Chapter two: Spike and the unlikely friends.
It has been many years since Luna set off to parts unknown cursing the air that she would return. And so far she has not fulfilled that promise. But the thought always weighs heavy on Celestia's mind. She would sometimes try to get a feel for the world and see if she can sense her sister. She was far away usually. But lately her presence is closer than usual. She doesn't know if this really means anything or nothing at all. The only way to know for sure is to find out what's happening outside Equestria. But if she left her sister could easily destroy Equestria behind her back. Believing this she decides the only way to find out what Luna is up to is to hire surveyors to scan the world for Luna's doing and report back to her on their findings. These days she has many ponies all over Equestria to choose from for this mission. But after a bit of searching she points out the best of the best. Normally she would send a messenger to deliver such information but she wanted to send someone she could trust not to make a big fuss over what could be nothing and would prevent gossip about this particular situation from taking place.
For that there was only one. A dragon named Spike. A long while ago she was doing her annual check of the borders Of Equestria when happened to find an egg all alone without a creature to lay claim to it. She did not know where it came from and didn't want it to leave it all alone but didn't want to make the trek to where such an egg would normally reside. So instead she took the egg in. The egg eventually hatched into a baby dragon. It was of the flightless variety sometimes referred to as salamander dragons (although certain salamander dragons are known to fly as well). The bond between Spike and Celestia was similar to that of a parent and there child. Spike's relationship with Celestia is the only positive one though. Most if not all of the ponies aren't keen on Spike. Usually the reasons vary. He takes up Celestia's important time; He's useless and doesn't assist in the daily rituals of Equestria. He's not a pony of any sort and therefore he doesn't belong in Equestria much less in the kingdom that Celestia resides in. Not all ponies feel this way but many do and they tend to make it clear to Spike that they don't like him. And Spike has very much noticed and reacted to this behavior most of all.
Learning that Celestia wanted Spike's presence he made haste to come to her aid to fulfill whatever request she desired.
“You needed me princess?” Spike said as he pushed the doors open just enough to enter in. “I did indeed request for you Spike. How are you doing today?” Celestia said as she used her powers to close the door behind him. “I'm doing okay. Is that what you wanted to know?” Spike said sort of confused as he thought the situation was urgent. “I always want to know how my Spike is doing. But I do have other concerns and requires your position for them to be done most successfully.” She said while Spike got closer to her. “Really, what do you need me to do?” Spike asked with a face full of interest. “I need you to gather some ponies and assist them in a survey.” Celestia said. “Really, okay if that's what you want. Where do we go?” Spike said trying to hide his displeasure at the thought of interacting with ponies. “I want you and the ponies of my choice to travel beyond Equestria.” Celestia said. “That shouldn't be to- wait. Did you say beyond Equestria?” Spike said immediately befuddled by the thought of there being anything beyond Equestria. “Indeed I did. There is in fact a whole world unseen by all my ponies and you Spike. That is why I need a group and you to head out and find out what's going on.” Celestia said with a smile enjoying Spike's confused state. “Makes sense I guess but why do we need to survey the outside world? Is there something wrong?” Spike asked wondering what the problem could be to warrant this sort of action which has never been done before. “It is nothing. At least I hope so. I just need this done for peace of mind. Please accept that as the maximum of information you shall receive regarding this.” Celestia said as she peered out her window with a concerned look on her face. “Okay Princess. I can accept that. But the ponies will badger me to death trying to figure out something a bit more solid. What would you want me to tell them?” Spike asked acknowledging the concern on Celestia's face. “Just tell them what I told you. That you are doing a survey beyond Equestria as a mission requested by Princess Celestia.” Celestia said.
“Okay then. Just one more thing and I’ll get out of your hair. Where do I find these ponies?” Spike asked. “Oh! Silly me, you will need some form of direction won't you? Here. Take this. Unfurl it to find the name and location of the pony that I requested. Check their name off to confirm that you have enlisted them. It is then that the next pony in the list will appear. This will continue till you have all of them enlisted and the scroll will disappear thus confirming that you should take the ponies back here to be fully briefed by me.” Celestia said as he made a scroll appear and floated it into Spike's hand. “Okay then. Don't worry about a thing Princess! I won't let you down!” Spike said with confidence in his voice. “I know you won't Spike.” Celestia said with a smile as Spike exited out the door and headed off to find the first pony on the list.
The first pony on the list was so close he's actually seen her couple of times despite never leaving the castle. It was a purple unicorn by the name of Twilight Sparkle. He knew just where to find her too as there was only one place she could be found, in the library. She spends an incredible time in the library reading books and occasionally testing her skills with spells. Spike walked up to Twilight Sparkle who was nose deep in reading a book. “Hey.” Spike said in an attempt to get Twilight's attention. Twilight lowered the book to see who it was. Saw that it was Spike. And raised the book back up to her face to resume reading. “Hey, Twilight Sparkle.” Spike said once again getting her attention and getting a little annoyed in the process. “What do you want Spike?” she said in a very annoyed tone. “I have a message from Princess Celestia. It's very important.” Spike said trying to get eye contact with Twilight. “You must think I'm some sort of idiot. If she has an important message why wouldn't she have a proper messenger send it rather than her royal pet?” Twilight said disgusted what at she considers an attempt at conning her. “I am not her pet!” Spike said as he slapped the book Twilight was reading freeing it of the magic that kept it in the air. “And she did send that message. I have the proof right here!” He said as he pulled the scroll out from behind him. Twilight grabs the scroll with her magic bringing it closer to her face. She moves the scroll around looking at closely and brings a magnifying glass to look closely at it. “What are you doing?” Spike said irritated by Twilight's actions. “I'm checking to see if it is a forgery. Only a complete imbecile would do something so dumb as to imitate the princess's signature but I can never be too sure with you.” Twilight said condescendingly. This made Spike upset to where smoke came out of his nose. “What, I would never do such a thing! Take that back!” Spike said as his raised voice created a small cloud of smoke signifying his hostility. “Calm down Spike. I'm going to have to take it back. Its is legitimate. It's in her magic cursive and everything.” Twilight said as she floated the scroll to Spike who snatched it from the air.
“What does the princess need me for?” Twilight asked now with her suspicion gone and her curiosity piqued. “She wants you and a few other ponies to help me survey the world outside Equestria.” Spike said making sure not too many people heard what he was saying to Twilight. “What? Outside Equestria? But there's nothing beyond the Everfree forest. That's a proven fact. Everfree forest goes on forever.” Twilight said in response to such an outlandish objective. “Well apparently there's a way through it because princess Celestia wants us to not only go through it but visit places completely unknown to anyone in Equestria.” Spike said shrugging. “Well if she wants me to do it then consider it done. Where to next Spike?” Twilight said as she quelled the questions she has about this request for a later time. “Well let me see. Our next objective is Rainbow Dash from. From, Cloudsdale?” Spike said confused as he wasn't entirely aware what or where Cloudsdale was. “Hmm, I think I’ve seen that pony around usually after thunderstorms.” Twilight said as she formed Rainbow Dash's appearance in her mind. “Soo Cloudsdale is in the clouds?” Spike said still lost on the actual nature of the place in question. “You don't even know what Cloudsdale is? This must be some sort of test of wills Celestia is putting me through. If I can put up with you I can put up with anything.” Twilight said. They exchanged harsh looks at each other with Spike's brow furrowed and smoke fuming out of his nostrils. “Yes. Cloudsdale is in the clouds. And normally we wouldn't be able to attend to such a place but luckily we can rent a hot air balloon and if we have to travel into the city I shall brace us with a levitation spell which will keep us from plummeting to our deaths.” Twilight said ignoring Spikes angry expression. “Oh! I've never been on a hot air balloon before. That actually sounds like fun.” Spike amused by the thought of being in a hot air balloon.
Although Spike has never left the castle most ponies that can't fly often use the hot air balloons to descend to the land below. Twilight despite having a house in Ponyville doesn't often visit it and thus she rarely uses the hot air balloon as well. Spike looks on as the balloon takes them into the clouds and into Cloudsdale. Pegasus ponies can be seen flying all about. Some socializing with one another but for the most part they were busy doing there endless tasks of keeping everything in season. It was the beginning of summer and thus the ponies were creating summer weather. Ponies rammed through small clouds to dissipate them and left sparing large clouds to hover over the land. A group of ponies circled around each other and took deep breaths. As they blew a gust of wind formed into small clouds that grouped together into one larger cloud. A small group of ponies wielding colorful nets flew through the sky gathering the moisture in the air and dumping it into clouds. The water poured into the clouds and made the clouds turn grey. At certain intervals the clouds would be carefully moved into a holding area to be dispatched. In a couple of days Pegasus will create a sun shower so they are gathering large slightly grey clouds and keeping them in separate pens to prevent them bunching up. In a week from now a small storm shall be dispatched so a few ponies were tasked with creating very dark clouds and for lighting they smacked there hooves together to generate lighting sparks.
A group of ponies especially talented in flight patterns tirelessly flew at high speeds in circles and other complicated curves and spins to generate strong winds that will flow through the land below to create relief. Young ponies can be seen practicing these maneuvers with veteran Pegasus. The Pegasus seems to live in giant clouds that hover over Cloudsdale. Many Pegasus can be seen exiting and entering just one. Though the skies were filled with Pegasus flying about a clearing was available for placing objects like hot air balloons safely without crashing into the fliers or the clouds.
“Let's go Spike.” Twilight said as she jumped on the clouds hoping to not fall through. Luckily she didn't. “No way, too dangerous.” Spike said as he succumbs to fear as he clenched the basket. “Don't be such a coward I used my magic on you so you should be fine. Look at me. I'm floating just fine.” Twilight said as she stamped the clouds to assure Spike. “But you said that the spell was made to work on ponies. I'm not a pony!” Spike said still scared. “Ugh. It only says that because only ponies are expected to use it not because it only works on ponies.” Twilight said as she was annoyed by Spike's cowardice. “Better safe than sorry!” Spike said as he jumped from the basket and onto Twilight's back. “Hey! What's the big idea?” Twilight said immediately annoyed by the aspect of being ridden. “If you don't mind I’ll just ride you around till we get on safe ground.” Spike said as he settled on Twilight's back. “I do mind thank you very much! Get off my back!” Twilight said as she bucked a couple times to get Spike off her back. Spike dug his claws into her back slightly to keep from falling off. Feeling the pinch of Spike's sharp claws she stopped. “Fine, just this once. But never again!” Twilight said angry that he has to carry Spike around. “So what does Rainbow Dash look like?” Spike asked looking around. “You can't miss her. For one thing she has a rainbow colored mane. And she's always seen flying around really fast for her own personal training. I've seen her around. Namely when she ends up creating rather hysterical crashes that completely destroy walls and ceilings and has hurt more than a couple ponies in the process.” Twilight said looking around for Rainbow Dash. “Oh! That pony. I've seen that girl. I like to call her Rainbow Crash.” Spike said giggling when he uttered the word Rainbow Crash. “Quiet! I see her! Hey Rainbow Dash!” Twilight said as she pointed in the air.
A rainbow colored blur whirred around the sky flying around people and objects. Twilight called for Rainbow Dash a couple more times but she continued flying undeterred by Twilight calling for her. Getting irritated by way Rainbow Dash is outright ignoring her she carefully watches Rainbow Dashes flying to figure out a pattern. Noticing a small pattern in her movements she conjured a brick wall to appear right in front of Rainbow Dash's way causing her to crash into it and stun her sending her tumbling into the clouds. Twilight makes her way to where Rainbow Dash crashed landed all the while Spike was laughing at the whole display uttering Rainbow Crash once again for his own self amusement.
Twilight looks at Rainbow Dash who appeared knocked out. Rainbow Dash opened her eyes and sprang up with a very angry expression. “It was you who did that wasn't it?” Rainbow Dash said accusingly. “I was trying to get your attention.” Twilight said. “With a brick wall?!” Rainbow Dash said as she rubbed the bump on her head. “Seeing as you crash through things all the time I would have assumed you'd be at least a little immune to something like that.” Twilight said. “What sort of pony do you think I am?” Rainbow Dash said angry at Twilight's assumption. “A pony that crashes into things a lot.” Spike said finally calming down enough to interact in the conversation. “What's with the overgrown lizard?” Rainbow Dash said acknowledging Spike who was still sitting on Twilight's back. “The name is Spike and I'm not a lizard I'm a Dragon.” Spike said having his happy demeanor ended by the insult. “Semantics, Lizards and dragons are both reptiles. Not that anyone but you cares.” Twilight said to Spike who wasn't happy to hear Twilight's words. “We needed you to stop flying around so we could speak to you.” She said now ignoring Spike altogether. “And you couldn't wait till I got done? Didn't you see I was practicing my flying?” Rainbow Dash said getting up close to Twilight's face to press her point. “We don't have all day to let you practice crashing into things.” Twilight said undeterred by Rainbow Dash's attempt at intimidation. “I do not practice doing that! I'm training to be an experienced flier like the Wonderbolts!” Rainbow Dash said as she pointed towards the Wonderbolts who were busy creating intricate maneuvers. “You think you can fly as well as those guys? Not only is that mostly unlikely it's definitely not possible.” Twilight said. “I can't be as good as them as long as jerks like you are always in my way!” Rainbow Dash said looking to be a couple steps away from throwing a hoof punch at Twilight. “The only thing getting in your way is all these objects that happen to exist while you tear through the sky like a sugarcoated maniac.” Twilight said uncaring of Rainbow Dash's aggressive stance. “I had just about enough of your insults unicorn, if you want to start a fight with me your well on your way!” Rainbow Dash said as she smashed her hooves together creating a spark between them. “You would want to start a fight. That's probably the one thing your good at as with all thick headed idiots like yourself.” Twilight said in response to Rainbow Dash's hostile behavior. “That's it! Take this you loud mouth!” Rainbow Dash said as she prepared to throw a punch. Twilight seeing it coming created a shield around her which absorbed Rainbow Dash's attack. Rainbow Dash not seeing it coming was stunned by the shield bouncing her attack back. “If this is how you want to handle disputes than I’ll be glad to oblige!” Twilight said as she made her horn shine bright. A ball of energy shot out of the horn and straight at Rainbow Dash hitting her sending in spinning in the air. Rainbow Dash quickly recovered and kicked Twilight right in her face.
“Hey stop that! I almost fell off of you!” Spike said as he held onto Twilight's back. “Who cares, I don't even know what you’re doing here.” Rainbow Dash said still ready to throw another punch. “I'm here because Princess Celestia requested you.” Spike said as he pulled out the scroll. “The princess?” Rainbow Dash said surprised that they were here on her behalf. “Yes. The Princess Celestia. For whatever reason she wants you too join with us on a mission outside Equestria.” Twilight said. “Outside Equestria, but there is no outside, I should know. On more than one occasion I tried to fly past the Everfree forest but it just went on forever.” Rainbow Dash said puzzled by the thought. “I know but there must be a way through it otherwise Princess Celestia wouldn't request of us to travel through it. I don't know what she expects from a loose cannon like you but if she wants you then you should come. Unless you'd rather decline and continue training I'm sure she'd understand.” Twilight said with a smirk. “No way, If the princess wants it done than it's getting done no matter what, that's the Rainbow Dash promise!” Rainbow Dash said confidently. “Then it's settled then. Where to next Spike?” Twilight asked looking back at Spike. Spike opened the scroll and checked off Rainbow Dash and soon after the scrolls print changed. “Now we are looking for a. Applejack? That's a weird name.” Spike said quizzically. “Applejack, Sounds like one of those farming earth ponies.” Rainbow Dash said. “Well lets head to the farm and go meet up with her.” Twilight said as she walked back to the Hot air balloon. “Cool. See you on the ground floor!” Rainbow Dash said as she flew through the clouds and onto the ground. Twilight used her horn to float Spike and drop him in the basket. “Hey why did you do that?” Spike said, not happy with his abrupt fall. “Sorry Spike. This pony ride is over.” Twilight said as she got into the Basket and used her magic to move the balloon off the clearing and to the ground below.
Twilight Sparkle, Spike, and Rainbow Dash, made there way to Sweet Apple Acres the main source of farm for Ponyville and more than a couple adjacent areas. Indicated with the name Sweet Apple Acres is a farm where many apples are harvested. Many types are harvested but mostly Red Rome and Red Baron. During most of the year the Apple Pony family handles the farm but during season changes all earth ponies can be seen contributing. Pens for cows and chickens can be seen around the area including lambs as well. The farm animals and woodland creatures are some of the few non ponies that exist within Equestria and all of them lack the proper intelligence to be regarded as anything other than cattle or mindless pests. Despite specializing in Apples many crops are made to suit the Pony palette. Certain types of grass and flowers are considered very edible along with standard fruits and vegetables. Hay is also edible but just barely, being the food for those on a bit budget.
The group arrives in the midst of Applejack and Macintosh herding animals into there pen. Twilight calls for Applejack, she acknowledges her but waits till she can get all the animals in the pen. After she's done and Speaks with Macintosh she addresses the group. “What's a couple of ponies and uh. Lizard, doing here, you need some apples? Because we got a shop proper so you don't have to come here no more for your apples. Save ya the trouble from your busy pony schedules and what not.” Applejack said as she wiped the sweat from her brow. “We didn't come here for apples. We came here for you Applejack.” Twilight said. “Me? What y’all want with me?” Applejack asked wondering what they would want with a farm girl like herself. “Princess Celestia has requested that you come with us to go on a survey across the land beyond Equestria.” Spike said trying to put the lizard comment behind him. “Golly! The Princess wants me? For what, Beyond Equestria, She gone a little sour? There ain't nothing beyond the Everfree forest.” Applejack said confused by the information. “Yup.” Macintosh chimed. “Beyond the Everfree forest, that sounds so cool! Can I come sis can I?” Said Applebloom Applejack's little sister. “No way kid, we’ll have enough trouble babysitting Spike we don't need you too completely ruin our mission with your silly kid antics.” Rainbow Dash said pointing at Spike who gave her a cross look in response. “She's right, besides the Everfree forest is no place for a young'un like yourself.” Applejack said. “Aw man. I never get to do anything fun. I'll never get my cutie mark at this point.” Applebloom said sadly. “Kids, always raring for an adventure. Always in over there heads too.” Applejack said with a smile as she shook her head at Applebloom.
“Yeah, Cool. Who cares? Look. Are you in? Or are you out?” Rainbow Dash said completely disinterested in Applejack and her words. “Well seeing as you got places to be and I gotta be there with ya I might as well go. Don't want to slow down the rushing crowd now do I?” Applejack said in response to Rainbow Dash's impatient attitude. “Too late, Spike! Where next?” Rainbow Dash said tapping her hooves while she floats in the air. “We need to find another Pony. This one goes by the name Pinkamena Diane Pie. That's a doozy of a name!” Spike said as he looked at the directions. “Well. You heard the Dragon. Off to Ponyville!” Twilight said.
There travel led them into Ponyville and into a store known as the Sugar Cube Corner.
“Hello how may we help you?” Mrs. Cake one of the people tending the store said. “Hello, we are looking for uh. What was the name again Spike?” Twilight asked having let the name slip her mind. “It's Pinkamena Diane Pie” Spike said having needed to read it straight from the scroll. “HI!” A voice from immediately behind them said. The sudden voice took them by surprise and they turned around to run see a grinning Pink pony. “P-Pinkamena?” Spike said still shocked by the surprise. “Pft, Please, You don't have to call me that we're all friends here. You can call me Pinkie. Pinkie pie if you want and you should because I would like you too!” Pinkie Pie said with energy in her voice. “Pinkie Pie?” Spike said with puzzlingly. “Yes! Want me to spell that out for you!? Well you don't have don't have ask cause I will! It's P-I-N-K-I-E PIE! Pie! Like the food! And Pinkie like the....the uh.....Pinkie Pie!” Pinkie Pie said ecstatically. “Well okay then if you insist. We came here to invite you on Princess Celestia's behalf.” Twilight said trying to sustain Pinkie Pie's manic personality. “She wants me? What does she want me for? Wait! Let me guess! Is it for checkers? I can play a mean game of checkers. No wait I stink at checkers I always lose. No wait! I bet she wants a trombone. I can play a mean trombone. But I don't own one anymore. Not since the accident. No wait! She wants a pony! Wait. I'm a pony! Now I'm confused.” Pinkie Pie said as she hopped and bopped around the group.
“Honey, Can you calm down for a moment we are trying to tell you something.” Applejack said trying to contain her annoyance with Pinkie Pie. “What are you trying to tell me? Are you trying to tell me my fortune? Or perhaps you want to tell me what I did yesterday cause I don't remember that myself! No wait! You're here to tell me what I did last summer! Well I don't want to know! I won't fall for that trick. Again!” Pinkie Pie said as she got really close to Applejack's face. “Remind me to not eat candy. Ever.” Spike said as he was both stunned and intensely annoyed by Pinkie Pie's antics. Applejack takes a deep breath trying to contain her growing annoyance. “Princess Celestia wants you to come with us to do a survey beyond Equestria.” Applejack said happy to have gotten a word in edgewise. “Beyond Equestria, like even further than the Everfree forest. That's impossible! But then again they said it was impossible to eat a whole bag of sugar at once and I proved them wrong sure I threw up for six days and everything smelled like cane sugar but boy was I riding high for those five seconds until I went into sugar shock!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed. “That sounds disturbing and unusual.” Twilight said with a disgusted look on her face. “Okay. So the unicorn and me I kind of get and the Dragon I guess is useful and who knows maybe we need a farm girl to spit at things and yell “Get along little doggie!” at stuff but her? She's just annoying! You’re annoying!” Rainbow Dash said as she got up close to Pinkie Pie's face. “No! You’re annoying!” Pinkie Pie said as she pushed her face against Rainbow Dashes. Rainbow Dash pushes Pinkie pie out of her face and slugs her with her hoof. Pinkie Pie immediately grabs her face and grimaces. “OW! That really hurt!” Pinkie Pie said as tears came out of her eyes. “You were kind of asking for it honey you were very rude and obnoxious.” Applejack said. “Next time when I ask for something I'll ask for candy and not punches to the face!” She said as she rubbed her chin still red from the hit. “So, are you coming with us or what?” Twilight asked. “Only if she doesn't hit me again!” Pinkie Pie said pointing at Rainbow Dash. “You won't worry about me hitting you if you just shut up once in awhile!” Rainbow Dash retorted. Pinkie Pie had an angry look on her face for a moment or two but just that soon her grimace turned into a smile and she was happy again. “I have no idea what Princess Celestia wants but I’m not about to let her down. Let's fly my pretty ponies!” Pinkie Pie said completely brushing off her encounter with Rainbow Dash despite her cheek still being red. “You heard the pony. Where to next Spike?” Twilight said as she dreaded having to travel with Pinkie Pie. “The next person on our list is Rarity. She's also in Ponyville.” Spike said as he read the directions.
There travels led them to a boutique shop where clothes are commissioned and made.
Before anyone could say anything a white pony came waltzing into the room. “Oh my, what a group, you all must be heading to a gala or something are you not? Oh silly me! If you were heading to such a place I would have known ahead of time. Perhaps you just want to look nice. If it's both I can provide you with a dress to make you look your best for the best by me, Rarity, Who if you indulge the ego, is the best.” She said with a smile. “We aren't here for a dress.” Applejack said turned off by all the outlandish colors and clothing that neatly littered the room. “I would hope so! You need one most of all. I mean look at your present attire! Those weird bands on your mane, that awful outdated hat. Simply terrible! Oh! And you smell! Here. Take this. It's a discount to the spa tell them Rarity sent you and you'll get a discount and so will I!” Rarity says as she puts a coupon in Applejack's hat. “Thanks. But no thanks Rarity a working pony has no need for such prissy things like making sure ya smell fine after a hard day’s work or needing clothes you'll never wear. And my hat keeps the sun off my face. It's functional unlike your dresses.” Applejack said as she took the coupon out of her hat. “Nonfunctional? How dare you use such words of slander to describe my clothing! I'll have you know that fashionistas from all over Equestria are dying to wear my clothing!” Rarity said insulted by Applejack's words. “That's funny because no one I saw in Ponyville wears those things, probably because they aren't very fun to wear.” Applejack said now getting angry at Rarity. “My clothes are for special occasions you’re not supposed to wear them all the time. This isn't a pair of slacks or some T-shirt with a hole ripped in it you buffoon! Wearing clothes for special occasions is not only necessary. It is fun, although I wouldn't expect you to know the sophisticated pleasures of such things. You'd probably have more fun rolling around in mud.” Rarity said in a very condescending and mean manner. “Why you, I ain't about to be talked down to like I'm some bumpkin. Not every pony wants to be all primp and proper like you!” Applejack said with a raised angry voice. “Of course not all ponies want that, just the ones with a sense of taste.” Rarity said with a smirk. “Oh you've done it now. I'm about to make you break a hoof, all of them!” Applejack said now ready to hit Rarity over her words. “I'd like too see you try you unwashed philistine!” Rarity says as her horn started to glow. “Gals! Let's not fight. So you like it rough. And you like it soft. That doesn't mean we can't be friends.” Pinkie pie said putting her legs around the two ponies. “Yes it does!” Both Rarity and Applejack exclaim. “Lucky for you girls no one has to be friends. We came here to tell you that Princess Celestia wants you to join us in doing a survey in the land beyond Equestria.” Spike said as he gave a glance to Twilight who glanced back.
“Beyond Equestria, But the Everfree forest is endless. Unless. Of course! Our great princess in her endless powers is giving me and by extension you all a chance to see the outside world and soak up a bit of culture before returning where I then shall dominate Equestria with my new line of clothing based on my exotic travels.” Rarity said as she imagined all the interesting places and designs that she might encounter. “Man she's full of herself.” Rainbow Dash said. “Full? She's stuffed! It's coming out her ears and everything!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed. “Actually we don't know why we are going on this survey. No one does. But it's important and she wants you.” Twilight said. “Oh my, I must prepare! I got to get some work done, I have to find a dress and some traveling clothes, can't forget Opal I’ll have to find a sitter for the poor girl, and my sister! Oh well she can stay at her friend's house until I get back that isn't too big a problem but I'd hate to be the one to watch over her she's always up to something. Which reminds me, how does my mane look? Is it okay? Oh I wish you told me this ahead of time a pony has to prepare you know!” Rarity said as she scrambled around the room. “None of us are prepared. Princess Celestia told me just today and I’ve been all over Equestria trying to round up you ponies.” Spike said. “Gee Spike don't be so humble after all you did all the work yourself. Like when we went to Cloudsdale. If it wasn't for your skills in levitation we wouldn't have been able to reach Rainbow Dash.” Twilight said in a sarcastic tone. “You know magic Spike? That's amazing! I know magic too ya know. Well it's not so much magic as it is being able to burp the alphabet after drinking a bottle of seltzer water!” Pinkie Pie chimed. “Just go as is we don't have all the time in the world the princess could be waiting on us right now!” Twilight said. “Oh, you are right. We simply must depart ASAP.” Rarity said as she put her stuff down. “Great. Where to next Spike?” Twilight said. “All right, let’s hope this is the last pony cause if we invite a couple more I'm seriously going to explode. Oh it's a pony named Fluttershy. She's right at the entrance of the Everfree forest.” Spike said.
As they make there travels to the Everfree forest one can notice a large number of animals around the area. They run into a house crawling with woodland creatures and a yellow pony with a very demure expression.
As the group walked towards the area Fluttershy floated away from them and towards her house. “Wait! Don't go! We need to speak to you!” Spike yelled. “Oh. I'm sorry. I don't want any...” Fluttershy said as she opened her door. “We aren't salesmen. Or sales ponies, we aren't selling anything! We came here on the request of the Princess.” Spike said trying to get her to not close the door on them. “Princess Celestia? What would she want with me?” Fluttershy asked. “What does she want from any of us? In case you haven't noticed we look like a marauding band of misfits!” Rainbow Dash said. “I noticed. That's why I was trying to escape into my house. I should have gone inside when I heard you coming awhile back.” Fluttershy said still standing in the doorway. “You knew we were coming? You must have keen ears!” Rarity said impressed by Fluttershy's hearing. “The forest is quiet. Only discord breaks its silence. And you are all quite discordant.” Fluttershy said who at this point has not even turned around to face the people she's talking too. “Well excuse us for breaking up your little sanctuary. We are only trying to get you to come with us to help survey the land not that you would be useful to anyone.” Rainbow Dash said bemused by Fluttershy's demeanor. “I concur. This is why I won’t be going...” Fluttershy turning to them for a moment; when she turned back to walk into her house Pinkie Pie was suddenly in front of her. “Don't be like that Fluttershy! I'm sure if you come with us you'll have loads of fun! It will be more fun than a barrel full of ponies rolling down a hill across a lake and into a meadow made of chocolate!” Pinkie Pie said. Fluttershy was silent and just looked straight at Pinkie Pie intently. “You are. An unusual person, But you genuinely mean what you say. Perhaps; just once I shall partake in this farce.” Fluttershy said as she turned away from the door and towards the other ponies. “That a girl Fluttershy I knew you would come around!” Pinkie Pie said as she put her arm around Fluttershy “Do not touch me.” Fluttershy said as she flew away from her. “Is that all the ponies Spike?” Twilight asked. Spike opened the scroll and checked off Fluttershy. Suddenly the scroll floated out of his hands and turned into sparks of light. “Girls, Princess Celestia's waiting.” Spike said with a smile.
The ponies all enter Celestia's room and kneel before her as is customary when appearing before her. “Rise, my little ponies, I am sure you have many questions as to why I have brought you here.” Celestia said with a smile. “Yes, Something about a survey to the outside world?” Twilight said. “Yes. I have asked you all to carry out this task for me.” Celestia said as she looked off into the sky. “Don't you think you should have chosen better ponies?” Rainbow Dash asked. “No. What makes you think that Rainbow Dash?” Celestia asked wondering what Rainbow Dash was thinking. “Come on! Look at these ponies Princess! They don't know how to fight most of them don't even have any real talents and they would just slow me down from doing my mission!” Rainbow Dash said ignoring the glares she was getting from several other ponies. “Who would you consider a better candidate than them?” Celestia asked unmoved by Rainbow's low opinion of others. “As if you had to ask, me and the Wonderbolts would get things done before you even had enough time to brush your mane. If your mane can be brushed that is.” Rainbow Dash said making sure not to misstep or offend Celestia in any manner.
“I chose you. All of you, because you are the best my kingdom has to offer. You are my Paragons of Harmony. But none of you are without your flaws. Twilight Sparkle, You are the pony of intellect. Your mind sharpened by many years of reading and writing have made you an exceptional magician and one of the most well read ponies in all the land. But your people skills are lacking heavily. Rainbow Dash, You are the pony of courage. Your desire to push forward and better yourself makes you powerful and fast possibly even one of the fastest Ponies ever. But you are cocky and you are far too critical of your fellow pony’s shortcomings. Applejack, you are the pony of determination. In the face of difficulties you stand strong and move forward without anything to deter you. But sometimes you can be stubborn and backwards in your steadfast ways. Pinkie Pie, you are the pony of optimism. Your outlook on life leads to its many wonders and frivolities. But sometimes you are ignorant to the reality of the situation and to the nature of how your peers truly see you. Rarity, you are the pony of order. Your groomed and polite mannerisms leads to a functional and civilized life of classical cleanliness but often it leads only to your own vanity which can cause great harm to your fellow ponies when kept unchecked. Fluttershy, you are the pony of cunning. Forever you watch your peers constantly making sure they don't disrupt you in any way. The knowledge you have gained from watching others is frankly insurmountable even by my standards. But you have let you wary ways devolve into paranoia and fear. Do not fret my ponies. In due time you will grow and the things that held you back will not be as big a problem as they are now.” Celestia said looking at her ponies who all feel a little ashamed for themselves for there shortcomings.
Spike smiled as he saw the ponies getting a talking to but at the corner of his eyes he saw the sky outside the window darken suddenly and in the most unnatural way. “Princess, why has the sky gone black?” Spike said getting a little scared at the sudden change. The princess's eyes were filled with dread as she looked outside and saw the skies did indeed darken. “No. I thought I had more time!” Celestia exclaimed. A dark bolt of lighting struck the floor of the room just behind the ponies. At first it seemed to be a weird cloud but then it formed into a unicorn Pegasus similar to Celestia. “Long time no see my dear sister.” She said with malice laced in every word she uttered. “Sister, who is this pony?” Twilight asked completely confused by this turn of events. “Oh dear, you didn't tell them about me did you? I am shocked. And rather offended too. I would think I would earn some mention in the history books.” She said as she eyed the ponies giving them a cold glare. “My little ponies, Meet my sister Luna. She is the goddess of discord and destruction.” Celestia said sadly. “What do you want Luna?” Rainbow Dash said angrily. A dark cloud of magic covered Rainbow Dash and suddenly she was slammed into the ground. “I'm sorry but who told you that you could speak to me in such a disrespectful manner? Perhaps it is your ignorance that graces me this fine day. If that is the case then let me educate you. You ponies shall refer to me only as Nightmare Moon.” Luna said. She then lifted Rainbow Dash and smashed her against the ground again and then threw her across the room. “And let it be known that I intend to be taken seriously.” Luna said. Why have you come, Luna?” Celestia said now unhappy that Luna had hurt Rainbow Dash. I came to offer you a heads up. A warning if you will. For many years your ponies lived in disgusting peace and tranquility. But no longer shall that be the case! For some time I have been hatching a plan to take over the world and taking Equestria will be my victory lap.” Luna said with a nefarious smile. “You are powerful sister but many creatures outside my land live to wipe creatures like us out all the time or have you forgotten what happened too our herd?” Celestia said. “I have not forgotten. I will never forget. Just like you will never forget, but I intend to take over none the less with some carefully laid out plans. And oh, something a little extra; you should find this most amusing. Come to me, Emissaries of Darkness!” Luna yelled. Five bolts of darkness struck the ground around her, in it formed five ponies. But they were not like Celestia’s these ponies colors were dark and twisted. “Typhoon Rampage!” Said Typhoon. He wore what appeared to be a dark version of the Wonderbolts flying suits. His mane blood red and his eyes narrow and white and when he flapped his wings the wind would visibly twist and turn. “Brainy Mcsmarty pants.” Brainy said. His coat a dark blue and his mane white with a unicorn horn that was much sharper and longer than normal ponies. His head seemed only slightly larger than normal for most ponies and his eyeballs where pitch black. “Gimme Temptation.” said Gimme. Her coat was dark lavender and her red mane curled at the ends. Her eyes seemed normal but looking into them for too long fogs ones mind her Pegasus wings were more like the wings of a bat than bird wings. “Big Power!” Yelled Power. This pony had a dark grey coat with a black mane that was straight and just streaked behind him. His eyes a solid yellow that glowed on its own, His size comparable to mackintosh in scale but even then a little bit larger. “Dunno Maybe.” Said Dunno. His coat was pale white and his body looked anemic as if he hasn't eaten for a very long time. His mane was short and grey and his horn smaller than most unicorns. His eyes were mostly closed but what could be seen only appeared to be blackness. “You made your own ponies?” Celestia said stunned by this revelation. “Don't be so surprised sister. It was only a matter of time before I became a curator creator. With these ponies by my side the world and Equestria shall be consumed in the wake of my fury!” Luna said as she started laughing evilly and with that she and her ponies disappeared.
Celestia depressed by this turn of events slunk to the ground. Her ponies were speechless as they didn't know what to make of what they just witnessed. Everybody just sat there sad and confused. Spike looked on and thought for a moment. And then he decided to break the silence with a suggestion. “Ya know. She did say without those ponies helping her that she wouldn't be able to pull off her plan. And she hasn't even hatched the scheme yet. Kinda sounds like an opening. Ya know not that anyone is asking me or anything.” Spike said nonchalantly. Celestia's eyes widened. “It is an opening! My little ponies! All hope is not lost after all!” Celestia exclaimed. “What do you plan to do?” Twilight asked curious as to Celestia's revelation. “My little ponies, those positive traits in you are more than just idle titles. Within you all contains a great power. But it needs something more in order to do the impossible. This is why I shall grant you this.” Celestia said. Her horn began to glow and six stones began to float around her. These stones flew to the ponies fusing with them and becoming apart of them but disappearing from the naked eye as well. “W-what did you just do?” Twilight said as she looked on her person to see if anything on her has changed. “I have given you a great power, the power to taint darkness with light. But this power is not a weapon and it can only truly be used when you yourselves have grown to your fullest potential and shown me that you are truly the Paragon Ponies.” Celestia said. “I don't think I have what it takes princess...” Fluttershy said scared and unsure. “You must try my child. You simply must. For the sake of yourselves, and of Ponyville, and of all Equestria and perhaps the rest of the world as well, it is a lot to place on your shoulders. But there is no other choice. Set off my ponies! Into the Everfree and through it to parts unknown let your hearts and wills be your guide in the world unknown!” Celestia said. “Yes princess!” All the ponies and Spike exclaimed. They were then covered in a white light that teleported them to the entrance of the Everfree forest and the beginning of their Journey.