Equestria in unity with the Fourth Tribe left undetailed.

“How are you doing, Vix-Lei?” Rex asked his companion, keeping his head forward as they walked in the crowd of ponies wishing to cross the water. Just a few paces back was Xvital and Wind Breaker and just ahead, he could see Night Blade and Page Turner chatting to each other. If things were to go as planned, Page Turner would spot something on the Blas Bridge and they would begin crossing. After that, Wind Breaker would fly overhead with a parcel to deliver and Xvital a message to give, her handwriting impressive and a near match to the typed Guard script. It would then be their turn to get past the checkpoint, with Vix-Lei posing as a mechanic and he her assistant. The fact that she had the actual tools for the trade helped a fair deal as well as that she knew more than he did about how machines worked.

“‘M good, Rex,” she said softly, her eyes darting around and squinting a greal deal. Out of the six of them, she was the only one without nocturnal eyesight. The fact that Page could see in the dark was a pleasant surprise but that made Vix-Lei the weak link for the moment and his responsibility. “Just kinda nervous,” she said, fidgeting and doing her best not to reach for her hammers, the duo of them covered up with a cloak to hide their heads and act as excess mass.

“As long we follow the plan, we should be…” he trailed off, his ear twitching as he saw both Night and Page being ushered into the power generator plant with the other travellers by the Magi of the Star Guards instead of the sidewalk along the outside of the generator building. This was against the plan; they had agreed to go on the public sidewalks as it was far safer.

They might have to abort the plan and tr- Wind Breaker flew past them, before being told to land by a pegasi crew and proceed by going inside. Xvital simply ignored Wind Breaker and talked to a rather tasty looking crystal unicorn Guard. While he had always heard stories from his former pack and other diamond dogs about crystal ponies tasting divine, he never knew of a diamond dog that ate one and he would never try as it would hideously illegal, immoral and indecent. Still, diamond dogs and dragons were forbidden in the Crystal Dominance for a reason...

Vix-Lei took a series of short breaths before walking confidently to another Guard as Xvital began to curse wildly in Burroñeso, the Guard handling her telling the ahuizotless to calm down with Wind Breaker sliding in ahead of them.

“Hello there,” Vix-Lei chirped, waving to the Guard that nodded them over. “We’re-”

This way ma’am,” the Guard barked sharply, causing Vix-Lei to fold slightly as she no doubt had a masterpiece of a story prepared to tell the Guard. “And you too, sir,” the Guard flicked his eyes at him, causing Rex to blink in concern as they followed the Guard through the doors.

Still, they were getting through the generator station, with a number of civilians looking down in awe at the machines powering their city. He longed to pull out his dog-eared notebook, and take notes of the magic and science crafted turbines but he could not as Vix-Lei suddenly grabbed his arm tightly as she tipped forwards as if she’d tripped.

“Sorry about that,” she chuckled loudly, before whispering into his ear. “This is a trap.”

“It’s okay,” he chuckled, patting her on the side before whispering back. “What do you mean?”

“The generators are running on low,” Vix-Lei said, her eyes darting around nervously. “And everytaur is being moved into secluded areas…”

“Topaz, you are correct,” Rex swore, seeing how broken up they getting from the rest of the group and other people; he could just smell Wind Breaker’s and Xvital’s scents, Night Blade and Page Turner’s being too distant for him to pick out. It seemed that they would need to fall onto their backup plan of fighting to get away. “Are you ready for this Vix-Lei,” he asked as he reached for a smoke potion inside his vest pocket.

“Yeah,” she whispered back with the Guard turning to face them with a frown on his face. “I hope the others are ready...” She then reached behind her, tying the handkerchief he had given the minotaur before around her face first and then pulled out one of her hammers, hopefully the real one. Rex mirrored the action of tying the handkerchief around his face before reaching into his pocket and pulling a smoke potion. “FIRE IN THE HOLE, THERE IS A NUTTER HERE!” Vix-Lei shouted loudly, causing the Guard to flinch in surprise and those nearby to scan the area around them in sudden tense battle formation. Rex had to smirk to himself; she knew how to use a crowd fairly well.

Tossing the potion, Rex threw himself forwards with Vix-Lei, both them determined to make their way to the other end of the power station, where the doors to their side of the canal would be and hopefully the rest of the team would be there with them.

Night Blade

As soon as he heard Vix-Lei’s shouting, Night knew things had went to pot. Drawing Determined Point, he felt Page tie the cloth the diamond dog gave him around his mouth with her magic as he took in the situation. The Magi of Stars Guards were telling them to stand down but Night felt no inclination to listen to them as a unicorn Guard swept in her sword to knock his away.

Rolling his eyes as he locked his sword into her and flicked to the side, he felt Page jump onto his back as he threw himself over the side and down into the rows of generators. Snapping his wings out, he flew to the underside of the walkway before landing in the middle of a row of large metal spiny things, his coat standing on edge. Blinking, he heard a large amount of shouting and coughing as smoke filled the room; Rex’s smoke potion and his handkerchief actually working.

“Careful Night,” Page hissed as she slid off his back. “Those are capacitors; if you hit it with your sword, you will be electrocuted.”

“Thanks Page,” Night said as he put away his sword, his eyes darting around as Guards came down to their level holding wasters, no doubt filled with heavy material to make up for the non-lethality of it. If he or Page were to get hit by one, it would more or less numb the entire area with deep bruising.

It would be a concern if his talent were not swordplay and Page did not have magic. As one came down to strike his wing, he rolled to the other side while tucking his wing in and pushing off the ground ever so slightly to land on top of the waster. Using the momentary surprise and confusion by the Guard to grab the weapon and pushing himself forwards by pushing off the ground with three legs and flapping his wings, Night managed to close the distance enough so he could jab the end into the Guard’s protected throat while bringing his wing to strike the other Guard’s helmet at the temple with Page using her magic to slam the ears of another Guard at the same time.

The Guards on the ground were still rolling on the ground in pain, Night hoping the others could make their way though as he was not going to put Page in danger by going to try and find them and leave her alone. Even now, he could hear Xvital, Wind Breaker and the others land, his ears flicking as he picked up their voices.

He and Page dashed through the machinery, hearing the buzz coming from the capacitor things that they danced through. Glancing behind him, he could see other Guards begin to descend to their level, taking their time to land carefully between the power generators.

Except for one; a Guard’s hindleg brushed against one of them and there was a sudden flash of light and shout of pain. Wrinkling his nose as he smelled charred metal and burnt flesh, Night pushed Page forwards to the other side, hoping they could find an exit.

That’s when the lights went out.

Wind Breaker

Wind wasn’t sure what Xvital was saying over and over again, but it was either shit or fuck. He couldn’t fault her; this was insane! What were they thinking trying to do this, get past trained Guards across a highly known bridge? They should have just gone the oth-

“Whoa!” he shouted, jumping backwards as a Guard swung their wooden swords at him, barely avoiding crashing into the metal towers. He then flew upwards to go into a quick dive to tackle the Guard. They wrestled briefly and while the Guard might have training on their side, but Wind Breaker was a griffon and they were the ancient predator of the ponies. Punching the Guard hard in the face, he reached over and grabbed something on the pony’s back. Dropping the Guard, he found Xvital at his side with a Guard held by her tailhoof before throwing them to the ground.

“Una ballesta? En serio?” she said and while he couldn’t understand her, he had a feeling he knew exactly what she meant by the look she had on her face.

“It’s the best I could find,” he snapped at her, picking up the quiver and slinging it over his back.

“Siquiera puedes usar una ballesta-, I mean, can you even use that thing?” she asked him as they continued to move forwards, forcing their way through the Guards.

“I’m pretty sure-” he broke off, both Xvital and him diving to different sides as a massive earth pony Guard ran straight towards them, with the lights shutting off and plunging them into total darkness. Wind Breaker froze, waiting for his eyes to adapt to the darkness when he heard a voice he knew call out.

“Everypony stop,” Fair Scales shouted, the Inspector standing tall on the upper floor. “Wind Breaker, listen to me; turn yourself in now and you will not be in trouble. I’ve been promised by the Captain General to give you anything and I have a very good deal for you.”

Wind Breaker felt his breath quicken as he heard Fair Scales speak. He was the Inspector that kept in touch with griffons from his Hatchery and Fair Scales was good. If he promised something to a griffon, he made damn sure it was delivered and he somewhat actually cared about the griffons he knew.

“Your debt will be gone, you will have access to your parent’s records, you will not be charged for aiding these traitors and you will be recognized as a free citizen,” Fair Scale’s deal caused Wind Breaker to nearly bow over.

Rubbing his throat, he tightened his grip on his crossbow and said, “I’ll never get a better deal than this,” drawing the attention of the Inspector and the other Guards to him.

“That is true Wind, and I know you are a smart griffon,” Fair Scales said, pleading with him. “Come with me and we can make everything alright again.”

Wind curled his talons and felt some tears sting his cheeks; he knew that Fair Scales wasn’t lying to him but he also knew that what the spirit of Balance said was true and he couldn’t just turn his back on it.

“I’m sorry Fair Scales, but I can’t,” he said, loading his crossbow, his eyes closed. He then fired the bolt into the metal tower, causing a very loud grating sound before there was a loud booming sound.

When he opened his eyes, he was on a dirt path in front of an old fashioned sign saying this was an apple farm with thudding sounds. Tilting his head in confusion, he walked down the path, following the noise he was hearing. He walked into the rows of apple trees before stopping to look at the apples.

...he could always offer to work for the price of it, he thought to himself as he pulled an apple off a tree and took a bite of it before pulling back in surprise.

“Yeah, mah apples are plenty tasty; not like how my kin does it nowadays,” a voice chuckled from in front of him. “Say, can ya’ll do me a favour; if ya ever run into one, can ya tell them that their entire family is spinning in their graves with how they’re all ruining our family’s good name?”

“Uhhhh,” Wind Breaker blinked in confusion to who this orange earth pony was; he felt that he knew who the Virtues were fairly well and she didn’t match any of the- The mare then brushed some sweat off her head before putting the easily recognizable holy symbol onto her head. “You’re the Stallion of Dedication!” he shouted, pointing a claw at her.

The mare just looked at him. She kept the look on him long enough for him to blush and pull back his arm and start to scratch the back of his head. “Ummm…”

“Do Ah look like a stallion, partner?” she huffed at him, with Wind Breaker wincing guilty. “Damn fools mistook mah brother for me and got stuck with that darn title for the last thousand years,” she pawed the ground, grunting in annoyance. “Ya’ll can’t imagine how much she bugs me, the darn varmint.”

“Eh, no?” Wind Breaker scratched the back of his head more. “As I can’t really call you... that, what can I call you, ma’am?”

“Shucks, sugarcube, Ah haven’t even introduce mahself yet.” She then trotted over to him and shook his talon. “Mah name is Applejack from the Apple clan, and welcome to the Sweet Apple Acres.” Wind Breaker noticed the amount of pride in her voice before he saw her deflate a bit. “Well, it ain’t the real one; that’s long gone. This here is mah paradise, with mah family stepping out so we can talk, Wind Breaker.”

“This is some paradise, Applejack,” he said, taking a deep breath of the fresh country air and felt himself unwind slightly. He took a sniff and found himself looking at another apple.

“Go for it, Wind Breaker,” Applejack said with a smirk on her face, clearly pleased at how hooked he became after one apple. “We’re still going to have our little chat.”

Wind Breaker made a weak sound as he bit into the apple, wondering what she wanted to talk ab-

“Ya know what the issue is, Wind Breaker,” Applejack said softly, placing a hoof on his shoulder. “Ya drinking is serious and no one wants ya to get sick ‘cause of it.”

Wind Breaker was about to protest this but let out a sigh. “Yah,” he said, sitting down on the ground. “I guess I do have a problem, but it’s not my fault.”

“Yeah, I know and trust me, Ah’m mighty pissed,” Applejack snorted. “Ah mean, who the buck decides that the best way to deal with foals fighting is to give one some booze‽

“Hey, I had problems keeping my beak shut and to them, that was the best way for me to fudge the truth,” Wind Breaker said weakly before hunkering lower. “Was given my first bottle when I was nine and I haven’t been able to stop drinking since.”

“Ah know and if we were still alive, trust me partner, we would have words with them folks that run your Hatchery,” Applejack said, pulling Wind Breaker into a hug which he returned, with tears running down their faces. “What happened to you and them other griffons ain’t right.”

“So what is my Element?” Wind Breaker asked after a period of time had passed.

“Ya know what it is,” Applejack patted his arm. “It’s that thing that you’ve always had ‘trouble’ with.”

“Truth?” Wind Breaker asked, tilting his head.

Honesty,” she clarified. “We keep the rest honest by being honest.”

“I see…” Wind Breaker nodding his head. “Look Applejack, I’ll try to get and stay sober.”

“That’s good and ya should stop being a living lie detector,” Applejack snorted at his confusion. “Yah were close to our Element from the get go; that addiction of yours just muddled it elsewhere.”

“Ah, I guess that makes sense,” Wind Breaker said, a smile breaking out on his face. “Anything else I need to know?”

“Yeah but Ah can’t say ‘cause Balance would be forced to release somethin’ even worse than what you lot are dealing with now and trust me, you ain’t ready for that rattlesnake,” Applejack shuddered before looking serious at him, her eyes glassing over. “If you force her to inform you of what the former Honesty is referring to, the monster I would be forced to let free would End this world.”

Wind felt his feather and fur bristle at this, a stab of absolute dread and fear pulling at his heart and he could faintly hear what seemed like laughter…

“It is time for you to return to the world of the living, Wind Breaker,” Balance said, using Applejack’s body to tap his forehead with his eyes closing in reflex.

Opening his eyes again, he saw an empty room, with the door in front of him opening up.

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