• 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 4: Icy Death

Chapter 4: Icy Death

Perspective change - Twilight Sparkle

I woke up again hours later after a very restful nap with Luna, and after speaking to her about my fears, I felt as though a great weight had been lifted off of me. I scanned the room and noticed her illusion spell on the room had dissipated as she slept, and I honestly missed it. I looked down at the slumbering princess and smiled.

She was cute when she was sleeping.

She must have felt me wake up because she began to stir a bit and her eyes fluttered open. She looked up and smiled at me, stroking my coat softly. I returned the smile and rolled off onto the ground, shaking the last vestiges of sleep from my mind. I walked out of the reading room with Luna following me to the kitchen, my stomach aching for a snack.

As I quickly fixed a small bowl of apples for myself and Luna, and then walked with her out to the front step of the library, sitting down with her in the warm summer air. As we sat, ate, and basked in the balmy atmosphere, I noticed the looks the ponies gave Luna...and smiled at it. Where once they were looks of confusion, apprehension, and even fear...now they were smiles. The ponies - of Ponyville and Canterlot at least - were very forgiving it seems, and were more than happy to have the princess back on this world. Luna still held some misgivings about herself, but over the past year they have started to fade, and this in turn made me happy.

As we finished our quick meal, I went back inside to study some more while Luna advised me she would be going to spend time with Princess Celestia. I gave her a hug goodbye and went to my books, suddenly wishing Spike was there.

Perspective change - Vinyl Scratch

With Frost back, I had shows going again. Tonight, for example, would be my return show at a club in the "fun" district of Ponyville. Not that kind of fun mind you, just more...animated.

Anyway, I was now running shows again, but I made sure to only run them on the weekends now, giving myself more time to spend with Frost and my friends. Weekdays were dead anyway at a club, so it wasn't any sort of loss...and with the extra time, I'd spend some with Tavi. I felt bad about neglecting her for so long, and aimed to make it up to her tonight. Sure we disagreed on things, but Tavi was one of the only friends besides Lyra that stuck by me all these years, and I couldn't afford to lose somepony so loyal. Much to my surprise, she accepted my invitation to come to the club with me tonight. Sure Tavi might act all high-class in public normally, but get a few drinks or two in her and she tops Pinkie Pie for crazy.

I was whistling a tune while walking towards Sugarcube Corner when a loud *BOOM* from overhead caught my attention. I looked up to see a blur of steely blue wrapped up with a large black one screaming towards Canterlot, and I felt something drop on my fur. I looked to my shoulder to see a bright crimson drop of what could only be blood...and that means.

Oh Celestia...

Frost had told me that he and his brother would disagree, but I never thought he meant like this. Without a second thought I focused a large amount of magic into my horn and disappeared in a flash.

I reappeared exhausted near the Celestial Palace to see the blur still rocketing overhead, another *BOOM* being heard. What I assumed was Frost and Dark was luckily flying towards the guards' training grounds, so I galloped as fast I could to get there. When I arrived, I could see both figures had landed in a crater, and were pounding the hay out of each other. As I got closer, I could hear shouting.

"I told you, dude...NOTHING HAPPENED! It was just a hug between fr-" Frost was saying, before being cut off by a knee to his ribs.

Darkflight pummeled away at his face with a fierce glare. "You're a fucking liar! I'm not an idiot! I've seen the way you two look at each other, and it PISSES ME THE FUCK OFF!"

I could understand not wanting to hurt his brother, but Frost was being ridiculous. However, as he took a few more punches to the face, I saw a glint of something in his eyes and he let loose a growl before throwing Dark off of him with a mighty buck. The dragon was stunned and lay on the ground, recovering his bearings. That's when I saw something happening to Frost. As time seemed to slow down, a heavy fog started to drift off of him and armor of solid ice formed around him. A smoky energy then started to seep out of the ice-helmet where his eyes were, and then I started to get scared. He no longer even looked like himself, and I could feel something in the air change. Frost started slowly walking towards Dark as the dragon started to get to his feet. Dark prepared to charge Frost again, but suddenly his legs froze. Not just frozen to the ground, his legs were actually now made of ice instead of flesh. He dropped to the ground with a new look upon his face: fear. Even in just the short time I'd known him, fear was not something I'd ever seen in his eyes, least of all because of his older brother.

"So," Frost said calmly, "you feel like beating on me simply because you're so insecure that I can't even talk to Applejack without you taking it the wrong way? Well fine...I have a way to fix that. I'll just make sure you aren't here to witness it anymore."

Something was wrong...that wasn't Frost. He loved his family, he'd never hurt them...and the way it sounded, he was going to kill him. Before any of us could do anything, a bright flash disrupted Frost and a blast sent him to the ground with a scream of pain. It was Princess Celestia, and she had a saddened look in her eyes. Frost was no longer moving, and the armor and fog around him dissipated. Celestia looked down at the frightened dragon and closed her eyes. A magenta aura covered his legs and they began to change back to flesh. As the spell finished, he gave his toes an experimental wiggle and smiled.

"Thanks, Celestia. I'm sorry about this...this is all my fault." said the dragon sadly.

The solar princess shook her head and looked at the downed alicorn with a solemn look. "No Darkflight, something is happening to Frost. You and I both know he would never harm you like this." She sighed and closed her eyes. "No...that was not the Frost I know. Something is very wrong, and I intend to find out what." She then turned to the captain, who had rushed in during all the commotion. "Captain, I want you to throw him in the maximum security unicorn holding cell, and get an inhibitor ring on him."

The captain blinked in disbelief. "Princess...are you sure? This is Frost-"

She stopped him with a stern glare. "I know who it is, captain. Please, do as I say." I saw a tear slip down her face as they carried Frost away.

I walked over to her and did something uncharacteristic for me: I nuzzled her leg softly. "Princess, what's wrong? Besides the obvious, I mean. What's happening to Frost?"

She shook her head and sighed deeply...painfully. "He made a mistake calling forth Winter, Day, and Night." She looked at me with a broken look on her face. "We must gather everypony in the throne room. The avatars of Day and Night know what is happening."

I nodded and left to go gather all my friends.

Perspective change - Darkflight

I was so confused and scared right now...and about my own brother no less. Granted I probably shouldn't have lost my temper so bad, but he was ready to kill me...I saw it in his eyes. My hands were bruised from the fight and pained me as I flew towards Sweet Apple Acres, and as I cooled off I began to think of the damage I had done to Drew. I was honestly surprised he was still conscious up until the princess came and broke it up, but that aside I felt like a shithead now. I had tried to beat my own brother to a pulp simply because he hugged my marefriend and smiled at her. The more I thought about it, the more I began to realize that I had been a huge dick - not at all in a good way.

I landed at AJ's farm about twenty minutes later to find her, Pinkie Pie, Twilight Sparkle, and Rarity all having lunch together near the barn. AJ stopped talking when she saw my face and galloped over.

"Dark...what happened? Y'all look like ya seen a monster or somethin'." she said with panic in her voice.

I shook my head and tried to calm my breathing before speaking. "No AJ, it's my brother. Gather the girls, we need to get to the palace right now! Something's wrong with him!"

AJ didn't ask anymore questions. She simply nodded and galloped towards town without another word. I love that mare.

After gathering up the rest of the "gang", including Vinyl and Lyra, we all headed to the palace as fast as we could. When we arrived, we found two very upset princesses, as well as a gray pegasus with a blonde mane that I didn't recognize.

Princess Celestia walked towards me and frowned. "Come...all of you. He's in the dungeons."

Twilight looked like she was about to say something, but I just shook my head to silence her. She sighed, but followed us down into the deeper reaches of the palace.

Contrary to what I thought a dungeon would look like, this one was clean, and was colored white. Personally I thought it looked more like a hospital than a jail, but whatever. We walked for awhile going down multiple flights of stairs until we came upon a massive titanium door...but there was a problem. We could all see the door was covered in frost, which it obviously shouldn't have been. I noticed the two princesses and Twilight Sparkle all charged spells in their horns as I opened the door.

What awaited us caused us all to gasp in surprise. Where once there was a massive room with a cell on a platform in the middle, there was now a room that seemed to be completely made of ice. Before any of us could react, a broken blue chain-like object was thrown on the ground in front of us.

"The inhibitor ring!" cried Twilight. "But how? How could he get it off?"

Twilight was stopped as we all heard the sound of wingbeats above us. I looked up and saw my brother with a sad look on his face. Twilight took a defensive stance, as did the rest of us. Drew gently landed in front of us and sighed.

"Whatever you use to make that inhibitor ring, you need to make the metal able to withstand the cold without breaking, and you need to use whatever enchantment is on it everywhere in here, so I can't get out." he said with a frown.

Luna stepped forward and frowned as well. "You...you do not want to come out?"

He shook his head and sighed. "No Luna, I don't. I almost killed my brother, and had Celly not stopped me, I would have succeeded. Until any of you or I figure out what's wrong with me, I'm staying right here."

Princess Celestia stepped forward and let a tear fall. She took a deep breath before speaking in soft tone, "Frost...I will use all of my power to find out a way to fix this. I swear it."

He placed a hoof on her cheek and smiled, letting a tear fall before it froze on his cheek. "I know you will, love. I have faith in you. Now, you all should go. It isn't safe for any of you to be here for too long. I don't know what triggered my change of personality, but I'd prefer to keep you out of harms way until I figure it out."

"Frost...no. I'm not going to leave you." said the strangely soft voice of Rainbow Dash.

He just let another frozen tear fall and smiled sadly at her. "It's only for a little while Dashie, I promise. Besides, you have someone else who needs you more." He then spread his large wings and embraced us all in a wing-hug, before forcing us out of the door and shutting it.
As we all watched, a thick layer of ice covered the entire wall, and the ice progressively got thicker and thicker until the wall and door couldn't even be seen anymore. There was condensed fog coming off of the ice, kind of like a meat freezer.

I experimentally touched the ice, only to whip my hand back in pain, and I looked upon the ice to see scales and blood upon the ice. I looked at my hand to see that a few patches of scales and skin had been ripped away. Luna was luckily nice enough to heal it for me rather quickly, leaving only a slight burning sensation afterwards and a few scars.

The night princess then looked over at the ice. "I don't understand why he would do this. He needs our help and he knows it."

I shook my head. "I've known my brother for longer than you have, princess. He's doing this because he's afraid...and for good reason. He almost killed me in a blind rage, and he doesn't know why. Until one of us figure this out or he does, he's going to make sure he stays in there."

Twilight finally spoke up. "Well come on then! We need to find out what's going on and how to fix it!"

Perspective change - Celestia

I looked at my sister and nodded...now was the time to reveal what we knew. "All of you...please stop. I already know what has happened."

Twilight turned to me with a confused expression. "You do? Well, please explain."

I sighed and grimaced as I began to explain, "It has to do with the avatars. You see, my student, there were once a total of eight avatars, though until recently we only knew of six of them: four for the seasons, as well as one for night and one for day. Myself and Luna's avatars have informed us that there were indeed two others, however...the avatars of life and death. The two avatars of life and death were sealed away by their brethren on account of them at constant war with each other, but in doing so these avatars sealed themselves away as well. They were the key to their imprisonment, and in releasing Day, Night, and Winter, the avatars Death and Life have been released as well upon the world."

Twilight stared at me in confusion for a moment before responding. "Well okay, I guess that makes sense...but why is Frost affected like this then? What's his connection to these two avatars?"

Luna took the lead from there. "Twilight, has Frost ever told you about his father?"

My student shook her head. "No. He told me he never met his father."

"Yes, well there's a reason for that, dear Twilight. Frost's mother never met his father either. She simply woke one day and was pregnant. I fear she's never told him this, but I think it is a secret that must be known." she stated sadly. Luna swallowed hard before continuing. "Frost's father is Death."

A large collective gasp was taken by the ponies and dragon in front of us.

Darkflight stepped forward and eyed me with incredulity. "So you mean to tell me that my brother is the avatar of winter and is the son of Death?"

I nodded. "Yes, Darkflight. I understand this is all a shock, but it's true."

His demeanor changed to one of amusement. "Wow...if it weren't for the fact that he's now a danger to everyone around him, I'd say that's awesome."

Applejack rolled her eyes at her friend. "Figures y'all would say that. We still need to fix this though." She then turned to me. "Any ideas princess?"

I nodded. "I have a few, but they will take awhile to come to fruition. Luckily Death and Life are of no danger to anypony so long as they lack a physical body. I fear that is what is happening to Frost. Through his connection as father, Death is attempting to take control of Frost's mind and soul."

"Well, we all want to help, princess. If there's anything we can do to assist you or speed the process along, we're at your disposal." Twilight stated with gusto.

I smiled softly and nodded. "I thank you all for that. For the moment, however, I will need to research the problem. Twilight, I believe you would be most useful in this."

Perspective change - Lyra

After the princesses explained to us all what was going on, they told the rest of us to just go about our lives normally. This was going to be weird for me now, because most of my "normal life" was spent with Frost. Vinyl must have noticed this because she pulled me into a hug.

"It's gonna be alright, Lyra...I promise. We'll figure this out and Frost will be back to normal." she said softly.

I smiled and nodded. "I know Vi, I just miss him is all. I mean, I spend so much time with him usually that I don't really know what to do now."

She nudged me and smiled. "C'mon Lyra, we had stuff to do before he came here. It's not like we're never going to see him again. I want you to come out with me tonight, we're going to the club."

I raised an eyebrow. "The club? I haven't gone clubbing since I was sixteen."

She giggled at me and nudged me again. "Oh come on now, Lyra. You're only twenty-two. I'm older than you and I love to go. You'll have fun, I promise."

I sighed and shrugged. "I guess it couldn't hurt."

Perspective change - Fluttershy

I said goodbye to the rest of the girls and headed home to Moonfang. Over the past few weeks, I'd gotten really attached to him, and he to me. I had always loved my house and the animals I took care of, but somehow it felt more like home with him there. I thought it was strange at first that a wolf could be so gentle as he was, but I got over it when I realized that I didn't care. I had never had much of an interest in stallions, mostly because they were so "crude", as Rarity put it.

Moonfang was perfect though.

He was gentle, loving, kind, and noble. He was my knight in shining armor, and I even told him once. Well, at least he was in armor. Something has been happening to him over the past few months, as his wooden skin had been falling away to reveal sandy blonde fur and soft skin underneath. At first we were afraid he was dying, but after talking to Zecora, we knew he was going to be okay. The wood never bothered me, but I have to admit that I liked him better this way.

Moonfang greeted me at the door with a smile. "Well hello, my lovely Fluttershy." I blushed and he chuckled at me. "How are things in Canterlot?"

I couldn't help but feel a little sad when he said that. "You might want to sit down." He nodded and sat on the floor, looking up at me. "Something's happened to Frost."

His eyes widened in fear. "Oh no...what's happened? Is he okay?"

I took a breath before continuing in a gentle voice, "He's not hurt, but he's not okay. He almost killed his brother because of something that's trying to control him. He locked himself away until we can find a way to fix him."

He was visibly saddened, and he lay down on the ground. "There's not anything I can do, is there?"

I shook my head in defeat. "I don't know, Fang. The princesses will let us know if they need help. Right now Twilight is helping Princess Celestia research." I lay down next to him and nuzzled against the soft skin of his neck. "I promise if there's anything we can do, I'll let you know. For now, all we can do is hope for the best and live life normally."

Perspective change - Moonfang

"Live life normally..." I said as I pulled her close to me, causing her to release a little squeak of surprise. "I think I can do that."

The cute yellow pegasus smiled at me and lay her head upon my half-exposed chest, my wooden skin still covering one side. She then started to draw little circles in the new fur with her hoof, and I couldn't help but let out an hum in pleasure. Wooden skin didn't have much sensation when it came to touch, so the feel of her body against mine was an entirely new sensation, and I'd be lying if I claimed I didn't like it.

We were interrupted by a knock at the door, so I stood up to answer. Luckily thanks to Fluttershy and Twilight's efforts, there was no large ceremony to announce me to the town, as there was for the dragon, Darkflight. While some ponies were still afraid of me, most had come to accept me as a part of their town, and so I no longer was afraid to answer the door. As I pulled the door open, I was met by a panting Venn.

He stepped inside and sat down on the floor, catching his breath. After a few moments he looked up at me with a panicked expression. "What's happened to Frost? Is he okay? What's going to happen to him? What's going to happen to me?"

I stopped his rambling with a hand to his shoulder. "Venn...calm down. It's going to be okay. Getting all worked up like this isn't going to solve anything, okay?" He nodded and took a deep breath before standing again. "Okay then, to answer your question, Frost is unwell. I assure you however that the princesses as well as everypony else is working diligently to get him back to normal as soon as possible. As far as you, there is always a home for you in Canterlot. You are a good friend of his, and that will never change. Luna-forbid something happen to him, but even if he were no longer around, the princesses would make sure you were taken care of."

He nodded and let out a long, stressed breath. "Okay...thanks for that. I get a little worked up sometimes, so sorry about that."

Fluttershy stepped forward and smiled at Venn. "It's okay, Venn. We're all worried about Frost. You're not alone; we'll all get through this together."

I just hope she's right...

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