"I'll give you all....." Twilight licked her split lip and stared up at the collapsed ceiling of the grand hall. Giving an eerie snicker moments later, her bugged out eyes shot back at the group of battered and bloodied ponies, each one wearing an Elements of Harmony. "...ten seconds."
She spoke in a crazed, distorted tone, like two voices were talking. Her real voice sounding 'normal,' albeit indicating what little sanity was left, and the other was like a demon mimicking her every word but was only a second off. The tip of her horn was chipped, thought it still worked just fine. She'd need it for what'd happen next.....
In a voice edged with the shell-shocked unicorn's looming insanity she explained, "And when I get to zero and you're. Not. Gone!" She took a deep, demented inhale, filling her lungs with the smoke of roaring flames sweeping over Canterlot and drifting into the torn open ceiling. "Theeeeen I'll have to, well, kill you! Yeah! Beeeecaaaauuusse.....I-don't-like-you!" She gave a psychotic cackle, making a terrified yellow pegasus shift from hoof to hoof uneasily. On Twilight's head rested the Tiara of Magic, now melted, twisted, and bent in a solidified mess with the pink gem on top bent at an awkward angle.
After another deep breath, she began the countdown, "Ten...."
Rainbow Dash set her jaw, stamping out any urge to just leap at the unicorn and beg her to come back to the crater once known as Ponyville.
The brash pegasus, her mane more ruffled than usual, winced at a sudden pain that shot through her bandaged wings.
"Don't do this, Twi." Applejack muttered to herself, knowing the broken unicorn couldn't hear her. She blinked away drips of blood oozing from a gash on her forehead. She shifted her brown cowboy hat up so she could look at her old friend right in the eye. Right in her unsettling constricted pupils, edged with a dark blood red.
"Seven...." Twilight's crazy 'Lesson Zero' grin grew wider, if that was possible.
Tears ran down Fluttershy's grime matted fur, her quiet whimpers were drowned out by the constant buzzing of the Changeling Hive overhead and the screams of terrified Canterloins. She did her best to remember keeping a bandaged front left off the ground, only sometimes forgetting and being reminded by a cruel, sudden pain jolt up her shoulder.
Pinkie Pie held her ground, but without a smile. Her normally frizzled mane was now cluttered with dirt and some small pieces of debris. The once vibrant pink earth pony was now an ugly, filthy shade of pink with her coat caked in soot and fresh blood flowing from a deep gash on her side dragged along her balloon cutie mark to her shoulder. Her icy bloodshot eyes still glistening with tears was a clear indication that she was fighting back the urge, though her trembling lips were an obvious giveaway.
"Five...." The lavender pony giggled with insane anticipation.
Rarity tightened her muscles though her face showed clear signs of pacifism. Her pristine white coat now caked with grime and burns, as well as her lavish mane no longer in it's eminent curled finish. The pair of sapphire eyes refused to look into this stranger's eyes. "Darling..." She began, staring at the small steps leading up to the insane pony.
"Fo-ur...." Twilight said in a sing-song voice.
"...think about what you're doing." She tried keeping her composure as her vision started to become clouded.
"Please Twilight....please come back to us." Fluttershy cried horribly, on the verge of collapsing.
"Two....." The purple unicorn felt her heart rate pick up. This was it! This was the moment she's been waiting for!
And from the throne at the end of the hall, behind Twilight, was Queen Chrysalis sitting in a reformed, more insectoid looking throne with bones making up the frame and coal black scales forming the cushion and back padding. She sat with her hind legs crossed over eachother and her forelegs resting on the arms of her throne.
"One...." The Changeling Queen hissed.
The Elements reluctantly held their ground, prepared to do the unthinkable if the opportunity arises. But for a moment their old friend, now lost in her own sea of misery and self-pity, broke down into angry tears, her maniacal grin faded. Her old companions glanced at eachother worriedly as the unicorn stared down at the scalded red carpet, silently whimpering.
She slowly lifted her head, revealing tear tracks engraved into her fur, "I loved you all so much..." The psychotic unicorn whispered in between a sob, right before replacing her somber persona with that of anger. Her horn, crackling with pink electricity bouncing off the serrated edges of the shattered stain glass windows, fired at jagged current of the searing lightening at the petrified mares. All the while her face was contorted into that of the mentally unstable.
Three Days Earlier......
"I could've gained a sister..." Twilight said aloud, on the brink of tears. "But instead....I just lost a brother." The unicorn replayed the last five minutes in her mind over and over again, like a broken record. She lied down on the carpeted stairs of the grand hall, resting her chin on the top step.
"How could I've been so stupid!?" She cursed herself, angry tears starting to well up in her eyes. "I could've gone to Celestia....I could've gone..." She started to weep, her gasping sobs echoed in the spacious chamber. "Why did I have to be so....so...." The young mare couldn't think of the words to describe her outburst.
She replayed the whole scenario in her mind. How she barged in like a maniac, accusing Cadence without presenting any concrete evidence, and her brother.....
"Shining Armor..." She whispered, a single teardrop rolling down her cheek and landing on the fine carpeting with an inaudible plop. "...I'm so sorry I ruined your wedding....and I'm sorry Cadence...." The thought of how she reduced her old foal sitter to tears brought forth a new pang of guilt, one that is of regret. Twilight buried her face in her forelegs, her cries being muffled only a tiny bit.
A new horror entered the lavender pony's mind, one that made her shoot her head up. What about my friends!? And Celestia!? The powerful images of her friends abandoning her, and Celestia's haunting words echoed through her mind like a lingering spirit, "I have a lot to think about." Even her own teacher was disappointed with the insubordination. Twilight couldn't bear the thought of losing everypony she held dear.
"It was an accident....a misunderstanding...." The delirious mare assured herself underneath grieves of depression. "...I swear." Twilight knew she was kidding herself, how Celestia would probably punish her for this, her friends wouldn't want to talk to her again.
How could my brother just ban me from his own wedding? She prayed to Celestia, the very goddess who turned her back on her just minutes ago, that Shining Armor didn't mean it. But she could tell from the crystal clear memories and the sickening pits of her aching heart that his harsh tongue was sincere.
"How...How could my fr-friends just abandon me like that?" She cried out, though her wails were probably muffled by the massive stone doors at the end of the hall. "I've n-never judged a pony by their-" The unicorn stopped to let out a violent cough, "their cover!" She spat angrily, hot tears clouding her vision as she stared at Celestia's throne with scorn. "And now they just leave me for...for some pony they just met!?"
Rainbow Dash, she thought with an evil grin behind her mask of depression, loyalty? The Elements aren't too picky, I'll give 'em that. Her eyes widened as she realized what was just conceived. Dear heavens....what am I thinking? Twilight became terrified at the sudden dastardly thought she just reckoned.
I should just go back to my room...and pack up. Catch the next train to Ponyville, perhaps? She had no idea where to really go. The wronged mare wasn't sure if anypony would accept her for what she's done.
The librarian somberly mulled over the scenario once more, steadily growing a tad angry. The smug looks on her friends' faces as they whisked by her, not looking back to see the hurt inflicted in her eyes. Then there was Celestia, who spoke those heartbreaking words for the upteenth time in Twilight's psyche. The mortified look from the Element of Magic did not move Celestia in the slightest as she glanced back one last time and slammed the doors shut. Her scolding glare never broke, even when looking Twilight in the eye as the double doors were encased in a harsh yellow glow. The ensuing bang that echoed throughout the chamber shattered the pony's heart.
With a heart filled with lead, Twilight Sparkle struggled to get up on all fours, her front left had fallen asleep from lying on it. The unicorn slowly turned and trudged at a snail's pace down the carpet, through the stone doors. Her chin almost touching the ground and her hoof clops were drowned out by the thick carpet.
But from one of the stained glass windows, the one of six ponies battling a draconequus, there was a certain mare spying on the convicted unicorn. She flapped her massive pink tainted wings in a steady rhythm to keep afloat, not quite used to the heavy clunky airfoils of alicorns, but they'll have to do.
The stalker hissed in a pleased tone, "Hmm.....perhaps I won't have to banish you, my dear." For a brief moment, her soft violet eyes flashed a harsh green. She turned and head back to the north tower, where she and Shining Armor were staying.
As soon as Cadence perched herself upon the windowsill, there was a rapping at the door. "Cadence? Sweetie? Please, all your friends are really worried."
The cunning Changeling Queen, having practiced this multiple times, started to cry. She's been able to do so on command so many times. 'Trying' to wipe away crocodile tears, the doorknob gave off a green glow and swung open. Standing in the doorway was her groom, the princess, and her newly commemorated bridesmaids.
She levitated the handkerchief resting on the nightstand behind her. Dabbing at her tears, she said, "Oh, I'm so sorry you have to see me like this everypony. It's just...It's just-" She collapsed into tears once more, falling onto her husband's shoulder.
He gently pat her on the back and said in a hushing tone, "It's okay hon, it's fine. I'm sure Twilight will-" He stuttered for a moment. Unbeknownst to the others, a swampy green hue in his eyes faded out as quickly as it appeared.
Gently pushing Cadence away, the colt shot her a grin and said, "I'll be sure to give Twiley a piece of my mind."
"Oh please, it was just a misunderstanding sweetheart!" His marefriend pleaded, placing a hoof under his face, secretly absorbing a small amount of energy.
Celestia stepped in the room beside him. "I think Twilight would benefit from a talk with her older brother." She said matter-of-factly.
Shining Armor smirked and gave a slight nod, "I think I'll go talk to her now, before it gets too dark out." And with that, he turned and briskly walked out the door, not sparing a passing glance with the other Elements as if he was in some sort of trance.
The sun goddess waved a hoof at the others, ushering them to come in, and turned her attention to Cadence. "Is there anything else you need, Cadenza?"
She sniffled and said in a depression thick voice, "I just want to be alone right now." and blew into her handkerchief.
Behind the princess, Applejack followed by the others smiled reassuringly, trying their best to cheer up the bride. "Don't you worry, sugarcube. As Twilight's friends, we'll talk some sense into her, set things straight." The others nodded in compliance.
And with that, the ponies vacated the room so Celestia could be alone with her niece.
"Whadda ya think we should do, y'all?" The cowpony asked as the others formed a circle at the top of the staircase just outside of Cadence's room. Spike silently twiddled his fingers, still reflecting upon the situation with his best friend and mentor.
"About what?" Pinkie Pie naively asked.
"About Twilight." Fluttershy muttered.
Rarity fluffed her curled mane, trying to keep it from being ruffled after the exhausting hike up the staircase of north tower, "Yes, Twilight's definitely got an issue we simply must fix."
Rainbow Dash nodded, "Yeah! Remember how she freaked out about the whole Smartypants thing?"
The fashionista tapped her chin, "In fact, she always has a freak out whenever it involves Princess Celestia."
The brash pegasus slammed her forehooves together, "I say we should make her harvest every apple in Sweet Apple Acres. That'll teach her to think twice about messin' with Cadence."
The orange earth pony shook her head, "Simmer down 'ere, Rainbow. She just needs a talk. That's all."
Spike actually smacked Rainbow in the shin. It didn't hurt of course, but she and the others were taken aback by the dragon's uncharacteristic action. "Spike! Chill! What was that for!?" The azure pegasus demanded in a tone that wasn't harsh, but confused.
"How could you say that about Twilight?" He spoke in a calm, yet slightly angered tone. "After everything she's done for you? Yeah, she made a mistake. But that doesn't mean she should be reduced to hard labor." He clenched and unclenched his fists multiple times, keeping his breathing steady.
Rainbow frowned, "Look, all's I'm saying is she shouldn't just go around making crazy accusations like that. It can get her in allot of trouble!" Spike rolled his eyes at the hotheaded pony's attempt at trying to seem like a good guy.
A.J. rubbed her aching forehead. Looking out one of the many windows dotted along the staircase, she found Celestia's sun set behind the calm tranquil ocean. "Look y'all, why don't we hit the hay and talk about this tomorrow?"
The others agreed without question.
A/N: Alright, first chapter. Yeah, I know not much happened. But if it did, then it'd be a really long opening. No worries, the ball will start rolling in the next chapter. And to those of you who say, 'Dur! Twilight shouldn't be crazy! The premise is all wrong, she'd forgive them!' Well, maybe you should read more an find out how she got this way!