• Published 9th Mar 2013
  • 3,753 Views, 136 Comments

Unity at Dusk - AlphatheGriffin17



Book III. With the lord of chaos released from stone and being the only none-Element, Dusk is left behind by the others. But he will soon discover that there is much more to him than he could have ever known...

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Night Fight

Blackhole Doom was shaking with anticipation as his master transported them to the home of his weaker self. Performing those deeds of chaos on those pathetic mares had been immensely satisfying and he was looking forward to bringing his disharmonic powers to Dusk's disgusting hovel of a home.

The dark pony, like his master, revelled in chaos. It was what he lived for, since his master had used his power from the fear that Dusk had developed of him coming to life. He had just been idea, a nightmare that Dusk had hoped would never come to pass. Discord had simply made that stronger, increased his fear of it and made him believe it to be real with his powers of persuasion and chaos. Now, the idea had become reality and Blackhole Doom had been given life, though it filled him with disgust that he had been brought into being by one so pathetic, so weak…

He had not been merely taunting when he had referred to himself as Dusk's brother. In a sense, he had all of Dusk's strength, of what little they were, especially his sharp mind. But his master had been kind and granted him power, both strength in body and in magic so that he was tougher and faster than Dusk. All of his brother's negative emotions were increased tenfold within him. Rage, anger, hatred, deceit, cruelty, they were all of what made up Blackhole, with none of his more useless ones, like compassion, love and empathy. In short, he was everything his useless former hadn't been: strong, with no weaknesses and no holding back. Except perhaps…

Every now and again, Blackhole felt an uncomfortable emotion he didn't like and he tried to ignore. It surfaced whenever he saw those mares or did something to them, a kind of urge that he should stop and he actually ended up feeling a little guilty afterwards, regret for what he had done. Some small part of Dusk that still lingered in his mind, no doubt. Eventually, it would fade away and all that would be left would be his thoughts, his desires. Dusk Noir was gone and now it was his turn, his reign over his mind and body.

"Come along now Blackhole, I just know you're going to enjoy this," Discord prompted, floating in the air before him.

"Yes master, as you wish," he replied, following him to their destination.

The spirit of disharmony was the only being on this world that he would hold allegiance. Everyone else, everything else, was worth nothing other than to be part of a world drenched in chaos. His master had been the one who had given him life, forming him from Dusk's fear and giving him the strength to become real, to challenge his weaker self. Like his master, he too revelled in chaos and anarchy, tormenting all of the ponies he knew would never accept him and would revile him as a monster. That was what he was… and he was proud of it.

As he followed Discord through the town, he stopped when he noticed something. It was a rose growing out of the ground nearby, its delicate petals as white as snow, but the thorns were wicked and sharp. How fitting, he thought bitterly, thinking of those mares again. Once upon a time, he might have found it beautiful, enchanting even. But Blackhole found it ugly, unfitting in his master's and his own vision.

Selecting the appropriate spell, he cast his magic at it so that its petals became black and it writhed for a moment like a living animal, before it stopped and became still again. Now, whenever anypony would try to pick it, it would wrap around their leg and trap them there. There, that was much better he thought to himself. Satisfied with his work, he continued on after his master.

"Ah, here we are," Discord said as he rounded a corner.

Blackhole followed and felt his blood boil in anger. It looked to be any normal home in Ponyville; two floors, white walls held up by wooden struts, thatched roof and surrounded by a garden fence with nothing too spectacular about it. But Blackhole knew from the memories he'd be examining in Dusk's broken thoughts that his house was once his home. This had been where he'd resided, where he had lived out his pathetic little life.

"Why are we here, master?" he asked, trying his best not to explode in a fit of rage.

"We're here so that you can have a little more fun, my partner in crime." He gestured expansively to the house. "I take it you know who used to live here?"

"I do," he growled again. "What of it?"

"Well, since he's not around anymore, he won't need it, so it's yours now." He stood back and patted him on the neck. "You can do whatever you want to it."

Blackhole felt his excitement grow at this. "You mean… you will let me…?"

"Yes, my little pony," he clarified with a grin. "Go nuts."

"With pleasure!" In seconds, he was off to start his work.

It was immensely enjoyable, a task that he took on with utter reverence, using his great strength to commit to it. First, he went for the fence, tearing it out of the ground and tossing the wood into the air, disintegrating or shattering it with blasts of magic. Then, he used magic to zap the flowers so grew around it, so that they withered and died in seconds, their petals rotting and leaves blackening. With almighty swings of his hooves, he cracked and collapsed the walls on the left side so that half of the house fell on itself, crumbling with a wonderful sound of destruction.

Words couldn't describe how much joy, or the closest approximation of it for one so despicable, Blackhole took in this task of destruction, as he made the left side of the house sink into a chocolate syrup quagmire he conjured up. It was like when he had beaten Dusk's mind into submission with his own powerful thoughts and desires, how glorious and wonderful it had been to revel in such destruction and pain and now to do it again! Destroying what he considered to be a symbol of his enemy was truly… spectacular.

"Having fun, are we?" Discord asked when he stopped to gather up his strength again.

"Very much so," he replied, grinning up at him. "Thank you for this opportunity, my lord. You are good to me."

"Call it well done present for your wonderful deeds of chaos, I'm very proud of you so far," he told him. "Keep this up and you've got a bright future indeed, Blackhole."

"I am most gratified by your praise, master," he said, bowing his head. "May I continue?"

"Oh please do, don't stop on my account," he insisted, snapping his fingers. He conjured up a row of seats and sat on it with his popcorn and cola. "I must say, quite enjoy watching this myself."

"I shall make it as entertaining as possible then." He whipped around back to the house, about to cast another spell until…

"HALT! Thy princess commands thee to cease at once!" Blackhole felt no shock, only increased rage at the sound of this new voice.

A midnight blue alicorn stood nearby, glaring at both himself and his master with an authority she certainly didn't deserve. Her starlit mane was flared, her wings poised and ready to fly, her expression determined and her horn aglow with magic. Princess Luna, he thought angrily. She looked ready for a fight and Blackhole was only more than willing to give her one.

Discord appeared a little shocked himself at the appearance of this new arrival. However, he recovered swiftly and beamed wickedly at the sight of her, as if she were an old friend rather than his mortal nemesis.

"Why Luna! How lovely to see you again, my dear," he greeted, as if addressing a filly. "How have you been keeping? Well, I hope?"

"Be silent, they forked-tongued wretch!" she commanded. "We have not travelled here to bandy crooked words with thee!"

"Sounds like somepony hasn't been keeping up with the times," he remarked casually. "But then again, a thousand years trapped in the moon will do that to you. How was that, by the way? Lonely? Isolated? Scary?"

"What has passed has passed and we have no desire to speak of it again, certainly not with the likes of thee, Discord!" she responded harshly.

"Just as grim as her sister," he murmured to Blackhole, then to her. "I must say, I'm sorry I wasn't around for your big change, even more so that I wasn't the cause of it. Well, not in a direct sense anyway."

"We already know of this and of what you did to us after thou were trapped," she said dangerously.

"Oh yes, my little parting gift to this fair land," remarked Discord. "Whatever happened to it, I wonder? Still crawling around inside your mind, is it?"

"The Corruption Entity that thou left behind to infest my soul has been long since purged and we shall never succumb to such tyrannical thoughts again."

"Come, come now Luna, don't you ever miss it?" he asked temptingly. "All the power that you had, the idea of night eternal? All my ideas put into that corrupting cloud of gas to leave behind a slice of chaos in my absence… those thoughts not still in there?"

"Not one bit of them, not now nor ever again," she declared firmly.

"Really? Aw, that's a shame, we could have made a great team." He gestured his hands, so their names lit up in neon lights. "Discord, Blackhole Doom and Nightmare Moon: Agents of Chaos and Disharmony."

"Blackhole Doom?" Her gaze turned to the seething, angry pony before her. "So, this has what has become of our loyal subject Dusk? Twisted by thy powers and corrupting influence?"

"Twisted? Luna, you make it sound like it's a bad thing." He gestured to Blackhole. "This is an improvement, isn't that right Doom?"

"Yes." He met the princess's gaze with a piercing glare. "I am more powerful, stronger and without the weaknesses of that weakling Dusk."

Luna didn't seem intimidated or even scared. Instead, she looked at him with pity and compassion. It made him feel sick. "Oh Dusk, what has happened to thee?"

"DON'T CALL ME THAT!" he screeched at her. "I am not Dusk Noir, for he is gone! I am BLACKHOLE DOOM AND I AM INVINCIBLE!"

"We don't believe that, he can still be saved from thy dark influence," Luna insisted.

"Then you are a fool!" he roared, his anger towards her raging like a fire. "I have defeated him, I have broken his mind and dropped him into the darkest recesses of my own! He is not coming BACK!"

"I think you've touched a nerve, my dear Luna," Discord put in. "Tell you what Blackhole, why don't you have some stress relief. I'm sure the princess would be happy to oblige."

"Thank you, master." He let his anger flow through him, his bitter hatred for the pony in front of him.

Luna appeared surprised. "You would order your minion to attack us? You would have such an audacity Discord?"

"Well, you did trap me in stone and you did enrage him in the first place," shrugged the spirit. "Consider this making us even."

"Thou hast never killed, Discord," she said to him. "This is quite a change of form."

"Oh, he won't kill you…" He paused and stroked his beard thoughtfully. "At least, I don't think he will. He can be quite uncontrollable in these little fits he has, but I'm sure he won't snuff you out entirely."

"I shall make sure there is enough of her left for you to make use of, my lord," promised Blackhole, intending to leave her in a pathetic enough state that she wouldn't be able to defend herself.

"Very good, then have fun!" Discord then proceeded to sit back on his chair and pop another piece of corn into his mouth. "This should be entertaining."

Luna returned her gaze to Blackhole. "You do not want to do this, Blackhole. We are far stronger and more powerful than thee."

"Once again, you are mistaken," growled Blackhole. "I do want to do this and your power has diminished since my master has returned to power."

"That doesn't mean we cannot best thee," she countered, tensing her body for a fight.

"We shall see about that." He let her see his smile. Then, with a loud roar… he pounced!


Twilight was glad to see the sight of her library, as the sun suddenly shot up again in the chaotic Ponyville. Seeing Spike would be comforting after all that happened, unless Discord had gotten to him as well, as would the many shelves of books and the one that would help them here. But it wouldn't be the same without one particular pony, the one who should have been wearing the hat she carried before her.

Preventing the tears from returning and trying to stay strong, she halted at the door and turned to her less-than cooperative friends.

"Okay, we're here. Everyone please, please, please just go inside, please?"

"Ah absolutely refuse," lied Applejack, a magical glow making her fur turn even more colourless.

"With pleasure." Fluttershy received the same treatment, as she trampled on a bush of flowers before heading inside.

"I hate libraries!" Pinkie put in, also becoming grey.

The only one not inside was Rarity, who was struggling against the weight of her boulder, sweat rolling down her face as she pushed against it.

"Pleeeease, we've gotta hurry!" she insisted to the debutante.

Rarity only glared at her. "Forget it, Twilight. I know what you're up to. The second I go in, you'll have your little minion Spike come and take Tom!"

"Tom?" she asked, unbelieving that she'd actually named it.

"Well, it's not going to work," she said as if she hadn't heard her, rubbing her boulder lovingly as her fur turned to grey as well. She didn't know what that meant and right now, she didn't care.

"You're not going in without him, are you" Rarity shook her head, so Twilight heaved 'Tom' onto her back and levitated Dusk's hat to her. "Fine! Hold this then!"

"Hm… you know, this is quite a nice hat," Rarity added, looking over it with interest. "Once you wash off the dirt, sort out a few of the frayed bits, it's still wearable…"

"Don't even think about it!" growled Twilight, moving the boulder in front of the door. She was satisfied when Rarity said nothing in response.

Realising that the size of the boulder would mean it wouldn't fit through the door, she used her magic to slam it into the wall of the tree, creating a hole and allowing it inside. She'd have to fix the hole later, for now she just wanted this over with. Plus, that had allowed her to vent some of her frustration.

Rarity rushed forward, dropping the trilby and Twilight quickly picked it up again. "Careful, Twilight! You'll ruin his beautiful finish."

"Oh, for the love of..." She didn't even finish her sentence, Spike hurrying up to her.

"Twilight, what's going on?" he asked her, a little bit of water dripping from his scales. "Why does everybody look so...grey?"

"Don't ask." She scooped him up onto her back. "I need you to help me find something."

"Wait, hold on." He looked around the group, growing concerned. "Where's Dusk? Didn't he come back with you?"

Twilight was silent for a few moments, tried to speak but it came out as a sob. It felt as if her heart were being torn in two again at the mention of this.

"I'm sorry Spike… he… he…" She couldn't finish, simply levitating his hat to the baby dragon, who took it looking confused.

"Isn't this Dusk's? Why do you have it?" Realisation dawned on his face, as tears rolled down Twilight's face again. "No… you mean he's… gone?"

"…Yes…" She bowed her head, screwing her eyes shut, like she could shut out the whole world and join Dusk wherever he was. How could she hope to go on through this without him? She just missed him so much…

She felt a claw being placed comfortingly on her shoulder and saw Spike, wiping away his own tears and clutching Dusk's hat. "Come on Twilight, he'd… he'd want us to beat him, he'd want you to be strong. Knowing him, he'd probably say he's not worth the tears anyway."

"I… suppose he would," she sniffed, remembering how low on self-esteem he was… had been.

"But he'd still say you should carry on, I know he would." He gripped her shoulder and gave her a grim smile. "Come on, we can still pull back from this."

"You're right Spike," she nodded, wiping her tears away and looking determined. "We can still find the Elements and stop Discord. Come on, let's find this book."

"Aw, somepony sad 'cause her coltfriend's not here?" Fluttershy asked mockingly.

"Be quiet Fluttershy, we need to hurry," she told her angrily, becoming frustrated with the Pegasus's attitude, with all of their attitudes.

"Oh, I'll hurry up." She picked up a bucket of water and smiled cruelly. "Hey, Twilight, what's soaking wet and clueless?"

"Fluttershy, I've had just about enough-" She was cut off as she emptied the entire bucket onto her head, soaking her mane and fur thoroughly.

"Your face!"

Twilight groaned again and shook herself dry. This was going to be a long day, she could tell already…


Princess Luna had known her opponent would be dangerous, due to his corruption from Discord's dark powers and from the similarities he shared with her own dark side, Nightmare Moon. She was still startled, however, by the sheer ferocity with which he threw himself at her, roaring like an angry beast.

Flaring her wings, she took to the sky, avoiding his attack and keeping her eyes locked on him. In truth, her own power had been diminished now that Discord had taken over again and this stallion certainly seemed to be very strong. She could see the ground crack around him as he landed, shaking the very earth he stood upon. There was nothing holding him back, he was pure rage and anger in pony form. Rather disconcerting, considering how meek and gentle he had been before all of this…

But despite this, she was still an alicorn, having the advantages of a Pegasus and a Unicorn. Not only that, but she was the Princess of the Night and co-ruler of Equestria. She had defeated Discord with her sister before and she would manage the same feat with Blackhole Doom. All she had to do was catch him off-guard and hit him with her spell, which had to be in direct contact with his horn. For now, she would have to do her best to weaken him.

Calling upon the powers of the weather, she gathered storm clouds to her and commanded them to rain lightning down onto him. She heard him scream out in pain as the bolts struck his body, lighting him up and making his skeleton visible. She watched him buckle from the impact of volts of electricity running through him, his body smoking from the heat. Perhaps this would be easier than she first thought.

But the stallion recovered from the attacks and snarled up at her. He then began to weave and dodge around the bolts, feinting in one direction and rolling to another and making himself a very difficult target. Soon enough, he started to counter-attack, levitating or even heaving chunks of stone and debris the bolts blew out of the ground and hurling them at her with great strength and incredible speed.

Luna, recognising the danger of remaining stationary on her own cloud, ducked and dodged around the chunks of stone, feeling the stabs of pain from ones that occasionally hit her. She was finding it difficult to dodge the attacks and still keep up her lightning bombardment on him, especially in her weakened state. She was about to try for a counter-strike herself, when she saw Blackhole, hurtling towards her atop a chunk of stone he was levitating with his magic. She tried to move, saw as he raised his fist to strike-

SMACK!

She winced and heard him laugh as he punched her across the face, sending her reeling through the sky. Shaking away her slightly blurred vision, she watched as he floated atop the rock, a travesty of a grin on his face.

"Your powers are weak, Luna," he sneered. "You cannot hope for victory in this fight.

"That remains to be seen!" Luna charged at him, kicking a cloud as she did.

He barely had time to react as the dark grey cloud consumed him. Before he had the chance to break out, Luna kicked it once more to stir up the lightning within. She heard him scream as the electricity coursed through his body once more. Every time she kicked the cloud there was another flash, another exclamation of pain.

Suddenly, he burst out of the cloud, his hooves sparking with power. Now, his punches had added damage, sending small jolts of lightning into her as they made contact with her skin and sending shots of pain through her body. The strength, the ferocity! What was that motivated him that drove him after receiving such punishment? Still having strength in her, she returned a punch of her own and sent him off his rock chunk, crashing into the earth below.

Still wincing from her injuries, she landed gracefully and saw him attempting to climb out of the crater he had made from the fall. She galloped straight towards him, using her wings to glide across the ground, the magic empowering her horn. She had to end this fight quickly, for she didn't like to think that she would be hurting Dusk somehow… it had been incredible he was still standing now. She reached him, lowered her horn…

"GET AWAY FROM ME!" A blast of magic sent her flying backwards, skidding across the ground.

She recovered herself and landed back on her hooves, turning to see Blackhole emerge from the crater, his horn glowing and his features alive with malice and rage.

"Thou are strong in thy body, Blackhole," she said, preparing to catch him off-guard with a spell of her own, "we shall concede to that much."

"I don't care about your concessions princess!" he shouted back. "All I want is to see you on your knees, begging for my mercy… like your little subject did. Quite pathetic and disappointing, I thought he would last a little longer, at any rate."

"Then we shall try our best not to disappoint thee!" This last part she yelled out and sent her spell at him as she did.

The spell managed to hit him, sending him to the ground and leaving a smoking spot on his fur. They were only meant to weaken him, for even he couldn't fight on forever. He stood back up, looked down at the wound and gave a screech of fury, entering into the magical duel.

They were both relatively well matched in terms of their style of fighting. Blackhole chose to simply bombard her with all manner of spells, apparently not having much in the way of a plan and guided by his uncontrollable anger. Luna chose to counter with defensive spells, leaping and dodging when required, Blackhole's violent attacks being enough to keep her on her hooves and occasionally sending a spell back, which either hit him or was blocked. It had been long time since she'd had to fight like this, but she was glad she wasn't entirely out of practice.

She chose one moment to become formless, dancing around as a cloud of purple smoke, like she had done when she was Nightmare Moon. Blackhole, not expecting this, was unable to hit her and didn't have time to react when she sent more bolts of lightning at him, followed up with a quick kick to the head. She then backed away, unwilling to hurt him any further, in case she hurt Dusk as well.

She saw him buckle at the knees and grimace. "Thou are weakening, Blackhole," she told him. "Soon, thou shall have no more strength and will have to concede defeat to us."

"While I breathe, I have strength. I am not WEAK!" he roared, sending more spells at her and returning to the duel.

Luna tried her best to block his spells and dodge them, but she was starting to lose energy too. Becoming formless had taken a bit out of her, as had the rest of her magical attacks and Blackhole's relentless bombardment. If she didn't bring this fight to a close and soon, he might end up winning and her fate wouldn't be a good one.

At one point in the duel, he sent a spell to the ground below her hooves. She barely had time to react as the roots in the grass sprung to life and wrapped themselves tightly around her legs, fixing her in place. Attempting to struggle free, she was unable to dodge the next spell which caused her wings to move of their own accord. As a result, she was painfully stretched, enough to make her cry out in agony, as she was being pulled both from below and from above.

Through the blinding pain, she wondered why Blackhole hadn't attacked her while she was in this vulnerable state. When she looked across at him, he was standing still, laughing at her pain and discomfort. With a flare of rage of her own, she realised that he was toying with her, enjoying the pains she was in. She knew she wasn't meant to hurt Dusk, but right now Blackhole was in control and he was about to learn the consequences of thinking of her as his sick plaything.

With a powerful blast of magic, she disintegrated the roots that held her in place and regained control of her wings, shooting upwards into the sky. Banking around, avoiding more blasts he sent her way, she shot more bolts of lightning towards him, each striking him. Before he could recover, she shot straight at him, her hoof before her and smacked him right across the face. The blow sent him flying backwards and skidding across the dirt himself.

She sprinted straight at him, not holding anything back now. Just as he returned to his hooves, she hit him with another bolt of magic that sent him down again. Levitating him up, she sent him crashing into a rock, which split on impact. A few more bolts of lightning and a punch sent him to the ground again, Luna now fighting just as ferociously as her opponent had been. She was about to strike again as he whipped around to face her, but he no longer looked angry, but scared.

As he should be, she thought. She raised her hoof to strike-

"Luna! Please, stop!" The tone, the inflections in his voice made her stop when she recognised them. "Please, no more!"

"Dusk?" she whispered, still tensed and ready to strike.

"Yes, it's me. Please stop… you're hurting me…" He gazed up at her, tears glimmering in his eyes.

She gritted her teeth, still determined to strike him, to leave him in a weakened enough state to perform her magic. But then she thought to herself… what was she doing? She was causing pain, unnecessary pain, to the stallion who had reached out to her, offered her friendship when only her sister had, had shown her nothing but affection and loyalty. What kind of princess was she, that she would do this to one of the few friends she had? One who was as much her kindred spirit as anypony else she'd met.

Besides, he had received enough punishment. She should be able to perform her spell on him now, without any more fighting.

"Dusk… I'm sorry." She held out her hoof. "Here, let me help you…"

"Thank you, Luna," he replied weakly, reaching out to take it.

"I know how I can help you, I didn't mean to hurt you," she insisted, the formality of the Royal Voice forgotten. Her friend needed her help and they needed his. "I truly am sorry for the pain I caused you…"

"Don't worry…" He grabbed her hoof, gripping it tightly. Then, his head shot up, his eyes dancing with madness and she knew the mistake she'd made. "I'm NOT!"

He yanked her forward, sending a punch straight into her face, followed by another that sent her reeling back. She gazed at him, feeling both foolish and angry.

"You would resort to such… underhanded trickery?" she asked of him, as he grabbed her neck.

"It is simply further proof of how weak your compassion makes you," he snorted, tightening his hold and raising his hoof. "I have no such weakness!"

SMASH!

His hold on her neck released, but his attack certainly didn't. She couldn't counter as he kept up this physical attack, striking her wherever she might be vulnerable. Luna wasn't as adept in hoof-to-hoof combat and certainly didn't have the strength that he had. She'd wanted to avoid getting too close, but now… he would show her no mercy.

Punch after punch after kick after blow after strike followed without end, sending waves of agony throughout her body, her vision blurring from signs of concussion. Whenever she tried to respond in kind, it was like he anticipated the move somehow, blocked it and returned it. A punch intended for him ended up with Luna being struck with her own hoof. Just when it seemed like she would black out from the pain, he stopped.

Her knees buckled, gave way and she collapsed in a heap before him. She tried to fight, tried to get back up but she had nothing left to give. She was beaten.

"Now…" He bent low and locked eyes with her, "beg for mercy."

"Never," she spat, unable to believe the trickery he had steeped to.

"I said… BEG!" He raised his hoof up and she was determined to look him in the eye, to show him she wasn't afraid.

The instant she did, his leg faltered, his hoof paused. Just for a second, she could have sworn jade became emerald, anger turned to pity and the stones around his neck flickered with light at the coloured centre. It was only for a moment, but the thought gave her strength. Dusk was still in there… and it was her duty as his princess to save him.

Heaving herself up, she pushed his hoof aside and pressed her horn against his before he could stop her. She let the jolt of magic shoot into his mind, like a buzz from a defibrillator, felt his hoof smack her away again, but it was too late. She had done it, what she'd come here to do.

"What did you do to me?!" he demanded angrily, looking a little scared.

"Why don't… you tell me?" she asked weakly, summoning up what little was left of her strength.

He waited a few moments, still looking fearful, and then grinned. "Whatever it was, it did not work. Your magic is useless."

"Perhaps…" She let the energy of a teleportation spell flow through her and let him see her smile. "We shall see."

He saw his grin falter, heard him scream with rage and charge at her but by the time he'd reached the spot she had been, she had returned to the safety of her room in Canterlot, feeling utterly spent of energy.

Just as she collapsed on her warm, comfortable bed, her last thought was of Dusk and the hope that what she had done was enough to save him…


Somewhere cold, somewhere dark nothing lived, or breathed or acknowledged the existence of anything but the all-encompassing darkness that surrounded it. That's all this place was, darkness, a void of nothingness. It was desolate and abandoned, this place, with the steep rocky walls, the harsh sharp rocks and the ever-present shadows, against which no light could pierce. Nothing was down here… well, except for one thing.

A pony, a unicorn stallion, quite small and modest, lay sprawled out on the ground, his fur a midnight blue and his mane a chestnut brown. His body was covered with bruises and cuts, from which blood trickled steadily. His chest rose and fell weakly with his breathing, but apart from this he was completely motionless, lifeless. Broken.

It seemed like nothing would wake him from this slumber. Perhaps he had once had life, once had hopes, dreams, disappointments and failures. But they were gone now, for it seemed there was little of him left, no hope for him at all.

Then a light appeared and shone down on him. As it did, he stirred. Very slightly, very slowly, but he did, like this strange light had awoken something within him. Then, he did something incredible, something unbelievable, something that looked like it had taken an incredible amount of strength to do. But he did it.

Dusk Noir opened his eye and gasped.

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