• 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.

  • ...

PreviousChapters Next
Side By Side, Always

Stinger snarled with strain, just barely evading another jet of putrid magic from Sombra’s horn. She tried not to think about the fact that another changeling cried out behind her as she did, instead focusing on charging her horn and firing off a counter attack. However, much to her dismay, her own blast of green magic passed uselessly through Sombra as his horn dematerialized before contact. His amorphous body of smoke bent around the attack before reforming none the worse for wear. A Cheshire grin filled with razor-sharp teeth appeared in the smog just below his eyes, and a low laugh echoed all around them. Stinger growled and several drones nearby shivered with anxiety.

This was bad, and it was getting worse by the second. Drones were still falling left and right like flies out here, being plucked from the heavens either by Sombra’s writhing tendrils of darkness or by lances of magic from his horn. None of this was made any easier by the fact that the barrier around the city was still standing, and the drones had nowhere else to go. Trying to flee in the frozen north as a sure-fire way to either freeze or starve. Not exactly a good list of options. Granted, had grown weaker, sure, and a few of the more powerful drones that were still standing had successfully managed to put small cracks in it with their most powerful spells, but with Sombra harassing them every step of the way, those cracks were always healed before they could be made large enough to break through.

“Gah! What is taking her so long?!” Another drone shouted impatiently, letting loose another burst of spellfire. His eyes suddenly widened, and a high-pitched scream of terror tore itself out of his mouth as he barely managed to evade a swipe from one of Sombra’s tendrils. He quickly lifted himself higher into the air against the furious winds of the snowstorm to get out of range. “We’re sitting ducks out here!”

Stinger turned an irate glare on him. “You shut up!” she snapped with her horn sparking dangerously into life. He flinched back and gulped, but she wasn’t done admonishing him just yet. “Don’t question the Queen, just do your job and break this barrier!” To illustrate her point, she lifted her altitude somewhat to get out of the range of Sombra’s shadows herself and let a focused beam of green magic shoot from her horn in an effort to pierce the barrier. Cracks formed on the surface, but quickly vanished in a flicker of light.

“We can’t keep this up, Stinger!” The drone argued while rising to her altitude. “We’re exhausted, and we’ve lost well over three-fourths of the swarm! We might have to fall back!”

Stinger turned to him again, her horn glowing as the poor drone’s neck was encased in a similarly green light. He went to gasp, but his airways were entirely cut off. His eyes, now filled with panic, shot wide open, and his hooves flew up to his throat while his rear legs kicked out erratically. Stinger dragged him closer until they were muzzle-to-muzzle, peering into his eyes with an intensity that might have made him whimper. “If you even think of running away, you won’t live long enough for Her Majesty to declare you a traitor!” Stinger snarled bitterly before releasing him.

She then ducked back as another jet of dark magic shot from Sombra, tearing through the air between her and the drone and making the air ripple. The drone flailed backward, a terrified yelp coming from him at the near-miss. A few drones broke off from the barrier to send spellfire at Sombra’s horn, forcing him to pull it back into his body and end his ranged assault yet again.

The drone took a few seconds to catch his breath before shaking his body to get a hold of himself. “She should have succeeded by now,” he noted before his eyes darted up to look at the impossibly strong storm around the barrier. “But between this storm and that barrier… I don’t know. What if the ponies inside found a way to stop the queen? We might be fighting a losing battle, here!”

Stinger shot him a glare as chilling as the grave, making his blood go suitably cold. He slowly began to back away from her, losing altitude looking about ready to run from the angered zealot. Stinger was about to give chase but decided against it. Instead, she let a smug smirk spread on her face, prompting the drone to hesitate in confusion. Stinger didn’t bother to warn him when a tendril from Sombra swung up from behind him, silently cutting through the air until it was right on top of him. He didn’t even have time to scream as it swallowed him whole, his eyes only just having the time to widen with realization and despair before being smothered in the darkness.

The tendril rushed by, missing Stinger and pulling Sombra’s newest victim into the smoke. The coward was gone.

Stinger returned her attention to the barrier, and with gritted teeth, sent another beam of focused magic into it. Again, more cracks, and again, they had been repaired an instant later. She growled angrily and went at the barrier again, firing off spells, dodging Sombra’s attacks and shouting at any drone who dared to falter from their directions. But she couldn’t shake the feeling of dread running up and down her spine at the fact that the drone, as much of a loathsome coward as he was, had made a good point. Chrysalis should have had this barrier torn down by now. What was happening in there, she wondered…

She briefly recalled the coward’s words about the Queen, how the ponies might have found a way to defeat her. She grit her teeth, unable to even believe the concept. But still… “If something unthinkable like that happened… I will do everything in my power to end the one responsible!”

Queen Chrysalis’ laughter rang in Rainbow’s ears through the sound of her heart hammering wildly in her chest. She didn’t dare to breathe, and she didn’t dare open her eyes. She didn’t want to see the oncoming rush of death that was due to swallow both her and Twilight whole. She didn’t want to see the surging flames that told her that they were going to die. She already knew it, and she wished she didn’t. It was inevitable. Any moment now…

Why wasn’t she dead yet?

The expected rush of heat never came. Confused, wondering if perhaps time had slowed down in her final moments, Rainbow bravely cracked open one of her eyes to see what had happened. Both of her eyes flew wide open in shock when she saw that Twilight had conjured a dome-shaped barrier around them and that it had managed to withstand Chrysalis’ attack. Granted, there was now a gigantic crack pattern along the forward side of the dome, and Twilight was gasping for breath on trembling legs. After a second or two of silence, Twilight released a heavy breath and allowed the whole thing to shatter and vanish into the air. Twilight shook herself and then glared through the smoke.

“If you’re trying to blow us up, you’re going to have to try a lot harder than that!” she shouted as the smoke cleared, allowing Rainbow to see a flummoxed Queen Chrysalis standing not far away, watching them with wide eyes and a head that was tilted to one side. She didn’t seem to grasp the fact that Twilight was still alive, especially considering that everything that had been outside the shield had been reduced to little more than molten slag that was slowly starting to cool and harden into a black, charred mass. Rainbow made the most of the lull in the action to steadily force herself back to her hooves. She began gasping and painting through clenched teeth as white-hot pain sparked through her body in protest to the movement, but she was able to power through it. Soon enough she was on her hooves, limping up to Twilight’s side while not once taking her eyes off of Chrysalis.

The queen remained still, and Rainbow took the chance to speak. “Twilight, she’s going to kill you!” she pleaded one last time in a whisper, desperation clear in her voice. “Please, get back to the palace.”

“For the last time, no,” Twilight shot back pulling her blab of crystal close to her body. “I’m not leaving. I would rather die than let her hurt you anymore.”

Those words seemed to finally jar Chrysalis out of her reverie. Her stunned expression again morphed into a psychotic grin as her horn lit up. “Oh, that can be arranged…” she snarled before charging her horn to let off another beam of magic. This time, she would make sure Twilight wouldn’t be able to block it. Just as she let the rush of power fly from her horn, though, Rainbow Dash surprised both of them by suddenly snapping out her wings and darting under Twilight’s barrel. Then, with a mighty flap, she shot high into the air, taking a shouting Twilight with her just in time to avoid the rush of green that melted the spot where they had been. The long spear of crystal Twilight had been carrying in her magic dropped uselessly to the street with a loud clatter immediately after.

Up above, Twilight, in a panic, wildly flailed her hooves in the air for a moment before getting herself under control and pouting down at Rainbow’s mane. The pegasus just looked over her shoulder to give an apologetic grin. “Protective instinct goes both ways, you know,” she pointed out before looking back down at Chrysalis. “I still have a speed advantage over her. If I can evade her spells, can you use your magic to attack her?”

Twilight set her chin on Rainbow’s shoulder, glaring at the changeling queen far below, who was now watching them with curiosity more than anything else. After they locked eyes, Twilight nodded, her horn sparking to life again. “Yeah. I’ll try to shield as well as I can.”

“Good… Let’s do this!”

As Rainbow spoke those words, Twilight saw that Chrysalis had grown bored of waiting for them. Her wings buzzed into life, rising her steadily up until she was eye-to-eye with them maybe five yards away. A mock-adoring smile spread on her face when she saw Twilight’s hooves curl around Rainbow’s chest to keep her securely on the pegasus’ back. “Aw, isn’t that sweet? You two are adorable like this… embraced in the sky, huddled close together, glaring at me with such vitriol…” her smile twisted into one of bloodlust and sadism, her forked tongue licking her lips. “I’m going to enjoy tearing you away from each other…”

Twilight had heard enough. Her horn flared with intense light and fired a beam of focused energy at the queen. At the same moment, Rainbow Dash gave her wings a hard flap, sending her into a rising arc over Chrysalis, one which Twilight exploited to send a volley of spellfire her way. The queen’s horn flared to life as well, a golden barrier forming around her and canceling all of Twilight’s attacks without even flickering. Twilight gasped.

“That’s Celestia’s magic!”

Rainbow grit her teeth, rotating around so that Twilight had a clear angle to launch more spells. “She’s gonna pay for this…”

Before any further commentary could be given, Chrysalis seemed to finally grow tired of being on the defensive. A beam of green magic burst out of her golden barrier, rocking towards the two ponies at high speeds. Rainbow didn’t have time to dodge it, but she didn’t need to. A small circle of thick fuschia light formed in the air right in front of the beam, catching it and stopping it. As the beam faded, did the circle of light.

“Focused magical barrier. Keeping it in one small spot lets me make it a lot stronger,” Twilight explained simply before firing off a counter attack. Chrysalis effortlessly dodged to one side before rocketing after them to give chase, launching more spells. Any attack that Rainbow was unable to dodge was summarily blocked by Twilight, although the strain was clearly getting to her as the battle took them over the skies of the empire.

As their aerial battle waged on, Chrysalis came heart-stoppingly close to punching a hole through both of them with a well-placed spell. Rainbow swerving to go into a turn was just barely enough to save them from it, but they could both feel it as it shot past them. Twilight cried out in alarm, her grip on Rainbow tightening exponentially. Feeling the unicorn shaking with fear on her back drove Rainbow to consider her options. She was in her element in the sky, but so was Chrysalis. Twilight, however, was not in her element, and was missing her shots more often than not. They were also very high up, making her go rigid any time she looked down.

Rainbow risked taking her eyes off of Chrysalis to look down into the mist below. She could just see the roofs of some of the tallest homes and businesses, poking up like the sharp tips of rocks in the ocean near the shore. It occurred to her, then, what she could do. She tucked her wings at her side and began a rapid descent for the mist. She heard Twilight yelling in alarm and fear from the sudden fall, but did her best to drown it out. A bolt of green magic just missed them as they passed through the top layer of the mist. At that moment, Rainbow snapped her wings out again, gaining horizontal momentum as their fall came to a smooth end.

She knew where they were, now, too. That was definitely a bonus. Thinking quick, she ducked behind a building just as another surge of magic shot by her, singing the tips of her tail hairs. Chrysalis shouted with rage and rounded the corner, her horn charging another spell already. However, she didn’t get a chance to let it off. Rainbow Dash spun around, a dark storm cloud clutched in her hooves. With a cocky grin, she finished her spin and released it, throwing the cloud at Chrysalis while Twilight sent a spell to ignite it.

And ignite it did. An enormous explosion of orange and purple flames exploded out the moment the cloud touched Chrysalis, and her pained shout could be heard even through the ear-splitting boom of the detonation. Rainbow smirked and climbed back into the air a few dozen feet, carefully watching the flames. They still weren’t going out, and were, in fact, spreading to a few nearby trees and buildings. Rainbow winced. She had hoped to avoid collateral damage...

She didn’t get to ruminate on it, though. Another jet of green magic came tearing out of the smoke cloud directly towards them. Rainbow’s eyes widened, and she tried to dodge it by swerving to one side. Sadly, she wasn’t fast enough to evade the worst of it. The blast glanced off of her shoulder, but even that was enough to knock her out of the sky with a cry of agony. She felt Twilight’s hooves coil tighter around her, the unicorn on her back screaming in terror as they spun wildly out of control. The sound of her dearest and oldest friend in such fear spurred Rainbow Dash on, and with a shout, she managed to flip them upright and break the speed of their descent by flaring open her wings to catch the wind.

They were too close to the ground already, though. All four of her hooves punched into the street, creating cracks in the surface. The street wasn’t the only thing to crack, however, as unbearable pain flared into existence in Rainbow’s forelegs below the elbows. She screamed, falling to the ground in a heap, which only served to make the pain even worse. She felt Twilight climbing off of her, giving her more freedom to writhe and squirm in pain.

“Rainbow, get up!” Twilight pleaded from her side after a moment, trying to help Rainbow stand up. Her efforts were met with another pained scream from the Pegasus, and she quickly ended her efforts. Twilight knelt by Rainbow’s side, her eyes shimmering with concern and her ears splayed back. “Rainbow, please! She won’t take long to find us!” she shouted in desperation.

Rainbow Dash, still groaning and moaning in agony, forced herself to try and stand up. Her efforts were for nothing, however, as every time she put her weight on any of her hooves, she would collapse with a brief scream. “M-m-my hooves!” she finally stammered through rapid, shallow gasps, settling down onto her haunches and staring at her forehooves. There were several fresh cracks in them from her impact, and her forelegs were turning purple and swollen just below the elbows. The color drained from her face at the sight. Twilight looked on in horror.


“Twilight, run,” Rainbow tried, hissing in pain as she did so. “Please. Just go!”

The sound of Chrysalis’ hooves slowly clacking against the crystal street reached their ears, and both of them turned to look. In the flickering orange light cast by the still spreading fire, the shadow of Queen Chrysalis could be seen steadily approaching, cast on the street and buildings from around the corner. They could also hear her singing a slow song to herself, the haunting melody sending a chill down their spines.

“This day is going to be perfect, the kind of day of which I’ve dreamed since I was small…”

Twilight gulped and looked into Rainbow’s eyes, doing her best to look brave. It failed, however, and Rainbow could see the terror in her eyes and the shaking in her body. “I’m not leaving,” she restated firmly, rising back to her hooves and putting herself protectively in front of Rainbow Dash.

All the while, the song continued.

“Twilight Sparkle will soon lay dead, the last princess will drown in dread…”

Chrysalis came into view, illuminated from one side by the raging fire of Rainbow’s cloud. With the light of the sun and the light of Starlight’s barrier being dulled by the mist, the dancing glow from the inferno created a stark contrast, where one half of Chrysalis’ body was obscured in shadows, but her sadistic grin and glowing green eyes could still be seen. Her lips peeled back and her forked tongue ran along her teeth to bring attention to how sharp they were. A sinister chuckle bubbled up from her throat, causing both ponies to flinch back.

“Who says a girl can’t really have it all?”

Author's Note:

Fun Fact: I was not at all originally planning for 'This Day Aria' to make any sort of appearance in this story, but there it is.

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
PreviousChapters Next
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!