• Published 23rd Jan 2013
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Creed: Return of the Alicorns - bossfight1



Thousands of bronies are sent to Equestria... and imprisoned.

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Chapter 2: Bulwark

Chapter 2: Bulwark

When I first arrived in the camp there were twenty, maybe thirty other alicorns around the place, all wearing the same collars as the one wrapped around my neck, but out in the courtyard the noise of a crowd was growing louder and louder; these guys were doing well in rounding us up. I asked around, tried to see if anyone had any idea what was going on, but these alicorns were in the same boat as me; they woke up in the forest, having previously been a human, and were promptly captured and tossed in here. The guards along the walls and beyond the fence weren’t particularly talkative, but I didn’t expect them to be.

As the camp started filling up I tried getting the hang of flying; the clear purpose of the dome overhead was to prevent any aerial escapes, but it still allowed some room for practice. The guards were wary when they saw me floating around the camp but they didn’t give me any trouble. While I still instinctively longed for open skies, simply floating around the camp was good enough for me for the time being. I would have liked using magic but those collars seemed to keep us from doing so much as a card trick.

Hours passed and the camp became congested with countless alicorns of various colors and cutie marks. By nightfall the guards stopped bringing them in and escorted them from the camp; I heard one of them saying “This camp’s full, let’s bring em to another...” Another camp? How many other camps are there? And how many alicorns had appeared in Equestria??

One of the guards blew on a horn to draw the attention of the camp before shouting, “Gather in the courtyard!” We did as we were told, gathering in a tightly packed crowd in the courtyard right next to a portion of the wall, with a wooden balcony jutting off the top of it. Before long, with a bright flash of light, another unicorn appeared on the balcony, this one wearing black and green armor more ornate than the rest of the guards. His coat was a poisonous green, and his eyes were rather piercing beneath his helmet. He looked down upon us like he had been waiting for this moment; like he felt this was his natural state.

“Alicorns,” he began, clearly enjoying being able to use his authority. “I am Warden Bulwark, Leader of the Somber Blade, your new masters. You have been brought here to fulfill your great purpose... But first, I must see that you are ready.” With another flash, he disappeared, then reappeared on our level. He approached one of the alicorns, who stood rather stiffly, showing no signs of fear, just confusion. Bulwark glared into the alicorn’s eyes with a sneer for a minute before turning away with an annoyed grunt. Bulwark spent about ten minutes doing this to random alicorns; he looked like he was trying to get a rise out of them. Eventually, he turned to me. I stood ramrod stiff, taking the occasional uncomfortable glance off to the side as Bulwark stood nose-to-nose with me, growling.

“We’re the reason you’re here, you know,” he whispered. “We’re the reason you’ll never see your families again... All that you may have loved, gone within an instant!” He smiled, clearly waiting for something. I simply raised an eyebrow; what the hell was he doing? Why was he trying to piss people off?

Bulwark grew impatient as I remained silent, but he kept his cruel grin. “I doubt they’ll miss you, though... You never belonged there in the first place...”

I couldn’t remain silent any longer. “I’m sorry,” I interrupted as politely as possible. “But, what the hell are you doing?”

Bulwark took a step back, growling angrily. His horn began to glow; I debated whether it would be worth running, but before I could reach a conclusion he let off a blast of energy right in my face. I was sent rolling backwards across the ground, causing other alicorns to hastily step aside. Once I stopped rolling a couple of the alicorns helped me stand up; the blast didn’t hurt, it was more of a force-push kind of deal.

“What the hell, man?” I asked Bulwark. I wasn’t particularly angry, it just made me even more confused. Bulwark snarled in frustration and, with another flash, teleported back up to the balcony.

“Clearly you are not ready yet!” He barked from above. “A few weeks in here, however, and you will be ready to fulfill your destinies.” Bulwark took a moment to calm himself. “We of the Somber Blade are your masters now, alicorns. The barrier above obviously prevents flying, the collars around your necks prevent magic, and the guards are more than capable of preventing any pitiful attempts at escape. You will be free to leave once you have all reached your full potential.” Bulwark cast a quick glance at me. “Though it may take some time for some of you. Welcome to Camp 89, alicorns.”

With a final flash, Bulwark vanished. We were left there, confused, before slowly dispersing. The guards began lighting the lamps that lined the inside of the walls; night had fallen, I decided to find a tent to sleep in. As I looked for a tent that wasn’t full, I felt something in my horn; a prickling, tingling sense, it was faint but I felt it. I had thought the collars prevented magic, but my horn was doing something that was undeniably magical. I turned my head to my right, the tingling grew fainter. I turned to my left, it suddenly grew stronger. As I contemplated this, I remembered something from the show; Rarity’s story of how she got her cutie mark, in which her horn literally dragged her towards a rock full of diamonds. I realized that my horn was doing the same thing, more or less, so I decided to follow it.

Not unlike a metal detector, my horn tingled more and more as I got closer to... wherever it wanted me to go. Eventually, I found it; a tent towards the back corner of the camp, indistinguishable from the rest. With a shrug I opened the flap; clearly magic was used on these tents, as it was considerably larger on the inside. Two bunk beds stood at the back corners of the tent, a simple table with an oil lamp between them. On the top bunk of one of them sat the green alicorn I’d seen in the forest. She was quickly brushing something out of her eyes; she had been crying. I immediately thought that leaving would be the best option, but my horn gave another quick buzz. I needed to stay. I walked into the tent and climbed into the opposite bed on the bottom bunk. I lay there for a few moments while she lay down with her back to me. Eventually the silence became too much to bear; I sat up. “My name’s Creed.”

She was still for a second, but she rolled over to look at me, tears still in her eyes. “I’m Lily,” she said, quietly.

Okay, the conversation could happen, it just needs a pushing start, I thought. “Where, uh... Where you from?” I asked. Lily didn’t respond, she rolled over again and faced the side of the tent. When I heard her faintly whimper I thought about getting up and leaving, but the tent flaps were opened and two more alicorns entered. One had a dark red coat, black mane and a mark of a stethoscope, the other was blue with a darker blue mane, and a broken chain; I recognized them as the two that had helped me up after Bulwark blasted me in the face. The two had clearly expected the tent to be empty.

“Oh, uh, sorry...” The red one said. “We’ll just, uh...” He made to leave, but I stopped him.

“Dude, there’s enough room for all of us here.” I beckoned for them to come in. The two shared a quick glance before coming in. The blue one clambered into the bunk above me while the red one sat below Lily, who had sat up from the fresh arrivals.

Things were quiet for a few moments. Once again I broke the ice. “I’m Creed.”

“I’m Jake,” the blue one above me said.

“I’m his brother, Pete,” the red one said.

“Lucky you guys found each other, huh?” I said.

Pete chuckled. “Yeah. We woke up next to each other in the forest, we didn’t get very far before those... what did he call them? Somber Blade? Well, they caught us.”

I looked up at Lily expectantly; she hesitated before speaking. “I’m Lily.”

With the introductions out of the way, Pete lay back in his bunk. “What do they want with us?” He asked himself, rubbing his head.

“Well, Bulwark said that the Somber Blade were the reason we’d been brought here...” I said. “So at least we have something of an idea.”

“Yeah, but they’re CLEARLY up to something!” Pete said, frustrated. “I wouldn’t mind finding out what before it actually happens, you know?”

I rolled over on my side, Pete’s frustration becoming my own. “This isn’t how I’d have liked to come here...”

“Wait, what?” Jake said from above. He hung his head upside down into my bunk. “Say that again?”

I stared at Jake; could this be happening? “I said ‘This isn’t how I’d have liked to come here...’”

“You’re a brony?!” Jake said happily. I immediately sat up, nearly banging my head on the bunk above me.

“Yeah!”

Pete and Lily immediately perked up at this. “I’m a brony too!” Lily cried, showing the first signs of happiness in the few minutes since I had arrived. “Well, pegasister...”

“Jake was the one who brought me into the herd!” Pete said as he stood up from his bed.

“Hey, sorry, did I hear that right?” A yellow alicorn poked his head through the tent flaps. “Y’all are bronies?” Before we could nod, we heard someone calling from outside.

“I’m a brony!”

“Me too!”

I then realized just how quickly this pleasant realization could descend into a total shitstorm. I got up from the bed and poked my head through the tent flaps as the yellow alicorn departed. From our tent, every alicorn in sight was quickly revealing their bronyhood to others. The cries of “I’m a brony!” and “Brohoof!” spread like wildfire throughout the camp, until I could barely hear myself think over all the noise.

“Holy SHIT!” I exclaimed, pressing my hooves to my ears in a vain attempt to soften the noise. I turned to the alicorns behind me, they looked as dumbfounded as I did. Was every single alicorn here a brony?!

“ENOUGH!!”

As the voice somehow managed to shout loud enough to be clearly heard over the ruckus, a bolt of lightning streaked from the top of the dome and struck the very center of the camp; no one was hurt, but the noise snapped everyone to attention. Despite the dark I could make out the shape of Bulwark standing on top of the wall, his horn smoking from the recent spell.

“This is your PRISON! It is not a place for such childlike joviality!!” He barked before turning and walking down the wall towards one of the towers. I ducked back inside the tent without a word and climbed into bed. Despite the scare, after a few minutes the four of us began discussing the show and the fandom; Lily and I were similar in that we’d never met another brony in person before. It felt great to be able to talk to someone else through actual words, and not through a forum. We discussed all the music we’d heard, the fan art, the great fanfictions we had read, we gave our views on various aspects of the show, we must have spent a couple hours discussing everything pony.

But as we began to wind down and start falling asleep, my thoughts drifted to the fact that most, if not all, of the alicorns in this camp were bronies... I knew we were great in number and far spread, but this didn’t feel like a coincidence.

Just what the hell was happening?