Heart Of Black Ice

Trinity's End: Harmony's Offer

The second worst thing in life is if we don't get what we want.

The worst is if we get it.

White light everywhere.

I am not amused. I've been here before.

"Not again. I'm not doing this shit again." I mumble to myself.

A mirror appears.

Black unicorn walks out of what was supposed to be my reflection.

"Well, it's traditional for a soul to pass judgement on itself before it goes into the great beyond, right?" says Mistake.

"Ooookay. My name is Blazing Light. I am a failure who managed to almost throw the world into chaos multiple times, who can't keep friends because he is a piece of trash not worth their time, and who has failed everypony he's ever met. Tadaaa, done!"

I thought this would be the case.

The soothing voice comes from all around.

You are not fit to judge yourself, young unicorn.

"Nonsense, I know myself better than anypony."

Is there nothing you've done that resulted in good outcome?

"There is," I hesitantly admit. No real point of lying to the great voice in the emptiness who doesn't have the manners to introduce itself.

My name is Harmony.

"Guessed that much. Yea, some things ended well but I wouldn't have had to save anything if I didn't start it in the first place so there's that."

Let me show you the result of your trickery.

"It wasn't that much of a plan. Stay hidden and unknown until Holy Light attacks. Protect the Bearers until they get the explanation about some ponies being gateways to Nightmare's power and allowing it to interact with the world. Pretend to be evil so your Elements are used at full force. Die in the blast with Holy and eliminate Nightmare for ages to come. Not smart, not complex, very effective. Worked pretty well I think."

I have the ability to purify as well as to destroy. My power was used by the Bearers when Luna emerged from her imprisonment on the moon. Had you not tried to steal my power you might have lived.

"Why bother? Crom hates me and Chokey doesn't want to be near me. My only chances for happiness are gone."

Ah yes, the only question you do not know the answer to.

"Har har, very funny."

Just watch.

"Fiiiine," I get ready for the instant replay of my death. Maybe I'm juuuust a little jaded but being left alone by everypony I believed in sort of leaves a bitter taste.

"You saying you're bitter is like saying Discord is just a tad unorganized," Mistake snickers.

"Get out of my head, head."

The definitely not air in front of me wobbles and a clear image appears.

These are several things that happened during the week after your death.

Heavy Hoof lets Cromach go and Three stops pressing a blade to Chokey's neck. Princess Twilight walks over to Heavy and orders:

"Guards, shackle him."

Chokey unwraps a set of chains from her belt and locks them around Heavy's hooves. He doesn't resist in the slightest.

"Mind giving the letter from my saddlebag to mirror Twilight?" Heavy asks and Crom rummages through the bag, taking out a small envelope.

I know what is in there. Nopony was supposed to know about the plan aside from Heavy, Darkhorn, Guiding, and anypony they thought necessary for the completion. The only reason I wrote it down for mirror Twilight was so that she didn't suspect anypony on our side of the portal from trying to use Nightmare's power against her.

I don't need anypony else on our side to know the truth. It doesn't matter anymore.

Cromach hands the letter to princess Twilight but it gets snatched out of his talons by mirror Twilight's telekinesis.

This was my last gambit. The only way of protecting Guiding and Heavy from execution. Well, begging for help can't really be called gambit but it was all I had. Dignity has no value for me.

Thankfully, unicorn Twilight understands.

"Take these three away," she points to Guiding, Three, and Heavy, "but if anything happens to them you can consider it a declaration of war."

"What?" princess Twilight shakes her head.

"They will explain. Now leave this place," her horn lights up and a small portal appears, "we have a loss to mourn."

"A minute of silence," I say, feeling as if I was drunk, "Aaaa, nevermind. Five seconds is enough for the likes of me. Can I go now?"

Quiet, you!

Soldiers in Holy Light's army start falling over as Nightmare's hold over them disappears. Soon enough, the alive ones quickly realize what protected them from the alicorns is gone.

Celestia disperses Scream's illusion and her voice, amplified by magic, promises the soldiers who give up safe return to Zebrica. Many of them immediately leave the side of the massive army but some believe the pony force is tiny and cannot stand against them.

Those continue the assault as a single alicorn flies into their midst. Celestia, for a brief second, summons the power of the sun directly into herself.

The conflagration is brief but the white ash flying around will enrich the soil for time to come.

Seeing what single princess did in a second makes everypony still alive drop their weapons.

The dragons, however, fight until the end. Even without the protection of the Nightmare they are more than a match for Icy Gaze's rapidly diminishing fleet. At least until one of them manages to set Scream's tail on fire.

The alicorn of Lust gets very, very mad.

The dragons get very, very dead.

"Hah! And they say dragon scales don't burn," I hoofbump Mistake.

"Well, fire usually isn't green and made of teeth," he bumps back.

If I had a body I would facehoof.

Heavy Hoof sits in the Canterlot castle dungeon, looking up at princess Luna walking in.

"You shall not be executed and there will be no formal action taken against the dreamlings," she says.

"There is no need to bend the law for me, your Highness," says Heavy grimly.

"It all depends on what you call the crime, young pony. You will, of course, be stripped of your Royal Guard rank. We cannot keep those who disobey us around."

Heavy nods.

"I will find a job elsewhere. Police forces around Equestria must be hiring."

"No, you will not," Luna smiles at him, "You have a debt to pay to the crown."

She summons a scroll, unrolls it, and starts reading.

"We write to inform you that in light of certain recent events connected to the Order of the Silver Sun there arose the need to restore the reputation of this ancient and important organization. In order to do so there has to be appointed a new leader who will claim the rank of baron and gain access to all currently frozen Silver Sun assets. Such is the price of your freedom and since we cannot risk any hostility from the mirror world you will be free."

"Huh?"

"It is rare to see somepony as devoted to protecting others as you are, baron Heavy Hoof. Defying everypony including me and my sister took a lot of courage. I believe you shall restore the light the Order lost long time ago."

"I am not flawless."

Luna opens the cell door.

"Nopony is. You are trying very hard to be though and can inspire others to strive for it as well. It would be a shame to see somepony like you rot in prison. You are free now. Go home and see my sister first thing tomorrow."

"Yes, your Highness," he bows.

"We wish you the best of luck, baron," Luna bows as well.

"I-I don't know what to say."

Then why are you talking? Celestia is currently hammering out a business treaty with the Darkhorn clan. Your daughter explained everything to the sisters and they took these steps. Everything you worked for is safe.

"Good," I take a deep breath and smile, "I can sleep in peace then."

Not... yet.

"WHAT? WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT ME TO DO?!"

Calm down.

"No! Discord used me, Nightmare used me... I was an idiot to think you would be different."

ENOUGH!

I freeze. Mistake disappears. The voice loses its force.

Enough. As little as you might believe it I feel sympathy for you and not only because you were useful for me. You are just a hurt colt but I know you have the potential to become greater than many. I called you here to offer you a chance.

"What chance?"

I can purify you of all divine power and give you new life.

"But I would still be me. That's not a victory for anypony."

I disagree. As they say, you know your first true love because it hurts.

"Low blow," I scowl.

Oh? Am I wrong?

"You're right, okay? I loved both of them. Yes, they were the only reason I tried to make things work. I'm not a hero. I'm not even a good pony. I don't care about Equestria, griffons being eaten alive, or minotaur civilization. I just wanted to give them a chance to see tomorrow. I'm THAT seflish."

Then why not go for a tomorrow together?

"They CHOSE to leave me. I wasn't good enough for either of them. I didn't deserve them anyway."

It seems to me you are trying to make yourself believe it rather than me.

"I'm just explaining things as they are."

Well, what do you choose? Will you return to them and make their days just a little brighter or... leave them?

"ME making something brighter? Right, Blazing-fucking-Light. They are better off without me, aren't they? They must be. I can't help them, I-"

Choose, little unicorn. Do not dwell on it too much. We both know where that path leads.

Is there really hope for me?

Don't think about it. Just pick a path and follow it to the end.

"I-"

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I shake my head.

"I give up. I just want peace. They can do much better than me."

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