We have to go on, get stronger, because our enemies are getting stronger too. But we also have to have fun, because what´s life without fun?
So I would like to say that I went to a convention dressed up as my favorite character, bought an item from a <insert verb here> merchant and said item brought me to Equestria, but no.
Instead I found one of these items on the ground when I went out with my dog. To be precise I found two of them. And long story short now I´m in Equestia. Not that I´m complaining or anything like that.
Like I already said I didn´t make some fancy costume of some character from a game I like. No. Instead I made a fancy costume of a character I myself created. And aparrently I´m not the only one.
I´m now my own character in Equestria with an other human. My thoughts about this? Sweet.
In the course of this fic the abilitys of the characters will change a bit. When that happens I will put small footnotes at the end of the chapter to let you guys know what changed exactly.
"Life is nice, isn´t it?," thought Celestia out loud, as she stood outside of her balcony in Canterlot, raising the sun like she did every morning. "But I can´t help and feel that I forgot something," she added with a slight frown while thinking about it, "Well if I can´t remember it, it couldn't have been that important," she declared with a happy smile.
Her day continued. First eating breakfast with her sister, Luna, then going on doing her royal duties. The day was normal and quiet. It was actually a really nice day, even for Equestrian standards, you could think everything was normal and you would be correct. But something bothered her and she couldn't put a hoof on it.
In the evening she sat together with her sister again, to eat dinner this time, and you could probably see the concern on her face because Luna asked with slight worry in her voice, that was almost completely masked by her rather cold demeanor, "What is the matter, sister? Are you not feeling well?"
Celestia looked up from her meal to meet Luna's gaze, before answering: "It´s nothing of concern my dear sister. It´s just... Luna do you have the feeling that we have forgotten something important?"
Before responding, Luna gave her a confused look, "Whatever do you mean sister?", while tilting her head slightly to the right.
"I don´t know how I should explain it, Luna. Since I woke up this morning I just have this weird feeling that I have forgotten something, but I don´t know what and it´s driving me a bit crazy."
Luna took a sip from her tea, before replying, "I´m sorry, but it seems I don´t know what you mean."
Celestia sighed and downed the rest of her tee. She stood up and said, "Maybe I just need some sleep. I will go to bed early today. Goodnight Luna."
The next morning came too fast, at least for Celestia. She stood up from her cozy bed and made her way to her balcony with a yawn. She opened the door and raised the sun like normally. While she did, she thought to herself, Yep the feelings still there. She looked down from the balcony onto the statues. She let her gaze wash over them, some of them recalling more pleasent memories than others. But her glance gots stuck on one statue specifically.
She let out a long sigh while facehoofing herself. "How could I forget this? How in Equestria could I forget it?"
Immediately she turned around and stormed out the door while commanding the two guards, that had been standing there, "ONE OF YOU GO AND CANCEL ALL OF MY APPOINTMENTS TODAY AND TOMORROW!", and with that, she was gone.
The two guards looked at each other in confusion, before playing 'hoofwrestling' on who had to go.
In less than a minute Celestia was at Luna's room and stormed in.
Luna shot around in surprise and yelled, "Sister, what is the matter? Why are you visiting my domain at such a time?"
Celestia still panted for air, when she answered "Luna... I-I re-remembered what we forgot. Never again I´m going to run here this fast."
"So, what did we forget?"
Celestia raised a hoof and took some more deep breaths before her breathing slowed down enough for her to reply. "I really need to exercise more. All that cake can´t be good for my endurance. Oh yeah, the thing we forgot. Do you remember the creature we sealed in stone about 2000 years ago?"
Luna put a hoof to her chin and responded, "You mean the one that did that thing to you?"
Celestia's cheeks turned the most modest tint of red at the thought of what had happened that evening and responded, "Yes that one."
Luna started laughing. She laughed for quite a while actually, before finally saying "Of course I can remember it, dear sister. How can I forget what it did to you, it was hilarious."
"Yes reallllly funny. Luna grow up already. Can you remember what it said when we sealed it?"
Luna's laughs begin to cease until it stopped, "You mean other than 'I´m sorry!', 'Make it stop!' and 'Do it already!'?"
"Yes, other than that," with a slightly annoyed tone.
Luna thought again for a second and replied then: "No, I can´t remember nothing else other than the screams it let out. I can still hear them sometimes when I lap to deep into my thoughts. "
"Well good that I recall what it said then." With a hint of pride in her voice.
"Then, by all means, please enlighten us, dear sister."
"He said and I quote: 'You will get a student at one point named Twilight Sparkle. She and her friends will wield the Elements of Harmony once again. When this happens release me again.' I totally forgot it until now."
Luna's expression turned into one of shock, as she said, "You don´t mean...?"
Celestaia let out a sigh and then returned, "Yes, I mean that we free it."
"But that´s ridiculous. As far as we know it has powers greater than those of even Discord," argues Luna.
"It knew that with Twilight and her friends. I think it could be a great help when it knows the future."
"And when it decides to destroy everything?"
"It had the chance last time and now we are even more powerful than all these years prior."
Now it was Luna's turn to sigh, before saying, "You really want to take the risk?"
"Yes, I am willing to take it. It can be a great benefit for us all."
"If you think it´s a good idea I shall not oppose you."
"That´s good to hear. I´m going to inform the Elements."
For Twilight it was a normal day like any other. She had already gotten accustomed to her life in Ponyville a couple of weeks ago.
She woke up to the sun of her teacher, like every morning. She got up, heading to the bathroom. After taking a nice, hot shower and drying herself with a short burst of magic went down into the kitchen and was about to make herself breakfast, when she heard Spike calling from upstairs.
He came running down the stairs, as she inquired "Spike that´s weird. You usually never get up that early. Did something happen?"
He held up a letter. She grabbed it with her magic and opened it. "My faithful student, Twilight Sparkle, I need you and your friends to come to Canterlot a soon as possible. You don´t have to hurry too much, but I would like you to get here soon. Princess Celestia."
Twilight looked at Spike with a confused look, before saying, "I will get the others." He just nodded.
I didn't take as long as one would think to get all six of them in one place. On her way to Rarity's, she met both Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie, who volunteered to get Applejack and Fluttershy respectively. In about thirty minutes they were all in Twilight's library.
"So why are we here, Twi? I was about to try out a new stunt I thought of," demanded the cyan pegasus, to know.
"I received a letter from the Princess, to meet her in Canterlot," answered Twilight.
"And why when Ah can ask?", asked Applejack.
"I don´t know why it just says we should go there as fast as possible," replied Twilight, while looking over the letter once again.
"So let's get going then," suggested Rarity, with sparkles in her eyes, at the thought of Canterlot.
When the six of them arrived in Canterlot the sun was already at its peak. They made their way through the city at a brisk pace, which was still too slow for Twilight, and eventually reached the castle, where the princesses were already waiting for them.
Twilight ran up to Celestia and gave her a hug, which the princess eagerly returned, before Celestia said, "It´s nice to see you again my faithful student. I´m glad you and your friends could make it so fast."
"What happened? Was there an attack? Is everypony okay?", asked Twilight frantic with glimmers in her eyes.
"Everypony is fine. We called you here for a different reason. Please follow us and we will show you," answered Princess Celestia and turned around, everypony following her.
They walked to the statue garden and to one statue in specific. The statue was weird to Twilight and all of the rest. It had a long cape over it, so most of it was impossible to see.
The statue stands on a pedestal or better kneels on it. There is a golden tag on it saying 'Agony'.
"Princess, what do we want here? That´s just a statue," questions Twilight her mentor.
"This is not an ordinary statue. You all have to know not all of the statues here are just stone. A lot of them contain living things." Gasps can be heard going through the mane six. Celestia continues: "They were all turned to stone by the Elements of Harmony and all of them against their will, exept this one. It begged us to use the Elements on it."
"And why´s that?", asks Rainbow.
"Rainbow, do you know what agony means?", replies Celestia.
"Of course, it means a lot of pain, right?", returns Rainbow unsure.
Celestia nods, before saying: "That is correct. When we found this creature it screamed under pain. It hurt just from listening. But before we turned him into stone he told us, that I will have a student named Twilight Sparkle and that she and her friends are goining to wield the Elements of Harmony. That was about 2000 years ago."
Twilight interfers with a concerned look: "So it told you the future 2000 years in advance? That´s unbelievable. But why did you just turned it into stone? It was no danger to Equestria, so why did you do it?"
"That is not entirely correct young Twilight Sparkle. He let the earth around him shake and he had enough power to... change my sister, Celestia, a couple of times?" answers Luna.
"Ah don´t understand. What ya mean with "change" princess?", inquires Applejack.
Celestia coughs quietly, while turning her head to the site with a slight blush, before answering: "I don´t want to go into detail on that." Luna chukles a bit. "Anyway I want you to use the Elements on it to free it."
Twilight gets an even more confused look than before and then asks: "But you just said he was really powerful and could even change nature."
Celestia turns away from them to face the statue. She lets out a long sigh: "I don´t know, but when it was lying there on the floor and saying to us we should free it when you and your friends are gonna wield the Elements I believed it. So will you help me?"
Twilight turns to her friends to look what they thought of it. All nod in approval, even when some nod heavier than others. Twilight turns around to look at the princesses, before answering: "Yes, we are going to help you. Besides that, it doesn´t seem evil, just a bit scary."
Celestia turns around to them again and repling: "I´m happy to hear that."
Celestia and Luna move out of the way, behind the Elements and charge their horns, that when whatever comes out of there wants to harm them, they can deal with it.
The Elements charge and fire a familiar looking beam of power onto the statue.
A large smokescreen appears and spreads around the whole group. Everypony coughs as their lungs fill with smoke and more than one puts a protective hoof infront of their eyes against the dust.
When the smoke slowly fades away a bipedal figure can be seen standing on the pedestal. It doesn´t seem to notice the group as it is more concerned with itself.
It coughs a few times, before taking a couple of deep breaths and saying: "Air! Wow I never thought it would feel that good to breath fresh air. That was an experience I do not want to repeat. So lets see what we got here. Hands! That´s good," looking down at his hands, moving them, "Don´t know why I´m suprised by that. Hair: White," pulling down his hair so it can see his hair, "Nice! I like it. Eyes. Okay I gonna need a mirror for that. How about equipment?", it looks down at itself, "Clothes: black and awesome if I might add, but I also need a mirror for that. So first thing I have to find a mirror or at least a pond so I can look at myself. Oh there´s the dagger I found," it pulls out a dagger from its steath.
The dagger looks almost normal. While the form seems simple, exept a coin at the end of the handle with weird runes at both sides, the blade seems to be made out of some kind of black crystal.
The creature investigates the dagger between his fingers and says: "It´s not like I remember it, then again it´s been over 1500 years so it is possible that I forgot one or two things. Well it still looks cool," with that he lets it slide back in the steath and looks up towards the castle, "Seems like I´m at the castle. I wonder why I was unturned, I didn´t even try to escape. Should I go in and say 'Hi' maybe? Well seeing that I have not much to choose at this point I guess this is my best option. Now the only question is how I should make my entrance?", he puts his hand to his head and thinks.
Nopony has said something until now, because all are stunned of this entity. But then Celestia pulls herself enough together to clear her throat to get the beings attention. It turns around to face all of them, but its happy expression doesn´t alter in the slightest. And it greets them: "Oh I´m sorry didn´t see you there. Hello, it´s nice meeting you," and takes a bow. He is completly dresed in black exept a white pentagram over his left shoulder.
"Hello there creature. My name is Princess Celestia and this is my sister, Princess Luna," welcomes it Celestia, while pointing first at herself and then at Luna,"And who are you, if I may inquire?"
"Oh I´m sorry princesses. Where are my manners. My name is DNA Hochburger, but please just call me DNA and I´m sure you have plenty of questions towards me," he replies, "but first could you be so kind and tell me what colour my eyes are," and then leans forward, that Celestia can see his eyes better.
Celestia takes a step back, because of how close it is to her, before answering: "I don´t know what this question is, but ok. Your eye colour is red, a deep blood red."
It straightens itself, before continuing with an even happier face than before: "Ah that´s great. Expected, but great none the less."
"Could you maybe answer us a couple of our questions now?" puts Luna in carefully, so to not destroy the good mood of him, remembering what happened in their first encounter.
He looks at her with a smile, as if it would look at a friend: "Sure, but I would prefer if we could go inside. Can we do that maybe? Also I don´t know about you, but I´m feeling a little bit intimidated, that you two are pointing fire ready horns at me. If you couldn´t do that... please."
"We will lower our weapons when you dispose of yours first," replies Celestia, while pointing at his dagger.
He first looks down at his weapon in confusion, before answering: "Sure I have no problem with that. When you want it you can just take it."
Celestia nods slightly and takes the weapon out of it´s holding place, floating it with her magic in front of her face.
DNA jumps down from the pedestal and they all want to go inside the castle, when DNA says: "Oh before I forget it. Celestia, because it looks like you are going to experiment with it, I don´t know what other 'properties' it has. So I wouldn´t advice you or for that matter any other pony here to touch it anywhere, but the handle."
"Thank you for your concern DNA. I appreciate it," thanks Celestia DNA, being carful to just grab it at the handle.
And with that, they begin to go into the castle with DNA walking between Celestia and Luna.
They are all sitting at the large dining table where Celestia and Luna normally eat their meals together. They all have a nice hot cup of tea sitting in front of them.
Celestia takes a sip from her tea, before asking DNA: "So DNA, could you please inform us about what you are and why you are here?", while taking a glance at the dagger now lying peacefully next to her on the table.
"Like I already said my name is DNA Hochburger. I´m male if anypony wonderd and the race I´m from is called humans," he takes a sip from his tea, before continuing, "But you won´t find this race on this planet. I do not know for certain how I came here, but I can assure you that I don´t mean any harm," he finishes by taking another sip of his tea.
"Do all humans look like you?", questions him Luna for details.
"No and yes. From the general figure yes. While all humans have a similar structure from the body, we all are slighty differences. Our hair, unlike you ponies, can only have specific colours ranging from black or dark brown to blonde. But occasionally in a few cases the hair colour can be light red to orange. The skincolour can range from almost white to almost black. Also even when our bodies are very similar each body is unique, even when you can´t see it with the pure eye," DNA finishes, before taking another sip of his tea.
"That is is certainly interesting. Anything else?", digs Celestia further for answers.
"For one we don´t have wings or horns. And second we don´t have any kind of magic," answers DNA.
Celestia and Luna each raise an eyebrow at his answer. Out of curiousity, Celestia questions him: "But how can your race accomplish anything or to say better surive, without pegasi controlling the weather or earth ponies growing food?", also sipping on her tea a bit.
"The answer is rather simple really. You could compare the world I come from to the Everfree forest. Plants grow on their own, the sun and moon 'raise' and 'lower' themself and animals are not always peaceful. We couldn´t control nature, but we tried or try. I have to admit I don´t know how time changes between universes. But I digress. As I already stated we tried to control nature and we managed it partially, but we were never able to do it completely," replies DNA.
"You mentioned a different universe. Could you clarify yourself, please?", wants Celestia to know.
DNA downs the rest of his tea, before saying: "I could make speculations about it, but I would rather wait for some kind of evidence, that confirms my theory. Anyway I think you didn´t just free me to ask me such questions. Am I right Princess Celestia?"
Celestia smiles again and responds: "Why do you think it was me who had the idea to free you?"
DNA snickers shortly and answers then: "There is or was an incident, where something similar happens or happened."
Celestia nods, before questioning him: "Is that also one of your powers?"
"I guess you think I can predict the future. That is not the case. Lets just say I know from somewhere somethings about this world. Anywho, before we get off topic to much I would like to make a small request," he simply states.
"And what would this small request be?", wonders Celestia and thinking a bit about him. He comes from an other world, as he says himself, gets imprissoned in stone for nearly 2000 years and sits now here in her castle, on her table, drinking tea with the two rulers of Equestria, as it would be normal and makes a request. He certainly is interesting.
"It´s nothing really. I would just like to speak to your faithful student for a minute or two," states DNA his request.
The amusement she has clears itself to give space to worry with just a hunch of aggression. The reason being him knowing that she calls her student faithful. "As long as I am there, when you speak with her, I see no problem with that.
DNA turns to Twilight and the other Elements. None of them said one word up until now. They just sat there calm drinking their tea, even Pinkie.
DNA begins the conversation: "I have expected you and your friends to be more exited and ask more questions."
Twilight sits down her cup, before replying in a more than calm tone: "Me and my friends decided it´s best to let the princesses handle you. Seeing that nopony has ever interacted with something like you, we thought it is best to let Celestia and Luna do the main talking."
"So that was a privacy spell. I wondered what that was when we walked here. Huh," says DNA a bit suprised.
"That is correct. Is there a problem with that?," asks Twilight in return.
"No not at all, just curious. So I am going to name a couple of events. I don´t want that you look to either Celestia or Luna during that time. Are you okay with that?", respondes DNA.
"Sure, I see no harm in it."
"Good first: Sombra.
"The name says something to me, but I can´t remember who it is."
"Okay. Next are bug like ponies that can transform."
"A giant, white, ice snake that wants to cover the world in ice."
"I don´t think so."
"There is a statue with a name tag on it named Discord, or?"
"The Grand Galloping Gala."
"Yes, I and my friends went to it."
"And last but not least: A blue frog as big as Canterlot with seven eyes, red hair, wings, five legs from a pony and tentacles with thorns on them, that let everything burn when they touch something."
The last line gains him wide eye stares and more than one open mouth. But Twilight manages to get a hold of herself and answers: "I´m pretty sure we would know about that."
"Okay thank you, that would be all for now," thanks, DNA her and turns back to Celestia and Luna, to see Celestia's eye twitch slightly.
"DNA, I have a question. How in Equestria do you know all this creatures, some of them even I never heard of?," asks Celestia, trying to keep calm.
DNA gets a little smile and answers: "Like I said I know somethings about this place. I won´t say anything else for now," but then adds, "But I guess you will figure it out in the next couple of weeks."
Celestia sighs, before responding: "You won´t tell me anything when I would ask you, right?"
His smile widens, as he replies: "Yeah," he pauses shortly, before continuing, "but there is something I want to do. Celestia could it be possible, that I´m allowed to train a bit."
He gets a confused look from everypony and Luna asks: "And why is that, DNA?"
DNA starts explaining: "You remember 2000 years, when I arrived in this world?", the two sisters nod,"Good. When I arrived I couldn´t control my powers, because they were at 100%. But while I was in stone I figured out a way to put a limiter on myself. At the moment my powers are at zero to one percent. The thing is I don´t know exactly what they are, that´s why I think it´s wise to at least try them out and figure out what I´m capable of. Of course just at a low percentage."
Celestia puts a hoof to her chin and thinks. After a couple of seconds she says: "I think it´s good that you try and figure them out too, so that you can´t accidently use them."
"So, where can I train? I don´t think it´s clever to train in the palace," returns DNA.
"I guess you can use the training grounds the guards use. Will that be sufficient?", responds Celestia.
DNA nods, while saying: "That will do just fine."
With that, they all finish what little is left in their cups and make their way to the training grounds, with DNA walking in-between Luna and Celestia again.
"So these are the training grounds," states DNA, as he looks on the rather large field. It isn´t much, really. Just a plain patch of dirt with some training weapons to the side.
"Is something wrong with it?" asks Celestia.
"No, it´s perfectly fine. I just imagined, that there would be more guards here, training," replies DNA, still looking at the empty training ground.
"We have more than one training area, of course. This is simply one of the older ones, that doesn´t get used to often at the moment. Me and my sister have actually planned on renovating it. We thought it would be a good choice that you have some free space to train, also we want that ponies don´t know about your presence to much, at least for now," explains Luna even further.
DNA steps in the middle of the field, spinning once around himself, before looking in the air and saying: "This will do just fine. And because there is nothing to harm here I can experiment a bit with my powers," he states happily more to himself, than to anypony else. He then walks over towards Celestia and stretches out his hand and requests Celestia: "Could you maybe be so kind and give me back my weapon?"
Celestia looks first at DNA and then his weapon, which she is still holding in her magical grip. She lets out a sigh, before handing him the deathly tool. He encloses his fingers around the grip. He then proceeds to march in the middle of the field again. He takes one deep breath and closes his eyes, before opening them and then saying: "Ten percent." A mild wave of power can be felt emitting from him.
DNA takes another look at the dagger in his hand and then gets a confused look on his face, as he notices something. The dagger changed. Nothing big, just the runes that were engraved on it are now actual words. Ok seeing that runes change into words in a matter of an hour, without any help, is something big.
He inspects the words. The one on the one side says DNA. The one on the other says less damage. He touches slightly the side that says: DNA.
As he touches the word, the dagger lights up for just a blink of an eye. DNA looks at it again. This time two things changed. For one the weapon wasn´t made from a black crystal, but a brown one and secondly, the place where the word 'DNA' just stood a moment ago is now the word 'Earth'.
From behind him, he hears Celestia calling: "DNA, did something happen? I thought you wanted to train."
He turns around and gives them all a deadpan stare, before stomping his foot on to the ground. As he does so a block of earth rises from below him lifting him the ground. It isn´t much, but enough that Celestia and the others stumble a couple of feet backward.
Luna raises a hoof pointing, at the block DNA is standing on, and asking: "DNA do you care to explain, what you just made?", with fear in her voice, but still keeping calm.
DNA tips his heel quick onto the ground and the block lowers itself again, as he answers: "So I found out something the dagger does. I can change my powers, by touching the words that represent each power. At the moment I have 'Earth' activated. So now I can control the earth. But I wonder...."
He turns away from them. DNA raises both his arms before him. A block of earth raising from the ground, but a lot slower than the one from before. When it´s about the same height as the one previously it stops.
Sweat runs down his whole face as he sits down on the earth block and telling them: "Okay I found out another thing: I have to cause an action to get a reaction or it´s really hard to anything."
"So what now? Are you already finished with your training?", asks Celestia.
DNA shakes his head, before responding: "No. I just take a quick breather. You guys have no idea how hard it is to use this power like this," he takes on last breath, before standing up and tipping his heel again, that the block vanishes in the ground again. He turns away from them yet again, taking a step forward, while stomping on the ground. A row of spikes shoot out of the ground. They are about as high as his leg.
He steps to the first one nearest to him and touching it. He then turns to Celestia and Luna and asks: "Hey is it okay if I destroy a wall here, seeing that you want to renovate this place anyway?" The sisters throw a worried glance at each other, before simply nodding. DNA begins to smile again.
He strikes his heel in the ground and all spikes sink into the ground, while a familiar looking block of earth appears again. He pounds his foot on the ground, the block jumps in the air and floats there, before DNA kicks it and the cubic formed dirt flys away into the wall. The block shatters as well as the wall as they collied together.
DNA wipes across his forehead to get rid of the sweat. He then continues and getting out the dagger again. He touches the word 'Earth' and with the flash of light the word changes back to 'DNA'.
DNA puts the dagger back in its sheath. He closes his eyes trying to concentrate on what he wants to do when suddenly a warm power comes from inside of him surges through his body. The last thing DNA notices are the screams of the others, as he falls onto the floor and his world fades to black.
DNA's eyes fill with white when he opens them again. He puts an arm in front of his eyes to adjust to the light better. After a couple of seconds of adapting himself to it, he puts the arm away and looks around where he landed. He finds himself in a small, white room with just a door in it.
After some moments of nothing, the door opens and a boulder, about the same height as DNA, with arms and legs sticking to it enters the room. It has a fedora on top of it and has a purple flower sticking to it around the chest area.
It comes in and closes the door behind it, before saying: "Hello my name is Malphite. I´m sure you wonder why you are here and where you are exactly. The reason why you are here is simple: I wanted to talk with you. The where is also rather easy to understand: In your subconsciousness. So the reason for our conversation here is simple, I need your help. For what?, I can hear you asking. I´m afraid I can´t tell you the reasons just yet. But as a payment I will give you this ," the rock pulls out a black crystal and handing it over to DNA.
"But it seems I can´t stay any longer. It is too hard to keep you in this state for too long. So I think we have to part ways here already. I´m sure we will meet again," finishes the rock, before taking a bow and leaving through the door he came from. It doesn´t take long before the room starts glowing, enfolding DNA in a bright light, so that he has to close his eyes.
When he opens his eyes again, he is lying on the ground surrounded by the Mane 6 and the two rulers of the land, all with concern written over their faces. DNA stands up slowly and looking at each one of them, before asking: "Can somepony please explain me, what just happened," with a baffeled expression.
Celestia blinks once. Celestia blinks twice, before clearing her throat and answering, unsure: "I can´t tell you exactly, what happened, just what I observed. First, you simply stood there, when your eyes suddenly went white. After about two minutes your eyes went back to normal and you fell onto the floor. Then you woke up and I think you know the rest of the story."
DNA nods in understanding, before responding: "Did anything happen, while I was in that state?"
Celestia holds up her right front hoof for him to see it better. The horseshoe she is wearing got a black spot on it as if it got burned. Then Celestia starts explaining: "When you were in that state I tried to touch you. And when I did, it got singed." DNA snips with his fingers and the burned spot on Celestia shoe disappeared.
Everypony looks first at the fixed horseshoe and then at DNA, which begins to explain: "I have a couple of news and a question for you. The news is not really brilliant, but the are definitely not bad.
First what I just did was one of my power. It allows me to change almost everything. I have to see something and then imagine how it should change and it does. But of course, to be able to do something of any real meaning I would need to put my powers over ten percent. I can change it and the other one called Earth, that, like I already demonstrated, lets me control earth... thingies On bigger percentages I can also bend metals and crystals to my will.
The next point is, that my powers are divided into three categories: Actives, Passives and always on, or AO for short. Actives are powers, which I have to use to show any effect. My Actives are, like I already said, DNA and Earth.
Then is are Passive. They are always active, without me using them, but still, change... things. But unlike my Actives, I got just one of them. The one is called less damage and, as you can guess, I take less damage while active. And when you use enough energy you can even deactivate it.
And then there is my AO, which is, as it says, always active or on and I can´t do anything to deactivate it unlike my passive. My AO is called 'no sleep', which means that I can´t lose my consciousness. What I don´t know is, if I still get tired. Meh, I will deal with that when it comes my way. Anyway, that was the news part," he finally finishes.
Celestia is quite suprised. Of course from what DNA has told them, but more about how he acted up until now. He came into a world that isn´t his own, gets imprissoned for 2000 years, then gets freed, greets them with a warm welcoming smile and answers all their questions really helpfully. But that makes her think: "DNA, I got a question for you, before you continue. I know it´s a bit rude to ask, but why are you so happy? You got riped away from your own world thrown in one, that has nothing in common with your old one, your family and friends are probably dead and there is no way of going back, as far as I know. So how?"
"You want to know how I can be happy despite all that? I have two good reasons. First: I love this world so much. It´s great, really. And my second point which is a lot more important: I hated my life from where I lived before. Day in day out the same routline. Stand up early, go to school for far to long, get home and study even more or do too many chores, then have about an hour free time and then going to bed, to get up the next day and repeating it all. My life was a mess. Nothing exiting happened EVER! I hoped every day that something would happen, ANYTHING! I went slowly crazy. I dreamed of what could be if things were to be different. And now things are different. I´m in a world where anything could happen. I have powers, that only existed in my wildest of dreams before. So you ask why I´m happy? The answer is: This is more than I could have ever hoped for," answers DNA her question.
"And what about your family and friends? What is with them? I´m sure they missed you when you just vanished from the world."
"To tell the truth I wasn´t very close with my family. They cared for me, no doubt in that, but we were always apart, they didn´t understand me very well. I didn´t had alot of friends. I had one good friend I miss a bit, but I´m sure he had a great life after I was gone. The only really downside I see in this situation is that there is no female here from my race, so I can´t share this luck with anyone. But I guess things can´t always be perfect. I´m happy as it is now, just being in this world and not on my own," he respondes to her with a smile, while trailing off a bit. He snaps back to reality and continuing: "But meh, lets not talk about such an unpleasant thing. I have something to adress, that will interest you more than my past. Do you know where the elements are?", he asks with an slightly evil grin.
Celestias, Lunas and the expression of the element bearers probabaly can´t get any more confused than what they are at the moment, as Celestia points to Twilight and her friends and says: "They are right here, around the necks of my faithful student and her best friends." And that should be the case, but it isn´t. The elements are gone. Not one clue, of where they could be is anywhere to be seen.
Then they look back at DNA and Celestia asks him, with one-quarter anger and three-quarter confusion in her voice: "DNA, where are the elements?", suspecting he´s the one to let them vanish.
DNA steps towards and lays his hands on her shoulders, before looking her intensely deep in the eyes and ensuring her: "Celestia, I have told all of you that I mean no harm. That was no lie, I still mean it," with a deadly serious expression.
Celestia gulps, already fearing what she is about to ask: "So when it wasn´t you, who stole the elements then?"
DNA begins to smile again and letting her go. He starts to clarify the situation: "The Elements are gone. Why would anything do something like this? Probably because they think that the elements can harm them. So what do the elements do when used on an entity? They get imprisoned in stone, that is if they aren´t possessed by something. And because one can clearly detect most of these somethings, and we haven´t so far, it´s the stone one.
Also we have to consider that the one responsible for the robbery is powerful enough that no one noticed it. So we are looking for an entity, that doesn´t want to be imprissoned in stone and is also powerful or chaotic enough that he can steal the elements from the necks from the ones wearing them and which were also under the muzzels of the two rulers of the land. Do you need more clues or do you know who stole them?" finishes DNA, while walking into the middle of the training area again.
Luna and Celestia both put a hoof to their chins and start processing the information DNA had given them. After a few seconds, both sisters are hit with the answer, in the form of evil laughter. Everypony flinches at the sound of it and Fluttershy starts taking cover behind her mane.
Next to DNA appears a creature with the head of a pony, and a body made up of all sorts of things. "I have to say I´m a bit disappointed in both of you," says the creature with fake disappointment in his voice.
Celestia recovers from the shock, of seeing Discord and then saying: "Discord, what are you doing here?" more calmly, than she ever imagined.
"Oh, I´m just here to say Hello. We haven´t seen us in at least 1500 years," answers the draconequus.
"And where resist the elements at the moment?" digs Luna deeper, also surprisingly calm.
"Oh I forgotten how grim you can be sometimes. But ok when you want to know I will tell you, but only my way. To retrieve your missing elements just make sense with this change of events. Twist and turns are my masterplan, then find the elements back where you began." and with a flip of his talon he and DNA vanish in a flash of red light and the sound of a female voice screaming: Seeeeeennpaiiiiii!!!
The air is stiff. Everypony stares at the now empty and silent training area. Celestia's eyes begin to moist. "I´m sorry, it has been my idea to free him, to believe him. I´m so sorry my little ponies. I´m sorry I let you all down," Celestia looks defeated to the ground and lets the tears flow freely.
She feels a wing on her back and looks up. Her younger counterpart gives her a reassuring smile and saying: "You have done nothing wrong, sister. Everypony could have been fooled by him. Even I believed him. But we can´t let a mistake like that leave us in a pit of sorrow. Our subjects need us. Two very powerful beings strife the land and it is up to us to stop them."
Celestia allows a small smile on her lips, feeling comfort in her sister's words. But it doesn´t stay there for long and makes place for a look that can be compared to a general looking at his solidars before war. She holds her head high again and begins talking: "You are right Luna we need to stay strong. For us. For everypony.
We have to find the Elements of Harmony again and seal both of them in stone again, so they won´t escape ever again." She focuses her stare on Twilight: "Twilight do you have any idea, where the elements could be?"
Twilight thinks for a moment before answering her mentor slowly: "If we presume the riddle of Discord really is a hint to where the elements could be, then my best guess is the labyrinth, in the Canterlot gardens."
"Good thinking my young student. You and your friends go and look for them then. I and Luna will stay here and prepare for more," she throws a glance to Luna before returning it to Twilight, "drastic matters." Celestia is about to walk away when something out of the corner of her eye catches her curiosity. The object is a small sticky note laying where Discord and DNA have been standing just moments ago.
Celestia picks it up with her golden magic and reads it out loud: "Sorry for that just now, but I had to act quick. I have no space to explain," Celestia turns the note, "but the Elements are NOT in the labyrinth. They are in the book of harmony. Love DNA."
Celestia looks up from the small piece of parchment. They thought all the same: WHAT?!
Luna is the first to recover. "So he deceived Discord?"
Celestia nods at that. "It seems he did, sister."
They are still standing there for a moment before Celestia says: "I guess we should get going then." And with that, they disappear in a golden blue flash of light.
They reappear in front of the Golden Oak library and Twilight rushes in.
After a minute she emerges from the building holding five elements in her levitational grasp while her own element resides on top of her head. She puts the elements on their respective owner before turning to the princesses. "They were where he said it. But I don´t understand why. Why would he betray us first and then help us?"
"I don´t know my student. We will have to ask him," answers Celestia before they all hurry away.
It doesn´t take to long to find Discord and DNA. They just had to follow the chaos, which was surprisingly not that much. It only took them about ten minutes.
"... and then we had nothing to eat, but cake for a whole week even the guards," finishes Discord his story and they erupt in a fit of laughter.
DNA wipes a tear of joy away and saying then: "Discord it's so nice to conversate with someone again. 2000 years is a long time being alone."
"Oh, I can't imagine it. I was just in stone for about 1500 years and it was already long enough."
DNA looks to the side, noticing the new arrivals. "Well as much as I dislike this, but I think we have to cut our conversation short," DNA points at the arriving group, "It seems we have company."
Discord turns in the direction DNA is pointing, finally seeing them too. He sighs and shakes his head. "I'm sorry DNA, my good friend, but it seems like it. Don't worry, this will be over quickly. We can continue afterward." Discord gives DNA a reassuring smile.
DNA stands up from where they sit. "I'm sure it will be over very quickly." He already turns away to leave but looks at Discord again. "I'm sorry, but I think I will have to pull this out a little longer," DNA pulls out a small clear crystal from behind his back, "Could you be so kind and touch this for me."
Discord frowns a bit at that request. "DNA could this please wait until I´m done here?"
"I´m afraid I have to insist that you do it now," answers DNA while shaking his head his expression one of cold stone.
Discord frowns even more at that statement but follows it none the less. Upon touching it, however, the gem lights up in a light pink. Before anypony (or Discord) can say something DNA quickly puts the crystal back from where he produced it and says: "Thank you, I will now leave you to your business," and with that DNA walks out of the line of sight with a smile.
Discord still stares at him for a moment as DNA walks away in confusion. Then he snickers and thinks: I don´t know what to think of him. One moment he is all happy and nice and in the blink of an eye he is all serious and wants something that has nothing to do with the situation, just so he can have a smile again the moment after. But I really have no idea what that was about. Discord shrugs, Oh well, I will just have to ask him later. But first...
He turns towards the group of ponies, his expression forming to an evil grin. "So you are finally here. I have to say I´m very impressed and a bit sad. I had expected you take longer to find your precious elements and even set up suprises. But that doesn´t matter anyway. You won´t win ´cause I am the spirit of chaos, Discord!" He starts laughting maniacally and lighting lights up from behind him causing everypony to flinch.
"NO, we will bring you down. The friendship that binds us gives us the power to use the Elements and defeat you," exclaims Twilight.
"You think your pesky little elements can beat me? You are foalish, but you can try it," answers Discord putting on a pair of shades.
Twilight turns around to her friends. "Okay girls let´s do this." She gets a round of agreements from them. They charge up their elements and fire. Discord keeps standing there sunglasses on and in a cool position, even as the friendship beam comes towards him. As it strikes him he turns part for part to stone, but even then he doesn´t move an inch.
But they don´t stop there. They turn towards DNA, who in reaction does not get a very scared and confused expression.
Princess Celestia steps in front of the mares, facing DNA. "So, and now to you."
DNA clears his throat trying to gain their ears. "Celestia let's not overreact here. I can explain everything."
She takes another step towards him, flaring her wings just slightly, bowing her head a bit so she can be on eye level with him and insists: "Then. Do."
"So this might not throw the best light on me and you just lost a lot of trust in me. I completely understand that. But I had to do what I did. You see, when I noticed that Discord was near us it was too late for me to inform you about it. So I just went along with it and pretended that I´m Discord´s friend for two reasons.
The first is so I can keep Discord from creating too much chaos, but I was mildly successful," pointing at the chocolate rain puddles, that are scattered around town, "But the second and more important reason is so I can give you the location of the Elements. Who knows what he would have done if I tried to just plainly tell you where the Elements are. So I needed to think and that quick. I admit it was not the best plan of action, but in the end it worked out, nopony is hurt and Discord is stoned again, in a much better pose when you ask me."
Celestia looks down at him suspiciously. She stands normally again, her wings folded to her sides. Celestia turns around to Twilight and her friends and motions them that they are clear. They slowly power them down and land a few steps behind Celestia.
Luna steps beside her sister and asks the obvious question: "And what now?"
Celestia and DNA look first at Luna, then at each other. Celestia answers: "I think we will first have to bring Discord back to Canterlot. Then we will see what to do next." Luna and DNA nod in agreement.
Celestia turns to her student and her friends. "I can´t thank you enough you six. You did a good job today."
The Mane 6 look worried between them. Celestia notices quick something is wrong. "Is something wrong?"
Twilight looks at her mentor worried before replying: "Princess it´s just that we all have our concerns about DNA."
Celestia puts a hoof on Twilight's shoulder. "I understand that, but I already reacted once to fast and it had caused me great despair. So I do not wish to do the same mistake twice." Her face gets a grim touch.
"Princess..." Twilight tries to reply but finds herself unable to.
They look at the ground together before Celestia speaks again. "Twilight it´s okay to make mistakes. It´s even good to make them from time to time to remind us that we are just ponies. But it is important that we learn from them and only do them once. Consider this a lesson my young student." Twilight brightens up too and nods at her. "I don´t trust DNA completely too, but I will give him a chance."
"Princess when you say so, then I will give him a chance too. I mean besides: He doesn´t seem like a too terrible guy," responds Twilight enthusiastically.
They hear a slow clapping noise coming closer. They turn to find the source of the sound and find DNA.
"Thank you. You have no idea how much this means to me. Anyway I hate to stop this little lesson, but I forgot to tell you something," this gets a raised eyebrow from everypony, "Yes, I mentioned it before. My powers are at ten percent and I need to unlock more," he brings out two crystals. One is the pink crystal from before, the other is an unknown pure white one. "These crystals are the keys to unlock more percentages of my power and other stuff."
"So how do they work?" inquires Celestia as she leans in closer to the precious stones.
"Oh, it´s really quite simple. I can show you," replies DNA, taking them away from Celestia's muzzle.
He takes the pink gem in the other hand and puts it into his mouth. He chews it a couple of times before gulping it down. To say the gathered ponies are shocked is an understatement.
Twilight is the first to speak. "You can eat crystals?"
DNA turns towards her. "Oh, you can speak? That´s great! Now your friends just need to learn this ability too." He throws a glare at the rest of the girls. They smile at him sheepishly in return. "Anyway," he turns back to Twilight, "of course I´m able to. I can control the earth, so why wouldn´t I be able to eat crystals?"
She looks away, unsure of what to say. "I don´t know," Twilight turns back to him, "I guess it just seems odd, that's it."
"Oh don´t worry, with me around this is going to be one of the most normal things. That said, these gems unlock other things too and these other things depend on the entity I take the sample from. Oh no AAAHHHHH..." he ruffles his hair in frustration, "I forgot to tell you how these crystals work. Jeez I´m stupid. Ok sorry for that I will explain them quickly. I can take these and touch somethink with them to get a sample from them, that is when the thing I touch with the crystals is powerful or special enough. For example: Discord. A sample includes an analysis of their capabilitys and a... well sample of their powers.
Lets stay at Discord for the example. When I ate his sample I got five percent of my power and as a little extra it´s now easier for me to use my DNA ability. The things I become from them depends on how powerful they are and what they are good at. Discord, for example, created chaos. Created is the keyword here, that's why I got a little extra for creating new things from scratch."
They nod. Then Rainbow notices something. "Hey, but from where is the second crystal then?"
They turn towards her and DNA replies: "And another one of you can talk. That means two down four to go. Anyways you are right," he holds up the second gem, "I got this one as a present. Let's see what it does, shall we?" And with that, he eats the crystal. His eyes light up for a moment and he falls to his knees.
Celestia is quickly by his side, putting a hoof on his back and asking: "Is everything alright?"
DNA stands up slowly. "I feel fine. In fact, I never felt better and man do I have news." He takes a couple of steps back. First, he puts his arms in front of his chest and then throws them out. Simultaneously a pair of beautiful white wings sprouts from his back. They are easily as big as himself.
They all take a step back in awe of their brilliance. And DNA can here a "sweet" comment, presumably from Rainbow. "I know pretty cool, isn´t it. Anyway, I have something even more awesome to show you."
Pinkie chips in. "Oh, what is it? Please tell me that your wings are made of sugar, please. On one side it would be kind of weird, but on the other side it would be sooooo yummy."
He tumbles her mane, saying: "Ah it´s nice that you found your voice back, Pinkie. I can make my wings out of sugar at some point, but not now. I´m sorry Pinkie. No, I want to show you guys something even more impressive."
Celestia raises an eyebrow. "Oh, and what is that?"
DNA wiggles a finger. "Tsk, tsk, tsk. Celestia when I would tell you it wouldn´t be a surprise. You will have to wait for it."
"Ok. I agree under one condition. I can´t be dangerous," states Celestia.
DNA begins to beam. "Sure there is nothing dangerous about it. I just need to fly a bit up and prepare it. It will probably take five to ten minutes," and with that, he begins to fly.
He flys up and up, constantly further in the direction of the sun. He gets smaller and smaller, till he´s just a black dot in the distance and then disappears completely.
The minutes pass by as the group of ponies stares into the sky waiting for something to happen. Then Celestia sighs. Luna turns towards her. "Is something wrong, sister?"
Celestia points a hoof at the ground. There beneath a rock lies a piece of paper. Celestia takes it in her magical hold and reads it out loud: "
Today I learned that good friends will trust you, even when you just met them.
No, but now seriously. Thanks for trusting me that much. I will keep that in mind and try not to abuse it.
I will go away for awhile, but I will come back. And I promise I will try to behave.
So don´t worry (too much).
Your new friend DNA
P.S.: I will send you a report every day to let you know what I´m up to.
P.P.S.: Keep the rock, it´s important!
On the bottom of the paper is a black pentagram.
Celestia begins to laugh like she hasn´t laughed in a long time. She can´t help it. She doesn´t even know what is so funny. After what feels like forever she finally stops. As she stops she looks in the faces of smiling ponies, all sharing her amusement.
Luna steps up to her: "So what shall we do?" Luna is also smiling, which adds to Celestia's enjoyment. She hasn´t seen Luna smile like this in far too long.
"I think it will be fine. Let him do his thing. I can trust my friend." It feels good to say that: Friend. That is something she hasn´t had in far too long: a friend.
Footnote: -Powers are at 25% -You can now control stone -To control dirt has gotten easier -It´s easier to create things from nothing -Wings have been added -M.E.I.S.G. has been added -DNA can now use basic level magic
Celestia looks at the letters in front of her. There are three of them in front of her to be precise. One for each day DNA is already gone. She reads them again.
Today I learned, that spiders are scared of fire.
I also found a place to crash while I´m in Equestria. It´s a bit small, but it will be good for now.
Your friend DNA.
P.S.: Say Hi to Luna from me.
Good evening Celestia,
Today I learned, that I need to find something to heat my place.
I´m very happy you don´t search for me and still trust me. Thank you.
I started to restore my home.
Your freezing friend DNA.
P.S.: Say Luna that I saw what she did and thanks.
Beneath the letter is a picture of the night sky with five, bright stars, forming a pentagram.
Hello Luna and Celestia,
Today I learned, that both of you are very clever ponies.
On another note, I´m very exited for tomorrow.
Your adventurous friend DNA.
P.S.: I think I need some new furniture.
Celestia doesn´t know why, but she always feels happy when she is reading these letters. She would just like it more when he would be here in the castle so they could converse. She looks at the clock. It´s 12 o´clock. Another eight hours for the next letter. The sun princess shakes her head. I can´t let this distract myself from my royal duties. She continues working with a smile, thinking about the next letter.
"Sister, please sit still, you are not a little foal anymore," exhorts Luna her bigger sister.
"I know that, Luna, but it´s almost time for the letter," replies Celestia rocking on her chair.
"I am aware of that sister and I´m exited too, but you are too over the hill," answers Luna chuckling.
One hour later
"What if something happened to him. We have to help him," Celestia is pacing around the room, "We have to send out the whole guard!"
"Sister calm down. I´m sure he´s fine. Maybe he just doesn´t have anything interesting to say," suggests Luna.
Then there comes the letter, as a paper plane. That was one thing very special about DNAs letters. They always came as a paper plane up until now.
Celestia snatches the letter out of the air reading it out loud:
"Delayed hello you two,
Today I learned that it´s hard to breathe without air (especially buried under a lot of debris).
Don´t worry about me I´m almost completely fine.
I´m happy to announce that I´m not living alone anymore. (Yay.)
My inmate arrived by air and lost control. As a result, he trashed the place a bit. You could say he crashed at my place.
We will come for a visit on Sunday.
Please inform the girls aswell, I would like for them to meet him aswell.
Your bruised friend DNA.
P.S.: My roommate is a bit different than me, just to warn you.
P.P.S.: Now I definitely need some new furniture."
Celestia looks up from the letter to her sister.
"See everything is fine, sister."
"Okay I maybe overreacted a bit, but I had good reasons to. You´ve heard the letter. He still got hurt," answers Celestia pouting.
Luna sighs. "That besides. He said he will come on Sunday. That means in three days. We will have to organize everything."
Celestia looks to her sister again. "I will have to inform the girls then."
She thinks for a second when she is interrupted by her sister: "Sister do you think sometimes we are getting old?"
Celestia really wonders where that came from.
"So who is this roommate, from DNA?" asks Twilight.
"I bet he is like super awesome," comments Rainbow really helpfully.
Celestia looks to her student. "I don´t know. DNA said that he is different than himself."
"Did he say when they will come?" inquires Applejack.
This time Luna is the one to respond. "No he did not, but we think he will be here soon."
"Why ya think, princess?"
"Let's call it a hunch, shall we?"
"Oh I have a hunch, too," screams Pinkie hopping up and down. Everypony turns to her expecting something. "It tells me: 3, 2, 1..."
Not later than that and a crash is heard from the next door. They turn first to the door from which they have caught the sound, then back to Pinkie, which just smiles at them in return.
Before they can wonder about that their ears are met with shouting.
"WATCH OUT WHERE YOU LAND!"
"Oh come on I can´t land when you struggle so much."
"MAYBE I WOULDN´T HAD TO STRUGGLE WHEN YOU WOULDN´T FORCE ME TO COME WITH YOU."
"You would never have come with me on your own."
"YES FOR A GOOD REASON."
One of these voices is DNA, the calm one. The loud one is probably from his roommate.
"Let me just repair this wall, then we can meet the others."
"I don´t want to meet these little ponies." The other one calmed down but is still clearly upset.
"Give them a chance, I´m quite certain you will like them after some time or at least will get along with them."
"I doubt that." They are coming closer now.
"Then give them the benefit of the doubt."
There is a defeated sigh from behind the door before the other one continues: "You know I hate you, right?"
"Yes, I know. I wouldn´t want it any other way."
The door opens and in its frame are standing two bipedal. One of them is DNA. The other is a bit smaller, about Luna's height, his hair is light green, such are his eyes. He has a green shirt on, that seems to be too big for him and blue trousers. On the shirt are three white, wavy, horizontal lines.
The groups stare at each other. Just one of each group smiles. On group human it´s DNA and on group pony it´s Pinkie.
After a couple of seconds, the new human leans over to DNA and says: "Ok you were right they are actually pretty cute."
Celestia recovers from her shock. "Well I´m honored that you think that we are cute," she starts, but gets quickly a death glare from the new guy, causing her to shut up.
He starts talking. "Just because I think your kinda cute doesn´t mean I like you. It just means I can look at you without being disgusted."
Luna sensing an insult there interferes: "What are you thinking, speaking like this to royalty?"
"What I´m thinking? I´m thinking, that I´m stuck here in a world of little pink ponies, that have tea parties all the time. And I. Don´t. Like. That," returns the human, being carful to make his point clear.
"Stop, both of you! How ´bout we sit down together and talk about this," stops DNA their little argument.
Said and Done
"Like I said tea party," comments the human dryly.
"This is no tea party. This is a gathering on political basis while drinking tea," defends Luna.
The human waves a hand with a dismissive motion. "Yeah, yeah, whatever lets you sleep at night," he turns to DNA, "And what now because that blue one starts to really annoy me?"
DNA looks over the edge of his tea cup to the other human. "Luna."
The other human gets a very confused expression with a slight suggestion of disgruntlement. "I don´t know what you want with the moon, but if..."
"Her name is Luna," explains DNA further.
"Oh," the other one looks slightly taken aback from this statement, "what a silly name."
"Says the guy that´s called like something that keeps stuff cool," retorts DNA.
"I´m sorry, but I never did catch your name. Could you maybe tell it to me, please," requests Celestia sweetly.
The human eyes her suspiciously before answering. "Of course. My name is FREEZER, written all capitalized."
Luna snorts and whispers quietly: "And you say I have the silly name," more to herself than to anyone else.
FREEZER shoots her an angry look but refrains himself to comment on it. Instead, he turns to Celestia and smiles. "And what is your name? I´m afraid I didn´t catch yours either."
"Oh, I´m sorry for forgetting something like that. My name is Princess Celestia, I´m Lunas older sister."
This information sparks something in FREEZERs head. "Wait I heard that before. It was..." He isn´t able to finish his sentence, as he is quickly hit on the back of the head by DNA. He turns towards him with an angry look while holding his head. "Hey what was that for?"
"You can´t say that."
"You have no idea what I wanted to say!"
"Yes, I know. You wanted to tell them that..." DNA shuts himself up fast, almost leaking some unwanted information. "Listen! We can´t give them that information."
"Let´s just say not everypony would take it the same way or a good way for that matter and that there would be a very good chance that we would die a horrible painful death." Everybody looks at DNA in a shocked manner.
"I..." tries DNA to begin before recalculating, "We can´t give you this information, for very good reasons."
"And how can I be sure the reasons are as good as you claim them to be."
"You can´t. You will just have to trust your friend," answers DNA with a devilish smile.
Celestia rubs the bridge of her nose and lets out a sigh. She hates him for playing the "But I´m your friend" card on her. "Okay fine."
"I´m glad we discussed this. Now I think you should meet the rest of V.I.P.s," at the odd stares he receives he explains further, "The ponies you will interact the most. These are Twilight, Applejack, Rainbow, Rarity, Pinkie and Fluttershy," pointing at their respective owners.
"Yay we met all," FREEZER starts with fake joy, "Can we go home now?" and finishes with a mixture of annoyance, boredom, monotonous and anger.
"Oh I forgot to ask you where you live now," says Celestia.
"Didn´t I tell you it my letters?" at the shake DNA receives he continues, "We are living in the castle of the two royal sisters out in the Everfree."
The room falls into silence. A very tense silence. FREEZER leans over to DNA and whispers: "What is so bad about it?"
"Well, you know how I told you the forest is kinda dangerous?" upon receiving a nod he continues, "I maybe played it up a bit. Let´s just say that other than us there is one other civilized inhabitant... I think... maybe. I actually don´t know really. Also, nopony is really fond of going there."
FREEZER turns towards him, his face saying: Seriously?
"Yes, I mean it," responds DNA flatly.
Luna is the first to regain her composure. "Surely you have to be joking."
"No, I´m not. Why would I? The castle is big enough, there is nopony around that we could disturb, but still close enough to civilization that we can quickly and comfortly travel there and it also has quite a few secrets. I see not one reason why you wouldn´t want to live in it. Ok, I admit it may need some refurbishment, but I did a good job up until now if I do say so myself."
"And what is with the monsters? Aren´t they bothering you?"
"I may or may not have scared them away."
"Ehm, excuse me?" Twilight raises a hoof timidly trying to gain attention. "DNA, would it be possible that we could maybe visit the castle?"
And then something happens that rarely happens, DNA looks confused. "Sure, I see no problem, but if you allow me to ask. Why?"
"Well last time we were there, we hadn´t really had time to take a look around. Also, I heard there is a massive library."
"Yes, I am aware why you want to go, but what I want to know is why your friends want to go," he turns to her friends, "Don´t want to insult you guys, but you don´t seem like the bunch who likes to look at old structures."
Fluttershy is the first to answer. "Oh well, you see, I heard stories about the garden there and I want to see it, um that is if you don´t mind."
Next is Rarity. "I don´t know what you think of me, but I for one enjoy visiting old, historical structures."
"Family matters," is all Applejack offers as an answer.
"I want to visit a grave," is the very surprising answer from Rainbow.
"Okay, that went really grim, really fast. I suppose Pinkies reason for coming with us is because of the surprises. Right?" concludes DNA at which Pinkie nods heavily, "So for what are we waiting for? Let´s get going."
"We don´t need to hurry. The next train to Ponyville won´t arrive for another two hours," informs Twilight.
DNA looks back at her, already half-way to the door. "Who said anything about trains? We are going to fly."
-One stupid idea later.-
"This is stupid," states Twilight the obvious.
At the moment they are standing on a stone plate. Said stone plate is engaged in three different magical auras. Said auras are making the before mentioned stone plate almost weightless. It is laying on the edge of the cliff.
"What are you talking about, Twilight? This is going to be so AWESOME!" exclaims Rainbow, who is also standing on it.
The plan is really simple. DNA will use his powers to launch them. In theory, they should glide. While airborne FREEZER will use his powers to steer them. Easy.
"Everyone ready?" asks DNA.
"Ah still don´t know ´bout this," voices Applejack her concern.
"Ok, perfect, nopony has anything to complain, then let´s get stared," ignores DNA Applejack.
She is about to retort when the platform she and the others are standing on launches into the air. And with a glorious scream, they begin flying.
"I´m with AJ on this one. It was nice to travel in such a relaxing way," agrees Rarity.
Fluttershy chips in too. "I have to say, it was awful odd to fly like this, but also very exiting."
"Oh come on," exclaims Rainbow, throwing her forelegs out, "Hasn´t anypony the same opinion as me?"
"Oh I think it too, Dashie. I was like soooo exited that I had the chance to fly. Sure I have flown before with balloons, but this was tooootally different. I mean we glided all the way from Canterlot to the entrance of the Everfree forest on a stone slab. Anyways when we started we shot in the air and me and Dashie were like: Uuuuuuuuh YEAH! And you guys were like: Aaaaaah HELP!," brabbles Pinkie with a huge smile.
Sometimes her friends wonder about her.
-In the front.-
"I haven´t walked this way in many years," says Celestia nostalgic.
Luna nods. "Indeed sister it feels like it has been an eternity, since we have taken this path."
"But I do have to ask," Celestia turns towards DNA, "for what are those stone pillars," pointing to the stone columns that are lined up along the side of road on a regular basis.
"Oh them?" asks DNA also pointing to them, "I thought it would be a good idea to guide everyone from and to the castle."
"Who would want to go to the castle anyway?" questions Celestia raising an eyebrow.
"Twilight and her friends for example," answers DNA, while motioning with one hand behind them, where the ponies in question are walking being sunk in their own conversation. Luna and Celestia contemplate that for a moment before agreeing that he has a point.
-All the way in the back.-
Maybe these ponies aren´t all that different from us humans. Maybe I can even become friends with them, thinks FREEZER, as he listens to the conversations going on in front of him.
Another voice speaks up in his head. NO! They are still little pink ponies. You are a MAN, you are not allowed to like them!
But they act like humans, maybe a bit friendlier, they just look different.
That doesn´t change the fact that they are PONIES!
He nods to himself. That´s right, I can´t like them, they are ponies.
-At the castle-
"Welcome to the castle of the elements!" exclaims DNA, throwing out his arms.
Rainbow whistles. "Nice."
"While I won´t describe it as Rainbow, I have to say you really did something to this place," adds Rarity.
The castle looks already a lot better. Of course it doesn´t look as good as thousands of years ago, but already better than a couple of months ago.
"Oh you are too charming. I didn´t do anything serious yet, I merely fixed some holes. But I have plans for this place," admits DNA, "Anywho I will let you guys to it, I have my own things to attend to do. We will meet in the dining room when you are finished." He starts to walk into the castle, but then turns to them again. "By the way be aware of the traps. I marked some, but I´m not sure if I found them all," and with that he leaves.
The rest of them follow him shortly after. A couple of steps before the half broken door Twililght notices something. "Wait, how are we going to find the dining room? This place is huge!"
FREEZER walks past them, hands behind his head explaining: "Don´t worry. DNA expected something like this to happen. He made preparations that all guests find their way to the most important parts of the castle, without getting lost."
"What did he do?" inquires Celestia.
"You´ll see," is all they get from FREEZER.
And boy do they see. Upon entering the first thing they notice are different coloured lines that lead to diverse parts of the palace. Next to each line stands where it is leading.
"Ok see ya later, everypony. Ah ´ave somethin´ ta do," explains Applejack already trotting away.
"Wait Applejack!" stops Twilight her, "Shouldn´t at least one of us come with you?"
Applejack turns to them. "Ah´m sorry sugarcube, but that is somethin´Ah ´ave ta do by mahself." And with that she leaves.
"Okay I will get going too then. Princess, could you please tell me where the grave of Captain Blitz is?" asks the cyan pegasus.
"Yes. It is on the west side of the building, right next to the gardens," responds Princess Luna almost to quick, earning her a suspicious glance of her sister.
"Thanks," blurts Rainbow out, before flying off.
"Wait, I will come with you Rainbow Dash," calls Fluttershy out, trying to catch up to her friend.
"And what about you Pin... Pinkie where are you?" The rest of the group looks around. No Pinkie. Twilight sighs, turning to the last of her friends. "And you Rarity?"
"I think I will stroll a bit throught the castle, looking around. I guess I am going to start with the throne room."
"When that is the case, Luna and I shall give you company," contributes Celestia.
Rarity gives a light bow. "It would be a honor, princesses."
Celestia turns to Twilight. "And what will you be doing, my young student?"
Twilight puts a hoof to her chin, "Welllll I was going to take a look at the libary," she puts the hoof back down, smiling again, "I guess I will continue with that plan."
"Are you going to be okay on your own?" questions the sun monarch.
"I´m going to be fine," replies Twilight already walking along the Libary line, that has strangely the colour of her coat, as she notices.
The room is almost completety dark, the only light coming from under the door.
Applejack hears a knock from said door. She quickly puts it away. "Who´s there?"
"It´s me. Can I come in?" The voice belongs to DNA.
"Sure pardner," the doors opens to reveal DNA leaning against the door frame, "Whatcha want?"
"I just came to give you something," states DNA simply with a dead serious voice and fitting expression. He reaches behind his back, bringing forth a small box. It´s light red in colour and the edges are encased in gold. On top is the shape of an apple, also in gold. DNA takes a large step into the room, putting the box softly onto the floor and then returns to his original position.
Applejack sneaks up on it, her whole body tense. Once close enough she takes the box and retreats with it into the far corner. She turns her back towards DNA, leaning over it protectivly. She opens it just far enough so she can take a glance in it and shuts it immidiatly after.
Applejack shoots DNA a dirty glare. "Did you look inside?" Her voice is practically dripping with venom.
"Yes I did, I had to look for who it is," respondes DNA like it´s nothing, but serious none the less.
"Did you do anything else?"
She eases up a bit,"Ah´m sorry. It´s just that Ah..." She gets stoped by DNA.
"Stop it! You don´t have to be sorry about anything. It seems I did something I shouldn´t have done and I´m sorry for that. You don´t need to explain anything either."
They are silent for a moment or two before Applejack speaks up again. "Thanks, not just for the box, but also for being so considerate."
DNA waves a hand dismissly. "Don´t mention it," he starts walking away, but stops in his track shouting something back at her before continuing.
Back in the small room a single tear rolls down her face, while a smile of unknown origin spreads across her lips. She doesn´t know from where they come from. Is she happy or she becoming crazy and letting the thing in the box take over her life? The orange mare doesn´t know, but what she knows is that she and DNA aren´t as differentas she thought in the beginning. Sure he holds secrets from them, but she is doing it too. As she thinks about this the last words of the human float through her mind. If you ever want to talk about it I´m there for you. And she knows he means it.
Applejack is the first to arrive in the dining room. Well the first pony. DNA and FREEZER are already sitting at the table, both with something to drink. She seats herself next to DNA.
FREEZER throws a glance over his mug towards them. Something has changed between them, he knows it. In Canterlot she has chosen to seat furthest away from him, but now she decides to sit right next to DNA. Suspicious.
But before he can continue with his thoughts the orange mare begins to speak. "Whatcha drinking there, pardner?"
"Something I found in the cellar. Was the only thing alcoholic down there other than wine. It´s called Hard Apple Cider, pretty good actually, well better than some of the junk back where we come from," answers FREEZER, taking another gulp.
Applejack chukles dryly. "Oh well shugs, thanks. Ah´ll take that as a complament."
FREEZER raises an eyebrow, finally lifting his head fully. "Oh that´s interesting. That puts you in first place in my ranking."
DNA stands up.
Applejacks ears twitch. "First place in yer what now?"
"First place in my ranking. It´s something I use to decide who is bearable or useful and who is a pain in the ass. You are first, Pinks and Dash share second place just because they both are more relaxed, coller and more normal. Next is the yellow one. What´s her name again? Fluta... Futa... Oh right Fluttershy. So yeah she is such a high place because she didn´t do anything yet. Twilight is after her, she asks too much questions for my taste. In almost last is Sunbutt," Applejack frowns at that nickname, "because I think she plans something. And in DEAD last is Princess stuck-up of the moon for obvious reasons."
Applejack is about to retort, when she feels something scratching her head. She turns to find the source and discovers it rather quickly. "Care to explain?"
DNA looks down at her. "Oh I just always wanted to do this. But when it bothers you I can stop."
She shakes her head softly. "No, please continue, it feels rather nice," says Applejack even when she would never admit infront of her other friends. He nods in responds. Seeing that DNA will continue, she lays her head on the table and letting him caress her.
They stay like that for a while. After what feels like too short DNA stops scratching. Applejack is about to complain, when she hears the sound of hoofs coming closer. She turns her head to DNA and nods grateful.
Rainbow and Fluttershy appear in the doorway, the latter leans on the former for support. The butter coloured pegasus is covered in scratches and bruises.
Applejack lifts her head from the table. "What the hay `appened to you?"
"On our way back she tripped and fell into a really nasty thornbush. She also says her ankle hurts," explains Rainbow, while helping Fluttershy to lay down on one of the pillows.
"Don´t apologize for your own clumsiness," scolds her Rainbow.
"I´m sorry," is Fluttershys only responds.
DNA stands up and walks over to the two pegasi, leaning over Fluttershy, inspecting her wounds. She seems to shrink under his gaze. After some time DNA says: "I could help you."
Fluttershy perks up at this. "Can you?"
"Sure thing," answers DNA before continuing more softly and a bit hesistant, "that is when you want my help." Fluttershy thinks about it for a moment before nodding almost unnoticible. "Okay then, you have to think: Access granted. Visualize the words infront of your inner eye." She nods again, closing her eyes trying to imagine the words.
DNAs eyes flare up and bit by bit the first slash closes leaving only a bit of blood behind. This continues one by one, ever so slowly. Somewhere in between Raritys group slips in, but they stay silent when Rainbow motions them to.
After some more minutes of silence and staring the last of the cuts is sealed up. DNA let´s out an exhausted sigh, sweat running down his forehead. "You did good," praises DNA Fluttershy, patting her head. She smiles, clearly enjoying the patting as well as the praising.
Celestia walks up beside him. "That was quite interesting, what you did there. Care to explain?"
He turns towards her. "I did the same thing I done to you shoe. I repaired her body, but I can´t fix her ankle... yet. I need to learn more pony anatomy for that."
Celestia raises an eyebrow. "Why that?"
"You see, to create or to do anything with my DNA power I have to know how they work." Luna and Celestia nod, understanding what he means. "Anyway do you want to sit down and drink something, while you tell us about your tour?" They nod again in respondes.
A couple of minutes later they all have either tea, water or in FREEZERs case hard apple cider standing infront of them.
"So," starts DNA the conversation, "what did you guys do?"
"Well first we went to the throne room, it was simply stunning. From there we continued to the library, where we met Twilight. The poor dear was so deep in the books she barely noticed us. The rest of the time we just wandered the castle," summarizes Rarity before taking a sip of her tea.
"DNA, I have actually a question for you," mentions Celestia. DNA motions for her to continue. "When we were in the throne room there were not two, but four thrones. Why?"
DNA sets down his cup. "Question: How many basic elements are there?"
Celestia thinks about it for a second. "There are four elements: Water, Air, Fire and Earth. But how does... Oh that´s how," she is hit by the realisation, "The castle is called castle of the elements now. Wait that means there will come two more?" he nods, "So when will they arrive?"
He shrugs his shoulders. "I have no idea. But thank you for reminding me of something," he turns to Rarity, "Rarity, could you maybe help me with some banners for the castle?"
Her eyes begin to sparkle. "You can count on me. I shall help make this place regain some of his brilliance it once possessed."
He smiles at her with genuine graditute. "Thank you."
In that moment Twilight enters the room, a happy smile on her face and an assortment of books levitating beside her. "Oh hey Twilight, seems like you had alot of fun," comments DNA chukling slightly.
"Well I found some pretty rare books, of course I´m happy," explains Twilight, while seating herself next to mentor.
"SUPRISE," shouts Pinkie Pie as she jumps up from behind Twilight.
Twilight on her part jumps in shock a couple of units upwards. She turns around to her pink friend. "I didn´t know you were here already."
"I wasn´t. Just entered and thought I would suprise you guys," replies Pinkie.
"You certainly did," confirms Twilight.
The pink mare starts bouncing towards DNA. "I walked around the castle a looked for suprises," she stops infront of him, "and I found a really big one."
DNA sets down his cup with a grin. "That sounds interesting. I don´t suppose you could show me where it is."
She nods heavyly,"Sure," and hops onto his lap. "It´s right there," explains Pinkie and points seemingly random into the air.
"Here?" asks DNA also pointing into the air.
"Yupty yup yup," confirms Pinkie.
"I need to see this." DNA picks her up, rises from his position, seats Pinkie on the pillow he has been sitting on and walks out the door.
Everypony looks out the door, where DNA just exited moments ago. Dash is the first to ask. "Pinkie, what was that just now?"
Pinkie turns to her blue pegasus friend. "What do you mean, Dashie?" is Pinkies respondes, sounding comletely innocent.
"We all know you can be a bit random sometimes and we also know DNA is not the most normal one, but that was too crazy even for the two of you," replies Rainbow with just a hint of annoyance in her voice.
The answer stays out as they are distracted by a loud thud. They turn towards the source to find out it had been FREEZER slamming his mug onto the table. "I think I might be able to help there," startes the bored looking human, "Pinks there just showed DNA something on the map of our M.E.I.S.G. And if any of you wonder: It stands for Magical Enhanced Invisible Super Glasses."
"So what are they capable of?" inquires Twilight, inching a bit closer to him.
"It has a lot of functions and even we don´t know all of them... yet. One of the main functions is that it let´s us look at things a different way," answers FREEZER, regretting that he has nothing left of his drink. Upon receiving several raised eyebrows he continues. "You know when you put on shades and everything you see goes darker?" he gets nods, "Same principle. It´s like we put on different kind of glasses and each of them let us see different things, things differently or not at all. These glasses are called filters."
Celestia nods slowly, trying to process the information. "Could you give us an example, please?"
He groans, pinching the bridge of his nose and closes his eyes in the act. "At the moment we don´t have a lot of them," he thinks for a second and has a idea, "I mentioned a map before. That´s one of the filters. It creates a map infront of us, which only people with M.E.I.S.G. can see. It has a limited range and we have to have seen the place in order for it to appear on it. That´s the reason DNA and I can almost move freely in the casle by the way."
Celestia lightens up, having an idea. "Oh you mean like this?" She charges her horn with magic. A large map of Equestria appears in the air. It´s partially transparent, spinning slowly and 2-D. Above it hovers the word Equestria.
Rainbow turns away from the magical display to FREEZER in time to see it. Yep, there it is again. She has seen it on several occasion. "Why do you do that?"
The group turns towards her. "What do you mean?" replies the human.
"The tap at the head," answers Rainbow while tapping the side of her head, "I´ve seen you and DNA do it on several occasions and it looks too precise for it to be random."
FREEZER let´s out a whistle. "Impressive! Didn´t think any of you would notice. But yeah you´re right it has a purpose. It´s another function of our M.E.I.S.G. We can take photos with it. The thing is to take one we have to tap the side of our head." Twilight comes even closer.
"But from what did you do a picture?" inquires Celestia further.
"This place got the biggest libary I have ever seen, but all the maps are mostly outdated. So DNA said that if I find a map that´s up to date I should make a picture of it and send it to him."
That erects some eyebrows. "What do you mean with send? You live like in the same place and I know this place is huge, but not nearly big enough to send something," questions Rainbow.
"Right... You guys don´t have that. Ok imagine sending a letter to someone maybe the letter even has a picture in it, it would take days if not weeks for it to get where you want it to go. Now imagine that this process is done in a matter of seconds and then you got what DNA and I can do with our M.E.I.S.G.," explains FREEZER.
But then his ears hear something that´s way to close for his comfort. He turns to his right and his vision is filled with black, white and purple. More precisely the spakling eyes of Twilight Sparkle.
"Twilight?" starts FREEZER.
"Yes?" replies Twilight.
"Do you know what privacy?"
The purple unicorn blinks, realizing how close she is to him, blushes and quickly backs away before apologizing. The group of ponies laugh a bit at her. FREEZER waves a hand dismissly. "It´s fine, just try to remember." Twilight nods lightly, blushing a bit more.
The room falls in silence nopony knowing what to say or in FREEZERs case not even caring. After some minutes of this the human starts again. "Hey AJ," the mare in question raises her head from the table, "DNA says you should come to his location."
"Did he say why?"
"He says it´s about that thing from before," answers FREEZER.
She´s immediately on her hoofs. "Where?" it´s more a command than a question.
He raises an eyebrow, suddenly interested. "Ooooh that´s interesting. That´s the first time I´ve seen that from any of you guys."
"Where?" growls Applejack further.
FREEZER moves his hand, like one would do to shoo away a fly. A gust of wind can be heard going throught the tunnels of the castle. "Follow the wind, it will guide you to DNA," states FREEZER with a wicked grin. Applejack startes running where the wind is leading her, quite literally acually.
Normally Twilight would have been amazed by FREEZERs powers and would have started to question him all about them, but not this time. At the moment she is scared. Scared about loosing her freind. She has never seen Applejack like... this. She looks to the other ponies in the room where five others share her expression and Luna who doesn´t seem to be fazed by this at all.
Celestia glances to her sister. Luna what do you know? She would have to ask her later on.
Their thoughts are broken when FREEZERs voice speaks up again. "I´ve got a question for you guys. Who do you think is DNA?"
The question is odd, unexpected and nopony can answer it. When nopony replies FREEZER continues. "I´ll tell you who DNA is. DNA will always wear a smile to make you happy or brighten up your day when a rain cloud makes it dark, even when he himself is feeling like shit. DNA will lie to you, there´s no way around that and he is even going to use the truth to lie to you. He will tell you everything is just fine, even when there´s no way out of a situation. DNA will seem to have a plan, like he´s checking something off of a checklist, but most of the time he has not one fucking clue what his next step is going to be. DNA will stay by your side no matter how bad a situation might seem, DNA will help you in anyway he can, when you need him. DNA will do his own thing no matter what you say, but he will respect your privacy... mostly... when he feels like it.
But it feels like he changed, since I met him here," FREEZER stands up from the table and starts making his way to the door, "DNA said the following to me when I asked him who he is: 'Don´t you know. I´m DNA. DNA is everything and nothing.' So I ask you: Who is DNA? But that question can only be answered by yourself, " he stops at the door, putting a hand on the frame, turning his head to them, "By the way: Some of these things are the same for me," and with that he leaves them to their own thoughts, disappearing in tunnels of the castle.
The ponies in the room stare a couple of moments longer after him before turning towards each other. All of them confused. The room stays in silence once more as everypony thinks about the information FREEZER gave them.
Getting soft? a mild levle of deviousy in the mental voice.
No. Getting annoyed, replies FREEZER mentally.
Nopony notices as time passes.
"What the loooong face everypony?" interrupts DNA them with a wide grin on his face. Next to him stands Applejack with a rather somber expression.
Twilight forces a smile to her face. "Oh it´s nothing, FREEZER just gave us some food for thought," she pauses looking at the others before continuing, "DNA, who is FREEZER?"
DNAs smile gets kind of devious. "Oh suddenly interested in FREEZER are we?" Twilight blushes a bit, which causes DNA to chuckle lightly, "But sure I suppose I can tell you a bit about him. Let me think about it for a sec," he seats himself, tapping his chin, "FREEZER is more mature than I am, looking at the situation in a more serious way and is not so silly with his ideas. FREEZER doesn´t take orders from just anyone and even then he decides if he´s following them or not. He doesn´t like being looked down on either. I think that´s the reason he has such a problem with you, Luna."
The pony in question scoffs. "I have never looked down on him."
DNA nods his expression saddening a bit. "I know Luna, but in our old world their had been an incident with two princesses. And let´s just say it hasn´t been our most pleasant expirience."
"Do you want to talk about it?"
He shakes his head,"No. At least not now. Now is not the time for that. I think we were at who FREEZER is," DNA takes a deep breather before continuing. "FREEZER has a strong sense of justice, that has gotten him into trouble more than once in his life. He is especially protective towards children. FREEZER will say you what he thinks and will use not the most polite vocabulary, if he feels the need for it, which is admittedly most of the time. FREEZER is a very open-minded individual giving everything a chance, that is if he feels like it. FREEZER seems like he´s grumpy, unhappy, unsatisfied and even annoyed the whole time, but he is actually a nice guy once you warm up to him enough and even then this attitude stays up most of the time. You could say he has a hard shell and a soft core."
DNA sighs. "But it feels like he changed since he arrived here or to say better since I saw him last. He has this fire... this determination. And I don´t know for what," the human pauses a small smile decorating his lips, "Not that it matters or anything. I know that whatever it is he is going to use it well. I don´t know what his goal is, I´m not even sure he knows it himself, but what I know is that no matter how much he changes he is going to have his reasons."
The small smile that DNA has slowly spreads throughout the room until everyone exept two have one. The first who hasn´t got one is Luna, because she still dislikes FREEZER. And the second one is Applejack. When Twilight looks up and sees her friends distress. Trying to bring her friend on other thoughts she begins a conversation. "So Applejack, what did DNA show you?"
Applejack tenses up at the question. The question she was afraid of. She is about to reply when the orange mare is interrupted before she is able to get even one word out. "Oh NO!"
Everypony looks towards the source of the voice and find DNA clenching his head with his hands. Celestia raises an eyebrow. "DNA, what is the matter?"
He turns towards them. "Well you see: humans have to do something ever so often," he tries to explain, blushing ever so slightly.
Twilight is obvious to the fact that this seems to be an uncomfortable topic for DNA. "What is it? Can I watch? Maybe I can get more information about humans." As she continues to talk the human gets progressivly smaller and redder.
Celestia observes this and nudges Twilight with her wing: "Twilight I´m happy to see you seek to expand you knowledge further, but this seems to be obviously a awkward subject for him," motioning to DNA.
The purple unicorns face also gets a slight tint of red. "I´m sorry, I didn´t notice."
DNA waves a hand dismissive. "It´s fine. It´s just isn´t something I like to talk about. But I need to ask all of you to take your leave now." His voice reminds more of that of Fluttershy than his usual overconfidant one.
The group of ponies nods understandingly and leave first the room and then the castle making their way back to Ponyville.
DNA is laying half on the floor and half on the sitting pillow. As he lays there another figure steps inside the room. FREEZER plops himself in the pillow opposite of DNA.
"So their gone?"
"Yup," is DNAs simple answer.
"Finally," exhales the green haired human with relief.
His counterpart sits up to look at him. "Oh come on. They weren´t so bad."
FREEZER leans his head on his hand. "Yeah, I guess you´re right. So what´s for dinner?"
"Healthy stuff," answers DNA as he makes his way to the door that connects the kitchen and the dinnig room. The last thing that DNA hears before entering is FREEZERs annoyed groan and something hitting the table, presumably FREEZERs head.
"Come on everypony, dig in," calls Granny Smiths elderly voice over the table. Her statement is followed by a chorus of agreements of the other apple family members that live in Ponyville.
After some minutes of them eating there is a knock at the front door. Applebloom jumps from her seat and exclaims, "Ahm gonna get it!" When she opens it, she shrieks and jumps back a step.
"Everything alright Applebloom?" asks Applejack from the side, walking towards her little sister. The little earth pony doesn´t answer and just points to the open door. "Applebloom, ya..." begins the older of the two sisters before she frezzes when she sees what stands at their doorstep. On the swell of her door stands a stallion like she has never seen one before. His coat is as black as it can come, with his mane in stark contrast to it with it's blinding light white and his eyes pierce her soul with their deep crimson. He is a muscular earth pony just a bit smaller than Big Mac.
The stallions mouth opens, "Ah Applejack, the pony I´ve been looking for."
The voice is familiar to her. Applejack cocks her head. "DNA, that you?"
He nods. "That´s right. It´s me! The one, the only..." he strikes a dramatic pose, "DNA!"
Applejack pinches the bridge of her nose and sights at his antics before smiling at him again. "So, what brings ya here?"
"I came because of two things. First I wanted to give you this here," answers the human turned pony, reaching into his cloak, which the orange mare hasn´t noticed so far, and brings for a square item that is covered in some kind of fabric. She accepts it and inspects it. It has the shape of a book and is as heavy as one of that size. She is about to unpack it when a hoof from DNA on her own stops her. "Piece of advice from my side. Don´t open it until you´re alone." The farm mare isn´t sure what this can mean, but decides to listen to him.
Another set of hoofsteps are comming closer. They are heavy and are in no real hurry. A large red stallion arrives at the entrance and just starts to stare at DNA with a neutral expression. "Brother, this here is DNA, he´s new ´round here. He´s a..." she thinks about their relationship, "...friend?"
Big Mac looks the other stallion up and down. Although smaller than him he is kind of intimidated by his apperance, but upon seeing that warm and honest smile on this new strangers face the larger stallion extends a hoof. "Big Macintosh the name, but please call me Big Mac."
DNA accepts the offered hoof. "It´s a pleasure meeting you Big Mac. My name is DNA Hochburger, but please call me DNA."
The farm pony raises an eyebrow and states, "Ya got an intrestin´ name there."
The other male chukles. "Yeah like Applejack already said: I´m not from here. And as nice it was meeting you, I´m afraid I have to get going. I still have some things to do." With that he turns around, just so he can continue his spin so he is face to face with the three at the door again. "Actually I forgot something." Curious the Apples lift each one eyebrow. "Could it be possible if I purchase some apple products?"
Big Macs features relax as a topic comes up in which he is well versed. "Eeyup." He isn´t a pony that socializes a lot, other than with his family, but he knows how to do buisness.
"Ok then. If you could prepare one barrel apple juice, one barrel apples, three barrels apple cider and five barrels hard apple cider for me to pick up later today? How much would that make?"
The big, red farm pony does the math quickly in his head. "That´d be 385 bits."
DNA nods. "Sounds fair," he waves a hoof, "Ok, I´m going to see you guys later then," and with that he leaves.
The large pony closes the door and they return to the table. "He´s quite an intrestin´ stallion," states the stallion.
"Well he sure is interestin´," agrees Applejack as they sit down at the table.
"Hey big sis? Who was that stallion jus´ now?" inquieres Applebloom.
A couple of hours later.
Applejack and Big Mac are in the barn, finishing the last of DNAs order, when they hear laughter from outside. They go to look from where the noise comes from. But what they find gets two very different reactions. One can´t decide if he should be angry, scared or confused, while the other one just sighs when she sees the first ones responds.
Big Mac is about to start running at the unknown creatures, when he is stopped by his sister. He turns his head to her, "Sis, watcha doin´? Ah have ta save our little sister!"
The orange mare shoots her brother an angry glare. "Ah didn´t thought ya of all ponies would judge some... one by how they look." She let´s out a sigh while lowering her hoof she had been holding out infront of him and looks at the approaching group. "Ah know he ain´t the most normal looking one and he does even stranger things, but he´s a nice fella."
The red stallion turns to the group too. He´s still unsure about what approaches him, but he has faith in his sister and besides Applebloom seems happy, as he realizes.
DNA waves at them. "Hi."
Applejack waves back. "Howdy there, pardner," she chukles, "Looks like ya got yerself some company there."
He chukles too. "Yeah I met them by accident and since I was finished with my errands I played with them a bit." He goes down on one knee to let the CMC climb off of him. "So, is my order ready?"
"Eeyup," answers Big Mac, still a bit wary of the human.
"I owe you 385 bits, right?" When the large red male nods in confirmation, DNA pulls out a rather large bag of bits from behind his back and situates it infront of him. The farmer puts one hoof on it, closing his eyes.
After a couple of seconds he opens and let´s out a satisfied, "Eeyup." When he sees that the human gives him a confused look, he clears his throat and starts to explain, "Ah think Ah should explain mahself," he turns sideways and points to his cutiemark, "Mah cutiemark has two meanigs. The first one is obvious: Growing big apples. The other one ain´t that obvious. Ah can count things in somethin´ without having ta see them. Fer example seeds in an apple or bits in a bag," he chukles, "Pretty useful fer a farmer."
DNA nods understanding. "I can only imagine. But as much as I´d love to stay a bit and have a little chat, it´s getting dark and I have to get home."
Applejack nods in agreement. "I reckon yer right, Everfree can get mighty dangerous at night." The other four ponies ears stand up and their eyes go wide at the mention of where he lives.
The human scratches himself behind the head. "Yeah, I think you´re right."
"Ya wanne that Ah give yer company?"
He waves a hand dismissly. "Nah, I don´t think that will be necessary." He turns to the three filies. "So and now to the three of you," they lay their ears flat against their heads and smile sheepishly at him. "I don´t want that you do something like this again... without proper supervision." At that not only the foals ears go up. "It´s okay to have fun, but always be safe when you do so. Can you promise me that?" The CMC nod eagerly. "Good." He turns to Scootaloo specifically. "Could you do me a favor and bring Sweetie Belle home, I´m sure Rarity doesn´t want her being out too late."
Scootaloo salutes and says, "Aye, sir!"
The earth bender ruffles her dark pink hair. "Thanks and afterwards please go home too."
Her expression drops just for just the blink of an eye and it goes by mostly unnoticed. She salutes again. "Yes, sir!"
DNA mimes her gesture before going with his hand through her hair once again. "Good to hear." He then takes the cart and makes his way to his home. And the whole way the single, most important question, at that time, swirls inside his head: Do penguins have knees?
The sun has already set and the moon is making his climb to the peak with a bunch of stars to cheer it on, when a little filly sneaks around town. It is mostly deserted on the streets, the only other pony is a drunken mare that is presumably stumbling home... or to the next bar. Either way she doesn´t care. So it´s not necessary that she is so stealthy, but she wants to take no risks. Nopony is allowed to know. Nopony. Not yet at least. Maybe in a couple of years she would be able to tell, but not yet. Anyways it takes her an hour to reach the edge of the town, after dropping of Sweetie Belle. Scootaloo walks further away from Ponyville, down a path she walked countless times already. Ok, to be precise the first time she moved along this path was about four years ago, but she traveled it almost everyday since then and that adds up.
A bit to the side of the road that is leading out of the quaint little village are trees. Nothing big just some trees standing close enough together that you can´t look inside from the outside. And in the middle of said trees stands a little shack. It contains a broken table, an old couch, a freezing box, a rusty lamp, a worn out pillow, a bench and a suprisingly well intact blanket. They are all things she gathered over the years. At the beginning it had been hard, but in the past months her life has taken a pleasent turn. It all started shortly after Twilight came to town.
At the beginnig of every week there would be a bag of bits on her table with just enough bits in it for her to go for another week. Before she always did little odd jobs so she could surive, but it often wasn´t enough to still her hunger. She assumes that is the reason why she can´t fly yet, but it´s better than going back where she was before. Scootaloo sighs thinking about the changes in her life, as she makes her way further home. Her life is changing ever so fast and she is happy to say it´s for the better. The filly begins to smile. She is better of alone, than in that stupid orphanage, even if it is hard at times. That thought elicts a chuckle.
She jumps over the last of the roots and now stands on the clearing where her home stands. Scootaloo is about to finish her journey, when something steps out from behind her shack. The filly goes into something that could have been explained as an attack position, but when she realizes who it is she goes rigid. He is a biped, the arms crossed infront of his chest, his white hair gently flowing in the cool night air, his eyes two glowing orbs and his usual smile replaced by a stone cold expression.
"I tought I told you to go home," states DNA, his voice matching his facial features.
Her ears drop. He knows. He will tell them and then they will bring me back to that place. I... I will lose all my friends. She begins to cry. The tears flood out of her eyes, as she falls on her haunches. As she sits there and sobs, she doesn´t notice steps growning closer. Scootaloo first notices something changed when she feels the human enveloping her in a warm embrace.
"Why are you crying?" asks the earth bender with a soft voice. She explains him everything from her time in the orphanage, how she escaped and landed here and then about her life the last four years. He nods. "I... see. Then, when you don´t want to go back to the orphanage, come live with me."
She stops weeping and looks up at him with both suprise and hope. "Really? B-but I don´t wanne be a burden."
DNA laughs at that. "A burden? Don´t be silly! I´m living in a castle. I have more rooms than I could use in my entire life and you should see the treasures that were left behind. So yes, you really can stay with me."
Scootaloo let´s out a happy squee, throws herself against the human, throwing both of them to the ground and starts crying again, but no tears of sadness and grief but ones of joy. As the little filly lies on top of him he can only share her happiness.
Scootaloo opens her eyes slowly, still a bit sleepy from her nightly slumber. She can´t remember when she slept that good for the last time, then again she also can´t remember when she went to bed yesterday. The filly turns over in the bed, pulling the covers a bit closer to herself, content to just lay there. She is about to drift off to sleep again, when she realizes something with cold horror and throws the blanket off of her, while screaming. Scootaloo looks fanatically around the room she finds herself in. It´s sparsely equipped. A bed that could easily fit five of her, a closet and a door.
The door begins to knock or rather somthing on the other side of it. "Scootaloo, is everything alright?" It´s DNA.
"I´m fine, just a little shock," answers Scootaloo, her voice still a little shaky.
"Can, I come in?"
She nods before giving herself promptly a facehoof. I´m an idiot. He can´t see me. The small pegasus removes her appendage from her face. "Sure, come in."
The door opens, revealing DNA. He steps in and seats himself on the edge of the bed. She crawls next to him. The human looks concerned down at her. "What happened?"
She waves a hoof dismissive. "Nothing, just forgot what happened last night, so I was a bit suprised when I woke up."
DNA begins to smile, "Oh when that´s everything," he jumps to his feet, "So how does breakfast sound?"
Her stomach rumbles and her ears drop in respondes. She looks up at him timid, "Is it really okay for me to take your offers?" she lets her head drop, "I really don´t wanne be a burden."
Scootaloo looks up in suprise, as she feels her little hoofs leave the mattress and finds DNA smiling at her wider than before. "I told you it before and I will say it as often as you want me to tell it to you. You can live here, that includes breakfast. Now come on let´s eat something."
She brightens up visibly and nods enthusiastic. The human lays her comfortable on his arms and starts marching off.
They reach their destination relative quickly. The first thing the filly notices is the other human.
FREEZER looks up from his mug and exepts to find DNA, which he does, but in his company slash arms is the most adorable little thing he has ever seen.
The voice speaks up, Stop these thoughts!
But she is so cute, argues FREEZER.
And so are breast, but we don´t stare at them either, we admire them silently from afar.
But she isn´t sexy cute, she is more like little sister cute.
His mental conversation is stopped, when something hits the back of his head.
He turns and finds the cause immidiatly. DNA. "What was that for?"
"Oh I don´t know," starts the bigger one of the two humans sarcasticly, "Maybe because you have been staring at her for the past minute or so. You´re making her uncomfortable."
"Tsk, what do I care?" he turns away from them, "Why is she here anyway?"
DNA begins to smile again. "Her name is Scootaloo, she is an orphan and she will start living her starting today... Well actually since yesterday already, but you get where I´m comming from." FREEZERs eyes widen for just a moment, in which he is glad that he isn´t facing either of them. He turns his head sightly, looking at the filly out of the corner of his eyes. DNA continues, "Is this going to be a problem?"
"I don´t really care. If you like you can bring in more, for all I care," answers the green haired biped, not really thinking what he is saying.
His counterparts smile grows unknowingly to him. "That is good to know. Anyway who wants some food?"
Scootaloos mood rises at the mention of food. She nods eagerly.
A couple of minutes later DNA steps out of the kitchen carrying two plates of salad. "I´m sorry Scootaloo, but I have not much in the house right now I have to go shopping first," he sets the first plate in front of the filly before setting the other infront of FREEZER.
The pegasus foal looks down at the simple meal. Tears start running down her cheeks. She dashes for DNAs legs and starts hugging it. "Thanks! Thank you so much!" screams the orange pony through the sobs, hugging his leg even tighter.
He leans down a scrtches her behind on of her ears. "Now there, calm down," cooes DNA, "Everthing is alright. It´s just breakfast, no need to cry about it."
FREEZER clenches his fists and grits his teeth. She is crying because of BREAKFAST. Love and tolerance, right? Oh I will give them love and tolerance, right in their FACE!
His thoughts are broken once again, when he feels a growing pain in his shoulder area. He turns and finds to no suprise, DNA.
"FREEZER is everything alright?" inquires the earth bender with fake concern in his voice.
The air bender throws the other ones hand from his shoulder. "No. Everything. Is. Perfectly. Fine."
DNA turns back to Scootaloo. "Don´t worry about him. He isn´t a morning guy." She nods slowly, still unsure.
As soon as Scootaloo is finished with her food, DNA claps into his hands gaining her attention. "Good now that you´re finished with that you can go and make yourself ready."
The pegasus filly cocks her head. "For what?"
"For school of course."
Her expression gets even more confused. "Isn´t it already too late for that?" DNA simply points at a clock at the wall, that she hasn´t noticed so far. Her eyes go wide, there is still a hour left before school starts. Scootaloo looks at DNA, a nerveous grin of her face. "Do I have to?"
He nods, which causes her to groan before he picks her up and starts walking away. "Don´t be like that. At least you are able to see your friends again."
"But it´s school. It´s so boring," complains the filly.
"I know. I know."
Half a hour later they stand in the entrance of the castle. "But DNA, I can´t go to school now. It starts in not even in a half a hour. Walking out of the Everfree would take too long."
He grins down at her. "Who said anything about walking?"
When DNA lands Scootaloo hops of his back. "That. Was. AWESOME!" exclaims the orange foal exited, fluttering her little wings a bit.
"Oh please, that was nothing. One day you´ll be able to fly like that too."
Scootaloo drops her head a bit before saying in a sad tone, "Yeah. Every pegasus can fly eventually. But I´m the last one from my class that can´t. Every other pegasus colt can at least stay airborn. I think it´s because I didn´t have enough to eat."
DNA thinks for a second. "I make a deal. You be a good little filly, go to school and give your best and I will try to find a way to make you fly faster. Okay?"
She perks up, "Really?" He nods. "OK."
The human ruffles her hair. "Good to hear. Now go on in, the others will be waiting for you already. Oh yeah before I forget it. Either FREEZER or I am going to pick you up, so just wait for one of us. Understand?"
"Understood." She turns around to go to class before she remembers something. "Hey DNA. Could I... You know... Bring over the CMC after school?"
"Sure," answers DNA before flying off. Sootaloo brightens up again as she trots towards the learning facility.
As soon as she enters the classroom Applebloom and Sweetie Belle wave her over to them.
"Hey Scoots, why are ya so late. Arn´t ya like normally tha first?" greets her the yellow earth pony.
"Yeah you never arrive this late," adds the marshmellow white unicorn.
Scootaloo sighs as she puts her saddlebags down before she slides onto her chair. "A lot has happened since we saw us the last time."
"How? I ain´t even past one day since we said bye," questions Applebloom.
"I´ll explain everything in the lunchbreak."
"Explain what?" inquires a new voice.
"Hi, Button," respond all tree fillies in unison, some more exited than others.
"So what´s up with you Scootaloo. You don´t seem to be as energetic as usual?" pokes the brown colt further.
She sighs and simply says, "Lunchbreak."
Sweetie Belle, feeling like she should change the subject, asks, "So Button, why are you here so late?"
He groans as he slams his head on the table. "I was at home finishing our homework assignement," he lifts his head again, "Well at least I´m finished now."
Scootaloos eyes widen in horror. "Homework? What homework?"
"Yeah. We 'ad ta write a story," explains the small farm pony. "What´s up with ya taday anyway?"
The pegasus filly starts rummaging through her bags getting out a pen and a stack of papers. This isn´t good. This is very bad! thinks the pegasus of the group as she begins writing furiously.
Her friends stare at her in disbelieve. "Scoots, are ya doin'... homework?"
Their orange friend doesn´t answer them. She just continues writing.
The school bell rings signaling the beginning of class. Scootaloo sets down her writing tool, breathing heavyly. The other three CMC look at her with a mix of aww, shock and confusion. "Wha... How is this even possible?" Infront of Scootaloo are two stacks of papers. A big one and a small one. The big one is written full of words. The other one is the measly amount of what is left from the pages she took out of her bag before her writing rampage.
Scootaloo wipes some sweat from her forhead and states exhausted, "That was close."
Applebloom takes the top most paper from the big stack. She skims over it quickly before setting it back where she got it from. "Scoots... Ah never knew ya could be so... writerish."
The orange pegasus turns to her yellow friend. "What´s that supposed to mean?"
"Well that was one of tha first times Ah have seen ya write and then there´s so much," clarifies Applebloom.
Scootaloo is about to retaliate when their teacher, Miss Ceerilee, enters the room. "Gooooood Morning, class," greets the adult earth pony full of energy her students.
"Good morning," reply the fillies and colts.
"I hope you all had a great weekend," a round of murmurs and some nods go through the class, "and I also hope all of you did your homework." She lets her gaze wander over each foal until she stops at the problem student that sits in the corner, furthest away from her. "Scootaloo."
"Yes, Miss Cheerilee?"
"Do you finally have your homework?" Every filly and colt, that didn´t notice her writing fury a couple of minutes ago, turn to her and snicker already epecting the same as always. She doesn´t like to point out the mistakes of her students infront of everypony, but Scootaloo has to learn to do her homework.
The pegasus in question puffs out her chest a bit, somewhat proud of herself. "Of course!"
The room falls completly silent, even the birds outside are still as if they know that this is serious. The teacher shakes her head trying to recover from her initial shock. "Well I´m glad to hear that you finally take your homework seriously. Why don´t you come on up her and read it for all of us to hear?"
Scootaloo deflates slightly, but nods none the less. She picks up her impressive paper stack and moves to the front. Cheerilee gulps as she sees the amount of paper the orange pegasus filly brings with her to the front. I´m sure she just wrote big. thinks the adult mare as she steps to the side to give the filly some space.
She picks up the first page of her story, takes one last deep breath to calm herself down and then begins.
"And this is the end of my story," finishes Scootaloo her story while looking up from the last page.
Her class as well as her teacher stare at her with a varity of shocked expressions and from somewhere comes a quiet whimper.
Cheerilee shakes her head for the second time in three hours (Yes that´s about the time the filly took to read out her story.) and picks up her jaw from the ground. She doesn´t know how to continue after this. But then her saviour makes himself noticeable. The school bell. "Ok, it´s lunchtime kids. We will see us after break," exclaims the teacher, trying to get her students out of their shock state. "Celestia knows, we all need one," adds the mare in a quieter tone as she leaves the room.
The four friends sit under the mighty tree that stands next to the playground. "So..." starts Applebloom, "Ah never thaugth that was possible."
"Yes. It was quiet scary," agrees Sweetie Belle, looking at her pegasus friend in fear. "And you say I am the dictonary."
"Oh you guys are exgravating," says Scootaloo before putting her hooves infront of her muzzel. "Oh my Celestia, I´m a egghead."
"Hey what´s so bad about it being smart?" asks the unicorn of the group a touch angryly.
"Ain´t nothing wrong with it Sweetie, but it´s yer whole thing not Scoots," replies the yellow earth pony.
"What is that supposed to mean?" inquires the white filly.
Button sighs as his friends bicker. Knowing that they won´t get anywhere in near future, he decides it is time for a subject change. "So Scootaloo, didn´t you want to tell us something?"
The filly which name got mentioned goes tense. "Yes. Thanks Button for remembering us. Well it´s kinda hard to explain," she stops looking at her friends that are silently encourageing her to go on. She takes a moment to steady herself, in which she takes a deep breath of air before she continues. "I kinda had a secret from you guys since I met you. I´m... I´m... I´m an orphan." She doesn´t break off in tears to the end, but instead just hangs her head.
Her avowal is followed by silence until Applebloom says, "Well..."
"... That was..." continues Sweetie Belle.
"I already knew that," states the only colt of the group. When his three friends look at him with shock and confusion he starts to explain, "When me and my family moved here, my mother noticed that Scootaloo looked a bit thin. So when she didn´t tell my mother where she lived, mom decided to follow her. That´s when she found out."
"So wait. Yer mother knew that Scoots here was an orphan, but let her go?" questions Applebloom correctly.
"Everypony knows how much my mother loves kids. And because of that she also loves to watch over them, but she also knows how important it is that children find their own way to live their lifes. That is at least how mom explained it to me," clears Button the question.
Sweetie Belle turns to her orange friend. "So are you alright?"
The bell rings for the last time that day to free all the kids from the claws named shool. After all other foals exited the building the CMC finally emerge.
"So what now?" asks Sweetie Belle as they leave the building.
"Well DNA said that either FREEZER or himself are going to pick me up," explains as she stands infront of the school.
Applebloom snickers. "Oh Scoots has ta be picked up."
"There´s nothing wrong with being picked up," tries the orange pegasus to defend herself.
"´Course little filly," replies her yellow friend while patting her head.
The marshmallow white unicorn filly and the light brown-orange coated colt smile at her friends antics. The ear of the female one of the two twitches as she picks up a peculiar sound. A sound that one doesn´t hear often in Ponyville. The sound of silence. She looks from her elevated position on the hill on which the school stands to Ponyville. Only problem is there are no ponies.
"Hey guys. There may be problem," starts Sweetie Belle with more than a little worry in her voice. Her three friends turn towards her, gaining her their full attention. She points to the city, "Where is everypony?"
Her friends follow her pointed hoof towards the empty streets of their home town.
"Another monster attack?" inquires Button Mash.
"Yep," answer his three filly friends in perfect unison.
"Cutie Mark Crusaders Monster Hunters?"
"Nah. Ya remember the Tree Sap monster?" replies Applebloom, making them all shudder at the notion. "We beat it. Ain´t we?"
"Yes, but at what cost?" respondes Scootaloo.
"Girls and Button, I think we have more pressing matters at hoof. Think we should run... You now from the approaching monster?" cuts the pink and purple maned filly her friends off.
Her two filly friends first look at her, then at each other before turning back to her.
"We could run..." begins Applebloom.
"... Or we could wait, see what the monster is and then decide if we should run or not," finishes Scootaloo the reply.
The white unicorn taps her chin in thought. "I guess you´re right," she turns to the brown earth pony, "What about you, Button?"
He shruggs. "Yeah sure, you guys had crazier ideas."
With that the four foals settle into one line, staring at the hollow city streets.
As they wait for something to happen Scootaloo realizes something. She leans forward to look around two of her friends at the third one. "Hey, Button?"
The colt also leans forward. "Yes, Scootaloo?"
"I just noticed what you you said earlier. What did you mean, when you said we had crazier ideas? Are you saying we are weird?" The question isn´t asked aggressive, but rather curious.
Button thinks about it for a second. "Well kinda. I mean think about it. While other fillies and colts go to play and learn in their free time, we go out and crusade for out Cutie Marks. I think we experienced more in our short lifes than some adults that are four times as old as we are. So I think you could desrcibe us as weird in some way."
His filly companions think about it quickly before nodding in agreement
When they turn back towards the place they observe, something walks towards them. It´s big, walks on two legs and has green hair and eyes.
The brown colt cocks his head. "Hey, isn´t that a human?"
"Yeah, but it ain´t DNA," confirms Applebloom.
"It´s FREEZER actually. He lives with me and DNA," clarifies the orange pegasus filly.
When the human arrives at the foals location he goes into a squat to be at least somewhat on their eyelevel.
"So you are FREEZER?" asks Sweetie Belle while looking him up and down.
"No, I´m the other human. My name is HEATER. Nice to meet," respondes FREEZER, his voice never leaving the even tone.
Button Mash also inspects the biped. "So you´re a human?"
"Yes and you are?"
"My name is Button Mash."
"Interesting name," admitts FREEZER. He turns to his target pony. "So Scoots, you ready to go and... take your little friends with you?" asks the air tamer.
"What does he mean with that Scootaloo?" inquires Sweetie Belle.
The pegasus facehoofs at forgetting something so important. "Right." She faces her friends so to better speak to them. "I asked DNA if you guys could come over and he said yes. So you wanne come to DNAs place?"
Her two filly friends look at each other exited before hopping around Scootaloo and shouting, "YES!" from the top of their lungs.
The only male pony turns to the only human male. "What´s so special where you live?"
"We live in some old castle that´s in the forest at the edge of this town. Somehow it´s special. Dunno why though," explain FREEZER, while shrugging with his shoulders, still disinterested.
The colts eyes widen a bit at that. "Wait, you mean the abandoned castle of the two royal sisters in the Everfree forest?"
"DNA used both of these terms already, so I´m gonna go with yes," answers the human while tapping his chin in thought. The three fillies walk over to the males, which causes FREEZER to adress Scootaloo, "So you ready to go?"
"Yeah, Sweetie Belle and Applebloom are exited to go..." starts Scootaloo.
I wouldn´t have guessed, thinks FREEZER sarcastically.
"... But I know that Button has to ask his mother first."
Four pairs of eyes turn to the small brown colt making him blush slighty. "Yeah my mom can be pretty protective."
The air tamer sighs while dropping his head. "Great. This is just perfect." There is a moment of silence in which FREEZER rubs his forehead with two fingers. "Ok, fine let´s go. The sooner we get going the sooner I can be back at the castle." With that he turns around and starts walking towards Ponyville. The four foals look at each other for a moment before following him.
"Isn´t it kind of empty even for a monster attack?" observes Sweetie Belle as the group continues their way through the village.
"I think that is my vault. When the ponies noticed me most of them started running like crazy."
"It still ain´t explaining why it´s so deserted. Ain´t the first time a monster attacked," states Applebloom firmly.
A dark chuckle escapes the human, while his features give space for a mischievous smile. "I may or may not started laughing maniacal, screaming that I want to enslave them. And that´s when everything went really to hell."
The kids stop looking up at the human shocked. "That was mean thing to do."
He shrugs. "They had it coming. I mean it´s extremly rude to just assume that something is evil just because someone doesn´t look like you. Just imagine you arriving in a city and everybody there things you´re a monster."
The four ponies think about it for a couple of seconds about it, while continuing along their path before nodding and admitting that he is right.
After some more walking FREEEZER suddenly stops and turns around. The four ponies notice after a couple of steps that one of their companions stopped walking. They look in the same direction as the human, but can´t see what the human seems to see.
"Hey FREEZER what happened?"
"Someone´s approaching. From the sound of it I´d say about five and they appear to be agitated," comes the ice cold voice from the human.
"When I get this monster into my hoofs, I´m gonna show it why you don´t mess with Rainbow Danger Dash," exclaims the cerulean pegasus, as she flies above her friends.
"Whoa there sugarcube, hold your horses. Let´s not jump the hay jus' yet like last time," interjects Applejack.
The flying pegasus pffs at the statement. "Oh please, that was once."
"Ya couldn´t fly fer a week," respondes the orange farm pony.
"She is right Rainbow, you know? But I can´t believe I have to delay my appointment with DNA, because of this monster. I hope it can explain itself," huffs Rarity, while trotting alongside her friends.
Twilight rolls her eyes at her at her friends antics. She turns around to look at Fluttershy, who struggles to keep up. I hope whatever monster we are going to face that she´s able to talk to it.
Suddenly a hoof finds her shoulder which makes jump. When she turns to find the culprit she finds Pinkie Pie. "Don´t worry Twilight we can deal with the monster. And when we´re done I gonna throw a victory party."
The purple unicorn looks at each of her friends absorbing their silent encouragement. "You´re right. We can do this together." She points infront of them. "It should be around that corner there."
Rainbow Dash nods. "Alright see ya slowpokes. I´m going to go ahead."
"Darn it Rainbow. Ah swear one day she gonna get seriously hurt," complains Applejack as she tries to catch up with the rest of them close behind.
When they round the corner they find something that doesn´t happen often; Rainbow Dash restrained. FREEZER has one hand around her neck and with the other he is keeping her wings pinned together. Although she tries to free herself her attempts are futile.
"Let me go!" commands the mare still struggling to escape.
"Are you going to attack me again?" asks the human.
"No! Just let me go," screams the mare frustrated. With a shrug he lets her go, but so unexpected that the rainbow maned mare falls onto the ground plot first.
Applejack chuckles before going over to her friend and helping her up. "Ah don´t wanne say Ah told ya, but Ah told ya."
The blue pegasus brushes of the bit of dirt on her coat still a bit disgruntled.
Before anyone can do something three voices pipe up simultaneous. "Applejack/Rarity/Rainbow Dash!"
The owners of the names look up to find one filly run towards them each.
"Sweetie Belle? What are you doing here?" asks the white unicorn mare.
"Ah could ask ya the same thing Applebloom."
The two fillies just point to the third filly in their little group. All eyes focus on Scootaloo.
"Squirt, you wanne tell us something?" comes the request from Rainbow Dash.
She hoofs the ground a bit before letting go a sigh and starting to explain what happened.
After some minutes of explaing, everypony who didn´t know stands there slack-jawed not knowing what to do exept Pinkie. She shakes full of energy before screaming, "BYE!" and rushing off.
"Is she usually like this?" questions FREEZER still looking where the party pony zoomed off to.
"Yeah," comes the syncronized answer from everypony.
"But more importantly," begins Rainbow Dash while turning back towards Scootaloo, "Why´d you never tell anypony about you being an orphan? We could have helped you."
"I thought you´d put me back in the orphanage," replies the orange pegasus, while letting her ears drop.
Rainbow Dash walks over to the smaller pegasus and puts a leg around her. "Listen, squirt. Nopony would have put you back there, if ya just explained yourself."
"I knew that, I was just scared is all. But I guess real friends stay loyal no matter where you come from," replies Scootaloo while smiling up at her idol.
"That´s what I wanted to hear, squirt," respondes the weather manager, while she ruffles her hair. "I'd love to stick around you guys, but there's rain scheduled for tonight and it's gonna take a while until I get the weather team together. They are probably still under their beds." And with that she flies off.
"I will be going too. Goodbye everypony," bids Fluttershy farewell. "And FREEZER," adds the timid pegasus to which he doesn´t react.
"So you wanne go to DNAs? In the middle of the Everfree?" asks Applejack with a bemused smirk.
"Yeah, Scoots invited us over," answers Applebloom, still exited over the idea to be able to go to a castle.
"That is quite the coincidence. Applejack and I were just on our way to him," informs Rarity.
Sweetie Belle raises a confused eyebrow at her bigger sister. "Why is that?"
"He asked me to make some banners for the castle," exclaims Rarity, her eyes sparkling again at the thought of her creations decorating a castle.
The larger one of the Apples chuckles. "And Ah have to pick our cart." She turns around to Twilight who stands infront of FREEZER with a writing pad and quill and feather. "Hey Twi, you gonna come too?"
The lavender mare nods absently, the cause being that most of her attention is focused on the human infront of her.
"What are you doing anyway, darling," questions the fashionista.
"FREEZER, spaced out a couple of minutes ago and I thought it would be a good time as any to look at him and take some notes on their stature," replies the libarian happily finally looking away from the air tamer.
"I wonder what he is thinking about," wonders Rarity out loud.
Meanwhile in FREEZERs head
"Yes," says a female soft voice.
"NO!" argues a male voice back.
The two voices are represented by a floating ball made out of smoke each in its respective colour.
Both balls turn to the mental image of FREEZER. "SoWhAtIsYoUrDeCiSiOn!"
"AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!" screams FREEZER clutching his head. "I don't know. Maybe. Both of you have a valid point. I just can't answer you right now."
"That doesn't do it. At one point you will have to decide," states the red voice in a lot calmer manner than previously before dispersing into thin air.
"He has a point, you know? You can't stay in this inbetween for long or the rest of your life may become really bad." The blue one also vanishes, but slowly unlike the other one. But before her form she has in this mental landscape of darkness can completely fade away she says, "And if DNA is right this could be long."
The human sighs and closes his eyes. "I know."
A shaking in the real world causes him to refocus on it. He looks down to find Scootaloo at his leg. "Is everything alright FREEZER?"
"Yeah, just spaced out for a bit there. So you four ready to get going again?" inquires the human.
"Actually we are seven now," is the responds of the filly, while pointing at the three mares.
He looks first at the mature mares before pointing his fiel of vision back at the gamboge pony. "Ok. Beside that. Are you still ready to get going again?"
"Yes, I think so."
"Then lead the way."
And so the group of seven ponies and one human continue their quest to get the permission of Buttons mom that he can come over with his friends. Truly the most epic quest.
After some more walking and Twilight asking FREEZER questions the group of eight finally reaches their destination. The brown earth pony splits himself from the group and pushes open the door. "I´m home."
Hurried hoofsteps come closer until the colt is thrown of his koofs in a crushing, motherly hug. "Oh Button I was so worried about you, sweetie."
The son struggles in his mothers embrace. "Mooom let me gooooo!"
There are some chuckles which causes the cream coloured mare to look out the open door and seeing the other ponies. "Oh hello there I haven´t see you. If you are here that means the monster is gone. Right?" The last part is more directed to the three other mares.
"Well it wasn´t really a monster. It was more of a misunderstanding," clarifies Rarity.
Buttons mom cocks her head in curious confusion. "What do you mean with that?"
The fashionista turns her head to the side and waves someone over. "FREEZER, darling. Could you come over here for a second."
"Never call me darling again, ever," comes a male voice from the side, right before a bipedal figure steps into the line of sight.
If it weren't for the other ponies staying so calm despite his presence Buttons mom would probably run away.
"I'm sorry. I am just so used to calling everpony that. Anyway," she points at the cream coloured mare, "This is Love Tap and as I am sure you already guessed she is the mother of Button over there."
"Hi," greets the human her while nodding his head in her direction. Before she can respond though he turns his head towards her son. "Button can please ask her, I want to go." Must resist the urge to be unpleasant.
"Oh right," replies the colt before facing his mother. "Mom I wanted to go visit Scootaloos place. Can I go?"
That snapped her out of her shock state. She turns to the pegasus filly. "Scootaloo, you finally found a home to live in?" There is a short pause in which silence dominates over the conversation before she just nods timidly. The filly finds herself swooped up in a bear like hug. "Oh I'm just so happy for you."
Scootaloo returns the embrace after the initial jolt. "Thank you for keeping my secret."
"It was nothing," replies the only parent in the group. "So where do you live?"
She points at the biped. "I´m living with him and one other of his kind."
The mares eyes widen for just a moment before she says, "Well I think I´ll come with you and thank the other..." she pauses thinking, "What are you anyway?"
"My race is called humans and you can come if you want, I won´t stop you," returns FRERZER, his voice never leaving the even tone, but in his head it is the complete opposite.
"We are taking fire! I´m repeating: We. Are. Taking. FIRE!" screams a blue girl from behind a protective barrier with red explosions happening all around her.
"GIVE UP! YOU CANNOT WIN AGAINST MY SUPERIORTY!" comes the screaming voice from a red boy from across the battlefield.
"Never you red bastard!" screeches the girl back, as she tosses a grenade over the wall she hiding behind.
When FREEZER comes back to his senses they are all already heading to their next destination. Thank you body for having an auto pilot.
"Oh, I would never leave such a hot piece of meat alone."
FREEZER mental eyes go wide with horror at hearing the deep masculine voice with something hot breathing down his imaginary neck. "Meep"
Meanwhile below in a secret underground lair. The pink pony drops a drop of misterious liquid from a beaker into a test tube. A white cloud rises out of it. She takes a bite out licking her lips. "Better, but not good enough yet. But time doesn´t matter to me. I will let them feel safe and when the time is ripe I will strike."
Love Tap lets her gaze wander over the castle, absorbing all its glory.
"He really got far with renovating," observes Rarity.
"He doesn't have a whole lot else to do, so yeah. Infact he is at it right now," explains FREEZER as he walks through the castle doors with the rest of the group following behind him. They walk up a wide staircase that is directly in the lobby before entering an even wider hallway. After some minutes of solid walking they reach another flight of stairs roughly the same size as the first one. Ones at the top they reach a vast room. It has a broken skylight, its glass laying on the floor in two neat piles. On the edge of the room are benches, some are broken and some are still intact even after centuries. But they neglect all of it as they make their to the double doors on the other side of the room. FREEZER pushes them open easily enough and the whole group enters.
"FREEZER, as much as I love the throne room, why are we here," asks Rarity.
"I thought you wanted to see me," comes a voice from above that is recognized by most of them. There in the air hovers DNA, covered in dust. He desends from the ceiling and lands infront of them. "So good to see you all again or in Buttons case meet you. That said," he squads down and extends his hand to the little brown foal, "Hi I´m DNA."
The colt accepts the offered hand after being pushed by his friends. "Hi, my name is Button Mash."
The white haired human stands up again. "So what can I do on this lovely day for you?"
"Well," begins Love Tap, "I came here to meet the ones that took up Scootaloo and thank them. Having said that: Thank you," she extends her hoof, "I´m Love Tap by the way, I´m Buttons mother."
DNA looks at the offered hoof confused. "Love Tap, we already met."
Now it´s the mares turn to look confused. "I´m pretty sure I would remember you if I met you."
"We saw us just this morning."
The mothers eyes widen in realization. "You were that black stallion!" He nods in confirmation with a expression that say 'Obviously.' "But how?"
"Oh that is easly explaineable." DNA snips with his fingers before he is being enveloped by black smoke. When it disperses it leaves behind a big, black earth pony with a white mane that stands in complete contrast to his coat and piercing red eyes. "I have a power that lets me do it."
"Oh," is all Love Tap gets out as she looks at his form.
"That reminds me," he picks up a scroll and presents it to the mare. "This should be your solution."
"My solution for what," inquires the cream colored mare eyeing the scroll suspicious.
Twilight walks up besides the older mare to look at the scroll closer. "Wait! Is that the royal seal?"
"Sure is," replies the human.
"But aren't they normally only used for political affairs?" questions the bigger marshmallow unicorn.
"Yes," answers the magic student. "What kind of problem do you have that the princesses would help you?"
"I don't know," responds the mare in question slowly getting nervous. "DNA, what is in that letter?"
"Only one way to find out."
Love Tap takes a deep breath to calm her nerves before she takes the scroll, opens the seal, unfurls it and begins reading it. "Dear Miss Tap, DNA informed me that you planned to meet your husband here in Canterlot, but because you couldn´t bring your son with you you couldn´t go. So DNA asked me to help. And so my sister and I decided to give you one of the..." She stops and starts staring at the letter.
"What does it say, darling?"
"It says that they reserved a suite in Canterlot castle," says the mother, her voice hollow as she is still in shock.
"Oh you are so lucky, darling. To get the chance to stay in the royal palast. You are so lucky," gushes Rarity.
"Why? I don´t understand. Why would you go out of your way to do this for me," asks Love Tap.
"I had to go to Celestia anyways so while I was there I thought I just ask her and as you can see she said yes. For some reason she laughed when I told her my request," explains the human as he throws down another card and saying, "Mau."
"What, you are already at your last card?" say the three fillies in unison.
"Yes, I´m too," states Button Mash as he throws down his second to last card. "Mau."
"You make it sound so casual," determines the oldest mare in the room.
"Oh it was quite casual. I strolled into the castle, went straight to the throne room, kicked out Blueblood and his posse and then I had cake and tea with Celestia, while we had a delightful talk. Luna even joined us a bit later," explains DNA, while throwing down his last card from his hoof. "Mau Mau by the way."
Everypony stares him with wide eyes, even the foals. The human turned pony looks around confused. "What? Did my hair change pink again." He checks his hair. "No, it didn´t. So why are you all looking at me like that?"
Twilight shakes her head trying to think of a way how to explain. "Listen DNA, I don't know how it was in your world, but here in Equestria we have laws that strictly go against such a thing."
"Oh I'm quite aware of that, Twilight," replies DNA still extremely casual making the mare blink in confusion. "And to your information I did not break any laws whatsoever. Do you see that in the corner there?" asks the black stallion while pointing to one of the corners. They follow his hoof to see one of the old armors there. "Because you can almost wear anything in Equestria I put it on, made me a styrofoam sword, put a scar on my face for good measure and then said I needed to speak to the Princess and that it was important. They were so helpful too and even escorted me to the throne room. Not my fault when they don't ask who I am. When we arrived in the throne room Celestia realized pretty quickly who I was and send out everypony."
Applejack turns to Twilight. "Is he tellin' the truth, Twi?"
The purple unicorn fosters her mind for the information before she nods. "Yes, he is right. While it is extremely stupid the law is on his side if they'd caught him. As long as he doesn't force his way in he is in the right." Her thoughtful expression turns to one of anger. "I just can't believe something so silly worked."
"Twilight, in their defense I am a pretty good actor," praises the native human himself. "But I think we got of track. Love Tap, the letter contains more, you know."
The mare in question shakes her head. More? I don't know how much more I can take today. "Your husband is of course able to stay also with you and it goes without saying that if you don't accept DNAs offer that your son is able to stay with you or if you wish a room next to you. There is a card on the back of the letter. If you show it at the castle the guards will get you situated. P-Princess Celestia."
"What does she mean with DNAs offer?"
"When DNA heard my problem the first time he offered to watch over Button while I am gone. I replied that it wouldn´t matter anymore, because I couldn´t get a room in Canterlot fast enogh. I guess that doesn´t matter." She takes a deep breath before continuing. "If you want to foalsit my little Button, while I am gone that´s fine with me, but I am going to let him decide. Button are you going to stay here or do you want to come with me and see daddy?"
The colt is considering both his options with all eyes on him, when an idea strikes him. He looks up at DNA. I think he would actually agree to this. "I´ve got a question. Can the others stay as well?"
The mares eyes widen in shock. "Button! I can´t believe..." starts his mother angry, but is quickly cut off.
"Of course!" exclaims the human.
The mature females turn to him.
"You can´t be serious! You know of their... outgoings?" questions Rarity him.
"Yes, I heard of their little adventures. Quite interesting if you ask me," replies DNA while tapping his chin against the end.
"And ya still wanne do it?" checks Applejack just to be sure. He gives them a thumbs up with a confident smile. While the gesture with his hand goes completely over the heads, the smile is answer enough. "Ok, fine with me. Hey Applebloom ya wanne?"
The yellow filly begins to hop up and down. "Ya ask me if I wanne? O'course I wanne."
"Rarity, can I stay too?" asks the little marshmallow unicorn.
Her big sister looks around until her gaze finally settles on DNA. When the princesses can trust him, then so can I. "Of course you can, Sweetie, but if I hear that you came to school late you can look out to never doing something like this again. Am I clear?"
"Yes, Rarity," responds Sweetie Belle before joing her friends again.
"Now that this is dealt with. I have a couple of presents to give to you," declares DNA as he turns back to his human self. He grabs something from behind his back and presents it to Twilight. It is a worn out book with several notes sticking out partially.
"What is this?" asks the bearer of the element of magic.
"This is one of the diarys of Star Swirl the Bearded. It even has one or two spells inside," explains the human.
The unicorns eyes widen. "Really?"
"Yes, I showed it to Celestia and Luna and both verified it´s authentic," confirms the earth tamer.
She tackles him in a massive hug to the ground. "Oh thank you, DNA! I can´t thank enough."
"You could begin with giving me space to breath." She starts to blush causing the other ponies to chuckle and gets off of him. "And if you really want to thank me, then you can always teach me magic."
"What do mean with that?"
"I can transform into every tribe even into an alicorn, but I can´t immidiatly do what that tribe can. For example: As a pegasus I can fly and I can stay on clouds, but I can´t control the weather yet," explains DNA.
Twilight gets exited at the idea of having an student of her own. "Of course I can teach you, just come by if you have time."
"Sure will do." He turns to the fashion designer. "Don´t think I forgot you, Rarity." He reaches behind his back again and when he brings his hand back from there he has a beatiful necklace in it. It has a golden chain with a diamond hanging from it in the middle that has the from of Raritys cutie mark. Despite its simplicity it is stunning. "I asked Luna and Celestia if it belonged to them, but it doesn´t. While they admitted that it was beatiful they said I could keep it. And I have to agree with them it is extremely gorgeous, that is the only reason I haven´t sold it yet. Sadly I can´t use it, so I thought to myself if I had a friend that could do something with it and of course you sprang immidiatly into my mind. So do you want it?"
Rarity regards the accessory before her with great care. "DNA, I simply can´t accept this."
"Oh yes you can," insists the human as he shoves it literally into her face causing her to grab in her magic out of reflex. "Seriously if it stays her it will just become a dust trap. Anyway who is hungry? I made noodles." There is a roar from the collection of the rumbling stomaches. DNA begins to laugh causing some of the ponies to join. "Okay then let´s get going."
They are already at the door when Applejack holds him up. "Could Ah have a quick talk with ya?"
He looks down at her before calling out. "Hey you guys go on ahead, just follow the lines. I have to talk to AJ here quickly."
The other ponies look at each other confused before they nod and start walking again.
When the group is out the sight Applejack takes of her hat and begins, "DNA, I wanted to thank you... again."
"OK, accent is off, serious buisness. While I am thankful that you thank me I do have to ask. Why?"
"Because of the book you gave me yesterday. It´s..." she hesitates.
He sighs. "I said it to you before, but I´ll gladly say it as often as you need to hear it. I won´t force you to tell me anything. If you decide you want to tell me or anypony for that matter whatever it is you have then go ahead I will listen and most likely won´t judge you. Seriously I´m pretty sure I´ve seen worse than anything you might throw at me. So how about we get back to the others, because I don´t know about you, but I am starving." He puts her hat back on her head. "So watcha say we get going?"
There is a moment of silence where neither of them says anything. Suddenly the orange farm pony hugs him, which is quite awkward because of their height difference. After his initial shock is away he returns the embrace. They stay like that for a couple of moments before they break apart.
"Thanks Ah appreciate how ya think."
He waves her of. "Don´t mention it, but really now let´s get going I´m hungry."
She chuckles. "Sure thing."
And with that they make their way to the dining room.
"Hey, FREEZER, do you know where DNA is?" asks Scootaloo with the other three CMC behind her.
The human looks over the edge of his mug at the foals. "No, I don´t. Why?"
"Well, Princess Celestia and a whole group of guards with boxes wait infront of the castle. They say they bring the new furniture," explains the orange filly.
He raises an eyebrow. "You can´t be serious."
"I´m afraid she is very serious," comes a voice from the entrance of the room. They turn to find a smiling Celestia and a frowning guard in different coloured armor there.
FREEZER lifts one of his hands to welcome her in his usual disinterested voice. "Hi, Princess."
She nods. "To you too, FREEZER. I am here because DNA asked me to bring some things for the castle."
"Yeah. I think he mentioned somethink like that, but he isn´t in at the moment," replies the human.
The guard at Celestias side frowns even more, but says nothing. Celestia cocks an eyebrow and her head. "Oh. Where is he?" FREEZER just shrugs his shoulders before taking a gulb from his mug.
The guard that has been stanfding next to the sun princess until now doing nothing, but frowning, turns his head to her. "Princess, I don´t think it´s good to stay here if the one who called us isn´t even here."
His boss turns to him. "I think we can wait for a bit, captain." She turns back to the air user. "FREEZER, would you be so kind to let me and my little ponies stay here for a bit, until DNA returns?" The sentence is arranged as an question delivered with a sweet tone, but FREEZER can clearly hear the command behind it hearing it already so often from DNA before.
He sighs before just nodding in defeat, knowing he is powerless in his position. "Captain, please get the others inside. We will wait." The stallion salutes and then leaving to follow the command, but not before shooting one last dirty look to FREEZER.
As soon as the pony male is out the door Celestia turns back to the human. "FREEZER, would you be a good host and get us all something to drink please." Again to all it sounds as if she had asked, but again FREEZER knows better.
He stands up an makes his way to the kitchen, a single thought in his mind. DNA, I fucking hate you!
The stallions and the couple of mares had a good time in the dining room drinking their non-alcoholic beverages. Well all but one. Shining Armor turns to Princess Celestia. "Princess, I think we have waited long enough now. You have royal duties to fulfill and these guards have duties to attend to too."
The princess turns her head to him smiling. "Captain, these guards have been working hard and I think they have earned themself a little relief. Besides technically they are doing their job and protect me, but because we are under friends they can relax a bit. Also I have no appointment for today and anything that might come up can be handled by my sister." He growls a bit, but refrains himself from saying anything else.
"Wow. You´re a stick in the mud. Isn´t he Celestia?" asks FREEZER smirking behind his mug so nopony can see it.
The stallion glares at him. "What do you think adressing the Princess like that?"
The human puts down his drink showing all the smile abdoring his lips. "Oh doesn´t someone like the way I talk with Celly."
He stomps his hoof on the table silencing the conversations in the room. "Stop talking like that to the Princess!"
Princess Celestia is about to interfere when she notices FREEZER motioning her to stay siltent. She frowns even more as she already is, but chooses to trust him. "What you wanne do ´bout it? Maybe..." he let´s go a fake gasp putting a hand in front of his mouth, "...fight?" He chukles the smile coming back to face. "Yeah as if. You wouldn´t stand a chance against me even if you would try. I would even bet you couldn´t even touch me."
His smile grows as he sees the stallion on the table with him boiling with anger. "OKAY! THAT´S IT! YOU! ME! FIGHT! NOW!"
"Hehehe. Sure I accept. But let´s get to the entrance, so I can throw you out when I´m done with you." States the human before walking out of the door.
The guards stay behind shortly looking from the door to their captain. Celestia puts a hoof on the stallions shoulder. "Captain, you don´t have to do this."
He jerks his heads towards her. "I´m sorry, princess, but this is something I want to settle." And with that he also leaves the room.
Celestia sighs, dropping her head. "What have I gotten myself into this time?" mutters Celestia under her breath.
One of her female guards approaches her. "Princess, should we follow them maybe?"
The sun monarch nods. "Yes, I think that would be a good idea," replies Princess Celestia, already standing motioning the others to follow.
When they finally arrive at the entrance they see the two combatants already standing opposite of each other. The captain of the royal guards to their left in his fighting stance and the human to their right standing relaxed with his hands in his pockets.
Shinging Armor makes the first move firing a beam at FREEZER, which the human sidesteps easily enough. But as the beam flies the royal guard captain charges head first. The human sighs at the attack and simply steps out of the way letting the stallion trip in the process. As the challenger gets back on his four hooves the human leans forward a bit and asks with a mock voice, "Oh did you fall? I hope you didn´t hurt yourself."
The captain sprints for the biped again, who simply walks out of the way, but this time the stallion is prepared and in a flash is behind FREEZER. Shining Armor fires another beam at the human at almost point blank range. That is his plan until he realizes the human isn´t infront of him anymore. But before he has anytime to think his hoofs depart from the beatiful ground. For a moment he knows what a pegasus feels before making himself acquainted with the wall.
Shining Armor removes himself from the wall, his armor having taken most of the damage. "Well. I thought maybe the Captain of the royal guard has some skills to bring a challange." The voice comes from his side. The stallion snaps his head to his side just to see the mad smile on FREEZERs face as he kicks him again, but not before the captain can create a shield around himself.
The white unicorn bounces harmlessly of the wall. He then lets the shield around him pop to form a shield dome around the human. Shining Armor laughs. "So what are you going to do now?"
FREEZER snips at the dome making it vibrate. "Jokes actually on you. You can´t get to me either. True I can´t reach you now that is a bit annoying." He starts pacing. A breeze sweeps through the room. Magic sure is weird. He can just make dome where I can´t get through, but wind. I guess it makes sense. He doesn´t want to kill me, he is still a soft pony after all. The air tamer stops and after a couple of seconds slaps himself in the face. He groans. "Of course . That was stupid. How could I forget." He turns to his opponent that is still sneering on the other side of the magical barrier. "I´m gonna give you a chance to run. Because if I´m right this is gonna hurt... a lot."
He´s out of options already? And now he tries intimmidating me. "First you boast and now you can´t hold it up. Come on show me what you are going to do. I am not going to move."
The human shrugs. "Your decision." He changes his stance to be a bit depper, while taking one arm close to his body the hand to a fist and closing his eyes. Feel the air around you, imagine what you want and then do the right movement to get the right respondes.
The pegasi in the room take instinctively a step back as the air gets uneasy. Is he seriously considering to punch the shield? That won't work and I think FREEZER knows that, but what is he trying to do? Then Celestias eyes widen in cold realisation. He can control the air. That means...
Suddenly the entrance of the castle is being swung open and an scream fills the air at the same time, "STOP!" There in the entrance of the castle stands a being that is bigger than FREEZER completely clad in black. Out from under it´s hood two red glowing orbs have them locked in place.
It starts to talk, its voice clam now, but commanding. "I think this is enough. Allies shouldn´t fight themself like that." The orbs focus the the green haired human in specific. "Especially when the fight is this unfair."
The guards get enough of them together to form a protective line between their princess and the entity raising their wepons. The two dots wander over the shivering guards before landing on Celestia. She wouldn´t be ashamed to admit that she is scared as it looks at her, or as she feels, into her soul. Only centuries of politics and expirience allow her to stay calm at the moment.
After some moments the creature takes its hood off revealing of an non smiling DNA. "First order of buisness," he stomps his foot on the ground making the weapons of the guards drop out of their grip. "Good now that is cleared," he begins walking towards Shining Armor, who at this point tries to be the corner. As he stands before him he goes into his knees. "I have to say I am very disappointed in you Shining Armor. To think you let yourself be overheated that easily. Tsk, tsk, tsk." He shakes his head before looking him in the eyes again. "But there are more important things right now."
He snips the unicorn against the horn making him lose his concentration and thus making the dome flicker out.
When Shining Armor finally comes out of his daze he realizes that the biped is carrying him to the middle of the room and that he is missing his armor.
The white haired human turns towards the still unorganized guards. "Come on you lousy pack form up! Pick up the slack!" After the solidiers don´t move he leans forward. "Now!" That got them moving and they scramble around picking up their weapons and then standing at attention in one solid line. He looks them up and down before nodding in satisfaction. DNA then turns to Celestia and waves her over. "Celestia, please come over her for the moment."
She recalculate does as he asks. "DNA, what´s happening?" Her voice is firm, but it still betrays how confused she is.
He smiles at her. "I will explain everything in..." he looks up and right before continuing, "... in about five to ten minutes."
The sun princess stares at him and is about to reply when he takes her hoof and puts it on the captains shoulder, much to the confusion and shock of the two involved. DNA looks around checking on everything again, before he gives a pleased nod. "Ok everypony just go with it, in three, two, one and show time."
It still feels weird, being able to travel the Everfree without having to worry about being attacked. I haven´t heard a single hostile sound since I stepped in. I guess as crazy as he acts, he does know how to do what he does, thinks Twilight as she gets closer to the Castle of the Elements. But when the now fixed entrance gets in sight she notices something strange. Why is there Princess Celestias personal chariot and a box wagon. Both alone would make sense, but together? She continues that thought as she follows the path. Maybe bad timing?
She swings open both doors leading into the building and freezes immediately at the sight before her. Princess Celestia has a hoof on the shoulder of her brother, with a couple of guards behind the sun monarch and DNA standing a bit off to the side. Both sides stare at each other in silents and shock.
That is until a certain human interrupts it. "Oh Twilight, what suprise! I didn´t expect you to show up!"
It is terrible acting and everyone could have told it is, but the confusion and the shock probably obscure her perception a bit and so she simply shakes her head and says, "Yeah, I didn´t expect... this here too." She turns to her brother and sprints over to him before hugging him. "BBBFF, I´m sooo happy to see you." She releases herself from the hug. "And while I love to see you again, I have to ask. Why are you here?"
"Um... Well... you see..." begins Shining Armor to stutter.
"I think I can help explain this. You see, we actually wanted to suprise you with this, because Shining here actually has gotten one week off from work and decided to spent it with you here in Ponyville." Everyponys eyes in the room go wide, but for different reasons.
Twilight gasps and turns back to her brother. "Is that true brother?"
"Um..." begins the white unicorn. On one hoof he doesn´t want to disappoint his sister now that her hopes are up. On the other he has an obligation to the princesses. I´m sorry, Princess. "Of course, little sister." She squees and hugs him, which he awkwardly returns.
"Ah the love between siblings. A truly strong bond. Anyways I´d love to chat with you a bit more, but we have work to do." He leans back and picks up a suitcase nopony has noticed until now. "Here are his things and now get out, because he only has holidays for a week so get going."
Twilight takes the bag in her magical grip and her brother before walking out, while practically dragging her brother behind her. But before she closes the door she calls back, "Thanks."
DNA waves until she is out the castle and he is sure that the two siblings don´t come back.
Princess Celestia blinks away the jolt before asking, "Did you just get rid of my captain, infront of my muzzle?"
"Don´t worry about it. I´m sure you can come out without him for a week," answers the human in a carefree voice.
"That´s not the point," replies the sun princess in a monotonous tone.
"Well now is not the time to worry over it." She is about to retort, when the earth tamer suddenly points to the guard. "You, get the things. It´s time to furnish." The guards rush off to get furniture.
Celestia facehoofs. How?
The sun is already decending.
"Good job, everypony. Thank you all for helping me today. You were a great help," thanks DNA the guards. They cheer, happy to be finally finished. He turns to Celestia. "Please, follow me Celestia. I´d like to talk with you for a moment before you leave."
He already walks ahead when one of the female guards rushes over to the princess. "Princess, should I accompany you?"
Celestia throws a glance to DNA that seems to ask for approval if the guard is allowed to come along or not.
He just chuckles. "I doesn´t matter to me either way."
A choice? wonders Celestia. He never gave me one before. Well I guess there´s a first for everything. She turns back to the guard. "Yes, please do."
The human leads them into the dining room, where he, once they are in, closes the door, before motioning them both to sit down. "So," he begins adressing the guard, much to the suprise of both mares, "You saw the performance of your captain a couple of hours ago. What did you think about it? And by the way, feel free to speak what´s on your mind."
The mare looks to Celestia seeking permission. When she gains it she turns back to the black clad biped. "Well not to sound rude, but his performance was... lacking to say it nice. Not only was he easily provoced, but in the end FREEZRE was true to his word and for one didn´t break a sweat and the captain couldn´t touch him."
"Who do you think won?"
"While it was no straight up victory I would say the win belongs to FREEZER. Shortly before you stoped the battle I felt the air change. It felt uneasy. Whatever it is FREEZER did back there it would have won him the fight for sure" admits the mare.
"To be precise he charged a blow that, if he would have released it, could have smashed a wall and it was directed at Shining Armors horn," explains DNA. "But in the end you are saying, that FREEZER was stronger than him?"
"Yes, that would be the case," answers the mare.
"Then please tell me," begins the human, "How does it make you fell? To know that your captain was beaten so easily?"
She squirms a bit on her pillow. "Well I would lie if I´d said that it doesn´t make me feel at least a bit uncomfortable and unsafe. But he is on our side so I guess that makes it better. Besides, in the end the captain was unharmed."
"Would you feel safer if you were able to fight like him? I mean like FREEZER," inquires DNA.
Both females eyes widen. "I´m afraid I don´t understand, sir."
"Really? I thought I phrased it quite simple," states DNA, his smile vanishing from his face. "But I shall repeat myself. Would it make you feel safer, if you were as strong as FREEZER?"
The guard clears her throat composing herself again. "W-well I guess that would make me feel safer. Yes."
The smile returns to the humans lips. "And what would you do with that kind of power?" checks DNA.
"I guess I would use it to protect the princesses and my family," answers the mare.
"You have family?"
"Yes, I do. My husband Stone Sentry and my son, he´s a guard too," replies the pegasus.
DNA nods satisfied. "Very well. You are dismissed."
She stands up and salutes. "Yes, sir." She turns away and walks out, closing the door behind her.
Celestia looks at the door her guard just left through. "Why did she just treated you as her superior?"
He waves the question off. "That doesn´t matter right now."
"I feel it does," reponds the princess.
He waves a finger at her. "No, it doesn´t. What does matter is how you feel about it."
She sighs. "You mean your suptel suggestion that my guads are weak compared to FREEZER and you would be willing to teach some of them?"
The human waves his hand showing it was partially right what she said. "Well essentially."
Celestia shakes her head lightly, taking a deep breath. "To be honest, I´m not sure. Would you give me some time to think about it?"
"But of course. You should get going thou. Or else you are going to be late for dinner with your sister."
The princess of the sun nods. "Yes, you are right. I should be going." Both of them stand up and DNA holds the door open for Celestia. She then gathers up her guards and departs.
DNA stays at the entrance to his castle waving off the princess and her guards as they fly over the Everfree back to Canterlot. When they are finally crossed the boundry of the forest he turns back and enters his home. As he makes his way back to the dining room he writes a message to FREEZER. 'Okay, they are gone. You can bring her now.'
'k' comes the reply.
He closes the chat and rubs his hands. "Everything goes as planned... I guess."
How did I end up like this? thinks the blue mare as she follows the human. How did I get into such a mess?
They get to a door like they already passed so many, but this time he opens it and motions for her to step in. She does so, but he isn´t following, instead he is closing the door behind her. She jumps a bit when the lock falls in place. Trixie inspects the chamber she is in. It is illuminated by chandeliers that are hanging from the ceiling and candles that are standing on the incredible long table. The same table the other human sits, the one she met hours ago.
DNA points at the opposite of the table. She seats herself in the cushion and finds to her pleasant suprise that it´s more comfortable than she expected it to be.
The human clears his throat before beginning the conversation. "I´m sorry for the inconvenience until now, I hope it wasn´t too bad."
Trixie is a bit suprised by how nice he is, not like the other one. "I am fine."
DNA raises suprised an eyebrow. "What happened to 'The Great and Powerful Trixie'?"
"The other one disliked how I spoke," states Trixie.
"Yes, I see that he wouldn´t like that. I´m sorry if he was rude about it, but feel free to do it in my presence, I always like individuality."
She shakes her. "No. 'The Great and Powerful Trixie' was an act. I´m no more than a simple mare that lost everything and lives in the woods now," explains the former showmare with a sad tone.
"Yes about that. How did you surive out in the Everfree all alone? Not to say you´re weak, but that seems pretty impressive," says the human.
"My family didn´t come from Equestria. They never told me from where they came, but they taught me how to live in and with the forest," answers Trixie. She sighs. "Listen, when this is everything you wanted to talk with me about I´m out. I have more important things to do than to sit here and talk with you."
"No no no no. I can assure you that isn´t why I wanted to talk with you. I wanted to know if you´d like to maybe live here," respondes DNA a bit shyishly.
Trixie blinks once then blinks a second time before simply asking, "What?"
"Well I thought since you live in the forest and I have space to spare that you could live here if you like," replies the biped.
She shakes her head in disbelieve. "Let me get this straight: You want me to live here with you and FREEZER and want nothing in return?"
"Almost," begins the human, "I let you stay here, give you your own room, keep you fed and you in return do task for me. Nothing big of course. Maybe clean something or get the mail from the post office, because I´m pretty sure they don´t deliver it into the Everfree."
The blue mare nods. "So I would be like a servant then?"
He taps his chin. "Essentialy."
On one hoof I´d have a roof over my head, even a own room and I´d have enough to eat. But on the other what would happen to my freedom? "And what would be with time off or hours of work?"
DNA chukles. "Good you think first before you act. I like that." He thinks for a second. "How about one day before until one day after an Equestrian Holiday, thirty days off and on weekends you are free to do what you want. In addition you get... let´s see. How about fifty bits a month?"
It is not that much, but he is giving me a place to stay and he would provide all the food. And besides if he didn´t mention it I wouldn't have thought about the pay. "Okay, but under one condition." The human raises an eyebrow in expectation on what she could want. "You have to get sweets and snacks!" exclaims the blue mare pointing a hoof at him. He blinks in suprise before falling over laughing. She blushes a bit. "W-what is so funny?"
The human sits up again, still ringing for air. "Nothing. It´s just that I totally forgot that there are these kind of things."
Now it´s Trixie turn to be suprised. "You... forgot that snacks and sweets exist?"
"Yes, I did. Back where I come from I wasn´t allowed to eat stuff like that. So I guess it just slipped my mind," replies DNA, finally having his lungs full of air again.
"What did you do to deserve such an punishment?" digs the former showmare further.
DNA rubs the back of his head. "Oh you know, my mother didn´t want me to get to fat. But going back to the requirement that you set. Of course I´m gonna buy snacks and sweets. I welcome you as the first and with that head servant of the Castle of the Elements."
"Yay?" exclaims Trixie meekly and a bit unsure. "You are making a big deal out of that."
"I know! Isn´t it great?" responds the human, making almost no sense. "Anyway, I think you should be quite hungry by now and as luck would have it, it is dinner time."
The mares belly grumbles and she blushes. "Yes food sounds great."
He claps his hands together as he stands up. "Perfect the others should arrive shortly."
"You mean with others just FREEZER, right?"
"No, I mean FREEZER and four foals," explains the biped.
Trixies eyes widen a bit. "Here are foals?"
DNA raises a eyebrow again. "Is that going to be a problem?"
She waves her front hooves infront of her, while shaking her head. "NO! Of course not. I was just suprised, that´s all."
His smile widens again. "Good to hear." With that he turns to the door that leads to the kitchen and closes it behind him. Wonderful! One down and I hope a lot more to go. I´m so exited.
Princess Celestia and Princess Luna circle each other, both deep in thought. They are like that for a couple of hours already, unsure what to do. Finally there is a knock at the door and both sisters snap their heads towards in and say in perfect unison, "Come in."
It opens and a female pegasus guard steps in. She has a bright yellow coat that is partially covered under her golden armor, her blue mane sticks out from her helmet a bit. To be precise she is the guard that has also been with Princess Celestia when she was at the Castle of the Elements the other day. Flash Strike salutes. "Lieutenant Flash, reporting for duty."
"At ease," begins the monarch of the sun, causing the guard to lower her hoof. "Thank you for coming on such a short notice. You can probably remember DNA from the conversation yesterday. My sister and I would like your honest opinion on him."
"He was strange for sure. When I saw him for the first time, that was when FREEZER wanted to finish the captain, I was scared especially when he disarmed us so easily. But then he talked to us as if we were just recruits and I felt like one again, so I followed his orders without questioning him. After the captain and his sister left he had a plan where everything we had brought with us should go. The next couple of hours he helped us and even joked around even when it was a bit awkward in the beginning. He even involved the foals when they came. DNA made a job that would have been tedious, fun. After we were done and he talked to me, I felt again as he is my superior, but I could trust him," she sighs, "Honestly, I don´t know what to think about him. While he acts extremely kind, I can´t help but think that he is hiding something."
"Then let us ask you another question. If he were your commanding officer and a war were to break out, would you follow him onto the battlefield?" continues Luna.
"Yes!" answers the pegasus mare immediately without even thinking about it. She folds her ears back, a bit nervous. "I don´t know why, but for some reason I feel like I could trust him."
The two sisters look at each other shortly before they turn back to the guard and Celestia continues, "After you left he said that he would indeed be willing to train some of our guards. That is why my sister and I called you here today. You met him, saw how he acts, had a deeper conversation with him and are a guard. We think you are one of the most qualified ponies to help us with our decision."
Flash Strike ponders for a moment before she gives her opinion. "If you should accept his offer then the guards that you sent should have a strong bond between them alreaady as well as an open mind, varying personalities and strengths to have a balance between them. If they had a good teamwork that would be even better."
The lunar sister nods. "We agree. Do you already have a squad in mind."
"Well... If you really want to just send one squad, then I have two squads in mind. The Light and the Shadow squad."
"And why is that?" questions the older alicorn.
"I know a pony from each squad since they were just foals, to be more precise my son is in one of the squads and his childhood friend is in the other," explains Flash Strike the lightest of blushes forming on her face.
Princess Luna takes an agitated step towards the guard. "So you use your position to give your son the chance to move up?"
Before the lieutenant can respond Celestia puts a wing in front of her sister. "Luna, Lieutenant Flash Strike is already working for me for many years. She isn't a pony to do something like this. I am sure she has a reason for suggesting these squads to us," while she says the last part she turns her head towards the yellow mare signaling her to start explaining herself.
Flash Strike harrumphs before she starts. "In my position I don't have a lot to do with young young, which I think is important for this mission. For one the least amount of recruits wants to come to the palace guard and it doesn't make it easier that I have already mostly to do with the higher ranks. But because my son is in one of the squads and his oldest friend in the other I had plenty of chances to get to know both of their squads. If you want a wider selection I suggest talking to Armmaster Red, he has the most to do with the recruits."
The sun monarch lowers her wing before speaking again, "Very well. We will do this. You are dismissed."
The smallest mare in the room salutes before departing.
Several hours later Princess Celestia, one dozen guards and a messenger walk through the halls of the guard academy, ponies bowing or saluting left and right. They continue their way until they reach the door of a certain instructor. She knocks before a gruff voice calls from the other side, "Come in."
The princess of the sun opens the door and steps in alone before closing it behind her. The whole room is clustered with papers, leaving only one small path to the desk. On said desk sits a large darkish red earth pony stallion with a dark brown mane where a couple of gray hair already are. He currently has some papers in his hoofs and without looking up he says, "If this is about the attacks, file a report and put them in my cabinet. If it's about something else, leave me alone, I already have enough on my hoofs as it is."
"Attacks? Should I be concerned?" replies Celestia, while raising an eyebrow.
The stallion finally looks up from his papers and responds, "Ah Princess," without sounding necessarily surprised. "I don't think you need to concern yourself with these attacks. Just a bunch of racist unicorns attacking the other two tribes and in one case a griffon. Nobody has died yet and I'm sure we will have them soon. But I'm sure that isn't why you are here. What can I do for you today?"
"I have a mission, for which I need a squad of guards. They should be as young as possible, but should be good none the less. Can you maybe point me to some?" inquires the white pony.
Red taps his chin in thought. "In all honesty, Princess, I have to admit that the recruits we get in year for year are getting gradually worse. The percentage of ponies passing is sinking too." He stops thinking again for a second. "Could you maybe give me some more pointers as to what you need?"
"I think I will just give you the whole situation."
One explanation later.
"Well I see what you, your sister and your lieutenant mean. Well if what I think is true I may have two squads for you. The Light and the Shadow squad. Probably some of the best ponies that graduated at this academy for years... Well with exception of Armmaster White and her squad," explains the red stallion.
He says the same as Lieutenant Flash, thinks Celestia. "Could you maybe tell me a bit more about the ponies in these squads."
"Of course, Princess." He clears his throat. "The Light squad consists of the blue unicorn leader, Night Light, the pink earth pony Gleaming Coat and the pegasus Flash Sentry. I haven't seen anypony use the scythe better than Night Light for a long time. I would even dare say he can use it better than Armmaster White. Gleaming Coat exceeds in hoof to hoof combat. And Flash Sentry can use the sword better than the average.
"The three members of Shadow squad are the dark brown leader Dark Voice, the dark green unicorn Shadow Slash and the dark thestral Blood Raven. Dark Voice focuses on using small weapons ranging from short swords, to daggers to mini crossbows. Shadow Slash has a surprising amount of skill with the long sword and his skill equals that of Night Light. And Blood Raven is probably the weakest out of all of them, but she is also the one that trains the most. She started with a normal sword and had some problems with its weight. So I gave her a short sword and she seems to be alright with it," finishes the armmaster his summary.
She nods once before saying, "And what can you tell me about their personalities and backgrounds?"
He inspects her before he begins again, "As I understand it they have quite the interesting relation between them. Night Light and Shadow Slash are cousins, both coming from extremely wealthy families. They are both more reserved, but Night Light is a bit more talkative than his cousin. Flash Sentry and Blood Raven are childhood friends, but she had some problems when she was younger. She was put in front of an orphanage when she was a baby and growing up she was bullied for being a thestral. It seems Flash was her only friend until they came here. Here she started coming out of her shell and gaining confidence.
Dark Voice has probably the most tragic story out of all of them. His farther left his mother and him when he was born and he lived together with her in the barber shop that she owned. One day he came home and saw his mother being killed by a group of stallions. In the investigation it was never really cleared how, but when the guards arrived there were three dead stallions and one badly injured one. It seems Dark Voice used a pair of scissors to do this alone. Seeing as he wasn't old enough yet and that it was self defense he didn't got any punishment, but instead recognizing his skill he was accepted into the academy despite his young age. That is the reason he is the leader of his squad.
And lastly there is Gleaming Coat. He was put as a baby on a door step in a shady part of Manehatten. There he grew up quite well and although the family that took him in was really poor he is one of the most cheerful ponies I have ever met." He pauses shortly before continuing, "When they were assigned to their squads the six of them became friends quickly. And I think Gleaming Coat and Dark Voice are a couple." Red coughs into his hoof, when he remembers who he is talking to. "All in all they are good ponies and are competent."
Celestia raises a hoof to her chin as she thinks about the information she was given, when she notices someponies information is missing. "And what about Flash Sentry?"
"Flash? He is the most average one. He finished school with average marks, only exceeding in sports. If I can remember right he had some problems in math. Like I already said he has some skill with the sword, but not too outstanding. His father makes the bread for the guards and his mother is a lieutenant. I think there isn't a single thing that sticks out particular." He thinks for another second. "No there is one thing. He has problems doing nothing for a long time, for example standing guard."
"So there isn't anything that makes him stand out?" digs Celestia further.
"No. He seems to be socially active. He goes to clubs. I think he is the most normal one of 'em," answers the stallion.
Celestia thinks for a moment before nodding and conjures a piece of paper and a quill. She writes a quick note before sending it off in a green flame.
"I just send the one I told you of a letter if he wants to train one of them or if he wants to train both of them," replies the sun monarch, not even needing to hear the full question. "While I wait for a responds, how about you show me around the academy that I can see how everything is holding up."
The large stallion stands up. "Of course, princess."
As he walks around the table a green flash appears in the air and a second later a scroll falls down, which is quickly caught by the princesses magic. She looks apologetic to the armmaster. "I am sorry, but I have to read this immediately." She unfurls it and is surprised to find that it is from DNA.
The letter reads as follows: Hiya Celestia! I've read the information you sent me and I like what you presented me with. Thing is I can't decide with just a piece of paper. Gotta see um up close! I'm probably going to see the candidates at the speech. Just bring them all. See ya!
"Well it seems that this is cleared up now," states princess of the sun, more to herself than for Red. She calls another blank paper before she writes an order on it seals it and levitates it outside to the messenger who then proceeds to fly back to the castle to deliver it.
"Princess, should I still escort you through the academy?"
She thinks for a second before answering, "Yes please. I could use the time when I'm here anyways. Besides when I come here for just a couple of minutes ponies can get nervous."
A day later the group of six ponies leaves the briefing room, where they got their their vague mission intel.
"So we got off the rest of the day. What do you guys wanna do?" asks the yellow-orange pegasus his five companions.
"How 'bout we get down to chow hall and grab something to eat? I'm starving," suggests the pink earth pony.
"Yeah, because somepony forgot to go shopping," accuses Blood Raven, who has a brilliant red mane and tail with a dirty-white coat currently, while she glares at Gleaming Coat slightly.
"It wouldn't be the first time that he forgot it," interjects Night Life.
Flash lets his head drop with a sigh before he remembers where he is and puts its up again. "That still doesn't make it better."
But then comes the reply from Dark Voice in his usual dark, amused voice that is like sugar in the ears, "In his defense, he helped me with some important leader stuff."
Everypony of their group knows what stuff they do behind closed doors. At least it was only behind closed doors. But they all accept how their two teammates express their love for each other and agreed to leave them be.
"Sure," comes the reply deadpan reply of the rest of the team, as they make their way to the guard cafeteria. After they enter the mess hall they each get their preferred food before sitting together at an empty table.
"So, what do you guys think about the mission?" asks the only mare of the group before she takes a bite out of her apple.
"You mean other than it being vague as buck?" responds the leader of Shadow squad casually, while putting some chocolate sirup that he took from Gleaming Coat into his oats.
"Yes besides that," is the answer of her, which is accompanied by a roll of her eyes.
"Probably just a bodyguard job."
"But don't you think it's weird that they said we should bring anything personal that we want to bring?" inquires the blue unicorn before taking a spoon full of oats.
They stay silent for a moment before Flash says, "Probably just a special request by one of these snobby nobles."
The rest of the group thinks about it for a couple of seconds the most of them voice their agreements, except Shadow Slash, who just continues to munch on his food.
"Well," begins the male pegasus as he stands up, "I'm going to go to the training grounds."
"Wait! I'm gonna join you!" exclaims his childhood friend also standing up.
He turns around to the table again and asks, "Is anypony going to join us?"
"Shadow and me are going to join you later on maybe," tells them Night Light.
"Me and Gleam are going to do some personal training, so don't expect us," is Darks answer.
The two winged ponies roll their eyes in synchronization before walking out.
The following day the same group of ponies walk through the hallways of the castle, but this time something is different. For one they don't have their armor on which makes three of them look much different. To be precise the three members of Shadow squad. Dark Voice's light brow fur is now much darker and his mane and tail are now black. Shadow Slash's white mane and tail are now a muddy brown and his coat is a dark green. And Blood Raven's before light red mane and tail are now a deep crimson with her coat being a dark gray and her bat like wings showing.
"It feels weird walking around the palace without armor," states the thestral mare.
"Yeah," adds Flash Sentry.
Night Light nods. "I agree."
"It's almost as if we are doing something forbidden," states Gleaming Coat as he looks suspicious around them.
The rest of them ignore him except Dark Voice who first chuckles before putting a hoof around his coltfriend lovingly.
After a short trip through the palace they reach a door, that leads to the royal chariot place. They step through it and descend the stairs. When they reach the bottom they salute to the two ponies that are already waiting for them.
Princess Celestia says, "At ease." The two squads lower their hoofs. "I am sure you asked yourself already what your mission entails seeing as you got very little information on it until now. The mission is not a real mission per say, but it is actually training. Now if this were normal training this wouldn't be handled as we are handling it. Instead this is a special kind of training, as he described it. Now he said I need to give you a choice on were ether you want to be trained by him or not and that I have to give you following warning. The training that he will put you through will put immense pressure not only on your body, but also on your mind and soul. In some instances this will include things that are considered embarrassing and or gruesome. He said that you will need to stay at his until you finish training." She stops as she looks at the ponies before her. "After hearing this do you accept?"
There is an erie silence on the platform as the six ponies think about what the princess said. But not for long as the first reply comes from Shadow Slash. "Yes!"
His friends look to him shocked. It is rare for him to talk and even rarer for him to take the initiative so is naturally a surprise to them that he is the first to answer. After staring a couple of moments at him they turn to Celestia and one by one agree.
"Very well then. There are still a couple of things you need to know before you arrive there. For one there is a reason I only referred to your trainer as he. He is not a pony and his name is DNA. His race is called human," explains Celestia, but stops when Night Light raises a hoof. "Yes?"
"How much will we need to concern ourself with him?"
The princess suppresses a sigh before she replies, "Not much, but there is another human for which I can not say the same. His name is FREEZER and it seems he doesn't listen to or respects anybody, but DNA. Furthermore my sister and I predict that you are going to be interacting with the bearers of the elements from now on and I want you, on their request, to not treat them like celebrities. I addition you won´t be royal Canterlot guards from now. Instead you will be part of a specilized unit that my sister and I are still setting up, but basically the only ponies you have to report to from now is Princess Luna, me and Lieutenant Flash Strike. We expect a report from each of you bi-weekly. And lastly DNA is currently foalsitting four foals. Three of them are going to leave at the end of the week, the fourth one seems to be staying with him for now. That is everything for now. Are there any more questions?"
There are still plenty of questions, but not a single one is voiced by the guards. After a couple of moments of silence the sun monarch nods. "Very well." She begins to charge up her horn. "This is disorientating the first couple of times." And in an bright flash the eight ponies disappear.
They reappear a second later at the edge of the Everfree a meter in the air. Celestia lands on her hoofs and so does Lieutenant Flash, not as gracefully as the princess, but still better than the other six ponies as their faces meet the ground.
The princess of the sun turns around to look at them. "I´m sorry, but the first time teleporting is always hard. Are you alright?"
The ex-guards stand up a bit shakingly. "We are fine, Princess. Thank you for your concern."
"That is good. Now let´s get moving," says the sun monarch as she starts moving, with the other seven walking behind her.
After a bit of walking they reach the entry of the forest with a group of mares standing in it. As they get closer one of the mares, a blue pegasus, indicates to the others that they approach. The princess group stops a couple of meters in front of the mares.
"Good morning to you all," greets Princess Celestia the female civilans. They reply with their own replies before the Princess turns around to her companions. "This here are the element bearers," starts the co-ruler, "You will be seeing them in future. Be sure to get along with them." She turns around, while pointing at the six former royal guards. "This are Flash Sentry, Gleaming Coat, Night Light, Dark Voice, Shadow Slash and Blood Raven. They are the trainees to be. The same goes for you."
They nod, but something far more interesting occupies them at the moment. That being that Pinkie Pie and Gleaming Coat look quite a bit alike. To be precise they are completely identical safe for three features: their gender, their cutie mark and one of them has a slightly more gleaming coat.
"Okay now that´s weird," states Rainbow Dash pointing out the obvious.
"Agreed. They are like the same pony, but with a different gender," confirms Rarity.
"Ah don´t know 'bout you, but it´s mighty fine to meet ya. Ah´m Applejack," welcomes them Applejack while offering a hoof.
Flash accepts it first. "Hi."
Night takes it after his friend let go of it. "A pleasure to meet you," says the unicorn in his usual cool, but not unpleasant tone.
The next to take the hoof is Blood Raven. "Nice to meet you."
Shadow Slash just nods to the orange farm pony.
Dark Voice shakes her hoofs as the last. "Hello." His voice sends a shiver through the mares.
The orange earth pony also offers it to the last of them, but he ignors it and just continues to stare at his female counterpart.
The yellow pegasus male waves a hoof infront of his pink companions face. "Hey Gleam, you there?"
The action is mimic by the rainbowed maned pegasus, but by the other pink pony. "Hey Pinks, anypony home?"
Not a second later both of the pink ponies vanish, leaving only a note behind. Twilight picks it up and reads it out loud, "Go on without us, we will meet you at DNAs." She looks up at her mentor for what to do.
She clears her throat. "Yes, I think they are correct. Let us go, we still have a schedule to keep." And with that the group of nine ponies enter the Everfree forest.
"How fast are you?" asks Rainbow the male pegasus.
"I guess I can get a decent speed, but I´m more an endurance flier," replies Flash. "Blood here is actually faster than me."
"I'm not that much faster than you," responds the thestral with a blush that is well hidden under her dark fur.
"Endurance is so boring," states the blue mare, letting out a groan. "I´m more a speed type."
Twilight rolls her eyes at her friends behavior. She turns to the two unicorns that walk next to her. "Do you specialize in any kind of magic?"
"If I had to give a specilation, it would be manipulation. I´m pretty good at working with levitation. But I guess I have a fare arsenal of runic enchantments," answers Night Life. "Shadow, is a lot better at magic than me."
"Oh," is the only reply from the magic student. While she thinks it´s a shame that he doesn´t use spells, she understands that not every unicorn makes more use of their magical reservoir. At least the other one does. "So what is it that you carry with you?"
It´s true. Each of them carrys something wrapped in a cloth.
He ponders for a second before answering, "I guess we can show you." He nods to his couisin who mirrors the gesture.
The blue one levitates his from its position and unwraps it from its protection first. What the ponies see lets most of them stop in fear. The object hidden by the fabric is a scythe, but it´s no ordinary scythe. It has a black-purple colour and the point where the handle meets the blade is connected with a rough looking blob of the same material, but despite it looking so chunky one can clearly tell it is made to look exacly like that. From the meeting point two lines snake down the shaft one clockwise and the other counter clockwise, intersecting in regular intervals. At the bottom they meet to encompass a glowing red crystal. Furthermore on the blade itself are multiple runes that glow a soft white.
Next unravels the green bulky unicorn his equipment. If Night Lights weapon looks like a deadly masterpiece, then his looks like it was desinged by a foal with building blocks. On the handle, that is nothing more than a leg long cylinder, sits a giant rectangular box on which in turn sits a triangle. All in all it looks more than a club imitating a sword than anything that is meant to cut. If you were to try to cut anything with it you would either crush or squash it. Honestly it's longer than Princess Celestia. The only think that sticks slightly out are the GIANT runes on either side of blade.
"Are they made from IDM?" question Twilight in disbelieve.
"I am honestly suprised you know about it," states the scythe wielding unicorn flatly.
"You maybe wanne explain what this IDM is, sugarcube?"
The purple unicorn turns around to her friends. "IDM, or ice demon material, is an extremly expensive material that has unique properties that are in no other material to find. It is said an evil tyrant thousands of years ago loved it and used it despite the inconveniences."
"How expensive exactly, Twilight?" pokes Rainbow Dash further her interest taken.
"Well..." begins the element of magic as she inspects the weapon.
"The material alone cost four million bits, at least mine," explicates the unicorn guard.
More than one mouth hits the ground.
"F-four million..." starts Rarity almost falling, the only reason she doesn´t is because Fluttershy manages to catch her.
"From where do you have that kind money?"
"Their families are kinda rich," elaborates Flash.
Twilight shakes her head to get the shock away. "But that´s not everything. That gem is a high quality heat crystal and the runes are also not from a beginner."
"I think the gem was four thousand when I remember correctly, but the runes are from myself," explains Night Light.
Princess Celestia turns her head slightly just enough to see the truly fear infusing weapons. The lieutenant has of course warned her that they would be bringing the deadly tools with them and how they have a darkish aura about them, but to see them is a totally different thing.
"They are impressive, aren't they?" asks the mare next to her without taking her gaze away from the path.
"I have to admit I underestimated them," admits the princess of the sun. It is the complete truth. The weapons rival the personal weapons of her own and her sisters.
"So I have a question," butts Rainbow in. "How do ya plan to cut anything with this thing."
"What you see there is just the scabbard," informs them the scythe wielder. Again eyes widen. "Show them, Shadow."
With another nod the dark green unicorn takes the steath off. What lies beneath is definitely meant for cutting. There are two heavy blades seperated by a gap, which is about as thick as the neck of an average pony. At the bottom of the gap is a gem that looks identical to the one Night has on his weapon. On the blades are multiple runes.
"This is the actual blade," informs them the blue unicorn.
Their little show is stopped when an authoritative throat is cleared. "As much as I appreciate that you all get along we have to get going."
The rest of the trip went by with nothing special to happen.
The former guards eyes widen at the sight of the massive building before them. They expected a run down excuse for a castle, but instead find a surprisingly well looking castle.
"Seriously, how fast is he?" asks Rainbow.
Celestia wonders herself the same thing as she looks at the building. How fast can one po... person make all the renovation alone?
They continue their way until they reach the door, which is quickly opened by a short use of magic by Princess Celestia. As the group filters in another pony meets them. She has a blue coat under the maid uniform and it is a complete maid uniform with headwear, socks, everything.
The five element bearers would have gone into their individual fighting stances if it wasn't for aforementioned dress.
Instead after the initial jolt wears off Rainbow Dash begins laughing so hard that she falls to the ground. Even Applejack chuckles a little.
Twilight shakes her head as confusion takes over shock. "Trixie? I don't understand. Why are you here?"
The mare in question bows. "Welcome. The master is already expecting you. If you would please follow me." Her face is nothing, but stoic, betraying no emotions. She turns around and begins to walk away.
The Princess and the military ponies from the group don't acknowledge the reaction from the mares and instead follow the singular mare.
After some moments and some exchanging glances the other five ponies also follow.
A short trip trough the castle later they reach a door, which is opened by Trixie before she walks in. "Master, your guest are here." After the blue mare steps to the side the view is free for the chaos on the other side.
The kitchen is covered with flour and chocolate. In the middle of the room are standing five figures, four foals and one human, all covered in the white powder used for backing.
DNA turns towards the group. "Oh hi!" exclaims the human while waving at them.
Applebloom and Sweetie Belle run towards their respective sisters. While the yellow filly tackles Applejack and gets her a bit dirty, the white filly remembers how her sister can be and skids to a halt before her.
"Hi, Applejack/Rarity," greet both fillies their older family members.
"You look..." starts the fashionista, "... white, Sweetie."
"We are baking," replies the little marshmallow unicorn.
She lets her gaze flow over the room. "I can see that."
There is a ding sound and everyone in the room turns towards it. The sound was emitted from an alarm atop of the stove.
"It´s done! Quick! Get it out!" exclaims DNA as he puts on a pair of cooking gloves. The four foals run over to the oven and open it before the human swoops in and takes the interior out. After the steam lessen a bit the ponies can see what the biped holds in his two appendages. A platter of cookies. He goes onto his knees to put the sweets on eye level with the children, who greedily take one each. He then continues to stand up and offer one to the other ponies. That is when Pinkie Pie and Gleaming Coat come in completely out of breath. After taking one for himself he sets down the rest of the treats and asks, "So what can I do for you on this delightful day?"
"Well for one we are here to get you for the announcement I will be doing soon," starts Celestia.
DNA stops mid bite looking at the clock of his M.E.I.S.G. "Huh, already so late?" He turns to the four foals. "You four go and make yourself ready. I can´t have you go out like this," says the black clad biped before spinning around to adress the blue unicorn, "Trixie could you go with them and help them?" After the five of them leave he then looks at the to be trainees. "And I guess this are the ponies I am supposed to train," states the human as he intensly inspects the six. After looking at the them long enough his smile vanishes and he says, "Why are you here?" When they don´t answer and just look at him in confusion he continues, "Why did you accept to be trained? I know she gave you a choice."
"I want to save somepony," answers Gleaming Coat immediately.
"I have a promise to uphold," follows Night Light up instanly.
"I need strength," responds Shadow Slash.
"I want to protect somepony," retorts Blood Raven.
"I need to stop something from repeating," says Dark Voice.
The human can´t help, but grin on the inside. Perfect. He then turns to the last of the squad. But he...
Flash Sentry hesistates shortly before he respondes, "Because the princess chose me."
DNAs before neutral face shifts to a frown as he lets his gaze linger unapprovingly on the yellow-orange stallion. "Fine," is his final statement before he takes the other five back into his field of vison. "Before I agree I must warn you. The training for what I will teach is not what you might think it is. Sure, there are elements in it what you see as standard, but not all. That said, when you really accept you will be required to do things that are considered weird and in some cases even embarrassing. But if that had been all I wouldn´t be so serious about it. No. The reason for that is a complete different one.
There will come a point in your training where you wont be able to go back and have to finish it. If you still choose to abandon it, then me or FREEZER will have to take measures neither you nor we want to take. Having heard all that are still sure you want to be trained?"
They look at each other, uncertainty creeping up on them before Night Light asks, after taking a deep breath, "Why will you have to take these measures?"
The human takes off the glove covering his right hand and shows it to the ponies. On everyone of his fingers exept his thumb there is a silver ring. "I think it is time for a serious explanation on what I am going to be teaching you. It´s called simply the Power or EP for short. EP deals and strengthens body and soul, but it is not without drawback. Like so often with great power comes great responsibility. When you get far enough with your training there is a chance that you lose control and this can have terrible consequences for you and the ponies around you."
"H-how bad?" inquires Flash.
"How does a massacre sound to you?" replies DNA.
There is a shriek from the back before there is a sound of a collapsing body from the same direction.
"Fluttershy!" screams Rarity as she stands over the unmoving body from her yellow friend.
"She´s fine. She´s just unconscious," states the human.
"DNA, I think we should stop. Most of us don´t need to know this," interjects Princess Celestia.
He focuses his gaze on her. "I think the opposite. Most of you are going to either come to the point where it is possible that this happens to them, or interact with the ones who run a slim danger of doing this." He then turns his head to look at them all again. "Rainbow Dash for example wanted to ask me to train her too before she heard of what could happen. Isn´t that right?"
The blue pegasus ears lay back when everyone focuses on her before she nods.
"See? I want to make sure every single one of you understands the cons of this. Just to be clear, I am willing to train everyone who I see fit. But back to the six of you. So do you want that I train you? Yes or No?"
The former guards exchange a couple of uncerain glances before they nod.
DNA nods. "Very well. We will begin training tomorrow. Now if you will exuse me shortly I will get ready and meet you at the front entrance again." With that his smile appears on his face again as he takes another cookie for himself and makes his way deeper into the castle.
Half an hour later the ponies stand in the entrance area of the castle minus Trixie and in case of the former guards without their belongings. Most of them are standing around chatting merrily until the sound of footsteps can be heard from the stairs, which makes them turn in that direction. Descending are the two humans. Both are dressed in a formal wear. The only difference is that FREEZERs is completely white and DNAs is black. There is one other noticeable difference and that is the way they wear their suits. While the bigger one of the two looks quite good in it, the wind tamer is more. It seems as he is made to wear something like this. His whole charm is totally different than the earth tamer.
"I'm sorry we let you guys waiting, but somebody," implies DNA FREEZER without looking at him, "Didn't want to put one his suite."
"Don't worry, we are still on time," reassures him Celestia.
"Then let us get going. Shall we?" And so the group of nineteen starts to wander back towards Ponyville.
They walk for good half an hour with Princess Celestia, DNA, Lieutenant Flash Strike in the front and the rest of them walking behind them.
A couple of meters before they exit the forest the black clad human turns around to address the other of his kind. "Now come on FREEZER, you know what we talked about."
The green haired human sighs before closing his eyes. He takes a deep breath in and as he releases it he opens his eyes with a smile forming on his lips.
Everypony who hasn't met him for the first time this day is shocked. His smile isn't sinister, not meant as a taunt, but looks genuine. All but three ponies are fooled. These three are Princess Celestia, Applejack and Pinkie Pie.
"Now let's get to town square so you can hold your speech, Celestia," says DNA pulling everyponies attention away from the other one.
"Yes, of course. We should get there soon," agrees the sun monarch after shaking her head before starting to walk again.
As they approach town square the crowd of ponies gets thicker the further they continue in, but for their group this isn't a concern as ponies make a path for them to walk through out of fear and bowing. The only reason there isn't total chaos like last time is likely because of the presence of their ruler.
The group finally arrives at town hall where they are quickly ushered inside.
Mayor Mare bows when everyone is inside a trickle of sweat running down the side of her head and a smile, albeit a nervous one, on her face. "Hello, Princess Celestia. Is there anything you might need before you give your speech?"
"Rise my little pony. And no I won't be long, so if you would please just start. That would be lovely," replies the princess her voice and smile getting just a bit sweeter.
The mayor goes upright again. "Of course."
When the mare leaves and most of the ponies in the room start conversing with one another, DNA steps up to the white alicorn. "Celestia, might I speak with you for a moment?"
"Of course. What is it?"
"Just two quick questions actually. The first is about the creatures in the Everfree. I don't know if you knew, but humans eat meat," begins the white haired biped.
"Oh?" is Celestias simple reply. It isn't that she is shocked. There are races that eat meat, but simply surprised because she hadn't thought of that possibility that humans would too.
"Yes, so I wanted to ask if it'd be able that we go hunting?"
"Sure, as long as you don't do it front of my ponies," answers the princess of the sun.
He waves her off. "Oh please, I wouldn't be that stupid and do it in front of the foals."
She nods in satisfaction. "There was another thing you wanted to talk to me about?"
"Ah yes. Let's say that for some reason, we'd be attacked, what would be the action that we are allowed to take. Of course that is purely hypothetical."
Celestias good mood instantly drops at the question. "If that were to happen you would of course be allowed to defend yourself, but I am confident that you would be able to apprehend them, without injuring them."
He taps his chin. "I assume I am able to not hurt them too bad..." he shakes his head, "Of course only if something like this ever happens."
"Of course. If this ever happens," agrees Celestia with a calm face, but her inner self is not as calm. And again he isn't telling me everything. At least there are guards with him now.
Just as she finishes that thought a pony in golden armor sticks his head through the door from the outside. "Princess, it is time for your speech."
She turns to him. "Thank you. We will come."
With that everyone files out and Celestia puts herself behind the podium with the element bearers on her right side and the human on her left.
"Hello Ponyville," begins Celestia letting her gaze sweep over the crowd before continuing, "Several days ago a new race named humans came to Equestria. There are currently only two members of them here and they are staying near Ponyville," explains the ruler as she points to the two bipeds to her right, "so I ask of you that you are nice to them. Now one of them wants to say something," ends the princess while making place for DNA.
"Thank you princess," starts the human before turning to the crowd. "Hello ponies of Ponyville. My name is DNA and this here is my fellow human FREEZER," says the biped while gesturing to the green haired one of his kind. "I heard that our unannounced arrival here caused some panic and I sincerely apologize for this and beg for your forgiveness," pleads the earth bender while bowing before all the gathered ponies before him.
Some mutters start between the quadruples that last for some uncomfortable seconds before somepony shouts from the back rows, "We forgive you!" One by on the ponies start agreeing with the random pony and soon the crowd is in a loud cheer for the race they have only met today.
DNA puts his head up high before saying, "I thank you. I thank you so much," in a sincere voice.
He steps to the side to make place for Princess Celestia. "You also have my gratitude, ponyvilliains. It was not expected from you to give these two a chance after they scared you, but you still do out of the kindness of your heart. I thank you. And as much as I'd like to stay for a bit, I am afraid I have to leave. Goodbye, Ponyville." And with that she begins to walk to her chariot that is already waiting for her.
"We'll be going too," states DNA before looking down at the four kids. "Are you coming back with us right away, or you rather go crusade for a bit?"
The four of them discuss for a bit before Scootaloo answers, "We're gonna crusade for a bit."
"Alright, but don't come home too late, okay?"
"Sure!" they call back as they already run off.
"Princess!" calls a male voice.
The princess turns around to find Shining Armor running towards her. "Ah Captain, how is your vacation treating you?"
He blushes lightly and clears his throat before answering, "About that princess. Are you sure I should stay here for a whole week? Don't you need me back at the palace?"
She chuckles at that. "Don't be silly, Captain. We are at a time of peace. I am sure the guard can handle one week without their captain. Besides it will do you some good to take some time off with all the overtime you have been doing. Also," Princess Celestia leans in closer, "DNA said something that makes me uncomfortable. It gives me some piece of mind that you are here for now."
He thinks for a second. "So, you want me to spy on him?"
"No, no, of course not," waves Celestia him off. "I see it more as observing him a bit."
Shining Armor knows what she means. "Of course, Princess. I will observe him a bit."
The princess of the sun nods before entering her chariot.
When they are finally in the shadows of the Everfree again FREEZER lets out a heavy sigh and at the same time the smile that he had wearing like a mask falls off. He loosens his tie and unbuttons the top most buttons before taking off his shoes. He waves before running away deeper into the forest.
The ponies are impressed by his speed. It isn't like Gleaming Coats and Pinkie Pies indescribable vanishing, but just really fast running.
"How is he so fast?" inquires Flash.
When they don't get an answer they turn to the human that is still with them and see him drawing with his finger into the air. "Hey, DNA?!"
The human turns his head towards them. "Huh?"
"What are you doing?"
"Oh? You mean that?" while pointing into the air in front of him. The former guards nod in confirmation. "That is our M.E.I.S.G." At the ponies confused looks he starts explaining, but not after rolling his eyes.
"That seems practical," concludes Night Light his gaze in a thoughtful way at the canopy of the trees.
"Oh, it is. Imagine how hard it would be for FREEZER and me to communicate in a place as big as our palace. So yeah, pretty useful if you ask me."
"And why is FREEZER so fast, or is this something to do with your race?" questions Blood Raven.
Suddenly six white objects fly out of the bushes at the side towards the ponies of the group. Three of them hit the mark. The other three are caught, two of them by a brow hoof and the third by a dark, sickly looking green magical aura.
Dark Voice looks at the objects in his hoof that almost hit him and his coltfriend. "Why are we getting attacked with sugarcubes?"
"Uh gimme one," says the pink male exited.
The brow earth pony is about to give him one of the the white cubes, when he gets an idea. "Get it." He puts one of them between his teeth and shows it to Gleam. The pink pony immediately catches on and locks lips with him.
Flash picks up the piece that hit him. "Now the question is why somepony would throw them at us in the first place."
"This was a test!" declares DNA full with excitement while putting a finger into the air.
"A test?" asks Blood while raising an eyebrow.
"YES!" screams the human her the answer in the face, while also pointing at her with the finger that was previously in the air. "And only Shadow Slash and Dark Voice passed. Bonus points for Dark by the way for catching two of them. I'm actually thinking about letting Gleam also pass, because he technically wasn't hit by them."
"Quite simple really. I wanted to see how you react. Simple as that." And with that he turns around and starts walking towards the castle again.
"DNA, what were those lines in the entrance for?" asks Blood Raven.
"If you aren't noticing we are following one of those lines right now," states the human, pointing at the floor next to him. True enough there is a gray line. To be more specific, it's the same gray as the stones underneath it. "And they are for anyone that don't have M.E.I.S.G." He opens a door. Beyond it lies a fairly sized room with six beds on the side of it with a night stand next to each. At the far back wall is a cupboard and their things. The light is provided by a lamp at the top of the room. "This is your room during your stay here. If you need anything please don't hesitate to ask me. You can place the beds as you please. For all I care you can make them bunkbeds. Dinner is at six o'clock tonight. Now if you excuse me I have some things to organize for our training." And with that he leaves them to their own business.
"Gleam help me get the beds together," commands Dark Voice from the back of the room, to which the pink pony replies promptly.
"Well might as well get our things sorted out," states Flash with a sigh.
"That was quite good," comments Blood.
"It was alright," states Flash before wiping his muzzle with his napkin.
"Oh yes. Mama boy has something to complain about the food. It's better than anything they serve you in the guard," adds Dark.
"It doesn't matter how you phrase it. All I can hear out of it is that my cooking wasn't bad and you could eat it. That 's good enough for me," concludes DNA their reviews. "Anyway. Trixie, could you bring the kids to their room?" The four foals are about to complain, when he shuts anything they might say down, "No when or buts you are going to your room. I'm going to come by later to put you to bed myself." With one mighty groan they comply and walk out with the light blue unicorn behind them.
"Now, FREEZER could you get everything ready?" The green haired human nods before also leaving.
"What is he preparing?" asks the thestral.
The biped completely ignores her question and just continues, "Shadow Slash, Gleaming Coat and Blood Raven you are responsible to clean the dishes today. Dark Voice and Night Light you two are free to do what you want, except help them do the dishes. And you Flash are coming with me." With that the human stands up and leaves.
The dark blue haired pegasus looks to his friends. "I guess I will just follow him?" It was more a question to ask them if he should go or not. When he gets no answer he just catches up to DNA not knowing what else to do.
"So where are we going?" tries the pegasus to start a conversation, but DNA only ignores. Okay, I guess he doesn't want to talk then.
They walk for a bit before they reach a unassuming door. The human opens it and motions the pony to go inside. Ones he is the black clad creature shuts the door. The room looks like a study and is like every room at the castle bigger than normal. In the middle stands a large desk, the left and the back wall are both hidden behind bookshelves that are filled with rows upon rows of books both new and old.
"Please take a seat," says the earth bender from behind the desk sitting in a bean bag.
Flash shakes his head. "Y-yes, of course."
As soon as he does so DNA begins to talk, "I am sure you are asking yourself why I brought you here. Well to be honest it's to warn you. You can probably still remember what I told you this afternoon, about what happens when the demon takes control of you. I'm sorry to say that you are especially endangered that this happens to you."
Flash gulps. "Why?"
"Demons just love to take control of living beings. The more intelligent and powerful something is the more likely it is to be chosen by one. Now a goal helps to keep them at bay and at the same time lets you endure the training during that time. Now your goal is like a candle in a storm. While let´s say Shadows is like an... How can I describe it accurately? Ok, imagine Canterlot burning down. Everything is set ablaze. And then it's in the middle of an bright and sunny day. You see the point I'm trying to make, right?"
The pegasus nods timidly.
"Good," a toothy smile appears on the human as he leans his head on his arm. "Now let me tell how this is going to go. There are three things that can happen now. One: You won't get trained by me and stay here or go back to Canterlot. There is no shame in choosing it. Second: You go through with the training and will most likely be taken over by the demon. When that happens me and FREEZER will have to stop you and you lose everything including your life. But hey maybe you will actually managed to complete the training that way, who knows. And then there is the third option. You will undergo special and experimental training."
Flash gulps. "What will that training include?"
"Well it would include a whip and... yeah," finishes the human with a chuckle. "Tell ya what. Go to your room, sleep over it and tell me your decision tomorrow. Okay?" The stallion nods slowly. "Good. Now go back to your room, your friends are already worried about you."
The pony stands up and slowly makes his way back. Ones he steps in Blood Raven rushes to him. "Are you alright, Flash? What did he do to you?"
He doesn't answer or even reacts to say it better as he makes his way to his bed, where he just slumps on and closes his eyes. His five look at each other worried. The only mare from the group slowly approaches him before laying herself next to and giving him silent comfort.
Just like the old days, just that the roles are switched now, thinks the theastral as she falls asleep.
The door closes as Flash Sentry leaves DNAs office. As soon as the human made sure the pony won't come back he lets himself sink deeper into the bean bag spreading his legs. He drives his hands through his hair. "So much to do, so little time."
"It's your own fault." The voice is dark with a gentleman tone to it and is only heard by DNA.
The biped's responds is cut off by something falling into his lap. He looks down to see a big white egg laying there with green splotches on it. The earth tamer picks it up with both hands and holds it with outstretched arms in front of him. Out of the corner of his vision he sees the portal closing from which the egg probably came. A small tired smile works itself onto his face as he creates a blanket wraps the egg in it and hugs it close to his body.
He chuckles. "Well seems it's going to get more interesting than I anticipated."
It's Saturday morning and the six former guards wake up like they do every morning in the span of a couple of minutes. When all of them are awake they form a circle in the middle of the room to discuss their next step.
"What now?" starts Flash Sentry the discussion.
"I'm not really sure," replies Blood Raven.
Their conversation is broken when something knocks three times against the door of their room. The problem is that it isn't a soft knock like one would do to asks for permission to enter, but one that rattles the whole door.
The six friends look at each other uncertain before they turn to the door, the unicorns of their group levitating their weapons next to them.
The gamboge pegasus clears his throat before calling out, "Come in."
The door is getting slammed open making the thestral flinch a bit at the noise.
There in the entrance of their room stands Trixie. A very annoyed looking Trixie, that even in her maid uniform manages to look intimidating. She inspects them for a couple of seconds with an strict gaze making them feel like they've done something wrong before she states, "Breakfast is in half a hour. Come or don't," in a harsh tone and closes the door again with enough to shake the general area.
The group of six looks at each other with a mixture of confusion and shock and Dark voices what they all think. "The buck?"
About half a hour later the former guards arrive at the dining room. Inside already sit the four foals with Trixie sitting with them. Her expression is different than before. Before it was despising, but now it is more indifferent while still looking not annoyed. That changes as soon as notices the military ponies entering. Her mouth changes into a frown as she stands up and says, "Please wait a second I will get you your breakfast." And with that she vanishes in an other room, presumebly the kitchen.
She returns shortly after with six plates in her magic before she places them in front of them. On them are scrambled eggs and two pieces of toast for each.
"I hope you can eat it. I'm not the best of cooks," states the light blue unicorn with an icy voice and matching look.
"That's not true!" exclaims Scottaloo with her friends nodding behind her in conirmation.
Her face shifts into a small smile as she looks down at the kids. "That's really nice of you to say," her smile gets a hint of evilness, "But you still have to do your homework." The foals groan and she continues, "Go on now. When you're done we can play together." Their attitude makes a 180 and they hurry to the exit.
Trixie follows them, but just as she is about to go out the door Flash stops her with a call. "Do you now where DNA is?"
The maid turns her head to glare at them, but after a couple of seconds she answers none-the-less. "He said he will return in the course of the day and you should wait in your room, in the libary or the gym." And without waiting for a reply she leaves, banging the door close.
"What's her problem?" inquires Dark.
"I honestly have no idea," answers Flash.
The hours pass with the six trainees lounging in their room trying to pass the time. Suddenly there are three loud bangs on the doors making them jump. Without that they have time to react it already swings open, revealing a beaming DNA one arm outstretched the other holding the egg. Behind him stands a frowning FREEZER his arms crossed over his chest.
"Good afternoon!" greets them the black clad human as he strides inside. "I hope you had a good time 'till now, because now training starts." He suddenly points at Flash. "Now troubleboy. Do you have an answer for me?"
All eyes turn to the yellow-orange pegasus who blushes slightly at the sudden and unwanted attention before he looks at him and answers, "Yes."
He nods. "Sure." His voice is not accusatory neither is it happy over his decision. Sure it's generally happy, but not specifically at this decision.
"Now as you might might already thought today starts training, but that is only partially true. Today and tomorrow are the preparation days for your fire trial." He raises a finger to silence their replies. "Let me finish first before you complain. Despite it being called fire trial there is no fire involved most of the times." Five of the ponies eyes widen a bit and one raises a curious-confused eyebrow. "Calm down. It won't happen, unless one of ya gets hit by lighting or spontaneously combusts in flames. And let's be realistic that won't happen." He stops, looks up in contemplation for a couple of uneasy seconds in silence before he continues, "Anyway it's quite simple really. I'm going to take one at the time and put you in the Everfree with nothing but a knife." Again eyes widen. "No one said it's gonna be easy. On the contrary I told you what awaits you. Now," he claps into his hands, "Any questions so far?"
There is an eerie silence as they think about what to ask when Night speaks up, "What purpose serves this trial? I was the assumption we were already accepted as trainees."
"It's quite simple really. If you survive this you should in theory survive the training. Let me change the phrasing. It's better for you to die in this than let anything the demon might to do to you happen without you being qualified. I'm using the word qualified here pretty loosely, 'cause there isn't really any qualification you can or need to have. That reminds me actually. There's something I wanted to tell you yesterday, but I thought it unfitting at the time."
DNA pulls off his right hand glove and then points with his index finger of his left hand to the rings of his other, holding the egg meanwhile between his legs. "The point of no return I mentioned yesterday is generally, when the student receives one of these rings. Each ring suppresses or helps the wearer with EP. There are four stages: Wisdom, Bodily Activation, Ability Activation and Demon. That isn't the order the trainees get them. They can happen in every random order. But that also means Demon can be the first one to come. The ones that get it as the first are generally referred to as the Lost Ones. I'm not gonna lie, when one of you is one of them, then there isn't a big chance of you surviving. It isn't likely that this happens to you, seeing that you can count the number of the one which got it first off on two hands, but I thought I'd let you know just in case. Now me being a master at EP and all I don't necessarily need them, but I want to make sure I keep control. That said while I still wear all four of them just two of them are active at the moment."
He pauses which gives Gleaming Coat the chance to ask a question. "Why would it be bad if Demon came first?" His voice just the smallest hint of shakiness in it."
"Like I already said with great power comes great responsibility. EP comes at the cost that you have to host something that is quite similar to an actual demon, always trying to break free and fight for dominance. But you shouldn't worry too much about it, during the training I'm gonna teach you how you make the demon listen to you or similar."
"How long will this training go?" inquires Night Light, having still the second most confidence of both squads.
"That depends entirely on you. The fastest anyone has become an master was three years which is the minimum time it takes. On the contrary the longest anyone needed to become a master was fifteen years, but that was just a fluke. I general it takes about five to six years," explains the earth tamer.
"So how long did you take," asks Dark his curiosity quipped.
"I was kinda fast and became master in about four and a half years." He clears his throat. "Anyway, I need a volunteer to go first. Anypony?"
It doesn't take long for somepony to step up as Shadow almost immediately does so.
While his teammates look at him shocked, DNA looks very pleased as he nods. "Very well." He then reaches behind his back and brings back a combat knife. "This is the only thing you're allowed to take with you," states the biped as the unicorn takes the weapon, "No other weapons, no other equipment and no magic except levitation. And I don't want to say I don't trust you, buuuuut..." He reaches behind his back again and brings forth a suppressor collar. Some eyes widen. "This will let you still use levitation, but not anything else. And all of you will wear it. It will prevent you pegasus of flying, but you'll still be able to glide and you earth ponies... I'm not actually sure, but you'll still require to wear it because. Now any questions before the preparations begin?"
"Yeah I have one," says the thestral. "What's up with the egg?"
"Yeah... I'm not really sure, but I got it and now I care about it. Are there any other question?" When no one speaks he turns around and as he leaves he says, "Okay I'm leaving you in FREEZERs care. Good luck~!"
The green haired human steps in front of them, an evil smile on his face as he cracks his knuckles. "Oh I'm gonna enjoy you."
The sun is already on its way to give the moon place in the cloudless skies of Ponyville as the last train from Canterlot slowly drives into the station. Under all the ponies that leave is one mother who desperately needs to see her son. After going home and putting her stuff away, she swiftly begins her way towards a certain forest.
Love you worry too much, he's fine. The girls are with him, thinks Love Tap to herself as she quickens her pace.
Almost sweating the mare pushes open the doors to the castle and is immediately greeted by the sight of the foyer. It hasn't changed much since she saw it last time. The most prominent feature that did however is the couch on which a blue unicorn in a maid uniform and a chocolate stick hanging out of her muzzle lays as she stares surprised at the other mare.
She quickly chews down the sweet before standing up, fixes her dress and then bows in a leisurely pace. "Good day. How may I help you?"
The cream colored mare looks at the maid with a mix of shock and confusion before she finally gets her thoughts straight. "Yes. Yes. I'm looking for my son Button Mash."
Trixie raises her head again before she answers, "Yes, of course. If you would please follow me." And with that she turns around and starts walking with Love Tap trailing her.
After short the two ponies reach a door where a simple sign hangs above with the inscription: Games.
"Your son is in here," states Trixie as she magically opens the door for the other female. After Love Tap has entered she already closes it.
The mother looks around the spacious room. While large parts are still empty it is already decently filled. There is a dart area, a billiard table a bit further in the room and a couple of tables occupying the general middle area. One of these tables is used right now by four foals and one human.
Love approaches them with a chuckle, when she sees what they are doing, her worries already dispersed at seeing her little Button up well.
When the group hears the sound they turn to see who comes. The brown colt jumps up, runs up to his mother and hugs her tightly.
"Hello, sweetie. How are you?"
He releases himself from the embrace to look up at her. "I'm great! DNA, showed us a new game and we are just playing it."
"Yeah! And we are waiting for somepony to make his turn," exclaims Scootaloo.
The only pony male hurries back to his seat and picks up his cards.
Curious about what they are playing, she steps closer. Each player has three cards on them while three cards are faced up in the middle of the table. She never saw a game like this. I guess they have their own card games where they come from.
When DNAs turn finally comes around he simply knocks on the table, making three of the four other contestants groan. The only one of the foals who doesn't is Sweetie Belle, whose expression is full of concentration and professionalism.
After everpony participating made their last move they all throw their cards down for everyone to see. There are two sighs of relief and one groan of defeat. The human pats the orange pegasus's back. "It's alright, Scootaloo. You only learned the game today. You're going to get better with time."
"But Sweetie hasn't even lost yet," complains the winged pony, while pointing at her white friend.
"I've lost too... Once," defends the marshmallow colored unicorn herself from... something.
"Now now, don't argue. Some are better than others and who knows..." he leans in closer to build up the anticipation, "Maybe it's even her special talent."
The foals eyes lighten up in realization before they quickly look at Sweetie Belles flank and then let out a disappointed breath when there is no Cutie Mark.
"It wouldn't be a special talent if it just popped up after playing a single game with your friends," states the earth tamer. They slump a bit, but understand what he means. He claps in his hands. "Now," he turns to Love Tap, "How can I help?"
She smiles at him. "I actually came by to pick up my son."
He looks up before looking at her. "How the time flys by, when you have fun." DNA turns to the foals. "Ok sleepovers over I'm gonna bring you home," says the human as he points at Sweetie Belle and Applebloom.
The three fillies groan in annoyance to voice their displeasures towards that decision with their colt friend rolling his eyes next to them. "I'm not gonna hear any of that," explains the human as he smiles and picks them up so they can climb on to him more easily. Each of taking special care not to disturb the egg. Once the four kids are all settled on him he looks at Love again, making sure to not do to sudden movements because of the filly on his head. "So shall we go."
"Sure," is the answer he receives as they leave.
As they walk back to town Love Tap asks the foals, "And how was it with DNA?"
She regrets the question milliseconds later as she is flooded with immense amounts of information.
As they walk through Ponyville with the occasional glance thrown them, especially DNA, they find a well known fashionista.
When she sees them too she hurries over. "Oh, hello darlings." She hugs the other mare and is about to do so to DNA, but stops when she notices the height difference and just stares on awkwardly.
He just waves down at her, "Hey, Rarity." The human then proceeds to take the white filly off of himself and hold her in front of her sister.
They embrace and nuzzle each other.
He then puts Button Mash onto his mother before he does a quick bow. "As much as I'd love to walk and talk with you a bit, I better bring Applebloom back. Her family must want to see her back."
The mares understand and so they part ways with the foals screaming their goodbyes to each other.
After a good trip towards Sweet Apple Acres they finally reach the family abode. Big Mac is in the barn finishing the last of the chores for the day.
On the yellow fillies insistence the human puts her on the ground and as soon her little hoofs touch down she runs to her brother and screams: "Big Mac!"
The large red earth pony turns just in time to see the yellow blur that is his sister slam into him, which doesn't do much against his massive frame. When he looks down he sees her big yellow-red eyes starring at him. He smiles back at her and pulls her in tight. "Welcome back lil' sis."
He looks up as he hears a male voice call out for him. It's the black clad human striding over to him with Scootaloo on his head and an egg in his arms. He waves at the red stallion with a smile on his face. As he approaches the other male he asks, "Hey Big Mac, do you know where Applejack is? I need to talk to her." The large red pony points in a direction of the orchard. The human nods his thanks before putting the orange pegasus of himself much to her displeasure. "Gonna be right back, Scootaloo. Just gotta have a talk with Applejack quickly." Before she can reply he already turns away and goes where Big Macintosh pointed to.
After some minutes of walking under through the apple orchard he comes to a clearing. In the middle are some logs rammed into the ground. Each of them have cuts in them. On a side is a small shack with an open chain lock next to it. A familiar orange farm pony steps out of it, sweat coating her entire body and a white towel around her neck.
When she sees him she waves a hoof in his direction. "Howdy, DNA. Ah haven't expected ya to drop by here." She stops and looks at the egg in confusion. "What's up with the egg?"
He waves back. "A friend gave it to me. Anyway I just dropped Applebloom off and came to ask you something."
"Well shoot then, pardner," she replies happily.
"The star that doesn't fall, the flower that doesn't wilt and the apple that doesn't rot. When everyone else is swallowed by the shadow these three will be left behind to tell the legacy and to face the shadow one last time." Applejack has gone stock-still while he recited the old prophecy. "You wouldn't have anything to do with that or?"
She doesn't move and just stares at him for a couple of more seconds before she sighs and takes off her stetson, her expression grim. "I thought you said you won't do anything and will wait."
DNA on his part begins to beam. "So I was right. And to your information, I found it purely by accident." He reaches behind his back and brings forth a small children's book, holding it out for her.
The mare grabs it and flips it open. It looks old and worn out. On the first page is the same prophecy DNA just said. She skims over the pages and at some point just lets it drop, her legs giving up under her causing her to collapse and starts crying openly. The human walks over to her and takes her in his arms. Right then Applejack doesn't care that she shows weakness in front of someone else. She's just happy that there is someone that doesn't care who she is or what she does and just accepts her.
The minutes pass and with time her tears subside. When they are finally gone all together she pulls away from him and wipes her eyes dry with one hoof. She looks up at his face where she finds a comforting smile. The orange female lets her head drop with a heavy sigh. She takes a deep breath raises her determined gaze. "I will tell you."
He raises a concerned eyebrow at that. "You don't have, you know. I said and I will. That today was just an accident and I'm sorry about that."
"Don't be. And I want to tell you, because... I guess because I trust you." She stops, glances away unsure before looking back at him. "That is if want to hear it."
DNA raises a hand in a defensive gesture that is meant be done with both hands. "Now now. Don't get me wrong I'm eager to know it, but like I said I'll wait until you ready to tell me."
"I think I'm ready," she answers him after a short pause.
He goes into a cross-legged position, putting the egg in the hollow they create and states, "Then please go ahead, I'm all ears."
She takes a deep breath before starting her tale.
The sky is already a deep orange-red as Applejack finishes.
At this point DNA lies with his back on the ground, arms behind his head and the egg resting on his stomach. She looks at him expecting anything negative, but she doesn't find it. She doesn't find anything at all as he stares blankly into the sky. He turns his head so to look at her. They stay like that for a few seconds just looking intently into each others eyes.
He closes his eyes, sighs and as he opens them goes back into his cross-legged with the egg in the same place as before.
"You told me of your secret so it is only fair I tell you something from myself in return. It isn't necessarily a secret and I would tell it to most if they asked me to tell them, but I still feel I should." His tone is rather somber.
"You don't have to. I didn't expect you to tell me anything when I told you it."
"Same here. You told it to me and I didn't expect it either. And I guess I feel the same way you do in the way that I trust you."
The farm mare is taken aback by that, because she thought this trust was just one way. But looking back at it I guess it made sense in a way.
"You should sit down for this, it might take a while." As soon as she is settled down he begins. "Let me start with a bit about my world..."
The hours pass as the sky slowly turns darker shades of blue with each passing minute, the silence only broken by the human repeating his past, even the nature staying silent as if it knew the importance of this conversation. When he finishes the orange pony has a very different expression on her face, than the human before. Where there was indifference on him, she has utter shock as she stares at him. But he has a yet again a neutral expression on him.
Applejack on her part can't decide on which emotion to settle. There are so much swirling around her head such as fear, irritation, happiness, respect and impression. She looks up at him. How he looks into the star filled sky seemingly obvious to the world around him. And so not really knowing what to do she does the first thing that comes to her mind. "I'm sorry."
The reply comes immediately almost cutting her off. "Don't be." His voice is hard and almost comforting. "What happened in my old life was in no way your fault and beside it's over now. It's been for a long time." There is a short pause before DNA finally looks at her. "Should we go? I'm sure they already wonder what we are up to."
She puts on her hat and stands up at the same time. "Ah reckon yer right."
The human stands up a slight smile on his face, not the energetic one he usually has on him, but it's something at least.
He takes one step and suddenly out of nowhere the egg begins to glow. It's a really intense glow causing the mare to shield her eyes with one hoof. After a couple seconds it disappears as soon as it arrived. When Applejack looks back there's something in DNA's she has never seen before.
It is a bipedal creature with a white body. Its body and legs seem to resemble a nightgown or an oversized dress. Its green hair resembles a bowl cut, which covers most of its face. Its hair is split by two flat red horns, a large one toward the front and a smaller one at the back. Looking beneath the hair shows a pair of large closed eyes.
"Uuuh," coos DNA as he holds the small thing. "I thought it'd be some kind of animal or pet, but this is just as good, if not better." His voice is barely above a whisper as to not wake up whatever is in his arms.
"Sooo uhm, what is it?" asks the mare hesitantly.
She doesn't get an answer as the little thing begins to shift as it awakens with a cute yawn. Applejack catches a glimpse of the pink-red eyes fluttering open. I looks up at the humans face and he glances back. They stay like that for a couple of seconds before it begins giggling and stretches its little white arms towards.
He smiles back and starts tickling her stomach, causing her to giggle more. "Aren't you the sweetest little thing?" He lifts her above his head with both hands, which makes her laugh even harder.
The human brings her close to his face and she prods his nose, which makes her giggle again. As soon as he takes her away from his face she tries to reach for his smelling apparatus again. He turns her around so she faces the orange pony and her struggles stop immediately.
Applejack feels the newborns eyes bore into her own even without seeing them. After a couple of seconds the little one starts reaching out for her. DNA puts her down and it makes its way crawling towards her. She looks curious as the little thing as it gets closer to herself. When it finally arrives she hugs her leg.
The farm mare looks first at the thing hugging her leg and than to DNA raising an eyebrow.
He chuckles softly. "She's an empath. She probably felt the distress you felt over the things we talked about and tries to comfort you."
The orange pony looks down at the creature currently embracing her leg and begins to smile. She puts a hoof on the side of the little things head and says, "Thanks, but I'm fine."
It looks up a smile on its face.
When DNA picks her she shrieks in surprise before giggling. He puts her in the nook of one arm and letting her play with the fingers of his hand before turning to the mare, "Shall we go?"
When they reach the family home Applejack goes inside quickly getting Scootaloo who is already sleeping. On his way back DNA sees a royal chariot depart from the tree library in the distance.
He gets a toothy smile as he turns around. "So the prince has departed. It's a bit sad I didn't get to interact with him a bit more. Oh well. We'll meet again soon enough." The human looks down at the two children sleeping in his arms. "Life can change so quickly." He throws a last glance at the silent village behind him before stepping into the Everfree, the shadows swallowing him completely.
The six trainees stand in the lobby facing the stairs. A bit off leans FREEZER against a wall, his arms crossed.
The ponies don't know why they are called, but they are here now. They look up when DNA descends the stairs, carrying a small sleeping creature in his arms. He stops a couple of steps before the bottom. "So," he begins, "The first of your fire trials will now start." His voice is barely over normal converstion volume. The black clad biped turns his gaze especially on Shadow Slash, who sports the surpressor collar. "Are you ready, Shadow?"
He nods and replies, "Yes." His voice radiates complete confidence.
"You are aware that you may very well die here? Do you still want to go?"
Without hesistation the dark green unicorn responds, "Yes."
The human nods. "Very well then."
FREEZER walks without indication up to the other human and takes the small thing in his own arms. "Now then let's get going."
And with that DNA and Shadow Slash leave into the night.
The only one. He is the only one who would even think about this, thinks Princess Celestia frustrated, as she sits in her study with several papers related to the prisoners DNA brought in. "That is it. I need somepony at his side." She throws all the papers on her desk before getting out different vanilla colored folders from one of her drawers. "But who?" As she looks through them there is a knock at her door. "Yes?"
It opens revealing a darkish pink unicorn with a two tone purple mane that is currently made up in a bun. "Princess, here is the report from Armmaster White." Her voice is nothing, but cold and professional.
"Thank you, Order," thanks Celestia as she takes the documents from the unicorn in her own magic. With her job done the pink pony nods before leaving. "Armmaster White, huh? She and her squad have been gone for quite some time now." After reading the reports. "This could work out to my advantage." The white alicorn levitates a quill and an empty piece of parchment over to herself.
A white pony opens the door to their hideout, her normally white fur is covered in multiple places with blood that is thankfully not her own.
"White, we have orders to come back to HQ."
"Finally. We are sitting here on the brink of a war that just waits to happen. I was just waiting for these. We will move out ones nightfall hits." And with that she goes to the shower to wash off the blood that already begins to dry.
A week later there is another knock at the princesses door. "Come in."
It opens and a white pegasus mare with a ruffled up white mane, silver-gray eyes and no armor steps in. She salutes. "Armmaster White, reporting for duty!"
"Ah hello Armmaster White. I didn't know you are already back. At ease," replies the princess sweetly.
"We arrived only a couple of hours ago."
"Very well. I am sorry to do this to you so soon after you came back, but I have another mission for you. I made a new acquaintance. In the beginning I thought I could let him do as he pleases, but a recent action of his has made me reconsider my decision. So your mission will be to stay at his side, observe him all around the clock and stop him from doing anything stupid."
"Should I do so discretely?" asks the guard.
"No. It wouldn't be possible anyway. When you go you will be also escorting a prisoner to him."
"And who is he?" inquires the armmaster.
"You will meet him ones you are there." Celestia levitates a folder over to her. "Here is everything you need to know until you arrive there. For now go down to the dungeons. They will hand over the prisoner and equip you with everything you need. Just one thing before you go. Have also an eye on FREEZER. You are dismissed."
She salutes before walking out with the folder under her wing. A couple of minutes later she arrives at the pony that guards the entrance of the dungeons. "I'm Armmaster White. I am here on orders of Princess Celestia."
He salutes. "Ah yes the prisoner. One moment I will get everything."
She just nods. As soon as he is gone she opens the folder she was given. The mare looks at what the mission entails first. "Bring the prisoner to the castle in the Everfree forest, set up a totem there and then stay with this DNA. Well they are pretty straight forward. Let's see what ponies there are ." As she looks through the ten profiles before her, her gaze stops at the four of them that have no proper picture. "Who made these? Is this a bad joke." The reason of her anger are two of the pictures. One is a white pentagram on a black background and the other other one shows three white wavy lines on a bright green background. One of them is marked as Target while the other has Watch out! above it.
But before her irritation can grow there is a voice from the side. "Ma'am?"
White turns to look at the distraction to find the guard from before waiting with a pair of saddlebags. "Yes?"
He offers them to her which she accept. "Do you know how to set up a totem?"
"Then I will get the prisoner out now." And with that he leaves again.
The armmaster goes through the bags. In the first is a totem for prisoners and in the other are envelops, a celestial badge and counter weigh. She looks at who the envelops are addressed and finds that there are some names from before on it. The sound of chains brings her back. While the sound of hoofsteps come closer she fixes the saddlebags on herself. The same guard as before steps out, but this time he has an end of a chain in one hoof. The other end is connected to a collar that is worn by a small unicorn. The only thing that is actually seeable of her is her head minus her horn. The reason being that her horn is completely covered by a suppressor and the rest of her body by a brown cloak.
"Soldier, why does she wear a cloak?" asks the armmaster forcefully.
"Considering her condition we thought we have some mercy on her. Besides the male guards and some of the female ones were finding it problematic to concentrate near her," answer the still unnamed guard immediately. Do you know what I'm just gonna call him Fred for now.
"What condition?" inquires White further. The reason for her bad mood is that she doesn't like not getting all the important information on a mission.
"Oh, I'm sorry armmaster. I thought you were aware of it. The one who brought her and her companions in was also the one they were trying to hurt. Now he wasn't very happy that they attacked him, so he saw fit to punish them a bit and well... See for yourself," explains Fred as he pulls the rim of the fabric aside showing her the prisoners legs. They were covered in socks. "We can't take them off."
White continues to stare at the lingerie for a couple of more seconds before turning to Fred and asking with a flat face, "Seriously?"
"Yes, I'm afraid I'm not joking. While it is still in the parameters of the law I am not sure why anypony would do something like this," replies the guard while letting go of the cloak.
The armmaster finally takes a closer look at the ponies face she is supposed to escort. It's a unicorn mare, she is a bit smaller than most unicorns, has a white coat with a reddish hue, her mane is a soft brown and her eyes are a dull yellow.
"Is there anything I can still do for you ma'am?" questions the stallion as he gives the armmaster the chain.
"What's your name?"
"Oh. My name is Nice Guy," responds the earth pony male suprised.
"Have a good day, soldier," bids the white mare farewell.
This ended up being an interesting day for him.
After leaving the castle grounds they start for their first checkpoint, the train station. They walk for a some minutes through the streets of Canterlot when suddenly a male voice calls out, "Halt!"
White turns around forcing the prisoner to do the same. There are five ponies rushing towards them. She sighs. It's to early for this shit. The one who seems the leader is about to speak when the armmaster practically shoves the celestial badge into his face. "I'm Armmaster White. I'm on a mission for Princess Celestia and am permitted to have everything I have on me. Now I need two of your ponies to escort us to the train station, because I don't want something like this repeating. I am sure you understand."
The leader looks pretty taken aback at the badge. After making sure it's the real thing he says, "Sweet Smell, Rock Solid please do as the armmaster asked us."
They salute. "Yes, sir!"
And so Whites group of four continues their track down the streets. After some solid minutes of walking White asks the guards, "So I got a question for the two of you. Why are so much guards around?" It's true. There are more guards than usual on the streets of Canterlot.
"You don't know?" asks the mare of her two fellow guards. The armmaster just shakes her head. "Well a bit over a week ago some unknown stallion walked over the main street with a cart behind him. In it were ponies. When he arrived at the castle it was cleared up that they were criminals. But the incident made ponies nervous, so the princess positioned more guards around the city to calm down the civilians."
The white pegasus leading the group doesn't react and just continues. A good half a hour of walking later they finally reach Canterlot station. "Okay the two of you are dismissed."
The two of them salute salute to her. "Yes, ma'am!"
After they left the odd couple enters the station where they go straight to the ticket booth. Everypony else happily moves out of their way. "When does the next train to Ponyville leave?" When the pony in the booth just stares at them the armmaster sighs and then pulls out the celestial badge. "I'm Armmaster White. I'm here on a mission for Princess Celestia herself. I would appreciate if you could cooperate."
The pony comes back her head at the title and the badge. "I'm sorry."
"No problem," replies White in what she hopes is a soothing voice. "Now could you please tell me when the next train to Ponyville leaves?"
The pony on the other side of the glass hastily rummages through all the papers before it seems that she finally found the right one. "The next train to Ponyville should arrive in about a hour and is scheduled to depart an hour after that.
Great, two hours, thinks the white pegasus. Outwardly she tries to smile, "Then I'd like two tickets, please."
One train ride later the two ponies step of the train. "Finally! I hate trains." The armmaster looks around the quaint little village. "Meh I've been in bigger shitholes." They begin to walk into town when suddenly a pink blur appears behind them. So naturally White does the thing one should do. She takes the blur, slams it onto the ground and puts a dagger to its throat. "If you don't want to die then you better state name, occupation and what you want here."
"I'm Pinkie Pie. I'm local party-planer, baker, Element of Laughter, super duper amazing friend..." begins the pink earth, but is stopped by a white hoof in her mouth.
"What was that?"
"You mean Element of Laughter?" asks Pinkie with a giggle.
"You honestly expect me to believe that you are a bearer of one of the most magical items known to ponykind?"
The pony below smiles and says, "Yes."
"Fine. Lie for all I care. I have no business with you anyway. Just don't get into my way." The pegasus lets go of earth pony mare. She tugs on the chain to get the prisoner moving and they leave with the mare behind them on the ground.
Pinkie looks as they depart, when her smile is replaced by a thoughtful look. "Maybe I should go and tell Twilight about them."
"So this is the infamous Everfree forest?" asks White nopony in particular as she and the pony she escorts stand at the entrance. After asking one of the locals for the direction and showing the Celestial badge again they went straight here. "Well no time like the present." And with that they continue their journey.
"They won't get any problems with space any time soon," states the armmaster as she looks upon the castle in front of her. When they reach the door White pushes and is pleasantly surprised when it opens easily and they enter. The foyer is big with multiple stairs and hallways going to Celestia knows where. On the floor snake different coloured lines to as many places. Next to the main stairs is a couch. This couch is currently occupied by a blue unicorn in a maid uniform. She levitates a book in front of her, but that is presently forgotten as she looks at the ponies who just entered.
"And who might you be?"
White sighs. And again an information I wasn't aware of. "I'm Armmaster White and am here on directive of Princess Celestia herself. I need to speak to somepony called DNA."
"Oh if that's everything, I can bring you to him," says the unicorn as she stands up and stretches herself like a cat before starting to walk off.
The other two start to follow, but the prisoner only after the armmaster pulled at her chain. They walk through hallways and climb stairs for a couple of minutes before they reach a lone door at the end of a staircase. The maid holds open the door for them to step through, which they do. The roof is flat and on said flat roof sits something. It isn't any creature White has ever seen before and that means something. She has seen plenty of different creatures over her life. To be fair she killed most of them, but that isn't the point. She instinctively reaches for her dagger.
"Master, you have guests," says the maid.
The pegasus looks shocked to the servant. Master!? That means...
The creature turns its head towards them. "Oh?"
Armmaster White notices that the prisoner started shaking. Can't blame her, thinks the soldier. When she turns forward again she sees the human a lot closer than it is comfortable for her and it causes her to unwillingly take a step back. She looks up and up until she finally sees his face that looks down at them, but then she notices that he doesn't look at her, but at the prisoner she has with her. When the armmaster looks to her she notices that she is slowly creeping away from him.
He crouches down to be on eye level with the little unicorn. His arm shoots forward and he grabs her by neck before lifting her up, making her cloak fall off and her flail. At this point White has her dagger fully drawn and is ready for an attack.
"Do you know why I'm so angry about that attack of yours? If you had attacked when it had only been me and FREEZER, I would have loved to play with you guys a bit, but the mistake you made is that you came when I had the job of protecting a couple of kids. And then there is the reason of your attack. Racism? Really? I would have understood it if you attacked out of fear. But Racism? That is such a stupid reason. Especially in Equestria. I can't believe you guys," rants DNA angrily before dropping her to the ground.
As soon as her hoofs find solid ground she searches protection behind Armmaster White. A prisoner looks for protection behind the ones that want to keep them captured. You don't see that everyday.
"And what are you doing here?" asks the biped.
White is surprised that he asks her. She clears her throat. "I'm Armmaster White. Princess Celestia send me here on a mission."
His expression does a complete 180. It goes from angrily annoyed to happily surprised. "Oh Celly send ya?"
Her eyes go to slits. "You mean Princess Celestia? Don't you?"
"Yes, of course I mean her. You mentioned her like three seconds before," says DNA seemingly not noticing the sudden aggression from the pegasus. "So what is your mission anyway?"
"My mission is to bring the prisoner here, then set up a totem and my last objective is to stay at your side 24/7," answers the soldier. No need hiding it.
"That's going to be a problem," states DNA.
"I can't sleep."
"What?" inquires the pegasus an edge to her voice.
"You heard me right. I'm unable to sleep."
I can't believe that is the most important thing I have to ask, thinks White before asking, "So when was the last time that you slept?"
"Well the last time was a bit over two weeks. And before that a bit over a thousand years," informs them DNA. To which he receives shocked stares. "I guess I had it coming after what I've done," states the human looking at the white pegasus.
"What have you done anyways?" questions White.
"Well... She," he points at the prisoner, "and her friends thought it be funny to make an example out of me and FREEZER. As you can imagine we wouldn't let them do that. So when they came in we repelled them and afterwards we punished them or to be precise I punished them, because FREEZER had ideas I couldn't let him do. And before you ask what I did. I took socks put them on the five stallions and one mare," he points at the prisoner again, "And then interwoven the top most part with their flesh. Then I put a gag over their mouths, put them in a cage, then I put a sign on the cage with the message on: That's what happens when you mess with me! To top it all off I walked with them over the main street of Canterlot to the castle where I placed them under arrest."
The white pegasus just stares at him. "And you did that why?"
"I had too much time, resources and I was bored. Besides they needed to learn their lesson," explains the human casually.
The armmaster looks at the prisoner. I'm starting to feel sympathetic for her.
"So, you have to set up a totem?" continues DNA.
"Yes and I would prefer to put it in the middle of the castle."
"The middle huh?" thinks the human out loud as he taps his chin. "Sure... I guess I can bring you there," replies the non-pony sounding almost reluctant. And with that he starts walking with the two guys following him. Trixie is about to go back to do her own things when the male calls, "Please come too, Trixie." She shrugs before complying.
One travel later they arrive at the throne room. "And here we at the throne room," states DNA the obvious.
"And this is the middle of the castle?" looks White for a confirmation.
"Well yes, but you wont be setting it up here. Honestly I don't wanna have a totem in my throne room, but there is a room right behind the thrones that no one uses. There you can set it up."
The armmaster nods at that. "Then I'm going to be back in a minute." She starts to go when she remembers something. She stops, grabs one of the envelops in her bags and holds it out for DNA to take. "This is for you."
He takes it. "A present? For me? Oh that wouldn't have been necessary."
She just ignores his reaction and continues her mission. When she comes out of the small room a minute later there is something different. To be precise the prisoners cloak is now a maid outfit, she is missing her suppresser and the other one, Trixie, now sports a blood red ribbon at the front of her uniform.
"What did I miss?" asks the armmaster while raising an eyebrow.
"In the envelop was a letter from Celestia. It basically said that Candle here as a punishment has to work for me and that I should for the love of her make her be able to take off the socks. There was also the keys to take off her suppressor," explains DNA in his usual chipper mood.
"And that's why you put her in a maid uniform?"
"Yes," concludes the black clad biped simply.
"And now?" inquires White.
"What do mean with: And now? Don't you have like some mission you gotta do?"
"I am. My mission now is to just follow you and make sure you don't do anything stupid?" states the white pegasus.
He chuckles awkwardly. "Right, there was something. Well then," he points at the blue unicorn, "Trixie, you get Candle caught up on everything meaning that you explain her what her assignments are."
Trixie raises an eyebrow. "And what are her assignments?"
"I don't know!" exclaims the human throwing up his arms. "You are the head maid. You give her all the shit you don't wanna do. Well except things outside the castle and things with the kids, because she can't leave and I don't want to take needless risks with that."
"And where will she live?" inquires the blue unicorn.
"Oh yeah about that. I prepared a room next to yours just in a case like that." He turns to the small unicorn. "And you Candle. The order in which you have to listen is: Me, Trixie, FREEZER, royalty, White, the element bearers, the guards, other staff, civilians, children, pony nobles and Prince Blueblood."
The three ponies look at him confused. "Why are pony nobles at the bottom?"
"I met some of them and let me tell you they have their noses so far up in the air they look most of the time behind them. Now," he points in the air, "if you excuse me I have to get back to my post." And with that DNA starts leaving with White closely behind him.
As they walk the armmaster notices that it's the same way they walked before and just as she observed they soon reach the lone door at the end of the stairway. Once outside he goes to the same spot where she saw him for the first time, legs crossed arms on his legs and eyes closed. She looks at him for a while before asking, "What are you doing?"
"Observing," is the simple reply she gets in a clam and semi serious voice.
"But your eyes are closed?" questions the pony his methods.
He pats the ground next with a small smile on his lips, but eyes still shut. "Come and just listen."
She slowly walks towards him expecting something, but when nothing happens she sits down looking in the same direction he is facing. She waits, but nothing. "I don't get it."
He chuckles. "Probably not."
She looks weird at him. What? "And how long are we going to sit here?"
"As long as it takes until Dark returns," explains the biped.
"And when is he going to return?"
"Well most return after two to three days. He is gone since yesterday. So probably tomorrow or the day after."
Oh come one! He can't be serious. "You can't be serious. Right?"
"I'm quite serious."
"And all you do is sit here and listen?"
"Not all the time I also go to the toilet and bring Scootaloo to bed in the evenings, take care of Serena," elaborates DNA.
Scootaloo? Where have I heard that name before? She gets out the folder with all the residents of the castle inside. She flys over them until she finds the one she is looking for. Scootaloo. Ten years old, part of the group Cutie Mark Crusaders with her three friends. Have the tendencies to get into trouble and get covered in tree sap. She used to be an orphan until DNA took her in. That... is not a lot. I guess I can look at the rest of them. I don't exactly have a whole lot to do anyways.
White goes through every single file. She continues like that until she reaches the files of the two humans, the ones where Target and Watch out! stand above. Now what about you two? DNA. Age unknown due to not asking and him being... petrified by the Elements of Harmony? He was petrified? The armmaster glances over to the cross-legged sitting human. She reaches for her dagger making sure it is still there. The reason for her fear is that she knows why creatures are turned into stone by the elements. How am I supposed to watch over somepony like that? White directs her gaze back to the files. On a side note he was willingly put under the effects of the elements. WAIT! Willingly? He is able to change almost everything with little limitations. Furthermore he is able to control earthly elements such as dirt or metal for some part. The armmaster blinks in disbelieve. And I'm alone on this mission. Why Princess? I now know you hold me in high regards, so please give me somepony that helps me on this mission.
She turns to the file of the other one. And the other one says watch out. How am I supposed to do this? Let's see. FREEZER. Age unknown due to not asking. It seems that he gets agitated and annoyed easily, he also was seen provoking the Captain Shining Armor at one point. If this is his normal attitude or if it was just once is unknown. He seems that the only person he listens to is DNA. It was told that he is overprotective towards children. This information was not confirmed yet. It is recommended to not annoy him. And lastly like DNA he is also able to control an element. Albeit his is the element of air. That's everything? One was turned into stone and both control an element and that is EVERYTHING that is there for them? Before her anger-irritation can go any further, a sealed scroll falls out. She picks it up and is surprised when she finds that it's addressed to her.
White unseal it and reads. Dear Armmaster White, here is Princess Celestia. I thought you might need this. Here I listed everything that wasn't written in the personal detail. The next hour the armmaster spends with reading through the letter thoroughly. ... This is everything I can tell you. I hope you can use this information. And on a side note I like to say that you shouldn't be afraid to ask DNA anything you might want to know. Your mission might be to stay at his side, but not because I'm afraid of him. He should answer you to all of your questions, but don't take everything he says as granted, because he has the tendency to lie. Princess Celestia, Co-Ruler of Equestria, finishes the white pegasus her silent reading, while she looks up and just stares into the distant parts of the Everfree.
For several minutes she just stays like this. Staring off into space, while sitting next to someone who could be potentially dangerous on the roof of a long forgotten castle in the middle of a dangerous forest. The whole scenario seems off to her. After some time she looks up at the human, seeing him in a new light. "Hey DNA," her voice is brittle.
"Yes, White?" replies the human solemn. "I can call you White or?"
"Yeah sure. So uhm... How was the place you came from?"
"That's rather sudden," observes the human right without opening his eyes. "Let me think for a second. Well the world FREEZER and I come from isn't as nice of a place as Equestria is. At least the things I've seen and read about. Our planet has seen a lot of wars in my races time on it. And I mean a lot of wars. There is almost not a time where we weren't fighting each other," his voice is still calm, "Our world was filled with greed, jealousy, death and general things one wound't like. Of course don't think that this was everyplace on our world. No. There were countries where things weren't so bad. I was lucky to grow up in a place like that. I was even more fortunate that my family hadn't had to worry about money.
"So military as you can probably guess was a big deal. My grandfather was a hero in it. I don't know what other people thought about him, but for me and FREEZER he certainly was. No matter what you thought about him, you had to admit that he was a capable man. Now with a world so focused on fighting and a grandfather like that it was naturally that we grew up as soldiers. Not really. Our grandfather was the opinion that we should grow up strong and so he trained us as one would soldiers. We learned different things that he found we'd need over our carrier in the military. This included medicine, botany, animal life and a lot of fighting training. Because of that FREEZER and myself hadn't had a lot of friends in our childhood. I was worse than FREEZER though in that regard," finishes the biped finally monotonous.
"I'm sorry to hear that..." starts White before she is interrupted.
"Don't be," says DNA. "It wasn't your fault and besides I'm happy that he did what he did."
"Why is that?"
His tone drops a bit. "I probably wouldn't be here if it wasn't for that."
The drop does not go over the armmasters head however. Ok. Sensitive subject there. Better stay away from that for now.
They stay silent for the next couple of hours the sun already on the horizon until the door opens. White turns to look who it is and finds a small orange pegasus filly with a magenta mane. She sluggishly makes her way over to the human with a tired expression.
"Hard day?" asks DNA.
"Yeaaaaaaah," yawns Scootaloo as she drops in the hollow his legs are forming.
He begins to scratch her behind her ears as she slowly drifts off to sleep. A couple of minutes later the filly contently snores in his lap.
"She really trust him," mutters the white pegasus.
"What was that?" inquires the black clad biped quietly as to not wake up the sleeping pony.
"I was just thinking that she trusts you so completely without any hesitation."
"Yeah ponies can be quite trusting."
"Not always," starts the mare. "There are still instances where ponies are scared of other the other races." She sighs. "It is sad really." After some more minutes of silence White asks, "What were the other races in your world like?"
"Unintelligent," comes the simple reply. "Humans were the most intelligent beings on the planet, unlike here on this planet, where there are dragons, zebras, ponies, griffons and all sort of creatures that are intelligent enough to converse with each other."
The door opens again, this time Trixie steps through. In her magic levitate three bowls of steaming soup with the matching amounts of spoons and a baby bottle filled with a white liquid, presumably milk. "Master, I have come to bring dinner."
"Ah thanks. I've almost forgot about food," replies DNA happily, but quiet. "But you can take Scootaloos back with you. I think she wont wake up until tomorrow." The blue unicorn nods as she sets down two of the bowls in front of them before walking down the stairs and closing the door.
White looks down at the meal skeptical.
"Don't worry, it's not poisoned if you thought that," informs her the human already a spoon in his mouth, when she turns to look at him.
She remembers what the Princess wrote before also beginning to eat.
The sun vanishes completely behind the horizon and the moon takes its place in the sky. DNA stands up slowly, filly gently in his arms with the armmaster also standing up and following him, but not after stretching herself like a cat would do after staying in one spot so long.
They walk together down the halls of the truly impressive castle until they reach an orange door. He opens it as quietly as he possibly can and enters the white pegasus closely behind him. The earth tamer puts Scootaloo in her massive bed, puts the covers over her and goes one last time with his hand trough her mane before leaving.
White and DNA make their way back to their place on the roof. When they arrive, they take the places and continue doing their thing.
They sit for a bit before Whites ears pick up a quiet sound, not unlike that of a hungry stomach. She looks in the direction of the human with a quizzical look on her face.
He puts an outstretched finger over his mouth, causing her to stay silent. They wait and shortly after the same sound appears again, this time a bit louder and accompanied with the shuffling of cloths.
This time the white pony sees something move near DNA's neck hidden under his cloak. They wait again. For the third time a stomach makes itself noticed. This time there is more shuffling before a white head pops with a green bole cut and two red horns splitting its head.
It stares at the armmaster before climbing unsteadily on DNA's shoulders. In a baby like voice it says, "Happa."
The human's smile widens just a bit more as he brings the baby bottle forth. He shows it to the little creature before placing it in his legs.
The little thing argues. "Happaaaaa!"
He doesn't react and stays perfectly still. After some moments the thing looks at White with a frown before starting to climb down the black clad bipeds arm into the hollow of his legs, where she begins to greedily suck down all the contents of the bottle. After a couple of minutes its empty and the creature lets out a content burb. It lets the drinking container drop and makes its way up DNA's arm, a bit sluggishly before vanishing in the space of his cape.
The human scratches his cheek sheepishly at seeing the pony's confused expression. "I'm sorry for her rude behavior."
"What was that?"
"I guess you could call her my daughter."
She raises an eyebrow, her curiosity getting caught. "Not to sound rude, but she looks nothing like you, or is this normal for your race?"
He shakes his head. "No. And she is more my adoptive daughter than anything else."
"Oh." There is a short pause before she continues. "So what's her name?"
"Her name is Serena."
"Ah." And then silence.
After another hour of doing basically nothing the armmaster yawns. The human looks down at her. "If you wanna then go ahead and sleep. It's no good to go against that."
"But how can I make sure you won't go anywhere?" counters the mare.
He taps his chin in thought. "Then how about this?" The human reaches behind his back and as he brings them back from the eternal blackness, that is his cape. He brings forth hand/hoofcuffs with a needlessly long chain.
"Are you serious?" questions White while raising an eyebrow.
"Do you have a better idea?"
She thinks for a second before she sighs. I'm too tired for this shit. "Fine." She extends her hoof to which he puts one end of the cuffs on her while putting the other on himself.
She lies herself down after taking the keys from him on the cold rooftop closing her eyes.
DNA looks down on her with a concerned expression. "Do you need and or want a blanket?"
"Nah I'm used to it."
"But you have..."
She interrupts him, "I said I don't need one," in a more forceful tone that makes it clear she indeed doesn't want one.
Silence reigns and soon the world around her makes place for the dreamscape.
In a bar in middle Canterlot playing when the last chapter stopped.
The light brown pegasus slams his mug on the table, wiping a bit of lather from his muzzle with an angry look on his face. "I can't believe her," rages the stallion, but his scream is almost drowned out by the noise of the tavern.
The stallion next to him pats him on the shoulder in comfort. "Calm down, Hoof. I'm sure she just had a bad day, besides she is an armmaster. I'm sure she has a lot on her hoofs."
Hoof Slam turns to look at his friend. A light gray pegasus with a dark blue mane which style reminds of a wave and deep dark green eyes. His cutiemark is a smiley. "Oh yeah? Just because she's an armmaster doesn't mean she's better than everypony and is allowed to talk to us like that."
The other one scratches himself at the side of the head. "Actually it does."
Their conversation is stopped when the other patrons start to cheer and stomp. They turn around to see what the fuss is about and see one of their friends stand in the middle of the arena. One hoof raised in the air by the referee to declare his victory.
The place they are at isn't just any ordinary tavern. Inside is an arena for fighting. Anyone who can get ten victories in one evening gets a free meal. That, of course, leads to it being more a spot for guards and soldiers rather than for normal civilians.
The winner steps out and is immediately greeted by his marefriend who hugs him. They walk together over to the counter where Rock Solid orders his free meal before they go to the table where they sit.
"Congratulation Rock on your victories," says the gray pegasus.
"Thanks," replies the brownish grayish earth pony. He has a short brown mane with the stems being a shade darker and an also short kept brown tail, that is little more than a stub in length. His cutiemark is a rock with a shattered hammer next to it
His marefriend is an average sized pegasus but still looks small beside his massive form. She has a pink-purple coat and purple mane and tail color. In her short mane sits a subtle red hairband. Her cutiemark is pink fumes.
"Yeah good bucking victory, Rock," growls Hoof Slam under his breath.
Sweet frowns at her friend's demeanor. "Are you still angry?"
When the brown pegasus doesn't answer Nice answers for him. "Yeah, he's still angry at her. I don't know why he's mad at her. When I met her she was nice enough. Maybe a bit on the cold side, but nice."
Just then the waiter comes and puts Rocks order in front of him. He takes a bit, chews and then says, "Let him be. He is only mad because it went against his special talent."
Hoof Slams special talent is being an authority figure, so it makes sense that every time somepony decides something over his head that he gets angry. Sadly that is almost every day, because of his low rank. But today is unfortunately especially bad.
Hours later deep into the evening the four friends leave the tavern and walk down the road.
After some minutes Sweet Smell suddenly stops and puts her nose up in the air. "Oh what a nice smell."
All three males turn around to look at her. Rock asks, "What is it?"
She doesn't answer instead of her face shifts from happy to confused. "But what is that other smell? Sweat? She's running. Maybe some evening jogging? Wait, what are those other smells?" She sniffs the air and her eyes rip open. She immediately turns to her friends. "Guys, I think a mare is getting chased."
Nice Guy is already in the air, "Where!?"
The mare points in a direction and the gray pegasus darts off. Hoof Slam tries to follow but barely lifts off the ground before he crashes.
Meanwhile over the rooftops, Nice finds the ones Sweet talked about and finds that there is one earth pony mare that is chased by what seems to be five unicorns. The flying stallion starts to frown at the scene and at the same time the smiley on his flank starts to shifts into a frown too.
The other three finally arrive too and what they find should surprise them, but it doesn't. On the street lay five unicorns in various states. Two had broken horns, two are not moving, but still breathing and one won't be coming up again... ever... because he's dead and we will leave it at that.
A couple of meters away sits a shivering mare that is being comforted by Nice Guy. They look around the aftermath of the fight if you are able to call it that. Sweet and Rock nod to each other and go to do their procedure.
The brown earth pony first helps Hoof to lean against a wall before rounding up the unconscious ponies but letting the dead one alone. So much blood.
At the same time, his marefriend sends a signal flare into the air to signal other guards before she goes over to Nice and the other mare.
As she walks closer she notices the mare more. She's a darkish turquoise earth pony mare. She has a rounded off purple mohawk which has two lighter streaks running through it. Her eyes are a pink-purple, the pink being more intense. Her cutiemark are three gears covered in pink fur.
"How is the status?" she asks.
"She is unhurt, I am mostly unhurt except a small burn at my cutiemark," replies the gray pegasus while looking at his flank where a small scorch mark is, "And well you see how good the attackers fare."
The female guard looks back at the unicorns. "Don't you think you went a bit overboard this time?"
He lowers his head a bit and admits, "Yeah."
Their conversation is broken by a quiet, "Thank you."
The two guards turn to the mare who looks at them a small smile forming on her tear stained face. She leans for and hugs him, much to his surprise. "Thank you," she says again, more confidently than before.
Nice looks for help to Sweet who holds back a chuckle behind a hoof. He turns back who is currently hugging him.
He awkwardly rubs her head, not knowing what else to do and responds, "No problem, Miss..."
She lets him go and rubs one of her eyes before replying, "Please, just call me Fluffy."
Just then three winged night guards come, hover above them and point their spears at them. The seemingly oldest of them says, "Hold right there! What happened here?" Further down the street round three more nightly guards, approach them in a gallop.
Sweet answers. "I and my friends here are day guards. We were walking home from the Bravern* when I smelled that this mare here," she points at the mare, "was in trouble. We came to rescue her and when we were done we called you."
Before the night guard with the bat like wings can say something reply Nice interrupts them, "This is a lie. My team has nothing to do with this. I did this alone."
The thestral lands before the gray pegasus and stares hard at him. "You want to tell me that you, a single pegasus, took out five unicorns? What's your name?"
"My name is Nice Guy, sir."
"Never heard of you," states the senior guard with an unimpressed voice.
There is a second of contemplation on the gray pegasus's face before he answers, "You might know me under another name, sir. The demon with the mask."
All night guards stiffen, but not for long as the leader of the nightly squad looks at his men. "You know what to do."
A unicorn and an earth pony step forward and put shackles around all of his hoofs and wings connecting them together. Then four of the guards in armor start walking towards the castle with Nice Guy in tow.
The other two other night guards turn to the unarmored guards. "You are day guards, correct?"
Rock nods, "Yes."
"Report back to the castle immediately and take the civilian with you for interrogation."
They salute and then say in unison. "Yes!"
Sweet Smell helps up Fluffy and Rock Solid heaves Hoof Down on his back before they also walk to the castle.
When they are out of earshot one of the guards says to the other, "Can you believe we just met the demon with the mask?"
The other one looks to the remains of what used to be a pony and then answers, "Yes. Yes, I can."
White wakes up when something pulls her hoof... hard. Her eyes shoot open, she goes in a fighting stance, dagger drawn and looks around. The first thing she notices is the loud terrified shriek next to her. She looks down to see... What was her name again? Oh right, Serena crawl as fast as she can forward. The armmaster looks ahead to see the little ones destination and finds DNA strangling an other human with the same chain that connects her with him.
He stops when he hears the shriek and turns to the white pony. They look into each others eyes for a couple of seconds before he says, "Good Morning, White."
She sighs, closes her eyes and when she opens them again she asks, "What's going on here?"
"Training," is his simple answer.
"And you think I believe you?" Instead of an answer he simply points to the side. She follows with her gaze and finds five ponies standing at the side. They are five of the six trainees she'd read about. But there is something different about them, at least about two of them. The bulky dark green unicorn Shadow Slash has a large X-like scar across the entirety of his chest and the darkish blue unicorn Night Light is missing part of the tip of his left ear.
She turns back to him and sees that he in the meantime freed the other human and took Serena onto his arms. "And I assume he is FREEZER."
"Yeah," answer DNA before turning to the others. "So what have we learned today?"
"That we shouldn't underestimate you?" throws Night in.
"Yes also, but?" says DNA while pointing at Flash.
"FREEZER can't defeat someone that is restrained by a chain?"
"No! That was only because he fought against me. Gleam!" the black clad human points at the pink earth pony.
"Because you're an EP master!" his answer is the most confident of them.
"Ding ding ding. We have a winner! Correct! Okay enough gawped. Go reading." And with that the trainees including FREEZER leave the rooftop as DNA settles back to the place where he sat the previous night with his daughter in his lap. She sighs before sitting herself next to him. She glances over to him and sees Serena frowning at her.
When the little creature notices the armmaster starring she begins to squirm. DNA noticing his daughters discomfort unfurls his wings, making White flinch in surprise and puts them over his legs to shield her.
"Sorry again for her. She is an empath and I guess she isn't getting a good vibe off of you," says the earth tamer.
She tsks. "I don't blame her." She puts her head on her hoofs and closes her eyes enjoying Celestia's sun, or would have when she notices the one end of the chain on her leg. She gets out the keys and unlocks both ends before lying down.
They stay like that for some minutes when White lifts her head and looks at him. "So are there any plans for today, besides sitting here?"
"Actually yes. Later on FREEZER's gonna take over watching and I... I mean we will be going to Ponyville."
"Huh. So you said yesterday that you observed something. What is it you observe?"
"The progress of Dark Voice. As you might have noticed he wasn't with the others, because he's on his fire trial." At her confused eyebrow he elaborates, "It's quite simple. I put them one by one in the Everfree. When they survive this they should in theory survive the training."
"Is that how the two unicorns got these wounds?"
"Yes! And while it is in my range of capabilities to fix them they are something to be proud of. I gave them of course the chance to fix it, but they refused."
"So when you did this trial, did you get one?"
He deflates a bit. "Sadly, no. Everybody gets some reminder of their trial and after they get back they are fully healed before their training continues. All except me of course. The thing I needed most was a shower. My worst injury was a bruise and a cut I got accidentally. And both were almost healed when I came back."
She isn't sure how to reply so they just lap back into silence.
The hours pass and FREEZER finally arrives. As the two humans stand facing each, with the bigger of the both holding Serena with one arm while putting the other on his green haired counterpart's shoulder. "Do you think you can manage a couple of hours without me?"
The air tamer looks at him with an indifferent look before saying, "I hate you." Then a smile comes to his. "Have fun in Ponytown."
He chuckles. "Sure will." And with that he spreads his wings before turning around and hopping off with White close behind him.
DNA knocks at the door and shortly after a sing song voice answers from the other side. "It's open~."
The human pushes open the door and has to duck a bit due to the small frame and is greeted my a somewhat circular room. The room is placed full of mannequins dressed in different dresses and one or two suits mixed in for good measure. On the right side is a stairway leading to the second floor. The side of the room opposite of the entrance is covered by a large curtain, blocking sight to space beyond. There is a door beneath the stairs, probably leading to the basement or some kind of storage space.
In the middle of it all is a unicorn mare with a pristine white coat and rich purple mane and tail colors which are styled in an extravagant way. "Oh DNA! What a pleasant surprise. What brings you to my humble shop?"
He smiles back at her. "Well for one I came to have you meet someone." He goes into his knees and holds out Serena for her to see.
The mares eyes widen as she steps closer. "Uuuuh what an adorable little thing." She stretches out a hoof and its immediately grabbed by Serena. She looks up to DNA and asks, "What's her name?"
"Her name is Serena and she is my daughter."
The mare gasps as she looks at him in disbelieve and says in a tone that matches her expression, "No."
"Well she is more my adoptive daughter, but I don't love her any less because of it."
"I am so happy for you, darling. How old is she?"
"She hatched about a week ago. But..." he goes upright from his position and continues, "There is somepony else I'd like you to introduce." He steps to the side revealing White. "Rarity, this here is Armmaster White. She is my personal bodyguard." He points at the white maned mare while looking at the other. The completely white pony gives a curt nod. Then his gaze and finger switch targets. "This is Rarity. Element of Generosity, fashionista and most fabulous mare in Ponyville."
The purple maned pony gets the slightest of blushes. "Oh DNA, don't flatter me."
He grins back. "I do my best. Anyway I got another thing I came here to do."
The fashion designer raises a curious eyebrow. "Oh? Please do tell, what it is."
"I need clothes."
Her eyes light up again. "The day gets better and better. What do you need?"
"I need dresses."
Rarity has to do a double take. "I'm sorry dear. I thought you said you needed dresses?"
"Oh, I should have made myself clearer. They aren't for me," begins the human.
The fashionista lets out a sigh of relief. "I was confused there for a second."
He just continues like he hadn't heard her. "I need them for my students." The two mares look at him quizzical wanting him to elaborate, but he doesn't.
The alabaster unicorn clears her throat a bit awkwardly. "Well... It isn't my position to question that. Now I'd just need their measurements to get started."
"I have them right here," he reaches behind him bringing out a clipboard with multiple pieces of parchment fixed to it and holds it out for Rarity to grab, which she does in her light blue magic.
As she looks at the data and notes on it she can't help, but to be impressed. Sure it's a bit hard to read, but the information itself is great. She looks up at him before saying. "I do have to say. I am a bit surprised at how detailed these are. Do all humans know so much about fashion?"
He shakes his head. "No. While it is true that a lot of humans are concerned with how they look, not everybody knows so much about them. And actually I didn't write them. FREEZER made them."
Rarity's eyes bulge in surprise. She looks down at the papers again to look over them and then back up at the black clad biped. "DNA, I not mean to insult you, but surely you are messing with me?"
He shakes his head again, chuckling a bit. "No, I'm not. I know it doesn't seem like it at all, but FREEZER is actually really good with fashion."
"Well if these are really from him, I think I just got a lot more respect of him. Perhaps him and me can find something we have in common."
"I would advise against it," states DNA scratching the side of his head.
She cocks her head in confusion. "But you just said..."
"I know what I said Rarity, but just because he knows about it doesn't necessarily mean he likes it. In fact he hates fashion."
"Oh," is all she says to that.
"Yes. Now I'd like to stay a bit, but I have somewhere to be," says the human.
"Don't get held up by me. Be on your way," excuses them the fashionista.
They make their goodbyes and DNA's group leaves the boutique and continue on their way. The armmaster trots up besides her target. "Where are we going now?" Her voice isn't cheerful, but more flat with a hint of curiosity.
He looks down at her not stopping. "Now we will meet, Celestia's personal student."
"And why would you need to meet them?
"Because I need to learn the magics," he replies before turning forward and opening the door in front of him.
White hasn't even noticed that they arrived at their destination. She follows him over the threshold into the library. The circular room is almost completely covered in books, except the stairway leading up, a closed door on the other side of the room and a hole in the left side of the wall leading to another room. In the center of the room stand two couches opposite each other with a table between them. On one of them sits a lavender unicorn reading a book and on the other sits a baby drake reading a comic.
Hearing the door open Twilight looks up a begins to smile. "Hello, DNA." Right afterwards she tilts her head in confusion already putting the book on the table and standing up. "What's that on your arm?"
He waves at her. "Hey Twilight. This is my little adopted daughter, Serena."
She draws in a quick breath as she walks up to DNA, who is squatting already to give the mare a better view of the child. She gets closer and just like her white friend reaches out her hoof which is quickly grabbed by the little hands of the creature.
"And what are you?" inquires the purple librarian in a not baby voice, quill and parchment floating next to her scribbling furiously.
"Her race is called pokemon and she's about a week old." But before the unicorn can question him further he continues already standing up, "And this here is Armmaster White, my personal bodyguard."
"Oh hello Armmaster White, nice seeing you again."
"Miss Sparkle," responds the military pony with a curt nod.
"You two know each other?"
"Kind of. We saw each other sometimes when she met with the princess," explains Twilight.
"I guess that makes sense. So about that magic lesson?"
"Yes, of course. Come in," says the unicorn while magically shutting the door behind them. As they all settle down on the couch Spike sits and greets them, Twilight in the meantime levitates the other couch away and teleports a chalkboard in. "Let me begin with some of the basics."
"And that concludes the basic theory of magic," stops Twilight, while turning away from the full board and turns to her student. "Now do you understand everything so far?"
"Yeah." He looks down at his daughter. "Did you understand everything so far?" She looks up at him and tilts her head in question. He giggles and rubs her head to which she squeaks delightful.
After snickering herself she asks, "Okay DNA, you ready to practice what you just learned?"
He nods, stands up, puts Serena on the couch and in a swirl of pink smoke turns himself into his pony persona with a horn. White jumps in shock when she sees his power at work.
Twilight looks also mildly surprised, but not so much that she forgets to take notes. Spike on the other claw just looks over the rim of his comic, raises an eyebrow before rolling his eyes and continues reading.
The baby dragon can't understand what the fuss is about with these humans. They are just dragons without scales and fancy stuff.
The purple unicorn levitates a metal ball onto a stand she conjured and then points at it while addressing the now black unicorn stallion. "This is a device that shows what your magic affinity is. For example if it were to light up purple it would mean you have an affinity for arcane magic like me. And depending on how bright it is determines if you're leaning more towards light of dark magic. Now just concentrate your magic on it like I explained it."
The black stallion nods and closes his eyes, focusing on extending his magic to the gray ball. As soon as it does the sphere lights up in a light gray glow.
Twilight quirks an eyebrow before saying, "You can stop, DNA."
The glow stops shortly before the normally human opens his eyes. "So how'd I do?"
"You got gray, which is strange. I haven't heard of anypony with such an neutral magic. There were instances where somepony had neutral magic, but they had at least some affinity." She taps her chin in thought and murmurs to herself, "Very peculiar."
"And what does that mean for me?" asks the earth tamer. His voice doesn't show any worry, simply curiosity.
The lavender mare looks up seemingly surprised that there is someone else here with her. "Oh... Uhm no. It's still a prototype. It could be that it is broken or that your affinity is so weak that it can't detect it. I'll have to contact the other scientists who work with me on it."
"Well then I better let you to it then. I have a couple of things to do still too."
"Of course. If you want another lesson just come by whenever. I'm sure I can make time for you."
He bobs his head and while he walks over to the couch to let Serena on his back who readily does so. He opens the door, but before stepping through he turns around and says, "By the way? You made a spelling mistake." And without waiting for a responds he is off, with the Armmaster on his heels.
Once they are far enough that he is sure Twilight won't chase them he stops. White lands next to them and asks, "What was that about?"
He starts to walk again, this time at a leisurely pace, while he begins to explain, "Twilight is a highly intellectual mare. Everything she does she tries to do perfect. So pointing out such a simple mistake can take her down a bit, make her learn from her mistakes and it gives me something to tease her with. It also creates a bit of chaos, which is also always fun."
White nods in silent responds and notices that they are aiming for a building that looks to be made out of sweets and desserts.
The black stallion pushes open the door to the bakery and they are hit with a wave of pleasant smells. The inside is relative open with a few tables standing here and there with cushions around them. The whole left side is the counter with a door leading into the kitchen. In the back right are the stairs leading to the second floor.
The group approaches the counter where a lanky yellow earth pony stands. "Hello Mr. Cake, do you know where Pinkie is?"
He nods. "Sure, she's in the back. You want that I get her for you?"
"I'd be grateful for that. Thanks."
And with that the taller one of the two stallions leaves through the door to the kitchen. A couple of seconds of later a pink blur appears revealing a non-smiling, saluting Pinkie, "Are you here for the goods, sir?"
He nods, his serious expression matching hers. "Yes."
They stared at each other for a moment longer before they both snort, their smiles returning. "Sure, I'm gonna get it." She returns with a large bag. "Here's everything you ordered."
He passes her the bits before putting the bag behind Serena on his back. "Pinkie, I'd like to introduce you to Armmaster White."
"Oh I've already met her. We bumped into each other when she came into Ponyville."
He bobs his head. "I guess that makes."
The pink mare began to vibrate with excitement as she asks, her smile widening, "So, how's Serena?"
His own grin enlarges. He turns his body sideways to show the child on his back. Pinkie leans over the counter and tickles her stomach, which brings laughter out of the kids mouth.
Just then Mr. Cake comes from the kitchen and says, "Hey, Pinkie, can you stay at the register? I'm going upstairs to look after Mrs. Cake."
After he is gone DNA turns to his pink friend, "Is Mrs. Cake sick?"
"Yeah. She isn't feeling too well, but is eating a lot lately. Well more than normally that is."
DNA nods, almost absently as he looks at the stairs. "Then tell her a quick recovery for me. Will ya?"
"Sure will do."
He lifts his hoof which she bumped with her own. "See ya, Pinkie."
"Yeah, see ya."
They leave the bakery and walk out of town, but not in the direction of the Everfree. The black unicorn transforms himself, with a puff of yellow smoke on his forehead and his back that also partially covers Serena, into a pegasus. He stretches his wings to get a feel for them and turns back to his white companion. "Ready for a little flight?" She just nods in responds.
They land in front of the cloud home with DNA tripping and almost falling. He gets his bearings before he goes to the door and knocks. They wait for a bit before he knocks again. After some minutes of waiting and no responds he turned around, "Well, seems like she isn't in." And they leave.
The two pegasi with the pokemon touch down before a small cottage next to the Everfree. The black coated equine knocks on the door and they wait a couple of moments before it opens revealing a bear. White's body reacts for her as it pulls out her dagger, throws herself at the mammal, knocking him to the ground and letting the weapon rush towards its throat.
It takes her a couple of seconds for her to process what she hit. Instead of penetrating the fur covered throat of the animal the metal completely pierced a black wing, the point sticking out of the other side. He gaze turns left to the owner of the wing and finds DNA smiling at her. With a flick of his injured wing he throws her backwards farther than it should be possible with just one wing. The deadly tool stays in it.
He turns to the bear still smiling. "I'm sorry about my friend here. She can be a bit jumpy. Could you bring Fluttershy, please? I need to talk to her. Tell her I'm DNA."
The bear gets up, nods and walks away, glancing back to them every now and then along the way.
When the stallion is sure the bear is out of earshot he pulls out the weapon and throws it in front her, blood staining the blade. Without turning to face her he tells her, "Stop being so jumpy. I understand you are scared, possibly even think that you are overwhelmed by the task, but if you so far as hurt anything I care about or anything they care about then... I will find something appropriate for you." His voice never leaves the happy tone, but she knows just how serious that threat is.
She tsks as she gets to her hooves and picks up her bloody dagger. Then she additionally gets out one of her special vials and lets a couple of drops of the red life liquid drip into it. After, she cleans her weapon with a clean cloth before putting it away.
They wait until a butter-yellow pegasus mare approaches them. In White's eye she looks shy as she tries to make herself as small as ponyly possible. Behind her is the bear from before and on her back stands a white rabbit his front paws crossed over his chest. When she began talking her voice was meek, "Is that you, DNA?"
"Yes it's me, Fluttershy," responds the black stallion with a calm smile.
She lets out a sigh of relief as she straightens herself a bit, a smile coming to her face. "Thank goodness. I was worried there for a second."
"I'm sorry to have worried you then. I just wanted you to meet someone." He turns his body sideways like he'd done at the bakery. "This is my daughter Serena."
She gasps and rushes over to his side, causing Angle to have to grip her fur to not fall off, leaning in close to the child. "Oh aren't you the cutest little thing."
As soon as her snout is in range it is grabbed by the baby with all four appendages.
Fluttershy pulls her head back in surprised, but the pokemon's grip stays firm as she holds onto the nose. The mare goes crossed-eyed as she tries to focus on Serena and giggles. She takes the baby off with one hoof and holds it in the crook of her leg. "Oh you are so adorable." The animal caretaker turns her gaze away from the Ralts to the born human. "How old is she?"
"She hatched a week ago."
She looks back at Serena bouncing her up and down making her laugh.
The pink haired mare turns back to DNA when he begins to talk, "Fluttershy, I'd like to introduce you to somepony else." He points at the white pegasus behind him. "This is Armmaster White, she is my personal bodyguard for the time being."
The good mood vanishes immediately as Fluttershy's smile disappears and she presses the child closer to herself.
Serena reacts in reaction to the shy mare as she hugs her for comfort.
The armmaster nods to the other mare who nods back almost not discernible. After a couple of seconds of awkward silence the timid pegasus steps forward puts Serena on the stallions back says, "Goodbye," slams the door shut and then they hear a soft, "Sorry," from the other side.
DNA turns to his companion. "You're not good with ponies, are you?"
"Only with civilians."
DNA as human with Serena in her spot under his cape and White land on the rooftop of the Castle of the Elements.
"And FREEZER anything interesting?" asks DNA his smaller counterpart who lays on his back.
The air tamer doesn't open his eyes while he answers, "He had a little run in with what I think were timberwolves. He got away, but is now walking in the wrong direction."
"Hmm," hums the earth tamer. "Could be that he tries to avoid danger."
With a single hop FREEZER is on his feet. "He's not walking like that. I think he's lost. Anyways I'm getting food." And with that he jumps off the roof.
DNA shakes his head with a sigh before sitting down on his usual spot with White sitting on his left.
She looks at his face with his eyes closed and remembers what he told her the day before. Deciding to try it again she closes her own and listens. She hears the wildlife in the forest below her. The predators predating trying to catch prey, the prey being prey trying not to be caught by the predators, the wind sweeping over the leaves of the trees rustling them and a roar from some kind of predator. But there is another sound that doesn't fit in with her surroundings. It's like someone is whispering to her in a language she can't understand and that whispering has a pull to it. It isn't a physical pull, but more like a mental one.
She can imagine it: Herself standing in a pure white plain with nothing in it except her and the sound.
She looks around to locate it, but can't see it. After a short pause to think she moves in the direction where she thinks the source is.
White doesn't know how long she walked already. It could have been minutes, hours or even days, but eventually she stands before a wooden door. There is nothing behind it, she checked… twice. It isn't a normal door she can tell, even without the black smoke that comes from wherever it leads to. The mare is getting angry at the door with it's stupid whispering, luring her here. So to get revenge on it she opened it.
White awakes with a jolt, sweat plastering every part of her body, her breathing ragged and heavy. She looks around frantically. It's night, the moon high in the sky, the air chilly . On her right sits DNA with Serena sleeping in his arms a smile on both of their faces.
When the human notices stirring next to him he turns to look at her concern replacing the previous happiness. "You okay?"
She takes a moment to get calmed down before she answers, "I… I just had a bad dream. Mind if you could come with me that I can take a shower?"
DNA just nods as they stand up and walk to the door. After a while of them walking side by side in silence he asked, "So what was the dream about?"
She sighs, dipping her head staying silent for a moment longer before starting to explain. And while he doesn't show it DNA gets increasingly worried.
A couple of days later Dark Voice pushes open the front door of the castle. On top of his head sits the upper half of a timber wolf's head, his body incredibly dirty and filthy with a smell so pungent that it could make some Canterlot noble pass out.
In the lobby is everybody that lives in the castle waiting for his return minus Trixie and Scootaloo. Some manage to hide their disgust while some fail miserably.
DNA is the first to speak up as he steps forward, "Welcome back, Dark. I hope you're happy to know that you passed, even when you needed a whole week, but hey this isn't a race."
"Yay," replied the brown earth pony, his voice tired and exhausted.
"Take a shower you earned it." He turns his head to the others. "Gleam why don't you help him," he suggest completely aware of where this can end.
The pink earth pony jumps at the idea and is immediately at his coltfriend's side leading him towards the showers.
When they are gone DNA addresses the others, "The rest of you are free to do what you want for the rest of the day except Nice. You're with me." With that everybody went their way with White and Nice Guy following DNA.