SHARE
TWEET

Prose Equus 5: Breaking Rank.

Mandroid Oct 16th, 2018 (edited) 161 Never
Not a member of Pastebin yet? Sign Up, it unlocks many cool features!
  1. =Prose Equus 5=
  2.  
  3. >A little over two weeks have passed since you were brought to the Halls of Asgard. Since going out with Baldur and subduing his nephew, Svaolifari, you had taken to walking the streets of the city when the prince was busy. At first he insisted on coming along with you, saying he could afford to delay his duties, but you explained that you could take care of yourself being nearly twice his age, you believe he just wanted to spend time with you.
  4. >Princess Loki still serves her grounding in her room and you knew better than to ask Queen Sleipnir for a tour. You were more than happy to meet Her in the occasional passing moment.
  5. >Today you find yourself at the southern keep along the wall, in the chamber where Heimdall watches his well from an elevated walkway in the shape of a horseshoe. You occasionally feel his gaze glance down towards you as you swing around a war hammer long as your torso.
  6. >”Enjoying yourself, are we?” you hear as you hop back after a particularly wide swing.
  7. >You glance up to the watchpony.
  8. “Just getting a feel for your steel. It’s lighter than it looks, it reminds me of the armor the Griffons wear. Right after I joined the guard, the Griffons perfected a metal that weighs as much as a feather when they wear it but stops an arrow cold.”
  9. >Heimdall looks away from his all-seeing charge directly at you. “The griffons can do -that-?”
  10. “Correction; they -did- do that.”
  11. >You smirk at him and rest the hammer on your shoulder.
  12. >Heimdall looks to the middle distance and nods his head. “It would appear the mortals have grown since I last looked at them in earnest.”
  13. “What do you mean?”
  14. >Heimdall looks around the room, noticing that the two of you were the only ones in it, for the moment, the signals for you to come up to his level. You swiftly climb the ramp.
  15.  
  16. >”It is true that the enchantment upon my eyes permits me perfect clarity to look through the Bifrost upon all who walk upon Midgard…but perfect focus? I’m afraid that is the realm of our Queen alone.”
  17. >He gestures to the cacophony of lights. “Imagine looking over a gathered crowd of one-hundred ponies. You may begin being able to concentrate upon each of their faces, but with time the picture loses focus. To see the whole, you must broaden your vision, and miss the details.”
  18. >You wrap your head around it and nod.
  19. “Hoe does she do it?”
  20. >”She doesn’t blink.”
  21. >Of course.
  22. “To view it all would drive anyone mad.”
  23. >”Ah, but the Queen does. Her ravens fly out around the Nine Realms every day and return to her each night to whisper what they saw into her ears.”
  24. “That’s a lot to take in…”
  25. >”Aye. Which is why she calls upon the aid of a watcher.”
  26. >You let the gatekeeper toot his own horn and try to focus on the colors swirling through the well.
  27. “This gives me a headache.”
  28. >Heimdall takes a deep breath before he speaks. “You’re looking into the Bifrost as you would look out a window. To gaze from Asgard to Midgard is no simple feat. First; empty your mind and un-focus your eyes, let the well reach into you with its visions. When you feel it take hold, begin to focus. The well will show you what you need see.”
  29. >You obey the watchpony’s instructions, slowly emptying your mind of thought and focusing only on the colors before you.
  30. >At first, they only produce the same stabbing pain behind your eyes as they did before, but you relax and see the sharpness of the edges melt into each other. Reds become blues become purples as the tunnel expands before you down to the world below. You feel a sensation within your thoughts, like a loved one reaching forth to shake your hand and begin to focus.
  31. >Soon you see what the well wants to show you and you smile.
  32.  
  33. >A group of ponies and a small purple dragon cheerfully march through the woods. Each of the girls laughs or smiles with each other and they appear just as happy as they were the day you had last seen them, before taking off in secret.
  34. >It pains you how you left the girls, but back then it was what you felt was all you could do. Better to leave with the memory of you as you were rather than see you get older and slower, only to have to watch you get your head caved in by some monster when you got too old.
  35. >This god business threw a wrench into that idea.
  36. >Hemdall must have glanced at you, because he speaks up.
  37. >”See something you like?”
  38. “My friends…the ones I had before I died.”
  39. >He takes a place next to you and focuses his eyes. “Aaahh yes, the young Princess of Friendship. I remember the day I informed my Queen about her ascension. Full of surprises, that one.”
  40. “Heh, yeah, she can be.”
  41. >You try to focus some more.
  42. “I don’t recognize where they are though…”
  43. >Heimdall tilts his head. “Mm… a place where old heroes rest. The Shrine of the Pillars at the edge of your kingdom.”
  44. >Never heard of it…must be a bookworm thing.
  45. >”They must-“ Heimdall cuts off.
  46. “…What is it, Heimdall?”
  47. >”There. In the forest.” He says. “Something has their scent, sneaking in along their flank… Are any of them trackers, No-name?”
  48. >Heimdall doesn’t get an answer. Instead, you clutch the hammer in your hands and leap into the Bifrost.
  49. >You can just hear Heimdall call your name before you pass through the event horizon.
  50.  
  51. >It went by Ponehenge to most, the shrine of ancient rock and stone that housed the spirits of the Pillars of Equestria, the heroes that protected the kingdom back in times of old.
  52. >Today it serves as the destination for a gaggle of friends seeking to solve yet another friendship problem.
  53. >Twilight Sparkle leads the way alongside her protégé, Starlight. Her ever present friends, the other Bearers of Harmony follow behind them, along with an orange coated pony in a thick cloak that spoke with a city accent. Along with them traveled young Spike, the kindest and most considerate dragon anyone had ever called friend.
  54. >Their mission at Ponehenge was one of discovery, trying to learn more of the ancient Pillars and, with luck, return them to the world. It should be one without danger.
  55. >But things rarely are.
  56. >Off some distance from them do they wait, six eyes spotting nine morsels for them all, enough food the last them the month.
  57. >”The small one, I want him.” Says one, rising above the others on a body made of muscle.
  58. >”You could never eat a dragon with your gangs” says another with horns. “Their scales are too thick.”
  59. >”Then we’ll just have to cook it, won’t we?”
  60. >”Are you two done talking? They’re getting further away.” the lead one says.
  61. >It receives nods and wicked grins from its two sisters as all three take a step forward, already plotting their course that would take them around behind the herd of ponies and into prime striking distance.
  62. >A cruel twist of fate, they thought, when something impacted the base of the tree they were about to pass and brought it crashing down in front of them.
  63. >They leap back on four strong legs away from the tree and that which threw the metal hammer comes to collect it. It turns to them.
  64. “Don’t.”
  65.  
  66. >You scoop up your war hammer and twirl it in your arms, getting the final feel for its weight you think you’d be able to get.
  67. >You were a bit surprised, truly. A chimera? This far out? You were told they mostly lived in swamps or other places that fit their rancid personalities, this place seemed far too idyllic for them.
  68. >The three-in-one beasts growl and snap at you, and the snake head tries to use its entrancing eyes on you. You can’t say you didn’t appreciate the directness, they all knew that you were going to try to stop them from reaching the girls and you knew that was what they wanted. There really wasn’t much reason to say anything else.
  69. >Almost.
  70. “I’ve always wondered…”
  71. >You rest your hammer on your shoulder, a display of mockery to let your guard down.
  72. “If I crack one of your skulls, will the other two heads feel it?”
  73. >The tribunal of savagery pounces at you.
  74. >Your fight training takes over and your first action is to test your theory. You hop back as the chimera land where you once were and swing your hammer wide, letting the goat in the side of the head and sending it crashing into the feline. To your absolute delight, the snake tail shakes her head; disoriented.
  75. “WONDERFUL!”
  76.  
  77. >You spin around for another tornado-strike, but the chimera ducks you and slashes at you with her claws. You only just get the handle of your weapon up to block them.
  78. >Your legs buckle a bit under the weight of the patchwork creature and you see the intelligence behind its eyes that glimmer with the realization that she’s physically stronger than you. She leans up higher, putting more weight on you and pushing you down further.
  79. >Need a plan. Need a plan fast.
  80. >You cock your leg back and deliver a full force kick to the chimera’s chest.
  81. >The monster lets out a yowl of surprise and pain and you use those scant seconds to disengage and get behind it.
  82. >You prepare for a rebound strike but get immediately put on the defensive by the monster’s serpentine tail catching sight of you. It’s jaws snap and clap at you while its fangs drip with green poison and the other two heads shake off the pain.
  83. “Damn!”
  84. >The snake retreats just as the chimera’s main body turns to face you, and dive at you with razor claws.
  85. >You swing your hammer at it to give yourself some space and successfully strike one of its claws, but a single noise causes you both to pause.
  86. >”Hold on Twilight, I just know I heard a noise over here…”
  87. >Your mind freezes wondering what Fluttershy was doing over here.
  88.  
  89. >Time slows to the extent that the space between your heartbeats feels like an eternity. Thoughts flood your mind as you take immediate inventory of the situation.
  90. >Setting: You were within a heavily wooded copse of trees, with one fallen over while others surrounded you. There was a chimera attacking you that you estimated probably weighed close to seven hundred pounds. You were currently lightly armored and armed only with a war hammer of Asgardian steel you pilfered.
  91. >Problem: Fluttershy, one of your close friends from your old life, was approaching thanks to the sound of the tree you fell to keep the chimera from attacking the girls.
  92. >Solution: Get Fluttershy to go away to safety.
  93. >Second problem: Fluttershy seeing you after you’d more or less been dead for some time would no doubt be a shock to her and may cause her to hesitate or try to help you, during that time the chimera could get her. Also Queen Sleipnir might atomize you.
  94. >Amended solution: Get her to leave without being caught.
  95. >Course of action: Do this quietly.
  96. >The chimera was still looking towards Fluttershy’s voice which meant you had about a second to do this.
  97. >You silently hoped she wasn’t too close to hear this. You swung your war hammer as hard as you could and nailed the side of the feline head, disorienting them all again.
  98. >Fluttershy doesn’t hear the impact, nor you keeping your momentum going and tackling the beast to the ground like an oversized dog. You places your shoulder on the neck of one of the heads and press down with the head of your hammer on the other, blocking their windpipes.
  99. >”Is someone in there?” you hear her say.
  100.  
  101. >You instinctively grunt and risk letting her hear as the snake head darts from beneath its main body and lunges at you. The little blighter was faster than it looked and although you try to grab it, it jukes you and plants both its fangs into your forearm.
  102. >A silent scream escapes out of your mouth as you somehow stifle your own voice despite the six inch incisors sending waves of pain to your brain. Still, you could use that.
  103. >You whip your arm into the ground, snake head first, and press it down into the dirt. The serpent bites harder at the impact and you feel its toxin seeping into your flesh for the briefest of moments before you lose feeling in your wrist.
  104. >All you could think of was Fluttershy, hoping she wouldn’t investigate further and would return to the others.
  105. >The numbness spreads up your arm further as you kick your legs, trying to still the flailing of the chimera ‘s hind legs. Tall as you were, this beast has a good foot or more on you and you can’t wrangle its limbs with your own. You have no choice but to press further on each of its heads to suffocate it still.
  106. >The poison can chew away at your arm and rot your heart a second time, but you wouldn’t let this monster near the girls so long as a breath remained in your lungs.
  107. >Just as you were trying to slow your heartrate do slow the poison’s crawl through your veins, you hear something.
  108. >”Fluttershy! Let’s go!” you hear Rainbow Dash say
  109. >Your salvation comes shortly afterwards when Fluttershy, just on the other side of the tree above your head by the sounds of it, calls back “Eep! Coming!”
  110. >You count the flaps as the chimera wrestles underneath you with its last bouts of consciousness until you’re sure Fluttershy was gone.
  111. “Heimdall!” you cough out. “Now!”
  112. >A rainbow light shoots from the heavens and engulfs both you and the chimera.
  113.  
  114. >It was not Heimdall that hovers you and the chimera over the Bifrost, however.
  115. >”Explain.” Queen Sleipnir says, flanked on either side buy guards with Heimdall at her side.
  116. >You spare a glance to him.
  117. “You…talked…?”
  118. >”My duty is to Asgard and its Queen, No-name. I had to.”
  119. >Okay, that made sense…
  120. >Sleipnir shakes you and sends you into a coughing fit, your arm still numb.
  121. >”Explain to me why I was taken from my duties to drag my guest from Midgard where he chose to wrestle pests.” She demands.
  122. >The chimera beside you, held in the silver grip of the Queen’s magic, looks around slack jawed at the grandiose gold chamber it found itself in.
  123. >”Holy-! What in Euqestria-!”
  124. >Her outburst gets the attention of the last pony she wanted.
  125. >”Begone.” Sleipnir says, and with that the chimera is sucked back into the Bifrost screaming in fright.
  126. >You tilt your head and watch her go.
  127. “I worked hard to restrain her, you know…”
  128. >The Queen snorts and floats you to her face to look at you with her single eye. She didn’t have to talk to demand you explain for a third time.
  129. “My old friends…walking the forest. It was hunting them…would have eaten them if…no one got there.”
  130. >You tilt your head towards Heimdall.
  131. “He said so…”
  132. >The God-Queen keeps her gaze upon you but addresses her watchman. “The truth, Heimdall?”
  133. >”Aye, my Queen.”
  134. >Back to you. “And protecting these mortals is to you worth losing your place in Asgard? In my presence?”
  135. “A…hundred times…over…” you cough out. “They’re…everything to me. No God…or afterlife…is too much to keep them safe.”
  136. >”…Mm.”
  137.  
  138. >Sleipnir floats you away from her face and nods, a single flash escapes from behind her eyepatch and you’re unceremoniously dropped to the floor.
  139. >”I have prevented you from succumbing to the poison. It will still hurt. A lot.”
  140. >And indeed it does, your veins felt like they were on fire, but you didn’t feel the toxin creeping towards your brain or heart anymore.
  141. “How magnanimous of you…”
  142. >Sleipnir turns to one of her guard. “Take him to a healing room and flush the poison from his body. When he is able to hold a weapon again, send him to Tyr upon the northern wall. He will see to our No-name.”
  143. >The guard salutes and gets you onto his back. You spot the war hammer you had borrowed on the floor before it’s whisked up by silver magic.
  144. >Sleipnir looks over the fresh blood and dirt on it. “This will be returned to you when you earn it back.” She says no more, simply walking away from you.
  145. “Heh…better this than the alternative…”
  146. >The guard carrying you glances back at you. “Five minutes with Lord Tyr will change your tune, No-name.
  147. >You cough out a single chuckle and let him carry you off to recover.
RAW Paste Data
We use cookies for various purposes including analytics. By continuing to use Pastebin, you agree to our use of cookies as described in the Cookies Policy. OK, I Understand
Not a member of Pastebin yet?
Sign Up, it unlocks many cool features!
 
Top