• Published 27th Nov 2012
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Steel Apples - Silentpegasus

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Chapter 5

Chapter 5.

It had been nine months since that first date, and things couldn’t be better between Steel and Applejack. On their second date pinkie threw them the biggest couples party they had ever seen, they knew that it was inevitable so they embraced the situation. Applejack introduced Steel to the rest of her family. Applebloom and Granny Smith welcomed him with open hooves, Big Mac was still suspicious of him but he started to accept him after Steel forged him a new plow. Steel spent his days off working at Sweet AppleAcres with Applejack.

“Hey hun can ah ask you something?” Applejack said as she finished picking up the fallen apples.

“Sure, ask me anything.”

“How come I haven’t met your family yet?” the orange mare said with an eager look. Steel froze at the thought, he’d hope that she wouldn’t have asked this of him. Steel knew he couldn’t avoid it forever.

“Okay, you’ve been patient and I think you have the right to know. When I left Canterlot my father was furious. He had been berating me and breaking me down for years, ever since I discovered my forging talent. He had been trying to convince me to become a ‘proper stallion.’ I didn’t want to have anything to do with my fathers banking business.” he said as he glanced over at Applejack who had stopped working and was hanging on every word. As he continued tears started to form in his eyes. “One day he finally pushed me over the edge, he said that I was a complete and utter waste of his time and money. He then proceeded to say that it was my fault that my mother died and that I was nothing but a disgrace to the family. I lashed out and knocked him unconscious.” Steel then began to cry into the orange mare’s shoulder.

“It’s okay sugar, you don’t have to tell me any more.” Applejack said as she wrapped him a tight hug.

“No, I have to say this before I loose my nerve. After that I went to my uncle, on my mothers side who supported my dream. He gave me a couple hundred bits and I ran to the nearest town. I laid low for a couple days and eventually made my way here.” AJ couldn’t hold back any longer and began crying uncontrollably at the sad story. “For all I know my father thinks I’m dead. Sometimes I get letters from my uncle to make sure I’m alright. Even though he’s from Canterlot he’s very kind and understanding.” Steel finished his story with tears streaming down his face, he looked at Applejack and saw the same.

“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to bring up bad memories. Have you ever tried to patch things up?” Applejack said with hope in her voice.

“I sent my father a letter to tell him that I was fine. It was returned soon after, unopened. He’s washed his hooves of me and that’s just fine.” Steel said wiping the tears away. AJ brought him into another hug. “Thanks AJ, for everything. I’ve been carrying that around with me for so long I never really coped with it.”

“That’s what I’m here for.” she said as she gave him a quick beck on the cheek. The two ended the embrace and went back to work. Steel then saw three fillies hurrying up the path way leaving tracks behind them.

“Hey, Steel we need a favor.” Scootaloo said with a small grin.

“Well what is it?” Steel said as he picked up the fallen apples.

“We kinda volunteered you for metal working demonstration at school.” Sweetie Belle said with a sheepish grin.

“YOU DID WHAT!?”

“It’s just that we were learning about the different kinds of crafts like wood working. Then I mentioned that I know you and one thing led to another. Can you please do it?” Applebloom said as the three fillies used their notorious puppy eyes on the grey stallion.

Damn it! They got me! There should be a law against kids using that look.

“Alright girls, I’ll do it. Just tell me where and when.” Steel said as he let out a sigh. The three fillies beamed at his response.

“Thanks Steel. We need you tomorrow at the school yard.” Scootaloo said as the three zoomed away. Steel just stood there with a defeated look on his face. Applejack then returned and trotted over to the stallion.

“What’s up sugar?”

“Your sis and her friends pulled their sad eyes on me and now I have to do a demonstration in front of the school on Monday.”

“Ahh, so that’s what’s got you down. Tell ya what, how about I help you with the kids?”

“Really? What about the farm I don’t want to keep you from your work.”

“It’s no trouble you’ll just owe me something.” she said with a mischievous grin.

“Oh no, what is it?” Steel said with concern in his voice. Applejack drew closer and whispered a few words to his ear. Steel’s face suddenly became contorted with shock and his right eye started to twitch.

“Steel?” AJ said as she waved a hoof in front of his face. “Ah, think I just broke my colt-friend.”

“Eeyup.” Steel replied giving a sly grin to the orange mare.

“Very funny city boy.” she said as she gave him a kiss. The two trotted back back to the farm and parted ways. Steel’s decided to pay Ms. Cherilee to confirm his visit on Monday. He decided to check Sugar Cube Corner and saw her sitting in a booth.

“Hey Cherilee.”

“Steel, I’m glad I ran into you I was wondering if you could possibly-”

“Yeah the CMC got me to agree to a demonstration earlier.” he said as he scratched his neck

“Oh good, do you have any preferences?” the maroon mare asked as she sipped her drink.

“I think I can use my travel kit out in the school yard to make some bowls for the kids. Is that alright?”

“I think that would be perfect. Sorry for asking this of you, I know you’re busy.” Cherilee said as she got up.

“It’s no trouble and it would be a good learning experience for the kids. Plus Applejack is going to help me.”

“Thank you so much, see you tomorrow.” she said as she trotted out the door. Steel waved to the mare and trotted home. Steel entered his shop and got his supplies together for the demonstration. After he had, he decided to get some well deserved sleep. Unfortunately his sleep was stirred by a memory, long forgotten.

One year ago.

Steel Hammer ran through the dark and rainy streets of Canterlot to the only place that he felt at home, the forge. He began to knock hard against the door until a large earth pony stallion with a black coat and red mane opened it. “Steel? What in the hay are you doing here at this hour?” he said as he ushered the wet unicorn inside. Once Steel was inside he explained to his mentor what transpired between him and his father that night.

“I’m sorry, Iron. I just didn’t know where else to go.” Steel said as he hung his head in shame. Iron sword then looked over to his apprentice and gave him a cup of coffee.

“Steel, you have nothing to apologize for. I’m glad that you stood up to him.” Iron said as he put a hoof on his students’ shoulder.

“I know, but what am I gonna do? I have no job, I can’t stay in Canterlot, and no idea what to do next.” Steel said as he held his head in shame.

“True. But you do have something.”

“Oh yeah, what?” he said as he lifted his head.

“A bag full of bits, a hammer and some-pony who believes in you.” Iron said as he gave Steel a smile.

“You believe I have what it takes?”

“Do you remember when I first met you? You were no older than eight, no cutie mark, no future and no talent what so ever. But the one thing I did see in you was potential, that’s why I chose you to be my student.” he said as he began to dig through his closet.

“Thanks Iron you’ve given me so much I only wish I could make you proud of me.”

“You already have my boy, now close your eyes.” he said as he pulled a box out from the closet. Steel did as he was asked he then felt a heavy object land on his lap. Steel opened his eyes to see a black hammer. “That is a one of a kind hammer my friend, the hammer was forged using a dragons flame and the metal itself is made from the birth place of forging, The Cauldron. No matter how hard you use this hammer it will never break and this has a special feature. Once this hammer bonds with it’s true creator it cannot be used by any-pony else. You are this hammers maker.” Iron finished. Steel just stared down at the master piece that lay before him.

“What? Theres no way I could’ve made something as perfect as this.”

“No, not yet. This hammer still needs one more thing before it is complete.”

“What’s that?”

“A little bit of magic. For this hammer to be completed it needs to bond with the users magic and soul, so that the two are one. Only forge masters have been able to achieve this and I believe that you are worthy.” Iron said as he put a hoof on his friends shoulder.

Steel began to pour his magic into the hammer, it started to glow, Steel and the hammer started to levitate. Steel’s eyes glowed white with raw magic, suddenly a beam of light shot through the house and into the sky piercing the cloud layer. Iron looked in awe as his student was lowered back down to the ground with the hammer in hoof that now had an imprint of his cutie mark on the face of the hammer. Steel stood there trying to catch his breath.

“Congratulations, your a forge master.” Iron said as he put a hoof on his student’s shoulder. Steel then turned around and embraced his mentor in a hug, Iron returned the hug. He then heard a series of loud knocks at the door.

“Royal Guard! Open up!” said a gruff voice.

“Oh no, My dad’s got the guards looking for me! I gotta hide.” Steel said in fear.

“No you need to leave Canterlot! Do you have someplace you can stay?”

“My uncle! He’ll take me in.”

“Then go now! I’ll distract the guards, you slip out through the back door. And Steel.”

“Yeah what?” Steel said as he took one last look at his mentor with tears in his eyes.

“Take care of yourself.” Iron said with a grin. Steel then bolted out the door with tears in his eyes he didn’t stop until he reached his uncle’s estate. The butler recognized Steel instantly and led him inside to his uncles’ study. The butler then returned with Steel’s uncle he was a tall White unicorn with a light blue mane. Steel then began to explain everything, Steel’s uncle understood what he needed and threw him a bag filled to the brim with bit’s. Steel wanted to protest but he knew that his uncle was right.

“Don’t worry old chap, I have friend in the guards who will be able to take you out of Canterlot undetected.” he said as he put a hoof on his nephew’s shoulder. “You can come in now.” he said as the butler opened the door to reveal a tall white unicorn stallion. “I trust you understand the situation?”

“Yes sir. Get Steel Hammer out of Canterlot quickly and quietly as possible.” he said as he gave a salute.

“Excellent, Steel do you know where to go?”

“No, I’ve never really been anywhere except Canterlot. Do you have any suggestions?” Steel asked the tall unicorn.

“Yes, I know a small town not to far from here, the ponies are nice and they’re in need of a black smith. I think it’ll be perfect for you.” The guard said as he scratched his chin.

“Excellent, a nice small town. When does the train leave?”

“The train is too risky. We’ll have to hoof it to the south end of Canterlot that’s the closest I can take you, just follow the road and you’ll get to the town in no time.” he said with a grin.

“Fine by me. Uncle can do you think you could-”

“I will personally look after your equipment until you send word.”

“Thank you, all of you. When do we leave?” Steel said as he looked at the guard.

“We leave in ten minutes, leave all that can be spared. We travel light. I’ll be waiting for you out near the front gate.” the guard said as he left the study. Steel began to pack his saddle bags with food and supplies he kept his hammer in his bag at the bottom. He was ready to go when his uncle called him into the study, one last time. He handed Steel a first edition book signed by the author. “The Horse. An Unexpected Jour-neigh” by R.J. Colton.

“Uncle Fancy, one last thing. Please tell Iron Sword I made it out alright, I don’t want him to worry.” Steel said as he left the study.

“Of corse lad. Now Go! Before the sun rises.” he said as he pushed his nephew out the door. Steel gave his uncle one last hug and ventured out into the night with the guard. By the time Celestia’s sun began to rise over Canterlot Steel and the guard had made it just beyond the city limits. The guard suddenly stopped and caught his breath.

“I’m sorry this is as far as I can take you, you’ll have to hoof it on your own for a while.” the stallion said as he looked at Steel.

“That’s okay, thank you for aiding me.” as Steel began to trot down the road he turned back to the guard. “By the way what’s your name?”

“My name is Armor. Shining Armor.” he said with a smile.

“Thank you Shining Armor. If we meet again drinks are on me.”

“I’ll hold you to that.” Shining said as he galloped back into the white city. Steel then turned to the path ahead of him. He took a moment to take in what had happened, he then broke into a gallop. Every day he looked ahead hoping to see the town. On the fifth day of his journey his eyes laid on the prized he sought, Ponyville.

“I have a good feeling about this place.” Steel said as he made his way into the small town.

The dream had collapsed and Steel found himself waking up to his alarm clock. He trotted over to a small wooden black box. He opened it to reveal the black hammer Iron had given to him, he set the box and hammer back in it's proper place as he trotted out the door with his supplies for the demonstration.

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