• Published 3rd Jan 2012
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Downfall of Equestria - Shadow Storm



A civil war between the Solar Empire and the New Lunar Republic.

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Chapter XIV: Day of the Falling Moon

The sounds of horns filled the morning air, the sky shaded in a black shadow of clouds, which was very unusual to what I have ever seen before. No sign of sunlight shined through the thick blanket of darkness, only flashes of light scattered across the sky was made visible as lightning struck violently down on the earth below. I stood alongside Celestia, staring from the balcony down below to the strees of Canterlot, where the massively enormous amount of soldiers waited for the inevitable.

Today was the day of the invasion. The day we have all been anticipating for not just a day, or the few weeks since my awakening, but ever since the war began ten years ago. This battle would decide the entirety of Equestria's fate, and would either end in the downfall of Equestria, or the reunification of the once seemingly harmonic nation. After my awakening, the thought of my life being Equestria's future scared me. I was not afraid of dying, but I was afraid of losing those closest to me. Especially Rainbow Dash.

After last night, my thoughts rested purely on her and nothing else. My focus was at a complete loss the minute our lips met, and it would only continue to serve as a distraction during the invasion. The more the approaching battle came, the more concerned I felt about her. By now I wasn't afraid to let the others know my feelings for the beautiful mare, but I decided to wait until after the battle. If, I lived that long.

"Shadow. Go prepare yourself." Celestia ordered calmly, to which I nodded in reply, turning around and trotting back into her chamber and down the spiral staircase.

I quickly made my way down the halls of the castle, heading for one room in particular that I have learned about during my time in healing. It was my own personal complex, a livingspace of which was bestowed upon me by Celestia herself. As I found the door, I opened it to reveal a fairly moderate themed room. It was nothing as fancy as Celestia's room, but I only desired what was needed. There was a bed, a kitchen, a closet, and a bathroom with a very nice shower in it. However, there waiting on the bed was none other than Rainbow Dash herself, already in her uniform on. Next to her, my armor awaited me. I smiled warmly at Dash, who smiled in return as she got off of the bed and trotted towards me, wrapping her arms around my neck as she hugged me, to which I returned the embrace.

"Hey Dash, I was hoping that I would see you before we left." I said happily, only hugging her tighter.

"I came here to wish you luck, Shadow," she spoke softly, nuzzling into my shoulder. "today's the day, and the sad part is we only just got to know each other a month or so ago..." she finished, her voice trailing off silently.

"Hey don't be like this, Dash.." I said comfortingly, smiling as I held her close in my hooves. "We will win today, and I'll see you at the end of it."

Though I didn't believe the words I said, my words comforted her as she pulled herself away from the hug, yet still in my hooves, her beautiful eyes meeting mine in a calm manor. I thought myself to be too weak to actually live through a battle like this, knowing that I had to kill the Princess of the Night in order to successfully win. After losing those closest to me in preventable situations, nothing seemed possible to me anymore. I was hopeless, and yet that very faint existence of it glimmered inside of me, very faint but still alive. Rainbow Dash was the reason it continued to burn, and my friends would only fuel it. I eventually got enough courage to tell her my fears, ones that could be costly unless I told her.

"Dash, can I tell you something? It's been bothering me for awhile." I started, hoping to tell her my true fears to get it off my chest.

"Hmm? What is it, Shadow?" She replied, nuzzling into me softly as I sighed softly.

"I have to get this off my chest, but, I'm afraid. I'm afraid to lose you because I'm too weak, because I lost not only my best friend when he tried to kill Celestia... but I lost Cosette, who I fell in love with..." my voice trailed off, her eyes saddening before she kissed my cheek gently.

"Shadow, you're underestimating yourself." She began, smiling sweetly. "I've seen you fight before and you're very strong. Heck, you defeated the Black Squadron! Sometimes underestimating your own abilities can hold you back."

"I guess you're right, Dash." I stated, starting to think about the matter.

When she said that I started to look deep inside myself, knowing that what she said was true. At first I didn't believe I was underestimating myself, but then everything started to make sense. I always doubted my abilities to help my friends and viewed myself as somepony who was weak and unable to help my friends in a time of need. It happened when Iron Shock died, when I just stared helplessly, knowing that I could have done something about it. It happened when Cosette died, when I could have kept her safe away from them.

"I tend to be right, Shadow." She giggled, kissing my cheek softly before reaching behind her, grabbing my armor and holding it out. "You need to get ready, Celestia is probably waiting for you."

I nodded with a smile, taking the armor and fitting it on, grabbing my helmet as I planted a kiss on her lips lovingly. She seemed surprised at first but didn't hesitate to kiss back. I felt like this was the last time we would ever share an intimate moment together, yet I was fighting for another moment like this to happen in the future, after the war. We broke the kiss, leaving her to giggle as I put my helmet on, a brave and fearless look appearing on my face.

With a final goodbye, I hugged her tightly before we both exited my room. It was the last time I believed I would ever see her again until the battlefield. She would be leading the air assault as soon as the front lines approached the fort. I feared for her safety but I vowed to protect her with my life.

I quickly made my way back to Celestia's chamber, slowly entering the silent room, noticing Wolf and Eagle there waiting for me along with those foreign to my sight. My eyes began to scan the room, all the eyes staring back at me with hopeful looks. Eagle nodded at me with a smile and Wolf saluted as a sign of respect. I saluted back with a smile, happy to see them both here.

“Today is the day.” Eagle said, a new sense of nervousness coming over me.

Today was the day. The day everypony heard my story. The day everypony learned of the ups and downs throughout my service in the war. I was determined to share the terrible things I witnessed, things that I once thought were for a good cause. Without a word, I trotted forward, towards the entrance of the balcony, a faint limp being made visible. Each step sent memories of the past, ones that I held close to me. As I walked on, those in the room would salute me, their faces scarred with hope, some false.

As I entered the balcony, the cold piercing wind caught me by surprise. Celestia smiled at me, a large noise roaring below. I stared towards the beautiful morning sky, the sun shined brightly. With a sigh I looked back down towards the crowd, holding out my hoof, causing the massive group to fall silent. I took a deep breath, my mind running through all the adventures and tragedies I went through. They would all find out what I went through. They would all understand why the New Lunar Republic must fall.

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After the speech the crowd cheered wildly, it was unlike anything I have ever heard before. I never expected others to have interest towards my story, especially since I was once with the enemy. However they continued to cheer, and Celestia put a hoof on my shoulder with her genuine smile. I looked up at her somewhat in confusion and surprise, but she only continued to smile.

"Your story was very moving, my dear. Even I was overwhelmed with what you went through. This will serve as great morale for us." She said, causing me to grow even more confused.

"But, Princess... how can my life serve as morale when I went through nothing but-" before I could finish she stopped me, her sympathetic expression causing me down slightly.

"My faithful Shadow, you went through so much and you told us of what the New Lunar Republic has done." She started, pointing towards the still cheering crowd. "My subjects now seek vengeance for you, and justice for the entire nation. We all feel sympathy for you, and together we will bring down my sister and her army."

"We will succeed, Princess. "I nodded silently, and started to understand, a small smile on my face.

"I know we will Shadow. We must." She gently lifted her hoof off and turned away from the balcony and headed inside her chamber to converse with the rest of the ponies inside.

I only stood there, turning to face the crowd once more. The cheering somewhat died, but a feeling of pride and passion came over me. For once I felt like I truly belonged, and that this was the right side to fight for. Celestia sought unification and freedom, while Luna only seeked control. I held my hoof out and let a large shout overcome me, releasing the energy that surprisingly slowly built up inside me.

"We will defeat the New Lunar Republic! For the Solar Empire! For Equestria!" I shouted, the crowd once again bursting into a large outburst of cheer.

Setting my hoof down, I smiled and turned to look at Celestia, who was looking back at me with surprise before giving a determined nod. I decided after awhile to exit the balcony, heading inside into the middle of the chamber, conversations going on all around me. Celestia was conversing with some of her other generals, some that I didn't know real well except for what Dash told me.

"Excuse me, everpony, I wish to share something with all of you." I said out loud, getting everypony's attention.

"I know at one point I fought against you, and at one point I was your enemy." I looked around at all the eyes staring at me, inlcuding Eagle and Wolf. "But then I came here, and I realize that you are not the true enemy, but the New Lunar Republic is. They have done terrible things, and I seek to end their terror as well as all of you do. We will bring them down, and we will unite Equestria once again."

I then noticed that Rainbow Dash was standing amongst a group, smiling towards me as I beckoned her to come over. Hesitantly she walked forwards and approached me, coming in hooves distance as I wrapped a hoof around her and smiled back, hugging her close to my side. I did the same to Wolf and Eagle, who had no problem with joining the developing group hug. Soon others decided to follow along, Celestia joining in as well. This was the final moment before it would all happen, and I would never forget those in this room.

"Some of you may not make it, and maybe all of us won't, but I tell you now before we head out to confront our enemy... today, is the day the moon falls."

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