History Goes In Circles: Rescued
Some of the ponies standing on the deck of the Lightbringer are blushing furiously, some are cheering loudly, and some are actually doing what they are supposed to which is disarming the surviving griffon soldiers and letting them go after that.
I could be pondering how an airship with a crew of twenty or so ponies has just decimated an attacking force of a hundred well-equipped griffons but that's the last thing on my mind. What, or who, is occupying my immediate attention is the small black unicorn whom I've just put back down on the deck.
He looks exactly like I remember with some obvious differences after our return from the mirror world. The shabby black coat with small scars and cuts making the fur change direction from time to time. The blue mane, just a little longer than a stallion would usually use as a manecut with a blue strand falling down on his forehead. The too sensitive ears twitching nervously at me staring at him and listening to the fading snickering of the crew. The pink or wine-purple eyes, one of them faded and unfocused after whatever the creature in the mirror world did to him. Last but not least, the curves of his body, less toned than Heavy's or Darky's but with surprising amount of muscles under the softer exterior, now disrupted by a dark grey metal construction resembling a griffon arm instead of his left front leg, the claws twitching slightly in tune with his ears.
All that makes up the unicorn I thought I would never see again.
"Looking good," I say and the snickering of ponies around us resumes. To be honest, I'm just too stumped to say anything smart.
The thing is Heavy's reaction to what I did still weighs on my mind and I'm not sure Mistake won't react in the same way. I just have to be ready to take his anger.
"Show's over, folks," says Darky loud enough for everyone to hear and walks to us, "Get a room, you two."
The twitch of pity in me at her words is small but still noticeable. As for Mistake, his expression is unreadable. I mean I'm happy Darky doesn't seem to have any interest in Mistake anymore but since I know how he feels about her it sort of hurts.
"Let's go," Mistake says flatly and I follow him down the stairs leading to the insides of the airship.
The rescue mission must have been his idea, that sort of keeps my uncertainty at bay. I mean the name of the ship itself.
*clip* *clop* *clip* *click*
The sound of his hoofsteps on the metal walkways makes me twitch every time his steel arm scrapes the steps.
"You are pretty good with the prosthesis," I comment when he uses the claws to open the door to what is presumably his cabin in a way a born griffon would use his claws.
"It is a good piece of work. Besides, you've read my journal, it's nothing new to me."
That's right. The book said something about him losing his eye to Void and a front leg to Applejack in the mirror world.
"Lucky you lost what you're used to not having, eh?" I try to dispel the strange atmosphere.
"Luck has nothing to do with it, I'm afraid," he says in all seriousness as he sits down on a mat on the floor, "But that's my problem, not yours."
"Say that again?" I feel as if his distant tone physically hit me.
"I don't want to drag you into my problems. Besides, it's only a theory."
I grab his shoulders to shake him and stop. Experimentally, I brush his neck and chest.
It wasn't noticeable outside in the sun but down here I can feel how cold he is, much colder than anyone should be. Not freezing like a body in a mortuary but just someone whose body gives off very little heat.
He just smiles sadly when I look him in the eyes.
"Is it that obvious?" he asks and looks at the floor.
"Darky told me you were dead. That might make this a little more obvious," I sit down to his side, trying not to twitch as I wrap my arm around him, "What happened?"
"I... am dead, technically."
I poke his chest.
"Nope, still soft. Soft means alive."
It's good he can't see my extremely forced smile when I put my head on his shoulder partly to comfort him, partly to feel the pulse on his neck. There is something, it's just too slow an weak.
"I was told I bled out on the table in the infirmary because no healing magic worked on me for two reasons. The first one was my ability to decompose and absorb magic. The second one was Sombra's way of bringing both of us back after Discord destroyed me. The amount of dark magic required to bring oneself from death's door while making a new body was tremendous and left marks when I absorbed it, making direct healing magic impossible to use," his claws start drumming on the floor, "When that happened princess Luna tried to immediately put me in stasis to try to find out something that would help, I think Chokey had a say in that. Unfortunately, I started draining and destabilizing the stasis spell as well so the time was fairly limited. With Equestrian medicine and magic unable to save me Heavy remembered reading about my fight with Applejack in the arena. The wounds I sustained there should have been fatal but the mirror world surgeons kept me alive so AJ could keep killing me over and over for what I did. It was a risk but in this reality I had friends in the mirror world and magistrate Twilight offered help when Luna reopened the portal."
He takes a sip of water.
"The griffon invasion?" I ask.
"Considering what Sombra did here twice, Twilight was more than happy to lend us a small part of her forces for getting rid of the shadow king. Unfortunately once again, I was too far gone even for mirror world surgery. The good part of Sombra and Scream training Twilight was that she's an excellent dark mage and she was able to see the problem with my body refusing to heal. Instead of trying to purify the corruption she infused more dark magic into me and the body accepted it. Even with attaching the arm she now had a dead, empty body. Well, dark magic involves necromancy which, while banned in Equestria, is a research subject in the mirror world and she bound my soul to the body again."
"Eeerm. Griffon here, remember? Too much mumbo jumbo."
"That means that after being a unicorn, changeling, construct, unicorn again, I'm now a zombie," he chuckles.
"Sooooo... what are your views on necrophilia?"
He turns to me, disbelief in his eyes and slowly growing grin a little lower.
I shut him up with another kiss.
"Never, NEVER again say something is just your problem," I push him on his back, "Now, what is OUR problem?"
My eyes bulge when he lifts my entire body with his four legs as if I wasn't almost twice his size. Well, three legs and a roboarm which must be helping. Pushing me off him and sitting back up, he rubs the little strap of longer fur on his chin that makes me go 'Nnngh' internally.
"The pony in the Crystal Empire that ripped OUR leg off," he grins smugly, "He said that what was supposed to happen will happen. I didn't have time to think about it too much while getting used to a body that still feels like somepony else's but he destroyed an Element of Harmony which is supposed to be impossible."
"So... why didn't you drop the shield? We could have helped you."
"Really? What could you, Twilight, Chokey, and Heavy could have done where I, Sombra, and Betty failed? Clear head will be needed to deal with this and you can't just throw yourself into something without-"
"Well, I got you out of there."
"-point taken. Fine then, got any idea what's going on, smartass?" Mistake pokes my chest.
"I'm more of the 'think on the spot' kind of guy."
"I think him looking like I used to," he scratches his head in embarrassment, "Well, like I hoped I might look one day after a ton of plastic surgery. Ehm, his saying that fate has come for me makes it clear I'm his target. Well, not just me."
"Hmm?" I urge him on in hope I might understand something at some point... maybe... possibly.
"I don't think it's an accident he appeared in the Crystal Empire, the place where I died and Void brought me back to try and save Scream in this reality. In a sense my life ended there because I left the reality I was originally from and jumped through other ones to get here. After I arrived I had to kill Blazing Light belonging here so the, I don't know, instability or something wouldn't kill me. The portal bringing me here looked exactly the same like the one the guy going after me used with all the tentacles and sand effect. Then I had to make sure me destroying the Corrupted Heart didn't kill Scream which I managed with Void's help."
"Who is that guy? He seems to be involved in most of what happened to you."
"The alicorn of Death, Peace, and Order. He is the CAUSE of most of what happened to me. The main thing is that four ponies were supposed to die in the Crystal Empire - me, Scream, mirror Twilight, and Sombra - but I'm not sure about Twilight, she might have been far enough. The fact that she's still alive after the... thing attacked me could mean she's not the target."
"You think the guy looking for you is busy going after someone else right now?"
"Yeah, it would explain why I couldn't find Void or Scream in their hiding place to ask how to get to the mirror world again. Unless I'm completely wrong of course. As I said, it's just a theory."
"Wait. Void is an alicorn like your princesses, right?"
"Older and more powerful from what I understand but yes."
"So why does he have to hide?"
"I don't think HE himself is hiding. During recent events that led to me gaining this body princess Luna got possessed by an ancient god and attacked Scream, doing something to her mind. I think Void is protecting her while she is weak."
"I met him in the desert, him and other alicorns. Kronos-"
"The alicorn of Time."
"-Magnus and Zephyr."
"The old alicorn of Magic, now replaced by Twilight Sparkle, and the alicorn of Wind."
"You know quite a lot."
"I once tried to kill Void which fortunately cost me just my eye. I wanted to know as much as possible about my enemy. That was back when I had no idea what was going on. You know, dead for the first time, put into a magical body, everything was new to me. It got boring after the third or fourth time."
"You will survive a nuclear apocalypse, buddy. You and the cockroaches."
"I might not," he turns serious again, "You realize I said I'm bound to this body by magic. Magic I destabilize thanks to my ability. I might drop dead in an hour or I might live for few more years but nopony knows what exactly will happen so we have to deal with this threat. Not because of me, that will solve itself sooner or later, but for the same reason I came here in the first place - to save Scream."
"You're pretty keen on helping the guy who stole Darky from you. Not that I'm complaining."
"Our relationship is... complicated. My approach isn't too normal from what I've been told."
"Ok, you know what the bronze guy wants. Any idea who or what he is?"
"He destroyed what shouldn't have belonged to this world anymore - Betty, my Betty, not the Element of Betrayal held by mirror Rainbow Dash, and Sombra. He is trying to make what was supposed to happen happen. I think we might be dealing with the alicorn of Destiny."
He ends dramatically which fails completely because I have literally no idea what to think. I've heard the entire explanation and that degraded into - big guy, strong guy, wants to eat Mistake, must be kicked in the nuts repeatedly.
Magic is magic but what I can do is raise Mistake's spirit.
"I know what my destiny is," I grin and slap Mistake's butt, "I'm in this world to drill that ass of yours so hard entire Canterlot will hear you scream my name."
Cool, I've just made a zombie blush.