• 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 Seventeen - Red

Red was shocked. In her six months as a lieutenant, she had never even thought about the possibility of Twilight Sparkle appearing on her front porch. And yet the purple alicorn stood in front of Red’s desk, her eyelids drooping but her violet eyes were bright and fierce.

When Red said Twilight’s name, Twilight simply inclined her head in acknowledgment. Red could tell she was acting cool and composed, not at all like a pony from the enemy side who had come for her help. Red was sure that was what Twilight was here for.

“W-what are you doing here?” stammered Red.

“Emperor Lupines sent me to check on you and report back to him,” Twilight responded. Her voice was dead and flat, and she sounded as if she was reading a script. Red realized this was her cover story. She glanced fervently at Marylyn for a second. Twilight couldn’t spill with her there. She was smart to wait.

“Oh! Of course. I… I was expecting somepony. Um, Marylyn, could you…?” Red jerked her head at the door. Marylyn hurriedly shook her head.

“No, Lieutenant. I… think I should stay with you.”

She was lying, Red could tell. Since the first day, Red had had a suspicion that Marylyn was acting on Lupines’s orders, sticking close to her in case she tried to smuggle information to Twilight. Although Red thought that Lupines wasn’t entirely sure that she was a spy.

“Marylyn,” Red said a little more forcefully. “Please leave.”

“No.” Marylyn shifted her hooves but was defiant. “I need to stay.”

Red sighed and tried her last resort.

“Marylyn, I know Lupines put you up to this.” Marylyn’s eyes widened with surprise, confirming Red’s suspicion.

“H-how did you…?”

“And I know you’re doing a fantastic job. But you just need to step outside for a few minutes so I can have a short conversation with…?” Red looked to Twilight with the question written in her eyes.

“Lyra,” Twilight filled in immediately in the same deadpan voice. “Lyra Heartstrings.”

“Lyra.” Red turned back to Marylyn and smiled. “See? It’ll be fine. Just a few minutes.”

“No, Lieutenant.” Fear had entered Marylyn’s eyes and made them waver. “I don’t know how you knew about my orders, but you must know that I have to follow them. If I don’t…”

Red knew. She knew the punishment for disobeying orders. But she needed to help Twilight. She just couldn’t let Lupines win. It would be too terrible if he did. She exhaled and hoped that she wasn’t entirely crazy about doing this.

“This isn’t Lyra Heartstrings,” Red said, walking over to Twilight’s side. “Her name… is Twilight Sparkle. Princess of Friendship and ruler of Equestria.”

Marylyn’s jaw dropped. Twilight turned to Red with a curious expression.

“Why?” she asked in a low voice while Marylyn stuttered.

“It’s probably the only way,” Red whispered back.

“T-this pony… is the ruler of Eque…” Marylyn looked as if she might faint. She took a deep breath as if to call for the guards, but Red stopped her.

“No, don’t. Listen… I’ve been a kind of… spy. I’ve been giving Twilight information that would help her win the war and help save the missing ponies. They’re her subjects, and she needs them back. And if Lupines wins the war… Marylyn, you must know that the consequences would be grave.”

Marylyn still didn’t look entirely convinced, but she also didn’t look like she was going to call the guards in. Reassured, Red plowed on.

“And then you never left my side, which prevented me from giving her any more information. And they’re about to lose the war. If they do… Equestria will become Anoia, many more ponies will die, and all the dragons, the griffons, the hippogriffs, the yaks, all of them… they’ll all die, too.”

“Wait… what?” Twilight looked inquiringly at Red. So did Marylyn.

“How do you know that?” said Marylyn slowly.

“So it’s true?” Twilight demanded, glaring at Marylyn, who nodded.

“I heard the emperor talking about it to himself when he probably forgot I was in the room. He wants to keep a singular race of only ponies to dominate the world. And any ponies who showed any scrap of loyalty to you princesses would immediately be executed. But… how did you know that?” Marylyn asked, pointing at Red, who flushed.

“I… I saw it.”

That particular vision was the first one Red had had. She’d thought it was just a dream, even when her dreams were confirmed as visions. It was a large, bloodstained battlefield filled with every single changeling, hippogriff, yak, griffon, dragon, and Kirin, plus dozens of ponies, both Equestrian and Anoian, lying on the ground, dead, blood leaking from their severed heads and necks. Red almost threw up when she woke up again. She’d put it off as a panic-induced nightmare. But that same dream kept looping around after every battle that the Anoians had against the Equestrians. Sometimes there were more dead ponies and creatures, sometimes an entire species was gone, probably allying themselves with the Anoians and escaping genocide. Red once saw a happily ever after. It was a short flicker, right in the middle of another battle vision.

In it, she and Twilight were standing on a platform in front of hundreds upon thousands of creatures and ponies from all over the world, smiling brightly and probably announcing a peace treaty between the two continents or something. But then it disappeared right back into dying ponies. Red had never seen the vision again, telling her it was a rarity if it ever came true.

“You saw it?” Marylyn said incredulously. “How?”


“Can you read minds?” Twilight asked, as if this was something perfectly normal to ask somepony.


“I have a friend who, when she touches somepony else, she can see what they’re thinking. Can you do that?”

“Um, not that I know of,” Red said nervously. “But… sometimes I have these dreams… and I saw that in one of them… Does that make sense?”

“Kind of?” Marylyn said. “We’ll worry about that later. So… you’ve been spying on us for… Twilight here?”

“Well, not since you came along,” Red said ruefully. “I haven’t been able to pass any information with you watching me so closely.”

“Oh, so that’s what happened to you,” Twilight said. “I was wondering what was going on over here.”

“Wait, how were you doing that? It’s not like you could fly back and forth between Equestria and Anoia every night.”

Red lifted her pendant and Twilight did the same.

“With these. They can help us communicate by projecting the other wherever you are, and Red tells me all she knows that would help us win the war,” Twilight explained. Marylyn tilted her head.

“Oh. I was wondering what Red’s necklace was for. She never let it out of her sight.” Marylyn shook her head. “But I can’t let you just… prance off with a princess from another continent.” She took in another large breath.

“Marylyn, no!” Red cried. The purple pegacorn paused. “Please,” continued Red, “please let us do this. You know what’ll happen if Lupines wins. If Equestria wins, things would be much better for everypony. You have to help us.” Red’s voice was so full of emotion that Marylyn stopped and hung her head.

“You’d better win,” she grumbled after a brief silence. “Or else things won’t be good.”

Red almost cried with relief.

“Thank you,” she whispered. “You won’t regret it.” She and Twilight hurried out of the room and nearly ran outside.

Neither of them noticed the bright yellow flash that emitted from the open doorway.

Twilight led Red to their hideout under the cliff. Her friends were all sleeping, except for Cadance and Rainbow Dash. Cadance was sitting by the campfire, the flames reflecting in her tired eyes. Rainbow was keeping watch by zooming from place to place and pouncing on anything that moved, even leaves just skittering across the top of the cave.

“Rainbow Dash, if you keep doing that, everypony within a mile of here will know where we are,” Twilight said quietly as she stepped up. Cadance’s eyes lit up and she and Twilight hugged. Rainbow sat across from the two alicorns, folding her arms and rolling her eyes.

“What in Equestria took you so long?” Rainbow scolded.

“I found who I was looking for.” Twilight gestured to the dark shadows behind her. Red slowly stepped into the circle of firelight. Cadance and Rainbow Dash stared at her. “Guys, this is Red.” Red smiled non threateningly.

“Hello,” she whispered.

“You have wings,” was all that came out of Rainbow Dash’s mouth.

“Oh. Yeah. I was born with them.” Red extended her wings and flapped them twice before folding them back up again.

“Born with both wings and a horn,” Cadance said sadly. She stared into the fire sadly. Red knew she was thinking about Flurry Heart. Twilight had told her all about the young alicorn.

“Yes. Except we’re just a combination of pegasi and unicorns, not all three. So we just have pegasi wings instead of wings like you have.” Red jerked her head at Cadance’s spread but drooping wings. She noticed that they started as pink but faded into purple at the tips. Cadance merely nodded.

“So. Red, we need to get the missing ponies out,” Twilight said, turning to the red pegacorn.

“I know.” Red nodded. “So I can guess you probably want me to have my guards leave for a while so that you can sneak in, get them all, and sneak back out?”

Rainbow Dash snickered at Twilight’s expression. Cadance mustered a small smile. Twilight’s eyes were wide and her jaw dropped, leaving her mouth open.

“H-how did you…?”

“You’re not the only pony here who can think up plans,” Red said, forcing down a giggle. “I figured that was probably what you would want me to do.”

Twilight shook herself. “Yes. Yes, it is. That’s exactly what I want you to do. Can you do it?”

“Right to the point.” Red considered for a moment, staring into the flames. If she did that, she would get in huge trouble if she ordered it directly. But do it indirectly, and just provide an opening for them to slip in… Red couldn’t see where that went wrong.

Suddenly, a massive headache erupted in her brain, making her cry out in pain. Red couldn’t see anything through the haze that swam in front of her. She heard Twilight’s worried voice as if she was yelling across the ocean. Then she blacked out.

Author's Note:

Constructive criticism is appreciated.