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War Atttempt (Read at your own risk)(sherm/aether)

AetherPony Apr 4th, 2012 2,165 Never
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  1. >Several hours have passed since the argument between Sherman and Leucine. It had been decided by you to allow Leucine’s p0nies a little reprieve from their march, sure it put Leucine in a good mood, his p0nies had pep in their step, but Sherman wouldn’t stop complaining about being behind schedule.
  2. >Sure you wouldn’t get to Trottingham on your expected arrival time, but would you rather have a group of p0nies ready to fight or a group of exhausted p0nies set for the slaughter?
  3. >Luna will have to wait another day if she wanted you to achieve the best outcome to the coming battle.
  4. >As you march ahead of the others you can’t help but feel….a little put off. Pinkie had decided to make you and Shermanon her target for her incessant babbling. She’d go on about how excited she was about seeing two humans, she went so far as to start planning a party for the two of you after the war ended.
  5. >”Ohmygosh two humans?! That’s like more than one! I should totally throw a party for you two!”
  6. “….Yeah, that’s nice Pinkie”
  7. >”You two would have so much fun! There’d be cake, oh plenty of cake, there’d be bobbing for apples, there’d be music, dancing, pin the tail on the p0ny,”
  8. >Oh god here she goes again, now to try to put her down without hurting here feelings
  9. >Mission start
  10. >When she takes a breath to start talking again you interrupt her before she can continue
  11. “Hey Pinkie…I appreciate the sentiment, but no thanks.”
  12. >She gives you a down trodden look that nearly makes you regret what you had just said almost immediately
  13. >Fission Mailed
  15. >God why can’t you say no to Pinkie?
  16. “….okay a little one would be fine, but ya might wanna run it by Shermanon.”
  17. >God damn it now she’s smiling from ear to ear, what have you just stared Anon?
  18. >Pinkie gives off a triumphant shout, successfully startling you to the point of you yelping, losing your balance, and falling on your ass. This in turn causes the entire army behind you to stop
  19. >You stand yet again, ignoring that you just made the most pathetic yelp you could muster, and continue to lead the march yet again
  20. >You’re able to drown out Pinkie for the most part as she bounces to keep up with you. you hope that she doesn’t notice. As you march you turn back to look at the ones following suit behind you. Two regiments of troops are now under your command, you hoped to bring them all out of this, the majority had a family to get back to….but you know how war is waged, not all of them will make it out, and not all of Celestia’s soldiers will play by the code. There will be more casualties.
  23. >Your mind falls upon Fillydelphia, you can’t help but feel the pangs of regret for how you presented yourself. Sure Filly and Duke deserved what they got, their lack of courage is what caused heavy losses to both sides, but you still attempted to do as much damage to the two of them as you possibly could, hell you didn’t even think about the pegasi that were unfortunate enough to get hit by their own allies when they were aiming for you. That squad of pegasi probably died right where they landed.
  24. >Colts and Fillies growing up without a father, wives widowed these were thoughts you hoped you’d never have to think about. Your initial plan was to just beat everyone on your own, allowing both sides to do nothing but watch, but you are only human, you didn’t hold the power to do what you thought was best, and that angered you.
  25. >Tonight, when your group decides to make camp, you vowed you’d spend that night practicing with the gift Luna gave you. Every fight that involved using your magic before was used off of instinct, you had no real control over it outside of combat, hell your run to Fillydelphia from Manehattan was nothing more than a fluke, hell even jumping in to that second story window of Fillydelphia’s City Hall was nothing more than instinct.
  28. >You didn’t feel comfortable not having full control over your abilities; it made you feel like an uneducated child, you are sure the unicorns in your company who’d witnessed your abilities probably laughed about it. Hell even Leucine probably thought you were a joke and he LOST to you.
  29. >You scan the crowd and see Shermanon and Leucine getting along fairly well, the two were probably swapping stories about the shit both of them had gone through. At one point Luecine motions to one of his hooves and makes a motion as if he’d tried to throw a hook.  After Luecine did his little motion both burst out in t of its of laughter, you’d forgotten about Pinkie Pie and in turn was surprised to find that she’d already made her way over to the Shermanon, no doubt discussing future party plans with him as well.
  30. >You can’t seem to shake the dreams implanted in to your mind from last night, Atlas’ voice, explaining to you just what Shermanon here could be capable of put you on edge, you try your best to pry your eyes away from him and Leucine and succeed, instead taking in your surroundings, rural countryside through pastoral fields, various grassy hills dot the landscape in the distance. You can’t help but think the sun’s position in the sky compliments the scenery so well.
  31. >The march of a thousand hooves fills the air as the standard bearers lead the way through dirt roads which wind through rolling hills; this scenery seems to hold your attention for the majority of the march
  35. >Your thoughts seem to focus around Celestia, was she going to be okay after all of this? Would you really be able to save her? Would having Shermanon with you really make a difference?
  36. >You really put no thought in to how exactly you’d go around ridding Celestia of Discord’s influence, you were hoping that the situation would solve itself, or something would happen that’d turn the tide in your favor when the time came.
  37. >It’s unfortunate that it won’t be that simple, that didn’t help the growing rage that slowly consumed you. Celestia, didn’t deserve what was happening to her as far as you knew, no one deserved to be used like that. You placed your hand upon the hilt of your saber, as your anger boiled your hands began to shake; you had to steady them with something
  38. >It was all your fault Anon, the reason why everyp0ny’s goddess was in the condition she’s in, hell it was your fault any harm had come to her, you curse yourself when thoughts from when you laid your hands upon her crossed your mind.
  39. >You thought of the time you were infected with the chaos Discord instilled in to your body. You held no remorse in attempting to bring about as much pain for the sun goddess as you could; this sickened you.
  40. >Your grip upon the hilt of your saber tightens as a new thought came to mind, why was Luna willing to save you that night? Why did she put herself in harm’s way to make sure you could escape?  Did she think death would be too kind for someone like you? Did she give you her ‘gift’ to help you or did she give it to you so you’d be forced to experience this hell of fighting and hurting others again and again.
  43. >You always had a suspicion that Luna had a sadistic outlook when it came to punishing those who sin, and hell you assaulted her sister and started this mess what could be a bigger sin than that?
  44. >Even with Discord being the one to pull the strings you were too weak to do anything other than play the role of a puppet….did Luna blame you for all of this as much as you did? That would be a question that needed answering as soon as possible.
  45. >Pinkie never came back to your side so the remainder of today’s march was spent in silence.  When the sun started to descend and when the starts began to dot the multi colored sky you decided to have your regiment stop for the night. They’d need what little light remained in order to set up camp.
  46. >You took a look at the surrounding area you chose; It appeared as though you’d had the p0nies in your company set up camp within a naturally made bowl of sorts, the area in which they set up their tents was nothing more than a flat grassy plain surrounded on all sides by a cliff face which overlooked the encampment, a single solitary path could be used to make one’s way up to the top. A single narrow break between the cliff face revealed the path out of the encampment.
  50. >As the others make their way in to their respective tents for the night, you decide it’d be best to get a head start on working a way to gain a better hold upon the magic you held within. You make your way to the top of the cliffs using the path you found.
  51. >God how long has it been since this path has been used? You’ve been forced to draw your saber in order to cut through the brush that has overtaken this dirt path. After what feels like a good twenty minutes you’re finally standing at the edge of the cliff face,  this site that laid before you is breath taking
  52. >With the sun being gone from the sky, and with the moon’s light illuminating the area, you can’t help but feel so insignificant when you take a look at the rolling plains and mountains within the distance, you could see for miles around.
  53. >Fuck let’s get to work on your magical abilities shall we?
  56. >Practice comes with difficulty for you, forcing the magic through your surrogate arm and into the world
  57. >You could barely control it, barely focus it
  58. >Still, the glowing corona of soft wispy light that forms around your arm and funnels into your palm is strangely beautiful
  59. >You envy the unicorns who can claim mastery
  60. >Before long, however, you find that you are not as alone as you hoped you would be
  61. >In your reminiscence, you neglected to notice the foot falls behind you
  62. >The small aura of light dispels, your focus leaving it for now
  63. >You turn, and your senses immediately heighten as you find Shermanon standing anywhere near you
  64. >“Thought I should let you know, our clothes are pretty tattered”
  65. >He said before giving a weak smile
  66. >“Pinkie Pie told me how much we both smelled.”
  67. >You share in a short, forced chortle with the man
  68. >“Also... she told me about her little party plan.”
  69. >You fall silent
  70. >“She said she was so happy for us, that neither of us had to be alone any more.”
  71. >“That we would be 'best friends.' But she doesn't know what you and I know.”
  72. >You don't like where this is going, and you adjust yourself accordingly
  75. >You stand before Shermanon, who stares at you with a deathly gaze that only someone from Tartarus could deliver
  76. >Somehow, you had a feeling that this was coming
  77. >After everything that Atlas told you, anyway
  78. >But you are Anonymous
  79. >The TRUE Anonymous
  80. >You won't back down to some punk.
  81. >“You brought me back to be a weapon?”
  82. >His tone was low and mono
  83. >That is what Atlas said at the time, yes.
  84. >But there was more to the story than you knew at the time
  85. >“A weapon to be leveled against your enemies”
  86. >He further reasoned
  87. >You nodded
  88. ”To help save Equestria.”
  89. >He seemed to completely ignore you
  90. >“And Celestia is your enemy, isn't she?”
  91. >Oh, boy. Here we go
  92. “Listen...”
  93. >“No, you listen!”
  94. >He cuts you off
  95. >Rarely is he so verbose
  96. >“Since I came back, the only thing I've seen is your little war machine and its oppression”
  97. >He lifted his fingers to create a quote sign
  98. >“Manehattan was enough for me to see it. No pony dared to leave their homes, and now you're off to pillage yet another city?”
  101.  “Sher...”
  102. >“Buck you, Aether. I am Anonymous. I left behind a world of beautiful color, peace, and love. One that I did not deserve. You brought me back to one of grit, depression, and hate. I can't stand it. This can't be the world I abandoned, but I will be damned if I let you get away with your plans.”
  103. >He starts advancing on you, and you take a step back
  104. >you sigh to yourself
  105. >You didn't wish to believe that it'd come to this. You'd of liked things to have gone smoothly
  106. >You wished that things wouldn't have turned this way, but as Atlas said, Tartarus corrupts
  107. >You draw your sabre and point it at your 'fellow' human being
  108. “Listen to me damn it!”
  109. “Don't make me do this. I swear to you if you mess this up you'll only worsen the current situation!”
  110. >He halted for a moment, seeing the blade leveled on him
  111. >His eyes focused on the curved edge of the Dragon's tooth
  112. >This is your first observation. For someone who is supposed to be able to best Discord, he was fearful in the face of serious opposition
  113. >“I was nothing before that wonderful goddess blessed me with her attention”
  114. >He explained, his eyes climbing back up to meet yours
  115. >“She gave me everything I ever loved. I'll die before I let you hurt that.”
  116. “You have problems, my friend.”
  117. >But he's done talking, and so are you
  118. >He breaks out into a full run towards you
  119. >Like an unguided rocket, he barrels towards you like this was some sort of track meet
  120. >What a fool
  121. >You draw the sabre back over your right shoulder and aim to intercept him with a slash across his face
  122. >You aim to put him down with one shot
  123. >Your eyes widen, however, when you suddenly lose sight of him as the blade flashes over where he was just a split second ago
  125. >You look left, right, and then down
  126. >There he is
  127. >He swooshed under it before you could even grasp what happened
  128. >Your eyes widen as he powers a punishing uppercut right up into your chin
  129. >You stumble back, but before you get far he grabs your collar and yanks you into a headbutt that sends waves of burning pain through your skull
  130. >It almost blacks you out
  131. >And then, to add insult to injury, his left hand hooks around into your right cheek, sending you spiraling away from him in a daze
  132. >Holy shit, he's fast
  133. >You haven't even had the chance to blink yet
  134. >And he hits hard
  135. >Your head feels hollow and rattled
  136. >He's already coming at you again
  137. >You try to put up a defense, but he drives an underhand punch straight into your gut
  138. >The force causes you to double over and actually lift off the ground
  139. >You cough a stream of spittle before he catches you by the shoulder, whirls you around him, and throws you into the dirt
  142. >The bang of the impact and the roll over your shoulders makes you realize just how severe this is
  143. >Holy shit, this guy is unreal
  144. >You scramble to your feet and raise your saber across your body
  145. >Shermanon looks at the sword and then back to you
  146. >He cringes, clenching his teeth together
  147. >You realize something
  148. >He's scared of the sword
  149. >REALLY scared of it
  150. >You can keep him beyond arm's reach, and he hates that
  151. >And he just fucked up and let you get beyond his reach
  152. >You grin
  153. >This human is tough, but he's no Leucine
  154. >He's just a man, like any other
  155. >You have this in the bag
  158. >During this lull in the fighting, you call upon Luna's gift to you
  159. >A small portion of her magic
  160. >You thank yourself for at least having partial control using instinct
  161. >You aren't taking any chances with this one
  162. >A dark blue corona of spectral essence overtakes your form
  163. >Shermanon takes a step back, immediately reacting to this development
  164. >“...are you a wizard?”
  165. “Yes.”
  166. >He tilts his head forward and grits his teeth, clenching his fists which vibrate under untold blood pressure
  167. “Are you frustrated?”
  168. >You ask
  169. “You know, you can end this stupidity at any time. You're in way over your head.”
  170. >Like an animal, he doesn't respond. He just glares at you
  171. >His eyes twitch with anger, frustration
  172. >Intolerance
  173. >And you notice him... thinking
  174. >Calculating
  175. >“I don't think you heard me”
  176. >He responds
  177. >“I will die before I let you get anywhere near Celestia.”
  180. >He was so thick, so dead-set on this course of action
  181. >You remember what Atlas said
  182. >Tartarus is all-corrupting
  183. >And, frankly, ever since you saved him, he's been nothing but a sociopath
  184. >You make your decision, just as he has made his
  185. “Works for me.”
  186. >You take to the attack this time, since Mister Shermanon seems a little flustered
  187. >You lunge forward, curling the Deagon's tooth low to your hip before whipping it upwards across the target
  188. >Shermanon sways back away from the curved edge, stumbling as he does so
  189. >This only further confirms your prediction
  190. >He's a coward
  191. >If he's just going to run away, then you're going to make it that much harder for him
  192. >Going with your offensive momentum, you snap your wrist upright and bring the saber straight down, attempting to hack him down the middle
  193. >However, in the swing, the magic of Luna's gift culminates in the blade and lashes outward with your swing
  194. >Shermanon barely clears the blade and the lash of energy, as he swings to one side on one leg
  195. >His eyes widen and his teeth clench in the cartoon expression of awkwardness
  196. >He had no idea he was messing with this kind of power
  197. >He thought you were just a man
  198. >Big mistake
  199. >“Nnngh!”
  200. >He whines as the blade gets ever closer and closer to him
  201. >You follow up your swing with another
  204. >And another
  205. >With each cut,
  206. >Each thrust,
  207. >Each slash,
  208. >He dodges, but just barely
  209. >Energy lashes between you two, every time slipping right past your mark
  210. >You keep to the offensive
  211. >He gets more and more desperate
  212. >He may be fast, but under the effects of Luna's gift you are faster still
  213. >You thrust the Dragon's Tooth toward his chest, but he spirals around to the outside and tries to  whirl past it, closing the distance
  214. >You counter this by lunging forward, driving your elbow right into his face
  215. >You grin, satisfied as he bounces off the spear point of your defense with a clear 'thump'
  216. >His left hand grips his face, and you can see a line of red dripping down from behind his hand
  217. >You got him
  218. >You whip the blade of the weapon over your head, lunge forward, and commit yourself to a hard slash aimed to cut right down the center of his head
  219. >You're going to end this, right now
  220. >But he lunged in as well, so close that your arm falls over his shoulder
  221. >Your eyes widen as he gets right in your face, inside of your range
  222. >He clinches you again, in the shoulders
  223. >A knee rockets up into your stomach
  224. >Again
  225. >And again
  226. >Your grip on the sword loosens as you double over, trying to catch your breath
  227. >But you fly straight in to an underhanded shovel hook that leaves a cut in your forehead
  228. >You rock back from the blow, but he grabs your wrist and yanks it, pulling you into a shoulder check
  229. >It doesn't hurt so bad, but the shock causes your fingers to pry open
  232. Your sword clatters against the ground
  233. >You panic
  234. >You knew you should have coughed up the bits for that weapon chain
  235. >You rear your hand over your shoulder as fast as you possibly can and throw your fist at his face
  236. >Shermanon bobs and weaves under and around it, roughly grappling your gauze upon your chest in retaliation
  237. >You are hurled off of your feet, hoisted off the ground
  238. >Your world inverts
  239. >And suddenly, you find yourself flipped over his hip and on to the ground with a convincing smack
  240. >Your eyes roll as double vision sets in
  241. >By the time your vision clears up, you see that Shermanon is knelled over you
  242. >His eyes are blood shot
  243. >He hisses his breath through the grille of his teeth, save a gap where one was missing
  244. >His face was contorted into this twisted expression of hate and bloodlust
  245. >His fist comes down on your face, hard
  246. >And then again
  247. >It doesn't let up
  248. >Regardless of how much you struggle to get him off of you
  249. >You throw your left arm over your face to give some form of defense
  250. >But it doesn't help, much
  251. >CRACK
  253. >Your head feels like it's going to split
  254. >CRACK
  255. >You are going to die if you don't do something
  256. >You refuse to let that happen
  257. >You are Anonymous
  258. >You refuse to go down like this
  259. >THWACK
  260. >Your head whirls to the side as a set of knuckles imbed themselves in your cheek
  261. >Your right hand reaches for something
  262. >Anything
  263. >Your fingers sprawled
  264. >CRUNCH
  265. >Your eyes fill with red as a vessel bursts
  266. >Your hand grips something
  267. >A rock
  268. >Perfect
  269. >You whip it off of the ground and hurl it across his face
  270. >There's a crack of flesh, accompanied by a shrieking scream of pain.
  271. >But this time?
  272. >This time, it isn't yours
  273. >There's a thud as Shermanon hits the ground near you
  274. >You get up to your feet and look to your makeshift weapon
  275. >There is a strangely satisfying crimson splotch covering much of its surface
  276. >For all of his dumb-ass Judo, he went down to the crudest of means
  277. >He bleeds
  278. >Just a man, like any other
  279. >No
  280. >On second thought
  281. >He's less than a man. He's an animal
  282. >You discard the heavy stone, your vision still behind a veil of red
  283. >You recover the Dragon's tooth and make your way to your opponent
  287. >Before he can get up, you brace your boot against his chest and pin him to the ground
  288. >The blood shed here tonight, on this isolated little hill, is proof that this man cannot be allowed to live
  289. >Shermanon was a waste of your fucking time
  290. >You move the point of the saber to Shermanon, and watch as he glares at it, his pupils following the instrument of his end
  291. >Suddenly, he makes one final hurrah and reaches his left hand to the blade, gripping it, attempting to pull it to the side as he attempts to rise
  292. >You squint one eye and clench your teeth
  293. >The blade of the sabre flexes, but does not break. A testament to the fact that it is a good sword
  294. >Alas, you thrust your weight on his chest and force him back down before thrashing the blade out of his grip
  295. >He is left with a deep laceration in his palm, and his resistance gives out
  296. >You level the blade on him once more
  297. “I think it's a good thing that Pinkie Pie won't see this.”
  298. >He heaves heavy breaths, looking up at you with hate behind his eyes. He was gripping his head with his left hand
  299. >“That makes two of us”
  300. >“You son of a bitch.”
  304. >But just before you make the final thrust, your attention is taken by a flash of lightning
  305. >It is followed by a clap of thunder
  306. >Clouds materialize and are pulled together from a tangled nebula to a organized spiral
  307. >This is something familiar to you
  308. >Shermanon watches as well, as if he forgot that you were even there
  309. >From the center of this maelstrom comes a dark chariot, drawn by a team of night guards that whinny darkly
  310. >You have seen this before
  311. >In no time at all, the chariot touches down
  312. >You and your 'fellow' human are still as statues as a dark blue hoof comes down, emerging from the shadow of the night
  313. >Through your connection with her, you knew before she even landed
  314. >This was Luna
  315. >The one who sent you on this quest in the first place, and your guide through Equestria
  316. >You keep the blade leveled on your fallen opponent, not planning to allow him the chance to do anything
  317. >By now, he grips his wounded hand by the wrist in a vain attempt to restrict the profuse blood flow
  318. >Luna approaches, looking between you two before she speaks
  319. >“SO,”
  320. >She begins, using the Royal Canterlot voice that you so hated
  324. >Shermanon's cringe indicated his distaste as well
  326. >She asked, looking in particular at you
  328. >Neither you nor Shermanon can come up with an answer
  329. >He only hefts heavy, exhausted breaths
  330. >And you hang your head low
  331. >Like two children that have been caught
  332. >The blue mare's attention goes to Shermanon
  333. >She regards him through narrowed eyes, trying to understand the exact nature of this development
  334. >Eventually, she jabs a hoof in his direction
  335. >“Guards! Seize him!”
  336. >The Lunar guards free themselves from their yolks and walk over to Shermanon
  337. >After you remove your foot from his chest, he is dragged off by his rotted clothes
  338. >You did a number on him. He was too weak to offer meaningful resistance
  339. >But he was trying
  340. >You wait for a 'this isn't over' or some last second quip, but it never comes
  341. >Either he is not witty enough for it, or his silent nature has taken over once again
  342. >She puts her nose up as he is dragged off, and she moves closer to you
  343. >Her tone lowers to normal, but you can tell by the look in her eye that she isn't happy
  344. >“And you, Anonymous;”
  345. >That scolding voice really puts you off, and you take a step back from her
  346. >She only advances further before jabbing a hoof into your chest
  347. >“I had hoped that you would know better than this. I entrusted you with a portion of my power to help get Equestria back on track. Not get in pointless squabbles!”
  348. >“You have a -lot- of explaining to do. And you can start by telling me where your little friend came from.”
  351. “Well….see, the thing is…”
  352. >You go in to a vivid explanation of your actions over the course of last night, about your traveling to Fillydelphia, your duel between Filly and Duke, and the events that befell you and Atlas while exploring Tartarus
  354. >Her regal voice is powerful enough to push you on to your back, you forced to stare up in awe at the maelstrom of anger you helped create.
  355. >You do not believe you will make it out of this alive, what you’ve done is treason Anon, and traitors are punished quite severely. You thoughts fall upon various traitors that have been publicly executed for their crimes….your neck is looking pretty vulnerable right about now.
  356. >You gulp in nervousness while Luna approaches you, looking upon you as if you were something she stepped in. You could see the rage seething from her being
  357. >You then see her horn begin to glow a pale blue; as it does she speaks yet again, though this time her voice is quiet, calm even.
  358. >”Anonymous I made you who you are, I gave you this power and I can take it away just as easily…For doing this I should banish you, I know my sister would, more than likely it’d be Tartarus. But I am not like my sister…I trusted you Anon and you do this….you’re not giving me a choice.”
  359. >You shiver as you feel her horn come in contact with your forehead; you feel pressure begin to build from where she’s placed her horn, so much so that it hurts. You grit your teeth as the pain begins to come in waves; it’s almost as if your head would explode if it went through too much more.
  361. >Suddenly, the pain subsides and Luna’s horn leaves from its position upon your head. Relief washes over you. What the hell was this side of Luna? You’ve never seen her act so…cold to you before, or anyp0ny for that matter.
  362. >This fills you with a new found fear of the Moon Goddess, if she can end you so quickly you wouldn’t have to worry about Atlas or Discord doing it. Luna would apparently be more than happy to bloody her own hooves herself if you got out of line.
  363. >Luna speaks yet again
  364. >”I’ve given you this power because I trust you Anonymous, but doing things like this make me question your sincerity. You played right in to Atlas’ hooves, bringing that human in to this world makes our situation worse….much worse.”
  365. >Her anger begins to recede and her body finally begins to relax, her flared wings are back at their proper places upon her sides. You take this time to stand before Luna; you dare not look in to her eyes.
  366. “Is there something about Shermanon that I should know about?”
  367. >Luna sighs before answering
  368. >”He’s the first.”
  369. “The first human, I know.”
  370. >”I assume Atlas told you? It makes sense; it’s not as if Discord would hide that bit of information.”
  371. “He’d made sure to tell me a bit about Shermanon…did Celestia really mess with his head? Is that why he seems a little….slow?”
  372. >”We’ve done thing we aren’t proud of Anonymous, things best left forgotten.”
  373. >You look up and peer in to Luna’s eyes, anger replacing your fear now.
  374. “So what DID you two do to him? Did you make him retarded?! Is this the result of him becoming a damn mindless puppet?”
  376. >”Anon, we didn’t make Shermanon mentally handicapped….but we did erase his memories of his life on Earth, and Celestia did do a few things to ensure Shermanon’s….obedience. He was the first of a new species to grace our world, Tia didn’t want to take any chances with our first little human.”
  377. >You’ve never gone from fear to such anger before in your life. You never believed either Celestia or Luna were capable of doing such a thing….maybe Sherm’s departure was a change of times for the two of them…still.
  378. “Please, tell me at least a bit about what’s happened to the guy? There’s something wrong with him, I’ve never seen such rage…”
  379. >”That’s Tartarus’ influence...along with what we’ve done. He may of forgiven Tia but the grudge remains, I could almost smell the air from that place upon him…he’ll be given a new wardrobe and a bath.”
  380. >You look down at yourself for good measure, the gauze has been removed since your skin has fully healed, but a bath and a new change of clothing is something you desperately need.
  381. “I could use one of those as well…”
  382. >Luna leans in and sniffs you, this causes you to blush lightly and pull back a bit.
  383. “W..what?”
  384. >”Agreed…..why do you not just clean yourself with magic?”
  385. “Wait there’s an app for that?”
  386. >”What’s..an…app?”
  387. >You shake your head when you realize that there is no way Luna would get the reference, they do not have anything close to an ipod around here.
  388. “Never mind….but how would I go about cleaning myself with magic?”
  389. >Luna looks from side to side to be sure that no guard has returned before leaning in, bringing her face close to yours in order to whisper
  391. >”Sometimes, Tia and I will have no choice but to use magic to clean ourselves.  When on a diplomatic mission you aren’t always able to stay clean, especially if you have to travel by chariot for days at a time. She would NEVER admit it because she’s too proud….but when you’re on a moon for 1000 years without being able to get to a bath…you learn to provide for yourself.”
  392. “Uh….huh….so, how do I go about cleaning myself?”
  393. >”Just imagine how you feel after you step out of a bath, that clean feeling, your favorite smell, etc. The magic should do the rest.”
  394. “Are you sure? Admittedly I’m a bit unsure about how this will end up….I’m not that good with magic.”
  395. >Luna scoffs
  396. >”You? Bad with magic? You just told me how you handled those two in Filly and you’re trying to tell me you’re bad with magic?”
  397. “Yes.”
  398. >”I don’t believe you.”
  399. “I assumed you wouldn’t.”
  400. >”Just try.”
  401. >You hesitate for a moment, you look down at yourself, what if it backfired, what if you instead burn your skin while trying to clean it, it’d be like Wuten and Moose’s spaghetti all over again. You shake at the thought
  402. “I don’t wanna…”
  403. >”Anonymous just do it I won’t judge you if you mess up.”
  404. “But Princess this could end badly on my end.”
  406. >”…Anonymous?”
  407. “Yes?”
  408. >”Just try the spell.”
  409. “But I-“
  410. >”Anonymous don’t be a coward, just try.”
  411. >You laugh to yourself when Luna comments, to think she could go from undeniably scary to this is hilarious to say the least, you’d of thought she’d be made of nothing but anger and regret at this point, but this doesn’t appear to be the case.
  412. >Luna is not amused and she’s showing it, better to at least entertain her with the thought.
  413. “Okay, I’ll try Princess.”
  414. >”You’ll either do it or you’ll fail, there isn’t such a thing as ‘try’ when it comes to magic.”
  415. “Thanks for the vote of confidence.”
  416. >”You’re quite welcome Anonymous.”
  417. >She has learned how to speak sarcasm as well it seems, you humor her and attempt to picture yourself out of the shower, the smell of pomegranate invades your senses. Soon a dark blue flames appears above your head, which slowly slides down your body, hugging your form as it goes, the sensation is new to you, almost as if someone was brushing along you with a feather, taking away some of your body heat in the process, it almost makes you shiver
  418. >Soon the flames make their course along your body and they dissipate upon hitting the ground. Your skin feels fantastic, you run your hand through your hair, no oil, your skin is oil free as well, almost as if you’d stepped out of one of the best showers of your life.
  419. >What you do not realize yet is that your magic worked a bit too well for you. In picturing yourself out of the showers smelling clean and feeling fresh, you also thought of yourself as naked. You know what luna says, think it and let the magic do the rest
  421. >What that means is, is that it’s now free ballin day and Luna is getting a good eyeful of you, oh happy days are had when you realize that you are in fact naked in front of the deity you are fighting for.
  422. >You let out a yelp before covering yourself with your hands, Luna puts a forehoof over her mouth in an attempt to cover the red tint growing on her cheeks
  423. “Thanks for telling me that would happen!”
  424. >”I….had forgotten to explain that you had to be naked for this….that fire does burn away clothing….”
  425. “Well what do I do now? It’s not like I can go get a change of clothes.”
  426. >” I….ummm….”
  427. >Luna appears to be nervous; she’s only giving you the occasional glance now before blushing and turning her head away from you again.
  428. >”Sorry…”
  429. >God damn it Luna
  430. >”Do you have nothing else you can change in to?”
  431. “Nope.”
  432. >”Then I guess you’ll have to lead the other p0nies in the nude then.”
  433. “What?!”
  434. >It’s Luna’s turn to laugh now, seeing you freak out over being in the nude Luna couldn’t help but find it funny, it’s not as if you’ve been raised to believe that clothing is something that’s only  worn for special occasions.
  435. >After her fit is over she finally speaks, to say that your jimmies were rustled would be an understatement.
  436. >”Anonymous if you really dislike the fact that you’re without clothing why not just use-“
  437. “Magic?”
  438. >”How did you know I was going to say that?”
  439. “Seemed pretty obvious.”
  440. >”It was obvious that you were playing right in to Atlas’ hooves but it looks like that wasn’t as obvious to you as it should have been.”
  441. >You open your mouth to speak but words never reach your throat, when Luna’s right she’s right, it’s not your place to argue otherwise.
  442. “So….how do I…”
  444. >”Same as with cleaning yourself, if you can picture something covering your form it should appear, though the choice at what color it shall be will be…limited.”
  445. “Let me guess, blue or black?”
  446. >”Is that a problem Anon?”
  447. “No not at all…I’d just like to make sure that this will work….”
  448. >”I don’t see what the problem is Anonymous, you actually look fine without cloth-“
  449. >You can hear the hoof slap against her muzzle as she shuts herself up, a new shade of red is apparent upon her cheeks, even in this poor lighting you can easily tell just how flustered she’s gotten. Needless to say you can feel the heat reach your cheeks as well.
  450. “Well…thanks for the compliment. I’ll go ahead and take care of the lack of clothing then.”
  451. >Luna merely nods, waiting to see just what you intend on coming up with as far as clothing is concerned.
  452. >You close your eyes and concentrate, thinking of something comforting to wear above all else, why fight in discomfort? Soon a pair of loose fitting blue jeans, a long sleeved shirt, along with shoes and socks appears before your subconscious mind, then the act of putting on the clothing is mimicked before your closed eyes, you feel weight upon your body, but it isn’t much, it’s as if someone tried to cover you with the finest silk.
  453. >You open your eyes to see that you’re now wearing what you pictured in your mind, when you run your hand along your new outfit you come to realize that this is the softest and smoothest material you’ve ever felt before, sure the actual makings appeared to say otherwise, but magic works in mysterious ways it seems.
  455. >As mentioned before your clothing resembles the same color pattern as Luna’s fur, complete with her cutie mark on the back of your shirt. In a way it makes sense, you are supposed to be representing Luna after all.
  456. >As you look upon yourself you ask
  457. “So…what do you intend on doing with me? Even if I saved a fellow human I still unleashed something better left within.”
  458. >Luna is silent for a moment; her pacing isn’t doing anything to calm your nerves either.
  459. >”I…will let Shermanon stay…when we help Tia we’ll see what she’ll do with him. Even if we do defeat Discord, Shermanon will still be mentally unstable due to Tartarus, we may end up having to send him back there.”
  460. “You can’t be serious, sure the guy is…confused but I don’t believe he should be sent back there….that’ll definitely do more harm than good.”
  461. >”I’m not so sure we can do anything good at this point….we’ve only managed to make things worse for him.”
  462. “Do you honestly believe Tartarus will be any more forgiving? I found the guy being beaten mercilessly by The Dog Father and his men; do you really believe sending him back to that is the best option? Why is it that none of the p0nies remember him anyway? It seems like you’re the only one who remembers anything.”
  464. >”That…that I cannot answer Anon, I can honestly say I did not recall any memory of Shermanon until he stood before me, the others should remember…but not everyone will recall him as quickly as I.”
  465. >You remember Pinkie’s reactions throughout the entire day, not once did she make any indication of knowing Shermanon in the past, maybe it was because Luna is a deity? Luna’s voice brings you back to attention.
  466. >”There is something we are attempting to help Shermanon get hold of himself, to help him break free of Tartarus’ influence.”
  467. “And that would be?”
  468. >”We are going to place him with the p0ny he has associated himself with the most.”
  469. “And that p0ny would be?”
  470. >”Rainbow Dash: The Element of Loyalty.”
  472. (sherman)
  475. >Time passed since the meeting between Luna and Anonymous
  476. >The second human to have been called to Equestria
  477. >The first, now known by the name of 'Shermanon,' was hauled out of the camp's detention center
  478. >Even though he was bound by heavy chains around his wrists, designed to secure the strongest of earth ponies, it took a compliment of Luna's guards to get him to comply with their orders
  479. >And compliance ended up meaning that he was drug across the ground after being force fed a horse tranquilizer
  480. >It was effective enough to quell the physical struggling that had left many guard ponies with wounds of varying seriousness
  481. >Even with the chains, he proved to be a hoof full
  482. >He was dragged out into a field, far away from the camp
  483. >Tall grass crested like water as the wind caressed it
  484. >“This where you wanted him, your majesty?”
  485. >“Yes, that will do nicely”
  486. >“Would you like us to stay?”
  487. >“We'll be fine. Return to your posts.”
  488. >“Yes, m'am”
  489. >The conversation was brief, and the guard ponies quickly left the scene
  490. >Under the pale moon light, where Luna's magic was strongest and her work was hardest, she looked down at the human presented before her
  491. >The glazed over eyes and goofy smile was evident enough of what had to be done just to get him out here
  494. >Luna hoped that she was doing the right thing
  495. >Clearly, these two humans did not get along. But Anonymous' words pierced deep through the normally icy husk that surrounded her heart
  496. >And, as she looked down at the wreck that her sister created, it only further underlined Anonymous' words
  497. >Anonymous
  498. >This human used to be called that, too
  499. >Oh well
  500. >Celestia brought him to Equestria first to be wielded as a weapon against her enemies
  501. >It was not anyone's fault that fate saw fit to bring him back as a weapon once more
  502. >If Luna remembered anything about this one, in particular,
  503. >It's that he had a certain talent for 'dealing with it.'
  504. >And that's just what he would have to do
  506. >A light pierced your vision
  507. >And, instantly, the psychedelic trip of the enormous pills that were shoved down your throat was dispelled
  508. >You blinked
  509. >You cringed
  510. >You groaned a frustrated sound
  511. >A quick check confirmed that you were still chained by the wrists
  512. >What, did they just leave you out here before marching off?
  513. >That seemed about right. Armies cannot afford prisoners while moving
  514. Ugh...
  515. >You moan, rolling over to your chest and pushing yourself up to your knees before staggering to your feet
  516. >To your surprise, the lights of the camp remain in the distance
  519. >You look on – somewhat confused
  520. >“Hail.”
  521. >A familiar voice calls your attention and you immediately look over your shoulder
  522. >Your gaze meets with Luna's, and you find yourself frozen in space
  523. >The breeze dances along your flesh, confirming that you are alive and this is real
  524. >But words do not come to your lips, even in the face of royalty
  525. >“I have decided that you and Anonymous...”
  526. >You interrupt her
  527. I'm Anonymous
  528. >Emphasis was placed on 'I’m'
  529. >It carried a certain amount of venom
  530. >She shook her head
  531. >“Not any more.”
  532. >You turn to face her, and are about to protest before you stop yourself
  533. >You glare at her, just as she glares at you
  534. >She doesn't even blink as an awkward moment passes
  535. >You level your finger towards her
  536. So... you remember?
  537. >She tilts her head forward, shrugging her wings before folding them back at her sides
  538. >“I remember investing a lot towards your survival”
  539. >You cocked your head
  540. >“Don't pretend you didn't know, please”
  541. >“I always watched you from my sentry in the night sky. That seemed to be when you liked to get in the most trouble. I wasn't as direct as you might have liked, but rest assured that you were never as alone as you might have thought.”
  542. >She lifted a hoof off the ground and rolled it gently as she continued, as if she was stirring a bowl of water
  544. >You scowl at first, and then you simply frown.
  545. >And then your eyes widen
  546. >Her words finally sink in after far too long
  547. >So, this -is- your world?
  548. >You don't know if you should be overjoyed, or all the more upset
  549. >After a moment, you lift your hands
  550. >The chains clank, and Luna looks down at them
  551. I thought I was doing the right thing
  552. >You admit to her
  553. >She looks back up at you with a raised eyebrow
  554. Thought I was... you know, that I needed to seek atonement for my mistakes. That I shouldn't trouble this world any more.
  555. >“That is the dumbest, most despicable, self-righteous, and inconsiderate thing I have ever heard”
  556. >She was quick to snap back
  557. >“I am extremely disappointed in you”
  558. >She scolded you with a tone that caused you to wince
  559. >“Right now I am far too busy to deal with you. So, rather than keep you incarcerated, I am going to take you to Fillydelphia and place you under the command of Rainbow Dash.”
  560. >You gulp a massive wad of stress, and clench your chest with one hand
  561. Rai-Rainbow?
  562. >You ask
  563. >She nods
  564. >“After that 'impressive' display of barbarism and stupidity you pulled with your friend, Anonymous, I would be a fool to allow you two to be anywhere near one another.”
  565. So you're just going to... 'reassign' me like one of your little soldiers?
  566. >This causes her to cock her head
  567. Forget it!
  568. >You throw your chained hands up before letting them drop
  569. I want to see Rainbow Dash again more than anything! But I'm not going to be a part of this crusade against your sister. I owe her way too much for that.
  570. >Luna took a step forward, then
  571. >“She has been corrupted by Discord. She is not the same p0ny you once knew. We are trying to liberate the land from her corrupt thrall and then cure her of her affliction!”
  574. >“You and I hardly knew one another. Our rare meetings were strictly business. But my sister cared about you, and I made sure that you would always be around the next day.”
  575. >You didn't know what to say about this revelation
  576. >It was humbling, to be sure
  577. >Just how much of a hoof did she have in your survival?
  578. >Were all of your feats just a result of divine intervention?
  579. >Her hoof came down, then, and scraped the ground with a frustrated growl of disturbed earth
  580. >“And then I take my eyes off you for twenty seconds, and you commit suicide!”
  581. You grit your teeth, baring the scolding as well as you could without snapping back at her
  582. >“So, no. You are not Anonymous. Because the Anonymous that I spent so many hours watching didn't just up and give up on every thing and every p0ny at the drop of a hat! What do you even have to say for yourself?”
  583. >You shift your eyes to the right and lean back a few degrees, brows falling over your eyes
  584. Well...
  585. Excuse~ me, princess.
  586. >She snorts, frustrated at your sarcasm
  587. >“I'll take that as an apology, even if it's a poor one. You should work on it before you come into contact with the others.”
  588. >You narrow your eyes
  589. If it's all the same to you, I'd rather not go through the frustration of finding out that they don't remember me again.
  590. >She gave a confident smirk
  591. >“I'm glad to see that your voice is coming back”
  592. >“You're going to need it, if you ever hope for them to remember you. Even I had no memory that you had ever existed until I saw you.”
  595. >You try to spread your arms out, but you are stopped by your binds
  596. >You growl in annoyance before continuing anyway
  597. Yeah, Aether spat the same load at me. I don't even know who, or what, Discord is!
  598. >She squinted one eye and leaned forward a few degrees, lifting a hoof off the ground
  599. >“You mean, you don't remember...?”
  600. >Her eyes shot open, putting her hoof on the ground. It was followed by a deep groan of frustration
  601. >“Oh, that's right! Sister wiped -that- from your memory, too!”
  602. >This is followed up by a second groan from her as she stamps a hoof into the ground
  603. >But you, however, cross your arms
  604. Convenient.
  605. >Luna looks up at you, furrowing her brows
  606. >Clearly she didn't expect you to be this difficult
  607. >“Alright, you”
  608. >She says, somewhat more aggressively
  609. >“When sister saw you as nothing more than a tool, who risked their life to see you and give you answers?”
  610. >You frowned and slouched
  611. >You remember that night when you first met her
  612. You.
  613. >“And who was the one who gave you your body back when you were stuck in that unicorn's shell?”
  614. >You shifted your eyes to the right, looking off into the adjacent tree line
  615. ...You.
  617. >“And who was the one who always came to congratulate you when you did a good job?”
  618. >You didn't bother answering. These questions were rhetorical
  619. >Luna took a few steps towards you
  620. >“So now you need to make a choice. Celestia isn't going to make it for you.”
  621. >“Do you trust me?”
  622. >You hesitate for a moment, and look back to the camp
  623. But Aeth-
  624. >“Forget about Anonymous right now. We will deal with that later. Do you trust me?”
  625. >God damnit, you hated that he was the 'new' Anonymous, while you were just 'some guy.'
  626. >You exhale a defeated sigh
  627. I do.
  628. >You look into her oversized eyes as she peers into yours
  629. I'm sorry. Sorry for everything. Yes, I trust you.
  630. >She smiles at you, content with your answer
  631. >“Good. I give you my word that we will find out what is going on. But first, we need to fix what is broken.”
  632. >You nod, submissively
  633. >Her horn exhumes a shimmering aurora, and your cuffs pry themselves open
  634. >You caress your right wrist with your left hand, rubbing out the soreness of the restraints
  635. >“I know what it's like to live with remorse. Far more than you know. But we can ill afford self-pity at this juncture.”
  636. >You nod once more
  637. >“You will be in the company of Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Applejack. I expect you to do everything Rainbow Dash says. Is that understood?”
  638. Yes.
  639. >“Good.”
  642. The overpressure cone that blasts from her mouth upon her sudden switch to the Royal Canterlot Voice knocks you back, but you manage to catch yourself
  643. >Her horn glows, and she takes a step back to put some distance between you two
  644. >You shift your eyes to the ground, trace a glance to her hooves, and then back up to her eyes
  645. Wait, did you say Applej
  646. >You are consumed by an implosion of arcane power and sent hurtling through a twisting, psychedelic tunnel bored out of the fabric of space and time
  649. (Aether)
  650. >Some time had passed since Luna had left to deal with Shermanon’s relocation. You’d agreed that his transfer to Rainbow’s Unit would do him some good; from the way he had acted he was worried sick about her condition. You described your first encounter with Shermanon outside of Tartarus when you’d brought up that Dash had lost an eye during combat.
  651. >This only seemed to set Luna’s decision further in stone, maybe being with Dash would calm Shermanon, it should give him the means to get a hold of himself, or give him the means to turn his anger against Rainbow’s enemies.
  652. >Your thoughts dwelled upon the task at hand, would Luna even allow you to remain as you are? Would she find a replacement after all is said and done? You opted to grasp a better understanding of your magic in the time it takes for Luna to transport Shermanon to Rainbow, maybe luck would play to your favor.
  653. >You took advantage of the fact that you were now alone yet again in order to practice control over your magic. If you were to take the upcoming city of Hoofington you’ll need to step up your game.
  654. >You start off small, same as before. The familiar crackle of spectral flame can be heard as is sprouts to life in your hands. The color casts an eerie glow around you; you seem almost entranced by the way Luna’s magic presents itself. A quiet, burning intensity that slowly envelopes the user with the power of the Moon Goddess
  655. >When your aura begins to envelope your form in a dark blue corona of energy, you can’t help but feel as if you were being embraced by the night itself. Is this how Luna feels every time she’d cast a spell? You look over yourself, watching as the flames you had brought forth in your hands crept up your arms, stopping at the elbow.
  656. “Now let’s see just what I can do with this.”
  657. >So bringing it out was easy enough, let’s try something small. You hold your hand out in front of yourself before you begin; your palm facing away from you. You start off slowly, deciding it’d be best to just picture something to bring forth, something to shape using the magic stored within you.
  658. >You picture a small rock, you do not go in to vivid detail with something like this, you simply picture the weight and appearance and wait for the magic to do the rest, and within the time it takes you come to terms with Luna’s magic being nowhere near as responsive as Discord’s chaotic influence was. Not that you’re complaining, it’s just if you were to rely on this in order to win each fight you’d like to have something you have full control over
  659. >It takes about a minute before a jagged dark blue piece of what resembled quartz makes its appearance in the palm of your hand. It retained the blue flame and blue spectral appearance, but you managed to summon something in to existence from the magic within.
  660. >When you toss the rock at a nearby tree the rock explodes upon contact, enveloping a section of the three in a blue ethereal flame. It burns itself out after a few minutes, leaving a section of the tree charred black.
  661. >If such a thing could occur from something small like that, what would happen if you were to attempt to bring forth a weapon? Hell if you were disarmed you could possibly bring forth something as a back-up. It filled you with joy knowing that you could still possibly defend yourself if you just so happened to lose your saber.
  662. >Might want to make that possibility in to a reality; you don’t want to set yourself up to die. You’re getting down to the wire here; you cannot possibly afford to hold back. Again you attempt to conjure another item in to existence, you picture the saber already in your possession, your mind brings quite a clear picture to light.
  663. >It takes a few seconds before anything comes to your hands, and even then it’s a poor rendition of what you had hoped to bring forth, you aren’t that discouraged though, practice does make perfect. You toss the broken saber you’d conjured at the same tree you tossed your ethereal rock at, though this time the resulting impact causes a section of the tree to be blown apart
  664. >Splinters fly in your general direction, immediately upon impulse your aura completely consumes you, teleporting you to a safe distance away from the shrapnel you’d made.
  665. >It was at this time Luna chose to make a second appearance for the night.
  666. >”So I assume you’re looking to get a better grasp on what I’ve given you?”
  667. >You stand there for a moment, silent and frozen in place. You didn’t even realize she’d made her way back over to you. Weren’t you supposed to be more aware of your surroundings?  No matter, it’s not as if she’s an enemy.
  668. >There is something you must cover with Luna though, as far as punishment is concerned.
  669. “Luna?”
  670. >”Give me a moment to speak please.”
  671. >You shut your whore mouth and give Luna your undivided attention
  672. >“I have decided….to give you another chance. I believe you just had a very poor lapse in judgment…but I don’t believe it was a total waste of time. You saved someone from a terrible fate, even if it was for the wrong reasons you’ve given Shermanon another chance at living. Something he so desperately deserves.”
  673. “Regardless he seems to be a raging lunatic.”
  674. >”He’d been in Tartarus for over a year you said? He’s very lucky to come out in the state he’s in. A lesser being would have succumbed within a week. To be forced to live through the many planes of Tartarus, and to survive a prolonged beating without succumbing to madness should be enough proof that he deserves this second chance at life. Because you’ve risked life and limb to give someone you don’t know a chance to live their life I’ll do the same for you. Do NOT do anything like this again.”
  675. >Your jaw dropped in shock, you weren’t expecting anything close to this, you were expecting to be executed on the spot or banished to the moon. Hell you were an officer who openly betrayed his leader, which usually constitutes death.
  676. “I…I….Thank you, it’s more than I deserve.”
  677. >”That’s not all Anonymous, there is one other thing.”
  678. “….What would that be?”
  679. >”Hoofington, within the time it’s taken for you to get this far they’ve managed to build a wall around the town’s perimeter, if you’re unable to fight their commander in a duel then there’s a good chance you will not be able to take the town with your numbers. They have also had someone else put in command of Hoofington, no one knows what’s become of the previous commander. Somep0ny by the name of Chronicler; a General in Celestia’s Army.”
  680. >Luna begins to pace around you as she continues feeding you information, at least now you’ll know what to expect. The wall alone would prove to be quite the hassle, but apparently there’s more.
  681. >”Along with that, the General in charge of that town dabbles in forbidden magic. He’s been able to keep it a secret until recently. He wished to show any unruly troops what would happen to them should they join us…..in the form of bringing back long dead equines. Necromancy is the type of forbidden magic he’s grown accustomed to wielding.”
  682. >Well shit, a necromancer, and one at the General ranking, the ones you’d fought previously were of Commander and lower, just what could a general be capable of and just how strong would they be?
  683. “P…Princess Luna, I’m…..I’m not so sure about this...”
  684. >”I understand where you’re coming from Anonymous but you cannot afford to show such fear in front of your men, when my scouts inform the rest of your regiment about what they’ll be walking in to…I hope they are up to the task, if not you must  be strong for them Anonymous. Can I count on you to handle this?”
  685. >You sigh deeply before responding
  686. “We’ll take care of it Luna, We’ll secure Hoofington for you.”
  687. >Luna smiles, you hope she was convinced because you sure as hell weren’t. Even if you had faith in your ability to lead, bringing Leucine and the others in to something like that may result in a slaughter.
  688. >You’d expect Pinkie to be the only survivor if shit hits the fan.
  689. >Luna then turns to leave, but before she goes she leaves you with one more snippet.
  690. >”Anonymous, you’re much stronger than you give yourself credit for. Please don’t lose faith in yourself, I have the utmost confidence that you will succeed.”
  691. > She’s got her back to you as she says this in order to hide her terrible poker face. As she lets you mull over her parting words she disappears in a flash of blue light.
  692. >You sigh to yourself before going back to your spot on the cliff, you had a long night ahead of you, if you wished to take on a General like Chronicler, and you’ll need all the training you could get. It sucks Luna didn’t stick around to help teach you a few things.
  696. (Sherm)
  697. >The force from Luna's magic makes Shermanon's landing a little rough, he bounced upon the ground until suddenly stopping in the front of a building. He ends up a crumpled mess, but virtually unharmed otherwise.
  698. >As he picks himself up, he isn't met with a warm reception. A dozen spears are trained upon him.
  699. >Suddenly Rainbow calls out from behind her men
  700. >"Hey what gives? Give the guy some breathin' room for Celestia's sake!"
  701. >The guards seem to flinch at her tone, before listening to her order. They give Shermanon a radius of fifteen feet, their spears were still trained upon him.
  702. >These P0nies and their spears man...
  703. >Shermanon groans, mostly just irritated at the sudden teleportation
  704. >All stoic like a bad-ass who gets his ass kicked all the time
  705. >Eventually he see the p0nies part for Dash to walk, she approaches Shermanon from the left side, her look, her overall demeanor, gives her the feeling of one being on edge.
  706. >Unfortunately Rainbow will have to go about meeting Shermanon for a second time.
  707. >"You, Luna told me you're the other homo. What's your name, and why are you here?"
  708. >He rolls his eyes, gives an exasperated sigh, and all at once comes to terms that the 'homo' thing is never going away. "I'm here to be one of your little soldiers, I guess."
  709. >Dash smirks, seeing the eye roll and taking the hint
  710. >"What you don't like being called homo, homo?"
  711. "No more than you like being called a carpet muncher."
  712. >Rainbow's smile widens at Shermanon's insult.
  713. >She had to admit he had the guts needed for the job, and that was all she needed. During her last blunder at Fillydelphia she had come to realize that Celestia's p0nies relied on their numbers in order to come out on top, a quality Rainbow felt to be dishonorable.
  714. >"If you'd follow me please.....I dunno what to call ya, Luna didn't give me a name."
  715. >Shermanon pushed himself to a stand
  716. >The last choice he had a chance to make ended in suffering eternal
  717. >He wasn't very good at them
  718. >And he made no assumptions otherwise
  719. >Slouching, following the commands of those who were placed superior to him by circumstance, he hesitated to answer
  720. >But there was one thing that he really, really wanted
  721. >And hearing it from Dash, after so much time, would make this whole thing worth it
  722. I would like it...
  723. >He got really quiet, his voice fumbling in his throat
  724. >This wasn't his Dash, but he still wanted this
  725. If you called me Anon.
  726. >"So, two homos with the same name? I guess that won't be totally bucking confusing. Just...try not to stand around the Anon I know too much. Now let's get you....a bath."
  727. >Shermanon takes notice when Rainbow's nose flares in disapproval.
  728. >"You're gross, dude... maybe Rarity can stitch something up...got a fabric shop off the corner of 5th and Mane over there."
  729. >She points a hoof over in some random direction
  730. >"Oh buck how do I know where to find fabric?! I've been hanging around Rarity too much...."
  731. >She makes a 180 and trots off, she turns back and motions for Shermanon to follow
  732. >Was this his world?
  733. >Did it even matter?
  734. >Luna's words made this whole thing very confusing
  735. >He should have probably just stayed in Tartarus
  736. >It was so easy down there
  737. >Shit never ended, but at least it was the same shit every day
  738. >Up here, it also never ended; but life had a way of being a douche and throw curve balls
  739. >Regardless, a bath and new clothes sounded just fine to him
  740. >And, if it resulted in being near Rainbow for even just a second, he would do anything
  741. >Defeated by the circumstances, he thrust his hands into his pockets and followed along
  742. >Anything Dash said was music to his ears, even if it was depressing music.
  743. >The guardsp0nies, after seeing that he wasn't openly threatening their commander
  744. >Relaxed, they put away their spears and dispersed, letting the two of them do whatever it was they needed to do.
  745. >As the two of you traveled along the busy streets of Fillydelphia, Shermanon took notice that Filly's inhabitants took Dash's occupation a hell of a lot better than the Manehattan p0nies took Aether's occupation.
  746. >Maybe it was because Dash was one of their own, maybe it was because Dash went about things in a different manner. Regardless Shermanon could tell the p0nies held no trust for him, they would move to the other side of the street as the two passed by
  747. >He could hear them whispering among themselves, scrutinizing the oddity that walked their streets.
  748. >It appeared as though Aetheranon had not visited any other city other than p0nyville during his stay
  749. >In a way this presents Shermanon with the opportunity to set the bar for human to p0ny interaction.
  750. >Many possibilities presented themselves, before Shermanon could come up with any sort of idea Dash's voice broke his concentration.
  751. >"We're almost there Anon, just uh....try to stand downwind of Rarity okay? If she gets a good whiff she'll rant about your hygiene for hours...man it sucks Applejack stopped talking..."
  752. >"And Fluttershy just up and left! Right before we got our flanks handed to us the other day. She said something about "I wanna help too!" and she just took off!"
  753. >Rainbow stops her rant when she realized just who she was ranting to
  754. >"Oh ah....sorry bout that, I forgot ya probably don’t know anything about us huh?"
  755. >He wanted, so badly, to tell her 'yes. I know plenty.'
  756. >He wanted, so bad, to wrap his arms around her
  757. >To mend his broken heart
  758. >But he was also rational enough to know how that would go down
  759. >So, against every fiber in his body telling him to tell the truth, he lied
  760. >He hated lying
  761. >But he has done it before
  762. I don't
  763. >He said, his body still in its perpetual slouch with empty, cursed eyes
  764. But I would like to.
  765. >No, he wouldn't
  766. >These couldn't have been his ponies
  767. >He wanted to be as far from them as possible, to avoid making friends and avoid the stiletto of regret that severed his heart by all of its vessels so long ago
  768. >But he said it anyway
  769. >His heart, what was left of it, betrayed him
  770. >Maybe, just maybe, things would be okay this time around
  771. >Or maybe he would do something else retarded and get himself banished
  772. >Oh well
  773. >Any way the wind blows
  774. >Upon Shermanon's willingness to learn Rainbow happily began to speak about herself. She began to milk her exploits trying to sound as awesome as possible. Then she went on to tell Sherm a bit about her friends and what's happened to them since the beginning.
  775. >When the subject turned to Twilight, Dash's voice had taken a hint of sadness, then anger. She told Shermanon about her time in 'Advanced Friendship' class
  776. >"I gotta say, if it wasn't for the other Anon I'd of went the rest of my life being nothing more than an earth p0ny....I'd of never flown with the Wonderbolts...I owe that homo a lot, I'll find a way to make it up to em....oh I know I'll hook em up with Fluttershy...if she's still alive....oh hey that reminds me, what do ya think about p0nies? You were kinda...brought here unexpectedly weren't ya? Luna told me something about being found in a field somewhere? Least Luna found you before Celestia did...."
  777. >"Hope your first impression wasn't too bad."
  778. >She goes to tell shermanon that Luna told her, that she'd found him wandering some random field, scared out of his mind, and that she'd given Shermanon an opportunity to meet the first human in Equestria.
  779. >What she didn't know, was how that went, and judging by the way he'd entered she assumed things weren't going well between the two Anons
  780. >"Yeah she doesn't just fling ponies or homos for no real reason. She musta been pretty bucking mad to kinda...toss you here....heh."
  781. >Shermanon listened intently
  782. >Yeah, no way this was his world
  783. >There was some serious time-space fuckery going on
  784. >And he didn't appreciate being jerked around
  785. >But his attention remained on Dash, even if he still wore the dead gaze that had become synonymous with him by now
  786. “He sounds like quite the homo”
  787. “The greatest and most fabulous homo of them all, you might say”
  788. >Shermanon wasn't bitter
  789. >But as for her other question?
  790. “He hit me with a rock.”
  791. >Rainbow turned to face Shermanon, her single eye wide with disbelief. She couldn't process Anonymous doing anything of the sort to someone he'd only known for a day or so.
  792. >Dash read Shermanon's features in order to see if he was bullshitting, but when she saw that little tint of anger within his eyes she knew that this Anonymous was telling the truth
  793. >The gaping wound on the side of his head was a dead giveaway as well, how could she have overlooked such a thing?
  794. >"Just....just what happened to make him throw a rock at you?"
  795. >"Anonymous doesn't just throw rocks for no reason."
  796. >He stopped and leaned back from her a single degree
  797. >See, this was the problem with lying
  798. >So easy to just get caught in a corner
  799. >He slouched forward once more and gave a defeated sigh
  800. >Without even knowing it, Dash put him in a checkmate
  801. >Shermanon was an idiot
  802. >And his life saw fit to constantly remind him of it
  803. “If I told you the truth, you'd throw me in the brig”
  804. >He admitted, his eyes rolling off to either side, avoiding making contact with the pony before him
  805. >He gave a second heavy sigh, realizing that he was digging his own grave
  806. >Best start doing the right proper thing
  807. “But I hate lying, and you deserve to know everything”
  808. >He paused for a moment, trying to think of the best words to use, here
  809. >He had to be really diplomatic
  810. >Shermanon had to handle this with class
  811. >There was a level of subtlety and tact needed, here
  812. >He had to choose his words very
  813. >VERY
  814. >Carefully
  815. “I was trying to kick his ass.”
  816. >Dash seemed to have a hard time imagining someone wanting to kick Aetheranon's ass so bad that Ather'd be forced to use a rock.
  817. >"So...why'd you try to kick his ass?"
  818. >"Details Anonymous, details. I wanna know why two homos would try to beat the buck out of each other."
  819. >Shermanon couldn't notice but see Dash's frown curl in to a smile, the prospect of fighting seemed to excite her.
  820. >She even turned around to face him, stopping their walk.
  821. >Shermanon was surprised at how well she was taking it
  822. >Holy crap
  823. >Telling the truth really does pay off!
  824. “Because I'm a psychotic creature of violence and unbridled insanity dredged up from the bowels of Tartarus to be used as a weapon”
  825. >Dash raised an eyebrow in confusion
  826. >"Well...that's a little different from what Luna told me, she kinda didn't...mention the Tartarus bit."
  827. >She sits back on her haunches and looks over Shermanon a second time, noting his torn clothing and the fact that he actually reeked of Death, she knew she smelled something off with Shermanon's, but she couldn't place it.
  828. >When she realized that Shermanon could possibly be telling the truth she let out an excited squee
  829. >"Dude and I got that working with me?! Awesome! You've gotta tell me is Tartarus as bad as everyp0ny says? Oh man I wish I could a seen the fight."
  830. >She gets up on her back hooves and holds her fore hooves out in front of her as if she were trying to box
  831. >"Man I bet Anonymous had his sword out and he was probably trying to hit you with it, but oh buck no you'd be bobbing and weaving throwing a little one two.."
  832. >She then began to bob and weave around Shermanon throwing her hooves out with a swish
  833. >Then she groaned
  834. >"But Man Anonymous really tossed a rock at you? That's not cool, he had a sword already and he's got Luna's magic, and he still had to use a rock on you? Just...just how tough are ya anyway? If you forced him to do something like that you musta been one hell of a thorn in his side!"
  835. >Human curiosity spiked to new levels when he saw her excitement
  836. >God damn
  837. >She was really into it
  838. >An uneasy smile cracked his features before he grabbed his tattered coat, gripping it closed with one hand while resting his other hand on his head
  839. “Eh..heh...”
  840. >He let out an uneasy laugh
  841. >He was starting to like her all over again
  842. >This was horribly bad
  843. >Would be so much easier if she hated him and he hated her
  844. “It, uh”
  845. >He started
  846. “It wasn't fun”
  847. >He caught himself, and clarified
  848. “Neither”
  849. “The sword or Tartarus, I mean”
  850. “...they weren't fun”
  851. >He leaned closer to her, attempting a grin
  852. “So, you aren't mad at me?”
  853. >He asked
  854. >There was a glimmer of hope in his voice and in his eyes
  855. >She stopped her little enthusiastic bobbing and weaving, she even went back down on to all fours. She rubbed a fore hoof under her chin, as if contemplating.
  856. >"Well...you tried to beat up the guy who saved my life, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little mad at you, but he did something so...so un-awesome. He definitely dropped a few points on my cool list. You my new friend have jumped up on the cool list, taking on someone who's got an advantage and winning? Now that's awesome. Can ya....maybe direct that on to certain p0nies? Just how good are ya at fighting?"
  857. >Shermanon produced another uncomfortable laugh
  858. “Probably better than I should be.”
  859. >He answered
  860. >Maybe Aether wasn't such a bad guy after all
  861. >But he was quick to learn from his past mistakes, and Shermanon was keen on taking his hand from his head and pointing his joined fingers at Dash with a smile
  862. “Hey, hey, though. Enough about me. I want to hear more about you!”
  863. >Enthusiasm built
  864. >His dreary, lost, defeated persona gave way to one of excited curiosity
  865. “Tell me the one about the Sonic Rainboom again. Please? That had me on the edge of my seat.”
  866. >Dash shot Shermanon a cocky grin.
  867. >"Man, who doesn't wanna hear about the Sonic Rainboom?  I'm so good at what I do I make p0nies go through puberty!"
  868. >Quite the boast to say the least, but not too far from the truth, she goes into another explanation of her trick, and how it affected all her friends in one way or another.
  869. >She kinda milked the awesome, but her new friend didn't seem to mind, in fact he seemed to get more in to it the further she went.
  870. >"Oh and that's not even half of it, them stallions, them mares, they can't keep their hooves off of me."
  871. >It was at that point, two unicorns approached the two of them, they seemed curious as to what Shermanon was, they've never seen an oddity like him before, they'd hear rumors of a human in p0nyville, but they'd never seen one up close.
  872. >Thoroughly in a good mood, and not wanting to crush Dash's already well established notions of what he and Aether were, he was more than willing to play along
  873. “I'm just your average, run-of-the-mill, bone-a-fied homo!”
  874. >He says, proudly, almost bouncing as he explains this
  875. >Been a while since he's felt this good, and far be it from him to go against the grain now
  876. >"Riiiight....do you have anything else to tell me?"
  877. >One of the two, a female unicorn, wasn't exactly satisfied with that answer, like Twilight she began to ask question after question, not even giving Shermanon time to process them.
  878. >The more she began to talk the more bored her companion became. She even began to move her hoof in a way to mimic her friend's incesant talking.
  879. >Dash mirrored the second unicorn's sentiments, when the 'machine gun of questions' steered towards human anatomy and mating rituals Dash's eye opened wide
  880. >"Okay that's it egg head time is over."
  881. >Dash then proceeded to push the two unicorns away from Shermanon, the one asking the questions was struggling against Dash
  882. >"But he hasn't answered my question just how big is hi-"
  883. >Dash cut her off before the unicorn could finish her question
  884. >"If he's gonna answer anyp0ny's questions it'll be mine."
  885. >Dash wasted no time in picking up the curious unicorn and tossing her in some random direction.
  886. >The second unicorn whispered a thank you to Dash before rejoining her curious friend.
  887. >Dash turned back to Shermanon before rubbing the back of her head with a hoof.
  888. >"Sorry about that, uh....you ready to go meet everyp0ny else? I'm not sure you'll get anything outta Applejack, but I'm sure Rarity will be more than willing to throw her two bits in..."
  889. >Was borderline traumatized by the time Rainbow cleared the curious 'corn
  890. >Was she really asking him how big his...?
  891. >Good Lord
  892. >These ponies
  893. >When she spoke, it took him not but a moment to gather himself
  894. “Oh, yeah... sorry. Bath, clothes, and meet the others”
  895. >He repeated to himself, trying to focus his mind on what had to be done
  896. >Sadly, as much as he wishes it was the case, he wasn't just living a good old slice of life anymore
  897. >He was embroiled in some war in a world that is not his own
  898. >But before he continued on, he tilted his head to the pegasus and gave a big, toothy smile, save for where one tooth used to be
  899. “Thanks, commander.”
  900. >"No problem, no problem, I'm always looking out for....all the homos...oh Celestia if the other Anonymous had to use a rock on ya I wonder just how he's been fighting....probably been getting his flank handed back to em on a silver platter."
  901. >Dash then flaps her wings, bringing her to a hover at about Shermanon's height, she then motioned for Shermanon to follow, the two continued on in silence until Fillydelphia's City Hall.
  902. >Dash lifted a hoof in order to push open the door, but before her marshmallow hoof meet the wooden furnish upon the door, it swung open. Dash couldn't do anything as she was slammed behind the opened door.
  903. >A single cyan hoof could be seen twitching from behind the door. A certain white unicorn had opened the door in a huff, apparently Dash had done something Rarity didn't approve of
  904. >When Dash didn't respond she turned to you instead. Apparently Rarity wasn't surprised to see you standing there.
  905. >"And you, whoever you are........you're FILTHY! I simply -must- get you in the nearest bath darling!"
  908. >Shermanon was recoiled back on one foot, having his head retreated between his shoulders as he watched the whole scene take place
  909. “Dash? You alright?”
  910. >He said, concerned for her well being
  911. >When her hoof twitched, he realized that she was fine
  912. >Was just a little rude, though
  913. >Without thinking, he looked down to the frustrated fashion diva and cringed helplessly
  914. “Rarity, I think we should help her, first.”
  915. >Rarity raised an eyebrow inquisitively at Shermanon before hearing Dash groan. Rarity looked back to see Dash's hoof twitch.
  916. >The door slowly creaked back in to position, revealing a flattened Rainbow Dash, she slid off the side of the wall and hit the ground in a crumpled mess.
  917. >Rarity then turned back to Anon, giving him an embarrased smile, her cheeks had turned a light pink to match her embarrasment. She shrugged.
  918. >"She seems fine to me."
  919. >At that moment Dash reinflated, her eyes rolled around before finally coming back in to focus
  920. >She shot her friend an angry glare
  921. >"I'm terribly sorry Dash but you must be careful."
  922. >Dash's jaw dropped in disbelief
  923. >"ME?! What about you?!"
  924. >"What I did was irrelevant, what had I of been Discord hmm? He'd of had his way with you faster than...well...you....hehehehe.....anyway come along now darling."
  925. >Shermanon watches as Rarity magics over a handkerchief. She holds it in her hoof before using it to grab Shermanon's wrist.
  926. >The human takes one last look at Rainbow, his uneasy expression showing his discomfort at the prospect of leaving her for even a second as he's dragged away
  927. >But, still, he didn't fight, and as such he followed Rarity through the building
  928. “Don't mean to inconvenience you like this”
  929. >He admitted, trying his hardest to be as polite as possible
  930. “Wasn't planning on this trip.”
  931. >As she leads Shermanon down a random hallway, the two of you start to pass by a row of photos, revealing p0nies from previous times. Each picture attributed to each Mayor that just so happened to help run this city.
  932. >In a way its odd, a full bathroom in a place like this? Back in Manehattan they had to push the various desks together in order to make a table big enough for their meals, just how did Equestrian Cities even operate anyway?
  933. >T'was a far cry from Appleoosa or Ponyville.
  934. >"Oh its really no trouble at all dear, I'm happy at the prospect of helping out another one of your species, our Anonymous never leaves Ponyville! At least with you I have an opportunity to show off my new line of clothing! That reminds me, just what remains of  Anonymous' clothing? I had heard he fought some unicorn with a certain fetish for flames..."
  935. >Rarity's voice brings Shermanon back to attention.
  936. >His mouth shifted into an uneasy grimace
  937. “Not much better off than me, last I saw him”
  938. >Of course, Shermanon didn't help with that particular situation
  939. >He was starting to feel bad
  940. >The overwhelming power of these ponies and their kindness was outrageous
  941. >Shermanon never asked for this feel
  942. “According to the other ponies, we both smell and look pretty bad.”
  943. >"I'd assume our Anonymous probably smells like cooked meat.....oh dear Celestia!"
  944. >Apparently the thought made her physically ill. She even dry heaved a little before regaining her composure.
  945. >When she does she turns back to face Shermanon her face was one of sudden realization before becoming shock
  946. >"Oh my, how rude of me where are my manners. I'm Rarity, you may refer to me as Miss or Rarity, or Miss Rarity. Whichever works is fine and what, pray tell, its your name?"
  947. >Shermanon's luck was ridiculously good. She didn't catch his use of her name earlier
  948. >Sadly, that was probably him blowing through seven years of good luck right there
  949. “What a pretty name! I'm also Anonymous, but...”
  950. >His eyes shift away from her for a moment
  951. “Yeah, if you could please, just call me Anon. If it gets too hard with two anons, maybe we can cross that bridge when we come to it?”
  952. >He asked, hopeful for her approval
  953. >"Yes....that will get quite confusing. But as long as our Anonymous isn't here I'll refer to you as...well...you. I'll call you Anon and I'll refer to Anonymous as well....Anonymous....that should help?"
  954. >"Forgive me if I'm coming off as rude somehow, these are stressful times for a lady. Now let's get you cleaned up."
  955. >Rarity opened a nearby door and ushered you inside.
  956. >"There's a towel, soap, body scented oils, lotions, that should be enough, please take your time and clean yourself thoroughly. If you need anything just ask I'll be in a room nearby."
  957. >When Shermanon stepped through the threshold Rarity quietly stepped out, shutting the door softly behind him
  958. >Half an hour later, Shermanon found himself in a dilemma
  959. >He lightly cracked open the door and stuck his head out from the gap, his expression distressed
  960. “Rarity?”
  961. >He called, like a helpless child
  962. “Raaaaarity~?!”
  963. >He called again
  964. >His brows were raised in a troubled fashion
  965. >Steam wafted from his flesh
  966. >He was clean, at the very least
  967. >Cleaner than he had been for a long, long time
  968. >Shermanon began to hear the faint clopping of hooves upon wood as Rarity approached the bathroom. When she got there she saw that he was troubled
  969. >"Yes Anon? What appears to be the problem darling?"
  970. “Hey, Rarity! Have you ever taken a shower or something, but then realized that you didn't bring a change of clothes in with you so you were stranded?”
  971. >His eyes shot wide, realizing who he's talking to
  972. >Of course they wouldn't understand that. They're ponies
  973. “Ah, erm...”
  974. >He struggled with his words
  975. “...I have nothing to change in to.”
  976. >He was finally content to just say
  977. >Rarity stood, a blank stare plastered upon her face, was this Anon really so awkward? She believed she'd have to teach him a thing or two if he was going to adjust to pony society after the war was won.
  978. >"I must admit I pegged you as a sort of....odd one....but if you give me a few hours I could probably wip something up for you to wear, I'd just need your measurements."
  979. >Shermanonymous frowned, tilting his head forward apologetically but never taking his eyes off of her
  980. “Sorry, Miss Rarity”
  981. >Maybe Tartarus killed his social skills? He seemed to remember being better around people than this
  982. >Oh, well
  983. >It would all come back to him soon enough
  984. >Wait, did she ask for measurements
  985. “Wait, did you say you need my measurements?”
  986. “Any chance you could take those, you know... out there? I'm naked.”
  987. >"It's quite alright dear, I'm certain things are a bit off for you, what being pulled from your old world in to this. Had Fluttershy not of found Anonymous I'm sure he'd of probably ended up worse off than you. He wasn't exactly friendly when he first arrived.....And no darling I have to be in there with....oh that's right your kind has an issue with nudity. Perhaps it's me, would you rather Rainbow take your measurements? You've had a little bit of time with her, perhaps you trust her more."
  988. >As soon as the words 'your kind' and beyond were uttered  she literally slapped herself with a hoof
  989. >"Dear Sweet Celestia have my manners packed up and set off without me? I'm dreadfully sorry dear."
  990. >She waits to see if Shermanon will forgive her for what she believes to be such an outburst.
  992. >Shermanon eyes her suspiciously
  993. >He blinks
  994. >There's a certain amount of trouble wrapping his mind on what she could possibly mean
  995. >What did she do that could have been construed as rude?
  996. >He merely rolled his eyes, threw his head back, and gave a smart grin
  997. “Haha! Rarity! You're so silly-dilly!”
  998. >He exclaimed
  999. >Her and her manners! What will they think of next?
  1000. >He lowered to his knees, bringing his head down to her level, but keeping his body behind the door
  1001. >And as he looked into her eyes, there was a less than subtle blush on his face
  1002. “Promise you won't laugh? Promise you won't laugh and I'll let you do it. I don't want Rainbow to see me this way.”
  1003. >Rarity tilted her head to the side in order to show that she was indeed confused by his random outburst, had he been spending time with Pinkie?
  1004. >"Riiiiight, and what is it dear? What would I laugh at?"
  1005. >Shermanator gazed long and hard at her
  1006. >He was in another world
  1007. >Like, thrice removed, by now
  1008. >They had no problem with nudity
  1009. >But he sure as hell did
  1010. >How did Aether put up with this shit?
  1011. “Well...”
  1012. >He hesitated before he stood back up, and slowly opened the door for her to enter
  1013. >The whole time, though, he made sure to remain behind the door
  1014. “I guess, you know, with you being a professional and all...”
  1016. (Aether)
  1017. >Your next day is spent marching through a forested portion of Equestria, the only thing that fills your field of vision is a singular dirt path leading through the center of the forest and the trees around you. You’re getting sick of seeing tree after tree, you’d hoped to be able to walk around this forest but Lt. Sherman insists this is the best path to follow.
  1018. >This reminds you that now that you’ve got Shermanon in Equestria, it’ll be annoying referring to the both of them as Sherman….at least Luna put Shermanon on a time out away from you. She did you a favor without even realizing it.
  1019. >Anyway, back to the great view of trees, trees, and more trees. You’d occasionally scan the tree line for any sort of ‘guest’ that could be watching you. Every time you look you find nothing out of the ordinary, you had expected to have found at least one scout under Celestia’s banner, but nothing. Perhaps all her spying is done by Atlas, hell he can be anywhere he chooses so why would she need anyp0ny else?
  1020. >This entire war has been misleading, just why are there some p0nies standing on two legs and just why are those p0nies put in charge? Also, just who the hell helps Luna gather her information? If she was able to learn of Chron’s ‘secret’ then she wouldn’t have employed a scout, she’d have a mole among Celestia’s ranks.
  1021. >This causes you to call your LT over from wherever the hell he’s at
  1022. “Hey Sherm?”
  1025. >You shout to your troops in hopes of receiving a response. You’d never admit it but your LT looks a lot like a few other p0nies in your regiment. You need to learn how to discern these p0nies from one another. Soon you see one of Luna’s guardsmen break from the pack and make their way through the regiment’s line and over to you.
  1026. >“Yes Anonymous?”
  1027. “So Luna told me about some General in Hoofington last night, she told me her scouts had gathered information regarding his ‘expertise’ now tell me, how the hell would a scout find that information?”
  1028. >Sherman is quiet for a moment, before responding
  1029. >”He’d of had to of performed it out in the open. From what we were told he’d made an example out of a few unruly troops, perhaps with Celestia being how she is he may no longer care whether everyp0ny knows or not. “
  1030. “Well….that answers that, now I have to ask, just why the hell everyp0ny in charge walking on two legs? It’s weird.”
  1031. >”It’s not that weird Anon, everyp0ny’s walked on their back hooves at one point or another, the reason why they’re in charge is because they know how to fight on either four legs or two legs, in a way it shows that they should be able to adapt to a situation and be ready to deal with it. That’s what puts them in a league above other p0nies.”
  1032. >Well, that’s a little confidence booster, you’ve beaten two equines that walk upright so far. Even if they pummeled you, and burned you, and subjugated you to pain you’d never felt before, you still won.
  1035.  “So…does Chron…?”
  1036. >”Yes sir, both Chron and the p0ny he’s replaced can walk upright.”
  1037. “Really? That reminds me just who did Chron replace anyway? Do you know?”
  1038. >”Yes, Commander Ground Circuit, a unicorn with an affinity for lightning. He diverts Hoofington’s lightning during storms, thanks to him there’s been minimal damage from scheduled torrential downpours. We need to be careful; even if Chronicler didn’t reinforce the guard there Ground Circuit alone is more than capable….”
  1039. “Please don’t tell me we’re fucked if we go in there.”
  1040. >”We will be if you can’t get Chronicler to fight you on his own. Even with Leucine’s assistance I doubt we’ll be able to win in an all out fight. We do not have the numbers, we never do.”
  1041. >This lack of confidence coming from Sherman reflects the thoughts of your fellow soldiers, at least in your mind he does. If Sherman is feeling this way then the others may possibly be thinking that Hoofington will be the last city they’ll see. You predict that you’ll have deserters after tonight; you can’t blame them for not wanting to go through with this.
  1042. >”Is there anything else sir?”
  1043. “Yes there is….is there a way Ground Circuit could use his lightning against us?”
  1044. >”Well…yes the weather team in Hoffington could gather clouds for him to use…we’d be walking right to our deaths at that point, random strikes of lightning would wipe out our forces before we’d even have a chance to engage them…..oh Celestia it really is hopeless isn’t it?”
  1046. >You could see his fear, the more the two of you discussed just what you’d be walking in to, the more he shook. If he’s being like this you do not want to picture just what your p0nies will be thinking when they put the pieces together, in fact this could prove to be quite a problem…
  1047. >if you lost here then that’d be it. Rainbow wouldn’t have enough p0ny power to lead the NLR to victory, what’s worse is that she’d lost nearly all her p0nies already. Sure Luna has her own personal guard but you doubt she’s got another group of soldiers ready and willing to fight.
  1048. “Not yet its not.”
  1049. >You stop your march, causing your soldiers to stop in response. You’re about to make another speech to your troops, in hopes of instilling some confidence, and a little plan you’d devised just now. You turn to your troops and shout
  1050. “P0nies under the NLR Banner please listen to what I have to say.”
  1051. >The soldiers begin to murmur among themselves, awaiting you to continue your little speech.
  1052. “I know the info Luna’s guards gave you is a lot to take in, for most I know you feel as if you’re walking in to a death trap, but tell me one thing, when you decided to swear in, when you decided that you’d protect Luna and Celestia until your dying breaths, did you once regret your decision? Did you think something like this would ever happen? Do you p0nies even support the actions that I’ve done, or that Luna and Rainbow have done?”
  1055. >Your ‘audience’ shakes their head, no enthusiastic cheer, no one laughs, they just sit and shake their head indicating that they’d not only pictured Equestria to be in such a state, but that they didn’t regret their decision to come along on this little campaign. Even without their enthusiasm you were happy to know that they were with you.
  1056. “I’m happy to know that you’re with me on this. No doubt Hoofington is a death trap, I’m not going to lie to you, I’m not going to paint a pretty picture, what I am going to do is provide you guys with a way to cope. In order to do so I need every Unicorn P0ny in both mine and Leucine’s company to come forward, the rest need to follow in line behind them.”
  1057. >They do as ordered and soon you’re facing quite a lot of unicorns, hundreds…maybe even a thousand you cannot tell.
  1058. “You unicorns will be our means to an end. I’m sure all of you are capable of basic spells, I’m also sure a good portion of you have an advanced understanding of magic, that’s what will help us survive this fight. Now, if you were to combine your magic would all of you be able to create a dome capable of shielding us from Ground Circuit’s lightning?”
  1061. >You can hear a few murmurs rising among your troops, a few of the unicorns are nodding to one another, a few are shaking their heads, and it was a good five minutes before any of them responded to your question. One unicorn speaks out for the entire group.
  1062. >”Uh…..yeah we could, you don’t even need all of us, a dozen of our best at key locations would do.”
  1063. >You smile before pumping a fist in to the air in victory; this would work out better than you’d hoped! Now you have a way to keep your p0nies from dying needlessly. Unfortunately Sherman had to cut in with his pessimistic nature.
  1064. >”But….they’d need time to prepare for such a spell, and we’d need to have others guarding us at all times. If Chronicler or Ground knew what we were doing, they’d send their forces to wipe them out.”
  1065. >You smile at Sherman
  1066. “I’ve got a plan for that.”
  1067. >After you conclude your little meeting with your p0nies you do a 180 and march your ass back in the right direction. The rest of the day’s march is spent in silence.
  1068. >When night arrives you make camp, thanks to your march through the woods your p0nies are able to spot Hoofington in the distance. You group had made it out to the familiar flat planes that you’d grown accustomed to. Tomorrow is going to be a hell of a day for you, for all of you. You just hope that Rainbow’s end is going a hell of a lot better than yours.
  1071. >While you’re preparing your troops for a night’s rest, Rainbow’s fight had just begun.
  1072. >Your night is spent speaking with quite a few unicorns, and quite a few pegasi. You’d come to the conclusion that for each unicorn used to perform the spell, twenty five soldiers would accompany said unicorn in order to offer protection.
  1073. >With a little multiplication you’re able to find out that three hundred p0nies would be out of direct combat. Leaving you with…one thousand, six hundred others to work with…you were giving your numbers a gross over estimation, when Leucine had put his troops with yours you’d hoped to have at least hit two thousand.
  1074. >Your combined numbers did outnumber the amount of troop stationed at Hoofington, but with Chronicler and his appearance the troop count skyrocketed. You’ve no idea just how many came with Chron so you’re stuck without any real number to go on. You’ll just have to wing it and hope for the best.
  1075. >You really, really hated doing that. The thought of rushing in to the unknown yet again, even with a plan, didn’t sit well with you. You didn’t even know where the hell you’d place the unicorns, you’d have to rely on them to go on ahead and find locations on their own.
  1076. >You sent them out in to the night, confident that they’ll reach proper locations. You informed them of a signal in the form of you sending a dark blue flare of magic in to the sky. If you could form items from your magic you could easily expel a bit of it as a signal.
  1079. >Luna wouldn’t meet you tonight; you assume she’s busy preparing for something. She has to have a plan for Canterlot, if not then that would mean you’d have to come up with an idea, and if you had to come up with an idea, you’d probably just make things worse.
  1080. >Sure, you just made a plan that might just succeed, but Hoofington is a town, it’s not a city, it’s not a castle, it’s a town. Even smaller than P0nyville from what you’d gathered….just how did they manage to fit so many soldiers in such a small area is beyond you.
  1081. >The rest of your night is spent under the moon, practicing yet again in a vain attempt to gain a greater understanding of your magic, tonight you’re able to figure out just how the hell destruction magic works.  Bringing forth dark blue flames to toss around is fun and all, but you needed to learn something more along the lines of shielding.
  1082. >You didn’t forget how Leucine messed your world up, and you weren’t about to let Chron or Ground get an edge on you just in case you fought them in a duel. Ah the duel, how easy things would be if they’d just agree to it and let the others just watch. You had to stomach the fact that you’d have to openly kill p0nies. That was something you weren’t looking forward to doing.
  1083. >It’s at times like this you’re reminded that this is all Discord’s doing, all of these deaths would be on his hands, not that he cared he’s a god, lives are a dime a dozen to him.
  1084. >Your night is spent in a sleepless blunder, the thoughts of your p0nies dying all around you plague your thoughts, and the more time went on the more you felt that you were incapable of winning. You didn’t want a repeat of Fillydelphia but at the same time you felt that such losses were unavoidable.
  1087. >The next day arrives without incident. Your encampment is utterly silent as your p0nies take down their makeshift shelters and prepare themselves for the fight ahead. No one deserted you throughout the night and for that you were thankful.
  1088. >Pinkie probably did a little something to keep everyone together, you doubt you have the charisma necessary for total obedience; then again you are your own worst critique. Maybe your words played a higher role than you thought.
  1089. >That’s when Pinkie comes hopping over to your tent, she’s got that smile on her face and that pep in her step. Just how does she manage to keep such a cheery demeanor when there’s a war going on is beyond you.
  1090. >”HI!”
  1091. >You’re taken aback by her voice
  1092. “H…hey Pinkie.”
  1093. >You’re still in the process of dressing yourself, you find it odd that you’re able to actually peel off and put on clothing you’d summoned from magic but you do not question it. Why question a good thing?
  1094. >”Did you sleep well? I slept fantastic! There was this one dream where I was on this pink cloud made out of cotton candy! See I was floating along and-“
  1095. >Luckily one of your guard p0nies came running in to your tent, effectively silencing Pinkie.
  1096. >”Sir, you need to come outside and take a look at this.”
  1097. >”Aww, and I was just getting to the good part too!”
  1100. >The tone he’s taken with you fills you with unease. You finish dressing yourself and step outside with Pinkie in tow. As you step outside and take a look at Hoofington your heart drops. Last night Hoofington was clear as crystal in the distance, but now there are dark clouds hanging low above the town, and a dense fog makes visibility of the town itself near zero.
  1101. >”It appears as though they’ve prepared for us, the unicorns have reported that a wall had been erected around the town during the night. Apparently Chron had seen your encampment in the distance and prepared accordingly. Breaking in to the town has now become a hell of a lot harder.
  1102. >You’re also sure that the fog is an enchantment, Celestia’s p0nies could probably see though that dense fog just fine while you’re troops will have to deal with low visibility. Chron wasn’t making this easy for you; it was as if he had taken all of the necessary precautions in order to make sure you can’t pull out a win.
  1103. >Fuck this p0ny, you’ve not even seen him yet and you already hate him.
  1104. ”Well, this is gonna suck, do you think we’ll be able to make the fog dissipate?”
  1105. >”Not if Chron’s the one that made it appear. None of us are powerful enough to dispel something of his caliber.
  1106. “Well…..this sucks.”
  1107. >”Agreed.”
  1108. “Before I dismiss you, has there been any word as to how Rainbow’s assault on Mareland went?”
  1109. >”You mean Baltimare?”
  1110. “Wait huh?”
  1113. >”Yeah they changed the name of that city….I wanna say about thirty years ago? Something about…sounding like a brothel I don’t know the details.”
  1114. “If you see Luna again please inform her that she needs to update her map, you are dismissed soldier.”
  1115. >The pegasi offers a salute before returning to the others.”
  1116. >As you look back towards your p0nies, Pinkie speaks.
  1117. >”So, what are ya gonna do Anon?”  
  1118. “I’m going to improvise.”
  1119. >”Ooooh can I help?”
  1120. “Sure, I’m all ears.”
  1121. >pinkie wraps a hoof around your shoulder
  1122. >”Don’t worry Anon, I got it aaaaaaall figured out.”
  1123. “Oh I hope so.”
  1124. >She starts whispering her plan in to your ear, and you can’t help but smile, this is brilliant why didn’t you think of this before? With this new plan in action your victory SHOULD be assured, but this requires you to act as a prisoner.
  1125. >Leucine is to stage a coup, you are to immediately surrender, and then they are going to march your ass to Hoofington in cuffs, when the time is right they’ll spring in to action, hopefully taking Celestia’s p0nies by surprise. That, along with the dome should provide enough leeway for you to pull a victory.
  1126. >Who knew Pinkie was such a good strategist?
  1129. >After informing your troops of what’s going on, Leucine and his men set fire to the tents that hadn’t been put away as of yet, then your men are ‘captured,’ after your ‘capture’ Leucine leads the march to Hoofington.
  1130. >This is another march that takes hours, you and the others do not reach the fog around Hoofington until around noon, from there you have to rely on memory in order to reach the wall that surrounds the town. During your march you see rows upon rows of Celestial soldiers, watching your every move from behind a think wall of fog, your suspicions are correct; they can see you clearly. You can make out their basic shape at best.
  1131. >You silently pray none of the other p0nies take notice of the bulge in your pants. You’ve taken it upon yourself to hide your saber in your pants leg, but due to its length you’re having to faking a limp, maybe that’ll help convince the General that you’ve gotten your ass kicked rather than gave up without a fight.
  1132. >It takes a bit for Leucine to find the front gate, but when he does the gate opens. Two bi pedal p0nies walk out, followed by at least thirty guards. You’ve never had a knack for calculating the size of a crowd from site alone so you assume thirty.
  1133. >You suddenly feel a tug on the chains that are bound to your arms; Leucine’s trying to pull you towards the front of the line in order to reveal his catch. As you make your way around the rest of your p0nies you hear the three officers speak among themselves.
  1136. >Chron: “Do you think I’m a fool?”
  1137. >Leu: “W….what? No I…”
  1138. >Chron: “Then why did you bring a captive carrying a concealed weapon? Did you think I wouldn’t notice?”
  1139. >Leucine is silent, as are you. Chronicler was good, too good in fact. There was only one other thing you could try.
  1140. “Hey, General?”
  1141. >”What is it –human-?”
  1142. “If you know this is all a trick, do your p0nies know that it’s a trick?”
  1143. >Chronicler is silent for a moment; from his hesitation you take a chance.
  1144. “NOW!”
  1145. >Immediately upon shouting both Leucine’s p0nies and your captive troops engage Chronicler’s men outside of the front gates, the ones that’d come in with you spring in to action, they engage the soldiers protecting both the General and Commander.
  1146. >You slip through the chains that bound your hands, with your hands free you reach in to your silky smooth pants and produce your saber, before you can pull your blade from its sheath you feel a heavy hoof push down upon the hilt, keeping you from drawing it.
  1147. >Your gaze falls upon an armored hoof, which in turn caused you to look directly at the one keeping your blade in place, Chronicler had predicted your actions before you’d even performed them. Yeah you’re out of your league here.
  1150. >Chron: “Commander Circuit if you would be so kind?”
  1151. >Circuit nodded in understanding before his horn began to glow. With a quick motion of his hands you and your soldiers are virtually catapulted from behind the city walls, to right out on to the open field with the rest of your p0nies.
  1152. >The Commander was no joke either, if he’s able to perform that kind of magic on the fly there would be no way you’d win this fight. You, Leucine, and the others hit the ground a hell of a lot harder than intended; this stunned a good portion of your p0nies. Chronicler’s soldiers are on them before they can come to their senses, they never stood a chance.
  1153. >You make a vain attempt to stand; with your sword in hand you’re able to let impulse do the work. Your blade hums with infused magic, giving it a dark blue aura, with a wide horizontal swing you’re able to arc the following dark blue projectile to knock a portion of Chronicler’s troop off of your p0nies allowing them to stand, gather their bearings, and get in to the fight.
  1154. >Before Chronicler’s men move to engage you, you infuse your saber with magic a second time, this time you aim towards the sky, releasing a column of dark blue light. As soon as it dissipates high in the sky you see twelve individual beams of light shoot out from random locations, the magic being emitted from your unicorns culminate and spread across Hoofington’s sky, creating a blue dome with which both forces fought in.
  1157. >If Circuit had intended to use his lightning he would find it quite impossible for it to do any good. For now you had everything playing out in your favor.
  1158. >You scan the battlefield, everything is in full swing. Your p0nies wasted no time in acting like a group of brutes, you watched as two p0nies worked together to literally dog pile on top of one unfortunate soldier, you take notice of two of your pegasi lifting an earth p0ny in to the air, before flinging him to a random part of the battlefield, then the two that tossed that poor p0ny had to deal with a dozen pegasi that took off in to the air after them.
  1159. >Soon the pegasi in both regiments took their fight in to the skies above you. You’d watch as groups of five of your p0nies are taken down by another five under Chronicler’s banner, it was a simple game of who’d be able to out maneuver who.
  1160. >One unfortunate Pegasus p0ny under your command had been tackled out of the sky, you watch as he impacts the ground, never to stand up again. The one who’d taken him down was beaten down by three of your p0nies who’d just so happened to take care of their targets.
  1161. >At this point, no one fought with any sort of composure, all ranks were broken, a mess of p0nies killing one another had swept the fields of Hoofington. You’re sure Discord is somewhere close by laughing at the utter chaos that you’ve unleashed.
  1162. >And here you stand with Leucine and a few other p0nies, awaiting the outcome of the fight. You watch as a few groups of pegasi under Chronicler’s command break off from the mob in order to engage the unicorns you’d had set up around Hoofington.
  1165. >They weren’t bringing enough numbers, they’d make no difference. You take a seat and Leucine follows suit, sitting on his haunches. Your eyes scan the town’s battlements to find Chronicler and Circuit standing side by side, watching you.
  1166. >They were waiting to see if you or Leucine would make a move, you are certain they’ve got a few ideas on how to counter your actions if you attempt anything, just as you hoped you had plans in store just in case they tried anything.
  1167. >Necromancy is serious business; you do not want to catch yourself off guard against someone who could raise your own dead p0nies to fight against you. Suddenly Circuit’s eyes scan the twelve beams of light emanating in the distance.
  1168. >You watch as Circuit‘s body begins to glow before he becomes nothing more than white light. Suddenly Circuit darts over to one of the twelve unicorns; the way he’s traveling resembles that of a lightning bolt: angled random paths leading to a single point.
  1169. >Well that’s great, Circuit can actually BECOME lightning. Shit just got that much harder.
  1170. “Leucine, please take care of Circuit.”
  1171. >Leucine doesn’t even wait for you to finish your sentence before breaking in to a full gallop in the direction Circuit traveled, along the way Leucine barreled through a good portion of Chronciler’s troops giving your p0nies an edge in that section of the field. When Leucine needed to get somewhere
  1172. >Now it’s just you and Chronicler…
  1173. >It doesn’t take long for Circuit to disrupt his first target, when the guards p0nies went to engage Circuit they weren’t able to touch him. He moves too damn fast for them to keep up, thus allowing Circuit to easily eliminate them.
  1174. >Unfortunately Leucine arrives too late, Circuit had dealt with the unicorn right as he showed up.
  1177. >Meanwhile, you’re still sitting there with your blade lazily propped against your side. You take notice of the fog finally dissipating, it’d become so thin after your unicorns created their dome, you couldn’t have asked for better luck.
  1178. >At this moment you haven’t taken your eyes off of Chronicler and he’s not taken his eyes off of you. He’s scanning you, waiting to see if you make a mistake, he’s waiting for it, he’s expecting it, but he’s not going to get the satisfaction of defeating you.
  1179. >Bright light emanating from one of the unicorns in the distance brings your attention. On impulse your magic works with your eyes so you can get a closer look. It took a single strike from Ground Circuit to incapacitate Leucine. A single strike shattered Leucine’s breast plate, allowing Circuit’s fist to travel directly to his flesh.
  1180. >From the way the fight’s carrying on you can’t do anything. If you attempt to help Leucine Chronicler will definitely take advantage of your absence, but if you don’t do anything Leucine would be killed at the rate he’s going. You watch as Leucine stands up yet again, probably used a regenerative spell in order to deal with the damage, least that’s your assumption.
  1181. >The two engage in combat yet again, the entire time Ground Circuit’s got that damn lightning effect around him, probably made him faster considering Leucine couldn’t land a single blow, every time Circuit counter attacked Leucine would end up on his back.
  1182. >But he wouldn’t stop; he’d get right back up and get right back to it with a greater fervor than before. Your viewing of his fight is cut short by a very familiar voice.
  1183. >“You’re easily distracted you know that? As soon as you broke eye contact with me I had an opportunity to kill you.”
  1184. >The hell? Where’d that come from?
  1187. >You pry your eyes from the fight to see that you’ve been….teleported. You’re sitting at a table, watching the fight play out from above. Chronicler is sitting at the opposite end of the round wooden table; you see he’s got a cup of….tea? You can smell the honey emitting from the pot he had at the center. You watch as he slides a cup of tea over to you.  
  1188. >You give him a look of suspicion and he takes notice without having to look your way; he doesn’t even turn his head to speak to you, instead he watches the fight.
  1189. >”Go ahead, it’s quite good, a little something I brought with me from Canterlot. Before we discuss that any further let me go ahead and put your suspicions to rest. I’m able to bring you anywhere on the battlefield without emitting any light indicating that I’m using magic. I can also take away the sensation of teleporting. The reason why I managed to bring you to me without you noticing is because you made a mistake. You got distracted from the task at hand. During this little excursion I’ll be pointing out your options and I’ll be pointing out your mistakes and the possibility of something going in your favor.”
  1190. >You’re silent
  1193. >”For example, I brought you here with your saber, you could try to assault me right now but you won’t. You’ll weigh your options. You could wait for an opportunity to strike, but I’m a much more experienced fighter, you won’t beat me and you won’t take me by surprise, trust me. Now let’s say I’m underestimating you, let’s say you do take me by surprise and manage to land a blow. I want you to look behind and below you.”
  1194. >You hesitate for a moment before peering behind the battlements and in to Hoofington, you gasp. You’d thought you were doing so well, you thought you were going to possibly win this match, but you couldn’t have been more wrong.
  1195. >Chronciler maybe had 1/3 of his troops out there fighting ALL of yours. All it took was a single order and your troops would be overrun. Chronicler continues to speak to you.
  1196. >”As you can see, even if you manage to strike me there’s a reserve just waiting for you to make a hostile move and even if you strike me I’m not incompetent I’ll be able to block whatever you throw at me. I’m prepared for any movement you make, again, trust me on this.  Let’s take a look at how you’ve progressed thus far:
  1197. >You can’t open your mouth to object, if he’d managed to get you so close without you realizing it. You might as well let him continue with his little speech.
  1200. >”You have a dozen unicorns creating a barrier to stop Ground Circuit from using his lightning, you’ve also cleared out the fog I’d brought in, but see I watched your p0nies move in to their positions, that entire night I could have slaughtered all of them, leaving you without any sort of protection, but because I knew that’d work facing someone who isn’t me, I allowed it. In fact I commend you on such a strategy. Even performing a false coup and burning your encampment was a great idea.”
  1201. >You grit your teeth and ball your hands in to fists, he fucking knew the entire time. He knew what you were planning and he still let it happen, this was downright insulting. You feel compelled to listen on to his words.
  1202. >”But you made another mistake, you took away 300 p0nies out of direct combat, that lowered the amount of troops you already posses. As I had you see I’ve got another two waves of troops ready to head on out to the front lines. I will openly admit that your p0nies are better trained than mine due to their ability to stay up to three nights without rest. Some spell Luna does to every soldier under her command, the only reason they ‘sleep’ is so that they have something to do when they’ve got nothing else to do. Without needing sleep as much as the average p0ny they’ve been able to train for a hell of a lot longer than Celestia’s, they sleep during the night every night. Knowing this I realized if I were to have the ratio be one to three I’d have the advantage. The troop count in Hoofington allows that ratio to occur, I couldn’t do it in Manehattan and I couldn’t do it in Stalliongrad, that’s why I waited for you to get to Hoofington. My troop count combined with Ground Circuits creates that ratio even with Leucine’s betrayal. That reminds me, who do you think put Leucine in charge of the first town you invaded? I knew he’d be persuaded to join you; I needed that to happen in order for this crushing defeat of yours to occur.”
  1203. >You finally find your words when he takes a moment to stop.
  1204. “So…..this entire time……my entire campaign has been under watch by not only Discord, but you as well?”
  1205. >”But of course Anonymous, see I wish for you to consider this as a sort of tutorial. If you have any hopes of winning now I’d suggest you listen to me and learn from your mistakes.”
  1206. “But…..why…why are you doing all of this?”
  1208. >”Because I want to, this entire civil war was just the thing I needed to help train my brain. I’ve grown rusty over the years and I’d like to see if I still have it. By no means am I at my peak that time has passed. I’d just like the opportunity to have another chance at being useful is all.”
  1209. >Your anger reaches to new heights at Chronicler’s disregard for his and your p0nies. You slam your fist on the table before replying.
  1210. “So you’re willing to throw away thousands of lives just to relive some glory days you self centered piece of fucking trash?!”
  1211. >Chronicler makes no motion to cover his face as he laughs openly at your outburst. This only fuels the fire burning inside of you; does he really think he can get away with something like this? Does Chronicler really think you’ll just sit and watch this play out? You’ll make a move; you’ll wait for an opportunity. You WILL take him by surprise and then you’ll wipe out anyp0ny that tries to stop you.
  1212. >”Yes anonymous, yes I am. Celestia AND Luna could replace anyp0ny that dies here. It’d take time but it can be done, what do I care if some grunt just so happens to spill his guts out? Sure I’ll be worried considering the loss of a single soldier is like a domino effect, but for the actual individual? How he or she lives their lives, if they have any family, I couldn’t care less. Now please, drink your tea before it gets cold.”
  1214. >You look down at your tea, your anger boils, your hands shake with rage, you grind your teeth together. You want to kill him, you want to make him suffer, but his words, his words are like a leash, keeping you from running rampant. You can only run to the end of your chain and bark…
  1215. >You take a deep breath before exhaling it. You take your cup, muttering a ‘thank you’ before taking a sip. Chronicler wasn’t lying, you weren’t an expert on beverages but the taste lingers as you let the tea sit in your mouth for a bit before swallowing. Seemed almost a waste to actually consume it.
  1216. “Chronicler that is some amazing tea I’m not going to lie.”
  1217. >This causes Chronicler to turn to you, his eyes held confusion.
  1218. >”I was sure that last comment would set you off. You’re much more refined than you let on.”
  1219. “You know what they say Chronicler, even if you hold all the cards, even if you know everything. Always expect a random variable to mess things up. A plan is always subject to a random variable.”
  1220. >”I couldn’t have said it better myself Anonymous. I can’t completely rely on my plans, everything is subject to change, plans are adjusted accordingly, and then the plans that contain plans are removed and re-written. I’ve learned that lesson many times; it’s only made me better. Equestria wasn’t always a peaceful place, things needed to be done and our princess needed someone capable of doing so.”
  1221. “I believe that’s where you come in.”
  1222. >”Correct. I solved problems that arose.”
  1224.  “Mmmhmm.”
  1225. >The two of you sit in silence after that, your gaze turns to your tea while his turns back to the battlefield. You glance over at Chronicler as he sips his tea, watching his p0nies as they are driven back. Your surprise attack has worked out better than you had thought. Sure you had quite a few losses, the images of those no longer moving will plague your thoughts for years to come, it didn’t matter you couldn’t find happiness in this soon to be small victory.
  1226. >You decide to relax, leaning back in the chair you sat in, letting your legs spread out a little. You take notice when your left foot bumps against one of the table’s legs. Perfect. With a little magic, and a little dexterity you’re able to kick the table on to its side without making it appear as though you were moving. While Chronicler’s vision was off of you, you pour your magic in to your saber and like every time prior to this it begins to glow.
  1227. >You swing horizontally, cutting in to the table, and hopefully cutting in to Chronicler. You grimace when your saber cleanly slides through the table, revealing that Chronicler had already teleported. You were expecting this; you kept your tea in a free hand just in case he’d do something like this. You smile when you hear his hoofs touch down behind you. As soon as you hear that faint clop you tossed your tea behind you without bothering to look. You were hoping to aim for his exposed horn, when you hear the cup shatter against him and when you hear Chronicler let out a yelp from the tea hopefully hitting his eyes you turn and swing again, this time you release the magic built up within your saber.
  1229. >You smile when your saber easily cuts through his armor and in to his flesh. Maybe the tea cup shattered along his horn, disrupting his magic. Regardless you watch as the wound you’d just inflicted begins to bleed. Chronicler curses before gripping his now open wound. Not wanting to let up you try swinging at an angle, this time you were looking to cut from his left shoulder down to his chest.
  1230. >You grimace when he grabs your saber with an armored hoof, stopping your swing completely. You hear Chronicler begin to pant; you may have cut him deeper than you thought.
  1231. >You try to pull your saber away but he’s gripping it….somehow….
  1232. >”You used….tea….as a weapon…..ingenious……where I only twenty years younger….”
  1233. >It takes no time at all for Chronicler’s reserves to teleport/fly over to your location. You tried to pry your saber from Chronicler’s grip but he held on, even with magic enhancing your strength you can’t seem to get it free. You leap from the battlements to the nearest roof in order to keep yourself from being swarmed. You feel a familiar sense as your aura became ethereal flames in your hands. Fireballs it is.
  1234. >You toss a fireball from your right hand towards a pegasi as he closed in. When it connects the ethereal fireball explodes upon contact. The target is consumed in blue flames for a few seconds before he drops to the ground below. Smaller flames from the impact had ‘jumped’ to the pegasi unfortunate enough to be close to your target. Now those small embers are quickly burning out of control along the golden armor they wore.
  1236. >Without skipping a beat you grabbed the two earth p0nies by their tails, flinging them in to a few approaching soldiers, knocking down a good dozen like bowling pins. Before any other p0ny could reach you, you leaped in to the air, grabbing along the ledge of a nearby windowsill that happened to be about twenty feet in the air. Your feet remained secure to the side of the building.
  1237. >The earth p0nies under Chronicler’s banner were forced to run inside in order to get to you, while the unicorns began to fire orbs from their horns in an attempt to strike you from long range.
  1238. >You took notice of the numerous multi colored projectiles heading your way, using your arms, legs, and of course magic, you’re able to launch yourself to the roof…..and right to an awating Chronicler…
  1239. >When the two of you lock eyes on the roof, his gaze reveals rage. You’re barely able to bring your arms in front of your chest when Chronicler throws his whole body in to a single swing from his left forehoof. When his hoof impacts your forearms you feel the bones snap from under the skin, your aura, your body, neither could stop his hoof. His swing didn’t slow when it finally reached your chest; the impact launches you like a bullet to a nearby home. You’re aura does little to minimize the damage you incur when your back meets a brick wall. You keep going, traveling through the one story house and out the other side.
  1240. >The town’s battlements are what stop you from going any further. Your back lets out a sickening crack upon impact. Your body bounces off of the side of the wall before hitting the ground below, you land on your stomach, unable to move, unable to breathe.
  1242. >Leucine couldn’t hope to compare to Chron’s strength, Chron’s single strike seemed to do more damage to you than Wuten’s flames. Your body screamed out in pain, but you couldn’t feel it, the mercy of your back and neck breaking saw to that. Lucky for you Luna’s magic went to work mending the broken form that is your body.
  1243. >That’s what kept you from blacking out, and soon that same magic is going to let you feel the pain of fixing your shattered vertebrae and limbs. You really weren’t looking forward to that. Hell you weren’t looking forward to getting up to fight again. Your anger had died out from that single punch, just as you should have died…..fucking alicorn magic.
  1244. >You take notice as heavy hoof steps approached you, then the all too familiar voice of Chronicler rings out.
  1245. >”A single punch? Really? I mean sure I threw my whole body in to that, sure I wanted to hurt you, but I expected more…..too bad.”
  1246. >You hear him grunt as he leans over to pick you up by your hair. Again the two of you lock eyes, his now show disappointment. Apparently you weren’t as entertaining as he was hoping. You still wonder just how he or anyp0y is able to grab you.
  1247. >When he picks you up your body hangs limp, subject to however Chron just so happens to move you. He smiles when you make no reaction to this sudden change of events.
  1248. >”Wow you really broke your back AND neck huh? So you won’t feel this?”
  1249. >He swings for your gut with a free hoof; the impact forces blood to erupt from your mouth, whatever he did you couldn’t feel it, and that scared you. You have no idea just how much damage his strike did to you.
  1251. >”Wow, Luna gave you quite a large portion of her power, that would have killed anyp0ny else. She must really want to keep you alive, how cute she probably thinks of you as her little experiment. You are an alien to our world after all and I’m sure she’d take any precaution she could to insure your existence. Again I expected this, and I’m glad I was right. So instead of simply killing you I’m going to let every member of my regiment have a turn at bucking you, naturally I’ll be feeding them a bit of my power in order to make sure you are actually damaged.”
  1252. >He stands there silently, before looking around the area. You’d inquire as to why he’s doing that but your injuries keep you from doing so.
  1253. >”This is odd, I was intending for someone in your regiment to come in at the last second and save you. I guess the plan I had for that won’t have to be util-“
  1254. >Two pink hooves collide with him out of nowhere, connecting with his jaw. The impact catches Chronicler by surprise, dropping you in the process. You land on your side this time, from this angle you’re able to see Pinkie land next to you. Her fur had turned to a darker tint and her mane has become flattened, not a single curl to be seen.
  1255. >Chronicler shakes his head in order to get his bearings.
  1256. >Chron: “And there it is. Aaaah and its Pinkamina Diane Pie too. I had planned on Ground Circuit losing his fight with Leucine allowing him to show up instead of you, but this is so much better. The plan I have for Pinkie here is MUCH more fun.”
  1257. >His smile sends a familiar chill of fear down your broken spine. Your eyes glance over the wound you’d inflicted. He still bled, but he seemed completely unaffected. The gap between General and Commander was quite a large one indeed.
  1258. >Pinkie only growls at his comment, her glare could send even the bravest p0nies fleeing, it even scared YOU and you’re the one she’s saving.
  1260. >Chron: “So Pinkie, why did you decide to help Anon? Are you his friend? Is he your special somep0ny? Or perhaps you owe him a debt? I can possibly narrow the special somep0ny bit considering you aren’t mindlessly trying to strike me. So what is it?”
  1261. >Scenes of Pinkie trying to eat herself out of her binds play like a terrible nightmare in your mind. You’d helped her by hurting her, you were lucky she didn’t die of blood loss that night. Oh god the Advanced Friendship test…this sort of nostalgia you could go without.
  1262. >When Pinkie doesn’t answer Chron puts his hooves on his hips before speaking in a mocking tone.
  1263. >Chron: ”Oh come on Pinkie your answer helps decide the outcome. Please, tell me which reason is it?”
  1264. >Pinkie:”The only thing I’ll tell you is that you’ll pay for hurting Anon…”
  1265. >When Pinkie’s body tenses up, Chronicler feels as though he got his answer, his smile widens.
  1266. >Chron: “So you are repaying a debt. How cliché, tell me how do you intend on beating me and settling this debt hmm? You’re nowhere near Anon’s strength, nor do you have the mental capacity to match my wits. So, what are you going to do other than join him in this massive grave you and the rest of his p0nies are digging for themselves?”
  1267. >This sets Pinkie off; she produces her party cannon from within her tail. How she’s able to do such a thing is beyond you. She aims and a fire, instead of confetti an actual canon ball is launched. It collides with Chronicler’s breastplate, but the impact did nothing, he hardly even budged.
  1269. >Chron: “That’s it?”
  1270. >At this point the magic from within has been able to mend your body enough for you to speak. When your voice finally flows Chronicler turns to look at you.
  1271. “Careful General, Pinkie’s existence revolves around being a random variable.”
  1272. >Chron: “I know this.”
  1273. “So, where’d she go General?”
  1274. >Chron: “Huh?”
  1275. >He turned back to see Pinkie has disappeared, only to reappear under his helmet. When she revealed herself she stood upon her back hooves, a large mallet can be seen in her forehooves. She wastes no time in bringing the mallet to the side of Chronicler’s head as if she were swinging a golf club. The impact causes her mallet to snap. The weighted end harmlessly bounces off of the side of Chronicler’s head.
  1276. >Pinkie growled in frustration before throwing the broken mallet away. When Chron reached out to grab Pinkie she went in to his helmet, breaking his line of sight from her again. He felt something bite in to the flesh of his left forehoof. From under his armor he could feel something crawling.
  1277. >He slammed his hoof in to the side of a building, causing it to collapse upon its foundation. The sensation of being bitten left him, only to come back twice as painful. This time he felt her bite in to his left hind hoof, right where the hoof connects to the main body.
  1278. >Chronicler yelps in pain, using his magic he’s able to break his own armor, thus leaving himself exposed. He manages to grab Pinkie by her tail before she can get away. She’s flailing, trying desperately to free herself from Chronicler, but he held on.
  1282. >Your question falls on deaf ears. You hack and wheeze when you yell, obviously something was pierced…or cracked….or broken….probably poked a hole in your lung or something you didn’t know.
  1283. >Chron:”And here’s where you join Anonymous!”
  1284. >Chronicler begins to spin while holding on to Pinkie’s tail, soon his spinning became nothing more than a blur. As he spins he slowly makes his way over to the side of a nearby building. With all his might, and with the built up force of his spinning, he slams Pinkie in to the side of a building, she squees upon impact.
  1285. >You struggle to move, with your back and neck finally healed enough to allow you to feel your body again you try to stand; you manage to kneel before Chronicler slams Pinkie in to the ground. He throws her hard enough to leave a small crater upon impact.
  1286. >She doesn’t move after that. You eyes widen in horror when a single solitary blue eye meets yours. The light behind her beautiful blues has become dull. You don’t pay Chronicler any attention as you stand and make your way over to Pinkie.
  1289. >”Ah you’re going to grieve? I’ll allow it.”
  1290. >You ignore his comment as you kneel down next to the pink mare you’d called a friend ever since you first arrived here. Despite your arms protests you gently wrap your arms around Pinkie so you could put her on to her back. She made no indication of life, you lean in and put an ear to her chest and all you hear is silence.
  1291. >When you were living on your own she’d come by to visit at least three times a week, she always seemed to have some sort of tasty pastry for you to try every time she’d grace you with her presence. Her infectious smile, her laugh, everything about her made you smile. When you’d turned in to a shut in when you began to miss home, she brought you out of it by simply being there for you, always there to bring a smile to your face no matter how angry or how sad you got over the year you’ve been here.
  1292. >It didn’t matter to you if Twilight helped orchestrate your meeting with the other p0nies, the friendship you and Pinkie shared was real, and now it was no more. No one will ever get to experience the love she had for everyp0ny ever again.
  1295. >You move her mane out of her face so you could close both eyes, you give her one last, soft hug before gently putting her back in to her crater.
  1296. >”This is all very touching but can we please get a move on?”
  1297. “….how dare you….”
  1298. >”Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch that. What did you say Anonymous?”
  1299. >You stand and face Chronicler, as you anger begins to build the magic within seems to go in to overdrive, bringing your bones back in to place, it hurts like hell, but your loss is causing a pain that eclipses what your body is going through.
  1300. >This p0ny…no this THING just killed your best friend and he’s happy about it. Your magical aura flicks on like a light switch, this time the extensions of your aura climbs to new heights. The p0nies fighting outside of Hoofington stop and stare at the spectacle. You do not bother answering Chronicler for a second time, he heard you all right.
  1301. >”Be careful Anonymous that anger causes you to make mistakes. Why are you angry anyway, all I did was kill a p0ny. She’s nothing special, in fact….what was her name again I forgot.”
  1302. >And you’ve heard enough. You waste no time in closing the distance between yourself and him. He isn’t able to react in time and your fist collides with his wound causing his eyes to widen in surprise and pain. He doubles over, falling on to his haunches in the process, as he gasps for air you grab him by his throat and force him to look at you.
  1304. >”Her name was Pinkie Pie!”
  1305. >You bring you arm back, your target, his left eye. With you holding him in place, and with him gasping for air he’ll have no time to put up a defense. Before your fist can hit its target you feel a bolt of lightning hit the center of your back, your body is temporarily paralyzed as a result. Chronicler is not only able to free himself, but he’s able to catch his breath as well.
  1306. >Chron: “Punctual as always Ground Circuit. You came right on schedule. I assume Leucine didn’t cause you too much trouble?”
  1307. >Ground Circuit’s lightning erupts from his fore hooves, it collides with your back yet again except this time it launches you in the wall of a nearby building, and you’re still unable to move.
  1308. >Circuit: “Leucine is a very capable fighter General, I made a tactical retreat as you had asked me to. He’ll be unable to assist Anonymous as he followed me to the unicorn furthest from this location. If he teleports he’ll lack the energy necessary to fight me again. At full gallop it’ll take him at least fifteen minutes to arrive to this location.”
  1309. >Chron: “Excellent. Do you mind taking care of Anonymous? I’d like to get this scratch checked out.”
  1310. >Chronicler motions towards the wound you gave him.
  1311. >Circuit: “But of course. Please leave everything to me. Will you please have someone prepare some more of that tea? I’d really love some after I take out the trash.”
  1312. >Chron: “Already planning on it.”
  1314. (Sherman)
  1315. >You are Anonymous
  1316. >Or, rather, Shermanonymous
  1317. >You still hate that concept
  1318. >That some other jackass has your name and has forced you to adopt a new one
  1319. >What's worse?
  1320. >In your one shot to prove yourself to be better, he kicked your ass
  1321. >The bandages wrapped around your cranium were a constant reminder of that
  1322. >Fucking rocks
  1323. >But it does make you feel a little better to believe, to know, that this isn't your world
  1324. >That you've just been looking at it all wrong
  1325. >What actually happened is that this is a different Equestria, and Aether is their you. You were just brought here to help out
  1326. >So, of course, you need a different designation
  1327. >Yeah
  1328. >It makes you feel tons better
  1329. >Fucking rocks
  1330. >Oh well. At least you were clean, now
  1331. >You didn't reek of a year of anguish and torment
  1332. >And you were given new clothes, stitched by Rarity herself
  1333. >She was a miracle worker. She worked hard, she was skilled
  1334. >You feel bad for not fully appreciating her before
  1335. >It must have been hard, learning and applying entirely new schools of thought to your craft over night
  1336. >The clothing was simple. Nothing too elaborate
  1337. >And, best of all, she took into account your human need for privacy
  1338. >The color choices? Well...
  1339. >There you were, in your 'fabulous' pink shirt
  1340. >With your 'dashing' purple shorts which came dangerously close to being TOO short
  1341. >...God dammit, Rarity
  1342. >No, no. She did her best on such short notice
  1343. >You just kind of wish that she would have given you pants
  1344. >It was your only change of clothes, though, for right now. So you had to take care of it
  1345. >Which would be easier to do if it weren't for you having to be in public
  1346. >In your world, you were kind of a shut-in
  1347. >When you weren't getting yourself in over your head with stupid adventures, you just kind of...
  1348. >Let the world go, and if it had need for you, it could come to you
  1349. >But now, you were forced to be an active part of it
  1350. >In the worst way possible
  1351. >As a warfighter
  1352. >No, not even as anything as conscious as that
  1353. >As a weapon to be wielded
  1354. >Kind of funny. Isn't that what brought you to the first Equestria? Celestia wanting a tool to control?
  1355. >The infinite cosmos has a sense of humor, and that sense is your pain
  1357. >You did your best to ignore the snickering of the soldiers
  1358. >You did look kind of ridiculous
  1359. >You'd laugh at you
  1360. >Couldn't blame them
  1361. >No where to hide, no where to run
  1362. >This sucked
  1363. >And it was a problem that you couldn't solve by punching it
  1364. >You were going to have a talk with Rarity
  1365. >She made you look like a gay porn star...
  1367. >But at least the regiment was moving
  1368. >To where, though?
  1369. >You think back on last night
  1370. >After getting cleaned and clothed up, you did some eavesdropping
  1371. >Something about Fillydelphia being secured and able to protect itself
  1372. >And it being time to head out to recapture Baltimare
  1373. >You have never even heard these names before
  1374. >Man, you really were a shut-in
  1375. >And, going by what Aether told you, one of two things was going to happen
  1376. >A dual between generals
  1377. >Or an all-out siege
  1378. >The fulcrum of the city's fate was the challenger and the challengee
  1379. >You thought it was kind of silly at first
  1380. >But you thought about it for a moment as you marched along the wagon train
  1381. >Equestrians valued life
  1382. >Humans did, too, but to what extent you did not know
  1383. >Thanks, Celestia
  1384. >If the Equestrians were 'softer' than humans, they would likely see a battlefield in economic terms
  1385. >They do not want to lose, of course
  1386. >If the enemy has more soldiers, however, there is an incentive to find a way out of the situation lest your own command gets potentially massacred
  1387. >So, perhaps, they developed this system to minimize collateral damage and loss of life
  1388. >War for them must have been very political, even on the tactical scale
  1389. >This was your working theory
  1390. >And, if it was the case, then you had to hope that Baltimare's militia commander would see reason and either surrender or, at worst, offer to fight himself against one other
  1391. >...But Dash was wounded. With only one eye, she would be at a disadvantage
  1392. >So who...?
  1393. >Oh, now you're pissed off
  1394. >Your flesh sinks into a darker shade of red
  1395. >Is THAT why you were brought here?!
  1396. >To be a freaking gladiator?!
  1397. >You grind your teeth in anger
  1398. >You would probably look more intimidating if it wasn't for this ridiculous get-up
  1399. >You pass by a particularly loud troupe of soldiers
  1400. >One of them, mockingly, throws a coin at you like a stripper before the others burst in laughter
  1401. Hey! Shaddap!
  1402. You roar
  1403. >“Bwa-hahaha!”
  1404. >They answer
  1405. >Cartoony jets of steam whistle through your ears as you press on
  1406. >Man, fuck these guys
  1407. >Fuck this war
  1408. >Fuck this world
  1409. >Fuck everything
  1411. >You distract yourself with your surroundings
  1412. >The regiment of soldiers, traveling in a narrow column of trouble-making potential, stuck to the roads
  1413. >And the roads cut through a sea of shallow hills, wheat glittering gold in the light of the fading sun
  1414. >Every once in a while, you would feel the pressure wash of a low flying Pegasai serving as aerial reconnaissance as they swooped over
  1415. >The eyes and ears of the army, indeed
  1416. >As the collection of soldiers moved, your thoughts wandered
  1417. >Just how much of this regiment was actual fighters?
  1418. >It was somewhat smaller than Aether's command
  1419. >You knew well that for every able bodied soldier, there was a certain amount of logistics needed to maintain it
  1420. >Cooks, smiths, liaison officers, runners, quartermasters, any civilians that might be tagging along – refugees or otherwise.
  1421. >What was this, maybe one thousand ponies?
  1422. >A battalion, at most. Never mind a regiment
  1423. >The ratio of rear echelon personnel in a given military unit to direct combatants is referred to as the tooth-to-tail ratio
  1424. >This, you remember
  1425. >Presuming a three to one ratio, which you are arbitrarily guessing based on your limited observation,
  1426. >This 'army' may field up to something, like...
  1427. >God, you hated math
  1428. >What, like, two hundred and fifty field troops?
  1429. >That's a pretty weak battalion, if Aether's command was anything to go by
  1430. >And Baltimare sounded like a big place, that was likely to have a large garrison
  1431. >You hoped that Rainbow Dash knew what she was doing
  1432. >Because if not, and the garrison commander did not accept the challenge, this offensive was going to halt dead in its tracks
  1433. >But, hey
  1434. >You weren't a general
  1435. >...Dash never struck you as one, either
  1436. >But maybe in this world, things were different
  1437. >What are you saying?
  1438. >Of course they were!
  1440. >That evening, the long march is finally over
  1441. >Camp is being set up
  1442. >These ponies; they weren't just soldiers, they were builders
  1443. >Construction of the prefabricated shelters was quick
  1444. >Soon, a patch of land had been turned into a maze of streets and corridors between tents
  1445. >It was almost like a city, illuminated by torch light
  1446. >You weren't idle
  1447. >You endured the smart-allecky comments that were thrown your way as you helped with what you could
  1448. >You hated feeling like a fifth wheel
  1449. >You liked earning your way
  1450. >That was who you were, and not even Celestia could have taken that from you
  1451. >In fact, it was probably one of the things that she thought was worthy to preserve
  1452. >And it was one of your few traits that you were proud of
  1453. >You hoisted a mallet over your shoulder and, with a single strike, drove a wooden stake into the ground
  1454. >A pony who you were working with checked the tensity of the length of rope between the driven stake and the tent that it helped support
  1455. >He gave you an approving, half-lidded smile before you nodded to him
  1456. Next one?
  1457. >“Yep!”
  1458. >You tended to get along with most people, even the ones who you didn't really know
  1459. >Dense as you were, you made every effort to be friendly, and every effort to forgive people of their quirks
  1460. >Alas, before you could move on to the next stake, your commanding officer swooped in overhead
  1461. >“Anon?”
  1462. >You hear Rainbow Dash call
  1463. >Before you can look up and flag her down, she finds you and spirals down to your level
  1464. >She maintains a buoyancy in the air with half-hearted flaps of her very end feathers
  1465. >“Hey, anon! Dude, you ready to strut off your stuff?”
  1466. >She nudges you
  1467. >You lower the mallet to your side, leaning against the handle with one shoulder and placing your free hand against your hip
  1468. Think I've been doing plenty of strutting of my stuff, today
  1469. >You say, somewhat annoyed
  1470. >The soldier who was previously working with you snickers before he takes off
  1471. >You lift an eyebrow
  1472. >Case in point
  1473. >Dash blushes and tosses her head back just a bit, rolling her eyes away from you before throwing a sarcastic hoof
  1474. >“Oh! Don't let 'em get to ya. You're the Tartarian homo, right? You're, like, the most bear guy around!”
  1475. >Your eyes narrow and your lips contort into an expression of awkwardness
  1476. >Okay, she's fucking with you now
  1477. >She has to be
  1478. >There is no goddamn way she can not know what this shit means
  1479. >“Anyway...”
  1480. >You give her your undivided attention
  1481. >“We're going to be meeting with the Mayor and Garrison Commander of Baltimare soon. I need you to come with.”
  1482. >You give her a 'you serious?' look
  1483. You serious?
  1484. >“Well, duh.”
  1485. >She squints an eye and stares at you, stretching out slightly to assert herself over you
  1486. >She makes her point. It was a stupid question
  1487. What'dya need me, for?
  1488. >“What're you talkin' about?! You know I've been aching to see ya fight!”
  1489. >She gives a wide smile at the thought of seeing the guy who survived Tartarus in action
  1490. I didn't agree to that. I think I'll pass.
  1491. >She glares at you for a moment, her expression blank before she 'floats' upright
  1492. >At least she isn't in your face any more
  1493. >Suddenly, she explodes into laughter, her cheeks rising to crease her eyes
  1494. >“Ha ha ha ha~!”
  1495. >She guffaws, before her arms cross over her chest like twin gates slamming shut on your way out of this
  1496. >“No.”
  1497. >You look up to her with an almost saddened expression
  1498. >It doesn't work
  1499. >“C'mon, man. I thought you were all cool and stuff. Now you're wussing out on me? Maybe all that hype was just a lot of hot air...”
  1500. >Guilt tripping you won't work. Not this time
  1501. Maybe.
  1502. >You hold your ground
  1503. >Dash looks to you and clenches her teeth
  1504. >She knows full well that Luna wouldn't have taken such an interest in you if there wasn't something special about you
  1505. >And, furthermore, when you told her about Tartaus, you told her that you were telling the truth
  1506. >And this mare had this... really weird faith in what you say, apparently
  1507. >“You don't get a choice, Anonymous!”
  1508. >She sticks a hoof into your chest
  1509. >Oh, boy! Not having a choice? That's a new one to you!
  1510. >“Luna put you under -my- command. Want me to tell her that you're not behaving?”
  1511. >You cock an eyebrow to her
  1512. Worst that'll happen is that I get sent back down to Tartarus.
  1513. >You maintain a monotone
  1514. >Her eyes widen at your audacity before she gives a frustrated groan
  1515. >“Ugh! Anon! What about Equestria?!”
  1516. Frankly, my dear? I don't give a damn.
  1517. >You lift the hand of the arm perched on the mallet handle as you say this before letting it flop back down
  1518. >Her forearms droop down, and her hind legs tuck upwards to provide her balance
  1519. >She looks genuinely depressed and hurt
  1520. >“...Why are you doing this? Dude, after everything you told me...”
  1521. >You hoist your arms up and cross them over your chest
  1522. I never asked for this.
  1523. >“Huh?”
  1524. >She says, confused
  1525. >“You didn't want out of Tartarus?”
  1526. >You take a moment to answer, looking into her rose colored eyes
  1527. >The last good eye of your bro
  1528. >An eye that you once said you loved
  1529. >An eye that you still do kind of... well,
  1530. >This isn't your world
  1531. >Don't do it
  1532. Of course I did. Tartarus is a pit at the bottom of reality, filled with nothing but suffering, eternal.
  1533. But I was down there for a reason. I came to regret everything I ever did while I was down there.
  1534. Every decision I had ever made. Every action I ever took.
  1535. >She listens, surprised at your sudden vocal epiphany
  1536. I earned Tartarus. That was the sum of my worth in life. And then I get dredged out of it, and for what?
  1537. To be forced to fight a war I know nothing about, for people I know nothing about, for a cause I care nothing about?
  1538. I'm sorry, Rainbow Dash.
  1539. No.
  1540. >She gives a defeated sigh
  1541. >She can't possibly know how much you have gone through in such a short amount of time
  1542. >She could never understand
  1543. >But she tried to
  1544. >And, for that, you were thankful
  1545. >“But... why were you in Tartarus in the first place?”
  1546. >You were quick to respond, deadpan about the whole thing
  1547. Because I chose to be.
  1548. >That was a lie. You didn't know you were heading to Tartarus until the last second
  1549. >But you liked to tell yourself that you had a choice
  1550. >For once in your life, that you had a choice
  1551. >She squinted an eye, not fully understanding
  1552. >You could not tell her everything
  1553. >You didn't want to, anyway
  1554. I was a violent person.
  1555. >You explain
  1556. I don't want to go down that path again.
  1557. >She sinks down to the ground and plops down on her haunches, looking up to you with an apologetic eye
  1558. >The air between you two grows stale
  1559. >But you hold your ground
  1560. >You aren't doing this again. You didn't owe 'Aether' shit
  1561. >Fuck him for thinking he can just do something for you, and then expect you to fall in line
  1562. >Fuck Luna for thinking that you could be used as a tool for her little rebellion against her sister
  1563. >And fuck them both for what they did to Dash
  1564. >“I'm sorry.”
  1565. >She said
  1566. >Your brows flatten over your eyes
  1567. >“I... had no idea. I'm sorry.”
  1568. >She tilts her head to the ground between you two
  1569. >You look down into her rainbow mane
  1570. >But it doesn't last long before she looks back up to you, wearing a half smile
  1571. >“You know, it takes a lot of guts to just brush off the princess like that! But... I won't force you to do it.”
  1572. >She drifts back up into a controlled hover, looking at you through a strained eye
  1573. >“Listen, Anon; I need to get back to headquarters.”
  1574. >She pauses, looks down, then to you again, and smiles
  1575. >“I'll, uh, see you around, dude.”
  1576. >You look into her eye as she turns away
  1577. >It causes you to think
  1578. >You hate it when you think
  1579. >Thinking makes you do stupid things
  1580. >Fuck, fuck
  1581. >No you don't, don't you do this
  1582. >Stop caring!
  1583. >How many times has Rainbow Dash put herself at risk for you?
  1584. >No!
  1585. >Remember all those rape attempts that she saved you from?
  1586. >LA LA LA~!!
  1588. >Remember that time that you got your ass wrecked by your former business associates, and she saved you?
  1589. >She had to spend a lot of time in the hospital for that
  1590. >You lean back and frown, watching her drift off
  1591. >Just hold on a little while longer...
  1592. >And remember when she saved you from falling to certain death in the diamond dog hive?
  1593. >All those times, the friendship, the camaraderie?
  1594. >That was a different world. A different Rainbow Dash
  1595. >But this one has been nothing but supportive of you as well
  1596. >...And she has already lost an eye to this war
  1597. >A beautiful, rose colored eye
  1598. >The eye of your bro
  1599. >Should you add 'Fuck Anonymous for turning his back on Rainbow when she needed help' to the list?
  1600. Wait,
  1601. >You gasp, holding up an arm
  1602. >She turns to look over her shoulder, a single eye looking back at you
  1603. On second thought...
  1604. >You're going to regret this
  1605. >But it's your nature
  1606. What kind of friend would I be if I deprived my bro of a good show?
  1607. >And that nature is going to get you killed
  1608. >She zips back to you with a renewed energy
  1609. >“Awesome! I knew you weren't so lame!”
  1610. >She holds out her hoof to you excitedly
  1611. >And, with a half-smile and through brows raised with uncertainty, you slam it with your fist
  1612. >God, that felt good
  1613. >That felt really, really good.
  1615. (Aether)
  1616. >You’re mobile, with Circuit’s back to you; you take this opportunity to recover. Circuit’s lightning magic is no joke, even if he’s incapable of using other forms of magic he’s no pushover. Your magical aura consumes your form yet again and you close the distance between yourself and Circuit via close range teleportation.
  1617. “I really hope you enjoy drinking your tea out of a straw.”
  1618. >”Huh?”
  1619. >You ball your right hand in to a fist and bring it back. Circuit has no time to react; your haymaker’s speed is increased in the state you’re in. When your fist connects with his left side of his muzzle he goes flying in to the wall surrounding Hoofington, before he impacts his body is consumed in a bolt of lightning, which bounces off a section of the wall, a few buildings near said wall, and right back to you.
  1620. >Circuit rematerializes in to his physical form and begins to rub the area you hit. He moves his jaw around in order to make sure you didn’t break anything. He gives you a glare when he realizes you didn’t break his jaw. He was obviously displeased at being punched.
  1621. >”This is unfortunate indeed. I lack the necessary ability to predict just how you’ll react.”
  1622. >You smile confidently before speaking
  1623. “So I guess that means I’ll win huh?”
  1624. >”Nope, that just means I’ll kill you before you can come up with anything.”
  1625. >Circuit’s form disappears in a bolt of lightning. Again he travels around in the safety of his element. You watch as he darts around, using the buildings and ground in order to try to throw you off. His form allows Circuit to ricochet off of any object he touches; long range attacks will never hit somep0ny doing this.
  1628. >His movements are erratic and he never goes to the same location twice, it’s hard to follow his movements, let alone try to predict where he’ll end up. Suddenly Circuit arcs towards you, the bolt that he’s become collides with your chest, launching you off of your feet and on to your back.
  1629. >He solidifies in order to taunt you, then he goes right back in to his element. You watch from your position on the ground as he ricochets off of a nearby brick building and in to the sky. He’s not getting away.
  1630. >Your magic swirls around you as you launch yourself in to the air after Circuit, unlike him you can’t use your magic to fly, so you’re stuck having to teleport around him in order to keep up with his lightning quick sporadic movements. This is a lot more annoying than you thought. In one instance you teleport right in front of him with two ethereal fireballs ready to go.
  1631. >You launch both of them simultaneously only to miss. He’s too fast; you can’t hope to hit light, which Circuit readily shows. Suddenly he disappears from your view; this causes you to get away from the area in which he disappeared. You decide it best to teleport to the top of the Hoofington battlements in order to survey the area. You scan the battlefield in hopes of seeing any form of white light. When you realize you’re out of luck you break off in to a run.
  1633. >You managed to spot your saber stuck in to the wall where you and Chronicler were drinking his tea. If you wanted to have a leg up on your opponent you’d need something capable of cutting through him. When your hand wraps around the hilt you take notice of the battlefield becoming….a light blue?
  1634. >Suddenly a circular section of the grass in front of Hoofington begins to glow with an eerie blue light. The rumbling of thunder after the appearance of said area of light causes you to look in to the darkened clouds above you. Through the barrier you see a solitary blue light within the darkened clouds.
  1635. >Suddenly that light arcs down in the form of lightning, striking the barrier you had erected. Your eyes widen when you spot the barrier crack upon impact. You frantically look towards the unicorns you had set up around the battlefield. A third had been wiped out.
  1636. >Leucine lacked the ability to keep up with Circuit; you weren’t surprised that one or two unicorns would have fallen to him…but four? That weakened your barrier significantly. More bolts of lightning begin to pound in to your barrier in the same section that the first had struck.
  1637. >Who said lightning never struck the same place twice was a fool. You’re only able to watch in horror as your barrier began to chip away. With one mighty bolt of lightning it shatters, the barrier drops, exposing your troops to the threat that hung above their heads. You snap to attention when Circuit calls to you from a few feet away.
  1640. >He’s standing on the battlements as well, right behind you. You turn to face him.
  1641. >”As you can see, your plan has failed.”
  1642. >Circuit doesn’t give you a chance to answer, he’s coming for you in his little lightning form again. You raise your sword in order to block his strike. You deadlock with Circuit’s form, but unlike you, he had momentum. That allowed him to push you along the battlements, try as you might you aren’t able to get any sort of leverage to push Circuit off of your blade.
  1643. >You grit your teeth as you pour your magic in to your saber, when the familiar hum returns you expel your built up magical energy in a form similar to Circuit’s. This causes him to finally break the deadlock the two of you shared.
  1644. >He goes in to his physical form on the roof of a nearby building. You take notice that his breastplate has a huge crack running down the middle of it. So he can be hurt in that state. This wouldn’t be possible without your saber. You smile when you believe you’ve found a way to win.
  1645. >”I fail to see why you’re smiling. Do you honestly believe getting your weapon back will save your troops from what is about to occur?”
  1646. >You watch as Circuit begins to glow with the same blue light you saw before your barrier fell, oh no you are not going to let him charge up for any attack. You teleport right in front of him and swing horizontally, aiming for Circuit’s neck.
  1649. >This forces Circuit to go right back in to his lightning form in order to dodge. When you complete your swing Circuit counterattacks. His form slams right in to your chest, knocking you away from the rooftop Circuit was standing on.
  1650. >You’re launched over the wall separating the open fields of Hoofington from the interior. You land back first and slide a few feet before finally coming to a stop. A few bodies are the reason why you’re not sliding back any further.
  1651. >Your eyes express shock at where you’ve managed to land. You scramble to your feet in order to get as far away from the corpses this fight has made. You turn back to where you were launched to see Circuit glowing light blue yet again. Unfortunately you can’t actually see Circuit from here but the light is a dead giveaway.
  1652. >You hear him shout, his voice carries across the battlefield.
  1653. >”The real fight begins now!”
  1654. >Suddenly a blue bolt arcs from the sky and right to where Circuit was standing. You waste no time in making your way back to where Circuit was. You waste no time in returning to the area you were at just a few seconds prior. This time Circuit is nowhere to be seen, and then the rumbling of thunder returns.
  1655. >You look up to see a bolt of lightning arc down from the clouds, striking one of your soldiers upon touching down. Then more bolts, numerous bolts begin to arc across the clouds in the sky overhead.  They strike the ground in the distance….right where you’d set up your unicorns. Any hopes of re erecting a barrier are gone.
  1658. >You’re at the mercy of Ground Circuit now, with no real way to attack a cloud you’re forced to watch as lightning rains down upon your unfortunate p0nies. Suddenly a single solitary bolt of lightning heads right for you. You manage to raise your saber in time to block the bolt, the bolt of lightning reveals to be Circuit himself.  His physical form returns, you take notice that he’s got a fore hoof on your blade. You fail to understand how he’s able to touch the sharp end of your saber without cutting himself.
  1659. >You take notice that Circuit’s hoof never actually collided with your blade, there’s a bit of lightning separating his tender hoof from your unforgiving saber. It’s almost as if he’s using his lightning to act as a glove so to speak. You body begins to spasm as volts of electricity travel from your blade to your body.
  1660. >Your body refuses to react when Circuit brings his second fore hoof to your stomach, like his first, it’s got the same electric appearance to it. A second wave of unknown voltage courses through your body. You feel the wind leave your lungs from the impact. Circuit leaps away from you and to the nearby battlements.
  1661. >He watches you double over, gasping for air, with amusement. You fall to your knees clutching the area affected. This p0ny knew where to hit in order to really make it count. Your body tilts forward, making you end up on your stomach; just how the hell Circuit’s attack did so much damage to you is beyond your comprehension.
  1662. >Your nerves are fucked, his lightning saw to that, you’re still fighting to get a gulp of fresh air, and all he’s doing is just watching you. You tilt your head in his direction to see him waiting, at least he’s somewhat honorable, he’ll let you recover before he attacks again. You try to use this time to come up with a plan
  1665. >Let’s see, you can hurt him when he’s zipping around as lightning that means you can hurt him when he’s in his physical form as well. The only issue is his damn element, you can’t touch him while he’s using his lightning as a sort of blanket to cover himself, and if you try you’ll end up being electrocuted again. He’s too fast for long range attacks.
  1666. >At this point the only thing you can do is hope that an opportunity presents itself. You take notice as your magic mitigates the damage you incurred from fighting Ground Circuit….maybe that will end up being the key to win this; you’ll just outlast him in prolonged combat.
  1667. >Too bad all of your p0nies will be dead before that happens. The lightning that’s coming from the clouds above will see to that. You manage to stand after a few minutes; you see that Ground Circuit is still just standing there. That reminds you just where the hell is Leucine?
  1668. >Almost as if Circuit could read your mind, he answers the question you presented yourself.
  1669. >”He’s still about ten minutes out. Pinkie was your only hope Anonymous, and she’s dead. When Leucine does get here he’ll get to see what happens when you cross Celestia.”
  1670. >After a few minutes you manage to get to your feet on shaking legs. You just can’t seem to steady yourself, the magic Luna gave you can only do so much. Your whole body is shaking as you struggle to get in to some sort of stance. You bring your left foot forward and you pivot your body so that your blade is behind you. That alone causes your entire body to spasm.
  1673. >Yeah your magic isn’t going to bring you back to 100% at least not yet. It’s unfortunate that Circuit has deemed you ready to continue. You could have used another five minutes to recover.
  1674. >Circuit is consumed by his lightning yet again; he makes his way towards you, ricocheting off objects all the while. Again you can’t get a proper lock for any sort of projectile, and again he’s able to maneuver around your swings when he comes in close. You just can’t hit this guy unless you get lucky.
  1675. >You’re really getting sick of this. When you do manage to parry Ground Circuit’s electrical form the combined force of your magic and his lightning creates a small shockwave upon impact. As he attempts to hit you from odd angles you take notice that Circuit isn’t traveling in any sort of straight line for a long distance, he’s always traveling at a sharp angle.
  1676. >You’ve no idea if this information helps, but at least you know a little bit more about your opponent. It also makes parrying his attacks just a bit easier. Each shockwave rocks the foundation of the building the two of you are fighting on. You hope it can cope with the stress of the two of you fighting, last thing you want to do is be on top of a building about to crumble away
  1677. >The next few minutes are spent trading strikes with Circuit, neither of you seem to be able to land more than one or two hits upon one another. At one point Circuit managed to fool you in to swinging just a bit too early and he made you pay for it. You got him back by cutting his lightning form in half. You heard Circuit let out a yelp of pain
  1680. >Sadly Circuit was able to reform himself and go right back to what he was doing. Eventually the two of you would travel from rooftop to rooftop, neither of you able to strike the other. Each attack from Circuit was met with your blade. Slowly but surely Circuit’s opportunities to hit you started to dwindle.
  1681. >The two of you have been traveling around Hoofington for at least half an hour at this point, locked in combat with one another. You can only hope your p0nies were able to survive the onslaught of lightning, the more your thoughts fell upon your p0nies the angrier you became.
  1682. >There it is! Circuit made a mistake, he tried to ram in to your back, aiming for you left kidney. You were expecting him to try something like this. You took note that after every four strikes he’d try to hit a spot you couldn’t see.
  1683. >The entire time you were parrying his strikes you were concentrating. Thank Luna you knew how to multi task. You thought of your back as a wall, you thought of back being as hard as a diamond, hoping your magic would do the rest, and it did.
  1684. >You felt Circuit’s hind leg collide with its intended target. The impact sounded as if a bolt of lightning had cracked across the sky. It did no visible damage to you whatsoever. You did it Anonymous, you finally grasped the concept of harnessing magic for something other than impulse.
  1685. >”WHAT?!”
  1686. >Circuit was displeased at this sudden turn of events. Before he could go right back in to his lightning form you grab the hoof that he used to attack you. He’s now helplessly dangling in your iron grip. You tighten the hold you have on the hilt of your sword.
  1689. “What’s wrong Circuit? Can’t turn in to lightning when someone’s got a grip on ya?”
  1690. >He growls in response. He holds his forehooves in front of himself; you see his hooves begin to spark. You kick Circuit’s horn, disrupting his magic. He curses before gingerly rubbing his horn; apparently a unicorn’s horn is quite sensitive.
  1691. “We’ll have no more of that Circuit. You’ve lost, now where the hell is city hall?”
  1692. >Circuit chuckles to himself before responding
  1693. >”You haven’t won anything Anonymous, take a look outside of Hoofington’s walls and tell me I’ve lost. Your p0nies are all dead Anonymous, you killed them. You sent them to their deaths….I feel disgusted just looking at you. How can you call yourself an officer? At least show some concern. Or is that pink mare all you can think about?”
  1694. >You grit your teeth when Circuit mentions Pinkie Pie. He smiles when he realizes he got to you. His smile is answered in the form of you slamming him in to the roof of the current building you’re standing upon. His body bounces; you adjust your grip on your blade, with a single stab in a downward motion you’re able to cut right through Circuit’s belly.
  1695. >When your blade goes in to his stomach as far as it can, you bring your arm down, impaling Circuit to the roof. You twist the blade, when Circuit’s mouth begins to leak crimson you smile.
  1696. “You know Circuit; I believe your death deserves to be a little dramatic, don’t you?”
  1699. >”Buck you.”
  1700. >He coughs up a bit of blood and spits, his blood now stains your cheek. You’ve had enough with playing the merciful officer. They killed Pinkie; they killed your p0nies, even if Celestia’s p0nies are victims you cannot forgive them for what they’ve done.
  1701. “I hope playing as Discord’s puppet was worth it.”
  1702. >”Any…..anything to serve….our Princess.”
  1703. >You concentrate, filling your saber with magic while it’s still sticking through Ground Circuit. When its familiar hum began to sound you keep filling your blade, soon your saber began to shake violently, you’ve never filled your dragon tooth saber with this much magic before. The violent shaking of the blade causes Ground Circuit to let out a strained groan. Good, he feels it.
  1704. >You smile to yourself as you turn your back to your opponent. You then leap from the top of the building down to the ground below. Your next words are more to yourself than to anyp0ny else.
  1705. “Hey Circuit, if you see the Dog Father in Tartarus, tell him Shermanon and I send our best wishes.”
  1706. >You snap your fingers and your blade’s built up magic is let out in a huge burst. The resounding expansion of magic rises in an ethereal blue column of flames. Circuits strained screams echo throughout Hoofington. The spectacle could be seen from miles around, the remaining p0nies still in combat stop to watch as the ethereal blue column of flames climb higher and higher in to the sky, almost touching the clouds hanging overhead. Soon the ethereal flames dissipate. You aren’t able to see it from this angle, but you literally cooked Circuit alive.
  1709. >Unfortunately without Ground Circuit to control the lightning it’s now running wild, striking both ally and enemy alike. In hindsight you probably should have had Circuit undo the enchantment on the clouds before killing him.
  1710. >You manage to teleport away before a bolt of lightning comes crashing down on your position. That was a very close call. At least the amount of strikes have died down….at one point you saw at least a dozen lightning bolts hit at the same time. That was a crazy site to behold.
  1711. >The p0nies that watched your fight with Ground Circuit part like a river when you come walking by. They knew that if you took out their commander they’d be no match for you, smart p0nies. But there’s always one. A single Pegasus charges right at you, with a single backhand you knock the Pegasus in to a nearby wall and he bursts in to spaghetti upon impact. You growl when you realize just who the hell you backhanded.
  1712. “God damn it Anone Moose? Really?! I killed you back in Fillydelphia how in the hell are you even here?”
  1713. >You facepalm when you realize you’re talking to a pile of spaghetti. At least Wuten can’t come back like this, in fact if he could he’d probably be nothing more than a ghost, pissing you off for the rest of your days. You shook your head to clear your mind of these thoughts, you couldn’t afford to be distracted now, you took out the commander and it’s time to take out the general.
  1716. >Almost as if on cue, you hear the sound of a door opening near your location. Out steps Chronicler, a pot of tea in his hooves. You take note that he had a medic take care of his wound. The only thing that remained of your previous hit on him was a small scar across the abdomen.
  1717. >”Took you long enough Anonymous, I had expected you to finish Circuit five minutes and twenty seven seconds ago. You’re behind schedule.”
  1718. >You’re response is two ethereal balls of fire. Now that you’re able to activate your magic however you pleased Chronicler seemed like less of a threat. Again you’re sorry to find out that your magic is still lacking, your magic dissipates a few feet from Chronicler.  He chuckles.
  1719. >”Please don’t tell me that you just thought you could beat me because you beat that p0ny. Did he fry a few brain cells with his electricity?”
  1722.  >You growl, why did Chronicler have to be so damn powerful anyway? It’s not as if you WANTED to beat Discord or anything. If only you could get one good hit on him, just so he’d shut up. Chronicler takes notice of your anger, and instead of goading you further he says something that throws you for a loop.
  1723. >”You’ve been knocked around so much so I think it’s about time I tell you something that might actually offer you relief. Before I go in to this, yes I know what Discord is doing and yes I’m well aware of what’s happened to Celestia. I’m not an idiot, but think about it Anonymous, even though you’ve helped start a war, you’ve occupied each town you’ve come across. You’re bringing order to  chaos by causing chaos, if that makes sense. With each occupied town comes one less place in a state of panic, one less city or town on edge. Discord cannot feed off of chaos where there is none, it’d be one thing if he made Celestia try to retake the towns you’ve taken, but Discord has no intention of retaking any city or town in Equestria.”
  1724. >His words hit you like a brick of realization. If what Chronicler said was true, then winning the war will weaken Discord. There IS hope after all; you resist the urge to shout with joy. This information is a god send, even if it was something incredibly obvious now that you think about it. Oh man you really are stupid if you couldn’t have realized this on your own.
  1725. >While you’re realizing how something so obvious eluded you, Chronicler down his tea, fresh from the pot. You guess Chronicler can’t feel the scalding heat that comes with a fresh pot of tea. You chalk that up to magic.
  1727. >”You know I fail to see why you’re smiling. You’re going to die here in Hoofington you know that right?”
  1728. “I’ll take my chances.”
  1729. >”No I’m serious, you’re going to die.”
  1730. “Well you’re not the first p0ny to say that nor will you be the last. Even if you’re stronger than me I’ll find a way to win.”
  1731. >”I’m glad you have the resolve to keep going, but you don’t realize what I’m talking about. You killed yourself.”
  1732. >Wait, what did Chronicler mean by that, in what way did you kill yourself? You take a moment to think it over, if Chronicler is going to drink his tea before beating you black and blue you might as well take this as an opportunity to figure things out on your own.
  1733. >”We’ll be here for hours if I wait on you so I’ll be short and sweet. I poisoned your tea, you’re going to die. You’re so damn stupid you actually drank something offered to you by the enemy, I really REALLY hope that other human you brought is smarter than you because now he’s going to have to pick up where you left off. I'll give you another hour at best.”
  1734. >Luna damn it…
  1737. “Well…I don’t feel any different…”
  1738. >”That’s because this particular brew is gonna sucker punch the hell out of you. The poison I gave you takes a bit, but when it finally rears its ugly head you’ll die within seconds, you won’t feel much, in fact after your lungs shut down you’ll probably pass out.”
  1739. >Something that affects the lungs why does that sound familiar? You recall the Advanced Friendship test given to you by Twilight; again that seemed so long ago. You recall the test Applejack had to endure, having to breathe in those toxic spores while bucking a single apple. That wasn’t a very fun experience, that reminds you how is she? You’ve not been able to speak to her in quite a while, man she must still be grieving for her Grandmother.
  1740. >”So how long do you think it’s going to take for you to figure out that you’re not going to die?”
  1741. >Wait what?
  1742. “….Huh?”
  1743. >Chronicler sighs before he face hooves. He cuts his eyes at you before downing what remains of the tea in his pot. He then casually tosses his empty tea pot to a nearby unicorn, who rushes inside the building Chronicler came out of saying something about making more tea.
  1744. >”Think about it Anonymous, it’d be one thing if you actually drank all of your tea. Remember you threw the majority of your tea in my eyes…actually recalling that is pissing me off. Yeah I’m going to break you in half.”
  1747. >Chronicler doesn’t even give you time to put up a defense before he’s on you. He slams both forehooves in to your chest which launches you in to a nearby building. You’ve really got to stop flying through brick walls…and buildings. You manage to stop yourself when your back lands upon hardwood floor.
  1748. >The room you’ve landed in is quite dark; the only illumination came from a few lights near one of the walls. You cringe when you realize you just sort of inadvertently interrupted a…bunch of stallions and a mare. The stallions and mare are looking dead at you, and the wall you’d made flying through here. All are silent.
  1749. >You manage to stand right when Chronicler comes bursting through the hole you’d made, nearly taking out the entire wall in the process. He lumbers toward you, a fore hoof raised above his head. Before he can bring his trunk of a fore hoof upon your sorry form you point towards the group you interrupted. This causes Chronicler to stop in his tracks when he happens to glance over.
  1750. “We seem to be interrupting a…show.”
  1751. >Chronicler’s face twists in disgust, he seems to be fighting back vomit, and you thought he was angry when he realized you threw tea in his face. Apparently pornography pisses him off as well.
  1752. >”What in the actual buck is wrong with you?! Hoofington is under attack and you’re making clop?! In my city?! Oh hell no!”
  1753. “Wait a minute what’s the big deal? It’s just…an orgy even if it’s a little questionable you can’t deny what’s ‘hot’ in this day and age.”
  1756. >He turns to you, rage burning in his eyes. He must really hate the prospect of this ‘clop’ being put on display in Hoofington. He seems to grit his teeth before he turns his head to face the gangbang that had been interrupted.
  1757. >”Five minute break?”
  1758. >Take whatever reprieve you can, sorry p0nies.
  1759. “Uhm….su-“
  1760. >Chronicler brings his left back hoof back and kicks you through one of the walls, knocking you right back outside. He then turns to the unfortunate group; a rope seemingly appeared out of nowhere. His eye begins to twitch.
  1761. >”Get ready! Cause you’re all going to visit Tartarus!”
  1762. >You teleport before hitting the ground below, ending up on top of a roof. Content with sitting upon a roof top you wait, and you wait, and you wait. It’s past the five minute mark at this point. Just what is Chronicler doing to them? As your mind beings to play out possibilities you see Chronicler exit the building, dragging a rope behind him.
  1763. >On that rope is each and every stallion that participated, along with the show mare. They’re hog tied in a line. You watch as Chronicler hands the p0nies he’d captured over to his p0nies, he barks an order telling them to lock up the fornicators. He turns his head and spots you on the nearby rooftop. It takes no time at all for him to teleport to you.
  1766.  “What is it with you and…that?”
  1767. >”Let’s just say I hate clop more than I hate you. Now where were we?”
  1768. >You get right back in to the spirit of fighting, with Chronicler being as close as he is, he shouldn’t be able to bring up a proper defense in time for your attack. You leap to your feet and charge head on to Chronicler, the distance of five feet is covered instantly. You place your hands upon his breastplate and concentrate.
  1769. >Two ethereal balls of fire spark to life in your hands. You intended on burning Chronicler before he could do anything, hopefully he’d end up like the soldiers you’d used your fire spell on prior to fighting Ground Circuit.
  1770. >You feel the air escape your lungs when an unseen force launches you away from Chronicler and off of the roof top the two of you were standing on. Chronicler shakes his head before teleporting to the area you were going to land.
  1771. >He sees you falling and he winds up a forehoof, he puts his entire body in to this swing, but you manage to turn your body in order to see his hoof coming. You teleport to the safety of Hoofington’s battlements right before Chronicler’s hoof touches you.
  1772. >He appears about twenty feet in front of you. A smile on plastered on his face.
  1773. >”Good, you’ve gotten a bit better. Maybe now it won’t be so easy to kick your sorry flank all over this place. Then again it doesn’t help that I’m holding back.”
  1774. >You take a step back when he mentions that he’s not taking you seriously. This guy really knows how to get under your skin, but you can’t keep letting anger dictate your actions. It’ll make you sloppy, you’ll make mistakes. He won’t goad you in to fucking yourself over. You take a deep breath and release.
  1777. >”Well this is interesting. Here I thought that feeling insignificant would set you off, I’m impressed. If that won’t rustle your jimmies then I believe this will.”
  1778. >For the first time you see an aura appear around Chronicler’s body, jet black in color. It almost seemed like he set himself ablaze with his own power. He pointed a fore hoof to the battle still occurring below, the bodies of the equines unfortunate enough to lose their lives upon the battlefield began to move. Their corpses rose to their feet.
  1779. >Your eyes widen in horror as the undead equines under both Celestia’s and Luna’s banner began to attack your troops. Okay now you can’t let this go on, the lightning was one thing, but the undead is a whole different ball game. Even with this new issue at hand you do not allow yourself to get angry at the fact that your troops now have to fight their own comrades.
  1780. >”Still? Well damn Anonymous you’ve matured. That would of pissed me off where I your age. Perhaps I need to use this spell on Pinkie’s corpse. In fact, why don’t I just drag this fight out long enough for Rainbow Dash to get here. Then I’ll kill her and the rest of your friends and make them join the undead regime-“
  1781. >Yeah forget not letting anger dictate your actions. You don’t wait for Chronicler to finish before you’re on him. Though when you get within five feet the warmth inside your body dissipates. It’s as if your resolve, your anger, your confidence, your hope just burned out like a candle. You have your fist drawn back, you have your eyes set upon his abdomen, but you hesitate. Your hand begins to shake as you struggle to throw a punch. Soon your whole body begins to shake, what is this fear you’re experiencing?
  1784. >When you look up you see Chronicler looking down at you, he’s giving you a creepy looking smile which only fuels the fear you’re feeling. You leap away from him in order to put distance between himself and you. He laughs.
  1785. >”What’s wrong Anonymous? You were going to punch me, what stopped you? Oh wait I know, whenever I perform necromancy I have to release a good portion of my magic in order to do so, you probably felt my power. That’s where your hesitation came from. That makes this a lot less enjoyable for me.”
  1786. >You growl as the feeling of fear leaves you, to be replaced by the feelings you’d felt right before trying to strike this General. Looks like close range combat is out of the equation if you can’t stand being near him.  You try to focus upon your fire but stop when you see Chronicler’s body begin to spasm. You focused upon his stomach when you notice something pressing up against it. A single solitary hoof could be seen trying to force its way out of him.
  1787. >This causes Chronicler to gag; he throws his forehooves over his muzzle in an attempt to hold back what appears to be a thick…sludge like substance that starts to leak from his mouth. When he manages to swallow whatever the hell was trying to escape he speaks.
  1788. >”There’s a reason why necromancy is forbidden Anonymous. When you revive a corpse a part of what made that corpse who it was is absorbed by the necromancer. That’s why the undead listen to me; I have a fragment of them inside of my body. What you….ugh….urp!”
  1791. >The same thing happens yet again, except this time he lets loose a small puddle of that same substance as before. It’s jet black in color….and it appears to be moving. His words begin to sink in; he’s literally eaten fragments of souls that just so happened to be affected by his magic. Chronicler is breathing heavily at this point, apparently performing necromancy takes a bit out of him.
  1792. >”I think its…oh Celestia that burns….about time I showed you…what happens when you perform necromancy as many times as I have.”
  1793. >Chronicler opens his mouth as wide as his muzzle will allow, he leans back when the hooves begin to prod his stomach again. Just what the hell is he about to do, you bring your hands up in order to prepare for whatever is about to happen. Suddenly Chronicler lurches forward and that black substance flies from his open mouth like a pressure washer.
  1794. >You waste no time in erecting a force field around yourself in an attempt to keep that sludge from touching you. It collides with your barrier; the resounding impact unleashes a deafening racket. As if someone turned on a pressure washer on the side of a building while you’re inside of said building.
  1795. >From within you can make out the bodies of various p0nies as their forms become. They seem to be galloping right to you within the pressurized stream of sludge Chronicler’s unleashing. They ram in to your barrier and upon impact they become liquidized only to repeat the process. It’s almost as if you’re watching an army of p0nies ram their heads in to your force field again and again.
  1798. >Oh Celestia….you can make out their facial expressions as they ram in to you, faces contorted in pain and rage. They just won’t stop coming, Chronicler hasn’t let up, and neither will you. But at the rate the General will break through your force field, you can see it start to crack as your magic begins to weaken. This constant torrent of sludge can only be held back for so long.
  1799. >Then the voices…oh dear Celestia their voices…they hiss, they curse, almost as if they could read your thoughts they start speaking of your past life before coming to equestria….there’s no way any of them should know about you, perhaps the spirits within Chronicler are able to comb through the minds of their target in order to dig up their worst memories.
  1800. >Scenes from your past play out before you. You had an average child hood; your father worked a dead end job for the majority of his life while your mother sat around the house and complained about how life owed her so much. School life was simple, sure you had a bully fuck with you here and there but other than that you had a small group of friends and you weren’t public victim number one.
  1801. >Though your life changed the day your father ended up in the hospital while working on site. After he’d returned from the hospital your mother would berate him every day about how useless he was and that he should help around the house more. It didn’t help that you had to take care of yourself after that, your mother was too lazy and your father couldn’t walk.
  1802. >Then when your father’s disability checks weren’t covering the bills you had to go without a few things. You could recall times where you’d have to go for days eating only a single meal per day, at school. Your stomach began to grow as your mind recalled all those times you had to go without.
  1805. >But your past wasn’t done haunting you yet, you’d thought you had repressed these memories; you thought you’d never have to be reminded of these events again when you came to Equestria, but you were wrong. Despite the sounds of hooves pounding on the top of your force field you recall your mother beating you, calling you an ingrate; even though you’d tried so damn hard to find a job it still wasn’t enough to make ends meet.
  1806. >Your body begins to feel the impact of being beaten, that familiar fear of an authority figure washes over your mind.  Just what is Chronicler doing to you? You fall to your knees when you feel the impact of a closed fist ram in to your soul plexus, knocking the wind out of you. You fall to your knees and your force field begins to crack even more.
  1807. >The next event that plays is the one you dread the most, the one that jump started the mess your life had become. One night your father couldn’t take your mother’s mouth anymore. He’d purchased a 9mm using his disability check. To this day you wonder how the hell he’d been able to get out of the house long enough to buy a gun.
  1808. >You’d wake up to the sound of it being fired in your parent’s bedroom. Your mother screamed only once before another shot silenced her for good. You were scared out of your mind; you were scared because you had no idea what was going on. You were too young to understand what had happened, that is until your father came in to your room. Oh god… that smile he had plastered on his face when he turned on your light…
  1810. >You grab your head, you claw at it in order to tear away these memories. Your break in concentration allows your force field to nearly crumble under the pressure of sludge Chronicler was unleashing. You didn’t notice that some of the sludge had managed to get on top of your force field, allowing the sludge to solidify in to p0nies. That is why they were pounding upon the roof of your dome, but you’re too busy reliving your past to notice.
  1811. >’Hello son.’ Was all he said before he turned his gun on you and fired. You recall the feeling of that bullet penetrating your stomach, you look down to see blood start trickling from where you’d been shot all those years ago, then the pain you’d felt returned. You go from clawing at your head to clutching an old wound. At this point you’re thankful that the scar was almost gone from how long it’d been.
  1812. >The p0nies you’d come to call friends had seen you without a shirt on many times in the past year you’ve been here and none of them noticed, you were happy they didn’t notice. You didn’t wish to bring any of this to light for any of them.
  1813. >You’d collapsed on your bed in shock from being shot, your father assumed he killed you with that one shot, without skipping a beat your father put his gun to his temple and pulled the trigger.  You remember the noise….that deafening noise that caused you to scream, just as you are now. That last bit causes your force field to shatter.
  1814. >Your screams are cut short as you’re consumed within a torrent of black sludge, the voices of those who’ve passed on whisper in to your ears as you’re submerged. The current slams you in to the ground below, but it doesn’t stop. This living torrent of sludge continues to apply pressure, pushing you further in to the earth. After what feels like an eternity it finally stops, the voices, the pain, the feeling…it all stops.
  1817. >The sludge pools around your body. You almost feel as if you’re floating along this black sea of undead. You turn your head to vomit up some sludge you’d managed to swallow. You can hear the screams of your troops as the zombie equines begin to do some real damage. You feel the sludge move around you as it gathers at a location to your right. Soon you see Chronicler’s form rise from within the puddle.
  1818. >He stands on top of the puddle, clean and pristine. His smile is still there…this isn’t a p0ny, this is a monster. He cackles at your expense, the only thing you can do is start to crawl away from him. Your body was in the process of recovering from his attack but you didn’t care, you wanted to get as far away from this General as possible.
  1819. >”Man I figured you’d have a messed up life, but for it to be that vivid. Must have really messed you up; I bet the life of a foster child must have been an experience. I haven’t felt such fear in so long or such betrayal. Fascinating to say the least Anonymous; having to relive all of that over such a short period of time must have broken your will to fight.”
  1820. >He laughs when you turn back to see him walking towards you. You scramble to try to stand but you can’t seem to feel your legs. You have to keep your distance or else your father is going to shoot you again….and again. You grit your teeth when you wound feels as if its burning, this only fuels the need to get away from Chronicler.
  1821. >But alas, you aren’t able to. You feel his presence…your hope is leaving you again…this…this thing…scares you more than Discord himself. He puts you on your back with a small kick, forcing you to look up at him.
  1822. >Whatever…this…stuff..is…its leaking out of his eyes now, he’s crying muck.
  1823. >”Say hi to mommy and daddy for me!”
  1826. >He brings his back hoof up and prepares to bring it down upon your head in order to crush your skull. You doubt your magic will heal you if you’re minus a head. As he brings it down you scream, both your screams and his hoof stop when something roars in the distance, something that roars even louder than the thunder being produced from the lightning.
  1827. >Chronicler sets his foot down next to you and turns to the direction in which the roar came from.
  1828. >”This…this can’t be! There is no way this is possible. Their migrations do not put them anywhere near Hoofington!”
  1829. >He teleports away from you, leaving you to gather your bearings. With Chronicler finally away from you, the feeling returns to your body and you stand. You start to wipe away the sludge that remained on your clothing.
  1830. >You’re able to teleport to a nearby rooftop, but fall to your hands and knees upon arrival. You used up nearly all of your magic trying to hold up that force field, it didn’t help that you fought for nearly an hour expelling magic. A combination of Ground Circuit, soldier pones, and Chronicler saw to it that you used up nearly all the magic you had.
  1831. >Your exhausted body manages to look toward the sky, and you see a site that you never thought you’d ever behold.
  1833. >Dragons, dragons have begun to fly over Hoofington. Their mighty roar catches the attention of all within and around Hoofington. Even the undead stare at the sky as the mighty beasts begin to beat their wings in front of the clouds above Hoofington.
  1834. >There are so many…dozens…dozens of them are beating their wings against the clouds, causing them to disperse. Soon the lightning is no more and the setting sun shines upon Hoofington. Why are dragons here and why the hell are they helping you?
  1835. >You watch as an arc of black fire streaks across the sky, it connects with a green dragon in flight, taking it out of the sky. It lands with a thunderous boom. Chronicler was obviously displeased; you could hear him roaring in anger as he prepared to fire another black bolt of magic at a dragon that just so happened to come too close to the city.
  1836. >Though unlike the first, this dragon sees what the hell Chronicler is trying to do. It unleashes a torrent of flames that forces Chronicler to teleport.
  1837. >Then the dragons turn their attention to the battle below. They begin to fly over the fighting p0nies, torching the undead with their fire as they fly by. The p0nies that aren’t apart of the undead ranks flee. Could you blame them? Dragons are not something you mess with. You watch as your troops retreat, the dragons make no attempt at chasing them.
  1838. >Wait….these dragons are really on your side…who could have convinced dragons to help your sorry ass out? You gasp when a solitary red dragon lands right in the center of town. It lets out a mighty roar before lowering its head to the ground.
  1841. >A familiar yellow Pegasus hops off the head of said dragon. Her pink mane has gone through a bit of cutting. It now flows freely without a chance of it tripping her; her armor is personalized to fit her form. Unlike the armor worn by the soldiers under both Luna’s and Celestia’s banner hers actually covered the majority of her body, and like the officers you’ve faced her armor actually covered all four of her hooves.
  1842. >Her three pink butterflies that make up her cutie mark could be seen…but the uh…feathers upon the flank plates threw you off a bit. But what seemed to catch your attention the most was the way she’s looking at the Celestial P0nies. Whenever her gaze fell upon them they backed away or they hid behind cover or ran inside buildings.
  1843. >The Civil war between Luna and Clestia has changed Fluttershy, even though the war is advancing at such a quick pace it seems a lot of p0nies you’d called ‘friend’ have been doing some growing up. War changes everyone involved…no matter how long it lasts.
  1844. >You can’t hold back your smile at the prospect of finally ending this battle, it’d taken so long…so many hours went in to this siege…but it was over and it’s all thanks to Fluttershy. You look from her trotting around her ‘mount’ to the mount itself. You recall Fluttershy telling you a story about how she managed to make a dragon move from a mountain range near Ponyville…this couldn’t be that same dragon could it?
  1845. >Your thoughts are halted when you feel a hoof grab hold of your shirt.
  1846. >Chron: “Remember me? “
  1847. “….Fuck….”
  1848. >Chron:” Yeah guess who gets to be my bargaining chip?”
  1849. >Chronicler picks you up; you dangle helplessly in the air, too exhausted to fight back. You take notice that he has Pinkie’s body in his other hoof
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