• Published 21st Aug 2012
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The Count of Gem Grotto - Matthais Unidostres



A parody of "The Count of Monte Cristo" starring Spike

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Chapter One: Exit Spike

The Count of Gem Grotto
Chapter One: Exit Spike

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It all happened so fast.

Even if I live for a thousand years, and being a dragon, I probably will, I will never forget that fateful day.

It was an ordinary day, and, as usual, an ordinary day can become disastrous in almost an instant. Especially when you throw in three evil, heartless, cruel jerks in the mix.

Those three monsters! Those foul excuses for living things! That red teenage dragon. . .Garble. . .and his two accomplishes. When they ain't trying to smash defenseless little phoenix eggs. . .they're stealing Fire Rubies. Oh no, not just any Fire Ruby, the Fire Ruby! The Fire Ruby I gave to Rarity. The Fire Ruby that symbolized so much. The gem that showed that I truly do love Rarity! Who cares if she is a pony and I'm a dragon! I love her with all my heart, and that's all that matters! I would die for her!

. . .You may be wondering why I sound so. . .adult and mature. Well, I'll get to that later.

I'm not sure how those three knew about the Fire Ruby. Perhaps they could smell it's sweet aroma that no normal dragon could resist. Perhaps they overheard a traveling pony talk about "Rarity's Rare Ruby" after they had passed through Ponyville and were continuing on their own journey to places throughout Equestria. Maybe those three delinquents somehow new some special Dragon Magic for searching out rare gems.

Well, no matter how they knew, all that matters is what happened next. I saw them flying out of a broken window of the Carousel Boutique. I saw Garble holding the heart shaped gem tightly in his fist. I remember the fiery rage within me as I roared the cry of thief as I ran after them. I remember Twilight telling me to wait up, Applejack shouting insults at the thieves. . .

. . .Rarity telling me that it wasn't worth me getting hurt by those ruffians. Even now, I wonder if she was right. . .or not. . .

Perhaps the fire within me cause me to go faster. Twilight, Rarity, and Applejack in all likelihood easily lost me in the dark, twisted underbrush of the forest.

Before long I had caught up with thieves, who were waiting next to a rushing river. The thundering sound of a waterfall echoes in my ears as I saw the three dragons. They had stopped a moment, thinking they had gotten clean away, and were surprised to see me. I made an undignified charge towards Garble. What a fool I was.

I was no match for a teenage dragon, let alone three! Before I knew it I was being held upside down by the tail, mocking laughter in my ears. My little spurts of green fire did nothing except create more laughter, as did my petty insults.

After being insulted in every possible way, from being a half pony half dragon, to being a shrimp, from being wingless, to having a tiny flame, from being a disgrace to dragon kind, to even being the "namby-pamby pony princess'" little. . . I shouldn't repeat that word. . .

Anyway, Garble flew me up into the air as he insulted me as his two goons laughed. Soon I was right above the rushing river.

I screamed my head off.

"NO! DON'T DO IT!" came Twilight's voice. It seemed that they had finally caught up with me.

"SPIKEY-WIKEY!" Rarity screamed in terror.

"Too late, my wittle ponies!" Garble said mockingly.

He let go.

SPLASH!

The world was tumbling up and down and round and round. I thrashed around wildly in the water. I could barely hear the sound of fiery bursts of breath and magical blasts above the thundering sound of the water. My inner eyelids closed out of instinct, allowing me to see through the rapids, but that only allowed me to get a good view of the waterfall up ahead. Knowing that I had no chance of escape, I scrmeaed one last time before tumbling off the side of the waterfall and down to the sharp rocks below. . .


The sound of rushing waters rang in my ear as I lay down on a cold, hard surface. My whole body ached with one dull throb. It took me a minute to realize that I was still alive. With my eyes still clothes, I visualized what had happened to me some time before. Hadn't I fallen down a waterfall and onto a bunch of sharp rocks? How did I survive?

I slowly opened my ears and looked at myself. Gold scales were stuck on certain parts of my body like very expensive bandages. Some of the scales were as big as my claws. I shuddered as I thought of how huge the wounds must have been. I looked around to see that I was in side a cave, and the entrance seemed to be covered by the waterfall. I've read about caves behind waterfalls in books, but I'd never thought I would ever see one.

"Ah. . .so you are awake. . ."

I quickly turned around, and I couldn't believe what I saw. It was a dragon, a full grown dragon. A magnificent full grown dragon. His scales looked as if they were made of gold, and his belly and claws were fiery crimson red, as were his horn. They were like a ram's horns, curly and short, but they seemed to radiate their power and authority. His snout was rounded, not pointed like the angry green dragon I met a while ago. This dragon almost seemed. . .friendly. . .

However, he also looked very old. His scales had cracks, and they were dull in color. Even his eyes looked pale.

"You've been in a deep healing trance for about a month."

My jaw dropped upon hearing that. A whole month! Asleep for a whole month! Away from Twilight and the others for a whole month!

The golden and red dragon smiled at my face, which had to be hilarious. My eyes were wide and my mouth hung open as I gazed at the dragon's majesty.

"My heart's desire has been granted," he said. I liked his voice. He sounded like a friendly grandpa who was pleased to see you. He motioned with hit right claw, "Come. . .enter Gem Grotto."

I just did what he said. What else could I do? I was alone and lost, and this guy seemed like he was more than willing to help me.


After going deeper and deeper into the cave until we got to its deepest part, It was made obvious to me why the cave was called Gem Grotto. It was full of gems, even more than in the green dragon's cave. Remembering what happened the last time I ate another dragon's gems, I fought back my sudden hunger.

My hunger must have shown on my face, because the dragon chuckled in amusement. He then asked, "What is your name?"

"Spike," I said softly, beginning to feel a little nervous.

The old dragon nodded. He asked, "What do you know about ponies? Tell the truth." he added sternly in a voice that would make anyone wan to obey him if they didn't want to risk life and limb.

"I-I-I grew up with ponies. A unicorn hatched me, and I've been living in a town called Ponyville with lots of pony friends," I stammered nervously.

He nodded yet again, and then closed his eyes and began to speak very solemnly and seriously, causing me to focus on every syllable he was saying.

"Many years ago, in the time of King Sombra, my mate died when she mistook his black crystals for gems. And so, I was left without a family. . .without an heir. I had dreams of raising a scion who would become a noble dragon, who would fight what is right, who would unite creatures in righteousness, and who would punish the wicked. In addition, I desired my scion to befriend the ponies, for their magic is strong. I constantly wished that I could find a young dragon who has eaten, slept, spoken, worked, walked, lived, and loved with ponies. That dragon would in some ways be a part of them, and in some ways be apart from them. At times I considered that perhaps that his old life would end in almost certain death, but would be reborn by me. And indeed that was the case. Your injuries were fatal, your body was in shock. Only by powerful dragon magic was I able to regenerate you broken body. And now, I will give you the means to take back everything you've lost, as well as infinitely more."

The dragon opened his eyes, and with great power and authority, he said, "Spike the Dragon, I, Inciendio, hereby give to you my horde! It now belongs to you, as does this territory known as Gem Grotto!"

And with that, I changed. It wasn't instant, but it wasn't slow either. But it was quite quick indeed. One minute I felt warm and tingly, and the next minute, I could feel myself stretching and my spikes growing. Even my wispy green wisps got bigger. I looked into a nearby puddle, and I saw myself. I probably was a teen, but I wasn't as big as the other teenage dragons. Actually, I was about the size of a pony.

"Yes," the old dragon said, "You have a massive horde, and a magnificent territory, and yet your greed does not push you into becoming a giant. Your mind has settled on an appropriate age for your body, which will be fine for what you are destined to do."

I shuddered briefly as I remembered what happened on the day after my last birthday. I then looked up into the face of the wise old dragon, and I spoke, "Uh. . .sir. . .I . . .well. . .all I want is to get back to Ponyville. Like you said, they must think I'm dead, and, well. . ." My voice wasn't as deep as. . .that other time. . .but it was still deeper than my normal voice. It was the voice of a mature, confident young dragon.

The older dragon shook his head, and he said, "Spike, haven't you ever felt. . .left out?"

The memories flooded back like tsunami, in no particular order mind you. The Grand Galloping Gala. The Canterlot Dessert Competition. The Best Young Fliers Competition. The day Applejack went missing. The day the red dragon moved into the cave over Ponyville. Twilight's birthday party. . .

Crack. . .

Okay, so there was a kind of order, in a way. The worst got left for last, and it made the first crack in my desire to keep Spike alive. Why should I go back to. . .that? Sure, I didn't want to be one of those ugly jerk dragons like Garble, but what if I followed a different path? One where I was independent, and not some assistant who was constantly being shoved aside. I wanted a new life, and here it was, right in front of me, waiting for me to grab it!

Could the old dragon read my mind? Or was it in my face or body language? Either way, Inciendio just smiled, and continued, "Do you not want revenge on those who have pretty much forced you into taking on this new life?"

Garble. . .

He stole the Fire Ruby I gave to Rarity. . .

A symbol of my love for her. . .

Suddenly, and image of Garble bitting the Fire Ruby in half and chewing with great relish flashed before me. . .

Crack!

Another crack in my desire to keep Spike alive.

Inciendio's smile grew, "Perhaps you have love for a pony? Love that she never took seriously due to your species or your apparent age. Your love could surely transcend species, for you both are part of the animal kingdom. However, what of age and social class? What if you were to rise up in Equestria? Become a well known civilized dragon, one who is wealthy and well known in all the big cities, even Canterlot. The Princesses come to know you personally. You deal, invest, and rise up in fame. You could become a prince, or perhaps a count. Only the best for such a princess as your beloved. . ."

He was right. Spikey-Wikey. That's like a name you give to a baby or a pet! But now, I could be great. . .I could be great! After a little while of climbing the ladder, I could return to my dear Rarity, and she would be amazed, and I would be worthy of her!

Crack!

She couldn't be with a dragon as lowly as little Spike! But. . .why make them all wait so long?

"You do not wish to put your friends in any further danger, do you? Remember your enemies! Perhaps you may even take down the enemies of your friends?"

My eyes widened. Of course! I had to get rid of Garble and his goons first! Also, there were those others. . .Prince Blueblood, curse his name. Trixie. Those Flim Flam Brothes. The Diamond Dogs. Gilda. That brat Diamond Tiara, and her Filthy family! Perhaps even the Changeling Queen should get what she really deserves!

I had a list of targets, but if I ever wanted to hit them, I needed more power. Not in a magical "I'm gonna take over the world" way. More like an elegant, professional, business minded, political, influential, monetary way. Yes, that was it. It would come naturally as I climb the social ladder!

You may be surprised by my thinking here, but need I remind you who managed to get Hoity Toity to come to Ponyvile! And why do you think he came back a second time? That's right. that was me!

So, my plan would start in Canterlot. . . no. . .first I would take control of the Diamond Dogs. Hire them. Pay them wages. Make them fiercely loyal to me, thus eliminating an enemy on my list. They we're really evil or anything, just greedy and gem obsessed. I could always use some help in my plan. I'll have workers to help haul parts of my horde, I would take a caravan to Canterlot, and then from there, the sky would be the limit! Think what I could do! I could even give Sweet Apple Acres a little helping hand with business when I reach the top. And then, they could finally discover my identity once my plans have all been realized! They could see how successful and mighty I had become! Oh, it would be glorious!

Cr - raaaack!!!

"Your eyes! They burn with the fire of tremendous opportunity that you see before you!" Inciendio declared with pleasure.

I stood tall in my new body, my heart pumping with excitement. "Thank you! Thank you so much!" I cried, trying to fight back tears.

Inciendio smiled, "No need for thanks. I should be thanking you. My heart's desire has been fulfilled. My gems will not go to waste or here or be stolen by some other dragons or greedy ponies. I finally have an heir to do great things with it." Inciendio took a deep breath, and continued softly, "And not a moment too soon. For you see, I can feel that my time has come."

"Huh?" I sad.

"I. . .am about to die."

"WHAT!?"

Incendio nodded, "Yes. Now that my heart's desire has been fulfilled, and have lived through thousands of years of history, my time has come to an end. I'm old, Spike. You are the new generation."

"But I could learn so much from you!" I exclaimed.

"You needn't learn anything. . .except for the few dragon spell scrolls that I'd advice you to memorize. I believe that you will need them. All I ask of you is to fulfill your destiny and do what needs to be done. Make me proud, my son, and I can rest in peace."

I felt my eyes moisten as looked up at the aged dragon who had a gentle smile on his face.

"I will. I promise. . .father. . ."

Incendio's smile became even wider. "Yes. . .well. . .I must now find a hot volcano to immerse myself in, so that as my spirit flies onward, my body may return to the fires of the earth in which it was forged."

"Wow," I whispered.

Inciendio nodded, "I see you are not sad. Good. You understand the way it must be, don't you?"

I looked up with a sudden resolve and determination, "Yes. I intend to live a great life so you can live on through me!"

Inciendio smiled, "Magnificent young dragon. I know you will make me proud."


I watched Inciendio slowly fly off until he was only a pin prick in the sky. Then I watched that until ir disappeared. I got up and looked at what was now my horde. I though of my plans, what I would do, where I would go, all of the things I would gain. However, all of those things were nothing compared to what I desired the end result to be. . .

". . .You could become a prince, or perhaps a count. Only the best for such a princess as your beloved. . ."

CRAAACK!!!!

That was it.

Exit Spike.

Enter the Count of Gem Grotto.

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