A new species interacts with the Equestrian inhabitants, for better, or worse.
PLEASE NOTE: This story contains explicit and/or vulgar language.
Nothing is guaranteed, yet everything is guaranteed, this is the paradox that comes with inter-dimensional travel and eternity. One example is the dominant species of any given planet, when a predator interacts with it's common prey, and both have a kind of moral code, what will occur? A tale of bravery in the face of danger? A tragic tale of death and misfortune? or something else entirely? This story revolves around one such traveler on his mission of vengeance, and sins. Can kindness and friendship heal the wounds of war and deceit? Or will it all be in vein, as he seeks retribution?
"Where am I?" He awakens from an unknown amount of slumber, bearing these words on his lips. "Interesting, seems the scenery has changed once again." He stands, shakily before falling, greeting the absurdly bright colored ground with his hands. "How Nauseating." He says to himself, standing once again. He glanced around at the foliage, which was as brightly colored as the ground he stood. Taking his first steps in this new world, he felt the grass move in strange ways. Unaccustomed to the colors around him, he takes a moment to allow his eyes to adjust. He shivers as a cool breeze flows through the forest, rustling previously silent trees.
“How… peculiar. Not a single cloud in sight. I was expecting a dark, stormy day, like usual, though it’s not a bad thing, necessarily.” He sighs heavily as he begins to walk again. Letting my guard down should be fine, for now, though I shouldn’t practice anything here. He starts navigating the forest to the best of his ability. I should probably keep my mouth shut for a while, just in case someone is listening, don’t want to drop my guard too much. A few bushes rustled, just out of sight, causing him to halt his advance. Slowly, he backs into the shadows of the trees surrounding him. Do I confront them, or remain in the shadows? Should I run, or stay? Do I even know their language, or would attempting communication be futile? There’s too many variables, so I’ll stay here. The bushes rustled again, revealing 3 Equine beings though he couldn’t make them out clearly.
He rushed into a nearby bush, any would do, he just had to remain hidden. Surprisingly, none of the branches were tough, like he was used to, but instead soft, and strong, giving way and ‘remolding’ themselves around him.
“What are you talking about? Why would a bush with a poisoned river next to it and a sign that says; ‘Danger, all plants beyond this point are poisonous. Do not harvest.’ bear berries that taste the best?” Said the first, carrying a basket.
“I dunno, just thought they might.” The second smiled gleefully as she approached another bush. “Would these be better?”
“Listen, I know you’re enthusiastic, but you might want to start reading the signs that are put up around this area. It tends to be… rather dangerous.” The third was almost lecturing the second, as they were picking berries from the bushes around them. “And besides, those berries are white, meaning they’re not quite ready to be picked, only blue red and green are ready for you and me.”
“I think that rhyme needs time.” The first giggled as she said that “And besides here’s some now.”
They were approaching his hiding spot, he braced, getting ready to sprint away if needed.The bush he was in rustled, alerting them to his presence.
“Who’s there?!” The third shouted, he left, sprinting at record speed through the forest.
“Should we go after ‘em?” The first asked, looking at the third.
“Definitely, you never know what the creatures here might be capable of. Can you chase them pinkie?”
“Okey-dokey!” She ran, leaving a substantial dust trail behind her.
“Apple Jack, see if you can cut them off at the pass, I’ll see if I can get a visual from the air.”
“I’m on it Twi.” She said, leaving the area.
Who were they, and why were they speaking English? It just doesn’t make sense. Whatever, there’s not enough time to think about that now. He looked behind him, only to see a bright pink blob approaching him at near sonic speed. He extended his right wing, flapping it caused him to barrel through the air, almost strafing, allowing him to dodge it. He looked up, noticing a purple… pegasus? Flying above the area he was racing through. He looked around, noticing a mountain range just above the trees. He turned sharply to his right, heading toward a pass that cut through them. I hope it’s the country border, because if it’s not, I just made the worst decision possible. The pursuers followed, not quite close enough to catch him, but close enough to keep him from changing coarse. Are they… herding me?
He came up to the pass, then noticed the other one had gone ahead to cut him off there. Damn! I don’t have anywhere to go. He darted to his left, running up the mountain as it started to rain.
“What in tarnation do you think you’re doing?!” Said applejack, chasing after him. “That’s a volcano ya moron!” She was yelling now, trying to get his attention.
Perfect, a volcano will do nicely. He continued up the steep slope, taking breaks every few minutes to rest as the pursuers were left behind. The pegasus had landed long ago from exhaustion. He climbed to the summit, waiting a moment, before he collapsed, panting heavily. I’m too tired to keep going. Damn it all, I don’t have time to rest. They were now catching him, getting closer than he cared to let them. I’d hoped I wouldn’t have to fight so soon after getting here, but it seems I have little choice in the matter.
He released the clamps holding his sword in place on his back, allowing him to take it without cutting the sheath. I must prepare for the worst. No telling what their capable of. Following this thought, he gathered energy through the crown of his head, distributing it to his horns. A sphere of energy collected between them, almost… absorbing the very light around it, yet glowing a deep blue. He was prepared for anything that may come from the creatures that were so bent on pursuing, and if not, capturing him.
“Why can you climb so fast? You’re making it awfully difficult to follow ya.” Said AppleJack, reaching the top.
Now he knew that the equid beings were just as brightly colored as the flora of this world, and it was disgusting. One was a purple alicorn, the others seemed to be normal… ponies though one was light orange and the other bright pink.
“I don’t know, it’s just rather easy to me.” Replied Pinkie Pie, smiling again.
“I don’t think she was talking to you, Pinkie.” Scolded Twilight, the last of the three to arrive.
They finally got a good look at the target, a bipedal creature, with four arms, one pair behind the other, and two massive membrane wings just above them. He was about nine feet tall, his head looked to have a crown of curved stalagmites and two thin, wide horns protruding just above the eyes. What should be the sclera of his eyes were black in color, with glowing red irises around the pupils, which weren’t unlike a cat’s. He didn’t appear to have a nose, and the lower jaw was visibly smaller than the upper skull. Sharp fangs made up the area that should be lips, were he human, and when he breathed he exposed his rows of teeth, made up of fangs toward the front and molars in the back.
He had sort of shoulder pads, extruding a few inches past each arm coming to an unrefined point, tipped in red. Small ‘thorns’ covered his shoulders, back, and sides; which were tipped in green; and running down his spine were larger ‘thorns’ tipped in red. Though quite a few were missing or broken. His skin interlocked with itself, almost like armor, though they weren’t convinced it wasn’t. It was dark blue in color, with a significant amount of scrapes and scratches. The ‘armor’ covering his arms and legs had many green thorns running down the outside of his joints, and had large red thorns where two sections joined. His ‘gauntlets’ were formed on the same principle, and the fingers seemed to be red thorns themselves, and the knuckles bore slightly larger thorns than the backs of his hands. He was, without a doubt a terrifying sight to behold.
His weapon was intimidating in its own right, a four handed greatsword, it’s blade about 6 feet in length, with six limbs coming from the central blade, all pointing in the same direction. Smaller limbs extruded from those, one each, pointing in the opposite direction. The major blade was rather wide, at least six inches, and an inch thick. The whole thing, assuming it was made of steel or other traditional materials couldn’t weigh less than five hundred pounds. It was a dull silver color, and had plenty of chips and scratches. Overall, both he and his weapon of choice were clearly vastly more experienced in true combat then they were. It was obvious who would win if a battle did take place.
He was backing away from the equine beings, attempting to avoid confrontation to the best of his ability, then he reached the edge of the cliff, and panic began to set in. With his mind racing, he made a rash decision, firing the energy gathered between his horns in a sweeping motion, making a line in the ground, which then burst aflame. The flames towered over them, blue in color. He made the most of this chance, jumping backward into the volcano. The crater was far deeper than he expected, taking several seconds to reach the surface of the lava.
“Wait! You never told us your name!” Yelled Pinkie, hoping for a response.
“Did you see where they went?” Asked Twilight, glancing around the area.
“Down there.” Pinkie pointed into the volcano, pouting.
“Why would I tell someone who just chased me through a forest, and up a mountain?! Let alone a group?!”
“He’s got a point, Pinkie. I wouldn’t trust anyone who chased me for seemingly no reason.” Twilight said, trying to ignore the fact that he was now swimming in the pool of lava.
"B-B-B-B-B-B-But, I only wanted to meet him.” Pinkie said, starting to tear up.
“Maybe we can come back another time, sugar cube.” Applejack responded.
“Okey-dokey!” Now she was just as happy as before, bouncing up and down like she was on a trampoline.
He dove down into the lava, searching for a vent or otherwise easily accessible tunnel or cavern.
A few days pass, with no interruptions within the volcano, so he decided it was the time to leave. I hope I don’t encounter the natives again, I’m starting to get hungry, though I suppose those berries from before should tide me over until I can find a more permanent solution. He emerged from the lava as quietly as he could, it was either early or late in the night, judging by the position of the moon. If it were the later, he’d have to hurry. As his advantage of vision would be lost quickly. He began to scale the Cliff face of the crater, hoping the sentient horses were nowhere to be found. As he reached the top, to his surprise, no one was there. He began to question the existence of the creatures, or if he was simply hallucinating. He began to search the immediate area for signs of intelligent life.
He came across a campfire; a few ponies were roasting marshmallows on sticks. How are they doing that? Whatever, just relax, and take note that this may be a tourist attraction. He cautiously backed away from the area, hoping no one had noticed his presence. Once a comfortable distance away, he started toward the area the ponies he had encountered before claimed was poisonous. It took him a little over an hour to reach the area he was chased from, and several minutes to find the river. He scanned the area, searching for life. Only a few plants grew there, a small blue flower, a bush on which grew green berries, and pear trees, all of which more than likely poisoned; as that side of the river didn’t have any sort of protection, like the side he was on did. Small, frail bridges connected the two sides of the river, and none looked to be in good condition, or had been repaired any time recently.
He looked to the sky, looking for reference on how much time he had left in the night, but to his horror, the moon hadn’t moved from its place in the sky. He began to panic again, he had to hurry or he might not make it back in time. He jumped over the river, skidding to a stop as he brushed some of the plant life. He made a sack out of twigs and grass from around the area, filling it with whatever edible plants he found. When he returned, he found a cave entrance on the opposite side of the volcano. He decided it would be best to use the cave as a base of operations, assuming it wouldn’t take long to seal it and install a door.
A few more days passed as he sealed the entrance, and built a vault door to keep everyone out. Luckily, no one had stumbled upon his make-shift lab and mine in the 2 weeks he had been there. Unfortunately, this also meant he had to practically re-invent the wheel in order to make any progress scientifically, or create any tools. After several cycles of this, he became exhausted, and fell asleep in the mines.
The battlefield was little more than a massacre, humans were still struggling to invent any sort of weapon that could so much as dent the hard exoskeleton of the Demoxians, let alone pierce the armor they wore. What was even more terrifying being that this was the lowest level of technology they possessed, as they agreed to the terms of war the humans had requested. That wasn’t to say the Demoxian scientists weren’t busy, for they were performing hundreds, if not, thousands of experiments on DNA manipulation. This was a truly dark time in human history, the war that finally united the human factions under one government. This new intergalactic nation had a terrifying idea, resurrecting an ancient technology, the hydrogen bomb. This would hopefully end the war, as more and more external factions were beginning to take sides.
Once the bomb was launched, the entire supercluster stood still, as it impacted Demolax, the Demoxian home world, it ignited a spark, that caused it to become a giant star, rather than the universe class planet it once was. This single hasteful act caused a mass extinction event never seen before, over ninety percent of the species was annihilated.
“Demon Vox, SIR!” Yelled commander striker, as the ship was bombarded with laser fire.
“Striker, get all the civilians in the escape pods! No one is to be left behind!” Vox responded, pointing toward the bend gate which had just opened.
“Sir! What of the troops?”
“Get them off the bridge, since it’s the section that carries the weaponry, we’ll draw their fire until everyone is through!”
“Sir, yes, sir!”
“And striker! It was an honor serving with you.” Vox held his index finger up just below his right horn in a salute.
“The honor was mine, sir.” He responded, bowing to his superior officer. After a moment, Striker rose, leaving the bridge, in a sort of fast-walk.
“Run, man, Run! No time to waste on jogging!” Vox yelled, causing the commander to do so.
“Vox, the enemy fleet has called for reinforcements. There will be well more than a thousand soon.” Yerzhvold said, now manning both coms and navigation.
“Demon Yerzhvold, remember to refer to officers of equal rank and above by rank followed by location, not just location; but turn the evacuation bay toward the bend gate, and no ship that isn’t a life pod is to go through, then the major bays will follow, and finally we will enter.”
“Yes, Demon Vox.” A few minutes passed, and a message came through.
“General West, General East,” A voice rang through the ship, it was the king. “and all others aboard the United Demoxian Empire Service vessel Ingreatus, thank you for your service; I apologize for being unable to be there with you, as Duties within the empire are beginning to build up, I and the council wish you farewell, as all other ships, generals, and others have, unfortunately, fallen. As the last line of defense, you held all of Demoxian kind in your hands. That being said, thank you for doing everything you could to support and protect us all. You, and all your fellow soldiers, have done more for us than you will ever know.” And with that, moral across the entire ship fell below zero, as the bend gate closed. The only sounds remaining were those of the energy shields giving out, and lasers impacting the hull of the ship.
What little of the government remained called for peace, and the end of the war was nigh. Once captured, the generals were used as puppets, publically banishing them to different dimensions, never to be seen again.
“MARK MY WORDS, HUMANS! THE BATTLE MAY BE OVER, BUT THE WAR IS YET TO COME! I WILL RETURN! AND I WILL NOT LOSE AGAIN! FEAR OUR VENGANCE, FEAR THE ETERNAL DAMNATION THE UNITED DEMOXIAN EMPIRE BRINGS DOWN UPON YOU! FEAR THE MONSTER YOU HAVE CRATED, FOR WE SHALL DEVOUR YOU ALL! WE SHALL DEVOUR YOU IN HELL WHERE YOU BELONG! WE SHALL DEVOUR YOUR SOULS! DAMN THE TERRAN FRONT! DAMN THE TERRAN EMPIRE!” These words shattered what little control the humans had of the Demoxian remnants. These words, uttered by Demon Vox, and repeated by so many others.
“DAMN THE TERRAN FRONT! DAMN THE TERRAN EMPIRE!” Cried out so many in the audience and all those being banished. These words were then echoed throughout the supercluster, holding true to their promise.
Vox awoke from his slumber, his entire body was burning, his nostrils filled with scents he wasn’t accustomed to, and his hearing was much less acute than before. He knew what was happening, but not why. He looked into one of the gems, which were apparently abundant in this world; what he saw surprised him at first, but that quickly changed to disgust. He was now a good two feet shorter than before, the exoskeleton that his species was so proud of was reduced to nothing more than fur, and his thorns were eradicated completely. It wasn’t all bad though, his horns, crown, wings, and limb count remained the same, even if they had shifted positions. His horns pointed to the sky at around forty degrees, rather than directly ahead, there was now a considerable gap between his front most legs and the, now, central legs, at least double that for the hind legs, and his wings now folded against his back, rather than having a sort of ‘flap’ that covered them. Bearing his teeth, he noted that he no longer had carnivorous fangs, nor rows of teeth, just teeth structured similarly to the molars that sat in the back, all in a single row, in a snout.
“Oh east, if only you could see me now! You’d be laughing your ass off.” He said aloud, still in slight disbelief. He then took a minute to look himself over more closely in a vein of platinum he had polished. His coat was a dark grey color, his mane and tail, black. “Since when did I have a tattoo of a quasar with an accretion disk on my ass?” He asked, looking at his flank. “Aaand I’m talking to myself again, woundavaaa.” He sighed heavily as he stumbled around, getting used to his new body. He then heard a hurried running followed by a scratch on the door. “Who’s there?” he called out,
“Help! He’s in here with me! Help!” Some slightly feminine voice was yelling, though it was clear the voice was male.
“I asked you who’s theeeeeeerrrrrre.” He said, as he realized just what it was he was looking at. “Technicolor deer bugs… That sure is a first… Then again, I really don’t have any room to talk.”
“What do you want with me?”
“I don’t want anything to do with you! You’re bright fucking pink!”
“But you locked me in here with you, didn’t you?”
“Not intentionally, If I knew you were within ten miles of here, I never would’ve set up camp here.” He grunted as he turned the wheel to open the door. “Now get out and find someplace you aren’t going to be eaten by a predator.”
A new voice, coming from the ceiling giggled. This one actually was feminine.
“Dear prince Azjool, WHAT NOW?” Vox retorted, as he turned toward the place it came from.
“I’m surprised you noticed me.”
“Oh… um… I was never here.” Vox scowled at the stupidity of his new roommate. “Tell me, where did the other one go?”
“Unless you mean the pink monstrosity that just left, you’re looking at ‘em.”
“The hell’s a poison joke?”
“Short blue flower, white speckles.”
“I did brush across one a couple weeks ago.”
“Poison joke.” She said, clearly amused by the outcome. “Come here for a moment.”
“Oh for the love of king bob the second, whaat?” He reluctantly walked over to the dark patch in the room, only to get a face full of hissing changeling. He coughed a couple times, waving a hoof in front of his face. “Anyone ever tell ya’ you bad breath?”
“Well at least you’re not pink, I mean you’re still an equinoid insect… or would that be insectoid equine?... Regardless, I could actually tolerate having you in the same country as me.”
“Ok?... Tell me, why couldn’t I suck out your love?”
“Can’t take what’s not there… Wait a sec… Suck out my love?”
“Dear prince Azjool. Umm… How do I put this? Is love your food source or something?”
“That’s correct… why else would I want to suck out your love?”
“Let’s just say… I thought you meant something else for a second there.” He chuckled to himself as he shut the door. “Now, I’m going back to sleep, this is a lot to process, and I just need rest, if you need to be let out for some reason, and can’t open the door on your own, let me know.” He yawned to emphasis the point.
The dreamscape was blank this time, much to the relief of Vox. “Oh sweet Lemuria, I actually have time to process all this.” He sighed heavily, slumping over. “Technicolor deer-bugs, easily explainable as evolution for attracting a mate. Horse bug, protection from possibly hostile environment. But why would they need to eat another’s love? Because they can’t produce their own? No, I’ve lived far longer than them without an ounce of love in me, and I’m fine… physically… well… not anymore… ffffuuuuck. Ok, skip that, I’m assuming that horn wasn’t for show on that alicorn, it might be used for goring… no it was female, so I would assume not… could it have similar properties to my horns… I think so, but where would it absorb the energy from? Their coat? No, that would leave too little of a place to store it. Their mane? No, same problem. Grrrraaah! Why does the multiverse hate me so?” He sighed heavily as he now had questions that weren’t answered.
“Tell me, why do you wish to find reason in something where there is none?” A feminine voice asked.
“Good king Mularzh! Even my subconscious is telling me to stop?! Why must I be the sin of eternity?... Wait a second, I don’t recognize that voice! Who are you, and why are you screwing with my head?!” He jumped to his hooves, ready to pounce; backing away slowly. Why is there a moon? None of what’s happening makes any sense! First, colorful fucking horses, then deer, then a black bug-thing, and now this?! Either I’m having a mental breakdown, on the worst drugs known to anyone, or I’m about to! All his thoughts were cut off when he backed into another being. He bore his teeth, growling, attempting to be as intimidating as possible. It was a deep blue alicorn, with a flowing mane, seemingly made of the night sky, and wore a black crown and necklace. He relaxed when he noticed what she was, collapsing and covering what he could of himself with a mere twenty-foot wingspan. Muffled under his wings, he responded “There is always reason for the evolution of any individual species, be it great, and groundbreaking, or minor, and insignificant.”
She was a bit taken aback by this action, wondering if she had said, or done, anything to offend him. “I suppose that does make sense, but I’m curious about a few things. One, why is your dreamscape so… empty, and two, what are you?” She smiled, trying to at least entice him to be more comfortable about the situation.
“To answer your second question,” He uncovered himself, more comfortable with sharing knowledge than arguing about whether a topic of thought is relevant. “I am a creation of the Demoxian science institute and knowledge distribution center. A half breed between human and Demoxian DNA, created as a way of vastly improving our capacity for receiving and holding data as a species, as to your first, I’m not entirely sure, my mind just sees it fit on occasion.”
“Sweet baby Ghoulned.” He mumbled to himself, realizing how difficult it was going to be to make this pony understand just what was happening. “I can see that this conversation is going to take far longer than I care for it to drag on for, so, I will need some form of communication that doesn’t involve you invading my mind, so I can write it down and send that to you, rather than an off the cuff basic rundown of the circumstances that led to me interacting with this set of multiverses.”
It’s like trying to explain advanced trigonometry to a five-year-old. He slowed his voice significantly to get his point across. “I need to send a let-ter a-bout how I got here to save time. Ca-piche?”
“Oh, yes of course. You should be able to send one from any city in Equestria to Canterlot.” It was now Vox’s turn to be the almost-infant. “If you can give me your name, I can send somepony to get you, assuming you’re not in the badlands or dragon territory.”
“My name is Demon Vox, but I’m not in a town. There’s a poison river within a couple miles of where I’m stationed, umm… a rather dense forest is nearby, a few mountains surround the area, and I’m in a volcano… or would that be under?” He stopped there, contemplating whether or not there were more landmarks he had seen.
“Alright, I’ll send a few ponies who are more… accepting of new faces.”
“As long as they’re not like that pink shit that chased me into the crater, we’ll be fine.”
“WHAT?! Are you sure, Spike?!” Twilight asked, now looking up from a book she had stuffed her face in. “Why would it call so many?”
“I’m not sure, it just shows all of them, and I don’t think it’s over any towns.” Spike replied, confused as to why the map was acting the way it was.
“Well, the map hasn’t been wrong before, so, take a note.” Spike just sighed as he grabbed a quill, ink and parchment from a nearby table. “Dear Princess Celestia, the cutie map has called more ponies that ever, and I fear the worst. It has called: myself, the Elements of Harmony, Starlight Glimmer, Spike, and Sunset Shimmer. If you could contact Sunset, it would relieve some of the stress of the preparations.”
Spike blew fire on the letter, sending it to the princess. Just moments later, however, a letter was received; a letter from princess Luna.
“Spike, this may be more serious than I expected.”
“Are you sure they’re connected? I mean, it could be a coincidence.”
“I hope it is, Spike.” With that being said, several mares burst through the doors of the library.
“Is everything alright, Twi? Ah was a little worried about what happened when ah found out all of us were called.” AppleJack said, trotting in place.
It took a few hours before Luna arrived in his dreamscape again. “I have sent for somepony to arrive a mile south of you, though it appears they were going to come here regardless.” Vox sighed heavily, taking in what was happening.
“I… will keep that in mind, whenever it is that they leave, I will prepare and wait for them there.” He sighed heavily, tapping his hoof on the blank space encompassing them. “How many should I expect?”
“Nine, eight ponies and a baby dragon.” She replied, slightly taken aback by his lack of enthusiasm.
“Right,” He grunted. “I’ll prepare for say, a squad. I must warn you though, I am starting to get quite… um… hungry, at the moment, so don’t expect the best of behavior around them.”
“Why shouldn’t I expect your best behavior?”
“Long story short, my species is primarily carnivorous, even if it’s technically omnivorous. So, when we get hungry… I think that’s all that needs to be said. I will think about going into more detail in the letter.”
“That sounds… appropriate. Though I must say, controlling such urges must be frustrating.”
“Well, there are certain plants that can satiate the hunger, but I doubt to the utmost degree that your… planet, at least, produces such plants. As the necessary climate and astronomically unique circumstances required to produce similar life here seems… impossible, quite frankly.”
“What ‘circumstances’ do you speak of?”
“Large amounts of sulfur in a given area, extreme heat; atmospheric makeup with large amounts of nitrogen, helium, hydrogen, radon, Bromine, and a few others; and finally, extreme atmospheric pressure. Sulfur is easily the most probable on the list, as it can be found on this planet; however, atmospheric makeup poses a major problem, as oxygen is entirely too common in this planet’s atmosphere, and bromine is probably toxic to life on this planet; and finally, atmospheric pressure is about point nine five terran atmospheres here, and the atmosphere the aforementioned plants grow in would be about three hundred, maybe more, not entirely sure; but that’s neither here nor there. How long of an… excursion shall I prepare for?”
“Yes, of course. A day, and they should arrive in a week.”
“Understood, I will have to go fishing then. Anything else I should be aware of?”
“No, I believe that is all.” With that, she faded from Vox’s sight.
“Well, could be worse, I guess.”
The changeling was intrigued by the preparations Vox was making. “Are you leaving?”
Vox sighed, he had forgotten about is roommate. “Yes and no, I’m leaving for a few days. Try not to mess with anything in the lab while I’m gone.”
She simply giggled at that comment. “I’ll… try not to.”
“That’s all I expect.” He sighed once more, frustrated she didn’t promise. He approached his sword, running a single hoof down the flat of the blade. ‘Not this time.’ He whispered to no one in particular. Making the final adjustments to his saddlebags, he walked out the door, basking in the sunlight for a couple seconds before closing the door, and leaving.
“A week from now, a mile south of here. Should’ve been more specific, ‘princess’.” He said, mocking Luna’s place in the hierarchy. “Could’ve at least told me what one of them looked like. Whatever, it’ll work itself out.” He walked around the general area he was told to wait at, and finally found a squad worth of ponies looking around.
“Twilight, are you sure this is the place?” Spike was beginning to question Twilight’s navigation skills.
“She said a mile south of the volcano, so this is the place.”
“Well, not exactly, but close enough.” A new, deeper voice Spoke through the trees, startling everyone.
“What do you mean?” Twilight snorted at the pony who was being so condescending.
“One mile is five thousand, two hundred, eighty feet, you are exactly five thousand, one hundred, thirty-nine point two three feet south of the volcano.” He chuckled, and Twilight rolled her eyes at the stranger who was coming from the bushes. “I know I’m being picky, but I couldn’t help myself.” He emerged from behind the foliage, and looked at the group of ponies. He was easily a foot taller than princess Celestia, and had much more muscle mass. He had a grey coat, deep black mane and tail, six legs, unusually large membrane wings, a crown of horns, and red sclera. Everyone except Vox were wide eyed at the sight of him. Sunset being the first to recover, and pinkie’s expression twisting into one of joy.
“Um, I take it you’re the pony princess Luna asked us to meet?”
“Yes, I am. Which means you’re the group she sent?”
Twilight stopped gawking after that question. “Um, yes, I’m sorry, we just weren’t expecting… um…”
“Me? I get it. I would be rather put off in your shoes as well. Honestly, I’m just surprised none of you were aggressive, or terrified; most impressive.”
“Um… thanks?” Twilight was taken aback by what he said. “but I can’t think of a reason to attack or cower from you just from taking a look at you." He simply raised an eyebrow at her response.
“Shall we continue to introductions?” He asked, trying to hurry things along.
“Yes, of course. I am Twilight Sparkle, and this is Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Rarity, Spike, Starlight Glimmer, and Sunset Shimmer.”
“General of the western front, AKA Demon Vox, at your service.” Vox finished, with pride in his voice; holding a hoof to his brow.
“General? I thought I met all the generals in Equestria." Twilight responded inquisitively.
“Yeah, and what ‘western front’?” Rainbow Dash added, finally recovered.
“One, I’m not from ‘Equestria’, and two, where I am from, the ‘western front’ is the western border of the... kingdom, if you will. Hence the name ‘Demon Vox’, loosely translated as General West." Vox explained.
“Why is your title your name?” Sunset asked.
“Where I’m from, we take so much pride, and honor, in having a title that those with particularly esteemed titles will often exchange their birth name for it. As one of the only six generals to hold the title of, ahem, triple-six general, having a seat of eight in the council, and in command of the entire western military, ‘highly distinguished’ would be putting it lightly. Besides that, your rather… descriptive names are an oddity to my kind.”
“What’s a seat of eight in the council?” Twilight asks, her eyes filled with wonder.
“We should get moving, I’ll tell you on the way." Twilight blushes at Vox’s response.
“You’re right. Girls, I’ll be back as soon as I can, I need to show Vox here to town.” They all nod, beginning to set up camp in the clearing.
“The council decides what and when the people vote on, it is split into different ‘seats’ of… ‘power’, if you will. A seat of fifty, for example is the lowest seat, and the seat of one is the highest; needless to say, the current monarch holds the seat of one. However, the rest of the council is distributed among the populous, those chosen are held in high regard for decision-making skills, and should take pride in that. I will think about giving the royalty of your land a copy of my people’s constitution to explain in detail the council’s obligations and workings."
“A document stating the overruling laws even the council cannot evade, and obligations of the government posts. Should the council break any of the laws in the constitution, all who supported the decision will be punished with the death sentence."
“Yes, death sentence. To make an example of the few who dare to defy the constitution.” He deadpanned.
“Isn’t that extreme?!”
“In my opinion, and mine alone, absolutely not. That being said, I grew up in an environment totally different than yours.”
“I guess, but that still-” she was cut off by Vox holding out a hoof. “Hey! I was-”
“GET DOWN!” He jumped into a nearby bush, managing to totally conceal himself. Twilight ducked as a beam of energy passed above her, seemingly darkening the sky, and singeing the hairs on her back.
“You dare threaten a princess?!” A voice rang out, from further down the road.
"I have done no such thing!" Vox yelled in return.
"LIAR!" Another beam roared past, setting the bush Vox was hiding in ablaze. Vox sighed, simply standing, and approached the aggressor.
"Are you really going to endanger a life that has nothing to do with this!?" Vox yelled, everything in his immediate vicinity began trembling, as if the plants themselves were terrified. It seemed the aggressor began bowing as Vox came closer.
"I didn't!" They said, grunting. Vox only continued walking forward, slowly.
"You almost killed a person trying to attack me!"
"Pony, whatever. You almost killed them trying to attack me!"
"That's the princess YOU threatened!"
"Even IF I threatened her, I was well out of the way when you attacked! Therefore, YOU ATTACKED HER! Even if you missed! I have not attacked her!"
"But you DID threaten her!"
"Like I said before, I did NOT! I was explaining something to her, and YOU attacked her!" Vox started calming after that. "Now, you are going to apologize to her, and leave. If you do not do BOTH, then I will be forced to take drastic actions. If she does not except your apology, she will choose your punishment. UNDERSTOOD?!"
"Yes, sir!" The plants stopped trembling, and the now confirmed to be stallion, got up, slowly walking toward twilight. "I'm sorry princess, I wasn't paying attention."
“You are forgiven." Twilight said, walking up to Vox. The stallion ran, passing Vox once more, toward the direction he came. "What kind of magic was that? I've never seen it before."
"Gravitational, a kind, as far as I know, that is unique to my species; as it requires a different kind of energy than the magic I've seen in use here."
Twilight hummed as she thought about what he had said. “So does that mean there’s a different catalyst involved, or a different energy altogether?”
“Honestly, it’s hard to say; while it is a unique energy, the catalyst is also unique. It also requires far more energy, in turn requiring a weaker catalyst.”
“Is that why your… Biology is so different from anything else I’ve seen?”
“That is most likely the case, however I’m curious, where do you store your magical energy? It has been bothering me for a while, and I’m struggling to find an answer.”
“That’s a good question, as far as I know, it just resides within us.”
“Well I have to collect energy from whatever is near me, hence the trembling plants. From what I understand, that implies that my biology is not reliant on this energy; while yours is. Regardless, we should get moving again, I can’t tell what time it is with the sun just sitting in the sky.” He turned and started walking away, following the path towards what appeared to be a large village.