• Published 15th Apr 2021
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The Fall of the Anoian - bookhorse125

Equestria is not the only land full of magical creatures. Welcome to Anoia.

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Chapter Fourteen - Red

Red’s eyes snapped open, her breath coming out in pants. Sweat was forming on her forehead. Red pushed herself into a sitting position, faintly gasping for air. She had no idea where these nightmares came from, but she had a feeling that there was something real about them.

Don’t think about that, she scolded herself. They can’t be real. They can’t.

A few months back, a few days after Lupines left, Red started getting these nightmares about battles between Equestria and Anoia. She’d put them off for a while, convincing herself that they were just her imagination acting up. She was just stressed about the war. Then she’d gotten a battle report from Commander Sea Spray about a battle that she’d seen in her dreams. That was when she had figured out that her dreams were nothing short of visions of the near future.

Now, this might have been a good thing. If you had a spy on the inside who could see the future, they could smuggle the information to the other side and alert them of what was to come. However, Red had never been able to get more than a minute by herself. Marylyn insisted on coming with her to wherever Red was going, and at night, a guard was outside the door, preventing Red from contacting Twilight then. So she was forced to stay, safe and sound in her guardhouse, while the Equestrians fought with their lives for the imprisoned ponies and creatures a few meters from Red.

Red slipped out of bed and paced her room. The battle she’d seen was extremely bloody. It took place in a small town that Red remembered Twilight telling her about: Ponyville. In her vision, Anoian air forces were dropping bombs on the forest next to Ponyville, destroying ruins that could possibly have extra supplies or a shelter for residents of the town. They were blowing up an old castle ruin, when six creatures, including one pony, ran out of a crystal treehouse in front of the castle and made a break for the woods. The treehouse was somehow protected by a magical force field, but the creatures weren’t so lucky. A bomb was heading for them, but one of the creatures that Red recognized as a hippogriff created a protection bubble around the six. They were safe, but the hippogriff fainted. A while later, the air force arrived at the edge of Ponyville. Twilight Sparkle and her friends confronted them and managed to take down at least a third of the soldiers. However, they were soon overpowered and knocked out, dropping to the forest floor like stones. The Anoians decided they were no immediate threat for now and left them alone. They proceeded into the town and prepared to throw more bombs at Twilight’s castle, but were stopped by a small force of different creatures.

Four of them were some of the creatures who escaped from the forest: the yak, the pony, the dragon, and the changeling. The others were two hippogriffs, a blue dragon, a lime green changeling, a large yak, three tall and slender alicorns with wings spread, and a stallion unicorn. Two of the alicorns had wavy manes, but the third, while she was a candy-colored pink, looked like she was ready to tear these ponies to pieces if they didn’t leave.

The air forces simply rolled their eyes and groaned and said “This again?” and things like that. They tried to push forward, but the two changelings turned into dragons, and they and the two real dragons rose into the air. All four of them opened their mouths and roared fire onto the Anoian stashes of bombs that were being carried in carts pulled by several pegasi. The bombs exploded, knocking at least a dozen and a half ponies out of the skies, dead or unconscious.

The dragons worked on torching more ponies, but the Anoians ducked and swerved and most of them avoided getting burned to a crisp. The two hippogriffs lifted into the air and knocked dizzy or unstable ponies out of the skies, and once they were on the ground, the two yaks knocked them unconscious or killed them. The younger yak only knocked them unconscious. She seemed hesitant about killing. The big yak, however, had no hesitation whatsoever.

The alicorns were quick to blast more ponies with their magic and fly around, making the Anoians dizzy. The pink one was really on a whirl.

“Give!” She grabbed two ponies and whacked their heads together, knocking them unconscious so they dropped to the ground. “Me!” Whirling around, the alicorn shot another blast at a black pegacorn, killing him instantly. “My!” Cadance shot after an escaping pegasus and pushed her down to the ground, leaving her for the yaks to deal with. “Daughter!” The pink alicorn blasted two more pegasi to the ground, dead. “BACK!!!” Cadance lit up her horn and blasted a laser through the sky and killed at least thirteen Anoian soldiers. The remaining soldiers quickly retreated, but one of the hippogriffs (the yellow and blue one) was knocked down to the ground, and the smaller changeling had a broken wing. She was on the ground, back in her own form, studying the large hole in the membranes. The large one limped over to her, blood leaking from one of his hind legs. The larger hippogriff had a mangled claw but was otherwise in good shape. She insisted on helping bring the other hippogriff inside the castle. The other two alicorns were unhurt but shaken. The stallion hurried over to Cadance and put his arm around the pink pony’s shaking shoulders and guided her gently back to the castle.

“Has anypony seen Twilight Sparkle?” the dark blue alicorn inquired. The remaining creatures shook their heads silently. Some Equestrian soldiers, who had stood to the side, watching in awe as their leaders took care of this group of Anoians, came up to drag away the dead bodies. A small flight of Equestrian pegasi flew over the Everfree Forest, looking for Twilight Sparkle and her friends. And that was where Red’s dream ended.

Red’s breathing steadied as she shakily recounted her vision. Twilight Sparkle could still be alive. She could be okay. Everything might be alright. But she knew in her heart that it wouldn’t. All the other battles she’d seen were almost always Anoian victories. Equestria would soon fall if she didn’t do something.

The door cracked open a fraction of an inch. The guard outside of Red’s door poked his head into the room and stared at her questioningly.

“Oh. Um. I’m okay. Just had a… nightmare.” Red smiled nervously as the guard slowly withdrew his head and closed the door. Red exhaled and climbed back into bed. She lay down and tried to fall asleep, but horrible images kept filling her head of Twilight’s body lying broken on the forest floor. When the sun rose over the horizon, flooding the land in brilliant shades of light pink and gold, Red got out of bed and resumed pacing. She used her magic to pull a brush through her curls. The sun had cleared the horizon when Marylyn finally opened the door and slipped into the room. Several strands of her mane had slipped out of her bun, and Red could tell that she’d gotten ready in a rush.

“Good morning!” Marylyn said brightly. Her smile melted when she saw Red’s crestfallen face. “Um. Are you alright?”

“Yeah. Just had a rough night.” Red glanced out the window. “Had a nightmare.”

“Oh.” Marylyn shifted her hooves. “So…”

“We’re going to be getting another battle report soon,” Red said, still looking out the window. “Make sure my schedule’s clear so I can look at it.”

“How can you be sure?” asked Marylyn nervously. Red whipped her head around again and met Marylyn’s shaky light pink eyes with her steady green ones.

“Have I ever been wrong before?”

Marylyn cleared her throat. “Um. No.”

“Then clear my schedule for tomorrow,” Red said briskly as she trotted out of the room. Marylyn scurried to follow. Red glanced behind her and glanced at Marylyn fixing her bun as she walked. Red winced. The deep turquoise of Marylyn’s mane reminded her all too well of Brickle’s eyes. She felt a pang in her heart as she thought of Brickle, which she didn’t fully understand.

Red turned back to the hallway in front of her. She tried to focus on the day ahead of her - she had to run drills and hear the reports from the night patrollers for any signs of things they might have seen. Red had gotten rid of the “Kill anything that you see move” rule when they accidentally killed a couple of Anoians goofing around and a great number of birds and rabbits. Instead, if they saw anything, they were to inspect it, and if it was anything that they thought they should be worrying about, they would report instantly to Red. Other than that, at noon that day, the patrols would make a daily report after getting a few hours of sleep. But her mind kept wandering back to the vision she’d had. If that was really going to happen… she couldn’t think about it. And Twilight Sparkle couldn’t be dead. That was just crazy talk. If Twilight Sparkle was dead, Red was almost positive that the sun would stop rising. Which was probably true. Twilight was the reason the sun rose anyways.

The rest of the day went by in a blur. Red heard reports and checked in on the drills of the new guards. There were about a dozen of them, and they had a long way to go if they were going to make it into the Anoian army. When Red finally had a moment to breathe, it was almost sunset. The battle she’d seen in her vision took place at about midday. If it had happened that day, then the battle had already passed. But if it took place the day after… Red still had time to try and warn Twilight.

Once the sun slipped below the horizon again, Red retired to her room, hoping that there would be no visions tonight. Of course, that was setting the bar pretty high. But Red luckily had that simple request granted.

Author's Note:

Constructive criticism is appreciated.