• Published 25th May 2018
  • 2,221 Views, 969 Comments

Little Consequences - Skijarama

Princess Rainbow Dash and her friends have found themselves in the newly restored Crystal Empire, and now struggle against the forces of Queen Chrysalis and the enigmatic King Sombra in an effort to reclaim Canterlot and save Equestria.

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“Squall, I’m scared…” Wind Whisper squeaked out, curling up even more on Thorax’s back while tightly curling her hooves around the back of his neck. “Make it stop…”

Thorax looked back at her for a moment, then looked towards Rainbow Dash with a pleading look in his eyes. Rainbow could only look back at him, unable to form words. With her eyes slowly narrowing, she released Fluttershy from her wing and started for the doors of the library. While each one was hesitant, the rest of the group began to follow her. She pushed the doors open once she reached them. As soon as she did, she staggered back a step from a rush of biting cold air and the rumbling of thunder. She covered her face with a hoof until the rush died down, and looked out on the city.

A peach colored mare went scrambling past the library, whimpering in terror and rushing deeper into the city, casting fearful looks over her shoulder constantly. “What the…?” Rainbow muttered before looking in the same direction as the mare. As she did, lightning blasted across the sky. She almost immediately regretted her decision when she saw what was happening. Her blood ran cold in her veins and abject terror began to spring to life in her chest.

For at the edges of the Empire and moving towards the palace was a mind-numbingly colossal mass of shadowy smoke. Tendrils of pure darkness licked at the ground at its base, creating sparks of purple, red and green magical energy. Near the top of the dark form were two green eyes with blood-red pupils that looked out upon the city and its inhabitants with a ravenous hunger. It’s pupils narrowed into slits and glowing ominously, purple and green electricity crackling around them. In the air high above it, as it drew deeper into the city, the pristine blue sky that had been a constant for the last two days was being smothered by clouds colored like fire and smoke. Already the sun had been blotted out.

“W-w-what is that?!” Starlight asked, fear evident in her voice. Rainbow glanced over her shoulder and saw all of her friends looking on at the darkness with similar expressions of horror and fear. Starlight shifted back into the library a few steps, looking about ready to turn and run as far away as she could. Rainbow looked back towards the dark form and gulped heavily.

“I have no idea! But I get the feeling it’s not friendly,” she said shakily, her ears pinning back against her head and her body quivering.

Another mare went scurrying by, looking over her shoulder and screaming long and loud. “No! NO! Please, no! Not him! ANYTHING BUT HIM!” she cried out in a hoarse voice, tears in her eyes. In her hysteria, one of her hooves didn’t land quite right in it’s step, and she tripped forward, falling to the road beneath her hard. She slid along for several feet, curling into a ball and covering her head with her hooves, her panicked wails finally drawing somepony to act. Applejack was on the case almost instantly, jumping down the library’s steps to the road below before galloping to the mare’s side and offering her a hoof.

“It’s alright, Ah gotcha!” She said to the mare, who took the offered hoof gladly and got back to her hooves. She turned to keep running, barely sparing Applejack a thankful nod, but the farmer kept a hold on her before she could run off again. “Hey, wait a sec! what is that thing? Do you know?” she asked when the mare looked into her eyes in desperation, her breathe coming in rapid, hysterical gasps.

She looked momentarily baffled by Applejack’s question before yanking her hoof away and scurrying back several steps. “You don’t know?! How could you not know?! It’s him!

“Ah ain’t from around here,” Applejack pointed out before another gust of powerful wind rushed by at the same moment that more electricity blasted across the sky. The earth trembled from the volume of the thunder, making the mare cower down onto her belly, her eyes locking onto the sky.

”That’s King Sombra! The king of shadows, of monsters! He’s all of our worst fears come true! He’s come back for us! He’s come for his slaves!” she lowered her eyes from the sky to gaze dreadingly at the moving mass. If she wasn’t hyperventilating before, she was now. “Please, no… No, no! S-somepony has to do something!” she reached out and grabbed Applejack by the shoulders, shaking her violently. “I don’t want to be put in chains again! Please don’t let him put me in chains again! I’ll do anything! PLEASE!”

On the steps of the library, the mare’s words echoed in the ears of all those who heard it. Wind buried her face into Thorax’s mane, crying fearfully. “Squall, please, make it stop! I’m scared!” she weeped, shivering uncontrollably. Thorax looked back at her before lowering down to rest on his belly and nudging Wind off.

“Wind. Hey, Wind!” he said, but when she didn’t respond beyond crying harder and clinging tightly to his mane, his voice gained more force. “Wind, listen to me! Hey!” he finally pried her off of his mane and set her down in front of him. She looked up at him, struggling to contain her terrified cries. “I need you to go back inside and find somewhere to hide, okay? Best hiding place you can find. Do you understand?”

Wind Whisper shakily nodded, sniffling heavily. “W-w-what about you?” she questioned, reaching out to him. Another blast of thunder echoed all around them, and she shrieked in alarm before latching onto his chest as tight as she could, refusing to let go.

“I’m going to do my job,” he said before glancing at Rainbow Dash, who was still watching the darkness with a look of awe and horror. “I’m going to do whatever Princess Rainbow Dash tells me...” he then looked down at Wind one more time. “Now get inside! GO!”

Wind reluctantly released her hold on Thorax and then sprinted back into the library, sobbing as she went. Thorax watched her go, then turned to glare at Sombra while grinding his teeth.

“Sombra’s alive…?” Twilight choked out, finally finding her words as she watched the darkness spread. Another haunting howl sounded, echoing across the entire empire and shaking it to its core. The mare, who had been crying with her face pressed into the street, shouted and pulled herself against Applejack as if she were a lifeline.

“It looks that way…” Starlight muttered with despair, shrinking back somewhat.

“Help us! PLEASE!” The mare begged, her grip on Applejack tightening even more.

The mare in question looked back towards the others for a moment, trying to get a read on their condition. They all looked absolutely terrified by what they were seeing… But in the stances of Rainbow Dash, Twilight and Thorax, she could see defiance and resolve burning just as strong as that fear. Applejack returned her gaze to the mare and nodded. ‘We’ll do everything we can, Ah promise.”

The mare looked at King Sombra again, whimpered deep in her throat, then barreled past Applejack and the others, disappearing into the library to hide. As the mare passed, Rarity shot Applejack a questioning look. “Not to be rude, Applejack…” she then pointed a trembling hoof at Sombra. “BUT HOW IN THE HOOF ARE WE SUPPOSED TO STOP THAT?!

“We gotta try, don’t we?” Applejack retorted, cantering back up to the others. “We came to the Empire because we need the power here, right? So we can’t let Sombra have it!” she stated while stomping a hoof down for emphasis. “And Ah could never look at mahself in a mirror again if we just left these ponies to their fate! They’re terrified!”

Rainbow narrowed her eyes and turned to Twilight, Starlight and Thorax. “Twilight, Starlight, with me,” she then turned to Thorax, looking him hard in the eyes. “Squall, take everypony else inside and you keep them safe. You hear me?” she ordered simply, her undertone making it clear that mistakes were not an option here.

He recoiled slightly. “Wait, what? B-but, I want to help!”

“And you can do that by keeping my friends, and your sister, safe!” Rainbow countered sharply, stepping up to him and putting a hoof firmly on his chest. “I’m not arguing with you on this.”

“What?! Hold on just a darn minute!” Applejack demanded incredulously, cantering up to Rainbow Dash with a disbelieving snort and flabbergasted eyes. “Ya want us to stay behind?!”

Rainbow looked at Applejack severely, giving Thorax a light shove towards the library doors. “No offense, but without the Elements, most of us are sitting ducks against something like this. I am not letting you get hurt!” she snapped before looking around at all of the others. “Any of you! Now get inside! That’s an order!”

“Rainbow…” Fluttershy began, reaching out to her fillyhood friend timidly. Rainbow turned to face her, the intensity in her gaze not wavering for even a moment.

“Inside, Flutters,” she reiterated, nodding towards the doors. “You’ll be safe in there.”

Fluttershy slowly nodded before shooting forward and wrapping Rainbow in a tight hug, one which Rainbow greedily returned. “Just be careful, okay? And come back safe...” she whispered in a shaking voice. Rainbow gave her a firm, reassuring squeeze.

“I will…” She replied quietly before backing out of the hug and flaring out her wings. “Now go! All of you!”

While the rest of the group retreated back into the library, closing the doors behind them, Twilight trotted up to Rainbow with an unsure look on her face. “Rainbow what is your plan?”

Rainbow’s brow furrowed, her eyes lingering on the door for several moments. “Simple enough,” She turned back to the two unicorns as she spoke. Her eyes briefly rested on Starlight.

Make her pay.

Could you maybe shut up for five minutes?

Quickly dismissing the fire in her skull, she gestured to herself. “I’ll fly up to his head and try to get his attention. Once I’ve done that, I want you two to see if you can drive him back to the edges with magic. If we can manage to push him out, then…” Rainbow looked to Twilight, a flicker of uncertainty in her eyes. “Twilight, I know this was always more your brother’s thing, but if you and Starlight can drive him back, can you create a barrier to keep him out?”

Twilight’s eyes went as wide as dinner plates and her jaw fell open. She stuttered over her words for several moments before finding them. “Wh-what?! You want me to create a barrier over the entire empire?!” she shrieked, a hoof flying up to the side of her head with bewilderment. “I’ve never tried anything even close to that!”

Another blast of thunder echoed around them before the sky grew even darker. “Do we have a better plan?!” Starlight pressed, glancing back at Sombra as another bone-chilling howl rolled over the empire. Everywhere his shadowy form touched seemed to become tainted. Crystal went from smooth, pristine and bright to jagged, coarse and dark. The sky was slowly growing dimmer and dimmer, every shimmer of hope and light being snuffed out. A frigid wind was starting to pick up as well, drowning out the terrified screams in the city even as the temperature around them dropped with every second that ticked by.

Twilight bit her lip and folded her ears back against her head, racking her brain desperately. “I… I don’t!” she finally admitted in a shout to be heard over the roaring winds.

“Maybe Starlight can help you,” Rainbow suggested, glancing at Starlight sternly, a warning in her eyes. “Lend you power or something. Now let’s go!”

Twilight, still looking unsure of herself, nodded and stepped down from the stairs at a brisk pace, heading out into the middle of the street. Rainbow and Starlight lagged behind a little, with Starlight looking at the other mare hesitantly. “Are you sure about this?” she asked in a trembling voice.

Rainbow’s eyes left Twilight and rested on Starlight intensely. “Totally,” She replied in a low voice before drawing a little closer so she was right in Starlight’s face. “But let me be perfectly clear… if Twilight gets hurt out there, and I find out that you could have prevented it…” she narrowed her eyes and growled deep in her throat. “...Let’s just say taking Discord’s spell out of my head won’t be enough.”

Starlight visibly paled, then nodded. “U-understood…”

Without another word, Rainbow turned and lifted into the air with a flap of her wings. She locked her gaze on Sombra and bared her teeth. “Oh, no you don’t You are not about to take over the Empire again!” she thought. With that determination in her mind, she took off at a pace she knew the other two could keep up with for King Sombra.

Author's Note:

Fun fact: this chapter and last chapter were originally one and the same. However, due to it feeling a little rushed, I split it up into two halves and extended those halves to be a chapter each.

Is it bad that I had a lot of fun writing the sequence with the mare panicking in Applejacks's hooves?

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