My Little Pony Fan Fiction ❯ A Walk Among Spirits ❯ Chapter 40

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

The rock shook violently as small jets of steam began to spray from the bottom. The group of Ponies quickly stepped back as the rock rose up and the elevator rose from the ground. The group waited several seconds as gears and cogs worked to open the door. The door split open slightly before it fully opened to the world. Skyline raised his front hoof and winced as he shielded his eyes from the sun. Skyline slowly walked out of the elevator as his eyes began to adjust to the light. He jumped when a loud crash came from the elevator and it suddenly fell back down the shaft as the rock slammed to the ground. Skyline looked at the rock as the sound of screeching metal wheels echoed through the elevator shaft before there was another loud crash. Skyline stared at the rock for several seconds before he turned to the group of Ponies.


The sight of the group of Ponies and the clear blue sky made everything crash down on Skyline. Tears welled up in his eyes as his legs gave out and he fell to the ground sobbing. I'm finally free. Finally able to go home and see mom and dad Skyline thought. He felt a wing across his back and when he looked up, he saw Twilight sitting next to him with her wing gently lying on his back.


"You're safe now," Twilight reassured him as she smiled warmly. Skyline nodded and stood up on shaky legs before Twilight led him over towards a group of medic Ponies.


"What about the others?" a Royal Guard asked.


"We need to get down there," a mare cried before she added, "Apple Bloom might still be down there!" Skyline stopped and felt his legs begin to shake again. He felt his heart began to beat faster as he swallowed hard. He took a long, deep breath before he turned tail and walked back towards the rock where Applejack was examining the rock with Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and a group of Royal Guards.


"Ar-are you A-Applejack?" Skyline stuttered. He figured this was the sister Apple Bloom talked about. He didn't want to do what he was about to do, but he knew she needed to know. Otherwise, she would travel down to the facility and discover what happened to her sister.


"I am," Applejack said as she turned around to him and nodded. Skyline could feel the tears welling up again. Everything that happened to Apple Bloom and her friends suddenly flooded his mind and his imagination went wild as he thought about all the pain they must have gone through in The Arena.


"I-I'm sorry," Skyline sobbed. It was just like the feeling he had when he finally escaped the facility a few moments ago. Everything felt like it just came crashing down on him. Applejack looked at him puzzled before Skyline continued, "I couldn't do anything. I was with Apple Bloom and her friends in the cell and I thought I could protect them, but I couldn't stop them from taking them." As he continued to sob, Rarity and Rainbow Dash walked up next to Applejack.


"Splice wanted me to lead her armies to the gates of Canterlot, I refused and she took them into The Arena. I don't know what or who they had to face, but they never returned. Then," Skyline cried as he remembered the pinkish goop they fed him and it took all his strength not to gag. He took a shaky breath and continued, "Then they fed them to me. If I had known what the food was made of. I wouldn't have eaten it. They made me." Skyline continued to sob as he felt a pair of arms wrap around him. Skyline looked up to see Applejack had pulled him into an embrace as tears poured from her eyes. Rarity was crying into Rainbow Dash's shoulder as Rainbow Dash tried to console her while dealing with her own tears.


"It's alright sugar-cube," Applejack said before she continued, "I don't blame you for what happened. I'm sure Apple Bloom doesn't either." Skyline continued to sob for several more minutes before he was able to collect himself and walk back towards Twilight and headed off towards the medical staff.


Nurse Redheart examined Skyline top to bottom. When she first saw Skyline, she grimaced at the sight of his two stumps where his wings used to be. Even during the exam, she sometimes looked back at the stumps and felt a small shiver go down her spine. After half an hour Skyline was medically clear. Well, as medically clear as he was going to get.


"Skyline?" a voice asked. Skyline turned around to see a Royal Guard walk up to him before he took off his helmet. The Royal Guard was a wood brown stallion with jungle green mane and tail.


"Atlas?" Skyline asked. Before he quickly looked around at the Ponies around him before looking back at Atlas and asking, "Where are mom and dad?" Atlas grimaced at his question before he took a deep breath and let out a long sigh.


"Skyline, they're not here," Atlas admitted. Skyline looked at him confused and felt hurt that his parents weren't part of the search party. Atlas took another long deep breath before he explained, "Your parents were ambushed by a pack of Timberwolves. I'm sorry Skyline, but we were too late in getting there and your parents." Skyline listened to Atlas and he began to hyperventilate. The image of his parents in the newspaper Splice showed him appeared in his mind.


"You're lying!" Skyline roared before he bolted towards the large group of Ponies.


"Skyline wait!" Atlas yelled at him, but Skyline ignored his plea.


"Mom! Dad!" Skyline cried as he ran through the group of Ponies. He searched through the sea of Ponies in hopes that all this was a sick joke and he'd find them standing in the crowd with arms open. He looked around and cried again, "Mom! Dad! Where are you?"


Every Second that passed, the pit in his stomach grew and the thought that this might not be some sick joke started to creep into his mind. The seconds turned to minutes as he continued to look for his parents. Tears began to stream down his face and after thirty minutes his legs buckled and he fell to the ground. He placed his face on the ground and began to scream. His scream was a combination of anger, pain, and helplessness.


The image of the Pony outlines and pack of wolves flashed in his mind and he realized that something was trying to prepare him for what had happened to his parents. However, he didn't listen to it and didn't want to believe it.


Atlas walked over to Skyline and placed his right wing over his back. His wing touched the stubs were Skyline's wings used to be, but Atlas didn't seem to care as he consoled Skyline in his time of need.


"I'm so sorry for your loss," Twilight said as she walked up to them and continued, "I know this is a tough time for you and I know Heart Song will take good care of you." Skyline looked up at Twilight with blurry eyes as he sniffled.


"No," Atlas protested as he added, "Heavy Artillery was like a brother to me. I promised him that if anything should happen to either him or Amethyst. I'd look after Skyline. I'm not going to let Skyline live the rest of his life in an orphanage."


"Besides," Atlas added before he continued, "Serenity and I have been trying to have a foal of our own and I know she'll love you." He then chuckled and joked, "This way my back will get a break." Some of the Royal Guard laughed at his comment and Skyline found himself laughing as well, but didn't know why.


Skyline wiped the tears from his eyes and felt that he was finally out of the hellish nightmare. Being kept inside the cell, watching his friends be taken away from him. All of it was behind him now and for the first time, he felt the nightmare was finally over.