• Published 13th Jan 2013
  • 948 Views, 66 Comments

The Lion and the Unicorn - Feather Book



When Twilight finds herself stranded in an alien land of sand and war, she must find a way home from this crazy wold.

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2. Meeting the Natives

Screaming wouldn't be a natural sound for cautious animals to take any more interest in than putting as much distance between themselves and the source as possible. For one small pigeon however, the sight of a small purple equine and a human kicking themselves back from each over whilst screaming their heads off was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The pigeon made itself comfy in its nest and watched the chaos below unwind.

Twilight found herself once again pushed against the tree as the ape like being continued to slide itself backwards. “Stop!”

It yelped in surprise as it fell backwards into the river.

What would have been an amusing sight was one of worry to Twilight as she moved herself onto her hooves and slowly trotted forwards. There was splashing as the creature sat itself up, coughed out water from its mouth, and brushed a surprised fish from its tunic. It sat there in the river gasping for air whilst its eyes stared at the unicorn with a mixture of surprise, fear, and disbelief.

“Um, hello?” a sheepish Twilight said.

“H-h… You can… talk?” The creature replied in the most ungraceful of ways.

“Um, yes. So can you.” Twilight stated.

“I-I can?”

“Yes.”

“Oh, right,” the creature unsurely agreed.

“So, um... My name is Twilight Sparkle, what’s yours?” Twilight asked, now unsure of herself. The creature regarded the unicorn suspiciously as you would a bag left at the front door.

“Robert,” he finally whispered. “You’re… You’re a small, purple, talking unicorn?!”

“Yes, yes I am.” Twilight let out an awkward smile as she attempted to take another step forwards. The creature leaning further back into the water made her stop again. “It’s okay; I’m not going to hurt you.”

“A small, purple, talking unicorn,” muttered the creature.

“You had a nasty fall. Are you okay?”

“Fall…” the creature whispered to itself. Its eyes darted around until they dilated in realization. “Fall, that’s it! I fell and hit my head and now I’m seeing little purple unicorns that can talk!”

“Um, essentially, yes?”

“Well that’s good. I guess I’d better get back to camp and take a lie down,” the creature gave a nervous chuckle as it lifted itself out of the water and attempted to walk back to the shore. Twilight winced as he slipped back in.

“Anyway,” the creature said as it crawled out of the river like an amphibian that had one too many at the local. “Best be off then. See you around, or not, please?”

“Who are you talking to?”

It wasn’t Twilight who asked that. Both froze and slowly turned to see another creature of the same species as the half-drowned one. He wore similar clothes with, to Twilight’s surprise, the same sun mark on his tunic.

“Oh, um Frank, I was… I was just talking to myself. You know, as you do? There are no talking unicorns here!” Robert answered, immediately regretting the words before they left his mouth.

“Rrrright.” The creature known as Frank gave his friend a look of worry. It was at this moment a confused Twilight spoke up.

“Um, excuse me? I’m here,” Twilight said. Frank however paid no notice of her, “Hello? Talking unicorn over here.”

Robert, however, was paying attention to the unicorn that was now waving her forelegs in the air. He let out a small squeak, quickly pulled himself out of the water and began to scurry back downriver.

“Hold up,” Frank stopped him, “Where’s Sir Neville’s horse?”

It was at that moment a third voice came galloping up behind the group. “Oh, goodness, oh goodness, oh goodness. Please be okay.” The horse stopped next to Twilight and looked expectantly at its former rider.

“Relax, he’s fine,” Twilight muttered.

“Is he? Oh thank goodness! If he had hurt himself I wouldn’t know what to do!” The horse turned to Twilight and attempted what she thought to be a smile.

The unicorn flinched back at the sight of its unnaturally disfigured head.

“Well it’s good to see that the thing has half a brain,” Frank said as he pushed the still soaked Robert towards the two equines. “Go get him.”

“My name’s Joey, who are you?” The horse asked. Twilight glanced over to the two creatures. The one called Frank leant against a tree with his arms crossed and a bored look. Robert, however, moved about as much as a statue and had gone as white as a bag of flower.

“I’m… Twilight Sparkle. Nice to meet you.” She smiled politely and held out a hoof to shake. The taller equine simply stared at it.

“What’s got into him?” Frank asked.

Robert gulped and tentatively moved forwards and grabbed Joey’s reins. “C-c-come on, boy… let’s go.”

“Oh, got to go, see you around then.” Joey said as the twitching Robert led him away as quickly as possible.

“Wait!” Twilight suddenly shot up and trotted close behind. “Please, I’ve got nowhere else to go. You’ve got to let me come with you.”

“No!” Robert screamed, he ran. Quickly he was nothing more than a brief speck of white legging it back the way he had come, screaming and occasionally stumbling over rocks and branches.

Frank sighed and picked up Joey’s reins. “Come on boy,” he said and clicked his teeth.

“It’s no use talking to them,” Joey said as he was lead along the riverside. “They can’t speak.”

“Yes they can,” Twilight said as she fell into place by the horse’s side.

“No they can’t. All the Two-Leggers do is make noises like ‘tick-tick’, which means go,” the horse responded as he happily trotted.

“But, he just spoke! You mean that you don’t know what he’s saying?”

Joey stopped to the surprise of the “Two-Legger”. The horse ignored its silently cursing master and simply twisted his head to Twilight.

“I’ve never seen any pony like you before,” he stated.

“Come on you useless lump of meat,” Frank muttered as he finally prized the horse from its place and continued to walk.

Twilight disappeared in a flash of light and blinked back into existence in front of the Two-Legger. “Don’t talk to him like that!” she said. Joey reared back and neighed loudly with the sudden appearance of the unicorn. Frank, however, paid no attention to the unicorn and merely pulled Joey back under control.

“What’s got into you today?” he scolded as the two continued past the confused unicorn.

Twilight sighed and followed the two at a slow pace.

--------------------

“So where are we going?” Twilight asked as the trio reached the edge of the tree line.

“There,” Joey replied. Before them was a large camp of tents stretching along the seafront. At one end was a small town of yellow brick and sand coated buildings. Vast amounts of colour from tents, flags, rugs, sheets and other fabrics were dotted throughout. Between the tents, more “Two-Leggers” walked and talked, some practiced and generally everyone did everything you would imagine doing in a military camp.

Twilight stayed close to Joey as they made their way through the maze of tents. Twilight took time to study these new creatures. Many wore armour of one form or another. Those who weren’t wearing armour wore simple tunics with trousers, chainmail and helmets, however, were never too far away. One thing struck her though; they all wore on their cloths the same sun motif that Robert and Frank wore.

It also struck Twilight was that not one of them paid any attention to her at all. It wasn’t even the normal kind of ignoring. They showed no recognition of her existence at all. She even went as far as to stand right in front of one and attempted to pull as many faces as Rainbow Dash. Failing that in more ways than one, she reached a hoof out and poked the creature. She achieved little more than startling it and causing it to fall from its seat and into a neat stack of wooden bowls.

Frank led Joey to a tent and hitched the horse to a wooden stake outside before disappearing inside.

“So what do you do here?” Twilight asked the horse who helped himself to a nearby dry shrub.

“Oh, oh, I stand here outside Master-Legger’s sot stable and look good,” the horse happily replied, “These Two-Leggers come out and they clean my clothes and make them all shine and nice. They also brush my mane and wash my coat; they’re really good at it too! And then they dress me up all nicely and Mr. Master-Legger sits on my back and we go and play with other horses and their Mr. Master-Legger’s! Oh it’s really fun! Sometimes it’s just us and another horse with his or her Mr. Master-Legger and there are these really long wooden sticks and they try knocking each other off. And then sometimes it’s a big game where there are lots of horses and Two-Leggers, and they all try to hit each with their shinny sticks! Oh, oh, when we’re not playing sometimes I neigh like this, ‘neiigghh’! Oh, and sometimes I clop my hoof on the ground like this!” Joey began to tap his right hoof on the ground repeatedly and showed no signs of stopping.

“Okay,” the bewildered unicorn replied. There was an awkward silence as Twilight watched the horse tap his hoof; Joy took no notice of this. To her relief it wasn’t much longer until Frank left the tent and looked around the camp.

“Hey, have you seen Robert?” He asked another Two-Legger. Once he got a response, he began to walk always towards the stone buildings.

“Joey, I’ll see you later,” Twilight said and began to follow. Joey nodded, his eyes never leaving his tapping hoof.

--------------------

“Catherine, are those buns done yet?” A shrill voice called over a rough outdoor kitchen.

“Yes Miss Margret. I’ve put them out to cool,” replied a young woman with about as much enthusiasm as a funeral. She looked at the dozen fresh brown buns that’s only real use was throwing at something and sighed.

“Don’t be so glum, Catherine. I thought you liked adventures?” Miss Margret replied. She was a plump woman. Her grey hair and wrinkled face that was cratered with warts and moles combined with her knowledge of the culinary arts being slightly better than her knowledge of sub-atomic physics made her the perfect candidate for the Kitchen Head. Catherine couldn’t have been a greater opposite. Her figure could be accurately represented by an ironing board with two grapes taped to it and a brunet wig.

“I do, Miss Margret,” Catherine replied, “It’s just that I didn’t expect to travel for months just to end up cooking for a bunch of ungrateful slobs.”

“Now you don’t talk about these fine boys that way.” Miss Margret waved a wooden spoon in her assistant’s face. “They are out there doing what needs to be done, and it’s an honour to help, an honour. What would you be doing if you just stayed at home in Albion, huh?”

“Not sweating like a mule for one thing.”

“What was that?”

“Nothing.”

“Well, good then. You can help with the dishes now,” said Miss Margret as she turned to a pile of gruel cover bowls.

“Miss Margret!”

“What is it now, Catherine?”

“One of the buns has disappeared.”

Twilight devoured the bland bun quicker than Pinkie Pie eats cake. She immediately regretted doing so. She suspected that they didn’t even use wheat in the thing. Nerveless it was enough to satisfy her hunger for the moment.

She followed Frank towards a tight cluster of tents and watched as he asked a man in brown robes and a strange doughnut shaped hairstyle if he had seen Robert. The man nodded and pointed inside one of the tents.

“Farther,” Robert shakily began.

“Yes my child?” Farther Brian, a kind looking elderly man asked. His cheeks were rosier than a florist and his amber eyes looked as old and as wise as tree sap. He also wore brown robes and had a wooden necklace with the sun motif hanging on the end.

“What-” Robert cut himself off as he checked his wording carefully. “What would cause… someone to see something that isn’t there, hypothetically speaking that is?”

The Farther Brian looked at the young man who was lying on a camp bed with a wet towel on his head. “Well, a number of things really,” he began. The old man starched his head and briefly wondered what ‘hypothetically’ meant. “Spirits, ghosts, demons, being possessed that sort of thing. Why do you ask?”

Robert gulped. “No reason.”

“So what’s wrong with you?” All attention was now on Frank who stood in the tent’s entrance.

“He fell from a horse and hit his head,” Farther Brian replied, “A nasty bump too. Add that to almost being drowned and sunstroke, and you have the makings of a serious panic attack, apparently.”

“Yes, but is that horse really that scary?” Frank asked. Robert had by then stopped listening as he had noticed a purple head peeking around his friend.

“No!” He gasped, shooting up from the bed and attempting to put as much distance between him and the equine.

Frank glanced towards the old man who simply shrugged.

“Anyway, Sir Neville wants to see you. It’s about the… Horse!”

Robert whimpered at the sound of the last word.

Twilight would have normally felt bad for the creature. However his cowardliness in the face of her presence was only fuelling her frustration. Unless this was some trick by Discord then they must all simply be ignoring her or playing some kind of cruel joke. The original theory seamed most logical.

--------------------

“I’m telling ya Miss,” said a large bolding man in armour that seemed to offer as much protection as hard cheese. “we ain’t stealing ya buns.”

“Well someone did. You must have seen someone,” said Catherine.

“Nope. I don’t know anyone who’d want any of those buns, ain’t that right boys?” A group of equally thuggish warriors around nodded in agreement.

“Fine,” she huffed, “But I’ve got my eyes on you gentlemen. Good day.”

“An’ we’ve got our eyes on you to ma’am,” one of them called as she stormed away.

Men, she thought. Always the same, it didn’t help that she was one of the youngest women in the camp. She sighed, and stopped. She could have sworn that she saw a purple pony walk between those two tents… “I need to get out of this sun.”

Twilight followed the Two-Leggers back to the tent where Joey still stood tapping his hoof. Robert spent the entire journey shaking and telling himself that Twilight didn’t exist. The unicorn simply walked behind and remained quiet.

The temperature inside the tent was immediately noticeable. It felt to Twilight like going from her oven and directly into the fridge. “Ah, Robert,” A man in fine clothes said. He placed a metal helmet onto a table holding an assortment of well-maintained armour and swords before turning to the others. “I suppose that you can guess why you’re here?”

“I-I-Is it about the horse sire?” Robert stammered.

“Yes.” The man’s attitude immediately darkened. “What I want to know is what were you doing riding him in the first place?”

“W-Well… You see, after the tournament I was taking him back here when, when-“

“Out with it boy!”

“It was Sir George and Lord Grimsby! They spotted an Aysyrrasin scout and they chased after him! They ordered me to get on your horse and come with them! Please, I’m sorry Sire, it won’t happen again!”

Sir Neville watched Robert plead. He laughed. “Get up boy; I never said you were in trouble.”

“But-“

“But nothing. Just don’t do it again without my say so. Now, go and find wherever it is you’ve put your backbone.”

“Joey,” Twilight asked the horse. “What’s an Aysyrrasin?”

The stallion looked up from his hoof to the unicorn. “Eye-sigh-raisin? I don’t know what an Eye-sigh-raisin is. Oh, oh! Is this a riddle?”

Twilight sighed. It was going to be a long day.

--------------------

The alien sun slowly soared across the sky and began to blaze the sky in an orange glow as it dipped above the mountains where Twilight had awoke. By now the unicorn had enough. Robert was currently resting alone in a tent and she couldn’t take being left without answers any longer. She burst though the flap, leaped up onto the bed and before the Two-Legger could scream she wrapped his mouth in a purple aura and sealed it shut.

“Now Robert, you are going to listen to me.” She hissed, a bit harsher than she intended but she had his attention. “My name is Twilight Sparkle, personal student of Princess Celestia and Element of Magic. I am lost here on this world because of an evil spirit and I need to find a way back. For some reason you’re species is the dominant one I see around here and you are the only one who can see me so you are going to help me. And no, I’m not a ghost, spirit, evil demon and you are not hallucinating or possessed. Have I made myself clear?”

Robert nodded rapidly.

“Good, now I’m going to unseal your mouth and you are not going to scream, alright?”

Again Robert nodded. Twilight let go of the magical clasp.

Nothing happed.

“Oh, I thought you would scream?”

“You told me not to,” the Two-Legger replied.

“Yes, I did.” Twilight made a quick mental adjustment to her plan. “Look, I think we got off on the wrong hoof… err, foot this morning,” she said. “Can we just start again?”

Robert regarded the unicorn for a few moments considering his options. He made a quick glance to the door and back again, though considering how she removed his mouth, a living nightmare that his heart was still racing over, he didn’t want to see what the mare would do if she was really angry. Reluctantly, he nodded.

“Good,” the unicorn chirped as she climbed off the bed and gave a sheepishly apologetic look. “Okay, as I said, my name is Twilight Sparkle. I am a unicorn. You somehow know that, but I’m afraid that I haven’t seen any species like yours before.”

“I’m Robert, Robert of Amingham,” he said. Slowly getting use to the idea of talking to an invisible purple unicorn. “I’m a Man, Human that is. We are Human.”

“Well, it’s nice to meet you Robert. As I said I’m trapped here. Trapped by an evil spirit called Discord who is doing unthinkable things to my homeland and I need to get back.”

“But how?” Robert interrupted.

“I’m not sure. Discord likes to play games and he said that somewhere on this world there is a way back, though making it so that only you can see me must be his way of making it more difficult for me.”

“I don’t know about that,” said Robert. “I mean, if everyone here could see you...” He didn’t want to finish that sentence. Truthfully he wasn’t completely sure what would happen, and he didn’t want to find out any time soon.

“Well, as I was saying, I need help, and you are the only one who can help me.”

After a moment of silence Robert could only reply with, “Right.”

“Good, now, where do we eat around here?”

--------------------

Twilight looked at the ‘porridge’ on the end of her spoon. Calling it porridge however may have been too kind. It looked as if some poor pony had already eaten it and then regurgitated it. Twilight had been annoyed earlier when Robert had attempted to give her hay. Perhaps she had been too hasty, he may have been only trying to spare here from this.

“Try not to think about it,” said Robert as he slowly ate his. “It helps if you hold your nose.”

Twilight sighed and took a bite. She suddenly wasn’t hungry anymore.

Twilight unstrapped her stone tablet from her side and laid it on the ground. She didn’t feel as if she could cross anything off yet. Instead, she added the word ‘edible’ to the ‘find food’ point and smiled. With a yawn she attempted to make herself comfortable on the straw and cotton pile what was her bed. It wasn’t much but the only alternative was the floor.

As sleep slowly overcame her Twilight’s thoughts turned to that of her friends. Where were they? She hoped that wherever they are they were having a better time than her. They sure would have interesting stories to tell when they got home. If they got home…

Robert too decided it was time for bed, and before he drifted off to sleep, he had one final thought. ‘Why me?’

Author's Note:

Thanks to OnederMan for proof reading.
I couldn’t help but notice the two dislikes. I’m sorry if you feel inclined to dislike my story, but please, could you at least let me know why?

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