• Published 9th Jan 2013
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Harmony's Warriors: Soar - Avenging-Hobbits

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Prologue - 00 - You Live to Break Me

Prologue:
"You Live to Break Me"

Celestia took one last look in the full body mirror and took a deep cleansing breath. She was clad in the finest armor that could be forged: each piece was shaped from steel then coated in gold and inscribed with the symbols of the Royal House. She lifted her helmet and grimaced as the frigid metal stung her flesh, encasing her entire head in a cast of diamond encrusted gold, the only outlets for her horn, eyes and muzzle. She always found the alabaster wings protruding from the sides to be excessive.

“Sister.” She turned towards the source of the voice. It was her youngest sister, Mi Amore Cadenza, but she preferred to be called Cadence by everyone. On her back was a dozing Pegasus filly with a sky-blue coat and a ruffled rainbow striped mane.

“Yes, Cadence? What is it?” Celestia asked. “And why did you bring Rainbow Dash here? I’m about to go into battle.”

“I felt that one shouldn’t go into battle without bidding farewell to one’s kin,” Cadence replied, looking somewhat concerned.

“And what of Thunderlane? Where is he?” Celestia asked, raising an eyebrow.

“He is with his father, as always. He’s very much his father’s son. He still insists on coming with you and Siegfried. I worry for the colt.” Cadence answered, looking even more concerned.

Celestia gazed at Cadence compassionately. “It’s fine, Cadence. There’s no reason to worry for us. I’m sure Father will be able to sort this matter out.” She put a comforting hoof on Cadence’s shoulder.

“I don’t believe the Changelings are serious about this mad scheme of conquering the realms. And even if they are, we are more than able best them in a battle—and they know it. They wouldn’t dare a full-scale battle.”

Cadence sighed. “I know. I still feel that you should say farewell, it still might be some time before your children see you again.”

Celestia smiled. “I understand.” She looked over at the sleeping filly and leaned close, gently nudging the filly.

“Rainbow Dash, Dashie. It’s Mommy,” Celestia said in a gentle voice. The filly slowly stirred, stretching her downy forelegs out and giving a squeaking yawn before slowly opened it's cerise eyes. When she looked up into Celestia face her eyes bulged and her face contorted into the portrait of terror.

The filly scurried up Cadence’s neck and clung to it, wailing piteously into her aunt’s coat.

Celestia instantly started her best to calm the crying filly, with Cadence stood awkwardly with Rainbow Dash clutching her neck and shrieking.

“No, no, no…” Celestia shushed. “Look it’s just me see?” She removed the helmet and laid it at her hooves, letting her ethereal pink hair fall loose. She lifted her hooves to her face. “Lookie. Where’s Mommy?”

Rainbow Dash stopped crying and tilted her head, looking confused.

Celestia dropped her hooves from her face. “Here I am!”

Rainbow Dash’s face broke into a brilliant grin and began to convulse with giggles. She reached to her mother and Celestia gently levitated the filly to her chest, enfolding her with her wings.

“See, I always said that helmet was fearsome,” Cadence said smugly.

“You were right,” Celestia laughed gently. “Now, if you will, I will say goodbye to my daughter.”

Cadence nodded. “I will go and see Luna. Faust believes she’s probably fussing over some small detail in the armor design as always.” With that she turned and walked towards the door. She hesitated in the doorway. “If and when you become the All-Mother, I would recommend Luna for Bifrost Guardian. She’s got the eye for detail, she does.”

Celestia looked up from Rainbow Dash. “Cadence, I don’t believe we’d need to consider such things for a long time.”

Cadence nodded faintly but her expression was troubled and she left the room.

Celestia sighed and cupped Rainbow in her right wing, drawing her close to her face and nuzzling her tenderly. “Your mother loves you very much, you know that, don’t you Dashie?”

Rainbow responded with gurgled baby speech and started to nip at Celestia mane.

“You’re so innocent,” Celestia cooed. “I wish it had not come to this. But it will only be a little while and will seem like dream when I return.” She took a deep breath. The little filly cradled securely in her wing had no concept of the dark, gruesome deeds her mother was about to undertake.

Celestia kissed her daughter’s forehead and Rainbow Dash cooed softly. Apparently playing with her mother’s mane had tired her. Celestia smiled and carefully set the filly down on the nearby bed, pulling the cover over her sleepy child.

“Rest well my dear,” She whispered before once more kissing the now sleeping Pegasus on the forehead.

Celestia straightened up and turned again towards the mirror. Her golden armor reflected the light from the candles, surrounding her in an aura of gleaming spangles. She let out a long, deep sigh and once again levitated the helmet onto her head. It felt somehow far heavier.

She heard a sudden spiking sound and could distinguish her younger sister Luna’s voice.

“Forsooth! This armor’s left clip for mine shoulder is most uncomfortable!”

She could hear her father, Odin, attempting to calm Luna.

“Now daughter, please, let the armorer do his job.”

“But Father, doth he not realize this clip is causing me the most agonizing discomfort?”

And on it went.

Celestia laughed to herself and quietly walked out of the room, pausing to take one last loving look at her sleeping daughter. “May the sun shine forever more on you, my child.”

With that she closed the door carefully and walked towards her sister’s room.

“Now, Luna, what’s this about a clip?”

////////////////////

Celestia’s armor chafed her raw flesh and every pebble on the ground threatened to send her collapsing to her knees, but she compelled her sore and strained muscles to continue through the desolate ruins of the changeling hive.

The smoky air should have been searing her lungs and eyes but they were already numbed from weeping over the bodies of her father and husband.

She forced the image of their shredded, bloodied corpses from her mind. No more weeping. It is time to finish this.

Their power must be taken; Hjerte Eske must be found. In case Chrysalis ever returned from hiding in the labyrinth of tunnels Hekkerhiem, in case she was ever mad enough to attempt such takeover again, in case these monsters ever tried to lift their infernal heads again…

She swallowed a hot, sticky sob. “Hate, the most useless of all causes,” Father always said. He wouldn’t want this. He wouldn’t want you to hate them. He wouldn’t.

A short, sharp sob burst from her lips.

But it will be hard to forgive them, Father. So hard…

She rounded a corner. Straining to lift her head higher, she brightened the glow of her horn revealing a spacious cell containing a huge bed, a massive nightstand and a small crib.

This must have been the royal bedroom, She thought, taking notice of the half-destroyed royal crest hanging above the bed.

Everything was covered with shards of glass, splinters of stone and shreds of cloth and Celestia stood for a good two minutes, seized by a sneezing fit. When her fit passed, a faint noise pricked her ears.

It was such a soft sound a normal pony might have missed it; her ears only just caught it. She increased the light from her horn until the entire room was bathed in light. The sound suddenly grew louder and now she could clearly hear that it was emanating from the crib.

Warily she began to approach the crib, her heart hammering in her ears and her breath coming short.

RELAX. It’s too small to hide a changeling. And there’s nothing left on this planet that could possible hurt you…

With that forbidding thought in mind, she leapt at the crib and thrust her glinting horn within…

…Just missing a tiny foal.

The foal’s eyes bulged at the horn hovering a mere breath from her muzzle and her entire face crumbled as it let out a heartrending wail. Celestia, instinctively drawing her horn back, stood staring at the foal.

It was a filly, unnaturally small, with the sable coat characteristic of changelings with punctures in her legs, wings and crooked horn.

“Shhh, child…” Celestia said but the foal’s crying older grew louder and she began to flail her legs about.

Is this Chrysalis’s child? Who else’s foal would be here…Chrysalis left her child behind? Celestia wondered.

The foal’s cries echoed throughout the cell and Celestia wasn’t sure if it was the holes in her flesh or her minute size but she expected the filly’s wracking sobs to tear her into pieces.

She seems so fragile…

She levitated the foal out of the crib and drew her to her chest. The foal instantly stopped crying and gazed up at Celestia with huge, dark green eyes as if the sudden show of concern shocked her.

“Where’s your mommy?” Celestia asked idly. She began to rock the foal, an almost unconscious impulse. She’s only a little younger than Dashie…

The foal didn’t even blink, it was like she hadn’t heard her speak, and her gaze was so intense Celestia was becoming disconcerted.

“Did she leave you here? Why didn’t she take you with her?” Celestia asked.

Suddenly, the foal’s entire body flushed pale blue. The holes in her legs and horn were filled with indigo and her wings shrank until they disappeared entirely. Celestia was so shocked she nearly dropped the foal.

“Holy Faust—”

A smile burst across the filly’s face and she cooed happily, lifting her hooves toward Celestia’s face. The way the filly looked at her now, her face radiant with an expression of pure joy while her face was still damp from her tears, it broke something in the alicorn’s heart.

She wrapped her wings around the foal and pressed her muzzle against her indigo coat.

“Hate, the most unless of all causes,” Father always said. “Love, the only worthy cause.”

“You’re coming with me,” she whispered and walked out of the royal bedroom with Chrysalis’s child cradled against her chest.

Author's Note:

Well, this is it. The prologue. Hope you all like it. I hope to get the first proper chapter up as soon as possible. Anyways, be sure to go to my sister's deviantart page and thank her for helping me craft this. She's my co-writer and this is her first MLP fanfiction.

Title taken from the song 'Sweet Sacrifice' by Evanescence.