• Published 19th Nov 2012
  • 6,812 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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Chapter6: The Nightmare Before Christmas

Chapter 6

Just like to reiterate that i own nothing mentioned in this story.



“Words in a foreign language.”

“Quoting in thought”


This was so much better than its other meals! The little self it had found was in an entirely different league than the other selves it had consumed. It was sure to take the time to savor this one, the taste was too wonderful to gorge on. It flayed tiny slivers from its form, supping away almost daintily. The little self squirmed weakly, an occasional, quiet twitch that made the meal all the more excellent. But, wait, what was this? A fragment of an image flashed in its mind. It was strange, it was… different than anything it had ever experienced. It ate faster, images, concepts, words, places, ideas, individuals; they all flooded into its perception. It didn’t register the pain its own mind was in; the flood of information was too amazing to slow down. It was not able to control its urges for long and devoured what remained of the little self in one gulp.

It knew so much now. It understood the nature of this place, the outside world, life and death, magic, the sun and moon, and the individuals, all of it! Its elation quickly turned to frustration. There were still blank spots, things it still didn’t know. Like the other, who was the other, where had they gone, how could it find them? It needed to leave, to find the other. This was the only thing missing, it had to have the other close always. Its mind danced over the foreign memories, searching for a way to leave its steel home. It focused on the most recent. They played in reverse, from the moment of horror, to the one of confusion, then the memory of triumph… there, there it was. The memory of the soft rubber; that was where it would go out into the world.

It pressed itself over the tiny pipe and pushed. The metal groaned as its massive weight pressed into it. It did not fit, the opening was far too small. Frustration grew to anger and it lashed out at the steel wall. For hours its colossal form battered against the cold metal over and over again. The wall bent and buckled but did not give. It had to stop; it was too tired to keep going like this… It needed to think, to use its mind.

Thinking was hard!

It settled down, slightly depressed that it could not think of a way to outsmart the steel wall. How could the little self make it through when it was stopped cold? Maybe if it pressed in a certain way, or made itself smaller somehow… that was it! It would just make itself smaller. It concentrated and after a moment a tiny portion of the whole split off and floated in front of it. What was this? It hadn’t meant to do this at all. It moved the little fragment up and down. It was amazing! It was like a tiny copy attached to its mind. Not wasting any more time, it sent the little copy through the pipe, squeezing out the same way the little self had come in.

It flopped down into a black puddle on the ground, the same black fluid still spewing from the pipe above. This was it, the outside world. It looked around at the steel tubes and various machines littered about, this was going to be great! It slithered to the edge of the black puddle and touched the dirt for the first time. It hissed in irritation, it hated dirt! Dirt was all scratchy and unpleasant to touch. It liked the smooth feeling of the black liquid. It gathered the liquid around it, forming little tendrils to lift itself over the dirt. It bounced on the new legs, slightly testing them out. They worked well enough, everything was ready.

It paused to look back at the massive steel tank, it was huge! The tank was painted a silver color and had large block letters next to a massive picture of a yellow clam shell. It marveled at the feeling of being out here and inside there at the same time. It was another amazing new experience to add to an ever growing list. It set off down the gravel hill the steel tank sat on, down to a smooth black road. The road lead through the odd city, out towards the Everfree forest, the memory of the name of the place was easy to find, as was the mental map for what lay beyond, the only thing that it wasn’t familiar with was the empty town in now found itself in. Was this place new? Is this where the other was supposed to live? Was the other one or many?

Its mind was so occupied with these questions that it almost didn’t notice the chirping of some nearby birds. There must have been dozens of them sitting one of the many ropes strung about above the town. Wings would make finding the other so much easier! it thought, growing excited at the prospect of flying. It concentrated shaping its body of black fluid into a pair of bat like wings. It gave them an experimental flap. Yes, this would work! It leapt into the air flapping its fluid wings as hard as it could. Yes, it was working; this was going to make- SPLAT! It flopped onto the road weakly. Ugh, that didn’t work at all! It looked up at the birds and felt like they were all mocking it somehow. Well, it would show them! It slithered up one of the poles, and reached out a black tendril to grab the nearest bird.

It wanted to growl in frustration, the birds had flown away when it had gotten close. It would have to try harder. An idea crept into its mind and it spread its body out over the wire like a thin film and waited. It wasn’t long before several of the birds returned. When they landed on the part of itself spread over the wire, it snapped up grabbing one of them by the feet. The bird squawked loudly and tried to fly away, but it held the avian still. The panicked animal continued to struggle as it wrapped the bird’s body up in the black fluid. It slithered into the bird’s beak, and up into its brain. It wasn’t sure what it was doing, only trusting its own intuition. It connected to the bird and learned years of flight experience in only moments as it devoured the animal’s brain. It studied the flesh of the creature even as it slowly ate it away. Feathers fell from the lofty rope as the other birds circled, squawking in fear for their friend.


The circling birds looked on in horror as their captured friend was stripped down to nothing but bones. The black creature climbed up the skeletal frame. A pitch black, egg-like core crawled up next, nestling itself in the ribcage. The black fluid stretched out over limbs tightly coiling into substitutes for the muscles that been there moments before. A black membrane spread out over the wings, where the flight feathers had once been.

The new monster spread its bat like wings out wide, and leapt into the air. The circling birds scattered in fear, there was no way they were going to go near that monster or land on one of those comfy ropes ever again.


Twilight chewed on the end of her quill. She was frustrated, a little bit of her mane was messy and out of place as it usually was when she was in this kind of mood. She was trying to finish up a report for the princess but she didn’t want to send Celestia yet another report without at least one piece of good news. She stood up off of the couch on the main floor of the Golden Oaks library, sidestepping a pile of theoretical xenobiology pamphlets from the academy in Canterlot. She trotted around the room, report floating in front of her. The alien had been uncooperative and almost belligerent in the three weeks since his capture and she had precious little progress because of it. He had subjected Twilight and his guard Soarin to several pranks that had taken valuable hours to clean. Her tail and flank were still stained with ink. Still, she couldn’t help but giggle at the jokes, it had taken Soarin almost an hour to get all of the oatmeal out of his mane.

“Hey Twilight, I’ve got some sandwiches,” Spike said coming from the kitchen holding a tray of food.

“Thanks Spike. It’s been a rough day today.” Twilight tossed the parchment onto the table and swapped her quill for a sandwich. Spike sat across from her, pulling up a stool and grabbing a sandwich of his own.

“Sooo, when are you going to take me to go see him?” Spike asked over his sandwich.

“I don’t know if that’s a good idea Spike. He isn’t very nice, and he might be territorial toward other bipeds.” Twilight sighed, she was starting to run out of excuses. Spike had been bugging her to take him to see the alien ever since she had told him about the captive creature weeks ago.

“Aww come on Twilight, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind,” Spike pleaded.

Twilight looked out the window at the sun setting behind the mountains and the grey clouds overhead, promising the snow the weather team had scheduled for later tonight. She sighed again. This may be my last shot at a little good news for my report to the princess.

“Alright, finish your sandwich and get your coat, it’s going to snow later so it’s really cold outside.”

“Wow, thanks Twilight!” Spike said, before gulping down his sandwich and running off to find his winter coat.

By the time Twilight was done with her food, Spike was coming back down the stairs all bundled up in a jacket and scarf that matched his color scheme of purple and green. Twilight trotted over to the small pile of research materials she had been taking to the guard station and levitated the saddlebags onto her back, also donning her big fluffy scarf. I should take some notes on his reaction to another biped. He’s shown to be less active in the evening so maybe he won’t react to Spike with any open hostility, she thought as she levitated Spike onto her back. She quickly trotted out the door, out into the chilled air. The streets of Ponyville were deserted except for an occasional guard or someone running a last minute errand. Hearth Warming Eve decorations were starting to pop up here and there around town, although most of the houses were still relatively bare.

“So, did you try to teach him Equestrian? How did it go?” Spike asked from his place on Twilight’s back.

“It went… Well we tried, but he physically can’t make all of the right sounds,” Twilight replied, turning down the road that would take them right by Sugar Cube Corner and into the market. “We are looking into translation spells next, but all the ones I’ve tried haven’t worked. He seems to react negatively to more powerful spells, so whatever we come up with has to work on a relatively small scale.”

This feels so much like what happened with Zecora. The thought flashed through Twilight’s mind before she could stop it. They weren't being mean and locking up the alien just because he was different. They weren't! He posed a potential threat to Equestria, and with the Changeling crisis just starting to subside, stirring up a new panic over an alien would not be good for the country.

“I’m sure you’ll think of something Twilight,” Spike said, patted Twilight on the back reassuringly.

“Thanks Spike,” Twilight said, suddenly feeling a little less confident in the whole thing. She hurried on through the town market, to the former shop that now served as a command post for the guardsponies stationed in town. She stopped at the door, a pair of serious looking ponies in silver armor, blocking her way. The intimidation was ruined a bit, however, when a snowflake drifted down onto the right pony’s nose. The pegasus mare went cross eyed for a moment, smiling at the little white crystal before it melted.

“Please submit for testing,” the unicorn stallion on the left said in a sleepy sounding voice. Twilight held out her hoof, she was used to this after the weeks of similar experiences. A long intimidating needle levitated from behind the guard and poked her hoof.

“Ouch!” Twilight jerked her hoof back. The tip had barely pierced her skin but that didn’t stop it from hurting. The guard observed her for a moment, when no great flash of dispelling Changeling magic came, he nodded to her and stepped aside.

“Please go on in Miss Sparkle, we’ll send the dragon through in a moment,” the stallion droned on in the same sleepy sounding voice.

Twilight levitated Spike onto the ground behind her and passed through the doors, she wasn’t worried at all for her assistant, the needles were a standard safety procedure and they really couldn’t pierce a dragon’s scales anyway. In truth the needles were of her own invention. They were enchanted to pierce and dispel any transformative magic, including Changeling magic. They really didn’t even have to pierce the skin; most guards just seemed to lack proper restraint. She had made them as part of a request from the princesses to look into ways to help protect the country after the attempted invasion during her brother’s wedding.

A moment later Spike passed through the doors and Twilight snatched him up and replaced him on her back. “We almost there?” he groaned.

“Yes, it’s just through here.” Twilight motioned at a pair of doors at the back of the shop turned military outpost. Twilight trotted towards the doors, only to spot a familiar fiery mane poking out from one of the cubicles that now lined the walls. “Hold on a sec Spike, I want to say hello to Spitfire.” Spike groaned his protest, but stayed firmly rooted in his spot on her back as she made her way over and poked her head into the cubicle. The sight that greeted her made her giggle. Spitfire sat behind a desk, almost completely buried in stacks of papers. The new commander scribbled her name as quickly as possible holding a quill in her mouth, before moving onto the next sheet of paperwork. When Spitfire heard Twilight, she looked up and spat the quill out as fast as she could.

“Hey Twilight! It’s good to see you.” Spitfire sounded relieved, probably because there was someone here to save her from drowning in red tape.

“How does it feel being in charge Spitfire?” Twilight asked through another fit of giggles.

“I used to think I had a lot of paperwork to do when I was just captain of the Wonderbolts, now I don’t even know where to start on any of this.” Spitfire held up a form requesting a ‘weekly pie ration.’ She turned it over and stamped DENIED on the form in glaring red ink, before shuffling it into a box with a small stack of papers in it labeled ‘out.’

“I'm sure you’ll get used to it eventually.” Twilight tried to comfort the poor commander with a smile; sadly, she didn’t think it worked very well.

Spitfire sighed and leaned back in her chair, the old thing made annoying squeaks whenever she moved but at least it was nice and comfy. “Yeah I'm sure Major Steel wasn’t so eager to turn over command to me for a reason.” Spitfire grimaced at the pile of papers in front of her before perking up. “So, you going to visit our guest?”

“Yes, actually Spike has been asking to meet him for a while, so I thought it couldn’t hurt.” Twilight ruffled Spikes spines with a hoof, causing him to huff in mock anger. “I was hoping to see if he would react differently to another biped.”

“Oh, I see. I think I’ll go with you, if you wouldn’t mind. Give me a chance to get away from all of this paper work for a little while.” Twilight nodded and Spitfire hovered out from behind the stacks of paper, careful not to disturb the precarious piles. She landed with a soft thump behind Twilight and waved a greeting at the assistant perched on her back. “Hey there, Spike. Excited to finally meet the mysterious alien?”

“You bet I am Miss Spitfire!” Spike gave Spitfire an enthusiastic grin.

“Well I don’t see any need to wait any longer, let’s go.” Spitfire led Twilight and her assistant through the doors at the back of the small office space and down a long hallway. As they walked, the hallway transitioned seamlessly from wood to stone. Twilight was glad to see another of her experiments had been put to good use. The petrifaction spell was a result of looking into the natural powers of the cockatrice to turn living things to stone. She had only modified it a little, into a sort of instant fortification spell. It changed inanimate material like wood or dirt to stone, allowing the Equestrian military to create barriers quickly, easily, and cheaply. In this case it was used to turn the back of the once humble store, into a prison fit to hold their alien guest.

The trio passed by a few storerooms until they came to the heavy iron door that held the alien captive. The guard stationed outside stood aside, allowing them access. “Hey, Spitfire, where is Soarin? Isn’t he supposed to be the one to guard the alien?” Twilight asked.

“Yeah, but I let him have some leave, you know, so he could pop up to Cloudsdale to visit his family for Hearths Warming Eve. We’re going to be too understaffed to let him visit closer to the actual holiday.” Spitfire opened the viewing window quietly, apparently trying not to disturb their alien guest. She looked in and paused before waving Twilight over with a hoof.

Twilight peaked through the window, wondering what Spitfire had seen. The scene inside was normal, except their alien visitor was standing on his cot, his small brown eyes locked on the falling snow outside the window. His towering frame made his brown hair scrape against the ceiling and the chains around his fore-legs rattled quietly as he strained for a better view. Spike hopped off Twilight’s back and peeked through the window, pressing his scaly face between the two mares. The three watched the alien stare out the window. Spike was about to ask Twilight what it was doing when he carefully stepped off the cot and laid down. It was hard to see the creature’s face, but none of them missed what he did next.

“I'll be home for Christmas

You can count on me.

Please have snow and mistletoe

And presents on the tree.

Christmas Eve will find me

Where the love light gleams.

I'll be home for Christmas

If only in my dreams.”

The creature’s voice came quietly at first and the trio strained to hear it. It eventually grew in volume so that they could hear comfortably. The alien was singing, quietly and only to himself. They could not understand his words but the tone was slow and sad. Twilight was concerned; their alien captive had shown hardly any emotion in his entire stay with them besides foalish humor, stubbornness, and apathy. Twilight remembered once or twice the alien seemed to become angry, clenched teeth, tense muscles, things that most animals do when upset, but then the creature would just stop, whatever anger he felt would just fade from his body language. It was very strange. She had hypothesized that the alien did not feel emotions the same way as ponies, but this proved that theory wrong. This was the first negative emotion he had willingly shown, all previous expression had been quickly silenced.

‘That’s it!’

How could she have been so stupid! Without another word she scooped up Spike and ran from the building, all the way back to her library. Spike protested the entire way, but he would be fine. She knew what to do now, oh yes this would work, it had to work.

She left in such a hurry that she missed the strange, black sparrow landing on the prison window’s sill.

Author's Note:

Author’s Note: This was a fun chapter to write and there are a ton of goodies hidden around. Plus a deeper look into Twi’s backstory. Also merry Christmas everypony!

Editor’s Co-Author’s Note: And suddenly Jack Skelington was a bird. Huh. Well, Merry Christmas!