Now You Need Us

by RadiantBeam

Chapter 1: Prologue

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History will remember me for my successes, and not my mistakes.

I should be grateful for that. I have indeed enjoyed great success throughout my career; I am not so humble to deny that, even in my old age. But while it is true that I’ve had many successes during my life, it is also true that I’ve made mistakes. I’m only a pony, like any other. I have not made many mistakes, and that is why I suspect that history won’t remember them.

But I will remember them.

I cannot justify my actions, and I will not try to. All I can say was that I was young, and desperate, and I was in such a mindset that even a bad idea seemed better than no idea at all. I had built them as weapons, tools that could be used against Discord. The decision to build them as capable of feeding off of negative energy was one that made sense at the time; his reign certainly generated enough of the magic that it seemed brilliant.

My first mistake was forgetting that a weapon, even when it isn’t given a chance to be used, is still a weapon. I had not calculated the fact that negative magic could still be created without Discord’s influence, and I had no prepared myself for the possibility that what I had created would never face combat. I had set them loose assuming that would be the end of it, and in doing so I nearly tore Equestria apart before Celestia and Luna could even begin to rebuild it.

In trying to fix my first mistake, I made my second mistake. So relieved was I to find an easy solution to the problem—a portal that could cast my opponent away into some other world far from ours—that I never considered the consequences. For years I abused this spell, using it against a number of enemies that I deemed too great of a threat to our recovering lands while the princesses focused on much larger problems. It wasn’t until I was older, no longer capable of going out into the field, that I actually tried to research the world I had been sending these creatures to.

And in doing so, I discovered that this world had living beings of its own.

My days are short, and I am weak. There is nothing I can do myself to correct my mistakes. I take comfort in the fact that my studies have shown that magic in the other world is weaker than it is here in Equestria; if nothing else, that will weaken the creatures I sent through the portal. But it won’t stop them completely.

Should anyone ever read these words, know this: I have left a list of the monsters I sent through the portal in my youth. Hopefully, by the time this is read, there will be a better method of travel between the worlds. I ask whoever reads this list: go through the portal. Make sure that these creatures, if they still live, will cause no further harm to this other world.

And if my weapons still live, I ask of you: use them. Put them to better use than I did.

I’m sorry that I must ask another to correct my mistakes.

-An excerpt from the personal journal of Starswirl the Bearded

It was a beautiful night.

It was clear, without a single cloud in the sky. Stars twinkled merrily beyond human reach, and the moon shone bright and full. With the passing of fall and the transition into spring, the weather was warm without being mind-meltingly hot like it sometimes was during the summer. It was, to be honest, the perfect night for someone to be out and about, talking a walk and enjoying life.

“Got the music in our hearts, we’re here to blow this thing apart…”

He was a young man, a student of Canterlot High on his way home from a party that had been hosted at his friend’s house. Taking the shortcut through Everfree Park was practically second nature to him. This was a path he’d walked many times during his life, during the day and during the night. In all of his years, nothing had ever changed.

The fact that he still had that catchy Rainbooms song stuck in his head weeks after the fact certainly helped with his good mood as he walked. Say what you would about any of the girls, but they certainly knew how to sing.

“And together we will never be afraid of the dark…”

Despite the name—and its Equestrian counterpart—Everfree Park was actually fairly well contained, with a clear path leading through the whole park. There were certainly trees scattered throughout the area, either planted by human hands or ones that had been in the ground since they’d been seeds, but it was nowhere near the same level of overgrowth and wilderness as Everfree Forest. You always had a clear view of the sky, and you could always see who was walking around you, provided you were paying attention.

And even though he was singing softly under his breath, the young man was paying attention.

He didn’t think anything of the woman that was standing just a ways ahead of him on the path, at first. Canterlot City wasn’t known for its crime rates, and the park had always had excellent lighting so people could walk or jog safely during the evening hours. So the fact that a woman was out and about in Everfree Park at this time of the night wasn’t unusual to him, and he very nearly paid her no mind.

Except then, he got an actual look at her. The song he’d been singing died on his lips, and for a moment he was so stunned that he stopped walking entirely and just stared.

She was the most beautiful woman he’d seen in his life, a statement that would have been far more impressive if he wasn’t only eighteen. But his age didn’t make it any less true; to him, she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen in his life, bathed in the silver beams of the moon and perfect in every way. She had curves in all of the right places, long hair that flowed like a waterfall down her back, and pale skin that seemed utterly flawless in the moonlight. The finishing touch was her eyes: ice blue to match her golden hair.

She saw him, of course; the path had been built in such a way that it would have been impossible for her to not see him. Her eyes met his, and with a jolt he realized he was still staring, and that was considered rude—especially when the person you were staring at caught you staring at them.

But to his surprise, she simply smiled and waved.

Confused and a little relieved that she didn’t seem angry, he hesitantly waved back. After a moment passed and she was still looking at him, still smiling, he walked over to where she was standing. He didn’t even remember giving his legs the order to move; it simply seemed to happen the longer he looked at her.

“Hey.” He spoke, and once again didn’t recall giving his mouth the command to say anything. “Are you okay, miss? It’s pretty late at night.”

The smile she wore never wavered for a second; if anything, his question made it become so much brighter. “Thank you,” she said, running a hand through her hair. His eyes tracked the movement. “I’m perfectly fine, just—heading home. I appreciate your concern.”

It was a simple answer to something that wasn’t even a problem, and normally he would have let it go at that. He didn’t even know this woman beyond her beauty, and the area was incredibly safe. She wasn’t in any danger, and he was free to continue on his way, get home, and enjoy what remained of his night before he woke up for school the next morning.

But he didn’t leave. The thought, while briefly flitting through his mind, died as quickly as it was born. “Are you sure?” he asked. “I don’t mind if you need some help.”

The woman laughed now, a bright and gentle giggle that sounded like a bell. “Oh, you are sweet,” she cooed. “So insistent that I stay safe, it’s rather charming. I can see you were raised to be a decent young man.”

He opened his mouth; to agree with her or to say something else to change the topic, he didn’t know.

He opened his mouth, and no sound came out.

“I’ll tell you what.” She leaned in close, eyes gleaming in the mixed light of the moon and the street lamp. “Since you’ve been such a good man, I’ll give you a little reward for your concerns. How does a kiss sound?”

He wanted to say that he really didn’t want or need a kiss. She was beautiful, the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, but he hadn’t done much to actually help her. There was no need for her to give him anything.

He wanted to say that.

He didn’t say anything.

And then he couldn’t say anything even if he wanted to, because the woman leaned in, framed his face in both of her hands, and kissed him right on the lips.

As far as kisses went, it was completely chaste; only the press of skin on skin, and nothing more. That relaxed him, ever so subtly. There was no harm in something like this, he thought. It was just a light peck from a gorgeous woman, and he could go on with his night. He could maybe even brag to his friends tomorrow about what was happening now.

He closed his eyes, and leaned into the kiss.

He felt her lips curve into a smile against his.

Anyone witnessing the scene in Everfree Park would have witnessed something magical.

Quite literally, something magical was happening. Magic sparkled and danced around the boy, shimmering pink in the light as it flowed from his body and into the young woman kissing him. The contact point seemed to be their joined lips; it was as if she was sucking the magic out of him and devouring it for herself. This was disturbing enough to see as it was, but what made it worse was if one paid any attention to the young man.

At some point during the kiss, his legs had started to shake. This wasn’t due to oxygen deprivation despite the length of said kiss; he’d certainly kissed girls before, and he knew how to breathe through his nose. The more magic was drained from him, the more he shook, the tremors traveling through his legs and into his whole body until he was shaking like a leaf in the wind.

Finally, the woman pulled away and took a small step back, sliding her hands away from his face and licking her lips as a satisfied smile formed. Without even her mild support the boy crumbled like a puppet with his strings cut, his chest heaving desperately for air as the blood drained from his face and his eyes slammed shut. Even as he lay on the ground, small tremors continued to ripple through his body.

The woman hummed and took another step back, letting her gaze linger on the fallen boy before she turned on her heel and walked away from him. As she walked, she clasped her hands behind her back and looked up at the sky, observing the position of the stars and the brightness of the moon.

It was a beautiful night.

Author's Notes:

... I told myself I wouldn't post this until I was a few chapters in. At least I've started chapter one.

So, here we go! My first attempt at a chapter story in... awhile. Let's say awhile. This idea's been knocking around in my head since I saw Rainbow Rocks, and I'll be honest: this isn't a Dazzlings' redemption story. They won't be villains here, but they won't exactly be heroic either.

T rating is for some instances of language and some darker themes once I get deeper into the plot. The 'dark' tag is also for said themes; this isn't going to be a super dark story despite the tag, but I felt it was better to be safe than sorry.

Anyone who figures out what kind of magical creature the lovely lady is based off of gets an internet cookie and the right to hit me up for a writing request.

Next Chapter: Chasing the Rabbit Estimated time remaining: 1 Hour, 25 Minutes
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