• Published 7th Jun 2019
  • 4,482 Views, 266 Comments

MLP: Rebirth of the Queen - The Bricklayer

Long ago, the Father of all Monsters gave birth to many creatures. Some monstrous, others wonderous. And now one has been located. Long live the Queen.

  • ...

2: Arrival

“So it created the black Mothra. Yes, my friend. Battra was its name, and it was a very fierce beast. It destroyed everything that was endangering the life of the Earth, and then some. There was a fierce battle between Mothra and Battra. When Mothra finally won, Battra was laid to rest in the northern sea. When the climate controller was destroyed, there was massive flooding on the Earth, and most of the land was underwater. Mothra survived in the mountains, along with us; the Earth's Cosmos.” -The Cosmos on Battra to Masako Fujita, Godzilla VS Mothra (1992)

“..Well, that all went swimmingly well, all things considered…” Celeano deadpanned as she found herself traipsing through the jungle floor. Clutching her chest in pain, she looked back towards the deeper wilds behind her. Rising high in the sky was a cauldron of smoke, just barely visible through the stormy gray skies. Orange lights flickered as embers rose above the jungle. “Yep, a perfect three-point landing.”

“Chin up Captain,” Daring said from beside her. “We’re all alive and in one piece so that’s what counts right?” the gold pegasus remarked with a small shrug of her shoulders.

Daring, truth be told had not counted on a lot of things during this expedition. She knew there was a chance of everything going all pear-shaped, as with any adventure. She was just hoping that Celaeno's ship would have lasted a bit longer. But every expedition had its hiccups. And this wasn't the first time her mode of transportation had been trashed.

Still, Daring mused to herself. Still, her sympathies went out to the captain. She knew a ship was any seafarer's pride and joy. Their baby if you will. And now Celeano had been deprived of it. She had taken note of the thinly veiled glares the parrot was now sending Tem… No, Daring corrected herself. Not Tempest Shadow anymore. It was Fizzlepop Berrytwist.

The pegasus sighed to herself. It seemed neither of them had gotten over their past prejudices to the former nation conqueror. And if that was the case, Daring thought to herself. Then what did it mean for the rest of the expedition and finding Mothra?

“What did it mean indeed?” Daring thought to herself with no small amount of worry. After all, if they couldn’t get past their old prejudices and get along then they might as well have offered themselves up to the animals. Made them no better than them, and resigned this mission to being doomed to failure from the get-go.

In any case, the group had to get moving. Celestia only knew what lurked out here after dark and quite personally, Daring didn't want to be the poor pony to find that one out.

“Come on!” Daring barked with no small amount of urgency, gesturing with her hoof to the dirt paths in front of them. They’d probably been formed by whatever ancient tribes inhabited the island. “We need to get a move on here!”

Looming in front of them was this massive stone step pyramid reaching high into the storm-lit skies. It was almost impossibly large and by Daring's estimate would take at least a day and a half to reach. If she had to guess, it formed the centerpiece of the island.

Why this pyramid in particular one may wonder? Well, if there was any better home for the so-called ‘Queen of the Monsters’ to reside in Daring couldn't really think of one. At least for the moment anyhow. But in any case, it would make for a good difficult trek to reach it.

“Fine… fine,” Celaeno muttered to herself. "Go on, I just... jus'need'a… Go on. Just give me a moment to get my bearings straight okay?” she slurred. Daring did hope she wasn't completely drunk off her flank. One more headache for her to deal with really. And she so did not need another one of those right now. Like, she so didn't need another one.

“Well…” Daring trailed off. “If you want to be the one to volunteer to let the animals eat us and hopefully get them off our backs… Well, be my guest!”

There was a small sound like an eep coming from somewhere behind Daring that she recognized in an instance. Fluttershy.

“Well, when you put it that way…” Celeano murmured to herself. “Best we get going!” she commented tossing one last look to the remains of her beloved ship. Then yet another glare towards Fizzlepop followed. The mare just rolled her eyes in mild annoyance not particularly caring anymore. Wouldn’t have been the first time someone gave her crap over her past.

Daring meanwhile turned her thoughts to her companions on this particular outing.

Truth be told, Daring was actually rather worried about Fluttershy being on this expedition. She respected her, and yes her ability to communicate with animal life could undoubtedly prove to be useful on this island but that fact remained that she was far frailer than the others. And much timider. The last thing she wanted was Fluttershy’s fears holding everyone else up and causing a halt in the expedition. While yes, it was true Twilight had vouched for the mare and Rainbow considered the pegasus to be her best friend Daring was more skeptical.

She supposed she should take the two at their word and respect it Daring didn’t just like to be told someone was of value. No, she had to be shown it. Being an Element of Harmony was all well and good but this stacked up to nothing if you proved yourself to be a liability with your own fears and doubts. That kind of thing had no place on an expedition. Other ponies would have balked at Daring and possibly called her cruel, but the mare considered herself a realist. Not an idealist.

In that same vein, she supposed that was exactly why she didn’t trust Fizzlepop in some ways. The mare was a nation conqueror once, and although she was now under Princess Twilight’s employ as a Captain of the Guard she still made Daring exceedingly nervous. She supposed that was up to natural instincts. Ponies, after all, were extremely nervous creatures by nature. There was a reason they flocked together in herds and build cities in which they were extremely tight-knit. Even Daring, the loner that she was, did admit she felt a lot safer with others around her.

Even if one of those others happened to be a former terrorist.

She supposed she would just have to wait and see what Fizzlepop did. She supposed she would just have to wait and see.

“Right, now how did we get into this situation again…? Daring thought. “Oh yes…”

Several hours earlier, the group of five were on Celaeno's newest ship. The Grand Lorikeet, she called it. Odd name, admittedly, but Celeano was a pirate so she could choose whatever she wanted for her ship’s name.

Compared to the last time Twilight was aboard a ship helmed by Celeano, she felt frankly rather comfortable. Might have had something to do with nopony pursuing her this time around or Celeano not wanting to ransom her off to the Storm King.

So all was well.

“Hey, aren’t you a Princess?” Mullet, one of the crewmembers had asked functioning as Celaeno's first mate. He usually kept his head wrapped in a black bandana. “Just asking here. If you’re one of the current leaders of Equestria, what the hell you doing onboard this little ship of ours?” he questioned.

Daring, truth be told wondered that as well. Ever since the Royal Sisters had retired she doubted Twilight honestly had time to do anything anymore. Certainly not go on little adventures all the way to the other side of the globe really. Personally, she wondered how Twilight managed being the headmare of a school and her other job.

“Yes, I’d quite like to know that myself,” Daring agreed deciding to put her own two cents in. “Not to doubt you or anything Princess, but you’re better off in your castle really protecting your nation from there. Look, I do enjoy a ruler who just doesn’t hide away in their bedroom when things get scary, but what will the populace think if their Princess just up and leaves them?”

“And what would a populace think if their Princess sits down and doesn’t do anything in a time of crisis?” Twilight refuted shutting Mullet up before lowering her voice so that only Daring could hear. “Because make no mistake, that creature we found in that strip-mine is moving. Now, I have faith in Monarch and my own Royal Guard’s capabilities, but I’d actually like to explore other options as well.”

Daring could respect that. She did like it when somepony actually got up to actually do something in times of crisis and turmoil. And she knew that a type of creature closely monitored by Monarch suddenly deciding to hatch and move across Equestria searching for magic to grow and change definitely counted. She could only shudder at the possibilities of what this creature could become if left unchecked. Hopefully, Monarch would catch up to it and contain it, but the mare could do with the possibility of having another Titan on their side just in case things got hairy.

Now, if only she could put her faith in Twilight. She respected the mare to no end, given all she had accomplished in such a short lifetime but in this case, she had to wonder. From all the information she had been given she had to wonder if this Mothra was truly all she was chalked up to be. Admittedly, all this information was a particularly unreliable source in Tempest Shadow but the fact still remained this moth creature had attacked that airship of hers without mercy.

Again, this was Daring being a realist. All the facts pointed to this creature not exactly being the saving ponies type. In fact, it looked as if he -or she- couldn’t give a damn about them.

But then again, Monarch’s historical records conflicted with each other. Yes, this incident was a stand out example of Mothra’s behavior in modern times but maybe Tempest was right. Maybe it had sensed her dark heart and gone after her for that reason. Or maybe it was just angry she was encroaching on her territory. That thought gave Daring pause and then made her shudder.

But in most situations in the historical record, Mothra seemed to be this benevolent goddess who actually and actively went out of her way to protect ponies and other creatures. Some records had actually compared Mothra to Celestia. Daring should suppose that maybe spoke volumes about the creature’s character, being actively compared to the White Mother herself.

But there lay the fact that there had been some records of a creature resembling a moth attacking settlements when riled. It was really quite the conundrum, to say the least. Perhaps Daring nor the writers had the full story. That was a very good possibility actually. Historical records were never quite known to be completely accurate in some regards, or completely complete for that matter. Such was the nature of these things really.

Thinking about it honestly gave Daring quite the headache. She’d hated incomplete records when she was in university and she hated them now. This was especially the case when it failed to warn her of some traps in some tomb or in this case a giant monster’s true nature.

“...As for my School,” Twilight continued in the background to Mullet in full-on lecture mode. “I’ve had Starlight take up substitute principal role. She’s done it for me before, and I’m quite sure this won’t be the last time. As for raising and lowering the sun and moon, I left explicit instructions to the mages in Canterlot how to work the device.”

“Okay, okay!” Mullet said with rapid noddings of his head and hands held up in a defensive posture. “I… I get the picture Princess! I’ll never question you again!”

Daring had to suppress a chuckle when she heard Twilight mutter something to the effect of: “Damn right you’d better not…” or something along those lines. As she said, she respected Twilight when times got tough and remembered she usually had things planned out well in advance. Usually. Daring was still unsure if this whole venture was a good idea. Personally, she would have preferred it if Twilight stayed behind at her Castle to defend her Kingdom from attack by the creature that had been uncovered. The MUTO as it had been deemed. Massive unidentified terrestrial life form. Yes, Monarch was hardly imaginative in naming things but it worked.

(Even if Daring would later admit to herself the term ‘big-ass bug’ worked just as well and was easier to remember.)

“Alright, what’s going on down here?” Fizzlepop asked as she marched down into the room. The clanking of her armor was a very distinctive and instantly recognizable sound. Daring shuddered a bit at the tone in her voice, it sounded like a drill sergeant mixed in with a disapproving mother. A scary combination indeed.

“Nothing at all Fizzlepop,” Twilight sighed and Daring got the distinct feeling this wasn’t the first time this had happened with her. “Nothing you need to worry about. You just go back up on deck, and keep an eye out for Mothra… or whatever it was you saw one year ago.”

“Hard to feel welcomed up-top when the crew keeps giving you the stink-eye,” Fizzlepop said in return. “Okay, I admit I deserve some of it after what I’ve done but…”

“I understand,” Twilight nodded and wrapped a wing around her friend in sympathy. “Change is hard, and acceptance even harder. Give it time. They’ll come to trust you… in time.”

Mullet made an odd noise that Daring doubted was friendly. Sounded a bit like a scoff really.

“I suppose…” Fizzlepop admitted. “I guess this is what you ponies call penance.” she said in a humbled tone of voice. At least Daring thought it was humbled. Honestly, she couldn’t exactly be sure with her.

“In any case,” Twilight said hoping to get Fizzlepop’s mind off the subject. “Come look at this. Something you at the very least might find interesting.” she continued pointing to a book she had in her hoof.

Fizzlepop gave Twilight a fond little smile and muttered: “Trust you to bring along every book you could on this…” to herself and walked over to her. She raised an eyebrow. “The… Shobijin?”

“It means small ones, in Neighponiese. Well, loosely anyways,” Twilight explained. “They’ve been intimately connected with Mothra for as long as history as we know it has been recorded.”

“Intimately? You mean as in…?” Fizzlepop trailed off, her face exactly as you’d expect of one trying to comprehend something having sexual relations with a giant moth.

“No, not like that!” Twilight blushed red as she turned a page. Daring by this point had walked over as well, to satisfy her curiosity. On the page, she saw an illustration of a Changeling Queen in greenish hues singing to a massive winged creature. “It’s more of a symbiotic relationship than anything else. Such things are common in nature.”

“...Right, I’m not sure how exactly common changelings singing to a giant moth are in nature…” Fizzlepop deadpanned voicing Daring’s thoughts exactly.

“Well, I’m not sure if they are changelings actually, they may just be a divergent species that happened to develop similarly to them. As far as I can see, the appearances may look similar but I can find no records of shape-shifting.” Twilight corrected sounding much like the teacher that she was. Fizzlepop once again gave her fond smile causing Daring to raise an eyebrow.

“Is it possible the two are…?” Daring thought to herself. “Would certainly explain a lot really… Hmm, I wonder if Twilight’s up for a thr-”

She stopped herself right there. As nice of a flank Twilight had, she doubted Fizzlepop would even let her get anywhere near it. Plus, she had other things to worry about than… well, that!

“So what exactly is the relationship between Mothra and these… Shobijin?” Daring asked running the name over in her mind. Certainly was an odd word.

“As far as I can tell, it seems to be one of mutual understanding. The Shobijin? They sing to Mothra and guard him or her in some way, and Mothra protects them in turn,” Twilight explained. “It’s simple, and as I said before, it’s something that’s very common in nature. Compare and contrast to the rhino and the oxpecker bird. The oxpecker protects the rhino from pests and it protects them in turn.”

“...Yes, I understood that,” Daring deadpanned. “Learned of it in grade school. I’m just trying to wrap my head around all of this really. I mean, this is just weird, even for me. I mean, adventures to uncover ancient tombs and the resting places of Kaiju are one thing, but even for a member of Monarch this is a bit out there.”

“...I do admit it does sound a bit far-fetched, but then again so does Gojira and he exists… apparently.” Twilight agreed before a loud rumble of thunder cut their conversation short. Fizzlepop’s ears perked up, and she stood at attention.

“Mullet!” she barked. “How far away are we from the Guoxia Province?”

“Should be nearing it,” the parrot replied in turn. “Should I ask why?”

Fizzlepop said nothing and walked up to the top deck and was met with quite a sight. Angry, broiling clouds thick with heavy rain, blasts of wind hitting her square in the face as the seas churned below. Lightning flashed painting the sky in jagged streaks as the sails of the ship rippled from the powerful and now nearly howling winds.

Twilight was soon to follow after her friend, and her violet eyes widened in shock as she saw an island just barely peeking out from the storm. It seemed to constantly surround the island, this storm defying all known laws of magic. It was almost like the Everfree’s weather systems but sized up to a much larger scale.

“Beautiful isn’t it?” Celeano commented as she walked up to the two with her cutlass resting in its sheath on her hips. Fizzlepop swallowed nervously, though if that was from the storm or the sword so dangerously close to her it was uncertain. “Always love a good squall, makes things much more interesting!”

“...One way of putting it,” Twilight murmured to herself. “Personally, I was going to go with terrifying, but interesting works just as well.”

“The seas may be rough, but I am the Captain! No matter how difficult I will always prevail.” Celeano barked out before she began shouting orders to her crew to prepare for the storm ahead. Twilight smiled a little, certainly a far cry from her attitude when she first met her.

“That storm…” Fizzlepop whispered. “Just like the one I that was raging when I met… him. The battle moth.”

“Battra?” Celeano asked her eyes widening as she turned to face Fizzlepop. “You’ve met him? ...Well, nice of you to share that information with us just now.”

“They say he leaves no survivors to his rampages!” one of the crew members shouted and Celeano turned back to look at him.

“No survivors? Don’t be foolish! If there were no survivors then where do the stories come from, I wonder?” she questioned before a loud ear-piercing screech cut through the air. Louder than the roar of the thunder. A dark shape darted out of the angry clouds, and another screech cut through the air.

“...Yeah, I’m going to take a wild guess and say he’s not here to welcome us to Guoxia?” Daring deadpanned before looking at her whip and sighing. “...Yeah, I’m going to need a bigger rope.”

Twilight charged up her horn and fired off a few warning shots towards Battra purple blasts of magical energy cutting through the sky. Hopefully, it would get the message and turn away from them.

It did not.

Soon, something truly massive flew over them, the sails nearly buckling from the blasts of wind its flapping wings created. Celeano shouted orders all the while as the crew went for their weapons.

“Don’t bother, you fools!” she bellowed her raspberry eyes widening once more. This time, it was at the sheer size of the monster. She swallowed nervously to herself, Fizzlepop nor Twilight had told her it would be that big! Regaining her composure, she shouted: “At that size, your weapons might as well be pop guns! Get this ship out of here!”

Fizzlepop spun and fired off a blast of pure magical lightning from her horn at Battra, singing his massive brilliant orange wings even as the moth went in for another pass. The horns on his head glowed with an eerie purple light and fired off erratic purple blasts of light cutting and scything through the sky, with the Grand Lorikeet just barely dodging out of the way at the last moment.

Twilight threw up a shield for all the good that did, being thrown back from the sheer force of the beams. The Lorikeet groaned in protest as it went into a sharp turn, the starboard cannons aimed squarely at Battra.

Thudding out with each consecutive blast, balls of pure hot plasma were fired at the giant moth who could only blast them out of the air with more beams of light. Doing a spin in mid-air, his crimson eyes flashed angrily. It was almost as if he was judging them, daring them to take him on in his home turf. Namely, the skies, and the seas.

Angrily buzzing like the world’s largest wasp, Battra dived and for a moment if only a brief one the crew of the Lorikeet thought themselves safe. Then, he reappeared from up under the ship flying back up into the clouds, lightning illuminating his form. His carapace was as black as night, almost like charcoal in sheen. His wings were the shade a shade of orange so bright, that when the lightning flashed behind them they became nearly blinding. Looking like a devil straight right out of Tartarus, he probably was an entomologist's worst nightmare. Screeching angrily, his eyes narrowed as he returned to the skies from whence he came.

“Oh dear oh dear oh dear…” Fluttershy whispered to herself as Battra once again faded from sight. She turned towards Twilight giving her a stern look. “You shouldn’t have agitated him!”

“Pretty sure he was coming at us either way, Fluttershy,” Fizzlepop injected. The seas churned beneath them, and the faintest inklings of an idea began to form in her mind. “Captain, how badly can you wear this creature out?”

“Might be able to give him the runaround, but I’m not exactly confident in any of our abilities in really going ahead and just plain facing him head on!” the parrot shouted in return as she jerked the wheel looking very much like Fizzlepop had one year before. In her mind, for just the briefest of moments, the mare saw yetis instead of parrots. “...That’s pretty much tantamount to suicide!”

“You have any better ideas?” Fizzlepop shouted back over the roar of the storm the pounding rain beating into her fur. She ignored it, her eyes darting skywards as she searched the storm for any signs of Battra.

“Well, there’s always run I suppose!” Celeano replied. “But I guess that isn’t exactly on your agenda is it Madam Tempest?” she nearly sneered still having not forgotten how the mare had destroyed her first ship.

“How dare you-” Fizzlepop started before Twilight shut them both up with a glare. Now was not the time for infighting amongst them all. They could settle their differences later, right now they had to survive Battra’s attack.

“Fizzlepop,” Twilight said in a calm tone. “I assume you have a plan?”

“Yes, but I will need your help to enact it.” the mare stated even as the Lorikeet darted low below the clouds dodging lightning bolts right and left. The island was coming up fast. Fizzlepop studied the terrain in front of her with a quick glance of a telescope. Yes, this could definitely work she thought to herself. They just needed to lure it over here.

Of course, that was easier said than done as Mullet was quick to point out

“He’s coming around for another pass!” Mullet exclaimed as another angry screech filled the air. The ship’s rigging and mast groaned out in protest under the strain they were now being put under.

Mullet had heard the stories of course, what seafarer hadn’t really? Going back long before he was even a hatchling, there had been stories. Of an angry sea god, appearing out of the clouds to wreak havoc on those who dared to threaten his kingdom. Now, he wondered if this Battra was one and the same with the creature from those legends.

Yes, Twilight had told him of the tales of the divine moth being a gentle soul who looked out for her subjects but was it possible there was another of the species? One who was far more violent… and angry.

If anything, it was quite clear that legend or not, Battra definitely did not like visitors. Going to the cannons on the bow of the ship, he gestured to both Daring and another member of the crew. The Lorikeet’s bow opened even as he saw what looked like pollen dust scattering about the entire area around the ship. Twin thuds, one after the other fired as Battra reappeared. Great white balls of hot plasma were fired from the forward cannons and to his horror, they simply passed through the giant moth. Shimmering, it faded away even as something struck the back of the ship.

“...Illusions!” Mullet swore as he realized it had been above them the whole time. It scared him, just realizing how intelligent this creature truly was. “Of course! The damn thing can create bloody illusions!”

He would be in awe of the beast if he wasn’t so terrified of him and his power.

And this thing wasn’t even supposed to be one of the more powerful Kaiju out there. So one must question if Battra was a low-level creature in the grand scheme of things where did that put some of the others?

The ship groaned out in protest even as it dodged another pass from Battra, Mullet now wondering how much more of this onslaught it could even take as Battra once again bombarded the stern with more energy blasts. Twilight, he could guess was only barely holding it back with shields.

Powerful alicorn she might have been, but Battra was still a kaiju and had a lot more experience in fighting than she.

Fizzlepop joined in fending off the monstrous moth blasting it with sharp magical bolts. Then, a crazy idea came to her. She needed to distract it. Having already relayed her plan to Twilight, Fizzlepop smirked.

“Hey, remember me!?!” she challenged firing another lightning blast towards Battra chipping off one of his three horns. It screeched in rage. Evidently, it did remember her.

Screeching out once again, Battra went skywards again and his powerful wings slammed down in a hammerhead maneuver that the Lorikeet only barely dodged. Only barely, as part of the ship’s stern was now nothing but a memory.

“That’s it, keep your eyes on me…” the mare thought to herself as Battra’s eyes locked themselves squarely on her and her alone. “Come on now, just don’t look at what’s coming!” Fizzlepop pleaded. Thankfully, Battra didn’t.

What he failed to see was Twilight raising the water on either side of him in his fury, and when it all came crashing down on top of him the great moth had barely any time to react. Soon, he found himself swamped. Gasping, Twilight fell to the deck her horn now just barely sparking from the sheer power she had to exert to lift up that much seawater and drop it down in that great deluge as she did.

Cheers rose up amongst the crew, Mullet singing a great song. He sang out: “Celeano! The one they call Celeano! She came into town within a mighty storm, she went to the great moth and gave them what for. Our love for her now, is not hard to tell you. The Queen of the Seas the one they call Celeano!”

Celeano flushed under the praise even as the rest of the crew took up the song. Fizzlepop meanwhile looked indignant, along with Fluttershy for that matter.

“Fizzlepop had been the one to enact the plan, think it up. Not Celeano!” Fluttershy whispered in anger quite peeved off. Fizzlepop calmed her having taken a few deep breaths to reign in her own temper.

“No, it’s quite alright Fluttershy,” she said. “I can understand them being slow to trust me after what I pulled. And in any case, Celeano does deserve some of the credit. Her skills at the helm were impressive at any rate.”

“But you-” Fluttershy started.

“Just let it go,” Fizzlepop stated calmly. “It doesn’t matter in the end anyhow…”

Then, eyes widened as Battra’s wings glowed with a dark light and the water that rested upon them slowly turned to steam. And the chase resumed.

The Lorikeet ventured into a canyon, the great gash in the earth rapidly growing narrower and narrower with each passing moment. Battra realized far too late what was about to happen, and he let out a shriek of pain as his wings were pulled from his body as the canyon walls slammed into him from either side.

But he would not go gently. Even as he bled out, he managed to fire off one more defiant blast of energy and caught the Lorikeet once more, and this time there was nothing that could save it.

“Brace for impact!” Mullet shouted as the land came upon them and their whole world turned into a sea of green...

Author's Note:

Okay... hoo boy. Battra. Now he was a challenge to write. Yes, he's only staying around for this and the previous chapter, but let me tell you. He was not fun to write. While I wanted to do justice to his character, this chapter was the one I feared.

Frankly, and you might be able to tell but this was my first battle with a giant kaiju. I've only done mecha and human scale battles before, so a battle with a giant animal was a whole new world for me. I can only hope I managed something mildly entertaining, ya know?

In any case, please do leave your feedback. Comments, critique, and whatnot are always welcomed.