“Yes, my dear, I have traveled through many worlds after my death. Although I will admit, it was hard, and I’m sorry if it seems I’m rude sometimes. But I must be rude, cold, and mean. To keep you all safe.” nickered Thundermist, in that same motherly tone that Spiritstorm had used with Redray so long ago.
Thundermist glanced up at the sky, which was overcast. “Alright, we need to get going,” said Thundermist. “The sky is angry.”
Thundermist and Spiritstorm walked toward the old circle of pine trees. Thundermist blasted the ground surrounding her, then blasted each pine tree. The magic connected each tree and then engulfed them. They were transported to a pitch-black area; the void. They hovered for a moment, then dropped. Now it seemed they were in, not another world, but their own. Thundermist glanced around her, then saw her past self. She could only assume that it was the hour of Spiritstorm's birth.
“Starroot!” whinnied past Thundermist, tears falling from her eyes. Starroot galloped to her side and tried to calm her down. “Just breathe, it’ll be alright,” she said. Starroot had told past Thundermist to lay on her back. She did as she was told, and about thirty minutes later, a majestic white filly had been born. “I think I might name her Spiritstorm!” said past Thundermist.
The real Thundermist cantered back into the portal and went home. Spiritstorm was left standing on the soil, not wanting to see what happened next. Past Thundermist suddenly fell onto her side, and her breathing slowed. Starroot trumpeted a distress call. She waited a few minutes, but nobody answered her. “Spiritstorm, please, use your magic for good. I love you! Remember this motto: protect and defend! I know you can survive, sweetheart.” cheered past Thundermist.
Her head went still, and then she stopped breathing. Starroot broke out into tears. Spiritstorm mumbled what her mother said, feeling sad. “I know what to do about the fight! I need to go back!” she said, racing to the portal and jumping in. In only a few seconds, she was back in her world. Spiritstorm flew up to the rock outcropping and stood on it, with Thundermist at her side. Spiritstorm made herself the over-mare again because Galaxyshatter was not capable of being the over-mare. Spiritstorm, now Spiritstar, glided down to the fight.
Echosong saw her and launched off of a mare, zipping toward her. Echosong kicked at Spiritstar but missed. Now, it was Spiritstar's turn to strike. She growled, turned around, and smacked her in the chest with her back hooves. Spiritstar raised her head and screeched loudly, which was a trait from her mother. This regal screech was usually made by an over-mare calling for her herd.
She'd learned it from Tigerwhisper. Her herdmates galloped to her. One yearling pegasus blurted out. “Why did you call us? I was in the middle of picking on those stupid pegasus weanlings!” he neighed. Spiritstar rammed the yearling. “You what?!” yelled Spiritstar. The colt backed away from her, scared. “I was picking on them for not being able to fly above the trees . . .” he said.
Spiritstar advanced on the colt with her ears pinned and eyes glowing golden. “Who were you picking on?” she asked. The colt looked around and pointed his wing at Silversoul and Sagewind. Spiritstar's eyes burned with anger. “So, you chose to bully my foals?!” she neighed over the wind. The colt backed down and galloped away. Spiritstar muttered something under her breath and galloped after the colt. “Get back here!” she whinnied, galloping faster. The colt kept going and eventually tripped over a rock. Spiritstar glared down at the colt and channeled her magic, sending it blazing into her horn. The colt—tired and scared—bleated for help.
His sire cantered his way and rammed Spiritstar. She glared at the stallion. The stallion reared and struck Spiritstar's chest, causing blood to trickle down her clean white hide. Spiritstar blasted the stallion, sending him into Dreamer Lake. She looked back at the colt and saw that he was gone. “What a rude little colt,” she whispered to herself. Spiritstar spat on the ground and flew away toward her foals. “Silversoul! Sagewind! What did that colt do?” she asked. Silversoul glanced up and saw her mother's angry face.
She stuttered, hunting for words. “Emeraldwind, the colt who was picking on us, tried to beat us up, but we fought back. He's just angry because he lost,” said Silversoul. The foals were both dripping their own and Emeraldwind's blood. Spiritstar's eyes softened slightly. “I'm glad you protected yourselves,” she nickered.
Spiritstar lay down and sighed. Emeraldwind’s mom, Flameheart, trotted to Spiritstar and pinned her ears. “Why did you hurt my mate and scare my foal?” she neighed. Spiritstar stood up and lifted off, flying a lazy circle around Flameheart. Sparks popped off Spiritstar's hide. Flameheart turned her head, watching Spiritstar. Spiritstar huffed and flew away, feeling annoyed. Why are mares like her so annoying? I could kill her . . . she thought. Spiritstar stamped her hoof, angry at herself. No! I can’t do that, no matter how angry I get! she thought.
The fire of a killer blazed through her veins, cold and deadly. She knew that she had to get rid of it somehow. She flew up toward the clouds and circulated the deadly power through her horn, then shot it toward the stars, letting go of the anger that had plagued her for her entire life. She felt calmer, more relaxed.
She sighed. The destructive fire is still a part of me. she thought. Spiritstar pinned her wings and dropped toward the ground. She then opened her wings and extended them, slowing her down enough for her to settle into a fast glide. Once she was low to the ground, she fluttered down. She looked at Autumnberry and saw four battle mares attacking her. She grumbled, angry, and then galloped toward her and rammed the first attacker, who fell onto her back. She charged another mare, trying to knock her down so she could deliver the deathblow.
Spiritstar suddenly got knocked over. She stood back up and bared her teeth. Dark silver sparks flew off her hide, startling the mares. Spiritstar advanced on them and pinned her ears. The mares galloped away into the woods, where a mare named Lavastar stood. Spiritstar followed the mares and stopped when she saw Lavastar. Lavastar trotted toward her with her head high. “Hello, Spiritstar.” she nickered. Spiritstar walked toward her with her head low, ears pinned. “Who are you?” she asked, pawing the ground.
Lavastar nickered, amused in a sinister way. “I am Lavastar, over-mare of Lone Herd,” she said. The beautiful buckskin mare placed a wing over Spiritstar's back. “Imagine this, you and I, conquering this continent together. We would be unstoppable! With your strength and power, and my authority, we would rule for centuries!” she neighed. Spiritstar thought about this. On one wing, we would rule unopposed. But, on the other wing, she might try to use me for my power. Finally, she let out her breath. “I accept your offer, Lavastar,” she said.
Lavastar's eyes lit up. “Good, where will we go first? Maybe to Moon Herd to kill the steeds in power?” she suggested. Spiritstar nodded her head in agreement. “Alright, but just don't kill Tigerwhisper, Autumnberry, Silversoul, Thundermist, or Sagewind, please. They're my family,” she said. Lavastar nodded her head. “Get your best warriors ready. We will attack at dawn tomorrow.” she neighed. Spiritstar nodded and the over-mares flew off in opposite directions.
At dawn the next day, Spiritstar gathered her best warriors and they met Lavastar at Death Rock. “Good morning, Lavastar.” nickered Spiritstar, with all her warriors behind her. Lavastar returned the greeting and got right to the point. “Look, we need to exterminate all rivals and rebels, beginning with Redray,” she said. Spiritstar whistled to her warriors, and they cantered toward her.
“Get Redray up here, now,” commanded Spiritstar. The warriors obeyed immediately and surged past her. They seized the roots of Redray's wings. Redray glared at the steeds, and they dropped him in front of Spiritstar. “Good morning, Redray. I must strip you of your title. You will now be known as Redstorm.” she said, with no emotion on her face.
Redstorm glared up at Spiritstar, muttering under his breath. Spiritstar reared, her front hooves hovering over Redstorm's head. “This is revenge for trying to kill me!” she neighed. Redstorm rolled out of the way and bucked, kicking Spiritstar in the chest. I swear I’m going to kill this stupid stallion! she thought.
Spiritstar and Lavastar cantered after him and gained on him quickly. They managed to corner Redstorm by backing him into a tree. “Hey, Lavastar, I think I saw someone attempting to escape over there,” she said, pointing with her wing. Lavastar trotted over to a group of mares. She turned to Redstorm and whispered to him. “Go to the grazing stallions, Redstorm. Be lucky, she wanted me to kill you,” she said.
Redstorm nodded and galloped to the grazing stallions, trying to blend in. He ripped up the grass and chewed. Spiritstar walked over to the steeds and separated them into four groups. The southern end of Moon Herd’s territory was for the dams and foals. The northern end was for weanlings and yearlings. The western end was for stallions and battle steeds. The eastern end was for the elders.
Spiritstar whistled for the entire army. The army galloped toward her, and the captains stepped forward. She trotted to a palomino stallion and lowered her muzzle to his ear. “I want you to hunt down Lavastar. Corner her, so that I can take care of the rest,” she said. The captain’s eyes widened slightly. “Yes, Spiritstar,” he neighed. The stallion shook his head, trying to shake off the sudden fondness he felt. I need to get rid of this! I can’t have a crush on my over-mare! he thought.
The captain, Lakefire, nuzzled Spiritstar. Both their eyes grew wide. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to! I don’t know what I was thinking!” he whinnied, nervous. Lakefire looked away as his face grew hot with embarrassment, and his ears drooped. To his surprise, Spiritstar nuzzled him right back. Spiritstar liked him and always had. They’d grown up together and had always been friends. “So . . . does this mean we’re mates now?” he asked. Spiritstar nodded her head. “Now that we’re mates, do you want to be the lead stallion?” she asked. Lakefire flexed his wings. “Yes, I do,” he replied.
“Well then, Lakefire, you will now be known as Lakeray, lead-stallion of Moon Herd.” whinnied Spiritstar. “By the way, do you want to be the adopted sire of my foals, Sagewind and Silversoul?”
“Thank you, and sure.”
Spiritstar whistled for her foals. Silversoul and Sagewind galloped to her. “Meet Lakeray, my mate, and the new lead stallion of the herd,” she said to them. They trotted to Lakeray and tugged on his mane, wanting to play. The stallion leaped and tagged Sagewind. He cantered away and let the weanlings tag him. Spiritstar blasted Lavastar, sending her miles away. Spiritstar reared and lifted off.
She soared back to her family, touched down, and then hugged them. Lakeray gazed at her eyes, which were shining in the moonlight. Lakeray nuzzled her, then curled up with the foals, soon falling asleep. She sighed, feeling content, then lay next to her foals, falling asleep.