Falling Down in a fanfiction starring Golden Gate, a shy pegasus pony. When he has a memorable nightmare with an unwelcome foe, he has to figure out how to avoid his fate.
Insert violence warning here
Prologue: Let There Be SnowEdit
Snow. All of it was snow. The only thing running through Golden's mind was the flaky white crystals falling from the sky. He wasn't wearing a coat, yet he barely felt the temprature. That was the only thing reminding him it was just a dream. He flicked his orange mustard tail worriedley. This was all too familiar. He hadn't dreamed it before, but his sister had.
Golden Gate sighed. Another burst of sadness arose when he thought about her. Liberty Bell, his little sister. She was gone, just like that. No reason. No common reason, at least. No reason that any pony knew except Golden. He had been there the moment she passed. He could have saved her. No, he should have saved her. But all he did was cry in fear. All he did was stand there, watching her life being sucked away, little by little. He should have been able to do something. He didn't do anything.
He shook his head, clearing away the sad memories. Unfolding his wings, he flew around the vast field of snow. As if that would do anything, he thought. After a minute or two, he set down. The only thing different about the other areas was this one had a rock. And despite the small blizzard going around him, it was devoid of the cold powder. He sat, his back turned to the stone.
"Looks like you can still find your way through your emotions." A soft voice, ending in a hiss, crept into him. His blood ran cold, a chill finally sweeping over him. He turned back to the rock, which had an occupant this time. A scaly dark figure, pure black. It was barely reminiscent of a pony. The only things discouraging this assumption were the black shadows that flickered on its skin and its eyes. Its eyes shone, first red, then yellow, then green. After a moment of dizzying color changes, they settled on a deep, pale, ebony. The figure spoke again, revealing sharp fangs in its maw.
"I assume you know what this means, Golden." It purred. Another tone had entered it, this one a faint buzzing hum, like several other voices were talking at a softer volume. The creature gave a sly grin, its fangs seeming more dazzling in the world of white. The creature, a Shadoven, slid off the rock and made its way over to Golden.
Golden was transfixed with fear. He had not seen this particular Shadoven before, but one very much like it. He gasped as the memories came back.
"She has been Marked for our biannual ritual. One pony of each species is chosen, and she has been chosen for Pegasi. Since she is marked, our ruler shall siphon her energy to provide power. She shall do this until each of the ponies are dead. Then go into hibernation for two more years. We shall do this little by little until her energy is finally restored. We are only a few more ponies short." The Shadoven turned to Golden, not releasing her grip on Liberty. When no response came, a dry chuckle was emitted.
"Your silence says all. You have questions, exclamations, and more. Those shall have to wait for quite a while. Maybe we could accept you into our ranks, but we'd need you to go through Shadoven Metemorphosis. It's quick and painless, except for the fact it's long and painful." The Shadoven laughed louder this time. Her eyes shifted to a rosebud red. "I have wasted to much time already." She whispered to herself, the buzz of many entering her voice. "The time to go is now!" She engulfed herself in pure black flame, which had no heat or sound. In seconds, it faded. The Shadoven and Liberty Bell were gone.
Golden screamed. He screamed with all his might. Tears were running down his face. Before him lay the pale body of his sister. Her eyes were glassy and distant, her skin cold and stiff. The only thing signaling her life still remained was the faint flapping of her wings.
Golden watched as the final drop of life vanished from his sister. He still screamed and cried as the eye slowly turned to him, and a single blink was given. Then the eye looked distant again and closed for the last time.
They buried her that evening.
Golden Gate began to tremble. The memories were too much. Seeing his sister die before him, watch as they took her away. He couldn't handle it all at once. Two years wasn't enough for recovery. This news had undone all healing he had. Now he was going to be killed the same way, left for his parents to see the last thred of his life sever.
“Just go away!” He finally spoke, whipping around a charging at the Shadoven. The creature of darkness merely chuckled and dissipated when Golden struck her. She reformed on the rock and clucked her tongue in disappointment.
“You should know by now that you can’t kill a Shadoven by simple means. Good luck trying to stop our reign. We just need you, and then we can take over the whole world!” The creature gave one last cackle and disappeared, leaving Golden Gate with a single rock and a field of crisp, white snow. He sighed and sat down.
Golden blinked once, twice, then he woke up.
Golden gazed up at the same old birch pattern on his ceiling. It was the same as that night two years ago. He remembered the very smudge his eyes rested on before getting up. Pushing the thoughts about his past away, he rose from the bed and went downstairs.
“Good morning, Gold.” His mother said somberly. The periwinkle blue Pegasus eyed him sympathetically, then turned her attention back to the newspaper. It had been this way for the past two years. His mother would feel sorry for him and his father would sit there in silence. Even though he was tired of the routine, he lived through it.
“Morning, mother.” He muttered. He paused for a second. That was a bit more forced than I had intended, he said to himself, worry creeping up. He turned to his mother to see her reaction, but Rushmore had her nose stuck between the printed pages.
“Your mother and I are going to Manehattan for a few days.” his father finally said. Empire State looked up from his plate of fruit and fixed his eyes on Golden. Gold knew what that meant. His parents traveled a lot, and he was used to being alone in the house. All he had to do was keep an eye on Sycamore, their cat.
“Okay. When are you leaving?” Golden took a single apple from the pantry and joined his parents. His mother peeked over the pages she seemed so intent on.
“You do realize what Manehattan is, correct?” She asked, her voice quiet and muffled by the paper.
Golden Gate thought for a moment, then finally replied. “My birthplace, but so what? We go every summer. Once a year is fine enough for me, and it’s been worse each year since Liberty died!” His voice rose as he spoke, ending in a sharp neigh. He realized he had let his temper get the better of him and lowered his head.
There was silence for the next few minutes, then his parents rose from the table. They cleaned after themselves and then trotted to the door. His father turned to Gate and spoke. “We’re leaving now. We’ll be back no later than Wednesday.” Golden waited for the door to close quietly, then raised his head back up. Sighing, he finished his apple and put his plate in the sink.
It's all your fault, he told himself. You didn't help her, you didn't suspect anything when she told you about the dream, you just sat there and watched her die. He scowled at Sycamore, who gave an annoyed hiss in return. He went back upstairs to his room, climbed back into his bed, and closed his eyes.
Chapter One: Ashes to AshesEdit
When Golden woke up, it was nightfall. He realized he had slept all day. Walking over to his clock, he registered the time as one in the morning. "I've got to stop doing this when mom and dad leave..." He muttered audibly to the air. He had a habit of napping so long that he'd go right through the day. And last night's dream didn't help.
He made his way downstairs and back to the kitchen, opening the cupboard that had Sycamore's cat dish. He opened a bag of Krispy Kat Kibble and poured it in, calling to the feline. "Syc!" Gate yelled. "Dinner time!" Even though it was too late to be dinner, yet too early to be breakfast.
An indignant mew arose from the dusy grey cat. It was a moment later that Golden realized Sycamore was there the whole time, simply leaning up against the fridge. Golden muttered something similar to an apology and left the cat to his food.
"There has to be something I can do..." He muttered, looking around the room. He knew this phrase had two meanings. Not only was he looking for something to pass the time, he was trying to find a way to avoid his fate. Running wouldn't do anything, especially if they can go into his dreams. Maybe he could fight them off, but he wasn't the strongest pony. He was about to think of something else when he heard the fluttering of wings. He looked over to the window and saw a small orange pegasus with a purple-magenta mane. She seemed to be talking to somepony else on the ground, somepony too short to look into the window, but she was staring straight at him.
"It's him. This is Liberty's brother." Came her muffled voice. After a second, another muffled voice came, this one too quiet to hear. The pegasus nodded, then tapped the window gently. Golden walked up cautiously, surprised these foals were up so early. "Hey." The other pegasus said. "You're Golden Gate, right? We need some help from you."
Golden Gate reluctantly let them in, finding it wasn't just two, but three foals. A pale yellow earth pony with a rose mane, donned with a pink bow, introduced herself as Applebloom. A white unicorn with a pink and purple bi-colored mane said she was Sweetie Belle. The other pegasus said she was called Scootaloo.
"Why are you up at this time?" Golden asked, looking at all three of them slowly. "Surely you must have parents who are worrying about you?" The three looked at one another, as if trying to decide on an alibi, but they didn't say anything about authority figures when they returned their attention to Golden.
"We came here to discuss the dream your sister had. You see, she didn't tell just you. She told us as well." Applebloom answered, the lilt of a country accent filling her otherwise soft voice. "We didn't believe it at first, but we noticed a few other foals around town had the same look of fear she did. We're here because..." She turned her attention to the other two, still speaking. "...We know somebody else who is Marked again."
Golden remained silent. There were other ponies nearby that had the same dream as him. They were going to die the same way he was. He continued thinking about this, while Sweetie Belled continued for Applebloom.
"We know three, to be exact. An earth pony, a unicorn, and a flutterpony." To this, Golden lifted his head. He had never heard of the last type of pony before. Pegasi, he knew, flew in the skies and helped with weather. Earth ponies controlled the main source of Equestria's produce. Unicorns often contributed to things like jewelry and other fancy things. What did a flutterpony do? He voiced this question to them, particularly confused.
"Flutterponies are an old kind of pony. They've only recently been starting to come back." Sweetie Belle explained. "Like an alicorn, they can use magic, but it's strictly wind based, as they have no horns. They fly around like pegasi do too, so some are helping with the weather. You'll have to see one to fully understand."
Golden nodded slowly at this, digesting the information. He then realized that Scootaloo had been silent the whole time. She simply stared into space, her mind in another world. It was only until he said her name did she snap into attention. "Sorry." She muttered, head lowering.
"I think Scootaloo is an outlet, Applebloom. We've been brave with this, but she doesn't know how it feels." Sweetie Belle said. It was after a moment of silence Golden finally asked the question.
"Who are they? The ones that have been Marked?"
Sweetie Belle and Applebloom donned somber looks. They glanced at Scootaloo, who was staring into space again, and spoke in unison. "Our sisters."