• Published 31st Mar 2017
  • 3,179 Views, 93 Comments

The Mare that eats The Monsters - Skijarama



She is known as no more than a myth, a legend, a bedtime story to scare little foals. Her name is Moonrise Drifter, and Twilight Sparkle is going to learn more about her than anypony has in a long time...

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Chapter 3 - The One That Monsters Fear

The Mare’s long, sharpened claws plunged deep into the side of her target’s neck, piercing through the other side before she gave a swift tug, ripping the monster’s throat away from the rest of the body, the monster going limp as blood splattered and sprayed across the ground; as well as the mare, who was already turning to the remaining four creatures.

“KILL HER!” The farthest monster screamed before lunging at the thestral alongside his pack. She gave an irritated snort before ducking back out of the first strike from the pack. Another of the beasts came following her swiftly, claws thrusting forward in an attempt to slice her legs and prevent her from using her claws.

She was one step ahead of him.

With an agile swiftness that Twilight thought impossible for ponies without magic, the mare lifted herself above the swipe before bringing her own claws down on the attack before it could pass her by, pinning the offending limb in place. The beast howled in agony before the mare opened her mouth, revealing a maw filled to the brim with razor sharp teeth.

The monster didn’t get the chance to respond, her teeth having already sunk into its neck, blood spurting free and its eyes rolling into the back of its head as it dropped dead. The remaining monsters quickly scampered away for some breathing room as she dropped the fresh corpse to the ground. She gave a confident smile.

Twilight watched with wide eyed horror as the scene played out in front of her. This mare… who the hell was she?! Her speed, those claws, the teeth. She was not like any bat pony Twilight had ever seen. Her resemblance to the creatures she was fighting was uncanny. They were almost identical, save for her posture and less skinny build. She was in great shape and her body moved with timed experience and precision that made it clear she had been doing this for a very long time.

“Damn you, Drifter! Damn you! DIE!” Another of the monsters screamed in outrage at the sight of its dead companions, its own anger sending it into a careless assault. Drifter shot forward to meet it, sidestepping and dragging her claws across the entirety of it’s side, drawing blood and sending the mauled monster sprawling to the ground in a writhing, swiftly dying heap.

Twilight shrunk away even more. Had that monster just called her Drifter?! As in, Moonrise Drifter?! The mare she was on her way to meet before all of… this… happened? Twilight had no way of knowing for sure, but was suddenly snapped back to reality as one of the monsters turned to rush her. Remembering what the mare, Drifter, had said, Twilight’s horn lit with magic and brought over a slab of shrapnel in a large swing, just in time to catch the Monster and knock it off-course with bone-shattering force.

The creature came to a roll, growling in pain as its side began to turn purple and red in a massive, horrible bruise. Drifter was on the case with him, having just dodged a leap from the other, she lifted herself into the air with her wings before coming down onto the back of the wounded monster, sinking her rear claws into its flanks and her front claws into its spine, paralyzing it instantly. The beast howled and dropped, no longer having any control over anything below its shoulder blades.

Drifter stood from the disabled monster before turning to look for the other one. It was missing. Her eyes narrowed and shot left and right, looking for wherever it may come from next.

“What the hay is-”

“Shh!” Drifter shushed Twilight immediately, shooting over and putting a hoof, claws retracted, against her mouth. “Quiet!”

Twilight froze in fear but otherwise nodded.

“Stay here, keep your wits about you and listen. They’re here for you and will evade me if they can. This last one is going to prove difficult, I get the feeling. Keep that shrapnel handy.” the mare stepped away slightly, her claws coming out of her hoof once more. The sound they made as they pushed out of her hooves was enough to make Twilight cringe. “I’ll answer any and all questions you have when that thing is dead.”

Twilight didn’t get a chance to nod as the Mare suddenly turned and lifted into the air, quickly vanishing into the surrounding environment as though she were never even here. With a gulp and fearful shiver, Twilight held the shrapnel close in her magic, ready to swing it at a moment's notice.

Drifter’s eyes moved left and right, taking in every little detail of her surroundings as she slowly flew through the site of the wrecked train. She mentally scolded herself very briefly for having not predicted this. The Fiends were eager to see her dead, and any and all help she received from Equestria would be made an active target for elimination as soon as they were aware of it.

A chill breeze swept by, creating a haunting whistling sound in the air and causing the clothes on the many deceased ponies to flutter or wave in the wind. A metallic groan echoed across the snow-covered region from one of the train carts. Drifter glanced that way and slowly moved forward, careful to keep her wing beats subtle and quiet. Some gathered snow fell off of the top of the cart as she approached, proving to have merely been caused by the gradually building winds.

Shriek!!

Drifter turned just in time for the beast to pounce and slash across her right flank. A yelp tore from her lungs before her left hind-leg bucked on reflex, striking the creature in the side and sending it into a retreat. She turned and shot after it, bringing her claws up in an effort to strike it down before it could get away. She cursed under her breath as her claws met it’s own. With a grunt, the creature forced her back with a mighty shove before retreating once more out of sight while she regained her balance in mid-air.

“I see what you’re doing… hit and run…” Drifter whispered to herself, giving the claws on her wounded leg a slow, firm flex to try and relax the pained muscles. “Got in a good hit…” She took to the air again and resumed her careful, quiet pursuit, ears up and listening for any unusual sounds.

Drifter could feel the creature looking at her from somewhere. It saw her, she didn’t see it. That would be problematic. With a grimace, she took a deep breath and concentrated. She could react in time if she focused.

There was barely the sound of crunching snow as the monster came bounding at her from a sheltered position in the snow. Drifter turned around and screamed as it managed to sink its teeth into her shoulder. Thinking fast, she lifted the hoof under it into a stabbing punch into the beast’s gut, claws puncturing its skin and tearing out through its back. With a furious shout, she used the momentum of the punch to vault the creature over her and onto it’s back.

It twitched and looked up at her with maniacal glee before she bit down and ended its life a second later. When she pulled away, a large chunk of its flesh came with her jaws. She chewed absently before swallowing and wiping her mouth with a foreleg as her claws retracted.

“Bleugh! You new guys taste horrible. What is Horizon making you out of these days? Dragon shit?” With a grunt, Drifter rose to her hooves and tested her legs. Her hind leg gave a sharp throb of protest, but she’d had far worse. With a nod to herself, she lifted into the air on her wings and began to return to where Twilight should still be waiting.

Twilight had started shivering horribly when the mare’s scream echoed from some distance away. The following silence had almost sent her into a hysterical panic. She only calmed very slightly when she saw her returning, albeit with a few new wounds on her body. The mare set herself down next to the disabled monster on the ground, looking at it with disgust. It was still alive, but had lost consciousness from shock. She grunted in irritation before her left hoof extended it’s claws and stabbed the monster’s head, ending it once and for all. She retracted the claws and looked at Twilight.

Her nonchalant smile was worrying to Twilight. It was as if none of that had just happened for the mare. She seemed far too relaxed about this. “Hi, you must be the new Princess I keep hearing about. Twilight Twinkle, was it?”

Twilight levitated the shrapnel to float between her and the mare, pointing it at her threateningly. “Stay away from me!!” Twilight snapped fearfully, scooting away and trying to hide the pain she was feeling as best she could. The mare flinched away and sat on her haunches.

“It’s okay, Twilight. I’m not going to hurt you.” Drifter said gently, retracting her claws and smiling warmly. “I'm here to help you.”

“What is going on here?! Who are you?! What were those…. Those… THINGS?!” Twilight asked in a rapidly rising voice, hysteria setting again as it all started catching up to her. “What, might I add, are you?! You look like you’re one of them!

“Well, that’s because I am.” Drifter said almost casually. A yip escaped her as she had to duck Twilight’s thrust with the shrapnel. “Hey, watch it!”

“Get away from me!” Twilight screamed before fully breaking down. She dropped the shrapnel and curled up as tightly as possible, hiding herself from the world with her wings and forehooves. “This can’t be happening… this isn’t happening… somepony help me... I-i just wanna go home…”

Drifter silently watched sympathetically as Twilight began to cry and sob her stresses out of her system. No doubt this was a horrifically traumatizing experience for her. She wouldn’t get over this any time soon… With a sigh, Drifter slowly approached as carefully as she could. “I’m so sorry this is how you had to be introduced to all of this…”

Twilight looked up at her only barely, her eye just peeking out from between her foreleg and wing. She was terrified. Drifter gave a soft smile before settling down, wincing only slightly at the pain her legs sent to her brain. Twilight shuddered. “Why is this happening…”

“That’s a long story, I’m afraid… I have a small hideout not far away. It has food, water, a fireplace and medical supplies. We can get patched up and I’ll tell you everything I know.”

Twilight flinched at the offer, falling silent for almost a minute before replying. “O-okay… fine…” she tried to stand, only to fall and yelp as her wounded legs gave out under her. “But I can’t walk like this…”

Drifter nodded solemnly. “Okay. Try and fly. I’ll give you support should you need it. Let’s go.” she said before standing and spreading her large, leathery wings. Twilight unfurled her own wings and carefully lifted from the ground into the air with a few, tentative flaps before she began following Drifter towards the Crystal mountains.

Twilight bit her lip and looked at the back of Drifter’s head uneasily as they went forward. The silence was growing so thick she could have cut it with her teeth. “So… did I hear that… thing right? You’re Moonrise Drifter?”

“I call that type of Fiend a ‘Duck.’ Magic slides right off of them like water off a duck's back. And yes, I’m Moonrise Drifter. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, miss Twinkle.”

Sparkle.” Twilight corrected harshly. “It’s Twilight Sparkle.”

“Oh, whoops. Silly me.” Drifter said in good humor before smiling back at Twilight. “Sorry. I’m not as ‘in the know’ with modern Equestria as I should be.”

“Princess Celestia said you have this really important obscure job that you do. She also said she hasn’t seen you face to face in a long time, but you look as old as I am. What’s the deal with that?”

“Ah, typical Celestia, leaving out details like that. Heh,” Drifter chuckled before performing a mocking impersonation of Princess Celestia. “I’m sorry, Twilight, I should have told you that Moonrise Drifter is a one thousand year old fiend that kills and eats other fiends! Maybe I should have also sent a guard squad with you so that your train isn’t a total sitting duck in the event of a fiend attack.”

Twilight gave Drifter a dirty look. The mare stopped talking and cleared her throat.

“Ahem- Ah, sorry.”

“Wait… a thousand years? You were around all the way back then?!” Twilight asked as that bit of information finally registered with her exhausted mind.

“Yup.” Drifter looked over her shoulder at Twilight again with an almost mischievous smile on her face. “Tell me… have you heard the story of ‘The Mare that eats Monsters?’”

Author's Note: