• Published 19th Nov 2012
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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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Chapter5: Appearances and Ends

Chapter 5: Appearances and Ends

“Dialogue”

“Words in a foreign language.”
“Quoting in thought”

***

Celestia examined the cowering creature before her. It was large compared to her little ponies and almost entirely bald. The creature’s physiology was somewhat minotaur-like. His, and she could very plainly see it was a male, torso was almost identical but he lacked any of the bovine features.

This was not the ‘great evil’ she had been feeling for weeks. It wasn't even close.

Captain Spitfire had said that they had chased him from a building inside of the Everfree City and he still had a feeling of darkness about him, but one could not live so close to powerful evil and not smell of it eventually. She listened closely to his muttering, the same phrases over and over again in a language she couldn't understand. Was he a native of wherever the mysterious city had come from? He certainly did not look like any creature she had ever known.

The creature slowly raised its head and met her eyes; his were dark brown, nearly black, and much smaller than a pony’s. Celestia raised a hoof, perhaps to try and sooth it, but it cowered away from her. She could hear its breathing, it was labored and she couldn't help but worry for its health.

“Do not worry, I am not here to harm you,” Celestia cooed in her best motherly tone.

Celestia was astonished and saddened when the creature clapped its hands over its shell-like ears and doubled over, as if her very voice caused it great pain. Perhaps it did.

She quickly retreated from the room; she did not want to remain if her very presence caused the poor creature this much discomfort. Celestia had gone in there looking for answers, now all she had were more questions. Shaking her head, she made her way down the stone hallway, passing by several more empty cells and finally emerging into a cozy wooden room, the windows beyond providing a nice view of Ponyville square. Nine of her little ponies sat chatting quietly, with the exception of the Element of Laughter who was bouncing around the room and the Element of Loyalty who was loudly attempting to get an autograph from Captain Spitfire.

“Princess!” Twilight called out, quickly silencing everyone but Pinkie Pie, who continued bouncing around. The other eight ponies sat in a semicircle around the door, waiting for Celestia. “I’m sorry we didn't manage to handle this before you had to come all the way to Ponyville,” Twilight apologized.

“Did you find out anything, your Highness?” Spitfire asked, imposing herself in front of the other ponies. The rest of the gathered ponies leaned in closer, eager to catch any shred of information about the creature the guardsponies had hauled in.

“It is alright, my faithful student, I would have come anyway. The power gathering in the Everfree City is of great concern to my sister and me.” Celestia smiled at her student; she always tried so hard to handle things herself, ‘bothering’ her mentor as little as possible. Celestia honestly hoped Twilight would let her get involved a little more often; Celestia always enjoyed the few moments she got to spend with her student and her friends. “I’m afraid I did not learn much, Captain; he seems to be a native of the land that city originated from, but I cannot be certain. However, I do not believe he is the source of the evil growing in that place.”

“Are ya sure princess? If he was tha’ only thing livin’ there it wouldn't it be tha one to at least know somethin’?” Applejack spoke up, Rarity nodding in agreement.

“Oo! Oo! Do you think he has a flying saucer? Or a flying pan?! Or- Or- Ow!” Pinkie’s little rant halted abruptly as Fleetfoot, clearly having enough of the pink pony’s spazz-attack, delivered a sharp smack to the back of Pinkie’s head. “Hey! That was mean!” Pinkie protested, rubbing the back of her head with a forehoof. Fleetfoot simply brought a hoof up to her lips and gave the pink pony a loud ‘shush’ before turning her attention back to Princess Celestia.

Celestia giggled lightly at Pinkie’s antics before turning and nodding to the gathered ponies “He very well may know something vital. Unfortunately, nopony can understand his speech...” She trailed off glancing meaningfully at her student.

“YES!” Twilight suddenly shouted a happy expression on her face.

“Are you certain, my faithful student? It is bound to be a difficult tas-” Celestia started.

“Yes yes yes yes!” Twilight bounced up and down on the spot, unwittingly imitating her pink, hyperactive friend. She stopped a moment later, looking bashful, already pulling out parchment and writing supplies from some previously unnoticed saddle bags leaning against a nearby wall.

Spitfire stamped her hoof lightly on the wooden floor, drawing the room’s attention to herself. “Are you sure that is wise, your Highness? The creature is a complete unknown and still may be very dangerous.”

Celestia nodded, turning to speak to Spitfire. “You are very correct Captain, which brings me to you, Lieutenant Soarin.”

“M-me, your Highness?” Soarin stuttered, doing his best to melt into the floor he stood on.

Celestia fixed a shivering Soarin with a firm gaze. “Yes. Your conduct today was a direct violation of a direct order from myself and your commanding officer.” The six Bearers of the Elements gasped, Rainbow Dash looked especially morose. “However, I cannot enact my planned punishment of suspending you.” Soarin perked up a little at this; he wasn't going to be suspended? “Seeing as your heart was in the right place, wishing only to cut off a potential threat early, and Equestria being short hooved as it is, I am re-assigning you to the creature’s protection and containment. From this day forward, until my faithful student deems it is no longer a potential threat, you are hereby assigned to the creature as his keeper and bodyguard.” Celestia nodded at Soarin and he hung his head in shame, but still in a far better mood then he would have been if he had been suspended. “Furthermore I am also promoting Captain Spitfire to the position of commanding officer of the Ponyville garrison. Specialist Fleetfoot will also remain under your command,” Celestia said, shooting Spitfire a mischievous smile.

The three members of the Wonderbolts looked at the solar princess in astonishment. Finally Fleetfoot slapped Spitfire on the back of the head, shaking her out of her daze. “Y-Yes ma’am I will be sure to make you proud!” Spitfire saluted, a goofy grin on her face.

“Yesss!” Rainbow Dash quietly did a few small backflips pumping her hoof in joy, happy her idols would be nearby for a while. Even if one of them was going to be saddled with that... thing.

***

The first sensation that managed to make its way through my muddled mind was warm stone pressing against my face. Huh, the floors are heated, that’s a nice touch, I thought as I pushed myself up off the floor. The chains binding my wrists to the wall rattled and I felt where they had cut into my wrists when I had clapped my ears against the white horse’s voice. I looked around my enclosure, there was a small window high on the wall to my right and I could see orange and yellow leaves clinging to a tree outside. The tree was bathed in morning light. I must’ve been out for a while. There was a military style canvas cot behind me, against the same wall I was chained to. The stone walls were very smooth, lacking the cobbled quality of most dungeons I could think of, it was as if the room had been carved out of a single piece of rock.

I could feel a bubbling sense of dread behind in the back of my mind. The feeling that overcame me when the white horse spoke ran through my mind over and over and I felt a chill run down my spine. Whatever had happened, it hadn’t been natural, none of this was natural. I was being held in a cell by bright, technicolor ponies for Heaven’s sake! I had been minding my own business in my town, just minding my fields, and they had to come and change everything! I clenched my fists in anger. I felt the urge to break something, to turn the nearest object into kindling! I- I...

No... I wouldn’t let them see me break, I wouldn’t give them the satisfaction. I had to be strong, collected, stoic. They would win if they saw me like this, there was no way I would let them beat me. I took a deep breath, calming my nerves and pushing my anxiety into the darkest corner of my mind, alongside every other unpleasant notion that had crept into my head since I had arrived in this place.

I took a few more calming breaths and dragged myself onto the cot. The material was comfortable enough, but it was a little small. Whatever, I would just have to deal with it. I sat there for a little while, just trying to collect my thoughts. I felt something on the edge of my senses, a looming feeling of pressure in my lungs, not anywhere near the feeling I got from the white horse but it was still enough to make the hair on the back on my neck stand on end. I looked at the door across the room to find a group of bright, inquisitive eyes clustered around the door’s observation window. The pink one was hanging from the ceiling. Wait, how was it even doing that?!

I stared at the group on the other side of the door, and they stared back. There was a lot of whispering as they pushed each other out of the way so another could have a turn. It was like watching children fight for the best view of a zoo animal; I didn't know whether to laugh or feel insulted. I watched them for a full minute before the pink one’s head emerged through the window with an audible ‘pop,’ like someone had just opened a bottle of champagne. I couldn't do much more than stare, even as the pony rapidly talked at me. Then she finally stopped, and stared back. At that moment, I replied with the most intelligent utterance I had made since entering the strange new land; “Uh....”

Before I could continue on my masterful performance of the English language that would have made Shakespeare bitterly weep with envy, I was interrupted by the sound of someone shouting on the other side of the door. Suddenly, the metal door abruptly swung open, leaving the disappointed pink pony staring at the stone wall. To my amazement, the pony’s body was not immediately dragged along with her head. Instead, her neck stretched like a massive piece of taffy as the door swung open. It must have been at least a second before her neck contracted again and dragged her sitting form across the stone floor. The entire sequence was way too freaky to laugh at. My eyes slowly traced back to the other occupants of the small room. Eight pairs of eyes looked back at me, all of them belonging to a uniquely colored pastel pony.

The purple one started talking first, speaking for a moment before pointing to each of the other ponies in turn and uttering a word I still didn't understand. She, at least I thought it was a she, was obviously introducing herself and those around her. Finally she got to the only three ponies I had met before, gesturing to them and speaking just like all the others.

The blue and....rainbow colored one floated up close and gave me the stink eye. I stared right back at her with a flat look. There was a yellow and pink one who seemed abnormally happy to see me carrying some kind of box in her mouth; I had no idea why. There was also a reserved looking orange and blonde pony, and a white and purple pony that had a funny look on her face.

After the purple one had stopped speaking the yellow one hopped up on the cot beside me, startling me a little. How does she do that? She sat her box down then started to get uncomfortably close, I mean, like, really close. She started poking my head with her hooves, and I jerked away from her. Every time I did, she scooted closer. The process finally ending with me teetering on the very edge of the cot, having scooted all the way down its length. Apparently done with her creepy examination, she turned around and opened the little box, emerging with a bottle of something and fresh gauze. Ooooh, that’s what she was up to, she was checking my head wound. I calmed down and quit fidgeting, allowing the yellow pony to bandage my head.

I looked up at the rest of the ponies still occupying the room to find the purple one was still yammering. I really hoped they left soon, I didn't know how much more of them I could stand.

***

Nightmare moved silently through the empty houses and streets. She found the entire place fascinating, but ultimately irrelevant to her goals. The husk of whatever civilization that had created such eccentric machines showed a certain fixation on material wealth. She sneered at their seemingly obsessive need to coat every inch of their settlement with artificial sources of light. “What sorts of creatures were so afraid of the night?”

The homes and empty streets quickly gave way to a massive construct of pipes and yet more machines. Nightmare Moon was very close to her goal now. Her wisp of a form fought to keep from being swept up in the currents of magic spiraling into her destination. As she neared the center of magical activity, she was suddenly stopped by a wall of steel. Strange, no mere steel should be able to block her path. She contemplated hitching a ride on one of the streams of magic flowing into the steel barrier, but such an act would be tantamount to suicide, as the strong current would rip her to shreds if she tried such a foalish course of action. She poked and prodded around for an opening, some kind of portal she might slip through. One spot between two segments of pipe looked like a suitable entrance. She squeezed in between and to her delight she found nice soft rubber. Forcing her way through the narrow opening, she was unconcerned when her passing caused strange black fluid to erupt from the gap.

She found herself swimming in the strange black gunk that flowed past her, now spewing violently from her point of entry. She made her way deeper in, following the radiating feeling she had sensed for days. She felt odd, as she dived deeper and deeper towards her goal, a strange sense of emptiness overcame her. She pushed on, her goal the only thing that mattered to her now. Part of her wanted nothing more than to flee, the power she was feeling was... different than she had expected it to be.

Nightmare Moon nearly cried out in victory when she felt herself reach the center. Wait, there was something wrong. Why was there nothing here? She moved about frantically, searching for the prize she had thought would surely be waiting for her. She tried to reach out with the little power she had, but it refused to answer her. Wait, why was it failing? Something was wrong. She tried to force her power to obey, but it failed once again. Her mind swam, she could feel her thoughts clouding over. She tried think through the mental fog, but it continued to get harder and harder. She could feel a small emptiness in her mind, creeping further and further into her thoughts. She felt her memories slowly start to bleed away.

She had to get away. This- this... thing was wrong. She had to get away, to escape, to... to...

Why was she so... tired?






A/N: Holy crap, this thing just got quite a bit darker, didn't it?
Also sorry for the small chapter size, moving sucks.
I am also happy to report Admari is now my fully fledged co-author! Lets all give him a round of metaphorical applause! - Radon18
Also I am now copying my Editor-now co-authors note format!

Editor’s Note: I am now co-author! I am one step closer to total domination of the internet, and then the WORLD! Bwahhahah... hah...
Uhm, I mean I’m happy to take this opportunity to better my fellow author’s abilities... or something.
Bwahahaha -Admari