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Elements of the Future - Chapter 1: Hope

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Though we are not now that strength that in old days would move Earth and Heaven, that which we are, we are. One equal temper of heroic hearts made weak by time and fate, but strong in will. To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. – Alfred Lord Tennyson
 
Elements of the Future
 
Chapter 1: Hope
 
It’s was another normal day in Ponyville until the unexpected happened! “RUN FOR YOU LIVES CERBERUS IS LOSS AGAIN! AAHHHH!!!” The little Ponies all scattered all over the place as the mighty dark 2 headed dog barks in a demonic tone as Cerberus kicks away and bits into homes.
 
“Isn’t there any pony that can save us?” A scared little filly said as she covered her head with her hooves in fear. “I will!” Off the side of the village appeared an Equestrian Solider in full shining armor. A mighty looking red colored stallion with a thick brown colored mane, with an half eaten apple cutie mark on his flank appears from over the horizon. “Who are you?” A mare asked. “The name is Appleseed, Equestrian Royal Guard!” With that he tossed his spear at the beast, striking it in the shoulder. With a snarl of pain Cerberus spun around and roared, charging the Earth pony with the full force of its rage. Appleseed smiles and then makes a hard gallop toward the giant dog beast. Just seconds before Cerberus was able to bite Appleseed’s head off he makes a mighty leap into the air and jumps right over Cerberus and bucks him hard in the back of one of his head causing the beast to tumble into a river. “Seems that pup’s all washed up!” Appleseed said sounding a bit cocky as the other ponies all laughed.
 
Just as the ponies start to come to celebrate Appleseed’s victory Cerberus jumps out of the water and land in the middle of the circle of ponies causing them all to fall to the ground as Cerberus shacks the ground as he lands. Before Appleseed can get his bearings Cerberus takes his tail into his mouth and tosses him into a heavy pile of boulders where he lands hard leaving all the mares and colts thinking he’s dead. “Oh Celestia who will save us now, all is lost!” As Cerberus goes back to wrecking more homes many of the ponies try to remove the rubble from where Appleseed fell but they are unable to move them, then the rubble is all shoved away as Appleseed emerges from it and shacks himself off, much to the shock of all the ponies watching.
 
Appleseed looks over at Cerberus and glares. “I am ending this now you beast!” Appleseed takes hold of another spear holding it in his mouth then rushes full speed at Cerberus. Appleseed leaps from a large rock and jumps high into the air taking the spear out of his mouth placing it into his hooves and screams “BACK TO TARTARUS WITH YOU DEMON!!” Appleseed lands onto Cerberus back and rams the spear through the back of one of Cerberus’s heads. Cerberus lets out a loud cry of pain as he falls to the ground dead to the cheers of all the Ponies in town. “Three cheers for Appleseed the hero of Ponyville! Appleseed, Appleseed, Appleseed….” Quickly however the crowds started to vanish as Appleseed’s armor disappeared like mist as Appleseed opened his eyes from this dream world and comes back into reality.
 
“APPLESEED, APPLESEED GET YOUR LAZY FLANK OUT OF BED OR I WILL BUCK YOU OUT MYSELF!” Says Appleseed’s aunt Gingersnaps as she gives the still groggy teenage Stallion a harsh look. “Come along now you got to get up and help with the plowing in the fields then I need you to take the first season’s supply of apple cider into town.” Gingersnaps leaves Appleseed to crawl of out bed and as he shacks the tiredness out of him as he looks over at the old and fading poster he had in his room of the former Equestrian Royal Guards and thinks of his dream again with a sigh before he gets his plow neck brace on and then heads out to do his daily field work with the rest of his family.
 
As Appleseed goes about his daily chores of plowing the field he thinks back to his dream on his desire to become something more than a simple farm pony like all the rest of his family have been for generations before him. It used to be not so uncommon for a strong male of his age to want to join the military for chance at adventure and a better life beyond the farm. However those days where now only the stuff of distant dreams. Over 180 years ago Equestria was consumed in a great war with the Changelings that lasted the first 30 of those years; uncountable amount of Ponies lost their lives some lands where totally lost to time. Even the Crystal Empire was devastated, as a further consequence of that war all the Alicorns where gone but in the end the ponies where the victors, but many still wonder at what cost? If things were not bad already other lands finding out the Alicorns were no more dissolved all treaties and promise with the now weaken Ponies and nearly all made a made play for power to take what lands they could. The Griffons, once a weaken people themselves swept in and like a dark plague took over more than 70% of the lands once under the rule of the Ponies. Now 150 years after their take over nearly all of Equestria was under their mighty talons. The ponies are seen by the Griffons as little more than beasts of burden. By their laws of the land, all Unicorns are to have their horns removed and all Pegasus ponies are to have their wings clipped as to never allow for the use of magic or flying again so they can never rise up to oppose them.
 
“Hey Appleseed stop your day dreaming over there and take off the plow I need you over here for a moment.” His Aunt Gingersnaps said as she waves him over to next field. Appleseed takes a deep sigh then takes off his plow hooks from his neck brace and follows his aunt over to see what she needed. “So what’s the trouble over here Aunty?” Appleseed looks as she points to a top of a small boulder that was blocking her own plow. “I hit this while tilling my part of the field can you be a dear and take care of it. Don’t worry any I looked around no one’s watching us.” What no other pony but his aunt knew was that Appleseed was far different from any other Earth Pony that has existed. “All right Aunty back away.” Appleseed raises his hoof into the air then brings it down onto the top of the boulder and slams his hoof right into it as if it was just a freshly baked pie. He then yanks his hoof up and the ground around them shacks a little as the boulder that was about 3 times their own size was yanked out of the ground leaving a large hole in its wake. “Golly I guess that boulder was larger than I expected! Take that over behind the barn and we can have you shatter it after we get back from selling our cider at the market.” Gingersnaps said taking another look around to make sure the coast was still clear. “Sure thing Aunty.” Appleseed said as he now with both hooves carried the huge boulder as if it was just a shack of flower behind the barn.
 
It was about the time of the day when the sun reached its highest point the sky when Appleseed and Gingersnaps made their trip into Ponyville. Ponyville itself has not changed so much in the last 180 years; the schoolhouse was still there for the little fillies and foals. However the education was taught by Griffons now and very little beyond how to best serve the interests of their desires was taught to them. What use to be Sugar Cube Corner was now a bar more often frequented by Griffon military men then any ponies these days. It’s easy to say nothing sweets come out of there in a very long time. The main part of the village town hall was made into the main office for the Griffon governor and his staff who would be finding the best way to get more gold and other resources out of these already over taxed and hardworking ponies that still lived here. Other locations like Fluttershy’s cottage and Rarity’s Shop was lost in the war all that remained of those places was just cracking wood and broken windows time was slowly taking them from the landscape.
 
“Alright here we are let’s get set up.” Gingersnaps said was she took out her folded up banner that proclaimed, Apple Family Fresh Cider, but before she could set them up the middle aged green pony was tapped behind the shoulder by an older looking male Griffon with two guards next to him with heavy looking golden armor on. “Miss Gingersnaps. I am sorry ma’am but I am afraid you and your nephew will not be able to set up your cart here today, nor any other day in the foreseeable future.” The Griffon said smugly adjusting his golden glasses as he looks over his scroll he was holding. “Wha…but that can’t be I paid for this lot over a month ago and have been putting produce out here each weekend since then.” Gingersnaps, well snaps back at the older Griffon. “I am sorry Miss Snaps but you have not been made aware of the raise in the price of these lots in the last two weeks it’s now an extra ten bits for each weekend and that means you own us 20 bits plus delinquent fee’s for not paying those raised that to 60 bits!” Gingersnaps were taken back by this. “But I can’t afford that. We are barely making enough to live during the winter season with all the taxes you Griffons place upon us!” The Older Griffon glares at her before forcefully shoving her into her cart knocking over and shattering some of the Cider jugs onto the ground. “Then I can see for you and your nephew to make up those lost bits by ether working you both in the mines over the winter season or having us finally takes position of your farm!”
 
Appleseed can’t take any more of this as he shoves the older Griffon onto the away from his aunt being sure not to use too much of his amazing strength but enough so that the older Griffon landed into tomato stand causing quite the mess. Appleseed reaches down to make sure his aunt was unharmed. “Aunty are you alright?” The Griffon soldiers go to help the old official up much to his humiliation of the laughing ponies around him that see him well covered in smashed tomatoes. “ARREST THAT FILTHY MUD PONY! I WANT TO SEE HIM IN CHAINS!” He screams in rage pointing right at Appleseed. Gingersnaps reaches for her nephews head to face her. “Appleseed run! Get out of here. You can’t let them catch you and find out what you can really do. GO NOW!” Appleseed looks over and see’s the soldiers approaching and taking two cider jugs from the his cart tosses them at them shattering on their helmets causing them to fly blindly into random food stands giving him the time he needed to rush out of the market place and makes a run for an empty building to hid in until the night arrived.
 
As the night came the town was placed into a lock down as the Griffon soldiers were going from house to house and abandon building to abandon building to track down Appleseed, but he knew this town well from his days as a young foal playing hid and seek in the abandoned ruins with the other kids. It was however getting harder to hid so he knew there was still one place left he could hid out until the dawn would come so he headed right to the former tree castle of Princess TwilightSparkle.
 
As Appleseed opens the massive doors they make a very eerie creek sound as they open. Even as a kid this place was spooky for any of the foals to get to close to. It to them seemed like a haunted place and so out of place among all the wood homes and business. It stood up well even after 180 year of neglect. Appleseed takes some flint out of his pack and lights a touch and carriers it as he wonders down the massive hall with the only sound he was hearing was his own hoofs tapping the ground. After some time exploring mostly empty rooms Appleseed comes upon a room that appeared to be some kind of meeting hall. The room seemed to be in a state of ruin. All the chairs where shattered, what seems to use to be a large crystal table in the center was also destroyed as if it was blown apart by some large explosion. Appleseed sighed and then said to himself. “Damn it all. Why did I have to go and shove that bastard old bird brain like that? Aunty always told me to not make a scene. Why can’t things be different? Why do we ponies have to be treated like slaves? ARRRH it just isn’t fair!” Appleseed said smashing his hoof into a wall in the room that crumbles to reveal a secret room.
 
As the dust cleared Appleseed wonders inside and looks to see something that gets his attention at once. It was a painting made into a crumbling part of the wall it showed six mares coming together as if to unify their powers. At first he didn’t know why this image was here then it came to him. This was the stories that was only know to him as a legend his Aunt Gingersnaps would tell him as a bed time story. Of the six mares that protected Equestria from all harm. Many of their tales have been lost to time yet all who tell them however remember them as legends and great heroes. “I tell yeah girls if there was a time the world of Equestria needed you its right now.” Appleseed touches the image of TwilightSparkle and then the image suddenly starts to glow! Appleseed backs away as a shaft of light shots out from the image and appears in front of him. It was of the former Alicorn Princess TwilightSparkle. She looks up and as if she could see Appleseed in the room smiles at him. “Greetings, I am Princess TwilightSparkle, the Princess of Friendship. If you are seeing this image of me then we have failed to stop the Changeling takeover of the land or I have died. If that is the case then it passes you brave pony to seek out the elements of harmony that have been hidden over the lands of Equestria by my trusted friends. Once you have found all 6 elements you must bring them to the chamber of Hope in the Royal Place of Canterlot and give them to Princess Luna or Princess Celestia. For only with the six elements and the power of an Alicorn can the chamber of Hope be opened and the great power inside can save Equestria from darkness.” The image of TwilightSparkle then vanishes as Appleseed is left alone again with just the light of his torch and his shocked face in the room again.
 
“My gosh! Everything Aunty told me was true. The six mares, the legend of the elements, all of its was all real!” Just then the silence of the moment was broken by a voice from the crumbled opening. “Indeed it was all true now that we know the elements still exist we shall be sure to keep our eyes out for them as well.” In comes the Griffon Governor of Ponyville dressed in a thick black suit with gold trimmings along with about six soldiers all holding spears with gold tips on them. “You were all following me? For how long?” Appleseed demanded to know. “None of that matters now. I should thank you. Finding the elements has been our King Grover the 7ths over whelming desire for so long. He will shower me with gold for this.” Appleseed glares. “Why do you need this so badly? Don’t you already control enough?” “But with this so called great power we can finally control it all as our great King desires however that will not be something you will be around to see. KILL HIM!” The Griffon Governor commands as the soldiers rush at Appleseed. He manages to dodge the first rush of the spears then not caring if they know about his abilities anymore grabs the chunk of wall with the image of the mares on it and then tosses it in the soldiers direction knocking all of them out and also breaks out a side of the wall into the outside of the castle. “What are you?” The Governor Griffon asked as he shock in fear on the ground just having been able to avoid the hit himself. “I am the one that will once again bring hope back to Equestria or I will die in the attempt!” With that Appleseed leaps out on of the opening in the wall and slams hard onto the ground many stories below him making a small hole in the place he landed. Then not seeming to even have felt the hit makes a run into the woods and back to his family farm.
 
As he got back the dawn sun light was just starting to come out over the hills. Appleseed knocks the doors open as he sees Gingersnaps making tea. Not seeming to be fazed at all unlike him who was in a panic. “Aunty we need to go right now. We have to pack all we can and get out of her before, are you even listening to me this is serious we have to leave I am sure the soldiers will be here any minute?” Gingersnaps sip her tea than sets it down and looks up at him from her chair. “I know they are coming. I knew this day would come when you would have to leave. I don’t blame you for this nephew. I knew you were destined for great things. You’re a very special Stallion Appleseed. I have something for you before you go and I have something important to tell you.” She gets off her chair and then moves a desk aside and then Appleseed sees her remove a plank of wood and takes out a box and from inside the box Gingersnaps takes out a necklace of an orange apple that was glowing. “I knew the moment I heard the shacking under the desk that the time had come.” Gingersnaps said as she held the necklace in her hoof and handed it to Appleseed. “What time? What are you talking about Aunty?” Gingersnaps sighed then looked at Appleseed in the eyes. “Appleseed you’re a decent of one of the mares of Harmony. Your Great, Great, Great Grandmother was AppleJack and she had this, the element of Honesty. I was told by my mother and her mother before her as was told by AppleJack herself to keep it secret and safe until the time is right for all six elements to be found and used once again. I now give it to you to go and find the other five elements and find the last Alicorn to bring harmony and order to this land once again.” Gingersnaps said as she hands the element to Appleseed.
 
Appleseed could feel the elements magic all over his body as he held it as if it was almost talking to him in some way he didn’t yet understand. “But I can’t all the Alicorns are gone and even if there’s one left I don’t know where to start to look for her or even for these missing elements? Aunty Gingersnaps please, I am not ready for this and I am not right for this!” Appleseed said feeling like a house was just dropped on top of him with all that he was just told to him. Gingersnaps rubbed her hoof over her shacking nephews face. “Nor was AppleJack when she was given the element but she managed and you will as well. Now you must go and don’t look back. I will manage here alone. Just go and know my love will always go with you.” Gingersnaps places the element of honesty into Appleseed’s saddle pack along with some dried food for his long trip and then kisses and hugs him as he turns to look back at his aunt with heavy tears in his eyes and then heads out of the farm and towards the Everfree Forrest just moments before the Griffons swarm in and take Gingersnaps into custody. The Griffon Governor looks around and growls finding out he was too late to stop Appleseed’s get away. “Damn it all we missed him. Send a message to King Grover. Tell him we found the new element barer and we will have him and the element of honesty no matter what it takes even if we have to kill him to get it!”
 
(Writers Note: FIMfic denied me posting this so here is the best please I got.)
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