In His Image

by daOtterGuy

First published

Flash Magnus bargains for the Flame of Prometheus to save his people

A plague ravages the Pegasi of Filoplume. The Centurions must brave the Caucasus to procure Prometheus's Flame before it's too late.

Part of the Corrupt Pillars Anthology

Content Warnings for the following: Body Horror, Claymation, Blood, Illness

Edited by: EileenSaysHi
Preread by: The Sleepless Beholder, Dewdrops on the Grass


View Online

Great Prometheus declared that a new being was to be made by his design. A majestic beast of four hooves with powerful wings that signified its mastery over the skies.

Thus we, the Pegasi, were created.

Great Prometheus looked at the other beings that roamed the plains and declared that the Pegasi weren’t enough. He claimed that they must also have mastery over the very weather itself.

Thus we, the Pegasi, were blessed with power over the clouds.

Great Prometheus then declared that it was still not enough. The Pegasi must be stronger than any other creature so that they may never be usurped and taken from him.

Thus, one pegasus was changed to match this vision.

Hated Prometheus was then locked away within a dark canyon, his abomination killed before it could cause any harm.

Thus, Prometheus’s final vision never came to be.


View Online

“Come closer.”

Tentative steps forward. Apprehension in his face, lit by pulsating orange scars from the powerful Entity before him.

“No need to fear.”

A scream.

He stumbled backward.


“It is merely a reflex.”

Hesitation. More steps forward.

A sloppy, wet sound filled his ears. Squelch. He strained to make out more. Laboured breathing. Shocked sobs. A schlock followed by a splat as something was thrown down. A pained yell.

“We remake him. In an image that befits one created by us.”

Closer. He saw a stallion of clay. His body was deformed, kneaded by the hooves of the Entity. A face stuck in permanent agony. His chest rose and fell shakily. A hoof pressed into the surface, turning it concave.

Another scream.

“This one shall be perfect.”


View Online

Flash Magnus stepped out from the darkness. His ears filled with the sound of cracking as sharp pain radiated through his body. Blood flowed freely from the wounds. New, gaping cuts had opened along his body from where the noise was loudest. He grit his teeth, pushing through the pain. He had too much to do and too little time to do it.

The flame inside him served as a reminder. He could feel it burning, blazing in time to the frantic beating of his heart. It enveloped him wholly with its searing heat. He kept upright through grit and determination alone.

“Magnus!” Tailwind called out. She galloped toward him.

“Don’t!” Flash roared, his throat burned, cracked from the flame he carried. “Stay there!”

“What?!” Tailwind stopped. “W-what’s—”

“Stay away from the canyon. It’s not safe.” He trudged forward, teeth grit, each step releasing a series of painful pops under his skin. “No one else can enter.”

“Why? I thought—” Tailwind’s eyes widened in panic. “What about the flame? The rest of the team?”

“I have his flame,” Flash growled. Tailwind took a step back from the venom in his voice. “But I don’t have much time left. I need you to clear the way so I can cure the sick before I change completely.”

“Change? What change?” Flash, you aren’t making any sense! What is—”

Flash stepped out of the shade of the canyon, revealing the state of his body. Tailwind released an involuntary scream.

“What happened to you?!”

He growled, sharp teeth stabbing through the gums of a mouth ill-suited for them. More blood flowed from the new wounds. His hooves made heavy thuds, heavier than any pegasus. They matched his bigger body. His fur had darkened, extenuating the thick scars that crisscrossed his body. They pulsated, glowing a menacing red.

Tailwind took a step back, her wings flapping in a panic. Magnus knew why. She was reacting not to a friend, but a predator. A primal instinct to run from one who would do her harm. Luckily for her, he was still himself. At least, for now.

“I know how this looks, Tail, but I don’t have time to explain,” Flash said, trying to sound reassuring despite the pain that encompassed him. “Just make sure everyone stays out of my way.”

Flash continued onward, trotting past Tailwind and toward the makeshift hospital at the back of the base. Tailwind ran after him.


View Online

“You scared, Magnus?” Grimhoof, a large blue-grey pegasus stallion with a brutish appearance, jeered. “Got your wings tied in knots thinking about the dark?”

“I have no fear of the dark.” Flash narrowed his eyes as he drew himself up to his full height, coming only up to Grim’s chest. “You should be more concerned about yourself. I can smell the stink of piss on your leg.”

A snarl. “What did you just say?”

“That you pissed yourself because you have the courage of a field mouse, Grim.”

“Say something to me like that again and I’ll break your damn wings.”

“I’d like to see you try.” Flash released a sharp bark of laughter. “You have the strength of a newborn foal.”

Grim tensed, ready to launch himself at Flash. He was stopped by two wings shoving them apart. The angry face of Ironhead followed shortly after.

“Knock it off!” Ironhead shouted. “Get your heads focused on the mission.”

“He started—” Both said.

“I don’t care!” Split interrupted. “Get ready for the flight or I’ll have you both removed from the fleet and sent out into the wilds to fend for yourselves.”

Flash and Grim glared at each other. Grim snorted and pulled back first. He stomped toward the other side of camp.

“I didn’t need you to interfere,” Flash said.

“That’s not the point!” Ironhead retorted. “You are slated to be a captain and you can’t be getting into fights with other troops.” He jabbed a feather into Flash’s chest. “Smarten up.”

Before Flash could reply, Ironhead stomped off, hollering out orders to grunts as he trotted away. Flash snorted at his retreating form.

“Why does he keep picking fights with you?”

Flash noticed Tailwind approach out of the corner of his eye. “Because he’s a goon,” he remarked.

“He seems particularly goonish to you, though.”

“Probably because we used to date and he never forgave me for ending things with him.”

“You and he—”

“What do you want, Tail?” Flash interrupted.

“I was just checking in.” Tailwind harrumphed. “But if you’re going to be a jerk about it…”

“Sorry. I’m just under a lot of stress.” Flash sighed. “There’s so many sick and the only way we can cure them is if we go—” He stared across the yard at the gaping blackness of the canyon as it swallowed the light into its depths. He felt a stirring of fear in his chest that he quickly squashed. “We need to find it. For the people of Filoplume.”

“It is rather risky going into the depths of Caucasus.” Tailwind eyed the canyon entrance wearily alongside Flash. “Be careful.”

“I will.”


View Online

“Flash, please. I need to know what happened,” Tailwind begged as she followed after Flash.

He trotted briskly, pushing through the camp as ponies desperately stumbled out of his way, fear clear in their eyes as they took in the changed appearance of their brother-in-arms.

There was a predatory quality to his gait as he moved, a quiet but impactful step that belied the power in his limbs and the danger of his presence. It was what caused the pegasi to quake in place, their instincts warning them that he was not to be trusted.

“I don’t have the time to explain it to you. All you need to know is that I need to heal the afflicted, and then I’ll need to leave,” Flash replied curtly.

“What about the rest of the fleet? Nimbus? Ironhead? Bella? Surely—”

“There is only one other.”

“One?! How can there only be one left?!”


View Online

It was impossibly dark. Pitch black in every direction, stone walls only known by feeling the currents of wind that blew through the canyon. It wracked Flash’s nerves. One mistake and he would hurl toward the unknown depths, presumably to his death.

The only relief from the darkness was the bright fur of his comrades that flew ahead of him. It made no sense in this darkness how he could see them so clearly, but it brought him comfort to know there were others navigating this horrible labyrinthe.

This was one of the few situations where he was thankful for his smaller stature and shorter wingspan. It made it easier to curve through the narrow passages of the canyon.

A crash followed by a pained shriek. Flash turned his head in time to see one of his sister-in-arms, Bella Breeze, plummet. She screamed as she flailed about, desperately trying to grab hold of a current that would save her. All too soon, however, her shouts were cut off as blackness pierced through her body, leaving splashes of red across the shape of sharp stone.

Flash turned away, unsettled, but focused on his mission. They had known the risks going in and that many of them would die. It pained him to leave Bella behind, but there was nothing he could do but carry onward.

A sliver of fear embedded itself inside of him. He hoped it wouldn’t be his undoing.


View Online

“The others are dead,” Flash stated.

“Dead?!” Tailwind exclaimed. “How?!”

“I don’t know the specifics, only that they are all dead save one.”

“But how do you know?!”

“I just do, Tail.”

“Okay, then who’s the other survivor?”



“Yes. Now Tailwind, please. I need to—”

He was interrupted by another round of excruciating pain coursing through him. He roared as new scars spread along his back, the joints and muscle bulging as they cracked and popped. Blood spewed from the new wound, trickling down to the ground and staining it red.

“Flash!” Tailwind cried out. “W-what’s happening? How do I help—”

“You can’t,” Flash gasped out as the pain subsided to the usual dull throbbing. “But I have significantly less time than I thought I had.”

“Why do you think— Flash!”

Flash galloped to the tents, Tailwind racing after him.


View Online

The cold permeated through his fur, chilling Flash to the bone. He flew onward despite it, hesitation threatening to freeze him in place and ensure he met the same fate as his comrades.

He had seen many of the colourful corpses of his brethren as he flew deeper into the canyon. A quick count let Flash know that he was one of the few left of the fleet. It was a sobering thought, made worse by the possibility of failure, which would thus make their sacrifice pointless.

As these morbid thoughts overtook his mind, the strangest sensation coursed through his body.


Hope gave Flash the strength to push through, following the rising temperature toward his destination. He found his hooves scraping against the smooth floor as he clumsily landed onto a platform lit by a single red glow.

Now landed, he found himself across from a seated orange stallion with a sharp, illuminated horn, with wings that stretched out from his body so far as to be lost in the darkness. Scars of molten fire pumped and crawled across the stallion’s fur, lit by burning flames that grew in place of his mane and tail. It provided warmth in the frigid cold, a beacon of hope at the possibility of completing his mission.

Before Flash could speak, a scream cut through the silence, causing him to stumble.

Prometheus, Patron of the Pegasi, regarded him with eyes of pure fire. “How blessed be this day that another graces us with their presence,” he remarked.

Flash merely stared, unmoving, until Prometheus’ words again dispelled the quiet.

“Come closer.”


View Online

“Gruesome, isn’t it?” Ironhead remarked.

Flash nodded tightly at the understatement, horror making him mute. Kite had been perfectly healthy not a few days prior. Now, he lay as nothing more than a living corpse. Skin taut over bone, muscle all but withered away, pulsing veins dyed pink from illness.

“Do we know what the cause is?” Flash asked.

“No, but we may have a cure,” Ironhead replied.

“Then why aren’t we using it?”

“We don’t have it yet.”

“We don’t—?!”

“It’s located in the Caucasus.”

“And?” Flash narrowed his eyes. “If we do not get the cure, everyone will die. The dangers are worth saving the lives of our people.”

“I was hoping you would say that. Now, what do you know of Prometheus?”


View Online

“Great Prometheus sculpted us as per his vision!” Pious exclaimed. “The mighty who soar above the clouds!”

Flash tried to focus on the preacher’s words, but boredom caused his eyes to droop, and consciousness to slip away despite the uncomfortable pew he sat upon.

“From clay, he made the earth pony, and then, using the very clouds, he sculpted wings to put upon them,” Pious continued. “He filled their bones with vapour so that they may be light enough to achieve lift. Once each feather had been perfectly sculpted and a fleet of clay Pegasi stood before him, he filled them with the flame of life, thus bringing them into being.

“He adores them, but fears for their safety in the face of the powerful beings that already roamed the plains. He granted them gifts that allowed the Pegasi to control the weather, to walk on clouds, high above any enemy that may wish harm upon them.”

Sleep began to take him as he was lulled into rest. Though loud, Pious had a soothing cadence to his words that was very comforting.

“Fear further clouded Great Prometheus’s judgement as he saw the devastating power of the other races. They needed might to overcome the strong earth ponies, magic capable of thwarting the unicorns. He envisioned an elevated form of Pegasi. A being of unimaginable power.

“And for this vision, we locked him away, for it would make us too monstrous. It would have taken away what made us ponies, reducing us to nothing more than mere animals. Thus, he is now imprisoned within the Caucasus, praying that he shall never be released, for—”


View Online

Grimhoof looked at Flash with pleading eyes. He was malformed, with limbs of clay in the process of being formed into new shapes. Flash choked back his horror as fear coursed through him. This was the Patron of his race, the god who gave them life, and he cared little for the pain he caused to one of his own.

Prometheus’s horn glowed in red light as a lump of soft clay was dug out from the nearby ground and thrown onto Grimhoof’s mangled body. He kneaded the new material into his shoulder, molding the muscle into angular points.

“We already know your mission,” Prometheus intoned, a playful lilt to his tone. “You need my flame to cure your people.”

“Yes,” Flash replied.

“Then you are in luck, for we believe your cause worthy, though there will be a price to pay.”

“I accept,” Flash immediately replied.

“But you do not yet know what it is. Rather foalish of you.” Prometheus clicked his tongue. “Very well then. You will consume my flame, heal your people, then you will return to me.”

“To give you back your flame?”

“To stay. Permanently.”


“This one will need a partner.” Prometheus ran his hoof along Grimhoof’s torso, a horrific display of distended flesh and twisted bone. “You will have no other choice.”


“The flame will mold you into our perfect vision. The final form of the Pegasi.” Prometheus chuckled darkly. “Though, if you do not wish to go through the slow process, we can simply transform you now the manual way.”

Grimhoof released another bevy of loud sobs.

“Can you spare Grim? Turn him back?”

“No. And to clarify, it is because we do not want to, not that we are unable.”


“Because then there will only be you, and my final vision requires a pair,” Prometheus answered. “We grow tired of this conversation. Make your choice.”

“I will take the flame to my people,” Flash said.

“As we knew you would. Now, hold still.”

Prometheus unhinged his jaw. A ball of molten flame formed inside his mouth. He grabbed Flash forcibly with his magic and brought him closer, forcing his mouth open. As he came closer, Prometheus poured his fire into Flash.

As it burned down his throat and settled into his insides, Flash screamed.


View Online

“Why won’t you submit to me?” Grimhoof demanded. “Why must you always try to come ahead?”

“Because I cannot be owned, Grim,” Flash spat back. “And I do not try to get ahead of you, I just do.”

“You are not better than me,” Grimhoof growled. “You can never be better than me.”

“Why is this so important to you? Why can’t you accept that I’m more skilled than you?”

“Because I won’t lose you. I can’t.” Grimhoof drew himself up, towering over the ever-defiant Flash. “If you’re better than me, then what reason would you have to stay with me? Only the best can have you, and if I’m not the best, then we can’t be together.”

“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!” Flash snarled. “This obsession is completely out of hoof.”

“It’s not an obsession, I know I’m better.”

“Yet I fly faster and harder than you. I’m a higher rank now and, at this point, I’m sick of how you act around me. Tell me why I shouldn’t leave right now!”

“Because you’ll never be rid of me,” Grimhoof growled. “I’ll hound you every step of the way until I prove you’re beneath me. Where you belong.”

“Fine, Grim,” Flash replied with a sneer. “Then you can just spend the rest of your life watching my flanks as I speed past you.”


View Online

Flash braced both of his hooves against the mattress on either side of the ill mare’s head. She was in the final throes of the disease, on the cusp of death unless Flash intervened.

“Please, Flash. Tell me you can fix this,” Tailwind begged.

Taking in a deep breath, fanning the flame inside of him, Flash exhaled a stream of heat from his mouth. It flowed from him and into the patient causing faint orange to glow through thin skin and fur. The patient gasped for breath as muscle and sinew rapidly repaired themselves, reverting the mare back to her prior physical state.

Gathered ponies cried in relief and joy as the mare shakily propped herself up. Flash stepped off the bed, waiting to ensure that the mare was truly cured. She turned to him, tears beginning to form in the corner of her eyes.

“Thank you,” She hoarsely whispered.

He gave her a curt nod, then turned toward the next patient. There were many ill, and he only had so much time before he would be fully turned.

After which, he would return to Prometheus.


View Online

Flash trotted toward the canyon, his mission complete. No one had noticed him leave in the ensuing celebration and completion of his task meant that the illness was all but eradicated amongst his people. They were safe.

And it was time for him to embrace his future.

Moonlight lit up the harsh angles of his body, his wounds scabbed over into lines of scars that wound about his thin, bristly fur. His eyes were slitted, narrowed at an entity that hid within the blackness of the canyon.

Grimhoof stepped out. He was similar to Flash, lines of scars running along his red angular body. Unlike Flash, his mane, tail, and feathers flowed like flame, scorching everything they touched. His fur had a reflective sheen that glimmered in the moonlight. Not dissimilar to clay.

The scar seams of his body opened, revealing the inner lining of razor-sharp teeth and heated core of Grimhoof’s new body. A rumble echoed from within as a form of greeting.

“Hello to you as well, Grim,” Flash said.

Grimhoof’s wings came forth and twisted his face, manipulating his features until they took on the semblance of Tailwind’s features. The mockery of her face made a pitying expression at Flash. Flash scoffed as Grimhoof laughed, reverting to his prior state.

“Is this what you wanted, then?” Flash asked.

“If you mean becoming the most powerful pegasus alive and, more importantly, stronger than you…” Grimhoof smiled sharply. “Yeah, it’s exactly what I wanted. You’ll never get ahead of me now.”

“We’ll see about that,” Flash replied darkly.

With a bale of harsh laughter, Grimhoof spread his wings and launched himself into the darkness. After a few moments, Flash followed after him, the stallion he was bound to forevermore.