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Hope Rides Alone 6: I've Given Everything I Can.

Mandroid Feb 15th, 2014 208 Never
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  1. =Hope Rides Alone 6: I've Given Everything I Can=
  2.  
  3. >You bring your hands up and splash a glob of ice cold water onto your face as you scrub some dirt out.
  4. "If there's one thing I miss here, it's showers..." you mutter to yourself.
  5. >The mountains are quiet as you scrub away at the dirt and grime collected on your person in the small stream you found.
  6. >Spike was off...somewhere. You had let him wander in the wilderness for a time, to get out from that knapsack and to stretch his legs a bit.
  7. >You knew a growing boy when you saw one, and you knew when they needed space.
  8. >On cue, you hear the clattering of rocks to your right and see Spike walking down from higher up the mountain.
  9. "Hello buddy. Did you have a nice walk?"
  10. >"Hmm?" Spike puts his claw and something in it behind his back. "Oh, yeah, it was nice."
  11. "What have you got there?" you ask.
  12. >He turns his back to you to protect it. "Just something I found."
  13. "May I see it?"
  14. >Spike walks over to you and holds his claw out, inside it rests a single small ruby.
  15. "Impressive, my friend...where did you find it?"
  16. >Spike gestures up the slope. "Underground a ways up. It reminded me of a...friend. Lucky find, too."
  17. "Why is that?"
  18. >Spike shrugs. "All the gems around here have been mined out, I guess we're not the only ones who stopped here."
  19. >Your ears perk up at the sound of a twig snapping.
  20. "...Yes...stay close."
  21. >You scoot back to where you set your ring down to wash and paw for it.
  22. >"Uh...Anonymous?" Spike says.
  23. >You turn around and spot your ring floating in a silver telekinetic glow.
  24. "Hey!"
  25. >Before shooting off at high speed into the forest.
  26. "HEY!"
  27.  
  28. >You jump to your feet and take off after the ring.
  29. >"Anon!" you hear Spike shout before giving chase.
  30. >You pump your arms and legs as you race through the trees, keeping a stern eye on your ring in the silver glow.
  31. >You needed that, saving this land and the people in it would be a hell of a lot harder without that ring.
  32. >You hear a strange noise behind you and start running faster. The last thing you needed when you were ring-less was to get eaten by some monster in the woods.
  33. >You weave around a few trees and leap over a log until-
  34. >There's no sign of the ring to the left. No sign right. Nothing straight ahead.
  35. >...Damn.
  36. >You hear the growling again, this time from behind you.
  37. >You reach down and grab a stick, raising it to prepare and defend yourself.
  38. >Hope must not be lost, even without your ring. You were going to defend yourself, find and get your ring back, and continue on with Spike to-
  39. >Spike leaps out from behind some bushes and looks up at you smiling.
  40. >You release the breath you had been holding.
  41. "Oh...Spike, thank Adara it's you."
  42. >His hopeful eyes turn to one of confusion, he opens his mouth to speak.
  43. >"Dtay wonna wanga?" he says.
  44. >Your face falls and you sigh.
  45. "You don't have any idea what I'm saying, do you?"
  46. >He tilts his head to the side. "Eechuta?"
  47. >Being outside of the range of the universal translator made this a lot harder than it already was...
  48. >You sigh and run your hand through your hair.
  49. "A whole hell of a lot harder..."
  50. >Spike walks closer. "Apoo?"
  51. >You steel yourself with a sigh and turn to him.
  52. "Okay, Spike? We can't understand each other until we get my ring back."
  53. >You point to your empty ring hand.
  54. "Do you understand?"
  55. >Spike sniffs at the ground and his eyes shrink.
  56. >"Radoosame!"
  57. >And off he bounds further towards the mountain.
  58. "Spike! Wait! It's dangerous!"
  59. >You throw the stick and chase after him.
  60.  
  61. >You keep Spike in your sight better than you did your ring as you give chase.
  62. >Forrest gives way to barren mountain edge as Spike continues to run ahead at a speed you've never seen from him up the mountain.
  63. "Spike, wait!"
  64. >He doesn't slow, he probably can't understand you.
  65. >Blast!
  66. >You hurry up the mountain, dropping to all fours as the incline increases.
  67. >Getting close to the top, you hear voices speaking in a language you cannot understand, but you recognize one as Spike.
  68. >"Bars mato r'aas iish, Radoosame!" he shouts.
  69. >The other one speaks. "Fo untam nar gek, Sposs! Futalla mek shir noteluas!"
  70. >You keep climbing, spotting jagged gems sticking out of the mountain as you make your way up and the voices continue to bicker.
  71. >"Mes itam nu!"
  72. >"Mek all teem yiss daw, Sposs! Gram nwo an thgr-verything I see is mine, mine, mine, mine!"
  73. >You understood that.
  74. >But that would mean you were close to-
  75. >You reach the top of the cliff and pull yourself up onto a ledge. Spike stands defiantly on all fours in front of you and past him, in the mouth of a cave, is a golden throne surrounded by glittering coins, shimmering jewels, and rich tapestries.
  76. >Sitting in this throne, gowned in purple and white furs and with a golden jeweled crown on her head, sat a pale white unicorn.
  77. >And on her horn rested a blue ring.
  78. "Ah...that makes sense..."
  79. >She looks to you and scans you with her sapphire eyes. "Tell me now, Spike, have you brought me another possession?"
  80. >Spike shakes his head. "People aren't possessions, Rarity! You know that!"
  81. >...This is starting to take on a very orange hue.
  82.  
  83. "Spike...you know this pony?"
  84. >Spike turns and looks back at you. "Th-this is Rarity, Anonymous. She was the...special one I told you about."
  85. >...Ah. That explains the skittishness.
  86. >You get to your feet and dust yourself off. You look over the riches that shine in the afternoon sunglass wearing sun.
  87. "Hmm...I'd hazard a guess that she represented altruism before everything?"
  88. >"GENEROSITY." Rarity corrects from her chair. "You will do well not to forget -MY- title, you ape. Not on your knees! I will not have my possessions acting as such to me."
  89. "Oh but I much prefer to stand. The view from here is spectacular."
  90. >Rarity's horn glows silver and you feel immense pressure pushing down on you from above as your shoulders glow the same color.
  91. >You grunt as you're pushed to your knees by the magic.
  92. >"Rarity!"
  93. >"Silence, Spike! I'm disciplining!"
  94. >Spike shakes his head. "This isn't you!"
  95. >Rarity continues to stare steely eyed at you. "Well it is now."
  96. >Through gritted teeth, you speak. [spoiler][/spoiler] "Can I ask...what...changed?"
  97. >Rarity's eye twitches. "Do you think I didn't see what they did? I gave everything to my friends, my time, my kindness, my designs, and yet every time I saw it thrown in my face! Rejected! They vacated to that Maybelle mare once they were done with me!"
  98. "May...belle...?"
  99. >"Don't ask..." Spike says, rolling his eyes.
  100. >"From then I decided that it may pay a bit more to -take- things as opposed to give them away." Rarity scoffs and turns her head. "Honestly, I cannot believe I was so naive."
  101. >Spike's eyes dart between you and Rarity. He holds up his claw with the small ruby in it and clamps his eyes shut. "It's like you don't even remember..."
  102. >A glint from the gem catches Rarity's eyes, she turns her head and looks to Spike with...hunger.
  103. >"-What- might you have -there-, Spikey~?"
  104.  
  105. >Spike perks up and turns away. "N-nothing. I don't have anything." he says, but Rarity is already circling him like a shark.
  106. >"Oh ho ho ho don't lie to me, Spikey Wikey~." she says in a sing-song voice. "I saw the most -magnificent- reflection there in your claw...what is it, let me see, give it to me."
  107. >You crawl a bit towards them in the silver grip.
  108. "Let...him be..."
  109. >spike turns around and around, keeping his back to Rarity while she eyes him like a steak dinner.
  110. >"Oh! Oh! Give it here, Spikey. Give that beautiful shiny thing here." she says.
  111. >Rarity gets around Spike and gasps, grabbing Spike's claw in her grip and levitating it up to her face.
  112. >"My -WORD-! look at all the fractals and facets! Oh I -must- add this to my collection! I want it! I need it!"
  113. >Spike jerks his claw back, or tries to. "Rarity!"
  114. >Some sense returns to Rarity's eyes. "Ah, of course...you'd want to keep it. What if we were to trade?"
  115. >Rarity floats your ring off her horn. "I'll trade you this...lovely little trinket for that stunning jewel."
  116. >Spike blinks and looks to you.
  117. >Getting the ring back could be just what you needed.
  118. >Through the field pinning you, you nod to him.
  119. >Spike look up at Rarity. "P-promise?"
  120. >"Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye." she says.
  121. >Spike shakily extends the claw out to her and opens it.
  122. >Rarity smiles and floats the gem up to her eye, examining the facets and seemingly being drawn into them.
  123. >she tears herself away with some reluctance and looks down at Spike with a smirk.
  124. >"Sucker."
  125.  
  126. >Spike's eyes shoot wide open. "Wh-wha-"
  127. >"AHAHAHAHAHAHA!" Rarity leaps back from Spike with the ring and the jewel, examining it again up close.
  128. >"First rule of business, Spikey. Never give up something you don't have to."
  129. >Spike hangs his head and grits his teeth while Rarity looks to the jewel over him.
  130. >"I got that...because of you..." Spike says.
  131. >"Hmm?" Rarity looks over her shoulder at him.
  132. >Spike looks up at her with tears in his eyes. "I picked that gem up...because it reminded me of the one -I- gave -you-...the broach you asked for so long ago..."
  133. >"Hmmm...well hopefully this has been an object lesson for you, Spike."
  134. >Spike hangs his head again. "I-I got it for y-you because...because I-I..." Spike doesn't finish and just hangs his head, his light sobs coming above the high wind.
  135. >Rarity looks at him cocking her eyebrow before she looks between the gem and the ring on her forehead. "I...see... What's so important about this trinket, anyway?"
  136. "We're using it...to make...everything better." you grunt out.
  137. >Rarity looks to you and the pressure that stopped you from talking dissipates, but you're still locked in place.
  138. >"Everything better -how-?" she asks.
  139.  
  140. "We hope to oust Discord and turn the land back to the way it was before him..."
  141. >Rarity blinks. "B-before him? This little thing can do all that?"
  142. "And more."
  143. >She floats it off her horn and looks at it, eyes drinking in the symbol. "If it can do all that, why don't I just keep it? Use it for myself?"
  144. "I don't know...I hope you're better than that."
  145. >She turns away from you and looks to Spike. The boy looks up at her for a moment but tears his crying eyes away soon after. Rarity...looks displeased.
  146. "...Are you?"
  147. >She turns back to you, the pressure lifts some more.
  148. >"I-I don't rightly...know. I don't...everything before now is so...fuzzy..."
  149. >You lift your arm and open your palm.
  150. "I know one way to find out."
  151. >Rarity looks to Spike once more and then back into your eyes. "Oh...I suppose I can let you...hold it for a moment."
  152. >Rarity releases her silver grip on the ring and lets it fall for a moment before it catches itself and flies right onto your finger.
  153. >"Hope detected."
  154.  
  155. >You hear Spike gasp as the azure glow from your ring washes over Rarity.
  156. >She stumbles back a few steps in surprise but then lets out a sigh as the light washes over her.
  157. >As the blue field fades back into your ring, Rarity rights herself, not a stark white and rich purple as she looks herself in a nearby gold plated mirror.
  158. >"My -WORD-, a few days out in the rough and tumble will certainly ruin ones mane."
  159. >"Rarity!" Spike shouts as he runs up to her and throws his arms around her. "You're back!"
  160. >Rarity gasps in surprise but instantly warms to the dragon's touch. She wraps her hoof around him and gives him a kiss on the head. "Thanks in no small part to you, my brave knight..."
  161. >Spike visible reddens. "Aw...I-I didn't do anything special..."
  162. >you walk over and rub his spines.
  163. "Don't be so sure."
  164. >He reddens some more.
  165. >"And you mister...Mystery, I suppose I should thank you for your part in this as well."
  166. "No thanks are needed...it's what I do."
  167. >"Now the only one left is Twilight..." Spike says.
  168. >Rarity perks up. "Twilight? You're traveling all the way to the Crystal Kingdoms?"
  169. >Spike grabs his forehead. "Crystal Kingdom's!? That's half the kingdom away!"
  170. >You grimace.
  171. "Rarity, you're sure she's there?"
  172. >"Why there's no other place she could -be-, darling."
  173. >You hold your ring up.
  174. "Ring, status report."
  175. >"Ring capacity: 10%."
  176. >Ten percent...that might do.
  177.  
  178. "Spike, grab a hold, we're headed to the Crystal Kingdom."
  179. >Spike cocks his eyebrow but grabs your leg, he's learned to trust you.
  180. "Rarity. It was a pleasure meeting you. We must as a favor."
  181. >"Anything, dear." she answers with a warm smile, you can see why Spike likes her.
  182. "Please, travel as far as you can and tell everyone you can about what happened today. Help them believe."
  183. >Rarity bows. "They will not be able to quiet me!" She turns and begins to trot down the hill.
  184. >"Uh...Anonymous? Shouldn't we go get our stuff?"
  185. >You smile down at him.
  186. "No need, Spike. We'll be there soon."
  187. >You squeeze your hand and cover you and Spike in a soft blue aura before you rise off the ground. You hear Spike gasp as you re-orient yourself.
  188. >It was only 10%, but it'd do.
  189. "Alright, now which way is this Kingdom?"
  190. >"N-north!" Spike says.
  191. >You extend your arm out and start flying north, picking up speed as you go until the trees below were just a blur.
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