• Published 5th Jul 2012
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Leather-Winged Oddity - Deyeaz

More often than not, we don't always become what we want when we go to Equestria.

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IV - Latin Prayers

Leather-Winged Oddity

IV - Latin Prayers

What is fear exactly?

Is it to be frightened of an individual because it intimidates anyone or anything in its vicinity due to its ferocity, size, and awe-inspiring capabilities?

Or is it to be afraid of something that you don't understand? Like you can't be able to get a mental grasp of it from how mysterious it is?

I would like to think that fear can take either forms.

Let me explain. Anyone capable of having thoughts and feelings can be scared of anything that they know nothing about, or something that frightens the living daylights out of anyone. That's why I choose not to go into towns populated by ponies, for the sake of not striking fear into their hearts.

But more often than not, that same fear can spawn hatred. Sometimes, it's a hatred that can be easily quenched, and will be easily replaced with love and trust.

Other times, when fear creates hatred for someone or something, it is a loathing so intense and inextinguishable that nothing in the world can stop it. It will charge on to infinity and beyond, unchanging and unrelenting, as the emulator of that hatred will do all it could to crush the thing or individual he or she despises the same way a maelstrom-cast ocean would crush a mere ship.

Why else do racism and prejudice exist?

This faux pas of philosophy comes to me as I travel through the Great Southern Rainforest to find the people/ponies who had screamed bloody murder. The humidity of the jungle makes me perspire slightly, but I press on. But as I do so, I realized that the individuals had stopped their screaming a while ago, meaning three things: that whatever problem that has arisen has been handled, that I am somehow getting farther away, or that I am too late to help.

I think the first option is unlikely, yet plausible; the second just seems almost impossible, yet still a little bit likely to happen. The third option is the only one that has a higher possibility rate than the other two.

I land on one of the many trees that make up the rainforest in its entirety, my wings getting sore from their activity. Free-running from tree to tree in the hopes to find out where the victims are, I come across something that frightens me, even until my dying day..

A small tribal village, with many huts crafted from wood, animal hide, and plant life, fit to hold a hundred civilians.

And it is in flames, robbed of all life.

But it isn't just the village's decimation that startles me. It is the cadavers that litter the ground before me.

They are neither people nor ponies. Instead, they appear to be... anthropomorphic cats. They bear fur of gold and eyes of royal blue, the latter empty of any signs of life, and each one is long and lanky, or at least had been: they are either decapitated or separated from their limbs. I realize that each one wears tunics of brown, the men wear pants while the women wear skirts. Each one has jewelry, like anklets, bracelets, earrings, etc. But every single one has a beaded necklace. Despite that every male cat-person has swords and spears, they had been easily bested, almost as if they had no experience in fighting at all.

I lift my scarf up so that it shrouds the bottom half of my face, blocking out most of the smell of decaying and burning flesh that threaten to make me regurgitate my lunch. I immediately turn tail to leave.

Until... I hear it.

"W...wait. P-p-please d-don't go," a weak, dying voice pleads.

I turn around again slowly. The speaker is a female cat-woman, who looks to be in her teen years. She, being the same color as her fallen fellows, is sitting and leaning on a totem pole, her left and only hand reaching out to me while the right and incapacitated one bleeds into the soil beneath her. A large splotch of blood is accumulated around her stomach: she was stabbed as well. Tears are streaming down her face, getting lost in the forest of fur on her cheeks. I come over to her and grab her hand (paw?) tenderly.

"You poor soul... what happened?"

"P-P-prisoners... a fl-fleshy w-w-w-woman... s-summoned Dead Ones... destr-troyed the v-v-village... k-killed everyone... sh-she esc-c-caped w-with the o-o-other p-prisoner..." She bends her head down and coughs into her chest. Crimson blood sprinkles the rough brown hide of her tunic.

"Shh..." I press a finger onto her mouth to keep her quiet. "Strain thy tired voice no more."

"P-please...." she shakes her head. "P-p-please e-end my p-pain." I nod reluctantly, and a small, albeit sad, smile forms on her face. "Th-thank you... th-thank you, kind st-stranger."

"Think nothing of it, madam." I draw Nightlock, and the cat-woman stares at the weapon. I close my eyes for a few seconds, trying to find this woman the proper sendoff. After the few seconds, the right farewell was found. I clear my throat. "Et pastores nos esse. Enim te, Domine, enim te. Potentia habet descendit de Tua manu, quod nostrum pedes citus ferre foras Tua iussum. Et nostrum morietur fluunt a flumen ad Tibi, et implevit usque cum eorum animas morietur eam sempiternum esse. In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti."

"Th... that w-was beautiful," the cat-woman says as she winces, more tears rolling down her furry face. She coughs again, the blood coming out in small torrents.

"Thank you. May you find solace in your eternal slumber." I let go of her paw and raise Nightlock. With closed eyes to shield them from the inevitable and a tear rolling down my left cheek, I kneel down and give a hard swing at the cat-woman's neck. I hear a thunk of the metal slicing into wood and a thud as her head hit the ground. With difficulty from how well buried my sword is in the wood, I pull out Nightlock from the totem pole and open my eyes to reveal the decapitated cat-lady before me. "Rest in peace." I sigh, flicking the sword and removing all the blood from it. As I sheathe my blade, the corner of my eye catches something.

It is a stone altar that is heavily stained with blood. I shudder in disgust at the entrails that litter the ground around it. I walk over to it, and go wide-eyed at the long, bloody, serrated blade that sits on top of the altar, as well as the skulls that cover the floor. On my way over, I accidentally kick a skull, and it rolls on the ground before coming to a stop at an empty wooden bowl.

And like a raging Mack truck on the highway, it hits me.

These... cat-people... sacrifice their own kind? And for what? Food? Fun? Or for some sort of gods that they believe in, in the vain hopes that their ecclesiastic "saviors" will help them with whatever the hell had been haunting them, be it famine or plague?

"That's just disgustin'." I turn around again and take to the now star-dotted skies, my mind teeming with what had happened, from the boar to the cat-woman. From the moment my sword tasted blood, I knew this would not be my way. Like Nut had told me many times before, I am a pawn, like some sort of sick chess game of the gods. In this game, freedom is but a beautiful lie, a tantalizing mirage sent to drive a mere pawn like me to work harder in doing what my Player urged me to do in the attempts to achieve said liberty.

But it is all for naught.

From that moment on, I know the definition of fear. It isn't an" either/or" thing like I thought. No... it is both: fear of the intimidating superior and fear of the unknown and enigmatic.

I make sure I get out of there as fast as possible, ignoring my sore wings and doing all in my power to rid my mind of the cannibalistic images that constantly come into my head.