• Published 3rd Oct 2020
  • 3,717 Views, 159 Comments

The Rookie - dicerollball

A struggling young adult finds herself in Tartarus as the nefarious Cozy Glow. If she wants to go out and freely explore all of Equestria with her villainous buddies... she was first going to have to change this evil filly's future.

  • ...

Chapter 2: Taken

I stood at the station staring at the train in front of me. Many were boarding and many were just getting off. I had a bunch of packed supplies sitting on my back and an extra case just next to me. I didn't have to bring much, truthfully, but my family insisted I bring clothes, products, and makeup if I ever wanted to keep up my image.

Speaking of which... I turned away and searched the crowd.

My family was nowhere to be seen.

Must be busy, I told myself. Must be doing something very important... More important than seeing their daughter get sent off, right? It must be game changing whatever they were currently going through.

I sighed and tried to focus on the positives. I was going somewhere very special. A school they had enrolled me to. It was fairly new and just starting with several well-known figures teaching the students. This could be a make or break future for me. I could really be somepony. I could be... known in a different way.

I smiled but not out of happiness. I smiled because that's all I knew how to right now. Smile. It'll keep the pain away. It'll keep me going.

I just had to keep going.

I just had to prove I was more than what I am now.

Its been forever. At least, it feels like its been forever. With no sun or moon it was difficult to tell how long I had been sitting here, cramp and cold in Cozy’s little cell. I’ve been trying to kill the time by trying to get used to my new body. I wanted to see if I could fly but that was difficult to do when I felt grounded by the limiting cage I was contained in. I managed to get a good few flaps but the new limbs were a bit strange and unnatural. At some point I just allowed them to hang limply by my sides. Now I was laying face first against the metal with my cheek pressed against the floor. My presumably auburn eyes would blankly stare out into a whole lot of nothing. My back stayed turned towards Tirek. I was still mad at him for not believing me but I frankly couldn’t really blame him there either. Cozy Glow was a strange and manipulative child. Maybe faking her memory and identity would be something she’d try to do. However she still couldn’t tell the future! That was something completely out of that deranged filly’s hooves! I couldn’t help but internally smirk. Just you wait, Tirek! It’s going to happen! For now however... Everything was quiet.

🎵 “Let’s say you’re lost, in the park sure. You can give in to the dark or-“ 🎵

“What are you doing..?” Tirek grumbled.

🎵 "You can trip a little light fantastic with me." 🎵


🎵 "When you're alone in your room-" 🎵


🎵 "Your choice is just embrace the gloom, or you can trip a little light fan-" 🎵

“Stop that infernal racket!!” Tirek bellowed from his cage.

“My name is not Cozy!” I sat up with a huff, “It’s Zeri!”

“Whatever you say, child. You still behave as you did before.”

I perked at this, “If you were in my shoes you’d be upset too.”

“Well yes, a grown stallion being thrown into a child’s body would be disorienting. Especially a little girl’s. Are you saying you’re a grown stallion?”

“No! I was a grown ass woman! Now I’m in the body of the most evil filly in Equestria!”

Tirek stared as I dramatically fell over once more, “... Alright, say you are telling the truth. What do you have to gain from all this?”

“What? Nothing. Just that you believe me.”

“And why do you want me to believe you that badly?”

“I-...” I paused at this question and seriously considered the other’s words. Then, I suddenly sat up and banged the top of my head against the cage’s ceiling, “Ow-! I don’t know! I was freaking out, I just reacted!”

“Alright, so let’s say I believe your senseless babbling. You predict the future and I now know you’re some being from another universe with a whole race of people that has observed this one. What exactly do you expect me to do with this information?”

“W-Well I uh... I guess at the time I had hoped that maybe, just maybe, you could, I don’t know... help me...” I sheepishly admitted. It was then I realized how stupid that all really sounded. I had definitely not thought ahead during my panic and I was probably screwing myself over having spilled so much.

Tirek would clutch his chest and bellow a laugh, “Help you?? A small little cutesy pony like yourself? Never in a million years!”

I grasped the bars with my pink hooves, “You helped Cozy make that cult-like demonic portal!”

“Well you see that was to help her defeat a common enemy. You meanwhile? You sound like a little victim to something completely out of my control.”

I blinked, “So you DO believe me?”

“What? No, I never said that!”

“But you just spoke like as if Cozy and me were separate people.”

“I am speculating on a what-if scenario you little cretin.” Tirek grumbled, “I still don’t believe that anything you’ve just said could be true!”

I huffed, “It is. All of it.”

“I’m going to need some proof first, child.”

“Oh just you wait, it’ll happen.” I grunted as I turned away to pout, “But... when it does happen, please don’t let Grogar know what I know. Call me Cozy as much as you want just don’t let him know I’m not Cozy.”

“Oh? Any particular reason why?”

I gulped and turned to look at the centaur once more, “Because the moment he finds out, you won’t get the information you need to avoid your future imprisonment.”

The other narrowed his eyes, “My future imprisonment?”

I nod back in response.

“Well that’s ridiculous. We’re already imprisoned,” Tirek growled as he went to scratch another mark onto the cage, “There is no possibility that we’ll be seeing an ounce of freedom in our near future, you insufferable little filly.”

That was when it happened. Like expected, Tirek went first. He vanished in a swirl of black magic that swiftly plucked him up and took him away. Meanwhile all I could do was stop and stare at the spot where he once was. I had to hold back a giddy smirk as the strange power decided to come pick me up as well from my cage within Tartarus. It was a strange feeling being in one area and then thrown into another. I was disoriented and confused but I had to try and stay still for now. Stay calm. I was anxious and nervous but I couldn’t afford to panic now. I had to remain calm, childish, and snarky. Ugh... but I couldn’t remember her lines!! What did Cozy even say? What did she even do???

Oh right. She flew around like a little- SHE FLEW!

I don’t know how to fly! What was I going to do now? My wings still hung lamely besides me and I was still trying to figure them out. I carefully raised them and tried to fold them against my back. The feathers were strangely smooth but itchy and I was not at all used to how it felt. They were a whole new set of limbs. While my body could move them it was an odd sensation having something that felt like hands but on your back instead?? It was too uncomfortable for me to make out.

“What..?” Tirek's voice caught my attention as his gaze went over the large cavern we found ourselves in.

It was then Queen Chrysalis appeared. She looked around in wild confusion before turning her attention over to Tirek and I, “Lord Tirek?”

“Queen Chrysalis?” He questioned right before I gave him a stern glare. Did he want to give us away? “What? Is knowing the name of a changeling queen suddenly the end of the world?”

I rolled my eyes in response while Chrysalis began to make her way down the slanted stone walkway she had appeared on, “You are right. Chrysalis, queen of the changeling hive. Or at least I will be when I'm restored to my rightful place. Why did you summon me here?” She interrogated as she hopped down and lit her horn ablaze, “What do you want?”

I remembered this part, but even then I still would’ve done this without the script in mind. I had reacted by quickly scurrying behind one of Tirek’s hooves while trying to find my words. Holy shit she was a lot more taller up close... “U-Um... We didn’t bring you here.”

“Yes, we were in Tartarus just a moment ago.” Tirek looked down at me with this unreadable expression.

“Tartarus? Whoever pulled you from there must be very powerful indeed.” Chrysalis hissed as she pulled away.

It was then we all heard it. A laugh. The very same laugh that belonged to King Sombra himself. We all looked up to witness his entrance. His body began to form out of dark wispy-like magic that started from his hooves all the way up to his head where he pretentiously flicked his muzzle upwards to let his black mane flow behind him. He was in full armor with his crown resting atop his head. When he was done with his show he gave the three of us a toothy grin to show off his sharp fangs.

"King Sombra? You have returned?" Queen Chrysalis questioned as I looked between both her and Tirek, "Why did you bring us here?"

I watched as Tirek lit an orb of concentrated but weak magic in between the stubs that were once his majestic horns. That wasn't going to do anything, especially not against Sombra, but he wasn't the one I was worried about. In fact, to Queen Chrysalis' question, I almost felt the need to answer it. I forced myself to hold my tongue back and continued to cower underneath the large centaur as a new creature approached.

"He didn't." The voice, I could tell, was practically made and created to be deep and threatening. It was the perfect big bad guy voice that was needed for this special occasion. Elderly, old, and ancient but wise. Cunning, and intimidating. A guy who was definitely more than thousands of years old.
His hooves went tapping across a stone path that helped get him over the swamp water just below. Each step I could already imagine the music that played when I had watched the episode back then. In a strange way, it almost made me want to giggle, but I kept my mouth shut. I didn't want to be noticed by the guy at all. Not right now anyways, when it wasn't my turn. Seems like he didn't really care much for me anyways, or anyone else for that matter because he just walked right on by the three of us without a care.

King Sombra melted away back into the shadows as the new creature approached the roundish stone table that was just in the center of the lair. Atop of it was an orb that reminded me of an orange goat eye in a way. Just with more dark magic involved. Made me wonder if it was that one goat-like monstrosity from that griffin episode a while back.

"It was I," The voice quickly caught my attention once more, "You may call me... Grogar."

Heh. Right. Grogar.

He was a big blue ram who wore a whole bunch of bells like a reindeer. His large horns curled back across his head, white hair was visible here and there and honestly, he looked like someone you could pat. He seemed fluffy to me. However my attention was entirely on his eyes. You see, his eyes were a soft yellow and a harsh red. Familiar to me because I've seen them so many times from another creature. I tried not to grit my teeth in annoyance. After all, I had to start looking cute. My turn was probably coming soon. I had to pretend I had no idea who he was, right?

The other two had gasped while I stared at Grogar.

"The Grogar?" Queen Chrysalis seemed taken aback.

"I... Thought that you were a legend." Tirek seemed to glance down at me while I returned another annoyed glare. Can he stop trying to be so obvious about it? I know he can keep a secret so he better!

"I've heard of you." King Sombra chimed in as he reappeared besides Chrysalis. I had to be grateful, at least, that he hasn't gotten annoying yet.

I almost hesitated at first, but I knew it was my turn to say something. So, I stepped out from behind Tirek but did not trust myself to fly, "Uh. Who?" Hopefully that was cutesy enough.

"I assure you, I am very real." "Grogar" began as we stepped up to his table while I struggled with my wings, "And you have all been brought here as part of my plan to rid Equestria of- of..." He seemed to pause, and I exactly knew why, much to my dismay.

I was now panicking. I was hoping no creature would notice, but it seems Grogar did when he looked over in my direction. I couldn't get on top of the table for the life of me. I first tried flapping my wings a few times but that didn't exactly work out, so now I was trying to climb it... but it was higher than I initially expected.

Now the other villains were looking at me! Tirek I would care less but these guys? Oh nooooo. This was EMBARRASSING.

Tirek meanwhile rolled his eyes in annoyance, plucked me up, and placed me on the table.

I blinked, "Thanks."

"She somehow managed to injure a wing during our imprisonment," Tirek grunted as "Grogar" gave him a questioning stare, "Something about this "cool pegasus trick" or what have you." He crossed his arms as he grumbled about kids these days.

"Right." "Grogar" looked down at me with a bored glare.

"Why is this tiny, insignificant pony even here?" Chrysalis hissed. This was not something I remembered from the episode, or from the script in my head.

"You know I've been wondering that myself." Tirek shrugged.

In my moments of quickly trying to put myself in Cozy's shoes, I had felt this defensive urge, and possibly rightfully so in Cozy's eyes, "You'd be surprised with what I could do! And... What I have done! She- I mean I stole and drained magic away from every creature in Equestria! It was amazing. You should have been there to see the looks on their-"

"As I was saying." "Grogar" cut in with a growl which, thank god honestly, "I have gathered you all here today to take down Twilight Sparkle and her friends. For good. But in order to do that, I needed all of you here with me."

I gulped down my nervousness and knew I had to keep going from here. I had to be dumb and oblivious. So, I guess it was time for introduction, "Wait wait hold on. Sorry, um. I know who everyone else here is like Chrysalis, Sombra, and Lord Tirek. But Grokor? I've never heard that name before."

"GROGAR!" The ram stomped a hoof on the table and got close to my face while I stayed seated where I was, as still as possible. I still reeled back of course but I did not want to fall off when I was just able to get on with Tirek's help. I guess it was a mix of stubbornness and fear that kept me rooted to my spot.

"I have been away too long if my name no longer strikes fear into the heart of one so tiny." He spat at me before pulling away with a huff.

I let out a breath I had been holding and looked between "Grogar" and the rest of the villains. King Sombra's gaze was calculative and cold, I noted. Chrysalis's stare meanwhile was aggressive and bored like as if she didn't want to be there anymore. Which made sense. Tirek however was harder to decipher. He kept his expression neutral and tired but I could tell he was looking at me from time to time. I just wasn't sure what he was thinking.
Well, except maybe that I was right.

"Perhaps a demonstration of power is in order?" "Grogar" growled as his eyes landed on Tirek. The next thing we knew a soft yellow glow appeared around the bells along his neck. With a hoof he grabbed some of its essence and gently passed it along to the scrawny centaur across from him. Tirek eagerly scooped it up in his awaiting hands and ate away at the small fraction of magic. He then transformed into a more stronger and built version of himself. A version that could definitely beat me to a pulp if he wanted.

He happily flexed his muscles and gave one of his biceps a small peck, "That's more like it. Now, little one," Tirek chuckled as he considered me with a knowing stare, "Grogar is ancient and extremely powerful. The land that would become Equestria was a mere collection of farms and pastures until he declared himself emperor of all he saw. Did you get any of that?"
He asked in a way that felt so demeaning. Like I was a dumb child that had to be told something more than twice. I don't remember this tone or attitude in the show, but I knew this change was because of me and our conversation before. He knew I already knew all this but he was just jabbing at me and having a little fun before we really got to bite into this topic later. At least, that's how it felt like for me.

"I have also heard of the first emperor of Equestria," King Sombra piped up in a voice that was less than endearing, "The father of monsters."

God why does Sombra sound like that?? I never did like it and now I was going to have to hear it in real time in my version of real life! I guess after a while I'll get used to it, but I wish he sounded different.

"I gave life to the most foulest of creatures..." "Grogar" began while I started to tune him out. I wasn't too interested in this exposition really, or cared much for the script anymore, but I was curious of the orb in his hooves. I watched as pictures and images formed inside the eye while the ram spoke. It was so cool to see.

"And allowed them to run wild. Taking what they wanted and destroying the rest. My reign was a glorious fear-soaked epoch of darkness in Equestria."

"Hah!" Chrysalis interrupted, "Until Gusty the Great rose up and banished you."

"Grogar" glared, "That fool believed taking my bell would defeat me, but she only weakened me temporarily."

I said nothing. At this point, I was just zoning out trying to figure out what to do next while the episode continuously replayed in my head. At least, what I remember of it. I wasn't too focused on the script right now because I already got one thing I wanted and that was Tirek getting some magic. Now what did I want to do from here..?
Well. King Sombra would be speaking out soon. The thought was troubling for me. Not because I disliked his voice but because I knew the moment he was gone he'd be gone for good. I wouldn't see him again after this. Despite his strange personality in the show I actually didn't want to see him gone for good. I was curious to know more. So...

What do I do?

"-And you know why they've always bested you?" "Grogar's" question snapped me right out of my thoughts.

"Because they cheat!" Chrysalis called out before King Sombra could get a word in.

"Because they are annoyingly lucky." Tirek huffed.

I blinked from where I was on the table, "Because of friendship rainbow lasers?"

"Grogar" seemed to nod towards my direction, "Yes. Because they work together. When one is weak another is strong and thus unified they are a formidable force. But we shall use their own strategy to defeat them."

"What are you suggesting?" Chrysalis questioned, making me want to roll my eyes.

"I suggest nothing!" "Grogar" hopped down before us, nearly knocking me right off the table as I tried to scurry out of the way, "I demand that you join me, and together Equestria will be ours!"

"I don't do ours." It was then King Sombra spoke, "I only do MINE!" Oh shit I had to act soon.

The next thing I knew I went tumbling off the table as King Sombra teleported himself up onto it along with "Grogar." I landed with a small "Oof!" and quickly pulled myself up, knowing I was going to have to try and stop what was about to come next. I could not let King Sombra go just like that. He'll die after he gets sent away!

"I will take back the Crystal Empire on my own." Oh my god shut up, "And I will destroy anypony who gets in my way!"

"Such confidence," "Grogar" hummed, "Go! Try to take back your kingdom. I shall send you there myself."

When "Grogar" hopped off the table I reached up and began scrambling to try and get on it again. My wings were flapping wildly as I tried to pull one of my hindlegs onto the table.

"If you prevail you may keep it," "Grogar" continued despite me struggling nearby, "But when you fail you will submit to me."

"And if I refuse this deal?" King Sombra practically trilled.

"Then I shall return you to the darkness from which you were summoned."


"NO WAIT!" I yelled out as I clambered up onto the table, "Don't do it!"

Every pair of eyes landed on me in that moment. I shrank back a little but I still stared up at King Sombra. I had to get him to either stay or stop this stupid plan. It was great, sure, but the ending wasn't. I had to prevent it somehow.

"Excuse us, the big creatures are talking." "Grogar" grumbled in annoyance.

"Hmph. As if I'd listen to a puny filly on my decision. Whose little, bratty servant is this?" King Sombra growled out. If only I had hands, then I could slap him across the face.

"I'm not anyone's servant! Listen, King Sombra, you seem like a... nice guy and all. You shouldn't do this."

"And why not? I know exactly what I am doing and I know that in the end I will reign over all, no matter what obstacles are in my way! I will not let some filly fresh out of the nursery dictate my choice."

"You've been locked away for thousands of years though! You don't even know what's going on out there nowadays. Whose very powerful and shi- stuff. Stuff like that. At least hang out with us for a little bit and maybe we could just talk? You know, you learn something and we learn something and we all become a big happy villainous family? Ahah..."

"You have a point, but I'd rather not stay and wait in this repulsive cave any longer. This is a waste of time. I will crush those who defy me." King Sombra started.

"Yeah but-"

"I will defeat all who get in my way!"

"Sombra if you just-"

"I-" And then he was gone. In a flash of yellow magic "Grogar" had transported the tyrant far away from the lair. Possibly somewhere in the frozen north. We all stopped and turned towards the ram.

"Now with that out of the way, I advise the rest of you to prepare to work together." "Grogar" huffed before turning away. The remaining three of us watched as he left the lair.

I didn't even bother to say anything or fake my cuteness anymore. I just waited until he was fully gone before I whirled towards Tirek and Chrysalis. I seriously considered them both.

"We have to stop Sombra."