Hold the Line: Tales of Magic Kindergarten
(A WKUK Homage) by Wodashin
"Okay, it's about time for recess now, kids! Since it's Tuesday, you can be the line leader, Twilight. Let's line up and head outside now," Ms. Sunrise spoke, with emphasized cheer.
The brown-coated mare knew not what powers she had released that day, as her hoof pointed towards one of her pupils within her kindergarten class. Long before the mighty adventures of the Six Elements, long before the harrowing exams within Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns, there was Magic Kindergarten. Twilight Sparkle, the purple filly for whom the duty of Line Leader was selected, stepped forward before her classmates as they readied themselves for the long trek through the halls of Canterlot Elementary.
"All right mares, listen up! I lead you today, not for selfish purpose or personal gain, but because I have been ordained by a power far greater than I. We have been promised a time, and a place. That time is now, that place, the playground."
"All right, Twilight, you are no longer the line leader! Moondancer is the new line leader. Let's go on and—"
"And as we step off these cold, cavernous, tiled floors of academia, and onto the warm grass of Recess... We shall rest well, knowing we have proven our worth! Moondancer, daughter of Sundancer!" At the mention of her name, Moondancer, the cream colored unicorn and friend of Twilight Sparkle, quickly knelt beside the anointed.
"Yes, my Line Leader?" the kneeling mare asked of her superior, whose hoof rested on her shoulder. Twilight's eyes looked off into the horizon, seemingly staring into the infinite as those chosen few Line Leaders are wont to do.
"Girls, what in the hay are—"
"You've proven yourself to be a most worthy companion. Wise beyond your years, reading at an 8th grade level. I ask of you, as we journey onward, make certain that no student shall fall to the wayside, and be left behind! That as we pass through, every door closed... Every light darkened. Moondancer, this is your charge. The charge of The Caboose." With that, Twilight removed her hoof, and Moondancer took her place as Caboose with a valiant stride. The sort of stride that comes from knowing that one has great power in their hooves, and that their fellow students' welfare rests upon their shoulders.
"Okay, every second we spend in here? We don't spend outside, okay. I want everypony here to know that," Ms. Sunrise said, unable to truly comprehend what was going on. She could not foresee the chain of events that would transpire from her fated selection of Line Leader.
"We go upon my mark, mares! Hut, two, three, four. Hut, two, three four. And away!" Twilight gave a powerful hoof shake towards the vast unknown before her, and thusly led her entrusted fellow kindergartners through the abyssal corridors of the school.
Steadily, they marched with deep rhythm that reverberated through the hearts and souls of those few mares who would embark on this mission. Their hooves met tile in a euphonious march, each student timed perfectly with the next, marching to the great beat of life.
"A little faster please. Faster, Twilight. Faster." The brown coated teacher could not hasten destiny, no matter how hard she tried.
"Halt! Approach, daughter of Sundancer!" Twilight said abruptly, hoof held high above her head to signal that their small fellowship must cease its movement. She sensed a presence in the halls, one she had not felt many times in her life.
"Yes, my Line Leader?" the cream colored mare and daughter of Sun Dancer asked.
"Moondancer, what do your Gryphon eyes see?" Twilight asked of her friend, peering into the distant ends of the hallway before them. An echo of what could be hoofsteps could be heard intermittently, as a shadowy blob made its way down the halls from afar.
"5th Graders! A whole slew of them! What should we do, Line Leader?" Moondancer replied, fear coating her trembling voice, before returning to her position as Caboose.
"Stand your ground, mares!" the purple coated savior spoke reassuringly, turning to look at those who had boldly chosen to follow her this day.
Bright Light, strong and steadfast. Blue Ribbon, quick and nimble. Little Spark, kindhearted and loyal. Down the line she looked each mare in the eyes, to assure them that, even should they meet 5th Graders in battle, she would protect them, in the name of Sunrise. A single tear, perfect in shape and size, fell down the face of Twilight Sparkle, Line Leader. She turned to face the menace before her, and perhaps come out of this encounter without need to write to the parents of her friends.
"Halt! Who goes there?" Twilight yelled at the mass of 5th graders, hoping their leader would step forth.
"It is I, Misty Grove of the Fifth," a large unicorn mare spoke, her orange mane flowing as she stepped in the path of the school's air-conditioning system.
"Misty of the Fifth, what brings you to the Corridors of Mathematics?" Twilight Sparkle asked, her voice booming confidence as to deter hostility from her potential foe in the thoughts that the Kindergartners were weak.
"I lead my ponies to the Great Lunching Hall, where they have been promised a feast so that they may sup, and be nourished," the yellow coated mare with the voluminous orange mane responded, her voice alone reverberating with the strength of one-hundred kindergartners.
Ms. Sunrise simply stood by, hoof on face, mumbling to herself. Once more, she could not see, or perhaps she did not want to see, just how valiant and brave her students could be in the face of danger. In the face of a horde of ponies more than twice in size, and in age. Their teacher simply stood in confusion, understanding not the importance of what transpired before her.
"And I lead my mares to The Playground for Recess. I ask of you and your mares, that you stand down so that we may pass," the Kindergarten Line Leader said, in the hopes that diplomacy would win the day.
Silence filled the hallway as time itself seemed to stop, awaiting the reply of Misty Grove. Sweat ran down the faces of every pony at attendance, every pony save for Misty Grove and Ms. Sunrise. The leader of the Fifth Grade Forces simply stared, stone faced, into the soul of Twilight Sparkle. Those behind the Kindergarten Line Leader held their breaths, awaiting the response. Awaiting for the knowledge that they may pass without bloodshed.
"I answer to no pony, but only to the voice of the One True Teacher, Ms. Spring Flowers."
Twilight furrowed her brow at Misty Grove's response. She did not dare turn to look her classmates in the eye now, as she could not face those who may be about to die. Her heart almost seemed to skip a beat. The Fifth Graders' heretical worship of Ms. Spring Flowers as One True Teacher disturbed her to the core, and she knew that the battle between faiths was one that could occur now, here, within the halls of Canterlot Elementary.
"Then you do not yield?"
"Neigh. Not only am I shouldered with the responsibility to get my mares safely to their destination, but also to defeat those heretics who spread the blasphemy that is Ms. Sunrise. I once believed, as you do now, that Ms. Sunrise was all that there was and could be. How wrong I was... If you shall change your ways, and welcome Ms. Spring Flowers into your hearts with open arms, then we need not send mares to the fabled Nurse's Office of lore. We can all live to see another day. I ask you, please, denounce Ms. Sunrise," Misty Grove spoke with genuine heart. She did not wish to see her mares do battle. Her forces were weak and hungry, having been put through half a day's hard labor. To battle, within sight of the Great Lunching Hall, would be a slap in the face to each of her classmates. More than she must protect the well being of her classmates, however, she must protect the One True Teacher, Ms. Spring Flowers.
Twilight looked over to her Teacher, Ms. Sunrise. The mare, perfect in all attributes, was her liege lord. A goddess amongst students, who had single hoofedly transformed her class into ponies ready to face the world. Ready to face battle. There could be no other One True Teacher than Ms. Sunrise, and Twilight pitied Misty Grove. She had once had faith, but that faith was now lost. She readied herself for her response to the Fifth Grade Line Leader's offer.
"I speak for all my class when I say, 'We follow Ms. Sunrise to the death.' We must do battle."
The purple coated filly turned to face her classmates, for one final speech. She could see the fear in their eyes, though they stood strong. None broke ranks, all stayed for the ensuing battle. Together, they would face down their Fifth Grade adversaries as united mares under their Teacher, Ms. Sunshine. Together, they may fight valiantly and live to see Recess. The Fifth Graders prepared themselves, brandishing rulers with the metal out, so that they may cut their equine flesh.
"Girls! Girls, stop, what are you do—"
"All right, listen up! My fellow students of The Line, you have entered this line as mere children, but today you shall leave it Pre-Teens! History will remember this day forever, as it remembers those who were brave, and who were righteous. We know our course, we know our charge, and no pony shall stand before us, and our reward! We are presided over by the One True Teacher, Ms. Sunrise!"
"Sunrise!" yelled the regiment of Kindergartners, with their voices ringing pure and true as they spoke the name of their dear Teacher. Eyes starry as they looked to the ceiling above, into the bright fluorescent lights that shone upon their filly faces, each young mare chanted the name of their Teacher. The name of Ms. Sunrise.
"Whoa, whoa! Girls, no, this is not okay! Do not fight them! Girls, listen to me ri—"
"With our One True Teacher by our side, we shall prevail! Pencils at the ready! Sharpened pencils! On my mark, unleash heck! Hold... Hold... Hold... Hold..."
"Please, no Twilight, don't do this! What in the hay is going on here? You will be suspended. Twili—"
Down the Corridors of Mathematics they ran, pencils raised into the air, charging into the mass of Fifth Graders. Twilight Sparkle led her troops, sharpened No. 2 pencil in hoof, ready to meet her fate. The stomping of hooves meeting the tiled floors of the hall permeated the chamber with a cacophony of sound, filling the ears of the Kindergartner warriors. With each passing second, another room was left behind on either side of them, closing the distance between them and their enemy ever more.
With Misty Grove at their front, the Fifth Graders galloped at blazing speeds, eyes wide with the lust for battle. Today, they would fight not as Fifth Graders, but as Sixth or Seventh Graders. Even as their stature was more than twice that of the Kindergarten fillies, the little ponies strode toward the massive grouping of ruler wielding mares. Their will was as iron, staring straight into the face of boo-boos and spitting. With Ms. Sunrise's ordained Line Leader, Twilight Sparkle, they were about to gladly meet The Nurse in the name of the One True Teacher.
Pencil and ruler met as the front lines of both forces collided. Immediately, the yelps and cries of the fallen could be heard all around. What were once two well formed rows of warriors were now a mob of slashing weaponry and hearty battle cries. The Fifth Grade ranks pushed forward into the Kindergarten forces, and, with rulers raised high, they began to viciously cut down fillies. Their mighty physicality was far too great for many of the Kindergarten soldiers to stand against, and Twilight watched as her friends were brought down by Fifth Grader steel. Some of the small fillies were able to land piercing attacks against their larger foes, and the sharpened pencils had the desired affect. Bodies were strewn about the Corridors of Mathematics, as the mares dropped like flies. Some of the students were lumped into piles, having fallen on top of each other and unable to get back on their hooves, too greatly injured to move.
Ms. Sunrise, though, could not have chosen a better Line Leader. With pencil extended mightily, Twilight Sparkle danced around her Fifth Grader opponents, delivering lightning strikes against her foes. A Fifth Grader rushed in towards her, wielding a pointed compass, and stabbed in her direction. With quick reflexes, she parried the attack with her pencil and returned the attack in kind. Down the large mare went, tears flowing as the lead pierced her foreleg. Running deeper into the mass of Fifth Graders, Twilight jabbed her weapon into the sides of those she passed, jumping from mare to mare as a blurred harbinger of pain. Fifth Graders fell to her spear in droves. Single hoofedly, she was starting to change the tide of the battle. Though her forces had been dwindled down to half its original ranks, the Kindergartners did not rout, and did not slacken in their valiance. The Fifth Grade forces seemed near innumerable, and for each mare Twilight brought down with the power of her pencil-wielding skills, another took her place. The endless hallway was filled with the constant clattering of weaponry as the battle raged.
The Kindergarten forces regrouped to form a strong line that spanned the whole width of the Corridor, attempting to stop the Fifth Grader onslaught they faced. With Twilight joining them, they stood side by side, now using their backpacks as defensive instruments. Pencil in right hoof, backpack held aloft in left, they formed a wall against which the Fifth Graders threw themselves endlessly. Even with the mighty forces of the heretical followers of Ms. Spring Flowers bashing against them in waves, the Kindergartners held the line.
The forces of the Fifth Graders began to thin. Some routed, others were simply left on the floor in agony. Soon, no Fifth Graders attempted to breach the wall of Kindergartners that stood before them. Slowly, they backed away, their hooves quiet on the tiled floor of the Corridor of Mathematics. Smiles appeared on the faces of the Kindergarten troops, their victory now apparent. Twilight looked around at those of her friends who still remained standing, her face bearing a smile as well.
"You have battled valiantly, my mares! It seems they ha—"
Crayons darkened the light emanating from the ceiling as the projectiles rained down in massive numbers. Little fillies attempted to shield themselves from the barrage with their backpacks, but were struck down as death rained from above. Wave after wave of crayon storm struck against the line, dwindling their numbers down to half. The fillies crouched in an attempt to cover more of their tiny bodies, and at this the Fifth Graders charged once more.
Mighty Caboose, Moondancer, jumped into the fray with a few other of her classmates. Pencils stabbing in and out faster than the eye could see, they slowed the progress of the Fifth Grade horde. Rolling out of the way of ruler slashes, Moondancer showed herself to be an immensely skilled warrior and worthy Caboose. She felled Fifth Grader after Fifth Grader, never missing a beat. Though some around her fell, she stayed strong and went on to battle. Once more, the Fifth Graders thinned and retreated.
"Regroup!" Twilight Sparkle called out. Her mares had all left their line to do battle with the Fifth Graders, and they now had to reform their line. As Twilight yelled, Moondancer turned to face her, having been at the forefront of the battle. They each gave each other a warm smile, friendship radiating from from their faces. Slowly, Moondancer walked towards the mass of Kindergartners to form the line.
Misty Grove, leader of the Fifth Graders, galloped out from her forces at incredible speed. A ruler stuck out from her mouth as she ran, a bloodlust in her eyes.
Moondancer fell to Misty's blade. Her body crumpled to floor, at the feet of the Fifth Grade Line Leader. At this, Twilight screamed out in a blood curdling cry, and a magical aura surrounded her body. Her eyes were now as white slates, devoid of color. Levitating into the air, a gust of wind began to swirl around her body, ripping posters from the walls of the Corridor. Rulers and pencils began to fly from the hands of the warriors below her, swirling around her magical orb. With a mighty cry, these weapons exploded away from her body, bringing down all those around her, friend or foe. She slowly touched back down onto the ground, and walked towards a wounded Misty Grove, the last standing of the Fifth Graders. Twilight Sparkle the Line Leader was gone, and in her place a blood drunk spirit of vengeance took hold.
"Even if I should see The Nurse today, Kindergartner, I go knowing that Ms. Spring Flowers will guide my soul. I embrace the journey to the Nurse's Off—"
Jabbing a pencil into Misty Grove's side, Twilight ceased her speaking. The orange maned mare fell to the floor. The pencil hit the ground with a clack as Twilight Sparkle returned fully to her body. Viewing the carnage around her, she dropped to her knees. She was the last one. The only one who would not see The Nurse today. Moondancer, her friend, now lay still on the battlefield. So much violence, and to what purpose?
"Look at what mares do to each other! And for what, I ask?" Twilight screamed, sorrow filling her voice. "I have seen horrors here, greater than those conjured up by Nightmare Night! Why, why Ms. Sunrise have you chosen me for such a forsaken task!"
"I didn't choose you Twilight, and now you're going to the office."
"Why have you turned your back on your loyal people?" Tears streamed down the face of the Line Leader, betrayed by the one she had put all her trust. By her One True Teacher.
"I have reached Recess... But at what cost?"