• Published 12th Oct 2012
  • 14,305 Views, 362 Comments

Helios - Mandroid

  • ...

Situational Advisement.

"This is a bad idea, Armor." you say.

"Anon, you're not going to improve unless we take off the training wheels."

You weren't guarding Celestia today. Today was training day with Shining Armor

"I still don't see what the blindfold is for."

You hear Shining move around in front of you. "You need to focus more on your other senses. You're not always going to see an attack coming at you."

Muscles tenses as you drop down into position. Come on...just like you practiced.

You close your eyes underneath the blindfold. Maybe if you take one sense as far down as you can, the others will get to the level you need.

You clear your mind as time seems to slow down.

The birds roosting on the walls chirp. Guards behind you talk and walk. And ahead of you, Shining Armor levitates a bow.

You hear the strings strain as Armor knocks an arrow. Time slows to a crawl as you hear the twang of the bows release. You push everything out of your mind. No guards walking around, no birds, not even the pounding of your own heart in your ears.

You feel your hand rush up as you try to focus on the sound coming towards you. The sound of wind breaking as the arrow slices through the air. You try to judge where the arrow is going based solely on the sounds, something you had been practicing for months.

Your arm stops moving in front of your chest.

The cutting sound feels like it's right in front of you now.

You snap your hand closed.


...You're not dead.

The guard barracks nearly deafen you as they erupt into cheers. You tear off your blindfold and look down at your hand. Inside rested an arrow, snapped in half by the force of your hand closing.

The other guards rush up and surround you, offering congratulations and hoofs to the back.

You could really do without so much of the latter...ow.

Shining Armor trots up as the guards disperse. "Not bad Anon, I may be able to make a proper guard out of you yet."

"I suppose our illustrious Guard Captain catches arrows all the time, right?"

"Arrows, crossbow bolts, manticore spines. It's all the same."

"And what does your wife think of these activities?"

"Who do you think I'm catching them for?"

"The Crystal Kingdom's are really that dangerous?"

"What can I say? Some mares like a stallion who can protect them."


You and Shining take a seat near the edge of the training ring for a rest. You were finally done with arrow training...

"Can't believe you used a real arrow..."

"Blunted ones wouldn't have had the same effect and you know it."

The clinking of horseshoes draws your attention to the entrance of the barracks.

"Princess?" you ask.

Celestia remains stone-faced as she walks over to the two of you, the rest of the barracks bowing before her.

You rise from your seat once she reaches you. "Ma'am, with all due respect, you should have sent for me to come get you if you had planned on walking about."

That incident with the knife was still fresh in your memory.

Celestia gazes down at you, making you feel rather insignificant at the moment. "There wasn't time, Anonymous. I had to see the two of you immediately."

You and Shining exchange a confused glance. Uh-oh.

"What is it, Your Majesty?" Shining asks.

Celestia glances both ways as the guards returned to their duties before she bent down to just the two of you. "Tensions are rising along the Griffin Kingdom border. Our troops stationed there are reporting an increase in the number of griffins massing in their forts." She whispers.


"Do you think they're planning an invasion?" Shining Armor asks.

Princess Celestia shook her head. "We can't say for certain. But if the Griffins are planning an attack, you can bet where they're planning it."


The three of you nod.

Shining breaks away and walks into the middle of the barracks. "Alright! Enough horsing around! I want all of you at your post or out patrolling the city, double time!"

The barracks became a beehive of activity as the guards ran to put on their gear, with you following suit.

Princess Celestia, Shining Armor, and you had left the guard barracks in a hurry. You were back in your armor now, walking along as you tried to look important. You couldn't quite place why Princess Celestia had brought you along, you were no general. But at the same time, you went where she did and offered the best assistance you were able to.

The three of you made your way to the top of Canterlot's front gate. Shining Armor grabs the sergeant in charge of the gates. "Report soldier, anything suspicious happening lately?"

The stallion salutes as his eyes drift to the Princess. "Uh, nothing to report sir. Should we have found something?"

Princess Celestia steps forward. "Sergeant, you must keep vigilant for any suspicious activity. Monitor everypony who enters Canterlot if you have to."

"What are we looking for, Your Highness?"

"Anything out of the ordinary." Celestia says.

The guard salutes again and walks off.

"Well, that at least ensures that our front door won't be completely wide open." Shining sighs.

"Why not just put up that shield spell again? The one from your wedding?" you ask.

It had done a decent job keeping the Changelings out until their queen had brought it down.

Celestia brings a hoof to her chin. "Perhaps. But I would like to get another point of view on this situation..."


Celestia turns to you, her eyes deadly serious. "Him."

Celestia lead both you and Shining Armor deep under Canterlot. Many ponies had theories about what was underneath Canterlot palace. Some thought it was a portal to another world. Others thought it was where the most powerful of magical research took place. A few just thought it was some sewers.

They were all wrong however.

It was a prison. A prison for only one.

Deep in the center of a twisting labyrinth of tunnels sat a box. A box made entirely of magic reflecting crystal, a gift from the last Grand Magister before his death.

Inside this box, a blue ram sat chained.

"Grogar." Celestia says.

Grogar the Necromancer had tried to invade Canterlot centuries ago. When the Magi of that time tried to kill him, they were shocked to see him simply get back up. Grogar had vowed that he would use his eternal unlife to wreak havoc upon Equestria. So the Magi did the next best thing. They bound Grogar; Body, soul, and black sprit to the city of Canterlot. Never able to leave its walls.

Grogar's eyes snap open at Princess Celestias words. "Ah...My dear captor. How good of you to join me today."

Grogar doesn't move an inch. He can't with the chains around his limbs.

Celestia approaches the crystal cage. "Grogar. The Griffins have become more openly hostile towards us in the recent weeks. Considering that the city's wellbeing is just as important to you as it is me, I ask what you would do in this situation."

That was right...Grogar -felt- the city as a result of his binding. Knocking down walls and killing civilians was a fast way to get on the necromancers bad side.

Grogar chuckles in his cell. "Princess, I have lived for eons. I have endured every horror this world can produce as well as some that it indeed cannot." his mouth turns up into a foul grin. "To suggest that I cannot endure the sacking of this city is sadly mistaken."

You take a step towards Grogar as his laughter fills the room. "Maybe you and I can think of some new horrors."

You weren't gonna let this idiots insanity deny Canterlot a defense it needed.

Grogar stops laughing and smiles up at you. "I don't believe I've seen you before, boy." his eyes drift over you. "Strong and stern but with a hint of fiery passion behind those eyes of yours..." he says.

"As if there aren't millions of those out there already." he jokes.

You're about to try and slice Grogar's cage open and turn him inside out when he speaks again. "However. This lamb's foolishness has lightened my cold dead heart..."

Grogar casts his red eyed gaze back to Celestia. "The Griffins are able to interact with the clouds in the same way Pegusi can. If they were to attempt to attack this city, it would be from high cloud coverage to hide their numbers."

Shining Armor nods with a hoof on his chin. "That makes sense...They could hide an entire army in the sky over us without our knowing."

"Indeed." Grogar coos. "Also, know that they would not risk attacking your city without a way of standing up to your magics, Celestia."

Celestia nods.

"Now. In return for your new information, I would like a moment alone with this guard of yours." Grogar says, his eyes drifting up to you. "And I do believe that he would not mind a word with me either."


Celestia and Shining Armor retreat back to the tunnel entrance as you stand alone with the Necromancer.

He was just staring at you with those red eyes of his...

It was kinda creepy.

"Don't try it. That cage you're in keeps a lid on your magic." you say.

Grogar releases a single laugh. "Do not flatter yourself child. You would make a poor vessel for my magnificence."

"If you're not trying anything than why ask for me?"

Grogar's grin returns. "I have never met one such as yourself, an ape that walks around as if it were something special. And guarding the Princess no less?" Grogar shakes his head. "My, but how things have changed."

"What is it you want from me?"

"I could ask you that very same question."

Hmm...He had you there.

"Fine. I want to know why someone who tried to burn this city is now helping defend it." you say.

A low chuckle escapes the ram. "An un-aging wizard who has seen sights unknowable by mortals offers you a single question and you ask that? Children..." Grogar sighs but retains his smirk. "I help because it no longer matters to me what happens anymore."

"What does that mean?"

"It means that in all my years I have begun to see the patterns emerging. A great civilization will rise, and prosper, and be swept away by those stronger than it."

"And you think the Griffins are going to do just that."

"Do not presume that you can comprehend what I think, it is simply within the Griffins power to do so."

"And that explains your interest in me how?"

Grogar stares at you for a full half minute. "Great civilizations are at rare times saved from their annihilation by greats residing inside them. It has been done in Equestria twice by the bearers of the Elements of Harmony." Grogar's ever present grin turns into a full fledge toothy smile. "Fate has shined upon you Anonymous of the Queensguard...There may come a time soon when you will carry Equestria into a future that those in power do not desire."


"So I'm some sort of superhero now?"

Grogar guffaws in his cell. "Nothing so brash, child...Go. Leave my home, you have begun to bore me..." he says as he closes his eyes and resumes the trance-like sleep he was in when you arrived.

You silently make for the tunnels when a voice springs from behind you. "And Anonymous, do feel free to stop by whenever you please...I do so love company."

You split off with Shining Armor after you left the prison. You had told him and Princess Celestia that Grogar had simply wished to know more about you.

Not technically a lie...

You were now taking Princess Celestia back to her room. As soon as the two of you were through the door, she levitated her crown and raiment off her and released a deep sigh.

"Is something wrong, Celestia?"

She turned back to you, her features fallen. "I'm worried Anon. The Thane could hurt My Little Ponies and I'm not too happy about him aiming for a method of countering my magics."

That was natural...you guess. At least for normal ponies.

"Are you afraid?"

Celestia walked over to her balcony and looked down at the gradually setting sun.

"I'm afraid of dying. Dying without being able to protect my people from those like the High Thane." she laments.

The silence is palpable as Celestia continues to stare out at her city.

"You won't." you say.

She turns back to you.

"You won't die. I protect the Princess, that's my job."

A smile finally graces Celestia's features as she shakes her head. "Thank you for that Anon, it means more to me than you can imagine right now."

"Freely given, Celestia."

Celestia smile widens and her features soften. "Well...I won't keep you any longer. Good day Anonymous."

You place your hand over your chest and bow. "Princess Celestia."

You left the room and made way for your own. The entire time, you thought about Grogar's words. Carry Equestria into a future, huh?

You just hope Equestria HAD a future...