Nightmare Moon sniffed the air, “Hm, yes, it smells suitable enough for my tastes. I am quite hungry, baker. Let's cut open this cake now!” a large, ethereal knife appeared just in front of the moon princess. Nightmare took the knife with her magic, and pointed it menacingly at the cake.
“NO!” The yellow pegasus screamed, jumping in between the knife and cake with her arms outstretched to block its path. “I… I mean it’s… not ready yet…” The pony knocked a couple times on the cake, hollow thunks resonated from her taps “See? Definitely not ready” the baker gave an apologetic smile. Her eyes darted around the room wildly, before her hoof tapped on the cake again much more rapidly.
“Yes, I see what you mean, not ready at all. If no cake, then I will simply have to appease my appetite with one of my numerous slaves” Nightmare waved a hoof back to Twilight and Sunny as she licked her lips greedily.
“No! No… um, we just need to wait for...” The small fidgeting pony hid half of her face behind her hair as she scuffed the ground absentmindedly with a hoof. Half a minute of awkward nervous silence passed in the room while Nightmare waited for what this pony was going to say next. The baker looked around the room even more nervously than she was before; the ponies watching thought she was liable to faint any second.
The cake rattled. The pegasus let out a quiet squeak, and ducked behind it. Nightmare and her entourage watched dumfounded as the large cake shook a couple more times, nearly tipping itself over. Muffled words could be heard coming from inside the cake, it almost sounded annoyed.
“Baker… one thousand years have left me quite un-knowledgeable on current pastry dynamics, will the cake be done when it stops shaking and cursing?”
The cake exploded revealing a freckled orange earth pony with a blond ponytail mane standing in its broken midst.
“Yup!” Boomed her echoing response. “But we best not spoil ye’r appetite with sweets!” the earth pony bucked the remaining pieces of the nearby crumbling cake at the shocked princess. Nightmare awkwardly deflected the hardened icing projectiles as she was forced back to her throne. “Have some good ‘ol apples instead!” the orange pony lifted a couple apples out of her saddlebags and with practiced precision launched them lightning fast at the princess’s head.
The dark alicorn ducked leaving the apples to fly through her flowing mane. They hit the head of her throne leaving small apple craters in the apparently soft metal. “The Elements of Harmony!” Nightmare sneered “I should have known you would be coming to rescue your precious little friend eventually.”
Twilight’s ear’s perked up. They… they came to rescue me...? The thought hadn’t even crossed her mind.
“Really, Pinkie, the next time you encase us in a shell of icing, Celestia forbid we ever do this again, it would be good of you to include a door of some sort. Thank goodness Applejack was able to, ‘ahem’, accommodate us with an exit.” A white unicorn with purple curled locks huffed as she used her magic to move the remaining pieces of the cake away. Inside the faux confectionery sat three ponies and one delectably bizarre machine the likes of which most would never have seen.
“Sorry Rarity, I always forget to put doors on these things. And let me tell you some of those ponies have been pretty peeved at me afterward! I never got why they wanted to put a filly in their cake to begin with but the customer is always right I suppose.” the pinkest of ponies giggled in reply. The bubbly filly sat in the middle of the strange apparatus, a strap of licorice secured her to a seat of chewy gummy gum drops. Her hooves rested on pedals of hard candy cane that matched its gears and frame which connected in seemingly random points; and propeller that topped the entire machine. The base of the crafting housing only the finest of, wooden planks... The platform had been a last minute adjustment to the craft to accommodate the extra passengers. There would have been gingerbread or something if the pink pony was given more time.
“Quiet girls” The stetson wearing pony ordered “we got a job ta’ do.” The earth pony turned her steely gaze to the dark princess “you’re right, we’re here ta’ take our friend back. Might as well take that other little filly you got holed up in here as well while we’re at it” the blond pony waved a hoof in Sunny’s direction. “So how ‘bout you just give us what we’re after, and we won’t have ta whoop your dark… evil… as-”
Nightmare’s menacing laughter cut her off “Assuming that you’re even powerful enough to harm me, what makes you think Twilight wants to go back with you at all?” Nightmare dissipated and reappeared next to Twilight, grabbing the unicorn and clutching her close to her black chest. The princess petted Twilight’s blue and pink streaked mane with a hoof “oh the things that I have made her do. Oh, the things that she’s willingly done!” Nightmare grasped the purple unicorn tighter. Closing her eyes the princess let out a satisfied moan “mmm, it’s always the quiet ones. Isn’t that right, little yellow one” Nightmare shot the pegasus pony her most alluring bedroom eyes. The baker squeaked, and hid behind the pink earth pony in response.
Twilight looked on horror-struck at her friends who were glancing away, rubbing the back of their heads, or coughing uncomfortably “Mhmm! Mmmhmmm!” Twilight furiously shook her head, trying to pry free from the moon queen’s vice like grip. “Mh hmm hm hmhm!” She mumbled through her muzzle ineffectively.
“See, look, she doesn’t even want to go back! None of you could love her the way I do… well, maybe if you ganged up on her, and had a whole lot of-”
“Don’t worry none Twilight, we’ll get you out of here and away from that old witch!” Applejack mocked, picking up another set of apples to buck.
Nightmare dropped an exasperated Twilight to the ground. “Oh? And how do you expect to do that my little farmpony?” The princess strode threateningly towards the group of rag-tag mares. “Are you going to toss more apples at me?”
Applejack met Nightmare’s eyes with a determined glare and a smug grin. “When the time comes, yeah, ‘ah will. But first ‘ah just need ta get ya’ away from that pretty throne of yours”
The princess looked back at her throne, annoyance playing across her face “What are you-”.
“It’s called a distraction!” A cyan pegasus with rainbow streaked hair boisterously called while lazing atop the elegant seat. Sunny and Twilight stared, just as surprised at the rainbow pony’s entrance. “Not that I needed a distraction to sneak past you” the haughty pony hopped down from her resting spot. Landing between Twilight and Sunny the mare struck an intimidating pose “now, ladies, grab my hooves and we can blow this oatsicle stand”. The two awestruck ponies obliged their rescuer, mouths hanging open in awe… or rather, their mouths would be hanging open if they were both able to.
Nightmare Moon’s mane crackled with sparks of magic, anger boiling within her “you think I’m going to just let you-” an apple struck her dead center on the back of her head, interrupting her tirade. The princess stumbled, attempting to get her eyes under control while they spun madly in her head.
“And that’s where m’ah apples come in. Not a bad toss for a 'farmpony' huh?” Applejack smirked at the disoriented Nightmare Moon. The cyan pegasus now hovered just above the group of ponies and their candy contraption.
“HAHA double distraction! Eat those apples! I bet those didn’t ap-peal to ya’! Maybe we should call a-”
“Rainbow, hush sugarcube.”
“Oh fine…” Rainbow Dash moaned, gently setting down Sunny and Twilight onto the platform.
“Oh, uh, thank you very much for… flying me over here” Sunny nervously stammered.
“Hah, like I’d leave you here with that creepy… creep! The Dash leaves no pony behind!” the pegasus boasted as she took a seat just behind Pinkie.
“Oh gosh, you’re amazing!” Sunny marveled, eyes sparkling at the cyan pony.
Rainbow puffed up at the compliment “yeah, yeah I am aren’t I?”
“Shoot, like she needed a bigger ego” The orange earth pony chided.
Pinkie giggled “gee Dashy who’s your new friend?”
“I’m afraid introductions are going to have to wait until later, Pinkie. Though I think we already know who are new guest is” Rarity looked down to Sunny’s cutie mark and scrutinized her wings and horn.
“We do?” Chirped a pink voice.
“Quite. Now let’s not delay our departure. Pinkie, if you would, I think it’s time we take our leave” Rarity said with a scoff. The mare looked back at Nightmare to see that she was just shaking off the force of the apple.
“Oky doky loky!” Pinkie saluted and slammed a hoof down onto a small peppermint button. The machine whirred and clicked, the propeller at the top split open to reveal two large candy fans that sprang out, reaching just past the platform. The new propellers resting just above the ground spun into life, smoothly lifting the craft and its seven pony occupants off the ground. The pink pony straightened her pink flight cap and goggles and yelled with a large grin, “let’s fly!”
Nightmare Moon’s cackle filled the room “oh bravo, you managed to gather up all your little friends in one spot. How kind of you, I was going to seek you out and end you myself, but here you all are, presenting yourselves to me on a candy platter!” the moon princess’ hair grew rigid, forming together into long spears that grew from the enchanted star mane.
Rarity stepped to the front of the hovering platform, nudging Applejack to the side “I do believe it’s my turn now.” The unicorn opened her own bag, and brought out half a dozen gems of varying size and color, hanging them in the air around the craft with her magic. “I may not have much raw power, but what I do have…” the white pony smirked, her horn glowing brighter. The gems in the air twirled in place. Whipping through the air they blurred, gaining speed. Rarity flung her hair behind her, a sparkle shining in her eyes, “… is style!” The unicorn sent a sharp charge of magic through her horn into each of the gems, lighting them up in an incredible display of beauty and grace. They spun, and they glowed, and a small corona of magic enveloped each one with their respective colors.
Nightmare growled and shot one of her spears straight at the white enchantress. The magical mane collided with one of the spinning gems instead. A loud crash of metal upon metal resounded in the room as the spear was obstructed by the jewel’s glowing shield of light. A small tilt of the gem and the spear was deflected into one of the stained glass windows adorning the hall.
“There’s our exit girls!” Rarity yelled, not taking her eyes off of Nightmare for a second.
Pinkie Pie worked the pedals even faster, her hooves turning into a pink spiral blur. The hovercraft lifted higher off the ground. Rainbow Dash, taking her cue in the back seat, began her own work. The pegasus flapped her powerful wings, moving the flying machine towards the large broken window.
Nightmare screamed in rage, sending a barrage of spears at the ship. Each one expertly blocked and deflected by Rarity’s keen eyes. The rebounded projectiles crashed into walls, ceilings, and floors, smashing them into bits.
“Uh… hey Dashie?” the sound of gems and hair clashing filled the room.
“Kinda’ busy here Pinks!”
“Biseee!” Rainbow’s head was down, using every bit of her strength to move the heavy load forward.
“We aren’t going to make it!”
“The window, it’s too small.”
Rainbow Dash looked up to see that Pinkie was right, the window was too narrow for the hovercraft to fit through. And the pegasus was doing too good of a job, it was coming towards them very fast “everypony hang on!” Rainbow yelled. The tenacious cyan pony wasn’t going to give up that easily. Calling upon every last ounce of stamina she developed through her rigorous training the pegasus pushed the left side of the craft down while raising the right. Twilight, Sunny, and the baker managed to grab hold of Pinkie but the defending unicorn couldn’t risk looking away for a second.
“Applejack, I need full concentration here!” Rarity pleaded, a twinge of panic in her voice as she felt the ship tilt
“I got ya’ Rares!” the orange earth pony grabbed the unicorn by her midsection and lifted her up, making sure she stayed level. With the extra weight Applejack began sliding off herself on the inclined plane. “Whoah there!” Applejack scrambled for a hoofhold, somewhere, anywhere “consarn’it!” Applejack cursed before punching a hole straight through the wood to grab hold of.
The tilted ship approached the opening quickly. Twilight and Sunny screamed as they flew straight through, the sides of the craft just breaking off the last pieces of remaining glass that hung onto the frame.
“Ha ha! We made it!” Dash exclaimed, panting for air. “Heh, heh, I think I’m gonna’ take a nap”
“Rainbow!” The yellow pegasus grabbed Dash and pulled her up just before she slid off the platform.
“Heh, thanks Shy. It’d be pretty lame if I just abandoned you girls now of all times” The cyan pony clambered back onto the wood and collapsed into a feathery heap.
“Oh, well, you know, I can take over flying us from here if you’re-” Fluttershy was interrupted by an enraged scream from the castle.
Rarity jumped to the back of the craft. “It’s not over yet!” A large spear, much bigger than the projectiles that had been sent so far lanced out of the broken window. The white unicorn brought together three of her largest gems into a spinning vortex to block the incoming attack. They collided with a resounding high pitched ting that rattled the teeth. Rarity slanted the gems like she had done before, and the spear slanted with them. The spear’s force was directed to the center of the three gems, curving with them at each tilt. “Oh dear” It wasn't being redirected. Panic crossed the unicorns face as she attempted to alter the spear’s trajectory.
“Should I be makin’ a habit of savin’ ya’ Rarity?” Applejack jumped in front of the unicorn and spun, bringing her hooves into a full force buck straight to the resonating gems. The impact burst the magic infused jewels, erupting color and sparks across the dark skies in a mock fireworks show. The ship was rocketed away from the castle in a burst of speed with the ponies just managing to hang on.
The craft slowed to their previous speed, the group attempting to adjust to what just happened “Aplejaaack, my geeeeeems~” Rarity whined with watering eyes.
“Oh, heheh. Um, whoops?” Applejack smiled apologetically at her pouting friend.
“Is it… is it over now?” Fluttershy spoke up, still holding onto Dash to prevent her from sliding off “did we win?”
Rarity composed herself; there would be time for grieving later. “Yes dear, I believe we have.” The unicorn edged across the platform to Twilight and said with an air of satisfaction, “we most certainly have.” Rarity’s horn lit up to encompass Twilight’s binding muzzle, unlatching and tossing it off the ship. “Well deary? Anything to say?” the unicorn quietly asked.
“You…” Twilight choked, rubbing her mouth and nose where the leather had been squeezing. “You… did all of this for me?” Tears began welling up in Twilight’s eyes. “I mean… I mean we’re friends but I never thought that you would go through all that…” The magician smeared a tear away on her lavender coat. “That you would go through all that just for-”
“Aw, shudup Twi” A tired pegasus looked out from one of her half-closed eyes, “you’re our friend, of course we’re going to fight evil jerk gods for you. At least, that’s what I do for my friends.”
“Oh, Rainbow!” Twilight picked up the limp and battered cyan pony and brought her into a tight hug. “Thank you so much!”
“Ah, ow ow not so tight!”
“Oh we were just so worried when that monster teleported away with you!” Rarity joined in on the hug.
“So we spent the rest of our time coming up with a plan to rescue you” Fluttershy tentatively found a small open space of Twilight to hug. “While I wasn’t too thrilled about my part… I was the only pony that could do it. Rarity even dyed my hair and painted over my cutie mark as a disguise.”
“Bear with it a bit longer sugarcube” Applejack stifled a laugh at her friend’s misfortune, embracing the group of multicolored ponies.
“Whoo! Group hug!” Pinkie Pie rushed in and encircled the bundle of ponies in her hooves.
“I just wanna’ sleeeep!”
“Now Pinkie I know ya wanna’ be a part of this but we’re gonna’ crash if ya don’t get yourself back on that thing.”
“Aw, pixie sticks!” Pinkie slumped her way back to the pedals of the craft. A soft sniffling rises above the sound of the blades spinning.
“Come now Pinkie, there’s no need to cry, we can all hug once we set down in Ponyville” Rarity awkwardly assured her saddened friend.
Pinkie turned around, dry eyed. “Huh? That’s not me.”
The group turned to see a small alicorn on the corner of the platform silently sobbing to herself.
“Sunny? Are… are you ok?” Twilight asked in a concerned tone.
Sunny sniffled a bit more and wiped her eyes with her wings before answering “yes, yes I’m fine. It’s just that that was… that was the most beautiful, fantastic, wonderful thing I’ve ever seeeeen~!” the sun princess’ waterworks sprang up again. A pink hoof extended a handkerchief, which the alicorn politely took and used to wipe her face and nose with. “Thank you.”
The other ponies sat and stared at the strange sight of a little pony princess god bawling her eyes out after witnessing a group hug. “Twilight? What exactly is happening?”
The purple pony sighed and grimaced as she looked between Sunny and her friends “It’s…. complicated. I’ll explain everything once we get back to the library. There’s still a certain someone I need to see.”
“And uh… Twilight? Sumthin’ kinda’ important…” Applejack apprehensively began.
The group of ponies around Twilight began fidgeting and looking away “It’s just that… now you don’t have ta’ talk about it if ya’ don’t want to, but, uuuuh…”
“Applejack?” the unicorn asked completely baffled by her friend’s strange behavior.
Fluttershy put a hoof on Twilight’s shoulder “She didn’t… didn’t hurt you, did she?” the yellow pegasus said as sympathetically as she could.
Twilight gave a nervous laugh. “Haha, what? I’m fine, I don’t look hurt, do I?”
“It’s just that… well, your outfit darling. Like Applejack said, you don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to.” Rarity stepped forward to give Twilight a sorrowful stare. “I’m sorry we couldn’t have rescued you sooner.”
“My outfi-” Twilight looked down to realize she was still wearing the oriental ribbons. Her pupils shrank as embarrassment froze her for a moment. “NO, nonononononoooooo no, nothing happened! Nothing happened!” Twilight quickly tapped the bracelet to disperse the outfit and looked at each of her friends pleadingly. “Seriously! Nothing!”
“Are you su-”
“Yes I’m sure!”
“We would understand if-”
“I’m sure you would, but nothing happened!” Twilight looked away, attempting to pull her short straight hair over her blushing red face. “Now if you wouldn’t mind, let’s never speak of this again!”
“… I’d like to do it with a goddess.”
“Rainbow!” Applejack smacked the cyan pegasus upside her head.
“Whaaat? I’m just sayin’. It sounds kinda’ interesting.”
“Well sure Rainbow, except Nightmare Moon is evil, so ‘twas probably all tentacle-y and-”
The rest of the trip passed in relative silence between the light flaps of Fluttershy’s wings and the spins of the propellers. The ship gently settled down in front of the Ponyville library. The new sun hung low in the sky with ponies nervously going about their daily routines, not knowing what else to do in this type of situation.
Twilight eagerly jumped off the platform and ran to the door. Just a few meters away it slammed open, a small dragon with purple scales and green spikes holding it. “Is she here?! Did you guys- Twilight!!”
“Spike!” The unicorn squealed as she ran forward and picked up the dragon with her front hooves. They embraced each other tightly, Twilight nuzzling the top of his head and Spike burying his face in her chest.
“I thought-” Spike choked, attempting to hold back tears that came anyways “I thought I would never see you again. When they- when they came back without you I thought-”
“Hey, hey, it’s ok now” Twilight consoled the young dragon. She pulled away to wipe a few of his tears. His eyes were puffy and red, attesting to just how much he'd been crying. “I’m here now, and everything’s going to be ok”
Spiked looked back up into her eyes, his tears stopping with one last sniffle. “Yeah… yeah I mean I knew you were going to be ok!” the dragon promptly hopped down from Twilight’s arms and straightened himself up. “Sure, yup, not a doubt in my mind you wouldn’t get out of there” Spike said haughtily. “I mean I did help come up with the plan to save you after all” the purple dragon gloated, brushing his chest and bringing his nails up for examination. “Yup, the perfect plan.”
Twilight giggled to herself. “Thank you Spike. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have been rescued!” She leaned down, and planted a big sloppy kiss on his check.
“Uhg, gross Twilight!” Spike moaned wiping the kiss away
Twilight giggled again. “C’mon, let’s get everyone inside, and I’ll…. try, to explain everything”
Pinkie parked the craft next to the tree and jumped off with the others to head inside. “Oh, wait!” The pink pony looked back to the ship and pressed a small peppermint she was holding. The ship beeped twice in response “you can never be too safe!” a content Pinkie chirped, as she hopped past her confused friends into the library.
The group huddled around a small table covered with blueprints, designs, directions, and a shopping list. The purple unicorn took it all in, amazed at just how much her friends had planned this out. Wow… they really are my very best friends, Twilight thought as the wave of emotions swam through her once again. The unicorn composed herself quickly, she’d need it for the strange tale she was about to tell.
“Ok, first off, I just want you to know… none of you will believe me.” Twilight said simply, looking at each of the ponies and dragon in a serious manner.
“Ooooh, this should be good” Pinkie Pie said hopping up and down on her seat
Applejack laughed nervously to herself. “Heh, it can’t be that bad.”
“We’ve each seen some pretty strange things dear” Rarity couldn’t help but glance at Pinkie.
Pinkie looked back at Rarity. “Whaaat? I haven’t seen that many strange things!” The pinkest of ponies contested.
“Nothing like this”
“Just get on with it!” Rainbow bellowed, slumping down onto the table
“Ok ok, but secondly, no interruptions. If you guys are allowed to talk while I’m telling this story we’ll be here all night, ok?” Twilight looked expectantly at her surrounding friends who responded with nods and ‘okey-dokey-lokey’s'. The magician sighed, knowing full well how her story is going to sound, she wouldn’t have believed it if it hadn’t happened to her. “Well then…” She began.
“and then she said someone would be coming, or that she hoped that they would be coming. Then we… um… talked for a little when you guys knocked on the door, and she asked if Sunny and I remembered our instructions. And that’s that.” The magician breathed a sigh of relief at the finish of her story. It had taken longer than she anticipated even with the small amount of interruptions. The new sun was just about to set outside the window, casting a colorful purple tint onto everything it touched.
Twilight looked up at her friends. Well of course there hadn’t been many interruptions; each one had a zipper over their mouths. Each one fell to the need to blurt out a question or deny something, and each one was rewarded with a zipper. Well, everyone except Pinkie, who was simply content to eat her popcorn and drink her sarsaparilla. The rest of the group was now simply content to look at Twilight with wide bewildered eyes, the zippers completely unnecessary in their current state.
Pinkie who had stayed quiet through the entire story, save for a munch of popcorn and slurp of sarsaparilla, was the first to talk. “Hmmm, I dunno Twilight, the story’s dynamic seemed kind’uv off to me. Are you sure you didn’t leave any parts out?” She asked skeptically.
The rest of the group stared between Pinkie and Twilight, their thought process still somewhat diminished in their current state.
“Ha ha ha, what? Yeah, of course I didn’t leave anything out!” Twilight plastered on the widest grin she could muster. “Oh, uh, here let me get those zippers” The purple pony flashed her horn, vanishing the restraints on her friend’s mouths.
Each one stayed quiet, pondering exactly what they had just heard. “Well… ah gotta’ tell ya’ Twilight, I don’t know what to say” Applejack managed to say.
“I know what you mean” The purple unicorn groaned, resting her face on a couple of scattered schematics, “believe me it was much worse having to go through that. So, uh… any questions?”
The group was completely silent. A small yellow hoof raised tentatively from the side of the table “um… what were Sunny’s instructions?” The ponies around the table looked inquisitively at Sunny, who in turn looked blankly back at everyone.
“Oh!” Sunny exclaimed “ooooh, oh what time is it?” the alicorn fidgets around before looking out the door at the setting sun “oh, good. Just on time.” Sunny got up from the table and walked over to a nearby bookcase, everypony’s eyes following. “Well, uh, Sis told me to find this one book ‘History of Horseshoes’ and to uh… pick it up before the sun sets!” the princess browsed through the names of the books before finding what she was looking for. “Ah! Here it is.” Sunny pulled at the book only to find it come out halfway before getting stuck. A loud clunk, and the shifting of gears emanated from the bookshelf. Sunny slowly backed away from the strange noises. “Um… do bookshelves do that?” The bookshelf slowly raised into the ceiling, the protruding book moving back into its slot.
Twilight groaned, moving her front hooves to cover her face which was still resting on the table. Fluttershy squeaked and hid behind Applejack, peeking out from behind her.
“Uh, Twilight?” Applejack asked with a twinge of worry in her voice. “You know what’s goin’ on sugercube?” The ponies watched as the bookcase clicked into its new resting place in the ceiling.
“Well…” Twilight mumbled through her hooves “yes, and no”. A large stone arch sat in place of the bookcase. Runes placed all along its borders in a symmetrical fashion. Twilight lifted her head for a moment to examine the mystical device. “Never mind, I know exactly what’s happening.” The unicorn planted her face back on the desk “Nightmare Moon is coming.”
“Twilight? What do we do?” Fluttershy panicked as the surrounding ponies looked at their befallen friend. The sigils on the stone slowly began lighting.
“You’ve dealt with her the longest, Twilight. What’s the plan?” Applejack asked
The plan is to sit here and get teased by the Queen of Equestria! Twilight yelled in her head. What's even the point of doing anything? The unicorn looked around at each of her scared and confused friends… oh, right, Twilight remembered why she chose to oppose Nightmare.
The purple pony slammed a hoof onto the table, slowly raising herself up on it. “Ok! Here’s what you do. First, don’t let her scare you. She’s not evil, just sort of a… jerk. Second, I’m-… oh wow is that a grade three transportation hub? I hear they run on nearly no power and can-” Applejack coughed. “Oh, um, sorry, second. Second… I’m sorry to say but she let me escape, and I think she meant it when she said I was going to be her, slave…” Twilight raised a hoof to touch the metal bracelet around her horn. “So… so I’ll just give myself up to her, she is still dangerous and it will keep the rest of you out of harm’s way.” Twilight looked at each of her friends with a steely determination.
“… Baahahaha!” Rainbow let out a mirthful laugh much to Twilight’s surprise. “As if, Twilight, if that fakey princess wants to get you again, she’ll have to go through us…. Again, uh, that came out wrong”
“She’s right Twi, you’re our gal. An’ we ain’t gonna let nopony hurt ya” the orange earth pony rested a hoof reassuringly on the magician’s shoulder.
“Twilight…” Fluttershy walked up to the unicorn, her head down with locks of pink mane covering most of her face. She looked up at Twilight with her one visible eye and said “… nopony.”
“Yeah!” Spike yelled from atop Fluttershy’s back.
“Oh oh! Are we going to have another group hug?!?” Pinkie Pie asked energetically. “We should include Sunny, she’s in this with us too!” the pink pony appeared behind Sunny, giving her a quick nudge and a wink “Even if she did disappear the bookshelf”.
Sunny’s face lit up like the sun “oh yes yes yes please! I would like nothing better!” the princess squealed and clopped her hooves together softly in front of her mouth. “Ah, um, I’m sorry about the bookshelf, please don’t hate me, I’ll get you another!” the alicorn’s expression quickly changed to alarm and dread.
Applejack chuckled. “Well shoot, ah guess we couldn’t stay mad at the princess, get over here.” Sunny squealed again in delight, and rushed over to the group of ponies.
“What, no! No wait please I’m still sore just leave me-AAAAAAH” The second heartfelt group hug of the night ensued.
The arches gave off a low humming as the last sigils burned bright in blue ethereal energy. The ponies separated and placed themselves a good distance away from the portal. Each one took a stance, ready for whatever it was going to do. “We could simply run away” Rarity said hopefully.
“We really couldn’t” Twilight said in a settled tone. The portal flashed, a rippling silver now filled the once empty arch. “Last chance to book it girls” the unicorn said with a smirk.
“Hah, what’s the worst she can do?”
I could throw the moon at them, Nightmare thought to herself as she watched her sister and the Elements of Harmony fly away on their silly candy flying machine. The moon princess paused for a moment, why didn’t they use the balcony as an exit? Nightmare looked a few meters to the right of the now broken pane of glass at the large archway that led out to a grand view of Equestria.
The moon princess snickered, scrunching up her face. “But oh my Moon, that was bucking awesome!” Nightmare filled the room with her uproarious laughter. Shaking off her giggles, Nightmare began her short trek back to her throne. As the princess passed, a blue magical aura encased the shards of broken glass and cake that now littered the ground. “Those girls certainly know how to make a mess” the princess said with a wry smile. The pieces of pane lifted off the ground and began placing themselves back into the frame. A sound like shattering glass arose as the pieces slowly began fusing together. The cake littering the floor swept together and compressed itself into a small orb, slightly bigger than a marble.
Nightmare sat on her throne and appraised the hall to admire her handiwork, the small orb floating just to her side. An apple began reforming just in front of the alicorn’s face, bits and swirls appearing from behind her head. “That would have given somepony a concussion” Nightmare noted as she took a bite out of the now re-forged apple. “Oh goodness, you ponies have certainly increased the quality of fruit in a thousand years” Nightmare said to herself.
A few more bites and the moon princess became utterly bored. “So how long are you going to keep me waiting?” Nightmare huffed, throwing the orb’d cake into an empty corner of the hall. A very distinct plunk came from the empty space. “Ten points” Nightmare halfheartedly gloated.
The corner shimmered. Then as if a curtain had been dropped a pony became visible, looking slightly annoyed at a cup that was levitating in front of him. “My coffee…” He stated with a hint of disappointment. The unicorn had a pale blue coat, piercing eyes that were just a shade darker than his fur, and a light blond, wavy mane and tail that flipped ever so slightly at the ends giving his appearance a sort of roguish charm. His cutie mark was a simple splotch of yellow on his flank.
“You know I gave everyone the day off, what is it you want?” Nightmare asked coldly.
The unicorn bowed. “Forgive me, I simply wished to become more acquainted with the new boss, as it were” the light blue pony chuckled and flashed a disarming grin.
“Tell me is spying still frowned upon in this day in age?” the princess scoffed, looking out a window directly away from the stallion.
The pony chuckled again “sorry, I can be pretty nervous around new ponies.”
“Of course.” Lies, lies, so many lies! Does this pony do anything but lie? I bet his cutie mark is lying, Nightmare thought angrily to herself. “I mean, what kind of pony wouldn’t be nervous around the Tyrant Queen Nightmare Moon?”
“Not a one, your majesty” he flashed another grin “oh but where are my manners? I never introduced myself.” The unicorn let out another light laugh. “My name is Lucid Sky, I am your head of Civil Affairs.”
Well, at least half of that wasn’t a lie, the princess drearily admitted to herself. “I look forward to working with you, Mr. Sky. And sorry about your coffee, I can get quite bored sometimes.” Nightmare sniffed the air experimentally “I am new to this drink, but that smells familiar. That wouldn’t happen to be the ‘royal brew’, would it?”
Lucid plucked the small orb out of his cup. “Why yes it is. You have quite keen senses your majesty. I met the most lovely young lady this morning who granted me access to it. After I told her where it was of course, poor dear looked completely lost” The unicorn said in a sympathetic tone.
Nightmare glared daggers, but kept her voice even “Funny how she didn’t mention you.”
Another laugh. “Well, I do have that effect on ponies, I’m not exactly the most noticeable of ponies. Let us hope that you’re able to remember me at least” Lucid gave the princess a heartwarming smile. “Oh, and look at the time” The unicorn said not taking his eyes off of Nightmare. “I really must be going, it’s my night off after all.” A chuckle and the unicorn made to leave before abruptly stopping as if he forgot something “and one more thing, here is your dessert back.” Lucid drifted an orb over to the princess who caught it with her own magic. “Goodnight your majesty.” Again, Lucid made to leave.
This wasn’t the same orb that Nightmare shot into his drink. The pearl swirled with colors and magic and a pony. Nightmare peered into the small sphere.
Oh um, hi there, I’m sunny…… what’s coffee? ………sounds terrific! I’m sure they’ll love it especially with…………. thanks for showing me all this Mr. Sky……… oh heh, um, ok, Lucid…………sure, I’ll give her a message!
Nightmare groaned. So such magic still exists these days. “Lucid, wait, stop” Nightmare said as she lit her horn. The surprised unicorn was lifted off the ground and flew back towards the throne and Nightmare Moon.
“Um, uh, my Queen” Lucid chuckled nervously “whatever are you-”
“No, just stop. I don’t want to play this little game with you, I don’t want you near my sister, and I especially don’t want you stealing any more memories” Nightmare said grimly.
“I- I don’t know what you’re-”
The moon princess’s eyes shone bright “I said. I don’t. Want to play. Celestia may have been fond of your little chess match but I am not!”
“But- but, you can’t just not-” Lucid was interrupted by his windpipe, it was slowly caving in.
“Let me make this plain and clear Mr. Sky. I will kill you if you do anything that displeases me.” The queen gave an extra tug on his throat to drive her point across.
Lucid writhed and squirmed under the moon goddesses’ influence, wheezing out as many apologies as he could.
“Now get out of my sight, I have plans for tonight.” And with a flash Lucid was gone. Content that her business here was finished Nightmare resigned back to her bedchambers. The princess had to get ready for her trip to Ponyville come sundown.
A flash of light just outside the castle gates deposited a sky blue unicorn a few feet above the ground. He flopped to the hard gravel with a resounding thud. Slowly, he picked himself up and fixed his disheveled hair, careful to wipe off any dust that had stuck to him. He took a deep breath and looked down upon the city before him. This really is the best view, Lucid thought to himself. The pony smiled. Then he smiled even wider. Lucid Sky was so happy he decided he would smile even wider, he couldn’t remember the last time he smiled like this. His heart had been beating slowly up until this point “what kind of pony indeed” Lucid whispered to the wind. The unicorn couldn’t remember the last time his heart had raced either. Lucid laughed by himself; a really, really happy laugh. So many adjectives could be used to describe that laugh. A great and terrible many. But Lucid would just stick with ‘happy’. “Oh this is going to be so much fun~.”
End Chapter 3