I'M BACK BABY! I want t say THANK YOU to every single one of you amazing people for even giving this story a glance, and I'll give you one better, I'm giving a quick shout-out to all of you who helped me feel better, whether it be a quick review, or a private message, I'd like to give indefinite thanks to: IslandAlbatross, ShadowVoltstreaker, LaserLens4, Patrick, and the mysterious reader who likes to refer to himself as "Guest". I can't thank any of you enough. Anyways, please enjoy the chapter!

Jakob

I stood outside of the inn for a moment, trying to calm myself own and recollect all of my thoughts after the unexpected teleportation. I glanced down inside of my cloak to find that the sword that had just been given to me was safely strapped to the belt that I had worn to the concert just two nights before. After looking around to make sure that Nopony had seen me, I slipped silently into the inn. I was pretty sure that news about a human being in Equestria would travel fast, and I didn't want any one of Ponyville's residents to see me for fear that they might figure out where my friend and I were staying.

"D… Who the hell is D?" I mumbled quietly to myself as I made my way up the stairs. Even as I continue to rack my brain to its fullest potential I couldn't for the life of me figure out who sent me the sword. As a matter of fact, I didn't think I even knew anyone whose name started with a D.

"Something about that poem too…'To relish in their arduous pain and suffering'… It doesn't make any sense. Why would I want to hurt anyone?" I asked more to myself than anyone else as I pushed open the door slowly. It was pretty late and if Ashe was asleep, I wouldn't have wanted to wake him. Plus, he looked like he was having one heck of a dream….

Ashe

"Wait… Where am I?" I asked as my eyes frantically darted around the unfamiliar landscape. It took a moment or two for me to get adjusted to the extreme darkness, but once I finally recovered from the change in lighting, I knew exactly where I was. It was the Canterlot garden! A smile instantaneously festered itself across my face as I breathed in the beautiful scent of Honey suckle and cherry blossoms. It was an unbelievable sight. There were plants and trees and fruits everywhere, some seemed familiar, but others were simply indescribable. It was possibly one of the most peaceful looking places that I had ever encountered, which probably didn't mean too much considering the fact that I was from such a large city. But just as I felt a calming warm breeze hit my cool skin, the tranquil silence was broken by an unfamiliar voice.

"Soon we will have revenge… Soon… Those stupid fucking ponies will regret what they did to master… He will make them suffer"

I cringed at the sinister sounding voice. It was so out of nowhere that I wasn't even sure what to make of it. And who would want to make these adorable little creatures suffer? I mean sure some of them could be annoying at times, but why would anyone ever want to hurt one of them? I looked around, searching for the strange voice, but as I continued to search, I heard another voice appear from out of nowhere, except this time, it sounded even more sinister, causing me to shiver in fear as well as duck behind a nearby tree.

"They thought they could keep me trapped in here forever, like a caged animal… They were horribly wrong. And soon enough I will make them see the oblivious error of their ways, just as soon as I can tame him"

"Tame who?" I whispered to myself, but no sooner had I had a chance to speak than the first voice asked for me.

"Who is it that you wish to tame?"

"The one that just arrived here with his friend of course! Why else do you think I would have sent him such a valuable gift? I have held possession of that sword for ages. You don't think I would do something as foolish as to just give it away to someone who I knew didn't have the strength to wield it do you?"

"Well of course not it's just that-"

"ENOUGH!" The voice thundered, causing me to bend over and clasp my ears for fear of going deaf. "Did you get the blade to Celestia or not?"

"Y-Yes of course I did… I even gave her the note just as you commanded… It's in the humans' possession as we speak…" The first figure stuttered nervously.

"Good… We will continue this conversation elsewhere… I've been trapped in this garden for far too long, and I'd like to retreat back to my home if you don't mind" He snapped, to which the other mysterious voice responded with a small whimper of agreement.

For a moment all was quiet and my heart beat returned to its normal pace as I took in a deep breath. I wasn't sure what to make of this situation… I mean surely it was nothing but a dream but nothing seemed to make sense. Who were the two mysterious voices, and why the HELL were they talking about "making them suffer"? The more I thought, the more questions began to arise in my head.

I slowly but surely peeked around the tree, my heart beat picking back up again as the thought of getting caught by who or whatever was talking festered itself in my mind. But to my surprise and utmost relief, I found that there was no one around… But I still couldn't help but wonder… Who were the owners of those strange voices? And who were they talking about….

"Jakob!" I half shouted half yawned, almost throwing myself over the edge of the tiny bed frame. Why did everything here have to be so god damn small? Lately I had been having a large amount of strange and unexplainable dreams, but that was one of the ones that REALLY made no sense whatsoever.

I stood up and stretched my arms high up above my head in an all but futile attempt to wake myself up. I looked over to the other bed to see Jakob sitting down on his equally small bed holding something that looked like a sword.

"Morning" He mumbled as he ran his hand along the sharp looking blade, unable to take his eyes off of it.

"Um… Jakob?... What is that?" I asked timidly, stepping away from my friend. I knew for sure that we were cool now, but I still felt like he was pretty mad at me for what I did with Krystal, even if he himself wouldn't admit it.

"It's a sword" He replied bluntly, causing me to roll my eyes.

"No shit. Where did you get it from though?"

"Well… Yesterday I was with Roseluck and we were eating dinner or whatever, then out of nowhere Celestia and Luna just teleported me up to their castle and they showed me this. Apparently someone had found it in the Everfree forest and handed it over to the royal guard. I guess the captain showed the princess's or something and they took it, along with the note that had been left beside it. This is the note" Jakob said, handing me a small piece of paper.

Jakob

As a token of friendship I give you this sword

Forged deep within the walls of chaos and agony

In exchange for the hope that you bear it aloft

Refusing to feel fear in the face of all adversity

And slay the enemies that lie before your wake

To relish in their arduous pain and suffering

And awaken the unfathomable power that lies within.

-D

I shuddered after reading it over. Who on earth would write something like this… Any why would they just hand a sword over to Jakob like that? I mean sure he could get violent sometimes, but Jakob never wanted to hurt anyone! He was a great guy! But this little note managed to make him look like some kind of a bloodthirsty, infamous villain!

Then all of the sudden it hit me. The dream that I had… Those voices were talking about sending someone a "gift" and that the human he sent it to was the only one strong enough to "wield" it. The more I thought about it the more it made sense… The more sinister sounding of the two had said that he had given it to the human that came to this world with his friend. And for all I knew, we could be the only humans in this entire universe! But as much as I wanted to say something to Jakob, I decided it would be better if I just kept my mouth shut. After all, it was probably nothing but a silly dream. I mean sure it was strangely coincidental but I figured it wasn't even worth a second thought.

"That's strange. So Celestia and Luna let you take the sword simply because it was addressed to you? Do they really trust us that much?" I asked, surprised that the princess's would think of it as a good idea.

"Luna searched our minds when we first came here remember? If we had even a single thought of hostility towards this world, do you honestly think she would have just let us live amongst their subjects like this? Nonetheless hiding our true identities? Come on buddy, use your brain a bit" Jakob laughed softly as he stood up and twirled the sword around for a moment, admiring its shape and weight just before putting it back in its sheath attached to the rope-like waistband of the dark cloak.

"So what do you say we go for a walk? I have to go enlist in the royal guard since Celestia said one of us had to, and that's right beside Sugar Cube Corn-"

"WOAH WOAH WOAH, YOU DID WHAT?!" I exclaimed, causing my friend to almost fall over in surprise. "Why would you decide to do that? Did you not think that maybe I'd like to talk about this first?! Maybe I don't want you putting your god damned life at risk for a world we haven't even lived in for more than a week?"

"Ashe" Jakob chuckled in return, only agitating me even more "How long has it been since you've taken a look around this place? We are in EQUESTRIA. Nothing but happiness, smiles and rainbows all around. I mean seriously dude, what could go wrong? For all I know, I'll probably just do nothing but stand around all day and get paid."

"Wait really? So you're just going to become a regular guard? That's it? No questions asked?" I asked, obviously causing him to remember something as his eyes shot wide and he put his head in his hands.

"Oh… Shit" Jakob slowly groaned, a pained and worried expression covering his once tranquil face. "They said they weren't putting me in as a simple stationed guard. They want me to be part of the more elite division that actually involved a good bit of fighting… Not to mention the trials that will come before hand… You've got to be kidding me" He sighed as he lay back on his bed, the stress clearly getting to my friend.

"The more elite division? Wait, do you mean the actually military? But you were right! What is there to fight in this peaceful place? You'll probably just get stationed somewhere and receive a higher pay than a standard guard. That's a good thing!" I said in a feeble attempt to cheer my friend up as I sat down on the bed net to him.

"Not completely… There's something that Celestia didn't tell you about Ashe" Jakob sighed as he stood up and looked out the window. "There is a dark side of this world that the sunlight doesn't touch. They call it the outer lands, and the princess's made it indefinitely clear that we are never supposed to go anywhere near there. To be honest they didn't really go in to detail or even explain why we aren't supposed to go there, they just said it is a place full of chaos, evil, and greed. If you look for enough out onto the horizon you can see some of it" He finished, motioning me over to the window that he was gazing out of.

I slowly stood up and made my way over to where he was standing to sneak a peek out of the window. As I peered out, everything seemed fairly normal. I looked out over Ponyville and all of its inhabitants walking about and noticed nothing strange or menacing off in the distance to the right, and for a moment, I thought that Jakob had just been pulling my leg, but then he pointed off towards the left. I looked in the direction in which he was pointing, and at first I couldn't really see all that much. Most of Equestria general speaking was entirely flat, so someone could look out for miles without having their vision blocked. I gazed out over the entire Everfree forest, glad that we managed to wind up on the fifth floor of the inn so that we could see over it. I looked beyond the forest and all of the sudden I saw what looked to be a dip off into a very dark looking valley right in front of a huge mountain range… It was so dark that I could barely tell that those large, jagged pieces of rock formed mountains! The entire area was quite clearly covered in some sort of an un-natural cloud formation. As I continued to squint out into the evil looking place, I shuddered slightly in sudden realization that the only thing separating this peaceful utopia from the dark, evil outer lands was the Everfree forest… And that itself was only about five or six miles in length! But then again I saw what looked like a very large wall right in front of the valley, so it seemed as though the light side of Equestria was safe from whatever lay on the other side of that wall.

I continued to look over the white wall that seemed to surround practically all of the "good" side of Equestria, and when I squinted it looked as though there were guard towers spaced evenly along the wall, most likely emplaced there to survey the Outer Lands and make sure that nothing attempted to make its way through to the other side. But even with the enormous wall, it still was a bit nerve wracking to know that there was a dark side to this place… Especially considering that my best friend was most likely going to have to deal with its inhabitants… if there were any.

"So… What do you think man?" Jakob sighed sadly as he too gazed out into the Evil looking Outer Lands. I decided that it would probably be better to respond with a reassuring and positive answer than an honest one…

"It looks a tad bit creepy, but I'm sure it's not all that bad!" I lied as I chuckled awkwardly, trying to cheer him up "I mean come on, the worst thing that they could possibly do to you is put you up on that wall over there, and all you'd really be doing is sitting around and making money, so there's no reason to fret! So where is it you have to go to enlist again?" I asked, doing my best to change the subject.

"You'd know if you would have let me finish my sentence earlier without freaking out on me… The enlisting station is right next to Sugar Cube Corner… You know… The place where Pinkie Pie stays. I was thinking while I wait in line to enlist you could maybe talk to her for a little while or something like that. You've always liked her most out of the mane six right?"

Almost as soon as he asked the question, I began to jump up and down like a little girl who just got told she would get to go to Disney World. I absolutely LOVED Pinkie Pie! She was funny, adorable, and best of all, she was always happy! Even at my lowest of lows, all I would have to do was turn on my TV, hear her laugh, and I would immediately feel better! She was almost exactly like me, and maybe that was why I loved her so much.

"YES YES YES YES YES YESSS I'D LOVE TO GO JAKOB!" I squealed excitedly, barely able to hold in my anticipation to finally talk to the Pink pony.

"OK OK, if you'd calm down we could get out of here and start walking" Jakob chuckled in response as he slowly backed away towards the door, looking very surprised by my somewhat random outburst of excitement, but hell, how could I help myself! I WAS GOING TO GET TO SEE PINKIE!

"Um…. A-Ashe?" Jakob stuttered.

"EEEP! YES!?" I asked, still unable to control my excitement

"Your eyes…"

"Wait… What about them?" I asked, suddenly becoming a bit worried

"They're glowing yellow…" Jakob laughed nervously "Luna said your eyes glow a certain color if you're feeling a specific way… Yellow must mean that you're excited!"

"Wait, really?!" I practically shouted, only furthering my excitement as I ran over to look myself over in the mirror, only to find that Jakob was telling the truth! My eyes were glowing a neon yellow! The centers of my pupils were still black just as always, but the part that was usually a casual green was yellow!

"That's pretty cool, but not as cool as my wings! Now let's get going already!"

"Phew… Ok" I laughed, all tired out from my jumping. I took a deep breath, doing my best to calm myself down before Jakob opened up the door and we began making our way down the stairs.

Jakob

Once Ashe FINALLY Shutup and we made our way downstairs, we pushed open the doors to the inn and began walking towards Sugar Cube Corner. It was only three or four blocks away, so I figured it probably wouldn't take us too long to get there and back. But then again I had no clue how I was going to separate Ashe from Pinkie, for all I knew, I'd probably have to drag him off by his hair just to get him to leave her alone. Then again they had so much in common that she'd most likely wind up taking a liking to him as well.

"Maybe bringing him along wasn't such a good idea after all" I chuckled to myself, causing my friend to glare at me very quickly. I had completely forgotten he had such outstanding hearing.

"You know you're going to have to get a job too" I pointed out, not wanting to be working my but off every day while Ashe sat at home and did nothing but sleep like he did back on earth. I swear to god waking that kid up was near next to impossible.

"Well duh, I'm not just gonna let you roll around in money while I sit at home masturbating all day. I'm gonna need to figure something out for myself as well, I just have no idea what!" He replied as we continued to pass by the staring ponies. Sure they knew that we weren't dangerous, so most of them weren't scared of us in the slightest, but they were still curious. I mean who could blame them! Before we came, humans were nothing but a myth to the inhabitants of this world. And now that we were living here, we would have to come to expect to capture the attention of A LOT of the ponies living in this part of Equestria.

"Well there are a lot of places you could work at! For one maybe you could talk to the Cakes about working at Sugar Cube Corner as a baker or a waiter or something like that. You could sign up to be in the guard as well. Hey, and if all else fails, you could always just work at a rock farm!" I laughed hysterically, causing even more ponies to stare

"NO!" Ashe yelled in return "That is the one place that I will NEVER work at! Did you see the clip of Trixie doing it? I'd break my back in half!"

"Hey dumbass" I laughed "Did you forget about that little thing you now have called magic?" In response he gave me a dumbfounded look, and then glanced down at the black marks in the centers of his palms to find that I was telling the truth.

"Oh… Yeah… I- I knew that! Pfft! I'd never forget something like that" Ashe scoffed in a pathetic attempt to keep himself from looking like an idiot for the second time that day.

"Well I mean you already forgot about your eyes changing color. Were you even paying attention? I mean at least I haven't forgotten about the wings on my back" I chuckled as my friend crossed his arms, obviously pissed off at himself.

"Well excuse me for getting hit by a god damn truck Jakob. I wasn't exactly awake at the moment"

"Yeah yeah whatever, nothing but excuses from you lately. Hey, looks like we're here!" I pointed towards the gingerbread looking building placed conveniently to the right of the enlisting station. The line looked fairly long so I figured I'd probably just wind up standing there for a while.

As I continued to walk I couldn't help but feel a bit nervous. I'd considered going into the military back at home for a while, but I figured that it would never work out anyway. I wouldn't be nearly as skeptical about the high paying job if the Outer Lands didn't exist. I mean god knows what was out there! Even Celestia herself wouldn't go into detail about the forbidden place! Either way, I knew that I was just going to have to be strong and push my fear aside… I had to do this… There was no way I could back down now and just let Ashe take my place. If anything happened to him I'd blame myself, and even though I was still a bit angry at him for what he did to me, I still loved him like a brother. And I'd be damned if I ever let anything bad happen to him.

"Alright well I'm going to go in and try and find Pinkie" Ashe laughed excitedly, snapping me back to reality "Good luck with signing up man, that line looks like it'd be a pain in the ass to stand in. Is there a specific time you want me to come outside and meet you or is it cool if I just meet you back at the inn?"

"Well I wouldn't want to have to pull you away from her or anything… Yeah you can just meet me at our place whenever. Just please don't stay out too late. I really don't feel like having to-"

"Yeah yeah sounds good, catch ya later!" He replied arrogantly, his sudden change of tone throwing me off as he turned his back and walked into Sugar Cube Corner.

"Wait for you all night…" I finished before looking over towards the incredibly long line and letting out a small sigh.

"Oh Jakob… What have you gotten yourself into…"

Ashe

I rushed over to the bright pink front door of Sugar Cube Corner, bursting with excitement and anticipation. Finally, after all this time I was going to get to see the pony that gave me enough strength to get through the day! Every single time I would listen to one of her songs, I couldn't help but smile. Everything about her just made me so happy! I could only imagine how happy I'd be to actually get to see her!

Bursting with energy, I barely managed to calm myself down enough to take a deep breath and knock on the door. I stood there for about thirty seconds, unable to wipe the beaming smile off of my face as I waited for somebody… well… somepony to answer the door. I continued to wait as seconds dragged on into minutes. And suddenly, for the first time that day, I became somewhat discouraged. After all the buildup could they really not be home? My smile faded and I let out a long sigh of disappointment after the third minute or so that I had spent waiting came to an end.

"Maybe I should just try again tomorrow…" I sighed, trying to find a reason to feel better. I was sure that I would get another chance to see her but… I still couldn't help but be the slightest bit disappointed after all the excitement. I turned around, figuring I might as well stand in line with Jakob and give him some comfort. God knows how nervous he must've been. But as I went to take the first step down the stairs that led to the entrance of Pinkies house, I noticed something strange.

"Um… they're not home" I chuckled nervously towards the on-looking crowd of what seemed to be twenty or more impatient looking ponies… None of which I recognized. To make everything even stranger than it already seemed, they were all standing in a straight line, as if every one of them wanted to get into the cupcakes house… Was Pinkie Pie really that popular around here?

"G-Guys… They didn't answer the door when I knocked… I don't think they're home" I stammered, desperate to do whatever I could to get all of their eyes off of me. As if things weren't bad enough, as soon as I finished my sentence, a large number of them began to laugh and giggle… Were they actually making fun of me? I mean I knew that I was probably very different from the rest of them so I had expected there to be a couple of jokes but I can't believe that such an accepting place could have inhabitants that treated outsiders so cruelly?

"I should have known… Especially after the way they treated Zecora" I sighed weakly to myself, walking shamefully down the steps, doing my best to not show them how red my face was from embarrassment. I continued to walk with my head down, trying desperately not to make eye contact with any of the ponies that had just laughed at me when I heard what sounded like a door opening. I turned around excitedly, expecting Pinkie Pie or Mrs. Cake to have finally answered the door, only to be met by surprise as I noticed all of the ponies that were in line behind me just simply pushing the door open and making their way inside the tasty looking building.

I decided that it would be a good idea to walk up and protest, try to keep all of those rude ponies from invading Pinkie's house without her permission. But just as I opened my mouth to scorn them, the sign for what I thought to be Pinkie and the Cakes house came into view.

"Wait… Why the hell would someone have a sign for their house?" I asked to no one in particular as I made my way to the left in hopes to get a better look at the strange sign. Once I was finally able to read it I came pretty damn close to slapping myself in the face right then and there.

SUGAR CUBE CORNER

PONYVILLES' OWN PUBLIC BAKERY!

"Public bakery… It's not a house! It's a god damn bakery! UGH! Ashe why the bloody hell do you have to be such an idiot sometimes?" I groaned to myself, amazed at my level of stupidity. After the past couple of years, I had seemed to have developed a bit of a habit of talking to myself.

I made my way back over to Sugar Cube Corner, figuring that after making myself look like THAT much of an idiot I might as well as work up the nerve to walk in the place. I pushed my way through the lightly colored door and almost immediately I was hit by the smell of a fresh bakery. I smelled everything from recently baked chocolate chip cookies to cheesecake and hard candies and everything in between. I opened my eyes after one or two seconds after indulging myself in the heaven like smell of the up kept building. I stepped forward to marvel at the cakes delectable looking creations they kept in the little glass container that had what looked to be a cash register placed on top of it. They had everything from carrot cake to chocolate cake to pies, cupcakes, éclairs, fruitcakes, lollipops, and everything else I could possibly imagine!

It was strange how in a world that seemed to have no contact whatsoever with the human world that we seemed to like the same desserts and sweets. Then again, just like with the reason that Jakob and I wound up in this strange world filled with multicolored ponies and rainbows… I figured that it would be better off not to trouble myself with the thought. It probably wasn't worth the headache anyway.

"Um… M-May I help you s-sir?" Stuttered a familiar sounding voice, snapping me away from my thoughts about Equestria as well as life in general.

I glanced up and looked behind the counter and smiled a bit once I realized who the owner of the voice was.

"Actually Mrs. Cake I was just wondering if Pinkie Pie was around" I chuckled happily towards the seemingly nervous cyan pony.

"Why y-yes she's upstairs right now actually…" She stammered, clearly doing her best to keep herself from making eye contact with me.

I decided that before I asked to go upstairs it would probably be a decent idea to go ahead and try and smooth things over quickly. I didn't feel like having anyone around this new world look at me as some kind of a monster.

"Alright… May I say something mam?"

She replied with only a nervous nod… A better response than what I had expected.

"I understand that you may be a bit… Well… that you may be a bit timid or nervous when I am around. I'm sure a lot of ponies around here are. I mean to most of you I'm probably nothing more than a freak or some alien that just randomly popped up in your world… And I want you to know that I'm no monster and that I'm actually a very friendly guy. And if you ever need any help around here I'd be very glad to lend you a hand… er… In your case a hoof." I finished with a smile, figuring that would make things at least a little bit better.

"Oh… Well in that case I'll have Pinkie come right on down" Mrs. Cake chuckled, obviously feeling a lot better knowing that I wasn't just some monster here to feast on her brains.

"Oh and Mrs. Cake?" I called out as she was making her way up the stairs, causing her to turn around. "You're mane looks absolutely wonderful"

"Aw, well thank you so much deary" She smiled as her cheeks went slightly red. I figured flattering her would maybe lead to her seeing me as a nicer person in general, so I thought it'd be a good idea to throw that in there just for the hell of it.

I went and sat down in a nearby booth to wait for Mrs. Cake to bring Pinkie Pie downstairs, when out of nowhere, I began to have negative thoughts again. What if Pinkie Pie was scared of me too? What if I did something stupid in front of her and made her think I was weird? What if I said something to upset her? What if she just didn't like me?

"Ugh… Shutup Ashe I'm sure that she'll like you" I groaned to myself as I rested my head against the cool table.

"You're sure who'll like you?!" Shouted an ecstatic sounding voice, causing me to fall out of my chair in surprise as well as let out a very feminine "squee" or surprise.

"You didn't have to go and throw yourself out of the chair over somepony liking you silly! I'm sure she'll think you're totally super duperly spectacular!"

I quickly picked myself up realizing who the voice belonged to and slid back into the chair directly across from hers. Almost immediately I felt myself begin to go red with embarrassment for the second time that day.

"Anyways I know you're new around here so let me introduce myself!" The pink pony giggled "My name's Pinkie Pie, and I just LOOOVE making new friends! What's yours? Wait… Why are your cheeks all red?"

"Oh… Um… I don't know that just tends to happen with humans sometim-"

"OOOOOO is that what you're called!? Humans sound really awesome! I mean they have an awesome name so DUHHH, of course they're awesome! I heard that you were coming into town and I watched you guys say hi to all the ponies and I was all like: OH MY GOSHHH THEY'RE SO COOL I SHOULD TOTALLY THROW THEM A PARTYYYY! And then you left to go back to your inn and I was so excited I couldn't stop jumping with joy!" The pony squealed as she bounced out of her seat and began to jump up and down, causing me to chuckle a bit.

To be honest she spoke so quickly that I couldn't make out much other than "humans" "oh my gosh" and "party", so I just decided it would be better to go with the flow.

"Well, my name's Ashe for starters and I'm very glad to meet you Pinkie Pie!" I laughed, yet again finding myself to hide my excitement.

"OH BOY YOU'RE NAME IS ASHE?! That's such a cool name! We don't have names like that around here, well, except for the inn keeper, his name's Bernie, but Ashe! Wow! Ashe rhymes with flash! Are you like super duper fast and stuff! Because that'd be so cool! I had a friend named flash once but surprisingly he wasn't very fast. You know what else rhymes with Ashe?! DASH! I have a friend named Rainbow Dash and she has a rainbow colored mane and she really really wants to join the wonderbolts! Oh sorry, keep forgetting you're new. Silly meeee! The wonderbolts are this super awesomely spectacular flying team that-"

"Hey um… Don't mean to interrupt you but I'm kind of hungry… Wanna come with me to go get a bite to eat? It is about lunch time and I figured maybe you'd get hungry too-"

"OF COURSE I'll go out to eat with you silly!" Pinkie shouted before practically tackling me out of my chair and onto the floor with intense excitement. I looked up end expected her to be standing there waiting for me to get up, only to feel a tugging sensation on my neck and look down to see the pink pony giving me a firm but gentle hug. Her eyes were closed and she leaned in and began to tenderly nuzzle me under my neck, causing me to almost have a heart attack from her pure adorableness.

"Well, we better get going" I said happily as I stood up, only to find that Pinkie was still hanging onto my neck as a child would it's father. "Pinkie, as much as I'm enjoying this you're gonna have to go ahead and let go of me if you want to get goin-"

"Well why didn't you just say so?!" Pinkie giggled as she suddenly appeared by the front door, taking me completely by surprise.

"Hurry up slowpoke! What're you waiting for?" She asked as I stood there for a moment, desperately trying to figure out how she managed to get to the door so quickly… Then I remembered a post I saw on Facebook back at home about how Pinkie pretty much defies what we humans know as "Physics" and "Logic". I figured those were probably right.

"All right I'm coming" I giggled happily as I walked over to the door. Even through all the feelings of excitement and all the questions that continued popping up in my head, I couldn't help but wonder how Jakob was doing…

Jakob

"Are you actually fucking serious right now?" I growled as I looked over the line that looked to be almost 50 yards long. "First, I get in a fight with my "best friend" and almost kill him. Secondly, I have to swallow my pride, and apologize to him, even though HE is the one that betrayed ME. Then, I had to go ahead and get shown off on stage like I was some kind of a god damn alien. Next, I had to stand there and listen to Rainbow Dash make me look like a bitch in front of everyone. After that, I was told that either I or my friend, who betrayed me, were REQUIRED to serve in the military. And now, I had to sit in this GOD DAMN LINE for GOD KNOWS TILL WHEN to go GOD KNOWS WHERE for GOD KNOWS HOW FUCKING LONG.

"I swear I'm going to lose it" I whispered to myself, barely able to contain my anger which only seemed to rise by the second "Ashe is off fucking around with his little friend while I'm expected to not only go off and possibly die in replace of him, but he can't even have the common decency to AT LEAST stand in line next to me while I wait to sign myself up for this fucking gimmick! I mean does he not care about me at all? After all I've done for him he thinks this is how he can treat me? Does that little CUNT really think that he can just fuck with the love of my life and get away with it?! After he wrecked every ounce of trust that I had built up after being his friend for 12 years, he seriously believes that we can just go back to being "buddy buddy"? Heh… Well he's got another thing coming. He'll be lucky if his heart's still beating after I'm done with him… I'm going to rip that little bitch limb from limb… Tear out his eyes and bury him in his own blood… I'm gonna-"The harshness of my words suddenly catching up to me, causing me to stop midsentence and look down towards the ground.

This was my best friend I was talking about… Not some random stranger that had decided to murder my entire family and burn my house to the ground… How could I think of doing such terrible things to him?

"Why because he deserves it of course" Chuckled a sinister sounding voice from out of the blue. I quickly snapped back to reality and began to quickly look around, trying to figure out who the voice belonged to. After glancing seemingly all around myself, I gave up and decided that I was most likely just hearing things.

"I'm hearing voices in my head… Now I'm not only violent… I'm crazy" I sighed sadly as I buried my head in my hands and began rubbing my now tightly shut eyes, doing my best to rid myself of the dark thoughts that lay nested deep within my mind.

I knew that I was a violent person… I had figured that out after I finally put my abusive father in his place. Back on earth, I fought people all the time. People older than me, people younger than me, and the age didn't really matter. I had taken and dealt out an insane amount of beatings. All because I had grown up thinking that violence was the answer to almost every problem. Some bully comes up and starts to try and put you down, you put him in his place. Your teacher decides to try and berate you in front of your entire English three class, you do what you need to in order to shut him up. Even if that means getting suspended for three months for assaulting school staff. And if your drunken, lazy, piece of trash, abusive father tries to lay a hand on you… You bury him in the ground.

I had a dark past… And ever since I got out of my fathers' house I had done my best to try and turn a new page. To find different ways to cope with my frustrations and problems other than resorting to violence or rage. And for the most part… My past stayed dormant. The only people that really knew about it were Ashe and my brother. I switched houses, switched schools, switched friends, monitored my drinking, and changed my attitude. But even though I had done so much to try and escape my past self, there were always moments where it seemed to catch up to me… Even if I didn't want it to. Ever since I changed I had felt like there were always two sides to me. There was the side that was happy. That forgave Ashe, even after all he had done. The side that did everything it could just to make Roseluck smile. That was the good side… But then there was the other side…

I shuddered slightly… Deciding that it would be better to just leave the past in the past.

"Well at least the line has moved quite a bit" I smiled to myself, realizing that not everything was as horrible as it seemed.

As the line continued to move, I began to notice something standing behind the enlisting station. It was a pony… Who looked as though he was in the guard. I recognized the armor he was wearing, but something about him seemed somewhat unique. As though I had seen him before. I mean sure all the guards on the show pretty much looked the same... But something about this one was strange. His armor was a different color, and his mane looked a bit longer than the usual guard. Not to mention his helmet was a different shape… Then it hit me.

"Shining armor" I chuckled happily to myself. Now if there was anypony in this town that I felt like I could trust I'd probably choose him. The captain of the royal guard himself… He most likely led the military division as well. On the show, he always seemed to be one of the kindest yet strongest male characters on the show. Plus he was a big brother who always looked out for his little sister… And I couldn't help but admire that.

He looked as though he were smiling as most of the new recruits came up and signed their names and chatted with him a bit. Most likely talking about the small amount of training and what had led up to their decision to join to guard. Then they would just walk away.

After about two more minutes or so I finally made it up to the front of the line, and almost immediately, the smile on the noble captains' face faded, and was replaced by a harsh, cold stare.

"What are you doing here human?" He growled, obviously not too happy to see that I was around. I had never seen him so agitated on the show…

"I'm here to sign up for the guard… Sir" I stammered, barely remembering my manners when it came to speaking with royalty. After all marrying Cadence probably made him somewhat of a prince so I figured I'd need to watch the way I spoke.

"You think you can just sign up for my guard? Oh I've read all about your "species". And I don't want you anywhere near MY guard. Now you better get out of my sight before I have to FORCE you to leave the premises" Shining armor spat, the bitterness of his words stinging me slightly.

"With all due respect Sir… The princesses told me to sign up… And not just for the royal guard, for what they said was the more elite force… Sir" I finished, doing my best to be cautious and not anger him further.

"So let me get this straight. You, a human, come into OUR world, and expect us to feed you, give you money and trust, and treat you as one of our own. THEN you have the audacity to come down to this enlisting station and think that you can just sign up for MY elite task force? Do you even know what your duties would be? Assuming you would even make it through the life threatening trials that you have to pass in order to become a part of this commendable group? You have only been here for a couple of days. What in the name of Celestia made you think that a coward such as yourself could ever be part of such a thing? You would die before you even had the chance to be known as a striker… Now get out of my sight"

"Sir… After all that I've been through, I think that you may be surprised with how strong I truly am sir" I said respectively, doing my best not to growl.

"Do you really?" The captain chuckled "Well in that case go ahead and sign up"

"Wait… really sir?" I asked completely taken back by his sudden change of heart. I mean I figured that I may be able to convince him but I had no idea that it would be THAT easy.

"Well sure. Why not? I mean I'm sure that you'll die after the first trial but that's months from now so I guess at the moment you have nothing to worry about. Plus, as most of your kind say, if you don't believe in yourself how can you expect anyone else to? Now go ahead and sign here to enlist for the tryouts to become a striker. And the best of luck to you pathetic human" Shining armor scoffed as he pointed his hoof at one of the two papers that were laid out on the stand.

The paper on the left read "ROYAL GUARD ENLISTMENT" and it had what looked to be almost one hundred applicants who put their name, age, and address on the large piece of parchment. I began to feel better due to the insane amount of ponies enlisting…. That was… until I looked over toward the sheet that said "STRIKER ENLISMENT". The piece of paper was completely blank.

"Um… Sir… why is this sheet completely-"

"Blank?" Shining Armor interrupted "Well probably because mostly everypony that has tried out for the Strikers has died trying. Those trials are a hoof-full you know" The captain said with and almost sadistic smile, sending a chill up my spine.

"Oh… Well… guess I'm going to be the first human to make it into the group huh sir?" I chuckled with a cocky smile, causing him to blink with confusion.

"Wait… so you aren't scared?"

"No sir" I replied confidentially, even though my heart was beating faster than it had for a while.

"Well… in that case what are you waiting for? Sign up and we'll see what you're worth" He scoffed as I filled in all of my information

"Pretty cocky for a disgusting human. Now if you'll excuse me I have to go and talk to some of my new trainees for the guard. And the sooner you get out of here the better. I already dislike you enough as it is and I don't feel like dealing with you for any longer" The Captain spat as he turned his back on me and began walking over to a group of guards elsewhere.

Once I finally finished signing up, I stood up and took a deep breath, glad that my little chat with Shining Armor was over and done with. As I turned around and began to walk away, I heard an unfamiliar voice call out to me.

"Hey! Human!" shouted a feminine sounding voice from behind me. I turned around, expecting it to be some random mare that decided she wanted to get to know me better or something like that, and was somewhat taken back by what I saw. It was a mare alright… But she was wearing strange looking armor… much like the captain. And she had a medal on her chest with a large "S" on it.

"Hello mam" I replied courteously, figuring that she was also a high rank as well.

"What's your name kid?"

"My name is Jakob mam"

"Well Jakob first off, you don't have to call me mam. My full name is Cirrus Glide but you can just call me Cirrus, seeing as how we may wind up working together and all someday" She laughed happily. I glanced over her quickly to see what she looked like. She had a light blue color with a white mane that looked extremely similar to Applejacks'. I couldn't see most of her because of her thick armor, but I was sure her cutie mark was cool. And she had beautiful emerald colored eyes.

"Alright then… Cirrus… I'm assuming you're part of the "Strikers" as well?" I asked, already fed up with all that I had to deal with that day.

"Yep! I was a guard for five years or so before and spent a lot of time training. And I made it in alright though. And don't think badly of the captain, he's just doing his job. I'm sure he'll start to warm up to you soon enough"

"Yeah I'll believe that when I see it" I chuckled slightly "So what are the trials?" I asked causing her smile to disappear.

"The trials are a number of tests put forward to see if you have what it takes to become a striker. They may seem very harsh, but they'll actually help prepare you for what comes later…"

"Well what are the trials testing?" I asked, eager to find out about what I was up against.

"As much as I'd love to tell you, I don't want to freak you about before you start your training. Every time a new recruit tries to join the strikers, one of the members has to train them and prepare them for the trials. Almost like their guardian angel. And I'm here to make sure that you are as ready as you'll ever be to take on those trials alright Jakob? Now you won't have the trials for a while, and I know that you're new here, so just send me a letter whenever you're ready to start your training. Just address it to Celestia and tell her to give it to Cirrus" She smiled

"Anyways, it's getting late and I'm pretty sure that the captain is ready for us to load up and head back up to Canterlot. So stay safe and try not to get in to too much trouble alright kid?" Cirrus chuckled as she bumped me on the shoulder with her right hoof before trotting off in the direction of Shining Armor.

As much as I wanted to call her back and ask her question after question, I was more tempted to just go home and go to sleep. It was only a little past Six o'clock or so, but I felt like I was about to pass out just standing there. Especially considering the fact that I hadn't gone to sleep the night before.

Once I got back to my room, I took the sheath containing my sword off of my belt and slid it under my bed. I had so many questions left to ask. What were the trials testing? Why was I here? What was going to happen to me? Why was I hearing that voice inside my head?

"And where the hell is Ashe?" I grumbled as I slid under my blanket and fell into the first deep, blissful sleep that I had gotten the chance to have in days.

Well, that's chapter 8 you guys! Hopefully you enjoyed it! And always, if you haven't followed the story and you feel like it's worth it PLEASE follow or favorite so you'll know every time I add a new chapter! And please leave a review, good or bad! It helps me more than you to grow as an author! All this talk of sleep has made me tired, and it's 5:08 in the morning here so I guess it's time for me to say goodnight you guys! Writing wouldn't be nearly as fun without you reading! :D

-Jake

PS: I'm starting somewhat of an RP forum where you can ask Ashe or Jakob any question your heart desires, so go check it out and ask some questions!