• Published 1st Jul 2017
  • 1,054 Views, 7 Comments

Nothing Special - hironakamura

Starlight travels with Sunburst to an old abandoned unicorn settlement that predates the ruling era of the Two Sisters. They're searching for ancient lost spells but something "bad" happens to them.

  • ...

Chapter 5: Search for Answers

Grass lands with small crystal outcroppings spread far and wide could be seen as far as the horizon. A pegasus stallion flys through the sky. He pulls behind him an ordinary looking wooden wagon with the words Flash Rulez messily painted on the side with red paint. Riding in the wagon is a small dragon, a unicorn mare and a little baby foal sleeping in a humble straw basket.

"Hm. For a Royal Guard, you'd think they'd be able to spare a proper chariot for you." Said the unicorn to the pegasus pulling the wagon.

"Lady, you shouldn't have come along. Its dangerous. Spike and I got this." Replied the pegasus to the mare with an annoyed look on his face.

The unicorn leans over the front of the wagon. "Hey, Trixie has been on a dangerous mission like this before. We kicked the bad guys butts and Trixie did not die."

"Great." Said the stallion, sarcastically.

Spike peeks over the edge of the wagon. "She's telling the truth, Flash." He defended. "Trixie once helped Starlight save all of Equestria from Queen Chrysalis' evil plans. And obviously, because she's here, she really didn't die."

"Hmph!" Trixie turns around and sinks to the bottom of the wagon, leaning on its side. "So, where are we going anyway?" She asked, while taking a quick look at the baby basket beside her to make sure Flurry Heart is undisturbed from her sleep.

"To look for answers." Flash points to the horizon with a hoof. "Before Canterlot was attacked, Sunny went on a trip to explore an ancient abandoned unicorn settlement deep within the Crystal Empire's Flat Lands. I know where it is."

"Sunny?" Both Spike and Trixie asked at the same time.

"I-I mean, Sunburst." Flash smiles sheepishly. "He's a close friend of mine. We were originally gonna go on this trip together but when we found out his old friend, Miss Starlight, was coming along, I kind of backed out... For his own good."

The group continues flying over empty spaces of grass lands and crystal formations for hours until they see the ruins of an old decrepit city in the distance. The decaying towers, crumbling buildings and cracked streets of the old city resembled the ones that could be seen in Canterlot with a few differences in design and their colors long faded by time.

"We're here." Flash said. He makes a slow decent towards the city's main gates while carefully towing the wagon full of his passengers behind him.

Flash lands himself and the wagon safely on the city's cracked marble streets. He detaches himself from the wagon while Trixie and Spike hop out. Trixie uses her magic to levitate the still sleeping Flurry Heart in her basket and keeps her close. Spike pulls out a small bag from the wagon containing baby supplies and he wears the bag on his back. The group then starts walking, following the empty, spooky, silent, old streets of the ancient unicorn city.

Spike looks around, trying to stay close to the group. "This place is old." He said.

"Very old." Agreed Flash. "Sunny said this place was old before the Two Sisters were even responsible for raising the sun and the moon."

"How come no pony's discovered it until now?" Spike asked.

"Do you remember when the Crystal Heart was shattered?" Flash asked, returning a question to Spike.

Spike nods. "Of course. I was there."

Flash continues. "This place has been covered by ice and snow for thousands of years under the mercy of the Frozen North. But when Sunburst repaired the Crystal Heart, its protective magic was reinforced. It pushed the Frozen North even further back away from the Empire, exposing this place to the light of day."

The group continue to follow the run down streets, avoiding large cracks and gaps until they reach a wide open plaza surrounded by large crumbling buildings. Trixie looks around, thinking this area may have once been a market place or a social gathering square. It certainly had seen better days. "So this is what Canterlot would look like if its been deserted and abandoned for thousands of years." She said.

"I know, right. I'm expecting a herd of undead pony zombies to come out of the corner any second now." Said Spike.

Trixie catches up to Flash walking in front of her. "Alright, high ranking guard of the empire. This place is huge. If we're looking for answers, where do we start?"

Flash looks at Trixie and smiles. "Sunny's always looking for ancient spells to add to his research pool. Where can you normally find spells?"

The group stops walking when they reach a very large and old structure at the north end of the plaza. Its crumbling walls, broken windows and large, decrepit, half opened doors easily resembled Canterlot's own Royal Magical Library. And at the foot of the library's front steps is something that appeared out of place.

"Guys look! Saddle bags!" Spike points to them as the group rushes over to inspect two relatively new saddle bags that couldn't have belonged to any pony that used to live in this ancient city. One saddle bag is decorated with the theme of the sun while the other with the theme of the stars.

"This is Sunny's saddle bag. And I think the other one's Miss Starlight's." Flash said. He picks up both saddle bags and straps them to his back. He then looks at the library's front doors.

The group all go through the large half opened decaying doors and into the library. Its dusty, the air is stale and the smell of aged paper from all the books, tomes and scrolls stacked within the library's numerous tall shelves is strong. They continue down the library's main halls until they reach something that looks frighteningly familiar. Flash, Trixie and Spike all stare at the cocoon like object.

"Is that what I think it is?" Asked Flash.

"Yeah. I've been in one of those before." Replied Spike.

"So has Trixie." She added. "Its a changeling pod."

Flash rushes up to the pod and starts inspecting it. He stands on his hind hooves and leans on the pod with his front hooves. "When a changeling takes the place of a pony, they use these pods to keep the real pony asleep and out of sight. Which means there's a pony in here." Flash peeks through the pod's translucent layers. His eyes open wide. "Guys help me out!" He starts to tear off the pod's fleshy covering.

Spike and Trixie quickly help him, peeling off chunks of the pod until the pony inside is uncovered and freed. From what remains of the pod, a sleeping unicorn stallion with a brilliant gamboge yellow coat and wild vermilion mane is revealed. His Cutie Mark is a symbol of a bursting sun surrounded by several four pointed glimmering stars.

Slowly, the unicorn stallion starts to wake up. "Uh? What?" He opens his eyes and immediately sees familiar faces looking at him worriedly. "Flash? Spike? Trixie? What're you guys doing here?" He tries to stand on his hooves but feels weak and almost loses his balance.

Flash immediately catches him and helps him up. "Welcome back, Sunny."

"Wizard horse!" Yelled Trixie. It echoes through the old library.

Sunburst shakes his head. "Ugh! Trixie, I told you never to call me that." He tries to fight the groggy feeling of sleep away. Sunburst pushes himself away from Flash and tries to stand on his own hooves again.

"Easy." Flash said, worried about his friend. "What's the last thing that you remember?"

"The last thing I remember?..." Still confused, Sunburst strains to concentrate. After a moment, his confusion changes to panic and then fear as his thoughts return to him. "Oh no! She got the jump on me! Starlight? Where's Starlight?"

"Yeah, we're hoping you could help us with that." Spike said sarcastically. "Do you have any idea why she's been busy capturing all the alicorn princesses and might be coming after Flurry Heart next?" He points to Flurry Heart still sleeping in her basket levitated by Trixie's magic.

"Wait. You brought her outside the safety of the empire?" Sunburst looks surprised at the sleeping baby foal then he thinks to himself for a second. "This means Canterlot and The Crystal Empire have fallen..." Sunburst sits on his hind legs and hangs his head low in shock, looking at the floor. "And its all my fault."

"Your fault? How? You've been asleep here the whole time?" Asked Spike.

Sunburst tries to push up his glasses with a hoof but then realizes he's not wearing any. "This isn't any ordinary changeling we're dealing with. Its Queen Chrysalis. She vowed revenge on Starlight when she reformed Chrysalis's brood. The changeling Queen took my place and enchanted Starlight so she can manipulate her into ruining her own life. But it gets worse. When Chrysalis found out I was working on Starlight's forbidden Cutie Mark spell, she came up with a plan to get rid of all the princesses and have all pony kind under her control."

Trixie remembers the stories Starlight shared about her forbidden spells. "Starlight's Cutie Mark spell is evil." Trixie said. "Why would you ever do anything with it?"

Sunburst takes a deep breath and exhales a heavy sigh. "When we were foals, Starlight and I... lost each other because of Cutie Marks. She grew up hating Cutie Marks so she made a spell designed to remove them from ponies, taking away everything special about them. Starlight told me she was ashamed of ever making that spell. But I wasn't. I knew her spell had a lot of good in it. Just like her."

Sunburst looks away and smiles weakly. "Starlight's spell has the potential to grant ponies a second chance. When ponies earn their mark, they're bound to it for the rest of their lives. They cannot be anything more or anything else other than the magic that their mark allows. I found out that with a few adjustments, Starlight's spell can reset the mark freeing a pony to be anything they want to be. Even gain a second Cutie Mark if they choose." He smiles even more fondly, thinking of his friend. "A spell that grants second chances suits Starlight so well..."

Sunburst gets up and starts pacing around. "At least that's what I was aiming for. Its why I came here in the first place. I needed more research material to complete the adjustments to the spell. If Chrysalis uses the spell as it is, it'll do nothing but harm."

"But harm is all I want it to do!"

The group hear a familiar but menacing female voice. They look to see who it was and to their surprise, sees another Sunburst walking with Starlight towards them through the library's dusty halls. This Sunburst is wearing cracked round glasses and a blue, tattered wizard's cloak. His horn glows with brilliant green light. His face expresses an evil grin. Starlight, who walks beside him, has a blank expression on her face. Her eyes are hollow and glow brilliant green.

As the Sunburst walking beside Starlight gets closer to the group, his body begins to burn with brilliant green colored flames. The flames slowly burn away at the pony form, part by part, revealing a completely different creature. Crooked horn, translucent insect wings, long dark cerulean colored hair and dark gray colored carapace body. The insect like creature stares evily at the group with opal colored pupils. With her true form exposed, the only things that remain of her previous form are the cracked glasses and blue tattered wizard's cloak which she quickly throws aside.

"You thought it was Sunburst but it was me, Chrysalis!" Said the changeling queen.

Spike sarcastically stares at Chrysalis. "It would have been so much better if Sunburst didn't already tell us it was you."

Chrysalis feels flustered for a moment. "Um. Very well, then. I shall take this time to explain my evil plan and-"

"He did that too already. He's too smart for his own good, sometimes." Interrupted Spike.

Sunburst, the real Sunburst, steps in front of the group. He sees his precious friend, Starlight, heavily under the influence of Chrysalis changeling magic. "L-let Starlight go!" He demanded from the changeling queen, trying to sound brave and failing.

"You can't tell me what to do, you're just a nerd." Chrysalis laughs at the unicorn stallion's feeble orders. "All that stands between me and my absolute revenge on your precious Starlight is that last alicorn." She turns to the unicorn mare hypnotized by her side. "Starlight, be a dear and retrieve the baby for me."

"Yes, Sunburst." Starlight replied.

The hypnotized unicorn, face still expressing no emotion and horn glowing with turquoise light, charges at Flurry Heart who is levitating in her straw basket beside Trixie. Trixie quickly moves Flurry Heart behind her and Flash covers them both with his wings and body. Sunburst cuts Starlight off by jumping in her path. His horn glows brightly with golden light, illuminating the halls of the library. Starlight collides with Sunburst, their horns crossing with great force. The two unicorns hold each other in place while gold and turquoise colored magical energy sparks fly from their crossed horns.

Sunburst couldn't move his head but he looks at Spike at the corner of his eye. "Spike, Chrysalis's enchantment works through channeling. I need you to-"

"Distract her? Got it!" Interrupted the small dragon. He runs past the two unicorns and gets between them and Chrysalis. He takes a deep breath and then exhales a thick black smoke at the changeling queen.

Surprised, the smoke makes Chrysalis take a step back. It spreads and covers Trixie and Flash protecting Flurry Heart. It envelops Starlight and Sunburst together with Spike. In no time, the dragon's thick black smoke completely covers their whole section of the library, hiding everyone from everyone else's sight.

Starlight and Sunburst stand together alone in the thick black smoke. It blocks out all light from the outside and the only light between the two unicorns is the light coming from the glow of their crossing horns.

"Starlight. Its me, Sunburst. Wake up. I need- I-I mean, we need you." He said kindly, smiling at his friend.

Without Chrysalis's influence, the feint green glow in Starlight's eyes fades away. She blinks and slowly becomes responssive. "S-Sunburst? Is that really you?" She weakly asked.

"Yeah, Its really me this time." He replied happily.

Starlight smiles back at her precious friend and the two unicorns gaze into each other's eyes. In unison, without words, the pair close their eyes and begin to concentrate, gathering both their magical energy into their crossing horns. The two differently colored light from their horns mix and combine into a bright white explosion swallowing the two friends. This explosion pushes and clears the thick black smoke away.

As the smoke vanishes, Chrysalis is seen standing by herself in the old library's dusty halls. The changeling queen looks around, annoyed, realizing that her prey had escaped. "Fools! You are only delaying the inevitable."