• Published 3rd Apr 2022
  • 1,362 Views, 485 Comments

Alpha and Omega - Revel Montaro

For every beginning there is an end. Princesses Twilight Sparkle and Sunset Shimmer stand side by side as the rulers of Equestria, as beacons of hope against those that seek said end, as the darkness closes around them and the walls press in.

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Chapter 6: Short Change Hero

Sunset Shimmer and Luna had arrived at the second floor dining hall not long after finishing their coffee drinks and concluded discussing their ‘backup plan’ to the point they both felt comfortable with how to present it to the prince and grand vizier should the need occur. Once Sable Nimbus opened the dining room door she stepped aside and bowed to allow Sunset and Luna to enter then pushed the doors shut again.

Twilight Sparkle and Isabella glanced up from where they were sitting on the one side of the table. Both smiled, one with relief, the other pleased to see them both presentable... and unarmed. The grand vizier also flashed a pleasant smile.

“Looks like we got here before Spike and Prince Khan, er Kayem, er, no…”

“Prince Khayaliun, Your Highness. You should try practicing saying it. The rough translation in the old tongue is, ‘fanciful’ or one who appreciates the finer things in life.”

Sunset held her expression as best she could while also sparing a glance to Twilight, who was also forcing to keep her smile up. “Right, thank you. I’ll work on it.”

Luna stepped before the grand vizier and presented her hoof. “Grand Vizier Muhasib, how wonderful to see you again. Tabarak allah ealayka.

Muhasib bowed deeper to Luna, pressing her hoof to his lips. “Thank you. Sincere blessing to you as well, moon goddess.”

“Your fiancé better start brushing up her Saddle Arabian,” whispered Isabella to Twilight, but just loud enough for Sunset to overhear. Despite her many, many talents, they both knew Sunset was not a linguistics expert. She joked more than once in private about being fluent in profanity.

On schedule, the lunch trolleys arrived a few minutes later and Isabella directed them to begin setting the table, but that they would wait to serve until the prince arrived.

Twilight smiled and beamed at Sunset who casually winked at her in turn.

Isabella mumbled to herself while she tried to double check if she was forgetting something. Sable remained near the door and simply observed.

Luna and Grand Vizier Muhasib continued to speak casually to pass the time, which was starting to become painfully obvious that Spike and Prince Khayaliun were late.

There was finally a pounding on the door and the guards who had been standing outside opened it for Lieutenant Walnut. He glanced about the room. Sable Nimbus read his body language immediately and moved to stand behind Sunset Shimmer while cautiously eyeing the large, vulnerable windows that had been replaced more than once.

The acting solar captain bowed. “I apologize for the intrusion, but there has been a major incident in the market that requires your immediate attention.” The guard glanced to the grand vizier and gulped. “All your immediate attentions.”

Sunset stood and immediately moved to the balcony, opening the windows. “Everypony huddle close. Twilight, Luna, tri-formation teleport.”

“I am confused, what is happening?”

Isabella ushered the grand vizier and his two accompanying guards to stand in the middle of the three alicorns. She turned to Sable who mouthed the words, “I’ll fly” and spread her wings. “The princesses will combine their power to teleport all of us to the market square so that we do not have to walk or fly. It is much faster if a bit disorienting, Your Grace. Prepare yourself.”

Twilight nodded to Sunset who in turn nodded to Luna. Three powerful horns lit up three different colors and the small group disappeared in a multicolored flash. Sable immediately afterwards jumped off the balcony and veered in the direction of the market.

Muhasib and his two guards had never experienced a teleport before and had to be steadied after their hooves once again found stone.

Sunset swiveled around, looking for a fight, but only found guards and local Canterlot police trying to keep the area secure. The square itself looked undamaged. There were blood stains by the fountain that had been marked off as evidence along with some fallen weapons, but whatever had gone down must have only involved a few individuals and not been a major confrontation. Sunset's nose twitched a bit at a lingering smell she had not expected. It was faint, but there was still the hint of ionized burnt ozone that she associated more with electrified burning metal like from a welder or plasma torch. Not a scent that was common in Equestria. Sunset spun back quickly, horn glowing with a prepared kinetic blast while her heart nearly jumped from her chest at Twilight’s horrified scream.

“SPIKE?! SPIKE! Oh, my goddess! Sweet Celestia! Spike, can you hear me?!” Twilight nearly bowled over the guard medic that was tending to the brawny dragon that had just been loaded onto a wagon for transport. Tears poured from her eyes and the facade of the prim and proper princess was discarded in place of dire concern for her beloved little brother. “Spike, please! Wake up! Speake to me!”

His handsome dragon face was swollen with massive bruises and several deep cuts. Other cuts were less severe, but still scuffed and cracked his scales. The bandage under his left arm was already soaking through red, staining the softer hide. Twilight examined him closer and found that he was missing a primary fang and many of his teeth were also stained with blood as he struggled to breath while still unconscious.

“Willow!” Sunset turned the other direction to find her aid, Sable Nimbus, had landed next to different wagon where another guard medic was frantically trying to stabilize a thestral, but the lunar guard had lost a great deal of blood and was going into shock. Sable took the outstretched hoof and held it as she trembled. “I got you, soldier. You’re going to be okay.” Sunset approached and watched as the medic turned to her did what they are never supposed to do. She shook her head, dispare written all over her face.

Without a second thought and no time to doubt, Sunset stepped up to the dying guard and took her hoof between hers. Willow tried to speak but more blood dribbled from her mouth and she choked and gagged on her words instead. Magic could stop the remaining bleeding, but she had already lost too much and her organs were failing from the trauma regardless. They had arrived too late. Sunset let out a breath and allowed her empathic power to open up. Her eyes flashed bright white as she dove into the bat pony’s memories.

Sunset observed the entourage walking along as Spike talked about Canterlot. She could feel that Willow was bored by the entire assignment and tour, but still remaining vigilant as any thestral guardian on duty should. Then, a chill rippled over her from the tip of her nose to the bottom of her hooves. The thestral had no idea what had caused the ill feeling, but Sunset knew. She recalled EXACTLY what that dreadful, awful spell was. Mind control dark arts. Some of the most forbidden and illegal magic known to the world. She had read about it once in her youth and committed the particular spell to memory after breaking into the restricted section of the Canterlot Library. Sunset shuddered as she recalled casting it one time upon the helpless students of Canterlot High School after placing the Element of Magic upon her head. While definitely the same spell this one was stronger, more refined than the original casting matrix she had come across in that old tome. Whomever was casting the spell had practiced it and improved upon the same horrific foundation.

Sunset saw and felt as Willow reacted to the others falling under the spells influence, but for some reason Willow and lunar guard Hatch had remained unaffected… and Spike as well! She recalled a side conversation from long ago when Celestia had said that dragons had natural immunity to many types of magic.

Then, a mare in a cloak appeared. Her voice radiated with unseen power, her aura was dark, muddy, unnatural. Willow could not see it as such, but through her mind’s eye memories, Sunset still saw the world as only and alicorn could. Whoever this mare was, she was definitely the sorceress who cast the spell and she was frighteningly powerful.

Willow and Hatch tried to fight back, but then, Sunset screamed and winced when she felt the unexpected… laser blast?! It tore through her flesh and light armor at the gaps like nothing. Or more accurately, through Willow. Then, the world got fuzzy. Her helmet came off and Sunset felt the tendril clouds crush Willow’s mental barriers in her defenseless and injured state, paralyzing her.

Hypnotic words from every direction tried to tell Sunset to be submissive, to worship and adore the very ground the mare walked upon. It was painfully similar to how easily the Sirens had mind dominated CHS and took control of so many so quickly. Was that possibly the origin of such magic? Sunset focused as best she could through the haze on the sickly yellow unicorn whose magically laced words were muddled. Though on her back and unable to move or fight back, Willow still bore witness to Spike’s savage assault while attempting to get the prince away. Sunset felt tears sting her eyes as her old friend and beloved brother to Twilight was kicked again and again. The mare even reached into his mouth and pulled a fang tooth free, a stream of blood trailing behind the removal. And then, the sorceress casually left with the prince and many others in tow.

Sunset released the hoof and blinked several times, having to wipe a tear away. She looked down at Guardsmare Willow Branch who coughed painfully one last time before her strength gave and out and she stopped breathing. Sable cursed and shook her head, gently closing her fellow thestral’s eyes.

“Rest, sister. You served and passed with honor.”

Luna, who had stepped over as well, whispered a quiet prayer and placed a gentle kiss upon the departed’s brow before her eyes hardened to steel. She turned to Sunset, burning teal eyes locked with one another. “Tell me you know who took these precious lives today.”

“I’ve never seen her before, but I know I will never forget that face. She enjoyed killing them all. And she took the prince and it looked like a dozen or more citizens as willing thralls.”

Luna nodded. “Show me.” Sunset took another deep breath and a red glow engulfed her right hoof. She replayed the memory for Luna. Once Luna blinked her eyes clear her jaw hung open and her eyes were twice as wide as Sunset had ever seen them. That was not the reaction the fire maned alicorn was expecting.

“Aunt Luna?”


“Hey, what’s going on? Do you know that bitch?”

Luna glanced about frantically, her wings flexing in fear and agitation as she fought to control her shaking limbs. “We need to leave the open at once, lock down the city and send every creature to safety and or shelter and pray that is enough for them.” A moment later, Luna summoned her silver and blued steel battle armor, weapons and all. The straps all tightened in her magical aura at her command. Taking extra care to ensure her weapons were ready and her helmet tight.

“Luna?” asked Twilight, still at Spike’s side as the wagon began to move to take him to the hospital. She parroted Sunset's statement. “What’s going on?”

The midnight blue alicorn held up a hoof and stepped over to Spike to commit the damage to memory and to check for clues. She scowled hard and then growled after finding a familiar marking upon his brow. “The Red Clover has returned.”


A grassy hay field in the middle of Sweet Apple Acres began to whip around as rogue winds circled about. A moment later a small tornado formed and then reshaped into an oval that expelled purple lightning. If any creature had been about to bear witness they would have thought the oval was a mirror or looking glass of some sort. A moment later, a pony stepped out and the oval shrank to nothing without leaving a single mark upon the earth. His foreleg hooves were metallic and he raised one to examine the information on the small, holographic screen that was built into the armature. After a few seconds of calculations the screen determined where he had landed.

“Strange. Why here? Why now?” No creature was about to answer. He searched about and eventually turned his eyes to the mountain in the distance that had a beautiful castle perched upon the edge of the plateau with a city beneath it. He had questions. Many questions. But he needed to find his quarry and both his gut and instruments were telling him that the city upon the mountain was the direction he needed to go. The stallion threw back his hood and scratched at his shaggy mane that had not been well taken care of.

His eyes next turned to the town nearby. They would have provisions, information, possibly transportation. Would it be fast enough? Probably not. She was several steps ahead of him… as usual. Regardless, he would follow. Just as he always had.


Sunset Shimmer had gotten to work the moment she had set hoof back on the palace grounds. Raven was waiting for her at the gate, her expression calm and stone faced as usual. The two stared at one another a moment and Raven finally nodded.

“I can see in your eyes and body language that this is bad.”

“Yeah.” Sunset glanced over her shoulder where both Luna and Isabella were attempting to usher in the grand vizier without causing an incident. The Saddle Arabian however was clearly angry, flustered, and inching towards a full blown meltdown. “The city is to go into immediate defensive lockdown. No pony needs to be out unless it’s an emergency. Visitors need to return to their hotels and if they don't have shelter have police and guards shelter them in place. All extra activities are canceled until further notice. Issue the order for full guard readiness, all fully armed. All guards on vacation or daily leave are to be recalled immediately.”

“Both captains are on the west coast. It will take them more than a day to return at best.”

“It’s that bad. We need them.” Sunset paused and turned to Sable who had been silently following and awaiting orders. Her eyes vigilant, smoldering with vengeful fury. “Sable, call Smolder and tell her to cancel classes, send the kids home or have them shelter in place with a security staff. Then to get here immediately. If she has some creature to watch Grunt that might be best, otherwise have accommodations made here at the palace… tell her we need Flurry Heart as well.”

“Oh my.”

Sunset nodded to Raven's comment. “Flurry is an experienced monster hunter. We are going to need that once we better understand exactly what kind of monster we will be hunting.” With that thought in mind Sunset blew on her hoof and whistled to the others who were still trying to deal with the hysterical grand vizier.

“Hey! Do you want to stand out in the open or do you want to get your heads out of your collective buttholes and get inside so we can start coming up with a plan?”

“I do not believe you grasps the severity of the situation, princess. A prince has been foalnapped while under the watch of-”

“I understand it’s a bad situation and as far as I can tell he is still alive as a hostage. So that tells me we have a chance to save him. So, stop soiling yourself, get in here, and let’s lay out all we know before this gets worse, sound good?”

Muhasib huffed again. “Should we not wait for Princess Twilight? Is she not the leader of your nation?”

Sable hissed, barring her fangs at the dignitary causing him to flinch. Clearly he was unaccustomed to being on the receiving end of a thestral’s ire. Sunset gently brushed Sable with a wing to calm her friend and assistant. “Do you see this thing on my head?”

Muhasib blinked twice and finally said, “Yes?”

“Do you know what it is?”

“Your… crown?”

“It is a circlet battle helm based off of a design by a master armorer who once created weapons and armor for The Storm King. It is not decorative. It is an active piece of defensive hardware with enchanted and charged magic in the gem inset that works in tandem with my other armor gems. I have this because I hate crowns. They sit on your head and give you a crick in the neck while audaciously conveying rank and superiority when they are in fact, big, stupid, heavy, chunks of metal and jewels that exist to look pretty and shiny and make other jealous that you have one and they don’t. They make you feel important, like you should be in charge just because the damn thing is on your head and that sometimes makes you do stupid things because, oh, look I… have a crown!

“This, this does almost none of those, because this, is light weight, strong, subtle, and augments my own power to keep me and others I care about safe. Now, why am I saying this? Because this circlet does share one thing in common with Twilight big, pretty crown, it tells ponies and other creatures that I too, am in FUCKING charge around here. It means that I accept the responsibility and burdens that go along with ruling and command. It means that when shit goes right I get to share in the praise and when shit goes wrong I get to share in the blame. So, please, remember that Equestria is a diarchy and I have just as much power, authority, and responsibility as my fiancé and do not question that while standing on my doorstep ever again. Do I make myself perfectly clear, Your Grace?”

Muhasib gulped and flinched as Sunset punctuated her words by flaring her wings at the end and setting them briefly on fire. His remaining guards stood vigilant, but were clearly rattled by the frightening display. Finally, the horse nodded and bowed deeply.

“I… apologize and will remember my place in your home, Princess Sunset Shimmer. Forgive me, I am simply worried for my lost prince.”

Sunset retracted her wings and stepped forward, placing a gently hoof on his shoulder. “We all are. So, let’s do something about it. C’mon.” Before Sunset turned away she met Luna’s brief smirk who then winked before returning to her royal demeanor.

Sunset led the group to the noble’s conference center instead of the throne room simply because it was on the first floor and also had a large table in the middle. While they walked, Sable and Raven made the necessary calls to carry out Sunset’s orders. An impressive feat, Sunset thought, considering neither had levitation at their disposal. Isabella had the kitchen staff bring refreshments, fruit, and what could be salvaged from lunch even if no one wanted it. They had guests on their way and it was better than letting it go to waste. Sunset took her favorite seat and turned back to those gathered, zeroing in on Luna who would need to clarify her earlier statement.

The grand vizier sighed as he hung up the SunLight crystal he had been talking on during their stroll to the conference room. “I have informed his holiness of the situation.”

“That was probably unwise,” commented Raven with a sneer. “The knowledge that one of his sons is in potential danger may inadvertently influence him to make a rash decision that will only further complicate the already delicate situation we already have.”

“I agree, but it is my duty and was his right to know. I have convinced him to do nothing… for now. On that note, we should, as Princess Sunset had stated, begin immediately. What are we waiting for?”

Sunset glanced to Raven, knowing she would be the first to see them arrive. She nodded in turn. A hoof pounded on the door harder than what was probably necessary and may have dented the wood as well. Sunset gestured for one of the guards to open it. “Backup.”

The double doors opened and the guards jumped back so as to not be bowled over and trampled by the large light pink alicorn whose massive wings were already unfurled. She paused to take a head count and then nodded respectfully to Sunset who returned the gesture.

“I got us here as soon as I could. Smolder and I had to make sure all the students were taken care of first and the staff understood what was going on. Then I pushed myself and made it in three teleports with a little bit of flying. So, what’s the emergency? Is Uncle Spike going to be okay? Where’s Aunt Twilight?”

“Here.” The rest of the eyes turned to find the large purple alicorn stroll in and closed the doors gently behind her. She briefly nuzzled her niece, pulling her in tightly for a reassuring hug.

“How does he fair?” asked Luna before Sunset could.

“He’s still unconscious. The doctors couldn’t perform a magical scan so they had to fetch a machine from a neighboring hospital that was powerful enough to give an inside look at his skull to see if there is swelling or bleeding in his brain. I… didn’t want to go, but… well, at least Smolder is at his side now so I know he, he has a loved one… in case…”

“Hey, Twilight, look at me,” Sunset said before Twilight began to breakdown. It was terse and just hard enough to get her attention but also still full of heart felt compassion. “He’ll be okay. He’s as tough as they come and I can feel it in my heart that he’s going to be okay.”

Twilight nodded and smiled briefly before firmly fixing her royal authority mask, straightening her posture and fixing her crown. “Yes, thank you. Please tell me you learned something while I was preoccupied. Also, we need to send a citywide alert and possibly to the surrounding towns and villages.”

“Already, done, Your Highness,” Isabella declared while gesturing to the other aids. “Princess Sunset gave the orders immediately and they have been seen to.”

Twilight turned her eyes back to Sunset once more who flashed a brief smile and said, “It’s okay, I’ve got your back. Always.” Twilight heart swelled and fluttered. She could not keep from smiling back.

“Unfortunately,” Luna said, stepping up to the table and setting her axe across the wood. The impressive weapon caused the gran vizier to involuntarily take a step back, “the creature we face may be more vile than any you have faced before. Truthfully, she is worse than even the Athanatoi.”

There were no quips, no plucky comebacks, no whispers of encouragement or delusions that they had won before so they could win this too. Every creature in the room save for the grand vizier was briefly lost in their own revere and bad memories. Reminded of the godly monsters that had nearly destroyed their world and maimed or killed many along the way. Including those in the conference room.

Flurry Heart cursed under her breath and looked as if she were about to vomit or spit acid. Isabella’s claws moved to her shoulders and she shuddered before closing her eyes to mediate her breathing. Sunset had to control her wings or else they would have caught fire as her mind betrayed her and vividly summoned the image of her mother, Celestia, lying dead on the floor of the throne room.

“Forgive me, but what is an Athanatoi?”

“Monsters of the worse possible kind,” Flurry said with a growl under her breath and clear seething pain in her usually bright, blue eyes.

“God-level creatures from a time long before us that had been in leftover, ancient prisons,” Sunset said, her hoof reaching for rings that no longer hung from her long gone necklace. “They sought our annihilation and killed many, many along the way. They killed my mom.”

Every head bowed briefly, respectfully, lost in their own silent prayers or thoughts of those lost or the damage that had been wrought. The grand vizier, who no doubt had heard rumors and perhaps a little more was clearly distraught at such a creature having his prince in custody. He whispered another prayer, kissed his hooves and looked to the ceiling and no doubt pictured the sky above.

Twilight was the first to break the silence. “Worse? What could possibly be worse than those four?”

Luna sighed and took a few deep breaths to control her own raging emotions. She was about to speak when Raven turned her eyes to the door, seeing something beyond the simple wood barrier. “Unknown intruder in the castle.” Raven’s eyes shifted about, tracking the intruder through her ocular crystals. The intruder had entered through the front doors, where guards should have intercepted them at multiple check stations before they had ever had a chance to step a single hoof on the plush carpet runner. Though they had a cloak on they were clearly a unicorn based on the horn protruding out the top of the hood and likely a stallion based on body size and proportions. She watched as the horn lit, but then fizzled. The unicorn shook their head as whatever spell they had attempted failed.

“If you are trying to teleport you would need to be an alicorn to do so inside the palace.” The intruder threw his hood back and looked about. The voice that had spoken had sounded distant, as if coming through a speaker or PA system. “The guards will be upon you in a moment. A little on the slow side, but that is a different discussion. I suggest you surrender before things get messy.”

“I hear you, yet do not see you? How is it you can see me?”

“You stepped into MY protectorate, meat bag. Within these walls, I see everything.”

The stallion held up his forelegs. “I surrender, I mean you and those that rule here no harm. In fact, I have come to help. I fear you are all in terrible danger.” The guards quickly surrounded the intruded in a circle and leveled horns and weapons at him, but he made no sudden moves. “Please, mysterious voice, take me to Celestia and Luna.”

Raven turned her eyes back to the others in the room. “He has assumed the position of surrender and requests to see Luna… and Celestia.”

The use of her mother’s name made Sunset growl, irises taking on a teal glow. She summoned her sword to her side and started heading for the door. Luna grabbed her axe and secured it to her back, falling into step behind her niece.

“Don’t go out there! What is the matter with you two?! This could be a trap!” protested Isabella, flailing her arms.

“I’m an alicorn, I’m angry, and I’m armed. I want some damn answers and somepony is going to give them to me.” Sunset marched out the door and down the hall to the grand entranceway with Luna by her side and Sable Nimbus at their backs. Flurry, much to Twilight's surprise, took up position at the door and waited for any sounds that indicated fighting. The others, at Twilight’s request, remained in the conference room just in case. Raven relayed that the intruder was staying put, for the moment.

A minute later Sunset saw the circle of guards and shouted, “Make a hole!” The circle moved and opened to reveal the sandy yellow pony wearing an old, olive green cloak that looked frayed well worn. Sunset raised her sword to a defensive position, coming to a stop a few paces from the guard semicircle. “I’ve had a bad day, I suggest you not make it worse, for your sake. Whoever you are.”

The stallion’s jaw dropped as he examined the goldenrod, flame haired alicorn before him with a floating sword that had a red fire all of its own. He had questions, but they were all suddenly put on hold when another alicorn came to stand next to her. One who was older than he remembered, but still quite recognizable.


The midnight blue alicorn squinted and scrutinized the stallion before her eyes went wide and she lowered the axe that had been floating at her side. “It seems that all the ghosts of that day have come back to haunt us.”

The stallion smirked. “I can understand your shock, old friend, but I am no ghost.”

Luna retrieved her axe and raised it high. “There can be no other explanation. Thou disappeared in a flash with thy foulest of a wench. Thou returns now, on the heels of thy spouse’s latest blood soaked encounter and try to dismiss that thou art not a spirit? Lies or deception! Perhaps instead thou art in league with thy wife to distract or delay much as one was accused of more than thrice before the final expedition to the wastes. It was long ago, but we recall it with great clarity now. Speak and speak clearly, Clover the Clever! Thou art friend or foe?”

Sunset’s jaw hung open. “No… no way.”

“SPEAK!” Luna shouted in the Royal Canterlot Voice.

Clover dropped to his knees then bowed to the ground before the two alicorns. “I have again arrived too late it seems, but I wish to be friend once more, little moon. I am a friend and servant of Equestria and all those that stand for this land. Please, allow me to help.”

Luna refastened her axe to her back and stomped twice. The guards moved to at ease positions. Sunset, though still unsure, returned her sword to ethereal space. “If thou speaks truth. Then show thy loyalty and candor. Prove thy dedication and join thee in briefing and speak only the words of truth. For there is much we do not know and we fear the Red Clover will choke the ditches and streams with blood if we do not act quickly.”

Clover rose and nodded. He took two steps and then stopped as a black armored hoof guard pressed against his chest. He looked down at the ornate black and gold shoe with a glowing red gem inset then up at Sunset Shimmer. He had to blink twice when her eyes started to glow white. She blinked the light away and much to his surprise the irises that had been teal turned to an angry shade of crimson. Sunset sneered harder at Clover and pushed him back a step. The flaming sword once again reappeared at her side.

“Beloved niece?”

“How are you able to block me? I’ve touched the mind of an alicorn goddess and not even she could block me.” Sunset’s eyes next took in the flexible metallic forelegs. The same ones she had seen on the Red Clover when she shot Willow and ripped Spike’s tooth free. “And you have robotic forelegs just like her!”

Clover remained calm and lowered his eyes submissively. “You have my oath that I will explain what I can, princess. I swear it upon the souls of those that came before me.”

“Sunset,” She glanced back at Luna who gestured with her head to the other hall where the others were waiting, “bring him unharmed. We, no, I owe him this one small favor of good faith in repayment. Let us hear these truths and see if he can maintain his composure under the weight and eyes of four princesses.”


Sunset Shimmer growled, but once again sheathed her sword, so to speak. “Return to your positions.” The guards all saluted and followed their orders. She pointed to the hall and said without an ounce of compassion, “Walk.”

Author's Note:

And the last player in the game has arrived. Will he be helpful? Is he just another pawn? Are they all being played by godly beings beyond their reach?

Are things about to get tough? For sure on that one.

Questions? Comments?

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