• Published 6th Jul 2012
  • 6,035 Views, 307 Comments

Legacy of the Pegasi - secret89



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

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Ch. 27: Dreams and Families

Legacy of the Pegasi:

Ch. 27: Dreams and Families

Gray, featureless clouds surrounded him. Soarin' simply stood amidst the haze, pale light struggling through the clouds. Something small rested in his hoof. It was a lightning bolt with wings, made of ancient and weathered steel. Soarin's first thought was of the Wonderbolts, but he gave pause. There was an addition, an olive wreath beneath that cradled the bolt. The Legacy Guard crest, Soarin' thought. Sensations of pride filled him as he looked at the fixture, but stopped short. A vicious, black scorch mark ran across the width of the crest. Faint hues of red-amethyst embers still glowed from the scar. Like something from lightning... Soarin' thought. It appeared as if the crest had been stricken from a larger set, sharp, steely edges along the backside. He didn't know why he had the item, only that it held some kind of importance. His aura seemed to radiate about it.

Without a thought Soarin' nestled the crest under his wing, holding it tight. Urged onward by his aura, Soarin' walked forward into the stillness. Time was irrelevant, measureless in the silence and the stale light that flooded the gray expanse.

Soarin's wings twitched. A change the air nearby. His ears strained, catching it before his eyes did.

The Tempest Guard stood off in the distance. Soarin' couldn't make out any features. With his hood drawn the guard was no different than any of the others.

Soarin' remained still. His muscles tensed. Adrenaline pumped through them. Alarms went off in the distant part of his mind, urging him to be ready. It seemed like a good idea. The Tempest Guard were bad, Soarin' reasoned. It was obvious. And yet the thought came to him like a revelation, only slowing coming to mind. His thoughts felt muddled and hampered.

His aura. That's what it was. Standing between him and logic. Soarin' frowned. Why would it do such a thing?

The Tempest Guard turned toward Soarin'.

Soarin' tensed again, the distant alarms clanging louder, but only managing a muffled ring against his aura. Despite his racing adrenaline, Soarin's body remained immobile. His aura held the reins.

The Guard walked slowly, but pointedly toward Soarin'. Small, telltale clues revealed themselves. The gait and stride, the posture of the wings, the muzzle beneath that slowly came into view.

Greater panic rushed within him. The Guard I fought... Soarin' thought, piecing hazy memories together. ...From the Senate...

His aura held him still. It reached outward. Welcoming. A gesture of comradiere. The bond of brothers in arms.

Soarin' pulled and jerked, but it made no difference. Stop! What are you doing?! He mentally screamed at his betrayer.

The guard stopped halfway. Beside him appeared an ornate pedestal, materializing out of the mist. A large shield rested upon it.

Soarin' felt his aura radiate intently from under his wing, all directed toward the pedestal.

The Tempest Guard stared at him, patiently waiting. He gestured slowly with his wing toward the shield.

Curiosity overcame Soarin's fears. His aura released him, his body to control again. Without reservation he strode toward the pedestal.

Soarin' stopped in front of the Tempest Guard.

The guard lowered his hood. He stared at Soarin', without hate or malice, only a respectful nod. He did not speak, only turning his gaze to the shield.

Soarin' followed. The shield was old and weathered, much like the crest beneath his wing. Faint, silver numerals ringed the shield, numbered one through thirteen. Of them, the ninth numeral burned in the same sickly red-amethyst hue. More than anything however, the shield was broken. Split nearly in two, down to the center of the shield, defacing the symbol upon it. The same red-amethyst embers glowed at the edges of the torn steel. Traces of the Legacy Stream faintly echoed from the shield, like a dying gasp.

Along either side of the fracture was a rough indentation, as if something had been once attached to the shield. The red-amethyst embers stretched to each, staining the spot with its sickly hue.

The Tempest Guard withdrew a small object. It was a small crest, much like Soarin's own, mirrored both in size and the blackened scorch mark. But it depicted a different symbol. A black storm cloud, with three vicious lightning bolts striking forth. A Tempest, Soarin' thought. Much like the Legacy Guard crest, the Tempest Guard's own rested in an olive wreath.

The Guard placed his crest upon the fractured indentation, holding it in place with his hoof. Immediately Soarin felt the echoes of the shield more clearly. His aura jumped, excited.

The Guard looked to Soarin' pointedly, nodding toward the other half of the shield.

Unthinking, Soarin' complied. He withdrew his piece, resting it against the shield.

Glowing light immediately shone from each crest. The power of the Legacy Stream radiated forth in tandem with the light, burning away at the black scorch marks. Slowly they retreated toward the fracture. The glowing light filled the fracture, and after one blinding pulse, disappeared.

In its place, rested the whole shield, renewed. It's bright steel shone brightly, complimented by the now polished and colorful crests. In the center was the silhouette of a pegasus, standing on rear hooves with wings outstretched.


Soarin' awoke with a start, wings jerking and fidgeting. He looked around slowly. He was seated on a cloud, nestled within a system of clouds, hidden from sight. Night had fallen, starlight peering through the translucent cloud dome above them, illuminating the hideway in a silver glow.

Soarin' slowly rose to his hooves. Despite the hazy light from above, it was still too dark to see.

The chime of a unicorn horn sounded in the darkness. A moment later a bluish glow lighted in the distance, silhouetting a magnified pony.

Stark silver light washed through the cloud cavern. A full moon rose into the sky, enshrouded in a blue magic glow.

Soarin' watched as Princess Luna slowly guided her charge into the sky, its light growing ever brighter. Soon the silver light bathed the entire floating cavern as the moon came to a standstill in its appointed place in the sky.

Light abundant now, Soarin' took a better look around. Rainbow and Scootaloo were at his side, both slowly stirring. A short distance away Commander Pilus was seated next to Luna. Blue glowing bandages were wrapped around his bare torso and head; his armor neatly stacked beside him. Luna was conversing with the monstrous golem. The construct stood a full head above Luna, but despite its monstrous size and terrible abilities, it stood in complete reverence before the princess.

Seeing the golem shook a few memories loose in Soarin's head. The Archon's appearance, the battle at Cloudsdale and their failure to save the city.

Soarin' sighed, rubbing his temple with his wing.

Feathers rustled at his side.

Rainbow slowly rose to hooves, gingerly stepping about. She winced several times. “Ow. Ow. Ow.” She repeated flatly. Annoyed was the best description Soarin' could think of, but he knew Rainbow was in more pain than she let on.

“You okay?” Soarin' said, siding up alongside Rainbow.

“Yeah.” On instinct, her aura brushed up against his. “I-”

Rainbow's eyes went wide. Soarin' was about to ask, but the sudden pain through his aura snapped his mouth shut.

The jolt only lasted a second. Both pegasi leaped awkwardly away from one another in a string of yelps and colorful curses. Soarin' guessed flying headfirst into one of Cloudsdale's lightning rods would have been more pleasant.

“What the hay was that all about?” Rainbow exclaimed from her haunches. She rubbed her temple slowly.

“Guess not all our bruises are physical,” Soarin' said. For a second time he stood, swaying a bit more.

“Ohhh... my head...”

Soarin' turned around.

Scootaloo was conscious. She sat on her haunches, her wings at her sides. Her head swayed dangerously from side to side as she held it in both hooves.

Soarin's eyes narrowed on Scootaloo. His jaw clenched.

Despite his injuries the Wonderbolt marched toward Scootaloo.

“Yeah, I'll bet that hurts,” Soarin said sternly. He came to a stop directly overhead the seated mare, staring down at her.

“Soarin'?” Scootaloo replied weakly, still gathering her wits. She dropped her hooves, attempting to stand.

Soarin' made no motion to help.

Scootaloo began to teeter, then fell to her haunches again.

Rainbow walked to Scootaloo. She looked to Soarin' apprehensively.

Stay out of this one Rainbow, Soarin' thought. He didn't bother to return her questioning gaze.

Scootaloo rubbed her head again. “W-what happened? How did we get here?” She asked. There was greater clarity in her eyes.

“You've got Luna to thank for that one,” Soarin' replied tersely. “Bailed us out of the Senate. More than once actually.” Soarin' lowered his head to Scootaloo's, only an inch from her muzzle. “Thanks to her, none of had to pay the price for that stupid stunt you pulled!” Soarin' growled.

“Soarin'!” Rainbow exclaimed. “What are you talking about?!”

Scootaloo looked dumbfounded. “I... w-what?” She looked up at Soarin' confused. She wrapped her wings in front of her, between herself and Soarin'. “I didn't do anything!” She shot back angrily.

“The hell you didn't!” Soarin' spat. He started to pace around in front of Scootaloo. “In case you haven't figured it out, we're all connected: you, me and Rainbow!” Soarin' counted off with his primaries. “These auras work off of each other!”

“Soarin', knock it off!” Rainbow said. “It wasn't her fault!”

Scootaloo unconsciously edged closer to Rainbow, her eyes averted from Soarin's. “I didn't mean for it-!” Scootaloo started angrily, but her tears betrayed her. “I just lost... lost c-control...” She sniffled, quiet sobs overpowering her words.

“Of course its her fault!” Soarin' snapped at Rainbow. “In the one moment you and I needed help, she bailed! Bailed right out of the aura connection, like a rookie out of the dizzitron!”

Rainbow's mouth was agape.

“I... I...” Scootaloo repeated, choking up.

“I had a Tempest Guard ready to shear my wings and head off! Rainbow and I had to pick up YOUR slack and it nearly got us killed!” Soarin' seethed. “We ALL could have died!”

Scootaloo's fearful eyes darted to Rainbow. “No! N-never!”

“Soarin' that's enough!” Rainbow yelled, stepping between Scootaloo and Soarin'. She bared her teeth at Soarin', eyes like ice.

Soarin' eased slightly. His chest rose and fell, audible breaths timed with his quickened heartbeat. He hadn't realized how far he'd let go. After a moment he spoke again in a softer voice. “If the three of us are lost, so is Equestria. Get your act together.”

“Is there anything wrong?”

Soarin' turned around. Luna, stood before him with a cold gaze. Pilus stood beside her, armor donned and a neutral expression on his face.

The Golem stood motionless to the side.

Soarin' glanced over his shoulder to Rainbow. She shot him a nasty glare, but didn't say anything. Instead she kept a hoof on Scootaloo's shoulder, comforting her.

Soarin' sighed. “No. We just... needed to address something. We're fine.”

Luna raised a brow, unimpressed. “Are you?”

Soarin' didn't answer. He found it difficult to look the Princess in the eye.

“If I may Princess Luna?” Commander Pilus spoke up. Soarin' was grateful for the excuse to break from Luna's gaze.

Luna bowed her head slightly toward the Wonderbolt. “Yes, of course. There is precious little time.”

“Indeed,” Pilus said. “First things first. Is everyone combat effective?”

Rainbow joined the circle, putting a noticeable gap between herself and Soarin' and placing herself between Soarin' and Scootaloo. Gone were the glares at Soarin', instead she outright refused to look in his direction. “We're bruised and exhausted,” Rainbow said. She glanced at Scootaloo. The younger mare nodded. “But we can fly if we need to,” Rainbow added.

Soarin' nodded to Pilus.

“Good,” Pilus said.

“What's wrong?” Rainbow asked, her eyes darted from Luna to Pilus. Her wings bristled. “Do we need to go now? Are we in danger?”

“Nay, for the moment, we are safe,” Luna's calming voice eased over the group. “We reside within the Nightcloak, an invisibility spell of mine own design. The night will hide us from those who seek us.”

“There's no time to rest unfortunately,” Pilus said. “We need to make our next move.”

“Los Pegasus?” Soarin' guessed.

Pilus nodded. “Yes. Common sense amongst the politicians has failed us. Not that I'm surprised. Our best course of action now is the military.”

“And they must be warned,” Luna added. “Typhonis must eliminate all opposition if he is to secure the pegasi race under his rule.”

“It's worse than that,” Soarin' said. “The second Legacy is at Los Pegasus. I don't think Typhonis knows that its there, but he does know who and what we are,” Soarin' gestured to Rainbow and Scootaloo, “and I'll bet he knows that we're trying to find them. The sooner we get to Los Pegasus and find Ice Wing's Legacy, the better.”

“I believe that settles it then,” Pilus said.

“What about him?” Rainbow asked, pointing toward the golem.

The pegasus golem perked up, looking toward the group.

Soarin' tried not to look directly into the helm. Despite the dimmer light, the pegasus armor still beheld an eerie pitch black within its helm, starkly bordered by the silver aural glow that hung around its neck.

“I'm glad you asked Rainbow Dash,” Luna said. “I fear I forget my manners in light of recent events. We have failed to introduce our rescuer,” Luna said. She slowly extended a wing toward the golem, beckoning the creature forward.

The golem strode forward, armor clanking with each step. It stopped next to Luna, it's helm slowly scanning the ponies before it.

Soarin's feathers fidgeted. He didn't like the way the shadowy helm looked at them.

Abruptly, the golem bowed deeply with wings extended toward the trio. From somewhere within the suit of armor a deep voice echoed.

“It is an honor to once again serve alongside the bearers of the the great Legacy,” the armor said flatly, rising to its full height. “I am an Aeterni.”

The armor continued to gaze as it had before, but said nothing more. Okay... Soarin' thought.

The pegasus armor seemed momentarily confused, despite its imposing height and darkened gaze. The helm turned to Luna uncertainly.

“Normally it is customary to tell a little bit about oneself when meeting others,” Luna said softly. She smiled warmly at the armor, placing a wing upon the creature's back.

“Yeah, like what's an Aeterwhatsit?” Rainbow asked.

“Is that your name?” Scootaloo said.

“More importantly,” Soarin' cut in, “what do you want?”

The Aeterni shifted from each speaker, shrinking slightly. It's gaze lowered at the center of the group for a moment. “I am an Aeterni...” it said again slowly.

Soarin' sighed. Well that's helpf-

“I am an eternal guardian, soulbound to the form before you,” the golem continued, looking to Rainbow. “Along with my brothers, I was tasked to forever guard the great proditor.” It looked to Soarin'. “I seek his capture; thus I serve the Legacy Bearers.”

But can you be trusted? Soarin' thought.

He reached out with his aura, despite it's sensitive state. The soul of a pegasus was within. Aged and ancient. But there was something off. The soul reminded him very much of his vision with Commander Hurricane. It's... he's missing something? Incomplete? Nevertheless, there was no malice within the pegasus; despite it's small size the pegasus' aura shone bright.

Soarin' suddenly realized the Aeterni was kneeling before him with head bowed.

Soarin' abruptly withdrew the connection.

The Aeterni stood slowly. Despite the lack of physical features, it seemed shaken. “I have not felt the aura of one so close to the stream since the downfall.”

“I, uh...”

The Aeterni looked straight at Soarin' with it's shadowy visage. “Fear not, Legacy Bearer Soarin'. I shall not abandone thee!”

“But what is your name?” Scootaloo interrupted. She stepped forward from the group, unafraid of the giant before her.

The Aeterni seemed confused again. “I am... I was...” He seemed to stutter. “I do not recall my name. I am... not whole.”

Not whole, Soarin' thought. It reminded him of something. The Aeterni's soul seemed fragmented. Decayed from before. And his comment about not being whole. The praefractus? Soarin' guessed. It sounded very similar to the power Commander Hurricane and his lieutenants had used at Pegasi Peak. If it's true... Soarin' thought, looking at the Aeterni. He felt a stab of pity for the creature. What kind of existence is that?

“Well, I'm not calling you Aeterni,” Scootaloo stated. “How about...” she trailed off in thought. “Armis?”

The Aeterni was silent for a moment. “Simple. Descriptive,” he said, looking over himself. “Armis, I shall be.”

Scootaloo smiled. “Cool!”

Armis looked about the group. From what Soarin' could tell he still seemed apprehensive interacting with ponies. Or the world's only introverted suit of armor.

“I should share more,” Armis stated.

“There will be time for that later,” Pilus interjected. “We need to-”

“Princess Luna is very attractive. And kind.”

Silence.

Rainbow snickered and Scootaloo laughed.

Soarin' rolled his eyes. And awkwardly blunt.

Luna visibly flushed through her midnight fur.

“Ahem.” Pilus cleared his throat. “We should depart.”

“Yes, with all haste,” Luna added, trying to hide her smile.

Soarin' nodded. Soundlessly the group took to the air.

Soarin' looked to Rainbow, but the mare had distanced herself from him, choosing the opposite side of their formation, Scootaloo beside her. Her aura was likewise isolated.

Soarin' sighed. He would speak with Rainbow later.

For now he focused on the journey ahead and hoped Los Pegasus would yield better fortune.


Soarin' had never felt so tired in his life. His legacy powers could only do so much, it seemed. The physical limitations of the pegasus body remained.

Rest. He needed rest. He just had to make it a little farther.

He had played it over and over again in his head. Staring forward into the night. Wing stroke after wing stroke, all the while still watching Rainbow and Scootaloo, making sure the pair didn't fall out.

Thank goodness for Luna's spell. We're sitting ducks and I know I couldn't fight off an ambush.

But night was passing, the orange glow of the sun cresting the horizion.

“Look!” Pilus' voice called out. “Up ahead.”

Soarin's heavy eyes strained forward. They begged for sleep, but he urged them to look.

The sight renewed him in an instant.

Los Pegasus hovered on the horizon several miles out.

It was a cloud structure like Cloudsdale. It hovered much like the pegaus capital, layers of clouds tapering from a wider base upward establishing its general shape. However, any similarities ended there.

Instead of pure white cloud, Los Pegasus was made of darkened vapor, a denser material more practical for a citadel. Large towers rose sharply along the many walls that ringed each level of the base. Upon them rested specially designed cannons, housed in rotating turrets. Crystals and metallic rails formed the weapons as opposed to shot and powder. Their ammunition; pure electricity.

Floating even higher than the city were a series of 'tamed' thunderheads, molded into lightning artillery platforms and anti-air cannons, fueled by the discharge from the platform itself. Others bore a wintry complexion, firing various ice based projectiles. They ringed a trio of massive cloud platforms. Squadrons of pegasi took off and landed from the aerial runways routinely.

Those who had never seen Los Pegasus often referred to it as a city. This of course was a common misconception. Los Pegasus was a military complex, through and through.

Minutes later the group landed outside the main entrance to the base.

Soarin' nearly stumbled as he touched the surface. The rest of the group was likewise unsteady; Scootaloo resting against a seated Rainbow. Pilus remained standing but his wings lay limp at his sides. Even Luna was fatigued. Only Armis seemed unfazed.

An armored pegasus descended rapidly from the tower gate. He landed roughly a short distance from the group. He immediately trained a crystal rifle from under his wing at the group. Pegasi soldiers in the tower behind him manned what appeared to be a large mounted crystal weapon, zeroing the sights on the group.

“Stand fast!” The soldier shouted sternly. Commander Pilus?”

“I need to debrief with Commander Dark Shot immediately,” Pilus said.

The soldier faltered slightly. “Commander Pilus?”

“I commend your diligence sergeant,” Pilus said calmly. “But I need to see Commander Dark Shot immediately; I've just come from Cloudsdale.”

“Yes sir!” The sergeant lowered his weapon, rendering a hastly salute. He turned quickly, waving off the tower guard.

The sergeant rushed over toward Pilus, escorting the group forward. “Scattered groups of Wonderbolts have returned. We were beginning to worry you hadn't made it back.”

Good to hear the rest of the strike team made it back, Soarin' thought. It was impossible to tell if the rest of the Wonderbolts from the Senate battle had made it out.

“Well I'm back now. My companions need rest and medical attention,” Pilus gestured to the group. “Lead the way.”

The pegasus nodded, leading the group into the base.

Soarin' strode up alongside Pilus.

“I want to go with you. Commander Dark Shot needs to hear from me about the Archon.”

“He will, but not now.”

“But-”

“We have some time,” Pilus interrupted.

“I agree with Pilus,” Luna added, joining the two at the head of the group. “There will be time to talk strategy later. You must look now to more immediate concerns,” she said, eyes guiding Soarin's to Rainbow and Scootaloo.

Soarin' sighed. He nodded. Luna was right. Right now Rainbow and Scootaloo needed him. Well, if they'll even listen to me.

“We'll speak later,” Pilus said, breaking from the group. Luna and Armis departed with him, disappearing into the crowd.

“Sure is busy,” Rainbow said.

“The base is on full alert,” Soarin' said, looking around.

Groups of pegasi were flying and galloping around the base, garbed in full armor and armed. Many carried crates and other supplies out to the towers and platforms above. Support personnel examined the towers and their armaments, tracing crystal instruments along the batteries. Others still worked the lightning forges, carefully guiding violent lightning strikes into depleted crystals.

“Com'on,” Soarin' said. “We need to get to-”

“SOARIN!”

Soarin' whipped his head toward the familiar voice.

A blue and yellow blur rocketed out from behind one of the pegasi formations above.

A second later Spitfire landed in front of Soarin'. She roughly whipped off her goggles. “Unbelievable!” She said sternly. “The one time,” she highlighted with her primary feather, then shook her head, “no, the first time I let you go to do stars knows what!”

“Um, Spit-”

“And what's the very first thing you do?” She tapped her hoof impatiently.

Soarin' looked to Rainbow and Scootaloo. Rainbow looked as flabbergasted as he was. Scootaloo seemed distant, looking away.

“Look, I uh-”

“You practically set off a war!” She was nose to nose with Soarin' now.

Soarin' scowled. Spitfire was his best friend, without a doubt. But he was tired and sore; this was the absolute last thing he needed.

“And most importantly,” Spitfire began to say as her stern demeanor began to crack. A wide smile and a fit of giggles overtook her as she pulled Soarin' into a hug. “Without me!

Soarin's tension melted away. Should've known, he smiled.

“Just who do you think you are anyway,” Spitfire said, letting Soarin' go.

“A super hero pegasus with a penchant for trouble?”

Spitfire cocked a brow. “I'll say. I'd sock you for what you put me through when I heard about the battle at the Senate, but you look like you've been punished enough.”

“Good to see you again Captain,” Rainbow said.

Spitfire nodded. “Thanks for keeping this guy in one piece.”

Spitfire looked to Scootaloo.

“Hey Scootaloo, I'm glad to see you're okay.”

Scootaloo was silent. She looked off in the distance, eyes cold. He mouth was pursed in a thin line.

Spitfire fidgeted slightly as the seconds passed. “Um...” She looked from Scootaloo to Rainbow and Soarin'.

Soarin' tapped into his aura, pushing past the mental soreness.

Scootaloo's cold isolation remained, but now there was a healthy dose of anger all focused on Spitfire. No, Soarin' thought. It wasn't just anger. Hate. Pure, unadulterated hate. Scootaloo's aura bore with laser focus, all onto Spitfire.

Soarin' could feel Rainbow's aura as well. His eyes made contact with hers. They both felt it, they both saw it. So why had Scootaloo become so cold toward Spitfire?

Soarin' aura shifted from Scootaloo to Spitfire's. Hers was filled with empathy for Scootaloo and a fair deal of hurt.

Soarin' felt for his teammate. Why are you doing this Scoots? She cares about you. But the mystery would have to wait. He was getting dizzy again.

“Uh, Spitfire, do you know the way to the infirmary?” Soarin' asked with a weak smile.

“Oh, damn that's right!” Spitfire exclaimed. “You all need to be checked out pronto! Let's go!”

Spitfire pulled on Soarin's wing, draping it over her back.

Soarin' breathed a little easier, leaning on his friend. He closed his eyes, letting Spitfire guide him.

Errant thoughts filled his mind. Scootaloo and her reclusive attitude. Rainbow and him. Did she hate him? Other, heavy thoughts. The Archon. The legacies. The brink of war. The riddles and mysteries around of his aura and Commander Hurricane, Lightning Streak and Ice Wing.

He nearly stumbled, grunting painfully.

The soreness that filled his body.

“Hey, take it easy, we're almost there,” Spitfire said. She braced her wing around Soarin's back tighter.

“Thanks Spitfire,” Rainbow said. “You're a lifesaver.”

Soarin' silently thanked Spitfire. Her aura unconsciously fed to his strengthening it. Rainbow's aura also reached out to Soarin', despite her own injuries, comforting. All despite their fight before.

Soarin' smiled weakly to himself. He returned Rainbow's touch warmly.

Soarin' caught a small, surprised smile on Rainbow.

Yes, there was a lot on his mind right now. But Soarin' let them fizzle out under the care of Spitfire and Rainbow.

Well, at least I know one thing, Soarin' thought. She doesn't hate me.


Consciousness came to her slowly. Like passing through misty and hazy daylight, the waking light struggled to pierce through the haze of sleep. Even now Rainbow could feel the call of sleep, of rest. To find reprieve from all that dogged her. It was comforting. Welcome like a soft cloud bed. Safe.

A second consciousness stirred along side her. A familiar sense, her aura. Yet it was not welcome. Rainbow wrapped herself in her dream, trying to hid from her aura's gaze. It pushed a pulled at her mind, attempting to rouse her from her slumber.

Just let me rest...Rainbow thought, digging herself deeper into the blissful haze. Just five more minutes...

The consciousness disappeared for a moment, then abruptly reappeared with renewed force, a mental barrage assaulting Rainbow's psyche. It pushed her toward the light, every effort focused on sending her toward the waking world.

I... but... what...?

She tried to resist, but the force was unrelenting. As the streams of light reached her mind, so to did her aura feed her images. Soarin', Scootaloo, Spitfire. Her friends injured upon a battlefield, in need of help.

No... that's not right... we weren't...

But there was no time to ponder the phantom images as they faded. Her consciousness rose to the surface and the waking world reached out to her. On a reflex she bid her aura reach out.

It immediately touched upon a radiant silver light. With it came a the pleasant smell of apple pie.

Rainbow smiled. Good...


Rainbow Dash bolted upright.

She expected to feel nervous or tense. She had become accustomed to her aura's subtle influences over her, not the least being able to quickly rouse her from sleep.

Yet, this time she did not feel tense, alarmed or paranoid; in fact she felt quite calm.

Rainbow scanned her surroundings. She was laying on a cot, in what appeared to be the Los Pegasus hospital. Though relatively secluded, she could easily make out the hustle and bustle of hospital staff elsewhere in the building.

I'm beginning to see a trend here, she thought. She had long ago lost count how many times she had been admitted to a hospital. Somehow they all managed to blend together into the same bland creamy white walls, old bedding and the always prevalent smell of over sterilization that seemed to suffocate more than anything.

Rainbow huffed. She never got used to it.

A quick look confirmed that Soarin' was resting on her right, while an empty, but recently disturbed cot was on her right.

Panic momentarily overwhelmed her, but a quick scan of her aura confirmed that Scootaloo was alive and well elsewhere within the base.

Rainbow took a deep breath. She growled.

What was the big deal with that? She inwardly chastised her aura. Feeding me fake thoughts of my friends in danger?

Her aura was quick to reply. At first she felt the distinct impression of the urgency at the task at hand. But it wasn't as if she were being scolded or ordered from a superior. Discipline or following the rules had never been one of Rainbow's strong suits. No, in this instance she had the distinct impression of a peer pushing her, driving her. A teammate came to mind. An equal who knew her strengths, well enough to let her know when she was slacking. To bluntly let her know when she wasn't at her best.

The real motivation that always worked on her.

Rainbow smirked. “Gotta admit, you got me figured out,” she said out loud.

Her aura brightened in what Rainbow could only assume was the equivalent of her own cocky nature.

“But that was a pretty dirty thing using my friends as bait to get me up! Don't do that unless it's real!”

Her aura seemed indifferent, only the sensation of urgency toward the next legacy relic swirling to mind.

Rainbow sighed. “Yeah, yeah. Always about the legacies.”

“Hm? You say something?”

Rainbow turned to Soarin'.

The stallion slowly pushed himself up from his coat.

“Not exactly.”

“Ugh,” Soarin' grunted, swinging himself around to face Rainbow. He blinked several times.

“Oh, yeah. A hospital. Again.”

“Well at least we won't need to stick around. I already feel one-hundred percent.”

Soarin' nodded. “Me too.” He looked around the room.

“Scootaloo's fine,” Rainbow reassured him. “I can feel her.”

“Well I'm glad you can,” Soarin' grumbled.

Rainbow wasn't sure what to say. She wanted to be angry, but nothing came to mind. I don't want to fight, but why did he have go off on Scootaloo earlier?

“I'm sorry.”

Rainbow perked up.

“For what?” She asked, even though she knew what he was talking about.

Soarin' sighed, hanging his head. “For earlier. When I blew up.”

“I'm not the one you need to be apologizing to.”

“I know, I know...,” Soarin' trailed off. He looked at Rainbow. “But I feel like you needed to hear it too.”

Rainbow smiled. She hopped from her cot, seating herself next to Soarin'.

Then she slugged him in the shoulder.

“Ow, Rainbow what the hell?!”

“Good. Now it's okay.”

Soarin' rolled his eyes, rubbing his shoulder.

“With me I mean,” Rainbow said with a wink. “You still need to tell her.”

“I will,” Soarin' reassured her. “I just... I just need her to understand what's at stake. We have to be a team, in perfect unison for anything of this,” he raised a hoof, several sparks of electricity dancing along it, “to work.”

“She just lost her parents Soar'.”

Soarin' sighed again. “Yeah. I mean, you and I even know what she's going through; it's not something you get over in a day,” Soarin' said heavily.

He looked at Rainbow. “Dash, I'm going to need your help with her. So that she can understand. Even just for her to listen. I meant what I said before, I just went about it the wrong way.”

“Don't worry Soarin', I'll be right there to help.” She wrapped her hoof around Soarin's back. “It won't be easy, but she'll listen.”

He smiled. “Thanks.”

A moment later he frowned, brows furrowed. “Something else still feels off though,” he said.

“How's that?”

“Our connection, it feels..., muddled, imprecise... especially with Scootaloo.”

Soarin' wasn't wrong, but Rainbow wasn't totally sure what the stallion meant either. Previous experience had proved that the aural connection between the trio was shaky when they needed it most. But wasn't that to be expected? They were learning to use powers thousands of years old, literally on the fly with almost zero help.

And why did Soarin' single out Scootaloo?

“Because of her parents?” Rainbow guessed.

“No, I don't think so,” Soarin' replied. “Maybe we're too inexperienced? I don't know.”

Rainbow mulled over Soarin's words. Something bothered her about what he had said. About Scootaloo and her parents. Lightning Streak's voice came to mind, something she had said.

“No,” Rainbow said.

“Huh?”

“No, it is because of them, Soarin,” she said. “She's stunted.” Rainbow looked at her own hooves. “I think we all are.”

“I don't follow.”

“Something Lightning Streak told me back at Wonder HQ when I got the relic. She said we weren't mature enough when we received the mantle of legacy bearer. The mantle was passed on from Scootaloo's parents. Just like with us.”

“When they died...” Soarin' said slowly.

“Us too,” Rainbow added morbidly. “During the Twin Storms.”

Soarin' stood up abruptly. He started to pace. “So we're worse off than I thought!” He stopped, looking to Rainbow. “What are we going to do?”

Defeat was there. She could see it well up behind his eyes. Rainbow frowned. It wasn't right. Not on Soarin'.

Rainbow stood up. “We keep going,” she said. “We find the rest of the legacies and we figure this out. Lightning Streak told me our spirits had to be whole. I don't know exactly what that means or how to fix it,” she faltered slightly, “but we'll figure it out. I'm not giving up!” She stamped her hoof.

Soarin' smiled slightly. “Yeah. You're right. I don't know what got into me Dash. I've been distracted. More than normal.”

“With what?”

“Just...,” he trailed off. “Weird dreams... and the Tempest Guard.”

“Those freaky cult guys? What about them? Besides the cult thing. And that they tried to kill us. Multiple times. And that I might want to tear them apart,” Rainbow listed with her primary feathers.

“Well then what I'm about to say is really not going to make any sense.”

Rainbow cocked a brow, waiting.

“I think I need to try to save them.”

Rainbow's jaw dropped. It was the absolute last thing she had expected to hear. To save them? The ones who had caused everything that had happened? The ones who had destroyed Ponyville! Her home!

“You can't be serious,” Rainbow said flatly. Her wings rustled, agitated.

Soarin' nodded. “I know it sounds crazy, but my dream or vision, or whatever it was, it made it look like the Tempest Guard was a part of the Legacy Guard somehow. A long time ago.”

“Soarin', those guys are to blame for everything that has happened,” Rainbow said. She could feel her face start to heat up. “They're responsible for killing Scootaloo's parents! They brought the Archon back! I don't think there's even anything left to save from those clipped wing bastards!” She shouted.

“I know, I know!” Soarin' pleaded, trying to calm Rainbow. “It's crazy. But my aura was practically in control during my dream; if it thinks there's even a little bit worth saving, I've got to try. If I even can.”

Rainbow let her breath even out. She hadn't even realized how worked up she had become. Guilt stabbed at her. She shouldn't have gotten mad at Soarin'. Sure what he said was crazy, but it was pure. He was willing to do what he thought was right, for pegasi who didn't even deserve it. At least Rainbow didn't think so. But she admired his strength, even just to try. It was far more than she would even consider doing. He really is noble, Rainbow thought, smiling warmly. A chivalrous and gentle knight, Rarity would say.

She suddenly shook the thoughts away. Gah, the mushy stuff again?

Soarin' seemed confused at her silence.

“Erm, sorry. For yelling,” Rainbow muttered, looking away briefly. “Just promise me you won't let this get in the way of what we're trying to do?”

“I promise,” Soarin' stated firmly. “I think I might even know what to do, but don't worry about that,” he said. “More importantly,” Soarin' started, walking toward the door, “we need to find the next legacy relic. Any ideas where to start looking?”

Rainbow trotted past Soarin'. “Nope,” she answered back. “But I think I think I know where to find the young mare who will.”


Scootaloo ambled slowly through the streets of Los Pegasus. All around her the base hummed with activity, groups of pegasi running and flying here and there, moving equipment or tending to the various crystal and cloud based machines that dotted the base. All very busy.

Too busy to notice the young mare it seemed. It was just as well. She didn't want to talk to anyone right now. She was doubly grateful that Rainbow or Soarin' hadn't come looking for her since she had woken up. She really didn't want to talk either of them.

Scootaloo stopped just alongside an outer fence that surrounded one of the ground based airfields. Peering through she could see a group of military pegasi prepare for takeoff. Their uniforms weren't flashy, but she could just make out the subdued crest of the Wonderbolts. Or was it the Legacy Guard? She hadn't bothered to figure out.

She felt a pang of guilt looking at the lightning bolt insignia.

“I would still talk to Rainbow, at least later,” she muttered to herself.

Rainbow hadn't done anything to her. Hay, she was the only one she had left.

Now Soarin' on the other hoof. Scootaloo scowled. He could pound vapor for all she cared.

“Stupid idiot...” Scootaloo said, sniffling slightly.

She wiped her eyes quickly.

Watching the Wonderbolts brought other, painful thoughts. She clenched her jaw. Scootaloo didn't even want to think about that other mare.

Determined not to let her emotions get the better of her, Scootaloo left the airfield, hoping for better distractions.

She continued down the road. She thought of flying, but decided against it. In the air she would draw more attention, and that was the last thing she wanted right now.

However, despite separating herself from the others, their words still came to mind.

Thanks to her, none of us had to pay the price for that stupid stunt you pulled! Soarin's cold words cut through her mind. Scootaloo winced. It hurt almost as much as the first time. She shook her head, ashamed at herself. “Your tougher than that Scootaloo!” She silently chastised herself. Why should it hurt? It's wasn't like she actually cared what the stupid hay for brains Wonderbolt thought anyway!

She sniffled again, continuing to plod along.

She had left the others to empty her mind. Unfortunately it didn't seem to be working.

Get your act together.

Scootaloo shook her head, trying to dislodge the voice.

I had a Tempest Guard ready to shear my wings and head off!

Her heartbeat quickened. So did her pace.

Of course its her fault!

A full gallop now. Running wouldn't work but she had to try.

In case you haven't figured it out, we're all connected: you, me and Rainbow!

Her breath quickened, but it wasn't from the running.

In the one moment you and I needed help, she bailed!

A wetness formed at the corner of her eyes.

Rainbow and I had to pick up YOUR slack and it nearly got us killed!”

Tears freely streamed down her face.

We ALL could have died!

By now Scootaloo was running. A running, sniffling, crying mess.

She could barely see where she was going. An alley opened on her right. Abruptly she skidded around the corner coming to a halt and out of sight.

She breathed heavily, trying to clamp down on the flurry of emotions in her. “Get. A. Grip!” Scootaloo said through gritted teeth.

A different voice entered her head. Hey Scootaloo, I'm glad to see you're okay.

“NO!” Scootaloo screamed. “Not her, not any of them!” She seethed. “Leave me alone!”

“Are you alright, Legacy Bearer?”

Scootaloo rounded on the fourth voice behind her.

“SHUT-”

Armis stood over her.

“-up?” Scootaloo squeaked.

The towering golem shifted it's helm to the side.

Scootaloo stared up at the suit of armor. It made no movement to her, continuing to regard her with it's eerie, empty helm.

Momentarily spooked by Armis, not spooked, just startled, Scootaloo corrected, the voices had disappeared. Thankful for the reprieve, Scootaloo took a moment to calm herself.

It wasn't exactly easy with a supernatural set of armor in front of her. Though she had christened the armor, that didn't exactly mean she felt comfortable around it. Him. Whatever.

Glancing between the Armis' legs Scootaloo could see the stares from the military pegasi, all of whom kept a healthy distance across the street.

Armis followed her eyes. “I have been granted free roam about the border fort,” he stated.

“Congratulations. You mind moving?” Scootaloo said. She surprised herself with her bluntness. More from Rainbow Dash she supposed.

Armis straightened up. Scootaloo hadn't realized the armor was leaning over her.

“You did not answer my question.”

Scootaloo snorted. “Me? Oh, I'm just peachy, thanks for asking!” She sniffled again.

“You do not appear so.”

Scootaloo attempted to brush past the armor, but Armis didn't budge and inch. She silently glared up at the armor. After a second and third try she finally squeezed past, flopping onto the sidewalk.

Scootaloo started to walk away, but heavy hooffalls sounded behind her.

She whirled around. Armis stopped several feet away, like an expectant dog.

“What are doing? What do you want?” Scootaloo demanded.

Armis regarded Scootaloo for a moment. “You are in need.”

Scootaloo snorted again. “I want to be left alone, got it?”

She took several more steps, but Armis continued to follow.

Scootaloo's head dropped with an exasperated sigh. Her wings and ears drooped dramatically. “You're not going to leave me alone are you?”

“I am bound to aid the Legacy Bearers,” Armis stated. “With whatever may ail them.”

Yeah good luck with that one buddy, Scootaloo thought. “Fine. And it's Scootaloo.”

“Legacy Bearer Scootaloo.”

“No, no, no,” Scootaloo shook her head. She felt like she was dealing with a child. “Just Scootaloo.”

Armis nodded. “Scootaloo.”

Scootaloo sighed. She looked at Armis, standing impassively. “Well?” she said, a touch annoyed. “Ya coming?”

It took a moment for Armis to pick up Scootaloo's cue. His eyes, or whatever it is he sees with, Scootaloo thought, moving to the spot next to Scootaloo where she gestured with her wing.

Armis fell into step next to her.

“Forgive me, Scootaloo, it has been some time since I was among pegasi. Longer than I can remember.”

I'll bet. She immediately felt bad at the thought. What little she knew about Armis' told her that the pegasi, or what was a pegasi, had had a difficult life. And even beyond that. He didn't deserve her disdain.

“How did you find me?” Scootaloo asked, changing the subject.

“I am connected to your aura. It was not difficult, the Legacy Bearers are like beacons amongst the pegasi in this time.”

Scootaloo swore she heard sadness in Armis' voice.

“It is also how I know you are not well,” Armis added, looking over his shoulder to her. “Your aura is clouded, isolated.”

Scootaloo sighed, too drained to put a fight. The duo were past the crowds now. Instead they had wandered into an older part of Los Pegasus. A large open cloud field surrounded their narrow path. Numerous others snaked about the field, curving to meet the various statues, obelisks and stone tablets that dotted the cloudy ground. Memorials, Scootaloo guessed.

She plopped roughly to the ground. Above her stood a statue of a Skythan warrior in flight. Weathered and worn, it bore no description.

“I just...” She faltered, unsure what to say.

Armis waited patiently.

“I just don't know what to do. Everything has changed so much. Ponies are expecting so much of me and I don't even know if I can do it! I don't even know if I want to...”

She sniffled again. “I'm alone,” she whispered.

Armis seated himself, the sudden shake jostling Scootaloo.

“You care for your friends, do you not?”

“Well, yeah.”

“And you would never wish to see them come to harm?”

“Of course not!” Scootaloo exclaimed. Just where did this rusty steel bucket think he was going with this?

“Then why do you hesitate? Why do you seek isolation from those who need you?” Armis asked pointedly. “You are not alone Scootaloo.”

If the three of us are lost, so is Equestria, Soarin's voice came again, calmer this time.

“I'm scared, okay?”

Armis said nothing. Only his armor body clinked slightly, turning more toward Scootaloo.

“I'm scared of what happened before, in Cloudsdale.” She shook her head. “I was just so angry. After what happened to... to...” Scootaloo choked slightly. She took a deep breath. “After what happened to my parents. I lost control. I put Rainbow Dash and Soarin' in danger.” She hung her head. “He was right. I could have gotten us all killed.” She looked back up at Armis. “What if I can't control it? What if I can't get these powers under control? I almost hurt the only ponies left in my life, I'm not sure I can do what everypony needs me to.”

Silence settled between the two.

“I was scared too, a long time ago,” Armis finally said.

Scootaloo listened, unsure what he meant.

“Though I remember little of my past, the reason for why I became an Aeterni,” Armis gestured to himself, “I remember quite vividly. Myself and several others were chosen to undergo the praefractus, so well suited were our auras to the task. It was quite an honor.”

An honor? Scootaloo thought. “But...”

“I was... reluctant. I was scared.”

Scootaloo cocked her head to the side. It seemed so strange to hear her own words come from such a formidable warrior. But he was a pegasus a long time ago, just like me.

“Duty.” Armis said solemnly. “Duty called me to the task.”

Scootaloo's face soured. “That sounds like something Soarin' would say.”

“He is not wrong Scootaloo, but it is only part of the ordeal. It was the safety of my family and friends that gave me the strength to go through with the task,” Armis added. “Even if it was hard. I would guard the traitor and prevent his curse upon my family and their descendants. I had to try.” Armis bowed his head, his voice lowering. “I still am.”

He's right, Scootaloo admitted. I've been selfish, and worried about myself when I should be helping Rainbow and Soarin'.

She felt calmer. Her aura reached out to her and she could once again feel Soarin' and Rainbow Dash more clearly. In the distant part of her mind she swore she felt another presence, invisible before to her clouded aura.

She let out a shaky breath. “I guess I know what I need to do.”

Armis leaned in toward her, nudging her gently. “Be grateful you have your friends with you Scootaloo. They are your strength. And you are theirs.”

She felt guilty. He doesn't have anypony. And he chose to leave everyone. I didn't have to make that choice.

“I'm sorry,” she said, placing her hoof on Armis' rear hoof. She couldn't reach his forehoof after all. “I can't imagine having to choose between my family and...” she trailed off.

Armis seemed to shift uncomfortably, for a suit of armor. “I only remember fragments of my family. They were the reason why my brothers and I committed ourselves.” He stared up at the sky.

Twilight had appeared on the horizon. Twinkling stars slowly began to take their place.

“Perhaps it is better that way.”

“Brothers?” Scootaloo asked.

Armis nodded slowly. “Yes. My brothers and I guarded the tomb of the traitor. They were Aeterni like I, and perished there.”

“I'm s-” Scootaloo started to say.

“Do no be,” Armis interjected. “They fought valiantly and are now whole once again in the Valley of the Stars.”

Scootaloo simply nodded.

She shook her head slightly. Her aura seemed excited now that she was thinking more clearly. But it wasn't her renewed connection to Rainbow and Soarin', though that too was welcome. A different pull attracted her aura, the other presence in the back of her head. It was vaguely familiar. What was it?

Maybe Rainbow Dash will know what to make of it, she thought.

“Thanks Armis,” Scootaloo said, standing up. “I-”

Armis was gone.

Scootaloo yelped, jumping away from where Armis had just been.

Not only had her companion disappeared, but so too had the landscape changed. Though the sun had been setting before, it was now pitch dark. No moon or stars filled the sky. Absent were also all the monuments from before. Only the empty cloud field remained.

Scootaloo skittered around in a circle. “Armis?” She called out.

Only the howling wind replied, whipping over the hills. The cold air cut through Scootaloo.

“Armis!” She called out again.

No reply.

What the hay is going on? Scootaloo thought. Was this a dream? Was everything that had happened all in her head and she was still sleeping at the hospital?

She pinched herself. Repeatedly.

It didn't work.

“Ponyfeathers!” Scootaloo cursed.

Come on Scootaloo, don't lose your cool, she thought. Just think this through. You're a Legacy Bearer now, you can figure this out.

Despite her self assurances, Scootaloo's wings and tail still fidgeted slightly.

She forced herself to breath slowly. “Okay, just think. What could cause this?”

Her aura erupted in her head, colliding with her consciousness like a runaway wagon filled with bricks. Along with it came the other presence she had felt before, now as if it were standing right next to her.

Scootaloo rubbed her temple. “Hey, what's the big id-”

The light bulb went off.

“Oh. Right.”

Scootaloo reached out with her aura. She still wasn't very comfortable with the sensation just yet, but had grown accustomed to the aural presence that she called upon. Though it doesn't always seem to want to cooperate, she thought.

Her aura prodded her back indignantly.

“Alright, alright...” Scootaloo replied. “At least you're being helpful now.”

She closed her eyes, refocusing and calling on her new power.

She could feel her aura by her side, ready and willing to assist her. The power too flowed far more freely, giving her clarity to the world around her. Immediately she realized she was no longer in Las Pegasus, but elsewhere.

Almost like a dream or...

The presence from before, not her aura, but the one she had felt just before entering this world; swirled around her. It was titanic, a massive sentience that dwarfed her own.

She cringed slightly. Not my dream, she realized. Like I'm in someone elses.

The god like presence disappeared and reformed, concentrating directly in front her.

Scootaloo's aura yanked her forward eagerly.

Scootaloo stumbled forward. “I'm coming, I'm coming...” she said, opening her eyes.

A small, wooden workshop stood before her.

At first glance the structure appeared to be a blacksmith's forge, complete with bellows, furnace, anvils and all manner of metal working tools. But as Scootaloo slowly moved forward, the workshop revealed more of itself.

Steam pipes worked their way in and out from the walls. A large, cut crystal was fixed to the roof. Iron rods had been thrust into the crystal. Adjacent and bound by a large net sat a small thundercloud. Occasionally sparks of lightning would jump from the cloud, striking the crystal and fizzling downward.

Other smaller crystals dotted the workshop. Some glowed, others sparked with electric currents. Wiring was wrapped itself around the workshop like a weed, seemingly little rhyme or reason to their function.

Twilight would be right at home here, Scootaloo thought, stopping short of the doorway.

Light glowed from the inside. Through the smoke windows Scootaloo could make out numerous books, and table littered with instruments and more crystals. A stand held a battered and weathered armor set. A lance was slung across the breastplates back. Atop the stand rested a steel helm.

Scootaloo's eyes widened. “I've seen that armor before,” she said.

Shadows moved from within the workshop. The unmistakable silhouette of a pony moved.

Somepony had heard her!

Scootaloo's frantically looked around for escape, her wings fidgeting to take her to safety.

But where was there to go?

The door suddenly swung open.

A semi-transparent, teal color pegasus stood before her.

Scootaloo nearly jumped out of her skin. But the reassuring calmness from her aura stilled her. That, and she had seen this pony... this ghost, before.

The ghost regarded Scootaloo for a moment.

“Ice Wing?”

I wondered when you would finally arrive,” Ice Wing said. Her voiced echoed slightly. The ghost turned back to the workshop. “Come.”

Scootaloo hesitated for a moment. Ice Wing appearing now reminded her of what Rainbow had told her about back at Wonder HQ. Her aura agreed happily, pulling her frantically after the ghost mare.

Scootaloo sighed. Not like I have a choice, she thought, looking at the empty world around her.

She stepped inside the workshop. It was small, only a single room, but well kept. One side seemed dedicated to work and research, additional book cases lining the walls and stretching all the way to the ceiling. A single chair sat before the desk, even more instruments visible about the work space. Rolled parchment sat in stacks upon the desk. Wires stretched down from the ceiling, carrying intermittent fizzles of electricity, powering various devices.

The other side of the room was far more homey. Two cloud chairs sat adjacent to one another, joined by a large fireplace before them. A small cooking pot hung over the fire. A hammock hung from the rafters above.

Ice Wing sat upon her chair. She gestured to the vacant one. “Please.”

Scootaloo complied, slowly seating herself.

Do you know why you are here?”

“Uh, well maybe if I knew where here actually is?”

Ice Wing seemed to think for a moment. “A fair question. I forget the much has likely changed since our praefractus.”

That praefractus thing seems to come up a lot, Scootaloo thought.

This is a world between worlds. It exists solely to house the legacy relic, as it was not safe to leave the relic among the material world. My being,” Lightning Streak gestured toward herself, “my spirit that was splintered in the praefractus, is the essence of this realm, and anchors it to the waking world. It also conveniently serves as a means to prohibit all but the bloodline bearer from entering, a construct I'm quite proud of actually,” Ice Wing said, grinning to herself.

“So, um, that means I'm ready right? For the relic?”

Ice Wing did not immediately respond. Instead she frowned, staring into the fire. When at last she spoke her words were heavy, laced with worry. “You have likely progressed much; you are here after all. Your aura is powerful, and yet,” Ice Wing tapped her nose in thought, “something is still amiss.” She looked Scootaloo in the eye. “Something still mars your aura, inhibits your connection to the Legacy Stream and the other bearers. To me, in this realm it appears as if a gaping wound upon you.”

Scootaloo skeptically looked herself over.

Ice Wing waved her wing. “Not physically young one. Upon your aura. What has caused such a thing, I cannot say, only that you must find a way to mend it.”

The image of Scootaloo's parents trapped under a wreckage of timber and steel flashed through her mind. She pushed it away, but the hurt remained. Was that it? It was definitely painful, the worst thing she had ever experienced. But even if it was, what was there to fix? Ponies didn't come back from the dead.

Scootaloo stood up anxiously. “So the relic won't work?”

It is but a tool, nothing more. A channel for your power.”

Scootaloo sighed. Guess that means yes.

Ice Wing stood up, walking toward the other side of the room. “A tool that focuses your link with the other bearers.” She stopped in front of the armor.

Scootaloo followed, standing aside from Ice Wing.

Ice Wing lifted the helm from the stand. Basic in design, the only ornament upon the open face helmet was a small crest upon the brow. A winged, vertical lightning bolt flanked by laurel branches.

“That's it?” Scootaloo pointed, not at all disguising her skepticism.

Ice Wing's eyes narrowed. Yes, it is. Is there something wrong with my helm?” She asked tersely, tucking it under her wing away from Scootaloo.

“Uh, no. It just, looks kinda simple I guess.”

True power has no need for flair and useless adornments.” Ice Wing brought the helm forward, turning toward Scootaloo. “I think you will find that actions speak far more profoundly.” She handed the helm toward Scootaloo.

Scootaloo blinked. She looked between the relic and Ice Wing. “That's it? Just like that?”

You have come this far Scootaloo. No more tests.” She placed the helm upon Scootaloo's head.

Scootaloo felt the weight of the metal upon her head. Despite the ancient design, it fit perfectly. Much to her chagrin, there was no rustle of power, no surge of her aura. It only hummed happily.

Ice stepped back, regarding Scootaloo. She smiled softly. “I have the utmost faith in you, Scootaloo. And though it may sound strange, I am proud of you.”

“Oh, um, yeah, thanks,” Scootaloo stuttered awkwardly. She removed the helm, tucking it under her wing.

Ice Wing moved toward the window. Scootaloo joined her.

The ghost said nothing, only looking out toward the stars. Far more dotted the sky, and they seemed to shine brighter. As time passed she felt herself pulled toward them, a calling.

I am sorry Scootaloo.”

Scootaloo frowned. “For what?”

I, rather we, failed you. Failed everypegasi. For so long I've been here, waiting. Unable to right our mistakes. Even now I am ashamed.” Ice Wing's ears drooped. “I ask you to stand in for myself, to go in dangers way, while I stay behind, selfishly yearning for family and home.” Ice Wing pointed toward the stars. “My brothers and parents. Family. Ever out of reach, but always within sight.”

Scootaloo frowned for a moment. “I don't care about any of that.

Ice Wing's ears drooped further. “Nor should y-”

“No, not that,” Scootaloo interrupted. “I don't care about your mistakes. You,” Scootaloo began to place her hoof to Ice Wing's back in comfort, only to remember the ghostly visage beside her. She couldn't reach for Ice Wing.

Until her hoof did.

Scootaloo's eyes widened.

So too did Ice Wing's.

How...?”

Scootaloo's aura bounded between her and Ice Wing. If she could describe the sensation, it almost felt like a reunion. A meeting of family.

Scootaloo's suddenly couldn't contain her smile. “You didn't mean for any of this to happen. And...” she trailed off for a moment. “And my family, our family from my time, is gone too. But I have my friends. And I got to meet you, too. I will help you get home.”

Ice Wing leaned into her comforting hoof.

Wise beyond your years,” Ice Wing replied. Despite the echoing voice, Scootaloo swore she heard her ancestor waver. “Thank you,” she replied, a slight twinkle appearing at the corner of her eye. “Thank you ever so much.”

All around them, the world began to shimmer.

The time has come it seems,” Ice Wing said.

Even as she spoke the world began to fall apart, dissolving and breaking away.

Scootaloo clutched at the helm beneath her wing.

Look to your friends Scootaloo! Your friends and your aura! Together and truly whole is what it will take! Only then can you finish what we could not!”

A blinding light took Scootaloo's sight.

“I will! I will!” Scootaloo called out. She could feel her consciousness slipping, her aura beginning to take control.

It was good to speak to family again...”


Scootaloo gasped.

She looked around. She was back in the park in Los Pegasus. It was still dusk, the stars still slowly taking their place in the sky. It seemed no time has passed at all.

In fact, she was right were she had been before. Save for one detail.

She stood before the statue of the warrior pegasus. Her outstretched hoof rested upon its plinth.

“Scootaloo?”

Armis shuffled up behind her.

“Are you alright?”

Scootaloo blinked several times, rousing herself. She still felt out of sorts. “Yeah, yeah, I'm fine.”

She frowned, looking up at the statue. Then she removed her hoof.

A shimmering glow faded from the spot. Golden letters etched into the stone before her eyes.

Lieutenant Ice Wing: Warrior and Pioneer

Scootaloo smiled.

She felt a weight shift from her wing.

Ice Wing's helm struck her hoof with a thud.

“Horseapples!” She cried, clutching her hoof.

Armis picked up the helm. He studied it carefully in his gauntlets.

Scootaloo shook out her hoof. She tested it gingerly on the ground. Ugh, good thing I'm not an earth pony, she thought. She looked to Armis. The Aeterni was very still, even for his stature. “Hey, be careful with that, that's-”

“My sister's helm.”

Scootaloo's mouth opened, then closed, then did so again. The third time words came. “Um. What?”

Armis' turned the helmet over delicately. His helm jerked, as if something from inside were fighting to get out.

“Armis?”

“I... remember now... my family. We were all special. Chosen. My brothers and I became Aeterni, and Ice Wing, little Ice Wing...,” Armis trailed off. Scootaloo heard the pain in his voice. Felt it through her aura.

Armis touched the brow of Ice Wing's helm to his own. “She became a bearer to the Legacy.”

“She... she gave it to me ya know,” Scootaloo said. She looked to the statue.

Armis stumbled toward the statue. “You saw her? Spoke with her?”

Scootaloo nodded, smiling. “She misses you, all of you. Very much.”

“You speak the truth,” Armis said. “I can feel it in your aura. Tell me. Is she well?”

Scootaloo frowned. “She's... she's okay, but, I think she's trapped. Stuck here. Because of the praefractus thing.”

Armis nodded mechanically. “Then she is like I.” He gently placed a hoof to the plinth, looking up to the statue. “Scootaloo Legacy Bearer. I must free her.”

Scootaloo perked up, reaching up with her forehooves onto Armis' shoulder. “I know! I will! I promised I would help her! We can do it, somehow!” Scootaloo rambled.

She settled to her hooves, suddenly unsure. “I think, I think if we stop Typhonis, then maybe it will fix itself.”

Of course she had now idea if defeating Typhonis would in anyway release Ice Wing. But she had to do something. Everything seemed to point to the Archon.

“Then we are resolved,” Armis' stated.

“Yeah!” Scootaloo added, her wings fidgeting in excitement. She felt a renewed vigor. Things didn't seem so bleak.

The two walked back to the center of Los Pegasus.

“You know,” Scootaloo grinned widely, “I just realized something.”

“What is that?”

“The legacy mantle or whatever it's called is passed down through family. Which means I'm Ice Wing's super descended grand-daughter.” She shot a wry grin at Armis. “You know what that means, right?”

Armis stopped. He stared at Scootaloo. “I'm...”

“You're my super great weird uncle!” She exclaimed, laughing. She fluttered eye level to Armis. “I've never had one of those before. How cool is that?”

Armis regarded Scootaloo for a moment. Then he threw his head back and laughed. A great, booming echoing laugh.

Scootaloo couldn't help but smile at sight.

“Even in dark times, the Legacy Stream finds a way to shine. Our meeting was not a coincidence, Scootaloo.”

She couldn't agree more.

She settled into a happy gait next to Armis. For the first time since her parents had died, she felt sure. Confident. The way ahead would be difficult and challenging. But I can handle it, she nodded to herself. With my friends, she looked up to Armis beside her, and my family.

Author's Note:

Hello all!

Hey! I'm not dead, nor is this story!

So it's been over a year since the last chapter of Legacy of the Pegasi. Gotta admit, I don't like saying that. I hope this lengthy chapter makes up for the lack of content.

Not heavy on the action here, but I do like the way our team has developed. Internal strife always makes for interesting dynamics. And while we do get some resolution for Scootaloo, there are still a few loose ends out there. More on those in the next couple chapters.

I got to introduce a new character, Armis! Originally I hadn't planned on using him beyond a silent guardian of the Archon, but I think it helps flesh out the world and the lost history of the pegasi by having someone who was there (partially anyway, he's not whole you know). And I got to the do the same thing with Ice Wing. I hope her personal connection to Armis doesn't seem to tacked on; I think it really shows the enduring consequences that still exist in the present, and what's at stake.

Hope you guys liked it, I am sorry for the lack of content. Should you feel inclined, let me know what you think.

Until next chapter,

-secret89