• Published 19th Jan 2013
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Rise of the Elements Part II: Return of the Avatars - Radiant Dawn

Ancient beings of long since past are returning, but for good or ill?

  • ...

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Chapter 17: Home Sweet Home

Chapter 17: Home Sweet Home

For the first time in a long time, I woke up like the world was right...the way things used to be. I almost forgot there even was a war, but as I woke up more the reality hit me again. Still, I wasn't going to allow it to ruin the next few days. I had to make sure that my spirits were high so that when I returned to the camp, most of the group would be able to return home for some furlough...Dash, Ditzy, Moonfang, and Venn included. After all, a happy military was a strong military.

For today however, I was going to make sure it was everything we needed as far as a vacation. Last night had been nice, as we simply ended up laying in bed talking instead of anything else. I had missed it – just talking...sometimes about nothing important. It seemed that lately all any of us ever talked about was the war, so it was nice to be able to just ask how they were, or what they'd eaten or seen lately...anything to take our minds off of work for just a few days. It wasn't a childish desire either...this was something I knew we all needed. We all needed to remember why we were doing this, as I knew I wasn't the only one who had begun to question the reason for all this death. We all had to be reminded of why we had to fight, and win.

It was for ponies like Pinkie that we had to do this.

Twilight had decided last night that we were going to spend time with Pinkie and the others today, making sure they knew I loved them and cared about them. Luna had business to attend to and so for today it would just be me, Twilight, Pinkie, Vinyl, and Lyra. I didn't mind in the least of course, as I was going to enjoy seeing the DJ and lyre-player to catch up on what they were up to. It was obvious to me that they'd both been busy, as during the past six months they had been the ones I'd heard from the least...but I knew them well enough to know it had to be for a good reason. After all, Vinyl's business had picked up considerably since the war began, and with Lyra working with her, this meant the two of them probably were busy nearly all the time. Needless to say I felt a little special when they told me they could take a few days off with me.

During all these thoughts though, another one started to surface as I gazed lovingly at the violet unicorn over breakfast. Twilight had been amazing both before and during the war...and her skills and drive to help Equestria just made me love her all the more. I was amazed when I truly thought of her now, noticing that she'd grown from a filly with low self-confidence and an obsessive drive to please the princess, all the way to a grown mare that had her own dreams, morals, and goals in life. When I saw the princesses and Twilight together, it was clear that she still respected and revered the both of them...but she now had her own path to walk in life.

I felt that now was the time.

"Twi..." I said softly.

The violet mare looked up at me with a smile as she swallowed a slice of apple. "Yes Frost?"

I stood up from the table as Luna and Twilight looked at me expectantly. "There's something I want to ask you. I've wanted to ask you for awhile now, but I wanted to also make sure you were ready." I then started to focus on a new spell I'd been practicing, combining ice, arcane, and cosmic magic. As my brow started to sweat, I looked at Twilight with a strained smile. "I made a spell just for you, Twi..." The spell continued to charge, and I could feel my magic reserves rapidly draining as more and more of it poured into the spell. The light in the room shifted from bright white, to blue, to darkness, and then back again as the co-mingling spells continued to build. When I felt the spell was at its apex, I released it at the ground. The built up magic kept flowing from my horn, and with it, my strength. Finally, the spell finished and left a bright glowing object in the middle of the floor...and I collapsed.

"Frost!" both of the mares shouted and ran over to me, warily staring at the bright obscure object.

I panted a few times before shaking my head slowly. "I'm okay, I promise." I then gestured to the glowing spell. "It needs some of your magic to finish, Twi."

The unicorn eyed the result of my spell hesitantly before looking back to me. "I-I'm not so sure..."

"Trust me, Twi...please." I responded softly.

She still looked apprehensive, but nodded and turned to the object. Her horn began to glow with her violet aura as it fluidly moved to encompass the unknown object. A faint hum in the air accompanied this along with arcs of energy in the air, but as soon as it started it finished. The glowing of the object changed from white to a dark violet, and as we all watched, the light died down. As the object's shape became visible finally, Luna and Twilight both gasped at what they saw.

Lying there unassumingly on the floor was a beautiful braided chain necklace that looked to be made of frosty ice. The pendant that was attached to it was what caused the mares to gasp. It was a depiction of my cutie mark in its true colors and texture...with Twilight's cutie mark adorning the shield in its natural colors as well.

I slowly stood and picked it up before kneeling so that I could look the unicorn in the eye. "Twi, you are amazing. You're by far the smartest being I've ever met, you're funny, witty, loving, and beautiful. You're kind to strangers, accepting of my differences, and altogether amazing." I then breathed slowly before smiling. "Would you do me the honor of giving me your hoof in marriage?"

"YES!" Twilight squealed immediately, nearly causing my eardrums to burst. She then began to hop around like a little filly who had just gotten her cutie mark, excitedly reciting the word "yes" over and over again.

I caught her in the air and chuckled. "Whoa there Twi, you still have to put on the necklace."
I put her down on the ground and she flashed a smile brighter than the sun. I slipped the necklace over her head, and it tightened until it fit snugly around her. Twilight then held it up to her face with a hoof. "This is so beautiful...what is this made out of?"

"Frost-steel and frost-gems. It's the same kind of magic I use for my armor." I responded with a smile.

Twilight looked up at me curiously. "Why was it so hard for you to make then? I mean you cover yourself with this stuff without so much as sweating."

"Well," I started as I stood, "I had to make it permanent and able to withstand heat without melting." I placed my own hoof on the necklace. "This is just as strong as normal steel, and the gems are harder than diamonds. It took your magic to solidify it and add the color though, so it's just as much your accomplishment as mine."

The unicorn looked up at me with tears in her eyes. "Frost, this is the most amazing thing you could have possibly given me...and the fact that you asked me to marry you just makes it even more special." She then hugged me tightly. "I love you so much." She then hopped away with a large grin. "I have to go tell my parents...and Rarity! Oh, so much to do..." She dashed off to the bedroom and returned a moment later with a saddlebag, using near-Pinkie speed as she did so. Then, she dashed out the door with a quick, "Bye Luna, bye Frost!"

I just stood there in shock for a moment next to Luna. "Wow...she's really excited."

Luna stood beside me with a smile. "You just asked dear Twilight to marry you...were you expecting otherwise?"

I shrugged. "Not sure." I then looked to the alicorn beside me. "Are you going to act like that when I ask you?"

"When?" Luna whispered.

"Well yeah. I was planning on it eventually." I responded. I then extended a wing over her as I held her close against me. "You didn't honestly think I'd forgotten about you and Tia, did you? I mean, that is of course unless you didn't want to..."

"N-no, I do...ever so much. I just never believed..." Luna mumbled.

"Never believed what...that you would get married?" I responded with a warm smile.

The night princess nodded. "Marriage for the longest time was a dream I had allowed to die. No pony understood me for who I am, save for dear Twilight and Tia...until you of course. They were for the longest span either fearful of me or wished to use courting me for social status and whatnot." Luna lowered her head in sadness. "Things are better now, but for the longest time I was alone in that respect, with only sister and Twilight to care for and love me."

I chuckled. "Luna, I believe you are appreciated far more than you realize. With you having a much more open correspondence with your subjects, they are getting to know you as a pony again...not just royalty. While most royals on Earth set themselves apart from their subjects – above them – you and your sister take an active part in their lives."

"Any royalty worth their weight in salt would do the same. Ponies such as Prince Blueblood are an exception." Luna responded with a thoughtful expression.

I nodded. "Perhaps that's true here but on Earth, royals are seen as superior to their people. On Earth, the bloodline means far more than personality or noble intentions."

Luna's head dropped low in shame. "Before my exile, it was that way on Terra. It is something that took practice for me to expunge from myself, but I am glad it was. Who we are as ponies is more important than what family we come from, I believe."

"It is more important, Lulu...I just wish the nobility of Earth thought the same way." I whispered as I nuzzled her lovingly. "That value is one of the things I love most about you."

The alicorn blushed and looked away shyly. "No matter how many times you tell me, sometimes I still find myself thinking I'm dreaming."

I chuckled. "Well it's a good thing Dash isn't here right now, or she'd haze you for being sappy."

"Perhaps...but I miss Rainbow Dash all the same. She adds something to Equestria that no other can duplicate." the moon princess responded with a smile. She then pulled away from me and kissed my cheek softly. "Well, duty calls Frost. I must return to Canterlot and work with sister so that we can handle things and have time for tonight."

I smiled and nuzzled her softly. "Good...I'll be waiting for the two of you here later tonight." I then opened the door and watched as Luna flew out into the sky of early morning.
After Luna and Twilight had left, I headed over to the northern district of Ponyville, towards Vinyl's house.

After multiple meetings with fan-mares, I finally arrived at the DJ's large house. As I expected, her and her roommate Octavia were arguing about something or other as I walked up to the door, so I politely knocked to avoid literally walking into the middle of it.

The fighting stopped for a moment and I heard the distinct clopping of hooves approaching the door, and simply by the rhythm, I could tell it was Vinyl (is it weird that I know her walk?). The door opened and I found myself looking down at a familiar brilliant white unicorn with an electric two-toned blue mane and tail.

"Ohmygosh, Frost!" she yelled just before jumping at me. Knowing her like I did, I was prepared for it and caught her in a tight hug as I rubbed my cheek against hers. Her crimson eyes were sparkling with happiness and I couldn't help but smile.

I then turned to the gray earth pony once I released Vinyl, and bowed slightly. "Lady Octavia, it's a pleasure to meet you again. It's been too long."

The black-maned mare stuttered a few times before her eyes rolled back in her head, and she fainted.

Vinyl walked over to her friend and tapped her a few times before sighing and levitating her over to the couch to sleep. "Always the drama queen..." Vi then turned to me with a wide smile before gently rubbing her cheek against my chest. "It's awesome that you're back, Frost. We missed you a hay of a lot."

I lowered my head and embraced her. "It's only for a few days Vi, but I'm going to make sure it's worth every second." I then released her and motioned to the unconscious pony on the red sofa. "Is she gonna be okay?"

"Yeah, she'll be fine. She's had a schoolfilly crush on you for awhile, so I guess seeing you face-to-face gave her a bad case of 'star-strickeness'...or something." the unicorn remarked. I started laughing and she shoved me with a smirk. "You know what I meant, Frost."

I nodded. "I do. So, do you still have my guitars over here?"

"Sure do! They're in the studio. Why, you feeling like a jam session?" Vinyl asked with her signature grin.

I nodded again. "I am. It's been awhile since I've held my guitar. I gotta get the Led out." This prompted a very confused look from her and I facehooved as we walked. "Ah that's right, I forgot you don't have Led Zepplin here. That's okay, I'll show you the magic of Jimmy Page."

"Ooh, like that stallion Golden Page?" she responded.

I shook my head. "Different Page, dear. Just follow me and I'll show you."

We arrived in Vinyl's extensive and advanced studio, and I quickly found and hooked up my SG to the "wah wah" pedal, then the amp. I looked at Vi in the soundproof booth and shrugged. "I'm not sure if you'll like this type of music, but it's where my soul is. This is what we call rock & roll on Earth."

I focused my magic to let the opening of Led Zepplin's "Trampled Under Foot" play via synthesizer, then started to sing.

"Greased and slicked down fine, groovy leather trim
I like the way you hold the road, mama, it ain't no sin

Talkin' 'bout love
Talkin' 'bout love
Talkin' 'bout...

Trouble-free transmission, helps your oil's flow
Mama, let me pump your gas, mama, let me do it all

Talkin' 'bout love
Talkin' 'bout love
Talkin' 'bout...

Dig that heavy metal underneath your hood
Baby, I could work all night, believe I've got the perfect tools

Talkin' 'bout love
Talkin' 'bout love
Talkin' 'bout...

A model built for comfort, really built with style
Specialist tradition, mama, let me feast my eyes

Talkin' 'bout love
Talkin' 'bout love
Talkin' 'bout...

Factory air-conditioned, heat begins to rise
Guaranteed to run for hours, mama it's a perfect size

Talkin' 'bout love
Talkin' 'bout love
Talkin' 'bout...

Groovin' on the freeway, gauge is on the red
Gun down on my gasoline, I believe I'm gonna crack a head.

Talkin' 'bout love
Talkin' 'bout love
Talkin' 'bout...

I can't stop talkin' about
I can't stop talkin' about...

Come to me for service every hundred miles
Baby, let me check your points, fix your overdrive

Talkin' 'bout love
Talkin' 'bout love
Talkin' 'bout...

Fully automatic, comes in any size
Makes me wonder what I did, before we synchronized

Talkin' 'bout love
Talkin' 'bout love
Talkin' 'bout...

Feather-light suspension, Koni's couldn't hold
I'm so glad I took a look inside your showroom doors

Talkin' 'bout love
Talkin' 'bout love
Talkin' 'bout...

Oh, I can't stop talkin' about love
Oh, I can't stop talkin' about love
Oh, I can't stop talkin' about love
Oh, I can't stop talkin' about love..."

When I finished, I let out a breath and opened my eyes...only to see Vinyl standing in front of me. She wasn't moving, and her eyes were completely focused on me as her mouth hung open. I raised an eyebrow and said, "Vi, you're creepin' me out, girl."

"Frost..." she whispered.

I eyed her suspiciously. "Um...yeah?"

Vinyl then threw herself at me as she squealed in a very un-Vinyl-ly way. "Oh my gosh, that was amazing! I listened to that kind of music back in school when I was just a teenage filly! Wow, that takes me back." She then looked up at me with a bright grin. "That just made you infinitely cooler."

I smirked as I stood up and grabbed my metallic black Vanguard. "You haven't seen anything yet. For this song, you might want to get inside the booth, close the windows, and lock the doors...then cover your ears and hope the sound doesn't get in and tear you apart." At Vinyl's suddenly frightened expression, I smirked evilly. "This, my dear Vinyl, is known as metal."

I focused my magic and created the illusion of a storm instead of a ceiling...then added the sound of thunder and illusion of crimson rain. I then strummed my guitar with the first chord of "Raining Blood". The drums kicked in to follow with my magic, and the song began in earnest. I let the eerie "moaning" of the guitar add to the atmosphere until the intro riff started, and then put all of my passion into it.

"Trapped in purgatory
A lifeless object, alive
Awaiting reprisal
Death will be their acquisition

The sky is turning red
Return to power draws near
Fall into me, the sky's crimson tears
Abolish the rules made of stone

Pierced from below, souls of my treacherous past
Betrayed by many, now ornaments dripping above
Awaiting the hour of reprisal
Your time slips away"

During the instrumental break, I couldn't help but bang my head, and even though my mane looked to be a cloud, it still bounced up and down like real hair should. I then whipped my head back in time to see Vinyl staring at me in awe from the soundbooth.

"Raining blood!
From a lacerated sky
Bleeding it's horror
Creating my structure
Now I shall reign in blood!"

I put all I had into the last solo, and once I was finished I was sweating a little from the exertion. I breathed a sigh of happiness and stood, now feeling even more energized than before. I opened my eyes and looked up to see that Vinyl had not moved from the booth, and actually looked a little surprised about something.

"What?" I asked, though I was pretty sure I already knew the answer.

The ivory unicorn stepped away from the window and the door opened, only to reveal her utterly confused face. "W-what in the world was that?"

I smirked. "A historical cornerstone of metal. It's passionate and loud, which is why I love the genre so much. So...what did you think?"

"It was," she began, seeming to reach for the word, "different...but so intense. It sounded angry, almost."

I shrugged. "Passion can be angry sometimes, but that doesn't mean all metal is angry. There are love songs in metal, hate songs, songs about the world, songs about friends...and songs about those we've lost. It's strong and passionate, and often misunderstood. It takes somepony with an open mind to learn to enjoy it."

"What in the name of Celestia was that?" shouted an accented voice from behind me.

I turned towards the door out of the studio to see Octavia standing there with an awestruck expression. "Umm...metal?"

"My...I've never heard music so..." the gray mare mused.

Vinyl stood next to her friend and offered, "Loud?"

Octavia shook her head. "No...powerful. That was by far the most powerful music I've ever heard produced by a string instrument!"

My eyes widened in shock. "Okay Lady Octavia, no offense but you are honestly the last pony I'd ever think would like that."

Vinyl leaned in close and asked, "Why do you keep calling her 'lady'?"

I chuckled. "Because a mare of class should have such a title."

"Hey, I have class too!" the unicorn retorted.

I shrugged. "Very well, Lady Scratch."

The white unicorn scrunched her face up and shook her head. "Doesn't sound near as cool as I thought it would. I guess I can do without it."

"Thought so." I retorted, then turned to the earth pony. "So, you enjoyed it then?"

Octavia nodded furiously. "A thousand times, yes! It was incredible...the single most inspiring music I've heard in years."

"Well," I started while pointing to my guitar, "I don't know how the other ponies of Equestria would take it, but I could teach you to play if you wanted. You already know how to play different chords on a string instrument anyway, so it should be rather easy for you to pick up. Would you like that?" The gray mare nodded with a bright smile of excitement. "Alright then...grab that white guitar over there and let's get started."

"So what was that composition called?" Octavia asked with a wide smile on her face as the three of us walked out of the house.

I smiled as well as I said, "That, Lady Octavia, was called 'For Whom the Bell Tolls'."

"Did you write that?" she asked curiously.

I laughed. "I wish. If I did, I'd be famous on Earth. No, it's done by a group that calls themselves Metallica. I do have songs of my own that I've written, but they're all instrumental. I suck at writing lyrics." I then nudged the mare gently. "By the way, you did incredible for a first-timer. Maybe it is your inborn musical ability, but you picked it up far quicker than I'd ever dreamed. In all honesty, I'd expected it to take a lot longer to teach you. That song is not easy to play."

Vinyl decided to speak up finally as she nudged me to get my attention. "That song sounded like it had a message behind it."

I nodded. "Yep, it does. The song was actually inspired by a writer on Earth who wrote a book that went by the same name, decades before the song was written. It's about the dishonor of modern warfare and the protagonist's eminent doom during the bloody Spanish Civil War. If you know what to listen for, all music with lyrics has a message behind it."

"My word..." Octavia breathed out, "I had no idea that humans were so...complex."

I shrugged. "Complex is as good a word as any. Humans have a great amount of potential for either good or evil, but greed more often than not controls the world. Like I told the others, it's a nice place to see so long as you don't have to stay there." I then turned to Octavia as we exited the house. "Well it was great to see you again, Lady Octavia. You better keep practicing."

"Oh, I will Prince Frostbreaker. Thank you ever so much for opening my eyes to this wonderful new music." she responded before bobbing her head a few times to an inaudible rhythm.

Vinyl leaned to me and said, "Great...you've made her start bobbing her head to a song that isn't actually there. You might have just created a monster Frost, you know that?" I raised an eyebrow at her and she shook her head. "Don't give me that look Frost, my music is different."

"Really? How exactly?" I remarked. "Both types of music have passion, both have a strong rhythm that drives it, and both are extremely complex. The instruments used to produce the sounds aren't what makes them different, it's the intent behind the song."

"That...actually makes a lot of sense." the unicorn answered back. Vinyl shrugged and looked back at her friend. "Well Tavi, me and Frost are going to head out. I'll see you tomorrow, okay?"

The gray mare shook herself out of her daydream and nodded with a smile. "Very well Vinyl, you enjoy yourself." They embraced briefly and the earth pony walked back inside.

Along the way back to the library, we met up with Lyra, who was in the park playing the enchanted lyre I got her for her birthday. She joined us after briefly catching up with me, and we were now on our way back to the Twilight's library.

"So yeah, that's pretty much it." Lyra commented with a smirk.

I shook my head. "I don't believe that. We're going to have to test your flexibility tonight."

"Ooh, I like the sound of that." Vinyl commented. I eyed the white unicorn with a smirk and she sighed. "Give me a break Frost, it's been almost a year since I've gotten any...and that is way too long for me."

"Blame Death, because it's his fault. What a knobjockey." I responded angrily. This caused both mares to eye me in confusion and I shrugged. "It's a British human thing...don't ask." As we arrived at the library, I had a bit of nostalgia fill me again with the two mares beside me. It now felt like home again, and I was happy. "Well girls, it's good to be back. Let's go inside and-"

"SURPRISE!" shouted a certain pink pony as soon as I opened the door.

The shock caused me to fall on my ass with a very stupid look of horror on my face, which caused everypony present to laugh at me. I rolled my eyes and stood with a smile, embracing the pink pony. "Hiya Pinks...it's great to have you back." I surprised her with a kiss, which prompted a chorus of "aww" from the five or so ponies already there. I released her and looked around. "Well...seems like you're throwing a party."

"Wow...you're so attentive." retorted my brother's deep voice from beside me.

I shoved him lightly, "Dick."

Tonight was going to be fun.

Author's Note:

Songs mentioned: "Trampled Under Foot" by Led Zeppelin on the album Physical Graffiti and "Raining Blood" by Slayer on the album Reign in Blood.

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