Sequel to "Legacy" Follows the story of Silk D'rouge
I have slept, for years. Time has dredged along without me while I awaited my sentence. My Princess. But now I have to wake up to a world that was never mine. A world broken and ravaged in ways even I can not begin to fathom. All for her, I will be Legend.
I felt a radiating sense of weight forming deep within what could only be described as my chest. I felt. To feel. “How long had it been?” I was unaware... the part of my mind that had thought, consciousness... it had been asleep for so very long. “What does it mean to feel again?” It feels important. I stirred... there was an “I” again, that was this weight coalescing my soul.
“How long had I been trapped within my subconscious?” I remembered images of my past; a body of my own, strong and powerful. I saw a week of time... Luna.
“Are you waiting for me?”
It was clearer now, my name returned. I was Silk...yes...Silk. How much of myself had been lost in the years... how many years? It forced its way before my soul, my mind; all that I had lost. Movement; “Remember?” I asked myself. Do I remember what it feels to move... to breath. Slowly, try it out. Remember what it felt like to order a limb to move and have it respond. Force movement to that which is static.
Nothing. No movement.
That feeling is pain, yes... pain. I recall pain now. It hurts to force it, my body does not wish to move. Or it can’t? The darkness has not lifted on my soul; there is still nothing but the black. “Luna!?” I cried, through a mouth trapped within my mind.
I wanted out, wanted to be freed so greatly; struggling with all my might to move limbs that had not existed for so long that I had forgotten their existence. Luna was waiting for me...I knew she would be. I have to get out, get to Luna. I have made her wait for far to long as it is.
Again I tried to push out, tried to open my eyes. As the time spent with the Princess whirled inside my mind. A long life played out in front of me, so much seemed to be foreign to me now that I look back upon it: A sea, burning cities, daggers filling the air, a land of mountains and beasts the size of which no scale can be set, and of a sky locked in stasis. A sky with no moon or sun to illuminate.
Then came the light.
My eyes, yes they were my eyes... they had opened; the stone which had been my prison since Celestia arrived in the small town which had become my home was retreating.
The air was cold.
Breathe, remember to breathe. I gasped hard in the air that had magically been void to me. Move, break from the stone. My limbs remained trapped against all my struggling. Eyes of the newborn haunted me; I found myself unable to see beyond the painful light of existence. “How did I use to move!? Why is it so hard? When I couldn’t move what would I do?” Magic, it came to me suddenly.
When all else failed I had my magic.
I had power.
Focusing inward I reached into my blood, the source of my magic. There was a dull throb; not the rush of power that was once there. As if my powers too had been trapped in Celestia’s hex. It was there though, the magic that had always been inside of me; it would answer my call.
I felt the power surge up through my horn and encompass the wilting stone around me. Using it’s weight to push in as I struggled to push out I crushed it all to dust, falling down to what I presumed to be the dirt bellow.
Haggard and spent I tried to put my feet under myself to push up. They were so weak that I was hardly able to force a stand. Darkness broke through the endless night, I turned my head up to the sky. It must be summer, for though the air was cold the specific scents of flowers which dotted Canterlot all summer long could be felt.
How much did I appreciate it now over when I had it before.
Every sense seemed to be heightened acutely.
Darkness, focus on the darkness.
The night broke into my light and barren world; pulling my eyes through the spectrum of pain. A shadow crossed my eyes and the star lit world I had awoken into. The shadow of a unicorn with massive wings on its back.
I forced all the light from my eyes in that moment, the moon was behind the figure and the light was hidden from its front as it stood before me. So tall and elegant. I moved to speak but my words caught in my throat sharply.
The Alicorn before me was on a pedestal much like the one I had fallen off of, vines...plant life. Now that I could see it, there were vines crawling up its legs. The moon moved through the sky, just as it always had, the new position putting new light on the situation.
And the statue of Luna.
I felt my heart clutch; voice in my head begging for my body to relax and consider all possibilities. I turned my head side to side, and all I could see were overgrown trees and overgrown hedges. Statues lined the path I sat upon on both sides and the vines and plant-life was eminent in all of them.
My fresh born breath was caught in my throat as I forced my old body to stumble towards the statue. There was nopony in sight, nopony around. I raised a hoof to try and caress the statues face, wondering to myself where my Princess could be, but I was too weak. The hoof fell down out of my control and sharply slid down some of the vines on the statue’s base.
Revealing what looked, in the dim moonlight, to be words.
Frantic I leaned down and with hoof and teeth bit at the vines till a full phrase was revealed to my charcoal eyes.
“Here lies Luna, Princess of Equestria.”
The world I knew faded away, and Silk D’Rouge knew nothing but pain.
<Author Aside: The rest of the story "Legend" will be carried on in another story, so as not to clutter "Legacy" with the sequel.>
Magic enveloped my body of its own volition. Controlled by emotions that had no control it uprooted trees and destroyed shrubbery; the clouds which filled a moonless sky whirled with cyclonic fury; the ground itself shook under the might of untamed magic. A unicorn’s magic, temporal as it is, is controlled wholly by the user’s emotions. I find myself able to explain this so calmly to you for as the magic ravaged the world around me I found my consciousness floating nearby viewing it as if through the eyes of an observer. I was not part of the rage, but I was connected to it; not part of the sadness, but I was filled with its grief. It was a moment of divine gifted clarity, though I was in control of my mind I found myself completely disconnected from my body. The brilliant navy light of my magic coloured the sky a blue to rival the deepest seas and flooded from my eyes to purge the world of all that was unfit. Everything seemed so unfit… Everything except her…
Luna seemed so pristine but disconnected as I was, I found myself unable to fully appreciate the figure before me. This was the mare I had waited so very long for; this was what I had spent so long trapped in stone for. I had been imprisoned within my own mind, just as I found myself now, looking forward to nothing but her warmth again.
It was taken from me.
There was no warmth now.
Nothing but the cold wrath of magic.
“Be calm,” I reminded myself, “You don’t know what happened.” I focused inward as hard as I could; meditation was required to control one’s emotions. I had always been able to focus in on that part of myself; I had to be able to do it. Lack of control meant death. I felt it returning to me, the long needed control. The magic surging from my form subsided slowly, pulsing like a dying heart from my veins.
Control. I had returned to myself.
Danger, the feeling was immediate and omnipresent; the feeling of a dagger being raised behind my back. An enemy preparing itself for the kill. Flexing my legs my muscles triggered long un-used blades hidden beneath my coat. Sounds pervaded the resounding silence which was the aftermath of my magical tirade. “How many?” I asked my senses, five, or six? No. Eight, there were eight of them hiding nearby. Armed I felt ready to face them, limbs shaking with age and fury.
Who would dare interrupt my sorrow?
The first of my foes came into sight and I bit back the stinging release of my breath. I had lived a hard life and seen horrors that would haunt the most sturdy and stoic of ponies but never before had I seen such a wretched looking creature. The unicorn before me, if it was still to be called by such a noble breed, was emancipated beyond belief, chunks of flesh appeared to be missing, bone was exposed where they had broken and forced through the skin. The creature’s face was withdrawn and hollow, like a skeleton starving for a flicker of life. I steeled myself, it was just another pony; it would bleed and feel pain like any other.
It was then, to my infinite horror that the beast before me spoke.
“You… you have the magic! Give it to us!” it howled in what once could have been a noble and rich voice; dried and rasping in hollow lungs. Then the beast before me lunged.
I raised my hooves in defence, the tips of my blades came right to the base of my hoof, and they were slashing weapons; not stabbing. I felt the movement of the other seven bodies as from all sides they rushed me, their sickness no different from the one before me. Every one of them a unicorn like myself.
As if the trumpets had sounded and the judge had come to call did the ‘sun’ rise behind me, and crashed through the monstrous creatures with abandon. Its hooves lashed out against them, withered mane flew through the air with the force of such great an impact. Terror coloured the monsters’ faces and they turned and fled before the faded might of so glorious a ‘sun’, leaving me behind stunned at the brutality I had just seen.
Before me was the Princess I had known as Celestia, the very sun herself and ruler over all of Equestria. The Alicorn’s body was scarred and marred far past its former perfection, a patch strapped across her face covered where her right eye used to be, a wing was missing from her back, the other heavily bandaged and strapped to her side. The magic that had once been her very lifeblood had seemed to leave Celestia in the years of my imprisonment; for all intents and purposes she looked no better off than the misshapen creatures that she had just forced to route. Her mane was flat and fell about her like well-kept straw, its magical force long since faded; even the colour of her eye seemed to have been tainted by the darkness which permeated this moonless night.
We faced each other for a long time, two sides of the same coin. We had both loved Luna, though in very different ways, and we had both (as far as I was concerned) suffered a terrible loss. I had asked for my punishment, I had planned on being turned to stone; I knew I could not fault Celestia for doing what she did.
But that didn’t stop my rage from forcing me to plant a left hay-maker right into her skull the moment she went to talk.
Celestia woke with a start, I had laid her out before me and assuming that she would react in such a way constructed a fire a good few feet from her inert form. I sat waiting for her to awaken, amazed that I had been able to lay her low with a single punch of my hoof. My old limbs must still have some fight left in them.
After the initial panic she looked to me and moved closer to the fire, she seemed so small now; as if her once massive height had been nothing more than an illusion. I had noticed her emancipation, though not as severe as the other unicorns that had attacked me. A shadow of her former self.
I waited for her explanation, her excuse; I had come to realize that I was not mad at her for imprisoning me, but for failing to protect my Princess while I was away. Failing Luna was an unforgiveable crime as far as I was concerned.
When no explanation came I made the first move, pulling my eyes off her form and focusing on the ravaging fire.
“Well… what happened…?” I had no other words, all of my rage had been injected into that attack I had levelled with her face. The emotions inside of me had sunken to a numbing depression; there was no room for the rage I wanted to feel. The weight of my years pressed down on me, it truly felt like all my years spent within the stone had been for nothing.
“It started shortly after you were imprisoned… maybe ten years later.” Celestia began looking away, there was unfinished business between them but that would have to wait. “Magic started to leave the land; the unicorns found they had less and less control… Then the deaths started happening.” The regal Princess darkened in the shadows of the flame looked such a pitiful creature to me. “All of the magic had left us, and it was killing us. Without the magic in our veins many unicorns found their hearts unable to beat… It affect emotional state, appetite, sanity… We started to lose more and more like the ones you saw earlier…the Wild. Those who didn’t die wish that they had… or lose themselves completely in the thirst for magic.”
“Then the symptoms started to affect Luna…” she trailed off, her voice breaking a little. Without her magic what was she? No different than any other pony in this land… without her power what made her so special. I looked at Celestia for a long moment considering my response; I wanted to get angry, to hate her, to judge her for not being able to stop this plague before it took my Luna. But I knew that it wasn’t her fault… it was unavoidable…
“She died.” I said looking down to the ground, defeated. I had to admit it, or I would never move past it…
“No… she lives still.” Celestia said, I could feel her one eye on my; the rugged muscles in my face clenched. Not able to bear a “Luna lives on in all of us” speech, that bullshit was for children. “Did you not read the full inscription on her statue?” I lifted my head and met her eye, my own like the dagger emblazoned on my flank.
Turning I looked to the statue off in the distance, was there something I had missed? I moved away from Celestia in dead silence, and I believe she fully understood that if I found no proof there that I would come back to the flame filled with murderous intent. The vines beneath the inscription taunted and teased me as if I was nothing more than a petulant child. Dagger unsheathed I cut down the vines slowly, not wishing to damage the figure before me. In the dull starlight, flickered with the dancing the flame other words followed beneath the original. Now the full inscription read:
“Here lies Luna,
Princess of Equestria.
I wait for you still, my Night.”
I bit back the tears that had risen in my eyes, and lashed out against the painful tug in my heart. She still existed, trapped within this stone was my Princess. My Moon…
I moved up and pressed my horn to hers and closed my eyes. The cold stone beneath me, at least within my mind, disappeared and for just the fraction of this present she was there. Reality cold and hard came back to me though, but now… now I had a mission, a job to do.
My life had purpose again.
My legacy needed me.
I returned to Celestia and sat down in silence, staring at her and nothing else. It was time to hear the rest of her story.
“The plague had spread to my sister and in order for her to last beyond the point when we may be able to form a cure she requested I trap her in stone… though now that you’re set free I’m worried about how long it will hold…” he voice trailed off and her eye focused on the figure behind me.
“What does that mean? How long have I been out?” I asked, worried; this was setting a time limit, if I didn’t find out how to stop this then it would mean the end for Luna. I needed to know the window.
“You were only imprisoned for thirty-five years Silk…” Celestia said turning back to me. “Your stone was formed to last a lot longer than hers was though… so I don’t know when it will give.” She said.
“Well buck me, push it aside Silk, focus.” I though, pulling, myself from my fears. “Has this hit the other races…?” I asked, curious if it was unicorn specific. The magic was ours, the other races did indeed have magic; anypony schooled in the arts was aware of a primordial magic which existed in all things.
“Until recently yes, but in the last five years the Pegasi and the Earth Ponies have begun to show similar symptoms. Pegasi born with the inability to control the weather, or walk on clouds; Earth Ponies being born disconnected and lost, almost as if they are trapped in some kind of internal prison.” Celestia hoofed the ground and shook her head violently to push it all from her mind.
“It strikes the ponies in the womb as well… the unicorn population has been cut in half and only one in every five is born… if this keeps up in time all of us will be gone.” It was a bitter truth, even if someponies develop immunity or survive losing their magic it could still be assumed that they were carriers; that their children would not be as immune. “I don’t know what to do Silk…” she whispered hopelessly.
“Well I’m not about to let Luna die.” I said adamantly.
The Princess looked at me for a long, confused moment as the full weight of my statement came to bare.
“I’ll find a way to rid us of this plague and cure everypony I can. For her… I’ll do anything.” I said looking back to Luna. “Get me everything and everypony you can spare anypony worth their weight…” I said getting up from the fire. I was not naïve enough to understand what this was going to entail.
Celestia rose with me and nodded in my direction. “I have to stay here and try to rule my people… I will send for my most trusted subjects… they should be here in the morning.” She began to walk away, but paused as something within her mind was recalled.
“She always went back you know? To the place where you two were together; she was trapped there long after I opened the gate… She never got over it.” Celestia said before galloping off into the darkness.
I looked after her white coat for a moment before she vanished and gave my shoulders a roll. All she had just done was confirm for me that the first stop on this journey would be back to that spot… Back to the place where Luna and I spent our week together.
I awoke sharply to the sound of clopping hooves, wondering to myself as my magic flowed on instinct whipping out the daggers which were hidden within my cloak, how long it had been since I had lived a life where instincts guided my every action. Sleeping that way, if you can call it sleep, was so different then the cushy and safe sleep I had obtained in my once mansion. It was like insomnia with sleep, there was the moments when my mind would enter what a science pony would call R.E.M. sleep; these moments would last a minute or two, like fireworks they went off and on allowing my consciousness to fade in and out of reality in a way that would leave me prepared for anypony who would think to attack me in my sleep. Hardly a restful way to spend a night.
Not that I would have wanted to sleep properly… with sleep would come dreams, dreams would breed nightmares… and honestly I didn’t think I could hoofle that at the moment.
The clopping hooves crashed across moss covered gravel and I slinked my way behind Luna, keeping my thinner form shadowed in the base; the sun was dull in the sky, hanging low at the moment on the other side; encasing me in the sweet darkness.
It took another moment for Celestia to arrive, I could see the rise and fall of her faded chest as she drew deep pants; sadly remembering a finer time when magic had flowed through her body and her wings would carry her forever and beyond without growing tired. This… this New Equestria was not looking so good to me.
For a moment her one good eye looked around panicked at my absence… I remembered that powerful Goddess who had stared me down and trapped me in stone. Putting away my blades with the faint navy glow of my magic I stepped out of the shadows silently breaking my cover. She looked at me slowly and I could see it in her eye, that regal mind of hers working out the instant while paralyzing her body to hide any shock of my sudden appearance. She was adapting well it seemed.
Looking at this crippled and broken being which was once a beautiful goddess, the celestial Sun herself, I found that deep inside I held no hate for her, no rage… not even disappointment. I instead felt only pity.
“Sorry if I startled you, Princess.” I apologized; I suppose I had spent my rage the night before when I sent her low… might as well be civil.
She did look startled now, I suppose she hadn’t expected such a response from me… a civil response from me… Suffice to say my emotions came and went in bursts and I had always been able to adapt quickly to events. Depression. Anger. Release. Numbness. I was back to a feeling that I was very used to… I was alone again.
“If you’ll follow me to the castle…” the voice pulled me back from my inner thoughts, looking to my eye-patched guide I nodded and with a soft glow of my unicorn magic I pulled the hood of my cloak low over my face.
“Lead the way.” I said in my silk voice, the poison of my bitterness having left me to my own devices in its wake.
When Celestia turned and began to walk away, leading me to Castle Canterlot I turned silently and took another look at my stone encased Princess and whispered softly, a voice that only she could hear; or so I would tell myself later.
“I will save you, Luna.”
I was surprised to find that Canterlot the city itself had appeared relatively unchanged. There were some parts where plants had gotten a little unruly and the marble had seem faded but beyond these small aesthetic differences the city I remembered was still standing and seemed full of life. There were ponies moving in the streets, Pegasi flying through the early morning air; I saw a couple of unicorns sit down at an outdoor coffee house to a cup of what I could only describe as the single, best smelling cup of hot liquid I have ever and will ever come to know. I suddenly found myself considering the act of doing a quick silent take-down and enjoying a cup myself; I felt famished.
How long had it been since I’d eaten, how long since I had a drink? Over thirty long years encased in stone did little to keep me well feed; merely alive in a form of stasis where food was not required. For the first time, since I had spoken of Calimare to Luna I felt completely and utterly weak.
“Princess…” I stammered falling to my knees, and swaying against the café’s small white picket fence separating the young couple from my collapsing body. Turning in surprise I found my weight being support on her white flank.
“You can eat at the castle; it’s just a ways further.” She whispered I was drawing a crowd: rule one of survival, never draw a crowd. Pulling myself up I attempted to close my senses, catching the smiles and waves that Celestia was getting; they loved their Princess and she was out among them, loving them back I supposed.
But there were a lot less smiles then I remembered the last time I graced Canterlot with my presence. Leaning heavily on the Princess I allowed myself to be guiding using as little energy as I could; I could feel my stomach rebelling against me as it sought an answer to its hunger. I was more than tempted to dive into the nearest bush.
I focused on whatever else I could though, eyes taking in the colorful buildings which dotted Canterlot as we made our way through the back streets which separated my statue (or myself?) from the Castle. The area had the rustic feeling of a place past its prime and I could taste the lingering scent of depression on my tongue; though it may seem unchanged the mood of the land had changed, the air itself was tainted with this plague just like every pony around me. It was a stagger in my step as I consider the implications, every mare and stallion around me was becoming, if not already was, completely devoid of magic…
Sobering thoughts as that very rarely enter the mind I suppose.
A shadow ripped through the sky pulling me from my silent contemplations as the Princess and I reached the front steps to the massive stone castle with its spiralling towers. On instinct I pulled my hood down sharp over my face casting it in shadows as I spied at whatever had blocked out the pale looking sun.
It was a dragon with scales of the deepest red; a massive wing span the length of four ponies easy, flying freely over the castle before disappearing over the roof. Celestia, for her worth, could sense that my mood had shifted instantly.
“The emissary from the Dragon Lands…” Celestia explained to me as she helped me up the steps; my hunger made me feel my age, and that was truly a horrific thought.
I consider the implications, what Celestia needed to know and what I needed to keep secret until I could confirm my suspicions and trust me I had many at this point, that dragon with brilliant red scales and eyes as black as my own was trouble but I couldn’t rightly inform her of how I had come to this information ‘suddenly’, and honestly… I didn’t think Celestia could handle the truth.
“Will he be here long…?” I asked vaguely, reminding myself to play it cool.
“Well he has his own den on the other side of the mountain and is semi-permanent resident since more concrete dealings with the dragons started.” She said seeming to take my curiosity at face value, she probably thought I had never seen a dragon before, let alone that one specifically.
“Do me a favor Celestia…” I said pushing open the door to the castle with my magic allowing her to lead us in where I found a long wooden table lined with chairs in the main hall, a variable feast set out before one of the seats near the head, opposite the throne. Fighting back the urge to lunge for it I finished my request before diving hoof first into the food. “Do not let that dragon leave.”
It was not until I had almost finished in my ravage conquest of the dinner table that the doors opened and Celestia stood up from her throne. I had been in this room before as a servant; getting close to the Princesses without their knowledge as I attempted to gain favoured position which would make foal-napping Luna all the easier… so much had changed in these thirty odd years, I remembered how busy this hall would be with servants and nobles and I wondered silently how many this plague had claimed? Turning my head I noticed a group of six ponies; their shadow at least for the sun was taunting the other side of the door casting their front in brilliant shadows. My entourage I assumed, finishing my food and pulling my hood lower with my cloak. I had always, for all of my lived life been a loner, this had only changed when I had taken Luna into my custody and I discovered the power of a special somepony who would listen to all the hate and pain inside… now it was gone again…
I followed the crippled Princess down the length of the table where the six mares(for now it was visible to me that they were mares) had lined up.
“Thank you for coming so quickly my faithful students.” Celestia said; her voice shifting from the tyrant I had once known, it was motherly and doting.
“Anything for you Princess.” The one furthest to the right and nearest to myself and the Princess said with a low bow, I walked closer to get a look at them all.
The one on the right, who had spoken to the princess was a sturdy looking unicorn with a brilliant lavender coat and dark purple hair lined with a lighter lavender. Her eyes were a finer shade of magenta; her cutiemark a large star with six smaller orbiting bodies. She had a gash running down from the top of her right ear over across her lips and down half of her neck; it looked deep and painful, jagged. There were straps of leather wrapped around her legs and roughly worn iron shoes covering her hooves; a closer look showed a piece of her left ear missing and deep bags under her eyes from sleepless nights. This was Twilight Sparkle; the Princess introduced me to her protégé and personal apprentice. Turning from her I looked at the next mare in the line.
This mare, a Pegasus, once had a bright yellow coat which had faded, and long candy-floss like mane which had darkened with the passing of time; she was tall, taller than me. A staggering height for a mare. She had soft, almost droopy blue eyes which would shift whenever her wings gave an involuntary twitch; around her neck was a scarf with a halo imprinted on it; a trio of butterflies danced upon her flank. My scanning eyes noticed a gentle and under spoken favouring of her right side, the left hind leg seeming to be injured; blocked from view was a three-clawed gashed running down her flank to her knee which I would discover later. Her name was Fluttershy, dully noted.
The third mare in was the roughest looking. Over her right eye was a rough, rainbow colored bandage which ran through her like coloured mane and rested just behind a half remaining left ear. On her back was one wing which twitched excitedly as if begging to be left free while the other was wrapped in a tight bandage which was coiled around her chest. A simple glance at the wounded appendage revealed to me that it would never fly again… I had seen breaks like that in Calimare… often as a form of torture. Her own, violet eye, contrasting sharply against her cyan mane and white smile of confidence; this Rainbow Dash exuded an aura of power, flightless or not. The thunder cloud on her back raining down a bolt of lightning rainbow upon her flank.
Beside her was the most offensively pink earth pony that I had ever had the occurrence to see, now I’ve lived a suspiciously long life and never before had I seen something quite so…pink. It almost seemed an affront to my shadowy nature on a genetic level, the Earth Pony before me (which was introduced quickly as Pinkie Pie) had a thick magenta mane and tail and eyes of a dark, sea blue. On her flank where three balloons (two blue, one yellow…but I digress, details upon details), out of all the mares she seemed the less roughened up out of all the six mares…on the surface at least. The was a bubbly smile on her face but I didn’t buy it, at least not on the same level she was portraying it; there was a haunting shadow in those eyes that distracted me from the innocence of that smile.
Beside Pinkie Pie was an orange earth pony wearing a black cowpony hat which was low over her face, a band of sheer white wrapped around it; around her neck was a gentle colour with a white, red, and orange gemstone in its center. There was a cut on her chin, nothing large like the gash which run down Twilight’s face, there was however a slight discolouration on her coat around the shoulder leading back to her stomach and that hoof never seemed to have as much weight on it as the others. Three apples floated peacefully on her flank, Celestia introduced this new pony to me as Applejack.
Lastly, at the end was what I could only assume was a truly beautiful pony for her coat had that… remembrance of vibrant white that was only match by freshly fallen snow; it had not however retained that luster. The pale grey of her coat matched a thick streak running through her royal blue mane; a grey not unlike the stripe running through my own aged hair. The poor pony had deep set eyes and a nervous tick in the hind leg, almost like a flight response; a twitch that was only encouraged by the nervous light in her faded eyes. Her body had the shape of a deeply beautiful pony, even I was aware of a good looking mare when I saw one apparently… Her tail was short and jagged looking with the same tell-tale line of grey which followed to where the curl was cut off by the outer edge. On here flank were two gemstones and a scar almost like a burn mark where a third would have been; the same style and shape as the one on Applejack’s choker. This unicorn was Rarity.
They all introduced themselves to me in turn as the Princess rhymed off their names and I took each one in in their totality. Just as I was about to make my statement and explain my first step of our little battle plan a shadow blocked all of the door and a seven foot tall, wingless dragon slinked in.
“This is Spike, Twilight’s assistant and a dear friend.” Celestia explained introducing me to the lizard. I took this reptilian in, no way prepared to trust a Dragon… not after what I expected.
He had long, jagged claw ending forearms and hind legs of a similar ferocity. His form slunk down to be near level with the ponies, he set his right arm over Rarity’s back as he touched her I notice the shiver run down her spine; his slit-pupiled eyes were staring me down just as I was staring him down with mine from beneath my hood. He had rows of green spines going from the top of his head down his back, pressing in against his vibrant purple scales; there were scars here and there, tender spots which had never healed over correctly. I memorized everyone of them.
“Pleasure to meet you.” The dragon hissed at me in his deep voice, it cracking a little towards the end, this one was still a child; nothing like the monstrous beast which had flown over head before.
“Spike can send me messages with his flame…” Celestia explained pulling my eyes and head away from the dragon. “He will be crucial for communication.”
“Can you send one back.” I ordered from beneath my hood; I was to lead these ponies, we were not comrades out on some noble quest, I was fighting to save Luna and these were my soldiers, they had a place to learn.
“At least three times a day.” Celestia said calmly not faltering at my tone, she had learned a lot of my personality and mannerisms… perhaps Luna had… No, don’t think of her right now, not until the job is done. Focus.
“Good, well ladies…” I paused and turned my hooded head back to the dragon. “and dragon, my name is Silk D’rouge and its time we went over the ground rules. If I tell you to run you run, if I tell you to stop you stop; going against my word is nothing short of treason and I will deal with it accordingly, I promise you.” I threatened, not an empty threat either, I meant every word that I uttered to those six. “I am doing this for personal reasons and I’m only accepting you all along because the Princess…” a glance to Celestia. “Believes that you will prove yourself useful to me.” I took time looking into each one of them and they looked back trying not to falter as the hot coals of my eyes tore at them.
“Where will you go first…?” Celestia asked me, surprising me honestly. I had assumed by now she would have guessed.
“We’re going to the mansion back in Springhoof.” I stared her down for a moment. “Any problem?”
“No, none at all...” Celestia said quietly looking away from my stare then, she was torn she wanted to attack my motives I could tell that, she wanted to argue that I was being too personal and going there to see things that Luna had left behind not to try and find a cure.
I won’t lie, that was a really big part of it, but there was something else nagging at me; there was something between this plague and that room… I knew there was, deep in my core.
“Well with that…” I walked between Applejack and Pinkie Pie, sliding through them with the gentle grace that was my talent and skill. “Shall we ladies.”
Luna was waiting for me there in the past. At the place where we spent our time together, the place where it all began.