• Published 12th Feb 2019
  • 2,946 Views, 338 Comments

Pony Predators of Equestria - Pentarctagon



What is a pony? After the Changeling invasion, debates rage across Equestria over that simple question. There is a follow up that nopony thinks to ask, however: what if they weren't the only ones hiding?

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Chapter 22 From Bad to Worse

"Hmm…"

A unicorn stallion taps his chin amid the gravelly murmur, eyeing a half-completed puzzle covering the table in front of him, faint wrinkles and the beginnings of greyness scattered across his otherwise orange coat and crew cut, sky blue mane. Eventually, he slots a piece into an empty spot beneath Celestia's barrel, leaning away once the task is complete. A squeak from his chair interrupts a forming yawn however, the stallion jumping to his hooves, heart racing, before he closes his eyes and takes several deep, slow breaths. Slumping back into the chair – ears twitching at the sound of another creak – he lets out a long sigh and allows his eyelids to rise, his gaze sliding across the room until it lands on a small family picture framed and hanging on the wall. A faintly younger version of himself grins back, his wife likewise grinning to his left and between them their son, all three adults wearing their full Royal Guard armor with the exception of a clambering grandcolt taking the place of his son's helmet.

The elder Guard smiles, the beating of his heart finally slowing as his eyes move upward, a pair of still polished helmets hanging from the wall above the picture. Returning to his puzzle, he levitates a cup of warm milk into his grasp, its heat seeping through his hooves while he drains the last of it. Cup empty, he lingers on the completed sun in the puzzle's background, a quick glance out a nearby window confirming the night's darkness still shrouds the real world.

He sighs again, If only…

His ears prick at the sound of yet another creak, a chuckle escaping as he glances at the ceiling, I guess she couldn't stay asleep either.

He turns in his chair to watch the stairs, awaiting his other half. Another, longer creak a few seconds later is all that follows however, minutes passing with no further noises coming from either the stairs or the floor above.

A frown takes hold of his expression, worry worming its way into the back of his mind, "I guess… she decided not to come down, then."

Or it was somepony else, doubt whispers back.

His heart lurches against his chest, but he shakes his head, "N-No. No. That's silly. Our house is locked up and completely safe."

But the only place that creaks in our bedroom is by the window.

He looks to his puzzle, its pieced together cardboard sun suddenly far less comforting, "Which does that because we like to sit there a lot. She probably just took a look outside. And it's locked."

She wouldn't get out of bed only to take a three-second look outside though.

He eyes the stairway as though it were a snake lying in wait, another minute of indecision passing before he finally stands, "I'll… go check, then. I'll check, I'll see there's nopony there, and then I can finish my puzzle. There hasn't been a report of forced entry in Ponyville in years, after all."

Except the vamponies.

He gulps, pausing on the first step, "Well… yeah, but what are the odds that there's actually one of them here, tonight?"

Not zero…

The former Guard grimaces, pushing aside his swirling doubt and fear as he makes his way to the second floor, the stairs offering several squeaks of their own.

Reaching their bedroom, his frown deepens, "I… didn't close the door when I left earlier, did I?"

Nope.

He grunts, shooting angry thoughts at his inner self, then twists the doorknob. The inside of their bedroom, lit only by the light of Luna's moon flowing in through a lone window, greets him. He waits in the entrance, pushing the door all the way open until it bumps the wall. Finding nothing out of place, he steps inside, quickly glancing to his right and left – the space to his sides as empty and uninteresting as the rest of the room.

A point of light flickers to life at the tip of his horn, an aura of magic enveloping the door to close it behind him while its warm glow drives back the darkness and moonlight alike as he makes his way over to a bed not quite nestled into the far corner. A mare lays sleeping on the closer half – though she has long since claimed all of the blankets – age already beginning to take its toll on her bright yellow mane and deep gold coat.

The elder Guard stands over his wife for a long moment, watching the slow, calm breaths of her sleep before gently running his hoof across a foreleg sticking out from the cocoon of blankets, "Hey, Goldie, uh, I just wanted to check – are you alright?"

He braces himself, waiting for the irate admonishment of a sleepy mare forced awake. Instead, her breathing continues unchanged, the angry words never coming.

He shakes her, his heart quickening, "H-Hey, Golden, wake up."

A snore is her only reply, his wife oblivious to his touch.

He inhales deeply, "Golden Arrow!"

His wife's rhythmic breathing is the only answer he receives, the hairs on the back of his neck standing on end as his frantic gaze lands on her exposed limb. Horn glowing brighter, he leans closer, a trembling examination revealing twin spots of fresh skin a few inches from her shoulder. He stares dumbly at the recently healed pair of wounds for a fraction of a second before leaping over her, heart pounding against his chest as he pulls his wife, blankets and all, onto the floor of the gap between his side of the bed and the wall.

When yet another scan of their room reveals nothing, his horn glows brighter, deep orange sparks popping free. He drops a pillow onto his wife's face, covering his own eyes with a foreleg, Let's see how those nocturnal bastards like this.

His entire horn blazes like a sliver of the sun itself, bathing every inch of the room in a blinding, piercing light – a pained screech answering his spell followed by a thud.

He stares at the crumpled figure writhing on the floor clutching its eyes, mouth agape, the fading, residual magic left over from his spell still brightening the room, "Oh. Oh sweet Celestia."

The vampony stills at his words, its blood red, snake-like eyes opening in a bare squint to meet the unicorn's own. Icy fear stabs at his heart anew, his blood running cold as he looses a wordless shout along with a blast of magic. The spellbolt strikes the vampony's shoulder, spinning it around and throwing it against the far wall. Pain lances through his skull as the vampony slumps to the floor and he lets out a low hiss through clenched teeth, a touch to his horn coming back with a faint outline of ash while an acrid smell makes its way to his nostrils.

Letting out a groan, he looks towards the defeated invader, a mouthful of pointed teeth and fangs rushing towards him the next – and last – thing he sees that night.

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Comments ( 27 )

9615202

Slowly, but yes. The next chapter should be a more normal length as well.

And look at that, everything immediately goes to tartarus. Maybe don't toss the house of a retired fire-mage if you've a sensitivity to light?

TDR

Hmm interesting direction change from the first version of this story. They are not as willing to discuss things.

Oh no, this really complicates things. I only hope that vampony didn't kill the unicorn but only fed on him. Otherwise I'm afraid of the consequences

Neece #5 · May 13th, 2019 · · 2 ·

And, as is usual for humanity, this will result in a rather long conflict that only serves to raise animosity between both sides, a conflict that only happens due to the old guard's reluctance to try for change. With the added note if Midnight constantly telling them how stupid they're being.

Ri2

9620187
The old guard was perfectly within his rights to attack someone preying on his wife! Unless you were referring to the older vamponies, in which case, yeah.

Midnight's warnings have just been proven to be correct. The vamponies cannot ignore the fact that their existence is known to other ponies.

9620293
It was the older vamponies, yeah. Didn't even remember the retired guard when wrote that, but fair enough :rainbowlaugh:

9620136
Going off the wording at the end, I'd say that the old guard is still alive.

9620712
Yeah probably he is still alive, but with something more than just two small wounds like his wife :ajsleepy:
I mean, I doubt that the vampony will bother to heal him after he was attacked by him.

9620951
Its debatable. The Vampony was intruding though he ment no harm. It depends on if he's anything like Midnight's parents.

9621221
True, but it that moment the unicorn wasn't a prey anymore for the vampony, it was a threat. I suspect that when attacked if they let their predatory instinct take control, like Midnight said in chapter 1, they won't hesitate to kill a prey.
Plus we still don't know if that vampony was informed by Midnight's parents that their daughters were discovered

9622071 No, in my off time I genetically engineer small animals.

:pinkiecrazy:

I'm very happy to have rediscovered this fic! The original version quickly became one of my favourite fics on this site.

I was quite annoyed by some comments on the old version that seemed to be criticizing its mixing of dark and humorous themes (this describes some of the best stories and shows I know) and having too many ideas squeezed into one story (too many fics only have a single basis idea and could do with several more). However, it did become apparent by the later chapters that the story had become somewhat bloated and unfocused, and entire subplots seemed to have been forgotten or squeezed out.

This version seems to have much better pacing and flow, so far. Some distractions removed, a smaller cast, some things that were decided or revealed too quickly are being given time to develop. Many of the the deleted scenes were great scenes on their own, but that doesn't necessarily mean they were what the story as a whole needed. I guess now they're special features on the dvd release.

The only two criticisms I do have:
- Applejack's explosion in chapter 13, which I don't think changed much from the old version, seems completely unjustified and out of character, as does Twilight's accepting of blame and resulting promise. The last time Applejack and Twilight spoke, Luna specifically prevents Twilight from explaining the entire story because there wasn't time AND warns Applejack about how dangerous this enemy was. At that point in time Twilight had not yet figured out that the red pony was Sombra or the connection to Daring Do. When next they saw each other, the situation was already urgent. The ch13 scene leaves it vague exactly what piece of info Applejack is upset about not being told or when Twilight was supposed to have told her, and I cannot figure out what could fill that blank that makes any sense. Unless there is a yet to be revealed reason for Applejack's behaviour (she's secretly a seapony?), I think a toned down version would be a lot more believable.

- With the deletion of the entire string of scenes involving Cheerilee and her friends through the day, neither she nor Bon Bon appear in the fic before the big reveal. Everything with Trixie and the bowling alley was perhaps unnecessary (if amusing) bloat, but I think showing the pre-reveal interactions between Lyra, Bon Bon, Cheerilee, Big Mac and the third changeling was an important aspect of the plot, not to mention Lyra's interest in mythical creatures (Lyra: They aren't mythical!!) since Bon Bon seems to refer back to that conversation in Ch15. Perhaps a cut down version of their scene in Sugarcube Corner, with just the four of them, would have given that background.

Can't wait to see where you take this next!

9621821
Let alone what they said to others.

Their announcement about the vamponies is the cause of it. The system had been working for years until the princess got involved.

Also said firepony could be charged with killing an endangered species.

The vamponies have no way out it is either die fighting or enslavement. The princesses may try to make it as fair as possible but the truth is ponies are most ponies are racists to other species.

AW DAMMIT! the current chapter just HAD to be a cliffhanger! :facehoof:

When next AWESOME update? :pinkiehappy:

Comment posted by NotBurgerShot deleted Jun 27th, 2019

Damn, now I want to see what happens next.

absolutely love this fic. One of the best I've read.

Ah damn, I get addicted to another chronically unfinished fic... And it's so good, too!

Just saw it was cancelled. That is sad.

A question if I may on the story, I see that it's been cancelled yet the blog said you would get to it when you could, so shouldn't it then be on hiatus?

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