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By Terrarian Pony

WARNING: Content of this story may include violence, gore, romance, same gender romance, ponies, references to several video games, and possibly PINKIE PIE! If anypony is offended by any of the content listed above, than please turn back now. You have been warned.

Previously

Next

Story:

Terrarian Pony presents...

Subponica

Season 2

Episode 4

A Peaceful Solution

...

Emerald, Clover, and Zena had just left. Mist Walker was coming back with a scorpony following behind them. His scales were white, and unlike the one from last time, he had three horns, one of them sticking from the tip of his nose, like a rhinoceros.

Mist:" It's okay, Fletcher... their friends. They want to help us."

The scorpony looked at the large group. He seemed a bit intimidated that there were so many of them, or maybe it was that they were from another planet. Sapphire stepped forward, lifting a hoof in friendly greeting.

Sapphire:" Hello there. You must be the friend Mist was talking about."

His eyes were blue, and bloodshot. He looked tired as well as afraid.

Fletcher:" Um... h-hey... I'm Fletcher."

He didn't return Sapphire's gesture, either out of caution, or because he just didn't know how. Sapphire guessed it was most likely the former. Sapphire put her hoof back down, her leg eventually getting tired.

Sapphire:" So... Mist tells us your tribe is at war with the slime ponies?"

He nodded.

Sapphire:" Maybe we can help? She mentioned that your villages used to get along. What went wrong?"

Fletcher:" Well... it's kinda complicated..."

Ruby sat down next to Sapphire.

Ruby:" We have time."

Mist:" I told you guys that we were at war... but I didn't explain everything. See... twelve years ago, one of the scorponies fell sick to the water's plague. He... he was little more than a colt, that's not to mention he was the son of the leader of the scorponies. Our slime ponies tried to help him... but they eventually came to the conclusion that he needed to be put down."

Ruby:" So that the kharaa doesn't spread?"

Fletcher:" The... wha-?"

Ruby:" That's what it is called. We found several precursor files."

Mist:" See, even slime ponies were susceptible to the... whatever you called it. And our healers said he needs to be killed so it doesn't become a problem. But the scorpony leader refused, so one of ours killed him instead."

Ruby:" I'd really like to say that that is horrible... but..."

Sapphire turned to her wife with a shocked glare.

Sapphire:" It IS horrible."

She turned back to the slime pony.

Sapphire:" They should have quarantined him until they could find a proper cure. At least if he died on his own, there wouldn't be this war!"

Ruby:" But where are they going to quarantine him? They lived on an island, surrounded by water, which is diseased by the kharaa bacterium."

Sapphire:" Yeah, but... it just... they could have..."

Sapphire grunted, stomping a hoof in the sand.

Sapphire:" Dang it! He was just a kid!"

Ruby:" I know... but what else could they do?"

Fletcher:" You have to admit, the slime ponies did try everything they could."

Sapphire:" That isn't the point. I would have tried beyond what I COULD do."

Mist:" Many of us disagreed with killing him. But the problem is... we don't even know who did it. Our leader denied ordering the assassination, but there was slime found at the scene, and he was suffocated to death."

Sapphire:" I can't believe anypony would do that. What reason is there for killing at all?"

Ruby:" Sapphire..."

Sapphire:" No! I think this needs to be investigated further."

Ruby:" Investigated? There was clear evidence that a slime pony did it. I think we need to come up with a solution of peace."

Sapphire:" Something just doesn't add up, Ruby. I know it."

Ruby:" And what if it turns out you are right? That would make the slime ponies even more agressive, knowing that this war was started and it wasn't even their fault."

Sapphire:" Or it could end this war."

Ruby:" Sapphire, I think you are going way too much into depth about this."

Sapphire:" I think I'm being reasonable. Everypony involved has their own side to the story. I think Clover would agree with me."

Ruby threw her forelegs into the air.

Ruby:" Clover was an insubordinate cop!"

Sapphire:" Which you know nothing about, because you don't know her full story. I do."

Ruby:" Regardless! What The point is, if you go sticking your nose in places it doesn't belong, there will be consequences!"

Sapphire:" We're already sticking our noses where they don't belong! We already agreed to help two parties who don't even have anything to do with us!"

Ruby:" That doesn't mean you need to make the fire bigger! We need to find the solution, not the problem!"

Sapphire stepped towards Ruby, putting her face into hers.

Sapphire:" You're not listening!"

Ruby pushed back.

Ruby:" And you're not making any sense! What is there to investigate? What's so strange about this story that makes you suspicious!?"

Sapphire:" Because nopony was proven guilty! The slime pony leader denied having any play in this. What if that's the truth?"

Ruby:" What would that change except for complicating matters more!?"

Mist:" SHUT UP!!!"

Ruby and Sapphire looked towards Mist Walker, surprised at their sudden outburst. The slime pony held a slimey hoof-like appendage to their mouth, surprised by their own action. Mist took a deep breath.

Mist:" Listen. I know you guys want to help... but fighting amongst each other isn't going to help either of our villages."

Fletcher:" I agree. If a slime pony, and a scorpony could get along well, you guys should be able to, too."

Sapphire sighed.

Sapphire:" Listen Ruby... I know you think we need to be looking for a solution, so I'm going to leave that up to you."

Ruby blinked twice, tilting her head.

Ruby:" What do you mean?"

Sapphire:" I mean... I think we should switch roles. I'll head to the scorpony village to investigate what really happened, and you go to the slime pony village to see if you can figure out negotiations between the two villages."

Ruby:" But... wouldn't I need to go to the scorpony village for negotiation? After all, they were the ones that started the attacks, according to Mist. We'd have figure out if the scorponies are even willing to negotiate."

Sapphire shook her head.

Sapphire:" I think it would be best to let the slime ponies lead negotiations. They are the ones being oppressed. That, and they claim to have not even commited the act. But we would both have to meet both villages. So we'll switch once we've both gathered enough information."

Ruby:" But the scorponies would be the ones making demands. How will we get them to agree to letting the slime ponies lead negotiations?"

Sapphire:" Not if we solve the whole case, and my theory is correct."

Ruby sighed.

Ruby:" Okay... say you're right. Do you have a plan?"

Sapphire:" Like I said. Everypony involved has their side to tell, weather what they have to say is the truth or not."

Fletcher:" Well... whatever is going to happen, let's make it happen soon. The scorponies are doing another raid soon. If they see you, they may halt their plans. And I'd like to get this war over sooner rather than later."

Ruby:" Alright... I guess we'll go with Sapphire's idea. Not because you're the captain, but because you make a good point, and we're kinda in a hurry."

Sapphire sighed.

Sapphire:" I can live with that."

She turned to Fletcher.

Sapphire:" Fletcher, can you take me to your village? I want to see what really happened."

The scorpony hesitated, but nodded.

Fletcher:" Not sure you'll be very welcome, though."

He looked her up and down.

Fletcher:" You aren't the usual type around here."

Sapphire:" Trust me, I've been through all kinds of weird stuff."

Ruby:" Here Sapphire. Take these. Their the antidote to scorpony venom."

Sapphire:" Thanks. Alright, let's go."

...

The scorpony village was apparently underground, where they mined something called magstone, the same purple material that was jutting out of the ground all over the island. Apparently, it was good source, electricity as well as building. Which, Sapphire was surprised that they even used electricity at all.

Sapphire:" Wow... so you guys can use technology?"

The scorpony nodded.

Fletcher:" Yup. I'm more of an alchemist, so I don't anything about it, but it's amazing what you could do with magstone."

They entered into the mine, which lead to the underground village the scorponies called Magstone. How original. The village gate was guarded by two scorpony guards. One of them had red scales, and was male. The other had blue scales, and was female. Their barbed tails raised over their heads in alert, seeing an unfamiliar face. The blue one spoke first.

???:" Fletcher! Who is this!? Why have you brought a stranger into our home!? I knew you were trouble! Always knew it! Go away! We don't need anymore newcomers!"

Sapphire:" Friendly crowd."

Fletcher sighed in a boredly.

Fletcher:" Hello again, Wasp, Conan. This is a friend. She's come to help us."

The red one, Conan, made a face of disgust.

Conan:" A friend? We aren't friends with anyone but our own. You should know this by now. Besides, I've never seen a creature like that. What are you, anyways?"

Sapphire:" I'm a pegasus. I've come to help investigate the murder of your leader's son."

The two guards blink. Wasp narrowed her gaze.

Wasp:" Why? What's there to investigate? The slime ponies did it. There was evidence all over the room."

Sapphire:" There is just... something about the story I heard that makes me think that things aren't what they seemed to be... you know? For example, you don't even know who did it."

Conan:" Who cares? It's done now."

Fletcher:" Obviously it's not, or this war would be over. It's pointless anyways."

Wasp:" We fight this war because those slime ponies are traitors!"

Conan:" I don't know... I feel like the crime was justified."

Sapphire:" He was one of your own!"

Conan:" He was sick, with no way to cure him. If he lived, he would have given it to us all."

Wasp:" Shut up, you bladderfish brain! If the chief hears you talking like that, you know what he's going to do."

Conan rolled his eyes.

Sapphire:" Regardless, I think something else happened. I mean, the slime ponies claimed that they had nothing to do with it."

Wasp:" Of course they did. That's just what a murderer would say!"

Conan:" Doesn't matter what really happened... it's out of our claws now."

Sapphire:" There has to be a way to end this war peacefully."

Conan:" Pfft... the only way to do that is get our stubborn chief to drop his obsession."

Wasp:" SHUT UP, CONAN!!!"

Sapphire:" You guys aren't even fighting a war for yourselves. Instead your fighting for someone who has a personal vendetta."

Wasp:" And so what if we are? It's not like we have a say in what happens around here. Not unless somepony can prove that it actually wasn't the slime ponies."

Conan:" That, or a change in leadership."

That earned him a glare from Wasp.

Conan:" Don't give me that look. You know it's a pointless war, and all because some kid was dumb enough to get wet twelve years ago."

Wasp:" Husband. Can you ever just agree with me for once in your life?"

Sapphire blinked in confusion. They were married? They sure didn't act like it. Then again... Sapphire sure didn't act like she was married to Ruby earlier. Instead, they fought just like this. Sapphire immediately felt guilty for yelling at Ruby.

Conan:" Oh sure, if you can somehow say something I can agree with!"

Wasp:" I said 'I love you' at our wedding! Was that not enough!?"

Conan:" Well, you sure don't act like it, sometimes."

Wasp:" That's your problem. You're always so negative, with that 'everybody pity me!' attitude."

Conan:" No, that's you. You always have to have it your way."

Wasp:" Because I never get my way."

Conan:" You always get your way."

Fletcher rolled his eyes.

Fletcher:" You guys need counseling."

Wasp:" We already tried that."

Conan:" No, I tried that. You decided to leave when you decided you just didn't like the fact that the shrink was a mare."

Wasp:" I saw the way you looked at her. With those googoo eyes!"

Conan:" Her? She wasn't even pretty. I was making a friendly gesture."

Wasp:" It was a little too friendly is what I what I saw."

Sapphire:" Would you two SHUT UP!"

Wasp:" You stay out of this, stranger! This is an A/B conversation, so C your way out."

Conan:" Oh, come on. That joke wasn't even funny."

The mare bursted into tears.

Wasp:" You don't even have the decency to pretend to laugh at my jokes! "

Conan:" Because you don't even try."

Wasp:" Screw you! I'm going scouting!"

The mare left her post, crying as she ran out the way Sapphire and Fletcher came in. Sapphire was now having one of those broken light bulb moments.

Sapphire:" Aren't you going to go after her?"

Conan:" She does this all the time. She thinks her tears will make me do whatever she wants, but I'm not about to give into her like she's a filly just because she cries."

Sapphire:" So... now that that's out of the way... can I come in?"

Conan grimaced.

Conan:" You'll have to be escorted to the chief. He isn't in a good mood these days, and I doubt he wants to talk to anyone."

Sapphire:" Doesn't matter. I came to help stop this war, and I'm not stopping until that's what I do."

Conan gave a chuckled.

Conan:" Yeah, sure. And if you even survive, maybe you could help fix my marriage. Hehe."

Fletcher:" Why do I even bother coming back here?"

...

Conan led Sapphire and Fletcher through the village, which was lit up by magstones, connected to small wires around the village. Scorponies stared at Sapphire cautiously, each of them flicking their serpentine tongues in suspicion. They all seemed to live in cobblestone structures. The one Conan was leading them too was the largest. It had two spears and some kind of shield above the entrance, in a tribal way.

Conan:" We can not go in with you."

Sapphire:" Why?"

Fletcher:" We are not allowed to see our chief's face. Or even hear his voice. Only his elite guards and his council can. But you not of our tribe."

When she went inside, alone, she saw a large scorpony, bigger than any of the others she'd seen. His silvery-blue scales gleamed from the light of the magstones. He was guarded by four other scorponies, all of which looked dedicated to their chief. The chief himself, wore a skull over his face like a mask, which made Sapphire feel quesy now. She gulped hard, thinking this may not have been her best idea.

Scorpony chief:" A stranger enters my den... willingly, it seems. Do you not fear us? Or mayhaps, you are a fool. Matters not. I am chief Burn-Star. And you are Sapphire of the Seas... are you not?"

Sapphire:" It's um... Sapphire Sea, and... how did you know my name?"

Burn-Star:" I hear the whispers of the soil... they told me you were coming. They also tell me of your plans. You wish to bring peace to the two villages. Tell me... Sapphire of the Seas... how do you hope to accomplish such a task?"

Sapphire:" Wait, so you hear... everything?"

Burn-Star:" For the most part... I hear only what is happening here... on the island. I hear treachery, and I hear death. I heard my son dying... but I was too late."

Sapphire:" But you don't know who actually killed him... right? That's why I am here. To help seek the truth."

Burn-Star:" The truth can be interpreted in many ways. Can be warped and manipulated. I hear rumors... but I cannot say for certain what had happened."

Sapphire:" Then... why attack the slime ponies?"

Burn-Star:" In my haste, I may have... made a decision. That decision costed many lives on the first days of the war. I say stop, but the spark has been ignited. Now chaos spreads, and even I cannot stop it."

Sapphire:" So your soldiers are not acting on your behalf?"

Burn-Star nodded.

Burn-Star:" I fear there is a traiter within my domain... one of the members of my council. But I cannot here them, or their words are being manipulated somehow."

Sapphire:" Why can't you say anything to your people yourself? Talk to the slime ponies and their leaders."

Burn-Star stood stiff... looking directly at her, but not looking. Not... looking... his eyes. They were both slabs of white and grey, unable to see.

Sapphire:" You're... you're blind!"

Burn-Star's head lowered.

Burn-Star:" Now you see why I cannot let anyone see face. It would bring dishonor to my predecessors. I would shame my tribe just for being a blind chief. Only my generals, and my personal guards know. But the traitor has to be one of my three council members. They are the only ones who could have made such madness, but I cannot approach the matter directly. That would cause even more chaos, especially amongst the tribe. I suspect it is Bitter-Sand, but I cannot be sure."

Sapphire:" Why Last Grain?"

Burn-Star:" She is... very aggressive towards others."

Sapphire:" I see..."

Burn-Star:" About my condition..."

Sapphire:" You have my word that I will not say anything to anypony. I promise on my life."

Burn-Star:" Good."

Sapphire:" However, I would also like to freely roam your territory to find clues as to who had betrayed you."

Burn-Star:" Very well. I give you permission as long as you don't cause any trouble."

Sapphire:" Oh, and another thing. The crime scene... it wouldn't still happen to be the way it was after twelve years, would it?"

The pegasus smiled nervously, but hopefully.

...

Mist and Ruby had reached the slime pony village. The slime ponies seemed to be afraid of newcomers, and especially surprised at the return of Mist Walker. The houses were all made of wood, or sandstone, and all seemed to be structurally stable. The wall surrounding the village was entirely sandstone, and the slime ponies seemed to be constantly working on defense. Mist Walker lead lead Ruby to a large sanstone structure, painted with colorful slime splotches.

Once inside, Ruby felt a strangely soothing sensation. Like she didn't want to hurt anypony... couldn't hurt anypony there was no anger, no sadness... no pain. Ruby had a feeling of total bliss, and relaxation. She looked around, noticing all the beds made of wood and leaves. Slime ponies were lying in them, most of them with scorch marks where they must have been burned. They seemed peaceful, however, but still alive. It must have been the same sensation Ruby was feeling, and she noticed the candles. How they smelled so lovely. The candles themselves were a small, blue flame. She also saw slime ponies working on potions, and distributing them. She realized this must be a clinic, and the candles served to sooth the pains.

???:" Mist Walker? Is it really you, my dear?"

Ruby turned her head, and saw a very large slime pony talking to Mist. Mist was the only one in the room that didn't look pleased. In fact... ever other slime pony was bright yellow, and she was... a very angry red.

Mist:" Yes mother. It's me. And you're pacifying candles won't working on me. I made a remedy for that, just so I can be angry with you."

The large slime pony's eyes widened, only for a slight second, then went back to a smile. Wait, did she say mother?

???:" But Mist, dear. Wouldn't you rather feel relaxed. That's half of what this place is for."

Mist:" It's nothing more than a drug, mother! And you're addicted to it."

???:" But it's so soothing. Just let go, embrace it, dear."

Mist didn't look the least bit phased. Why didn't she want to feel what everyone else here was feeling? It was so nice. No troubles... no worries. Wait, why was Ruby here, again?

???:" Ah, I see you brought a visitor. I haven't seen you here before. I'm Flower Walker. It must be so nice to see new places, hmm?"

Ruby:" Y-yes... it feels so nice. I just want to... to hug the air a little."

Mist scrunched her slimey nose.

Mist:" Don't change the subject, mother! It's time we do something about this war! We can't just sit here in the clinic doing nothing while the scorponies are destroying our homes... are you even listening to me!?"

Flower was humming a tune that seemed really catchy, and really happy, so Ruby joined in, bobbing her head from side to side. Mist gave her a glare.

Ruby:" What's wrong?"

Mist slapped a slimey hoof to her face.

Mist:" Dang it. I forgot to give you the remedy, didn't I? You've already forgotten why we are here, didn't you?"

Ruby blinked at her curiously, then smiled... then booped the slime pony on the her nose.

Ruby:" Boop! Hehehe! Tag, you're it!"

Ruby ran outside the clinic, giggling like a little filly. Mist rolled her eyes, then turned back to Flower, only to find she was no longer there either. Mist facehoofed again.

Mist:" Now I remember why I hate this place."

...

Sapphire was escorted to the chief's son's room. It seemed perfectly preserved. Made sense, since the room was locked up tight, with way to get in or out, other than the key that Burn-Star gave her. He didn't want anypony going in and disturbing the room. Sapphire walked in, and immediately stepped in a pile of... something. It was hard. It was big, and it was moldy and disgusting. Sapphire realized that this was the slime that killed the chief's son. But that didn't make sense. Mist Walker said that if a slime pony departed it's slime, then it would either dissolve, or become another baby slime pony, depending on the quantity. Sapphire guessed that a pile this size could make a slime pony. Which gave Sapphire only one conclusion.

Sapphire:" This wasn't left by a slime pony."

Fletcher blinked, then saw the hardened goop on the ground. There was also a broken glass jar next to it.

Fletcher:" Maybe... but then who?"

Sapphire:" I don't know. But I will find out. Where is the council?"

...

Ruby was laying on the soft grass, in a moment of bliss, until Mist Walker showed up. She looked down at her with a bemused expression.

Ruby:" Oh don't give me that look. You were the one who forgot to mention the candles."

Mist:" Yeah, I guess that was my bad. Is it wearing off, finally?"

Ruby:" A little. I kinda feel like a filly again. But the more it escapes me I just feel sad."

Mist nodded sadly.

Mist:" Yeah. That's why mom never leaves the clinic."

Ruby:" That reminds me. You said your mother left you alone when you were split."

Mist looked guilty now.

Mist:" Y-yeah... I lied."

Ruby:" Why?"

Mist:" Because I don't even see her as mom anymore. I don't think she even remembers who she is... that's the problem with the candles. They make forget, and it was something I just didn't want to talk about."

Ruby:" You could have just said so. And what was that in there? You looked so... angry. That was nothing like the nervous wreck I saw when we first met."

Mist:" That was... also a lie. I needed you to trust me. I really didn't mean any harm. I just..."

Mist turned to a very... very dark blue. A tear escaped her left eye as she clenched it shut.

Mist:" I just hoped that if we could stop the war, then mother wouldn't need to use her candles anymore! It isn't healthy for her! I'm so sorry, I just wanted her back!"

More tears crept down the slime pony's cheeks. Ruby hugged her tight, ignoring the squishiness of the slime pony's body, as she began to cry hard.

Ruby:" It's okay! I get it! When I was a filly, all I wanted was for my mother to love me. It took a while, but she finally began to understand me. No matter how she treated me, though, I always loved her, even when I was angry at her. I know we can help your mother too. I promise. But I need you to be honest with me from now on. Okay?"

Mist tried to wipe away her tears, but it felt nearly impossible. She nodded.

Mist:" Okay... I'll try. I'm sorry. I love her, but... but she has a problem. I don't think she even remembers that we are at war. With everything that has happened... she just wants others to feel nice. I get that. But it's going too far, and all it is going to do is get our home taken away. Besides, with those candles, she's forcing her patients to be happy, and some slime ponies go there just to be happy."

Ruby:" Because they don't want to be sad. I can definitely understand that. When I'm around Sapphire... she makes me happy. And I never want to be sad whenever I am with her. But I know I can't be with her all the time. So I convince myself to let go when I need to. We need to convince your mom to stop using her candles so much. Maybe we could even convince her to spend more time with you."

Mist sniffed, finally able to stop crying.

Mist:" You really think we can do that?"

Ruby:" If you're mother loves you enough, she'll see that these candles are crutch on her, and that she needs to be there for her people to protect them. And for her daughter."

Mist sniffed again.

Mist:" You're right. Let's go talk to her. You're going to need my remedy though."

Mist gave her a potion.

Mist:" You only have to sniff it. Drinking it is toxic."

Ruby sniffed the potion, then immediately regretted it, covering her nose with a hoof

Ruby:" Bleh! What is that!?"

Mist smiled sheepishly, her ears flopped to the sides of her head.

Mist:" Mostly cave crawler urine. Hehe..."

If glares could kill, Ruby's certainly would have.

...

Sapphire was escorted to the three members of the chief's counsel. They all bore angry looks at her. The one with the blue scales was True-Heart. The one with the copper scales was Bitter-Sand. The one with the grey scales was Lonesome-Scorch.

Bitter-Sand:" Ssso... you are the visitor that everyone iss talking about. Well? Speak, lest we slit open your throat with our tails!"

True-Heart:" I believe... what my colleague is trying to say, we are becoming suspicious about... certain rumors, involving yourself. Is it true you are here to steal the souls of our children?"

Sapphire blinked in confusion.

Sapphire:" Wow, even ponies on my planet wouldn't be THAT paranoid by alien beings. And no... I'm here to save you and your children. I heard about your war, and came to help. But first, I have a question. Are you aware that slime pony fluids dissolve within minutes."

True-Heart:" It sounds like you are wasting our time. What does this have to do with the war?"

Sapphire:" The chief allowed me to survey the crimescene of his son's death, and slime pony goop? Well, turns out, it wasn't slime pony goop. It didn't dissolve, nor did it give birth to a slime pony."

Fletcher pulled out a plastic bag, with the hardened slime in it, and set it on the table in front of them with a thud. Bitter-Sand both gaped at the hardened pile of disgusting. She legitimately looked as if she were going to be sick. Her face was turning green. Sapphire frowned. It couldn't have been her, as the chief predicted. How could somepony like that suffocate another with fake slime. It just didn't add up. There was no way she could be a killer. Or at least, not a murderer. Sapphire looked at Lonesome-Scorch. He had been quiet the whole time, but he looked as if the pile of goop was looking into his soul. True-Heart looked skeptical, arching a brow.

True-Heart:" Tampering with evidence? How suspicious."

Sapphire:" Except I was given permission to investigate. This wasn't the doing of slime pony. This was the doing of somepony who has the means, and motive to betray his or her chief."

Bitter-Sand slightly recovered from her shock, still seeming queasy.

Bitter-Sand:" Wh-what other evidence do you have that this was framery?"

Sapphire:" I'm glad you asked. Next to this... there was a broken jar. Which leads me to believe that somepony forced fake slime down the chief's son's throat. But why leave the jar? Why leave such obvious evidence?"

True-Heart:" I'm intrigued. Why?"

Sapphire:" Well... we found a note on the victim's bed. You're chief, as you all know, was grief-stricken. He made a decision based on his emotions, and he missed it entirely."

Bitter-Sand:" A note? How could something so obvious be neglected?"

Sapphire:" Fletcher, I'm going to need you to step out of the room. Something I have to say that I promised the chief I wouldn't say to anypony unless they knew."

Fletcher exited the room.

Sapphire:" Here is why. Because the chief was blind. And he didn't want anyone else going into the room. Since he didn't see the note, he couldn't read it. And since he couldn't read it, and nopony else came in but him, I'll read it."

Sapphire cleared her throat, pulling out a note, and reading it.

Dear father, or anypony who is reading this, I didn't want it to come this, but the slime ponies are right. I'm sick, and there is nothing that can help before the sickness spreads to others. How many have to get sick for me to get better? I know you understand, even if you don't agree. I'll use the jar of everlasting slime Perta gave me. I know this isn't what she intended for me to use it for, and she'll probably be disappointed in me for doing it, but I think of it as way to be with her even after death. I love you, father.

~Dreg

The counsel scorponies gasped. Well, two of them did, Lonesome-Scorch stayed quiet, but lifted his eyebrows in thought.

Sapphire:" It wasn't a murder, it was suicide. He was looking out for the two tribes. He didn't want any of them to perish like he knew he would."

True-Heart:" How do we know the note wasn't forged?"

Bitter-Sand:" Weren't you listening? The note mentioned Petra. He loved her. Heavens know why, but it seems to me that the stranger is right."

Lonesome-Scorch:" I have a theory."

Everypony looked towards Lonesome-Scorch, who had finally spoken for the first time this entire time. His voice was eerie, and creepy.

Lonesome-Scorch:" None of us knew about the jar... except for Petra. Am I correct?"

He looked at his colleagues, with an arched brow.

True-Heart:" Well... y-yes, but..."

Lonesome-Scorch:" So I am to believe that maybe this was not a self sacrifice, but a murder of love."

Sapphire:" WHAT!?"

Lonesome-Scorch:" Perhaps Petra wanted to ease the pain of her lover, so she murdered him to rid him of his pain. But does that really justify murder?"

His colleagues blinked at each other.

True-Heart:" Well... perhaps not. But do you have any evidence to support your claim?"

Lonesome-Scorch opened his mouth, then bit his lip. Sapphire stared suspiciously at him. Lonesome-Scorch clapped his hooves together once.

Lonesome-Scorch:" Well then... I suppose we can call this case closed, hm?"

Sapphire:" There is... one other thing."

The counsel all looked back at Sapphire.

Sapphire:" Burn-Star said he thinks one of you has betrayed him. And has been manipulating the entire war, despite his orders."

Lonesome-Scorch responded way too quickly.

Lonesome-Scorch:" You can not prove that! Uh... I mean... umm..."

Sapphire smirked.

Sapphire:" Oh? Is there... something you wish to say?"

His colleagues looked at him with surprise.

Lonesome-Scorch:" W-well you see... what I meant to say is..."

Sapphire:" It's always the quiet ones, isn't it?"

Lonesome-Scorch's eyes were blazing balls of fury.

Lonesome-Scorch:" You don't know anything! Those slime ponies are our property! They're weak! Insignificant! Having them as allies makes us soft! They can't even attack us on their own terms! That's why I have been relaying false information! Those beneath us don't deserve to live! And that chief of ours... he has dishonored our kind for too long! Not only has his blindness affected his sight but it's made him blind to the truth as well! The truth that we are superior!"

???:" I think I have heard enough.l

The voice came from behind Sapphire. Sapphire looked behind her, and saw the chief himself, with two of his guards with him.

Burn-Star:" Lonesome-Scorch... my old friend. How could speak so lowly of me? After all we've been through?"

Lonesome-Scorch pointed a clawed hoof.

Lonesome-Scorch:" Burn-Star, you're such a fool. Always sentimental about the past. If I don't have a hold on this war, I'm going to take you down with me!"

He leapt at the chief, but Bitter-Sand pinned down his tail. Lonesome-Scorch growled, and stabbed at one of Bitter-Sand's eyes. She howled in pain as Lonesome-Scorch came directly at Burn-Star. Sapphire spread her wings, and leapt at him, punching him square in the gut, knocking him to the ground coughing. The chief's guards grabbed him, and took him away. Sapphire raced towards Bitter-Sand, whi was coughing blood. She took out an anti-venom potion.

Sapphire:" Here! Take this! It'll negate the poison!"

She forced the potion down Bitter-Sand's throat, and when it was done, Bitter-Sand recovered enough to speak.

Bitter-Sand:" Th-thank you."

She passed out, but was still breathing.

Sapphire:" Burn-Star... how come you're here? You said you couldn't leave your den."

Burn-Star:" I had thought about what you said. And I decided that ending this war is more important than defending my honor. My predecessors will understand... even if they do not agree."

...

Ruby and Mist walked into the clinic. Ruby couldn't smell anything at all, due to the potion she sniffed. Mist said it would only least a few hours. The larger slime pony had just got done working on a patient, still humming her sweet tune. Ruby tried her best not to imitate the humming.

Mist:" Mother, we need to talk."

Mist was an purple color, giving her a serious look about her. Flower Walker turned her head.

Flower:" Oh! Hello there! Can I help you?"

Mist:" Mother. It's me. We need to talk... outside."

Flower:" Uh... b-but what about inside, deary? Can't we talk inside? I love it inside."

Mist took a deep breath, calming down. She opened her eyes, and looked up at her mother.

Mist:" I know you love it in the clinic... and that's exactly why I need to talk to you outside."

Flower gulped, turning a slightly less golden color. It looked more like a mix of yellow and orange.

Flower:" B-but... but it's nice in here. A-and..."

Mist hugged the large slime pony tightly, a tear dripping from her eye. Mist was light blue.

Mist:" Mother... please? I know what is going on. The candles aren't working for you anymore. Please... come with me. Talk to me. Tell me your problems. I know you don't want to... I know you want so badly to suppress the pain, but you can't do that forever. Even with these candles."

Flower turned a shade of orange, then to yellow.

Flower:" I-I... eh... okay."

They went outside, and Flower instantly turned blue. The two slime ponies looked at each other with tears in their eyes.

Flower:" Sweety... I-I can't... I can't be out here... I..."

Mist put her slimey hoof to her mother's chest. She looked up at her mother, pleadingly.

Mist:" Mom, you can't hide your feelings forever. Especially in times of war."

Flower:" Stop! I don't want to think about the war! The pain! Everything it has caused! You leaving me!"

Mist blinked, then scowled through her tears, becoming a mix of blue and red.

Mist:" You are one to talk!"

Flower instantly shot up after that.

Mist:" I left you because you barely noticed me! I was so lonely without you, and you... you just... you couldn't even bother to consult your child about how they feel! You didn't stop to think, maybe you should be with loved ones during times of crisis!? Spend more time with them? Me!? You're horrible! You've always been ever since you started making those twisted candles!"

Neither Mist nor Flower said anything for a long moment. Mist collapsed in front of her mother, crying. Flower grabbed her gently, and hugged her. Her slime was bright ponk, with hints of blue all over.

Flower:" I-I'm so sorry. I'm sorry I made you feel that way... I-I don't know how it got to this... I never meant to hurt you, sweetie."

Mist:" Mom..."

Flower:" I was selfish. You deserve better. How can I ever make it up to you?"

Mist looked up at her, with pleading, teary eyes.

Mist:" You have to get rid of the candles mom... it's the only way to save yourself."

Flower opened her mouth to protest.

Mist:" I know what you're going to say. But you don't have to do it alone. I'll help you, mother. I'll help you beat this. Just promise me you'll be rid of the candles..."

Flower hesitated, but she knew Mist was right. She held Mist even tighter.

Flower:" I promise. I won't ever use, or even make another candle again. I promise."

Now Mist turned pink. Ruby was crying tears of joy for the two of them when Sapphire called.

Sapphire:" Ruby. I figured everything out. The scorponies are on their way to make peace with the slime ponies."

Flower:" Wh-what? The scorponies are... are coming here?"

Every slime pony within proximity started gasping.

Ruby:" Hold on. You said they want peace? That's a good thing... right?"

Flower:" But... the scorponies haven't given us peace for twelve years."

Sapphire:" And that's why they are on their way now. They've even released all of their slaves and prisoners of war as a show of good faith. But Burn-Star wants to speak to the leader of the slime ponies."

Mist's eyes widened.

Mist:" B-but... what if something goes wrong?"

Her slime turned yellow.

Mist:" I don't want to lose you when I just got you back."

Flower kissed Mist on the forehead.

Flower:" No need to worry dear. I promise, everything will be okay."

The two slime ponies hugged. Ruby smiled.

Ruby:" Are you sure about this?"

Sapphire:" Just make sure the leader is prepared for this."

...

Burn-Star explained everything, from his son's sacrifice, to the chief's blindness, to the betrayal of one of his most trusted colleagues. Flower decided to forgive Burn-Star and his scorponies, and open up trading between their tribes once more.

Sapphire:" I'm glad everything worked well in the end."

Ruby:" Yeah... hey Sapphire?"

Sapphire:" Yeah?"

Ruby:" I'm sorry I didn't think your plan would work out."

Sapphire gave Ruby a big smooch to show she still loved the red unicorn. Ruby returned the kiss passionately.

Sapphire:" It's alright. Even I make mistakes. I'm sorry for yelling at you."

Ruby:" It's alright."

Ruby tapped Sapphire on the nose.

Ruby:" Boop!"

TO BE CONTINUED...

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