Downfall of Equestria

by Shadow Storm

First published

A civil war between the Solar Empire and the New Lunar Republic.

A civil war has broken out in Equestria. Luna's New Lunar Republic has been engaged in war with Celestia's Solar Empire for 10 years and continue to fight until one side is left standing. However one soldier in the NLR may be the one who ultimately decides the direction of the war. Shadow Storm, a pegagus stallion who serves Luna, only wants peace in Equestria, and soon realizes that some things aren't as what they seem.

New Update: N/A


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Downfall of Equestria

By: KingofMercs


It was a cold night, as an ash grey pegasi stallion walked into the deadly silent room, filled with ponies in their formal military attire. Eyes began to turn at him as his silvery white mane danced with the wind that came from the balcony. He stared back at each individual pair, some familiar, some foreign to his sight. Two ponies, both pegasi, walked over to him and smiled.

“Today is the day.” One of them said, causing the grey stallion to let out a sigh of nervousness.

Today was the day. The day everypony heard his story. The day everypony learned of the Great Civil War that tore the nation in two. The day everypony learned of the secrets that were never discovered.
Without a word, he moved, faintly limping forward towards the entrance of the balcony. Each step sent a wave of memories.

Each step he moved closer towards his past. As he past each individual pony, they would salute silently; giving respect to the veteran they once served with.

As he entered the balcony, the cold piercing wind caught him. A large noise was roaring below him as he stared towards the dark sky, littered with stars. The moon shined brightly, the stallion now lowering his head towards the crowd, which almost instantly fell silent. He looked around at the civilians he protected, at the lives he saved as he began to give his speech.

Throughout history, everything has a beginning, and an end. Nothing lasts forever. Great empires fall, and new ones rise to replace them and become the new giants of their era. They become victims of economic collapse, revolutions, political affairs, and of course, warfare.

My name is Shadow Storm. I am a soldier currently serving in Celestia’s New Equestrian Republic. Throughout my lifetime I have bared witnessed the tearing of the once harmonic Equestria. It then suffered became divided into two nations, one of light and one of night. Our Princess Celestia served as the Solar Empire's Empress, while her sister Princess Luna served as the leader of the New Lunar Republic

There’s only one rule to warfare: fight to win. Nopony will play by the rules. Nopony will ever play by the rules as long as they are the ones who will stand victorious under defeated. I have been through countless victories, and countless defeats. However the one thing that has ever affected me is the lies that have plagued this world for so long. Not is all that it seems here in Equestria. Not anymore.

It has been fifteen years since the beginning of the war, and things in my life have turned around and spiraled out of control. Some say I got to where I am because I am heartless, or because I allowed these things to happen. I am here to tell you the real story of what happened. I am here to share with you the secrets behind the war, and the lies that have been bestowed upon the entire nation. However, my story begins five years ago, when we marched on towards what would later become the New Lunar Republic’s last stand.

Chapter I: March of the NLR

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We started to move north towards the Northern Mountains. It was getting cold, and there weren't enough blankets to keep all of us warm. My best friend, Iron Shock, was one of the unlucky ones who couldn't get a blanket. I felt sorry for him, so I went over to him, continuing to walk.
He looked terrible. His frozen blue mane was ruffled and his white body looked like razor sharp spikes. His wings were tucked tightly to himself as he shivered, his breath stuttering under the cold air that surrounded us.

“Hey Iron, you hanging in there?”

Iron Shock looked at me, forcing a smile as his teeth jittered loudly.

“I’m o-okay. It’d sure be nice to use o-one of those b-blankets though.”

Without hesitation, I pulled the blanket off with my wings as I threw the blanket over him. He looked at me in astonishment as I stared back smiling.

“You can have it, just don’t die on me.”

I chuckled as I saw him smile faintly to my comment.

“Come on, Shadow. I wouldn’t let cold weather kill me. Besides, you need me around to save you.”

“Seriously Iron? I can handle myself. You need me to watch your back all the time, anyways.”

Iron Shock started to laugh, a real smile appearing on his face. This is the first time I’ve seen Iron Shock in a happy mood since the Battle of Ponyville. It was a horrible battle a year ago that took many lives. Including Iron’s daughter, Moon Shock, a young mare that I was very good friends with. Unfortunately, she sacrificed herself by saving Iron when he was injured on the ground from a purple mare that sent a magic blast towards him. She got in front of the blast and was instantly turned to stone.

“Seriously? Remember the Battle of Haven Rock? There were about a dozen of those Royal Elitists! The least I could do was pull you out of there. You almost got killed!”

“Okay, I guess I owe you one for that.” I said with a slight chuckle.

We shared stories from the past for at least another minute until there was complete silence again. We continued walking and I began to feel the cold slowly casing my body. Winter was always my least favorite time during the war. It was always too cold, and there was barely any food for all of us to eat. Plus it snowed, which made things worse for travels, like this one. Luckily it wasn’t snowing, but the wind was unbearable. I started to shiver as we continued walking through the mountains that looked down at us. I stared upward, looking past the mountains and into the sky. It was all cloudy and dark, just like it was every other day.

“Iron Shock, do you miss the perfect weather?” I sighed with a frown, leaving a confused look on Iron’s face.

“What do you mean, Shadow?”

“I mean, do you miss the su-”

“Don’t say it! You know that word is forbidden!” Iron shouted quietly, trying to hush me from saying any more.

I realized my mistake and silenced myself. I had completely forgotten the word sun was banned in our nation. Luna banned the word shortly after her war declaration against Celestia. Most of the words involving the day was banned, which was a mystery to all of us, but we figured it was Luna’s hatred for her sister.

“I completely forgot, thanks for the save.” I confessed, letting out a relieved sigh. Iron Shock couldn’t help but begin to smile again.

“I was going to say you owe me again, but I’ll let this one slip.” He chuckled, nudging me.

I stared forward and chuckled as well. It only lasted for about a couple seconds when we heard some commotion near the front. All at once, everypony stopped in their tracks, trying to listen. It was a very quiet mumbling sound, almost as if somepony was talking from a far distance. There were a few whispers going around that distracted me. It took awhile but I made out the voice, and figured out it was Princess Luna herself. She was telling us that we were taking a rest here.

I sighed with relief as I stomped around. I forgot how bad my hooves were aching, and the pain was now suddenly returning. I sat down, with Iron sitting down next to me. Every other pony began conversing with each other in their own groups. It has been days since we left the Everfree Forest after Celestia’s surprise attack on our camp. She had the upper hoof and took many NLR lives. I must have been more tired than I expected, because without knowing, I slipped into a deep sleep.

I woke up and found myself lying in the middle of Ponyville. Houses were burning down and ponies were fleeing in every direction. I got on my hooves and stared forward as a group of ponies caught my attention. It was Iron Shock, as he laid there on the ground. A purple unicorn mare was summoning magic through her horn, soon firing it towards Iron shortly after. I tried to yell, but not a sound came through my mouth. I also tried to move, but my body was frozen in place. I stood there helplessly as I watched the beam of magic approaching towards Iron. Just then a young mare stepped in and got in the way of the blast, getting hit directly. The mare turned into stone as Iron Shock stood back up and backed away slowly. He looked traumatized as he turned around and ran away. The purple unicorn only also ran away, heading towards the palace in the mountains which I assumed was Canterlot. I could only stare at the mare, which I knew was Iron’s daughter.

I woke up a second time, only with a throbbing headache. I looked around and found myself back in camp with my fellow soldiers. I wanted to make sure, so I gently unsheathed my blade and poked my side, feeling the pain, so I knew I wasn’t dreaming. I began to walk to the front of the platoon, trying to be as quiet as I can. Everypony was still sleeping except for the few that had just woken up or had been awake. Many of them were battle scarred, worse than the ones back where I was. As I reached the front, I found none other than Princess Luna herself with the infamous Black Squad in front of the central command tent. They seemed to be planning on where we’d be arriving.
I sat down; looking back at the direction I just came from. The platoon was very large. As a matter of fact, this was about half of our army. I looked down and squinted, rubbing my head in pain. My headache was starting to annoy me. That’s when I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder. I jumped a little bit and quickly turned around. There behind me, was the elegant Princess Luna, standing ever so majestically behind me. My eyes widened as I immediately got up and stood at attention.

“P-Princess Luna! Good morning!”

I couldn’t help but wonder why she was over here. I have never been in Luna’s presence before. I was just another infantry soldier like the majority of the platoon.

“What is your name, my loyal subject?” She said, staring down at me with a small smile.

I always thought her voice would sound stricter, but I guess I was wrong. Luna’s voice sounded much more smooth and gentle up close. She was about two times my size, which I expected to intimidate me, but her voice being as soft as it was, it set me at ease.

“My name is Shadow, y-your H-Highness...”

I bowed, trying not to let my headache get the best of me. She stood there thinking for a moment, probably reading my thoughts for all that I knew. She was an alicorn. A goddess. She could do practically anything she wanted.

“Well Shadow, it is a pleasure meeting you.” She bowed her head slowly and motioned for me to rise.

I stood up, staring directly back at her. My headache grew worse, so much that my eyes winced every time a wave of pain was sent coursing through my head. I lifted my hoof to hold my head, seeking a way to somehow make it less painful, but Luna stopped me, lowering my hoof back down. I stared at her, already aware that she knew about my headache.

“Allow me, Shadow. I shall cure you of your headache.”

With that, Luna’s horn started glowing a bright blue. Out of nowhere, my head began to feel funny. It was a weird sensation that began to devour my headache. Once the sensation was gone, I could no longer feel the pain in my head.

“T-Thank you, Princess!” I was careful not to yell, so I whispered loudly.
Luna smiled as the light blue aura surrounding her horn disappeared.

“Listen closely, Shadow. I wish to discuss a matter with you.”

“What is it, Princess?” I asked, confused as to why she wanted to talk to me of all ponies.

Luna nodded her head to the side as if trying to get me to walk over in that direction. I did as she commanded, with her following right behind me. She came right up next to my face, still facing the other direction I was facing. I could smell her hair now. The smell was so genuine; I fell in love with the scent.

“We have heard a lot of good things about you from other soldiers. Your reputation precedes you, my faithful subject. I have faith that you will take my offer to be in the Black Squadron. After all with your reputation, you are fit for it.

I couldn’t believe what I was listening to. Just hearing her asking me to join the Black Squadron was enough for me to keep a permanent smile for the day. My eyes widened as I fought every ounce in my fiber not to scream out in excitement. She brought her head back up away from mine, causing me to look up back at her again.

“Yes Princess, I would be honored to be a part of the Black Squadron. For the New Lunar Republic. For you, your Highness.”

Luna giggled, pointing me to the group of Black Squadron guards she was talking with earlier. I looked and saw them all standing in one group, looking back at me with smiles.

“Go to them, and they will give you new armor to put on. I look forward to seeing you again, Shadow.”

She gave me a wink and walked off. I watched her walk away as I turned my attention to the Black Squadron. One of them, the commanding guard of the Black Squadron, came forward and confronted me. When the commander arrived in front of me, I noticed that she was a mare, and a pretty one at that. The other guards were stallions, very tough looking ones too.

“I see you got recruited into our ranks. Welcome to the Black Squadron.”

The commander smiled and patted me on the back. The other Black Shadow guards came over and congratulated me, one by one. Each introduced themselves to me. There were eight of them, each with their own callsign. The commander’s was Night. Then there was Walker, Titan, Pyro, Eagle, Prowler, Joker, and Wolf. We conversed for a bit about what my callsign would be, and we finally decided it to be Ozone.
Eagle and Wolf led me over to a set up tent that I didn’t notice before, sitting right next to Princess Luna’s. I was probably too tired to even notice it to begin with. Once inside, I noticed a table in the middle of the tent with a map on it. It was a map of Equestria with a bunch of flags. I walked over to Wolf and Eagle as they showed me my new armor. My eyes glistened with joy. It was much like the faded violet color on the Lunar Guard armor, but the main color was black, with the faded violet outlines. They helped me take my armor off, along with my combat helmet, putting on the new Black Squadron armor seconds later.

The armor had a navy blue moon crest in the middle, completing the overall look. They put the helmet on my head, which felt heavier than my last helmet. I turned and walked over to a mirror on the other side of the tent to get a glimpse of what I looked like now. Wolf and Eagle soon followed behind me as I stood in front of the mirror. My helmet was a lot like my armor, only it had the name Ozone imprinted on it. The fur at the top was also black like the armor. I turned around and looked down at both of my new companions and smiled.

“Thank you guys so much for letting me in. I’m very honored and grateful.”

“No problem, Ozone. Now let me fill you in on what we do.” Eagle exclaimed, leading me out of the tent to regroup with the rest of the guards outside.

He began to tell me everything I needed to know. Tactics, missions, weapons, codes, and other kinds of cool things I never knew existed. I listened to every sentence, and every word. When he was done, he walked off to go find Luna. Without thinking, I looked to the crowd of soldiers I once walked with. Everypony was awake now, and was either eating their morning rations or just talking. I wondered if Iron Shock was looking for me since I left while he was asleep. It didn’t bother me that much though. I figured he would go converse with some friends of his.

I turned my head around by instinct and found Luna walking out of her tent with Eagle. She looked at me noticing that I was looking at her. She smiled as I tilted head downward to show respect. She did the same and looked away, heading towards the command tent. She went in along with the other Black Squadron guards. Eagle motioned me to follow, and I did so. Upon entering, we both surrounded a big table with a larger scaled map than what was in the Black Squadron tent. I looked around at the others as they all looked at each other, then towards Luna who began to speak.

“We are approaching the Solar Empire Fort Blaze. Once we get there, they will heavily defend it by any means necessary. Your job will be simple, my subjects. All you have to do is gather a small force of pegasi ponies to fly around the mountains and flank them.”

Luna moved her hoof around in a semi circle motion around the Northern Mountains on the map. I stood there, thinking about who would be the one gathering up the small force, when Luna looked up towards me. Somehow I wasn’t surprised.

“Shadow, are you up for the task?” She asked in her normally soft tone.

I looked around at the others, who stared at me when I looked back at Luna, grinning to show courage as nodded my head.

“You can count on me, Princess. I know the perfect ponies for the job.” I suggested, my mind now set on Iron.

She smiled and looked back down at the map. Upon looking at the map, I realized something I hadn’t noticed before. Near the Everfree Forest, there was a blue flag. I figured the blue flag symbolized the New Lunar Republic. I wondered what we were still doing there. We were run out of the Everfree Forest after Celestia launched a full scale attack against us during her surprise invasion. I was there to witness it.

Chapter II: Battle of Fort Blaze

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After the plans were made; we exited the tent and went about our daily routine. I walked to the back of the platoon to find Iron Shock already awake talking with five other pegasus ponies. I smiled and walked over to Iron Shock, tapping him on the shoulder to surprise him. He turned around, his eyes widening as he gasped, not yet realizing that it was really me behind him. He jumped up and turned around, followed by the others who also were surprised.

“G-Good morning sir!” They all said, doing their best to stand at attention, though it was early in the morning.

“Come on, Iron Shock. You don’t need to call me sir. Not after all the stuff we’ve been through together.” I chuckled, taking off my helmet so he could finally recognize me.

He stood there with no expression on his face, but then began to laugh, lifting his hoof in the air as if to bro-hoof. I also lifted my hoof, clashing mine with his. He continued laughing, the others chuckling nominally.

“Shadow! How did you end up being in the Black Squadron?”

“Well this morning I went up to the front just for a walk, and Princess Luna herself came up to me and we had a conversation.”

“Wow, Shadow, congrats! Say, shouldn’t you be in the front with the other Black Squadron members though?”

“Actually, this is what brought me up here to find you. We are planning an attack the Solar Empire Fort Blaze and I need a group of pegasi ponies. Are you in?”

Iron Shock closed his eyes and shook his head, smiling.

“Of course, Shadow. I wouldn’t turn down my own best friend. Hey, can my friends behind me help as well?”

I looked at the group of five. They all looked at me with somewhat pleading eyes. My laughing faded, but I continued to smile.

“Sure thing. I need you all to follow me to the front. I’ll brief you on the way there.”

We walked towards the front as I briefed them about our mission to attack the enemy fort from the rear in order to successfully infiltrate it. In a short amount of time we found ourselves in the front, with Luna and Joker waiting for me.

“Well, we see you have found a group of brave pegasi ponies. Excellent work, Shadow.” She said, smiling softly at me and the others behind me, who bowed in her presence.

“Thank you, Princess. When shall we depart?” I asked, eager to complete the first task as a Black Squadron guard.

“You should head over there right away. We are preparing to leave any minute. Hide in the mountains right above the fort until given the signal by Joker. Then begin the attack, is that understood?”

“Yes, Princess.” I chuckled, turning to the others behind me who looked to have the same eagerness as me.

“Okay guys, let’s fly!”

For the first time in a long time, I spread my wings freely, feeling the cool breeze hit them. The cold didn’t bother me anymore. I wouldn’t allow it to bother me, not with the events that have happened only in one day. I levitated in the air, waiting for the others to do the same. As each of them rose one by one, I began to take flight overhead, followed by the others. I knew my way around thanks to the map on the table. A few minutes later, Iron flew next to me.

“So, when we reach this fort, how will the seven of us ever think to stand a chance by ourselves?”

I looked over to him, periodically looking forward so I didn’t run into any mountains. I made that mistake a few times during a fight. I chuckled to his obvious doubting of this plan.

“The Black Squadron is leading an assault from the front. Luna trusts us to carry out this mission, and we will do so. We can last on our own. After all, I got you here to watch my back.”

I smiled looking back at him. He returned a smile and saluted me for a short moment.

“And I’ve got yours, friend.”

It wasn’t long before we were getting very close to the fort. I advised everypony to stay low. Being spotted would jeopardize this entire mission, and would make the surprise attack harder than it already is. We scouted, flying low and slow. One of the soldiers went up to me and tapped my shoulder, and I turned around to face him, holding my hoof in the air to stop the others as we all stopped flying.

“Sir, I found the fort, it’s over in that direction.” He said, pointing in the direction of where he spotted the fort.

Looking over, I saw just a hint of smoke rising from the mountains that kept them hidden. I ordered everypony to follow me closely behind as we made our way to the sides of the mountain, waiting for Joker’s signal to begin the attack. As we waited, I looked down at the Solar Imperials below us. Everypony was wearing the same golden armor that was similar to us. I looked around for their commander, but I couldn’t see him. He was probably in one of the tents.

I looked towards a narrow passage way leading into the fort and figured that was where Joker would be giving the signal. It wasn’t long before I saw Joker running up and firing a ref flare from his horn. This was it, the beginning of the assault. My heart raced as I flew up in the air. This was the eighth battle this month I would be getting myself into, but this time, as a Black Squadron guard. I would be a high valued target this time. I always pulled through, even when I thought I couldn’t. The last couple of times I wouldn’t have made it without Iron Shock.

I flew down, yelling into the mountains and towards the fort. The others followed me, roaring just as loudly as I did. I looked around and spotted my first target, a Solar guard who was just turning around to see me punch him in the face with a devastating blow. He went flying several feet backwards as I continued to fly with raging speed towards another soldier. This time my hooves skid against the ground, sending dust in the air behind me as I tried to slow down. He motioned to hit me, but I dodged it, landing a brutal blow against the stallion’s stomach. He fell to the ground holding his stomach. I looked down at him, taking my blade and shoving it into his chest.

Looking around, I knew Luna had already begun the attack. I heard a lot of yelling coming from the front of the fort. As I looked around, I saw two Solar Guards in front of me. I stood in place, pouncing at the ground getting ready for a charge. The Solar guards replied with pouncing as well. Without hesitation, I began to charge with all my might, breathing ferociously as I galloped towards the two Solar Guards who charged back towards me.

I found myself getting knocked down on the ground on my back as one of the hostile guards tried to jump on me. I kicked him with my hind hooves, knocking him away from me. I stood up only to be hit across the face by the other guard. I retaliated and swung a hoof back at him, hitting him square in the head. I could see red liquid running down my hoof as a second later I felt a sharp pain on my right hoof. Staring down at it, I found a sharp object lunged into my hoof. I limped backwards, the Solar guards stood next to each other again, grinning sinisterly.

Looking around me in somewhat of desperation, I didn’t know what to do. My hoof was bleeding out, and nopony was around to help, not even Iron Shock. I stumbled down to the ground as I began to grow tired. I was losing too much blood. My eyes began to feel like lead, growing heavier and heavier. The Solar guards saw this and walked away, kicking dust in my face. They figured this would be a slower more painful death, and they were right.

Just then, there was a mysterious spark. I couldn’t describe how it felt. It kept telling me to push on, and to not give up, that it wasn’t my time to die. My eyes flashed open as I stood up suddenly. My body felt fully repaired, even though the object was still stuck in my hoof and the bleeding hasn’t stopped. I ran around looking for the Solar Guards, seeking revenge when I found them beating a soldier on the ground. I ran up to the Solar Guard and grabbed one of them, twisting his neck to the side.

The Solar guard fell down to the ground with a loud thud as the other Solar guard turned around and backed up, his eyes widened with fear. I was furious, my rage escaping my control. I ripped a chunk of armor off the dead guard at my feet and slowly walked towards the other Solar Guard who began to back up away from me.

He tripped backwards, falling on his back. I realized my opportunity as I lunged at him with all my might, sticking the sharp metal into the guard’s neck. He tried to yell, but he was choking on his own blood, unable to even make a noise. As I watched him slowly die, I heard a moan from behind. I turned to see the Lunar Guard try to get back on her hooves. She looked badly injured, which made me faintly smile for preventing the Solar Guards from beating her to death. I walked over to her, my rage subsiding as I tried helping her up. Once she got up, she coughed and smiled weakly, still looking at the ground, dusting herself off.

“Thank you. If it weren’t for you I’d be…”

She stared up at me as I too met her gaze. My heart suddenly started pounding faster. She was the most beautiful pony I’ve ever seen. Her fur was dark teal, with a faded blue mane. She was a pegasus pony, just like me. Her eyes were an appealing violet, and they sparkled even though the sun was covered by the darkness of the clouds. Beyond the smell of blood and dust, I could smell an unfamiliar yet attracting scent.


She finished her sentence, still looking at me with her adorable eyes. I began to smile, my eyes half-closed. Everything around us suddenly faded, the only noise I could hear was the beating of my own heart, which raced like it never has before.

“No problem, anything to help a beautiful mare like yourself. What’s your name?” I asked, making her smile with a faint blush.

“My name is Cosette… what is yours?”

“My name is Shadow..”

I was so focused on her, that I didn’t even care about the fight anymore. Everything was muffed and blurred. I noticed she began to hold her chest, her face tightening with pain, my smile now fading quickly.

“Are you alright Cosette?” I asked in a concerned tone as I noticed her breathing really hard, trying to catch her breath.

“I’m alright.. you’re a part of the Black Squadron, huh...?”

She was still holding her chest in pain, making me nervous. I looked around; absorbing the surroundings to see what was going on. Everything was now coming back into focus. The battle was already over, and by the looks of it, we won. There were many Lunar Guards walking around and picking up dead bodies to remove them from the fort. There were a lot of dead ponies littering the ground.

“Come on, we need to get you help. You’re badly injured.” I suggested, urging her to walk.

She looked down at my injured hoof, gasping in shock.

“S-Shadow! Your hoof! What happened? You’re bleeding uncontrollably! It’s you who needs help, not me.”

I looked down at my hoof, which was still bleeding like she said. I had completely forgotten about my injured hoof, but it didn’t faze me. My hoof was probably so numb that I couldn’t feel it anymore. Walking to the best of my ability, I took her towards the front, seeing Luna standing along with the other Black Squadron guards. They noticed us and quickly ran over to help. I pushed Pyro, the one helping me, and urged him to help Cosette.

“Help her first; she’s more injured than me. My hoof is fine.”

Pyro and Titan, the two that came over, looked at each other confused, but then looked back at me and nodded. After knowing she was in good hands, I sat down with a long heavy sigh. The mess was finally over. My head felt light, but I fought it and continued to keep consciousness. I looked up and saw Luna standing over to me.

“We won, didn’t we Princess?” I asked, wanting a guaranteed answer from the princess herself.

She nodded and smiled. I smiled weakly as I struggled to get back on my hooves. I failed in my attempt and found myself sitting back down. Luna’s horn began to glow, along with the sharp object. I felt a sharp pain for a few seconds and realized she was pulling it out. I sucked in the pain with all the energy I had left. I felt dizzy, but I remained conscious as her horn continued to glow. She wrapped a bandage around my hoof gently.

“Keep that on, and your hoof will heal. Thanks to you, we now have a place to stay. Not only that, but you saved not only a loyal soldier, but my daughter, without any regards to your own life. Thank you, Shadow.”

She smiled and winked, walking off. My dizziness died down, her words now sinking in to my head. H-Her daughter? I… saved her daughter? My stomach sank, the dizziness returning. I had no clue that she had a daughter.. and she made me feel so.. funny. I looked around, my mind racing through millions of thoughts. Don’t let it go to your head Shadow.. just get up.
I looked around as I began to look for Iron Shock. He was nowhere to be found. Getting up, I limped around the entire camp, but could not find him. I heard a noise coming from a tent right in front of me. I decided to walk in and what I found was relieving. I found Iron Shock with a few of his friends, standing over what seemed to be the commander of the fort. I limped over to him as he stared up at me. He smiled and examined my hoof.

“Well, I see you got yourself out of trouble by yourself this time. I was just,”

He looked at the commander on the ground and back up at me. His friends were taking the body out of the tent as Iron chuckled.

“finishing business.”

The next day I awoke in my tent, sitting up from my bed staring at the ground. I couldn’t help but wonder if Cosette was okay. For some reason I kept putting images of her in my head. The first moment we met I felt, something I hadn’t before. It was almost as if I was happy. Something I haven’t felt in a long time.

Chapter III: Beginning of the End

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A couple weeks have passed since we took control over the fort, which we now claimed as Fort Eclipse. Moral rose significantly since then. The war wasn’t going in our favor, since the Solar Empire practically ruled the entire country of Equestria. We were run out and now we have ended up in the Badlands, a region of nothing but towers of mountains and rivers every now and then.

I sometimes saw Cosette every now and then, but knowing she was still just a soldier as well as Princess Luna’s daughter, and me being a Black Squadron guard, we couldn’t see each other as much as we liked. Sometimes we would sneak off duty and just hang out, talking about what we did that day and how our lives were going. She always had the better interesting stories though, while I had nothing worth telling. All I did then was patrol the camp and occasionally walk next to Luna’s side while she was out walking.

A storm was brewing and it was a nasty one. Everypony was told to stay in their tents because it was so severe. The Black Squadron guards had to stay outside and protect the camp, however. Hours past as I stood in the storm, wanting something to happen. I got exactly that, as I heard weird noises coming from behind me. I turned my head, and began to walk over in the direction of the noise. It was coming from behind a few tents. Slowly I walked over behind it as I was quickly overwhelmed and jumped by hooded soldiers. Everything happened so quickly my mind couldn’t operate fast enough to react. Eventually I found myself on the ground with all four hooves tied. My mouth was also tied up so I was unable to yell for help.

One of the hooded mares stepped forward and shook the hood off. My eyes narrowed onto the mare, trying to focus through the darkness of the storm. The mare’s mane was multiple colors, like a rainbow. It was the only thing I could make out at this point. She smiled ominously as she sat down in front of me, coming close to my head.

“I’m sorry, but nopony is going to help you. The storm we created is loud enough to cover up any noises you make, even this close to a tent.” She whispered very loudly, loud enough so I could hear her over the rain.

“We’re going to assassinate your Princess, and there’s nothing you can do to stop us.”She began to laugh quietly as she stood back up, looking at the other hooded ponies.

“Let’s go and get it done before they investigate where this guard went.” She said as she left with the other hooded attackers.

Shortly after they left, I struggled to get loose when I was suddenly being dragged by somepony. I looked when I saw it wasn’t a hooded mare, but I still didn’t know who it was. I squinted my eyes, trying to make out the mysterious pony, who turned out to be a stallion. He was white, with a blue mane, now dark due to the rain. Suddenly I realized it was none other than my old friend, Iron Shock.

He untied my mouth, enabling me to talk again. I felt my hooves begin to move around as well. I was completely untied now, and I had to act fast in order to stop the assassins from succeeding.

“Thanks, but we need to hurry! They’re going to assassinate Luna!” I shouted, quickly rushing over to Luna’s tent.

Without hesitation, I ran inside, quickly spotting the few hooded mares standing in front of the rainbow mane one. I quickly pushed my way through the group, tackling the rainbow mane, creating a loud thump as we began to brawl on the ground. I heard commotion behind me, which lead me to believe that Iron Shock was fighting with the other hooded ponies.

Rainbow mane was quick to get on her feet again as she bit me and pushed me off. She then got on top of me, her hooves slamming on each of mine, preventing me to move. One of the hooded ponies not fighting with Iron gave rainbow mane the dagger as she drew close to me. Fortunately, the loud racket caused Luna to awake. I looked over to her as she found me on the ground with rainbow mane moments away from killing me. Luna’s horn started to glow its brilliant blue color as rainbow mane and the other hooded ponies also began to glow. They quickly were thrown into one big pile, unable to escape Luna’s magical grasp.

“You two, tie them up.” Luna commanded.

Luna’s voice sounded a little cranky, and understanding she just woke up, I wouldn’t want to be rainbow mane right now. Using the rope they used to tie me up, I tied all of the hooded mares up as tightly as I could. After I was done, Luna’s magic wore off, relieving its grip on the group of ponies now tied up.

“Let me guess, my sister sent you to come and assassinate me.”

Rainbow mane struggled to get free, but she was tied up tight with no way to get loose. She looked up at Luna with a cold expression on her face.

“Yes, she sent me here to kill you. I would have gotten away with it too, if this ‘guard’ hadn’t barged in on us with his friend here.”

Rainbow mane turned her attention towards me, and then Iron Shock, giving us equally dour looks. Luna looked on the ground and noticed the small dagger rainbow mane was about to use to kill her. She picked it up with her magic and levitated it over to rainbow mane. Suddenly I heard a thump behind me as I looked and saw Iron Shock fall to the ground. I noticed a hooded mare, who was apparently hiding from the event, standing over Iron whom she had just knocked out. She pulled out a dagger and threw it towards Luna. Luckily I was able to tackle Luna out of the way. Using the opportunity, the hooded mare freed the others, and they all escaped, including rainbow mane.

I quickly got off of Luna and looked towards the entrance of the tent, now realizing they were gone. Luna got up, now fully awake and stood next to me, looking down at me with a still tired, yet happy look on her face.

“Thank you, Shadow. You saved me... my sister must pay for her actions, and I think I know just what to do.”

She walked over to the entrance of the tent, looking out in the rain. She turned her head to me, this time with a serious expression on her face.

“Shadow, gather the Black Squadron and tell them to come here. There will be an important meeting.”

I did as she asked going outside to gather the Black Squadron. When I went out this time, the rain was slowly subsiding until it died off, leaving puddles and the fresh scent of rain. I went back in the tent, followed by the Black Squadron. Once we were all inside the tent, Luna had awaken Iron Shock, who was now standing next to me.

“I am about to ask you to complete a very dangerous task. I don’t know if any of you will return in the process.”

I looked around and saw everypony looking at each other as well. We all faced our attention to Luna once again as she continued to speak.

“You are the best of the best. There is no other pony I can rely on to complete this task. Please do this, for me, for the New Lunar Republic.”

She put a hoof on her chest, looking sincere. I stood there for a moment, waiting for anypony to reply. There was dead silence. I looked at Luna’s face as she seemed defeated. She put her hoof down, along with her head. Her ears flopped down as she closed her eyes. I stepped forward, taking a great leap out of my comfort zone. Suddenly, her ears perked up and her eyes opened. She raised her head and looked up as I looked at her smiling.

“I’ll do it Princess. For you, for the soldiers, for the Republic.”

Shortly after, Iron Shock also walked forward. I looked over to him as he too began to smile.

“I’m in too. It’s time to end this war once and for all.”

Eagle and Wolf also stepped forward and agreed to do it as well. Tomorrow the war would end one way or another. I hoped this moment would come, when Celestia’s tyranny was ended and harmony was once again restored to Equestria. My thoughts suddenly turned to Cosette again. If this war ended, we could finally spend more time together. My spirits were high for the day we would attempt this. We were given a week to prepare.

Chapter IV: Countdown

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The next day I woke up in a very good mood. I rubbed my eyes and got ready for the day ahead. Upon exiting my tent, I noticed Iron Shock talking with some friends near the entrance of the fort. I began to walk over to them until my eyes noticed none other than Cosette, looking as stunning as ever. She was eating her breakfast with another friend of hers. I looked back at Iron and then to Cosette, before deciding to talk to Cosette.
I walked over to her and sat down. She noticed me and smiled, swallowing her food and looking at me. I smiled back, noticing that her friend was looking at me strangely.
“Good morning Cosette.”
“Good morning Shadow.” She said, before taking another bite of her breakfast.
“Did you sleep well?” I asked, rubbing my hooves nervously together.
I didn’t know why I was nervous. I didn’t know what was making me feel so weird around her. I did know that she was a great friend to have, and I would do anything to keep her safe.
“I slept okay, how did you sleep?” She asked back to me.
“I couldn’t necessarily sleep all that well.” I said, chuckling as I thought about the events that have taken place last night.
“Oh, I’m sorry, Shadow.” She admitted, a small frown appearing on her face.
“It’s okay. I was guarding most of the night. Better to keep everypony safe. So, I was wondering something…”
“What is it?” She said, halting her eating as she tilted her head to the side, facing me.
“Are you… doing anything later? I was wondering if we could take a walk together. Get to hang out and talk.” I said, blushing just slightly, not noticeable.
Her friend poked her, whispering in her ear. Cosette looked at her and then back at me, a small blush appearing on her face too as a smile appeared.
“I’m free today… so yeah. I’d love to hang out with you, Shadow.”
A smile glistened on my face, my heart racing again like it did the first time I met her, like every other time we hung out.
“That’s great! So when do you think we should meet up?” I asked, more impatient to hang out with her than any other time.
“After breakfast.” She answered, looking at her food, which was almost gone.
“I’ll see you after breakfast then. I have to meet up with Eagle.” I chuckled, getting up and walking away towards Eagle’s tent.
I walked in and saw him polishing his blade. He noticed me and smiled, continuing to polish his blade.
“Hey Ozone, how are you?”
“I’m good, Eagle. I see you’re occupied this morning.”
“I’m just getting ready for our mission. Wolf is getting ready too.”
I couldn’t help but laugh, making him chuckle a bit too.
“It’s six days away! Why get ready now?” I asked as he shrugged.
“I’ll just prepare now and be ready when the time comes. You should do the same.”
“I can’t. Not today anyways. I’m going out to take a walk with Cosette.”
He stopped polishing his blade, now staring at me fully with a smug smile.
“Cosette? Luna’s daughter?”
“Yeah.” I nodded my head, his smile growing wider.
“I didn’t know you had a thing with her. As a matter of fact, now it makes sense. You have been hanging out with her a lot.”
“H-How do you know we hang out?” I asked, demanding an answer, making him laugh.
“I notice you talking with her all the time. It’s obvious.”
“Keep polishing your blade.” I ordered embarrassingly, marching out of the tent.
I slowly halted to a stop, looking for Cosette who was now gone from her original spot. Just then a felt a poke on my side, causing me to jump. I quickly looked over and saw Cosette, who began to giggle.
“Ticklish?” She smiled, a blush appearing on my face.
“N-No. You just surprised me. That’s all.”
“Well let’s take a walk, silly. No use standing here doing nothing.” She smiled excitingly.
I smiled as we walked to the entrance and left the fort, now walking down the narrow passage. We began to talk about how life was, and what our views were on the future of Equestria. Her views were a lot like mine. We both believed that the war would end and both factions would become one again. However she believed it would be peacefully and not through force, which is what I believed would happen.
The sun began to set, when we eventually made it to the top of a mountain and looked out ahead, sitting down to rest. With the quietness setting in, I started to think about the mission. A part of me wanted to tell Cosette about the assassination plan. She didn’t know about the plan Luna had, at least I didn’t think so. I decided to tell her.
“Cosette, did you know that in six days a select group of Black Squadron fighters are going to go on a mission to assassinate Celestia?”
She looked at me with a frown, her ears lowering.
“Really…? Are… you in that select group?” She asked, fearing the obvious answer, which I answered silently with a nod.
“Why are you doing it? Why can’t somepony else do it?” She asked bluntly, obviously upset with me, which was surprising.
“I volunteered to do it. Anything to end the war.” I admitted, her look now saddened.
“What if… you don’t come back…?” She said quietly, sending me through a spiraling realization that this mission was near impossible and that I probably wouldn’t be coming back.
“I won’t die Cosette. I promise you. I’ll come back.” I tried to reassure her, but it didn’t work.
She looked on the verge of tears, which made the pounding of my heart start to hurt. The feeling was coming back again. Something that made me feel strange, only this time it wasn’t a good one, it was a bad feeling. Seeing her this upset was killing me, for a reason I couldn’t explain. Without a word, she got up and looked down at me.
“I have to go Shadow.. It’s getting dark.” She said, turning around and flying off without hesitation.
Alone and shocked, I watched her fly back to the fort. I looked down and noticed a small wet dot on the ground, which I assumed was a tear. She… shed a tear? I stared at it for a long time until I decided to head back to the fort. It was dark outside and I was getting pretty tired.
That night, I couldn’t sleep at all. I stayed up all night thinking about Cosette. I didn’t mean for her to be upset, nor did I ever expect that she would. I wanted her to be happy, but this made me feel horrible. Tomorrow I hoped to make it better.
For the next six days, Cosette avoided me. Everytime I saw her she looked at me then looked away, turning away from my direction. Each time made me feel worse and worse, and for some reason I started to feel alone. I knew I had friends, but this alone feeling went beyond that. All I could do was prepare for the upcoming mission that would ultimately decide the direction of the war, and the fate of my friendship with Cosette.

The day arrived very quickly when Iron Shock, myself, Wolf and Eagle, flew out of the camp to fly directly to the capitol of the Solar Empire: Canterlot. Our flight would take several hours, so we decided to waste the time away by talking about what we would do after the war ended.

“Well, I always thought about opening a pie shop.” Wolf said, licking his chaps in the process.
Everypony laughed, including himself. They looked at me, expecting me to give my story of what I wanted to do after the war. I looked down and sighed.

“Well, I thought I knew but now I just don’t know anymore...”

“What was it, Shadow?” Iron Shock asked me.
“Well there’s this mare… and… I just wanted to improve our friendship.” I confessed, hearing the hoots of everypony.
“I knew it Shadow! It’s Cosette isn’t it?” Eagle said, chuckling.
I looked at him, nodding and sighing.

“Yeah… it’s Cosette. I don’t know what it is about her, but she makes me feel…”

“Happy?” Iron Shock finished for me.

I looked towards Iron and shrugged.

“Well, kinda, but no...”

“Cheerful?” Wolf questioned, causing me to stare at him.

“Still no. She makes me feel… important. Like she knows I exist. Everytime we have hung out she was always interested in my stories of my experiences, no matter how boring they were. I always enjoyed her company and... I think.. I really like her.”

The others gasped and laughed simultaneously. I looked at all of them angrily. They saw how serious I was, and stopped laughing. Then I stared back at Iron Shock, who began to talk.

“Okay, well look Shadow: if you love her, then go after her. Let’s just hope this war ends today. After this, let’s get a drink. On me.”
It’s been awhile since we got a drink. We only did it on special occasions, and it’s been a long time since anything major happened. This event wouldn’t just be major, but history in the making. The only thing I cared about at the moment, was Cosette. I never got to say goodbye to her, and I never got to tell her my confirmed feelings. It would all be decided soon.

The time came when we landed on a mountain across from the caste of Canterlot. I looked around and found Ponyville, or what was left of it. There were barely any buildings except for some watch towers and leftover houses. There was a tree house that seemed to be heavily guarded in the middle of the town, which looked to be important.

“Hey, Iron Shock, look over there. Do you see Ponyville?” I asked, pointing over to the town.

Iron Shock walked over next to me, staring down at Ponyville. His face went cold.

“Yes, I see it.”

“Look over at that tree in the middle of the town, it’s heavily guarded. Do you know if anypony lives there?”

“I don’t know. I bet it’s someone important and close to Celestia.” Eagle suggested, with a nod from Iron.

I stared Wolf and Eagle, their faces looking around at the place they once called home. Like me, I too lived here. I had flashbacks about Ponyville back when I was a colt. That was when we heard news of Luna possibly seceding from Equestria. My father, Azure Storm, was a part of Celestia’s military once, before it turned into an Empire. However, both my father and my mother were killed by a griffin, leaving me orphaned. None of that mattered to me anymore. I sighed heavily as my thoughts disappeared. I looked around below the mountain and saw nothing but flat land.

“Okay, let’s head down there and sneak up to the castle.” I suggested.

We flew down quickly and quietly. We landed and began to walk in a stealthy fashion. I turned my head to face Iron shock, who was staring down the entire time we walked. I frowned and stared forward. We approached the other mountain and began to fly up, getting closer to the castle. Eventually we were right under it. I told the others to stay there as I flew around to the edge of the cliff to look for any Solar Guards. We were right next to the courtyard, which happened to be empty. I flew back down, bringing the others up with me. Strangely as I looked around I spotted conveniently found an open door leading into the castle.

We snuck our way past and entered through the door, walking into what seemed to be a kitchen area. I only assumed the cook probably took a break as I snuck around to a doorway to find the main hall. Nopony was there, so I quickly entered the hall, trying to find my way through the maze of the castle. We looked in every room, but found nothing. Not a soul was around. I began to grow confused as we finally entered what seemed like Celestia’s royal chamber. Her royal seat was at the end of the room, sitting alone and empty. I grew frustrated as I turned around, slamming my hoof on the ground.

“Come on! Where is everypony?” I couldn’t help but shout loud enough to hear my echo.
Realizing what I have done, I looked around for somepony to come out and yell for reinforcements, but I as I waited there was silence. I sighed, staring back at the group of soldiers that seemed almost as confused as I did. Then I felt myself lifting off the ground, unable to move. Panicking I found myself flying across the room hitting one of the large support pillars. Falling to the ground, I laid there on the ground in pain as I looked and saw a purple pony emerging from the shadows. Her hair was a darker violet, and her eyes were a lighter purple.

The others stood looking at me and then back at her. That’s when a bunch of Solar Guards came in and began to fight with my friends. All but Iron Shock, who stood there looking at the purple pony with a strong hatred in his eyes. I suddenly remembered my dream. The purple pony looked exactly like the one in my dream! I wasn’t sure if it was the same mare though.

Iron Shock stepped forward, still looking at the unicorn. I stared at their confrontation, neither of them blinking. She gasped as he frowned angrily. As if things couldn’t be any more confusing, I didn’t know what was going on. My mind beginning to burst out in thought. Who was she? What was going on? Did Iron Shock know her? How did he know her? The constant thoughts running through my head disabled me to think straight. I watched as Wolf and Eagle continued their fight against the Solar Guards.

“I know you…” Iron Shock began to speak as my ears perked up, trying to listen to him over the commotion the fighting was producing.

“You know me? How do you know me? Have we met before?” I heard her ask as Iron Shock began to growl.

“How could I forget the one who killed my daughter? You’re none other than Twilight Sparkle.” Iron Shock exclaimed, my eyes widening as I struggled to stand.

Chapter V: Downfall

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Twilight Sparkle. I have never heard of her before. I was now standing and watching their standoff. Iron Shock suddenly charged at her while she jumped away, flashing her horn with a violet aura. Iron Shock began to glow the same color as I watched Iron thrown across the room. Acting fast, I flew over and caught him before he hit the wall.

I nervously grinned, setting him down on the ground.

“We’re even now. Make sure you beat her. She may have magic, but you have speed! Use it to your advantage. I won’t interfere; I can see this is personal.”

I backed away, giving Iron Shock space to spread his wings. He quickly rose into the air and began to charge at Twilight Sparkle. He tackled her on the ground, hitting her while she was biting him. I ran over and began to fight with the others.

It was evenly matched. There were three of us and three of them remaining. They were all panting while I made the first move, tackling one of them and head butting him. It hurt, but I didn’t care. It was either win this fight, or die trying, and dying wasn’t an option for me.

The others engaged in a fight as well, continuing what they started. The Solar Guard below me pushed me back, as he began hitting me on the floor. Every blow he made stung and eventually caused my entire head to go numb. His hits kept getting less and less painful as I found myself slipping into a black darkness.

My mind flashed pictures of Cosette in my head. I envisioned us having picnics together in the forest. As the vision continued, a young filly entered the picnic, having a good time with Cosette and myself. My eyes widened as the darkness wrapping around me seceded. I have to stay alive. I have to fight for Luna. No, I have to fight for Cosette.

I kicked him off, sending him backwards. I rolled around and stood up. He stood up as well, trying to charge me. I looked back at him and hit him heavily. He once again fell to the ground, holding his face this time. I looked over quickly at Iron Shock and Twilight Sparkle, their brawl continuing with rolling on the ground, hitting and biting.

My head began to swell as I turned looking down at the guard. This either ends here, or never. I picked him up around the neck, wrapping my hooves around. I began to squeeze tightly with all my might. I squinted my eyes shut tightly, feeling him struggling to get free. After a minute or so, his resistance was getting weaker and weaker until it finally stopped. I let go, opening my eyes. I let go and he fell to the ground, motionless.

I began to help one of the Eagle with a Solar Guard. I tackled him on the ground and pinned him, while Eagle walked over and began to pounce on his face. The Solar Guard, unable to move and unable to escape Eagle’s attacks, stopped his screams of pain and laid there silently.

I looked over as Wolf eventually killed the last Solar Guard by slamming his head against the wall constantly. With the Solar Guards defeated, we turned and watched Iron Shock’s fight with Twilight Sparkle, which wasn’t going well.

It appeared she was winning, as she was on top of him, using her magic to choke him. He pushed her off, still getting choked. He laid there in agony, and I couldn’t bear to watch. She stood up over him, concentrating with all her might.

I ran over, growing angry, surprising her with a tackle. Her horn’s glow suddenly disappeared, relieving Iron Shock from the chokehold. She pushed me off as her horn glowed again, this time, at me. I began to feel pressure against my neck, and found it hard to breathe a few seconds later. The pain was unbearable, but there was nothing I could do.

I looked as my vision began to fade. I could see something white moving behind the purple figure. I heard a loud scream as the pressure on my neck deteriorated. With my vision returning, I found out what caused the scream. Twilight Sparkle’s horn had been broken off by Iron Shock, who was panting heavily. I breathed profoundly as Twilight continued to scream in agony. Iron Shock chipped off a piece of his armor and held it in his wing, pushing Twilight Sparkle against a wall, pinning her. He then carefully moved the sharp metallic shard across her neck, cutting a long gash in her neck, making her bleed out. I stood up, watching her fall to the ground. She looked at me, and then at Iron Shock. She reached up and pulled Iron down, whispering something in his ears. After he lifted his head, she no longer moved. I looked at Iron Shock, who had tears forming in his eyes.

“What did she say to you?” I asked curiously.

Iron Shock looked at me and then back down at her. He wiped his tears, looking down at the now deceased unicorn.

“She said something I never thought she would say.”

He looked at me. He frowned, tears beginning to form in his eyes yet again.

“She said she was sorry.”

I looked at him, walking over to him and putting a hoof on his shoulder.

“You can finally take this one off your chest. She’s dead now, you got your revenge.”

His frown grew as he looked down at Twilight Sparkle. His mouth opened as if he was about to say something, but then he closed it. The Eagle and Wolf walked over as I took my hoof off of Iron Shock’s shoulder.

“There’s no sign of Celestia. Where can she be?” Eagle asked, looking around.

I looked around at the emptiness of the room, looking at the dead ponies on the ground. I began to walk around noticing the emptiness of the chair. There was a sudden flash right in front of me. I backed up quickly as I looked at the figure that suddenly appeared before me in a large flash of light. I watched in horror, my eyes meeting the eyes of none other than the Empress of Equestria: Celestia. My heart took a sudden drop as she looked at me angrily. We were in real deep trouble now.

“I can only guess my sister sent you hear to assassinate me.”

She looked at her dead Solar Guards that lay near the entrance of the room. She turned and looked at the dead body next to Iron Shock. I saw her jaw drop, her eyes widening. It was the most horrific look I ever pictured on her face.

“I-Is that…” Her sentence trailed off, as she walked forward towards the body that lay next to Iron.
I turned looking at the dead body, and then at Iron Shock. His face went white.

“No. It can’t be. My most faithful student…”

She nudged at the body, waiting for a response as she continued to nudge her. I saw tears going down her face as she looked up and stared back at me with fury. It was like she was staring into my soul.

“Who killed her?! Did you?!” She screamed as she walked over to me, lifting me in the air with her magic.

“I-I…” I stuttered, trying to speak.
I was too frightened that Celestia had arrived that I wasn’t entirely sure on what to even say. Before I could say anything, Iron Shock stepped forward. I looked at him as he stared at me with a grim smile.

“I killed her Celestia. It is my fault she is dead.” Iron confessed.

The magical force around me vanished, causing me to crash on the ground with a loud thud. Celestia walked over to Iron Shock, who now began to shake, but stood bravely in the face of his enemy. Celestia lifted him in the air with her magic and tilted her horn down, aiming at Iron Shock as he began to float towards her horn. I knew what was happening; she was going to slowly kill Iron Shock.

I yelled at her to stop, but she didn’t listen. Iron Shock was now only a few inches away from her horn. I watched in horror as the tip of her horn began to enter Iron Shock’s chest, going through almost all the way. Eagle and Wolf, who have been standing dumbfounded at the situation, took action as they tackled Celestia to the ground, holding her down. Iron Shock, damaged from the stab, crashed down to the surface below.

Eagle raised his and looked at me as I stared back, a frightened look on my face.

“Get him out of here now! Tell Luna we… failed!” Eagle screamed, trying his best to keep Celestia down.

I looked at him with a sorrowful expression on my face. He was one of my friends since I joined the Black Squadron, and the one who taught me pretty much everything. I ordered his last command, and I quickly flew over and picked Iron Shock from the ground, flying in the air, crashing out of a nearby stain-glassed window.

“I’m sorry!” I shouted, hoping that Eagle and Wolf would hear me.

I tried to find a safe place to land where nopony was. I ended up taking him to the entrance of the Everfree Forest. I laid him down gently as he coughed up blood. I examined his wound to the best of my ability. He was bleeding very badly. I put pressure on the wound with my hoof as he ached in pain. I looked back down at him, my heart racing faster than ever.

“So… it ends like this, huh? Killed by Celestia…” Iron said, chocking through the blood.

I shot a repulsive glance at him as he chuckled. Tears rolled down my face as I couldn’t handle the thought of leaving here alone, not without my best friend. We’ve been friends since we were colts. We grew up together, side to side, back to back. I always supported him and he always supported me. I denied what he said and refused to believe it.

“No! You’re going to make it Iron Shock! I’m going to get you help, and you’re going to be okay! You got that?!” I yelled at him as he stared back at me with a dumb smile on his face.

“No, Shadow, it’s too late. This is one situation I don’t think I’ll be able to make. Thanks for always being my best friend, you always had my back… and… I’ll never forg-forge….”

With his dying breath, his eyes closed, as his head fell back to the ground. I watched him die right in front of me… my own best friend. Random memories kept pouring into my head as I began to cry even louder. Just then I cursed towards the sky as I stopped the pressure on his wound, smashing both my hooves to the ground next to him. Iron Shock, my best friend, was dead.

Chapter VI: Ascension

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I slammed my hooves down several times, screaming louder and louder with each blow I delivered to the ground below.

“Why did you have to leave me?! Why?!”

My sadness and anger collided inside me. I was left alone in the Everfree Forest. Four of us went in, and only one came out: me. I ignored the fact that Celestia was probably looking for me as I continued to scream in anger.

“We were supposed to help each other, you and me! All those times you saved me… all those times I saved you!”

I fell on my back, putting my hooves over my eyes. Now I began to regret everything. I should have never stepped forward to Luna’s plan. Why did I feel sorry for her when no one else stepped forward? I felt so stupid that I raised my head, slamming it down to the ground afterwards.

“It’s my entire fault you died, Iron Shock! I should have never stepped forward! I’m so sorry!”

I continued to cry uncontrollably as I rolled around and crawled over to Iron Shock’s dead body. More memories were rushing in. I began to remember the last time he saved my life. It was back in the Everfree Forest, when I found myself surrounded by multiple Solar Guards. They kept on beating me up senselessly as I heard a shriek coming from the sky. The Solar Guards jumped and looked around for whatever caused the noise. Iron Shock then flew in and picked me up in a flash, so fast not even I knew he saved me until we were in the air.

My memories jumped forward to today, when we were flying over to assassinate Celestia.

“Okay, if you love her, then go after her. Let’s just hope this war ends today. After this, let’s go get a drink. On me.”

His laughter haunted my ears as the memory began to fade. I looked down at him again, his eyes closed and his small grin. I looked away, beginning to control my tears. I wiped them away as I stood up, staring down at him.

“You were always there for me. I just stood there, and watched you die. You didn’t deserve it. Why didn’t you let her kill me instead?”

Not realizing until now, but the last time he saved me was no more than ten minutes ago when he called out to Celestia, confessing to her. He was always brave… but I never was…

I began to hear shouting from behind me as I looked backwards. They were looking for me, and I had to leave. I looked down at Iron Shock. I couldn’t just leave him here. I picked his body up, taking off in flight to an unknown location as I tried to get as far away from Canterlot as possible.

I found an open field with flowers. It was the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen. There was no burnt grass, or trees. This area was completely untouched by warfare. I gently landed, placing Iron Shock down in the smooth meadow. I began to dig a hole in the ground for a burial. Hours past as I finally dug a hole deep enough so Iron Shock could fit. I put him in, putting the dirt back in. As I filled the hole, I gathered some flowers, and placed it in the dirt.

“Iron Shock, there’s nothing I could ever do that would beat what you have done for me. You sacrificed yourself for me so many times, and for that I will forever live my life trying to be like you. Goodbye, old friend. May you find peace wherever you are now…”

I smiled faintly as I bowed my head. I looked up, taking flight into the air and headed back in the direction we came from. Back to Fort Blaze. Back to Luna.

It was dark by the time I came back. The dull clouds still hung above the sky like they always did only this time it seemed more depressing than it has. I approached the fort as I found everypony awaiting my return. As I landed, some of them whispered as they stared at me. Just me. Luna walked forward, directing me to her tent. I walked in as the whole group outside remained silent outside. She stared at me, waiting for me to say anything.

“Princess Luna… I’m so sorry. None of the others made it…”

She looked down, as if she knew what happened.

“It’s not your fault Shadow. It was my fault for suggesting it.”

I looked at her, as she raised her head.

“No Princess, you suggested a plan. You wanted us to do what you thought was possible. They went down fighting for you Princess. I’m sure anypony here would have done it.”

She smiled to that, walking forward and embracing me in a hug without warning. As shocked as I was, I hugged her back.

“Thank you, Shadow. I take it your friend didn’t make it either?” Luna asked as the hug broke.

“No… unfortunately he was killed by Celestia. The other two, Wolf and Eagle, tackled her, enabling us to escape. Iron Shock did manage to kill a pony named Twilight Sparkle.”

“Twilight Sparkle? Celestia’s favorite student? At least, today, your group’s actions were not a total loss. Tomorrow we shall honor their deeds. You rest now, Shadow. Thank you again.”

I woke up in my tent, yawning and then getting up. As I walked outside I was greeted by multiple ponies. They all congratulated me, but I just replied with a stoic face. I began to walk in a random direction, not knowing where I was going. I honestly didn’t care anymore.

I didn’t need congratulation. I didn’t do anything. I let my best friend die, along with the other two that sacrificed themselves so we could escape. I was a coward, doing nothing but getting them killed. They all died because of me.

The thoughts of my guilt sent me in a rage. It wasn’t long before I bumped into somepony, causing me to fall down. I looked up furiously, and realized I bumped into the only pony I knew now. It was Cosette, who also fell down after we collided, shaking her head in slight pain. Her eyes squinted in soreness.


I quickly got up on my hooves and went over to help her up.

“Cosette? I’m so sorry Cosette! I-I didn’t mean to bump into you.”

She opened her eyes and widened as looked up at me, immediately pulling me into a tight hug. I hugged her back, my rage beginning to sink, now filling up with a sudden joyness.

“Oh Shadow! Y-You’re alive! I heard only one survived and… I thought you… I’m so sorry about last week! So so sorry!” She managed to say through her newly forming tears.

What is making me feel this way? A minute ago I was blaming myself for everything that happened yesterday, and now I am in front of her, feeling happy. Suddenly, Iron Shock’s voice said something in my mind.

“If you love her…”

That was all I heard before it disappeared. I remember him telling me that before we began our mission. It was something that bugged me the entire time. I focused on Cosette, who I missed for the longest time. It felt like an eternity since we last talked, which was on a mountain outside of the fort. It was the most painful thing I have ever felt. Even more painful than all of the physical damage I have taken.

“Don’t be sorry, Cosette... I’m just so happy to be back.”

She smiled happily as we hugged each other, not letting go. I couldn’t help but also start to laugh at myself. I was glad I bumped into her. She made everything a whole lot better. We began to walk side to side like old times, talking about recent events, such as the failed Celestia assassination. Our conversation went by fast, as the day began to die down.

It was night, and I was back in my tent, thinking. Negative thoughts were seeping in my mind again. I should just leave the New Lunar Republic. I should leave and find a home for myself, in a peaceful place.

I knew I would be leaving Cosette behind, but it was for the best that I would no longer be seen anymore. I didn’t want to fight anymore. I packed up and began to walk out with a bag on my back, trying to be as quiet as I could. I started making my way towards the front gate. I snuck and hid behind tents until I made it to the front gate. After passing everypony, I made it through the gate and made my way down narrow passage, sighing in relief. At least I wasn’t caught.

Not long after that, I heard a small pebble kicked from behind. I looked around and saw nopony behind me. I continued walking when I heard it again, this time a lot closer. Again I turned around and waited this time. I watched as I saw somepony come from behind a rock and look towards the ground. It was Cosette, trying to follow me. I gulped.

“Shadow, where do you think you’re going...?”

I stared at her, thinking of what to say; she was shaded by the darkness, making it hard to see.

“I, uh, was just taking a-a walk. Yeah!”

Through the darkness I saw her lift her head, her face blushing red with anger.

“Why would you leave? You didn’t think you’d be caugh-mmph!”

I quickly put my hoof on her mouth, trying to silence her. I didn’t want to be caught my anypony else, otherwise I’d be in major trouble. I removed my hoof from her mouth, watching her blush a dark crimson even more.

“I’m sorry Cosette but I have to go. I don’t think I should be in this war anymore, I lost my best friend in this war and I’ve gotten several ponies killed.”

I started thinking to myself. She should come with me. I don’t want her getting killed in the war too. I don’t think I could bear losing the last one in this world that mattered to me. I began to blush as Cosette noticed, examining my face.

“I won’t let you leave me again! I’m coming with you, Shadow.”

She sounded so pleading and demanding, it made me hard to resist. My eyes widened in embarrassment, knowing that I couldn’t argue with her.

“Okay Cosette…”

She smiled as we both began to walk away from the camp with each other. I looked to my side towards her, and smiled. We didn’t know where we were going, but when we found a place, a safe place, we’d stay there. Away from the war.

Chapter VII: Discovery

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I woke up, looking towards the sky. It was different; it looked like a wall of rock. My eyes quickly opened as I looked around. I was in a cave with Cosette sleeping soundly next to me. I stood up and went outside, my eyes quickly adjusting to the darkness of the outside. Down below was a vast amount of trees. I guessed that was probably Everfree Forest. If that were true, where’s the castle? I looked around and found no sign of any buildings. We probably wandered into another land of some sort.

I entered the cave again, lying down. I looked at Cosette; her breathing was so quiet and soft, it made her look even more beautiful than ever. I sat there for awhile, thinking about where we were going to go until Cosette woke up.

“Good morning, Cosette.”

I casually said, still in thought. She yawned very inaudibly, standing up shortly after. She looked down at me.

“Good morning. Did you sleep well?”

I looked up at her as I nodded. I slept like a foal. I didn’t even remember coming here, though.

“Good, so, where are we gonna go?” Cosette asked, sitting next to me.

“I was just thinking about that. I’m not sure. Let’s just keep walking until we find a place. Sound like a plan?”

I began to chuckle as she rolled her eyes and giggled.

“Yeah, great plan.” She responded with a sarcastic voice.

We both laughed as we walked out of the cave. We started walking down the side when we heard a big boom. Frantically, I looked out and saw an explosion near some mountains. There was a battle going on, and it was a good thing we were a safe distance from it. We continued walking down, reaching the bottom in a short amount of time. The woods were a lot nicer here; they weren’t damp like the ones in the Everfree Forest.

We began walking when I turned my attention to Cosette.

“Say, how did you know I was leaving camp?”

She looked at me with a guilty smile. Her head lowered a bit as she continued to stare at me.

“I... didn’t know if you were okay, so I went to your tent and you weren’t there, but when I left the tent I saw you going to the front. I saw you trotting around like some sort of spy.” She claimed, making me laugh.

“Sorry I seemed so mysterious.” I apologized in a somewhat sarcastic tone.
We both laughed for a bit when she began again.

“You know, I’ve always wanted to tell you this… but I really find you fascinating. You’re not like all the other stallions I meet.”

I turned and faced her, my heart now beating its usual beat.

“Really? How so?”

“Well…” She started, beginning to blush.
I could notice her cheeks getting red as she continued.

“you don’t try to act like a hot shot, unlike the others.”

I laughed and smiled at what seemed to be a compliment.

“You also find me interesting, even though the stories I told you about how our days were sucked.” She laughed, making me laugh even louder.

“Really? My stories always sucked. All I did was stand doing nothing all day. Your stories were better than mine by a long shot.”

She blushed more, so much that even I started to blush a bit.

“Thank you Shadow. You know, you’re the first pony to ever find me interesting. We’ve been friends for such a short amount of time, but it feels like we’ve been friends for a long time. You even saved my life, Shadow! I…” She stopped suddenly, trying to hide her face.
I stopped too, confused as to why she stopped.

“You what?” I asked curiously.

“I… I…” She stuttered.
She kept mumbling under her breath something I couldn’t hear at all. I chuckled and turned facing her completely. She still refused to look at me.

“Come on, tell me.”

She finally looked up, her face red from embarrassment.

“I… I really like you.”
I blushed more and more, my entire face turning red. Our eyes locked in place as we stood there, silent for a few minutes. I really liked her too. I liked her ever since the day I met her out on the battlefield, but it took me until the day I went on my mission to finally realize my feelings. I couldn’t help but smile to the blushing Cosette.

“I like you too, Cosette. I always have.”

Her eyes widened in astonishment, glistening beautifully.

“You do? Really?!” She giggled in her girly voice as I nodded. She came over, wrapping her head around mine. I returned the embrace, feeling the warmth of her fur. I remembered the scent in her hair back when I saved her. It smelled as elegantly as it did now.

“That’s a lot of weight lifted off my chest.” I confessed, as she giggled.
She pulled away from the hug, smiling at me. We both confessed our feelings, feeling as though a chain of stress became untangled, loosening my body a bit. We started walking again, staring at each other with smiles.

“You know what’s funny?” I asked, chuckling.


“What you said was true. It feels as though we’ve known each other for so long, but I know we haven’t, have we?”

“We haven’t.” She answered, giggling.

“We’ve known each other for such a small amount of time… its crazy.” She also added, letting out a sigh.

I laughed. I felt so happy that I could finally begin to open up to her. As a matter of fact, I was really happy, no, really overjoyed at the moment. My heart was pounding fast as I ran thoughts through my mind, a little too fast.

“Hey Cosette, have you ever been in a relationship?”

I immediately stopped, closing my mouth shut with my hoof. She stopped, looking at me. I began to blush deeply. The question slipped out of my mind. I was wondering if she ever had been in a relationship. I removed my hoof from my mouth, blushing even more.

“I-I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to ask that, it just, slipped out.”

She began to smile, her eyes half open as she stared into mine, almost seductively. It made me feel even more funny inside.

“It’s okay, and to answer your question, no. I have never been in a relationship before.”

I looked away, beginning to walk again. I felt so stupid for asking that question. That’s when she shoved me. I didn’t expect her to do that, so I stumbled a bit. I looked at her, as she smiled at me, giggling. I began to smile too as I shoved her back. Eventually, we began to constantly shove each other out of shier fun. This time, she didn’t shove me. Instead, she stuck out her hoof in front of mine, causing me to fall forward and trip. I fell and rolled on the ground onto my back, staring at her from the ground. She laughed louder as I rolled my eyes, laughing as well.

“Okay, that wasn’t cool.” I admitted through my laughter.

“I’m sorry, did you want help?” She said sarcasticly as she stuck her hoof out to help me up.
She continued laughing as an idea popped in my head. I took a hold of her hoof, pulling her down. She didn’t expect it, and came slamming down to the ground right next to me. For the next five minutes, we laid there laughing.

“I haven’t had this much fun since I was a filly!” She confessed through her laughter.

“Neither have I! I never had this much fun as a colt!”

I turned my head, as she turned hers. Our eyes met, and stayed there. Her violet eyes glistened as her smile began to subside. Mine was also faded as she rolled over on her side. I rolled over as well, facing her. We both stared at each other for the longest time, not doing anything and not saying anything.

For the first time in a long time, I was enjoying myself. Cosette made me feel… happy, but not happy. It was more than that. I struggled to figure out how to describe it when I suddenly felt something against my lips. My eyes widened as I saw Cosette pressing her lips against mine, a spark igniting. My eyes closed as I began to kiss her back.
It felt like a long time before we finally broke the kiss. It was an amazing feeling. I felt so happy at that point, that I could spend eternity with her. She meant everything to me, and I wouldn’t let anything happen to her.
“Let’s be together, Shadow. I want to be your marefriend.” She asked me in an eager tone.

“And I want to be your coltfriend, Cosette.” I confessed, pulling her to me in a long and passionate hug.
We stayed there, holding each other, not daring to let each other go. She made me happy, and I felt happy just being with her. She possessed my thoughts to the point that she was all I thought about. The war was obsolete, and the conflict in the country was insignificant to me now. All I cared about now, was Cosette by my side.

Chapter VIII: Lamentation

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It’s been months since we both left the New Lunar Republic. By now, I didn’t care about the war, or who was winning. I was with the only mare who mattered to me. Ever since that day in the woods, I’ve always had the urge to tell her how I truly feel, but I was afraid she wouldn’t reply the same way.

She came walking over to me, with a basket full of fruit. I licked my lips, as I looked at the delicious variety of fruits she picked out.

“I picked what I could. During lunch, it’s your turn.”

She smiled ominously as she picked up an apple from the basket and began to eat. I grabbed some grapes and began to pluck them from the stem one by one.


Cosette laughed as she stopped eating the apple.

“Don’t talk with your mouth full!”

I swallowed and laughed too.

Everything was perfect. I was with the only mare I ever wanted, we lived happily together out in what we called the Eve Forest, we had each other and that was the most important thing to both of us. I put the grapes back in the basket, falling backwards while closing my eyes, sighing deeply.

“Now what are you thinking about?” Cosette giggled, looking over at me.

I half opened my eyes and stared back at her.

“Everything is so, perfect. Don’t you agree?”

“Yes, I haven’t been so happy in all my life. It really is perfect.” She said, smiling.

I looked towards the trees and noticed something about the sky. I rolled around and got up, still staring towards the sky through the trees. Cosette couldn’t help but laugh.

“What are you looking at?”

She looked up as well, seeing what I saw. We both decided to walk into a clearing. When we did, I looked down and saw her drop her apple. I smiled, looking back up at the sky. I walked into the open field next to us, as Blueberry followed. The sky was light blue, with barely any clouds. The only clouds around looked like white, fluffy marshmallows. The sun beamed down on us with its heat.

“It’s beautiful outside.” Cosette sighed as I stood there.
The cool breeze hit me with a gentle touch as I fell back near a pile of flowers, feeling the grass beneath me. Cosette laid down beside me, looking at me as I turned to meet her gaze. Her eyes glistened brilliantly in the sunlight, her mane’s beautiful scent covered up even the most fragrant of flowers. She smiled, making me smile back.

“It hasn’t been this beautiful in years.” I agreed.

As beautiful and as rare as the sky was, nothing compared to Cosette’s elegance. She was the most beautiful being in the entire universe, and I was willing to tell it to anypony. Cosette sighed happily, laying her head on my chest. I put my hoof around her, gently stroking her mane. Her ears dropped in delight as I continued to stroke her mane.

“Then let’s cherish this moment for as long as we can.”

I looked to the sky, then back down at Cosette. She had a lovely smile on her face, her eyes closed as she sighed again. Her cheeks began blushing a crimson red.

“I could stay here with you forever, Cosette.”

She opened her eyes, still keeping that gorgeous smile on her face.

“Forever? With me?” Her face lit up in excitement.

“Only with you, Cosette. There isn’t another mare in Equestria that I would ever choose over you. I love you, Cosette.”

I felt now was the right time to finally admit it. I sighed happily as I continued stroking her mane. Tears formed in her eyes as she tried to wipe them away.

“I love you too, Shadow. Promise me you’ll never leave me. Promise me you’ll stay with me forever.”

I couldn’t help but to also begin to form tears in my eyes. Instead of rubbing them away, I let the tears stream down my face.

“I promise, Cosette. Forever.”

Only now was life truly perfect. I savored this moment until the beautiful moon came out. The stars sparkled for the first time in a decade. I motioned Cosette’s head to face mine. I kissed her as she returned the kiss. It lasted for several seconds until we both broke away. I told her goodnight, as I closed my eyes and went to sleep.

I woke up to find the sky completely darkened again, which didn’t sadden my mood. Cosette was gone, however and I looked around for her, but I couldn’t find her anywhere.

“Cosette? Where are you?”

I waited for a response, but no answer. This time I shouted louder.

No response.

“Very funny Cosette! Come out!”
Still no response.

I got up, stepping forward, now growing worried. I heard a crinkling sound under my hoof. I looked at it, picking it up and opening it. I dropped the note and began to read.

Dear Shadow,

Cosette is in captivity. Meet us in the open field near Everfree Forest or she dies.

I looked for a signature, but there was none. I panicked as I frantically spread my wings and rose in the air, dashing towards the Everfree Forest. Eventually I found it as I began looking for the open field. Upon discovery, I landed in the middle of the field looking around. There was nopony here.

Suddenly, out of the trees, a horde of soldiers came and ambushed me in a blur. I struggled to get away, but I was quickly chained down on each hoof. I looked at the soldiers who ambushed me, and I noticed a moon crest on their uniforms. I shook my head, denying what I was seeing. The New Lunar Republic? How did they find us? Why did they take Cosette?

All my questions were about to be answered when out of the darkness of the forest, Princess Luna came walking with two Night and the other Black Squadron guards next to her side. She eventually stood in front of me, looking down in disgust.

“Would you care to explain to us why you left and kidnapped my daughter?”

I looked up at her, shaking my head.

“I-I didn’t kidnap your daughter! We just left because we were sick of the war!”

Luna slapped me with her hoof. I haven’t felt pain in a long time, and it stung badly. She looked at Night on her right as she nodded to her. She ran into the forest and back out, bringing a small group of soldiers with her. There, also in chains, was Cosette. She looked at me, as I met her with my eyes, only for our contact to be cut off by another slap.

“Your treason against us will not go unpunished. As will hers for also abandoning the Republic.”

She looked at Titan and nodded her head. Titan pulled out a dagger as he turned around, walking towards Cosette. I began to fight my restraints, trying to break free, my rage building inside.

“Don’t you touch her!” I screamed in fury.

Titan held the dagger near Cosette’s throat, waiting for Luna’s command. I began to cry as I looked up at Luna.

“You can’t do this! She’s your daughter! I love her! Let her go and kill me!”

Luna raised an eyebrow, looking at me curiously.

“You love my daughter? So much you would give your own life?”

I looked over to Cosette, seeing her begin to cry as well. I looked back up at Luna, whose face was tainted with anger.

“Yes I would!” I shouted, my tears falling from my face.

“No!” A voice said, forever staining my mind with that one simple word.

I immediately looked over to Cosette, as she stared back at me, sobbing. I couldn’t believe my ears. I knew what she was going to do. She was going to sacrifice herself for me. I remembered back when Iron Shock did the same thing when Celestia held me in her magic grip. I didn’t want to go through it again, but Luna’s twisted mind was already made up.

“Cosette… is there anything you’d like to say before you are executed for treason?”

I shook violently, my heart rapidly pounding against my chest so hard that it was sending waves of pain each time.


I shook my head slowly as she grimly smiled.

“You were the only stallion who actually loved me the way you do… and you changed me in a way I can’t describe. I’m so fortunate that I have you in my life, thank you for everything you’ve done for me. I love you, Shadow. Don’t forget about me....”

“Cosette… no...”

I was too shocked and pained to say anything else. I looked up at Luna as she hesitantly nodded her head at Titan. I turned my head and saw him slowly cut her throat. I watched as she stared at me the entire time, not yelling in pain, but Instead she just smiled as she closed her eyes and fell to the ground. I then found myself lost in a world of emotions. The only pony I had left… the one mare I loved… was just killed in front of me. I loved her with all my heart, and I experienced her die in front of me!

The pain was too much to bear. In the past few minutes my heart had been ripped out of my chest and crushed. I was sent spiraling into a world of darkness, a never ending void of depression and hatred. I looked back at Luna and screamed through my tears.
“She was your daughter! How could you kill her?! I swear when I get out I will kill you!”
Princess Luna looked away before looking down at me.
“I must do whatever it takes to protect my nation… even if it means killing my own daughter for the sake of my subjects.” She said, her voice slightly cracking.
“I will leave you to rot here, alone. I gave her the benefit of dying quickly.” Luna said coldly, my crying growing louder.
I continued to look down at the ground, crying loudly. I have never experienced pain like this before, not even after Iron Shock's death. I felt as though my entire world was brutally ripped in half. I looked up, looking at Cosette’s dead body laying there on the ground, motionless. Luna stared at me with her hateful eyes before turning and leaving, followed by the others, a few taking Cosette’s body.

“I love you too Cosette… forever.” I said to myself through the tears, watching as I was left alone.
It has been ten years since the beginning of the war, and things in my life have turned around and spiraled out of control. I lay here, beaten and bruised. My pride now shattered and my heart ripped out from my chest. I once served the New Lunar Republic proudly, but now I am an exiled soldier, forgotten and abandoned to die alone in the Everfree Forest.

That’s when I looked up to see none other than rainbow mane walking towards me.

Chapter IX: Turning Tides

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“You? Rainbow mane? What are you doing here?!” I shouted, still fueled with rage.

She approached me, and sat next to me, just shortly away from reach. I didn’t understand why she was here, but the look on her face said it all. She was probably watching everything that happened, and either decided to help, or to finish me off like Luna should have originally.

“My name isn’t rainbow mane. It’s Rainbow Dash.” She said bluntly, blowing her long colorful mane away from her face, looking at the chains that kept me down.

“What do I care? You tried to kill me and Princess Luna.” I spat coldly.

“Well I’m not here to kill you. I’m here to help you.” She said which wasn’t that much of a surprise.

“Why, out of all the ponies in Equestria, would you want to help me?”

“I saw what they did to her. I know you hate Princess Luna. I felt badly for you, though you probably don’t care about that either. Look, if you want your revenge just help us.”

She was probably referring to the Solar Empire. The thought of it wasn’t that bad right now, though my thoughts were lost in darkness and hatred at the moment. If I joined the Solar Empire, I would be able to exact my revenge on Princess Luna and the Black Squadron. If I refused to help them, then I would be left to rot here, alone. As much as I hated the Solar Empire, I had to do this. For Cosette.

“Okay, Rainbow. I’ll help you…” I forced myself to say.

She smiled and unsheathed her dagger, and in an instant, cut the chains off of me. I got up, followed by her, who put her dagger back. I quickly tackled her, pinning her on the ground, taking her dagger and holding it to her neck. She let out a loud yelp, staring up at me fearfully.

“Why are you doing this? Really?” I demanded forcefully, putting a small amount of pressure on her neck.

“I’m doing this because… the Empire needs your help. You can end this war, I know you can. You just have to help us… please.” She answered.

I looked into her eyes for a long time before releasing my pressure on the blade, getting off of her. She got back on her hooves and grabbed her dagger back, dusting herself off in the process. I sighed and stared at her.

“Lead the way Rainbow.” I said, spreading my wings, which she repeated.

Without a reply, she took off into the air as I followed her. My mind was only set on one thing: revenge. I served Princess Luna for ten years, and after my loyal service, she killed her own daughter, the mare I loved, right in front of me. I wouldn’t let this go unpunished, regardless if she was an alicorn or not.

We approached Canterlot very quickly, in a matter of minutes. This time, I wasn’t sneaking around to gain access inside. Rainbow Dash led me straight through the large entrance and down the main hallway to Celestia’s royal chamber. Seeing the familiar room sent traumatizing memories into my head.
I looked up at the chair, and there before me, was Celestia herself. Once I was in the middle of the room, the guards shut the door, while two others came over and held me down.

“H-Hey what’s going on?! Let me go!” I shouted, struggling to get free.

Celestia, without a word, arose from her chair and walked down to me, looking downward at me with an interested look. I looked back up at her, noticing that she was slightly taller than Luna. Her mane flowed like the waves of the ocean, her body the same snowy white.

“What is he doing here, Commander?” She said with a slight uneasy tone.

I could see why she hated me. After all, it was only a few months ago when my small group attempted to assassinate her to end the war. However I realized now, that without her, my revenge wouldn’t be so easy.

“He wants to join the Solar Empire, your Empress. He wants to kill Princess Luna.” Rainbow said, looking at me, giving me a face to keep quiet and to let her do the talking.

She looked at Rainbow with a confused face.

“He is one of the Black Squadron members in the New Lunar Republic, and you’re telling me he wants my sister dead?”
Before Rainbow could say another word, I stood up, still being held by the Solar Guards.

“Your Highness, she killed the mare I loved, which was her own daughter, right in front of me no more than thirty minutes ago.”

Her jaw dropped nominally in shock, the others starting at me blankly.

“I served her for more than a decade, Empress Celestia. I know her strategies, I know where her and her army is located now. She ruined my life, and I want to ruin hers. I am not doing this for you, or for this pathetic war torn country. I’m doing this for the friends I lost under her wing. I am not asking you to trust me, I am asking you to help me, and in return I’ll be helping you win this war.”

Everypony stood silently for a moment, their eyes staring in awe until Celestia spoke up.

“Very well, stallion. I will accept you as a member of the Solar Empire. On one condition.”

“What might that be?” I asked, the guards holding me now loosening their grip, but still keeping me contained.

“You must swear your loyalty to me. I promise that you will get your revenge.” Celestia stated, her stoic face still examining me.

I pushed off the guards, who surprisingly backed off, but kept their hooves on their blades as I walked forward, looking up at Celestia. The one who killed my best friends months ago, was asking me for my loyalty. As much as I hated the idea of joining my enemy, I had to do this. For Cosette.

I knelt down before her, grabbing her hoof gently, planting a small kiss before looking up at a now amused Celestia.

“Very well… I swear my allegiance to you. Help me kill Princess Luna. Help me end the New Lunar Republic.” I asked her, as a small smile appeared on her face.

“Welcome to the Solar Empire, my newly devoted subject. You must work to gain trust, and I hope to see you advance yourself in my empire. I look forward to seeing your progress. Come to me whenever you need an assignment, and I will gladly give you one. Go with Rainbow Dash to the train station, there she will debrief you on what you need to do now.” She said before motioning everypony in the room to leave, excluding her two guards that accompanied her at all times.

I left the room alongside Rainbow Dash who escorted me outside the palace and into the city. I was a little uncomfortable walking in the one place I called enemy territory. I looked uneasily at the guards, who shared equally disturbed looks. Many of the civilians even stopped and watched me, gasping at the sight of their enemy. I felt somewhat secure though because Rainbow Dash was, to my knowledge, a commander in the Solar Empire.

“So Rainbow, you’re a commander huh?” I asked, trying to ignore the staring eyes.

“Yep. Along with three other friends of mine that I’m taking you to see right now, actually. It’s better if you get acquainted with them now so they’ll grow on you.”

“Well who are they, if I might ask?” I asked, her head turning towards me as we made our way through the streets of Canterlot.

“Well one of them, is Pinkie Pie. Her and I are like best friends though she kinda… acts weird, in a way. You’ll see what I’m talking about eventually.” She confessed with a giggle.

I stared at her strangely. The fact that she saved me and brought me to Canterlot to join the Solar Empire was confusing enough, but now she was acting like we were never enemies in the first place, but like friends.

“The other is Applejack. She wears a ranch hat so you’ll be able to tell that it’s her. She’s a very honest mare, as well as respectful, so you’ll do fine as long as she gives you a chance.”

Applejack and Pinkie Pie were more names I never heard of. I thought I knew all of their commanding officers, but learning this now made me feel like I knew nothing at all. It was interesting learning these names, and no matter how strange this conversation was, I was somewhat intrigued by it.

“The last one you’ll need to know is Rarity. She is a very… dramatic pony. She complains if you don’t have good fashion, especially if you’re wearing that armor.”

I looked down at my armor and shot her a glare, her smile making it hard to take her seriously.

“What’s wrong with keeping myself alive out in the forest of the Everfree?” I asked coldly, turning my head to look forward.

“I have nothing against it. I think it looks cool! Rarity will think otherwise though… we might need to get you new armor since you’re one of us now.”

I rolled my eyes, sighing to her comment.

“Whatever… let’s just get this over with, Rainbow. The faster I kill Luna the faster I’m out of here.” I said coldly, her ears lowering as a frown was made visible on her face.

“You… you won’t stay after the war ends?” She said quietly, causing me to yet again stare at her strangely.

“No. There is no reason to live anymore. I plan on taking Princess Luna to Hell with me. If I live… then I will live alone. I do not want to get emotionally attached anymore to anypony.”

Without a word the rest of the way, we maintained our course towards what I saw to be the train station. Two guards noticed Rainbow Dash and stood at attention, moving away from the entrance as it opened, allowing us to enter.

“We are heading towards Ponyville. There we will see Commander Applejack.” Rainbow Dash stated, in an almost contempt manner.

The more time I spent with Rainbow Dash the more confused I was becoming. She rescues me, an enemy soldier, from the brink of death. That alone I was questioning. Then she wants me to convert to their side and starts treating me like a friend of hers. Now she’s saddened that I wouldn’t stay in Equestria once the war ends. What is going on here? My heart is probably playing tricks…

We both entered the train as we walked down the cars towards the back. A sudden jerking of the train signaled that it was already moving. Rainbow accidentally bumped into me during the motion of the train and quickly pushed off.

“Sorry about that. These stupid trains. I prefer flying!” She yelled out loud, though nopony but myself was around to hear it.

She quickly glanced back at me and then towards the door to the last train.

“I have a surprise for you. I hope you’re happy about this… seeing what you’ve been through today.” Rainbow brushed her mane out of her face before opening the door towards the last car.

I entered it and my eyes flashed wide. There before me, behind metal bars, was none other than Eagle and Wolf. They looked back at me in awe as a moment of silence fell upon the room. Rainbow Dash stood next to me, looking at them.

“The day of the failed assassination, the Princess took these two prisoners. They were going to be shipped to Ponyville to enter the Maximum Security Prison there. Now that you’re here, I think you might be able to get them on your side. I hope so anyways…” And with that, Rainbow walked out of the car, leaving just me inside with my two friends who I thought died months ago.

Chapter X: Reunion

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My heart suddenly lifted. I was no longer alone in the world. I had two friends who were still alive. However my heart grew tainted with hatred for Princess Luna. I wanted Eagle and Wolf to join my side to help me. They didn’t know the truth of what Luna did.

“Wolf? Eagle…?” I said, only managing to say their names.

“Shadow…? You’re alive?” Wolf smiled happily.

“Yeah! Oh wow it’s great seeing you two again! I thought you were dead!” I exclaimed happily.

“We thought you were dead too, Shadow.” Eagle confessed, chuckling a bit.

“Is Iron alive too?” Wolf asked, his hopes doomed to fall.

I only responded with the shake of my head, all of our smiles simultaneously fading from existence.

“A lot has happened, you guys. A lot you need to know.”

I began to tell them about how afterwards I buried Iron and went back to the fort and confronted Luna to tell her the news. I told them about how I ran away the next night with Cosette and escaped the war. I told them we lived happily together for months until today, when they took her away from me. They couldn’t believe what they were hearing by the slow shaking of their heads.

“She… killed her own daughter?” Wolf managed to say.

Eagle couldn’t say a word, but only tried to feel sorry for me for losing the one pony I had left. They finally understood everything up until now. Eagle looked down at his Lunar Republic patch on his uniform, staring at it for a long time before he tore it off, along with his armor. Wolf watched and hesitated until doing the same thing.

“We’ll help you, Shadow. You’re our friend and we will do whatever it takes to see this war to the end.” Eagle said, Wolf nodding in agreement.

“Thank you Eagle… and you as well Wolf. I’ll get them to release you. We will not fail this mission. We will end this war.”

With that, I left the caboose and entered the next car, seeing Rainbow sitting there waiting patiently for me. I smiled as she turned her head and noticed, reading my face. I assume she knew that I converted them and she returned a soft smile.

“So they are now on ou- well… your side?” Rainbow asked, leaning a bit towards my direction, eager to hear my response.

“Yeah. They’re on our side.” I said with a small nod, chuckling.

She stood up, now fully turning towards me.

“Well good job. I’m surprised you got them to change so fast. You three must really be good friends.”

Thinking back, they happened to be the only ones in the Black Squadron I actually conversed the most with. Eagle was the one I considered to be a brother. He played that role that Iron did. He saved my life by tackling Celestia so I could escape. Wolf did the same thing, too. Both of them I owed my lives too, and I wouldn’t let them down.

“We are good friends, Rainbow. They saved my life once.” I said, chuckling.

The train suddenly shuttered violently, sending both of us ramming onto the ground. A loud screeching noise rang throughout the entire car. After awhile the entire train stopped to a halt, the noise replaced with silence.

“What was that?!” Rainbow shouted, getting up and looking out the window.

I, too, looked out the window as my eyes focused on six objects in the sky. I tried to focus more as the objects seemed to be moving towards the train. My eyes widened in horror as I soon found out what they were. It was the Black Squadron, commencing an attack on the train. They probably assumed I would be here and they decided to try and eliminate me once and for all.

A sudden burst of anger ignited inside me as my look went from horrified to dead cold. I hated every single one of them. It was they who killed Cosette, the love of my life. Now I sought revenge on every single one of them.

“It’s the Black Squadron, Rainbow.” I said, Rainbow looking at me in surprise.

“The Black Squadron? Crap!” She yelled, hitting the wall.

I turned back and stared out when the train shook yet again, this time more viciously. Rainbow and I flew back and hit the opposite wall, the train slightly tilting backwards. As it stopped I stood up as best as I could, looking towards near the front. I noticed the entire front was now gone. I slowly walked over to the torn off edge of the car and looked out. The entire front of the train was now gone off the side of the mountain, burning in flames down below the deep ravine.

“Buck! They took out the train!” I screamed back towards Rainbow.

She only stared back, unable to respond. She seemed really shaken, which made me confused. Only then did I realize that she wasn’t staring at me, she was staring behind me. I turned to see the six Black Squadron members staring at me, evil grins on their faces.

I backed up rapidly as one by one they landed inside the broken train, Night being the last to land. She looked at me with the same smile she gave me when we first met. It sent me spiraling back into more painful memories I no longer cared to endure.

“Well, well, well. What do we have here, squadron? It appears we found Ozone.” She admitted in a sarcastic tone, the others inserting a small chuckle to her words.

“My name is Shadow, by the way. I have no need for your stupid code names, Night.” I growled at her angrily, wanting just to charge at her and to make her suffer the way I did when they forced me to watch Cosette’s death.

“Well then, ‘Shadow’, Princess Luna knew you would have escaped… and she sent us to kill you. This is a very opportune moment… because not only will we kill you, but we will get away with killing a Solar Imperial Commander. The infamous Rainbow Dash of the Solar Elites. She will be a prize…”

I looked back at Rainbow, who stood up giving them an equally hating look. I backed up a bit and kept a defensive stance, staring into Night’s cursing eyes. I began to think about the situation as my anger only grew. It would be my fault if Rainbow Dash died. She can’t die because of me… NO PONY will ever die because of me ever again!

“You will not touch her… I can garuntee that. I will slaughter you all right here, right now!” I roared as I unsheathed my blade, pointing it at a now giggling Night, who also pulled her sword out.

“I will make each one of you suffer, like you did with me!” I screamed, swinging my blade at her, thus beginning the battle.

She ducked as the other Black Squadron members watched the fight that was beginning to unravel. She shot her sword forward, nearing my chest before I moved to the side, kicking her down.
Jumping back up, she flew into me, knocking me against the side of the train, which slightly moved to a now upright position. I bucked her off, slamming her on the other side of the train, making it tilt again.

“I’m going to enjoy watching you die slowly…” I confessed, looking at Rainbow as I motioned for her to go in the room with Eagle and Wolf.

Rainbow nodded and went in the caboose as Night swung her sword at me. I lifted my blade and caused a loud clash of our weapons, causing sparks to fly off the impact. All of a sudden I saw out of the corner of my eye some movement. It was Pyro, making a move by charging at me with his blade. I kicked Night away and flew back, barely missing Pyro’s attack. Next it was Titan and Joker, who decided to attack me simultaneously.

I fought them both as best as I could before Joker grazed my arm. I flinched and got hit in the face, falling to the ground. Joker stood on top of me when I realized a perfect opportunity. I threw my blade into him, piercing his chest. His eyes widened, realizing the one mistake that cost him his own life. The others moved back, watching as I twisted my blade around in his chest, causing him to let out a scream in pain.

Within mere seconds, I twisted the blade completely around, shoving it all the way into his body and out the other side before his body fell limp. I kicked him off my blade and looked down at his body.

“One down…” I started, looking back up into the multiple pairs of eyes staring at me in astonishment.

“five to go.”

Chapter XI: The Accursed Day

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Titan and Pyro backed up, either afraid of how things kicked off or recollecting themselves after witnessing the death of a fellow member and friend. I only stepped closer to them, expecting Night or Prowler to make a move. Instead they stood still, their eyes daring me to come closer. It was a moment of deadly silence, tensions building up in the small confined space of the car.

"You will all die..." I said, stepping one step at a time, slowly approaching the four remaining enemies whom I cursed with death.

"You're the one who will die here today!" Pyro shouted, stopping me in my tracks.

As I figured, they began bolting towards me, ready for the second round. However this time it would be Pyro, Titan, and Prowler charging at me all at once. I stopped moving towards them and readied myself for the inevitable attack. In an instant I found myself surrounded by all three, Pyro swinging the first attack. I countered the move by ducking and hitting him across the face with my hoof. He fell to the ground with a loud thud while the others thrusted their swords at me. I quickly turned and smacked my sword against Titan's, jumping up in the air simultaneously to kick Prowler in the muzzle. Fortunately for him he dodged my counter.

I landed on the ground again, the train swaying like it's about to give way. Titan tackled me and began delivering punches to my face. With a fast reaction, I bucked him off, causing him to smack violently against the side of the train. Before long I found myself trying to stand up until the train continued tilting to the side, showing no signs of stopping.

"Oh crap! The train is about to fall off the side of the cliff into the ravine! Black Squadron head out!" Night shouted before blasting off out of the train in a trail of black static.

Prowler and Pyro quickly followed suit, Titan just getting up to follow them.

"Oh no you don't!" I screamed, taking Titan back down, holding him down to the ground to prevent his escape.

It wasn't long before the train finally got derailed off the tracks, falling fast towards the bottom of the mountain. While entering free fall, Titan and I began to fight again, his head smashing against mine to try to get me off. All of a sudden the train began to roll violently, knocking us around as if it was rolling down the rough edges of the tall landscape. It seemed forever until one last smack against the ground caused everything to stop.

My side began to ache horribly, my eyes quickly trying to investigate the now obliterated train. Though the car was not entirely destroyed, large parts of the walls have been ripped off, the floor of the car filled with multiple holes and bumps. I turned my gaze to the now silently still body laying in front of me, which was obviously Titan. I got down and checked his pulse, verifying that he, too, had been killed.

I stood up and grinned, savoring the defeat of not only one, but two Black Squadron members. It wasn't long before my grin faded, my eyes springing wide open as I turned to see the car that was also connected to ours. The one Rainbow Dash and the others were in. I galloped as best as I could towards the seemingly intact car, smashing against the door only to be bounced off. The door showed no signs of being budged as I got up, my fear growing more and more by the second.

"Rainbow! Eagle! Wolf! Are you okay?!" I screamed into the door, hoping they could hear me.

No response.

"Please! Say something!"

Still no response.

"Rainbow!! Please be alive!! Come on!!" I screamed louder, only to be answered with more silence before hearing a muffled sound coming from inside as my hopes dramatically rose, a smile appearing on my face while tears swelled in my eyes.

"We're... okay!" I heard Rainbow Dash respond, causing me to cry out loud, happy to hear that they were still alive.

My heart leaped inside my chest to the sound of her voice. I lost Cosette today, and I didn't want to lose Rainbow or my two best friends. They were the only ones I had left in this crazy psychotic world. My friends, however, weren't the only ones alive.

"Well well... look who survived!" A voice came from behind, my head turning by instinct to find Night landing down on the ground with Pyro and Prowler.

My smile faded, only to be replaced with a large scowl at the sight of the trio.

"You seemed to have killed Titan too..." Night admitted, looking at her dead comrade laying on the ground without motion.

"Your punishment for your actions will be paid back a thousand fold, Shadow. Pyro... Prowler... finish him off!" Night commanded before the two surprisingly bolted at me fast enough to slam my body against the door of the last car.

They held my hooves against the walls, using their hind hooves to land blows to my stomach. Each blow sent waves of memories from the past, each feeling of pain was another image of Cosette smiling happily. The more I saw her the more energy I felt surging through my body. I began to scream loudly in frustration and resistance, slowly fighting against their hold. My hooves made it off the wall, their attacks becoming harder. I was far enough off that I slipped down from underneath them, taking both of their hind hooves and throwing them down against the rocky ground.

I got on top of Pyro, grabbing his head as I twisted as hard as I could, grinning in delight as his screaming and struggling beneath me grew. Prowler jumped on my back after I heard the somewhat enjoyable sound of bones cracking and the silence of Pyro's screams. He wrapped his hooves around me, putting me in a choke hold. His grip only grew tighter around my neck, breathing becoming more difficult.

"Y-You... will die l-like the... rest of them!!" I forced myself to say through his suffocating grip, my wings expanding valiantly before flapping strongly, blowing myself towards the mountain, smashing Prowler's back against the wall of the mountain. His grip seceded and I turned around, slamming my hoof against his stomach. His face was twisted with pain and fear, my eyes finding his sword on the ground. I picked it up and shoved it into his neck. He suffocated in his own blood before falling on the ground, lifeless.

I succeeded in killing off all of the Black Squadron except for one, who was standing in awe right behind me. I turned and faced her, blood covering my face. We both stood there, staring at each other in silence. Her eyes were as cold as her soul, their light blue eyes failing to pierce into my soul. The wind picked up and her sparkling navy blue hair flowed with its current. Not only was I covered in blood, but her dark black coat was also showing signs of blood stains. After awhile, she grinned at me, breaking the long silence.

"I can see you're still upset about your loss. Oh Shadow... her death was necessary... after all, she ran away with a traitor." Night confessed, which felt like a slap in the face.

It wasn't only anger that was building up in me, it was the pain and the depression that was ascending to it's boiling point. On this day, I lost the one pony who I ever cared about, a mare who I gladly called mine. She was everything to me and I was too weak to prevent her death. Darkness entered my heart and corrupted my soul, a forever feeling of being alone already taking hold on me. It felt like thousands of daggers were terrorizing my heart at the thought that without her I was nothing, and my future was nothing but a dream, a fantasy that would never come true.

Without thinking I charged at her, tears streaking my face before I felt a sharp pain in my chest. My charge was suddenly halted and my eyes shot wide, a faint gasp escaping from my mouth. I slowly looked down to see her sword piercing through my chest, blood staining the blade and dripping on the ground.

"Shadow... you'll meet her soon enough..." Night said, twisting the blade, an immediate rush of pain forcing me to let out a scream, blood escaping my mouth and onto Night's shoulder.

She pulled the sword out of me and pushed me forcefully to the ground, my hooves immediately holding the wound to stop the bleeding. I squinted my eyes shut, trying hard to push the pain out, but failed to as I felt my hooves being kicked away, a large force slamming down on the wound, another wave of pain rushing through my body, a more horrific scream escaping from me.

"Goodbye, Shadow." I heard her say as a moment of silence filled the air.

I slowly opened my eyes, the edges of my view growing darker and darker, my vision becoming a blur. I could barely make out her sword lifting in the air as a noise from behind caused her to stop her movements. The noise was muffled to me, so I couldn't make it out. Night suddenly backed off of me, the sound of ponies conversing now surrounding me. My body began to go numb as more blood escaped my body, a cold feeling creeping up my spine. The darkness engulfed my eyes, all feelings suddenly disappearing. I figured I was dead. Similar images began to enter the surrounding dark abyss I entered. It was images of Cosette, back when we were happily alone...

Chapter XII: Fate of Equestria

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So this is how it all ends… getting killed by that wicked mare! Wait… am I really dead? How can I still hear my own voice as if I’m speaking through my head? Am I still alive? Am I in a coma?

A sudden dot appeared amidst the black walls surrounding me, slowly growing bigger and bigger until it became noticeable. At first I couldn’t believe it, a part of me denying that this was actually happening. However it just kept approaching me.


I forced myself to believe that she was really here, standing in front of my view, her eyes staring straight into my sight. She only smiled and brought her hoof up as if trying to reach out to me. Her body began to grow brightly until the darkness was overcome with an endless light. I struggled to make sense of what was happening, but soon it became clear after the lightness dimmed a bit, the familiar Everfree Forest surrounding me.

A frown appeared on my face, noticing that Cosette was no longer in front of me. I looked around, noticing that I had a newly formed body. It was still the same as it was before, only there wasn’t a huge gash inside my chest. Sighing, I walked around and looked for Cosette, my ears drooping behind my head, sadness sinking in.

“Hey there, darling.” I heard a familiar voice behind me.

My heart rapidly sped up in my chest at the sound of that voice, my ears perking up. I was afraid to turn around, but I wanted to be for sure that it was who it really was. Slowly turning my head, I found Cosette standing behind me only a few feet away.
A smile instantly beamed across my face, tears swelling in my eyes at the sight of her.

Instantly I turned my entire body around and tackled her to the ground, wrapping my hooves around her in a long passionate embrace. As if she was expecting it, she let out a loud yelp and began giggling cheerfully, returning the loving hug.

“C-Cosette! I’m so happy to see you!!” I shrieked, my voice cracking in delight.

“I’m happy to see you too Shadow.. I missed you so much.” She confessed, nuzzling into my mane.

My heart suddenly burst out of its dark shell, tears flowing down my face onto her majestic mane. She softly placed her hoof on my cheek, lightly lifting my head away so she could once again stare into my eyes. She, too, had begun to form tears in her striking eyes. Without warning she leaned upward and pressed her lips eagerly against mine, the feeling of her kiss as sweet as it was the first time we shared it together for the first time.

It felt like months, years, centuries have passed before the kiss was broken and our muzzles barely grazed each other, her soft breaths mixing with mine. Our eyes remained closed for the longest time, a moment of stillness and peace consuming the entire forest.

I slowly opened my eyes, planting a kiss on her nose. Her eyes opened half way, a small giggle escaping her mouth, her nose cringing to my kiss. She wrapped her hooves around the back of my neck, smiling happily into my eyes. It felt like an eternity had passed the last time I stared into them, and it relieved me to finally hold her in my hooves again.

“Cosette you have no idea how much I missed you… it’s been… hard, without you… and it’s only been a day! I’m a complete wreck without you…” My smile faded into a frown, a long pause coming from Cosette.

“I’ve missed you too… but I want you to be happy, even if I’m not there, darling.” She brushed my mane with her hoof, continuing the motion not breaking the the connection of our eyes.

“How can I be happy without you with me…?” I asked her, pleading for an answer, of which she gave a wry smile.

“Oh Shadow… I’ll always be with you. You just have to find happiness with what you still have.” A small smile returned on my face to that statement, causing me to plant another small yet passionate kiss on her lips.

I began to think about the situation for a long time. Wolf and Eagle were out there in Equestria probably in danger without me to help them out as they had helped me. Then there was Rainbow Dash, the mare who had tried to kill me once and then randomly came around to save me when I was in desperate trouble. All three of them have become very close to me, and a feeling of weakness had swept across my head. Many of my friends have died because of my weakness and it was traumatizing.

Rainbow treated me like a friend in an instant to my conversion even though months earlier we were enemies. When she rescued me, it was almost immediately after the NLR had left the field as if she was waiting for them to clear out before she came to save me. Why was she doing all these things was totally beyond me, but it was then that I realized something I had denied to admit for the longest time.

Did she… like me?

At first it didn’t make sense, because we’ve only started to know each other for what seemed to be a day. Sure she was a nice and very attractive mare, but I wasn’t prepared to open my heart to another after the only one I loved died on that same day. Though her smile was infectious along with the fact that her eyes were almost hypnotizing. I couldn’t possibly have feelings for another mare this early. Could I?

"Cosette... I... you know I love you. I wish I could have stopped it all bu-"

"It's okay Shadow... I know. I know you have feelings for that mare." My eyes shot open wide at her interruption, unable to comprehend how she knew what I was thinking.

"W-Wh... How did you..?" I stuttered, another giggle coming from Cosette as she kissed my neck.

"I'm your imagination, Shadow. You're not dead... you're in a coma. I know everything about you.. even your darkest secrets." she confessed, her smile tormenting me.

"I'm.. in a coma..." my voice trailed off, noticing what she said was what I originally thought in the first place, though at the time I wasn't sure.

"Shadow... I need to tell you something important, darling. You might not like it.. but it's the truth and you have to make a choice, one that will decide the entire fate of Equestria." I noticed her gaze turning very serious, which somewhat worried me.

"What is it, Cosette..?" I asked, not looking forward to whatever she had to say.

"First you have to get up, darling." She said in her playful tone, trying to lighten the seriousness of her topic.

At her command, I gently unwrapped my grip on her and got up, helping her get up shortly after. She smiled at me and turned facing the direction I was. As if by magic, our surroundings disappeared and we were standing on top of a cliff, facing out towards Canterlot and the surrounding area, below the mountains Ponyville coming into view. I watched in amazement, as the royal city was not only there, but was burning violently along with the grass plains down below. The small town of Ponyville was also completely annihilated, a colossal black smoke emitting from the town and scarring the sky.

"W-What happened?" I ask, staring at Equestria in ruins.

"Your death causes this. You are not around to stop Luna and her Republic from completely taking control of Equestria." She stated, my level of disbelief rising dramatically.

"What?! How can my death cause all this?!" I blurt out, now staring at her instead of the horrific scene in front of me.

"Because you are not supposed to die. Not yet. You're fate is to confront Luna, my mother, and kill her. You will bring an end to the New Lunar Republic and restoring peace and harmony to Equestria." She said, nodding forward, trying to get me to look back to the city of Canterlot and the town of Ponyville.

Without questioning, I looked back only to find a different scenario. This time, the skies were as clear as they were the day before Cosette was killed. Canterlot was surrounded by fireworks and cheering could be heard from their location, as far away as we were. Ponyville was a lot closer, and I noticed that their flags were no longer Solar Empire flags, but instead replaced by the old traditional Equestrian colors.

"Is this... what happens if I succeed in killing Luna?" I ask Cosette, looking over to her to receive her answer, which was a simple nod.

"So... how will I be able to wake up and do this? I'm in a coma after all, like you said." I countered, Cosette finally turning her head to face me.

"You need to let me go, Shadow. You need to move on and find happiness. You can keep me in your memories... but you must pass this obstacle that is holding you back. I'll give you time to think about it, darling." She said before kissing my cheek and walking off towards a grass field that was behind us.

This was the hardest choice I had to make. If I let go of the one pony I loved and cherished for so long and killed the Goddess of the Night, I would be destroying the New Lunar Republic and saving hundreds and thousands of lives, as well as bringing unity to Equestria. If I didn't let her go, I would die and bring about the downfall of Equestria.


After what felt like hours later, I had made my choice. I walked over to where Cosette had been sitting and stood there, staring at her for the longest time before finally deciding to speak.

"I have made my choice."

Without any words she stood up, turning to face me with that same lovable smile. I knew that she knew what my answer was, and I knew I was doing it for the right reason. I would always love Cosette no matter what, and nothing would ever change that. What she said, however, was true. I had to let her go and move on, for the sake of my friends, for Rainbow Dash, for Equestria.

"I know, Shadow." She simply stated, which I assumed would be her answer.

"I will not let your death be in vein, Cosette. I will live a happy life as you want me to... and please, forgive me." I pulled her into a deeply affectionate hug, feeling her returning the embrace tightly.

"Go and save Equestria, Shadow. I have faith in you... and I will always be with you. Forever and Always..." As her sentence faded and everything began to disappear into darkness once again.

Only this time, the darkness didn't stay forever. I opened my eyes and stared at a white ceiling, the sound of multiple voices very faint but noticeable coming from a far distance. I turned my head to the left, my eyes setting their gaze at a hospital bed a few feet away. There was a door leading into the room that happened to be closed, so I figured I was in a hospital. I heard something from behind and turned my head around to my right, and I happened to notice Rainbow Dash, quietly resting on my bedside.

Chapter XIII: Awakening

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Weeks had past since I awoke, and it took a long time for my body to heal from the wound Night left. I was happy to find out that Dash, Wolf and Eagle escaped from the surprise attack on the train completely unharmed. They came to visit me when I awoke, a long conversation of the situation and what happened afterwards following suit.

It turns out that upon the stab, Eagle had busted down the door allowing Wolf and Rainbow to prevent my execution. A short angry shouting conversation followed before reinforcements finally arrived, Night immediately fleeing at the sight of the Solar Elites. They told me that she immediately took off with my body back towards Canterlot, themselves being instructed to follow her. Wolf couldn't help but mention that they had a really hard time doing so, a laugh escaping from myself as well as Eagle.

Rainbow herself, however, was the first one to talk to me upon my awakening. Upon my discovery of my feelings for her, I decided to keep it quiet and to just see where things went without pushing it. She was really happy to see me wake up and told me that she knew I would, even though the doctors had told her that it was an unlikely chance of happening. The conversation was very brief and ended with a simple gentle hug that I had not foreseen happening. Not to say I didn't enjoy it, but it caught me off guard.

The NLR had been keeping low and the Solar Empire grew very nervous that something was about to happen. Something very big that would be a game changer in the war. Celestia requested my presence as soon as I was healed, saying it was something important that she wished to discuss with me. I was unsure what she wanted, but as long as it involved killing Luna and Nights, I was all ears.


Upon my exit from the hospital, I found myself trotting down the main halls of the Canterlot palace towards Celestia's throne. However when I entered the gigantic room, she was not there. Instead I found a guard waiting for me, pointing towards the back behind the throne where another hallway came to view. Understanding where he wanted me to go, I went down the hallway to come across a spiraling staircase going up. My thoughts grew ever louder, my curiousity straining my mind before I reached the top, noticing an armored wooden door. With a gentle knock, I waited for a response, but the room remained quiet. I knocked once again, this time the door opened to reveal Celestia at the doorway, looking down at me in her majestic form. My eyes met hers, and then I looked behind her, noticing that I had found my way into her chamber.

She motioned me to come in, stepping to the side to allow me entrance. I trotted in curiously, looking around at the exquisitly regal chamber. There was a large circle rug on the floor with the symbol of a sun, which matched her cutie mark. Beyond it, her extremelly prodigious bed made my mind sink back in surprise, for I had never seen that size of bed before. To the right I noticed the balcony, looking out over the royal city. I continued turning my glance to the right and I noticed a fireplace, already hosting a flame that radiated a pleasant warmth. Turning my head to the left, there was a large window and a bookshelf next to it, along with another door of which I assumed was a closet.

"You like my chamber, Shadow?" I heard her ask, my attention snapping back to her.

"O-Oh.. yeah! I've never.. seen a room quite like this before. It's really nice." I responded, my words stuttering at first causing her to let out a small giggle.

"Well I guess it's a perk when you're royalty." She admitted with a faint smile.

"I guess so... anyways you called me here for something, Celestia? What was it you needed?" I asked, my curiousity at its peak, her smile immediately turning into a serious stoic look.

"It has been weeks since any reports of the NLR has been heard of... and I believe they are planning something. Massive. An invasion perhaps. This is a great way to earn trust for you, since thus far you have proven yourself by not only swearing your allegience but saving one of my most accomplished generals, Rainbow Dash in the same day."

At the mention of her name, a small smile appeared on my face. For once I actually did something right by saving my friends. I did end up taking a blade to the chest and all, but I did manage to kill the majority of the Black Squadron, who, if not killed, would have taken out not only me but my friends as well.

"She... is a friend I do not plan on letting down, along with my two other friends." I confessed, the expression on her face showing curiousity to my statement but then going back to her normal look.

"I see... well I called you up into my chamber for a personal matter. One that must be kept between you and I." She stated, her glance slamming down on me as if expecting a certain answer.

"I promise to keep this between us, Princess. What is it that you wished to tell me?"

"I know my sister well... and she has used a very successful tactic of an ambush from behind our front lines. Even the one on Fort Blaze, of which you lead a team to ambush my forces from behind." Her voice slightly cracked as soon as she finished that, but before she continued I stopped her.

"Princess... that was a long time ago," I admitted, a small smile on her face being made visible. "I fought for the wrong side... and now I see clearly who needs to win the war. I fight for the reunification of Equestria, as do you. Whatever plan you have for me, I will follow your command with no question."

"Thank you, Shadow," She said with a nod of respect, before continuing. "Like I was saying, I planned on using this strategy against her, with you and your two friends leading an elite squadron to ambush them from the back. She will not expect an invasion if she is planning her own."

"So you're promoting me, in other words?" I ask, chuckling slightly.

"You could say that, Captain." She replied, giggling softly with a nod.

"I'm honored," I started, bowing before her. "we will win this war, Princess. When does the invasion begin?"

"It starts tomorrow. Get your forces ready, Shadow. I plan to end this war swiftly without fail." She said, smiling ever so nobly.

With a nod, I exited her chamber, making my way down the spiral staircase. The day I soon anticipated was quickly approaching, the fate of Equestria resting on this invasion. My role in the final battle was, to my surprise, very symbolic. My awakening was news of good fortune to the citizens of Canterlot, and while I trotted down the city streets, many stopped me to wish good luck or how happy they were that I was fighting for their side. To be honest, I favored this side a lot more than I have ever liked the New Lunar Republic. Here there was a since of practicality and harmony, even with the war still raging on as it has for the past ten years.


The sun was slowly setting beyond the horizon, the brilliant colors casting across the sky with great detail. I was sitting down with Eagle and Wolf in the officers tent at a training outpost just a quarter mile away from the royal city. We had already made our plans for tomorrow and awaited its arrival. Our conversation was slow at first, but then gradually picked up its pace as more curious topics were brought up, such as their lives before the war. Eventually the conversation went quite for a long time before Eagle spoke up to break the deathly silence.

"So this is it..." Eagle started to say, staring into my eyes, "once again we are the ones who will ultimately decide who wins the war."

With a nod, I turned my head and looked at Wolf, his eyes staring at the ground in silence. All three of us were in this situation before, back when we were supposed to have ended the war with the assassination of Celestia. Only this time, we were working for Celestia, planning to invade and destroy the NLR. Irony twisted it's ugly head upon us, and I was crazy enough to stare into it's deadly eyes with great anticipation.

"We will not fail this time," I stated bluntly, causing Wolf to look up at me with perked ears, "We will defeat the NLR and end this war once and for all. I am tired of the thought of Luna's terror continuing with each passing day and night. More and more, innocent ponies die.. and like other friends before, I am always too weak to stop them!" I slam my hooves down on the ground, startling the other two, "I will kill her. I will kill every soldier in my path if I have to in order to put her down."

My anger inside of me was spiking again, the frustration of being weak only adding to the negative anger that already swelled inside my very being. I despised not only Luna for her hideous crimes, but I hated myself for allowing it to happen. I hated myself for being too weak to do anything about it. Iron Shock and Cosette, two of the greatest ponies I've ever come to know, died because I was too weak. It was something I couldn't tolerate, but something I could do nothing about.

"Calm down, Shadow. You're getting yourself worked up again... why don't you go and get some fresh air outside?" Wolf suggested, placing a hoof gently on my shoulder, calming me down slightly, but not enough for his overall expectation.

"Fine, I guess it's for the best." I stated bluntly, sighing in both stress and anxiety.

I trotted outside of the tent, and out of the outpost's gates, heading towards a small hill that out looked an open field where the sun came in view. I sat down and dug my hoof into the ground, trying to relieve myself of the building pressure inside of me. Not only was the mission a major concern to me, but the welfare of my friends tortured my very being as well. I was too weak to save my best friend, and I was too weak to save Cosette, the one I fell in love with.

A sudden tap on my shoulder caused me to turn my head around to meet that of Rainbow Dash, whom I was not expecting to pay me a visit. Since Cosette's death, I was not able to cope with her loss and I was in a state of constant depression, but whenever Rainbow Dash was around, that feeling of morose somehow lifted, and a feeling of happiness was there. A small smile appeared on my face as our eyes locked, Dash returning a warm smile and then turning her gaze to the sunset.

"It's a beautiful sunset, isn't it...?" She asked quietly, a small blush on her face being made visible.

I nodded and looked towards the sunset as well, all the stress and anxiety leaving my body. For a moment I didn't care about tomorrow and the upcoming invasion. All I could think about was the moment I was in, being there with her. Whether or not we won the war tomorrow, all I cared about was Dash. I would never let anything hurt her and I would even put my own life on the line to keep her alive.

"Shadow, can I tell you something...? It's important." Rainbow Dash started, getting my attention as our faces turned towards each other.

Her sparkling violet eyes glistened into mine, her rainbow colored mane flowing majestically in the cool air breeze. For a long moment there was a silence, and both of us just stared into each other's eyes for a long period of time, enjoying the moment for every second it was worth. I knew this moment wouldn't last forever, but I didn't care. I was with her and that was all that mattered.

"Yes, Dash?" I asked silently, knowing what she was going to say, but anxiously awaiting the words to come out of her mouth.

"I... I wanted to tell you that, I know you lost her and all... b-but... in case we both die tomorrow, I wanted to tell you that... tha-" Before she could finish I gently pressed my hoof against her muzzle, causing her to stop. Her blush deepened, as my own blush began to develop. She didn't fight my action, but instead waited patiently for my next move.

As the sun was only a few inches away from setting, the warm colored sky began to dim into the darkness of the night, that tiny bit of sunlight shining down upon us. Without any hesitation, I removed my hoof and pressed my lips against hers, feeling my heart skipping a beat. She let out a faint gasp, but pressed back into the kiss moments later, a smile painted on her face. I knew right then and there that I had developed feelings for her, and tomorrow would be so much more harder if I lost her.

Then the light faded into darkness.

Chapter XIV: Day of the Falling Moon

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The sounds of horns filled the morning air, the sky shaded in a black shadow of clouds, which was very unusual to what I have ever seen before. No sign of sunlight shined through the thick blanket of darkness, only flashes of light scattered across the sky was made visible as lightning struck violently down on the earth below. I stood alongside Celestia, staring from the balcony down below to the strees of Canterlot, where the massively enormous amount of soldiers waited for the inevitable.

Today was the day of the invasion. The day we have all been anticipating for not just a day, or the few weeks since my awakening, but ever since the war began ten years ago. This battle would decide the entirety of Equestria's fate, and would either end in the downfall of Equestria, or the reunification of the once seemingly harmonic nation. After my awakening, the thought of my life being Equestria's future scared me. I was not afraid of dying, but I was afraid of losing those closest to me. Especially Rainbow Dash.

After last night, my thoughts rested purely on her and nothing else. My focus was at a complete loss the minute our lips met, and it would only continue to serve as a distraction during the invasion. The more the approaching battle came, the more concerned I felt about her. By now I wasn't afraid to let the others know my feelings for the beautiful mare, but I decided to wait until after the battle. If, I lived that long.

"Shadow. Go prepare yourself." Celestia ordered calmly, to which I nodded in reply, turning around and trotting back into her chamber and down the spiral staircase.

I quickly made my way down the halls of the castle, heading for one room in particular that I have learned about during my time in healing. It was my own personal complex, a livingspace of which was bestowed upon me by Celestia herself. As I found the door, I opened it to reveal a fairly moderate themed room. It was nothing as fancy as Celestia's room, but I only desired what was needed. There was a bed, a kitchen, a closet, and a bathroom with a very nice shower in it. However, there waiting on the bed was none other than Rainbow Dash herself, already in her uniform on. Next to her, my armor awaited me. I smiled warmly at Dash, who smiled in return as she got off of the bed and trotted towards me, wrapping her arms around my neck as she hugged me, to which I returned the embrace.

"Hey Dash, I was hoping that I would see you before we left." I said happily, only hugging her tighter.

"I came here to wish you luck, Shadow," she spoke softly, nuzzling into my shoulder. "today's the day, and the sad part is we only just got to know each other a month or so ago..." she finished, her voice trailing off silently.

"Hey don't be like this, Dash.." I said comfortingly, smiling as I held her close in my hooves. "We will win today, and I'll see you at the end of it."

Though I didn't believe the words I said, my words comforted her as she pulled herself away from the hug, yet still in my hooves, her beautiful eyes meeting mine in a calm manor. I thought myself to be too weak to actually live through a battle like this, knowing that I had to kill the Princess of the Night in order to successfully win. After losing those closest to me in preventable situations, nothing seemed possible to me anymore. I was hopeless, and yet that very faint existence of it glimmered inside of me, very faint but still alive. Rainbow Dash was the reason it continued to burn, and my friends would only fuel it. I eventually got enough courage to tell her my fears, ones that could be costly unless I told her.

"Dash, can I tell you something? It's been bothering me for awhile." I started, hoping to tell her my true fears to get it off my chest.

"Hmm? What is it, Shadow?" She replied, nuzzling into me softly as I sighed softly.

"I have to get this off my chest, but, I'm afraid. I'm afraid to lose you because I'm too weak, because I lost not only my best friend when he tried to kill Celestia... but I lost Cosette, who I fell in love with..." my voice trailed off, her eyes saddening before she kissed my cheek gently.

"Shadow, you're underestimating yourself." She began, smiling sweetly. "I've seen you fight before and you're very strong. Heck, you defeated the Black Squadron! Sometimes underestimating your own abilities can hold you back."

"I guess you're right, Dash." I stated, starting to think about the matter.

When she said that I started to look deep inside myself, knowing that what she said was true. At first I didn't believe I was underestimating myself, but then everything started to make sense. I always doubted my abilities to help my friends and viewed myself as somepony who was weak and unable to help my friends in a time of need. It happened when Iron Shock died, when I just stared helplessly, knowing that I could have done something about it. It happened when Cosette died, when I could have kept her safe away from them.

"I tend to be right, Shadow." She giggled, kissing my cheek softly before reaching behind her, grabbing my armor and holding it out. "You need to get ready, Celestia is probably waiting for you."

I nodded with a smile, taking the armor and fitting it on, grabbing my helmet as I planted a kiss on her lips lovingly. She seemed surprised at first but didn't hesitate to kiss back. I felt like this was the last time we would ever share an intimate moment together, yet I was fighting for another moment like this to happen in the future, after the war. We broke the kiss, leaving her to giggle as I put my helmet on, a brave and fearless look appearing on my face.

With a final goodbye, I hugged her tightly before we both exited my room. It was the last time I believed I would ever see her again until the battlefield. She would be leading the air assault as soon as the front lines approached the fort. I feared for her safety but I vowed to protect her with my life.

I quickly made my way back to Celestia's chamber, slowly entering the silent room, noticing Wolf and Eagle there waiting for me along with those foreign to my sight. My eyes began to scan the room, all the eyes staring back at me with hopeful looks. Eagle nodded at me with a smile and Wolf saluted as a sign of respect. I saluted back with a smile, happy to see them both here.

“Today is the day.” Eagle said, a new sense of nervousness coming over me.

Today was the day. The day everypony heard my story. The day everypony learned of the ups and downs throughout my service in the war. I was determined to share the terrible things I witnessed, things that I once thought were for a good cause. Without a word, I trotted forward, towards the entrance of the balcony, a faint limp being made visible. Each step sent memories of the past, ones that I held close to me. As I walked on, those in the room would salute me, their faces scarred with hope, some false.

As I entered the balcony, the cold piercing wind caught me by surprise. Celestia smiled at me, a large noise roaring below. I stared towards the beautiful morning sky, the sun shined brightly. With a sigh I looked back down towards the crowd, holding out my hoof, causing the massive group to fall silent. I took a deep breath, my mind running through all the adventures and tragedies I went through. They would all find out what I went through. They would all understand why the New Lunar Republic must fall.


After the speech the crowd cheered wildly, it was unlike anything I have ever heard before. I never expected others to have interest towards my story, especially since I was once with the enemy. However they continued to cheer, and Celestia put a hoof on my shoulder with her genuine smile. I looked up at her somewhat in confusion and surprise, but she only continued to smile.

"Your story was very moving, my dear. Even I was overwhelmed with what you went through. This will serve as great morale for us." She said, causing me to grow even more confused.

"But, Princess... how can my life serve as morale when I went through nothing but-" before I could finish she stopped me, her sympathetic expression causing me down slightly.

"My faithful Shadow, you went through so much and you told us of what the New Lunar Republic has done." She started, pointing towards the still cheering crowd. "My subjects now seek vengeance for you, and justice for the entire nation. We all feel sympathy for you, and together we will bring down my sister and her army."

"We will succeed, Princess. "I nodded silently, and started to understand, a small smile on my face.

"I know we will Shadow. We must." She gently lifted her hoof off and turned away from the balcony and headed inside her chamber to converse with the rest of the ponies inside.

I only stood there, turning to face the crowd once more. The cheering somewhat died, but a feeling of pride and passion came over me. For once I felt like I truly belonged, and that this was the right side to fight for. Celestia sought unification and freedom, while Luna only seeked control. I held my hoof out and let a large shout overcome me, releasing the energy that surprisingly slowly built up inside me.

"We will defeat the New Lunar Republic! For the Solar Empire! For Equestria!" I shouted, the crowd once again bursting into a large outburst of cheer.

Setting my hoof down, I smiled and turned to look at Celestia, who was looking back at me with surprise before giving a determined nod. I decided after awhile to exit the balcony, heading inside into the middle of the chamber, conversations going on all around me. Celestia was conversing with some of her other generals, some that I didn't know real well except for what Dash told me.

"Excuse me, everpony, I wish to share something with all of you." I said out loud, getting everypony's attention.

"I know at one point I fought against you, and at one point I was your enemy." I looked around at all the eyes staring at me, inlcuding Eagle and Wolf. "But then I came here, and I realize that you are not the true enemy, but the New Lunar Republic is. They have done terrible things, and I seek to end their terror as well as all of you do. We will bring them down, and we will unite Equestria once again."

I then noticed that Rainbow Dash was standing amongst a group, smiling towards me as I beckoned her to come over. Hesitantly she walked forwards and approached me, coming in hooves distance as I wrapped a hoof around her and smiled back, hugging her close to my side. I did the same to Wolf and Eagle, who had no problem with joining the developing group hug. Soon others decided to follow along, Celestia joining in as well. This was the final moment before it would all happen, and I would never forget those in this room.

"Some of you may not make it, and maybe all of us won't, but I tell you now before we head out to confront our enemy... today, is the day the moon falls."

Chapter XV: Surprise Attack

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I've never been more nervous in my entire life than this moment. With my mind struggling to keep calm, I continued my way through the mountains alongside my squad towards the final battle that the world has been waiting for. The sky flashed violently, the rain pouring down on us intensely and showing no signs of stopping. With each flash of blinding light it sent me railing back to the day Rainbow Dash and I first met, when she tried to assassinate the very pony I now aim to eliminate.

I never knew why she didn't kill me in the first place, which confused me, but thinking back I saw it as ironic that I no longer support the New Lunar Republic. For ten years I have served them blindly, only to open my eyes recently and realized that it wasn't the New Lunar Republic that was fighting for peace, but it was the Solar Empire that only sought to bring back and reunite Equestria. That's what I now fought for, not the Solar Empire or the new Lunar Republic, but for the reunification of Equestria.

Eagle flew up next to me, his golden armor still shining through the storm's darkness. I looked at him, staring into his eyes as he stared back into mine. We both knew that this was it, and there was no turning back after this. We would either die fighting, or win the war that has been raging on for more than a decade. It wasn't long before he nodded at me silently, gesturing that he was ready for what was to come, and in repliance I nodded back.

"Shadow, we're almost there." Shouted Wolf who also flew up next to me. "About a mile to go and we'll be behind the enemy."

"Good, then let's fly low behind the mountains and prepare for the ambush." I replied with a yell, barely able to even hear myself over the horrific roar of the storm.

We dropped low, almost to the base of the mountains as our squadron continued to follow our lead. Through the rain I saw a faint glow in the distance that caught my attention. I squinted my eyes to get a better glimps when suddenly more glows appeared, and suddenly sprang off up in the air. Without hesitation I told my squadron to halt as I watched the multiple lights in the sky. Then even more appeared and I realized that they were heading towards us. As they grew closer I noticed they were fire arrows being shot, my eyes widening as I turned to my squad.

"Get to the sides of the mountain! Now!" I screamed, watching everypony bolt to the sides as I too took cover from the arrows.

They shot past us and crashed against the ground. Luckily there was cover for us to hide behind, otherwise the narrow passage of the mountains would have made it impossible to find cover. Wolf and Eagle, who were on the other side, were talking before peering past the cover. Wolf took off in the blink of an eye and arrived to my side, staring at me in disbelief.

"It's impossible... but they knew we were coming!" He yelled, which was still covered by the storm even though he was only a few feet from me. "One of us has to go warn Celestia before she is taken by surprise. What are your orders for the squadron?"

I stared at the ground for a bit and then looked back up at him. "It's obvious we have a spy! You go warn Celestia, I'll take care of these archers and whoever else may be hiding over there!"

Without question, he nodded and took off back from where we came from, disappearing behind the wall of rain. I then turned my attention towards Eagle, who was still on the other side giving instruction to his squadron along with Wolf's. My squadron waited for my instruction silently, staring at me in anticipation. Looking back at them, I saw a mixture of fear and bravery in their eyes. They were scared, frightened, even horrified about what was going to happen, yet each one of them I saw a willingness to fight for their cause.

Each one of them I knew to be either a brother, father, son, or husband, just waiting to return home to their family. I, unlike them, had no family, but I had somepony that I cared about and I would do anything to return to her alive. I held up my hoof, giving a halting signal as I moved forward, slowly and cautiously around the cover of the mountain side. I turned my gaze upward towards the location of the fire arrows, and I could make out some sort of dark round shape, which could have been some sort of cave.

There was only one way to get there and it was through the mountain pass, and with the cover of the rain it would be somewhat of an advantage, yet it occured to me that they seemed to have spotted us already and could already see us. The rain only continued to slam down, growing more intensly as the storm raged on. I growled and looked back towards my squadron, a plan suddenly popping up in my head.

"Okay, listen up! There is only one way to get past those arrows up ahead and that's forward!" I started, none of them blinking or moving as I continued. "I have a plan that might result in some casualties, but if you follow your training, you have a better chance at survival! I want half of you to fly up into the air and the other half through the mountain pass! This scatter will confuse them! Move out!"

With that, half of the squadron bolted in the air while the other half charged through the mountain pass. I followed the ones through the mountain as Eagle kept his squadron there. While we grew closer to the cave, the same glows appeared and were shot not only at us but the ones in the air. However the arrows were fiewer in number and were more menueverable than before. We dodged the first wave of arrows and suddenly took off upward, now dangerously close to the cave as we could see Lunar soldiers frantically reloading their arrows and yet again firing them at us. They flew through my ranks as a couple of my soldiers went crashing down, enabling us to take the cave by force.

We flew inside the cave, the rain no longer smacking against my armor as the ponies inside panicked, some taking out their swords but others not being fast enough. I pulled out my blade and thrusted it into an archer's neck, quickly pushing him down to the ground. My squadron soon followed inside and began to engage in combat with the others, quickly overwhelming the enemy in sheer numbers. Before long we took the cave, having captured two Lunar soldiers as hostages. I ordered my squad to signal the others over, and within a minute or so Eagle and his squad came inside the cave, taking any supplies that would later be needed. Eagle slowly made his way towards me, as our team disposed of the dead bodies and went down to try and help any of ours that were hit during the rush.

"Shadow, this whole situation confuses me." He commented quietly. "They knew we were coming. That is completely impossible unless-"

"Unless there is a spy inside the Solar Empire." I finished, leaving him to nod silently as we both turned our attention towards the two Lunar soldiers who were captured.

"Shall I question them, Shadow? Find out who the spy is?" Eagle asked, shooting a glare towards both of the hostages.

"Yes, go find out." I started, stopping Eagle as he started walking over there. "If they aren't cooperate, tell them they'll live... and if one of them confesses who the traitor is, kill them both."

Eagle hesitantly nodded and trotted over to the prisoners. While he interrogated them, I trotted to the mouth of the cave and sat down, looking out past the storm which didn't let up. My thoughts turned towards Rainbow Dash, and my concern for her safety. One of the squad soldiers appeared next to me and sat down alongside me.

"Got something on your mind, sir?" He asked, also staring out into the darkness that infected me with it's bleak empitness.

"A lot of things, actually." I confessed with a deep sigh.

"I know what you mean, sir. I have a lot on my mind too, like my wife." I looked at him, noticing a small smile on his face.

"You're married?" I asked him, his head turning as our eyes met, a faint glimmer being made visible.

"Yes sir, to a beautiful mare named Rose Pedal." He chuckled faintly. "I love her more than anything in the world, and I am fighting not just for Equestria, sir, but for her. If there's one thing I learned during the war, is that no matter what, I cannot doubt my own abilities, or I'll be holding myself back."

I stared at him for a long time, fixing my mind around his words before staring down at the cold stone beneath our hooves. He was right in what he said, and it got him this far in the war. Perhaps he was a better fighter than I was, or perhaps he was a better leader or strategist. The question that continued to bug me, was why I was picked to be the fate of Equestria's future when I had been doubting myself ever since I let Iron Shock and Cosette down.

A few hours had past while we remained in the cave, waiting for Wolf to report back to the cave. Some of the soldiers gathered in their little groups and began to talk, others keeping watch and some just sitting around fiddling with their spears. Eagle and I continued to plan our next move in hopes that we didn't run into another problem.

"-and I think we should move our forces through this corridor here... to get around that open valley." Eagle suggested, placing his hoof on the large map of Equestria that lay in front of us. "That way we don't get ambushed. They would expect us to go to that valley and perhaps we can take them out from behind."

"That's a great suggestion..." I started, looking down at the map, studying every possible detail that could be crucial in times to come. "However, such a narrow area could also prove to be a problem. What if they knew that we knew not to go into the valley? They could be at both areas."

"Ugh, planning this is so difficult!" Eagle murmered to himself, slamming his hooves down. "We need Wolf here. He could be a great help right now."

"He's been gone a great amount of time, and I know Celestia's army isn't that far away." I stated, Eagle's glance turning to me. "Something isn't right. Either he got caught or he's staying over there due to this horrendous storm."

Suddenly, as if summoned, Wolf flew into the cave and directed his attention immediately towards us. He looked a bit rushed, a rush of curiousity overwhelming me as I stood up along with Eagle.

"Wolf! Where have you been?" Eagle asked instantly in a demanding tone.

"I'm sorry, but while I was on my way here I found an amazing short cut leading direcly towards the fort itself. It was hidden out of sight, so they'll never expect it!" Wolf answered cheerfully, the soldiers nearby perking their ears up, now listening into our conversation.

"Then we are headed there now. Squad, get your gear!" I commanded, being answered by a cheer from the soldiers around, the spirit now high.

A few minutes past and we were all ready, now bolting out as a group following Wolf, who was leading us to his discovery. For some reason I felt off about him, but I shook it off. My mind was only focused on killing the pony who has led me astray for over a decade. The pony who killed the mare I loved. I would stop at nothing to have her head. Either I would kill her in this final battle of the war, or I would die trying.

Chapter XVI: Betrayal

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I should have known that he was up to something. A part of me knew, but I didn't think he would ever do something like this. Wolf had betrayed us all, leading us into an overwhelming ambush that had massacred nearly half of our soldiers. Eagle and I took cover near a large blockade of rocks along with at least four other survivors. The others were either lying dead somewhere or getting slaughtered by countless arrows getting shot into their bodies. I took an arrow to my right shoulder when it started, the sting suppressed by my shock. It had only been a few minutes since the start of the ambush and chaos had already taken over.

We had no clue where they were due to the heavy downpour of the rain. We had hoped it would die down, but the storm only raged on like a never-ending nightmare. Despite their small numbers, this storm was apparently giving them the advantage.

"I can't take this anymore, I'm going for it!" One of our surviving squad members shouted, immediately taking off into the sky attempting to escape this bloody onslaught.

For a second I thought he would have made it, but as I had feared, he was shot down like the others, the gravity pulling him down back onto the rocky surface with a loud thud. It took a moment to realize that he had been the one to engage me in a conversation earlier, the stallion who had been married to a mare named Rose Pedal. I started to think about how his wife, now a widow, would take this news.

I suddenly got angry, wanting vengeance for my fallen comrade. I turned to Eagle, who had already prepared for what reckless action I would follow up with. Gripping my blade tightly, I turned the corner of the boulders and dashed straight forward, the sound of arrows zipping past me faintly audible to my ears before discovering one of the archers looking horrified at my sudden offensive motion. With one swipe I cut his neck, watching the blood mix with the rain as his body fell to the ground. Immediately I turned looking at another archer who was frantically trying to load his arrow. I stopped him short by piercing his eye with my blade, which had penetrated deep into his head and out the other side.

Eagle had begun his attack too, killing the others with as much success as myself. The other survivors were merely shot down one by one, none of them surviving the attack. It wasn't long before all of the archers were killed, the rain washing away the blood off my blade. I looked up the mountain and found Wolf flying away.

"Eagle! He's trying to escape!" I screamed before bolting up after him.

After his traitorous deed, I sought nothing more than his slow and painful death. My eyes screamed with hate, growing ever closer before swinging my blade just close enough to pierce one of his wings. He screamed in agony before slamming into the side of the peak. I pressed his entire body into the mountain with all the force I had, not letting him escape as he struggled to get free from my grasp. I could no longer control myself, being lost in hate and anger. I repeatedly stabbed his head, his body going limp before I stopped, watching his body slide down the mountain side. Eagle flew up to me, looking down at Wolf's now lifeless body.

"That traitor... he got our entire team killed." Eagle stated as I looked down at my hooves, then at him.

"He paid for his crime." I replied back, holding my shoulder as the pain seeped back into my consciousness.

"We need to get that wound wrapped up." Eagle told me, grabbing some cloth from his bag, tightly wrapping it around my shoulder.

The pain grew immense, but like any other wound from the past, I fought it and stayed strong. With any luck I could still use my arm, but for now my shoulder needed to heal. By now the attack had already begun and our ambush had been countered. The only advantage we would have now is larger numbers. No surprise attacks from the back or sides, but head on. . Luna probably expected her counter force to eliminate us, but since there would be nopony to report back to her on that status, she would be left clueless. There were only two of us here, and that was an opportunity I couldn't let go.

"Eagle, we still have the element of surprise." I started, catching Eagle's attention as he finished bandaging my shoulder. "If we keep pushing forward, we can still get them from the back. It may be just us, but I'm sure we could at least manage to do something."

With a nod, he looked towards the direction we were originally headed towards. Luckily for us, there was a path built by the NLR that lead straight towards where the battle would most likely be taking place. We started to follow the pathway, the rain suddenly dying down a bit, but the thunder still roaring fiercely. The real fight was about to begin.


The battle had already started, the New Lunar Republic and the Solar Empire clashed for what would be known as the final battle. The two armies already engaged in combat, spilling each other's blood. Shouts of rage and horror muted the thunder's growl, the smacking of metal being heard miles away. Never before have I seen something like this, and to make it worse, Rainbow Dash was in there somewhere. Looking up at the sky I saw our airforce battling with the NLR's. Frantically scanning the skies, I attempted to find Rainbow Dash among them. If anything had happened to her...

"Shadow, are we going to go or not?!" Eagle growled while nudging me hard, waking me up from my dazed state.

"Y-Yeah.. sorry." I exclaimed, blinking a few times before looking at him. "You already know the objective?"

"Find Luna, and kill her." Eagle responded simply, pulling out his sword before floating down to the ground.

I soon followed, sneaking past their wall now behind enemy lines. Luckily for us, we served Luna and knew the location of her tent. We decided to check there first, and upon discovery, quickly entered the tent. The tent was empty, however Luna's possessions were still there. Eagle sheathed his sword and glanced towards the entrance.

"Okay, keep a lookout for anypony who might wander over here." I commanded as he nodded, before I began to scan through her documents.

File after file, I looked for anything I could find useful. Halfway through my investigation, a book fell out of the files. I looked down upon it and picked it up, my eyes widening at the title. Eagle's eyes wandered over to my discovery and trotted over.

"What is it, Shadow?" He asked, trying to read it upside down.

I slowly lifted the book and showed him.

"It's Luna's Diary."