• Published 6th Jul 2012
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Legacy of the Pegasi - secret89

An ancient pegasi myth has returned. It will take three special pegasi to turn back the storm.

  • ...

Ch. 15: Interrogations and Rites of Passage

Legacy of the Pegasi:

Ch. 15: Interrogations and Rites of Passage

Twilight Sparkle sat at her desk in the Golden Oaks Library. Bags hung under her bloodshot eyes as she scanned the book before her, other dusty and leather bound tomes and volumes sitting in a large stack next to her. An empty cup of coffee rested by her hoof, long since emptied, refilled, and emptied again throughout the course of the night.

Unbeknownst to the unicorn, the sun had begun its rise, streams of sunlight peeking through the window. The rays of light gently touched her face, rousing Twilight from her study.

“What? Morning already?” Twilight looked to the nearby window, yawning lazily. “Was I really up all night?”

“Yes. Yes you were.” Spike replied groggily, slowly plodding down the staircase. “And no, there aren't anymore books on pegasi history, myths or folklore.”

Twilight frowned as Spike answered her next question. “Darn.”

The dragon seated himself next to the unicorn as she poured over the books in front her once more. “I dunno Twilight, I think you should just-” Spike stopped speaking abruptly, putting a clawed hand to his chest, as curls of smoke escaped from his mouth. A second later the center of the library was engulfed in a flash of green flame.

Twilight ducked as a jet of green flame flared overhead. A neatly rolled letter landed on her desk.

“Just wait for Celestia to reply to my letter?” Twilight grinned at the dragon, who simply stuck his tongue out in reply.

The letter levitated in the air in front of Twilight as she unfurled the parchment. Her eyes flitted from left to right, quickly absorbing Celestia's words.

Twilight quickly re-rolled the letter, stowing it away in her saddle bag. She frowned, her mind deep in thought.

Spike looked on at the unicorn. “Twilight? What is it?”

Twilight stood up from her seat, quickly levitating her saddlebags upon herself. “Come on Spike. We need to find Rainbow Dash and Soarin'.”

Soarin' trotted down the main cobblestone road of Ponyville alongside Spitfire and Rainbow Dash, enjoying the late morning sun. Or, at least he tried to appear like he enjoyed it. Unlike his outward facade, inwardly Soarin' was troubled, his thoughts still preoccupied with his dream from last night.

Astride from Spitfire, Rainbow was having a harder time concealing her worry. A slight frown marked her features, her eyes uncharacteristically staring off unfocused.

Spitfire noted the awkward silence amongst the three of them. The lack of Soarin's immediate report from the previous night's patrol was odd. A quick glance at the two pegasi to either side of her confirmed her suspicions. Rainbow was clearly bothered, and Spitfire could read Soarin' like a book.

Inwardly the Wonderbolt Captain sighed. It's like pulling teeth with these two.

“What's the report from the patrols last night?” Spitfire asked abruptly.

Soarin' jumped inwardly, not entirely prepared for the question. “No reports from the latest shift Captain.” He replied quickly, trying not to seem distracted. “Seems like all was quiet last night.”

Spitfire frowned. “I don't like it. It's too easy. These guys come to Ponyville, and then disappear without a trace? Archon's spit.” Spitfire stamped her hoof, cursing.

“What if they got past the patrols?” Rainbow Dash asked timidly.

“It's... possible...” Soarin' said slowly. "In which case we're going to have a harder time figuring out where exactly they were going, though the Everfree is probably still our best bet. Still not a lot to go on with a forest that huge though.

“Soarin's right.” Spitfire added. “While my gut says they're somewhere in the Everfree, we wouldn't be doing ourselves any good by running in their without any kind of plan. We'll have to wait until after the show to use the full squad to make a proper search.”

Rainbow Dash groaned. “I don't like it. The show's not over until this afternoon. It's too much time.”

“I can understand your concern Rainbow, but the rest of the 'Bolts are already recovering from patrol last night, or prepping for the show. I need everypegasi at one-hundred percent and a green light from my commander before we move.” Spitfire replied.

“At the very least we can question Swift Jet to see what he knows.” Soarin' quickly said, sending Dash a pointed look. She simply nodded in return, unsaid words passing between them.

Spitfire nodded, guiding the two other pegasi to the left towards the hospital. “Good idea.” And a good time to get these two to open up about what's got their feathers' in a bind. She added mentally.

Scootaloo slumped awkwardly in the hospital room chair as she slept. At the other end of the room sat her mother, silent but awake, watching over her husband.

The door to the room quietly squeaked open.

Rainbow Dash peeked her head in, quickly noting the slumbering Scootaloo and Swift Jet. She made a move to whisper a question behind her, but Midnight Blossom silently gestured to her. “It's okay, you can come in.” She said softly.

Rainbow Dash, Soarin' and Spitfire filed into the room, circling around the foot of Swift Jet's bed.

“Good morning.”

“Morning Mrs. Blossom. How's Swift Jet holding up?” Rainbow asked.

“He's still sleeping. The doctors said that he'd be out for several days because of his wounds, but they healed overnight! They're calling it a medical miracle!” Midnight Blossom said, looking slightly more worried than grateful.

“Imagine that.” Soarin' said flatly.

Midnight Blossom turned back to her husband. “The doctors said he should wake normally now.”

“Good.” Spitfire said curtly, drawing a curious glance from Midnight.

“Why? What do you ne-”

A yawn interrupted Midnight Blossom's question.

Scootaloo pushed herself up in her seat awkwardly, stretching lazily. Bed head wrecked her mane and tail, and several joints popped as she continued to wake. She blinked several times, a lost look on her face as she stared about the room, still gathering her bearings.

Rainbow Dash grinned. “Hey Scoots. Morning.”

“Hey Rainb-” Scootaloo started off groggily, before her eyes went wide. “RAINBOW DAS-” She exclaimed, trying to leap from her seat in excitement, only to trip over her tail and plummet to the floor.

“Ugh. Ow.”

“Ooo.” Rainbow Dash cringed.

Soarin' and Spitfire each hid a smirk. “Good thing we're in a hospital eh Scootaloo?” Soarin' poked playfully.

“Soarin'? Spitfire?” Scootaloo peeked through her disheveled mane from the floor. Quickly she scrambled to her hooves. “Hey guys, how uh, how are you doing?” She replied casually.

Rainbow laughed at her friend's poor recovery.

“Scootaloo are you alright?” Midnight Blossom asked. “Do you need to see the nurse?”

“Mom, I'm fine, no biggie.” Scootaloo downplayed quickly. “I've had worse flying, believe me.” The young pegasus puffed out her chest slightly, risking a sidelong glance at the Wonderbolts.

“We're here to see how your Dad was doing Scootaloo.” Spitfire answered.

“Yeah the doctors were saying he's healing really fast.” Scootaloo said proudly. “Which means he should be-”

Another yawn broke across the room. Only this time it wasn't Scootaloo.

Swift Jet looked up lazily from his bed to all the ponies around him. “Morning everypony.”

“DAD!” Scootaloo rushed to her father's side.

“Hey Scoots.” Swift Jet replied, smiling weakly.

“Swift?” Midnight placed her hoof to her husband's.

“I'm okay Midnight. Actually...” Swift Jet quickly sat up in his bed. He stretched out his forelegs, joints popping and cracking. “I haven't felt this good in years!”

Soarin', Dash and Spitfire all shared an uneasy look.

“Good thing too.” Scootaloo beamed a smile. “I don't have to worry about hurting you.”

“Hurting me? What are yo-”

Scootaloo lunged toward her father, pulling him into a tight hug. Her shoulders began to shake slightly.

“Whoa, whoa, hey there.” Swift Jet said softly, holding his daughter. “Every thing's okay. I'm fine. No need to get upset.”

Slowly Scootaloo released Swift Jet. “I-I know.” She mumbled, rubbing her reddened eyes. “I was... I was scared.”

Swift Jet simply smiled. “Well, you won't have to worry about that anymore.”

Midnight Blossom smiled tenderly at her husband and daughter, all while holding Swift Jet's hoof.

“Glad to see you're feeling well Mr. Jet.” Rainbow announced.

Swift Jet turned to the three pegasi at the base of his bed. For a moment he seemed perplexed by the their presence, but it soon faded, replaced by a smile. “Thanks to you three, that's for sure.”

“All part of the job sir.” Soarin' quipped.

“Well all the same, I thank you.” Swift Jet looked on between Soarin' and Dash, then finally to Spitfire.

Spitfire nodded curtly, regarding Swift Jet intently.

The bedridden stallion avoided her gaze.

Suddenly his stomach rumbled.

“Was that your stomach?” Scootaloo eyed curiously.

“Guess being in a hospital unconscious will do that to ya!” Swift Jet replied, laughing. “I've got an idea. Why don't you and Mom go to the market and get us all some lunch? Definitely better than that hospital stuff that they have here.”

“I can vouch for that.” Rainbow Dash raised a hoof.

Scootaloo inched closer to her father. “But, Dad...”

“You only just awoke dear.” Midnight added, rubbing her hoof against his.

“You'll need your energy to make a full recovery, no matter how good you feel now.” Spitfire said impassively. “Believe me, I've spent my fair share recovering from training accidents.”

Swift Jet looked up at Spitfire. The mare still looked on at the stallion. Beside her, Rainbow Dash and Soarin' were oddly silent. “Well, you can't argue with a professional, now can you? Go on Scoots, go with your mother. I'm in good hooves here. Nothing's gonna happen.”

Scootaloo looked from her father to her friends. Rainbow looked to the floor, while Spitfire and Soarin' remained impassive. She opened her mouth to speak, but quickly closed it. She clenched her jaw, continuing to stare down the trio, but they remained silent.

Midnight Blossom reluctantly moved from her husband's side. “Come along Scootaloo, shopping will go faster if you help me.”

Scootaloo slowly walked toward the door with her mother, staring daggers over her shoulder.

The door slowly closed with a click.

“I feel dirtier than a Diamond Dog.” Rainbow remarked sourly.

“Sounds about right.” Soarin' commented.

“I don't like it either, but its for the best.” Spitfire replied with a sigh.

“I agree.”

The trio turned to Swift Jet. “Scootaloo and Midnight Blossom can't know anything about what happened back at The Trough and Cider.”

“Then you know what we're here for.” Spitfire guessed.

Swift Jet turned to Rainbow Dash with a puzzled expression.

“She knows everything.” Dash affirmed. “And Soarin' is the other Legacy Bearer.”

“I see.” Swift Jet replied softly, his eyes downcast for a few moments. His eyes then perked up, looking to Soarin' intently. “I don't know how I missed it before, but I can feel your presence Soarin'. It really is something, this connection.” The pegasus remarked with growing excitement, looking from Soarin' to Rainbow Dash.

“Err, yeah, same here...” Soarin' cringed slightly.

“In fact,” Swift Jet continued to ramble, gesturing to the two other Bearers, “you both seem to have a particularly strong bond, almost as if-”

“Weren't we here for something else?” Soarin' interjected flatly, his wings fidgeting slightly.

Dash chuckled lightly.

Swift Jet seemed slightly disappointed, but his eyes perked up once more. “Well, regardless, this makes things much easier! Now that the three of us are together we need to-”

“Hold up.” Spitfire raised her hoof, cutting the stallion off. “We're in no position to do anything just yet. First things first, you need to fill us in on what you know so we can stop these rogue pegasi.”

“Fair enough.” Swift replied evenly, crossing his hooves. “But as I said before, my wife and daughter cannot be involved.”

Rainbow frowned. “That may be hard to do. Scootaloo already knows about Soarin' and I, and all the doomsday stuff.”

“But not about me?”

Rainbow shook her head. “No. I actually thought she was the third pegasus for a while, up until you showed up yesterday.”

Swift Jet nodded. “Good. Let's keep it that way.”

“It won't be hard for her to figure out. She's a smart mare, and you saw how she looked at us just a second ago.” Soarin' countered.

Spitfire shook her head. “We're getting sidetracked. It might be impossible to keep your daughter or wife from finding out, but at the very least they'll be out of harms way.”

Swift Jet was quiet, eyes downcast once more. “Very well.” He looked up to the trio. “To answer your question, I was investigating the Tempest Guard. I knew they were up to something-”

“Wait. The what?” Rainbow asked curiously.

“They're ones that you fought las-” Swift Jet suddenly stopped talking, looking confused. “How can you both not know? They're the ones we have to stop!”

“The Tempest Guard were the Last Archon's personal body guard.” Soarin replied slowly, deep in thought. He was silent for a moment before speaking again. “But that doesn't make any sense. The Tempest Guard went with the Last Archon to the Valley of the Stars, or so the legends say. If anything, they were heroes alongside the Legacy Guard. But they disappeared millenia ago.”

“More of those stories...” Spitfire rolled her eyes.

Soarin' ignored her, instead looking sharply at Swift Jet. “How can you be sure those pegasi were the Tempest Guard?”

“Because Ice Wing told me!”

Rainbow Dash stepped forward. “Ice Wing's ghost told you that? To stop these guys?”

Swift Jet nodded.

“Well that's a lot more specific than anything I got.” Rainbow huffed.

“Did Ice Wing say why?” Soarin' asked.

Swift Jet looked away from the other pegasi, his ears drooping slightly “No. I don't know exactly what the Tempest Guard is doing, only that their actions will bring the 'storms and a threat this land has not seen in millenia.'” The stallion quoted darkly.

“That sounds a little more familiar.” Dash added.

Spitfire frowned. “Right now stuff like that isn't as important. I need tactical info. What are their numbers? What are their capabilities? Where are they headed? Concrete information the Wonderbolts can work with.”

“From what I could tell, there were around twenty, maybe twenty five all together. Kinda hard to recall when you're being shot at.” The stallion remarked sarcastically. “As far as what they can do, you should already know that. Those clasps are the source of their power. I couldn't tell you where they were headed though. I didn't get a chance to listen in.”

“Going in by yourself like that was crazy, you know that right?” Rainbow said pointedly. “Normally I don't have a problem with crazy, but you can't just throw your life away like that. Scoots barely kept it together after you got hurt.”

“Why do you think I'm doing this?!” Swift Jet exclaimed, his eyes narrowing on Dash. “There was no time to find you two, and I wasn't about to wait for all of Tartarus to break loose. I refuse let my daughter grow up in a world like that.”

Rainbow was taken aback, shirking away from Swift Jet. She opened and closed her mouth several times, but ultimately said nothing.

“Let's try not to lose focus here.” Soarin' said evenly.

Swift Jet sighed. “That's all the information I have.”

“Looks like the Everfree is still our target then.” Spitfire said, running a hoof through her mane. “I only wish we had more information; Command doesn't like authorizing an op on so little info.”

“I might be able to help with that.”

Four sets of eyes turned to the door.

Twilight Sparkle trotted briskly into the room, her saddlebags upon her back. Bags still hung from her eyes and her mane was still somewhat frizzy, but she seemed to pay it no mind.

“It took me a while to find you all. I should have known this is where you'd come first.” Twilight levitated several scrolls from her bags.

“Hey Twilight.” Rainbow greeted the unicorn. “You okay? You look kinda tired.”

Twilight glanced at her mane and tail. “Oh, just up all night studying. Like I said before, I was going to look into all these stories and myths about the pegasi. Especially after what happened last night.”

It was only then that Twilight noticed Swift Jet staring at her. “You're awake?!” The unicorn exclaimed, dropping her scrolls in surprise. “I mean how are you? I mean- that was probably a silly question. You're probably not feeling well at all after last night. How could you? Foreign magical attacks like that should have left you out for days! Not too mention the side effects.” Twilight gasped. “Not that I'm saying you should be feeling bad! Of course I want you to feel better and-”

“Actually I'm feeling quite well Ms. Sparkle.” Swift Jet smiled bemusedly. “Better than I have in years.”

“What?!” Twilight sputtered. “But that's imposs-”

“Uh, Twi?” Rainbow sided up next to her friend, noting the impatient look the two military pegasi leveled at her friend. “You said you had some important information?”

“Oh um, yes. Yes I do.”

The unicorn levitated one of the scrolls from the floor, suspended in the air for all to see. “This is a letter from Princess Celestia. I wrote to her detailing the events from last night.”

Spitfire and Soarin' frowned at the mention of the Equestrian ruler, but said nothing.

“Uh, you did?” Rainbow Dash said apprehensively, eying the scroll with a measure of worry. “What exactly did you tell her?”

Twilight unfurled the scroll. “Well, I mentioned my interest in all this pegasi mythology. And everything that happened at The Trough and Cider of course. I made especially sure to mention those pegasi and the clasps they wore. I couldn't turn anything up about them, but the Princess might know.”


Rainbow bit her lip. Was now the time to involve Celestia? Things had certainly taken a much more serious turn, she recognized that much. But if Princess Celestia knew enough, she might insist on all of Rainbow's friends taking action. Rainbow and the rest of Element Bearers had dealt with threats before, but this time there seemed to be a real danger. If the attack from the previous night and the hazy visions and dreams of impending doom were anything to go by, then she didn't want Twilight or any of her other friends involved. Maybe Celestia doesn't know anything... Rainbow hoped.

Twilight quickly glanced over the letter, reading aloud. “Unfortunately, the Princess says that she hasn't heard of anything like this before. The only possible reason that she can think of is the current political climate between Cloudsdale and Canterlot, and that these pegasi are some kind separatist terrorist organization.”

Swift Jet leaned toward Twilight. “Actually they're-”

“That's perfectly possible.” Soarin' said sternly, shaking his head subtly at Swift Jet. The black pegasus closed his mouth.

“Though she admits that this is a bit of a stretch, since these pegasi attacked an earth pony town, which would hold little significance between herself and the Cloudsdale Senate. As far as these magical clasps go, she says there are many ancient artifacts in Equestria, though she has never heard of magic so specific to pegasi.” Twilight rolled up the scroll.

“I also asked the Princess about the Archons and something obscure mentioned in one of my books called the Legacy Stream.”

All four pegasi visibly perked up at Twilight's words.

“Celestia said that she met one Archon briefly, just after the defeat of Discord. They, being the Council of Archons, seemed to be fairly secretive. By the time the pegasi migrated to Equestria, the Council of Archons had disappeared. At least that's what Commander Hurricane told her.”

“And the Legacy Stream?” Swift Jet spoke up.

Twilight shrugged. “Just that it was supposed to be some type of pegasi magic that the Council of Archons tended to and that all pegasi were connected to it. My books didn't have much on it; only that it was extremely powerful. Princess Celestia doesn't even know if it actually existed or not. And I'm inclined to agree. I mean, it doesn't even make sense, really. The pegasus physiology has no conduit for something-”

“Pegasi can't use magic, yeah, yeah we get it.” Spitfire interrupted Twilight. “I appreciate the history lesson Ms. Sparkle, but it seems messaging the Princess was a waste of time.”

Twilight narrowed her gaze at the Wonderbolt. “These pegasi attacked Ponyville. Celestia needed to know.”

Soarin' stepped next to Spitfire. “Exactly. These are pegasi. We'll be the ones to bring them in.”

Several tense seconds passed, neither Twilight, nor the Wonderbolts breaking the silent standoff.

Rainbow quickly slid between Twilight and the Wonderbolts. “Hang on everypony, just cool your wings, and er, horn. We're all on the same team here.”

Twilight continued to glare at the two Wonderbolts.

Spitfire simply shrugged. “Whatever you say Rainbow.”

“I think I'm going to go Rainbow.” Twilight gathered her things, placing her scrolls into her saddlebags. She briskly made her way to the door.

“O-okay. We'll see you at the air show?”

Twilight stopped. “Yes, we'll all be there. Mr. Swift Jet, I hope you're feeling better.”

Twilight exited the room, leaving the two Wonderbolts with a parting stare.

“Was that really necessary?”

Spitfire and Soarin' turned to Rainbow Dash. She fixed the two with an annoyed glare.

“Well, I'd be lying if your friend's constant mutterings about 'magic-less pegasi' didn't get a little annoying.” Spitfire replied, lazily leaning against the wall. “More importantly, I don't really see why she had to contact Celestia. This is Cloudsdale business.”

“This is an Earth Pony town, nowhere near Cloudsdale.”

“Is that what you're on about?” Swift Jet exclaimed aloud. He crossed his forelegs, looking on at the Wonderbolts. “I moved away from Cloudsdale to get away from this kind of petty nonsense. Ms. Dash is right. The Princess is powerful, and she deserves to know. That, and we don't know exactly what we're up against.”

“Fair enough.” Soarin' spoke up before Spitfire could say anything. “I don't have a problem with keeping the Princess in the loop. But I think it's best for everypegasi, and everypony, if Celestia lets the Wonderbolts deal with this.” Soarin' glanced at Spitfire. “Sound about right?”

“Fine with me.” Spitfire crossed here forelegs. “Just as long as we don't have any Canterlot Guards showing up and trying to muscle their way in.” She snorted. “We've had a few ops go real bad because those guys showed up outta nowhere.”

I guess that's as good as its going to get. Rainbow thought glumly. “Well, I can't really speak for the Princess, but I know she trusts my friends and I.”

“I guess that wraps that bit up then.” Spitfire stated, running her hoof through her mane once more. “So what's got you two all twisted up this morning?”

Soarin' and Rainbow's faces both went flat.

“Uh...” Rainbow mumbled, looking away from Spitfire's persistent stare.

“I'm not sure exactly what you mean Captain...”

Spitfire rolled her eyes. “We're not playing this game again. Seriously. What's up? I need to know if something's wrong, besides all the other crap that we're dealing with right now.” Spitfire stood before Soarin' and Dash, her gaze hovering between both waffling pegasi. “I need you both at one-hundred percent. Spill it.”

“Ah, um, just a nightmare that's all.” Soarin' half lied.

Rainbow looked slightly surprised for a moment, glancing at Soarin'. “Yeah same here. It was about the Twin Storms. I think we both had it since we're the Legacy Bearers or something.”

Swift Jet moved to speak again, but a pointed look from Soarin' left him silent.

“I... guess that makes sense.” Spitfire put a hoof to her chin. “Anything we need to know?”

“No. Just another warning I think.”

“Yeah.” Soarin' agreed. “Just more impending doom and all.” He shrugged. “Sorry we didn't mention it sooner, kinda figured you were sick of all the stories and stuff.”

“Oh. Well, that's okay.” Spitfire relaxed. “I just wanted to make sure you two were still flying straight.”

Rainbow Dash grinned. “No worries Cap'n Spitfire! Soarin' and I are one-hundred and twenty percent!”

Soarin' smiled. “What she means is, we're good Spits.”

“Good to hear. Because right now, Soarin' and I need to check-”

The door opened abruptly.

Scootaloo and her mother strode into the room, bags of groceries hanging from their sides.

“Hey there Scoota-” Rainbow started to speak.

Scootaloo silently made a beeline to the seat next to her father, without even a glance at the three other pegasi.

Dash's mouth hung open for a moment, before quickly snapping it shut. Surprise and shame flashed across her face, as she shuffled awkwardly in place, her eyes cast to the floor.

“Well it looks like I bought too much food again.” Midnight peeked into her groceries. “Would you all like to stay for lunch?”

Scootaloo stared icily at her oblivious mother.

“Actually, we were about to leave.” Spitfire said, starting to make her way to the door. “I was just saying that we need to check on the preparations for the show.” She looked toward Swift Jet. “We can talk more after the show.”

The stallion nodded.

Soarin' took a step toward the door. “You coming Rainbow?”

Rainbow looked surprised at Soarin' for a moment, slowly processing the stallion's words. She looked cautiously over at Scootaloo. Scootaloo ignored her.

Rainbow let out a sigh, turning toward the door. “Yeah.”

Spitfire exited the room, followed by Soarin'. He left Rainbow with a sympathetic smile.

Rainbow stopped in the doorway. She turned once more to Scootaloo, trying to smile. “We'll see you at the air show, okay Scoots?”

Scootaloo had her back to Rainbow. She acted as if she hadn't heard anything.

Dash tried to hold her smile, but it fell.

“Don't worry Rainbow, I don't think we'll have a problem making it.” Swift Jet answered happily. “Even if I have to sneak outta here.”

Rainbow smiled weakly at Swift Jet. She took a final look at Scootaloo. The younger pegasus remained impassive. Rainbow hung her head slightly, slowly leaving the hospital room.

Windswept took a moment to rest, leaning against a downed tree. He and the Tempest Guard had marched through the night, slowly plodding away through the massive Everfree Forest. How long they had been traveling, Windswept wasn't sure. He surveyed the forest before him, but it helped little. A dim light had peered through the canopy above some time ago, but the forest brightened only slightly. Instead of darkness, the Everfree glowed with an eerie calm from the light, still shrouded in the chilly fog that clung to the forest floor. He was sure that it was the next day. But then again, the passage of time seemed to matter little to the Forest.

“No time to rest now Windswept.”

Windswept looked up. Silver Wings stood at the top a hill, looking back down on his fatigued friend. An eager smile showed from just under his hood.

Windswept sighed. Pushing himself off from the dead tree, he slowly began to climb the hill. “Silver, we've been traveling for hours... just when are we going to get-”

Windswept stopped at the top of the hill. There were no trees before him, instead a massive expanse opened up, ringed by the forest. A cloudy overcast filled the area, blocking the light. Misty trenches cut through the earth, isolating the land from the rest of the Forest. The fog seemed to billow from this single point in the forest, ominously flowing outward. A massive shadow hung behind the veil, towering upward.

Slowly, the fog began to shift.

The ruins of the Castle of the Two Sisters emerged. It's two decrepit towers stood starkly against the mist, hinting at ruins below. As the fog continued to part, the rest of the ruins appeared. The keep walls still stood, despite the telltale sign of battle that marked them. The outer wall were far worse, entire sections breached and left to rubble. Growth and vegetation overran the entire castle, the empty structure long since claimed by the forest.

There were no howls of timber wolves, nor screeches of a cockatrice, no sound at all. There was only a deathly silence.

“We have arrived.” Silver said.

The rest of the Tempest Guard filled in around Silver and Windswept, gawking at the castle before them.

“This... this is where the Archon is? In the Castle of the Twin Sisters?” Windswept said, turning to Silver. “How is that even possible?”

“Another misconception.” Silver replied.

One of the elder Tempest Guards stepped forward. “Ah, now I see why you brought us her Silver.”

“Care to explain? Because I'm not 'seeing' how the Archon has been interred in Celestia and Luna's castle even when they still ruled from here.”

The elder guard chuckled. “That is because the Lord Archon was here even before those dictators.” The stallion gestured with his hoof to the castle. “Though it is now known as the Castle of the Two Sisters, it predates the Royals. This is Black Mist Prison. The Skythan Empire built it to keep prisoners and captives of war as far away as possible.”

“Then the Archon has been here all this time? You say imprisoned, is he truly alive?”

Silver scowled at Windswept. “You cannot kill an Archon. Only subdue.” He looked on wistfully at the castle. “This is where Commander Hurricane brought our Master. The traitor then 'gifted' the prison to Celestia and Luna to seal his betrayal.”


Silver raised a hoof. “No more questions. It will be better if-”

“You show me. Yeah, got it.”

Silver smiled, then took to the air. “Everpegasi, we are very near now. Our Master awaits us in the castle.”

A flurry of wings responded. The Tempest Guard joined their leader, flying to the isolated castle.

Windswept made way to land next to Silver. He was still a fair distance from the group when his wings suddenly began to tire. He could feel them rapidly become weaker. What is going on? Windswept thought in a panic. He was losing altitude even as he flapped his wings harder. It was as if the air refused to catch within his wings. Windswept prepped for an awkward landing, but he was not in the clear yet. A split second before he landed his head exploded in pain, like a vice had suddenly been thrown upon it. “Ungh.” He groaned aloud. He tripped over his hooves, collapsing on the ground next to Silver.

“Windswept, are you all right?” Silver said without any real interest, instead looking on at the crumbling gatehouse.

Windswept slowly rose to his hooves. He put a hoof to his head, eyes clenched shut. Whispers came in echoes again, unintelligible words coming from the castle. His head throbbed, pounding like it was being assaulted in waves.

“It's this headache...” Windswept finally replied tersely, still holding his head. “And my wings... they weren't working.”

“Here. Put this on. I believe you've earned it.”

Windswept opened his eyes. In Silver's hoof was one of the Tempest Guards' jet black-amethyst clasps. It was identical to Silver's, with lightning bolt wings facing outward, and hooking together at the center.

Windswept stared at the clasp for a moment, then to Silver. “What-”

“Just put it on.”

Windswept did as he was told. As soon as he affixed the clasp together his headache ceased. No longer did his wings feel weak, and the whispers were silent.

Windswept stared dumbly down at the clasp, his mouth agape. “What did it do?”

Silver began to walk, passing the castle gate into the court yard. “I was wondering how far you'd make it in the forest before you felt the affects of the Archon's seeping magic.” He shot his friend a congratulatory smile. “You made it farther than I expected.”

Windswept scowled. “This would've been a lot easier if you just gave it to me earlier.”

“Power like this is not given freely. As I said before, it must be earned. Think of your journey through the forest as a rite of passage.”

That's it then. I really am one of the Tempest Guard. Windswept thought. He glanced down at the clasp again.

“So these aren't just weapons then.” Windswept trotted alongside Silver.

“Not just, no. They protect us from the Archon's latent powers and connect us to him.”

Windswept took a moment to focus on the clasp. He no longer felt the headaches; instead there was a subtle hum he could feel from it, like it had become a conduit for the power that radiated around him. The clasp also seemed to link him to the other Guards, each pegasi bearing a slightly different hum. This hum seemed to be connected to a distinct haze of colored light, that wafted about each Guard's chest.

“Captain, we're getting closer. I can feel it!” One of the female Guards exclaimed. The excitement in her voice was unmistakable.

Silver Wings grinned. “I feel it as well. We'll make our way into the castle.”

Windswept took a step forward to follow the rest of the Tempest Guard, but he immediately froze.

Just beside the large double doors to the keep stood the distinct outline of a pegasus. It's features were vague and partially obscured by the fog, but it appeared to be wearing armor of some kind. It shifted with the fog, in and out of focus.

However, this was not what frightened Windswept the most.

The Tempest Guard filed into the castle. None of the pegasi gave any indication they had seen anything. The armored specter simply watched as each pegasi came within a hoof step, and passed by.

A set of hoof-steps stopped next to Windswept. “Are you alright Windswept? You look like you've seen a ghost.”

Windswept turned. The elder Guard from earlier fixed him with a curious look. “I uh, I'm not sure what you're...”

“Wouldn't trust your eyes too much around here. The fog can play tricks on you.”


“My name is Dominus by the way. Sorry I didn't get a chance to introduce myself earlier, especially with what happened back at The Trough and Cider. I'm second in command of the Tempest Guard.”

“Uh, yeah. Nice to meet you,” Windswept said shakily.

“Come. There is no time to delay. Glory awaits us.”

Windswept nodded, turning to the castle entrance once more.

The ghost was gone.

Windswept shivered. The fog just cleared. Not a ghost. He corrected himself. Just fog.

Taking a deep breath, he entered the castle.

Windswept walked into the main hall of the castle-prison. His hoof-steps echoed amidst the silence with the rest of the Tempest Guard. He strained to gather his surroundings, but his eyes had not yet adjusted to the sudden darkness. Solid stone was beneath his hooves and he could only surmise that the sudden darkness meant that the Tempest Guard was in some kind of narrow hallway. None spoke; the shuffling of hooves and cloaks a tacit acknowledgment that the guard was moving forward. Slowly, Windswept's sight began to return, aided in part by the gentle glow of light that peered through the stone doorway ahead.

Windswept and the Tempest Guard emerged into the main hall of the castle-prison.

Smooth stone stretched across the entire floor, complimented by a ragged and torn rug that ran the length of the hall. Two rows of towering stone columns flanked the tattered rug, reaching up into the rafters. Wrought iron braziers stood at the base of the columns and torn tapestries depicting the Two Sisters hung from the stone walls. Below them broken statues of various historical unicorns lined the walls, partially hidden by the shadows. A sickly misty light streamed into the hall from a gaping hole in the upper corner of the ceiling, providing little illumination.

At the very center stood the two Alicorn Sisters. Unlike their unicorn kin, these statues seemed freshly hewn, seemingly untouched by the elements. Both statues stood imposingly on their hind legs with wings outstretched. The hazy light fell behind the Sisters, shrouding their faces and caging onlookers in their shadow as they were judged by the statues' cold glares.

The Guard stopped, forming a semicircle around the two statues.

“Celestia and Luna.” Silver Wings spoke up, his gaze meeting the stony visage of the Alicorns above him. His voice turned to a sneer, turning to the rest of the guard. “I want you all to understand this.” Silver gestured violently at the statues behind him. “This is the true legacy of the vaunted Commander Hurricane.”

Silver didn't have to say another word. Glowers and hate filled eyes of the Tempest Guard glared on at the statues of Celestia and Luna. The hate was tangible, infectious, righteous even. Windswept stood among them, bathing in the collective call for vengeance that pulsed between his brothers and sisters. He could feel the hum of the Tempest Guard as one, the adrenaline that rushed through him as he felt his power join with the others. He scowled at the deadened and stony eyes of the would be rulers.

Silver's eyes lit up excitedly. Abruptly he turned around to face the towering statues behind him once more. “I defy you. The Tempest Guard defies you. Your oppression ends today.”

Without another word Silver and the rest of the Guard filed past the statues.

Windswept remained before the statues. His scowl deepened as he continued to stare at Celestia and Luna.

All Windswept had learned in the past few days came rushing back. For thousands of years, these two had secretly upheld Hurricane's traitorous actions. And all my life, I've let myself be a pawn, letting them manipulate me, holding Cloudsdale back. Windswept's jaw clenched. He could feel a righteous fury building up within him. Anger at his own shame. Such was his hate that he didn't notice the subtle glow around his clasp slowly beginning to build.

These two were the enemy to the the Last Archon. He thought, his anger visibly distorting his features. Then they are mine also!

Without thinking, Windswept let loose a snarl, leaping into the air. Brandishing his wings on instinct, he hovered at eye level before the statues of Celestia and Luna. The emblem of the Tempest Guard flared around his chest. Magical power immediately flowed to his wings. He could feel the sudden focus and clarity in his mind, all of his hate directed at the two statues before him. They stared back, challenging him; taunting him.

Primal power took over. Windswept could feel the magic of the emblem reach its peak. In one swift motion he spun about in place, and gave a mighty flap of his wings before the statues, releasing the power they held.

The hall of the castle prison flashed, followed the sudden rumble of thunder. Windswept collapsed the the floor in surprise, suddenly very tired.

The rest of the Tempest Guard turned about in surprise. One of the guards made to speak, but the sound of scraping stone silenced him. The crashing sound of a two massive stones echoed through the hall.

All eyes, including Windswept's, turned to the statue of the Two Sisters.

But where there had once been the deadened stare of Celestia and Luna, there was only the smooth cut just below the statues' jaw. Light peered past the beheaded rulers, bathing the shocked Windswept in a warm light. Before him lay the broken heads of Celestia and Luna, joining the rest of their stony kin in the hall.

Windswept stared between the broken statues and the shocked looks from the rest of the Tempest Guard. He then glanced down at the simmering glow of the lightning wings upon his chest. Slowly his disbelief turned to elation. Incredible. He thought, flourishing his wings about. Sparks flew from them, small currents of power still running through his wings.

A single set of hooves echoed next to Windswept, stopping next to him. Silver Wings wore an elated smirk upon his face, surveying Windswept's actions. “Aptly put my friend.” He said, draping a wing around his comrade. “You've harnessed the full power of a Tempest Guard.”

Windswept's grin only grew wider. “It's amazing!”

“And it only gets better.” Silver added, leading Windswept to the rest of the Guard. “Soon we will be unstoppable.”

The two rejoined the rest of the Guard, Windswept receiving several congratulations from other members of the Order.

“Everypegasi, follow me.” Silver announced. “The Archon is likely to reside within the dungeons.”

The rest of the Tempest Guard nodded in ascent, slowly filing down a dank and stony circular staircase in the back corner of the hall.

Windswept followed the rest of the Tempest Guard to the spiral stairway, but stopped just short of the doorway. He frowned. He could feel the subtle hum of the Tempest Guard coming from his lightning clasp, but the rest of the Guard had already disappeared. This hum was distant and distorted, almost like an echo. And instead of calling from the rest of the Guard below, it beckoned to him from the center of the hall. He shivered involuntarily, trying to ward off the feeling that he was being watched.

With some hesitation, Windswept turned around.

Standing within the light at the base of the Two Sisters was the foggy haze of a pegasi.

Windswept blinked. Fog. That's f-fog. Again. Inside the castle. R-right. He mentally stuttered, trying to deny the blatant image before him.

The haze shifted and faded. The features of the armored being became clearer, sharper. No longer a hazy outline, the clear manifestation of a spectral pegasus stallion stood within the light. He wore what appeared to be ancient armor, complete with full helm and bladed hooves. Upon his chest was a clasp, with wings made of lightning.

The ghost stood still, looking slowly between the remains of Celestia and Luna.

Windswept began to sweat. Terror filled him. He desperately wished to run, unsure of the spirit's actions. But fear of alerting the spirit compelled him to be still, eyes peeled to the ghost.

The ghost turned to the Tempest Guard.

Windswept nearly screamed, half expecting to be attacked by a curse. But he gave pause.

The ancient pegasus looked at him. There was no evil glint in his eyes, no intent to attack Windswept. Empty eyes stared back at him, filled with only a tired and forlorn sadness.

W-what? Windswept dared to think. The echoing hum continued, but it was more intense as the sorrowful pegasus continued to look at him. He could feel it connect with his clasp, intense emotions of mourning and regret filling him.


His name echoed through the spiral staircase behind him. Windswept whirled around.


Again he heard his name. Caught in the moment, Windswept realized he no longer felt the hum within his clasp. He twisted his head around to the center of the hall.

The ghost was gone once more.

“Windswept, where are you?”

Windswept gaped at the ring of light. Forget it. Leave! He yelled at himself.

Wasting no time, the Tempest Guard ran down the staircase and into the depths of the prison-castle.

Author's Note:

Chapter 15. Here ya go. Sorry for the delay. January was a very busy month. But thankfully that's over with now.

Hope you all enjoyed this chapter. Got some rocky stuff with Scootaloo here and the Wonderbolts of course. You know you're in for a rough time when the good guys have a hard time working with eachother! And Windswept. Oh, he's in deep now isn't he?

In other news, I've recently gotten in contact with a proofreader from the Proof Reader group here on Fimfiction, so I'll finally be going back to re-work my previous chapters, improve grammar, characterization, plot etc. I really don't know how much of my time it will take or how it will impact upcoming chapters, but I figured it was about time I knuckled down and polished this thing up.

As always, all comments are welcome. See ya next chapter!