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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 33
Chapter 33
"Are you guys ready for this?" Jigsaw said.
The trio stood in the control room. Lights flashed along the rows of corroded monitors, displaying information on the state of various parts of the airship. The magical fourth wall shimmered, displaying small river and verdant forest spread out below them.
"I've been waiting for this," Incendia said with conviction. "It's time we end this. For Stalliongrad."
Jigsaw nodded. "Tiptoe?"
"Ready as I'll ever be," she said. "I'm sticking with you no matter what."
Jigsaw smiled. "I guess this is really it, then. Once we cast off, there's no going back. Once we get the final Celestia fragment, we can figure out how to steal that crystal from Tantalus with the help of the goddesses. Luna says with both of them combined, they should be able to shroud us from Tantalus long enough for them to regenerate."
"Is there anything you need us to do?" Incendia said.
"Honestly, I don't think there's much for you to do on the ride over. Luna— you kn
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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 32
Antipodes
Chapter 32
By PK
(In the last chapter, our intrepid trio ventured deep into the Everfree forest only to find it twisted by an unknown magic. Jigsaw fought with a manticore and was fatally poisoned. Working together, Incendia and Tiptoe brought Jigsaw to a mysterious ruined castle, where and unconscious Jigsaw collected the new fragment and Luna fully reformed, expunging the poison in the process.)
"I— you're— what?" Tiptoe spluttered.
Jigsaw's solid silver eyes flashed in Tiptoe's direction. For a moment, a slight frown creased his face, but then recognition dawned. "Tiptoe," Luna's voice said, "I understand that you must be confused. Know that all shall be explained soon."
"But…" Tiptoe blinked took a deep breath. "What happened to Jigsaw? Are you… is he alright?"
"His wounds were serious, but I believe I have expunged the poison. He is merely unconscious, in a healing sleep. I am using his body as a sort of mouthpiece."
"What gives you that right?" Tipto
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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 31
Antipodes
Chapter 31
By PK
The bright blue juices from the strange fruit drizzled down Incendia's muzzle, the bitter, slightly electric, taste fresh in her mouth.
"Are you sure these are safe to eat?" she asked, eyeing the half-eaten fruit floating a few inches in front of her.
"Pretty sure," Jigsaw said, his own fruit hovering next to him. "When I examined the tree, I really didn't feel anything malignant. These definitely aren't natural, though, whatever they are."
Incendia's stomach growled in hunger, but she put the fruit away.
"I think I'll save this for later," she said.
The trees only grew thicker as they walked. A layer of thick gray clouds blocked out the sun, the blue green light illuminating the area coming from the thin layer of moss on the forest floor.
A loud, clear whistle and a rustle of branches heralded Tiptoe's return. She slowly fluttered down from the canopy, the buffets of air disturbing the moss below and causing it to flare brighter and cast strange, spindly sha
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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 30
Antipodes
Chapter 30
By PK
Tiptoe extended her wings, soaring over the emerald green carpet spread out below her, wind buffeting her back and forth through the air as she made an unsteady landing on the top of the airship. She trotted over to a small, round hatch on the top of the airship and flipped a lever with her hoof. The door sprung open.
Tiptoe fluttered her wings as she descended into the control room. When she touched down, Incendia glanced up and gave her a curt nod. She sat on the ground in front of a monitor, which flashed blue and displayed a sentence in the language of the old world. A small quill floated in the air before Incendia, sketching the glyphs on a ragged sheet of paper.
"What's going on?" Tiptoe asked, trotting closer.
"No idea," Incendia replied. "The monitor just started flashing a minute ago. I don't know what it says so I thought I ought to write it down and bring it to... well, I thought I ought to write it down."
Tiptoe could feel the name hanging in the
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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 29
Antipodes
Chapter 29
By PK
The sea serpent undulated as it prepared to let loose a deadly blast of energy.
"Move!" Tiptoe shouted as she darted up high into the air.
Jigsaw and Incendia glanced at each other and each galloped off in opposite directions. The beam of light burst forth from the serpent's throat, blasting a crater in the rock where they had been standing.
Incendia flashed bright orange, igniting a whirlwind of flame. Digging her hooves into the ground, she slid to a stop, turning to face the serpent as she took aim. Tongues of flame sprouted from the ground at her feet and shot towards the sea serpent, wrapping it in white hot strands of flame.
The serpent writhed and shrieked, smoke rising in oily, black coils as the fiery ropes constricting around the serpent burned into its flesh. However, with a mighty jerk of its serpentine back, the bonds around its body broke in a flash of light. The charred skin underneath the bonds oozed a pale green fluid.
Incendia
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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 28
Antipodes
Chapter 28
By PK
The crowd that had gathered around the airship was impressive. Ponies of all shapes, sizes, and races, had turned out to wish the trio of refugees a happy goodbye. Young pegasi hopped up and down on the top of the airship, shrieking with laughter. Moonbow stood in front of the trio, dressed in the heavy blue robes they had seen around the city so often.
As he turned to address the crowd, they quickly grew silent.
"Citizens of Totemhoof!" he bellowed, his voice strong and clear. "We have assembled today to bid farewell to the team that single-hoofedly saved our city. For thousands of years, Totemhoof has been protected by the graces of our goddess, Luna. It was foretold that one day, the Uniter would arrive and deliver us all from an unfathomable evil. That day has finally arrived!"
The crowd hollered in approval and stamped their hooves. Moonbow watched for a few moments before clearing his throat.
"Please, settle down and be respectful," he chastised.
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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 27
Antipodes
Chapter 27
By PK
Boom!
The explosion shook the ground under Spike's feet, causing him to stumble and as he scrambled over the rubble of a ruined building. All around him, flashes of light from mortars and mines drowned out the harsh light of the sun. The heat was unbearable.
He knew he couldn't pay attention to the war going on around him. It wouldn't let him.
It had sought him out, explained its plight. It said it could help him if he helped it. All he had to do was let it, and he had.
He ripped aside a pair of sun-bleached drapes and leapt through the shattered window frame. The building he was in now had an intact roof, and he couldn't help but take a moment to enjoy the relief from the sun.
The goddesses had fallen almost twenty years ago, and the light and dark sides of the planet had been fighting each other over the narrow strip of comfortable land ever since. The bearers of the Elements of Harmony had tried to intercede, of course, but without Twilight, and with what
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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 26
Antipodes
Chapter 26
by PK
Tiptoe awoke with a start. Something had stuck her- hard- in the back. She attempted to roll over, but was hit again, this time just below her ribcage. With a flap of her wings, she propelled herself out of the bed and spun to look at what was hitting her.
Unsurprisingly, it was Jigsaw. He was tossing and turning violently in his sleep. The sheets lay in a heap at the foot of the bed, presumably kicked off. Tiptoe didn't know how she hadn't been woken up before, Jigsaw was trashing so violently. She approached the bed to try and wake him when she noticed something odd: even though the lights of the city had only just begun to glow, the interior of the room was bathed with a golden light. She glanced around to the braziers mounted on the walls and saw that they were cold. The light seemed to be emanating from Jigsaw himself.
Tiptoe froze, suddenly unsure if waking Jigsaw was the best choice of action. However, after a moment of consideration, she began to inch
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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 25
Antipodes
Chapter 25
by PK
Jigsaw stepped out into the cold, wintry breeze and surveyed the city below him. Hundreds of pinpricks of light shimmered from the streets below, a mixture of dim yellow bulbs and bright blue magical flames. He noticed something he hadn't the night he arrived- there was a distinct distribution of magical lights versus mundane. Their cabin was on the south slope of the valley that Totemhoof sat in, giving Jigsaw a good view of the whole city. The farther east he looked, the more common the arcane lights became, culminating in the giant, decrepit radio tower on the west hill, complete with the mysterious glowing silver orb and shimmering cables snaking up it's side. As he looked west, the blue lights became less and less common until they were almost totally replaced by electric lights. The building architecture changed noticeably as well. On the east side, huge, sweeping structures of wood or metal were common, while smaller, more practical designs were more c
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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 24
Antipodes
Chapter 24
By PK
Hey, guys. It's me. I just wanted to personally apologize for the truly ridiculous wait between the last chapter and this one. I don't really know what I can do except apologize profusely and give you this chapter. It's my second longest, if that helps!
Incendia made her way down a cobblestone pathway which weaved in between the many short buildings built into the side of the hill. She was reminded vividly of Stalliongrad- the buildings here seemed to have been pieced together out of plates of metal from some long-demolished structure, just as they had been in the slums of Stalliongrad.
This place was different, however- most of the metal surfaces were glossy and reflected the bright light from the streetlamps and the veiled luminescence of the distant radio tower. The buildings stood strong and sturdy, and almost all of them had lights gleaming out of the windows. Up and down the road, ponies were leaving their homes, some pulling wagons filled with t
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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 23
Antipodes
Chapter 23
by PK
Jigsaw found himself standing in a verdant field. Flowers of all shapes and sizes bloomed around him and the air was fresh and clean. The sun was almost directly overhead, but it wasn't harsh or burning. It felt pleasant against his skin, warm, life-affirming. Now that he had felt it, the light of the midday sun, he wondered how he had lasted so long without it, and how he could ever go back to the pale imitation of the sun that resided on the surface now, or the heartless light of arcane fire or electric filaments.
There were ponies, too. To the right, and a short distance ahead, a small town was visible. A majestic clock tower grew from the center of town, the hands having just recently struck noon. The skies above were criss-crossed with pegasi, flitting to and fro among the clouds. Jigsaw took a deep breath, allowing the cool air to fill his lungs, filling him with energy.
Then, as he watched, a green shockwave emanated from somewhere beyond sight and beg
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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 22
Antipodes
Chapter 22
By PK
Incendia stared at Jigsaw, eyes wide, her mouth moving soundlessly as she struggled to find words strong enough to express her disbelief. Finally, she found her voice.
"Are you crazy?" she shouted. "Do you understand how long it took the Resistance to find one of those? We didn't make it! The only one who ever did was Rubidium himself and the top scientific minds of the city! It took us months to steal one, and even longer to reverse-engineer it to work in the teleporter! That was the only device we ever managed to make, and even then it never worked quite right. Ours was always rougher than the real thing."
Tiptoe reflected uncomfortably on the sensation of Incendia's shoulder-mounted teleporter. It felt as though they were being peeled apart every time they had used it.
"I don't actually intend on fixing the teleporter," Jigsaw said, "I intend on modifying it to operate under a new spell."
Incendia's incredulity shifted to curiosity. "What kind of spell? I
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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 21
Antipodes
Chapter 21
By PK
Arduously, they began their trek back towards the distant treeline. Incendia led the way, Jigsaw floating gently behind her in an orange halo. Tiptoe stumbled after them both. Her hip felt stiff and awkward, and her condition was exacerbated by the frozen river's slippery surface. She was lightheaded and dizzy, too, and her stomach was growling loudly.
Incendia wasn't doing much better. She was making very slow progress along the river; the effort of keeping Jigsaw's unconscious body aloft was straining her already spent energy. Her horn felt uncomfortably hot, a sensation which was almost entirely unfamiliar to her. She had used too much magic, and she knew it, but they were so close...
Finally, after many more determined hoofsteps, they found themselves on the cold dirt of the river bank. The rubble from the castle extended all the way out to the timberline, though only the tips of the highest spires actually touched the stunted forest.
They made their way
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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 20
Antipodes
Chapter 20
By PK
The silvery orb hung, silent and mysterious, in the center of the room. It's surface was perfectly smooth and glassy, and it rotated slowly, sending off wisps of shadowy mist.
"So... what happens now?" Incendia asked, her voice low and hushed.
In response, Jigsaw began to walk slowly towards where the sphere hung, his head bowed low as if in reverence. He felt a strange, pulsating buzz begin in his horn, as though it were anxious to make contact. Cautiously, he raised his head until the very tip of his horn broke the silvery surface of the sphere. For a moment, a single ripple issued across its surface, causing the silvery light to shimmer. Then, Jigsaw was enveloped in a sheet of whirling silver mist. Incendia started forward towards him, but Tiptoe extended a hoof, catching her in the chest.
"I don't think we should interfere," she said in a near-whisper.
Shimmering intensely, the mist whirled faster and faster around the unicorn, until with a brilliant fla
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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 19
Antipodes
Chapter 19
By PK
Incendia put out the tiny flare after they had warmed up as much as they could and they began to climb the winding staircase once more. The increasingly bitter cold coupled with the dim light and physical exertion felt like a heavy weight pressing down on them, making them sluggish and irritable. The staircase itself must have been marvelous when it was new- it wound along the mountainside, occasionally winding inside passageways of what were clearly once exquisitely carved friezes, but had long since been worn away to near illegibility. At one point, the path led them through an enormous rocky overhang that cast them all into pitch black darkness.
After about an hour of grueling climbing, they climbed over the crest of a small ridge to find that they had reached the castle at last. The building was even more majestic up close- it was in nearly pristine condition. The cold, however, was more biting than ever. The three ponies stared up at it in awe. Incendia
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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 18
Antipodes
Chapter 18
By PK
Incendia took a few lumbering steps towards the two rapidly approaching shapes, but she stumbled and stopped only a few feet from her starting place. Tiptoe, in contrast, flew as fast as her wings could carry her, nearly crashing into the ground in front of her.
"Incendia!" Tiptoe shouted. "I can't believe it's you! You're alright! We never tho-" she stopped halfway through her sentence as she began to process Incendia's appearance. She looked to be on death's doorstep. Her formerly black, shiny coat was ruffled and browned. A disturbingly large gash on her flank was surrounded by dried blood. A fresh cut above her eye sent scarlet down the side of her face. Despite all this, however, she stood tall, and a broad smile played across her face. When she spoke, her voice was strong and clear.
"It's good to see you too, Tiptoe."
It was at this moment that Jigsaw came scrambling up to join them, his footing precarious on the icy soil.
"It's really you," he said, hi
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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 17
Antipodes
Chapter 17
by PK
The sun beat down on the rough, featureless stone, as it had for the last
ten thousand years. Once, it had been covered in a thick layer of soil,
but over time, it had dried and turned to dust. The spot hadn’t seen
activity since. Until today, that is. The air seemed to shimmer with a
light even brighter than the pervading sunshine, and with a sharp crack,
a pony stumbled seemingly out of nowhere and collapsed onto the parched
rock.
~~~
By the time Jigsaw woke up, Tiptoe had already been up for quite some
time. The fire was burning weakly in the fire pit—Tiptoe obviously
didn’t know much about building a fire. Jigsaw stood up and stretched,
shaking off bits of forest debris. Tiptoe turned her head and smiled.
She was sitting on her haunches near the fire, attempting to take the
edge off the cold. Jigsaw trotted over to her and sat down beside her.
“How long have you been up?” Jigsaw asked, blinking the sleep out of his eyes.
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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 16
Antipodes
Chapter 16
by PK
The first thing Jigsaw noticed was the pounding in his head. The pain radiated out from the base of his horn, causing him to raise a hoof to his head and massage it gingerly. As soon as he touched his head, however, the pain spiked. He let out a yelp and opened his eyes. He was lying in what appeared to be a circle of scorched ground. He slowly pushed himself up on his haunches, blinking his eyes to clear his vision. Even the smallest movement caused him to wince with pain. A light layer of snow coated the ground just outside the circle, with a grove of evergreen trees growing not far beyond. On the horizon, barely visible over the glare of the sun, was a flickering green light. Jigsaw's horn hummed for a moment, then the glow was gone. Jigsaw squinted at the spot where the glow had been when he heard a rustle behind him. He whipped around in alarm, but was relieved to see that it was only Tiptoe. She was lying on her side, facing away from him. Jigsaw got up
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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 15
Antipodes
Chapter 15
By PK
Tantalus surveyed the burning wreckage of the city. He had finally achieved his goal, his revenge on Rubidium, but it still didn't help the rage. He could still feel it boiling away inside him, barely controlled by the sheer effort of his will.
Then, he doubled over in pain. It was unlike anything he had ever felt before, as though part of him was being ripped out from the inside. He knew what it was. The fragment of Celestia had been absorbed, and it had left the city. The rage was uncontrollable. He opened his mouth wide, and green light seemed to be grow from deep inside his throat. For just an instant, Tantalus tried to suppress it, but he knew it was hopeless. The light erupted out in a funnel of magical energy of nearly inconceivable power. It expanded in all directions, burrowing deep into the earth, up into the sky, and out in every direction, obliterating all in its path.
~~~
Jigsaw and Tiptoe tumbled through the chaotic funnel of light and sound. Th
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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 14
Antipodes
Chapter 14
By PK
Jigsaw's eyes opened. He blinked almost at once at the harsh, fluorescent light that was illuminating the room. He rolled off the cot and stood up, blinking the sleep out of his eyes. The door to the bathroom opened and Tiptoe cantered out. Upon seeing Jigsaw standing at the foot of his cot, she smiled.
"Oh, you're finally awake!" she said."You stayed up so late with the terminal that I thought it would be better to let you sleep. I've been up for a few hours already. I left you your breakfast on my cot." She gestured towards the cot with her head where a small meal was sitting on a metal tray.
"Oh, thank Celestia," Jigsaw said, "I'm starving." He walked over to the tray and sat on the bed. His horn began to glow with a faint blue aura as the food floated to his mouth. Tiptoe trotted over and sat next to him.
"So," Jigsaw asked in between bites of salad, "what's on the agenda for today? Did you get any news from Incendia?"
"Yeah, she told me to bring you back
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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 13
Antipodes
Chapter 13
By PK
Jigsaw simply stared in shock and horror at Cerulean. It was undoubtedly the same pony, though she appeared to have aged twenty years since their escape from the library—her fur had lost its lustrous blue sheen, her wings had become ruffled and flat. Her walk, however, was upright and proud, a distinct change from her simpering disposition she exhibited in Rubidium's tower.
Tiptoe recovered from the shock first. She flared her wings outward and marched towards Cerulean.
"What are you doing here?" she seethed.
Before Cerulean could respond, Incendia spoke. She was standing propped between the two ponies that had entered earlier, her leg still splayed out painfully. When she spoke, her voice was clearly strained. "We know she used to work with Rubidium. She defected to our side and gave us some very valuable intel."
"Oh?" Tiptoe shot back. "What intel did she give you that was so important?"
"Well, she told us how to find you, among other things."
Tiptoe o
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Literature
Anitpodes- Chapter 12
Antipodes
Chapter 12
By PK
Jigsaw stood on the pavement, staring up at the towering buildings overhead. He was about to speak when he received a jab in the side from one of Tiptoe's wings.
"Ow! What was that fo-" he stopped short, interrupted by Tiptoe's glare. Slowly, he began to take notice of his surroundings. His attention slipped from the architecture to his immediate surroundings to the general attitude of the ponies surrounding him. They were all walking with their heads lowered, eyes set resolutely forward. Jigsaw, with his head up and mouth open, looked very out of place. He quickly lowered his head and walked side by side with Tiptoe.
He still couldn't help the occasional glance up, though. The hyaline spires of the city extended hundreds of feet skyward—but, they were all dwarfed by the tower they had just left. It extended several times higher than even the highest building near it, thousands of feet high, piercing the sky like a needle. It appeared even more piecemeal
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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 11
Antipodes
Chapter 11
by PK
Several minutes earlier…
"Jigsaw, do you entirely trust these ponies?"
"What do you mean?" Jigsaw said, taken aback. "I haven't really seen any reason not to trust them. I was wary at first, but why would they show me something as precious as the fragment of Celestia if they were hiding things from us?"
"I don't know, Jigsaw," she said uneasily. "I noticed pretty much as soon as they let me in here. Look around. Do you see any controls for the doors?"
Jigsaw glanced around the room. The elevator shaft at the far end of the room didn't have any visible controls on the smooth glass surface. The door that had slid open to permit Tiptoe's entrance was now flush with the wall.
"Okay, you have my attention," Jigsaw said. "Was there anything else?"
Tiptoe lowered her voice. "Have you actually seen any other ponies besides the blue and red ones? I walked through several floors of this place and the only ponies I saw were outside the tower. I think we're being he
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Literature
Antipodes- Chapter 10
Antipodes
Chapter 10
By PK
Tiptoe's eyes fluttered open. She was surprised to find herself lying on a comfortable mattress in a lavishly decorated room. The red hoofprint and R motif was everpresent on the walls. A strange, shimmering blue light shone in through a window on the left of the room. Tiptoe approached it and gasped.
The city spread out beneath her. Rows upon rows on smooth, elegant-looking white towers spread out directly below her. As she looked farther out, however, the buildings became more blocky, less clean, and less well-kept. At the edge of the line of buildings were little more than run-down shacks. On either side of the strip of buildings was green farmland, with buildings sparsely placed in rows. A shimmering blue shell of energy surrounded the entire city. Tiptoe stared out at it, taking it all in. A quiet ding and a hum emanated from the door at the front of the room, and a very small, bright blue pegasus walked in, a wide smile on her face.
Tiptoe reacted insta
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