• Published 3rd Oct 2012
  • 1,080 Views, 18 Comments

The Birth of Pyrelight - Vidi Kitty

"Not the same relationship with being burned alive, remember?"

  • ...

Cyclic Renewal

Being burned alive was nothing new to me. Feathers and flesh blackening and crumbling as the sickly green engulfed my body, reducing it to nothing more than a scattering of ash. A sense of familiarity washed over me as my essence swirled within those ashes, yet I felt nothing but dread as what little that remained of my being was whipped about by the roaring winds that surrounded me. It felt like ages, trapped in that unnatural inferno as it consumed all in its path. I could do nothing but ride the wave of death that swept the city, waiting for it to reach the end of its destructive journey.

Even as the fury of the flames began to pass, the feeling of their touch lingered. As my remains began to spin through the air of their own whim, I knew that something wasn't right. The ashes of what I once was swirled gently from all directions, coming together and glowing with an ethereal light as I felt my new form take shape. The feeling as I began to move was incredible. I wasn't sure how long the fire that burst from the city had held me, but it had be much longer than I cared for. Any other time I would have been able to coalesce myself together moments after I had completely turned to dust, even holding off for a short while if I felt it necessary. This time however, the foul magics that drove the fires had kept me apart with their intensity.

Nothing felt right. The world around me was dark save for the places where emerald flames clung to the structures of what was once a bustling street. The sky was choked with smoke and ash, yet even so the weight of the darkness around me was unusual.

I drew my wings above me, ready to take flight, but the sudden flash of color to either side stopped me cold. Twisting my head around, I looked back at my body. Where once had been a beautiful plumage of scarlet and gold, a livid green and yellow took its place. My eyes widened in shock as I looked back at what couldn't have been me. Shouldn't have been me. The horrid fire that had overtaken me had turned me into some mockery of its self. I felt I had to escape, I had to get far away from these flames that had twisted me. With a beat of my wings, I flew up into the smoke, gaining speed as the burning in my throat and eyes drove me faster.

Blackness. As the smoke thinned out, the light of the sun remained hidden. Thick, angry clouds had covered the sky, barely indistinguishable but for the flashes of lighting that tore through them. Panic set in as I flew higher, crossing between the ceiling that hid the sky and the choking floor of this empty space that covered the horrors below me. The void spread out for miles of crushing blackness, lit sporadically by arcs of light that resonated with a sound rivaled only by the blast that had heralded the wall of pure rage that had ended my previous existence.

As I drew up to the clouds, every fiber of my being was screaming for the light of the sun to wash away the nightmare I had woken to. I felt the energy in the air spread across my feathers a moment before this new word of darkness exploded into brilliant light. For the second time that day, I felt my body ravaged by primal energies.

When part of your existence regularly involves becoming a miniature pyre, even the most intense flames can be weathered with only minor discomfort. None of that could have prepared me for the force that struck me from the sky.

As I fell back towards the earth, I managed one final look up at the clouds that had barred me from the beautiful sky. I had wanted to see the sun one last time, to bask in its warmth. I had wanted to know that even after all that had happened, the sun would still be there, guiding those it shined upon to a brighter day.

My vision faded as I reached the smoke hanging over the ruins of Equestria.

*** *** ***

The gentle sound of hooves woke me from my nap. I shifted slowly on my perch, cracking open an eye to watch Her enter the garden. Light drifted down between the spires of the castle, radiating off Her pure white coat and flowing mane. She walked slowly, smiling as She enjoyed the evening air. Yet even with that kind smile, I could see the weariness in Her eyes. The world had changed. A thousand years of peace had passed since Her sister had rose up in rebellion, threatening the country. I had been there for a portion of that, comforting her on the nights when she would stare up at the moon, tears forming in the corners of her eyes. I had been there when Her sister had broken free of her prison, locking Her in the sun and refusing to let it rise. I remember the joy in Her eyes when Her favorite student and her friends had bested Her younger sister, purging her of the hate and jealousy that twisted her heart. I had seen the shock on her face when She received the news about the massacre at Littlehorn, the sound of Her breaking heart almost audible as silence swept the room.

The world had changed, and it had taken a part of Her with it.

Her eyes met mine, and for a moment I could see Her longing for the world as it had been long ago.

She stepped off the path towards me, calling out, "There you are Philomena. I have been looking for you." As She reached the base of the tree, I cooed a greeting to her, spreading my wings and gliding down to her outstretched leg. "I have a special request for you. Soon it will be time for you to molt and renew yourself, and there are some ponies in Manehattan who have been studying phoenixes and wish to witness one's rebirth first hand." I squawked indignantly, remembering the last time I had gone somewhere when it was 'my time of the decade'. It was bad enough being around ponies as my feathers fell out and my body became all lumpy and pale, but to have them actively studying me as it happened? And with them knowing what was to happen, there wouldn't be a chance to have a little fun with them to pass the time until my body combusted.

"Now now," She said. "The eggs at the Manehattan Gardens have only just hatched last month. It will be quite some time before any of them will be going through their first cycle. And besides, it will give you some time off from the castle and the officials."

Of course she knew how I felt about some of those in Her sister's fledgling government. I would puff up, ruffling my feathers when one would walk about as though he owned the place, or hoot angrily when others would treat me as though I were just simple animal, nothing more than a "pretty bird." Maybe some time away would be nice.

Sighing defeat, I straightened up and gave Her a quick salute with one wing.

"Thank you Philomena, I'll have somepony ready fly you over to the Gardens first thing tomorrow morning, unless you feel up for the flight yourself," She added wryly.

Puffing out my chest, I spread my wings and took to the air, singing a long note as I circled over my long time companion, the sun gently warming my feathers...

*** *** ***

Warmth. Warmth... and a chill. I opened my eyes to see smoke drifting lazily overheard, lit with an eerie green glow. Gently rolling myself over, I realized I felt good. As I got up to balance on the rubble I had landed in I realized I felt great. Yet somehow, all of this was wrong. I should feel like I had been run over by a sky wagon, or maybe one of those awful black ships the pegasi used to move their armies thought he skies.

Instead, I felt like I could fly from the Pony of Friendship to Canterlot Castle and back, all in one go.

The area around me was filled with a fierce green glow, though I didn't see any of the sickly fires close enough to cause it. I slowly flexed my wings, confirming for sure that yes, I felt like a million bits. Probably ill-gotten bits at that, as there was that little chick in the back of my mind that insisted that what was going on was completely unnatural. As I looked over my new neon colors, I noticed that a faint green energy was bleeding off of me. As I flapped my way up to a partially toppled wall I realized that I was the source of the glow around me.

As I twisted about, checking to see if any of my original colors had survived, the last section of the wall that served as my perch shifted and began to fall. I took flight with a startled squawk and watched as the bits of wall tumbled down into a massive crater. The city had been devastated for blocks, leaving even the sturdiest buildings as nothing more than scattered, free standing walls. At the center was a blackened pit that had been blasted into the earth, still mostly burning from the magical flames that had scorched away the very ground the city had been built on.

I felt a strange sensation, almost like the tingling one might get in their wing if they fell asleep on it. It warmed me inside, and the thought that something so terrible would feel good sickened me.

Wanting to distance my self from this filthy pleasure, I took wing and angled myself towards the harbor. As I got further from the crater, I started to see signs of what happened to the citizens that had been caught outside when the ground shook and death filled the streets. Blackened spots on the ground came first, the occasional outline on a wall where the force of the blast had thrown someone against it before the fires had washed over them. As I flew past buildings that had weathered the storm better, I saw smoking corpses in the allies between them. Some were clutching others, more had been clawing at doors, trying to get off the streets. One or two looked almost peaceful, heads up and facing towards the crater, like they had accepted their fate as they lay there and stared death in the eye.

I let out a mournful note as I flew over, feeling my heart ache for the unimaginable loss of life that had occurred.

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