• Published 16th Feb 2017
  • 3,956 Views, 126 Comments

Power Struggle - Regis-Th3-Lesser

Can Queen Ember bring her kindgom back from Anarchal Collapse?

  • ...

3. A Few Right Steps

Five friends and sat around a table amidst a dragon as they discussed the best course of action to take from this moment on. “We can’t do anything here. The longer we stay the more danger we put ourselves in.” Applejack drilled her point home.

“Oh my gosh…” Rainbow groaned as she tugged at her cheeks.

“I know it sounds bad, but I’m speaking nothing but the truth.”

“But did you see that we held our own out there? Heck, we even took out a bunch before Spike stepped in!” Rainbow Dash protested.

“While that may be true, we barely made it out of there alive.”

“Show of hands; who was actually seriously injured?” Nobody in the room even lifted a finger.

“Well I got this papercut from some confetti.” Pinkie held up her finger where a barely visible light red line could be seen.

“My point exactly. I know that Twilight was the hardest hit, but you’re acting like the rest of us were nearly killed too!”

“Well, ya coulda been!” Applejack shot back.

“You both bring up valid points,” Rarity interrupted before this turned into a shouting match. “I do believe that we should stay and assist Ember to the best of our ability. Yet we are in unfamiliar territory… But think on it Applejack; who else could help these people?”

“The people themselves. Change starts in everyone not just six ponies.”

“Can I say something?” Fluttershy cut through. They gave her the space she requested. “It is terrifying out here… After today nothing will be the same anymore. I want to go home too but after seeing how scared those dragons were I can’t bring myself to do it. You all didn’t see it. I was with them watching everything. They were trembling and crying; some were even praying. I agree with both sides but I think these people need more hope than control…” Everyone traded looks surprised by the shy mare’s words.

“What do you say Pinkie?” Rarity asked Pinkie who was examining her confetti paper cut.

“I’m with everybody,” she said simply.

“Pinkie you have to choose a side. It doesn’t work that way,” Rainbow sighed.

“Of course it does. Nobody said we have to stay here the rest of our lives. We help then we leave and go home. Everybody’s happy!” She threw her arms in the air with a hop.

“As simplistic as that sounded, she does raise a good point,” Rarity nodded.

“Don’t if we get hit with another attack…”

“For the love of Celestia! When did you become such a pessimist?” Rarity was obviously out of patience.

“I am not a pessimist. I’m honest and with honesty comes reality! And what’s real is that we are up shit’s creek without a paddle!” Rarity was about to unleash a torrent of well thought out counter arguments but Spike and Twilight entered.

“What’s with all the yelling?” Twilight asked as Spike set her down on her good leg.

“Applejack and I have a question for you,” Rarity spoke shooting Applejack a dirty look. “Given the breakneck pace of the events that have transpired since our arrival do you think we should stay and assist like we said we would! Or should we run home with our tails between our legs?” Twilight was about to blurt out a simple question but she caught herself. She assessed the nature of the situation that they were in. It all definitely happen at a ‘breakneck pace’ as Rarity said, but this was just the beginning. She looked to Ember as Spike approached her. She was holding together but beneath Twilight could see how her anxiety was eating her from the inside out.

“I… I don’t know…” Twilight sighed. “I think better on a full stomach though,” she chuckled. Pinkie turned around throwing her arms about until she presented a hayburger.

“One yummy sandwich for one hungry Twilicorn.” Pinkie set it down in front of her with a wink.

“Thank you…” Twilight tried to hold herself back but the smoky roasted hay was too aromatic to resist. She inhaled a good portion of the sandwich chewing with a smile on her face.

“While Twilight gets herself together we need to some to a general consensus…” Rarity cleared her throat. “All who would stay to help the princess, raise your hands.” Spike, Pinkie, Fluttershy, Twilight, and Rainbow all raised their hands. “Sorry Applejack but they have spoken.” Rarity sat down feeling a bit smug. Applejack shook her head and left the room to rage in silence elsewhere.

“Thank you…” Ember spoke softly, a wave of relief washing over her. “You all have my gratitude.”

“No problem Ember. It’s just what we do,” Spike confidently crossed his arms getting a stale face from Twilight as she took another bite. Ember hugged him rather sensually. Aside from being the type to shy away from any kind of contact it was strange how she nuzzled into his chest. Twilight began to suspect but this burger was too good to dwell on it.

“I’ll be right back…” Rarity huffed.

“Where are you going?” Twilight asked with full cheeks.

“To talk some sense into this mare.”

Rarity stormed down the hallway, the click of her heels echoing with every step. She was exhausting every reason she could think of for Applejack’s behavior. She was usually as hot blooded as Rainbow when it came to manners like this, even more so when there were people to protect. So why has she gotten cold feet all of a sudden? She came around the rooms where they slept and heard shuffling followed by grumbling. “Applejack?” Rarity stood behind her.

“Yeah?” she furiously stuffed her clothes into her suitcase.

“So you’re just going to walk away?”

“Yep.” Rarity was about to explode. Her frustration was reaching critical levels and it took every ounce of decency that she held herself to not to lambast Applejack. “Just let it out. I know that you’re mad.”

“Oh blindingly so…” Rarity growled. “What is going on with you? When we were getting ready to come here you were excited to get away from the farm now you want to go back? I don’t get it!”

“Exactly, and you never will…”

“Can’t you tell me so I can understand then? We’re friends, and quite honestly this is bigger than this little tantrum you’re throwing.” Applejack sighed a heavy sigh.

“This tantrum as you call it isn’t even the reason. So if you’re gonna come at me you had better come at me right!”

“You’re so emotionally constipated that one can only speculate that this display is nothing more than a fit!”

“What in Tartarus do you want from me! Ever since this morning you've been up my tail! You know my life story! You know exactly what happened to my family!” Applejack’s voice calmed from the fire she just shot. “You know what happened to my parents… I can’t lose anyone else…” Of course Rarity knew. That was Applejack’s biggest crutch. They have never been found but it’s been fifteen years and any hope of them turning up alive and well were dashed. “Now if you’ll excuse me I have to make sure my things are in order…”

“Applejack…” Rarity spoke like silk.

“You’re not gonna change my mind Rarity,” Applejack said with an annoyed snort.

“You won’t lose us… We all watch each other’s back. You saw it when Spike saved Twilight and when I saved you…”


“You were moments away from being a cherished memory but I shot him before he got the chance. You would have been in the same boat as Twilight or even worse… But I saved you with risk to my own life. You say that you don’t want to lose any more of your family, but leaving now will only cement the possibility that you might,” Applejack stopped and stared at her suitcase. “I’ll leave you to your business…” Rarity got up to leave but she felt a tug on her tail. Applejack had a firm grip and she wasn’t letting go.

“You silver tongued devil…” Applejack sighed. Rarity knelt down and looked her in the eye with a soft smile.

“You know me…” Rarity chuckled. “Now let’s get back to the others. We’ve work to do.” Rarity left leaving Applejack alone with her thoughts again. She felt kind of ashamed that she was swayed by a pretty smile instead of sticking to her word like always. It made her smile but also annoyed her. She dropped her suitcase and followed behind Rarity.

“Let me make sure I heard you correctly. There’s a library nearby that has ancient dragon knowledge?” Twilight asked like a kid next to a mountain of candy.

“Yes, that’s what the dragon told us,” Fluttershy answered her again.

“I’ve heard of that library from Spinious…” Ember added. “He told me that before my father was given the scepter the few remaining scribes sought refuge there to preserve the knowledge of our people.”

“Do you think they’re still there?” Spike asked.

“Hard to say. Dragon’s aren't immortal, we just have incredibly long lifespans.”

“Well if it’ll help us get some bearing on what the heck is going on here it shouldn’t be too much to take a peek,” Rainbow said.

“There is one glaring problem though… The raiders and bandits. If they’ve made it this far they’ve made it to the library as well. Didn’t Owen say that they’ve most likely been there?” Fluttershy nodded. “Then they could have set up a camp or base there. Smog has much more knowledge on these brutes than I do, but I know for a fact that they will take control of anything they come across.”

“And there’s the hitch,” Rainbow sighed. While everyone wondered how they were going to get to the library much less search it, Ember’s stomach howled at her. This pony food didn’t really appeal to her, but the scent regardless was next to torture. She would ask for some but she didn’t want to know what it could do to her insides.

“Hey...” She looked at Spike. “You hungry?”

“I’m fine,” she said just as her stomach growled furiously.

“Lies!” Pinkie sprang up between them leaving Ember to wonder how in the Flame did she move from behind the counter to them without her noticing. “Let’s get you a yummy treat.”

“Really, I’m fine.” Pinkie put her ear to Ember’s stomach. She looked to Spike for some kind of advice but he gave her a ‘just roll with it’ shrug. Pinkie held her head there until another bubbly growl came from the dragoness’ belly.

“Hmm,” she tapped her chin. “I’ve got just the thing…” she said with a wide smile. This worsened Ember’s apprehension. She legitimately felt like this crazy pink ball of boundless energy was trying to poison her. Spike has survived this long on a vegetarian diet, but that was because he was introduced to it since birth.

She watched closely as Pinkie concocted what could be her doom. And the other’s were just carrying on with the conversation. “So where is this library?” Twilight asked with glee.

“We don’t have an exact location, but it said it was a day’s flight to the southwest I think?” Fluttershy answered.

“It was to the southeast Flutters,” Rainbow corrected.

“Here we are!” Pinkie presented a… something topped of with a fluffy red swirl and several red gems sticking out of it. “Spike loves these.” Ember took the strange food stuff in her claws. It was moist and soft.

“But you heard Ember; the place is probably crawling with badies waiting for a rematch,” Rainbow cracked her knuckles. Ember sniffed the treat surprised at how sweet its scent was. Her mouth began to water as she took an experimental lick. It was unlike anything she had ever tasted. It was so light, fuzzy, and sweet. She opened her maw and took a sizeable chunk. Spike giggled at how she had frosting stuck on her nose as she noshed on the ambrosia like snack. Soon rarity and Applejack returned.

“A.J.?” Rainbow asked, certain that Applejack was going to erupt.

“Hey y’all… I’m sorry. I didn’t want to see anyone else getting hurt or worse… I’ll stay but I won't enjoy it.”

“Yay!” Pinkie shouted as she glomped Applejack. “Now no more fighting. “

“Heh, no promises Pinkie,” Applejack chuckled. Ember ate the rest of her cupcake lost in the fluffy crunchy sweetie new flavor that flooded her body.

“So what did we miss?” Rarity asked as she took a seat.

“Talking about hitting up a library so we can find out why this place about to go six feet under… No offense Ember.”

“Wot?” Ember asked, her face covered in frosting.

“Looks like somebody enjoyed her andesine cupcake.” Pinkie nudged Ember with her elbow.

“It was okay… I guess pony food isn't that bad,” Ember shrugged knowing damn well that cupcake was the best thing she's ever had.

“Would ya like another?” Pinkie asked just as Smog entered the room.

“Your highness-” all eyes fell upon him. “Am I interrupting something?”

“Not at all dear,” Rarity answered.

“Right… Spinious and Malich want to have a word with you and the Princess Twilight.”

“What for?” Ember asked.

“And why me?” Twilight asked.

“I am not sure and they said that they wanted to see the purple Alicorn. I don't know what an Alicorn is but you are the only purple one here…”

“Can't argue with that logic,” Rainbow chuckled.

“We’ll be there right away.” Smog nodded. “I'm not good at this kind of thing, but thank all of you. Get some rest please; you’ve earned it.” Spike took hold of Twilight once again as they trailed behind Ember and Smog. Twilight could get used to Spike toting her around like this. It felt kind of nice.

“So who are these guys?” Spike asked.

“Spike!” Twilight scolded.

“It’s fine Twilight. Spinious and Malich are two of my trustees. They’ve been helping me keep everything from imploding.” They continued to walk until they reached the throne room where two tall dragons stood.

“Good evening Queen,” Spinious greeted.

“Spinious… Malich,” Ember greeted. The bronze dragon bowed in respect. “This is Princess Twilight Sparkle,” She motioned to Twilight who stood on one leg using Spike as support.

“Nice to meet you.” Malich unfurled his left wing with a bow.

“Likewise,” Twilight nodded.

“I'm sure you're well aware of why we called for you at such a late hour,” Spinious spoke. “The townsfolk have agreed for once.”

“Agreed?” Ember tilted her head slightly.

“Yes. Your friends have become the talk of the town. Most say that they are happy that they arrived when they did, if course there are still a few cynics,” Malich explained.

“We wanted to formally congratulate and thank you and your company Princess Sparkle for protecting our people.” A smile lit up on both Twilight and Ember’s faces.

“We are here to help in any way we can,” Twilight said.

“I almost forgot; your dragon servant,” Malich pointed to Spike. “What’s his name?”

“Servant?” Spike snorted quietly.

“This is Spike, and he's my close companion.”

“Spike? That’s an odd name… Either way you have the village’s full gratitude Spike. If not for you and the bravery of Smog here, we’d have been overrun.” Spike didn't know how to feel. Once again the events that transpired only hours ago ran through his mind.

“Is there anything else?”

“Yes… You and I both know that these heathens dare not travel this far,” Spinious growled. “We need security. Once we have things under control, then we can focus on Framing a document of sorts.”

“We don't have soldiers nor any kind of army. My guards are only mildly experienced volunteers.” Ember voiced her concern.

“What of Smog? He seems to be more than experienced,” Malich stated. “He could train those who are willing.” Ember looked to Smog and she caught him smiling for the first time.

“I suppose, but I don't believe that we should put the lives of those people in danger.”

“Ember…” Spinious spoke softly. “Look at your friends.” She looked at the bruised Spike and casted Twilight. “After what they displayed, I am certain without a shadow of a doubt that there will be those who’ll fight to their last breath for a better world.”

“I hate it when you’re right…” Ember scoffed playfully. “Thank you for coming to see us Gentledrakes. Let the others know that we will have a discussion twelve hours from now.” Spinious and Malich bowed as they left for the night. Twilight looked up at Spike and started getting all giddy.

“See? I knew coming here was a good idea!” Twilight said with confidence.

“Let's hope that it is,” Ember sighed with a smile.

“Okay Spike. Let’s try to see if we can't get some sleep. Goodnight Ember.” Spike picked Twilight up again. Ember once again felt a spark of jealousy but she knew that they had history. Spike gave her a smile before carrying Twilight off.

Smog was about to leave as well but Ember became a little curious. “Smog?”

“Yes your highness?” Smog stiffened with a bow.

“You don't always have to be so formal around me.”

“Force of habit ma’am…”

“What is your take on this?”

“Pardon?” Smog raised a brow.

“This, the ponies, this mess that we’re in.” Smog didn't know what to say. He wasn't the opinionated type.

“Well, I believe that those poor creatures are way out of their element. But yet they still have the determination to soldier on… And Spike…”

“What about him?” Ember asked as if she was going to get juicy information on her crush.

“When we were fighting together I felt something. It’s hard to explain but I felt solace and familiarity. I felt allegiance…”

“So you felt like you could die by his side?”

“Precisely… It felt as if I were fighting along side my king. No offense to you of course.”

“None taken,” Ember yawned. “Go get some rest…” Smog nodded and left for his quarters. Ember did the same.

Once again Ember found herself lying on her back staring at her ceiling. This time it wasn't frustration but contemplation. She W was not ready for today at all, but in the end she was elated that everything turned out for the better. As she went through her mental recap she remembered what Smog told her a few hours ago. She looked at the Bloodstone scepter adjacent to her bed laying on it’s pedestal. “It felt as if I were fighting along side my king” There was a knock at her door. She got up to answer it wondering who could it could be at such an hour.


“Hey…” They sat in silence before Ember cut through.

“Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, yeah. Everything is fine…” She knew he wanted something but she didn't want to force it out of him. “I was wondering if you wanted some company…?” She gave him a seductive smile and pulled him in by his shirt.

The next morning Ember sat at her throne with the mane six surrounding her and Spike on the side with a quill and parchment. It was fifteen minutes after nine. Her trustees should have came by now, but she needed to have some patience. Soon the palace doors opened as all of the drakes entered in robes decorated in flames. Rainbow nudged Applejack with a chuckle. Applejack snorted with a headshake and a smile.

“Good morning males. I am pleased that you could make it,” Ember greeted as she rose from her throne.

“So these are Equestria’s heroes?” A bronze dragon spoke as he approached the group.

“Yes, how would you all like to introduce yourselves?”

“I’m Pinkie Pie; smile expert and Baker extraordinaire!”

“I-I’m Fluttershy…” Fluttershy spoke just loud enough to be heard.

“Applejack at your service,” Applejack said with a tip of her hat.

“I am Rarity,” she said while fluffing her hair.

“Rainbow Dash!” Rainbow thrusted her thumb towards her chest.

“And I am Princess Twilight Sparkle,” Twilight bowed in her chair.

“Pleasure to make all of your acquaintances now… What solution do you have for the state of this kingdom?” The bronze dragon asked rather vaguely. They all looked at each other visually volunteering someone to speak.

“Well…” Fluttershy spoke up. “What state is your kingdom in?”

“Your eyes do work right? We are impoverished as well as being tormented by those barbarians!” A dark blue dragon shot making Fluttershy flinch.

“Then how about we make a list of your problems and tackle the smalls ones first. That's how I do chores back home,” Applejack suggested.

“So you want to make a checklist?” The dark blue dragon scoffed.

“It could work Chrone,” Spinious suggested while rubbing his chin.

“I agree with the pony,” a shady silver dragoness added. “We have small before we can have dreams of being grand.” A murmur of agreement filled the room.

“As much as a agree with humble beginnings the question of what's truly pertinent remains,” Chrone stated.

“Food!” Pinkie shouted.

“And houses…” Rarity answered. “Going through the town the other say was… interesting to say the least. Most of these shacks look like they would collapse if someone happened to brush against them.”

“I got more than enough experience in construction,” Applejack added.

“That's all good, but we don’t have the money to import the supplies to build new infrastructure,” The gray dragoness pointed out.

“Who said we had to import?” Spike spoke up as he scribbled down the final words of their conversation. “Why can't you produce them on your own?”

“We don't have the workers,” Chrone simply stated.

“How do you know?”

“Because we don't! No one in this town maybe aside from the blacksmith have any applicable skills.”

“Have you asked the people?” Spike asked much to Chrone’s annoyance. Chrone just looked at him with a scowl. “I know cutie marks aren't a thing here but everyone has some skill. All you gotta do is ask,” Spike shrugged before he dipped the quill in ink ready to continue writing.

“Well you can't argue with that logic,” A purple dragon shrugged. “What about you Heron?”

“The young Drake makes an excellent point,” the silver dragoness agreed. “And I'll admit it is embarrassing that we as a group overlooked something so simple…”

“I believe that we’ve come to an agreement then?” Spinious asked the group. All of them voiced their agreements including a reluctant Chrone.

“There’s one issue settled of many…” Ember sighed, giving Spike a thank you smile. He gave her a thumbs up and returned to the parchment ready to write.

For what felt like an eternity later the meeting finally adjourned. There were unanimous decisions and compromises that required a shouting match coupled with some fire spitting. All in all it was far from the boring group of barely audible old guys Spike thought it would be. He had ages worth of information with some skeletal amendments. His hand has never cramped this hard in his life.

The members left with a mix of faces some satisfied some natural and others downright livid, but it was still the most progressive meeting that they've ever held and it filled Ember with the determination she needed to make a real change.

“Spike!” Twilight limped over to him with Applejack supporting her.

“I can make you a wheelchair or a pair of crutches,” Applejack suggested.

“Thank you…” They stood at the palace doors bathing in the sun that shone down almost directly overhead. “That went well,”Twilight sighed. “Did you get everything down?”

“Yep!” Spike said, pointing to the organized pyramid of scrolls resting next to where he sat. Spinious walked out waving a goodbye to them. Ember followed soon after with a satisfied smile.

“Finally…” she sighed. “Finally things are starting to get moving.” She looked at the three as the rest came to see what was going on.

“Wow that was the longest anything I’ve ever had to sit through!” Rainbow stretched.

“It wasn't that long. It was fun talking about government stuff,” Pinkie chirped. This was the first time they’ve seen the sun since they arrived. The smoke and steam from the volcano would block any of the star’s warmth but today it shone full and bright with pride.

“Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way,” Rarity spoke up. “I believe it’s time to make Twilight a proper arm sling.” Twilight looked at her arm. It would throb occasionally; not our if pain but for how tight the cast was.

“And I’ll get started on making something to we don't have to carry her everywhere. No offense Twi.”

“None taken at all. Thank you. While I'm gone; Spike.”


“Take the scrolls and put then I'm the folding chest I brought.”

“Aw man you brought that complicated thing!” Spike whined.

“I'm always prepared for anything,” Twilight said with a smirk.

“It’ll take all day to organize those things… And I still have to label them…” he folded his arms with a pout.

“I would do it myself but I might be busy for a while,” Twilight said with a soft smile. Spike tried with all of his might to resist but she had a way of demolishing his resolve with one look.

“I got you Twilight…” Spike broke.

“I don't know where I’d be without you…”

“Probably an asylum,” Spike sneered playfully. Twilight rolled her eyes with a snort.

“Come on guys. Let’s get this over with…” Twilight limped away with Rarity and Applejack leaving Pinkie and Ember.

“Where did Flutterhy and Rainbow go?” Spike asked.

“Dashie said that she was stiff from being inside so she went for a fly, and Fluttershy saw a bird…”

“Oh…” Spike knew they’d be preoccupied for hours. Hopefully he wouldn't be. He looked at pinkie but she had her eyes glued to the sky watching Rainbow Dash do loops and flips. Just as he was about to leave to start his arduous task, Ember grabbed his tail.

“Do you mind if I help?” she asked with a shy murmur. “That is if you need help. I'm sure you’ve done this before.”

“I'd love some help. Usually it’s me and Twilight but we can get it out of the way just as quick. Besides I need the company.” Ember smiled followed behind him. She looked back at Pinkie whose head was barely visible above the steps. She would never understand that one’s eccentricities.

Author's Note:

Yes a pretty tame chapter that adds a little more characterization to the story. I'll let you in on it right now. Next chapter will have a timeskip and shit will be going down! No I am not pulling your legs. I mean it. Anyways I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I loved writing it. Until next time