Gamera; Guardian of Equestria; Chapter 6
Canterlot, the beating heart of Equestria. The high castle city perched on the side of a mountain with a waterfall streaming down and through the city itself overlooked almost the whole of Equestria itself. At night, Luna rules the city and the land, overlooking her subjects as they dream. But in the day, Celestia rules, reigning over the land and taking care of matters of importance, no matter how small they seem, which is what she was doing now. She was going over reports, petitions and forms ranging from small matters such as tax spending to large issues such as a dragon and giant turtle destroying the town of Ponyville. However, because of the fluctuations of magic, she was having trouble holding the parchments with her magic, and had to have a desk placed in front of her throne, which now had a stack of forms, papers and parchments. This was one of the few times where Celestia recognized how long she had taken her magic for granted, especially when she had to sign the forms and petitions, by hoof. A great trembling shook her and the quill from her hoof, causing her to look up in alarm. Another tremor, and the rolled up signed parchments fell from the desk in a heap as still unsigned forms fell from the stacks. Just then, a guard burst through the doors, a look of alarm on his face. "Princess, we're under attack!"
"What?" Celestia followed the guard out of the castle and looked up at a shocking sight: Gamera loomed over the castle, looking this way and that, as though he were looking for something. Just then, something flew past the giant terrapin at high speeds, only to pause in mid-air to face the giant turtle. At first glance, one would think it were a dragon, complete with scales, large membranous wings and sharp teeth. However, its arrow-shaped head had large shield plates over its eyes, while its tail was short and rudder-shaped, and it seemed to be slightly larger than most other dragons, save for the ancient and abnormal kinds. The turtle let out a low growl that was followed by a fireball that the newcomer easily evaded, the burning ball of matter striking the mountain with enough explosive force to all but obliterate the waterfall, flaming and smoking debris raining down on a radius of a quarter of a mile, including in the city itself as the ponies screamed in terror and tried to flee from the falling rubble. The draconian-like beast flew around Gamera as the giant terrapin tried in vain to swipe at the irritant that tried to peck and claw at the massaive beast. As she watched this, Celestia's eye caught the form of a cloaked pony who did not move with the frightened stampede, in fact it seemed to walk towards the battle in a calm canter. Just then, a piercing cry came from above, and eyes turned upward to see two more of the draconian-like forms dive down to assault the titanic terrapin. They tore and raked his leathery flesh with their claws and teeth, but their efforts did little save irritate the giant turtle. Then, a fourth one descended from the cloud cover to float not far from the battle. It opened its maw and emitted a piercing shriek that caused all to hear it to stop and cover their ears as they writhed in pain, the shriek gaining in volume as light gathered in the back of its throat. With another shriek, a beam of light fired from its mouth to make contact with the leathery flesh of Gamera's arm, the beam cutting through skin and muscle to draw green blood as it sliced up his arm like a giant scalpel. The turtle bellowed in pain as he stepped back. Flames raged in the turtle's gullet, but saw that the enemy had formed a circle around a single pony, looking up and shrieking a challenge to him, daring him to strike, but he didn't. They were in the heart of the city, and he couldn't risk any more damage for fear of harming or killing the inhabitants. For now, he'll have to retreat, despite his urging to destroy his hated enemy. His limbs retreated back into his shell as his jets activated and he flew away from the city as the inhabitants watched him leave. Then their eyes turned to the new draconian forms and the one lone equine shape among them as it stepped out before them. It lowered the hood of its cloak to reveal a male unicorn with a white hide and an almost silvery mane his eyes shining like silver dollars. The smile he wore was confident that bordered on smugness as he looked upon them.
"Good ponies of Canterlot, you seem to have a problem. I have the solution!"
"And just who are you?"
"My name is Captios, your highness. I have travelled far and wide, and learned a great many things. Including the reason why magic seems to be leaving us." The unicorn stood before Celestia, Luna, and Twilight in the throne room, the three princesses standing before their thrones.
"And what is the reason, good Captios?" Celestia asked.
"The reason is because all of the magic is being absorbed, as though consumed."
"By that huge beast from earlier," Captios replied to Luna's question.
"And how would you know that?" Captios never lost his smile as he took a satchel from underneath his cloak and placed their contents before the princesses. They were etchings, recreations, of cave paintings, made in the images of a turtle, a bat-like figure, a phoenix, and an insect of some kind.
"These ancient pictographs were found in the same area where an ancient civilization once stood. These depict ancient titans who roamed this world and caused great destruction wherever they went. I think this one, the turtle, was the most destructive of them all, because it is referenced heavily by the runes and markings in the cavern I found them. This particular beast is said to feed various forms of energy, but magic was its particular favorite. It needs to devour large amounts of energy just to sustain itself."
"Tell us, Captios. Does this beast have a name?" Twilight asked.
"It does," Captios replied, his becoming more serious. "It was called Gamera. It spread terror wherever it went, all weapons were powerless against it, the ponyfolk were all but defenseless as it ate magic, rendering all unicorn and Alicorn alike helpless, charms and spells useless."
"If this beast is so terrible, and all-powerful, how was it stopped before?" Luna asked.
"It was stopped, if I read the runes correctly, by a very special power called the "Tree of Harmony", which is said to be the source of all magic in Equestria, if not the world itself. Exposed to this magic, Gamera was powerless and was sealed away for countless eons. And now, it is back, and absorbing magic as it did before, as you have no doubt noticed."
"You mean with magic failing all over Equestria?" Celestia asked.
"Exactly. It's soaking up magic like a sponge, leaving you-erm, us, powerless. For instance," he gestured outside. "I've noticed the sun has not moved for a long while, not since approximately one thirty in the afternoon. It is nearly evening." Celestia glanced out the stained window before looking back to Captios.
"So how does the Tree of Harmony help in defeating Gamera?" Twilight asked.
"Simple. It was said that the beast was lured to the tree by Alicorns mustering the last of their magic to the tree, where it unleashed its full power upon it, and banished it far into the world itself, some say to the center."
"And after that, the magic restored itself?"
"I see. If you don't mind, you have given us plenty to think about. We should like time to discuss this and decide after that. In the mean time, my guards will show you to the guest rooms." Celestia left the throne room, followed by Luna and Twilight as Captios watched them, still smiling. Entering Celestia's chambers, the three Alicorns gathered around.
"So, we know he's lying, right?" Twilight asked.
"Indeed. Apparently he does not know that we have this in our possession," Celestia looked over to the fragment of Mana that was produced from its hiding place.
"His half-truths betray a part of his plan, though. Clearly, he wants the guardian out of the way." Luna replied.
"Not just that, be he also has a plan for the Tree of Harmony, and quite possibly the Elements themselves," Celestia mused. "I wonder if he…"
"What, sister?" Luna asked.
"Nothing, just a thought had crossed my mind. What's important now is that we keep him away from Tree of Harmony at any cost. Twilight," she turned to her former pupil. "The Castle of Friendship should protect the Tree itself with its magic, but I need you and your friends to keep an eye on Captios and his actions. Right now, there is little we can do against him, with the way our magic is. The only one who can possibly stop him is Gamera." As the trio talked, they were unaware of the draconian form just outside the window peeking in, listening.
In his quarters, Captios stood upon the Orichalcum plate, seeing and listening everything the Gyoas outside the princess's window sees and hears. He silently cursed when he saw the Mana fragment and hearing them speak. Unfortunately, they knew more than he had hoped they did. This complicates matters, but only a little, for the magic fluctuations were still working in his favor. "I must hurry," he muttered to himself as he started to pace while the other two Gyoas wated faithfully by the window. "If my calculations are correct, the fluctuations won't last for much longer. I have less than a week at best. But I will succeed this time. All I need do is to lure the guardian towards the Tree."
"Our magic may be fluctuating, but we can at least do this," Celestia's horn glowed brightly and she strained, sweat beading on her brow and face as she looked out her window, the Gyoas ducking underneath to keep unseen, and tried to move the sun. It barely moved a speck when she used her magic, but she kept trying. Then, she was joined by Luna and Twilight, and slowly but surely, the sun started to mave down towards the horizon. Even after the Alicorns stopped using their magic, the sun was still descending to its destination. "Once the sun has set, the moon should rise after it."
"In the meantime, Princess Twilight, I suggest you head back to Ponyville and make safe the Tree of Harmony. Let your friends know what was discussed and what has happened here."
"Of course, Princess Luna." After what was said, the twin princesses stood on either side next to Twilight, their horns glowing as they worked what magic they could, forming a bubble around Twilight and teleporting her out of Celestia's chambers and back to hers in the Castle of Friendship. She found Spike waiting for her just outside her room. "Spike, get everyone together, even Discord."
"Even Discord?" Spike asked.
The undersea fissure radiated life-giving heat as the guardian lied next to it, absorbing the thermal energies directly into his body, healing his wounds and revitalizing him. The presence of the Gyoas disturbed him to the point of almost lashing out indiscriminately. From the looks of things, they were still young; they have not reached their full potential. If they had, he doubted that unicorn could have controlled them so easily. That was another thing that bothered him. A unicorn was controlling them, something he had not seen since before the downfall of the great powers that ruled this world. Another direct descendant has made himself known in the world. And what's more, he found the sealed chamber where the eggs resided. He didn't know if he found just that place, or the deep, forbidden chamber: That dark place that he personally sealed at great cost to himself that ir required him to physically die, only to be reborn anew in this time. No, it was still too early to worry about that. Right now, he had to focus on exterminating the Gyoas before they get any stronger, too strong for even their unicorn master to control.