• Published 6th Nov 2020
  • 795 Views, 92 Comments

Son of the Howlite Howler - JNKing

  • ...
8
 92
 795

Chapter 3: The First Domino

Earlier…

As Twilight was pushed out of Kodo’s mind, the young wolf turned back to Sombra with a glower.

“Now,” Kodo growled. “Where is she?”

“Now-now, patience,”Sombra chastised. “I’m doing this just as much for your sake as mine.”

Kodo’s ears flattened. “You still think I’ll believe the ponies are my enemies, right?” he grumbled.

They are your enemies, boy,” Sombra insisted. “Just as much as they are mine. Think about it: even if, by some miracle, they pull me from your mind and defeat me, do you really think they’ll accept you? After knowing that I was in your head since the day you came into this world?”

“I never wanted to be accepted by them,” Kodo snapped. “I just wanted to be left alone.”

Wrong,” Sombra growled. “You wanted what your mother wanted. Up until now, you’ve just done what she said. Been the good son. But the good son deserves a fitting reward.” Sombra smirked. “One that could’ve been in your grasp, had your mother simply been braver.”

Kodo didn't need to be reminded. The memory flared before him just by pondering it: Shiva sitting on the throne of Canterlot. The world submitting before her. Dragons, griffons, minotaurs… every creature on the planet at her whim.

“That doesn’t need to be a fantasy,”Sombra insisted. “It can be reality.”

“As long as I’m on the throne,” Kodo guessed. “With you at the controls!”

Sombra didn’t dare speak. But Kodo saw his intention well enough.

“Forget it,” Kodo snapped. “Just give me back my mother!”

Shiva taught you better than that,” Sombra said firmly. “If you want something, you have to be willing to give something in return. Isn’t that the reason why she had you fix that foal’s home after you burned it down?”

Kodo had no response.
Put Equestria under my rule, then I will show you where your mother is. And she will return to our Equestria. The Equestria she should have had.”

“As if Celestia and the others will just hand it over to you?” Kodo asked.

You underestimate your own abilities,” Sombra noted. “As well as the abilities of your pack.”

#

As Luke walked up to the Ponyville castle, a smaller diamond dog scrambled to stay by his side.

“It’s war, isn’t it?” the little dog yapped. “I always knew this was gonna happen. If they don’t hand over Alpha Shiva…”

“Muffins,” Luke growled, hating whoever named the diamond dog. “Have patience. We’ll know what happened soon enough.”

Indeed, Princess Twilight was waiting for them as the five royal figures and their armies converged on her. Luke grimaced as Twilight ran to Celestia first, but didn’t dare comment.

“Princess Celestia,” Twilight greeted, nodding to the others. “Thank you all for coming."

“No matter the species,” Celestia said. “An attack on any of our royalty is an attack on Equestria itself.” She nodded to Luke. “We are at your disposal.”

“That still depends on where she is,” Luke asked, giving the Mane Six a suspicious look. “How did she manage to be slipped away from all six of you and both of your guardians?”

Spike blushed. “Um… technically, I’m just an assistant,” he said.

“Don’t underestimate yourself,” Luke said. “You’re still a dragon. But where is my wife?”

The group turned to Kodo, who shut his eyes with a sigh.
“Sombra’s hiding her,” he said. “He says he’ll only reveal where she is…” he looked to Celestia. “If Celestia hands over the throne.”

“NO!” Luna, Shining and Twilight barked at the same time.

“That is rather insane,” Skippy admitted.

“Plus… we don’t need him,” Spike realized. “I think I know where Shiva is.”

Luke and the others turned to him. “You do?” Luke asked, before it clicked. “Wait… of course…”

“What?” Twilight asked.

“The mirror!” Luke and Spike said at the same time. Kodo grimaced, his eyes briefly flashing as Sombra seemed to squirm in his host’s body.

“It makes sense,” Luke said. “She was curious in the world beyond.”

Twilight gasped. “And the world beyond the mirror has humans,” she said. “If Sombra used a memory wipe spell… she could be just a stone’s throw away and not even realize it herself.”

But as the royalty bustled into the castle, and headed for where the room was kept, Kodo squirmed again. Luke put a paw around him as he led him on.

“Don’t worry, son,” he said. “We’ll get your mother back. And then we’ll get that scum out of your head.”

Are you sure you want to do that, Alpha Luke?” Sombra asked with Kodo’s voice. “Did you ever trust the ponies to treat you and your own as one of them?”

Luke hesitated, long enough for a scream to rip the air. He and Kodo dashed after the others. However, as they entered, Sombra bit back a chuckle.

The mirror was gone. Not smashed; not even broken, but completely missing. A small mark of dust was the only sign that it had ever been there.

“Where is it?” Twilight demanded, whirling on Kodo. “What did you do with the mirror, Sombra?!"

Luke stepped in front of Twilight. “Princess,” he reminded her with a growl. “My son is still in there.”

Sure enough, when Kodo peered at where the mirror had been, his eyes were his own shade of green. Celestia, however, strode forward.

“My apologies, Luke,” she said sternly. “But Sombra is still hiding in his mind.” With a flare of her magic, she lifted Luke away, glaring down Kodo. “You have attacked one of my allies and stolen one of my items, King Sombra. You would be wise to tell me where they are.”

But Kodo’s eyes didn’t flash, even as he glanced around, as if hoping for Sombra to jump in.

“Sombra?” Kodo demanded. “Any day now.”

Luna stamped her hoof. “This is pointless,” she said, turning to the outside. “Let’s look through Ponyville. He can’t have sent it far.”

Luke nodded. “Well-well… something we agree on,” he noted.

Together, the Princess of the Night and the Alpha Male Diamond Dog raced back outside.

“The Mirror to the Human World is gone,” Luna declared.

“Spread out!” Luke barked to his dogs. “Track it down!”

The dogs growled in agreement, and raced into the town, closely followed by the Lunar Guard. The changelings, Solar Guard and Crystal Guard gave their leaders a nervous look. However, Skippy motioned for them to follow, as did Shining.

Celestia, however, stayed focused on Sombra.

“Find the mirror,” she commanded without breaking her gaze. “So that we may punish this demon.”

“Still me you’re talking to,” Kodo growled, fidgeting under her gaze.

“Celestia, enough,” Luke said, moving to Kodo’s side. “I’m not happy about Sombra either, but I’m not going to let my son be threatened.”

“I don’t suppose you have a better way to talk to Sombra,” Twilight grumped. “He’s not letting us speak to him.”

Luke peered at his son. “No,” he admitted. “But what if he responds better to a non-pony?”

Gripping his arm, Luke let a pack link flare to life between them. As their bodies glowed like diamonds, Luke sunk into Kodo’s mind.

Just like Twilight before him, Luke found Kodo and Sombra side by side. Yet, both sat on thrones of shadow.

“Welcome, Father of My Host,” Sombra greeted, like Luke was an honored guest. “I was hoping you’d come.”

“What did you do with my mate, Sombra,” Luke growled.

Kodo sighed as Sombra rolled his eyes. “It’s like a one-note track with these creatures,” Sombra noted to Kodo. “I daresay Shiva must be the next Faust.”

Luke strode forward, energy crackling dangerously around him, before Sombra lifted a hoof in a placating gesture.

“I mean it as a compliment, Alpha Luke,” He noted. “She is quite a powerful woman. More powerful than Celestia, if she only would’ve acted on it.”

Luke paused, sharing a glance with Kodo.

Did it ever bother you that she didn’t take the Crystal Empire for her own?” Sombra asked. “That she accepted this little ‘alliance’ between you, the changelings and the ponies?”

Luke glared down, but his memories couldn’t lie. The resentment; the paranoia. The fear that Shiva had made a mistake. It emanated from his body like the stink on a skunk. Sombra grinned at his discontentment.

“I don’t suppose you remember what happened in the alternate timeline,” Sombra noted. “How you were a King. Sharing the rule only with the one you loved.”

Luke looked up in confusion as the memory flashed faintly before him: This time, it had Luke with Shiva. Sitting side by side as the whole of Equus bowed to them. Luke gazed at it, mesmerized.

Why keep this as a fantasy?” Sombra asked. “Shiva gave you the power to forge your own destiny. Why not make it something more than a glorified guard of the ponies?”

Luke glanced back at Kodo, who glared at Sombra.

“Wouldn’t that be what we are to you, Sombra?” Kodo asked.

“Only if you lose to me,” Sombra admitted. He turned back to Luke. “But before you can worry about me, you must beat Celestia, take Equestria and get your mate back first. I could help you with that.” He shrugged. “But… if you’d rather stay as the errand boy to one of Celestia’s toys…”

Luke grit his teeth, but the King of Darkness faded back into shadows.

“Don’t worry,” Kodo noted. “He can’t get anywhere outside of my head.”

“Which should make him easy to handle,” Luke noted. “From both sides…” He turned back to his son. “Kodo, you realize we’re striking a deal with the devil on this.”

“Pretty much,” Kodo admitted. “But if he’s right. And if we can take Equestria for our own…” he shook his head. “Mother always deserved more than what she got.”

Luke chuckled. “Didn’t we all?” he noted. “But how do we know Sombra will let us enjoy it when we get it?”

“It’s like he mentioned,” Kodo pointed out. “We’ve got a long way to go before we need to worry about that.”

Luke stepped forward and gripped his son’s head. “Still,” he said. “Let’s agree that once Equestria is ours… he goes down.”

Kodo shivered with doubt, but when he gazed into his father’s eyes, all he could really do was nod.

#

As the guards searched through the town, every eye stayed on the diamond dogs. Desperation and anger fueled them, as they stormed from house to house. Where the ponies and changelings at least tried to be polite – knocking on doors and asking if the residents had sensed any magic – the diamond dogs were more forceful – kicking doors down and stampeding through the house. “Where is the Alpha?!” echoed through the entire town.

“Can’t they roll it back?” Rainbow Dash asked as she watched Sugarcube Corner get broken into.

“They lost their leader,” Applejack replied. “Wouldn’t you be frightened if Twi up and vanished?” Yet, even as she said it, she paled as several diamond dogs scurried towards Sweet Apple Acres.

“Let’s just figure out where he put the mirror, and be done with this whole thing,” Twilight insisted, flaring her horn and searching desperately for any signs of magic.

But then… they were drawn to a scream of pain. Far too high pitched to be an adult.

Paling, Twilight raced to the source. She found herself outside Canterlot Boutique. Rarity was holding a sobbing Sweetie Belle away from the diamond dog Muffins, her horn glowing as she forced the smaller diamond dog back. But several other dogs were bearing down on her, and Rarity’s face, though angry, was streaked with fear.

Rainbow Dash didn’t hesitate. She shot forward, her hooves planting into Muffins’ side. He hit the ground rolling, several diamond dogs converging around him.

“Stay away from my friends, dog,” Rainbow Dash growled… only for a dark tendril to wrap around her neck. She gagged, getting lifted into the air, as Kodo appeared, his tendril choking the life from her.

“Kodo!” Twilight yelled, her horn flaring. “Sombra, let her go now!”

But when Kodo glared at her… Twilight stepped back. Kodo’s eyes weren’t green enough. The purple outlines were gone. For all intents and purposes, Kodo should’ve been the one in control. Yet… he was still strangling Rainbow Dash.

“Kodo?” Twilight asked.

“Sombra!” Celestia boomed, converging on the young wolf, alongside her fellow alicorns. “Release the Element of Loyalty now!”

Kodo glared at her. “Who said Sombra was in control?” he growled.

Celestia’s eyes widened in horror… before Luke caught her upside the head with a slash. As she tumbled into Luna’s side, Luke raced to Kodo’s side.

“Boys,” he declared. “We’ve been betrayed. Fall back!”

“What? No!” Twilight protested.

But as the dogs gave the ponies glowers that promised war, they withdrew. Muffins was picked up by a bigger dog, and raced away. Kodo threw Rainbow Dash into the Mane Six, leaving Spike to race after him, pursuing them to the train station.

“Kodo, Luke, stop!” he pleaded. “This isn’t what Shiva would want.”

Kodo paused, looking back at the young dragon.

“No,” he admitted. “It’s not.” He raised his paw. “But she’s not here now.”

With a blast of lightning, the train station – along with the train – exploded. Spike was thrown back by the force of the blast. As he hit the ground, the ponies converged on his location.

But the diamond dogs were gone. Only small bits of worm sign were left, tearing up the train tracks as they left towards the North.

“They’re heading back to the Crystal Empire,” Shining whispered. His horn flared. “Sombra must be moving them to gather Shiva's forces.”

Skippy gasped. “Celine,” he whispered. “Princess Scorpia. A-And Princess Cadence. None of them know!”

Twilight’s horn flared as well. “They will,” she said.

“Hurry,” Celestia agreed, as the purple mare vanished in a flash of light.

“Should we go too, sister?” Luna asked.

Celestia pondered it, staring at the retreating dogs.

“No,” she declared. “If Twilight fails… we must be ready for Sombra’s next move.”

Author's Note:

And so, the diamond dogs prepare for war.

Do you think that Kodo and Luke's turn was too quick? Or does it make sense given Luke's distrust towards the ponies?

Please let me know what you think. And as always, thank you so much for reading and commenting. :pinkiehappy: