Honeyfall opened her eyes, the meadow had gone silent. Tears still rolled down the filly's face, she wiped them away and looked out to see what was happening.
All the fighting had ceased, except for two stallions in the center of the meadow. It was Grasswing and an appaloosa with blue and gray wings. Honeyfall had heard enough stories about battles to know that this was the battle that decided the war. She watched as the appaloosa knocked Grasswing's legs out form under him. For a few tense seconds Grasswing tried to regain his footing, but then the appaloosa delivered the death blow. The battle was over and Sun Herd had lost.
Thunderwing surrendered by keeled down in front of the appaloosa, one by one all of the Sun Herd warriors followed their over stallion's example.
"You have brought this on yourselves, Sun Herd." said the appaloosa stallion, his voice sent a chill down Honeyfall's spine. "You lost the black foal, and in doing so you have endangered all of us. Even Snakewing is dead because of your actions."
Thunderwing stood. "How is that?" he asked.
"Snakewing and his warriors found the black foal hiding by the ocean in the Vein." replied the appaloosa. "When they confronted him, the colt crushed Snakewing's skull."
A surprised murmur went up from the gathered Sun Herd steeds. It had been moons since anyone had seen the black foal, and it was shocking to hear that the weanling who couldn't lift his wings onto his back had killed an over-stallion.
"And then your black foal called forth a beast from the sea to eat Snakewing wile he was still alive." continued the appaloosa stallion, who Honeyfall realized at this point must be Rockwing.
"No!" screamed a pegasus, Honeyfall swiveled her ears in the direction of the voice, but from where she was sitting she couldn't see where it was coming from. "I don't believe it." continued the voice.
"Bring the filly here." ordered Rockwing.
To Honeyfall's amazement two captains flew to the grandmother tree and yanked Morningleaf out of hollow near the top. They flew her to Rockwing, and dropped the filly at his hooves.
"What do you know of the black foal?" asked Rockwing.
Morningleaf sounded defiant as she answered, "He's my friend, I know he wouldn't kill anybody."
Rockwing threw back his head and whinnied. "The black foal has no friends." He paused, looking around. "This filly is loose minded, but maybe we could use her. Take her away." he ordered.
A light colored stallion hauled Morningleaf away. "This is what's going to happen," said Rockwing, "If the black foal is not delivered to me by his first birthday, your colts and all of your stallions will be killed, and then I'll divide your mares, your fillies, and your lands between the remaining herds."
Many of Sun Herd's under-stallions and battle mares started to protest and Rockwing responded by saying "If you don't like it, bring me the black foal. It's simple, really. It will be up to your mares to retrieve him, but not tonight. Tonight we celebrate."
Honeyfall turned away, the sight of the celebrating pegasi were making her sick. She backed out of her hiding place and looked around, the other weanlings were coming out to.
"Are you okay?" asked Sunstrike, who had been silent until now.
Honeyfall looked at him and burst into tears. "They're dead," she sobbed, "I watched it happen."
Sunstrike put his wing around her, and after a long moment Honeyfall calmed down. "I-I want to... see them." Honeyfall managed to get out.
The bay filly slipped out from under Sunstrike's wing. She kicked off and flew to the place where she had seen her sire hit the ground. Sure enough there he was, his magnificent bay coat was covered in blood, his navy feathers were strewn around him.
Honeyfall lowered her head and nuzzled his neck, "You promised to come back to me." she whispered. A single tear rolled down her check, and landed on her sire. "Fly straight and find your rest father." Honeyfall squeezed her eye shut for just a second then opened them again. She turned away from her sire's life less body and spotted her dam.
Brightsun was lying a few wing lengths away, and to Honeyfall's astonishment her flank were moving up and down. Honeyfall galloped to her mother's side. "Mama! Mama!" she cried.
"Honeyfall? Is that you?" Brightsun asked, her voice sounded week and far away.
"Mama I thought you were dead." said Honeyfall.
"Honeyfall, I-I need to tell you something." With a great effort Brightsun managed to sit up a bit.
It was then Honeyfall noticed the long deep gash on her dam's neck, "Mama, your bleeding."
"I know dear."
"Let me go find a medicine mare." Honeyfall stood up, ready to dash away, but Brightsun stopped her.
"A medicine mare can't save me now, I've lost to much blood."
"But mama, you promised you wouldn't leave me."
"Some promises can't be kept."
"Yes, but will you promise me that you'll do everything in your power to live a long happy life."
Honeyfall's eyes welled up with tears, "Yes, I will."
"Then I can die assured you will be as safe as you can." Those were the last words of Brightsun.
Tears flowed from Honeyfall's eyes. Sunstrike landed a wing length away from her, but she chased him away. All she wanted right now was to be alone. Honeyfall curled up next to her dam and forced herself to sleep, convinced it was all just a bad dream.