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FTG: Chapter FiveThe walk had been mercifully uneventful, with Chandra and Fluttershy chatting merrily about phoenixes and Cross admiring the greenery on the path. They were getting closer to Ponyville, and Cross could hear and smell the activity of the small town. He even swore he could smell a freshly baked cake in the distance.
'Probably for the party.' He mused, watching carefully for how everyone reacted as he approached. Chandra and Fluttershy's conversation fell to the back of his mind as he walked into town, taking note of the sudden silence many fell under upon seeing him. Chandra and Fluttershy noticed after a time, and the two moved to walk alongside him.
"Jeez, it's like they've never seen a wolf before." Chandra said, looking around with a slight scowl. Fluttershy tried to say something in defense of the ponies, but even Cross's canine hearing couldn't make out what she said, and decided to offer his own deduction.
"Most likely they're not used to a wolf striding into town like this. And b
FTG: Chapter FourThe following morning, Cross rose as the sun's light began to filter through the leaves of the forest, rousing himself quickly as he sniffed the air. All around him was still and quiet. He could smell faintly the animals of the woods, hidden in their dens, the dew on the grass, and the faint aroma of flowers far away.
"No attacks around here at least. Better check the other side." Cross noted how loud he sounded this early in the morning, and a sudden pang of regret and shame coursed through him. He shook it off, growling softly, before stretching and directing himself towards the East, giving Ponyville a wide berth. He'd consciously decided a wolf near town wouldn't be preferable. He'd either be asked too many questions or there would be panic, and neither was a favorable outcome. At least he hadn't woken up to screaming.
'Sometimes I wonder why I don't use this form more often.' Cross thought, looking at the quiet tranquility around him. This was true peace, where there was no war, n
FTG: Chapter ThreeTwilight spent the better part of the night tossing and turning, anticipation rushing through her mind as she waited for dawn. With a powerful mage on the loose and the possibility of golem attack looming, she felt she had good reason to be worried. Eventually she gave up on sleeping and just watched for the sunrise, preparing herself for what Cross might have to say. It was likely something dangerous was on the way, like an invasion from another world, or another Planeswalker was coming, or even worse, both.
"Come on Twilight, stop focusing on the negative." Shaking her head as she whispered, Twilight took another look out the window. The first rays of dawn were appearing in the sky, and she needed to gather her friends together by that afternoon to meet Cross.
"I'd better make sure everything is taken care of here." Twilight set herself to work cleaning the library. The few books that were left lying around were quickly stacked with just a few simple spells, and she started cleaning
FTG: Chapter TwoNightfall found Cross at the borders of the Everfree Forest, a place he never would have known existed if he hadn't demonstrated to Twilight how mind reading spells worked for Planeswalkers. It was a perfect hiding place for those not wishing to be seen; dark, secluded, and covered heavily by vegetation. He had been wandering it simply when he came across a leyline in the earth, a powerful magical strand that would lead to some sort of nexus nearby.
Following it was a simple task, despite it not being marked in any way. He followed both the natural mana of the leyline and its inherited memories of six young, hoofed beings discovering camaraderie, power, and even trust. The memories came to him in spurts, usually just hazy feelings, but the fact that the leyline retained these memories of the past spoke to its powerful magic.
After passing several dark trees seemingly arranged in a particularly disconcerting manner, Cross suddenly felt a nearly irresistible urge to laugh, despite how in
FTG: Chapter One"This is the place " Jace Beleren stood on a hillside, another young man beside him. Each was looking around, watching for any signs of life. The early morning air was warmer than either had expected, Jace having brought one of his heavier cloaks, and his accomplice clothed in resplendent gold armor.
"I can sense something here, not sure what though." Jace's companion fell to one knee, putting one hand to the ground.
"Yes, I feel it too. I'll set up a barrier to keep out any unwanted visitors." Jace began drawing mana in, but the other man had already summoned a blanket of magical blue fog around them, obscuring them from view.
"Let's make this quick then. Bolas's plan as we understand it is hostile takeover. We can't let him expand his powers Cross." Jace sighed and channeled his own mana into fueling the fog. His spell would have been something more subtle. Fog in summer was not a common sight.
"I understand. I'll disguise myself in wolf form. I can only hope your information is
Friendship: the Gathering Pt.4Cross was pacing deliberately, shaking his head and growling, trying to jar any memory, any scrap of information he could find loose. The girls backed away and watched as he snarled and tried to remember, giving him space to move and think.
"So, you don't remember any of us?" Rainbow Dash asked, watching Cross carefully. He shook his head, still circling and growling. Flames were leaping from his mouth with each breath, his mind subconsciously casting a spell he couldn't remember consciously. Twilight narrowed her eyes, looking down at the floor. This all had to be a planeswalker's doing, but how it had happened was the major question.
"What should we do Twilight?" Fluttershy asked quietly, the rest of the girls gathering around to listen. The purple unicorn sat down, closing her eyes and concentrating. From what they had seen Tezzeret seemed to be very good at making Golems. From that, it could be assumed he had a lot of spells focused on magical machines, artifacts of sorts. Cross ha
PowerI am the blood and lightning
I am the break in the wave
I am the Spirit of power
that forces you into your grave
I am the fire and thunder
I am the sound of the forge
I am the Dragon of power
and on this world I will gorge
I am the shadow and ice
I am the master of night
I am the Demon of power
that devours the world's light
I am the heart of the storm
I am the one with no eye
I am the Titan of power
by my hand this world shall die
Friendship: the Gathering pt.3"Well, one thing's for sure; he put up a real fight. These four are out for good." Applejack had inspected the golems, making sure they wouldn't jump up and attack. Rainbow Dash was trying to see if Cross came out of the forest anywhere with Fluttershy's help, while Twilight ran back to explain things to Princess Celestia. Pinkie Pie and Rarity were also looking over the golems that had fallen. Applejack was leery of going after that trail without having everyone together, but something told her Cross needed them.
"I don't know how he can stand getting that oil all over him when he's fighting, it absolutely ruins his coat." Rarity was looking down at the massive pools of oil lying on the ground, trying her best to keep her hooves out of it. For the large part everyone had tried to avoid stepping in the oil, but when the alternative was what they were certain was Cross's blood, the choice was between dirty or disturbing. Rainbow Dash returned shaking her head, and Fluttershy just landed
Friendship: the Gathering Pt.2Three days had passed by with only minor incidents. The first day was quiet, the second only one golem, and the third a group of three. Not once did they get within six hundred yards of Ponyville, but the fighting had opened Cross's shoulder wound and given him a few more on other parts of his body.
"Even breathing is starting to hurt." He muttered, moving through the forest slowly, his white fur starkly contrasting with the trees and shrubs around him. The intensity of the fighting was putting a strain on his body, and he was having trouble getting to sleep. What was worse, he knew he was forgetting spells, spells he should have remembered easily.
"Guess I have to deal with it for now " His agitation was clear as day, and he continued his patrol of the woods. It was nearing noon, and he should be reaching the north side of Ponyville, but instead he was about an hour's distance behind his schedule. With any luck Tezzeret was taking the day off.
"Cross!" The wolf stopped and looked
ViolinI remember the day
you told me violins
were strung with cat gut
and that is why
you hated music
(who says that to a child?)
I followed you
all that summer.
I watched you
grow away from mother -
your whiskey held better conversations
and all she did was cry.
We'd sit cross-legged on the porch
and count the horseflies
settling on our lunch.
You would drown tadpoles
in a bucket
surprised they could not swim
and I would dream
of cherry popsicles.
And when night would gather
on the sidewalk
I'd hold my breath
until a star appeared.
Don't bother making wishes
you'd tell me -
stars are dead weight in heaven
and God has cloth ears.
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