• Published 19th Nov 2012
  • 6,995 Views, 791 Comments

The Missionary - Radon18



Follow a man, surviving in equestria with nothing but his wits and his faith, oh and his own town.

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Chapter15: Bad Dreams

Chapter 15

(Reminder that I own nothing!)

‘Thought’
“Dialogue”
“Words in a foreign language.”
“Quoting in thought”


The cold had forced the Cutie Mark Crusaders to take shelter in one of the scores of abandoned buildings, well away from the center of town where the main group of ponies had set up their base camp, which, as far as the Crusaders knew, was somewhere near the center of town. Morning came early for the Crusaders as what must have once been a clothing store automatically came to life around them, bringing painfully bright artificial lights and loud, foreign music to bear on their fragile state of slumber.

Sweetie Belle groaned and pushed herself into a sitting position. She slowly shook the sleep from her mind and stretched the exhaustion from her muscles, posturing herself like an overgrown cat. Her two comrades in mischief were still snoring away in their own dreamlands, or Apple Bloom was anyway. Scootaloo had slapped her hooves down over her ears and mumbled something about alien alarm clocks. “Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, wake up,” Sweetie Belle cooed softly as she gave both of her friends a gentle nudge between the ribs.

“Mornin’ girls,” Apple Bloom greeted as she rubbed the sleep out her eyes. Sweetie Belle smiled and Scootaloo responded with a titanic yawn that threatened to unhinge her jaw. The orange pegasus had the toughest time sleeping out of all of them, the grisly sight of the marionette-like monsters had haunted her dreams and Princess Luna had been far too preoccupied to ply the dreams of her subjects that night.

“Morning guys,” Scootaloo finally managed to say around another massive yawn.

Apple Bloom trotted over to the large plate glass windows and peered down the empty road, first one way then the other. She breathed a long sigh of relief when she saw that none of the freaky creatures from the night before had gotten the bright idea to stick around.

“There anything out there?” Scootaloo asked, coming to set beside Apple Bloom. Apple Bloom shook her head.

“Not that ah can see. We should still be careful though,” She replied.

“What were those things?” Sweetie Belle asked from behind them.

“Ah have no idea, maybe Twilight knows?” Apple Bloom replied still peering cautiously out the window.

“This was not our best plan,” Sweetie Belle said, scuffing her hooves back and forth in a nervous gesture. Her somber tone and expression brought the mood of her two friends crashing down.

The other two Crusaders looked at each other and couldn’t help but agree with the off-white filly. “Ahm sorry fer gettin’ us inta this.” Apple Bloom said as she hung her head in guilt and shame. “Ah was just so mad. Y’know, with our farm bein’ attacked and Applejack n’ Big Mac just shuttin’ up about it. I had ta do somethin’.” Apple Bloom’s expression gained a shard of anger as she looked at the short navy blue carpet.

“Its alright Apple Bloom,” Scootaloo said. Her and Sweetie Belle moved closer to their friend, offering her what moral support they had left to give. “We had to do something, right? How else were we gunna get our monster-hunting cutiemarks?” Scootaloo teased.

Sweetie Belle piped up, “Yeah! And besides, the Cutiemark Crusaders stick together!” She gave Scootaloo a look, “For better or worse.”

“Thanks,” Apple Bloom mumbled feeling better despite the guilt that still sat at the back of her mind.

“Hey, lets go! I want to see what happened to the monster!” Scootaloo finally said, more to dispel the sudden cloud of funk than any real desire to go anywhere near the giant thing from last night. It almost went against her better judgement, really, but the monster was dead. It wasn’t like it could do anything to hurt them anymore.

The other two Crusaders nodded in their agreement and the three merry friends shot forward from the bright, noisy store and into the frigid air of the purple and gold morning.

***

Rainbow Dash wandered the hallways of the massive stone structure her friends were camping in. She had to admit the place was impressive. The monolithic fortress was taller than almost every building Rainbow Dash had ever seen outside of Canterlot, but it was only divided into three separate floors. There were a few offices and areas with rows upon rows of lockers, all of which contained furniture too large to be used by anyone but the Princesses, but what had really caught her attention was the three tiered cell block in the center of the building. Twilight had made the connection almost immediately that the place was a dungeon of some kind, a place meant to hold criminals. Only princess Luna was able to attest to ever seeing any dungeon larger than this, in Gryphos, the capital city of the Gryphon Empire at the height of the clan wars almost twenty-five hundred years ago.

Rainbow Dash stopped in front of one of the cells and peered through the small plate glass window. Strangely, the inside of the cell was almost identical to the one they had kept that tricky alien in for the past three weeks, only the alien’s own constructions were clean, sterile almost, where the pony made prison was quickly cobbled together this place was all straight lines and clean edges. Rainbow couldn’t help but feel… sloppy in comparison to creatures that put such effort into a place meant to hold the worst of their own.

Rainbow’s mind turned to the creature that had been staying in the storage room turned cell and she had to admit the creature must have been really smart to trick Soarin of all ponies. Only for a moment she wondered if she would be able to win against something that treacherous, it only took a few seconds for her self confidence to shatter any doubt she had. She would not lose to any alien, no matter how sneaky it was. Hay, she had already almost beat the thing when it tried to escape, not to mention she was the Element of Loyalty. With her friends backing her up she would be unbeatable.

An image flashed in Rainbow Dash’s mind; a horrific monster cradling a pile of meat in arms that didn’t look fit to support the weight of a foal, of a mouth stretched in a perpetual grin, tendons like tar stretched over an impossible skeleton made from too many things. She fought back a shiver, she had tried not to think about that… whatever it had been. The monsters from yesterday had been so similar to the thing that attacked the farm that it was absurd to think it only a coincidence. Rainbow wanted to tell her friends about the creepy thing she had seen but the attack had really stressed them out and telling them this would only make it worse. The similarity to the alien was also not lost on the speedster, it was obviously part of some great mystery and she would be the one to figure it out.

Her face set with determination, Rainbow Dash jumped over the railing, spreading her wings to glide down to the encampment on the bottom floor. She landed with a small thud amongst a group of Solar Guards who grumbled at her theatrics. She grinned at them and trotted off to where Celestia was recovering. She pushed her way past some tired-looking Night Guard and came upon the hastily built field hospital.

Rainbow Dash’s friends were scattered here and there. Applejack and Rarity were sleeping on a rug taken from one of the office areas, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie were helping the medical staff tend to the troops, and Twilight was attached to her teacher’s bedside like some kind of purple leech. Rainbow chuckled at her own mental image of Twilight as a big worm stuck to the side of the Princess’ face, which had finally manage to dislodge the stubborn images of the monsters.

“Hey Twilight,” Rainbow said moving to sit beside the worried purple mare. “How is she?” She asked motioning to Celestia with the tip of her wing.

“Our sister is well enough.” The princess of the night emerged from the other side of the bed and spoke before Twilight even had a chance to look away from her mentor. “Our Alicorn heritage has allowed her to escape from any grievous harm, however narrowly.”

“Sooo, that means she’s OK, right?” Rainbow had never been great at understanding Luna, even after the princess had started taking speech lessons.

“The Princess will be Rainbow Dash, she wasn’t hurt too badly because alicorns are almost immortal.” Twilight spoke up, looking and sounding a bit worse for wear.

“Really?” Rainbow quirked an eyebrow.

“If our sister had been a normal pony she would have been rendered to paste by such a blow.” The two elements could hear an obvious edge of anger in Luna’s voice.

Rainbow’s eyes went wide. “Wow… tough old nag.”

“Rainbow! Wha-! Don’t say that about the Princess!” Twilight was shocked by her friends disregard for manners.

Luna chuckled, much to the surprise of the two mares. “Do not worry Twilight. I am sure she would have found the familiarity far more compelling than the insult, after all was it not a jest between friends, Rainbow Dash?”

Rainbow grinned at Luna, “Sure was… Ya old nag.” She wiggled an eyebrow at the princess.

Luna chuckled for a moment along with Rainbow before stopping suddenly. “Do not push your luck.” She stalked away.

Rainbow sat dumbstruck for a full ten seconds before she noticed Twilight glaring at her. “Eh heh heh, it was a joke…” Twilight only sighed and went back to Celestia’s bedside, picking up one book out a large pile of paperwork at the Princess’ bedside. Rainbow followed her over, looking curiously over the pile, finding only strange runes where she would have expected to see normal writing. “Whatcha reading?” She asked, peering over Twilight’s shoulder, much to the annoyance of the lavender mare.

“Books we found in this building.” Twilight replied, annoyance obvious in her voice.

“Anything good?” Rainbow asked ignoring Twilights irritation.

“We haven’t even managed to figure out what these symbols mean yet.” Twilight huffed.

“Well that’s boring…” Rainbow replied still looking over Twilight shoulder.

“Rainbow-“ Twilight sighed, ready to launch into a lecture about how important it was that they focus on translating the alien books and documents instead of asking pointless questions.

“Hey does this remind you of something?” Rainbow interrupted, pointing to a certain rune with her hoof.

“No, why would-“ Twilight started before being interrupted again.

“HEY RARITY! COME OVER HERE FOR A MINUTE!” Rainbow shouted further irritating Twilight who was now growling like some horrible monster about to devour her next meal.

“Ugh, what is it you want, can't a mare get her beauty sleep?” Rarity called sleepily from where both her and Applejack were roughly awoken by Rainbow’s shouting. Reluctantly, the exhausted mare trotted over to Rainbow Dash and a harassed looking Twilight. “What is it you want darling?” Rarity asked as she magically formed her hair back into its perfect coif.

“This remind you of anything?” Rainbow pointed to the rune.

Rarity looked at it for a moment before returning to her grooming. “No I'm afraid I don’t remember having seen anything like it darling,” She said, flicking her mane so it fell perfectly into place.

“Really? I thought it looked kind of like the writing on those weird collar things those diamond dogs who took you hostage wore,” Rainbow mumbled while looking at the book with a scrutinizing gaze.
Rarity took a second look, this time looking closely at the perfectly trim and precise character, trying to imagine the same drawn by the clumsy paws of a diamond dog.

It took her a moment, although she still did not sound entirely convinced. “Now that you mention it, there may be something similar in the design.”

Rarity was almost bowled over by a suddenly grinning Twilight. “You’ve seen something like this before Rarity? Show me! Showmeshowmeshowme.” The excited librarian levitated the alien books, arranging them in a circle around the fashionista who looked very much like a scared filly caught by a raving crazypony.

Rarity nervously looked around at all of the alien titles, “Well there is this one.” Her carefully manicured hoof pointed to the rune Rainbow had pointed out.

-R-

“Oh and this one.” she pointed to another that looked like an oval.

-O-

“This one.” Rarity was getting the hang of it now.

-V-

“Hmm that one I think.” She pointed out an odd, three pronged character.

-E-

“Now if I remember darling the last letter was the same as the first.” Rarity said.

-R-

“What was the name of the diamond dog?” Twilight asked. ‘So close!’

”I believe it was Rover, really such a sweet dear once you learn how to handle him.” Rarity elegantly hid a chuckle behind her hoof.

“Rover…” Twilight slowly sounded out each sound mentally assigning them to the letters in the name. Without warning, Twilight snatched up both Rainbow Dash and Rarity in a hug. “I can’t believe it you girls did it! You’re the best friends anypony could ever ask for! Thankyouthankyouthankyou!” Twilight danced around the room on her hind legs dragging her surprised friends around by their necks.

“This calls for a party!” Pinkie popped out of a nearby box of supplies. That promptly got Twilight’s attention and she immediately dropped her friends, both of which were content to lay on the ground and coax their airways into unlocking themselves.

“Not now Pinkie! I have to show this to Professor Beaker!” Twilight bolted for her notes scooping them up and vanished in a *pop* of teleportation.

“You’re welcome, I guess,” Rainbow croaked from the floor, waving her hoof in the vague direction of the pile of books.

***

“Wow, look at this thing!” Scootaloo eagerly hopped into the ruined cab of the ‘monster’ from last night.

“Ah wouldn’t touch anythin’ in there if I were you Scoots, ya don’t know what it does.”
Scootaloo yanked a lever and the massive arm twitched, sending a small cascade of rubble crumbling to the floor. The arm jerked and suddenly there was a loud pop as a stream of foul smelling fluid trailed its way down the arm of the behemoth and puddled around the rubble pile the wreck was resting on. From around the corner, the three girls heard the sound of hooves. The took cover in a flash, each of them getting out of sight just as a royal guard poked his head around the corner and glared at the wreck for a moment before continuing on his way.

“That was close.” Sweetie Belle murmured as she climbed out of a hole in the wall.

“This is so awesome! Scootaloo crawled from under the seat.

“It kind of reminds me of the train in town,” Apple Bloom mumbled as she squeezed out of a small box in the dashboard.

“It’s like a train that can kick butt!” Scootaloo cheered as she started trying to play with the levers again, this time getting no movement out of the ruined machine. She fiddled around with the controls for another minute or so with no response. “Huh... I guess we broke it.”

“Hey girls, look at this.” Sweetie Belle called them down to floor. The other two Crusaders jumped down from their perch and gathered around a red smear on the ground. There was an odd pattern stamped in the middle of it. The girls noticed another red smear, then another; they made a random trail through the burned building out a back door and down the maze of streets.

The Crusaders followed the trail carefully. After what felt like an eternity for the three intrepid explorers, the trail left the snaking randomness of the alleyways and led them to a quiant yellow house on the corner.

They debated amongst themselves about how they should best proceed for a total of thirty seconds before star

***

John’s eyes slowly cracked open, seeing the plain white plaster of his bedroom. He tensed his muscles, stretching out his limbs and back, still stiff from a good nights rest. He jumped as a slender arm wrapped around his midsection pulling him back into a very feminine body, wrapped in a pair of fuzzy, pink pajamas. His face lit up bright red, he still wasn't used to living with his girlfriend. She snuggled close to his back, content to languish in bed for most of the day. “I’ll start the coffee.” He mumbled after several minutes of enjoying a little taste of paradise.

Finally managing to pull himself from those welcoming arms, John walked slowly into the kitchen. The moment he was around the corner he ducked and stuck his arm into the Television cabinet, from behind the DVD player he pulled a small, velvet box. A quick check of the calendar confirmed his thoughts. “Today is the day,” he mumbled; it had been two years to the day since he had met his girlfriend Rachel.

“Hey.” Rachel's voice nearly made John jump out of his skin as he quickly stuffed the little velvet box into the pocket of his pajama bottoms, hoping she hadn't noticed.

“Umm, hey,” John replied, a nervous grin plastered on his face.

“How’s that coffee?” The raven haired beauty asked, smirking at him.

“Uhh, yeah, right,” He said awkwardly, quickly turning to hurry and start the coffee before she got suspicious. Just as he was about to take a step Rachel’s arms encircled him once more, holding a long jewelry box in front of his nose.

“Got you something for our two years.” John could literally hear her smirk.

‘Dammit, she is totally stealing my thunder!’

He took the box from her and opened it up, inside was a small, gilded crucifix. He quickly slipped it around his neck and turned around, giving her a quick peck on the lips. “I love it hun, now why don’t you go get an extra few minutes of sleep while I get the coffee ready.” He said smiling a thousand watt smile.

“Ok, just make it snappy,” She joked as she walked around the corner to crawl back into bed.

As the coffee brewed John fingered the little golden cross, he wondered what had made her choose something like this. He had gone to church with his parents when he was younger but his heart had never really been in it. Deciding it was a mystery that could wait till after coffee, he poured two cups and fixed it up the way she liked.

John headed back into the bedroom only to be met with an empty bed. He quirked his eyebrow and set the coffee down on the dresser. He pulled back the wrinkled covers to reveal Rachel’s pajamas laying there like she had been curled up in them only moments before.

John peeked into the closet. “Rachel?” he called to no answer. He scowled a little, Rachel was notorious for some rather ingenious pranks on occasion and he couldn’t help but think this was the workings of another joke. “Rachel, come on. This isn’t funny!” he called again, still no answer.

John stepped back into the kitchen and looked out the back door into their yard. He noticed just how quiet everything was. Not seeing any trace of his raven haired girlfriend, John headed to the front door and quickly stepped down the stairs and into the front yard. Looking around, the normally busy street was deserted. Scowling at the odd turn of events, John was about to head back into the house and call Rachel’s cell but the sound of an approaching car caught his attention.

The silver Jeep rolled down the street powerlessly before thudding into a lamp post. Curious, and hoping the driver was alright, John headed over to the still running vehicle and peered through the window. The odd thing, besides the lack of a driver, was the pile of clothing sitting in the driver’s seat, legs of the pants trailing down into the floor. “What the hell?” John muttered. Looking around he started to notice more and more things were wrong, the streetlight was dark and dead, instead of a glimpse of the ocean over the trees of the lower part of town now the rock face of a mountain met his eyes. He noticed the piles of clothing, one in front of a mailbox, one half way into the seat of a car, one hanging limply from a front porch. “What the hell is going on!?” John shouted expecting someone to pop out and stare at him like he was a crazy person.

When he heard nothing but eerie silence he knew something was very wrong.

As he turned back towards the quaint yellow house on the corner the engagement ring in his pocket grew much heavier.

***

John groaned as pain burned through him. His eyes cracked open to see the bottom corner of his bathroom cabinet. He shifted around and was suddenly aware of his many injuries as they sent bolts of fire through his nervous system. Groaning, he took the remaining caffeine shots out of his pockets and threw them across the room at the garbage can, he felt like he had been run over and set on fire before puking his guts out, or maybe it had all happened at once.

He had just managed to prop his aching body against the wall he heard the sound of the front door gently bumping against the wall, someone was here. John reached for the nine millimeter pistol in the holster on his hip, if this was going to be the end... he took the gun in his hand and looked at it, feeling a weight settle in his stomach. Would he be able to actually do it if he had to?









Author’s Note: You know that moment when your writing and you have to stop and go : “Wow... I am not a nice person.” Yeah that happened...

Co-Author’s Note: If these last two chapters don’t count as plot development, then I’m a calzone. And I’m obviously stromboli, so don’t even try this time.