A New Breed: Chapter 19 - pt1

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By TCPolecat7   |   
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Chapter 19


            "Your turn."

            Clockwork shook her head and yawned, "Sorry, I must've dozed off…" She blinked owlishly at the Monopony board on the table, the board pieces glinting in the overhead light. Only a slight turn of her head allowed her to see the warm wood paneling and thick cream carpeting. The nearby window was partially open to allow in the crisp evening breeze. She rested on a lush red couch that gave gently under her hooves when she stretched, and a nearby radio added some light background music that threatened to lull her back to sleep. A droning floated past her from the other room, where her parents must have been listening to a different broadcast. Her heart warmed at the familiar comforts of home.

            Stifling another wide yawn, she leaned forward to dump the dice one by one into the cup for her roll.

            The large blue pony by her side laughed softly, "Hey now, you're the one who insisted on staying up."

            "You're darn right I did, Widget," she grinned, nuzzling him through his golden mane, "You don't get home often enough!"

            "Good thing everything wrapped up then, isn't it?" he asked with a chuckle.

            "What's wrapped up?"

            "The war… it's over," Widget sighed in a relieved voice, "We won. The Imps were hiding on the dark side of Equestria, and Princess Luna assembled strike force to take them out. The Nightmare fled, driven off, and now we can go back to living in peace."

            "Really?!?" Clockwork cried, hugging her brother tightly, "It's really over? No more battles and fighting and ponies dying and Imps and…"

            The older pony placed a hoof over her mouth, "Yes, little sister, it is really over."

            Clockwork quickly leaned forward to hug her brother tightly, clutching him close. Finally, FINALLY, it was over. No more fighting, just her brother home again… to be a family again! No more late nights worrying if he would ever come back. No more worrying in class that her armour wasn't up to snuff. No need to concern herself with joining the Agency, which means she could go to the Collegiate and study advanced robotics. A nice, SAFE, career…

            So why did her stomach twist in disappointment?

            "Are you alright?" Widget asked, smiling lopsidedly.

            "What about Ironjaw?" she asked curiously.

            "He should be around tomorrow," Widget smiled warmly, "He wanted to cook something special to celebrate."

            "He's not going home to Stalliongrad?" she asked curiously.

            "He thought about it, but I think he wants to stay in the area," he chuckled, "Why, you don't want him around?"

            "I didn't say that!" Clockwork cried, and then relaxed her tone, "I just assumed…"

            "Ironjaw doesn't talk about his family much," Widget agreed, "I think, perhaps, that we are his family now."

            The radio chose that moment to crackle with a sound that seemed halfway between a sob and a whimper. Clockwork twisted her head, staring at the wooden thing in surprise, even as it continued the previous song unabated. For some reason, the radio looked fake, almost… almost cardboard.

            "You okay Clockwork?" the large pony by her side asked.

            "S-sure," she offered a weak smile, "I'm with you, right Widget? What could go wrong?"

            Widget smiled and nuzzled down into his sister's mane affectionately, "I'll be glad to put up the armour too. No offense to your handiwork, Clockwork Key, but it felt more like they wanted that armour more than me in it."

            Clockwork blinked and leaned close, hugging her brother, "A mechanical suit doesn't know right from wrong, Big Brother. The armour is only a tool; it's the pony inside it that makes it good… or in your case, great."

            Widget nickered slightly and gave a shy smile at the compliment. He was just opening his mouth when the sound returned from the radio… it was so loud! It rang in her ears as the world spun on a strange axis. It was all she could do not to fall off the couch as she clamped her eyes shut, staving off the sudden waves of dizziness.

            "Clockwork?" Widget asked, his voice laced with worry. To Clockwork, it sounded as if he were miles away, trying to call down to her.

            "I… I'm okay…" she managed to gasp, forcing herself to open her eyes. Her green eyes met her Brother's cool violet ones, and she stared. She swallowed, her eyes widening as her nose tingled, tears starting to haze her vision. Why? Why was she starting to cry? She was HAPPY!! Her brother would be home to stay now!

            She choked off a sob, only to hear it echo from the radio. Her mind reeled as it seemed to resonate between her ears… it sounded so familiar! She shook her head desperately, trying to clear it, but her eyes refused to focus as they filled with tears that painted her face as she looked to her brother. The room seemed almost transparent, the table and game ghostlike, and her brother...

            Clockwork reached forward, touching her hoof to him. He wobbled, as if he were just a mannequin placed there to fill space. Horror filled the mare, and threw her fore-hooves about the faux image of her brother, clutching to him. For a brief moment, the form held and supported her, then broke under her weight.

            "Widget!!" she wailed hoarsely, anguish filling her voice as she lurched to her hooves again, stumbling drunkenly as she hunted for her vanished brother. He couldn't be gone, he just…!!

            Her ears flattened as the radio sob echoed through her head again. It felt like it was driving into her, splitting her skull open with spiked horseshoes. But it sounded so scared… so sad… so… familiar…

            "I… I remember now." Her voice sounded hollow to her, and she splayed her hooves to stop her stumbling. Tears dripped from her nose, staining the not-carpet floor beneath her. A visible shudder washed over her, memories of her brother's death surfacing in her mind; Widget had activated the Omega Wings and perished honorably, sacrificing himself to stop the Imps from capturing Lady Sparkle's memories… but left her alone.

            A soul crushing weight seemed to crash down on her, the sense of being so totally and truly alone driving her to the not-floor. Another radio sob followed by a whimper brought her back to her senses. Somepony needed help, and needed it NOW. She gritted her teeth and forced herself to stand on wobbly legs. Her brother had passed, but he was not her only family. She had a new one…

            …and one of them needed help.

            The clang echoed hollowly.

            Its short reach didn't matter, the only pony that needed to hear it was the one who created it. She didn't know why she needed it, just that she needed it. It was answered by a startled whimper, but no other sound.

            The pony stomped her hoof again, the dull clang sounding a second time. It was a heralding bell, a gasp of reality. An anchor the pony was able to use to pull herself from the stupor that held her. A third time and her eyes fluttered before finally opening. Her green eyes were unfocused, filled with tears from what she witnessed in the fading vestiges of a dream so real...

            A foreleg wiped angrily over her face. The green suited mare was angry with herself, to let herself be so taken by what was so obviously a vision or a dream, and become so emotionally invested in it to break down into tears. She slammed her hoof on the metal beneath her in frustration.

            The pony slowly lifted her head, and drank in the sight of reality with eyes that actually saw. A large domed room with two entrances, obviously far underground, all made of that odd whitish rock the group had seen when they first arrived. Didn't she say it was lunar rocks? Possibly, it was all still hazy. The dome was dominated on one end by a massive throne, a little too decorative and fancy for her tastes, as if trying to compensate for the lack of something. It was done in a dark midnight blue, with angry slashes of purple decorating it, and silver chasing highlighting and accenting it.

            It dawned on the pony that her sight of the room was broken, that something closer to her was blocking it. Refocusing her eyes the mare saw the dark purple metal about her. She was in a cage barely large enough to stand in, with one side forming a door, and chased with runes all over. The top and bottom were solid panels, and the entire thing reinforced in such a way that she was sure that even the strongest Special couldn't break it… assuming the runes weren't magicked to lock down such abilities.

            Her eyes looked carefully around, and spotted the other cages about her. They were all resting about ten feet from the throne, right at the edge of the shallow stairway leading down from the dais the throne resided upon. Steelwing was to her left, twisting in her sleep as if struggling against restraints only she could feel. Beyond her, Spectrum had her hooves thrown over her head like a filly trying to hide. She thought that Flourish might be beyond that, but couldn't see her clearly. The other side…

            Clockwork's eyes widened as she saw the pony beside her was awake, looking about with wide, pupil-less, eyes streaked with tears. She whimpered again, feeling clumsily with her hooves about the edge of the cage before clinging to a bar with both forelegs.

            "G-galaxi?" she managed to ask hoarsely, her voice cracking. The blind mare physically jumped, and Clockwork called her name again.

            "C-clockwork?" she whimpered, her head coming up and craning around, "I… I can't see… She shut off my power and I can't… I can't see!"

            Cold realization washed over Clockwork as she forced her weak feeling body to her hooves, and pressed as close as she could to the bars of the cage. It wasn't enough. Even if Galaxi had been at the correct side of the cage and reached through, they only might brush the tips of their hooves. The cages were too distant from each other.

            "Galaxi, calm down… deep breaths," she tried to advise. Clockwork advising somepony to be calm? She wasn't sure if she should laugh or cry at the irony, "We have to wake the others up."

            "I can't see!!" Galaxi repeated, her voice holding a slightly hysterical edge to it. Clockwork winced visibly, recognizing the pain in her voice, the fear she had shared so long ago. Was it that long ago? Had it been so long coming to this point?

            "Galaxi!" Clockwork answered, more sharply than she wanted to, "I'm right here. I'm in the next cage over, it's identical to yours. We're in a half circle on a dais, facing what I assume is the Nightmare's throne. We were captured, and… I think the cages are negating out powers.

            Galaxi pushed away from the bar she had been clinging to so hard she fell on her side. For a moment she flailed at the open air like a newborn foal before she found the floor again, and managed to get to her hooves once more. Slowly, very slowly, she stumbled in the direction of Clockwork's voice.

            "Careful, these cages are kinda small," Clockwork told her friend, who managed to find the side and lean against it, shuddering visibly. "Galaxi, you're not alone. I'm right here, the cage is just far enough away that I can't reach you. I hesitate to ask but… did you have any sort of vision or dream?"

            "Not really," Galaxi answered, her voice trembling, "I felt, something. But I'm a psychic, I… I know what an invasion feels like. I know how it's done. I… I helped you with your dreams when you were so worried about Ironjaw. So I woke up almost immediately… I wish I hadn't. At least I can still… still see when I was asleep."

            "Everypony else is stuck in dreams," Clockwork continued softly, "You're on the right end, then me. Filigree, Steelwing, is on my other side. What do I need to do to wake her up?"

            "I… I don't know," Galaxi answered softly, "It's different from pony to pony."

            "Well it's not like I can just reach over and shake her…"

            "What… what woke you up?"

            Clockwork cringed, glad Galaxi couldn't see her, "You were making a… sound. It made everything in the dream start to waver and look less real. It took me some time, but… I knew somepony needed help."

            Galaxi just nodded, "We need to appeal to Filigree the same way."

            "Make her feel protective?"

            "No," she said weakly, "My… noise appealed to something within you. We need to try and appeal to her now."

            "How in Equestria would I go about that?"

            Galaxi shrugged. She looked stronger now that she'd had somepony to talk to, but she was still trembling and scared. She was in the dark… literally.

            Clockwork turned, looking to the lying body of Filigree. The gryphoness was twisted around onto her stomach, her claws clutched together at one of the corner bars of the cage. Her legs kicked out occasionally, and her wings hung limply to each side as if she were struggling not to lift them to protect her back. The pony didn't understand the position, but the visible shudders and sharp jerks of the gryphon's body told her it couldn't be good.

            Clockwork opened her mouth, an idea forming even as she started to speak…

            "I cannot believe you did that."

            "I can't believe it worked," Clockwork offered with a nervous smile. Her plan had most certainly NOT gone as she planned. It still resulted in waking the gryphon up, so it was still a success… technically.

            Filigree was still blushing as she looked away, "You had no idea what my dream was…"

            "I had to guess," the mare answered softly, "and it didn't look pleasant."

            "I was back when they first came to take me… after my parents sold me to the Arch-duke," she said softly, "They spent days beating the will to fight out of me."

            Clockwork blinked, "Wait, then I…" and she blushed furiously.

            "Exactly," Filigree shivered, "How did you know about the brothers?"

            "I heard you and Spectrum discussing them when I found you for the meeting with the Princesses," Clockwork offered apologetically.

            "Who knew Filigree was into bondage?" Galaxi giggled weakly from the far side. Filigree bristled and her blush deepened. She intentionally looked anywhere but the other ponies.

            "We need to wake up Spectrum next," Clockwork interjected, trying to change the subject.

            "Yes, we do," Filigree agreed, "She looks like she's trying to hide from something."

            "She might respond to kind words… or cruel ones," Galaxi chipped in.

            "Gentle words are… not my strong suit," Filigree said in a sour expression.

            "They would probably work the best though," Clockwork noted, "Hard to be scared of a bogey-mare who is complimenting you."

            "I'm going to look like an idiot doing this, aren't I?"

            "No more than I did w-when I… er…" Clockwork stammered and blushed.

            "You're right, it shouldn't be THAT bad," the gryphon smirked.

            Filigree stretched out slightly for a moment, finding the small cage far more cramped than the smaller ponies did, her wings barely able to spread a third of the way. What bothered her even more was the fact her wings were very obviously feather and bone now, the "muscle" of her power was forcibly clenched tight to prevent her power from manifesting. If anything, that proved the conjecture from the other two ponies, that the cages were cancelling their powers in the absence of the Nightmare herself. She wondered where the Nightmare had gotten off to, but first things first.

            "Spectrum… Rainbow Star," Filigree intoned, then frowned, realizing her voice lacked any gentleness or compassion. It was harsh, almost commanding. She struggled with herself to try and soften it, "I know you're in there. You're the most gentle pony I know. You are smart, brave, and look out for all of us. You've guided us through some rough moments, but you always put us first, put your teammates first. You're stronger than this. You're better than this. You aren't a scared little filly, you're… you're my friend. You're part of the team. You're part of this family. You're the leader, the commander, the…"

            "Filigree," Clockwork said softly, and the gryphon realized she had been rambling. She shook her head slightly and refocused on the caged pony, only to find Rainbow Star's amber eyes looking back at her.

            "Thank you," she told Filigree, and slowly lifted herself to stand up, shaking her mane out, "I couldn't have found my way out of that without your words."

            "They're true," the gryphon admitted softly.

            "For all of us," Clockwork chipped in with a smile, "Good to see you up and about."

            Rainbow Star looked around the room slowly, taking it all in and assessing the situation, "One of us left then?"

            "Flourish," Galaxi agreed.

            "I can't see her from here, Spectrum, how is she?" Clockwork asked.

            "She looks like she's sleeping peacefully, but she's crying," Spectrum said softly.

            "I'd guess she is having a dream like mine," Clockwork chipped in, "With those she loved and are now… gone."

            "Clockwork?" Galaxi asked softly, easily hearing the poorly disguised pain in the mare's voice.

            "My brother… Widget was alive in the dream," she answered softly, "I… I think my father and maybe even my mother were in the other room. I didn't see them but… it felt like home to me. That's silly, isn't it? I've never even known my mother, yet it FELT like she was there. My father has been gone for many years, and yet… I just knew he was there too," she sniffed, and wiped a foreleg across her nose.

            "Sounds about right," a new voice chipped in, and Clockwork blinked.


            "I figured it out," she admitted, "and I kept hearing your voices. It was like they were on a radio far away. Just out of earshot, but occasionally fading in and out, like a bad station. I was… I was with my parents again… and… well let's just say my dream couldn't make its mind up if I was with Skillet or Downbeat. That was my first clue… After that, I just started picking it apart, noticing little flaws. You have any idea how much it hurts to have to pry apart the world you wished existed?"

            "I think I understand," Clockwork answered softly, and Flourish offered her a thin smile, catching her eyes through the cages.

            "Now that we're all awake, we should start figuring our way out," Filigree put in softly.

            "Foals," a soft, weak voice answered them, "There is no escape."

            "Who's there?" Spectrum asked simply.

            "Somepony who's been forgotten."

            "We'd like to remember."

            The voice gave a harsh laugh, one that sounded coarse and raspy, "Tell that to the Princesses. Luna was quick to forget about me."

            "Tome…" Clockwork whispered, her eyes widening.

            "So somepony remembers my name… one of them anyway," the voice hissed, and from behind the throne, a figure moved. It took slow, deliberate, steps as it rounded the overwrought chair to glare at the group with sunken eyes. Her silver mane was streaked with filth and her azure blue coat was matted and unkempt. A heavy collar of a metal Clockwork couldn't identify rest about her neck, a chain leading from it to a point behind the throne. Shackles just above each hoof prevented her from running, the chains from them running to a central ring that forced an odd, shuffling gait to prevent tangling. A pair of chains wound over her torso, pinning large and regal wings to her side. Adorning her brow, their colors dull and muted, the Elements of Harmony rested.

            "Tome!! Thank the Goddess, you have no idea…" Clockwork started.

            "Spare me," the alicorn spat, "You abandoned me, you all did, and I know it."

            "No… we didn't…" Galaxi tried to interject, but was interrupted by a hoarse laugh.

            "Like hell you didn't," Tome hissed, "You abandoned me. You ALL abandoned me!! It's been months since the Nightmare took me, and where were you?!? I waited… I held on… I gave everything I could. But she took, she took, and she took… she drained my magic, she drained my will, and she drained my life! When I thought I didn't have anything left to give… she took my dreams!"

            "Took your dreams?" Spectrum asked carefully.

            "She STOLE them!!" Tome cried in a mixture of anger and despair, "I can't sleep; she put dreams in my head. I can't escape them, and nothing I do works. I kept seeing you… all of you, coming for me. Coming to rescue me, and then abandoning me… that's why I'm seeing you now. I must have fallen asleep again. I tried to give up sleeping, I had to, she was always there… waiting to break me. But you can't outrun sleep forever…"

            "Tome… we never gave up on you," Clockwork said, her voice wavering, "I kept reminding her as often as I could. Luna couldn't find where the Nightmare was hiding…"

            "Horsefeathers!" Tome cried, "I don't believe that for a second. We're in the MOON, for Luna's sake! If she can't find the biggest threat to Equestria in here, the very celestial body she RULES, then she's either part of the problem, a fraud, or an idiot!"

            "Or the Nightmare is invisible to the Princess," Filigree offered.

            "The Nightmare told me the truth…" Tome insisted.

            "Why would she tell you the truth?" Filigree pressed, "What purpose would it serve? It wouldn't serve her needs. You are important, and she needs you to bend to her will. It would be easier for her to create a false truth to feed to you. It's brainwashing, pure and simple."

            "Who are you?" Tome asked, noticing the gryphon for the first time, "Where's the rest of the team? Where's Ironjaw? He should be healed by now. Where's that foal Ultrapony? I always enjoy taunting him."

            "I am Steelwing," the gryphon drew herself up, "Ironjaw was grievously injured, and will not recover fully. I am the gryphon… the pony who replaced him."

            "Spectrum," the pegasus introduced herself, "I replaced my father, Ultrapony."

            Tome blinked and narrowed her eyes at Spectrum, shuffling forward a few more steps. "This is a new twist on the dreams. She's always showed me the team as I remembered it. This has to be a new trick…" she muttered to herself, "No, I have to convince her I've…"

            "You're still a performer, Tome," Flourish noticed, "You're putting on an act."

            Tome looked sharply at Flourish for a long moment, "Goddess, she's figured it out..."

            "Tome, it's us," Clockwork said softly, her heart aching to see her friend like this, "I mean, you got me this suit, right? I've been wearing it as much as possible, to remind me… I haven't forgotten you… your kindness. How you paid my way for the spa day when I didn't have the bits…"

            "How you put on the show with Flourish, and befriended her after your initial dislike for her," Galaxi added, her head tilted at an odd angle, "All those stories you told us about times long past, and how Clockwork couldn't believe you truly could have lived those experiences."

            "Yeah, I should apologize about that," Clockwork smiled weakly, "Luna told us later what your real power was."

            "Clockwork? Galaxi? Is that… that really you then? I… I'm not dreaming?" the alicorn asked in an oddly childlike voice.

            "It's us," Clockwork offered, shaking her head in an effort to try not to cry, "We're not going to leave you behind. You're part of the team… part of this family."

            "The Princess has spent the past months desperately trying to find where the Nightmare took you," Galaxi said softly, "You've never been far from her mind. She was never able to track this place down."

            "How did you get here?" Tome demanded, but her voice was weak, she wanted to believe so badly.

            "The Nightmare dropped portals into Canterlot, including one into the Palace," Spectrum answered, "The Royal Guard and the Princesses were able to beat back the invasion in the Palace, and she asked for volunteers to come through to try and take the fight to the Nightmare."

            "You… volunteered?"

            "Clockwork volunteered first," Flourish said, "She stated she was coming to rescue you."

            "Filigree was second," Clockwork admitted, blushing, "Said I couldn't do it alone."

            "And you couldn't have," Filigree offered with a half smile, "Unfortunately it seems none of us could. Galaxi was next I believe."

            "Actually Flourish was, but Tome is my friend too," the blind mare answered, "Only one pony on the team refused to come."

            "Pyre," Spectrum said simply, "she stayed behind to protect the Princesses."

            The alicorn looked slowly from each pony to the next, as if trying to decide something. Slowly, she shuffled forward, the leash allowing her move about the dais. She shuffled close to Flourish first, then Spectrum and Steelwing, bending down to look them in the eyes. Finally she reached Clockwork, who looked back at her with watery eyes.

            "Clockwork…" Tome whispered desperately, and leaned close, "Please… I can't tell if this is a dream or not."

            Clockwork pressed herself to the bars at the front of the cage, reaching out her hooves to hug the alicorn, pulling her tightly for several long moments, "I'm not going to leave you, Tome. I swear… I won't leave without you."

            "Trixie…" the alicorn corrected in a trembling voice, "My name is Trixie."

            "I won't leave you behind, Trixie. If… WHEN we leave, we leave together."

            The alicorn began to tremble, leaning closer against the cage. Relief flooded her, and for the first time in months, she let herself believe that she might finally have a chance. Tears streaked her face as she all but collapsed to the floor, her chained hooves unable to reach her friend, but her head never leaving the hug from the small mare.

            "I've done… terrible things," Trixie finally said, minutes later.

            "No, Nightmare did terrible things to you," Spectrum said softly, "She forced you to do terrible things."

            "Not to interrupt, but we are still stuck in these cages," Filigree pointed out.

            "The guards will be protecting the keys," Trixie said softly, "But they have Destroyer Imps with them. If they catch you…"

            "We aren't ready to face one of them," Spectrum said softly.

            "It's moot anyway," Filigree said, "We need a key before we can do anything."

            "I can open… one of the cages," Trixie offered weakly, "But I only have enough magic to open one of them. Nightmare is still draining me to keep the portals up, and draining the Elements, but I can use a small bit to open one of the cages."

            "We'll need someone strong enough to get the rest of the keys we need then," the gryphoness said.

            "Galaxi maybe?" Flourish asked, "She's not doing so well with her psychic power shut off."

            Galaxi squeaked, "I… I'm not strong enough to take on a Destroyer."

            "None of us are," Filigree added sourly.

            "No, we don't need strength… we need clever," Clockwork smiled.

            "You have an idea?" Spectrum asked.

            "Flourish," the khaki mare stated.

            "Me?" Flourish asked, surprised.

            "Sure. You've proven adept at subterfuge when we needed it," Clockwork noted, "Plus your teleportation will make you a difficult target. If you're spotted, you can blip out."

            "Sounds like a good idea to me," Spectrum nodded.

            "Flourish is a warrior, she will handle herself capably," Filigree agreed.

            "I… I think it makes sense," Galaxi smiled weakly.

            "Are we sure the cage is the source of our power clamp-down?" Flourish asked softly.

            "No," Clockwork put in, "But you have the skills to survive better than the rest of us without the powers."

            "What about you? You never had any physical powers…"

            "I'm an inventor, a normal mare without my powersuit. I'd just be a target, even WITH my power back," Clockwork shrugged.

            Spectrum nodded, "It's unanimous. Flourish, it's all you."

            "Alright," Flourish smiled darkly, "Let's party."

© 2011 - 2020 TCPolecat7
MLP (c) Hasbro

Blame Devart for this. I physically couldn't put all of chapter 19 into one part because it was over 64K. Can you believe that? seriously... People can put up megabytes of pictures, but I can't put up a 66k html? grrrrr...

- Polecat
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Ohthatnoob's avatar
For the FIRST time ever, I've actually read a story that made me feel bad for Trixie! This made my week.
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Trixie isn't a bad pony, it just took her a long time to learn that. ;)

- Polecat
Nova225's avatar
>"We won. The Imps were hiding on the dark side of Equestria
-I know it's a 'dream', but... Huh, Moon ? I mean, they have a moon ''Moon'' in this ...disc... world, right ? That 'dark side of the ...disc' isn't the moon, isn't it ?

> The radio chose that moment to crackle with a sound that seemed halfway between a sob and a whimper.
-Go back to Silent Hill radio ! ;)

>Widget had activated the Omega Wings and perished honorably, sacrificing himself to stop the Imps from capturing Lady Sparkle's memories
-Ah yes, honorable death... *cough* ...ok, ok. I can't help myself to have a good memory for that sort of things... Not always a good thing to have...

>"Who knew Filigree was into bondage?" Galaxi giggled weakly from the far side.
-Huuuhhh... why are *Filligree's brothers* mentioned just before that ? ...Mmh, I can ''guess'', but that's still a most peculiar dream/nightmare, I have to say.
It also leaves quite a hole on how Key woke her... *cough* I guess we will never find out ;).

>She wondered where the Nightmare had gotten off to
-Didn't she literally told them that she was going to conquer Equestria(attack Canterlot) now that they were all prisoners, in last part ?

> It's been months since the Nightmare took me, and where were you?!?
-Ooohh, I would say roughly 400 000Km down, separated by the vacuum of Space... She doesn't know she's on the Moon, I suppose ?

>"Clockwork…" Tome whispered desperately, and leaned close, "Please… I can't tell if this is a dream or not."
-A fascinating line, really.

>"Alright," Flourish smiled darkly, "Let's party."
-*breath in* Pinky Piiiiiie ! (related, family or the like)
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The dark side of the world isn't the moon. TECHNICALLY there is no "dark side" of a planet like that (since the sun does rotate under the world too), but the underside I can't imagine as being very hospitable either. Of course, that might be proven wrong in the future.

Hey now, stop picking apart my inspirations! ;)

Character perspective... and admittedly writer perspective too. I view what Warpony did as honorable.

No, Not Filigree's brothers, the brothers that Spectrum introduced her too a few chapters previous (from the other family of Gryphons). And no, I am NOT going into details.

She did, but that doesn't mean she knows where exactly she was going, or if she was lying.

She knew she was on the moon, but she the moon is Luna's turf, so the confusion as to why she couldn't come rescue her was prevelent.

Thank you.

Nope, but the attitude is similar. ;)

- Polecat
Nova225's avatar
Oh, yes, Warpony was definitely honorable, I know... I was, humm, thinking of another 'already dead' character. But, anyway, this is old news now. ;)

You mean Flourish isn't... related to the Pie Family in any shape or form ? Not even a cousin of her parents or sisters ? :(
(Serious, she has the pink cloud, and about the same happy and random character ?)
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nope, there's no relation there. ;)

- Polecat
DarkonShadows's avatar
'Power Neutralization' is a powerful power indeed. However a power neutralizer is only as powerful as their opponent with any extra abilities they may come with. If they have no outstanding extra abilities then they had better be well trained for close quarters combat or at least carry a weapon.

Their dreams do seem kind of awkward if you read what wasn't said.

Last thought: Memories are the things that can hurt us worse than reality ever could sometimes. Also Flourish is the excellent choice for espionage having training and abilities suited for such a job. As is so far stated, Clockworks ability is hearing and not hyper intelligence or technopathic. In nature she’s super smart on her own without her armor or abilities.
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You are correct, and Flourish has training as a Palace Guard as well, something the mares didn't mention. Thus she was a capable fighter even before she was a Special...

I'm not sure I follow...

Yes, memories can if used properly. But it's a double edged sword, they can also be a great asset and/or inspiration. As for Clockwork, she does have some enhanced intelligence, but her ability to hear certain frequencies is the more powerful 'gift". Her late brother was actually the technopath. ;)

- Polecat
Levia-the-Dragon's avatar
Mm, Flourish is the logical choice... here's hoping Tome can recover when they get out of there.

And those illusions are a classic gambit, but they worked well... not quite sure what was going on with Clockwork and Filligree's dream-breaking efforts though...
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Flourish is, yes. She was, after all, royal guard before she got her powers...

Tomie will... be a while in recovering.

Aye, they are a classic gambit. I acxtually reworked Clockwork's illusion a few times to get the flow right...

- Polecat
Levia-the-Dragon's avatar
I notice you dodged my question about just what was said or done to awaken Filligree...
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Intentionally so. After all, that section was blanked out intentionally. ;)

- Polecat
Wistan's avatar
WistanStudent Digital Artist
Finally. Been waiting for this :D And you don't dissapoint. Was kinda sceptical at first, and almost put this down when it became apparent that the mane six (The Six) were dead, and I don't usually read stories with them dead. BUT you've really done a great job here, and I'm very very glad that I didn't stop reading. Keep it up!
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm glad you've enjoyed this. :) The "after they passed" thing was part of the title too, the idea that this was a time after them... Either way, I'm glad you gave it a chance and enjoyed it. :)

- Polecat
Wistan's avatar
WistanStudent Digital Artist
There's not many fanfics that have left me thinking about what happened to the characters at the end of a chapter. I couldn't wait to see what happened to poor Trixie/Tome. I mean, after all that, she gets kidnapped by NMM for months? Man, for some reason I couldn't stop thinking about how horrible that must be :(

So far only a few has made me think like this (ink.Fallout Equestria), so keep up the great work!
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Fallout: Equestria, and its spin off "Project Horizons" are both excellently written. They actually, in a way, inspired me to write New Breed. ;)

- Polecat
Wistan's avatar
WistanStudent Digital Artist
I can't say that I've read Project horizons yet, I guess I should as I absolutely love F:Eq. Still, this is up there within my favourites, so keep it up, and don't quit any time soon, there's way to many incomplete fics out there. I would both love and hate to read the end ;)
TCPolecat7's avatar
TCPolecat7Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think the "end" of this may surprise you. ;)

- Polecat
Wistan's avatar
WistanStudent Digital Artist
As long as there's a sequel :P
anonymous's avatar
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