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Chapter 12- Melodies, Explosion and a Midpoint

As the four fell from the doorway, they immediately struck a bank of damp earth and leaves. Gilda sat up, rubbing her beak. "There has to be a better way to travel."

"Everyone in one piece?" asked Cheerilee.

"I think so," said Twilight. "I wonder where we are." She got up, and found she'd pushed her way up on a gnarled root. She looked around. The four were in the middle of some sort of woodlands, one that seemed to blot out all the stars and moon, leaving the place very faintly tinged with light. The mist rolled about like some sort of snake, and the trees seemed to give off an otherworldly vibe, like they were more real than the rest of the world. "...Oh no..." she said, "We're...we're in the Everfree forest."

Cheerilee gasped in horror. "Goodness gracious! Not the Everfree forest!" She started hopping about with fright. "Oh no, oh no, this is the worst place to be at a time like this? We could get lost! Or worse, attacked by some terrible beast! Manticore, cockatrice, ponwolves..." She backed up, her knees shaking, then suddenly knocked into something and yelped.

Gilda had been bumped into by Cheerilee, and pushed her aside. "Come on, flowers, don't get your bridle in a bunch. It's not like you don't know this place."

"It's Cheerilee, and this is actually my first time in these woods."

"You kiddin' me? Your place is right next door to this hayhole and you've never set foot in here?"

"Well, I never had the need to! It's so...self sustaining here. It doesn't need anypony's help, even if it does eat itself alive. Technically speaking, it's not even a part of Equestria!"

Trixie was examining a tree. "Clearly, Nightmare Moon wants her kingdom to expand its horizons. Perhaps you should do the same."

Gilda cocked an eyebrow. "Hey, you seem awfully calm, there, Trix. Dash told me the last time you were here, you were put through real traumatic shoot."

Trixie stiffened. "...Did she now?" she said in a tone that formed icicles. Twilight grinned sheepishly.

"Yeah! I'd figure if anyone's gonna go skitz with fright here, it'd be you."

Trixie cast her head over her shoulder. "Well, I shall have you know, having faced duels with both Kin and Baroness alike, Trixie has come to terms with her most recent past, and has decided that she shall stand up to any fears or doubts, and return their favours tenfold."

Cheerilee still looked nervous, but a lot calmer. "Well, I suppose you both are right. What's there to be scared of?"

That was when the music started. As the wind whistled by, the rhythm came first. A light, five beat rhythm, from some indiscernible instrument. Then, as the tune got louder, there came an eerie, yet comforting melody. It was the same voice, the same tune they heard, the day the children were stolen away.

aa͠a͘ąa͜aaa͝aaa̸aaaa̷AAAAAA҉àa͝aa̕a̵, aa͏aaaaa͘a̶aa͡a҉a...
...a͞a͟a̵a̷aaàa͠a̕a͟a͡a̷aaaAÀAAAA̡aaa̢a͟a, ̛A̛A͢Aaaaaa͞aaàa͡

The group drew closer together, when all of a sudden, there came a second sound. It was the music of a hundred angelic voices, what seemed like a ghostly choir coming from everywhere and nowhere.

One AM, I toss and turn, awake in my own bed
I can't sleep because of a creepy story I read


The group hurried on through the forest. The wind blew about, and leaves danced through the air as if dancing to the unearthly music.

Against my better judgment, I peek out of my window
And I find a frightening figure standing down below


Something moved a branch to one side. Something watched the group as they hurried on through the woods. Twilight paused, and looked up.

A black suit, a black tie, and he seems to lack a face
I looked away for a moment, he was gone without a trace


Twilight continued to look around, sure something was spying on them. Then finally dismissed it and moved on.

And I thought
Even if he's shyyyy


Something retracted into the darkness.

What a charming guyyyy

The group continued on, looking about for any dangers, any sign of life beyond themselves. Their search was, in a way, rewarded, when the cover of trees began to wane, and they could see the night sky, and the dark shapes flitting across it.

I don't have to worry
'Cause I know Slendy's watching me
No one else sees him, it seems
He follows me in my dreams


"Wait a second..." Twilight examined the ground, and pawed at it. "I think I know this pathway...I think that I could get us to Zecora's from here! Come on!" She broke into a canter, and the others tried to keep up. As they cantered off into the woodlands, focus is moved elsewhere.

He doesn't like to talk a lot but that's okay with me
He's really tall and good at blending in with all the trees


Something turned its attention from the travellers toward the sound of trundling wheels. As it watched, two Earth Kin marched past. They flanked a cart being dragged by a strange beast of burden.

Some days when we're all alone we go play hide and seek
But he always finds me every time, I think he cheats


A beast stumbles on a rock, and is struck by the wheel of the cart.

"He's so mean" they sayyyy

Shadows of strings curled the cart, which then continued to roll over the poor animal and proceed until it crashed.

But he just wants to play

As something moved on, there was another sound drawing nearer which resembled cracking wood and crashing. Something passed over a thicket, and walked behind two large beasts, as the dragged a large sawn off tree behind them. After a moment of contemplating the forlorn stump, something reached over a distance unattainable by regular limbs, and inserted four tiny objects into the ground at equidistant spaces.

I don't have to worry
'Cause I know Slendy's watching me
No one else sees him, it seems
He follows me in my dreams


Something ascends a tree, and looked up at the sky. The lights of watching Kin shone from trees elsewhere.

We're going to a place where our fun will never end
Where I can always play games with my newest best friend


All through the forest, Kin went about their business in militant manner, as their slaves fed, marched and laboured under their ever present lords and masters.

I don't know when I'll be home but I don't feel too bad
But I wonder why mommy and daddy look so sad


Leaves danced across the trees. Unearthly winds whipped through the bushes. Twilight and company burst through the underbrush, with an expectant smile on Twilight's face. The smile rapidly faded, once she saw what was before her. Tremendous shadowy slabs stood forming a great cube. Twilight walked up slowly to the structure. She reached its great walls, and placed a hoof on the side.

I don't have to worry
'Cause I know Slendy's watching me
Mist rolls in and branches sway
He'll come for you another day


She knocked her hoof against the wall. She beat hard against it with both hooves. She tried to tear it apart with her magic. She tried to batter it down with Applejack's strength. She tried to pull it to bits with Rainbow Dash's powerful flight. The others joined in, pulling and bashing with all their might. But it was simply no use. Rarity stopped pulling, as she noticed something lying in the grass beside a corner. It was one of the tribal masks, the one that said 'Welcome' in some other culture. As the music died down, she cradled it like a child. Something silhouetted against the staring moon looked down on the miserable sight. Then turned and left, its presence needed elsewhere for now.

"It's no use," sighed Trixie. "Looks like she's sealed in there good, whoever she was."

"Let's not be too pessimistic, Trixie," said Cheerilee. "Rarity, I'm sure Zecora is okay in there."

"I'm sure of it as well," said Rarity sadly. "But if we can't get her out soon, then she may either suffocate, starve, or suffocate while starving!"

Gilda was ramming against the side a couple more times. "It's shifting all right, just by a tiny bit. If we wanna crack this thing open, we're gonna need a hay of a lot more than just the four of us."

Cheerilee began, "But where would we-"

"Hush a moment!" Rarity held up a hoof for silence.

There was a far off sound of a whip cracking, accompanied by several cries of pain, in voices not unlike a cat coughing up a hairball. One of these voices was screaming "No more! The wipping, eet hurts!"

Rarity's mouth turned up at the corners. "I know those voices..." She lifted the mask with her magic, and disappeared into the bushes.

"Wait! Rarity? Where are you going?" called out Cheerilee.

"To have a look," said Rarity, "And see who's in the dog house!"
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

CRACK! "Imbeciles!" CRACK! "Nincompoops!" CRACK! "Dolts!" CRACK! "Morons!"

The Diamond Dogs weren't sure which hurt more, the whip or the insults. One lash later, they decided it was the whip.

"I give you specific instructions to follow. I give you maps detailing the best possible routes for transporting the wagons. I feed you. I wash you. And you have the audacity to ask me for more time to work?!"

"T-t-taskmeestress Hagbeetle! I can explain!"

"SHUT UP! I loathe stock phrases! Now the next syllables out of your mouth had better be sparklingly original! Do you, or do you not, wish to continue working for me? Or would you prefer to be with your precious diamonds? UNDER THE GROUND?"

One of the dogs, whose name was Rover, swallowed hard. "Yes, Taskmeestress! I mean No! I mean, we do want to work for you! E-eet's just that we're not quite used to thees kind of work!"

"Oh, don't tell me you're out of your element! All you ever did in those caverns was tug around carts of items you didn't have any real use for! How different could this be?!"

The large one, whose name was Fido, looked around nervously. "Well, uh, um, we never really, um, cut down trees, or, um, deed thees much work een one go."

The small one, whose name was Spot, nodded vigorously. "Uh huh! And, uh, we three deedn't reely do thees kind of work usually! We kind of had a more, uh, supervising role! Like yours!"

Hagbeetle went directly up to the dog's face. "What are you implying?"

"NOTHING! NOTHING! I WASN'T EEMPLYING ANYTHING! I SWEAR!" screamed Spot as he cowered before the Baroness

"Were you implying that I couldn't do your work if I wanted?"

"NO! NO NO NO!"

"Were you implying the tasks I set you are unreasonable?"

"NOT EEN THE TEENIEST! NO!"

Were you implying that you'd much prefer to have my job?"

"N-...well, a leetle beet." CRACK! "AARGH!"

"VERY WELL!" Hagbeetle moved backwards. "Here's a 'supervising role' for you. Supervise each other, making sure your partners get the log shipment ready in four hours, or the next wet food dinner will be you! Is that clear?!"

"Yes, taskmeestress!" cried the Diamond Dogs in unison. Hagbeetle, accepting, but not satisfied in the least, unfurled her wings and flew off into the forest.

"What're we gonna do?!" cried Spot in terror. "Eef I have to pull another tree, my shoulders weell slide off my back!"

"We've got to get out of here." said Rover determinedly. "I don't care eef we got keecked out of the mines, anywhere's a better place to leeve than here!"

"But we can't just run for eet!" exclaimed Fido. "She'd set the monsters on us!"

"Don't be stupeed!" Rover waved his paw. "She just left! She wouldn't turn the monsters on us right aw-"

There was a sudden rustling in the bushes. The Diamond Dogs stood perfectly still. The air seemed to go ice cold as the bracken curled back. Then all of a sudden...

Nothing happened.

"...There! I told you so!"

A demonic fiend covered in leaves jumped out of the bushes screaming "BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA!"

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" screamed the Diamond Dogs.

"Only joking!" Rarity giggled as she took off the mask. "It's just me."

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" screamed the Diamond Dogs.

Rarity sighed, brushing the leaves away. "Yes, yes, we've not exactly gotten along before, but really gentledogs, can't we put that behind us right now?"

"...You mean..." gulped Rover, "...You're not going to make the noises?"

"Why should I? You aren't driving me to work."

The Diamond Dogs collectively relaxed, and sat down.

"The question is, why are you being driven to work? You didn't stand for it when I did ordered you about, so why would you stand for the Baroness."

"But the Baroness ees deefferent!" cried Spot.

"She doesn't just hurt the ears," said Fido, "She hurts the body too!"

Rover held up his arm, and brushed back his fur, uncovering multiple lacerations. "She has a whip weeth thorns on eet! We heard she'll get eet electrified tomorrow!"

"Ooo, those are horrendous! But pray tell, how many of your friends are nearby?"

"All of them." Rover bowed his head. "They tossed every guard and every puppy out of our homes, and away from our liveleehoods. We got roped eento thees deforestation right away."

"Well, I don't see why that should be! There are far more of you than of her. Why not gang up on her?"

"We couldn't do that!" protested Fido. "She could set her Keen on us!"

Spot added "She could seec her monsters on us!"

Rover added "She could have us all blown to beets, and then have those beets blown to beets!"

Spot's eyes widened. "Ees that possible? Can you eexplode twice?"

"Oh eet's possible all right! I saw eet weeth my own eyes, one time, when eet happened to a nine-"

"Ahem." Rarity brushed the hair from her eyes. "I understand your concern, my good fellows. I didn't get the chance to see your Baroness in the flesh, but she sound of an exceptionally vicious temperament. However, it pleases me to say that help is on the way. Us."

With perfect timing, the rest of Rarity's team caught up with her. "Rarity, did you fin-oh..." Cheerilee paused at the sight of the Diamond Dogs. "...Hello..."

Rover couldn't believe his fortune. "You'll help us? All of you? No whining?"

"No whining," said Rarity with a smile that made the dogs hop up and down with excitement, before telling each other to be quiet. "All right, here's what we shall do..."
I would like to formally apologise for two things in this chapter: The use of singing, and a small joke. Both times the temptation was too great to resist, and I had already set myself up for the singing in Chapter 5. Both intentional singing and intentional comedy will be kept out from the rest of this story.

And in case you've never heard the song in here, here is the URL: [link]
:iconspindlewinter:
SpindleWinter Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oddly, I hear the aaaaas like the ones at the start of Days Are Forgotten by Kasabian... Anyway, good story- really good! XD
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:iconanzul:
anzul Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011  Student General Artist
holy crap....

FIRST!! WOOHOO!!
no regreats!
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