• 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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Princess Twilight's Escorts

I didn't want to walk anymore, or even stand for that matter. There was no encouragement in my heart. No more strength in my bones. But I had a task to perform, and I had Groak to remind me of that. Funny how my oppressor was the only individual who kept me standing. “Do as you are told,” Groak spoke in my ear as he strapped me down to the trailer’s harness. I didn't need to be told that because Twilight told me to essentially give up.

Me and another stallion I knew nothing about looked at each other. His body was yellow and had a short light-blue mane. I called him Blue in my mind, just to give the stallion something to reference him by. Neither of us needed to make a noise to know how painful the experience was and was going to be. The moment I craned my neck take another look at the Princess, Tempest said, “Eyes forward, Horseshoe!” I snapped my attention forward toward her. The eyes of a displeased and powerful mare pinned me down.

“Yeah!” Grubber added while wagging his finger. “Eyes forward, and no looking at the princess.” I wanted to add my opinion and tell him to shut up, but Groak was there to keep Grubber at bay from me.

“Horseshoe only needs instructions from Tempest, runt!” Groak snarled.

“Silence!” Tempest cried. Bolts of lightning exploded from her nub of a horn. Surprisingly, none of them hit anypony, but the display of power stilled the room. Groak flinched while Grubber, being at her side, hopped away from the unicorn. “Until we deliver the princess to the throne room, no one is permitted to talk.” Tempest’s eyes looked past me. “That includes you, too, Twilight.” My head twitched, wanting to see the alicorn. But I heard Groak thump his spear, and he shook his head at me. He may have not wanted to admit it aloud, but I could tell Groak had some sympathy for me, and not because I was his entertainer. It was hard to know his true intentions when he treated me both well and terribly, while he only scolded the others when they bothered him.

“Come,” Tempest instructed. “Canterlot is expecting their Princess.” Grubber laughed in his paws while looking at me and the other stallion beside me. I nodded to my earth pony companion, and he nodded back. Together, we started to pull forward. The harness pressed into my torso as I tried to get the wheels rolling. It wasn't as heavy as I was anticipating. However, who I was carrying was definitely something very burdensome. The wheels squeaked and started to turn, beginning the long walk ahead of me.

It was much brighter outside than the inside of the vessel, but the ugly sky didn’t make it seem that way. A great weight pressed at my back as I walked down the ramp. With caution, I leaned back into my harness to prevent me and the pony assisting me from being run down from a potential rogue wagon. I also did not want Princess Twilight to get hurt by my incompetence. She had already endured things I could only guess happened to her, and I was not going to be another pony who would give her more.

“Halt!” Tempest cried as we reached the ramp’s end. At once, Blue and I stopped before the crowd of ponies who were gathered at Canterlot’s entrance. I immediately recognized my group waiting at a few meters away from me as Groak jumped from the ramp and walked over to them. Another Storm Creature stood by my group with their ponies mixed among those I barely knew. Groak exchanged a few unknown words to his companion before returning to Tempest.

“Thank you for allowing me to give Chell my ponies temporarily, Tempest,” Groak said with a bow. “I want to be sure the ponies who are mine are given back to me.”

“Glad to know,” Tempest said, though was not in the mood for further discussion. “Now get behind the cage. We have a long walk to do.”

***

On all sides, black metal bars kept me within my caged prison. The air gently brushed at my fur as if to tell me goodbye like my mother did to me when I left for my first day at Canterlot’s School of Gifted Unicorns. My escorts began to pull the wagon forward toward the white castle walls I once called home.

My eyes fell on the back of Caramel, my mind remembering how he ran at me upon entering the airship. The moment I saw him, my heart wanted to crash into the puddle of tears I made to suppress the impact of my fragile emotions.

As the walls of Canterlot came closer, I remembered the day Caramel gave me those lovely roses; the day where he faced me with red cheeks and a handsome face. Part of me was glad to have a pony I knew present to comfort me; I was even tempted to kiss Caramel as a means of thanking him for lending me his arm; wouldn’t be the first time I had kissed him. But deep down, I was more ashamed of myself for inviting him to Canterlot. Not that I did not want him to come. In fact, I invited Caramel specifically to allow some time with himself and I; for mutual activities.

The issue with his presence was because he was enslaved.

I had no idea what the ponies of Canterlot were enduring. And when I saw Caramel get punched by Grubber, not only did it pain me to witness an unjust beating, but I also worried about my parents. How they were being treated, I did not know, but my imagination mustered up the darkest assumptions.

If I didn’t invite Caramel to Canterlot, he might have been able to escape somewhere safe, like Appaloosa. Instead, I allowed another friend to be damaged by my harmful actions. It was as if Equestria wanted to remind me of my absurd errors.

Clusters of ponies watched me pass them by with wide eyes. Several of them began to weep at the sight of their Princess being escorted inside a metal cage. The sight of everypony’s pain brought my eyes down to my prison’s ground. I was too ashamed to allow my pupils to see the wonderful colors of the bodies of ponies that watched me go by.

My mind went to my went friends; the friends I grew aggressive with. Oh, how I regret the wrath that boiled in my breast; how my horn sparked with anger. And how I betrayed the Hippogryphs. I… I had never felt so much shame in my life.

Warm, fresh tears rolled down my cheeks, adding more to the lake I artificially created. A whimper escaped my mouth, my heart trying to cry out for somepony to destroy the helpless nature of my situation.

With one blink forward, I saw Caramel daring to look back at me; an error he was willing to take for my sake. I watched the Storm Creature who followed behind the cage briskly walk up to Caramel, and butted him with a spear shaft to his side. My voice squeaked as I restrained myself from crying out; more tears followed the hurtful action. The cart veered a little before Caramel stabilized.

“Eyes forward, Horseshoe!” the Storm Creature instructed before it turned around to look at me with two, cold, blue beads through the holes of its mask. It said nothing to me, giving me nothing to understand the painful act other than because Caramel didn’t listen to instructions.

Several minutes passed in silence as my destination grew closer and closer. I pondered what would be dealt to me once I came face to face with the Storm King Tempest had mentioned. Up ahead of my path, I saw a pony in a cage similar to mine. I also heard an angelic voice crying to the heavens from within the prison before a Storm Creature beside the cage shoved it, silencing all singing.

To my greatest shame, another pony who I had also invited to come to the Friendship Festival looked to me: Songbird Serenade. Because her eyes were hidden from me, it was impossible to see what emotion she was expressing. I was hoping it was sadness and not anger. Just as I passed Songbird, my eyes returned to my lake.

Nothing around me was positive; only depression expressed itself all around me. And I had the nerve to be so sad and so ashamed of myself, that I refused to look up. But I could not find the strength to be proud. And I worried that the pony who pulled me toward Canterlot Castle, the last pony to ever give me some form of sympathy, was aiding in bringing me to my demise.

***

My shoulders were shaking, my heart was breaking, and my side was aching. A lovely combination of misery suppressed my very soul as I pulled the cart into one of the castle’s hallways. The doors were flung open by Groak’s strength when he shoved them forward. Tempest continued her proud march forward, her metal boots clanking on the ground with hard steps.

I thought that escorting Twilight was going to be the worst experience I had to endure that day. I was wrong.

In dark-black crystals, three alicorns were frozen with expressions of fear and shock. My body wanted to stop to observe the horrible crimes that have been done to the wonderful Princesses of Equestria. I worried that they were dead. And I feared that Princess Twilight would be meeting the same fate as the others. But I didn’t want another blunt strike to the side. So I continued to walk.

Tempest held up a hoof to signal to Blue and I to stop. I felt a lot of stress remove itself from my shoulders, and I heard Groak grunt before a loud slam crashed onto the tile ground. “Take the two ponies away, Groak!” Tempest cried. “Twilight and I are going to be seeing the Storm King very soon.”

“Yes, Tempest,” Groak said. I looked back to get a look at Twilight again but found a very large paw pressing against my face. “Forward, Horseshoe.” My guard did not punch or strike me as he passed by. Groak simply redirected my attention forward.

“Come,” he simply instructed. Blue was the first to move, while I still had a difficult time willing my legs to walk. The imbalance of Blue walking and me not caused my harness to push myself forward.

I peeked at Blue, his head low and ears as far back as they could go. I could tell he was not in the best of spirits, but I did not know his story as to why he managed to be wound up in Canterlot alongside me. Maybe he was a resident of the kingdom. Or perhaps a visitor from Manehattan. The only thing Blue had in common with me was that we were prisoners. And we helped aid this Storm King against our will.

Another pair of doors flung open by Groak’s might as he pulled them open. The gust of air caused by his pull crashed into my body, chilling my already cold bones. With Groak at the front, nopony was able to supervise my unwavering will to see the Princess of Friendship one last time.

When I turned around, Twilight was looking between the dark silhouettes of the Princesses when she noticed me staring at her. With every ounce of strength I could muster in my heart, I held my stare. I knew if Groak noticed me disobeying, more pain would come. Too bad I was already numb to listening to instructions. My Princess was in need. Somepony needed to look her in the eyes to remind Twilight she could still accomplish the impossible; even though the impossible seemed to be a tall wall with no top. Still, I held onto hope, even if I had to leave it behind me.

Grubber walked to the large doors, his large eyes locked onto me. His small body distracted me from Twilight, and I hated myself for giving him my attention. Just as Grubber pulled the door to close them, he gave me a mocking wave with a grin that anypony would want to punch.

Breaking my attention from the runt, I returned my gaze to the still beautiful mare. Even in her most broken spirit, she still managed to shine in my eyes. “Twilight!” I mumbled, though my words were choked by the muzzle. Thankfully, the Princess still looked upon me, so I continued to speak. “I still believe in you!”

“Pathetic…” I heard Grubber say just before the large doors closed in a loud “thoom!”

An anger I never thought I had possessed me. I gritted my teeth, and my body tried to shake myself loose from my harness. I hungered for freedom. Everything before Tempest’s arrival was fine. Why did she have to come and ruin what was good? She needed to be placed in my horseshoes, and be given a nickname that only symbolizes what somepony has or looks like. Like Knub.

Blue only looked at me with the same helplessness as earlier as if to tell me to stop. As for Groak, he easily took notice of my actions. He looked over his shoulder, down the empty hallway. Groak’s heavy footsteps shook the ground as he tore the muzzle from my mouth.

“Horseshoe! Why are you resisting?” His voice was strange when he spoke as if Groak’s voice box was shaken by invisible fear.

Free to express my thoughts, I looked up to him and cried out, “I had to escort the Princess I love to her doom! Why else would I be so resistant?” At the corner of my eye, I saw Blue’s ears perk up at my exclamation.

“You… you love her?” Groak asked. He looked behind him, and then back to me. “Also, keep your voice down… If others hear you yelling at me, they might think I’m going soft.”

I didn’t know how to properly respond to Groak’s words. Should I resume telling him why I love Twilight or ask him why he is so worried about the other Storm Creatures on how they think of him? I chose to answer my first question.

“I… I do love Twilight…” I admitted. With as helpless as everything was becoming, I wanted to tell somepony the truth. My face flushed, the blood warm in my cheeks. “I love her for the duty she has done for Equestria. She is beautiful, and smart, and kind, and, of course, friendly; anypony can see that." Saying that I loved Twilight out loud didn't make me feel worthy of even mentioning it. "But Princess Twilight needs a better stallion than me. She deserves somepony who can protect her; who can stand by her. Like a unicorn, or even a pegasus. Not an earth pony.”

Then, a pair of words that I never expected to be said were spoken by Groak, “I’m sorry…”

Another flare of rage escaped me. “Sorry? You’re sorry?!”

At the end of the hallway, two Storm Creatures walked into view. And Groak quickly changed. His paw grabbed my throat and tore me from the wagon’s harness. “I am sorry that you have to be so weak!” Groak yelled as he threw me down the hall. My body bounced a few times before it dragged on the red carpet, creating fresh rugburns. How far I went, I did not know. I then understood Groak’s true abilities. He lept into the air at me, and I feared my tiny body would be crushed by his massive figure. Instead, Groak landed in front of me. Just like before, the Storm Creature gripped my throat. Only, he did not throw me; Groak only held on.

Regret injected itself alongside the adrenaline that flooded throughout my body. Tears began to escape me as I feared the worst was about to happen. While I squirmed, Groak pressed his mask down on my face. “Stupid pony! How dare you think of a second you deserve mercy! You had the privilege to see your precious Princess one last time, and this is how you behave?!”

The corners of my eyes began to darken as the last bit of strength began to falter. To think the last thing I was going to see before I die was a mask only designed to intimidate the oppressed. Before my mind went blank, a drop of liquid tapped my cheek.

It was probably sweat, or drool.

Author's Note:

I wanted to be nice and upload a chapter a little earlier :3