MLP: FiM – Power Overwhelming (Fiction)

Note: I’ve decided to keep the tags and description that the WTG requires for entries as it should help people get an idea of whether they want to read a story or not.

This is my submission for the Writer Training Grounds’ week 11 theme: write about a pony taking on more than they can handle. But she will soon learn there are prerequisites to the lesson she seeks.

This is another unedited piece, but unlike the last few, it’s complete. Or at least I don’t plan to come back to it. The ending is probably ambiguous enough to go on, but I don’t really have any idea what I’d do with it.

Tags: Adventure, Twilight Sparkle
Description: An experienced Twilight Sparkle sets out for a magical ruin no unicorn has ever discovered the secret of.

Power Overwhelming

As Rainbow Dash lowered Twilight toward the forest floor, her horn emitted a faint glow. Her mind reached out into the surrounding underbrush, looking for traces of sentience. Satisfied that the landing zone was safe, she looked up.

“We’re all clear.”

“All right,” Rainbow answered, speeding her descent.

“Thanks, Dash,” the unicorn smiled as her hooves touched the ground.

“Yep,” the pegasus flashed her a wide grin before becoming serious again. “You sure you don’t want me to get your back?”

Twilight nodded, “I have to do this on my own. Besides, no unicorn has ever activated the obelisk before. I don’t want to risk anypony else getting her.”

“No unicorn? What about the princesses?”

“They wouldn’t tell me anything.”

Rainbow opened her mouth, pausing as though she were changing her mind, “All right. Watch yourself, Twilight.”

“You too.”

“I’ll see you in an hour,” Dash shot off, disappearing above the canopy.

Twilight checked her probing spell again, still unable to detect anything other than herself or Rainbow. Despite, habit took over and she found herself scanning the underbrush. The darkened leaves and hardened bark lay in apathetic silence. Patches of grass and other small vegetation clawed their way out of the dirt, vying for whatever sunlight they could manage. As typical an Everfree grove as they came, really.

She turned toward the grove’s largest exit, an archway of trees leading into featureless shadow. Years ago, the unicorn might have found the blackness forboding, even terrifying. Back when she and her friends were such silly filles as to allow imaginary enemies to lash out at their psyche. Not that there were not dangerous creatures living in the forest, but Twilight’s service under Princess Celestia had tempered her will. She would deal with foes as they came, not worry that the forest was stalking her.

The mare’s horn grew brighter and the darkness melted away, revealing more of the same forest. She set out at a quick trot, hoping to arrive at the trial site within the next ten minutes. She kept her mind’s eye on her probe, ready to slow or hide at a moment’s notice.

However, the trek was uneventful. Any beings that came within detection range quickly shied away, as though they could feel just how powerful she was. Which was fine by Twilight, as she would prefer not to waste time with pointless conflict.

She arrived at a massive expanse of stone, which Twilight guessed must have originally been as smooth as Canterlot Castle’s floors. But as she stepped out onto the overgrown rocks, she had to be careful to avoid the potholes and peculiar angles that age had wrought upon them.

The unicorn finally arrived at her destination, the middle of the platform. Before her stood a small stone obelisk, which was not in much better shape than the surrounding rocks.

She set to work, telekinetically ripping away the vines and tossing them off into the forest. When the monolith was clear of debris, the lavender pony leaned over to examine the carvings she had revealed. The text was ancient Equestrian, something she suddenly realized she had not spent enough time studying.

“Let the worthy step forth and…” Twilight frowned as she mumbled to herself. “And what? Hmmmm…”

She took a step back, horn swirling with magic. She directed several spells of various caliburs at the pillar to no avail. Letting out a frustrated snort, she gave the obelisk another once over. Her face lit up as she noticed something interesting about the shape of the top.

“But that’s too easy…” she muttered again. With no other leads, her horn glowed again, a fireball leaping into being and striking the top of the monolith.

The fire spread, the pillar acting like a torch. But something was wrong. The grove had gotten darker. The unicorn tensed, focusing intently on her probing spell. But she had nothing. Nothing at all.

Allowing herself to breathe again, she turned, coming face to face with Rainbow Dash.

“Agh! Dash, didn’t I tell you-” she suddenly noticed she was flanked by the rest of her friends. “What are you all doing here? Get back, I’m working with some dangerous stuff here.”

Wordlessly, the others approached.

“Girls? Come on, listen to me, it’s for your own safety.”

A twisted grin spread across Rainbow Dash’s face as her eyes narrowed in a sort of knowing, opportunist sort of expression. As the pegasus leaned forward, Twilight craned her neck back.

“Rainbow, stop that, I-”

Rainbow Dash’s face began to droop, her skin taking on a liquid appearance as it started to slide away. Twilight leaped back in horror. She saw now that the blue pony’s entire body was… melting was the best her mind could come up with.

A vile smell touched the unicorn’s nose as the first of the creased, disease ridden flesh came into view. Hollow sockets stood where seconds ago there had been eyes. Within seconds the pegasus was no longer recognizable. Stealing a glance left and right, Twilight could see that her other friends were also shedding their skins.

“Joiiiiin us, Twilight,” the Dash wraith rasped.

“No! No!” the lavender pony pulled back as the wraith advanced.

“Yes, Twilight, then we can party forrrrrreverrrrrrrrr,” the voice came from her right.

Twilight’s body was screaming at her to fight for her life. To unleash her deadliest spells and run. Anything but just standing there shaking. But her mind overruled it and instead she checked her probe. A weak smirk spread across her face.

The wraiths continued to advance, but the unicorn stood her ground, sweat running down her forehead and the tension in her body rising. They were upon her now, pawing at her coat, wrapping themselves around her. She simply looked at the Rainbow Dash wraith.

“You’re not real. Go away.”

And they were suddenly gone, leaving a sweat soaked Twilight panting for breath as she fought to bring her heart under control. Glancing up, her heart began to race even faster as she realized she was no longer by the obelisk. Wherever she was, it was pitch black, the only sight afforded her from the glow of her horn.

She checked her probe once more. Nothing.

“You have a strong will, Twilight Sparkle,” the masculine voice made her jump.

“Who’s there?”

“We are the guardians,” a feminine voice replied.

Twilight’s face lit up, “I see. You’re here to test my worth.”

“Yes and you have passed the first trial,” the male voice replied.

“The first? What’s the sec-ugh!” Twilight cried out as a sharp pain shot through her chest.

“The second begins now.”

A thousand lances of agony stabbed into every pore of the mare’s body. She writhed and struggled and cried out. Her muscles spasmed and twisted. Her skull pounded again and again and she was convinced she was going to die. And she would almost welcome it, if only the pain would go away. And then it was gone.

Her face was warm with tears, her coat somehow more saturated with sweat than before. She ached all over as though she had been in melee combat with a dozen manticores. But even so, the pain was lesser by magnitudes and she almost felt ecstatic.

Twilight forced a blurry eye open. Her surroundings had not changed at all.

“Hmmm, borderline,” the male voice sounded disappointed.

“Yes, her physique is a bit lacking. Perhaps she is not ready.”

“W-wait…” Twilight winced as she struggled to her hooves. “That’s it? You put me through all that and that’s it?!”

Silence.

“Come on!” she cried out into the darkness, fresh tears running down her face.

After several more excruciating seconds, the female voice replied, “If you wish to learn, you must do something for us, Twilight Sparkle.”

“And that is?” the mare raised an eyebrow.

“Stop holding back,” the male voice declared, an image of Princess Celestia briefly shimmering into view before the lavender pony.

“I… don’t understand?”

“Think, Twilight. We can see your feelings. You must cast aside this fear, for it is holding back both your confidence and your magic,” the female voice replied sternly.

“But…”

“She is your mentor, not your babysitter. Seek to impress her by improving. Not to avoid her wrath by remaining inert.”

Stopping to reflect, Twilight realized the voices were right. Even in the more recent years, she could think of at least a dozen times where she nearly freaked out because she thought the Princess would be disappointed. And as a result, she always played things safe, even when the situation did not call for it.

The unicorn nodded, “Okay.”

“Then clear your mind and our knowledge shall be yours.”

Twilight sat quietly on her haunches, the task being trivial after years of meditation.

It started as a trickle. And ‘it’ really was the best her mind could describe whatever was passing through her mind. There were neither visions nor complete thoughts. Just raw understanding. The trickle became a stream and before long, the stream was a raging river. And from that leaped a waterfall, its unending torrent making Twilight’s mind feel euphoric. But then something was wrong. Her head began to spin. It was too much. She tried to cry out, tell them to stop. But she could not. Her mind spun faster and faster and until finally there was nothing but black.

A harsh wind brushed up against Twilight’s cheek, causing her eyes to snap open. Her eyes darted wildly, only calming slightly when she realized she was in mid-air.

“Geez, Twilight, stop squirming, unless you want me to drop you,” Dash yelled.

“Ugh, what happened?” the unicorn asked, her eyes drawn to the landscape below, where a fire raged through the canopy of the Everfree Forest. Plumes of a disgusting grey wafted in the wind in the blaze’s wake.

“That’s what I’d like to know,” Rainbow answered. “One second everything’s peaceful, the next the forest explodes!”

Twilight’s stomach sank, “Oh, dear.”

“And I thought I told you to be careful! When I went to check things out, not only were you laying there, you were on fire!”

“What? On fire?!”

“Yea, you know, that thing you do sometimes where your coat goes all orange and your mane and tail catch on fire? Wasn’t even sure how I was going to carry you that way. Good thing you changed back.”

“Yea… good thing…” Twilight mumbled absently.

Her mind felt clearer, like it had found some way of thinking previously out of reach. She felt the magic flowing in her veins, untapped power she never realized she had brimming from her horn. Everything seemed to have gone right. But as she peered down at the inferno, she was suddenly not so sure.

About Kuroi Tsubasa Tenshi

I'm a computer programmer by trade, but I tend to dabble in many different creative activities.
This entry was posted in Fiction, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Bookmark the permalink.

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