• Published 12th Oct 2012
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Helios - Mandroid

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Storm.

Sitrep: Griffins are attacking. Canterlot is on fire. You're in your boxers.

Crap.

You run and throw your armor back on and run back to Celestia's chambers in the time it takes you to think about it.

"PRINCESS!?" you call out.

Celestia is watching wide eyed out her window. "Anonymous, the griffins!"

"Stay here, Princess!"

"I can't stay with my city in peril!"

"And your city can't be saved if you go out there and get killed, not truly!"

Celestia glares at you.

"Stay here...please."

Celestia continues to stare for a moment before her head falls. "Just...please Anonymous. Save my city."

"Yes, Ma'am."

You'd sure try.

Running out the main castle entrance, you saw Shining Armor exchanging magical blasts with the airborne griffins. Crossbow bolts bouncing off small shields he summoned.

"Shining! Wings!"

Shining Armor responds to your call by trapping the Griffin wings in a magical aura. The griffin squawked as Armor's spell robbed it of its flight and it crashed to the ground. He clutched his head as he rose from the ground, only to shriek in horror as your sword swept across his neck.

The griffin fell to the ground as Shining resumed his attack on the fliers. You scooped up the griffins crossbow off the ground and leveled it against the airborne targets Between Armor and you, the griffins fell in droves and were eventually routed.

"Anon, what are you doing here!?" Shining yells.

"Defending the city?"

"What about The Princess!?"

An explosion echoes off in the distance.

"Celestia is safe in her room."

Another explosion comes from the side of the castle. This one followed by a pastel colored trail. You and Armor watch in awe as the griffins are blown away by the force.

"Well, she WAS in her room."

The muted streak that was Celestia crashed into the city a few blocks down.

"Anon, we have to get to her." Shining says.

"Damn straight."

She was the Princess. It was your job to guard her.

You and Shining run through Canterlot's streets. The griffins are trying to regroup from the wave of force Celestia caused as she flew out, but it looked like this was the break the guards needed. Pegusi were back in the air and unicorns were shooting down stragglers By your approximation, you were close to where Celestia landed, Canterlot General. Your suspicions were confirmed when a griffin was tossed out the third story window into the pond below.

"Come on." Shining orders.

You and Shining burst into the hospital to the sound of screaming patients. And the sight of broken and burnt griffins. You followed the trail up and up, into the third floor rooms.

Inside was not the Celestia you knew. This Celestia was holding a Griffin in her magic.

"There were women and children here." She says.

The Griffin struggles in her grasp. "Servants of the weak. Victims of the delu-"

He got no further before Celestia tosses him out a window.

Just as soon as you saw this new Celestia, the old one comes back. "Anon! Shining! Are you two alright?" She says as she trotted over to you and began inspecting.

You decide to file away this new Celestia for later discussion.

"We're fine, but what are you doing here? I told you to wait in your room."

Celestia's face becomes slightly more serious. "Anon, I cannot sit idly by in my castle while my city is in peril!"

Shining rests a hoof on your shoulder. "Anon, she saved all these ponies."

As you look around at the faces of the mares with blankets in their arms, all you could do is sigh. This is the maternity ward...

A sound interrupts your chastising yourself.

"HEED MY WORDS, PONIES. HEED THE WORDS OF THANE WEISSHAUPT." a voice says over the din of battle.

Your bodyguard senses tell you to sneak a peek out the window. You see the Thane flying in formation with four heavily armored griffins as he shouts over Canterlot.

"KNOW THAT THIS IS YOUR FINAL NIGHT, CANTERLOT. FOR THE HIGH THANE AND HIS DEATHGUARD HAVE COME TO CLENSE THIS LAND OF YOUR WEAKNESS."

"Where do you guys think he's headed?" you ask.

Celestia scoffs. "Weisshaupt has an ego the size of a mountain. He'll head straight to the throne room."

"What were those four griffins I saw flying with him?"

Shining brings a hoof to his chin. "Four griffins? Sounds like his Deathguard. Think of them as a griffin version of the royal bodyguard."

You glance between Celestia and Armor "There's an army of griffins between here and the throne, do you think the three of us can get there?"

Shining Armor looks over the relieved mares and their newborns. "We have to try, Anon."

Celestia walks to the window and looked over her burning city. "Weisshaupt must be stopped, no matter the cost."

-Music-

You step out into the hospital square. You, a guard captain, and a sun goddess. Not the most likely of city defenders. The griffins take notice of the three of you and begin to circle around you like vultures.

"Princess?"

"Shield your eyes." She says.

You barely get your arm up in time to block out whatever Celestia casts, the light still almost burns into your retinas.

Amidst the surprised squawking of the griffins, you call out. "Now!"

Magical blasts streak out from your companions as you fire off with your crossbow. As the last griffin falls, Shining Armor runs ahead.

"Come on! I'll take the lead!" he shouts.

Griffins continue to try to harry you as you ran through the streets, Princess Celestia knocking most of them out of the sky before they could get a bead on any of you. Shining Armor was using his trademark shield spell as a battering ram, rushing the griffins who tried to land on the ground and tossing them behind him.

Once they landed it was your turn. Griffins drop by the dozen as you took advantage of their momentary confusion at being tossed to cut them down.

As you enter the castle courtyard, you see the High Thane smash through one of the stained glass windows you knew was near the throne. A shame, you liked that representation of Discord.

What guards were left on the castle walls were being routed by griffins.

Shining stops at the grand steps and turns to you. "You two go ahead, I'll keep the door secure!"

"We can't let them separate us!"

"And we can't let them get behind us, either! Now go! Celestia has the best chance of beating the Thane and it's your job to protect her!" he barks.

Dammit. He's right. He's right and you don't like it.

You leave Shining at the stairs and made a beeline for the throne. The Thane was inside, hacking apart the banners that adorned the walls.

He lands as you get inside. "I sent my Deathguard away, I will not need them for this." he teases.

Celestia stomps her hoof. "Why are you here, Weisshaupt?"

"I am here to take your throne, Celestia! And you will address me as Thane in my court." he shouts.

Your hand straightens your sword. "This isn't your court yet, feathers."

The Thane scoffs. "Impudent whelp, you will be first."

"How are you gonna stand up to us? Princess Celestia raises the sun every day."

The Thane raises a gauntleted hand. "This is how. It allows me to cast spells with such ferocity that even your feeble Princess cannot stand against me."

He flares his wings and grabs his axe off the ground. "I posses both might and magic, form and function. The two of you are nothing to me."

"That a fact?"

"Undisputable."

"I doubt that."

With that you rush him.

You hear the rush of wind as Princess Celestia takes to the air and throws fire at the Thane. The Thane, to his credit, simply tosses a spell at Celestia's to intercept. He also flips his axe to you as you get close. Axe and sword meet in a loud clang as you begin your dual.

You remember what Shining Armor taught you. Keep a firm-ish hold on your weapon. Watch your footing. Use your whole body, not just the blade.

This Thane however has been fighting all his life. Even on his hind legs, he is able to hold his own against both you and Celestia. He catches you in surprise however, when he crosses his arm over and blasts you with his gauntlet.

Your world becomes one of ozone smell and bright lights as you are thrown back.

You bounce off the floor and land in a heap.

"Anon!" Celestia shrieks.

"M'fine! Armor got it!"

Enchanted armor kicks ass.

"Hmph! Weakness!" The Thane says as he raises his hand.

The gauntlet glowes as the windows in the throne room cracked. Glass from the windows rocketed from its resting place and began to orbit the Thane.

"I will snuff it out!"

The Thane throws his hand down and sends the blizzard of glass at the two of you. You're forced to jump and weave as Celestia erects a barrier.

The Thane decides to keep talking. "YOU PONIES SIT DOWN HERE AND REST ON YOUR LAURELS, SO INTENT TO LET THE WORLD PASS YOU BY! THE GRIFFIN KINGDOM HAS DEALT WITH DRAGONS AND DIAMOND DOGS AND ALL MANNER OF TERRIBLE THINGS!"

Was this about jealousy? Really?

You continue to bob and weave towards the Thane.

"I HAVE MASTERED SWORD AND SORCERY! YOU PONIES RELY ON JUST ONE! THAT MAKES YOU WEAK!"

You're almost there when he goes wide eyed. The Thanes gauntlet glows a maddening white as he begins to cast more spells. You jump over a fireball and duck under an ice lance.

"I WILL USHER IN A NEW AGE OF STRENGTH AND MARTIAL PROWESS FOR THIS WORLD!"

Celestia is still under assault by broken glass.

You find yourself unable to move, your arms and legs not responding to you in a red glow.

"STARTING WITH YOU!"

The Thane keeps his gauntleted hand up as the hold on you tightens. With his other hand, he winds up with his axe.

"Anonymous!" Celestia screams as the axe flies from his hand.

For the briefest moment, you think of this as your end.

That is, until the red glow on your arms and legs shits out along with the Thanes gauntlet

"WHAT!?" he cries.

Time slows down to a crawl as you drop to the floor. This axe isn't too different from the arrow. It's going slower.

And it's nice to be able to see. Your hand wraps around the handle of the axe and spins with the momentum as the Thane rants.

"I WILL NOT BE DENIED WHAT I WAS PROMISED! I WILL NO-"

The Thane falls back against the floor as the axe buries itself in his neck.

Celestia lowers her shield the instant the shards of glass drop and runs over to you. She extends her wings and wraps them around you once she gets close.

"Are you okay?" She asks pulling away.

Okay, that's new.

"*ahem* I'm fine, ma'am."

The two of you walk over to the dead Thane and examine his gauntlet. A black and silver creation, fizzling with dead magics.

"What do you think caused it to short?" you ask.

"Let's just be glad it did when it did." Celestia says.

You finally start to catch your breath as the sound of an explosion comes from the main gates. You and Celestia rush to the castle entrance, prepared to take on another wave of griffins.

What you see isn't a griffin army however.

But it still causes your stomach to drop.

Laying in the middle of a crater, still smoking with magic, was Shining Armor. The corpses of the Deathguard surrounded him. Some were crushed, others stabbed, one had its face burnt off.

What scared you the most was that Armor wasn't moving.

You dropped your sword and ran up to him.

"Is he!?" Celestia shouts in fear.

"I don't know!"

You drop you your knees and cradle his head. He wasn't breathing.

"Armor! Armor come on, wake up!"

You slap his face with your gauntlet a few times

"Cadence still has to see you Armor! Wake up!"

You hear a faint "No..." from Celestia behind you.

Dammit!

"MEDIC!"

You were at the hospital now. The same one Armor had helped you save. Celestia had flown him over in a mad dash for help. The Doctors were a bit shocked, but they took him back almost as soon as you started shouting.

The two of you now sat in the waiting room, you still in your armor.

It was kinda numb...

"That could have been you..." Celestia says.

It almost was. You were planning to take his place.

"It could have been you too." you say, the events of the day wearing on you.

Celestia would have had the best odds against the Deathguard.

The doctors walk out of the room, a somber look on their faces. "I'm sorry. There was nothing we could do..."

Your head plummets.

"The Guard Captain is dead." they finish.

You drop your head into your hands as the doctors walk away. You can feel the tears coming.

"Shining...Cadence...I'm so, so sorry..." Celestia says through her own sobs.

"It's not your fault. Shining knew what he was doing."

The two of you sit in silence for song long that time itself seems to become irrelevant.

"We all did..."

You just...left him there...

"I'll do better." Celestia says. "I failed Shining Armor and I won't let it happen again. Not with any of my ponies..."

Her eyes drift over to you. "And not with you, Anonymous. Never with you."

You look up to Celestia. She was crying freely, her mouth contorted into a frown that made you want to weep harder.

"Anonymous...I want you to do something...with me. It may seem odd. But...I think we both need this now." she chokes out

You're feeling miserable. You need your best living friend.

"What do you have in mind?"

-Music-

You burst through the door to Celestia's room, gripping her flank tight as she wrestles with your tongue in her mouth.

She was surprisingly light.

Your foot catches on the rug and you fall back first onto the bed. Celestia wastes no time in moving up to your ear as she pulls your armor off with her magic.

You use your now free hand to scratch behind her ear, eliciting a moan from the monarch. Celestia jumps back into your mouth as her wings grow ever higher.

You place a hand on her chest as she goes. "W-wait."

You break away from the kiss.

"Princess, are you sure thi-"

"Anon, if you call me Princess one more time, I'm sending you to the moon." she interupts.

You blink at her sudden change in tone.

Celestia lies her head on your bare chest. "I have known you for years and taken you into my bed...Just Celestia is perfect."

You feel your arm loop around her.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" you ask.

Celestia keeps her eyes closed and brushes a pair of tender lips over yours. "Anon..."

"I have never been more sure of anything in my life."

You pause as she goes back to your ear.

After everything that had happened, not just today but over her life...she needs this...

You...need this.

"O-okay."

With that Celestia magics out the candle light and the two of you begin to comfort each other.