Upon arriving to Dream Valley Rainbow Dash sets off with the staff they obtained from the encounter with the Ursa Major. She goes off into the Kongming Mountains in search of Sun Wukong. Happy too see both his staff and his friend Rainbow Dash he invites her to another match but she declines. Annoyed he insists that the next time they meet it will be for keeps. As they pass by the ruined village of the horses Twilight Sparkle takes a moment to pay her respects to the place. Rarity suggests that it would a worthwhile endeavor to recover whatever is left of their legacy so even the ponies would know of them.
Sometimes when Twilight Sparkle closes her eyes she can see the village just like it was before it was destroyed. Lately though. She hears the words of someone speaking to her. “Dear child who wields the light. You're task is left undone.” The voice would say. She did not know what it meant for certain but thinking about it makes her feel ill.
Chapter twenty one: Hope
They arrived at Anthro Town and it didn't take the villagers very long to recognize them either. The creatures were rather happy too see their pony friends again. Rytonn was in town gathering supplies and decided to engage in small talk with the ponies. They talked about the stuff that happened while they were on their adventure. “And then she said “You don't have what it takes to fight so you better get going. In fact let me help you on your way!”” Pinkie Pie said as she pretended to throw something. “My goodness, she threw you? No wonder you seemed so down that night.” Fluttershy said extremely concerned. “I can't believe you didn't do anything when we met her again in the City of Light. If she did that too me I would have knocked the feathers right off of her!” Rainbow Dash said. “Aw it was over by then. By the time we got there my head was in a different place.” Pinkie Pie said cheerfully. “You gals sure are something. You look like the least intimidating creatures anyone could probably run into but you sure make fools out of anyone who thinks that! Are all the ponies in you're country like you girls?” Rytonn asks as he sits leisurely on a chair. Fluttershy takes her eyes off Pinkie Pie and notices something that she didn't expect to see. A group of ponies walking through town. “Girls, look.” Fluttershy says pointing at the other group of ponies. “Oh cool. More ponies.” Rytonn said casually.
“We found some ponies! At long last!” Sweetheart yelled as she ran up to them with the group following. “You all look very tired.” Fluttershy said as she glanced at them, concernedly. “Do you think you can help us?” Sweetheart asked. The ponies looked at each other and looked at her. “Help with what?” Applejack asked. “Tirek!” Shady blurted. Rytonn's casual demeanor faded almost instantly. “Did you say Tirek? As in Archmage Tirek?” Rytonn said looking confused and frightened. “You know him?” Bon Bon asked. “There isn't a single child in all of the Nexus Domain who isn't familiar with that name. He's like the boogeyman.” Rytonn said. “He's no boogeyman. He's real and he's turned the whole country on it's head!” Bon Bon said. “What did you just say?” Twilight asked hoping to have misheard her. “Ponyville. Is it in ruins! Our friends and families all locked up in chains or worse, turned into monsters! They got my Teddy!” Sweetheart said as she started crying. “That, that sounds like Tirek all right....” Rytonn said solemnly. “Who is Tirek?” Twilight Sparkle asked. “He's a living nightmare is who he is. Centuries ago he led his monsters and the Five Fiends on a campaign to take over the land. Countless lives swallowed by his thirst for conquest. Entire armies would give their lives just to keep him at bay.” Rytonn said.
“Wow. This guy sounds tough. Where's he been all this time if he's so powerful?” Rainbow Dash asked. “He's been dead! Tirek died centuries ago as well!” Rytonn said. “Wait. If he died then. who's taking over the country right now?” Pinkie Pie asked confused. “The better question is not who or what. Only Tirek could do something like this. Somehow. He found a way to walk among the mortals again though I doubt he is a true living creature like he was before.” Rytonn said. “You know a lot about this guy. Do you know what we can do to get rid of him? I mean like you said he was defeated once.” Shady said. “He did not die at the hands of noble warriors. He lost his life to his own hubris when he tried to summon the Red Bull to destroy his enemies. He was it's first victim. If he has returned. I don't know what anyone can do...” Rytonn said sounding depressed. “We have to stop him.” Twilight Sparkle said. “How? He's already building his army and his power is practically mythical. No one stands a chance of stopping him even the Warriors of Light stand to be overwhelmed.” Rytonn said.
“Are you kidding me with that? So what? Our only option is to wait for him to conquer everyone and destroy everything? No way! I don't care of he's the king of the boxes he's going down!” Rainbow Dash said. “Applebloom, Big Macintosh, Granny Smith...Rainbow Dash is right y’all we gotta help them there's no one else who can!” Applejack said. “You guys don't know what you're saying. I know you defeated Nightmare Moon and she was probably really tough but we're talking about a living legend lurking the land once more!” Rytonn said trying to convince the ponies to not go. “We don't have the option to run away Rytonn. Ponyville is our home. Equestria is our home. And it's in danger. So we must save it no matter the cost.” Twilight Sparkle said. “Oh I can only imagine the condition my boutique has fallen too...” Rarity said. “If the ponies are suffering I can only imagine what it's like for the innocent little animals...” Fluttershy said. “Mr. Cake. Ms. Cake... They didn't deserve to that no one does. Tirek, I'm gonna give him the what for!” Pinkie Pie said angrily.
“You're ponies we've been looking for!” Sweetheart said happily wiping the tears from her face. “I'm sorry Rytonn. But we'll have to cut this visit short. We've got to get to Equestria as soon as possible. You ready girls?” Twilight Sparkle said looking at the ponies. They nodded. “Awesome! We'll lend our help however we can!” Bon Bon said. “I don't want you to get into danger but your knowledge of what's happened to the land will be useful for us. Anyone who doesn't want to be apart of this stay here in Anthro Town. When it's all over someone will come for you.” Twilight Sparkle said. Heartstrings and Golden Harvest kept quiet. “If helping you will free the town than I’ll be more than happy too tell you whatever you want to know!” Bon Bon said stepping forward. “I can't just sit around wondering whats going to happen to my Teddy! Count me in!” Sweetheart said stepping forward. “Gusty sacrificed herself to get us here. I can do no less!” Shady said stepping forward. “All right! I don't want to waste another minute when we could be busting some heads!” Rainbow Dash said excited. “Rytonn, Why don't you be a good feller and keep these girls company?” Applejack asked. “Sure I’ll do that. Good luck girls, you'll need it.” Rytonn said.
And so the ponies set off heading straight for Equestria. Upon passing through the Everfree forest they finally laid eyes on Ponyville. The transformation was a rather disturbing sight. The land was barren and dead with all the animals having fled. Houses and buildings were torn down and destroyed.
“All that work to stop Nightmare Moon from doing this. And it happened anyway...” Twilight said to herself. “They turned the town into a prison camp. All the fillies are kept in captivity.” Bon Bon said. “The cells are guarded by one of Tirek's generals Grogar. He's really powerful though.” She said. “There's also Catrina. She's really dangerous too.” Shady said. “Hmm.” Twilight said as she tried to think of a plan. “I say we rush the town.” Rainbow Dash said. Twilight Sparkle looked at her. “We've got to defeat these guys anyways so we might as well run in hooves blazing. It's kinda dangerous but I think we can do that.” She said. “You have a point Rainbow Dash. You three. Stay at a safe distance. We'll head the attack ourselves. Lets go girls.” Twilight Sparkle said.
Bray was once again escorting another group of ponies out of their cells and to the train station when the guard alarm goes off. Bray looks around to see something out of place only to spot Twilight Sparkle and the ponies walking through the gate. “What's this? I think you mares got it all wrong! You're supposed to escape the prison not enter it, unless of course you think you're going to do some sort of rescue attempt!” Bray said as he stifled his laughter from the thought. The Troggles began running surrounding the ponies. “Ahh Troggles. Put these ponies down!” Bray yelled. The Troggles all fired at the ponies but every shot was blocked by a single barrier that Twilight Sparkle erected. “Now it is our turn.” Rarity said as she began blasting the Troggles.
The Troggles were easily dispatched as they were unable to dodge Rarity's shots. Rainbow Dash immediately rush Bray. She smacked him in the face with her hoof and followed up with an knee slam sending Bray cartwheeling onto the ground. Applejack ran up to the ponies who were chained up and smashed their chains with her hooves. “Get on out of here and find a safe place to hunker down!” Applejack said. Grogar burst into the area furious with all the noise going on. He looks at Bray who is lying on the ground. He looks at the ponies. “More nonsense from unruly ponies eh? I'll put you mares in your place!” Grogar said. He began firing blasts of energy at the ponies. Twilight Sparkle erected a barrier to protect the ponies from the attack. “Oh I see. Tougher than the average pony eh? I'll fix your wagon!” Grogar said snarling. Grogar's horns glowed as dark columns raised around Twilight and Rarity. As the columns lowered around them they began to feel as if they were being crushed.
His attack was interrupted by Applejack who rammed into him breaking his concentration. Fluttershy pushed Applejack out of the way of a blast of magic that almost hit her. It wasn't Grogar who made the attack it was Catrina who entered the area. “You were right Rep. It seems as though Grogar's men are being outmatched. Very well. Rep and I will assist you Grogar, it seems you really need it.” Catrina said her hands glowing. Rep transformed into a large muscular creature similar to a large ogre.
Catrina began shooting at Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. Fluttershy dodged the attacks and started flying straight for Catrina. Her eyes began to glow and she shot Fluttershy taking her by surprise. Rainbow Dash smashed her hooves together generating Electricity she then shot bolts of lighting at Catrina. Rep grabbed Rainbow Dash out of the sky and began crushing her. Rarity shot Rep in his face causing him to leg go of Rainbow Dash. Rainbow Dash immediately began flying around Rep hitting him in random areas as he desperately tried to grab her. He transformed into an octopus and grabbed Rainbow Dash wrapping her up in one of his tentacles. Rarity began charging her energy only for it to Attract Catrina's attention. She began shooting Rarity with her eye beams only for Twilight to block it by forming a shield around her. Catrina pointed her hand ready to shoot Twilight only for Fluttershy to grab her wrist with her tail. She quickly jerked it sending Catrina off her feet and face first onto the ground with her wrist wrenched. Fluttershy was then grabbed by Rep who wrapped her up as well. Rarity blasted Rep with the purification beam.
The blast singed Rep causing him to turn back to normal Freeing Rainbow Dash. Before Rep could shake the attack off of him Rainbow Dash decked him sending him onto the ground. Meanwhile Pinkie Pie and Applejack fight Grogar. Applejack and Grogar butt heads trying to overwhelm the other through pure strength. Unable to gain any ground physically Grogar zaps Applejack right in the face. The attack stuns Applejack blurring her sight temporally. Grogar charged her only for Pinkie Pie to intercept. She rammed into her just hard enough for him to lose his footing and miss Applejack. Grogar put his attention on Pinkie Pie and started shooting at her. Pinkie Pie dodged out of the way and countered with a headbutt. The hit stopped Grogar's assault but it hurt Pinkie Pie more than it did him. Pinkie Pie winced in pain for a moment but it was just enough time for Grogar to quickly Headbutt her knocking her onto the ground. Grogar prepared to stomp on Pinkie Pie only for Applejack to ram into him. This knocked on his side. Before Grogar could get up fully Applejack bucked him knocking him back onto the ground again.
“I will not be made into a fool by some lowly mares. I am done playing games with you. I will crush you like the bugs you are!” Grogar said as he got up. The bell on his neck began to shake violently ringing all the while. Dark energy began to surge around him. “My Rep...y-you detestable equines! You will pay for harming my Rep!” Catrina said. She then quickly grabs a vial with Witchweed in it from her person. She pops the cap open and gulps it down. Her body began to glow and she began larger in size. “Raahh! Feel my wrath, Prismatic Spray!” Catrina yelled as she conjured a shining blast of multicolored light at Rainbow Dash, Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, And Fluttershy. Grogar let loose a wild torrent of dark lighting wildly striking in the general area Pinkie Pie and Applejack were in. The rays of light blinded the group with blast. The ray burned Twilight Sparkle, Singed Rarity, Electrified Fluttershy, and turned Rainbow Dash to stone. Applejack and Pinkie Pie were unable to dodge all the shots and were struck by a few bolts.
The ponies were in real bad shape after that attack. Grogar and Catrina chuckled to themselves as they felt they had successfully brought their fighting to an end. Despite being turned into a statue Rainbow Dash started moving all on her own. Light began to shine through the cracks in the statue. All at once she burst out of the statue and appeared in her Paragon form. “Don't let these chumps get the better of us! They'll rue the day they pushed our friends around!” Rainbow Dash yelled. Her words flooded the hearts of her friends and filled them with renewed strength. The other ponies began changing into their Paragon forms as well.
Catrina and Grogar was flabbergasted by this performance. “What the, what sort of trickery is this?” Grogar asked confused. “How about I give you a little demonstration?” Applejack said. She raised her front legs into the air and smashed them against the ground. The earth cracked towards Grogar. The cracks quickly spread around the area he was standing in and in a blink of an eye the landmass popped up sending him flying into the air only to roughly hit the ground. Before he could get back up Pinkie Pie rushed him pummeling him rapidly.
“Catrina began blasting the ponies only for Twilight Sparkle surround them in a bubble of energy that absorbed the blasts. Twilight then created an orb of light. She then pointed at Catrina causing all the shots Catrina made previously to fly straight at her. Unable to escape the shots in time she struck by the full volley of her own attack. Rarity floated into the air with her butterfly wings. She created a cloud of sparkling dust with the flapping of her wings. The dust cloud hit Catrina. The cloud blinded her and caused her skin to burn like she had a terrible rash. She also began coughing raucously. She rapidly lost her strength to the point to where she passed out before the cloud of sparkling dust faded away.
Grogar lost the strength to fight as well as Pinkie Pie's constant pummels wore him out.
“Y-You really did it...” Sweetheart said as she walked up to the ponies. “Are you girls really ponies? I've never seen anything like what you girls have done before.” Bon Bon said. “Well. I guess you can say we're a little abnormal.” Pinkie Pie said with a smile.
The ponies soon transformed back feeling quite winded and tired from the excursion. Their weariness from the battle didn't stop them from freeing the ponies in Ponyville. Applebloom rushed to Applejack hugging her tightly. “Sis, You're alive!” Applebloom said tearfully. “Of course I was. You think I'd let myself fall down somewhere when there's a little sis out there waiting for me to return?” Applejack asked petting Applebloom's head comforting her. Sweetie Belle Ran up to Rarity happy to see her again. “Rarity, did you guys really free us?” Sweetie Belle asked. “Quite so my dear sister. Though it got a little dicey we have freed the ponies of Ponyville although there are other lands to consider. I hope you aren't upset when we take off yet again to free some of the other areas in Tirek's control.” Rarity said. “Do you think you can turn our parents back to normal?” Sweetie Belle asked. “I. I believe it is only a matter of time till I accomplish such a goal. With my friend's help of course.” Rarity said looking towards Twilight Sparkle and the others. “You said normal ponies were turned into monsters by Tirek's magic?” Twilight Sparkle asked as she inspected a defeated Troggle. “Yes. Tirek used some dark aura he would coat ponies in. It was one of the first things he did when he got here.” Bon Bon said. “Dark aura. Hmm.” Twilight Sparkle said. “What are you thinking?” Bon Bon asked. “I think I have an idea on how to reserve this spell.” Twilight said. Twilight made her Tiara appear and began to channel energy. A light pierced the darkness and the jewel in her tiara began to glow brightly. She then released a wave of light around the area. The Troggles began to morph back into the ponies they were before. Catrina turned into the Mayor, Rep turned into Ms. Cake, Bray turned into Teddy, and Grogar turned into Cheerilee.
“Whoa!” Sweetie Belle exclaimed amazed by Twilight's abilities. “See, what did I tell you? Didn't take very long at all did it? Surely our magic will restore our pony friends and turn them back to normal. Our parents will be back to annoying us in no time.” Rarity said cheerfully. “Mom and Dad never annoyed me.” Sweetie Belle said. “Oh. Right, that's just me...” Rarity said. “We can't waste too much time here Twilight. What's the plan from here?” Rainbow Dash asked. “The whole country is in peril so it's hard to say on where to go next. Bon Bon?” Twilight Sparkle said looking to Bon Bon. “Well there is a train that comes by and takes ponies to be either transformed or taken somewhere else to be used as slaves.” Bon Bon said. “Speaking of trains there's a really weird train that comes by every now and then. It's a small train that moves really fast and doesn't seem to need to run on the tracks to get around. It always draws attention when it arrives so it usually passes through without stopping.” Shady said. “A fast train that doesn't run on tracks to get around...could it be?” Applejack said to herself. “What are ya thinkin' sis?” Applebloom asked. “I'm thinking that I want to see this renegade train rider.” Applejack said. “Who drives the normal train?” Twilight asked. “I think it's a couple of Raptorians. More monsters to change back into normal ponies so I guess that shouldn't be too much of a handle for you girls.” Bon Bon said. “Where do the ponies that get transformed sent?” Fluttershy asked. “I don't know. They are sent somewhere but I don't really know where.” Bon Bon said shrugging.
“Lets keep those questions for our train driving pal. I reckon if he drives his train around this area he probably does the same to all the other places and could more than likely give us a proper status report on to the other parts of the Equestria.” Applejack said. “Exemplary idea Applejack! We should do just that.” Rarity said. “All that leaves is Cloudsdale. I won't waste any time and go see what's become of it.” Rainbow Dash said. “Would you like me to help you?” Fluttershy asked. “Sure, I'd be glad to have you help me out.” Rainbow Dash said with a smile. Fluttershy smiled and nodded. They both took to the skies and began flying to Cloudsdale.
Spitfire and Soarin' began another rescue attempt but things didn't go down as well. Arabus managed to grab Spitfire sending the whole plan awry. The Stratadons surrounded Soarin' and the rest of the group. “Spitfire, hang in there buddy we'll get you out of there!” Soarin' said as he fended off the Stratadons. “No Soarin' it's too late for me. You gotta get out here before it's too late.” Spitfire said quickly losing strength. Spitfire let out a painful cry as Arabus shocked her. Arabus laughed at Spitfire's pain. Suddenly a streak of lighting severed Arabus's arm breaking his grip of Spitfire. Having lost the strength to fly Spitfire began falling but was quickly picked up by Fluttershy. Fluttershy laid Spitfire down on a cloud. “What, how did you?” Spitfire said woozily. “Don't worry Spitfire we'll handle it from here.” Fluttershy said patting Spitfire on her back. Rainbow Dash appeared in front of Arabus. “So you're the punk that's hurting the ponies of Cloudsdale huh? We'll put an end to that!” Rainbow Dash said her body still charged with electricity. “Soarin' I’ll handle these monsters all right? You just take the others and go somewhere safe.” Fluttershy said.
“Are you sure?” Soarin' asked concerned. Fluttershy flew up to him and gave him a rather odd look. Soarin' blinked his eyes trying to process his familiarity with the stare. It came to him but before he could say anything Fluttershy stopped him. “Get going now Soarin'.” Fluttershy said. Soarin nodded and gave the signal for the group to depart. The Stratadons put their focus on Fluttershy. Fluttershy artfully dodged there attacks causing them to smack into each other. She grabbed one by it's tail and smacked it into the other.
Arabus laughed as he shot bolts of lighting at Rainbow Dash. She didn't bother to dodge the attack as it didn't hurt her in the slightest. “Pft. Let me show you how it's done!” Rainbow Dash said as she smashed her hooves together. Electricity arched around her hooves as she dashed towards Arabus punching his body her electricity violently surging through him setting some parts of him on fire. The attack surprised him and he quickly put himself out. Before he could attack though Rainbow Dash charged through his head making a whole in it. He quickly recovered and started shooting hail at Rainbow Dash. Rainbow Dash charged through the hail covering her face with her hooves. She went straight through the hand that shot the hail. Arabus jerked his hand back. He recovered and started generating hurricane winds. This made her lose control of her flight for a moment but quickly recovered and started flying through the winds. Arabus then began focusing his wind blowing on Rainbow Dash.
At first Rainbow Dash was at a standstill with Arabus but she remembered Fluttershy's words and closed her eyes and focused her strength channeling the elements around her. In this state she started getting blown away by Arabus's wind but in the blink of an eye she rocketed towards him at blinding speeds creating a rainbow trail behind her. Arabus's wind was unable to stall her in anyway and she charged through him. Light and rainbows began to erupt out of his body causing him to explode like a rainbow colored bomb. Rainbow Dash continued flying across the sky causing the dark clouds that darkened the ground below to disappear and leaving in it's wake a great rainbow. The rainbow could be seen all over Equestria. For Tirek and his creatures this was a confusing sight but for the ponies it was a sign that not all hope was lost.
Rainbow Dash transformed into her Paragon form and let out a wave of light turning the Stratadons back into ponies and turning Arabus back into a pony. The energy that Arabus absorbed was let go and returned to the pegasi restoring them to normal. Rainbow Dash sat on a cloud completely tired out by the experience. “That was simply wonderful Rainbow Dash!” Fluttershy said happily. “Ya think so? I really in the zone.” Rainbow Dash in between deep breaths. “You should rest here for a bit. I'll head back to Ponyville and let Twilight Sparkle know what we accomplished.” Fluttershy said. “Sounds like a plan.” Rainbow Dash said putting her head down.
Fluttershy flies back to Ponyville in search of Twilight Sparkle. The train has apparently pulled in and they've dispatched the creatures who were riding it and turned them back into ponies. Applejack stands at the edge of the train station looking for the rouge train that passes through. “Applejack, Where is Twilight?” Fluttershy asked. “Oh hey there Fluttershy. She's in the train figuring out how the stuff in there works and whatnot.” Applejack said still looking for any sign of the train.
After a few hours of waiting she saw the train at a distance. It was compact and extremely fast and maneuverable. Eager to see the train she got out in the open and began waving towards the train to catch the driver's attention. It began driving towards the station. Applejack stood in front of the train's doors waiting for it to open. The ponies gathered to see who would emerge. It was an earth pony with a pink coat with a white mane with a blue streak in it and a train for a cutie mark. On his head was a purple conductors hat. “Finally got that train of yours working huh Steamer?” Applejack said with a smile. “Well burn my coals, It really is you Applejack!” Steamer said happily. “I was thought something was up when I saw that rainbow in the sky but I couldn’t imagine that some pony actually managed to get rid of those fiends.” Steamer said as he looked at the ponies around town trying to fix the damages. “Some ponies more like it.” Applejack said grinning. “Applejack and her friends came and kicked everyone's butt!” Applebloom said hopping happily. “You did this Applejack? Golly, I always knew you were a tough gal but I didn't think you were that strong!” Steamer said surprised and impressed. “Well lets just say that I’ve buffed up a bit in my absence.” Applejack said trying to be modest.
“I'm sorry to break up this friendly reunion but we have things to discuss with you Steamer.” Twilight Sparkle said walking up to Steamer. “Oh, ask away then!” Steamer said. “We need to know the condition of the other parts of Equestria.” Twilight Sparkle said. “Ahh. Well I have answers to that sort of question but they ain't nice answers. Are you sure you really wanna know that?” Steamer said with a frown. “We gotta know what happened to all the other places.” Applejack said. “Well all right. Many towns and villages have been pretty much wiped out. The ponies scooped up and taken away or turned into monsters while anyone else...it goes without sayin'. All that's left really is Manehattan, Appleloosa, and Canterlot Castle and none of those places are really in good condition.” Steamer said with his head tilted towards the ground.
“Appleloosa... Steamer, you gotta take me to Appleloosa!” Applejack said. “No way cowgirl, you gals managed to save Ponyville but there's a much stronger varmint guarding the town. Crunch the Rockdog is unstoppable a whole town couldn't defeat him I couldn't stomach the thought of sending you there.” Steamer said. “I know you've been through a lot Steamer. Seeing your friends like this and feelin' hopeless and whatnot. But that time is over now. Me and my friends are here now and we're gonna fix everything.” Applejack trying to reassure Steamer. Steamer sighed and smiled. “I suppose you wouldn't be Applejack if you weren't determined to get the job done no matter what. Stubborn as a mule and with twice the buck.” Steamer said.
“All right, it's settled then. Steamer will take Applejack to Appleloosa and me and Rarity will head to Canterlot.” Twilight Sparkle said. “You girls don't want to be going to Manehattan if I were you. Tirek's been in that place as of late. Weeding out the rebellion and what not.” Steamer said. “Agreed, Tirek should be avoided for now. That reminds me. Where is Tirek when he is not taking over places?” Twilight Sparkle asked. “That would be his castle. Smack dab in the middle of Equestria can't miss it. That's where he sends all the ponies to be transformed into monsters.” Steamer said. “I see. Fluttershy can you see if you can liberate the ponies from the castle?” Twilight Sparkle asked. “You can count on me Twilight.” Fluttershy said confidently. “All right. Pinkie Pie. You stay here and watch over Ponyville. We'll be returning here to re-group.” Twilight Sparkle said. “Sounds like a plan!” Pinkie Pie said happily.
And with that the ponies set off to their respective locations with Twilight Sparkle and Rarity taking the normal train and Applejack riding with Steamer.
Steamer's train makes its way to the Appleloosa and pulls up to the train station. The Lizardmen immediately surround the train station getting ready to attack whoever was inside. Applejack Jumps out and smashes her hooves onto the train station floor. The wood splinters and breaks apart causing it to fall apart under the Lizardmen's weight. “All right, time to liberate some Appleloosians! You coming Steamer?” Applejack asked looked back into the train. “You know it, a proper colt always escorts a mare in danger!” Steamer says jumping out as well.
They run around town beating down monsters and freeing ponies who were chained to their carts and contained in holding pens. They eventually find Slugger, Salty and Braeburn. Everything was going fine until the ground began to rumble. The ponies stood still looking in every direction for Crunch the Rockdog to appear. The ponies began to run as Crunch came into view. “That's the varmint I reckon?” Applejack asked. “That's right cuz, we should get running while we can.” Braeburn said. “You fellers run. I'm gonna take this varmint on myself.” Applejack said as she charged towards it. “Wait, Applejack don't!” Braeburn yelled. The Rockdog spat out a few rock monsters to attack Applejack but charged right into them smashing them into pieces. The Rockdog then slammed his front paw against the ground causing the ground to crack. Applejack carefully jumped around the cracks and kept running towards the Rockdog. Applejack jumped into the air headbutted Crunch's leg with enough force that it actually buckled.
The Rockdog quickly recovered and touched Applejack turning her to stone. Braeburn and the others looked on with dismay as they watched the Rockdog prepare to crush Applejack. But before he could smash Applejack she burst out of her stone prison just in time to catch Crunch's fist with her hooves. She had changed into her Paragon form and easily pushed back the Rockdog's fist. Crunch was stunned by this event. Applejack took advantage of Crunch's confusion and slammed her hooves on Rockdog's fist smashing it with ease. Crunch wailed in pain and confusion from Applejack's attack. Applejack gathered her energy and put all her strength into a ground pound causing the earth beneath the Rockdog to launch him skyward. Crunch fell to the ground with a loud thud and went motionless.
Applejack released a wave of light energy turning the Lizardmen back into ponies and turning Crunch the Rockdog into Big Macintosh. Braeburn and the others were completely floored by Applejack's abilities. “Well tie me down and brand me how did Applejack learn to do all those things?” Slugger said still stunned.
Twilight Sparkle and Rarity arrived at the station near Canterlot. They looked around and saw that the area wasn't being monitored in any particular manner. Twilight Sparkle walks out of the train still looking around.
“Twilight Sparkle.” A voice called out. Twilight quickly turned around to see Wind Whistler behind her. “Wind Whistler?” Twilight Sparkle said slightly startled by her sudden appearance. “How did you commandeer the train? Is there a successful rebellion effort going on or did you just escape your bonds through pure luck?” Wind whistler asked. “You could call it that although it's more like me and my friends are freeing everyone.” Twilight Sparkle said. “Friends? I do not understand. You are without friends.” Wind Whistler said confused by Twilight's words. “It's been awhile since I’ve last been in Canterlot, Wind Whistler. I have friends now and they've helped me out in ways I can't even begin to list.” Twilight Sparkle said. “Where have you been Twilight Sparkle?” Wind Whistler asked curious.
“I've been to a lot of places Wind Whistler.” Twilight Sparkle said wondering what Wind Whistler was getting at.
“Were you here when Tirek invaded?” Wind Whistler asked. “No I was gone.” Twilight Sparkle said. “You were absent for the takeover of our land? How convenient.” Wind Whistler mused. “Did you know that Princess Celestia had disappeared in your absence?” she asked. “Yes.” Twilight Sparkle said as she thought about the last time she saw her. Wind Whistler's gave Twilight Sparkle a very accusing look. “Do you know the whereabouts of the princess?” Wind Whistler asked. “The Princess...she-” Twilight Sparkle said suddenly being cutoff by Wind Whistler. “Dead?” Wind Whistler said sharpening her sights on Twilight Sparkle. Twilight Sparkle was stunned by Wind Whistler's accurate assumption.
“So she is dead....” Wind Whistler said reading Twilight Sparkle's face expression.
“What will become of us? Even if we defeat Tirek we will be a kingdom without it's ruler. Who will take her place? That fool Prince Blueblood? Our land is lost, wherever you were you might as well go back.” Wind Whistler said stoically. “I understand where your coming from Wind Whistler but I believe even with someone like Blueblood ruling over us the ponies will still be better off than in the hands of Tirek who will only lead us to death and destruction. Princess Celestia said that we were the ones who would guide Equestria in her absence. She believed in our skill and strength. But we are truly no pony special. Everypony is powerful and can shape their own destiny regardless of who sits upon the throne. Me and my friends exist only to make sure that the ponies of Equestria stand tall in the face of true peril. If you truly think Equestria is lost then by all means leave. But I will stay and fight no matter how futile it seems!” Twilight Sparkle said with confidence in her voice.
Twilight's words confused and stunned Wind Whistler, her stoic expression began falling apart as she tried to process Twilight's words. “Those words. You do not speak with thoughts grounded in logic. There’s too many assumptions, your putting faith in things and others. You are not the Twilight Sparkle I remember.” Wind Whistler said as she rubbed her head from the growing headache she had now acquired. “I'm different now Wind Whistler. Now are you done playing inquisition cause I have places I need to be.” Twilight said as she started walking away. “No, let me help you. You don't know the situation going on here. Success will be improved by 14.8 percent with my assistance.” Wind Whistler said catching up to Twilight Sparkle. “I thought you considered my actions to be flawed and futile?” Twilight said. “They are, but I feel as if. I want to believe you regardless. It's like your words have enchanted my mind. I warn you. If you are using magic to manipulate my emotions I will make sure you would regret such a course of action.” Wind Whistler said sternly.
Twilight Sparkle opted to take the opposition head on with Wind Whistler advising on where ponies were being held. Twilight Sparkle trounced the Troggles showering them with magic missiles leaving none of them standing. Wind Whistler was blown away by Twilight Sparkle's abilities. She has seen her skill with magic before but it was nothing quite this powerful. In a way it was sort of frightening. Wind Whistler led Twilight Sparkle into the room where unicorns were having their energy drained their horns were hooked up to some sort of suction device that sapped energy out of them continuously. The unicorns hooked up to it were pale and sickly looking.
Seeing her fellow ponies in such a state she immediately shot a blast at the machine. A barrier appeared over the machine deflecting the blast. Wind Whistler alerted Twilight Sparkle to Somnambula's presence. Somnambula walked up to the ponies nonchalantly. “She will sing her siren song to entrance us we must escape before we are ensorceled!” Wind Whistler said as she start flying away. Somnambula began singing. Twilight Sparkle started shooting at her but she created a barrier preventing her from being harmed. Wind Whistler and the other ponies were unable to escape in time and were put into a trance. Twilight Sparkle could feel Somnambula's voice magic in her head. It was trying to take over her mind. Twilight summoned her paragon form which helped her fight off the enchantment. She shot a blast at Somnambula. She had the barrier up but it the shot broke through stunning Somnambula and interrupting her siren song. The abrupt stop of the song caused every pony to break out of the spell. Somnambula's calm attitude was replaced with confusion and fear as Twilight overcame her siren song. She started changing the environment around the area with her magic. She disappeared as the area overlapped her own physical presence.
The ponies moved around the area and noticed that the environment was fake and that they were still in the castle but everything was covered in an optical illusion. Several images of Somnambula appeared surrounding the ponies. The ponies panicked and scrambled around the area. The Images of Somnambula started lobbing blasts of energy at the ponies. The ponies crashed into each other trying to avoid the attack that was ultimately just an illusion with the exception of one real blast that seemed to appear randomly.
Twilight Sparkle stayed calm and tried to find where Somnambula was hiding. She looked for anything that looked out of place. She began charging up her energy. When she had fully charged her energy she quickly turned to her side and let out her Sparkler Blast. Twilight Sparkle had managed to pinpoint where Somnambula was based on the patterns of the random shots genuine attacks. Somnambula didn't see the attack until it was too late and the blast sent her flying into a burned heap. Somnambula was wiped out in one shot. Twilight Sparkle created the field of light turning all the Troggles in the castle back into ponies and Somnambula into Trixie.
The ponies of the castle cheered and congratulated Twilight Sparkle for her with the exception of Wind Whistler. Seeing Twilight's Sparkle's abilities filled her with fear and confusion. “Where did she get such powers? And at what cost?” Wind Whistler thought to herself as she distanced herself from the group.
Fluttershy made her way to Midnight Castle. The area was crawling with monsters. Fluttershy decided to take a more quieter approach and darted into an open window in the castle when no one was looking. She recognized the area immediately aside from not being as dirty, it was an exact replica of the Midnight Castle she saw in the Nexus Domain. Based on her knowledge of the other castle she sneaked around paying close attention to other creatures movements. She made her way to the rooms where the ponies were being held awaiting transformation. Fluttershy quickly ambushed the guards taking them out before they could signal an alarm. She then freed the ponies letting them out. It was impossible to quietly escape with all the ponies so they opted to surge through the castle taking out the Troggle guards as a large group.
The group was stopped as Scorpan stepped in front of them. “You need to head back into you're cages.” Scorpan said calmly. The ponies fully intimidated by him start backing away from him. Fluttershy was not deterred and confronted him. “I am going to liberate these ponies. The transformations end here.” Fluttershy said. Scorpan shook his head. “I derive no enjoyment from doing this. But it must be done.” Scorpan said cracking his knuckles and flexing his body. In the blink of an eye Scorpan opened his hands and swung his claws at Fluttershy. Fluttershy narrowly escaped the slash but was unable to dodge Scorpan's follow up as he kicked her right out of the air and into a wall. Before she even hit the wall he charged for her. Fluttershy quickly ducked out the way letting Scorpan hit the wall. Scorpan however rebounded off the wall and jumped towards Fluttershy with his claws ready to strike. Fluttershy suddenly darted out of Scorpan's sight at piercing speeds. Scorpan was befuddled by the move and stopped to look around. Fluttershy came down on Scorpan's head causing massive pain to his skull and disorientating him. Fluttershy then slammed into his chest head first sending him flying into the wall. Scorpan slumped to the ground before quickly getting up on his feet. “I tried to grant you mercy. Now you leave me with no choice.” Scorpan said. Scorpan unfurled his wings and charged Fluttershy at blinding speeds. Fluttershy tried to out pace Scorpan but he was easily catching up. He started creating clawing at her when he got within arm's reach. Fluttershy tried to dodge but the restricted space of the castle walls impeded on a successful escape maneuver and she started getting slashed. Scorpan slashed one of her wings and she lost control of her flight. Scorpan grabbed her in his weakened state and slammed her against the floor pinning her with his foot and began applying crushing force to her head.
Suddenly the building began to shake. Powerful winds whipped the castle shaking it like a leaf. Powerful winds burst through the castle warping the stonework and destroying the castle windows. Scorpan was confused by this sight but then he looked at Fluttershy. She had entered her paragon state and it was obvious that this was her conjuring. Fluttershy seemingly disappeared from under Scorpan's heel and miniature tornado surrounded him. He pelted by several blows and was lifted off the air being tossed around the castle like a rag doll. And within a second the wind died and he was let go falling to the ground like stone. Fluttershy created a wave of light and turned all the Troggles in Midnight Castle back into normal ponies and turned Scorpan into Prince Blueblood.
The Five Fiends were defeated. The ponies were freed. And many of them have had the transformation spell reversed turning them back to normal. All that was left was Tirek. The ponies regrouped at Ponyville and gathered their strength. Spitfire opting to scout for them soon returned with news to Tirek's location. He was apparently still in Manehattan which was currently on it's last leg in terms of pony forces. The ponies gathered in the train and set off to Manehattan to put an end to this once and for all.