Chapter 16: The End of Evil
As every hostage watched Jack Silver and his crew fight against Blackhorn and his pirates, each couldn't help but feel a conflict between feelings, only three months ago Jack Silver's crew ransacked Ponyville for gems and other valuables and yet here they were, risking their lives to save theirs, only the Mane Six and the Cutie Mark Crusaders seemed to be the only ones cheering for them along with the detained members of Jack’s crew.
"Alright!" Rainbow Dash screamed.
"Go you crazy son of a Seadog!" one of the Diamond Dogs added.
Although this was confusing for the other hostages, none of those who sailed with Jack Silvered cared what for they thought, they're friends were alive and fighting for their freedom. While Jack focused his efforts to fighting through the crowd of pirates towards Blackhorn who was cowering behind them, the others main objective was taking out as many of them as they could to even the odds. Suddenly Blackhorn spoke again.
"Kill the hostages!" he screamed, while still cowering behind his bigger crewmembers. "Kill all the hostages!!!"
Instantly reacting to their Captain's command, a small group of Blackhorn's crew ceased to fight and ran towards the hostages who screamed with fear, luckily Big Rummy out of pure rage ran like a locomotive ahead of the them before they could even reach a few feet from Fluttershy.
"You hurt her and I will break you." He growled, eyes burning with anger.
Needless to say Blackhorn’s pirates were panicky upon seeing the gigantic stallion before them but none the less they believed that they're numbers would overwhelm him, to was easy to say they were wrong. The second Blackhorn’s crew all tried to jump him Big Rummy simply took one swing from his gigantic hoof and sent them all flying at least twenty feet into the air before landing in a mangled heap. Big Rummy then turned towards Fluttershy who was so teary-eyed with joy.
"You… you came back," she said with a tearful smile.
It was at those words that Big Rummy didn't even need to speak, he simply pulled her towards him and passionately put his lips to hers, needless to say the moment of love turned some heads. Although the moment was short-lived since more of Blackhorn’s pirates snuck up from behind and pulled Big Rummy away, luckily T-Cog managed to yank them away with his hook while Slash ran towards the hostages and started to free them from their bonds.
"Never a dull moment eh?" he laughed as he clawed away at Rainbow Dash's ropes.
"Not a single one," Rainbow Dash answered with a chuckle.
"But how is this possible?" Rarity added as Slash untied her.
"Escape now! Explain later!" Slash quickly said as he moved to untie Sweetie Belle. "We need to get every pony out of here NOW!"
Instantly reacting to Slash's words, the Mane Six instantly began to untie the other hostages while Big Rummy and T-Cog held off the pirates from attacking.
"Power to power, you've much to learn," T-Cog sang as his hook transformed into his Spark Shooter. "Larger or smaller, we'll make you burn!!!"
Suddenly a blast lightning erupted from T-Cog's Spark Shooter and bombarded the pirates at least ten feet into the air before they came crashing down. As each hostage was freed, those that remained of Jack silver’s crew decided to join the fight with their comrades, although some of them were still too injured to walk, those unlucky few were forced to be escorted away by the Mane Six as they finally managed to get free, led by Twilight the remaining hostages ran away from the battle, leaving Jack and his crew to their fight.
"The hostages are free Captain!" Slash said with a smile.
"Then let us finish this!" Jack called out as he watched his crew once again grow in number. “It’s time to bring Blackhorn’s tyranny to an end! CHARGE!”
And thus the biggest part of the fight began, with that one fierce battle cry Jack and his crew charged at full speed towards the now cowering pirates, swords clanged and magic erupted from every Unicorn's horn but Blackhorn's crew were no much for their opponents, especially Marina who made full use of her water based powers as she washed away many of the pirates before they even reached her, T-Cog blasted many bolts of lightning and Big Rummy ploughed through them as though they were nothing but mere toys, however every time they managed to knock one pirate down, another just comes to take his place and it was that fact that prevented Jack from getting any to Blackhorn who was simply standing by while is crew fought his battle.#
Meanwhile at the edge of the Everfree Forest Twilight and the rest of the citizens of Ponyville were finally able to stop running.
"Is every pony okay?" she asked. "No one missing?"
"No we're all here," Applejack answered. "Well, all of us except Jack and the others."
“We… we can’t let them fight alone.” one of Jack Silver’s weaker crewmembers said as he struggled to stand up.
“You are not going anywhere mister,” Rarity sternly said as he forced the unicorn back into a seating position. “And the same goes for the rest of you!”
Rarity was obviously referring to those of Jack Silver’s crew who remained with the other hostages, every pony could easily see that she was right to stop them, for they were most certainly in no condition to fight, though that didn’t stop them from trying despite their injuries. As the rest of the Mane Six forced the pirates back Twilight turned her head back towards Ponyville with a look of determination in her eyes.
“He’s right though,” she said raising her head in confidence. “We can’t let them fight alone.”
"We gotta go back and help them," Rainbow Dash added.
"Agreed," Applejack said with a stern look.
"Spike, send word to Princess Celestia and tell her what's going on,” Twilight said looking towards him. “Cutie Mark Crusaders, you stand guard here and watch out for any of Blackhorn’s crew."
"You got it Twilight!" Spike said as he took out a parchment and quill.
"Aye-aye!" Apple Bloom added, giving a playful salute.
"Come on girls!" Twilight announced. "We have pirates to save!"
"Lead the way Twilight!" Fluttershy said with a stern face, never feeling braver in her life.
And with that the mane Six ran at full speed back to Ponyville.#
Back in Ponyville the battle continued, Jack and his crew may have fought valiantly against Blackhorn's pirates however even after taking several of them down, each of Jack’s crewmembers saw no end to their numbers and were now beginning to wain from the fight.
"I don't know how much longer I can take of this!" Dripfang said gasping for breath, as he blasted one of the Pegasus out of the sky.
"Don't give up Dripfang!" Shimmer replied, "We need to win this!"
"Who said anything about giving up?" Dripfang smirked.
It was that hopeful spirit that kept every pony fighting, and was also that spirit that made Blackhorn’s crew loose the stomach to fight, however one of them actually got lucky after managing to trip Gem up after she tried to run him through with her horn. However just before the red-eyed monster could deliver the fatal blow with his sword, the pirate suddenly found himself being shoved to the side by a rainbow coloured impact. Seeing the unconscious pirate Gem looked to the one who saved her.
"Rainbow?" she said out of amazement.
"What?" Rainbow Dash said with a smile. "Shipmates stick together right?"
Gem would have responded but frankly she was too happy to even say a word, plus there was the fact that they were still in the middle a battle. Deciding to catch up on conversations later, the two continued to fight with their friends, soon enough joined by the rest of the Mane Six, as Jack fought and watched his crew and the Mane Six fight together he was overcome with pride, so much so he called out to them with a cheerful smile.
"Fight to the bitter end!!!" he cried. "Let this be a day no pony ever forgets!!!"
And indeed they did fight, using whatever strength they had left in them those who fought with Jack forced their way through the vast numbers of Blackhorn’s crew, even Fluttershy finally found her courage as she fought alongside Big Rummy. While those with wings took their fights into the sky, those who remained on the ground found themselves in a totally different situation than that of their aerial comrades, using the elements around them any able-bodied Diamond Dogs left in Jack Silver’s crew managed to dig their way underground and quickly pull members of Blackhorn’s crew underground to finish them off just as a Bird-eating spider would burst out of the ground to catch its prey. Since Blackhorn’s crew didn’t have any Diamond Dogs this proved to be a serious advantage. Soon enough the battle began take place inside of the buildings. As Twilight and Shimmer fought inside the Golden Oaks Library, they found themselves tipping over bookshelves and throwing heavy hardbacks at the pirates' heads much to Twilight’s regret later on. Meanwhile Slash, Big Rummy, Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy were standing up to another group of Blackhorn’s pirates inside the Carousel Boutique, suddenly Slash noticed something beneath his feet, a loose floorboard that had not been repaired since the last time they were here and Blackhorn’s goons were standing right on the other end of it.
"Rummy!" Slash said happily. "Flying Ahh!!!"
Big Rummy may not have been the brightest of ponies but he knew instantly what Slash meant and slammed both of his gigantic hooves on the floorboards beneath him and sent the pirates literally flying through the roof.
"Don't forget to write!" Pinkie Pie laughed, as she waved the pirates farewell through the massive hole in the roof.
Meanwhile Jack was still outside now engaging the now enraged Blackhorn in a fierce one-on-one battle, as they both clanged swords and blasted each other with beams of magic neither of them faltered, suddenly Blackhorn managed to aim his magic at Jack's sword and shatter it, leaving Jack seemingly defenseless and thus allowing Blackhorn to trip him up.
"You may be harder to crush than a cockroach Jack but you certainly aren't immortal," Blackhorn gloated as he raised his sword for the final blow. "I told you before that I have no quarrel with you but I'm afraid you've interfered long enough!!!"
But before Blackhorn could plunge his sword into Jack's heart, something blocked its path, before Blackhorn's eyes another blade appeared from Jack's sleeve, a blade that came from the gauntlet on Jack's hoof.
"WHAT!?!" Blackhorn gasped.
"You may now have dark powers Blackhorn," Jack said as he picked himself up and shoved Blackhorn away. "But I have the most powerful thing in the world… I have hope!!!"
At those words Blackhorn flew into a terrible rage and once again lunged at Jack with his sword, but the blade producing from the Element of Hope was so magically powerful, Blackhorn's own sword broke in two at its slightest touch, Blackhorn tried to fire his magic at him but the blade simply flicked them away as though they were nothing but mere tennis balls, shaking with fear Blackhorn's only choice now was to back away, only to be stopped by the wall of the town hall.
"You've lost Blackhorn," Jack said calmly. "Look around you, your crew have been defeated, your plan failed, by now Princess Celestia would have heard about this and will be coming for you… it’s over."
Needless to say Blackhorn didn't believe Jack's words but as he looked around him he found that Jack was indeed telling the truth, everywhere he turned he saw the bodies of his crew, and the Mane Six along with Jack's crew standing over them. At the sight of this Blackhorn grew angrier for now he felt cheated, yet Jack still kept his calm face.
"You now have only one choice Blackhorn," he said. "Give up now and face what's to come."
"NO!!!" Blackhorn screamed in anger. "IT'S NOT OVER!!!"
At those words, the stump on Blackhorn's head pulsated with a purple aura and he disappeared into a blinding light.
"He's gone!!!" Rainbow Dash gasped. "After all that he's gone!!!"
"Calm yourself Rainbow Dash," Jack said raising his hoof. "He didn't go far."
"How can you possibly know that?" Twilight asked.
"Because I know where he's going," Jack answered. "We may have foiled his plan for this place but we haven't stopped him from getting his vengeance, he will go back to the Black Death and finish off that Griffin in the Brig."
Suddenly Jack's face suddenly gained a frown.
"Shimmer told me what the he said while you were being held captive," he continued. "If Blackhorn has been corrupted by dark magic then I have to believe I can save him from it."
"Save him?" Rarity asked with a raised eyebrow.
"I know it sounds ridiculous but you must understand why," Jack continued. "I've known Blackhorn for twenty years, he and I share many things, most of which are personal… he was my friend. If the Black Death is the true reason why he has become so evil then I must believe that he can change back to the stallion he was."
"But what can be done?" Shimmer asked. "The Griffin said that only through death or pain and suffering can he be free from the Black Death's curse."
"I know of another way," Jack answered. "But I cannot do it alone, I will need every pony here to help, I know you all can't…"
"We'll help Jack," Twilight said interrupting him.
"We all will," Shimmer added.
Suddenly Jack's face lit up, he couldn't believe what he was hearing.
"You… you will?" he asked.
"We trust you Jack," Twilight explained. "You may have had some crazy decisions but we trust you."
Seeing the look of agreement on every pony's face Jack smiled with pride and levitated something out of his pack.
"Then the Harmony Bearers are going to want these back," he said as he levitated the Elements of Harmony to the Mane Six who took them with a smile on their face. "It’s time to end this."#
Elsewhere the Black Death was now sailing to open water despite now only having one crewmember. Blackhorn dragged his prisoner out of the Brig and threw him out onto the deck, his face boiling with anger as he stared down at the Griffin before him.
"I take it your plan failed then?" the Griffin asked mockingly as he coughed up a bit of blood, a result of a kick to the stomach Blackhorn dished out to him.
But the words the Griffin spoke only infuriated Blackhorn further and he delivered a powerful kick to the Griffin's face, rendering him unconscious.
"I may not have been able to take your daughter Griffin!" he growled as he pulled out another sword. "But at least I can still deliver you with enough pain to satisfy my needs, I'm going to bleed you like a stuck pig!!!"
But before Blackhorn could even raise his sword, a portal appeared behind the Griffin, and out of that portal came Jack Silver, the Mane Six, Shimmer, T-Cog, Slash Big Rummy, Dripfang and Gem la Stone.
"So…" Blackhorn said calmly with an angered look upon his face. "It would seem that you have passed my defensive spells, very impressive Captain. So what now?"
"Now we end this once and for all," Jack answered. "This isn't you Blackhorn, this isn't the stallion I came to call my friend."
But Blackhorn simply grinned at him.
"I don't know if you've heard Jack but the Blackhorn you knew is long gone," he said. "The Black Death has removed all of those weaknesses of compassion, honour and friendship, you have no power over me anymore."
"I never said I did," Jack responded as he gestured to the Element of Hope. "But if I know that this Element of Harmony can heal any injury on its own, then with all seven can you finally be free from this curse."
"And who ever said I WANTED to be free from it Jack!?!" Blackhorn snapped. "Look at me, I command one of the most powerful ships in the world, oh my crew may be gone but I can still recruit and when I do I shall take my vengeance upon the entire ocean!!!"
"I don't know whether that's the evil talking or your insanity," Jack answered with a sigh. "But I know for a fact that this isn't you… NOW!!!"
And before Blackhorn could even flinch, he found himself being kicked from behind by the bucking hooves of Shimmer and Applejack while Big Rummy held him down, as turned out they were able to sneak behind Blackhorn while Jack managed to distract him with his talking, Blackhorn may have struggled but he was no match for the weight and strength of Big Rummy's hooves.
"I'm sorry Blackhorn but this is the only way," Jack said as he and the Mane Six gathered around him wearing their own Elements of Harmony. "Every pony ready?"
"Ready!" Twilight answered.
"Let's do this!" Rainbow Dash added.
"Then by Celestia, let’s hope this works." Jack said as he took his place ahead of them.
In a matter of moments, much to Blackhorn's horror, the gems on the Elements of Harmony began to glow and the Mane Six were lifted into the air. Suddenly a rainbow coloured aura exploded skywards from the Mane Six's Elements and shot straight into Jack's Element of Hope who pointed it's blade directly towards Blackhorn.
"YO HO!!!" he screamed.
Upon those words a beam of magical white light burst from the tip of the Element of Hope directly towards the screaming Blackhorn, luckily Big Rummy managed to jump out of the way before the magical beam hit him too. Finally at the very second the beam hit Blackhorn right in the chest, the entire deck was engulfed with a blinding white light, when it finally faded and every pony could see again they found Blackhorn lying unconscious in a patch of the deck that seemed less dark, almost purified compared to the rest of it. As the sun finally rose and the beautiful orange light peeked over the horizon, every pony on board the Black Death couldn't help but feel relieved… it was finally over. Jack then walked up to Blackhorn, who was now beginning to stir, as Blackhorn opened his eyes every pony saw that they were no longer blood-red but instead a light blue.
"J… Jack?" he mumbled as he tried to stand up. "Wha… what's going on?"
"Welcome back old friend," Jack said with a slight smile. "Do you remember anything?"
"I…I think so," Blackhorn answered. "But… but that can't have really happened could it?"
But one look from Jack and a quick gaze at his surroundings answered his question instantly.
"No!" he said collapsing to his knees. "By Celestia, what have I done!?! I almost destroyed everything, I almost destroyed you, oh Jack I'm so sorry."
As Blackhorn sat there crying his eyes out, not only did Jack feel sorry for him, but so did every pony else. Placing a hoof on Blackhorn's shoulder, Jack tried his best to comfort his now restored friend."
"Blackhorn," he said. "None of it matters anymore, all of that is in the past, while it is true that it was your own hate that allowed you to be corrupted in the first place, now you have a chance to redeem yourself."
"How can I possibly redeem myself after what I've done?" Blackhorn said looking up at Jack. "I've destroyed too many lives to even be considered a pony anymore. I… I don't know what to do."
But Jack wouldn't hear any of it, so he spoke again.
"Then allow me to take that journey with you," he said as he held out his hoof.
Blackhorn couldn't believe it, even after all at he's done Jack still considered him a friend, with a slight smile he took Jack hoof and pulled himself up.
"I… I don't understand Jack," he raised with a raised eyebrow. "I try to kill you, I slaughter practically half of your crew, I maroon your daughter on an isolated island and yet you STILL save me from the curse of the Black Death, any other pony would have given up on me but not you, why?"
"Well I guess I'm not just any other pony," Jack answered shrugging his shoulders. "Besides, I knew there was some good in you even while you were corrupted… otherwise you wouldn't have cared so much about finding the seventh Element to get your family back."
"So can it…"
"I'm sorry Blackhorn but it can't," Jack interrupted, knowing what Blackhorn was about to ask. "No amount of magic can change the nature of life and death no matter where it comes from… but I can do this for you."
And before any pony could even ask what Jack was talking about, he aimed the Element of Hope at the sky and blasted a beam of light directly upward, and what happened next made every pony gasp, before their eyes two vaporous lights slowly drifted from the sky and floated towards the deck of the ship, edging their way towards Blackhorn the light's suddenly faded and the shapes of two ponies appeared on the deck, a beautiful mare and a foal that looked no more than a year of age. As a tearful smile appeared across Blackhorn's face, Twilight and Blackhorn suddenly recognised the spiritual ponies they were looking at for they were ponies that they had seen in a photograph in Blackhorn's cabin.
"Blackhorn's family?" Twilight asked in awe. "But you said that…"
"They are not alive Miss Sparkle," T-Cog said with a slight smile. "Jack simply gave their spirits a chance to come to Blackhorn so that he may see them again… one last time."
As Blackhorn gazed upon the smiling face of his wife he couldn't help but cry, as the spirit of his foal jumped happily beneath his feet he knelt down to look at her joyful face. It was a beautiful moment but after what felt like ages of wondrous emotion the spirit of Blackhorn's wife gave his one final kiss before she and her foal suddenly began to change back to vaporous lights and ascended back into the sky, leaving Blackhorn to say one final word to them.
"…Goodbye," he whispered with tear filled eyes.
As the lights faded and the spirits of Blackhorn's family disappeared into the clouds, Jack, his crew and the Mane Six could only look at him with sorrow in their hearts. Finally Blackhorn turned to them and spoke.
"I am ready to pay for I've done Jack," he said. "I shall take whatever punishment awaits me."
"That won't be necessary my friend," Jack said with a slight smile "At least not before we ensure that no pony shall be taken over by this despicable vessel of evil again."
"What are your orders, sir?" T-Cog asked.
Jack then turned towards his crew and gave them their instructions.
"Every pony is to gather every single barrel of gunpowder they can find and put it all at the very bottom of this ship," he said sternly "We're going make an absolute guarantee that this forsaken tub never sees another Captain take command."
"We're gonna blow the ship?" Slash asked with a wicked smile.
"Oh most definitely," Shimmer smirked.
Following their Captain's instructions every pony clambered below deck and started to gather every barrel they could find at the very base of the ship, every barrel from the gun deck, the store room, every ounce of powder was dumped at the very bottom of the accursed vessel. Finally after leading a trail of dry powder from the base of the ship directly towards the deck they were done.
"Are we good down below?" Jack asked.
"There’s enough power down there to blow this mother sky-high," Dripfang smirked as he dusted himself off of any excess gunpowder.
"Then let's get out of here," Jack said sternly as he activated his magic and opened up another portal. "Rummy, bring the Griffin, Slash, light her up."
"With pleasure sir," Slash said giving his Captain a proud salute.
Following Jack's lead every pony walked towards the portal and being the last to start leaving Slash puffed a small breath of blue flames at the end of the trail of gunpowder which ignited instantly, as the sparkling flame slowly edged its way down the trail of powder and below deck every pony was moving as quickly as they can before it reaches the barrels at the bottom, however something happened at that moment no pony had expected, regaining his consciousness from atop Big Rummy's back the Griffin suddenly slashed at his spine and placed his claw to his throat.
"RUMMY!!!" Fluttershy and Slash screamed in unison.
"What in blazes are you doing!?!" Jack snapped.
"This ship cannot be destroyed," the Griffin said tightening his grip on Big Rummy's throat. "I may have been knocked out but I could still hear your plotting, you will not take this ship away from me!!!"
"I thought this guy was free from the curse," Rainbow Dash said with a scared look.
"You fools," the Griffin laughed. "I was never free, I never wanted to be free!!! This ship feeds my blood-lust, it is the very essence of my power and when Blackhorn took it away from me I knew I had to do something."
At first no pony understood what was going on but then Jack said something that set them straight.
"There was never any daughter was there?" he said with an angry glare. "You knew Blackhorn wanted revenge for what you’ve done and that was only the card you had to play, so you made up a story of a daughter living in Equestria so that he would cause chaos in your place."
"And would most likely be killed in the act," the Griffin added. "After his death I would have escaped from the Brig and reclaim what was rightfully mine, who would have thought Gilda was such a common name for a Griffin?"
Jack would have responded but the Griffin's very words made him sick to his stomach, as did it to the other ponies and yet the Griffin continued to speak.
"Now either you stop the gunpowder or I'm gonna tear this son of a…"
But suddenly the Griffin found himself being tackled by an unseen figure, forcing him to release Big Rummy from his grip and fight back, to every pony's surprise it was Blackhorn who was doing the fighting.
"GO!!!" he screamed. "I'LL HOLD HIM OFF!!!"
Not wanting to argue every pony instantly ran through the portal with Twilight and Fluttershy helping Big Rummy to even walk, Jack however just stood where he was watching Blackhorn and the Griffin fight.
"Jack, come on!" Twilight called as she and Fluttershy helped Rummy through the portal.
But Jack simply stayed where he was watching in fear as Blackhorn tussled with the Griffin, he would have joined in the fight but Blackhorn managed to stop him when he managed to push the Griffin away for a few moments.
"I said GO!!!" he snapped.
And with that he delivered an extremely powerful buck kick to Jack's face and sent him flying through the portal which instantly closed behind him.#
When Jack managed pick himself up after landing on the docks of Equestria with the others he instantly tried to create another portal, however something happened in the distance that caused him to stop in his tracks, on the horizon where the Black Death once sailed on the sea was now a blazing ball of orange flames, the Black Death had already blown up…with Blackhorn and the Griffin still on it.
"Oh Blackhorn," Jack said shedding a tear.
"Even after all that he saved our lives," Twilight said as she walked up to him.
"He may have been corrupted by darkness Miss Sparkle," Jack said, eyes still dripping with tears. "But he has got to be… one of the finest stallions I ever met."
"Do you wish to say anything for him?" Shimmer asked.
"There's nothing that can be said," Jack answered. "There is only one thing that can be done for a stallion such as he."
At those words Jack simply looked to the ocean and proudly gave a salute and following his example every pony else saluted too.
"Rest in Peace my friend."