Greetings, everypony! I'm back and coming at you with the first chapter of The 7th Element's intermediary sequel, A New Dawn on The Horizon. This story takes place between The 7th Element and the second story to be named later, and follows Blazing Dawn and his training as an alicorn with Lunar Eclipse.\
Gotta give props to Henry Anthony Courtler for co-authoring and helping me think this story out.
Without further ado, I hereby present Chapter 1 of A New Dawn on The Horizon!
A New Dawn on The Horizon
Written by Henry Anthony Courtler and Thunderhawk
Chapter 1: A New Nightmare
Many years have past since "Ace" Blue Bass had left his mark on the world of Equestria. Although many had been suspicious of his sudden arrival in the town of Ponyville, he had proven to be not only a great friend, but a great warrior. With the help of the bearers of the Elements of Harmony and hundreds of brave volunteers, both male and female, they had defended the city of Canterlot and the surrounding area from total annihilation against the Equestrian Deity of Chaos, Discord, and his massive army of monsters. Many lives were lost on both sides; though the losses were smaller for the Equestrians, the hurt was just as strong. Throughout all this, the Elements of Harmony and Ace had been futilely trying to find the rumored "7th Element" of Harmony that had been lost to time. It was toward the climax of the initial attack that the 7th Element revealed itself at last.
This Element was known as the Element of Love, and proved to be the key to winning the battle. This was caused by a near fatal injury that Ace sustained from killing a dragon and saving Rainbow Dash, bearer of the Element of Loyalty. Prior to the battle, Rainbow Dash and Ace had shown romantic feelings towards each other, but never acted on it. It was their feelings and the bonding song they shared that would come to unlock the hidden 7th Element; saving Ace's life in the process.
Once armed with the Element of Love, Ace had stood up against all odds and fought Discord in a one on one battle, which he won, ending the Deity's life, but not without sustaining further injuries. This was one of the many tribulations Ace, Rainbow Dash, and the Elements of Harmony had to overcome. None of these trials, however, could stack up in comparison to the biggest single-hoofed threat that could have caused inner turmoil for the land of Equestria. An ex-ambassador of a distant land known vaguely as "The Land of the Zebras" came back during the annual Grand Galloping Gala to exact his revenge against Princess Celestia, using Rainbow Dash, who was attending with Ace and the other Elements, as leverage to have his demands met. Anansi, as everypony would come to know him as, demanded that Ace and the Elements of Harmony bring forth the physical embodiments of the Elements in exchange for Rainbow Dash.
Desperately, the Elements set out into the desert lands, in search of the ex-ambassador's whereabouts. Throughout their journey, many of them began to doubt their ability to save their fellow friend and were ready to give up the Elements without a fight when they were approached by possibly the last male alicorn in all of Equestria. The Prince of Death, Lunar Eclipse, told them how foolish they were, believing that the Elements were truly held by their petty accessories. It was then that they realized they had always been capable of using their power to fight and protect those they love. With that in mind, the group, along with Lunar Eclipse, infiltrated Anansi's base of operations, freeing Rainbow Dash and other captives who she knew from her youth. Lunar Eclipse and Ace went ahead and took Anansi head on in a epic fight in order to give the Elements the time they needed to break Rainbow Dash out of her prison.
All seemed lost when Rainbow Dash foolishly ran out to see Ace; Anansi then took her captive, holding a knife to her throat. Through the power of Ace's 7th Element armor and weapons, and the use of Lunar Eclipse's trickery and illusions, Anansi was defeated. However, his knife cut deep into Rainbow Dash's throat as Anansi fell. Lunar Eclipse stopped time briefly before Rainbow Dash bled out, claiming there was a way to bring her back, but the trigger was not present.
What he did not know is that it was indeed present.
Rainbow Dash's intended last words to Ace were that she was pregnant. Upon telling the Prince of Death what Rainbow Dash had said, he lit up with joy. He could draw energy from the growing life inside of her, amplifying it and giving Rainbow Dash some of that energy, bringing her back from the verge of death.
Combining Lunar Eclipse's power over life and death and Ace's Element of Love, they managed to breathe life back into the dying Rainbow Dash.
Upon returning to Ponyville, they discovered that their child was going to be a colt.
But that wasn't the most defining part of their experience.
Because Lunar Eclipse had drawn life from Rainbow's child, the magic that resides inside everypony had bubbled to the surface, causing the conception of another alicorn. After nine months of dealing with the horrors of pony morning sickness, and other assorted oddities, Rainbow gave birth to a healthy baby alicorn colt, which she instantly named Blazing Dawn because he had become an alicorn right as the sun started to rise over the battlefield those nine months ago.
Ace, overjoyed at having a son, spent the next week enjoying himself; playing with his new son and racing in Ghastly Gorge against his rival, Lightning Flash.
However, this joy was short-lived.
The Princesses, who were attending the race, pulled Ace aside afterwards, and that was the last time anypony saw Ace. Some say he moved back to Cloudsdale. Rumors floated around that he was sent to "The Land of The Zebras" to ensure the zebras that Anansi's death was no cause for war. Others claimed that he had gone off into reclusion to meditate on all the experiences he had gone through and purify his soul. The only ponies who know for sure what happened to the Hero of Equestria are the Elements of Harmony and the alicorn royalty.
It is at this point in the story that we must inform you, the reader, that Ace was no pony. He was, in fact, a human, from the planet known as Earth in an entirely different plane of existence. His real name was Dan, and his music, friendship, and heroism will never be forgotten by the select few who knew the truth.
The rest of Equestria, however, did not follow suit.
It has since been ten years since Dan's disappearance and, similar to that of the Red Hooves of Celestia, the legend Dan left behind became nothing but an old pony's tale. The story of how Blue "Ace" Bass had defeated Discord forever and saved Equestria from war with the zebras had descended close to that of a myth.
Changes began to take place in the Equestrian society. The start of an industrial revolution had begun when the engineer pony known as Gear Grinder achieved his dream and finally began construction of an airstrip in Ponyville, from which his zeppelins could land and take off. Crude muskets and pistols, similar to the weapons of the American Revolution on Earth, began to be produced through factories that started dotting the map around Equestria.
Chief among these changes, however, was the change in the government.
Princesses Celestia and Luna still resided as the High Rulers of Equestria; however, due to the demands of the public for having equal representation among the three kinds of ponies, a hierarchy was formed in which two representatives, a stallion and a mare of each race of pony, would reside in the Royal Court and vote on issues and advise the Princesses. This change didn't sit well with everypony, but the system still stood.
We now return to the basis of this story. The alicorn Blazing Dawn is now ten years old; alicorn wise. This will explained later, but for now, we turn the attention of this story to Blazing Dawn himself. He has recently started his training with the Prince of Death, Lunar Eclipse, and is well on his way to becoming a powerful alicorn.
However, a new nightmare looms on the horizon that the young alicorn must face, regardless of whether or not he is ready. This monstrosity will stop at nothing to eliminate Blazing Dawn, and his training, however advanced it may be, may not be enough to save him from the clutches of this beast that bears no physical form.
This is the story of Blazing Dawn and his realization that his role as one of the last alicorns is more important than he, or anypony else, ever thought.
The sun shone brightly over the suburban town of Ponyville; colts and fillies were playing, stallions and mares were working, and the great weather just made it an even better day. The cloud dwelling of Rainbow Dash floated lazily over the same hill with same tree, though the tree had grown a lot bigger. The rainbows that always spilled out of her cloud were making a tranquil sound similar to that of a small stream. A lone cyan-colored mare was flying around in the cloud dwelling, her rainbow mane flowing out behind her whenever she moved, using her long tail to sweep dust off of furniture and walls.
It was Rainbow Dash. She had changed quite a lot over the past ten years. She was a few inches taller, her mane was longer and so was her tail. As her wings were bigger and longer as well, the feathers more defined.
"Whew..." She wiped a hoof across her forehead and plopped down onto a nearby cloud chair. "All done..." She looked around at her now clean house. "I never thought I would be worried about my cloud looking clean..." She took to the air again, chuckling. "I really must be bored, huh?"
She steadily flew over to the entryway to her cloud and landed on the edge, angling her head to look down below. "BLAZE!" Rainbow Dash shouted. "Blazing Dawn! Come up here!"
Down below, a dark blue alicorn with a short, spiky blonde mane and long tail zipped through the air and landed down below the tree. He was tall for his age. He looked almost full-grown. He was laughing and holding a red cowpony hat in his mouth.
"Gosh dern it, Blaze!" A sweet southern accent resounded over the hill as three more ponies came galloping into view. "Give me back mah hat!"
"Gotta catch me first, Applebloom! Haha!" The young alicorn yelled through his clenched teeth.
Blazing Dawn launched himself up into the tree, laughing all the while. At this point the Cutie Mark Crusaders galloped into view beneath the tree. The Cutie Mark Crusaders were older now, looking a few inches away from being full-grown mares. Scootaloo reached the tree first. Her short purple mane was a little longer, but still retained its style from when she was younger. Her wings were bigger and she could fly now, and she had even obtained her Cutie Mark. It was a cloud and a lightning bolt just like Rainbow Dash's, only the cloud was a darker orange than her coat and her lightning bolt was purple.
"Get down here, Blaze! You're gonna give Applebloom a heart attack!" Scootaloo leaned against the tree, still laughing, and turned her head to look as Sweetie Belle was next to skid to a halt underneath the tree.
Sweetie Belle had also grown taller, her horn longer, and her mane and tail were the same style, only longer. Her Cutie Mark was a bell with a musical eighth note behind it. A bow was tied to the bell. She panted heavily a looked up at the branch where Blazing Dawn sat, removing the hat from his mouth and grinning down at Sweetie Belle.
"All tuckered out, Sweetie Belle?" The young alicorn chuckled.
"Blaze, come on now!" Sweetie's tender voice rang up to him. "Give Applebloom her hat back!"
"Thanks, Sweetie Belle..." Applebloom ran up behind her and walked to the base of the tree. "But ah can fend fer myself..."
Applebloom had grown taller as well. Her mane and tail had, like the others, retained its form from ten years ago, except they were longer. Her Cutie Mark was a red apple, unsurprisingly. However, there were two wrenches that crossed behind the apples, signifying her special talent with repairs and renovation. Her last new defining feature was dangling from a smirking Blazing Dawn's hooves; the red cowpony hat.
"Blazing Dawn..." The cowpony smiled as she looked up at him. "It's clear ya'll are mad about earlier when I called ya' a shrimp..."
"You got that right!" Blazing Dawn leaned back casually, still dangling the hat in his hoof. "I most certainly am NOT seafood...that's just insulting..."
"Um, Blaze..." Scootaloo looked up. "I think that you've got it all-"
"SH!" Sweetie Belle shoved a hoof onto Scootaloo's mouth. "Don't tell him what she really meant! Then he'll never give it back!" Sweetie hissed into Scootaloo's ear.
"Look, Blaze..." Applebloom smiled up at the young alicorn. "Just c'mon down, will ya'? Ah promise I won't never call ya' anything seafood related again..."
When Applebloom smiled up at him, Blazing Dawn's smile disappeared and he sighed. "Okay..." He jumped off his branch and flew slowly down through the air towards the Cutie Mark Crusaders. He floated above Applebloom and dropped the red, white-laced hat onto her head before dropping down to the ground in front of her.
Applebloom chuckled before adjusting her hat and smiling down at Blazing Dawn, who was pawing the ground. "I'm sorry, Applebloom. I just got carried away."
"Aw..." She raised a hoof and ruffled Blazing Dawn's mane. "Ah can't stay mad at ya'! It's okay!"
Blazing Dawn's tail wagged and he smiled as he looked up at Applebloom. "Thanks Applebloom!"
"Well, now that that's over with..." Scootalooo walked up and looked at Blazing Dawn's haunches. She sighed. "No cutie mark, little guy..."
"Aw..." Blazing Dawn turned to look at his haunches as well, spinning around in the process. "Dang it... So all the thousands of things we did today was for nothing?" He threw his hooves up for emphasis on "thousands."
"Nope..." Sweetie Belle smiled. "Because now you know thousands of ways to not get your cutie mark!"
"Trial and error, Blaze..." Applebloom smiled. "That's how we finally got ours!"
"I guess..." Blazing Dawn looked at the ground sadly. "Maybe we could try some—"
"BLAZE! Don't think I don't see you down there!"
Blazing Dawn and the CMC all looked up at the cloud. There they saw Rainbow Dash leaning down and shouting at Blazing Dawn. "Come on up! Lunar will be here for lessons soon!"
"Okay, mom!" The young alicorn waved before turning back to the three fillies. "Bye, guys. Lunar Eclipse is coming..."
"Cool, BD!" Scootaloo leaned forward, "What's he gonna teach you today?"
"I don't know!" Blazing Dawn smiled and shook his head. "That's the fun of it! There's so much about being an alicorn that I don't know yet!"
"Well, see you guys tomorrow!" Blazing Dawn turned to go, but stopped short. He pawed the ground nervously, as if contemplating something in his mind.
"Blaze? Are ya'll oka-OOF!" Applebloom started to inquire what the alicorn was doing, but no sooner had she started to ask, Blazing Dawn had turned around and zipped towards her, embracing the cowpony in a hug.
"Bye Applebloom..." Blazing Dawn said quietly in her ear before letting go of her and flying up towards Rainbow Dash's cloud.
"Bye, little guy..." Applebloom sighed and shook her head as she watched him go.
She turned towards Sweetie Belle and Applebloom, who was gazing at Applebloom with awe in their expressions.
Applebloom made a confused face. "What're you all gawkin' at?"
Scootaloo was the first to speak up. "Don't get me wrong; Blazing Dawn's a cute colt just..."
"He has a ginormous crush on you, Applebloom..." Sweetie Belle offered dryly. "It's completely obvious..."
Applebloom sighed again, looked at the ground, then back up at the cloud, were Rainbow Dash and Blazing Dawn were now talking.
"Ah know, girls..." She turned back to them. "Ordinarily, it wouldn't bother me... Being an alicorn, he looks our age, but he's really not... He's just...young." She chuckled. "And it's weird." She paused before smiling and saying, "Ah'll get over it. And so will he, ah'm sure."
"Great!" Scootaloo smiled and took to the air. "So, wanna go hang out at Sweetie Belle's place before Rarity gets back?"
"Sounds like a plan!" Applebloom smiled before running off with her friends.
Almost instantly, Blazing Dawn set foot on what could be the equivalent to a front yard of their cloud home and Rainbow Dash waited patiently at the front patio.
"Hey there mom." He greeted with a small smile.
"Hey there to you too, Blaze. Lunar is on his way here from Canterlot as usual to take you out training." She turned her gaze past her son out to the horizon, as if half-expecting the alicorn Prince of Death to be flying towards them.
"Is he gonna finally teach me how to teleport?" Blaze asked with an excited grin.
She grinned back at him with the same mischievous grin she's always been known for. "Yep!"
"AWWWWW YEEEEAH!" Blazing Dawn leaped up into the air and did a hoof-pump in the air, flying around in a circle and landing right in front of his mother. "Oh man! This is so exciting! I've been waiting forever for him to teach me that!"
Rainbow Dash almost fell over laughing at her son's spectacle. She grabbed his shoulders with her front hooves and smiled down at her son, still chuckling. "You have so much of your father in you, you know that?"
Blazing Dawn shook his head, "No, I don't..." His mood instantly turned from excited to calm, turning towards the horizon and looking out at the clouds as they rolled by. "You've never really told me a lot about my dad..." He turned back to his mother. "He did things like that?"
Rainbow Dash chuckled and walked up to her son, wrapping a front hoof around his shoulder. "All the time. Your father was a born performer. He was..." She sighed. "Always putting on a show."
"Really?" Blazing Dawn looked up at his mother.
"Oh yeah." She nodded. "He sang, played the guitar, and acted..." She winked. "I think you got his singing voice."
"I..." Blazing Dawn pawed the cloud. "I...don't sing, mom..."
Dash chuckled, released her son, and started walking back towards the house. "Oh, don't think I don't hear you down there with the CMC..."
Blazing Dawn's face turned a beet red as he growled. "Ah, mom!"
She laughed, "Hey, I'm surprised your Cutie Mark isn't something music related!"
"Moooom!" Blaze groaned.
"She's quite right, kid..." A relaxed, moderately toned baritone voice sounded from behind the mother and son. "You do have your father's voice..."
They both turned and saw the massive wings of Lunar Eclipse beating in the air as he landed gracefully on the cloud. The Alicorn Prince of Death had not changed in the slightest, save that his red short, clean-cut mane and tail were a little longer. His cutie mark, a judgement hammer, reflected the sun's rays as he landed.
"Lunar!" Blazing Dawn jumped for joy and flew up to the larger alicorn, hugging him. Lunar laughed and wrapped a front hoof around the smaller alicorn as they embraced.
"Good to see you too, kid." He patted the colt's back before he dropped down onto the cloud again. "Ready to learn how to...teleport?" Lunar paused for emphasis, as this was something he knew his young protege wanted to learn for a while now.
Blaze pretended to punch an invisible enemy in front of him. "Born ready!"
"Just make sure to keep the teleportation on the down-low around me..." Rainbow Dash trotted up, sighing. "If he uses it willy-nilly, he'll be really hard to keep track of..."
"Rainbow..." Lunar and Rainbow Dash embraced in a hug as well.
"How are the princesses dealing with the new political eggheads they have in the Royal Court?" Rainbow Dash said, backing up and cocking an eye with a smirk.
Lunar chuckled, "So cynical, as always. You forget, dear Rainbow, that your best friend Twilight Sparkle is the Unicorn mare representative."
"So?" Rainbow Dash said. "Egghead is a term of endearment for her... The rest of 'um, like Filthy Rich...they can go to the moon for all I care..."
Lunar chuckled, remembering a joke the royal sisters had come up with as a gag to scare annoying petitioners before Luna's banishment. "So true..." He stood up straight. "But, in all seriousness, they haven't been causing any trouble lately."
"Good..." Rainbow said. "Hopefully Twilight will be able to keep some of them in line..."
"Hey!" Blazing Dawn zipped through the air, stopping in between the two. "Bored alicorn waiting to learn to teleport here!"
Both Rainbow Dash and Lunar Eclipse chuckled before Lunar nodded and said, "Yes, of course. Meet me at the train station. We're going to the castle courtyards today."
Blazing Dawn stood at attention and saluted like a Royal Guard Pegasus would. "Yessir, Lunar Eclipse, sir!" He took to the air. "Bye mom! Love you!"
"Love you, too, son! Be careful!" She waved at her son before he bolted off towards town, sailing through the air.
"He has your speed and agility in the air as well, Dash..." Lunar spread his wings and was about to take off. "As usual, I'll have him back before dinner..."
Lunar stopped short. "Yeah, Dashie...?" He responded in a soft spoken voice.
"It's been ten years..." She paused. "Ten years today since...you know..." Rainbow Dash looked down and off to the side, frowning and closing her eyes.
"Don't give up hope just yet, Dashie." He turned and tried his best to smile and look reassuring. "I have a feeling he'll be back..." He nodded. "Someday..."
Rainbow inhaled deeply, as if regaining her composure, and she sighed and nodded. "Y-yeah..." She shook her head. "It's just...hard, you know? It's been so long..."
"I..." Lunar stopped himself before spreading his wings. "I understand..." He took to the air. "See you later, Dash."
"Bye..." Rainbow Dash waved solemnly as the alicorn Prince of Death took to the skies and darted after Blazing Dawn into town down below.
Rainbow Dash watched them both fly off, then she took to the air herself, flying back into the cloud dwelling. She flew through the living room, past the kitchen, and straight to her bedroom. Dash landed on the floor, sighed, and looked over at her cloud bedside table. There on the table was a picture. A picture of her, glowing with the knowledge that she was now a mom, a baby Blazing Dawn swaddled up in her front hooves, and...
"Dan..." She picked up the picture with one of her front hooves. Tears started to water up in her eyes as she gazed down at the light blue, brown-maned Pegasus.
"Oh Dan!" She flung herself onto the bed, the picture still in her hooves, and began to cry. Burying her face in the covers, she sobbed uncontrollably. "Dan...why haven't you come home! It's...it's been ten years, f-for Celestia's s-sake! DAAAN! Bwahahaha..."
She buried her head in her cloud bed again and continued to sob, still clutching the picture. And so was her yearly routine on the anniversary of Dan's departure.
Lunar Eclipse and Blazing Dawn began their usual practice sessions in one of the many towers of Canterlot Castle; more specifically, the observatory tower. It was the third tallest tower following the Princess' respective towers. Blazing Dawn was trying his hardest at mastering the teleportation spell with little success and the frustration was beginning to get to him.
"Darn it! Why can't I get this spell to work?" Blazing Dawn growled out between his teeth.
Lunar Eclipse approached him and placed a hoof on his shoulder. "Blaze, you gotta calm down. Learning this spell will not be easy if you can't keep a calm state of mind. Although Unicorns and Alicorns can learn a spell after the first successful try, we still have to take the time to get down all the parts that make up an individual spell. Concentration and keeping a cool head is needed to learn anyspell. Take a deep breath and empty your mind, then take another stab at it." He sagely advised his student.
The younger alicorn nodded to himself as he gently trotted over to the entrance of the room. "Just empty your mind B.D...just empty your mind." He chanted mentally to himself.
He clicked at the ground and drew in a slow breath before taking off at a full gallop. Once he saw the white tape line his mentor had set as a marker for when he should teleport, he began to charge the spell, his blue horn being encased in a golden aura. It began to brighten more and more, until he disappeared momentarily from view.
His mentor smiled proudly to himself at giving him advice that worked, until a loud, girlish scream interrupted his train of thought. He turned around and was surprised to see that the astronomers along with the telescope were gone. Quickly, he trotted over to the empty gap in the wall where the telescope had stood and looked down at the courtyard from above. Almost instantly, he began to laugh loudly at the sight.
A proud Blazing Dawn stood on top of the telescope with a forehoof held to his forehead in a military salute while the earth pony astronomers laid on the ground shaking nervously. Blaze looked up at his teacher and smirked, his horn glowing again. Lunar Eclipse took a step back just as the telescope and astronomers reappeared where they had been mere moments ago. The two scientists still laid on the ground having a nervous breakdown while Blazing Dawn trotted happily over to his teacher, laughing all the way.
"Did I do a good job or what, Lunar!" The younger alicorn stated in a voice that oozed confidence.
"Indeed! You did do a good job, despite your...small mess up." He said with a grin, trying his hardest not to burst into laughter and spare the scientists the humiliation.
A knock came at the door.
"Come in!" Bellowed Blazing Dawn.
It was his turn to look surprised as he saw the revered Twilight Sparkle walk into the room dressed in a formal robe that beared the Equestrian flag in an elaborate design across the chest. Although it was long enough to cover all her legs, the robe had a cut out in the back to allow her cutie marks to be seen.
"Hey, you two." She greeted with a soft smile.
"Aunty Twi!" Blazing Dawn shouted in joy before nuzzling her in a tight hug, causing her to laugh the entire time.
"It's nice to see you too. Blaze! How's Dashie doing?" The purple mare asked with curiosity.
"She's doing as great as she always has. Weather duties done in ten seconds flat, owning the competition with the Wonderbolts, and being the awesome mom she's always been!" He recounted with an ecstatic grin.
"It's safe to assume his training in regards to the teleportation spell went well then, huh Lunar?" Twilight questioned with a grin.
Lunar Eclipse grinned widely before chuckling quietly. "Why don't you check it out yourself?" He said, gesturing a hoof towards the astronomers who shakily stood to their hooves.
She gasped as she took sight of their disheveled appearance and shaky demeanor. "What happened to them?" Twilight wondered in concern.
Blazing Dawn took a bold step forward. "When I finally learned the spell...I might have overshot my trajectory and kinda dragged them with me into the courtyard; telescope and all." He grinned embarrassingly as he rubbed the back of his head with a forehoof.
Twilight sighed deeply. "I can't keep bailing you two out like this. The hierarchy is on already on edge with Blazing Dawn as it is, and there really isn't a need to make things harder for you two because that leaves me with even more work." She complained with an annoyed look on her face.
The younger alicorn looked at the ground guiltily. "I'm sorry, Aunty Twi...I guess I got carried away with having fun."
She immediately nuzzled the young colt and made him look her in the eye. "Don't feel bad Blaze...it's just that if things were different...it'd be okay if you goofed off and had fun. Everypony needs a good laugh. I just...don't want you to get in trouble with the hierarchy."
"That hierarchy was the worst thing to happen to this place since the Battle of Canterlot, Twilight." Lunar snarled, walking up behind Blazing Dawn. "They are all idiots, save you, Twilight and your stallion rep, Fancy Pants. Remember that ridiculous sugar tax they tried to pass?"
"That was...unfortunate..." Twilight sighed. "Fancy Pants and I stopped it from happening, but the bill itself is still circulating in the court."
"I'll tear it to shreds!" Blazing Dawn snarled and pawed the floor, causing the now recovered astronomer ponies to flinch and glanced worriedly at him while they continued their work on the telescope.
Twilight smiled awkwardly, "Now, now, Blaze..." She ruffled his mane. "Let's not cause any more...damage...for today at least."
"Agreed." Lunar said. "Anyway, Twilight..." Lunar cocked an eye. "I take it you didn't just come to visit."
Twilight nodded. "I was just getting to that." She turned towards the young alicorn once again. "Blazing Dawn, the Princesses and the hierarchy wish to see you..."
Blazing Dawn looked confused, "Why? What did I do this time? I put the telescope back, see?" He pointed behind him. "And no pony got hurt!"
Twilight sighed. "No, no..." She ushered Blazing Dawn out of the room with her with Lunar Eclipse in tow. "It's...well, all I can say right now is that it's very important..."
"Okay, Aunty Twi." Blazing Dawn said as they walked out of the door. "Is...is everything okay?"
"Y-yes...Blaze..." Twilight paused before responding.
Lunar Eclipse closed the door behind him and strode down the stairs behind them. He felt uneasy. "This can't be good..."
The Royal Throne Room was just as elegant as ever, and not much had changed within the past ten years. Ever since the Battle of Canterlot, and the castle was repaired, the architect ponies had combined the stained-glass hallway with the Throne Room. The stained glass windows depicting the Elements of Harmony defeating Nightmare Moon and Discord had been repaired from when Ace and Discord had broken through them while fighting.
The Throne Room had been expanded width-wise as well. Still having the thrones that seated the Princesses at the head of the room, the sides now had three large chairs with desks in front of them, with nameplates on the front. These desks were where the hierarchy were seated when they were present in the Throne Room. On the right were seated the male members, and on the left the female members.
The most discernible new trait the room had, however, was the large stained glass window of a Pegasus pony flying through the air, holding scimitars in each hoof, wearing black and blue full-body armor. His golden eyes were glowing fiercely as he flew at the unknown enemy he was charging at out of the window frame.
As Twilight Sparkle, Lunar Eclipse, and Blazing Dawn entered through the large doors, their hoof-steps were the only sounds that echoed through the hall as they trotted forward towards the waiting Celestia and Luna, who were sitting proudly on their thrones. Twilight Sparkle headed to the left, taking her seat while Lunar and Blaze stood in the middle of room; Lunar's eyes were locked straight ahead on the princesses while Blazing Dawn's eyes wandered in awe around the room, taking in everything. It had been awhile since he had been in the Throne Room. He didn't like to recall his past visits, as they usually had something to do with him causing trouble or collateral damage to Canterlot. His eyes fell on the stained-glass window of the legendary Ace, and he sighed. He still couldn't believe that the legend everypony knew was his father. Sometimes he thought his mom only made that up because his real dad was an "egghead," or something.
"Blazing Dawn..." A male voice resounded through the hall, causing Blazing Dawn to snap back to reality. He turned to the right and noticed the male Earth pony representative, Filthy Rich, was glaring at him snidely, "Haven't you caused enough damage to the castle up to this point? I saw the telescope incident, and frankly, I'm starting to question your reliability as alicorn material."
"And I'm starting to question your competence as a representative of the Earth ponies, but at least I know when to hold my tongue." He remarked politely with a smile, narrowing his eyes.
"You're out of line, boy!" Filthy Rich pointed a hoof at the young alicorn and snarled. "You have no right to speak to a member of this hierarchy as such!" He sighed, "If Diamond Tiara didn't have..." He shuddered, "A Thing...for you, I would hold you in contempt right now!"
Blazing Dawn shuddered. "Like I'm any happier about it that than you are."
"Why you-!" Filthy Rich retorted while Lunar Eclipse quietly snickered behind Blazing Dawn, "Your father would be ashamed of you, boy! Acting like this to a superior!"
"Don't you dare bring my father into this, cud-head! You didn't even know him!" Blazing Dawn pawed the ground, his wings dangerously outstretched; ready to attack.
Lunar Eclipse's demeanor immediately changed to that of contemptuous anger. Just as he opened his mouth to put the insolent fool into his place, he was interrupted by a yell.
"ENOUGH!" Celestia's regal voice echoed throughout the Throne Room, causing the argument to stop. Celestia's face was a mix of restrained anger and sadness, "There will be no violence in this court. Are we understood?"
"Yes, Princess." Both Blazing Dawn and Filthy Rich said at the same time, shooting dirty looks at each other before they turned towards the Princesses.
"Twilight Sparkle..." Celestia looked over at the Unicorn mare. "Thank you for fetching Blazing Dawn for us..."
"My pleasure, your Highness." Twilight gave a short bow from her desk.
"Lunar Eclipse..." Luna nodded. "Thank you for joining us as well. I take it you were in the middle of teaching Blaze?"
Lunar smiled at Luna. "Indeed Princess." He scowled at the members of the hierarchy. "I am...angered by getting dragged here in the middle of his training for a pointless meeting..."
"Hold there, alicorn!" A female voice shouted at him from the left. The Earth pony mare representative, Carrot Top, pointed a hoof. "This meeting is far from pointless!"
"I'm gonna need more than that, ginger..." Lunar rolled his eyes.
"Lunar Eclipse, you are on thin ice!" The female Pegasus representative, Lightning Bolt, interjected. She was a white mare with a sky blue tail and mane. "If you would just listen, Fancy Pants could tell you why we summoned you here..."
"Indeed, Lunar ol' boy..." The male Unicorn rep said to their right, clearing his throat before starting to talk, "It has come to the attention of the Princesses, and this court, that Blazing Dawn is in grave danger..."
"Really?" Blazing Dawn and Lunar Eclipse said at the same time, staring intently at the Unicorn.
"I'm afraid so, chap." Fancy said solemnly.
Lunar and Blaze exchanged worried look with each other before bursting out laughing. Lunar put a hoof to his head while Blazing Dawn started rolling around on the floor. Twilight Sparkle face-hooved and sighed.
"Hey!" The male Pegasus rep, Hoops, roared as the two rolled around laughing, "This ain't nothing to laugh about, guys!"
"Representative Hoops is right, Lunar..." Celestia remained stone-faced. "Young Blazing Dawn is in terrible danger..."
Blazing Dawn wiped a tear away from his face before he inhaled and regained his composure, standing up, "How will this be any different from the other grave dangers that came at me?"
"I agree with the kid, Princess." Lunar nodded, who has recovered as well, "We've managed to beat back that band of dragons seeking revenge, that crazy zebra, the diamond dogs, and Trixie of all ponies. How will this be any different?" He glanced around at all the ponies in the room, "What are we even dealing with here?"
"I have...felt something..." Celestia sighed and shook her head, "Something I haven't felt since..." She glanced over at Luna, who, in turn, looked down at the floor, "Since Nightmare Moon..."
The room was silent. Blazing Dawn looked up worriedly at Lunar Eclipse, who looked confused, "What...what do you mean?"
Blazing Dawn jumped forward, "Yeah! How is that possible?" She nodded at Luna, "Look! She's good now!"
Luna's face turned red as she gazed steadily at the ground, "That part of me was...destroyed, that day. It became it's own state-of-being."
"Blaze, please..." Lunar grabbed the eager alicorn's tail and pulled him back, "Do we know anything else? Do we even know what it is or what it's called?"
Hooves on the marble were heard from their left as Twilight Sparkle stepped out from behind her desk, notes floating in front of her in the air with her magic, "I've decided to call it 'The Nightmare'." She offered the notes to Lunar Eclipse, who took them with his magic and began to cycle through them.
"How..." Lunar's eyes widened in horror as he cycled through the notes, "How can this be?"
"What?" Blazing Dawn took to the air and eagerly tried to look at the notes, "What is it?"
Twilight sighed, "I'm not sure how it looks, or even how it works, really." She started pacing in front of Lunar Eclipse and his young charge, "It has the potential to corrupt others as it did with Luna, and cause illusions or hallucinations." She stopped and took the notes back for Lunar Eclipse, "One thing is certain; you must now double your efforts at keeping Blazing Dawn safe and secure...because The Nightmare will be looking for Blazing Dawn...indefinitely."
"Bring it on, then!" Blazing Dawn reared up and snorted angrily. "I'll beat it down!"
Bursts of laughter erupted through the previously quiet Throne Room from members of the hierarchy, namely Filthy Rich, Hoops, Carrot Top, and Lightning Bolt. Twilight and Fancy Pants shook their heads in disappointment at their fellow representatives. Blazing Dawn touched back down, snorted, and stepped back; a slight blush of embarrassment on his cheeks. Lunar Eclipse just face-hooved.
"You have a big head, boy!" Filthy Rich snidely remarked when the laughter was done. "I hope your horn grows with it!" Then the laughter continued.
Blazing Dawn growled at Filthy again, but, upon looking over at Celestia and seeing her frown in his direction, he stood back and calmed down.
"Order, please!" Celestia's voice again echoed throughout the hall, "That's enough name-calling in this court. Representative Rich, I'll ask you to refrain from any more derogatory remarks for the rest of the meeting."
"As you wish, Princess..." He bowed slightly before shooting a look over at Blazing Dawn, who stuck out his tongue at him.
"This is a clearly a threat too dangerous to ignore." Celestia continued. "Therefore, I am decreeing that two of my Red Hooves, my elite guard, shall be stationed at Rainbow Dash's cloud at all times and will follow Blazing Dawn whenever he goes out."
"Aw man!" Blazing Dawn kicked the floor in annoyance.
"It's for your own good, B.D..." Twilight Sparkle said, walking up to him and nuzzling him.
"I don't believe this!" Lunar Eclipse stepped forward, "Princess, I'm more than capable of defending Blazing Dawn from an evil spirit! That's...well..." He paused for a moment, "Well, my kinda thing, really!"
celestia was about to respond when her younger sister interjected, "Lunar Eclipse..." She leaned forward, "I insist that two Red Hooves help you out with the young one..."
"I...I..." Lunar stuttered.
"Please?" Luna remained stone-faced as she looked at him.
Lunar sighed heavily, then nodded, "Fine..."
"They shall meet you upon your return to Ponyville." Celestia nodded, "I have already sent word to the Hoof compound there. Two...trusted...Hooves that Rainbow Dash knows personally will be Blazing Dawn's guards; just in case The Nightmare corrupts one of them. She will be able to tell."
"Who are they, Princess?" Blazing Dawn asked anxiously.
Celestia smiled. "Oh, I believe you know them quite well..."
Blazing Dawn and Lunar Eclipse flew through the late afternoon skies of Ponyville; the ponies in the city down below were on their way home from their various jobs and activities of the day as the town was slowly bathed in the dim redness of the sunset.
"Who do you think Celestia meant when she said that I 'know' them?" Blazing Dawn said to Lunar as Rainbow's came into view.
Lunar shrugged, "I'm about as clueless as you are...unless..." His face held a thoughtful look as he thought it over. A small, almost imperceptible grin spread on his face as the two continued flying to Blazing Dawn's home.
As the duo landed in the entryway to the cloud and folded up their wings, Blazing Dawn instantly lit up when he saw who was inside.
"Blue Arrow! Papyrus!" Blazing Dawn shot through the air towards a red armored blue Pegasus that stepped out of the cloud. His mane and tail were long and red with white streaks. His cutie mark was a red hoof. A stray wrinkle
"Blazing Dawn, lad!" The Pegasus known as Blue Arrow grunted as the speeding alicorn slammed into him, embracing him in a tight hug. "It's...nice ta' see ya' too! Now, let go, lad. I'm getting too old for this, haha!"
Blazing Dawn obliged the veteran's wishes and smiled, hovering in the air in front of the Red Hoof commander. "I haven't seen you in forever, Blue Arrow!"
"That's because he got himself injured in our last mission to the border of the Zebrahara..." A younger, baritone voice snickered behind Blue Arrow.
A similarly clad red Pegasus exited the cloud. He had a long, shaggy brown mane and tail and bore the same cutie mark; a red hoof.
"Papyrus!" Blazing Dawn hugged the younger hoof as well.
"Hey, buddy!" Papyrus ruffled Blaze's mane.
"Eh, stow it, corporal..." Blue Arrow grunted.
"I take it you like your new guards, son?" Rainbow Dash exited the cloud behind Papyrus, leaning against the doorway and folding her forehooves.
"I was worried at first!" Blazing Dawn released Papyrus and stepped back, looking at the two Red Hooves. "That this would be boring!"
Blue Arrow smiled. "Ah, lad..." He patted the young alicorn on the shoulder. "With us, it's never boring..."
Lunar's grin that he had started to exhibit earlier had spread across his face at this point, as his suspicions as to who the two "trusted" guards were indeed correct.
"Blue Arrow and Papyrus..." Lunar stepped forward and grasped hooves with Blue Arrow. "I should've known..."
"Ye' barely figured it out, did ya'?" Blue Arrow smiled.
"Please, old timer..." Lunar smiled. "I figured i out halfway here..."
"It's an honor, Lunar..." Papyrus gave a slight bow. "To be working alongside you in defending Blazing Dawn..."
"That was..." Rainbow walked forward. "Awfully polite..." She squinted at him. "You've been hanging out with Applejack too much..."
Papyrus blushed. "Heh...well, yeah..."
"Papyrus and A.J., sittin' in a tree! K-I-S-S-" Blazing Dawn started before Papyrus walked forward and shoved him playfully.
"Knock it off, you little punk!" Papyrus and Blazing Dawn both laughed.
"Alright, ya' crazy loons..." Blue Arrow stepped forward, "Down to business..." He looked at Lunar Eclipse, "Rainbow knows the details...do you?"
Lunar shook his head and narrowed his eyes, "As much as I appreciate the help, Blue Arrow, I would have much preferred to meet this Nightmare thing in battle by myself..."
"Let me guess..." Rainbow smiled evilly, "Luna?"
Lunar's cheeks turned red and the two Red Hooves smiled, Papyrus stifling a chuckle.
"I...I don't know what you're talking about..." Lunar exhaled in embarrassment.
"Don't give me that!" Rainbow walked up and poked him, "Luna buttered you up, didn't she?"
Lunar growled and narrowed his eyes. "Watch yourself, Dash..."
"Hey, relax, man!" Papyrus smiled. "There ain't nothing wrong with having a mare to love..."
"Ain't nothing?" Rainbow laughed. "Yep, you sure have been hanging around A.J. way too much!"
"If the Ponyville Love Club is done discussin' their wee little crushes, we have more important things to talk about!" Blue Arrow barked before turning back to Lunar Eclipse and Blazing Dawn. "Papyrus and I are to guard the cloud at night and accompany Blazing Dawn wherever he goes throughout the day." He looked down at Blazing Dawn. "Do ya' go to school, lad?"
Blazing Dawn smiled. "Yeah. To Ponyville's schoolhouse."
"Good colt..." Blue Arrow turned his attention back to Lunar Eclipse. "We'll be guardin' the schoolhouse when he's there, then."
"That's fair..." Lunar nodded, "That's my downtime, when he's at school..."
"This works out for the best then..." Papyrus nodded and smiled.
"Indeed..." Blue Arrow looked out at the sun as it began its descent down out of the horizon. "'tis gettin' late, lad. Ye' should rest up for school tomorrow..."
"He's right, Blaze..." Rainbow flew over to her son and put a hoof on his shoulder, guiding him inside the house.
"Aw, mom! Can't I stay up and talk to the Hooves?" Blazing Dawn. protested.
"Nope. Hey, how about you show me what you learned today?" Rainbow stopped short of her entryway and smiled at her son.
"Oh!" Blazing Dawn lit up. "Oh yeah!"
The Hooves and Lunar Eclipse looked on anxiously as Blazing Dawn closed his eyes and clenched his teeth. His horn began to glow, and, in an instant, he disappeared in a flash of golden light.
Rainbow gasped, as did the Hooves. Lunar simply smiled.
"Blaze?" Rainbow looked around erratically. "Blazing Dawn!"
"In here, mom!" Blaze's muffled voice echoed from inside the cloud. "I'm in my room!"
The Hooves started laughing as Rainbow Dash looked back with a dry expression. "Did you really have to teach him that?"
"Sadly, but hilariously...yes." Lunar smirked, causing the Hooves to laugh even more.
Rainbow smiled and shook her head, "Just be glad I've gotten used to to you trolling me, Lunar..." She then took to the air and flew inside her cloud and into Blazing Dawn's room to tuck him in.
Lunar yawned and stretched out his wings, "I'm bushed, too." He turned towards the Hooves and nodded. "Good luck tonight, gentlecolts...I'm off to bed..."
The two Hooves saluted and took up positions out on different parts of the cloud; Blue Arrow taking the 'patio' and Papyrus took to the roof.
"Pff..." Lunar stepped inside and turned right, leading to his room that Rainbow had created with extra clouds. "I still think this is unnecessary..."
In the next room over, Rainbow Dash was hovering over Blazing Dawn's bed, grabbing the covers and pulling them up gently underneath his chin. He shuffled around underneath the covers and his forehooves popped out from underneath them.
"I'm really proud of you, ya know?" Rainbow started with a warm smile, "You're certainly becoming quite the alicorn if I do say so myself, Blaze."
"Thanks, mom..." Blazing Dawn closed his eyes and smiled, blushing lightly, "I promise I annoy you too much with my teleporting..."
Rainbow giggled, "You really are like your father..." She bent down and gently kissed her son on the forehead, "Goodnight, hun. I love you."
"I love you, too." Blazing Dawn nestled down into the covers and closed his eyes.
She lazily took to the air and flew out of the room, using her tail to turn out the lights on the way out.
She paused and turned around, looking at her son. Rainbow smiled warmly. "And he loves you, too." She took to the air and flew towards her room. "I'm sure of it..."
Luna's moon shone brightly over the town of Ponyville that night. Everything seemed peaceful and quiet, and no pony roamed the streets, save one pony.
One pony in a wizard hat and elegant cape.
"The Great and Powerful Trixie will get Blazing Dawn this time..." The enchantress gazed up at Rainbow's cloud from the streets down below, "Blazing Dawn is such a cute, but powerful, colt. Trixie's power could be doubled with him in tow..." She turned around and used her magic to levitate a spell book from her cart to the front of her face, "Now, which spell did Twilight Sparkle use to give that fashion snob her wings...?
As Trixie flipped through the pages of the book, a small cloud of purple gas separated itself from a cloud in the sky and slowly descended towards Trixie.
"Huh?" Trixie stopped flipping through the pages of her book and looked around, "Who's there? Trixie is not a pony to be messed with!"
Not seeing or hearing anypony, Trixie frowned, "Trixie must have heard the wind..."
Before she could return to reading, however, the cloud of purple gas flew down as quickly as it had appeared and flew up inside Trixie's muzzle. Trixie started to suffocate. The book fell to the ground with a heavy thud as he forehooves went up to her throat to try and stop the suffocation.
She stopped suddenly, her hooves dropping down to her sides. He eyes closed suddenly and snapped open again. She had serpentine eyes eerily similar to Nightmare Moon. Wings forcefully ripped out of her back and she seemed to grow in length and height, until anypony could mistake her for a royal alicorn.
"Hahaha..." Trixie's voice reverberated with a sinister, deeper, yet husky harmony. "This body will suffice...her magic is certainly nothing compared to that of Princess Luna or The Element of Magic..." Trixie paused and chuckled. "But, I suppose this will do...for now..."
"Trixie" looked up at Rainbow's cloud. "Ah, the Element of Loyalty's cloud...therein lies the answer to my problems...that alicorn's presence here has caused me nothing but trouble...time to end it...hahahaha..."
"Trixie" spread her wings and prepared to take flight up to the cloud, but stopped when "she" saw Blue Arrow take flight up to the roof of the cloud to talk to Papyrus.
"What? How can this be? The Red Hooves? Here?" "Trixie" growled, baring "her" teeth. "The Princesses must be onto me..."
"Trixie" closed "her" eyes, started twitching in anger, and finally roared to the sky. "RAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!"
"She" then turned around and, using surprising physical strength that normally "Trixie" wouldn't have, picked up Trixie's cart and tossed it through the front window of Sugar Cube Corner. Lights turned on in houses all around the street, including Sugar Cube Corner itself. As ponies started walking out into the street to see what the commotion was, "Trixie" roared one last thing, "I'll get you Blazing Dawn! YOU WILL COME BACK TO ME, LUNA!"
Then the small cloud of purple gas leaked out of Trixie's nose and flew away. Trixie's wings disintegrated instantly, her body shrunk back to its regular size, and her eyes returned to normal. She stood for an instant, before she fell over, unconscious.
"What's going on here?" Mr. Cake exited Sugar Cube Corner with a rolling pin in his teeth and a nightcap on his head. He turned and widened his eyes in shock, "Trixie?"
As everypony started to gather around, and the police ponies arrived on the scene, surrounding the unconscious enchantress, the purple cloud of gas flew subtly back up to the cloud from which it came from, an evil laugh reverberating through the air.
Ooooooh! New villain! Huzzah! What is Blazing Dawn going to do about that guy? Tune in next time to find out!
Everypony remembers QTXAdsy's Red Hooves of Celestia, Blue Arrow and Papyrus! :) Other OCs may be reprising their roles as well, so keep an eye out!
Lightning Flash (c) Lightning Flash
Gear Grinder (c) Mr. Sev