• Published 10th Apr 2013
  • 1,733 Views, 174 Comments

Libera Mé - EZTP



Set just after the events of season 3, Twilight Sparkle and her friends must rise to a challenging beast the likes of which will test her not only as an alicorn, but as the Princess of Friendship.

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29 Rise

29

“Still nothing?”

“He’s fighting Princess Celestia.”

“A very strong warrior.”

“He never wanted to be one.”

“Destiny is a funny thing Rarity. We cannot see where it takes us, but we must trust in ourselves to follow it. Wait...he?”

“Yes. We talked a lot.”

“Judging by the fact you haven’t left his side I can assume it is more than a casual conversation.”

“You could say that. We found each other.” Rarity felt Celestia's wing on her.

“Do you know if he’s going to stay.”

Rarity rested her hoof over her heart, “As long as he wants to.”

*

Nurse Full Fledged was having a very strange month. She had treated outbreaks of ailments that she had not seen in a long time, nearly worked around the clock and had enough energy for ten mares.

She was the supervisor in charge of looking after the four stallion guards that had met with an accident which she, or anypony else, could not be allowed to know about. She could only speculate as to what caused their injuries but it had been touch and go for a while.

She was sitting one night in her chair monitoring the wards and assigning tasks to the midnight staff when of all ponies Princess Luna and Princess Celestia themselves came in carrying four mangled soldiers with them. They were in a panic because their magic could not heal them. Nurse Full Fledged maintained her calm and quickly summoned a horde a doctors and nurses with top priority given to the most badly wounded. They worked furiously to save them, broken bones realigning, torn muscle reattached, vessels connected. She had taken the two Princesses to the observation points of the O.R. and tried to keep them calm, attending to some cuts and bruises on both of them. She never asked once what had happened to them but judging from the looks they kept giving each other it had been traumatic. Particular bruise drew her curiosity, a strange mark around Princess Lunas neck that had sunk deeply. Quelling her curiosity she continued patching up the Princesses.

From what she read in the stallions postoperative reports, they had suffered several high velocity wounds that barely broke their pelts but had caused internal haemorrhaging and severe shock. Whatever happened to them, she had an instinct she would be happier not knowing. Whatever happened it ended up being a rare case where the wings could no longer be attached. Such a fate would have normally been an end for a pony, yet she had remained strong.

Shortly after that a mare with the crushed windpipe came in, a distinct and odd bruise around her neck, she was fortunately salvageable suffering more from shock than a physical injury.

Another strange one was the Zebra, Zamora or something like that. She had come to do some investigating into the wounds the guards had. She only wanted to know about them but they were kept under strict observation and no pony could visit them. In fact, it was suspicious that the zebra even knew about the guards, everypony on duty was bound by oath not to speak out. Gossiping fishwives. Zamora was quite insistent and eventually she described what was wrong to prevent her from causing another bizarre scene. She was particularly interested in the locations of the wounds, not the depth or severity, but exactly where they were on the soldiers. Her curiosity about the soldiers satisfied she then wanted to go around and see how things in the hospital worked. Nurse Full Fledged took it upon herself to lead the strange zebra around so she would not frighten the others. After an entire day of wandering around and seeing how things in the hospital functioned. She was very popular with the younger ponies who admired her tattoos and proclaimed proudly they wanted stripes that that when they got older. She had a lot of questions about blood and storing it, which again was suspicious to her. Nevertheless she explained draining, blood types, plasma donations, and the zebra simply left in the evening.

Her niece had been traumatised for trying to help the monster of Canterlot, almost losing an eye to its aggression.

The hours were too strenuous for her old bones so she transferred to Ponyville General where she had interned in her glory days. It was hardly an adjustment, ponies were a lot friendlier and more happy than the ones in the major cities. Shortly after she began her first night shift, Rainbow Dash herself was brought in by Princess Twilight. The sonic rainboom legend and their new Princess. She had worked in hospitals most of her life and she never had seen so much action in such a short time, she had become worried there was a curse on her. Rainbow Dash had been hurt badly, another wolf attack which was far too common with the more reckless ponies here. Fortunately her makeshift bandages were done expertly and the Home remedies on her did wonders to clot the bleeding. She was very weak though and in annoyed Nurse Full Fledged that there were so many autograph hounds on her own staff. She wondered how a pegasus could have even been caught off guard by a timber wolf. Once again though she never did ask.

Then the madness with Queen Chrysalis and that horrible cocoon nonsense. It had been horrible to watch that poor creature struggle to face her. It had gained such momentum in the beginning, stepping through the smoke and fire like a scene from an action movie, of which she was a passionate watcher. The way it tore through those crystal brutes barely being touched and sending them scattering across the room. The way it stood its ground against the queen herself who threw her magic at it, barely scathing the armour it wore. How their hopes sunk when the queen crushed it under the massive statue, but rallied again when it regained its stance and was joined by the elements of harmony with Princess Twilight. She had never seen such a display, such power from all of them, fighting to save them all from a horrible fate.

She was very grateful as a young royal soldier flew her to the ground, happiness and relief all around her. It had subsided so quickly when she heard a screaming from the centre. She pushed through ponies, her old bones still carrying her swiftly to the sound and her heart sank when she saw the creature collapsed being cradled by the element of generosity, a grey mare with deep a purple mane. She was the one screaming and was frantically pulling shards of dark crystal out of it. Nurse Full Fledged had rushed to her ordering her to stop lest it bleed to death. The pony was panicking and looking at the creature she herself nearly descended into it. The damage was the worst she had ever seen, and there was so much blood. Some unicorns came to lift it but princess Twilight ordered them back explaining the magic could harm it further. Thinking quickly Nurse Full Fledged improvised a stretcher from the wreckage of the doors and with a lot of help moved the creature onto it. It was quite a sight, it took eight stallions to lift the creature, it was not bigger than them but certainly heavier.

She stretched and looked out the window to the morning sun freshly rising over tired body. She had been busy attending to the creature and its friend the nights and days, they reminded her of when she was young and so scared about things that could not be controlled. Her motherly instincts had given her the energy to carry on and comfort the friends. The pretty pony had taken it hard, she remembered the first night how she had barely moved or sone anything, Nurse Full Fledged had to clean the creatures blood off the grey coat herself. She had learned after all her experience that fate was cruel but always rewarding. The creature was still unconscious, its heartbeat strong. It had not awoken or stirred since that night and they had one tough time trying to figure out how to look after it. Fortunately the strange zebra had arrived with gallons of the creatures own blood, it had been perfectly preserved and there was more then enough to keep it stable. Nurse Full Fledged was becoming concerned however that it might not wake up. She had tried all sorts of exercises and methods to get it to respond but nothing. Not even a dilated pupil. She had eventually convinced the pretty pony, Rarity to take a walk and watch the sunrise, get some fresh air and stretch her legs. The poor dear had barely slept. She had sat by it the whole time. Nurse Full Fledged had to laugh as she remembered seeing Rarity fixing her hair and face, looking very pretty. She had asked for a score of supplies from curlers to mascaras, which were obligingly brought to her by her friends. Who were kept busy cleaning up the mess the queen left behind. Rarity had offered in the beginning to help but it did not take much convincing for her to remain there by its side. Every now and then during the night Nurse Full Fledged could hear her talking to the creature, trying to stir it from its sleep. She remembered talking to her about the creature and the story was amazing. She could not have imagined such things going on and they laughed about the irony of it all. It was the first time Rarity had smiled since they came.

Nurse Full Fledged remembered there was one thing she said that was so profound; ‘He made a promise to see me today’.It had been so sweet her heart melted, truly like an epic story she enjoyed reading on her computer during her free time. Rarity had an outfit ready for it, a very simple yet elegant design, swooping shoulders and pronounced curves. She had made it shortly after she met the creature the first time, as she explained it was a joy to work with such strange new challenges and ideas. After it failed to wake up however, Rarity’s spirits were very low. She hoped the walk would work, it was such a beautiful start to the day.

The hospital had been very busy with the casualties Chrysalis inflicted, the worst being pegasus ponies with charred wings, they would never fly again. She turned again and left the room, closing the door behind her to afford it some privacy. Well wishers had been visiting all day and it seemed that they were growing in number. The hospital had to be closed off by the Royal Guard on Princess Celestia's orders to all civilians and visitors, aside Rarity. It allowed them to perform with peak efficiency, which was gravely needed since the hospital there was closest to treat the aftermath. Thankfully there were doctors and nurses from all around volunteering to help, compensating for the influx of patients. It made her feel proud of her fellow ponies who banded together during these difficult times.

She fetched a bucket and sponge to set about cleaning the creature up again, I was difficult to redress the bandages because it was so heavy, the limbs were clumsy and sagging all about the place. She took another sip of her Earl grey on the counter feeling it run down into her stomach. To her, there we nothing that couldn't be fixed by a good old cup of tea. She took a bucket and slowly filled it with some warm water and a cap of disinfectant, draped a towel over her shoulder and returned to the creatures room. As she passed the ward, it had grown quieter now with the occasional bell and clang passing over the corridor She could see the chaos of the queens takeover was subsiding, most of the ponies were well on the road to recovery, and that made her smile.

She went into the creatures room again and sat beside it ready to begin the arduous task of cleaning it. She preferred to do it alone, it gave the patients more dignity. She looked up to the creature, Nurse Full Fledged was having a very strange month.

Panic rose in her as stared at the vacant bed, small patches of stained blood scattering the area, the tubes were hanging all over the place letting their fluids drip out. She scanned the room but there was nothing, she had a very ominous feeling and was thinking about a plan of action, the door was closed and she hadn't seen or heard anything unusual. Remembering Rarity’s stories she rushed to the window and looked out...nothing. She saw the outfit was missing and it gave her some comfort to know her patient was not walking around in the nude, Rarity had explained how important it was to their kind to wear garments, surpassing the purpose of fashion. She followed searched the floor but there were no stains, darting out the room she began to panic now, her patient should not be gone, it should not be moving around, what if a stitch opened or it hurt itself? Running to the desk she pushed past a nurse and grabbed the phone to issue an alert. She glimpsed a door opening further down the corridor but ignored it, whichever patient wanted whatever would have to wait a moment. The nurse next to her tapped her on the shoulder repeatedly, the line rang on as she entered the extension, her hooves shaking from nerves.

“What is it?” she asked impatiently turning to the colt. His mouth was gaping and he was staring over the counter at something. She hoped and looked over with relief as the creature stood there. She had not even heard the flush of the toilet she had been so concerned.

She rushed over to it stopping as it grew larger the closer she got. It looked smaller in the bed somehow. The outfit Rarity made draped its body artistically emphasising the strange form and pronounced contours.

She cleared her throat, “You should be in bed dear.”

“How long have I been out?” Its voice was strained and tired, not the deep booming she had expected.

“About two days,” she replied confused at its concern for time. Unless...?

The creature sighed and adjusted one of the sleeves on its arm. “Then I am late. Have you seen a grey white mare with a violet mane?”

Her heart leapt for joy and she could not stop smiling. It was just like Rarity had said, “She has gone for some fresh air and a stretch and will be back soon, you must rest dear.”

“You are the one who was responsible for me?”

“I’m sorry dear?”

“You were the nurse in charge of looking after me?”

“We all have been dear,” she replied modestly.

The creature lowered itself slowly and wrapped its arms around her, she was caught between wanting to scream and wanting to laugh.

“Thank you. It never felt so good to be alive.” It stood up again and headed to the elevator, fortunately it was more than strong enough to carry the weight. The creatures stride was uneven but it pushed itself forwards.

Nurse Full Fledged galloped to its side, the nurse behind the counter still bore the dumbstruck look and ducked slowly down at it passed by. “You should not strain yourself, be patient. She will be here soon.”

The creature bent over and brought its head close to hers. She winced fearing the stitches would tear. Its expression did not change, “We have waited a painfully long time Miss. I think I can, in the very least, go to her.”

She smiled and saw the determination its eyes, “Wally! Take over, I’ll be back shortly.” She went and called the elevator, the creature was not moving quickly but was able to bear its own weight, “At the very least I can make sure your dressings hold up.” She could only admire its resilience as it pushed on. The doors swung open and a pink flash sped by her hitting the creature nearly toppling it over.

“I KNEW IT, I KNEW IT! My sense is never wrong!”

Nurse Full Fledged looked in the elevator but it was empty. She laughed as the creature tried to stay standing while a frantic Pink pony, one of Rarities friends, hugged it and proceeded darting around examining it and admiring the new outfit.

“Pinkie!” it cried out and she finally held still, “Its good to see you too.”

“What's wrong?” she asked it,

“Nothing I think,” it replied scanning its person for something, “Why?”

“Your smiling!” she giggled

“Very funny, how are the others?”

“Rarity’s fine. Or she will be!”

“And the others?” it asked impatiently.

“They're fine too, come on!” She grabbed the creatures hand and yanked it into the elevator.

“Be careful child!” Nurse Full Fledged snapped following in and pressing the ground floor button.

“He can take it,” she joked knocking it in the arm causing visible pain. It knocked her with its hip in return and she stumbled to the side nearly falling over having to grab the side to support herself. They laughed as the elevator descended. It was remarkably funny when they stopped twice, both times the doors sliding open and the doctors or nurses standing in awe at the creature, not entering. The doors politely sliding back shut and the descent resuming.

In all her years Nurse Full Fledged had dealt with all sorts of ponies, from cripples to cranks but the pink one had to be by far the most annoying, bombarding the creature with questions and cycling though topic after the next without clarity or forethought. All her years of patience, and the light mood of the situation prevented her from cracking.

They reached the ground floor and the pink pony yanked the creature through the busy lobby and to the gardens of the hospital, Nurse Full Fledged rushed after them keeping pace. There were more than a few startled ponies as the creature stumbled past them, its steps thudding the ground loudly. As they neared the exit a Yellow pegasus with pink hair flew across and collided with the creature actually knocking it back.

“Sorry!” she said still holding on and squealing with delight as it tried to right itself. Nurse Full Fledged supported its back trying to ease the strain it was placing on its weak body, that fall could not have not been good.

“Would you slow down girl!” An orange pony darted through the entrance calling after the pegasus. She stopped dead when she saw the creature staring in disbelief. She darted forwards and jumped on the pile, Nurse Full Fledged had to push her whole weight into it to prevent it from falling back on her.

“Easy young ladies, be careful of the injuries!”

“Sorry Ma'am.”

She smiled as they eased back and the creature, with her support, managed to stand again. It was moments like these that made her work so rewarding.

"Where is Crystal?"

"She's at Fluttershy's getting the best help you could hope for!"

"And Rarity?"

“Hang on,” the orange pony gestured the creature to follow but it grabbed her tail before she could run.

“Hold on! Wheres Rarity?”

“I’m trying to show you, now let go darn it.” She whipped her tail out. The creature beckoned them closer and whispered softly, “I think I have a better way, ya’ll wait here alright. Where is she now please.” Applejack laughed at its colloquial reference and went to the door pointing outwards. The creature looked out and saw Rarity leaning against a tree by the pond, the sunrise overlooking it.

The creature turned to them holding one if its claws before its lips gesturing for silence and creeped out quietly to Rarity.

The all rushed to the observation window overlooking the garden and a host of others joined them. The their surprise a lot of doctors and nurses had joined them to watch, clambering over each other to get a good view. Nurse Full Fledged could only laugh and shake her head. Gossiping fishwives. It had been a strange month for Nurse Full Fledged.

*

Rarity sat by the waters edge looking at the rippling reflection of the half sun dance on it. The past few days had been the hardest in her life. She could see the wall of guards keeping the perimeter around the hospital and patrolling the area keeping out the other ponies. There were so many who wanted to visit their injured friends and family but the hospital was too crowded. Thankfully many of them understood and waited patiently for things to calm down so they could enter. Ponyville had been very busy since the queen with visitors from all over coming to see their friends and family. Rarity realised she had not seen hers, only at the fortress they tried to comfort her when he...she did not want to think about it. He’s fine, she told herself over and over again, still fighting. She had tried to stay strong but was growing more tired by the day. She had not slept, eaten, nothing seemed important, only to be there for him. The nurse had been so sweet, like a mother. Bringing her savouries from the cafeteria and sharing her delicious tea. It helped her to calm down, admittedly the shock of what happened was still there. She pushed it from her mind and became angry. Why did you have to be right? She thought back to that night and it brought great comfort to her. She woke up the next day in disbelief at what happened but seeing him sleeping, holding her in his arms made it feel all the more real.

It was cruel that he was right. She did wonder though, if he would still be alive if she hadn’t given him a reason to fight. She smiled staring solemnly at her hooves and could picture it again. Such a gentle beast yet such a clumsy brute. She was so content to be near him, just to sit by him in the hospital was enough. She hated not being able to do more to help. It was terrifying watching him drift in an out of consciousness, fighting to stay awake. Thank Celestia for Zecora and her surplus. She admired the creatures foresight to actually store his own blood in case of emergency. Zecora was a true friend to him and most likely the only reason he survived as long as he did. She made a mental note to visit her after this all blew over and he woke up. He will wake up! During her time with him in the hospital she had seen the nurse going over trying to stimulate a response. There was a thought in the back of her mind he would never wake up. She hated herself for thinking it, torn apart just after they found each other. She wondered what would happen if...when he did wake up. How far could this go? They were very different after all, no ignoring that. It was uncommon for ponies to find love elsewhere but it had been done before, with minotaurs and even a dragon in an old fairy tail. She chuckled at an obscene thought. The nurse was right, it did feel better to sit here and watch the sun, lets one think more clearly. She decided she did not care. The truth is there was no way to know where it would go and the only way to be sure was follow it.

Her friends had been very sweet, there to support her and keep her strong. Twilight was very busy mopping up remnants of the queens dark crystal with Rainbow Dash helping demolish it. The once hard gem had become very brittle without the queen. How she hated her for what she had done. Based on the stories going around the hospital she had crushed him under a statue of herself. Brining it down again and again until only scraps remained. She smiled triumphantly remembering the descriptions she heard. He go up and was laughing, such a fool.

She was happy Pinkie, Fluttershy and Applejack came to see her their antics were a pleasing interruption to worrying. It was strange though. They were sitting in silence enjoying the sunrise when Pinkie just darted off for no reason. They dismissed it as Pinkie just being Pinkie. Fluttershy excused herself after some time after her stomach rumbled. Applejack and her went to eat inviting Rarity to join but she declined preferring to absorb the morning sun. Applejack was always like a big sister to them, very worried about how they felt and if they were all doing alright. She leaned against the tree close by and caught herself pretending it was him. She wished he could be here with her now.

“Ahem.” A gruff voice from the other side sounded and she wondered for a moment...

“Please excuse my tardiness Miss.”

Her ears sprang up and her heart leapt as she darted around the tree. There was nothing there. Her heart dropped, she was very confused, looking around there was nopony else, she could not see in the hospital observation window and squinted as the gleam of the sun shone on her. She looked again at the spot where she thought she heard the voice, his voice. Only the grass and soil were there. “Now your hearing him Rarity,” she mumbled. She turned and got a shock as a looming figure stood there right by her. It was him, wearing the garments she made and bathed in the golden light of the sun. She was stunned and could not believe it, a hallucination? She stuck out her hoof and the figure lowered itself to one knee. She could feel it was solid, and its heart was beating.

“I’m sorry I’m lat-”

He could not finish as Rarity threw herself on him knocking him to his back and pressing her lips hard against his. It was real, he was real and there with her right then. She pulled back and looked at him under her, still covered in dressings and bandages under the suit. He tried to open his mouth to speak but she quickly dropped on him knocking the wind out.

“Oh do shut up.”

They smiled and embraced under the tree, the warm sun covering them. She thought she could hear cheering in the distance but did not care what was happening. She was here now with him and that was all she cared for. They had found each other once again.

*

The creature stood before Princess Celestia, even at full height it was shorter than her by a hoof at least. The scene was very unnerving for Rarity. There it stood, before the princess of the sun as defiant as ever. Its unbending stubbornness confronting the Princess. It stood its ground and she stepped closer to it. The ponies around bowed as she passed, Rarity nudged the creature to do the same almost having to glare at it. It bowed in half slightly never taking its eyes off Celestia.

“Where does one begin? Hello. Please allow me to extend a royal congratulations for what will be remembered as an heroic stand for the ponies of Equestria.”

The creature did not respond, its hardened gaze looking on her and passing over the guards who were all watching it.

Celestia cleared her throat, “I speak for us all when I say we are in your debt for your aiding us in our time of need.” Still no reaction. Rarity was doing her best to encourage it to speak but it remained fixed on Celestia, folding its arms expectantly.

“We...wish to thank you young hero for-”

“Do not call me that!” Its reaction was unexpected and the guards shouldered their spears beside the princess.

“You can try.” The creature gave that sadistic grin and the guards looked to each other uncertain.

“Please lower them Sirs.” they reluctantly obliged. Celestia was keeping her composure despite the creatures interruption and abrasiveness. She opened her mouth to speak but the creature spoke over her.

“One moment. There is something I have been wanting to say and do to you,” It marched towards her and with a gesture she prevented the guards from blocking it, “You chained my in that dank pit, you tortured me, you were prepared to watch me die down there. I deserved it.” Celestia's confusion was no apparent, “If not for that queen I would still be there now! As a pile of bones. As I deserved” It had brought its face right up to Celestia's forcing her to pull back. To her confusion Twilight and her friends were watching this happen with smiles on their faces. “Since my escape I have had to eat things, drink things that would turn the stomach of anypony here! I have been hunted, brutalised, savaged, nearly losing my life on an host of occasions!” The creature now raised itself on its feet. Right up to Celestia's face She was uncomfortable but held her ground. She had expected a humble and noble warrior to greet her. It spoke softly, “And it is the least I deserve after what I did to you.”

Celestia was dumbstruck, she believed she had misheard it. It grabbed her around the base of the neck and she felt uncomfortable and worried as the grip tightened. The smiles around her did not fade, they turned to laughter. She then realised the creature was hugging her. She rested her head on its shoulder, mostly with the relief from the shock, and pulled it in with her hoof. Half crying and half laughing.

“I am sorry too.”

“Don’t be your highness. Don’t waste your words on this old fool.” The creature pulled away and gestured to the seven friends behind it, projecting its voice authoritatively, “These seven ladies here are the true saviours of Equestria!” The Ponies all around cheered the Seven, rushing in to shake hooves and congratulate them. Rarity could see across the chaos the creature stood by Celestia laughing. Their days as enemies were officially over.

Author's Note:

END

And so my friends draws our adventure to a close. Bear in mind the last three acts were done in the last three days.

To any and all I say a thank you for following me this far and I hope the conclusion is to your satisfaction.

I ask for two things from you as a reader.

1) Favourite part?

2) Sequel?

I am overjoyed to have shared this experience with you all, what an adventure it has been.