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Punishment

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EDIT: Changed her color scheme from rainbow mane to greyscale to reflect her upcoming reference.

(See the bottom for credits)

"It's time for a tale, little mortal. Come, sit on my lap. I will read it with you. It is a tale to learn from. I speak, you listen. Comprehend the meaning. Decide on what it is. Choose to take from it what you wish. Live with it in mind. Weep, and learn from the mistakes. Laugh, and enjoy the rewards of learning. When you die, I will come for you. I will test you. Will you be worthy?"

Sit.
Read.
Learn.
Listen.
Comprehend.
Decide.
Choose.
Take.
Live.
Weep.
Laugh.
Die.

Stormbow's cold mind easily hypothesized the scenario. She had driven Dash into a berserker rage, the absolute height of her power. This is evident thanks to the visible pulsing rainbow aura around her body, flushing the air with fresh holy hues of incredible power. Just as Rainbow Dash brought back a fore and quarter leg, time seemed to slow to a crawl at the rate of Stormbow's thinking.

"...She could either be charging for the infamous power strike, or she's preparing to unleash an energy blast. The posing is wrong for any other attack." She thought to herself. In her mind's eye, Rainbow Dash is spinning slowly, analyzing every piece of Dash over and over to triple, quadruple, and quintuple check. The simple grin upon her face broadened a little, glaring darkly at the oncoming Super Rainbow bolt of power, with a blazing, teeth-gritting furious twist for an expression. The front of Dash's oncoming charge formed a flaming, multi-colored cocoon around her, looking quite similar to that of a bullet.

Stormbow's powerful body crouched down in a defensive pose, flaring her four shadowy tentacles out wide, yet held them relaxed. It would be stupid to take the blow head on, even if it wouldn't do much to her. She's here to give Rainbow Dash a lesson, not to show off. Sensing the situation around Dash, several facts presented themselves to Stormbow's mind after close observation...
    
Dash is considerably angry; the first fact. She has never faced anyone this powerful before in her life, though to be honest, Stormbow knows she's not very strong. Sure, she could dominate a fully empowered Tirek with relative ease, but this is not so much with might. Stormbow can keep a cool head, where others become tempted all too easily and fall for the offer of power anger has for them. This makes her more prone to mistakes, and blindly engaging the enemy in the hopes that sheer brute force might win can more easily be dashed by the quicker thinker. However, Stormbow acknowledged in her mind that she must not underestimate the power of anger, because there is a small chance they might know how to tap into it perfectly, and evade the negative effects surrounding it.

Second, Rainbow Dash is moving so fast, she wouldn't be able to utilize her super powers in time to change course... if she's close enough. In this scenario, Stormbow realized, that would require their bodies to be within an inch of touching each other, but that is just a gratuitous offering. It would be centimeters instead. She knew the harmonic powers of her super form granted an extreme boost to reflexes and to flow like water, and she clearly had shown her that she can bounce off of terrain like a mad pinball. But then...

"I knew it!" Stormbow thought to herself, her nostrils flaring a bit with eager anticipation. Anger... There is a weakness even greater than that of blindness. "...Yeeeesss! That will bring her to her haunches easily..." It was so simple, of course she knew it. The expression Dash has now... it reminded her of her battles with Ragelight, and how she was one of the few who could overcome her, and shatter her defenses.

Slowing her thought processes, the world sped up around her. This naturally included the impending ball of holy death making a bee line straight towards her, but it wouldn't be Stormbow's. The maddening flurry of rainbows looked like it was about to collide with her, a nuclear missile about to let loose its devastation, and with an awesome explosion, a mushroom cloud of colors erupted vastly with powerful flames into the sky, pitch black against the raging blast. 

The dust settled. The smoke cleared out entirely after a few minutes, and there stood Stormbow in the same spot, though the ground around her is quite a wreck. Dirt and rocks jutted out from the places about her, with desert sand cracks spreading in many directions. Barren ground. Stormbow's head is tilted down, as if she had received a powerful blow from an abusive master, though she is starring down at something stuck in the ground... It was her left foreleg, sunken to her elbow. Nothing could be visibly seen beyond that and the miniature mountainside she made which rose to her upper front muscle.

Suddenly, Stormbow busts out laughing chaotically, the same haunting laugh that sent a cold, hellish wave of fright down mortal and immortal spines. It was the kind of cold that would make anyone feel like they were having their skeletons submersed in insta-freeze water. The ground rumbled momentarily before she lifted up her powerful leg and sent small chunks of debris flying around her. Just as her hoof left, a tentacle slithered down in its place, the sharp tip dulling, yet bulging out quite a bit while more length emerged out of her backside. Several yards of the hellfire tentacle submerge into the hole, before pulling back again at a slower speed. The moment this occurs, the ground audibly cracks deep inside, until it fully emerged, dragging out a struggling Super Rainbow Dash who was still fully powered up.

Letting out something of a war cry, Rainbow Dash gave off a shockwave of power in a manner Stormbow thought cute... and futile. Sure, she managed to uncoil her tendrils, but the manner in which she was holding her in the first place could be considered one of laziness. "Yeeeaaah! That's it! Keep it up Dash, and show me what you learned. Heheh... if you can." Without warning, she twisted two around her this time and froze her limbs, providing enough strength to entangle her and immobilize her, except for one leg. She wouldn't have done so if Dash hadn't tried to punch her just then, stopping her dead cold with an outsticking hoof to her mouth, the anger seething through her eyes, the leg held out straight, as if some blind hope or leap of faith would propel it towards her.

Small bolts of electricity struck out from Rainbow Dash, as she usually tends to do in this form on occasion, but something was different. Some of the bolts reached out intentionally and impacted Stormbow in the chest, harmlessly... but what wasn't expected, was the change of the bolts from white to shadow purple, a sign that had the anger fading a little, the void replaced with part confusion. All the while, she had been struggling against the binding tentacles, writhing and flailing, flapping her wings like a trapped bird... ANYTHING to get out of this lock, but Stormbow's tendrils would not give. It was just as Stormbow had planned, and now Rainbow Dash would spend the next few minutes wasting her energy in trying to get out. "Let... GO... of me!" Rainbow Dash grunted, grunting and churning in the uplifting confines of her trap.

"I don't think so~... Not until I've made something clear. There is only a few things that are certain about this world, and you're looking right at once of 'em. It was indeed impressive to see you fight on my emotional counterparts of my Tyrant's Number. In the end, you succeeded, until it came to me." Stormbow's gloating voice rang out deep, dark, and powerfully on the last part, coupled with Rainbow Dash's barely noticeable, and slowly growing quivers. "You see, I came here originally just to test you, and see how you handled your powers. But while watching you gallivanting about, I realized that you didn't have full control of your power. You weren't tailored to it... it was tailored to you. Now, it is taking its toll because the powers did all they could, and couldn't even do more than land a rather effective punch... It did catch me by surprise, and daze me, if that helps you feel any better... But even if you are the perfect candidate who has come full circle to mastermind the powers, fighting me is a fruitless battle."

Breathing hard, Dash mustered up the courage to retort, "Oh yeah? Well why don't you try fighting me when I'm at full strength then? I-I'm sure I could be strong enough to make you turn tail and scamper without a thought!" This merely caused Stormbow to raise an eyebrow, frown a little and partly close her eyes as if she was being told something confusing, and uninteresting to her for a few seconds, before she started to crack up. This leads her to next bust out laughing as if Rainbow just told a hilarious joke, and despite it being a hearty laugh, it still looked like it scared the living hell out of Rainbow, mixed with some disgust. Stormbow was so amused, she pummeled the ground a couple of times with a front hoof, causing dust to rise a little while her laughter continued.

Rainbow looked utterly perplexed, to the point where she stopped struggling for a moment to watch Stormbow fall over onto her backside, and a large drop of sweat made its way down the side of her cheek, looking more and more annoyed. Oddly enough, the tentacles held her perfectly in that same spot the entire time, adjusting themselves so Dash wouldn't be moved at all there in midair. They never loosened their grip either, which quickly dashed Rainbow's hopes for making like a butter fingered object and slip out, after giving a few honest tries. Even if she was still trying to escape, Stormbow slowly just  laughed with her legs kicking from time to time, while slowly recovering; either she didn't notice, or she didn't care, if Rainbow attempted to break free. "HEY!"

Moving so fast, the yell prompted Stormbow to stand ominously with that sadistic grin before Rainbow's face, making her recoil in terror from such a maddening grin appearing so suddenly. "You raaaang~?" Stormbow replied softly, gloating at her prey. She had timed the recoil perfectly with Rainbow's reaction, pulling her away with equal force to how she would have taken off in fright, and reeled her back in like a fish. "Oh yes. Where was I...? Ah, fighting me at full power you say?" She snickered before continuing, "Funny thing is... When I approached you before we started, you were depleted. Entirely. Tank empty. Kaput, and fresh out of rrrrum." Stormbow playfully rolled her r's, sneering at Dash's serious face. "And then something... Hmmm, what's the word now? Interesting? Yeah, let's go with that. Interesting... happened. You were back up to full power. Do you know how or why that happened?" Stormbow asked, and Dash had an answer ready as she opened her mouth to speak.

"Ye-"

"Because let me tell you, your answer? Heh, it couldn't be farther from the truth. You thought I was giving something of a motivational kick up your ass? Because it wasn't motivational at all. It was QUITE physical, but not quite a kick. In your normal form you would have flown across the other side of your precious princesses' palace in less than a second and pancake against the wall. Just a tap..." Bringing up her hoof in a reminiscent way, she lightly placed it on the side of Dash's shoulder and pat patted her twice, causing her expression to fall into that of being stunned. The powerful aura around Dash also began to wane suddenly, dancing around in flux and slowly becoming wilder by the second. "Aaahahaha~! You see it now. You're quicker than Twilight credits you for. Smart girl. However, now you realize the frightening power of Stormbow Slash... and pray that you never anger me." Stormbow spoke with a finality, spreading her massive wings wide, far larger wings than even the princesses had, the melting color effect present even upon those vast, proud wings. An unholy aura of black and purple flames spread around her, with her own purple halo glow around her entire body, far larger than Rainbow Dash's had been. The aura was so rich with the darkness, like she was the very source of it, only now was Rainbow Dash finally digging into the truth of the Stormbow's depths but even this, she figured, was just scratching the surface. 

"Oh but that's not even the hail mary that failed to turn the tide of the game at the last possible second, you see... As I mentioned, I came to find out if you were worthy of handling the power overwhelming, but you still have a lot to learn. You are unworthy in my mind... but you show promise, and spirit. You have the right reasons to become one, but like when Twilight became a princess, there is a difference between gaining the title... and keeping it. Before you ask, yes, she too is unworthy, but she was not a danger to others because of flybys breaking entire skyscrapers into piles of rubble. All those buildings ruined? All the lives put in jeopardy because of how easily provoked you are? That was all your fault. You've put hundreds of lives in the hospital, where I haven't touched a single fly."

As if the elements themselves echoed the powerful thought of Dash's determination, strength, feelings, and hardiness, so too did they echo the memory of her zooming towards Stormbow at critical speeds, the whiplash of the wind shattering windows. A closer look revealed the places around Stormbow were, in fact, untouched. But the colossal impact of their four hooves, which Stormbow had countered in her defense, creating a shockwave that cut down the buildings around them to size. from the impact of the hits. A vision of a bustling hospital, with wounded, injured, and in some cases comatose ponies entered her mind, with workers still digging others out of the wreckages that she, Rainbow Dash, had fully come to realize she was responsible for. For a moment, she couldn't breathe out of the shock and the overwhelming horror she experienced.

The power was flickering, the last ebbs of the holy aura about to extinguish from lack of energy... and for the first time, Dash felt oncoming relief that it was going to leave her. She didn't want it anymore, and felt like she was coming close to despising it. While she still felt powerful anger towards Stormbow, nothing was as outraging as her own blind stupidity and carelessness. Her mane started to fall back into place a little bit for her normal form, when Stormbow gave a maddening cackle, and a dancing wave of sparks creeped up the one tentacle now holding Rainbow up... and her heart was filled with dread, not because it might kill her... but because... Her mouth opened and her eyes shrunk, as an explosion of light caused that hellish laugh to ring jubilantly from Stormbow. Immediately, Dash let out a yell of surprise, which was mixed with a tinge of agony. Power was flowing through her once again, up to her full form once more... and she had never thought she would be so displeased to have the holy powers thrust into her once again, which she felt was riddled with the taint... Not of Stormbow's, but of her own. It sickened her, and made nauseous just thinking about all the lives... all those ponies... Squeezing her eyes shut, a thousand thoughts and a swirling chaotic pool of madness spun around her mind with such speeds, it only brought her closer to the breaking point.

"WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME!?" Her enraged voice carried like a trumpet blast in the quiet, flailing her limbs while yelling towards Stormbow, and her powers amplifying her voice from such swelled emotions. She had anticipated this, and pulled the renewed Super Rainbow Dash back a ways before bringing her back to her face. The malicious grin never left her, and it was clear she was enjoying this. It was evident, however, that she didn't recognize at first where she was at until a series of gasps echoed around the place. From the looks of it, Stormbow didn't even need to look around, still in the same pose and holding her. Before Dash had the chance to fully look around, she managed to catch sight of a stricken Celestia, Twilight, Rarity and Scootaloo, working to help coordinate the palace efforts to provide relief and emergency aid, before she found herself being thrown down and smacked onto the floor, like she was the end of a whip. Grunting in surprise, she gritted her teeth and hissed, even if it didn't hurt more than a bee sting, it still caught her off guard and made her vision swim before her eyes. 

"What I want from you, is to learn how not to be such a scrub, a tool." Real pain flared up in Dash's body and made her cry out with pain when four heavy weights suddenly applied to her shoulders and haunches, pinning her legs painfully with a mass that shattered the some of the marble around them. "You must learn to be the hand of the tool, not the other way around! Master the power so you can ascend even beyond your current limits! Right now, you are a danger not only to yourself, but to others, and the world. Like a child operating a crane out of sheer stupid curiosity and from the lack of knowing better, you damn well threaten your very species, even if you don't mean to personally. I offered you the chance to train you... the easy way. One that these fucking twats would have learned to appreciate after a time, but like all natural reactions, you, twat, spat it back in my face." The whole while, Stormbow slowly lowered her powerful body lower, until her snout touched the tip of Rainbow's, giving her nowhere else to look, and no way to escape looking into those eyes so horrible above her. The wrinkles on the top of her snout easily indicated how broad that wicked grin was. "But I don't hold that against you, naturally any of you cunts would do that. Not only is it my turn to have a little fun, but to also perform my duties at the same time... The first step to get any disobedient little renegade into line is to give them an offer... Knowing you Rainbow Dash, it's not something you'll find worth dying for. Heheheheheheh..." Standing up straight, she turned that awful smile of hers towards a door that burst open behind Celestia, to the startled shock of the princess from such an unexpected sound that was amplified like a cannon blast.

"Sister! What has happened?" Princess Luna and four guards trundled through the entrance, drawing the attention of all eyes except Dash, who was struggling against some black bonds left upon her. Luna, who was late to the party failed to process the Rainbow Dash she swept her eyes over briefly to look at her sister was not her at all. "I heard a wail, and an explosion. I came as quickly as I..." The five quickly halted at the sight of Stormbow, who looked directly back down at Luna with a tilt to her head, making her look maddening. "Right on schedule. Always when needed. If y'all know what's good for you, boyos, you'll get out of the way, now."

The guards prepared to charge, but the voice of Celestia cut across them, calling, "Stand down! ...There is nothing we can do now..." The guards seemed a little shocked at this order, but stood aside, casting looks of concern for the princess, though one of them couldn't help asking Celestia in a lowered voice, "But... Your majesty-"

"I know. But this is one..." She seemed on the verge of trying to find an appropriate word, when Stormbow, spoke up right next to Celestia, "Bitch?" She snickered, brushing unceremoniously by her and making her catch her footing again. As if Celestia silently agreed to that labeling of Stormbow thus, she continued, "...that we have no means to stop. To attack her would be a form of suicide." The dark chuckling from Stormbow showed that she most sadistically agrees with these words, and bore down on Luna, who felt like a small and insignificant cat despite being taller than most ponies.

Doing what she could to not show fear in the devil's gaze, though Luna apparently knew it was hopeless, she asked with a slight tremble to her voice, "You require my attention, miss?"

"I'm going to borrow the moon for a few minutes, and I don't need your power or permission to do so. I just want to warn you ahead of time so you can brace yourself... It's gonna get mighty toasty under your armor... Heheh, and your flesh. You'll see..." Just as Stormbow turns around, sure enough, Princess Luna starts to show signs of heavy sweating immediately, with her breathing growing a little rapid like she was being put through the hardest workout of her life. Some of the nearby ponies, including Celestia and Twilight were quick to be at Luna's side once she collapsed onto her stomach and let out an anguish grunt, and the whole palace began to rumble. Stormbow walked with her prideful grace over Rainbow Dash, who was tied up with what looked like appendages that sprouted from the floor, almost entirely identical to the tentacles Stormbow possesses. Dash stopped squirming and glared angrily up at Stormbow, growling as she pulled her rear legs back. Two surprise tendrils caught her legs though and forced them up against her sides, making the attack fruitless. "Time to rise... And shine, lassie. You've learned how to rise... but you're shit at shining. So here is my offer to you!"

With a flash of red hellfire, the ceiling suddenly broke off of the palace with all the pieces crumbling skywards, staring right into Dash's very soul now. She could see the flame of rainbow seeping and bleeding inside, signs of instability, and the overwhelming power of the source now fueling her super powers that could last for an entire lifetime and a half. "As you can feel deep inside of you now, a simple something given to you to keep you always stocked with energy. Consider this a curse. Until you have mastered your abilities with your super state, you will be stuck here... forever. And considering the recent events that have just happened, you don't want that to stick with it, so I am doing this to give you a little motivational boost. Of course, the only things you can do alone are the obvious. Learn for example, how to not push stones too hard. Control it the way it was meant to be, instead of letting someone or something do it for you. Otherwise, it's just too easy and too limiting because they only let you touch so many threads. To truly know your strengths and abolish as many weaknesses so you can be the perfect savior, you have to touch the darkness. Only when you learn to embrace it and to use both sides equally will you be finished with it. In fact... He can get you going right away."

"Discord? ...What makes you think he'll want to help me?" She knew it to be true... She had treated Discord with the greatest disdain of all her friends, specifically, her best friends. With Fluttershy lying in a coma, there was very few ways without looking like it would be a useless gamble to try and contact him at all, though he has appeared a few times more specifically gearing towards Twilight and helping her learn lessons.

"Watch and learn~... Oh for fucks sake, Luna, the moon isn't even in the stratosphere yet. Someone get her ice water and she'll be fine. This ain't alicorn magic science, and even then, with the right mindset, it's not fucking hard!" She said with a grin before turning around and ridiculing the group behind her.

"...Wha... Are you--"

"Which brings me to the option when you refuse my generous offer. I'm not joking when I say this either, the first option is so gratuitous, I've never given anyone else such few limitations... But if you want to really know..." She let out a sudden explosion of rose flame from her eyes and threw her head back to the sky, when five dark dragon heads emerged as big as her own head, trailing behind a powerful black column of darkness behind it. They moved out towards the stars, forming the very corners of the traditional pentagram. A moment later, the sounds of distant explosions and a flash of orange light lit up the skies at the corners, when streams of fire connected them all together, a slowly rotating pentagram that must have been the size of a planet. Seven different sets of eyes opened... and they all gave off a sinister vibe. Millions of distant screams echoed from the portal, along with sounds that should never have to be heard by mortal ears. And yet, the pentagram descended down towards their world, when suddenly, a rolling wave of blood covered the walls, yet didn't spill out towards the floor. A flash of red engulfed the sky when the walls crumbled away, revealing the palace floor was actually lying in Hell itself now. Stormbow lowered her head down, and a pitch black coronet now sits upon her head, of spines, spikes, and red studs. The landscape all around them was a series of hills with mountains in the distance. Rose colored magma flows from the orange landscape ignited equally colored flames and basins. Some hills were made entirely of flesh, others pure bones, In the distance, a fence with a gate several miles away closed off this area from the outer region, which sounds to be the areas where all the screams are coming from. The smell of brimstone is ripe in the air, with the skies looking like the atmosphere was burned completely off, giving a deeper void effect. The ambient color was strong enough with the orange fog to even turn Luna a lot more orange than was normal... Frozen lakes were closer to them, with large spikes sticking out, the shapes of beings, presumably souls, trapped inside of them. Occasionally, other spikes would grow through and penetrate through to stab the souls painfully, and slowly, giving them the new means of torture.

"Welcome to Hell."

The ground underneath Stormbow lifted up, with some massive chairs rising up on either side of her, Stormbow sat upon the tallest and largest throne, and hers was the most morbid... Souls. The prime sinners sat with the rest, all demons of the main six... all twisted figments, morbid and evil in the worst ways possible. Stormbow sat down upon her throne and crossed one leg over the other while grinning down at the tiny specs, having been growing in size. Bringing her lowest hoof down before the palace floors, it trembled the entire place for what felt like miles around, and could easily fit Celestia's throne room perfectly under one hoof, and crush it whole. "You all will come here, and rot forever. The world will be destroyed by the moon... and all souls will come to us, Rainbow Dash. It will be all your fault. You are the one and only ambassador between Earth and Hell... and only you will decide their fate. Will you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, or will you carry all their sins? Make the right choice, for there is no turning back. The time is now."

Without warning, on the last word, she was instantly positioned before a table with two potions. One was blue, the other green, and each of them had a label. No one else was around, and it was pure black, yet her aura lit up the table perfectly.

On the blue potion, the label read "burdens".
On the green potion, the label read "suicide".
On Super Rainbow Dash, one weight will be placed, and the other will be discarded.
And they are watching.

Power, responsibility, or both. Decisions; We all have a weight to bear. Some are greater than others. Some only work with one, and one only works with some.

This took me over six hours to write. I hope you, the reader, somehow enjoys it. I must confess my writing got a little sloppy towards the end. I burned through my creative energy all day today.

_______________________________________________________________
Character Art + tendrils + their effects, and ground shadow by :iconphathusa:
Background, effects, Dash's lightning, and auras done by me.
MLP belongs to Hasbro.
Super Rainbow Dash © :iconlux-klonoa:
Stormbow Slash © Me 2014. All rights reserved.






















King... Of Betrayal and Lust!
Lord... Of Nothing but Dust!
Die... In the Gutter and Dirt!
We're the perfect cult!
Perfect Cult!
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© 2014 - 2024 MajorCooke
Comments14
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Was there a previous story to this? I feel like I'm missing some things. Is Stormbow evil? If she is, then why is she trying to teach Rainbow Dash to be a better person and control her powers better? Why would an evil being want that? If she's good, then why does she get so much joy out of emotionall torturing and beating her into the ground? Why were they fighting in the 1st place?