• Published 9th Jan 2017
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The Atlantean-Dominion War - The Atlantean



Crimson Dawn enlists in the Atlantean Reserve Emergency Army (AREA) to defend Atlantis from the Dominion of Apollo.

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53. Reverse Interrogation 101

“Where are you from, Blossom?”

“The mountains.” Her voice was almost unheard. “They’re far away.”

“Yes, the mountains.” Flawless Ice gestured down the hall. “Did you live in the south?”

She nodded her head.

“How far away do you think the mountains were?”

She tried to respond, but instead broke into tears. “I don’t know,” she sobbed. “I couldn’t see. I don’t know…”

The prince stood there, dumbfounded. Of all the innocent ponies his father could’ve imprisoned, he had to take a child from a southern mountain range. With no ranges in the Dominion any farther south than Amyfalone, the only place left was the Whispering Highlands in Atlantis. It was a hard enough journey before the war. Now a child was dragged all that way blindfolded, abused, and who knew what else during the world’s first major conflict in 300 years.

But what could he do? The past was done. And how to console someone from across the bars? There was really only one thing he knew he could do, besides using his royal position on the guards. Unless… No. That’s a horrible idea. Father would kill me. Literally. He had no qualms about that.

Well, there was really only one thing he could do without getting scolded. And if I do that, I’ll have an excuse for some of the other things, too.

Flawless stopped staring into space and looked at Blossom. She’d stopped crying, but her water-filled eyes still begged for help.

“Don’t worry, Blossom,” he said softly. “I’m going to get you some help, alright?”

She nodded and he walked back to the exit. Father still might kill me, he thought, but at least he’ll listen to me if it do it this way.

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King Jagged Edge of the Dominion reclined on his throne as his son strode into the hall. Strange. The prince almost never acted with a purpose in his father’s sight. This ought to be a good story.

“What brings you here today, my son?” the king asked, his knifelike voice slicing through the air.

“Father, King of the Dominion and Emperor of the Eastern Lands, yada yada ya-”

Jagged Edge stopped listening right there. This was the standard procedure: Flawless would address him by every title he had, while adding sarcastic comments to shorten some phrases, and the king would pretend to care.

“…And all that other stuff that has to do with the Navy, I request that the prisoner that arrived this morning be treated well.” He gulped. “I have grown fond of her.”

“She has been here for less than half a day and you are already asking for favors toward her?”

“I visited her, Father, and she was terrified by my own approach to the door. Even after I showed my lack of keys and guard, she stayed on the far end of her cell. She’s a child, Father; let me see to it that she is properly schooled and cared for.”

“You wish to raise her as you would your own child?”

“Yes, Father. As a possible successor to the throne should we both perish without another heir.”

“A contingency plan has never been a bad idea,” Jagged Edge mused. He rubbed his short but growing beard with a steel-silver hoof. “Now hear this,” he said, startling the scribe that wrote his every decree. “You, my son, Prince Flawless Ice, shall take the aforementioned prisoner who arrived on this day into your custody. You shall care for her. You shall ensure her proper schooling. You shall prepare her for a life as Queen of our grand Dominion so, that in the unfortunate event of your death without an heir, the transition of power is peaceful and undisruptive. And finally, you must give her a name worthy of our household.”

“Blossom, Father,” Flawless instantly replied. “Princess Rosemary Blossom of the Dominion, second heir to the throne.”

Jagged Edge smiled. “A most beautiful name, my son. See to it that she is cleaned for dinner tonight.”

“Yes, Father.” Flawless bowed low so that Jagged Edge couldn’t see the smile on his face. Holy smoke, it actually worked!

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Flawless bounded down the spiral staircase and slammed the door into the dungeon desk clerk’s face as he reached the bottom.

“Guard, bring me to the prisoner I saw earlier, and give me the key to both her cell and horn lock,” he ordered. When the guard hesitated, he roared, “NOW, DAMMIT!

“Y-yes, sir,” the guard managed to say. He dug through the desk at astonishing speed. Within a minute, he held the keys over the desk. “Here they are, sir,” he said unnecessarily.

Flawless took the keys and walked down the dirty, stench-permeating hallway. When he reached Blossom, he saw she had fallen asleep, curled into a ball on the unclean sleeping bag. Knocking on the bar once to get her attention, he said, “Hey! I’m getting you out of here.”

Blossom uncurled and sat up, yawning. Her blue-green eyes still looked as alert as ever, but without that childish innocence they should’ve had. She shook her head, getting a few bugs out of her translucent blue mane. She sat still as Flawless approached, still a little sleepy, and almost didn’t even notice when he removed her horn lock until it clanged to the floor.

“Wait! Don’t try to teleport!” Flawless insisted as she charged her horn. “You need to follow me. It’s for your own good - and mine.”

“Do I need to be a pony?” she asked as she followed him out of the cell. “It might be easier if I am.”

“If you want, Princess Blossom.”

She stopped dead in her tracks. “You know.”

“Wait, you actually are a princess? I just convinced Father that you were. Honestly, I had no idea.” Flawless looked as surprised as he sounded when he turned around.

“Well, yes. My mother is the Queen of her hive.”

Flawless continued walking. “Do you know what your mother’s plan is?”

“No,” Blossom replied as she caught up.

“As far as I know, it’s plain revenge. I talked the to the guys who brought you in; they said she’d been tricked into believing Atlanta took some Changeling Queen’s daughter prisoner. So you actually are that daughter, and not some random female drone.”

Blossom looked offended. “A princess is not a mindless drone susceptible to a change in her ruler’s desires, thank you very much.”

“That’s what I was looking for,” Flawless said, grinning. “I was worried you didn’t have enough sass. Yes, the plot is real,” he added, seeing the upset rage on her face. “It actually happened, and probably has been for at least three months. I say that because that’s the minimum time it takes to get from southern Atlantis to here.”

Blossom dropped her head as they passed the guards at the door. She raised it when they began climbing the spiral staircase. Now that she could actually see the grandeur of the castle, she was amazed by it, and was ashamed to walk in it as dirty as she was. Flawless led her to a large room fit for royalty, adorned with golden furniture and complete with a vanity mirror.

“Welcome to your new room. I’ll send some maids in to help you clean up. Bath is to your right, wardrobe is next to it, all that other stuff, too.” Blossom giggled at his goofy reference to her new bedroom appliances. “Also, that door in the back leads to a balcony overlooking the garden. If you have any questions, my room is three doors that way,” he said, gesturing to her left.

“Thanks,” she said, and he left. A few minutes later, two young mares came in - after knocking, of course - and readied her for the evening.

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“Hey, Flawless, I heard you had a chat with your dad,” Lost Legacy jibed.

“It went better than I thought,” the prince replied. “Right now, all that matters is that there isn’t a ten-year-old in the dungeon.”

Lost’s eyes widened. “He put a kid in there? How’d you get her out?”

“I may have convinced him we needed a contingency plan in case I die without heirs.”

“Damn. So she’s a princess now.”

“She already was one. Does the box have enough range to reach the Celestial Sea?”

“Hell no. But we can bounce it off the big masts on the ironclads as they head south. That might give us enough range to reach Emberforge Valley, but we’d have to put boxes on the ironclads or it’s all moot.”

“I can put you on next week’s diplomatic entourage headed to Atlantis to see if they’ll surrender. Take this with you,” Flawless gave his friend a neatly folded note. “See to it personally that this reaches her, and do it when the others aren’t around.”

Lost gulped, his shadowy eyes wavering in their resolve. “But what about your father? What about my father? What about-”

Flawless held up his hoof to stop Lost’s rambling. “I’ll handle it. You just give this to her.”

“I just hope this doesn’t get me killed.” Lost sounded more scared than he ever had. But he’d get it done. He always got the job done.

Author's Note:

Well, another late-night addition to the list of chapters, woo! It's late for me, at least. Also, if you read this chapter without any context whatsoever (I think it happened at least once before), I highly recommend looking at the Operation Highland's Edge chapters first (otherwise, you'll get really lost).

A little chatty in this chapter, but I guess it can't be helped. I kinda just tell the story through character dialogue half the time. And yes, Lost Legacy will get his own (dim-witted diplomacy) chapter sometime down the road.

Feedback appreciated.

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