• 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.

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Ch. 30: The Battle of Los Pegasus Part Two

Legacy of the Pegasi:

Ch. 30: The Battle of Los Pegasus Part Two

Rainbow tore her eyes away from Soarin' and the rest of the Wonderbolts. Even though Soarin' was apart, she could still feel his aura, thrumming in harmony with her own. Inwardly she leaned on it and found that despite all the chaos around them, she was calm.

All right, Rainbow thought, urging herself to stay in the present. Let's do this.

The bestial roar of multiple dragons cut through her, rattling her bones.

Rainbow turned toward Los Pegasus and the Acropolis. Scores of dragons circled the city, periodically strafing the structures below, raining fire into it. The air defense batteries had redirected to the beasts, ignoring the few Storm Stalkers that remained. Concentrated lightning bolts glinted off the dragons' scales, and only succeeded in stunning the creatures when they scored a lucky hit to the face.

The pegasi squadrons broke ranks in the face of the dragons. It likely saved them; no dragon would waste time on a single pegasus, but it made the pegasi nothing more than flies to their adversaries.

Right now, that worked in Rainbow's favor. They haven't seen us yet.

Plumes of black smoke billowed from Los Pegasus. An angry orange-red glowed from within.

The city won't last under that kind of attack!

“Scootaloo. Armis.”

Scootaloo looked at Rainbow wide eyed, but kept her composure. Armis readied his lance in his hooves, wings spread.

“We're going to take down those dragons! Stay on my six!” She said, dropping off the edge of the battery wall.

“Rainbow! Wait!” Scootaloo called out, racing after.

A split second later, Scootaloo voice sounded in Rainbow's ear. Rainbow inwardly smiled. She's getting faster.

“Rainbow! What are you talking about?!”

“Exactly what I said Scoots!”

“How in the stars are we supposed to take out a dragon?”

The signature clanging of metal on metal announced Armis.

“No idea!” Rainbow called out. “Armis?”

“Dragon scales are impervious to any attack; physical or magical. Their only weaknesses lie at their eyes, and their wings. Specifically at the joint. Or, if you're brazen enough, there is the mouth. When it's open.”

The peril of Armis' last point wasn't lost on Rainbow. Right. Stay away from the part lined with razor teeth that shreds armor and spews super heated hell-fire.

“We'll go for the wings! All three of us on one dragon! Stick with me; we'll go in low from behind where we can't be seen! Make one solid strike upward, then bail out and regroup!”

Armis brandished his lance, magic energy pulses along the blade. “We shall rend them from the sky!”

Rainbow dropped in a sudden dive, flying into one of Los Pegasus' many side alleys.

A large red dragon circled above, periodically spewing fire into the city. There was only sporadic opposition to the beast, the majority of the city's defenders and air defense batteries focused on the dragons beyond the Los Pegasus perimeter.

“Uh, Rainbow?” Scootaloo called out. “Just what exactly are we attacking this dragon with?

The thought nearly caused Rainbow to lose focus as she zipped down the narrow alley.

Unlike Armis, neither she nor Scootaloo had a weapon.

“Rainbow?”

“I'm working on it!” Rainbow shouted back.

Her mind raced. They approached the dragon. She had an idea, but it would have to wait. There just wasn't time to experiment with their powers; they had to attack the dragon now. At the very least they could distract the beast and draw it away from the city.

“Use your hooves!”

“What?” Scootaloo called out, bewildered.

“Trust me!” Rainbow called back. “Focus your powers to your wings and hooves. We'll strike at super speed and hit their wing joints!”

Scootaloo seemed to think for a moment, then nodded.

Rainbow took a deep breath.

She focused her energies to her wings. The tell tale strength of the legacy powers rushed to her. The connection between her and Scootaloo thrummed in unison, the younger pegasus mimicking Rainbow's energy.

Armis' distinct signature echoed across her aura.

A second later Rainbow, Scootaloo and Armis shot up like a bullet to the dragon.

Rainbow focused on her target, just under the dragon's wing, where the scales were few and only a small layer of muscle guarded the wing-joint. She envisioned their approach; no words were needed, only the unison of the legacy stream between them.

Rainbow banked left, Scootaloo banked right. Armis shot above the two, rolling above the dragon's left wing. Rainbow and Scootaloo struck at the same time, ricocheting off the dragon with outstretched hooves.

The beast screamed in pain. It's wings visibly buckled, causing it to falter in the sky.

Armis flew overhead the dragon. He brandished his lance, magical energy pulsing along the blade. He tucked the polearm under his shoulder, grasping it in both metal gauntlets. His wings gave a mighty heave, propelling the golem forward, lance forward and diving toward the dragon's wing. At the last second Armis leveled out, angling his lance downward. The blade pierced the leathery web of the wing, cutting with ease as Armis bolted forward.

The dragon screamed in pain, rolling abruptly, catching Armis with the bony surface of it's wing and throwing him from his attack.

Nevertheless Armis' strike bore it's effects. The dragon wobbled awkwardly in the air as it struggled to maintain flight with the long gash in it's wing.

“It is grievously injured!” Armis called out.

“But it's not enough,” Rainbow said. “Look.” She pointed toward the beast.

Though injured, the dragon continued to spew fire into the city below. Others now joined it.

“We've only pissed it off,” Rainbow muttered.

“And now there's more of them!” Scootaloo exclaimed. “We can't even defeat one, how in the hay are we going to take down all of them?”

“We can't do it ourselves.” Rainbow stated.

“Who else would there be?” Armis replied. “No others compare to our abilities.”

“I know, but we need help. Something!” Rainbow exclaimed. “We nee-.”

A flash of silver light momentarily eclipsed the haze of fire and purple-red hues of the storm. It was quickly followed a by similar flash of golden yellow.

Both lights flashed again, this time accompanied by a silver and yellow beams, respectively.

Rainbow traced the beams back to their origin.

“We need that!” She exclaimed excitedly.

Luna and Celestia circled one of the dragons above the city. They skillfully dodged around the dragon, trading pure magic against dragon-fire. One would draw the beast's attention, while the other struck forth with magic, leaving welts upon their foe. Eventually their combined assault drove the battered, but very much still alive dragon, away from the city.

Rainbow raced toward the royals, Scootaloo and Armis in tow.

“You two were awesome!” Rainbow shouted, greeting both Alicorns.

“I am glad to see you are well Rainbow Dash,” Celestia replied. Singe and scorch marks scattered across her body, but she did not appear to be injured.

“But it was not enough!” Luna chafed. Unlike her sister, Luna appeared to have been a bit more reckless in combat. In addition to scorch marks, entire patches of fur were missing. A large gash trailed along her side from chest to hind quarters, though she seemed to bear it no mind.

“We have only been able to drive them off!” Luna added, her eyes still scanning the sky intently.

For a moment, Rainbow thought she caught something shift in Luna's eyes. A chill ran down her spine. Then it was gone.

Celestia's horn lighted, a healing spell attending to her sister. “It's true unfortunately. These dragon's are remarkably resilient.”

“They fight as the dragon's of old,” Luna added. “Ferocious, feral, without restraint.”

“No doubt in part to their new master,” Armis replied. “His powers of persuasion are unbound.”

“It doesn't change that we have to do something about it,” Rainbow cut in. “Now that Luna and Celestia are here, I think we've got a real shot.”

Celestia eyed Rainbow for a moment, brow raised. A small smile came to her.

“What do you propose we do, Legacy Bearer?” Celestia asked.

Pride swelled within Rainbow.

It rapidly faltered as her mind moved forward. What were they going to do?

Rainbow frowned. She hadn't really thought of a plan; working things out ahead of time was still new to her. Normally she dove right in.

“We split into two teams,” Rainbow started slowly. “Scootaloo and Luna with me.” She pointed to Celestia, “Celestia, you and Armis will be the other. Each team takes a dragon. For now we do what we can; focus on driving them off.”

Luna sighed. “All we can do...” she trailed off. “I may not like it, but it is true. Regardless, I will not leave while these beasts still claim dominion.”

Rainbow nodded. “I'm still working on a plan; just be ready.”

A cascade of bellowing roars overcame the group.

“More approach!” Armis declared. “We must meet them before descend upon the city!”

“All right! Let's go!” Rainbow ordered. “And watch out for each-other!” she added, as the group moved.

The group split apart, both teams zeroing in on a dragon from the approaching horde.

Rainbow took lead of her team. Scootaloo still thrummed in unison with her aura.

Luna now joined her. Rainbow felt the power, the antiquity of the alicorn's presence. Ancient like Armis, but a near limitless well of magical power. Rainbow had never encountered a force between her aura before.

And there was something else. Something entwined within Luna's presence. Something old. Something familiar, unsettling.

Something that tugged at a memory.

Suddenly it was gone, swept away and buried under Luna's presence.

Rainbow peeked over her shoulder.

Luna was focused intently. Rainbow's super-pegasus eyes caught a subtle shifting haze behind Luna's own.

Rainbow frowned. It's nothing. You need to focus.

The dragon made sure of that.

The red dragon as before descended from the storm clouds above, diving toward the city. The scales along it stomach began to glow.

Alarm collectively pulsed amongst the group. But there was no time to react.

The dragon blew past with reckless abandon, wings pulled tightly to it's massive barrel. It was only due to the combined power between Rainbow and her cohorts that the ensuing explosion of wind did not throw them like leaves.

The dragon extended it's wings leveling out above the city. A distinct glow bulged within it's gullet.

Rainbow stared helplessly. There was nothing they could do. They were already too far. Legacy powers or not, she couldn't teleport. And even so, what would she do?

The futility of it all simmered between Rainbow and Scootaloo.

A silver beam exploded from behind Rainbow, emitting a high pitched whine as it cut through the air. Her hairs stood on end as frost settled upon them.

In the span of a second the beam closed the distance to the dragon. It impacted the side of the dragon's skull with a deep, resounding crack that echoed into the air.

The dragon's head lurched so violently that Rainbow was sure something had broken. Dragon-fire burst uncontrolled from it's maw, the stream shooting upward and colliding with another dragon. The impact spun the dragon spun a full one-hundred eighty degrees before it regained control of itself.

Rainbow looked over her shoulder.

Luna visibly heaved, her horn still alight in a silver glow, the haze of frost settling from it. Despite her fatigue, the alicorn's were narrowed, focused.

Stars above, Rainbow thought, wide eyed.

“Cease your staring Rainbow Dash!” Luna suddenly shouted. “The beast still draws breath!”

A pained guttural roar sounded. Rainbow spun around.

“Oh come on!” Rainbow exclaimed.

The dragon wobbled in flight, in part from it's damaged wing, and the swaying of it's head from Luna's attack. Despite this it remained aloft.

And it was headed straight for them. With a thrust of it's mighty wings the beast rapidly closed the distance.

Scatter! Rainbow thought.

And it was so.

The team of three split apart without thought or word.

Unfazed, the dragon singled out Luna, chasing after the princess.

The dragon's wake shattered the air, violent gusts crashing into Rainbow and Scootaloo.

Rainbow tumbled for a moment, but quickly regained her balance. However, she lost sight of the dragon through the haze and darkness. “Where are they!”

“There!” Scootaloo yelled, pointing in the distance.

Rainbow allowed a small sense of pride within her. Scootaloo recovered as fast as me.

“Follow my lead!” Rainbow shouted to Scootaloo. With a heave of her wings she shot toward the dragon.

Rainbow's eyes narrowed as she drew near. Luna was dodging well enough, the dragon had failed to strike her, either from claw or fireball. Unfortunately the princess' own attacks failed. She only managed token silver blasts from her horn, taking snap shots as she could while still dodging the dragon's attacks. The result was inaccurate fire. Those that did find their mark glinted harmlessly off the dragon's scales.

Rainbow was gaining ground, but Luna and the dragon were still a ways off. I've got to do something! She thought.

Her aura burst through her concentration, flinging echoes of the legacy stream and memories of Pegasi Peak about her mind.

Well, I've got nothing else to lose, she thought.

Rainbow focused her legacy powers, recalling the sensations from Pegasi Peak.

She could feel her aura in unison with the legacy stream, pooling its power. She focused her thoughts. Ice.

A sudden chill overtook her body. Ice flakes rapidly gathered on her coat. The armor plate on her chest thrummed in unison with her aura. Power from the the legacy stream flowed.

The sudden activation surprised her. Okay, okay, she mentally calmed herself. Now. She gathered her thoughts. Ice. At my hooves.

The chill shifted to her hooves. The flakes on her hooves gave way to ice.

Okay, now, Rainbow raised her hoof, tracing it just ahead of the dragon. She closed one eye.

Fire!

The ice rapidly built forward into a slender and vicious point three hooves in length, then shot forward with an audible 'fwissh'.

The sudden back-blast from the shot threw Rainbow's hoof off wildly, sending the projectile wide and off course.

Ice began to build again without her thought. She gritted her teeth, grasping her now designated firing hoof with her other, steadying it. Let's try that again, she thought, sending mental cue to Scootaloo, trusting that she could follow.

Rainbow rolled right, closing the distance with dragon. She traced her hoof once more ahead of the beast.

Fire.

This time she was ready. The ice lance shot forth at super speed. It found it's target, striking the side of the dragon. A second later, a second lance impacted the dragon. Good, Scootaloo's keeping up.

The dragon roared in anger, but continued it's pursuit of Luna.

Rainbow's eyes narrowed. With a snarl she heaved her wings, rolling into a bank. With steadied hoof extended she put herself on a strafing run across her target.

Fire. Again. Again. Again! AGAIN!

Ice projectiles shot forth in rapid succession; smaller than before but no less deadly.

Rainbow continued to push her wings as she strafed across the dragon. She squinted her eyes as frost flew past her vision, added by each shot.

Scootaloo followed Rainbow, strafing across her mentor's path at a second delay, completing the the hail-fire in a crisscross 'X'.

The barrage riddled the dragon, pummeling it's side and sending razor shards of ice through it's webbed wings.

The repeated strikes finally drew the dragon's attention. It hovered midair, spinning about to locate from where the attacks had come from.

It was all the moment Luna needed.

The lunar princess dipped her horn low as she banked hard into a one-hundred eighty degree turn. While doing so a violently bright silver light gather along her horn. At the end of her pivot she whipped her head forward and splayed out her wings.

The shimmering silver beam exploded from the tip of Luna's horn, racing toward the dragon with a high pitched shrill.

The beam struck the dragon full on in the face. The beast lurched sluggishly in the air, it's wings flapping haphazardly in the air. Rainbow was sure the dragon was out of commission the way it's skull lulled about.

The dragon abruptly shook it's head, regaining itself.

Rainbow's jaw dropped. You've got to be kidding me.

The dragon drew itself level with Luna. It's silent gaze remained locked on the princess, eyes narrowing to a dangerous demeanor. Black smoke curled at its maw, the occasional spurt of fire escaping. The beast's belly now permanently glowed, bluish hues occasionally joining the orange and yellow.

The dragon threw its head back in a thunderous roar. With the flap of it's leathery wings the dragon suddenly advanced onto Luna. Bluish dragon-fire erupted from it's maw as it circled closer.

Luna was caught off guard by the sudden attack. With no room to dodge she encased herself in a sickly opaque black orb.

Rainbow's wings twitched, readying to drive her to the princess' aid.

“Rainbow Dash!”

Scootaloo stalled haphazardly next to her, out of breath. “Rainbow Dash!” She said again, panting. “What do we do?” Her eyes shot toward dragon. “Princess Luna! Is she okay?”

“I think so. But I don't know for how long,” Rainbow said.

Blue flames licked around the black orb, nearly obscuring it.

No time to lose, Rainbow thought. If I can't kill a dragon, then I'll take it out of the sky. She eyed the dragon. It's injured wing flapped awkwardly and out of sync.

That's it!

“Scootaloo, go low!”

“Wait, wha-”

“Just follow my lead!” Rainbow called over her shoulder.

Rainbow gained altitude, push her wings harder. At her mental cue Scootaloo dove beneath the dragon.

Rainbow eyed the dragon's injured left wing. It still hobbled slightly as the beast flew through the air. She shot downward, aiming for the bony appendage.

Scootaloo mimicked her in the opposite, in perfect time.

If attacking at a distance didn't work before, then maybe now it's time to try something more direct, Rainbow thought. As she dove, she focused her aural energies to her hooves. As before, the powers began to manifest. Ice crystals gathered at her hooves, rapidly forming into two pointed blocks.

She was nearing her target. The weight at her hooves caused her wings to strain, but she could manage it.

Below Scootaloo did the same.

The dragon still focused entirely on Luna. No longer circling, it hovered directly in front of the princess' barrier, spewing volley after volley.

Perfect! Rainbow thought. All the easier for-!

Rainbow's descent quickened, but it wasn't from her wings. Gravity pulled at her hooves. Ice continued to build at the blocks, quickly fusing them, and her hooves together. What the-! Stop! She instinctively pulled at her hooves, urging her aura and the legacy energies to cease. But the torrent continued, held open by the runaway thrumming of the relic on her chest. Rainbow' panicked aura's pulled at the gate, instinctively reaching to Scootaloo, but the anchor was too weak. Incomplete.

Rainbow looked to the dragon. She was still on target. Barely.

Come-ON! She mentally screamed.

The ice stopped building. It was replaced with small bolts, dancing along the ice at her hooves.

What?! No! Not that!

The bolts began to grow larger. They snarled and snapped while arcs rapidly climbed up Rainbow's forelegs. Errant bolts zapped over her head. Heat began to build. Her aura was overwhelmed, submerged in the deluge.

She could feel herself listing downward. She was going to miss!

With a final glance at Scootaloo and a final heave of her wings, Rainbow centered herself over the dragon's wing.

She snapped her own shut.

A second later her hooves impacted the bone in the dragon's wing. Scootaloo struck at the same time from below and just offset from Rainbow, the synchronized force snapping the appendage clean in a shower of ice and electrical currents.

The dragon threw it's head back with earsplitting shrieks. It flailed about, fruitlessly attempting to stay aloft. The damaged wing flopped about awkwardly, still pulled by the remaining tendons and smaller, unbroken bones.

The dragon's wing caught Rainbow as it thrashed about, ejecting her outward. She steadied herself. Stars above! She thought. I didn't even feel that!

Scootaloo was similarly unfazed, rejoining Rainbow.

No longer threatened, Luna's barrier disappeared.

Silver light abruptly flooded the sky-scape.

Rainbow looked up. Where there was none before, a full moon shone brightly, breaking through the Archon's storm. Bluish magic waves radiating outward from it. Rainbow could feel the magic pass through her with each wave.

“Is that, Luna?” Scootaloo asked.

Rainbow made to reply. Then the light changed.

Sickly red bled across the moon. The waves increased, magic energy biting at Rainbow's body.

Rainbow felt her heart drop into her stomach. The worry from before, when she had felt Luna's presence in her aura returned. And the terrifying memory that hearkened from it finally emerged.

Oh no.

Luna canted her head downward, pointing her horn at the dragon. It glowed red, while ice formed around it. The glow increased, building with the pulsing of the moon.

The magic released, firing a red beam of ice, carried on by the silhouettes of charging wolves. It caught the dragon in it's open mouth. The beast stopped; like it's joints had suddenly locked. Yet it remained aloft, held by the princess.

Luna continued to pour magic into the beam.

The dragon whimpered.

Massive, red ice spikes exploded from within the beast, now a darker shade of red. They protruded from the dragon's gut and from it's back and neck at vicious angles. Luna released her magic, but the ice remained, blood and flesh skewered on it. The dragon fell from the sky without a sound.

Rainbow's mind was momentarily stunned by the gore before her. Her aura rattled her. There was only one thing to do.

Rainbow grabbed hold of Scootaloo, turning her away from the dragon. The younger pegasus was confused; rattled. “Scootaloo, listen to me!” She said quickly.

“Rainbow, w-what's happening?” Scootaloo stammered.

“Stay close to me.” Rainbow iterated tersely. She pulled at Scootaloo. “We have to get out-”

“LUNA!” Celestia's voice boomed across the sky.

Rainbow caught sight of Celestia. Thank the stars!

Celestia approached at high speed, Armis in tow behind.

“What-,” Celestia started to say, but she visibly faltered. “What... have you done?”

Luna finally looked up. Her mane was disheveled, but the two slit irises set against red eyes were unmistakable. “I did...,” she paused, panting and baring fanged teeth, “what I had to!”

Rainbow knew it already, but seeing Nightmare Moon sent shivers down her spine.

Celestia's horn lit up, casting a transparent golden orb that surrounded the group.

“Rainbow Dash, you must find Twilight!” She said urgently. “Go! Bef-”

“Sister, wait!”

Nightmare Moon approached. But as she did so, Rainbow noticed some differences. While the telltale fangs and eyes were distinctly from the Nightmare, the rest was Luna. Even more telling was her demeanor. Despite her changed appearance, Luna still spoke and carried herself as before. It was a eerie and disquieting combination.

Celestia did not lower the shield, but did relax ever so slightly.

“It is still I, sister!” Luna pleaded.

Rainbow recoiled slightly. It was bizarre, seeing what in her mind was a monster, begging to Celestia.

“I know how I appear-”

“How can I be sure it's you!?” Celestia demanded.

“Sister, there isn't time!” The aberration implored, gesturing to the sky and it's combatants.

There was sincerity in her words, honesty. Or am I kidding myself just because she defeated the dragon? Rainbow wondered. What if it's a trick?

“That's not good enough!” Celestia countered. “I won't let Nightmare Moon return!”

“Rainbow, it's her,” Scootaloo spoke up. She looked evenly at Rainbow. “It's Luna. I can feel her with my aura.”

Rainbow blinked. She was suddenly aware of the banging in her head. Ignoring her mental companion's exasperation, she reached forth to the lunar princess.

The frightening presence of Nightmare Moon immediately connected with her. There was terror, hate, malice, all that had been associated with the monster. But it did not consume Luna. Through her aura, Rainbow saw that the nightmare's power was contained beneath Luna's willpower, sectioned off in a small part of herself. Further, it appeared that the princess had managed to safely siphon the nightmare's powers, without falling to corruption.

“Whoa,” Rainbow remarked. That's actually kinda awesome. And terrifying.

“Princess Celestia,” Rainbow said. “It's Luna,” she said, looking up reassuringly at the solar princess. She looked evenly to Luna. “She has control of it.”

“It?” Celestia looked to her sister.

Luna sighed. “The nightmare. It's powers are mine to command, without risk. Barring a few visual side effects.”

Celestia still seemed unsure.

“We both see it, princess,” Scootaloo added. “Trust us.”

Celestia seemed to think for a moment.

The shield around them dissipated.

“Very well, given our current crisis,” Celestia said. She looked sternly to her sister. “When this is over, we will speak of this at length.”

“We must continue to pursue these beasts,” Armis said, flicking his lance free of dragon-blood.

“Two have fallen,” Celestia said, looking toward the sky. “But it takes too long. The dragons are highly resistant. By time we clear them out there won't be anything left of the city.”

“Well, I'd say we found a more... efficient method,” Rainbow said, glancing to Luna.

Celestia winced. “I do not know if I can do such a thing to another creature, or if I even have the ability...”

“Now is not the time for half-hearted efforts or whimpering uncertainty sister!” Luna exclaimed, confronting her sibling. “As far as ability; are you not the solar princess? The regent of the day and the so-called goddess of the sun?” She mocked. “Is fire in all it's forms not yours to command?”

“I...”

Luna persisted. “It truly is a wonder you managed to defeat the nightmare before,” she said lightly. “One-thousand years have made you weak,” Luna sneered, fangs bared.

Celestia's eyes narrowed. “You go too far sister,” she said. “Armis!” She declared, still nose to nose with Luna. “Come with me, I have need of your abilities.”

Without another word Celestia departed the group, leaving a powerful gust of wind in her wake.

“Uh, Luna,” Rainbow started, careful not to draw too much attention to herself. “That still you in there?”

Luna smiled wryly. “Fear not Rainbow Dash. I am still myself. Celestia needed a push, so I got under her skin like only a sibling can.”

“If you say so.”

“Enough talk,” Luna said. She flashed fanged grin. “There are dragons to hunt!”

The lunar princess took off toward the nearest group of dragons.

“Uh, Rainbow...” Scootaloo started.

“Yeah it creeps me out too Scoots,” Rainbow replied. “Just keep an eye on her. For now,” Rainbow reached out with her aura, strengthening the link between herself, Scootaloo and Luna, “follow the stream.”

Scootaloo nodded.

Both pegasi took off after Luna. The lunar princess was already engaged with another dragon, firing pale blue beams at the beast, baiting it to attack her.

The trio settled into a wordless rhythm, all tethered by the stream. Luna would bait the dragons, broadcasting herself as the greatest threat with powerful strikes that ultimately only enraged her opponent, but allowed Rainbow and Scootaloo to close upon their target. Once distracted, Rainbow and Scootaloo would harass with barrages of ice allowing Luna precious time to prepare. The final maneuver involved Rainbow and Scootaloo baiting the dragon with dangerous flybys near the dragon's jaws. Once the beast committed to a blast of fire and exposed it's gullet, Luna would unleash the blood-moon, ending the foray.

Brutal efficiency followed as dragon after dragon was felled.

Rainbow hovered in place, frantically swatting at her singed tail after another flyby.

Glowing red moon light and an explosion of ice announced the most recent dragon kill.

Despite leaning on the tether between herself and the legacy stream, Rainbow was beginning to tire. She was covered in sweat and patches of her coat were missing entirely, souvenirs from several close flybys. Scootaloo appeared alongside her, similarly worn, but ultimately unhurt.

“You okay?” Rainbow asked.

“I'm...,” Scootaloo started to say, but closed her mouth. Her eyes were downcast to her hooves for a moment. “I'm okay. I think,” she said, stronger this time.

“We're going to get through this Scoot,” Rainbow said.

“They just wont' stop...” Scootaloo said. Her voice quivered slightly.

“We're getting through it,” Rainbow said, amending her previous statement.

But she's right, Rainbow thought. As she surveyed the sky, there were still scores of dragons. They continued to dive into Los Pegasus, intent on burning the city and the Acropolis into nothingness. Pegasi forces had resorted to harassing tactics, trying their best to stall the dragon's and give time to Rainbow and the others. But ultimately, that's all it was. A delay. The city was slowly succumbing to the Archon.

Celestia's words echoed in her head. By time we clear them out there won't be anything left of the city.

“Then we change tactics,” Rainbow answered herself.

“Huh?”

Rainbow looked to the upper sky. During the battle, the dragons initially seemed to act on their chaotic nature, attacking without form or specific tactic. Attacking en mass seemed sufficient to destroy the city. But as time went on, a pattern of sorts emerged. Throughout the battle the dragons had deployed from a single point. They would dive into the city to pillage and cause chaos, after which they would retreat to the upper reaches out of sight. Several dragons would then deploy to replace them, maintaining pressure on the pegasi.

“We can't keep attacking every dragon that attacks the city,” Rainbow said, scanning the upper sky.

“But I thought we need-”

“There!” Rainbow exclaimed, pointing a hoof to the sky.

A single, massive black dragon hovered overhead. Not once had Rainbow seen the dragon partake in the action below.

Rainbow sent a mental signal to Luna.

Seconds later Luna joined them. Her appearance was even more ragged and worn than Rainbow and Scootaloo. Yet it had done nothing to dampen the princess, if only the opposite. Luna's nightmare eyes glowed in a blue and red tint.

“Another one felled my friends!” Luna exclaimed triumphantly.

A chill ran down Rainbow's spine as Luna drew near. Rainbow felt Luna's control unchanged, but the battle had stoked the nighmare's power into a furor. It writhed and hissed, feeding greater power to the princess.

She pushed the thought to the side.

“We need to cut off the head,” Rainbow said, pointing to the black dragon.

Luna looked on the dragon for a moment. “Very tactical Rainbow Dash,” she quipped. “Once gone, the rest will follow. Lead on.”

Rainbow nodded.

She took off toward the dragon, Luna and Scootaloo just behind her. As they neared, Luna shot forward overhead. She immediately opened up upon the dragon, alternating between pale blue and silver beams. Curiously, the black dragon held in place, ignoring the beams as they glinted of it's scales.

Alright, same as before, Rainbow thought. Just need to-

“Rainbow!” Scootaloo exclaimed. She pointed in the distance.

Two other dragons were approaching Luna. Even from a distance Rainbow could pick out the glow from their scales.

Idiot! Rainbow chastised herself. Of course there would be others there. That's where they're coming from! It had been simple enough to fight a single dragon, but multiple would be next to impossible. We need help!

Armis and Celestia burst out from the thunderclouds above. They immediately split apart, one to each dragon.

Celestia set upon her target, unleashing a directed ray of blinding light. She let out a battlecry, following her attack and unleashing blazing red beams upon the blinded dragon's wing, forcing it off course. Unable to see, the dragon fell away. Celestia gave chase.

Rainbow allowed a quick glance at the princess as she flew past. Her eyes were narrowed and glowed white. Her teeth were clenched and bared. Rainbow had never seen Celestia fight before, but now she looked absolutely terrifying.

Armis opted for a more direct approach. He heaved his wings, firing like bullet to the dragon. The dragon was unaware until the last second, by which point it was too late. Armis lowered his shoulder, impacting the side of the dragon's head. The beast veered off, but continued to drive toward it's master. Undeterred, Armis rolled over onto the dragon's head and deftly flipped his lance under his quarry's throat. The dragon panicked, jerking to a fro, but Armis was planted. He grasped the other end of his lance and pulled. The dragon immediately fell into a tailspin, desperately trying to free itself from the choke-hold.

Ask and you shall receive, Rainbow smirked at the thought. Sensations of gratitude oozed from her aura.

Rainbow glanced at Scootaloo. The latter nodded back.

Both zipped passed Luna, who fell back to prepare her magic.

Rainbow and Scootaloo split off, one high, other low. All the while both pegasi unleashed a barrage of ice lances into the dragon.

The razor ice missiles impacted the dragon's scales so forcefully that Rainbow could see them ripple. Yet the dragon remained in place. It grunted from the pegasi's attack, as if it were only inconvenienced. Worrying still, the beast didn't even turn to acknowledged Rainbow or Scootaloo.

I've got a bad feeling about this, Rainbow thought. Nevertheless, she pushed forward with their tactic. The moon appeared once more, bathing the stormy sky in silver light. Luna was nearly ready.

Rainbow shot upward past the dragon, pulling hard around and centering the dragon between her outstretched hooves. The legacy stream hummed with the relic. As she thrust into a dive Rainbow unleashed a steady stream of razor ice shards at her foe. Come on you big, stupid dragon. Look this way!

The dragon still hovered in place, unfazed.

Rainbow gritted her teeth, tightening her hooves closer together. The cone of ice projectiles narrowed on the side of the dragon's skull.

The dragon finally stirred. But instead of firing back toward Rainbow or Scootaloo, it took off. It thrust it wings and dove with surprising speed toward the city.

Shit!

Rainbow banked hard, pulling into a wide turn that put her just behind and to the right of the dragon. She could feel the confused reactions from Scootaloo as the younger pegasus followed. The moon abruptly faded from sight.

Rainbow shot off a few errant shards at the dragon. She swore one of them struck the dragon in the eye, but the beast acted if nothing had happened.

Up close and personal it is then, she thought. Pushing hard at her wings, Rainbow began to overtake the dragon. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Luna shoot past, positioning herself ahead of the dragon. All Rainbow had to do was get the dragon to breath fire and it would be over.

Rainbow banked to the left, rapidly approaching the dragon's head. Her eyes caught the dragon's own; it knew she was coming.

At the last second she put on an extra burst of speed to avoid being burnt alive or caught between the dragon's jaws. But neither came. Rainbow shot past. The dragon did nothing.

Rainbow pulled around. “What in the...” she said. It ignored me completely! Almost like it knew what I was trying to do! She continued to chase after the dragon as it closed with the city.

“Rainbow!” Scootaloo called out. “What happened?”

“Nothing!”

“But-”

“The dragon did nothing! Didn't open it's damn mouth!” Rainbow yelled over the booming thunder.

Scootaloo thought for a moment. “Then if it won't open it's mouth, we can't stop it, but it also can't attack the city!”

“Then why is it-” Rainbow stopped abruptly, refocusing on the dragon.

They were over the city now, at which point the dragons would circle overhead, spewing fire below.

But there were no fireballs this time. Instead, the dragon crossed its forelegs across it's chest, and dove.

Rainbow pushed her wings harder, but it was an exercise in futility.

The dragon targeted one of the Arcopolis' dampeners. It gave one last heave of it's wings, and rammed through the structure, completely demolishing the building.

The cascade of collapsing cloud stone echoed across the city. Rainbow watched helplessly as other dragons followed their master, diving into the city, their bodies the weapon of choice.

There wasn't even the hint of flame between them.

Scootaloo gaped. “They know what we were trying to do...”

Rainbow gritted her teeth. Without a thought she pushed to her wings, taking off after the black dragon.

“Rainbow, wait!”

Rainbow ignored her. Her eyes narrowed on the dragon ahead as it pulled up and out of the city, preparing to dive again. She pushed her wings. Harder. Harder. Harder! She screamed inside her head.

Sensations of Scootaloo passed along into her head. Confusion from the younger pegasi. Rainbow gritted her teeth again, harder this time, pushing back against Scootaloo's aura with wanton and aimless anger. It faded; then Scootaloo's presence re-surged inside her head ten fold, with... words?

Rainbow what are you going to do?

“I DON'T KNOW I DON'T KNOW I DON'T KNOW!” Rainbow screamed.

For all her new powers, Rainbow Dash was completely and utterly useless. Los Pegasus and her fighters would fall. And with it the last chance of resisting the Archon. And there's not a damn thing I-

The yelping squeal of a panicked dragon caught Rainbow's ears.

Out of the corner of her eye she saw Armis climbing along the back of a dragon, anchoring himself with his lance into the dragon's scales. He drew near the dragon's head like a mountain climber, pulling upon his lance and re-anchoring the weapon into the dragon. The dragon shook violently, but did not displace the golem. Nearing the head, Armis sat upright upon the dragon's forehead. In one swift motion he pulled his lance free, and taking it overhead, thrust the blade downward. The blade lodged itself between the dragon's closed jaws. Armis leaped forward, driving the polearm of the lance downward.

The blade acted as a lever, prying the dragon's mouth open as it cut through the soft flesh within its mouth.

Steadying himself with his wings, Armis thrust the lance upward, forcing the dragons mouth wide open. His rear hooves rested upon the dragon's lower jaw as he braced the panicking dragon's mouth open.

The scales along the dragon's underside began to glow.

Fire erupted from the dragon.

But it did not touch Armis.

The flames parted, taken over by some other source.

Rainbow followed the two trails of fire.

They reformed into a shimmering fireball behind Celestia.

Celestia's mane blazed a fiery orange. Her eyes simmered in a like color, narrowed frighteningly on the dragon. Her horn glowed it's usual pale yellow, then erupted into a blue flame. Tendrils of blue fire snaked from her horn, then touched on the suspended fireball behind her. The fireball pulsed violently, roaring to match the flame at her horn.

The fireball split apart, two trails of blue fire streaking back toward the dragon.

In a flash, Armis jettisoned from the dragon's mouth.

A second later the scorching blue flames entered the dragon's maw.

The dragons lurched and squirmed violently. It's scales lit up immediately, far brighter than before. Smoke billowed from between them as they started to crack from the heat.

The dragon's throes lessened.

Then's its stomach exploded.

Rainbow caught sight of the brilliant magma as it poured forth from the corpse, mixed in with blood and chunks of flesh. Then it was gone, streaking away with the dragon's body as it fell from the sky.

Rainbow felt her stomach churn.

She shook her head, pushing the image of gored dragon's from her mind. They figured it out, Rainbow thought, trying her best to focus on the victory and less on the display.

And I know what to do! She grinned. Frustration and anger fell away, replaced with confidence and determination.

There was yet hope for the city.

Rainbow refocused on the black dragon. Shooting a mental note to Luna, she pushed her wings harder, gaining on the dragon.

Like before, the beast ignored Rainbow, even as she drew close. It was high in the air now, on approach to the city once more.

She was directly overhead the dragon now, fighting against massive wing gusts from the beast's wake.

Rainbow channeled the legacy powers to her wings and heaved.

She shot downward like a bullet, aiming for the base of the dragon's skull. Just before impact she redirected the energy to her hooves. Ice manifested once more, but instead of pointed spikes, hooked claws formed.

Rainbow slammed into dragon, knocking the wind out of her. She yelped, flailing awkwardly and sliding down the dragon's neck. She rolled about, reaching and trying to anchor herself on the dragon's scales, but missed several times. Come on! She chastised herself, all while still trying to catch her breath.

Her clawed hoof connected, sharply pulling at her shoulder.

“Ow-got it!”

She flapped her wings, swinging around and slamming her other hoof into the dragon, anchoring itself between the rigid scales.

The dragon suddenly lurched. Rainbow looked up.

“Holy-!” She ducked back down, bracing her body against the dragon. The dragon's claw scraped bottom to top up it's back; Rainbow deftly released a hoof and rolled over in between the dragon's claws. Sparks trailed past her as the claws scraped across the scales.

“Stars above that was close!”

Rainbow gritted her teeth, reattaching her other hoof. She flapped her wings and reached out with her hoof, propelling herself forward.

The dragon suddenly dove and rolled.

Rainbow felt her body begin to pull away from the dragon. Cracks sounded from her hooves.

“Oh no no no no!” Rainbow exclaimed. She funneled more of the legacy stream to her hooves, trying to pile on the ice faster than it would break.

It held.

The dragon continued to dive and roll, slowing Rainbow's advance. But she was advancing.

Almost there! Rainbow thought, pulling herself to the base dragon's skull.

Alarm wailed from her aura. Rainbow rolled on instinct.

The dragon's fist impacted where she had been a moment before. It came down again and again, forcing Rainbow to roll, dive and jump out of the way, moving scale to scale around the side of thee dragon's head. One of her claws lodged itself between the dragon's fangs.

She felt the dragon's growl shake it's body, felt it's slit eye focusing on her. Her aura wailed again.

The dragon's claw appeared again, intent on squashing her like a bug.

Rainbow closed her eyes. She braced her entire body against the dragon, trying to make as much contact as possible.

All or nothing.

She shifted her focus from the ice at her hooves. The ice began to crack and melt from the dragon's breath. Rainbow focused on her entire body. But this time there was no ice.

Cracks and sparks of electricity crawled along her spine and limbs. Faster!

Bluish bolts snapped and whipped. More! Faster! Rainbow urged, pushing the legacy stream.

Her aura cried in alarm, warning her of the danger. Too much power. Releasing the floodgates was too dangerous.

Rainbow ignored the pleas and thrust open the gates.

Electricity exploded from her body that flashed blinding light for miles. Fighting past the heat and jolts, Rainbow focused the electrical surge into the dragon.

The dragon roared in pain.

Rainbow threw herself into the dragon's mouth. She barely slipped inside before the jaws snapped shut.

Scootaloo's aura surged stronger than it ever had before across her mind, nearly breaking her concentration. Damnit Scoots, not now! Rainbow thought, rebuking the younger pegasus through the stream.

Bolts still pulsed from her hooves. She tried to stem the flow of the stream, but it was a raging torrent; it needed an outlet.

Hazy light and searing heat began to billow from the dragon's throat.

This better work, Rainbow thought. She gritted her teeth, feeling the unrestrained legacy stream fight her as she tried to redirect the current.

The electricity disappeared. She felt ice at her hooves once more.

Exhaustion suddenly hit her like a brick wall. She fell onto her forelegs, doubled over.

Come-on, I just need a little more! Rainbow begged to her aura.

Momentary strength returned to her. Still doubled over, Rainbow aimed one hoof upward, keeping the other planted. A lance the width of her hoof shot upward, piercing through the dragon's snout.

The dragon whimpered, shaking it's head about, trying to dislodge Rainbow. But it's mouth remained closed.

Rainbow pushed harder. The legacy stream provided.

The ice advanced upward, forcing the dragon's mouth open.

“I... got it!” Rainbow cheered between heavy pants. “I got-what?!”

The ice continued to form, but instead of building upon the lance upward, it crawled down upon Rainbow's foreleg.

“Stop! STOP!” Rainbow cried.

She pushed against the torrent of the legacy stream, but even with her aura, it wasn't enough. She felt herself losing consciousnesses, drowning in the depths of the flood. Darkness crawled into her vision.

The ice continued to creep down her body and to her other foreleg.

A second lance erupted, easily piercing through the dragon's tongue and out it's lower jaw. The ice cemented the dragon's mouth wide open, but also held Rainbow captive within it.

A bright red light cut into her eyes, staving off the darkness. The blood moon shone full in the sky. Rainbow was barely able to make out Luna's silhouette against it. Her horn glowed brilliantly red.

Luna's presence slipped through her mind, even as it was engulfed in the stream. It called out anxiously from above the waves. Confusion. Hesitation.

The dragon growled, thrashing about despite the wounds. The ice began to crack. The dragon's jaw slowly began to close. Rainbow felt the heat behind her grow.

Luna! Do it! Fire!

Conflict, worry and unwillingness continued to stem from the lunar princess.

The dragon growled again, forcing its jaws against the pillar of ice.

Another series of harsh cracks. The ice began to buckle.

Oh stars no! You and I are going down together you bastard!

“RrrrrrrrAAHHH!” Rainbow screamed, releasing the last of her resistance to the stream, allowing the power to overwhelm her.

Frost and ice exploded from her, flash-freezing all around her. The ice pillar was transformed into a column. Nearly all of Rainbow's body was encased in the ice. Her vision began to fade again, only pinpricks of light visible.

Do it... Luna...

The blood-moon pulsed.

Rainbow didn't try to hold her eyes open. She was sinking further into the depths of the legacy stream. Her aura reached out for her, but even it could not grasp her. She reached out to her aural friend. One last message.

Soarin'... Scoots...I'm sorry...

A muffled wolf howl barely reached her ears.

An orange blur shot into the dragon's mouth.

The ice shattered, but not from Luna's strike.

Scootaloo's presence plunged into the depths of the stream, grasping hold of Rainbow.

The red ice beam flashed across the sky, momentarily blinding the skyscape. Luna advanced on the dragon, her horn pointed downward at the beast. She pressed the beam on, carried by silhouettes of charging wolves.

The dragon whimpered and whined, frozen in place.

Luna gritted her teeth, baring her fangs. Sweat poured in streams over her face. Her horn flashed brighter. A second, greater wave pulsed from the blood-moon.

The ice beam cut through the dragon, exiting just above the base of it's tail. A second later a muffled explosion of crackling ice sound from within the dragon. Blood splattered into the air alongside chunks of frozen flesh. Ice spikes jutted at harsh angles from within the dragon, blood dripping from them. Broken dragon bone protruded from the gored wounds awkwardly, like shredded metal from an explosion. Streams of magma poured from punctures at its gut, glistening against the rigid iced spikes.

The dragon faltered for a moment, making measly half-efforts to remain aloft, then abruptly ceased. It's large, powerful wings fell to it's sides. It's sharp eyes rolled backward as it's head lolled about randomly. All function ceased as it finally fell from the sky, disappearing into the clouds below.

Rainbow felt herself floating. Flying? She wasn't sure.

“Rainbow!”

A voice. She knew it.

“Rainbow!

Louder. She vaguely felt her body shaking.

“Rainbow!”

Darkness gave way to light. The familiar voice spoke over her.

“Ugh. Scoots?”

“Thanks the stars!” Scootaloo pull Rainbow forward, wrapping her hooves around her tightly.

She was on a small, dormant storm cloud, high above the city.

Rainbow's body was numb. Aftereffects of the legacy stream she supposed. Her aura bounced around at the edge of her mind, trying to get in.

All she could do was rest her head on Scootaloo's shoulder.

Luna stood above them. She looked wryly down at Rainbow, flashing her fangs.

“As exuberant and flashy as ever Rainbow Dash. Very befitting of your ancestors. T'would have made a most glorious exit from this world.” She leaned down, smirking at the pegasus. “But I am glad not to bear the guilt of your noble demise.”

Rainbow cocked her brow. “Glad... to see you're... doing well. I'm just... peachy,” Rainbow managed to speak, coughing between words. “What... happened?”

“We were victorious!” Luna cheered. “Bereft of their leader, the dragon's have retreated!”

“You about got yourself killed you fucking idiot!” Scootaloo bellowed.

“Hey...” Rainbow slurred. “Language...”

“Shut up!” Scootaloo choked. She pulled away, looking at Rainbow face to face. Despite the helm on her head, Rainbow was able to make out the tear streaks that marred Scootaloo's face, mixed in with burnt fur and ash. “Um, can you sit?” Scootaloo asked, suddenly conciliatory.

“Yeah...”

Scootaloo stood up, squaring up on Rainbow. “Don't ever do that to me again!” She demanded, pointing a hoof at Rainbow.

“But...”

“Shut up!” Scootaloo yelled again. She started to pace about in front of Rainbow. “Don't you ever think?! It's always in the moment with you!”

Rainbow tried to grin, but only managed a lopsided smirk. “Hey, what can I say kiddo? I'm awes-”

“SHUT. UP!” Scootaloo yelled again, getting into Rainbow's face. “This isn't some wayward trick or stunt for you to show off! So can that stupid bravado! And cut the kiddo crap!”

Rainbow was completely taken aback, stunned into silence.

“We're supposed to be the legacy bearers, right?” Scootaloo asked evenly. “Then we need to act like it! You need to act like it! We're a team!” She ripped the helm from her head, thrusting it in front of Rainbow. “Isn't that how these damn things are supposed to work?!”

Rainbow remained silent.

Scootaloo took a deep breath. She sat down. “Promise me you'll treat everything we do going forward as a team. You'll treat me as a partner, a teammate and a friend. Not,” she said pointedly, “like a little foal anymore.”

Rainbow looked at Scoots for a moment. Well, not the Scoots I used to know. Scootaloo the mare, she thought. She inwardly chuckled. When did she grow up?

Rainbow looked Scootaloo in the eye. “Yeah. Yeah I think I can do that Scootaloo.”

Scootaloo nodded. “Good. You've got to remember there are...,” Scootaloo grimaced slightly, sniffing like she was holding something back. “There are... ponies... that...,” she sniffled again, but failed to hold back her tears.

Rainbow pulled herself with difficulty to Scootaloo. “Oof. Hold still will ya?” She said lightly, leaning her shoulder into Scootaloo's.

“That care about you! And...”

Rainbow managed to wrap a hoof around Scootaloo in an awkward hug.

“And... you're all I have left,” Scootaloo bleated silently.

Rainbow tightened her hold as best she could on Scootaloo. “Don't worry Scootaloo. I promise. More now than ever.”

Author's Note:

Hello all!

I had a lot of fun with this chapter. Finally got around to Rainbow experimenting more directly with her legacy powers, with mixed results (for her) to say the least. The chapter also took a little more of a mature turn, but I really wanted to accentuate Luna and Celestia's power. Incorporating the nightmare might not have been the best idea from a literary standpoint as it probably is more of a distraction than anything, but I just couldn't pass it up. Luna has become more of a secondary character than I originally anticipated, but it's definitely not a bad thing. Also got a little more character development from Scootaloo. Hopefully it didn't come off as too abrupt at the end there.

Next chapter we going back to Soarin', Spitfire and co. With this C-virus going around I've definitely had more time to write, so here's hoping I get the next one out much sooner that has been the trend. Hope you all enjoy the story thus far.

Until next chapter,

-secret89

Comments ( 3 )

О чёрт!я не знаю радоваться мне тому что я наткнулась на эту историю или нет.
Я признаю, что она невероятно хорошо написана и продумана, но то как редко выходят обновления огорчает. А ещё... Меня смущает то что первая глава была написана 8 лет назад. Я хотела бы увидеть конец этой истории, потому что она мне невероятно понравилась.
Я живу в России и уровень английского говорит сам за себя, поэтому переводчик в помощь

Oh, shit!I don't know if I'm happy that I came across this story or not. / I admit that it's incredibly well written and well thought out, but it's frustrating how rarely updates are released. And also... What confuses me is that the first Chapter was written 8 years ago. I would like to see the end of this story, because I really liked it./ I live in Russia and the level of English speaks for itself, so the translator can help

Comment posted by A man without a brain deleted August 22nd

Next chapter please!!!

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