• Published 1st Jan 2013
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The Darkness among the Stars - Haseo

For A thousand Years, the Kingdom of Equestria sustained in Peace & Harmony. The Ruler of this Kingdom defended their little Ponys from all Evil. But what happend before known History began? What is lurking in the Darkness among the Stars?

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Chapter 31 - The Sound of Falling Darkness

Chapter 31
The Sound of Falling Darkness

The stallion of darkness slowly rose from his comfortable position and leaped gracefully to the ground. He still kept some distance between Princess Luna, Soul, and himself. “It has been a long time since we saw each other. Do you like the world you created?”

Soul raised an eyebrow and stepped a tiny bit forward to place his body in front of Princess Luna. “The world I created? What is that supposed to mean?”

Soul's eyes were directly staring through Lunacy at the artefact behind him. It was a silver spear crafted out of the finest and the most precious material to be found in the whole of Equestria. Fine dark blue, white and golden ribbons of fabric graced the handle. It exuded a faint waft of a long forgotten ancient magic. Lunacy turned around and began to circle the spear with a dangerous spark in his eyes. “You can't tell me you didn't notice! Time is running wild! Around here time is relatively stable and unchanged, but further away time is out of control. Foals are dying because their times are reversed, ponies in the bloom of their life are robbed by their lifetime and ageing. I lived such a long time inside you, I know that you can feel it. Time is at its zenith. The only reason you are here is because you are aware of the fact that the fabric of reality won't last for long anymore.”

Princess Luna jumped in front of Soul and looked at him with anger and delusion. “Is this true? Why didn't you tell me? We have to save them! We can't let them die!”

The black stallion shoved the Princess gently aside and closed the distance to Lunacy. His walk was slow and steady, but every step embodied danger. His wonderful blue eyes were dull and filled with aggression, his blood was boiling. But still he tried to remain calm in face of his enemy. “It is true.I felt what was wrong, but still we will save them. We will save everypony and throw this worthless piece of horse-apples back into the pit of hell where he belongs.”

Soul followed the steps of Lunacy and began to circle the object as well. “Usually, I would ask you why you wouldn’t have used the artefact when we were still on the way here, but I already know the answer. You simply can't use it, and the fact that you allow me to go that close means that I'm unable to use it as well. I'm sure that you have some plan, because if the world is falling apart, you would die as well. But in the end it doesn't even matter, you made one huge mistake.”

Curiosity took Lunacy and he stopped in his tracks and faced Soul once more. The horn of the black stallion was brightly ignited in his sapphire blue magic and ready to fire. “You are weaker than me!”

A wall of black matter raced through the ground and cut Lunacy off from the silvery spear. “Luna! now!”

The Princess expanded her wings and raced towards the artefact. With her target in sight, she increased her speed and prepared her magic to grab the tool of her ancestors. Only for a split of a second the Princess caught sight of Soul's spell bursting against the most distanced rock. The very same spell that had ripped a deep fissure into the Colosseum and easily cut through Princess Cadence's shield, but couldn't cut through a simple white rock. The magic divided and cut the ground past the stone with equal force in two directions. The Princess extended her hoof and reached magically for the spear. Her view was violently pushed afar by a dark pulsing hoof shoving through the wall of pure shadows.

Furious, the stallion of madness reached through Soul's magic and threw the Princess far outside the circle of stones. “Do you really think it would be that easy to trick me? You senseless fool!”

The pure energy of the impact produced a massive shock-wave that shook the ground violently. The thick layer of dust was pushed away and revealed the ground beneath it.

Princess Luna regained her stance and pointed her eyes immediately back on Lunacy. But the object the spear was plugged in had caught her attention. The fleeing dust revealed the bones of two creatures lying above each other. Four legs were attached to their formerly massive body, remains of bones that had built long beautiful wings once lied on the ground beneath them. On their skull throned a marvellous grained long purely white horn.

Tears broke out of her eyes, she couldn't resist the terrifying sight and began to weep and sob. “Mother… father… all theses centuries you were here...”

Soul dodged the second striking attempt of Lunacy and teleported to Princess Luna's side, immediately protecting her from the pony-fied madness.

The rumble in the ground expanded beyond the black border of Demon's Run and shook throughout Equestria, causing buildings to crumble under their own weight. The pulse shook through the bones of everypony outside the wall. Twilight looked up from her own hooves, that were wet from her tears, and saw the misery of her brother.

Nightmare Moon was approaching him with huge steps, ready to end the life of her big brother, best friend forever. Her vision turned red, and a mix of fear and anger pulsed through her veins. She collected the last of her magic and wrapped the shards of Shining Armor's armour into it.

The rumble didn't remain hidden from Applejack. She looked up from her little hide-out and watched the terrible scene. Her eyes wandered around her environment. She needed something that she could use; it didn't matter what. She just had to find something.

The shards of the crystal armour slowly levitated into the air, Twilight's heart almost exploded while her mind got poisoned with hatred for the mare of nightmares. She converted her anger straight into magical energy and charged the shards. In a flash, she jumped up from the ground and leaped at Nightmare Moon. “DIE, YOU MONSTER!”

The magical missiles zoomed rapidly at the body of their enemy. The time seemed to pass slower and slower with every inch the shards got closer to Nightmare Moon. Twilight never closed her eyes, not even to blink, until they found their target. A different object made its way into Twilight's field of view. A plane dusty stone flew from behind Twilight and overtook her shards. Only a second went by before the shards would hit the wicked mare, but instead the stone hit Nightmare Moon with the force of a long-life of apple bucking. Hit from the stone, Nightmare Moon stumbled a few steps back and shook her head. While she tried to regain her posture she felt the shards whizzing past her head. The aerial trail beneath them was almost sharp enough to cut a pony's face.

Despite their miss, the fiend’s bloodlust was pleased. The shards shot past Nightmare Moon and cut through the neck of the pony standing behind her. It felt like time had stopped almost in its full extend. The shards effortless split his muscles and nerves, a horrifying stream of blood poured to the ground.

The lifeless body of Phalanx collapsed to the ground, leaving Twilight pale and in shock. Her mind was blank, not a single thought running inside the far-reaching brain complex.

Applejack couldn't believe what happened, and her eyes widened when she remembered the last time she had seen so much blood. And she had caused it. Once more she sank down in defeat. She wanted to comfort Twilight as soon as possible. Her body refused to move. It didn't matter how hard she tried, her body simply refused to leave her place.

Twilight's muscles refused to work. She had to lower her body to the ground. The dirt around her shook along with her body. Shining Armor forced the tendril out of his body and dispersed the rest of his armour. The only thing that concerned him in this moment was the mental state of his sister. He took her into a loving embrace and tried to block her view from the corpse of Phalanx. “It is okay Twily! It was not your fault. Calm down… please calm down.”

She buried herself deep inside the blood-soaked coat of her brother and sobbed desperately. She couldn't bear the self-inflicted loss of her beloved Phalanx. She could smell the scent of iron in the air. Literally, she could taste the blood on her tongue. She never had thought that she had to lose a pony so dear to her in such an horrible way.

Nightmare Moon didn't know the meaning of compassion or mercy. Once more she charged her horn and aimed for the two siblings. Victory seemed to be assured. Sweat ran down her face. She licked over her lips and tasted the salty liquid. The heat would made a pony crazy. She stepped in front of Twilight and her brother. There was something that bothered the Nightmare. When had it became this hot?

A shine of pure light disturbed her field of view. The heat became more intense and began to hurt on her coat. Distracted from the unexpected change of light, she pointed her gaze upwards to the sky. Her eyes shrank by the extreme intensity of the shining light the sun was offering.

It seemed like the sun was pointed directly at her and getting closer with every blink. It was too late when Nightmare Moon realized what was going on. A blazing stream of solar plasma approached the ground quickly with massive speed. The solar flare thinned out and pierced through Nightmare Moon's back and passed her flesh effortlessly. Everything in the path of the force of nature burned away in the furious burning branch of the sun itself.

The form of a blazing alicorn left the cone of energy and slowly burned out. The specter formed into a appearance similar to Princess Celestia.

Twilight's head shot upwards to welcome her mentor back. “Princess? Is that really you?”

Something had changed the Princess; her usual so giving and caring purple eyes were gone and replaced by pink-reddish orbs. It reminded her of the colour of thinned out blood. Her whole stance seemed to be much more aggressive than before. Like her entire personality was switched. “Of course, Twilight Sparkle. I defeated Radiant Flare and came immediately for your help. But unfortunately, it seems like I'm a little bit too late.”

She looked back at Phalanx and shoved him with her magic aside into the crater he was smashed into before. She looked into Twilight's eyes and let her gaze strive above the others. Princess Celestia lowered her head and ignited it in a deep and powerful golden aura. As gentle as possible, she rubbed her horn at Shining Armor's wound and mended the injury completely. The flesh rebuild itself and his coat regrew.

He winced but could soon sigh in relief about the fading pain. “Thank you, your highness.”

Princess Celestia stroked Shining's mane and lowered herself to the eye-level of him. “You're welcome. But I have a request for you.”

Shining Armor looked down on his little sister and began to stroke her cheek. “Anything you wish, Princess.”

The white alicorn rose to her usual height and turned her gaze away. “I want you to stay here with Twilight. She can't fight anymore, and you still have to rest, and although your wounds are healed, your body is still strained. If you wish, you can spend the rest of your time with your parents.”

Twilight struggled free of the embrace of her brother and pushed his head under her chest. “No! I will go and fight! I can't let you go alone!”

Shining Armor carefully freed himself out of his sister’s grip and stroked once more through her mane. “It is okay, little sister, we did everything we could. We can spend our last moments together with our parents and pray for the success of Princess Luna and Soul Tearer.”

Twilight's lips fell into a deep frown as her eyes laid back and her wandered aimlessly around. “I guess you are right, but still, what if the Princess needs help?”

Her chin was magically raised by Princess Celestia. “Do not fear my faithful student. I won't follow them alone. Applejack will come with me.”

Twilight and her brother turned around and looked at Applejack. She blinked, confused and looked between Shining and Twilight. “Meh? But why? Ah can't help ya at all; I ain't magical or nothin’.”

The bright giggle of the Solar Princess raised the mood a little albeit the still dangerous situation. “You don't need to be magical to help. The only thing that matters is your very own will. I think somepony already told you, but you are very similar to Soul's Harmony. You could be the key to suit him for success.”

Applejack blushed and pointed her eyes towards the ground. “No, it isn't like that. He doesn't feel that way about meh. It is just...”

“You know Soul always lies to the ponies he cares for.” Applejack looked up and let the words of the Princess run through her head. Princess Celestia blinked away in a flash of light and reappeared next to Applejack. “He lied because he didn't want to hurt you. So you wouldn't suffer if something went wrong.”

Applejack reared up and leaned against the Princess's white chest. “That would mean that he does like meh? Than we have to hurry before it’s too late!”

The Princess turned around and waited for Shining Armor's nod of approval before she sent them back to their parents. They vanished in the wonderful and warm sunlight the Princess produced, and Applejack prepared for entering the wicked place together with the Princess. “Princess? How are we supposed to get in?”

Princess Celestia once more lowered her head and laid her horn upon Applejack. “It is dangerous for me to enter Demon's Run and even more so for a mortal. This spell will protect you from losing your life-energy in there. And now hold still.”

Applejack closed her eyes and tried to hold every single muscle in her body still. She felt the magical tug with every fabric of her body; it was this weird feeling of being teleported to another location she disliked so much. She felt the tug leaving and carefully opened her eyes.

Once again,she was standing on top of a layer of ashes. Her weight let her sink in a few inches as she searched through her surroundings and located the cone of light where Princess Luna and Soul were struggling against Lunacy.

Princess Celestia did the same, but something was distracting her. At random places all over Demon's Run seemed to be little cracks in the air and small rifts where a reddish coloured energy seemed to leak out. She grabbed Applejack and began to fly towards the cone.

From the distance they could already hear the clinging of armour and the sound of magic clashing together. They spotted a lonely alicorn mare sitting in front of the huge rocks. Her body posture was miserable; her wings hung low and laid on the ground. It didn't seem like Princess Luna was able to fight or was unwilling to...

Princess Celestia contracted her wings and landed gently next to her sister. But instead of greeting her or saying anything, Princess Luna only pointed at something in front of her.

Something in her sister told Princess Celestia already that nothing good could be ahead. She slowly turned her head and recoiled immediately at the sight before her. Her eyes shrank to the size of needles and her breath became unsteady and flat.

The silvery spear that stuck inside the backs of the alicorn bones mirrored in her eyes. Silently, she set one hoof after another and went closer to the artefact of her parents. Princess Luna followed the hesitating steps of her sister with watery eyes. The solar Empress paused right in front of them and sank to her knees. Little tears rolled down her cheeks and met the ground. “Mother… Father… after all this time…”

Soul was still fighting Lunacy in a seemingly endless battle of will. Only for a glimpse, he caught sight of the changed Princess Celestia. For the blink of a second, the very picture of the Princess from thousands of years ago, after he defeated Star Swirl, flashed through his mind. This small moment was enough for Lunacy to get the better of him. A bolt of dark magic shot towards Soul. Just in time he rolled to the side, but the force still caused him to fall. He quickly regained his stance and bared his teeth. “Helia! What is the meaning of this? Do you want to betray us once more?”

His shouts boomed in Princess Luna's ears like a drum. She took her eyes of the skulls and closely watched at her sister. Her burning reddish eyes let Princess Luna shriek. This very eyes were the last thing she saw before she was banished to the moon. “Sister? What happened to you?”

Princess Celestia dived into her eternal mane and dried her tears in there. “On our way here we encountered Nightmare Moon and Radiant Flare. Twilight, Shining Armour and Phalanx accompanied us until the border of Demon's Run. I've managed to fight Radiant Flare at the surface of the sun and defeated her. I've burned Nightmare Moon to ashes, she won't return for a long time. If time ends today, than both of them won't return ever. In conclusion I don't want to betray you, I'm here to help.”

Princess Luna stood up and kneeled down at the side of her sister. “What about Twilight Sparkle and the others?”

The Solar Empress tilted her head towards her sister and flashed her a sympathetic but bothered smile. “Shining Armor got gravely injured and Twilight too… mentally. So I sent them back to their parents to enjoy their last moments together. And for Phalanx… he was killed by Twilight.”

Applejack bit her lips and squeezed her eyes tightly together. Princess Luna's mouth hung low in disbelief as it took hold of her mind. ”How could this happen? Why didn't you stop her?”

Princess Celestia's face turned neutral. She didn't show any emotions nor pain. “I left them in order to fight Radiant Flare. Before I returned, Twilight attempted to stab Nightmare Moon with the shards of Shining's armour. It went wrong, and the shards flew past her and hit Phalanx. I came too late to stop her.”

Her words were accompanied by a rough rumble that could be felt through the air, a loud cracking noise ringing through their ears. Far above them, a rift formed stretching easily over two miles. It was still a thin line, but time was running out. The big crack was followed by many smaller ones. They ripped apart and revealed the void between the worlds.

Soul couldn't pause to judge them; he was still fighting the Lunacy that kept him busy. “Helia? How do they look on the inside?””

The Princess narrowed her eyes and looked into the void. “There is a dangerous looking red-orange light inside! It looks like something is boiling in there! What does that mean?”

With a leap of faith, Lunacy jumped over Soul and pushed his hooves into Soul's back. He sank inches into the ground while he tried to withstand the force. Lunacy used him as launching pad and back-flipped to the silver artefact. Gently, he landed on top of the spear with all of his four hooves. It was an act of pure body control and balance. “That means time is running out.”

The silver spear resonated upon the contact with his wicked hooves and send out a crystal clear high-pitched tone. The sound of the wind whistling through their ears faded. The only noise was the repeating was ringing of the silver spear. “Darkness will fall upon your world.”

The fissure high in the air cracked and revealed the fabric of reality that boiled inside the void between worlds. Ashes from the ground began to levitate towards the sky sucked in from the raising force of the fissure. Soul freed himself from the trap of ashes and let out a terrifying roar.

More fissures cracked open and sprinkled the sky in their reddish-orange light. Fine cracks began to extend from them, trying to connect each of them. The dark laughter of Lunacy broke the bone chilling noise. Soul's horn ignited into a bright blue light and a bolt of concentrated magic strived the tip of the spear, forcing Lunacy to leave his stance.

In order to dodge, the pony-fied madness jumped high into the air. The expression on Soul's face changed again, revealing a bitter and stern look. It was the expression of losing hope, there was no sense in holding back. He dived into the void and slipped through space and pushed through the wall of reality into Lunacy and pinned him to the ground. “Sun-butt! What are you waiting for? Concentrate upon the artefact of your parents and stop it or our world will vanish inside the eternal void! It will be the end of time and space!”