Margot slowly returned to reality while voices wondered about her condition. Her head pounded like it was a drum at a Maredeth concert.
“Was she drained?” Skybreeze asked with concern.
“No, she hit her head on a rock,” Far replied.
“Nga'Devro wonders about all of that blood,” Nga'Devro said with a queasy voice.
When she opened her eyes, Margot could see ponies looking down at her. Shame rolled through her heart. Damn, I just wanted to help, now I look even more helpless.
Far used some of his water to wash some of the blood out of Margot’s fur.
Apple Bloom walked up to Margot and put her hoof near her head wound. A blue glow flowed from her left forehoof. Margot’s pain faded away.
”Thank you,” Margot said with gratitude.
Apple Bloom just bowed.
“What happened?” Margot asked when she managed to push her feelings of failure away.
“We destroyed the Remnants,” Skybreeze stated.
“You should have seen it Mahgot! Me and mah friends were granted Oonte’s Grace to give the Remnants peace,” Apple Bloom said with a smile, then she covered her mouth when she yawned.
Margot watched as Apple Bloom slowly trotted next to Scootaloo and lied down in the grass to rest.
“Nga'Devro is amazed at the bravery of those fillies, though I could see them getting into a situation that could be fatal for them,” Nga'Devro said with admiration.
Margot shakily got up and followed Far as he walked over to the supply cart. She did not miss the sight of the SHC lying on the ground resting. They deserve their rest. Margot turned her attention to the supply cart.The sun bleached wood of the supply cart looked like it had been in the desert for years. Ropes that looked sturdy now looked like they would turn into beige dust if Margot touched them.
Skybreeze used her telekinesis to open a food bag. The stink of dry rotted grain hit their noses.
“Manure!” Far cursed.
Skybreeze nodded yes then she opened a barrel of water. What was supposed to be warm water was now a rancid substance nopony wanted to see or smell.
“I am sorry that I risked all of your lives for this useless stuff,” Far said with regret.
“Well, I did not agree with you but at least we know what happened to the caravan and the supplies,” Skybreeze said.
“Nga'Devro thinks that we should be leaving this place soon,” Nga'Devro said while looking at the dead gray brown ponies.
“We are ready to go!” Apple Bloom said as she and her cohorts walked up.
Far looked at the dead ponies and wondered if he should do something. It did not seem right to just leave bodies of ponies lying around. They were someone’s friends and or relatives.
“Skybreeze-” Far started to ask her to deal with the dead.
“I understand,” Skybreeze said as she prepared a fire spell to burn the bodies.Scootaloo glanced at the Remnants. “Don’t worry, we have given them peace. Whatever made these things ponies is long gone.”
The group left as the dead ponies and the tainted supplies burned behind them. A plume of black smoke climbed into the darkening sky.
Margot did not say anything while her hooves tromped mechanically over the grey brown ground. She was still struggling with feeling so inept. Normally when she was human, she was competent. Now, Margot felt like a princess in a videogame, useless except as a trophy.
Far led them to the edge of the Shatterleg Wastes. The moon was rising in the dark blue sky when they climbed out of the crater. When they got a few miles away, the tired ponies did not bother with stories. Far picked a sentry and went to sleep while the stars silently turned in the night sky above them.
The Starbucks on East 43rd Street and Fifth Avenue was filled with ponies. Some of them were using their laptops while others were chatting at tables. Margot glanced out the windows and just saw a desert wasteland. Nothing but featureless grey brown sand burning under a black sun for miles. She did not think it made sense that this wasteland was outside, Margot was sure she was in Manhattan then again this was a dream.
A nagging doubt whispered maybe it was not exactly a dream. She was so into her thoughts, she did not notice that she was not sitting at a table alone.
“Be of good cheer!” somepony said.
“Who are you?” Margot asked when she turned to look at who was sitting at the table with her.
On her left, was a dark blue unicorn with wings. Her light blue mane sparkled like little stars were trapped inside and it moved slowly like a breeze was blowing into her face. There was some jollity but there was a lot of tiredness too in the light blue eyes that returned Margot’s gaze. A Starbuck’s medium cup with a straw was surrounded by a blue glow that made it float in front of her. Every few minutes, the straw would move to the pony’s mouth and she would take a sip. A black crown lay on the table.
“My name is Luna and I am an alicorn princess,” Luna replied.
Margot looked down at her reflection on the shiny brown wooden table. A unicorn pony with dirty blonde hair, pink fur, grey eyes sadly returned her gaze.
“Gather up your courage, soon you will be in Lower Canterlot and we will talk again,” Luna said.
A cold cutting wind blew through the store. The busy happy ponies started to scream and groan. Margot watched with fear as the pony’s bright colors faded to grayish brown. Their eyes went dead and then filled with a poisonous green glow.
A sharp and cold voice said, “We shall talk too.”
An armored hoof touched her face gently and Margot looked back at Luna.
“Courage,” she whispered.
Margot woke with a gasp. A quick look around showed that it was getting close to dawn, the east was brightening. She watched the sleeping ponies as the sun rose. While she stood guard, the strange dream replayed itself in her mind. Margot was not looking forward to meeting the owner of the cold voice. She just knew there was going to be a lot she was not going to like today.