• Published 6th Aug 2012
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Part I: Precursors - Auryx Saturnius



A royal family secret and an alien stranger threaten the peace of Equestria.

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First Interlude

He found himself unable to determine where he was. He was unable to see or hear, unable to feel, smell or even touch. To him, everything seemed to blend into on monochromatic feeling or nothingness: an endless abyss of an absent thought...

...absent thought...

...but what was absent? He couldn’t tell for sure. Thought itself seemed too impossible in this realm, beyond his ability to grasp and comprehend.

What... what is my name?’

His name? Such a concept seemed to be forever remaining beyond his reach, even as it flooded around him, swirling around in a clouding vortex of hazing thoughts. Absentmindedly, he reached out for the cloud, but couldn’t grasp anything, the thoughts and memories spinning around where his hand pierced into the blackened light. He tried again to no avail, flailing around desperately attempting to grab hold of anything and everything. With difficulty, he managed to grasp a part of the haze, a wisp of cloud slowly caressing his hand.

The feeling of rapid movement filled his being, pushing at his stomach and removing any and all air in his lungs. The abyss surrounding him turned unbearably bright. He closed his eyes, the light dying down and becoming manageable to see again. Upon opening them, he found himself staring into a plane of dusty blue, an orb or light and fire centering in his vision...

...the sun...

He found himself raising his hand to diminish its powerful gaze upon his face, and he looked down to find himself standing in a barren desert: the only sense of development being a broken paved road that had seen better days. His toes pressed against black boots; his legs trembled with exhaustion in grey dress pants; his shoulders ached in a stiff red coat that provided no aid from the blistering heat he found himself in.

Is this... is this me?’ he thought.

“Report Molotov.”

The sudden voice tore himself from his stupor, prompting himself to turn to it, only to find him unable to. He felt no control over this body, like he was a stranger in another’s skin. The voice had called him Molotov... that did not feel right to him...

...It didn’t feel right to him at all…

“We’ve certainly past the point of no return now: it is as they say either victory or death.”

He spoke with an accent, one that he felt he could not reproduce consciously. His vision shifted as his body stopped and turned to the voice that spoke from before. It belonged to a machine: a titan of steel that stood twice his relative height. “If only we had more troops available for this operation.”

It spoke with a harsh, artificial sound: cold and logical, as if its creator wanted to stress the point it wasn’t a living creature. “Bismarck once said the issues of his day will be solved by blood and iron. It seems we must solve ours with iron alone. There is no effective way to supply our conventional troops this deep inside enemy territory. Besides, they will do us better keeping the Chinese forces occupied back at the front lines...”

Molotov’s body moved back so it gazed straight down the beaten road, causing the stranger to try and squint at the bright sun with no avail over the body.

“I certainly agree,” the person replied, “but perhaps we could find a way to persuade some of the local inhabitants to join us... In war, there are always those among the locals who can be made to join the winning side...”

He tried to wait and listen for any further conversation they may have, but found him being pulled away forcefully from this body. He struggled and fought on the inside, the light around him only becoming brighter and brighter until he was forced to close his eyes once more. This prompted him to struggle even harder than before, clawing and grasping for the world he was in, only to find it pushing him into the abyss from before faster, the feeling of speed pressing against his stomach. His lungs were completely evacuated, air rushing out through his mouth and nostrils even as he fought to keep it in. He was unable to breath for the longest time, each attempt only filling his lungs with a poison that burned and brought him pain. He struggled as hard as he could, pushing out to try and break free, giving it all one last charge as finally was released from this force grasping him. With a powerful breath, he sucked in as much air as he could: relishing the sweet feeling of its cold rush...

...much to the startle of the six other beings in the room...