• Published 31st Oct 2012
  • 684 Views, 6 Comments

Discordia - HowardHugheson



A rift opens between two worlds, and into Equestria steps a new enemy.

  • ...
 6
 684

Chapter 2: Dreams

The storm had receded.

It hadn't dispersed entirely but it had weakened. The clouds were still present, still mingling strangely in the Equestrian sky as the sun set, sending a dark spread of red and blue across the sky that seemed to stop where the clouds began. Lightning still fired from them to the ground, the ground still violently responding in kind.

'It is as though this world and another were screaming at each other', the zebra thought as she stood on a hill just outside of the Everfree forest that overlooked the outstretched horizon. Though the wind might have been violent where the clouds had settled, the grass in the field before her were eerily still. “Like an upset foal,” she said aloud, gently, “and a lost mother.”

Only this pairing was nothing like a foal and mother. It was more like two warring siblings. The zebra mare smiled weakly at that thought. This land knew quite well of that.

Zecora slowly turned around, once more facing the forest in which she lived, where she had made so many new friends since arriving here from her land far away. She knew what these clouds were, what was inside of them, but she didn't want to admit that. The zebra knew the outcome of such a thing, of two worlds opening at one location.

Zecora slowly looked from the forest to the sky, knowing what she would see there. She hoped that it wouldn't be there, that the sky would be normal, that it would be as it always was.

Stretching across the sky and to the horizon, headed in a direct path towards the clouds in the distance was a disturbed pattern. The gentle clouds that were not on the horizon seemed to follow it. The birds flying overhead followed it. Zecora was hardly able to see it as she squinted, but there it was, all the same.

Zecora looked back to the forest. “It is that path of the beam,” she said. “Cutting into this world it would seem.”

Zecora began to gallop quickly toward Ponyville, kicking up some dirt behind her as she ran.

*****

Princess Celestia sat in the middle of the library's floor, reading over a letter that she had just received from her sister. Two of the guards that brought the Princess to Ponyville were stationed at the door, and two more remained with the chariot that she was brought in. The princess was thankful for their loyalty. They had run at full speed to get her here as quickly as possible.

Surrounding her in the library were six very concerned looking ponies, and one very frightened dragon.

“Twilight,” she said, looking directly to her young student, “it would seem that Princess Luna has been given a vision as well.”

Twilight tensed up into a nervous upright position. She continued to look at Celestia, as if afraid to ask what the vision was. Her nibbling on her bottom lip nervously indicated that she had some idea.

“An infinite field of roses,” Celestia said to Twilight, “and within each rose was a world.”

“The galaxy?” Twilight asked, her eyes widening and her ears perking up with sudden attention. She was momentarily fascinated by the concept that Princess Luna was shown the entire galaxy.

“A galaxy,” Celestia said with a nod. “I cannot say for certain that it was a galaxy that Equestria is a part of but, to me, it does certainly sound as though it was some sort of a galaxy.”

“Do y'think this Mother Abagail lady was from this galaxy?” Applejack asked, looking around at her friends before setting her gaze on the princess. “Princess, I don't mean to be speculatin', but do y'think whatever's in that storm goes into this galaxy?”

Princess Celestia shook her head. “I do not know fair Applejack. I have told this to few, but...” then the alicorn princess stared down at the floor, her eyes focusing on the wooden planks below her. “I can sense all magic from Equestria but I cannot sense anything from this storm. Whatever it may be, it is not of Equestria.”

All six of them gasped, shocked, except for Spike who yiped and ducked under a chair, his hands making a small attempt to hide his head, his body shivering from fright.

“Oh my golly goodness!” Pinkie Pie said. “Not of this world? Does that mean that you don't know if it's dangerous or not?” Then Pinkie's ears drooped down and she took a slow step forward, asking nervously, “Or, how powerful it might be?”

Celestia gave a sad look to Pinkie Pie which caused the pink mare to lower her head and take a step back, her eyes nervously remaining on Celestia. The look reminded Celestia of a scared foal.

“Powerful or not,” Rainbow Dash said with a determined look and a light but confident smile, “we're gonna defend Equestria with everything we've got!”

Fluttershy looked at Rainbow Dash, obviously frightened at the idea of fighting a force that they knew nothing about. “Um, everything we have?” she asked, her voice hardly above a whisper. Then she looked to Twilight before looking down, feeling somewhat ashamed of what she was about to say. “Twilight, um, I don't mean to say that you're making things up, not at all, but what if, maybe, this Mother Abagail isn't so nice and...” slowly her eyes looked back to the purple mare and her tailed curled around her as though she was trying to make herself as small as possible. “And, um, she's trying to trick us?”

Twilight shook her head quickly. “No chance,” she said. “I could sense her kindness and I could also sense the shadow thing's evil.”

“I must agree with Twilight,” Celestia said with a light nod of agreement, looking around at all of them. Her eyes glanced from one pony to another. The princess could tell that they were scared and though she did her best to hide it, she was scared also. “If this creature meant us harm, it would not make sense for her to warn us of anything. There is something that was told to Twilight however, that might provide much comfort.”

All of them looked at Princess Celestia curiously. Even Spike poked his head up to listen.

“Twilight was told that we must deal with them,” Celestia said. “This would indicate that we can handle them.”

“Handle them, I believe you are able,” said a voice from the door. “Fighting them you are quite capable.”

All of them, including Princess Celestia, slowly looked to the door to see Zecora standing there, her mouth in a frown and a grim look on her face. The zebra walked into the library, closing the door behind her, her eyes gazing down as if she was unable to face them. “This storm I’ve seen, you might say,” she continued, “in my land far away.”

All of them were stunned to silence at what she said. It was Twilight who broke the silence as she stood up on all four hooves, taking a few cautious steps toward Zecora. “You know what this is Zecora?” she asked, her voice shaking and fearful. At that moment, Twilight felt as though she could finally realize what Shutterfly must feel like when faced with a tough situation. She could only imagine what the shy pegasus must be feeling now.

Zecora looked from the ground to Twilight, her eyes narrowed and her brows furrowed, her face clearly revealing her fear. Never had Twilight seen Zecora afraid, and the look made the purple mare withdraw slightly, partially holding up a hoof that bent down at the joint as though she had come in contact with something that was otherworldly. Zecora being afraid was not natural, she thought, and this only made her even more scared.

While the ponies all stayed where they were, still sitting, still unnerved, Spike slowly got up from where he was seated, his green eyes watching the zebra curiously.

“The beam,” she said, her voice weak. Suddenly her eyes filled with tears. “It stretches there.” Zecora then lifted a shaking hoof and pointed it toward the window, and to the clouds beyond. “It should not be here, it is not fair!” Several tears rolled down her face.

The others looked on, still stunned, still silent. Twilight placed her hoof down on the floor at first, but then raised it again to pat the zebra's hoof in an attempt to try and be comforting. "Zecora," she whispered.

Spike walked up to Twilight, standing next to her, staring at Zecora, his eyes wide with interest. “The beam?” he asked, his green eyes looking curiously up at her, blinking quickly. Instead of being shocked like the rest of them, Spike seemed interested, perhaps even intrigued.

Zecora sniffed, looking down at him confused.

Twilight moved her head to look down, though her eyes remained on Zecora for a moment as if to check to make sure that she was alright before she looked away. Then her eyes darted to Spike, but she said nothing.

Spike stared at Zecora still, but now his eyes were blank. The dragon was still very much conscious but his eyes looked as though his attention was elsewhere. Twilight thought that he looked to be in some sort of trance. No, not exactly a trance but that was the only word that she could think of to describe how Spike was acting.

“It has come here,” Spike said, his voice slow and flat as he continued to stare at Zecora.

Zecora nodded to him, whipping her tears away with the back of a hoof. The zebra cleared her throat, then stood upright, trying to look more brave than she had before, though her fear was still slightly present on her face. “Who are you?” she asked. “Who might you be? Are you a friend or an enemy?”

Twilight was the first to realize what was happening. The mare looked to Zecora, then her head jerked to one side to face Spike, her face looking as though she was pleading for something, her brows raised in panic. “NO!” she cried. “GET OUT OF SPIKE!”

Princess Celestia stood up quickly when she heard what Twilight said. Suddenly she looked angry and stepped forward toward the small dragon, her horn glowing as though about to attack him or, more exactly, whatever had overtaken him.

“Friend,” Spike, or whatever was inside of Spike, said.

Zecora held up a hoof to Twilight and Celestia. The alicorn princess stopped, now standing next to Twilight, staring down at Zecora.

“We must help Spike,” Twilight said gently.

“This is hard, I know,” Zecora said to Twilight, “but for us to understand, this must be so.”

Rarity had stood up, looking to the others, trying to gauge their reactions before looking forward to Spike. She walked slowly as though moving each hoof had to be done with effort, and her eyes gazed at the small dragon. Rarity raised a hoof, reaching out to him. “Will he be alright?” she asked, her eyes now moistening with tears. “You monster," she whispered, then added loudly, "you had better not hurt our friend!”

Spike’s gaze didn’t leave Zecora. “Spike will be fine,” he said, his voice now sounding strangely older, a very odd mix between a baby and an elder dragon. It was like hearing two voices in one: Spike’s, and another’s. “My name is Ted, and there is something that young Spike and I share.”

Much like when Zecora entered, all of them only stared at Spike, too shocked to say anything.

“I can only speak but for a few moments,” he said. “My time within this world is short. I could sense the opening between this world and the other, the galaxy as you called it. Zecora, you know of the beam, and you know of the creatures that have entered this world. They have entered before, in your land.”

Zecora hesitantly nodded.

“I know what they did,” he said.

Zecora bit on her bottom lip, trying to stop the tears that were already flowing from her eyes. “Took my village’s foals, they did so,” she muttered, gasping once for breath, an attempt to recover from a light sob. “Took them so long ago.”

Once more, all of them gasped. Rainbow Dash was the only one to say anything. “Zecora,” she said very gently, leaning forward.

“The beam momentarily came through this world then,” he said. “The beam which goes to the very center, the very heart of the universe. There are many beams, which go through many worlds, all of them holding up the thing which stands at the very center of the galaxy that your sister has seen, Princess Celestia.” Spike’s blank stare didn’t leave Zecora when he said that.

Princess Celestia, like the others, wasn’t sure of what to do exactly. The alicorn was hesitant for a moment, her mouth opening but not speaking at first, hanging open in confused and cautious silence. Finally she asked, “Was it the voice that called out to her? That said her name from behind her?”

“Had she looked behind her,” he said, “she would have seen the Tower. The Tower stands in another galaxy, not this one. That much is true, and I’m glad that she didn’t look upon it. Imprisoned in the Tower is one named the Crimson King, a creature whose evil this world can never fully come to understand. The worst of your enemies pale in comparison to him, however the Tower still stands, and he remains imprisoned.”

“If the beams break,” Zecora said, “the Tower will fall, and the king will be set free to destroy us all.”

“There are certain creatures that have special talents,” he said, still staring up at Zecora. “The foals taken from your village had these talents, Zecora, which is why they were taken. Often they are children, and with these talents they are able to break the beams, and so agents of the king come for them, take them through the rift, or ‘thinny’ as we call it, so that they may work for the king in breaking the beams. They are called, simply, breakers, and it would seem there is one more breaker who resides in this world.”

“Who?” Twilight asked, her voice confused and still afraid. “Do you know who it is?”

“I, being Ted, am a breaker also,” he continued. “It is why I’m able to talk to you like this. Our talents are all telepathic, you see. Before I tell you who the breaker is, you must understand that the agents of the king, whom we call the low men in yellow coats, will seek him out, and they will do anything within their power to obtain him. They will not hesitate to harm you. They communicate in strange ways. When they came for me, they placed my name on missing pet posters.”

Twilight was beginning to look angry now, her fear slowly turning into an exhausted irritation. “Who is the breaker?” she asked, her voice rising almost to a yell.

There was a pause. “I can project myself through the thinny and into Spike,” he said, “because Spike is the breaker.”

“NO!” Twilight screamed, which caused almost all of them to jump from the sudden noise. The purple mare leaped forward and grabbed Spike, crying. “NO NOT SPIKE!” Immediately, once Twilight touched him, Spike’s face when from being the strange stare to being his former self.

The small dragon’s eyes rolled in opposite directions for a moment before he shook his head and looked up at Twilight confused. “Woah, Twi?” he asked, frowning, looking over her at Princess Celestia. “What… what happened?”

Applejack slowly walked up to Twilight, gently patted her back trying to give her some sort of comfort, then looked to the baby dragon, frowning. “Spike, sugar,” she said gently, “this might take some explainin’.”

The honest Applejack, knowing that Twilight was too upset to explain anything to him, told Spike what had happened.

*****

Spike stood outside and at the back of the library, looking up at the stars of the night sky and trying to ignore the flashes of light coming from the distance. The small dragon stood alone, his arms lightly hugging himself as though he were cold. Spike could see it, a slight disturbance in the pattern of the stars of the night. The dragon knew that nothing was wrong with the stars themselves, or the galaxy that they were in. The disturbance was within this world. It was the beam that was either going to, or coming from, those bursts of light. Whichever it was he didn’t care much.

The creatures that had come through the rift had come here for one purpose and one purpose alone.

For him.

Spike rubbed the back of his neck as he took a few steps forward, his vision of the sky clearer now that he wasn’t standing directly under the leaves of the library made into a tree. Spike’s head remained tilted back, his eyes still gazing upward. The dragon then shifted his gaze from the sky to the bursting lights on the horizon.

Spike was silent at first. There was something that he wanted to say, something that he wanted to express to the other world, or other worlds that were looking in at him and his friends, he just wasn’t sure what it was.

The dragon’s hands balled into fists as he held back his tears. Tonight had mostly been crying, as though he were already gone, the fight hopeless against an unknown enemy. Though his hope had faded, his friends’compassion and care for him remained as strong as ever.

Several tears escaped and rolled down his cheek. Spike reached up and rubbed his snout with the back of a hand. “Well?” he asked, staring at the blasts of light. “I’m the breaker, I’m the one who these low min, or men or whatever they’re called are coming for.” Spike sniffed. “I’m the reason why that hole opened up. Do you have a dream for me? Do you have something you wanna tell me?” Raising a fist to the lightning, he said, “I dunno why you want me anyway! I’m just a baby dragon, and when I grow up I’m going to be a selfish and self-centered, greedy adult!” Now his tears flowed freely, a light sob almost overtaking his speech. “I’ve… only g-got so much time here before that happens!” Slowly, Spike crouched down on his legs, his arms hugging himself again, his head down, his tears falling to the ground. “Only so much time,” he cried, “to be with my friends. Twilight has her whole life to be with her friends, she isn’t going to grow up like me!”

Spike slowly laid down on his side in the grass, tears still rolling down his face. “Why’d you give her the dream,” he cried, his eyes closing tightly. “Why don’t you give me a dream?”

The small dragon curled up into a ball, and cried himself to sleep.

And dreamed.

*****

The guitar played a gently hymn as Spike came walking out of the crops of corn and into the front yard of the old farmhouse that he had heard so much about. Walking forward out of the crops, he stared up at the old woman who smiled gently down at him through her spectacles. Carefully, she put her guitar down next to her chair.

“Hello Spike,” she said with a nod. “Nice to see you.”

Spike’s confused and bewildered look quickly changed to a bright smile, and he bolted forward on to the porch and up to the old woman, hugging her. “Mother Abagail!” he giggled, his voice sounding overjoyed.

Abagail laughed, sweeping the small dragon into her arms. “God bless!” she called out, laughing. Then she kissed his head. “You are welcome here Spike. Welcome to Hemingford Homes.”

Spike continued to smile, waiting a moment before breaking the hug and looking up at the woman. “Is that what this world is called?” he asked.

Abagail laughed again and shook her head. “Only these parts, honey,” she said with a smile. “Spike, we don’t have much time together, but we may fellowship with what time we have.”

Spike looked from Abagail to the rolling hills of corn. “I’m really scared,” he said. “We were told that I was a breaker, that those low mein things were coming after me.”

Abagail smiled and leaned back in her rocking chair, her gaze following Spike’s to the land that stretched out from her house. “You were told true, Spike. It is low men that they’re called, but they are comin’ all the same, and it is your lot to deal with them.”

Spike quickly looked up at her. “Can we?” he asked. “I mean, are we able?”

Abagail continued to look out across the fields of corn. “There is work ahead of you, Spike.” Then she looked down at the small dragon that had become visibly nervous. “You can fight them, though. You can, and you will.”

“But, how?” Spike asked, frowning up at her.

Abagail turned her gentle look back to Spike, a warm smile now on her face. “The same way you fight off the temptations that most other dragons give in to,” she said. “With faith.”

Spike blinked. “Faith?” he asked.

Abagail continued to smile at him. “Faith in your friends, Spike. Faith in yourself. Your world is filled with love that the devil cannot touch. If your faith in friendship remains strong, your innocence remains.” Abagail leaned forward, keeping her gentle, yet firm gaze on the dragon. “Stand true, my Spike. Stand true and you will prevail. Keep on with friendship, and you won’t grow to be an old selfish dragon.” Slowly she reached forward and placed a hand on Spike’s head and laughed. “Mayhap… mayhap you might grow to be one hundred and eight years old like me, and have doctors tellin’ you t’cut out your coffee!”

Spike looked shocked. “R-Really?” The dragon chose not to speak on the age comment, not knowing what coffee was but already knowing Abagail’s age from what Twilight had told him. Spike only smiled up at her in response to her laughing.

Abagail leaned back in her chair. “You won’t become corrupt,” she said with a nod. “You’ve got a lot goin’ for you Spike, many blessings.” Abagail pulled her shawl closer to her as she remained leaning back in her chair. “I’ve got to be goin’ now, Spike. I have my own stand to make, in my own world. You wake up and tell Miss Twilight that Mother Abagail says hello.”

Spike reached out and took Abagail’s frail hand into his, holding on to it gently. “Mother,” he said, “how do we fight them?”

Abagail gently squeezed Spike’s hand with hers. “For harmony, for love, for friendship, you must stand.”

Spike nodded, and awoke.