• Published 2nd Jan 2018
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Princess Twilight's Escorts - FerociousCreation



It wouldn't be the first time Caramel escorted Twilight Sparkle. However, he did not expect himself to deliver the Princess to Canterlot Castle as a prisoner.

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Two Cages

A disgusting dark-green choked the sky. Even the white clouds I was so accustomed to seeing had fled, afraid of Tempest Shadow and her group of aggressors. I sat in the marketplace as Groak, my captor, passed around plates filled with cherries to my group of fifteen ponies, myself included. “You may eat,” Groak said to me and the others.

The order was given, and I removed my muzzle with a quick pull of the strap. But I couldn’t eat too quickly because of the large pits at fruit’s center, making it difficult to stuff myself even though I was hungry. Cherries were the only thing given to us. Groak hated eating the tedious food. Even when somepony would try to remove the seeds by hoof, the Storm Creature would lose interest and want something else, like cake.

Groak walked over to me and sat down at my side. I felt the ground quake from the sheer force of his drop. “Horseshoe,” he said, naming me by the image of my cutie mark, “come up with any new games today?” Today… He said it with no notice that the sun hadn't moved since Canterlot was sieged. Knowing how long Twilight and her friends had retreated was beyond me. Time was lost since her absence. But I knew Twilight would return with a triumphant glow. She always has.

As I sucked on a sour cherry pit, my head lifted up to my large oppressor. It was hard to tell what emotion he was conveying because of his leering mask, but I knew he was genuinely curious about what I might have in store.

“I have something in mind,” I said, not sure what that idea was, but I didn't have a need to worry. Something always came to me when Groak asked for entertainment.

“You are my favorite pony, Horseshoe!” Groak proclaimed, bragging to his nearby comrades in another attempt to make them jealous. “You always have something fun to do!” The spear in his massive paw pointed at the other fourteen in my group. “The rest of you are lousy!” A few stallions looked at me with nasty glares, but most only briefly looked up before returning to their meal. It was not my intention to show off to Groak and gain his favor. In fact, I hated that I was a focus point because of Groak. He always brought trouble along with his comments.

“Hey, Groak! Keep quiet!” Mancer, a Storm Creature who finds himself always arguing with Groak, stomped over. “I don’t care about your Horseshoe pony.”

“Says the guy who tried to sell me half of his ponies for my prized possession,” Groak snorted. “You can’t beat Horseshoe because his special talent is making games for me to enjoy. In fact, others have tried to trade me all of theirs for my one!” The fact that I had a higher value price over others made me sick. All because of what I could do. “Horseshoe is also good at coming up with amazing ideas! Have you ever tried cheese and crackers?” Groak pointed at me with a large finger. “This pony has! And he is willing to share with me!”

Mancer crossed his arms. “Sounds to me like you are friends with a pony.”

A grumble erupted in my guard’s torso. “Stand up, Horseshoe…” Groak said, his gloating tone gone in an instant. My ears fell back, and I closed my eyes; I knew what was coming next. I heard the sound of aluminum plates scrape at the ground; my group was moving away from me. A hard fist bashed into my side, the force pushing me into the ground. I bounced off the surface, and I let out a cry in pain. Both sides of my ribcage cramped from two forces. While I writhed on the ground, I heard Groak yell, “Do friends treat each other like this?!” Mancer did not respond, and I was glad he didn’t. It did surprise me that Groak didn’t hit me as hard as before. He only used maybe… one-fourth of his might. “Didn’t think so. Now get out of my face, or I will show you how hard I can hit you!”

Instead of throwing any blows, Mancer walked to his cluster of ponies and left with them. “Get up,” Groak instructed and I stood. My knees wobbled but didn’t give in. I looked at the fourteen, watching them spectate me as they continued eating their cherries. Groak hunched over and said in a low tone, “Be strong, Horseshoe.”

I knew Groak liked me for my “special” talent, but I didn’t understand why he would turn on me so quickly, and then return to his regular self, whatever that might be. Still, I was two examples for everypony: one who pleases and one who falls. But the pain was something I had to endure. Deep down, I kept telling myself, that at any moment, Princess Twilight Sparkle would return, and save Equestria once more. If she could face trials that would break the normal pony’s soul and come out as the victor, then I should take a punch or two.

“Do you want to hear my new game idea?” I asked while forcing down the urge to wretch at the lingering pain in my barrel.

“Of course! Show me what-” The dull roar of a horn blared through the air. Groak spun around and looked at the nasty sky. “Tempest Shadow is returning.” He looked to the group and ordered, “Muzzles on now! We are going to the city entrance!”

***

I hated seeing the airships hover about Canterlot like vultures over a dying body. What’s more was what they emitted into the air. The airship Groak was claiming was Tempest Shadow’s spat out an ugly dark-green steam. The same green that polluted the air. Several others like Groak had their own groups of ponies. Perhaps he and the others were there to show respect to the unicorn who froze the three princesses in black crystals.

The airship took its time landing, but the door to the vessel quickly opened. I didn’t know what to expect when I looked up the metal ramp other than Tempest. And sure enough, she came forward. I wanted to glare up at her, but Groak instructed me and the others to look afraid, sad, or anything that may resemble depression. My mouth did frown even though nopony could see it, so at least I was trying to play the part.

“I need two ponies to haul a prisoner!” Tempest exclaimed. “Step forward now, and I may consider giving your princess mercy!” A spider made of ice crawled down my spine once Tempest’s words reached my ears. My emotions grabbed control of my legs, and I almost took off in a sprint.

“Good work taking the initiative,” Groak said from behind me. “Good work?” What was so good about what was happening? What might be happening? No. No, I told myself. Twilight Sparkle won’t be a prisoner. She won’t be in the airship. She won’t be so easily captured. My hooves clanked up the ramp, my mind continuing to send positive echoes through my brain.

Twilight was gathering allies. Finding a stronger force than this… Storm King. I brushed passed Tempest, and I heard a crackling from behind me. Twilight will not fail. Twilight will triumph. Twilight will-

A tall black cage towered over me with the most beautiful pony held within it. Princess Twilight Sparkle looked down at her cold prison before blinking up at me. Her voice was caught as she gasped at the sight of me. “Caramel?” Princess Twilight squeaked. The mere mention of my name forced me to run at her. My hooves caught the bars so my face wouldn’t end up smacking against the cage. It was nice for Twilight to recognize me, even though I wore a suffocating muzzle. But the atmosphere was not in the brightest of spirits for a reunion; it was full of ugly pollution.

“I’m sorry…” Princess Twilight said with a crack in her voice. A pool of tears already lingered at her hooves. My nose stuck through a gap, and I extend a hoof to her. Not caring about the small lake she had created, Princess Twilight came forward, walking through her watery sadness. I wanted to remove my muzzle and say something, but I knew that would easily give me a punishment much worse than a punch from Groak. She took my arm and entangled it with her forearm. “Thank you,” the princess whispered. Her touch was warm despite how freezing the small prison cage looked. My cheeks flushed as her affection did the works on my heart. And her eyes. Those wide, beautiful, sad eyes. The detail in the Princess Twilight’s irises shined like her last name. Maybe her tears were what made them glossy.

I gripped the cage with my other hoof, angry- no, enraged with how helpless everything was becoming. The pain of seeing the Princess of Friendship in such a beaten spirit, who I have seen time and time again in Ponyville, overwhelmed my lamenting heart. The sight made me tear up. Why was so much misfortune happening? Why couldn’t I have the power to tear the caged bird from her cold prison? Why must I suffer beside the Princess Twilight Sparkle?

But I could not be angry at Twilight. No. She was not at fault.

A gentle touch opened my eyes back to the amethyst gems held in Twilight’s head. She lifted my chin with a hoof, and the princess opened up her mouth to say something. But her tongue held back and didn’t move. I noticed her eyes were not fixated on me, and instead, looked passed my face.

Before I could turn around, a bolt of blue energy whipped at my hooves. It missed but I did jump, startled by its burst of energy. “I asked somepony to come haul my prisoner, not try and cope with her.” Tempest stood tall in her dark armor. Her horn sparked and hissed with the same color as the bolt, signaling hostility. A little runt beside Tempest cackled while she continued to be poised in place.

“Leave him be,” Princess Twilight said. “He’s done nothing to you…”

“But your friendship has,” Tempest said. “Thankfully, your friendship with those friends of yours failed. And now, it is time for you to meet the same fate as the other princesses.” She looked back and shouted, “I need another pony and a Storm Creature to assist me! The Storm King is arriving very shortly! And he will not be pleased if everything is not in order!”

Not caring about any possible punishment, I turned around and muttered to Princess Twilight, “What happened to the others?” Thanks to my muzzle, it suffocated my words along with the attempt to help comfort my princess. She couldn't hold her stare with me for long, and Princess Twilight scooted back to the center of her tiny prison.

“Aww, does the pony feel sorry his princess is all sad and lonely?” a high pitched and small voice said from behind me. When I turned around, I had to look down at Tempest’s round companion smirking up at me with ugly teeth. There was some courage in my heart which allowed me to glare at him. For once, I was able to look down at something. He scratched his chin, not amused with me in the slightest. “I don't like the way you're looking at me…” I didn't move when I saw him raise his paw at me. The runt smacked me across the cheek as hard as he could, pushing my face away.

The Princess gasped and cried, “Leave him alone!”

“What?” the runt shrugged. “I didn't like his attitude, so I changed it for him.” Despite the sting and small swelling in my cheek, I smiled. If only he knew I can take a hit from Groak. Compared to my conditioning I’ve endured, the runt’s strength meant nothing to me. I gave him the same look which resulted in two more blows to the cheek. Princess Twilight shook her cage, the metal clanking as she tried in vain to help me.

Despite the pain, for once in my life, I wanted to impress a mare. I wanted to stand tall, strong in the face of danger and pain. But most of all, I wanted to try and motivate the brave Princess Twilight I knew. I looked at her, witnessing her tears cry for me. As best as I could, I gave her a confident stare and puffed out my chest. “Hey, buddy!” Another punch hit my jaw, a little more painful than the last three. “Don't look away from me if you want to act tough!” Before looking back at the runt, I looked at Tempest. The mare looked down the ramp and paid no attention to me, Twilight, or her companion. The runt snagged my muzzle strap and gave it a hard yank. His hot breath seeped into my ear, “Stop being heroic, pony. You already lost. Just give up.”

Give up!? Every unicorn, pegasus, and earth pony’s face I knew flooded my mind. Roseluck, Thunderlane, Time Turner, Derpy Hooves, Lyra Heartstrings, and many other friends and acquaintances came to me. Their smiles. Their happiness. The memories I shared with them. I wanted the good times back! And I wanted the Princess of Friendship to regain her spirit and fend off evil once more. But what could I do? What could an earth pony with no magic and no wings do? Talk? Even that was impossible with the muzzle strapped to my face.

Suddenly, I watched the grunt rise above me. High above me. A Storm Creature had picked him up by the back of his shirt. When the massive guard spoke, I knew who it was. “What do you think you're doing to Horseshoe?” Groak growled.

“H-hey! He was giving me looks!”

While Groak pressed his mask against the weakling, I returned to the Princess, and I was ready to rekindle her bravery. But she didn't change her mood at all. She was insistent on holding onto a sad frown. “Don't put yourself through any more pain,” Twilight said.

Then, she said the words I never thought I would ever hear from the pony who brought others together. “It's over. I failed.”

Author's Note:

Thank you for reading the first chapter of Princess Twilight's escorts. This story is completed and will have an upload speed of 4-5 days.

Comments are well appriciated :3