• Published 10th Jun 2020
  • 801 Views, 31 Comments

Splintershard - TheMajorTechie



Once upon a time, Equestria flourished. That time is now long-gone.

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3|3 ◈ The Hunt

A search was called for the famed unicorn.

Day and night was spent searching all around, high and low.

But in the end, it was all for naught.


That certainly didn't take very long.

"A-already?" Emily stared at the scroll in Fluttershy's grasp. "That was, what--a few minutes?"

"Emi, I think you should pay more attention to the pon--er, draconequus that's holding it."

Emily turned her gaze upward.

Fluttershy quivered, her grip tightening around the scroll. "Take it. Just take it. I..." She fell silent at the sound of distant hooftsteps.

Thankfully, they didn't come any closer. Fluttershy sighed heavily. "I think I hurt somepony while I was getting the scroll... A lot of guardsponies probably saw me when I teleported inside."

"Oh."

"Oh?" Starlight's voice seethed in the back of Emily's head. "Oh? Is that really all you have to say? Fluttershy's not cut-out for this! I've known her for far longer than you ever have! But what do you do? You just keep on using her as your personal little scroll-finder! Look at her! I know I said before that we need all the help we can get, but now? I think we should leave Flutters out of this. She's already been through enough."

"I--"

"I'm not done yet, Emi. Knowing that Discord himself is long-gone, Fluttershy is as a result the only draconequus alive. Do you know what that means when you've got two nations vying to obliterate each other? It means they'll be looking for her. The Ashen and the Old Guard are both well-versed in their history, and they know the power of a draconequus. I'm just going to say this now, but I'm almost certain that they're going to want to harness Fluttershy's power in some way or another. After all, Chaos is the only known counter to Harmon--"

"Oi!" An unseen voice shouted down the alley. "Who's there? You know there's a curfew now that the Old Guard is testing weaponry again!"

Fluttershy gasped, inadvertently crushing the scroll copy in her paw. "I-I need to get away! I can't let anypony see me like... like this!"

"Girlie, you're in for a heap of trouble if you don't scram right now. This is my last warning before I come and take you in for violating curfew."

Emily's view was blocked by Fluttershy's outstretched claw.

"Grab onto me! I'm going to teleport us somewhere safer!"

Emily raised a brow. "And that is?"

"The Chaos realm. I don't want to stay here any longer. I've been a bother to enough ponies already."

The sound of hoofsteps began to approach them. Fluttershy shook her claw in Emily's face. "Come on, you're really... peeving me right now..."

Starlight groaned, forcing control over Emily's body. "Okay, time's up now, Emi. You done goofed." She lit her horn, wrapping herself and Fluttershy in an invisibility spell.

The Ashen guardspony rounded the corner and stared down the seemingly-empty alley. He grumbled something under his breath and continued past.

"Why are you offering to take me with you?" Emily began again, "I'm staying behind--"

"Wait--Emi," Starlight sputtered. Her invisibility spell fizzled out. "H-how did you take back control so easily? It's like I was just shoved aside there!"

A shrug. Emily turned her attention back to Fluttershy. "Go if you want. I'm not going to leave the fate of the world hanging just because I'm afraid."

...Actually, hold on a hot moment, if Starlight knows Fluttershy, it'd be a far better idea for her to speak to Flutters. Or at least, maybe give some pointers on how to deal with that mare.

"Let her go. That's all I'm going to say. I was hoping that we could work with her, but you've been far too reckless in just the past couple of hours to let me believe that you can keep yourself and Fluttershy safe."

Oh. Welp, Fluttershy's clearly looking more than a little weirded out by the whole internal-external dialogue stuff.

"Uhhhh... here, Fluttershy, how about this? We'll teleport back to Ponyville for a while. Maybe hide out in Granny Ambrosia's orchard for a bit and lay low. Oh, and by the way, the name's Emily. I know Starlight mentioned a bunch of things about being reincarnated into my body and stuff, but I'm the original owner of this body. Starlight's just my... well, guest, really. Or roommate. Sister?" Emily set the thought aside. "Anyway, point is, I didn't get to introduce myself earlier, and Star's saying I'm being a bit cuckoo, so I want to start things off again on the right path. First, could I tell you a quick story about myself? I'm hoping it might inspire you or something."

Fluttershy gave a slight nod.

"Okay. So. Back in my home world, since I'm originally a human and all, I was... am a somewhat prodigious student. For the most part, I was able to tackle just about anything thrown my way, whether it be a test, a recital, or whatever. However, one day, the world just kinda... stopped existing."

"I know that's in--"

Shush, Star.

Fluttershy cocked her head. She sat down on an overturned flower pot. "Continue?"

"Anyway, after that whole debacle came and went, that left me to wake up from my own life, like as if it were only a dream. I was terrified at first, naturally, and for a few hours, all I wanted to do was to put myself back to sleep and hope that I could continue that dream. It didn't work."

"Oh? So what happened, then? Were you still scared?"

"Oh, yeah, absolutely. I'd use a certain word starting with an 's' to describe how I felt, but I'm not really one to swear. So anyway, after that, I was left with pretty much no other choice but to forge my own path through that new reality. Apparently, I'd actually originally come from there, as I had some old friends waiting for me, ready to welcome me back. Kinda like you and Starlight, Flutters.

"Continuing on, it turned out that the world that I thought was a dream when I first woke up actually was this crazy virtual-reality simulation thing that I'd been living in. The problem was that the reason why the world stopped existing was because someone, or something, was attacking it."

Fluttershy gasped. "Oh, like a monster? My friends and I have had to deal with plenty of those before."

Emily shook her head. "Nope, no monster. Just a group of cranky people who had a grudge against the folks who made the simulation. Turns out I was actually one of them, though I'd apparently forgotten after all that time I spent inside the simulation world. Long story short, I had to overcome my fears of losing everything I had in order to work toward the greater good; saving the world. Kinda like the situation you're in now."

"Emi," Starlight began, "You know that's false. Where did you even pull that story from, anyway? It sounded oddly familiar."

Well, obviously she knew it was false. Or at least, when applied to herself it was. Short to say, Lisa's a pretty good storyteller when she's given the chance. Even then, though, it was unlikely that anything in that story was true even when applied to her... unless--

"Okay, okay, I get it. You recycled your friend's story as your own to try and help Fluttershy."

"...Emily?" Fluttershy tapped her on the shoulder. "Why are you staring straight ahead and making faces?"

Oh, right. She still weirds out others even when she doesn't respond verbally to Star.

"Um. Yeah, sorry about the staring. I was talking to Starlight in my head. So..." Emily scratched her head, though it came off more as awkwardly rubbing her mane with her hoof than anything else. "I guess, if you still want to go home, then that's fine by me. I'll do my best to try and keep the world safe until you're ready again."

"Thank you."

Fluttershy vanished, flower pot and all. The only thing left behind was the tracking amulet that now sat on the ground.

"Wow, okay then."

"I mean, excuse the mental eye-roll, Emi, but you kinda had it coming, regardless of what inspirational story you pulled out of thin-air."

Welp. That happened.

Emily bent over, picking up the amulet with her mouth. How ponies made do with mouthing things around all the time was still a mystery to her, though the convenience factor she could certainly see at the moment. Though, for now, there were far more pressing matters to attend to. She looked up, staring down the empty alley. Without Fluttershy, it was going to take a whole lot longer to find the rest of the scrolls.

...Dangit. Should've at least asked Flutters about which building the scroll was from. A lead would've been a nice takeaway.

"But, you blew your chance, so here we are."

Precisely.


"See anything out of the ordinary, Star?"

"Nope. Emi, remind me why we've been following a group of patrolling guards for the past hour again?"

"There's a chance that they might be on shifts. If we follow them for long enough, we might be able to get closer to wherever they're based. I'd imagine that the scrolls would be at least somewhat close-by to wherever their main headquarters or whatever it's called is."

"Yeah, alright. I see your point."

Good.

Another group of guards approached from up ahead, coming in the opposite direction. Judging by their gossip, they probably weren't on patrol at the moment. Unless they were just a rowdy bunch.

"--cer. Did you hear that she was thrown against a wall? And they're saying that the repair costs for that stinkin' piece of drywall is gonna come out of her paycheck! Can you believe it?" The stallion shrugged as he walked. "Though, I guess one nice thing we got out of that whole ordeal is some nice security footage of that draconequus. I heard that there's already a hunt of sorts to find it. I haven't seen the security footage myself, but some of my other colleagues that did say that it looked a lot like Fl--"

"Ahem."

The stallion stopped his yapping, immediately striking a salute along with his buddies.

"Time for your shift."

"Exactly what we came here for."

Emily groaned, looking away from the armored ponies. Apparently, she very much did screw over Flutters in sending her out to get the scrolls. Whoop-de-doo. So much for following the guards, too. It looked like the gossip about Fluttershy had fully distracted them by now.

"Wait. Emi, look a little higher."

Emily raised a brow. She tilted her head upward. There was a railway up there.

"And?"

...And... oh. Oh.

Emily facehoofed. Of course she'd forget that they literally passed between the two buildings holding the scroll stashes on her way back to Canterlot! All she'd have to do now was follow the rails until she finds the buildings!

Granted, finding them was probably the easy part, knowing what Fluttershy had to go through to get a single scroll. Chances are, those things were crawling with guards now after what'd happened.