• Published 10th Jun 2020
  • 1,132 Views, 40 Comments

Splintershard - TheMajorTechie

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

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4|1 ◈ A Void

Author's Note:

Yo, it's been a looooong while since I posted a new Splintershard chapter. I guess now's as good a time as any to release one of my last two stockpiled chapters while I start work back up on these fics. :V

It's funny, coming back to something you once visited every day. Your familiarity has long-since faded, yet as always, it is still there.

Rusted and faded, but there nonetheless.

“We tried alright.” Emily mumbled, staring through the bars of the cell. A hollow sigh escaped her lips. “And we were so close, too.”

“Emi,” Starlight’s voice echoed in the girl’s head. “What next? Anything on your mind?”


“I-I know what you’re thinking, you know. Escape won’t be easy, sure, but we’ve gotten out of prisons before!”

“We were let out, Star. This is different.”

“Well… yeah, I know that our situation now isn’t anything like what we’ve been through before, but if we can figu—”

“Star, I have a question. When you realized you were going to die, what mattered most at that moment? Your life, or Equestria?”

“Wha—er, Equestria, I guess…” Starlight’s voice wavered. “Though, to be honest, I don’t exactly remember what was going through my head at the time. Where did that question even come from?”

Emily shrugged. “Just thinking out loud.”

“Emi. Again, is something on your mind? You’ve got so much shooting through your head that I can’t figure out any singular thing anymore. You’re being frighteningly okay with this whole situation compared to last time.” Her voice paused for a moment. “Do you feel… that nothing matters anymore? Is that it?”

Emily nodded slowly. “Everything was leading up to that point. Now that my chance is gone, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go back home. I… guess I’ll be alright if I’m stuck in Equestria forever.” Her eyes turn to the reinforced window in her cell. “Though, I don’t know if the same applies for Lisa.”

“Well, you shouldn’t give up now!” Starlight’s voice pleaded. “We can still get out! I know that at the very least, the anti-magic spell around our cell isn’t strong enough to strip me away! It’s how I can still talk to you at all! We should at least give escape a try, Emi, right?”

Another shrug. Emily turned away from the window and laid down on the dingy cot. “Maybe. I’m going to sleep for now. Goodnight, Star.”

“…Goodnight, Emi.”

This place again. Emily laid on her back, staring blankly into the sea of darkness above her. She sat up. Her duplicate was nowhere to be found. Though, that wasn’t the only change to the scenery. The path, for one, was now a more reddish-brown than anything even resembling blue. The little flames lining it were gone, too, replaced by the reds and yellows of fallen leaves.

She stood up. With nobody to talk to, walking the path was probably her best bet. Her first step caused the dark surface of the path to ripple in red, as if her feet were raindrops hitting a pond. Some of the leaves shifted in response to the ripples.

Emily furrowed her brows at the new development. Either way, rippling path or not, there wasn’t anywhere else to go anyway.

Something in the edge of her vision caught her attention. She spun her head, but the spindly creature lurking in the shadows was already long-gone.

“Ignore them, Emi,” she whispered to herself. “They’re probably more afraid of you than you are of them. And this is all in your head, anyway. Nothing to be afraid of…”

She flinched anyway at the sight of another spindly creature retreating into the shadows.

Still, forward was the only choice she had. At least, as far as staying on the path itself went.

Her steps began to accelerate. Save for where the path led and the darkness all around, it seemed as if everything about this landscape had changed since she’d last dreamt it. Maybe it was her way of trying to tell herself something?

Maybe Star could help decipher it later.

Soon enough, Emily stood before… she froze as her eyes set on the shattered remains of the crystal. Though the ground around it was as dark as charcoal, it was clear that the crystal now sat in a sizable crater—like as if something had dropped it. Hard.

She bent down and picked up a shard, grimacing at the blood-red tinge coating one of its edges. Hopefully it wasn’t blood, but… she glanced back at what remained of the rest of the crystal. If one of her duplicates really had been inside the thing, then having the crystal shatter like this probably drew a bit of blood at the very least.


Emily shot up. It was that voice again. Though, the raspy sighs that came with it before were no longer there. Her eyes drifted to what appeared to be footsteps, stumbling away from the site.

She glanced at the shard of crystal, then back to the footprints. As she approached them, it became obvious that they belonged to the version of her who used to be inside the crystal. Maybe she was able to get away to safety?

She lined up a foot with the closest print to her. Sure enough, it lined up perfec—

A brilliant flash of light forced her to turn away, grimacing at its suddenness. It faded moments later, leaving behind a path lit in vibrant greens compared to the red of the old path.

Emily huffed as she traced the road into the horizon. At least there was somewhere to go now. Could’ve gone without almost being blinded, though.

She began to walk, ducking under a branch of a barren tree. Was this always here? Though still sparse, all around her were now shapes of life; an outlined bush here, some glowing mushrooms there, even another tree every so often, though all of their branches remained as empty as the first one she’d encountered. It seemed as if every piece of vegetation had become its very own neon sign, calling out their existence among the darkness.

Still, it was a nice change in scenery compared to the pitch-black surrounding the old path.

Her own footsteps echoed beneath her, serving as the only thing to break the silence that had settled all around. Occasionally, she could hear something scutter in the darkness. Sometimes, she could even see them as they crossed her path.

They were a little hard to describe. Some sort of… shadowy, wispy creature—almost as if they were living shadow puppets. Unlike the vegetation dotting her surroundings, all they had were their silhouettes. No outlines or anything of the sort.

Emily froze. She could feel something crawling across her foot. Slowly, she squat down, keeping her eyes squarely on her feet. The creature was as hard to see as any other one of the many shadow creatures she’d probably passed by, though it wasn’t quite as bad with the illumination of the path there to light up its still body.

She picked it up. It had some sort of hard shell. Some sort of land crustacean, maybe? She scooted to the side and held it over the edge of the path, where the green glow was the brightest. Sure enough, between her fingers dangled some sort of odd cross between a snail and a hermit crab. The two eyes on its stalks stared back at her. She set it down and watched it vanish again into the darkness.

Emily’s footsteps continued to echo all around. How long had she been walking? It felt like this path stretched on forever. Worse yet, much of the vegetation from before had once again vanished from view, leaving only the murky black that surrounded her as company.

Thankfully, it wasn’t all bad. At least some semblance of sound other than the noise she made herself had returned. The raspy breaths from before hadn’t yet called for her, though there were occasional… howls? They’d certainly sounded quite a lot like howls.

A low rumble rolled overhead, steadily increasing in pitch until a long, collective howl thundered above her. That was the fourth one she’d counted. Were there sky-wolves somewhere in the dark? A silly grin spread across Emily’s face. Maybe all those shadowy silhouettes she saw before were actually just fluffy sky-wolves that wanted to see what their visitor was up to. Didn’t really explain the howls, though.

She continued walking. Maybe the road really did go on to infinity.

Something in the distance made her stop in her tracks. It was a little hard to make out at the distance she stood at, but there was clearly something on the path.

Emily narrowed her eyes. Whatever it was, it was neither outlined in neon nor a silhouette. Maybe it was—she gasped, breaking into a sprint. The strained breaths abruptly began again, growing faster and faster as she approached until they matched her own.

Before long, Emily Ashton stood above the trembling, collapsed form of herself.