• 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 Thirty Three: Rex, Wind Breaker

Chapter Thirty Three

Rex

Rex was doing his best not to pace in the cabin they had been directed into after Vix-Lei wandered off with Night. Xvital had already claimed her bunk that was built into the side that was close to the floor, with the ahuizotless making a barrier of blankets and pillows and muttering how much this sucked. Page had taken the top bunk, and was doing her best to stay out of sight, no doubt to ease both her and the Order’s distrust of each other. Wind Breaker was on the bunk on the other side, with his own mini nest built up but he did have his crossbow within reach and fully loaded.

“Do you think we should do something, Xvital?” Page asked with a nervous chirp, back in her unicorn form. “They have been gone for a while…”

“I don’t know,” Xvital muttered with a groan as the ship rocked a bit. “Vix-Lei and Night are our heavy hitters and even with Night ooooo,” she whined, dipping into her bedframe before groaning under her breathe. “Even with Night being injured like that, I doubt he’d be unable to fight.”

“He doesn’t have his sword anymore,” Wind Breaker muttered as he wiggled his way out and leapt down from the bunk with his natural catlike grace. “Say Page,” he tilted his head up at her as he took a bottle out from his pack and began to uncork it. “Isn’t there a pony disease that comes up when you cannot do something related to your special talent?”

“Well yes, there is a risk for special talent failure, but it’s not a disease per se,” Page replied. “It’s more of an… emotional breakdown.” She shook her head. “Besides, I strongly doubt that just swordplay is Night’s special talent. I have known him for a long time and I am fairly certain it is fighting in general that is his special talent - he’s very good with his sword, though it’s far from the only combat method he knows. There is a reason he fights unicorns in sword tournaments and wins.”

“Holy fuck, you’re not kidding us, are you?” Wind Breaker swore, only to swear more when Page made it clear that she was not lying. “Still, he is in no shape to fight.”

“Not physically,” Xvital snarked before a lurch in the ship punished her.

Rex turned his head to see Wind Breaker flinch and no doubt feel a stab of guilt. “Well, we can figure some-”

“Vix-Lei, you can put me down, I can walk by myself.” Night’s voice carried from outside. “I did it before.”

“Yeah, and they got annoyed at us, Nighty and we’re almost here, so tough it out a bit more, okay?” Vix-Lei said. “Now it’s time to-”

“Oh please don’t say it,” Night whined.

“It’s time to carry you over the threshold, Nighty,” Vix-Lei cooed as she opened the door with her hoof and walked into the room carrying Night bridal style with said pony grumbling and pouting the entire time. Wind Breaker was bowled over in laughter while Page snickered from her bunk and even Rex couldn't stop himself from some laughter. Xvital was smirking from her own bunk only to let out a surprised grunt when Vix-Lei looked up at her.

“What?”

“Night needs a bed to rest in and so you mind getting up and out?”

“No, my bed,” Xvital said with a bit of playful pout.

“Okay, hold this bat pony,” she said as she placed Night on Wind Breaker’s back, causing the griffon to squawk out in surprise and the nox pony to squeak as well. Rex then noticed Wind Breaker was quite able to support Night with both of them clearly surprised at their close proximity with each other. “Okay, scat, move on.” Vix-Lei began to try shoo Xvital out of the bed with the ahuizotless hissing and grumbling. She actually began to swipe at Vix-Lei who tried to get close to the bed, even arching her back and switching her tail. Vix-Lei seemed to be getting into it, with her snorting and grunting like a bull.

It came to a head when Vix-Lei pulled out her toy hammer, spun it in the air and then lashed out faster than Rex could react, the minotaur booped Xvital’s nose with her hammer saying, “Boop.”

There was a short period of silence in the room before they were all shaking with laughter.

“Vix-Lei, please don’t make me laugh like that again,” Night whined through his snickers. “I don’t think my sides could take it.”

“Yeah, they’d probably open up again if you laughed any more,” Vix-Lei said as she picked Night up and walked over to the empty bed that Xvital had left. “And you’d have to go back to that doc with the... bridle? Is that what it’s called?”

“Whoa, back up there a second,” Page said as she flew down and looked at the nox pony who was settling into the nest that Xvital made. “Open up again‽ You mean to tell us you were bleeding the entire time and you didn't say anything about it‽”

“To be fair and honest here, I completely missed it until they told me,” Night Blade said to them, with Vix-Lei nodding her head to back up his claims. “And they made sure I wasn’t going to bleed out again by putting in new stitches.”

“Okay, now explain why you had a bridle in your mouth,” Wind Breaker chuckled as Night Blade began to blush and turn away.

“It wasn’t that kind of bridle, Wind,” the nox pony said, pawing the bed. “The examination was a bit painful, but they forced that damned mouth prop on me so I wouldn’t scream or bite my tongue off. It tasted awful and I need something to wash out the taste so gimme.” Night tried to reach for the bottle that Wind Breaker was holding out but Rex decided to step in before Night made it worse for himself.

“How about something that will not spread the taste around; Wind Breaker do you have anything cream-like?” Rex asked the griffon who began to root around his pack. They truly needed to work on getting Wind Breaker on a proper plan to wean him of his addiction.

“Got some advocaat,” the griffon finally said as he pulled a bottle out. “Not one of my favorites for straight-up drinking, but someone gave me a bottle a while back and recommended putting it on waffles or using it in some kinds of desserts. It’s thick enough that it should do the trick.” Pouring a small shot glass, he handed it to Night Blade who began to drink it. “Better?”

“Yeah,” Night said while making a face from the drink, shaking his head and sticking his tongue out. “That was terrible tasting advoca, adve… however you say it.”

“Well I haven’t had time to have the cooling spells that keep my drink cools replaced, so I guess my advocaat will be a bit ooooo,” Wind Breaker trailed off, eyes going wide as he suddenly felt around his pack with fierceness. “No no no, they’re all getting warm!” he said with a loud groan, even starting to panic before he looked at Page. “Can you renew the spells?”

“Yes and no,” Page said, placing a hoof on his shoulder. “While I could try and renew the spell, I think it would be better if I did not as to help you get over your addiction.”

“Oh yeah, now it’s the time for that crap,” Wind Breaker huffed as tossed his pack to the side of the room. “Right when we are dealing with the most batshit insane group of ponies ever.”

“Hey Wind, you’re not the only one in this group and unlike you, I get really sick on airships,” Xvital snapped as she was now on the lower bunkbed in the middle of the room. “So suck it up; you knew that this was going to come sooner or later.”

“Yeah, but I thought it was going to be my choice,” Wind Breaker huffed as he reached for the bottle he already had out and took a drink from it. “Fucking hate warm beer.”

Xvital let out a snort before groaning and holding her stomach. “Look Wind, you-”

Whatever she was about to say was cut off when the door slammed open and an Order member began to do some of their hoof language. Rex was doing his best to look away as to avoid from observing their language and by extension learning how they communicated in public. He did not trust himself to keep the knowledge secret and was rather averse to dealing with their wrath.

They made a series of gestures at Xvital who was holding her head up with all three of her hands before letting out an annoyed groan. “You have to be kidding me.”

“What did they say, Xvital?” Rex asked her as he sat down on the bunk under Wind Breaker’s.

“That this isn’t a charity and they expect us to do some chores,” Xvital groaned as she got to her feet before swaying and holding her stomach.

“Okay, what do you want me to do?” Night said before the Order member shook their head and made a sharp downward gesture with their hoof that was clear in the message.

“Yeah, they don’t want you moving around Night,” Xvital said before blinking at the Order member before sighing and shaking her head. “I am not saying that you-”

“Let me guess,” Page said as she stepped towards the Order member, the latter squatting down and tilting their head at her as if they were planning on charging her. “You don’t want me doing anything as you believe I am completely untrustworthy to do any work as I might sabotage it?”

To their credit, the Order member nodded their head before making more hoof gestures which made Xvital frown angrily. “They also want to lock you into a small room; they don’t want to do it here as Night might reopen his wounds and they’d need to spend valuable time unlocking the door to help him.”

Page rolled her eyes before sighing. “Regardless of what I want or say, you are going to lock me up, aren’t you?”

The Order member nodded their head again and was about to sign something else but Page continued. “And since your Order knew what this was,” she lifted her green gem Element. “You will not do anything to me.”

The Order member froze before moving their head in an odd fashion, almost akin to a pony swearing but they were completely silent.

The cloaked being then turned on the spot before storming out of the room and slamming the door shut behind them.

“Was that the best of ideas, Page?” Rex asked as he fidgeted with his violet gem Element. “Should we really be antagonizing them?”

“Of course not, Rex,” Page said with a confident smile. “But I will be damned if I am going to be bullied like that.”

“I just hope that this doesn’t come back to bite us,” Wind Breaker grumbled as he went back to his bunk, nursing his bottle angrily. “Remember, they were willing to cripple us beforehand and I doubt that they’ll just forget about that.”

“I actually doubt that Wind,” Night said as he reached into the pack he had been given and pulled out the book he been given previously. “They considered themselves to be followers of Her Grace Celestia and while she wasn’t the Magi of Stars’ teacher, she and the other Elements did report to her. The Order knows something of the Elements and how important they must have been to not kill Page. Whatever they actually do, these Elements, the Order isn’t going to take the chance if anything happens to us before we do what we are supposed to do.”

“And once we do, I highly doubt the Elements would fade away,” Rex conjectured. “So this all might be them being extremely prejudiced with no actual tangible threat behind them.”

“So do we agree to help them or not?” Wind Breaker asked with a hint of slur in his voice.

“I don’t think we should be pushing our luck guys,” VIx-Lei said she hopped onto the bunk atop of Xvital’s, causing the ahuizotless to mewl in surprise as the bed frame sunk down close to her and a further louder one as she nearly kissed Vix-Lei’s dangling hooves when she tried to roll out of the bed. “Oops, sorry about that, kitty cat.”

“Would it be wrong of me to assume that you are in favour of this to work on this ship?” Rex inquired with a grin on his face.

“Not going to lie; I so want to hijack this ship and see what she can really do,” Vix-Lei said with her usual smile, chuckling a bit as she kicked her hooves out. “They’re barely making these engines purr.”

“It can go faster‽” Xvital whined as she stuck her head under the pillows. “I hate airships.”

“And you’ll be good never to say that again in front of me or I will do my best to make you love airships, Xvital,” Vix-Lei replied, the feline whimpering in fear in response.

Before anything else was said, there was a loud knock on the door followed by an Order member walking in, before making signs at Xvital.

“One second, let me see what you are saying,” Xvital said as she pulled herself upright. “Okay, do it again?

The Order member seemed to glare at her before repeating their signs with Xvital watching intently.

“Good news Page, you’re working in the kitchen,” Xvital said with a roll of her eyes. “I’m working on cleanup; apparently they figure if I am going to puke, I might as well clean it up.” She flicked her eyes towards Wind Breaker and himself. “Wind, you’re taking lookout positions due to your eyesight and Rex, you’re on logbook duty.”

“Sounds fine-hey!” The Order member stormed towards Wind Breaker, grabbed the bottle, opened the window and tipped it upside down before handing the empty bottle back to the griffon.

“Yeah, they’ve got a no drinking before a shift rule, Wind,” Xvital said as she got to her feet. “Vix-Lei due to your knowledge, they want you wherever they need you and Night, they’re going to move you to the top so you’re not stuck here the entire time. They’ll move you and us back down once we get near the borders.”

The nox pony merely grunted in acceptance, while Vix-Lei had a very excited expression on her face and looked like she was barely holding back a squeal of delight.

“So,” Xvital concluded. “We have our assignments. Vix-Lei, they want you and Rex on the bridge first; Wind Breaker, you’re up top.”

Vix-Lei gave her an enthusiastic salute. “Aye-aye, kitty-cat! Come on, Rex, we’ve got ourselves an assignment.”

Rex nodded and quickly walked along behind her. “You really do know your way around a ship like this, don’t you?” he asked as they traversed the halls of the airship.

"Yeah," Vix-Lei commented as she put both arms behind her head. "This one reminds me of one of my dad's greatest creations, actually. The Destiny Explorer. She was his pride and joy... made several trips all the way to the South Pole and back, believe it or not."

"Really?" Rex gave her an interested look. "That is impressive."

“I’ll say. I got to know every inch of her when we were building her… this one’s practically her twin.” She beamed as she traced her fingers across the ceiling. “Of course, given this Order’s love for secrecy, I doubt they gave her a name… still, they seem to be treating her well. Point in their favor, at least by my reckoning.”

“Still this should be quite the treat for you, I wager,” Rex said. “You could continue your family’s tradition by working here.”

“Well Rexy if I were to do that, I’d be back home with my family working to create one of these beautiful queens,” Vix-Lei said with a small, happy but sad sigh. “Instead I was the less focused one, too much on the jokes and that kind of stuff…” she trailed off before leaning against one of the arches and letting a tired sounding sigh, rubbing her eyes. “By the gods, I left home without so much a note. I can’t help but think how much they were freaking out about that to find out I’m now a wanted criminal and that stupid picture isn’t going to make things better.”

“I don’t believe we have heard you talk much about your homelife,” Rex said as looked at her with concern. “We do know that Night, Wind Breaker and myself did not have the most ideal youths but…”

“Eh, it was pretty good,” Vix-Lei said as she shrugged her shoulder, seemingly past her moment of sadness. She took a few steps forwards before halting. “Huh, that’s odd; Page and Xvital both had pretty good childhoods, right?” She waited for him to nod before speaking again. “Three of us did have a good childhood and three of us didn’t. And three of us can fly and three of us can’t. Three of us walk on all fours and three of us walk on just two legs. Hey, three of us are guys and three of us are chicks.”

Rex blinked at this revelation, marveling at how much they did have in common was split directly in half and what it meant for them all. “Well there are a few things that are not balanced; Night is the only noble of us, unless you count as one.”

“Nah,” Vix-Lei scoffed, shaking her head. “No noble titles for my family - we’re just civilians and some of the best shipwrights in the Minos Islands.”

“Ah.” Rex contemplated for a moment. “There is also the matter of our species - from what we know, the original Bearers were all ponies, and we have seen two pegasi, two earth ponies and one unicorn, as well as the Magi of Stars, who was supposed to be the most powerful unicorn who ever lived. Yet only two of our group are ponies, and Night Blade and Page Turner are of different tribes. And the rest of us are different species entirely.”

“Hey, it was just a thought,” Vix-Lei told him. “But you’ve got to admit, it is a pretty big coincidence. And coincidences are one of the two things my dad and I have never believed in.”

“Oh? What’s the other?”

“Kallikantzaros. These little goblin-thingies that are supposed to lurk underground. And no, they’re not based off your species.”

Rex blinked. “I see. Well, I’ll do my part to see if I spontaneously become an equine,” he chirped with Vix-Lei laughing at his little joke, climbing the steps out of the hold and onto the deck and towards the bridge. To see what they wanted of he and Vix-Lei with the minotaur almost skipping ahead, the delight obvious in her mannerisms. He found himself smiling at the sight, but it calmed slightly when he began to wonder how long they’d be on the airship.

Good things come to those who wait, he reminded himself as he followed her. And Xvital’s Element is certainly one of those.

Wind Breaker

It had been several days since they had been on board this damn ship and he hadn’t been allowed a single drop of alcohol.

If this was what sobriety was, it was highly overrated crap. He was twitchy, he had headaches all the time and he found himself barely holding back from snapping at the others and these annoying Order jerks.

How the hell was he suppose to tell what they wanted when they refused to talk to him and got angry when he tried to learn what they were saying?

At least the rest of the group was doing okay; the Order ponies had not been too keen on eating what Page made at first but were eventually won over after they saw none of them suddenly dying after eating it themselves later on. Apparently, their dinner time was one of the few times that they went without their masks and none of them were allowed to see what the Order members looked or sounded like.

Rex had taken to his new job as almost as happily as Vix-Lei. She was having a fucking blast doing everything and anything the Order told her to do. She even got them to laugh, in a way. Turned out their masks blocked all sounds they made; it had been really freaky to see them throw their heads back in silent laughter.

On the other hoof, Xvital didn’t seem too happy with her duties nor was the Order. She’d predicted correctly that she’d be sick and more than once, she had run to the side of the airship to barf her guts out. She didn’t always make it to the side of the boat and she spent so much time complaining as she cleaned that up.

Night Blade, however, had been surprisingly even-tempered; the batpony had spent most of his time merely craning his head around, trying to get a good look at the areas they were flying over while he was resting on the upper decks and recovering from his injuries. He hadn’t sniped at Wind Breaker once during the journey, much to the griffon’s astonishment.

Then again, with everything he’s been through, who can blame him? Wind Breaker thought to himself. It might just be his upbringing that kept him really all quiet and still. If he was willing to gamble, not that those damn asshole would let him bet, Night was doing his best not to go crazy. He had noticed Night’s hooves flick around a couple of times and he had tried to move during the first few days before the Order forced him back into his chair and gave him a glass of water before leaving. After that, Night hadn’t tried to move once.

Wind Breaker let out a sigh as he remembered the times at the Hatchery when the sisters didn’t have time for all of them and ignored about half of them and yet still expected well behaved griffons. Some of them played with each other but Wind Breaker hadn’t had much luck with how much Diamond Back teased him and how weird it was, now that he thought of it…

Still, he and Night didn’t really get together and both knew that any attempt to talk would just be weird.

“I have to ask,” Night Blade said as he suddenly walked past him. “Just out of curiosity. What did you say that stuff you gave me was called again?”

Advocaat,” Wind Breaker said as he began to stand by the pony. “The name means ‘lawyer’, believe it or not - at least, that’s what the guy told me. I guess it was their preferred drink where this stuff was made. ‘s got brandy and some other stuff in it.”

“Ah.” The batpony nodded his head. “Despite all the work I did with my tutors, I never got a hoof on languages.”

“Eh, I only learned what I needed to get my drinks or get other jobs,” Wind Breaker sat beside Night. “I’m only semi fluent in a few languages and what I do know beyond what booze to order is how to swear.”

“That is always good, I suppose,” Night said dryly before letting out a sigh. “I am not sure if you have the seen the papers recently…”

“Nah, I haven’t touched them since I don’t need to find a job,” Wind Breaker said with a roll of his eyes before looking at Night. “Why, what’s wrong?”

Night let out another sigh before reaching under the chair and pulling out a couple of newspapers. He shifted through them, using his right hoof as it was almost done healing up, and gave Wind Breaker one of them. Wind Breaker blinked at it, seeing it was only three days old and looking at the headli-

“Oh fuck me!” he swore as he saw a photograph of where they’d fought Sharp Point, the ground still dug up, with the headline saying ‘The Traitorous Six Strike Again’. He began to read it and his face paled as he read the article of how Sharp Point, the fucker still alive somehow despite being knocked clear across the field by the Order pony that saved Night, and his ‘fellow’ mercenaries had tried to apprehend them before the Order showed up. His face paled further as he read about everything they did to fight back, even listing the fact that he had ripped out an eye and ate it before puking it up. He winced at the title they gave Night; the Butcher of the Everfree Forest and-

“Yeah, it’s pretty bad,” Night said, rubbing his ear. “They pieced together what we did to survive and that motherfucker told them Page is a changeling. No matter what happens afterwards, her life is ruined.” Night snorted before looking up at him, still wearing the eyepatch, he hadn’t taken it off to see his eye yet. “You too; they’re calling you a throwback from the ancient times after what you did to that one mare. Though from what Rex told me about why you did it, I can understand your reasons considering all I did,” Night said with a louder snort, running his tongue over his fangs. “I don’t think we’re ever going to go back to our old lives; sweet fuck, I’ve a massive kill count now, a whatchamacallit name and I’ve been scarred up,” Night turned his head to look at him again. “You know, I’m kinda jealous of you, Wind.”

“What really,” WInd Breaker snorted at this. “What is so great about my life that you are jealous of it?”

“You live it,” Night said as he pushed himself upright. “Look, the bulk of my life was simply to exist; there was so little expected of me to do beyond not embarrassing the family name that I just moved through the days when I wasn’t doing contests, tournaments, or being with Page. I didn’t even know what life was like and… despite how insane things have become, this is has been the highlight of my life; this stupid adventure and meeting you guys.” Night said with a smile on his face, tapping his necklace.

Wind Breaker let out a groan, rolling his eyes as he rubbed the back of his neck. “And now here comes the awkward part where I say I’m kinda jealous of you. I mean, I get you have issues with your parents but at least you know who they are. And you had a home with your own room. I mean, I lived with about a dozen or so other griffons growing up and from the ground running I had to be working to pay back the Hatchery. Don’t tell anyone this, but I always dreamed of my parents coming for me and being actual royalty and they were going to take me back home.”

“I read in a book once that we always wish for what we do not have, only to discover that the grass was always green from where you stood,” Night said before turning to face him. “Wind, for everything that’s happened between us-”

“Yeah, I know,” Wind Breaker said, cutting him to spare the guy’s pride. “Likewise.”

Holding out his hoof, Night looked at him to see if he would return the gesture. Wind Breaker smiled as he bumped hooves with the other stallion, smiling back at him.

“We good now?” he asked Night, feeling a weight off his back.

“Yeah, we’re good... until one of us does something stupid,” Night snorted as he shook his head.

“And if it’s you, I’ll be sure to smack you out of it, you noble idiot,” Wind Breaker said, wrapping a wing around his non-injured side.

“And I’ll be positive to do the same if the situation is reversed, peasant,” Night said in an over the top posh accent, with an arm wrapped around his neck in a loose choke hold. Wind Breaker could tell Night was barely holding his laughter back and it suddenly became a game to see who could hold the longest. “You know Wind, beside Page, you guys are really the first people I can call fri-”

“Oh not again!” Xvital’s whining voice from behind caused to them pull back in surprise as she stormed over to them, looking a tad less green than usual. “Look you two, I had hoped you two would put away your differences-”

“Xvital,” Night began to speak, moving to stand with a bit of a stumble and Wind Breaker helped him by flexing his wing out so Night had a soft support wall.

“No, let me finish,” she snapped, walking over to jab a finger into both of their chests. “I had hoped you two would stop your fighting, put away your differences and-”

“We already did,” Wind Breaker said with the ahuizotless barely paying any attention.

“And apologize to each oth- wait what?”

“We did that too,” Night chimed in, flashing her his wide smile that showed his fangs off.

“When did this happen?” she asked, tilting her head in surprise.

“Just a few seconds ago,” Wind Breaker said, doing his best not to laugh at the faces she was making.

“And you just cut into our guy bonding time,” Night said cheekily, flashing him a quick look that screamed play along.

“Night just promised to give me pointers in how to use my crossbow,” Wind Breaker said before tilting his head to the side. “You still up for it?”

“Not like I have anything else to do, Wind,” Night said as the two of walked off to the small area that had been sectioned off as a training hall.

“Oh sure, make me the bad guy here, you jerks!” Even though she was shouting at them, Wind Breaker could hear the amusement in her voice.

“You are a self proclaimed con artist, so you did that yourself!” NIght shouted back, with Wind Breaker letting out guffaws of laughter as he saw Xvital actually blush at this.


Some hours later, the six were gathered in their cabin once more. The room had changed since they’d first begun the voyage; now there was a large mirror in a gilded frame hanging on one wall, allowing them plenty of room to see it without crowding one another.

“According to their leader,” Xvital explained, “They can’t let us be seen by the local authorities. But apparently, they decided we should be able to see out when we arrive. So they set this up to give us a good view.”

Page examined the mirror closely for a moment. “Very impressive work,” she murmured as she drew back. “I’ve seen scrying mirrors like these before, and the enchantment is incredibly difficult.”

“I have heard the same,” Rex commented. “There have been efforts to create smaller and more portable versions, but it’s a long and complicated process. The closest they’ve come are the shortwave communications spells used in the helmets of the Guard branches, but those are audio only, no visuals.”

“Such things would come in very handy,” Night put in. “But - look!” He pointed, prompting the entire group to stare at the scrying mirror and at the sweeping vista it now displayed before them. What they saw was a massive city of crystal buildings, including an enormous palace at the very center.

“Well,” Xvital finally said in awe. “Here it is. The Crystal Dominance.”

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