• Published 16th Mar 2013
  • 2,103 Views, 51 Comments

Every Night After - General_Darkfang_NLR

As Equestria is once more shrouded in eternal night, the very land begins to die. One lone mare desperately tries to hold an entire nation, and herself, together.

  • ...

Treasonous Nightmares

Twilight sat upright on top of the bed in her old teacher's chambers. It was once a room filled with such joy and happy memories, but now it was anything but. In the absence of the Sun Goddess the room seemed... empty. It was as though the light had faded with her very being, and now there was only a ghost of what the room used to be. Twilight had chosen to stay in this room seeking the comfort from all those years. Sadly it never wound up providing it.

Across from her stood General Dawn, who was looking out at the night through the large twin glass doors that opened to the small stone balcony beyond. The silvery light from the moon softly illuminated her white mane, making it seem to almost faintly glow with its own light. However, in stark contrast to this, her dark onyx coat blended in so well with the shadows that Twilight would have had trouble seeing her face if she were to look. But Twilight wasn't looking at the general at that moment, instead she stared at no point in particular with a look that was a mixture of aggravation and exhaustion.

“How many were injured in the last attack?” Twilight asked, slightly perturbed that this question was not already answered honestly by her brother Shining.

“Overall chancellor there were seventy injured and ten casualties reported from the attack. Of the seventy injured, only twenty still remain in recovery. The rest have been sent back on duty.” Dawn replied, her voice soft but respectful.

“And of the enemy?” Twilight asked.

“Reports claim the force was at most a hundred and fifty ponies, the majority of which were Pegasi. They were better armored than we expected them to be, but they lacked in any real combat training. If I had to hazard guess, I would say Nightmare was recruiting from the rioting groups in various cities, hoping to gain a large enough force to try and overwhelm us. How they ever made it all the way here without detection is beyond me...” Dawn sighed, moving to sit in a nearby plush red arm chair before continuing. “Most of them were taken out in the initial attack, but we managed to capture about thirty five of them, and the majority were promptly executed as per your orders chancellor. The rest are locked up in the dungeons by lesser ranking ponies who weren't aware. Do you wish for them to be publicly executed?” Dawn asked, without a trace of empathy in her voice.

Twilight sighed, rubbing her hoof along her temples. The Sparkle Mandate, a document that she herself had drafted, stated quite clearly that any of Nightmare's troops found in wartime were to be executed immediately. While the order itself was a bit barbaric, it was necessary. Twilight needed to set an example to the populace that such acts of treason would not be tolerated in any way. And yet... it still made her sick to think about. There was a time when such an order was never necessary, but that was before all this. Times change.

“Well we shoul-” Twilight's response was cut off by a loud knocking coming from the twin golden doors that served as the entrance and exit to the chambers. Narrowing her eyes at the interruption Twilight motioned for Dawn to get the door, not really being able to do so herself in her current condition.

The doors swung open inwards to admit a panting yellow Pegasus, whose coat was matted with sweat. Upon seeing the chancellor he sighed in relief, pausing a few feet away from the bed to breath heavily. Any other time Twilight would have been annoyed at the pause, but the current condition he was in and the red sash tied around his foreleg signaled him as a messenger for the army and told her to wait. This was probably important. Once his breathing was back under control he spoke, snapping himself to attention before her.

“I apologize for the interruption supreme chancellor, but I have urgent news from the detachment Commander Shining took to Ponyville”. At this point he paused, his eyes and face taking on a strange emotion that Twilight could have sworn was fear. When after a minute he still did not reply, seemingly unable to find the right words, Twilight lost her patience. She shot the messenger a look that would have felled lesser ponies, causing the Pegasus to pale visibly. Quickly he spoke, the words spilling out of him like a confession.

“It... it’s the others ma'am. Yo-your friends. The Commander is bringing them back here.” The Pegasus stammered, but there sounded like something he was not saying. Twilight's eyes narrowed in suspicion.

“Why is Shining bringing them back here?” She asked, the tone in her voice layered with a promise of malice if he did not answer quickly enough.

The messenger flinched, but said it anyway. “Because ma'am... He's bringing them back here under arrest for treason. Th- they joined Nightmare.” He stammered out.

For a long time there was no change within the room. Dawn stared wide eyed in disbelief, while Twilight's expression was as blank as a snow covered mountainside. Slowly something happened. Although Twilight's facial expression did not change, something in her eyes did. A primal rage started to brew behind them that caused the messenger to unceremoniously turn hoof and run out of the chambers with such speed that it would have stunned even Rainbow Dash.


(A few hours later...)

Twilight sat upright upon her old mentor's throne. The harsh unforgiving alabaster stone beneath her flanks seared her with a deep cold that only a stone could ever truly know, but she did not even register the pain. For once in her entire life her brain was focused solely upon one thing, and one thing only. The uprisings, the starving ponies, Nightmare, none of that mattered anymore. The only thing that mattered were the five battered ponies in chains before her. All of whom wore Nightmare Moon's army regalia.

How... how could this be? How could her friends, her only friends in all of Equis, betray her? She didn't want to believe it, but the scene before her very eyes forced her analytical mind to see the truth for what it was. Her friends had turned against her, and in so doing turned against everything she had been fighting to protect.

Fluttershy refused to look at anything in the room, choosing instead to hide behind her filthy pink mane as tremors of fear wracked her small frame. Rarity looked up at Twilight with a mixture of sadness and... acceptance. Pinkie Pie, or Pinkamena as she had taken to calling herself these days, looked at her blankly, her straight pink hair hanging limply around her. It was as if someone had found a way to deflate all the happiness from within the pony, killing the party within her. Applejack, the strong farmer, had broken down long before Twilight had even entered the room. She sat there crying as Rainbow held her. But even for the cyan Pegasus, there was something in her beautiful rose tinted eyes... a deep unfathomable sadness that threatened to swallow Twilight whole if she gazed into its depths for too long.

Slowly Twilight stood, her legs shaking beneath her as pain lanced through her entire body. However she did not call for one of the guards, who stood stone faced along the walls of the throne room, to help her. Instead she moved towards her... friends, one agonizing hoofstep at a time. At last she reached Rarity at one end, pausing to look into the mare's eyes. Pausing to let her anger, and her pain, seep into the mare. Then she moved down the line, doing the same to each pony without saying a single word. When she reached the end, coming to Rainbow Dash, Twilight stopped. The cyan mare lifted her tear stained muzzle to look up at Twilight, only to flinch when she saw the anger laden within her friend's lavender eyes. Before Rainbow could even speak Twilight viciously brought her hoof across the mare's face, causing blood to spatter the immaculate marble floor as her lip split open. Leaning her head down Twilight spoke in a mournful venomous whisper only three words to her friend, but she might as well have shouted them at her.

“Et vous, fidélité...?”

And with that Twilight left, limping her way out of the throne room. As she did the guards moved to take the prisoners to the dungeons, unknowingly blocking the mares from seeing the tears that began to fall from a pair or retreating lavender eyes.


(Later on that night)

Twilight was in the middle of a barren plane, standing on dried out brown grass. The winds from the mountains to the north brought to her an all too sickening stench she recognized as burning flesh. Although she had only smelled such a thing once before in her entire life during a lab accident that had gone wrong, it was a smell that one did not forget. However she did not need her memory to tell her what the scent was, for her eyes were already doing that all too well.

All around her were corpses. Fallen members of the Lunar army lay scattered about the level plane, their once glorious armor now tarnished with splattering of scarlet as though some mad painter had managed to have their way with them. Some were missing limbs and appendages, a wing lay here, a head over there. And then... and then there were those who were burnt. Charred corpses dotted the plain with a sickly black smear. Most couldn't be seen offhoof, but you could see the black outline of their corpses. What scared her more than anything was that she knew some of these corpses. As she walked through the fields of the dead she began to recognize faces: Mr. Cake from the bakery... Aloe from the spa... Thunder Hooves from the weather team... Even the old librarian she knew when she was just a filly. However the sight that caused her to fall to her knees and retch, was the one that awaited her at the very end of the never ending sea of bodies.

There before the lavender mare stood five oak crucifixes. They were tools from ages past, when war was much more prevalent in Equestria, used mainly by the Solar Empire to demoralize the enemy. Nailed to each cross was a pony, and every one of them she knew too well. As she wept in agony a dark form approached her from behind, a sinister fanged smile adorning the muzzle of it's owner.

“Why do you weep chancellor? I had thought they betrayed you.” Nightmare Moon asked, her voice mocking and as piercing as the winter wind.

Upon hearing the voice Twilight spun around, quicker than thought, screaming in fury with her horn ablaze with its tell tale raspberry glow. With a deafening crack Nightmare was thrown back fifty feet, hitting the ground with such force that it knocked the wind out of her.

“You! You bitch! WHAT THE BUCK DID YOU DO TO MY FRIENDS?!” The enraged Unicorn screamed with a voice that caused Equis itself to tremble upon hearing. In the blink of an eye Twilight teleported on top of the much larger Alicorn, bringing her dangerously sparking horn to Nightmare's onyx neck. The sparks bounced off the onyx pelt, singing her immaculate coat where they fell.

For the first time in many centuries the Alicorn began to feel fear, but she did her best not show it. Her face still grinned impassively at the enraged lavender Unicorn above her. With a merciless chuckle she spoke, her voice a mixture of amusement and pity.

“Me? Oh no, no my dearest Chancellor it was not me that did all this...” She vaguely gestured to the corpses of the army and those of Twilight's friends, “.... no, it was you!”

Disbelief clouded Twilight's eyes as she glared at the Alicorn beneath her, hatred seething out of her very being. With a growl of fury she pressed her horn deeper into her opponent's neck, drawing blood and eliciting a cry of pain from Nightmare.

“Do not lie to me you MONSTER! Tell me. What. Did. You. Do!?” ” She shouted, her voice like a bolt of lighting in a hurricane.”

For the briefest of moments Nightmare's resolve faltered. Perhaps... perhaps she had gone too far with this. Things were quickly getting out of hoof, and this was still a place where she could be harmed. But... that would mean that the unicorn before her was more powerful than she was, and that was ridiculous. She was a GOD, the Princess of the Night, nopony was greater than she. With a sneer of contempt she pressed on, determined to break the pony before her at all costs.

“If you don't believe me then go look for yourself...” Nightmare stated flatly, pointing her hoof to a sign that Twilight just now noticed by the crucifixes.

Getting up Twilight slowly made her way to the sign staked in the unforgiving dirt. She knew what it was. The sign served as an account of what happened, and a warning... to everypony not to follow in the condemned hoofsteps. After what seemed like years she came to the sign, and through her tear stained eyes she read:

Here stands the traitorous bearers of the Elements of Harmony.

For their treason against the Solar Empire,

and for their aiding of the enemy they were put to death.

So says the decree of The Sparkle Mandate, drafted by her

Supreme Chancellor Twilight Sparkle.

So her will says, so it shall be done.

May Celestia take pity on their sinful souls.

The words struck Twilight as though a mountain had been dropped upon her. She... She had killed her friends. Her only friends in all of Equis, the only ones to ever show her love, and she had killed them. Sentenced them to burn in Tartarus for all of eternity, for what? A stupid mistake? A misguided decision? With a cry of anguish she fell to the ground before her friends, weeping in such agony that no physical wound could ever compare.

Behind her Nightmare chuckled darkly, relishing in the mare's pain. She was so close now... so close. With slow determined steps she made her way over to Twilight, preparing the speech that would tear her mind asunder. But she never made it anywhere near her. Without any warning the ground beneath Nightmare's hooves punched her in the gut, sending her soaring into the air. She tried to spread her voluminous wings to right herself, but a bolt of lightning soared out of the cloudless sky and struck her down to the ground. Gasping in pain she tried to move, but found she could not. She could only turn her snake-like pupils towards the advancing lavender mare with a look of unmasked terror. Twilight had realized the truth.

“You should not have done that Nightmare.” Twilight spoke, her voice cold and devoid of any emotion. Nightmare recognized that voice, and realized with sudden terror that she had indeed gone too far. It was a voice that held no empathy, only hate.

And with that Twilight turned her back to Nightmare, a door forming out of nothing before her. Slowly it opened to reveal a sleeping Twilight in her bed chambers, tossing and turning fitfully. Before she stepped through the doorway she turned to look back, a smile that promised death on her lips.

“It's about high time I ended you. Once, and for all.”

Author's Note:

Et tu, Fidelitas...? Translates from Larin to: "And you, Loyalty...?" A little gift for all you fellow Shakespeare fans out there.

Also, on another note, I am still looking for an editor. If anyone happens to be interested please send me a PM and I will get back to you as soon as I can, thank you all so much =]

(Don't forget to rate. Comments, as always, are always appreciated.)

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