"Behold, comrades, the power of Steelhide's influence, turning ally upon ally. The plan does not change. I know full well what I ask of you now. To face the nigh possibility of fighting those we came to trust as our allies. But the goal is clear. Steelhide must be stopped, at all costs. When we arrive to the capitol, avoid the dragons, but we must assume we are now enemies to the General. Avoid their kind if you can, but do what you must to push on."
This is it gentlecolts; the final hour. Let what we do here go down in history."
Sentinel removed the chain from Aether, and used a length to envelop his body, covering his armor, legs, mane, and tail in fire. He reared up, and roared to his army.
"To the Capitol, Comrades! To war!"
::Steelhide sat upon his throne in the Elder Council's circle, looking down at the Crown of the World. Massive stone buildings stretched on for dozens of miles, lining trenches, ravines, and gorges filled with alcoves that the city's population called home. It was interesting; from up here, the city looked much like the eclipse overhead, a large, circular object surrounded by rays.
The first step had been done, the world was bathed in darkness. Not only that, he had won over many of the dragons that grew tired of the Council's ways. But the city as a whole did not agree with him; tensions were rising, and the city was nearly ready to turn on itself. The Crown was the most populated dragon city, holding nearly forty thousand in its borders. If the situation got any worse, it would be a bloodbath.
Steelhide sat there for hours, regaining his strength and focus when dragons started to pour into the city from the horizon, weaving past the population and diving into the military districts. It was a simple thing, but when several spread over the city shouting their messages, the population seemed to boil. It wasn't long before the first messenger had been attacked, and others drew back, gathering themselves into other districts with countless dragons. It wouldn't be long until they organized themselves.
Steelhide rested his head on his upturned palm. Civil war in the Draconian Legion. A smile crept onto his face, he was starting a war within the largest empire in the world. His old superiors would be proud.::
The army scrambled to their posts, with the majority rushing into the Esminet's massive bay doors. Engines roared to life, turrets crackled with magic, and the sirens on the Esminet blared, signaling the flanking warships to keep their formations. Sentinel turned to Aether, with a deal.
"Aether, you've done an incredible service to both our cause, and our kind. You're not enlisted in either the RG or SG, which gives you the unique privilege of a choice. I ask you to join us in this final fight, but that choice is ultimately up to you."
::Aether took a deep breath, and exhaled.::
Aether: I've fought alongside Steelhide for years, furthering his cause and damaging the world around us. I clung to the idea he preached, the utopia he was going to build. I went so far as to side with him against Equestria, a nation founded on the ideals he strove for. I've done terrible things, things I don't ever want to be known, and I took the lives of my friends and comrades during it all.
::He turned to Sentinel.::
Aether: Most ponies would have killed a monster like me without second thought. You? You not only stopped to think, you gave me a second chance. A chance to redeem myself. I'll never make up for the damage I've caused, but I'll be damned if I don't try. I'd be honored to fight by your side.
"Then prepare yourself, Aether. We're going to do a helluva lot of redeeming in next hour or two."
The pair made for the scout, and climbed in. Sentinel brought the ship to altitude, but instead of following the Esminet, he set course for the Soleannis.
"One last thing must be done."
::Aether chuckled in his seat, watching the unicorn.::
Aether: That's something I like about you, Sentinel. You've always got something up your sleeve. Gives you an air of mystery. So, what still needs to be done?
"A promise, to Lord Vulthyol. Deep in the lowest chambers of the Soleannis lie two coffins. He wants me to find them, and utter a phrase."
Sentinel looked over to Aether.
"And he made it a point I go in alone."
::Aether held his gaze for a moment, then shrugged.::
Aether: Do what it is you have to do, but the catacombs were sealed off by some ancient draconian magic. None of us could even aggravate it.
Sentinel kept his eyes on Aether, allowing a grin to creep along his face, with the amber glow of the chains making it absolutely evil.
::Aether shrank back very slightly, and raised a hoof.::
Aether: Don't make me grow hands to slap that creepy grin off your face.