The soft, muffled sound of waves crashing against the rocks whispered into Rainbow’s ears, nullifying all other sounds that surrounded her as she laid on her back, her vision vague and blurred. Only after her eyesight started to become fully functional again, she became aware of the sharp rocks that dug into her back. Still completely unaware of her surroundings she groaned in agony, feeling a thumping pain in the back of her head. To add insult to injury, her limbs felt weak and tired. However, slowly but surely her senses returned to her as the roar of the pounding waves became steadily louder.
Her mind started to slowly comprehend her situation as the whispers of the waves soon turned into a deafening roar, the gushing sound filling her thoughts as her image became clear. Her dreary eyes shot open wide in fear as she jumped forward from her lying position; she would end up regretting this action as her limbs expressed their own opinion on the abrupt movement by sending her nerves a harsh stinging sensation of pain. She fell backwards, managing to steady herself by pressing her forelegs into the jagged stones below. She could feel the freezing water flowing past her legs as the tide came in and out at regular intervals, powerfully tugging at her forelegs and forcing her to dig in deeper to the rocks for balance.
Our winged mare shuddered in the cold as she became aware of every little pain in her body. A single question filled her mind: “Where am I?” She gingerly stumbled back onto her hooves and shuddered again as the cold arctic wind assaulted her face like a knife, steadily ripping at her cheeks as if a blade were painfully and slowly ripping the skin off her face. She rubbed her partially closed eyes with her hooves in an attempt to clear her vision from the sea salt and fine particles brought along by the elements, but to no avail. She could vaguely trace the silhouettes of countless mountains standing on the horizon, guarded by snowy hills and desolate, rocky plains. She turned her head, only to be greeted by the endless ocean and its waves, rhythmically assaulting and eroding the exposed rocks that made up the shoreline.
Trying her best not to panic, Rainbow Dash examined her surroundings as another question forced itself into her head. “Where is everypony!?” her mind practically screamed the question into her ears, causing her to lose the last bit of her cool that she so desperately wanted to maintain; her calm facade broke and her eyes shot open wide in surprise as she noticed an indigo figure, lying on the cold ground, not more than a few feet away from her. The cyan pegasus rushed over to the pony, cringing in pain as she did; she hadn’t noticed the extent of her injuries. In her haste, Rainbow slipped over the wet rocks, a loud thud being the only additional sound effect as her body made unwanted contact with the earth below.
A pained groan escaped her muzzle as she continued to crawl towards the wounded mare. Rainbow stumbled over the pony’s still body as the waves rushed past her; a look of horror appeared on her face. “Luna!?” she exclaimed as she gasped for air. Below her lay the object of her affection, her body covered with scars. Rainbow violently shook her head before nudging Luna in the side, causing the alicorn to roll over. “Come on, wake up now..” she whispered, the chilly air making her shudder. Suddenly, a wave crashed into them, giving them an unneeded and unwanted frigid shower. The wave then returned back to the depths of the ocean, leaving a soaking wet pegasus and her wounded friend behind.
Rainbow knew that she didn’t have time to think; she would have to put her thoughts aside and just act on impulse. Quickly, she bit Luna’s mane, firmly latching on to dark blue strands of hair. She started to make her way towards solid land, labouring to drag the alicorn’s body ashore; the task proved to be unexpectedly strenuous on her. After the rocks beneath her hooves had made way to smooth white snow, she released the princess from her hold, panting from exhaustion. She nudged the wounded royalty once more, crying softly as she did. “Luna!? Can you hear me?” she shouted, trying to make the sound of her voice audible over the howling winds. “It’s Rainbow Dash! I’m here for you!” she yelled as she stumbled closer to the princess, pressing the alicorn’s head against her own. “Why won’t you just wake up..” she sobbed as she looked into Luna’s closed, silent eyes.
Luna sat on the edge of her unusually large balcony, taking in the view that a nighttime Canterlot could offer her; the darkened houses of the city, the many streetlights that shone so brightly in the distance, the few ponies that were still out this late at night, running whatever errands they were supposed to run. Next shee looked up at the sky and admired her countless stars, shining down on her. Suddenly, a flock of birds fluttered past her domain and her eyes sparkled at the sight; the birds looked so careless, so free. She however was stuck here, alone with her thoughts. She could see the night sky right in front of her, at less than a hoof’s length from her; it was so close yet so far away.
She just wanted to spread her wings and fly away and she would have done just that, if not for Celestia’s words: she was not to leave the palace at any time, not even after sundown. A heavy sigh escaped her muzzle as she turned her gaze to the lonely moon, hanging high in the sky, but quickly averted her gaze as unpleasant memories shot through her mind, paining her. She quickly put her hoof to her head in an attempt to suppress the pain, but the effort bore no fruit. She let out a strained grunt as the pain started to slowly subside.
She had been having these.. weird thoughts lately, and they were draining her mental health; every day that passed was a new day for her to be pushed closer to the edge of insanity, as her beautiful moon, which used to bring her so much joy, now only enraged her; she found it loathsome how her own creation, her own masterpiece, always reflected light from her sister’s sun, giving her no respite from the light that it cast upon Equestria every day. Almost as if her own creations too were belittling her. Even after it disappeared behind the horizon, the sun still found a way to taunt her. And the headaches, oh the terrible headaches. They were always there, some headache of some sort, giving her enough pain to make her life an absolute hell.
“Come on Luna.. It’s those kind of thoughts that got you into this situation in the first place..” she whispered to herself. “You just have to.. lay down for a bit. Yeah, that’s it..” she said, as if she were trying to convince herself that the problem didn’t exist as she slowly made her way back to the large bed that stood in the centre of the balcony, climbing over it’s edge and allowing herself to burrow deep into the dark blue, silken covers.
Suddenly a familiar voice came to her. “You’re a monster, you know that..” it whispered, causing her eyes to snap open as the pain returned to her head. “How can you be so calm after what you did to those poor ponies..” She groaned as the pain became unbearable. “I.. I didn’t want to..” she replied. “Like Celestia said, it was just an accident,” she tried to reason with her mind. “This will all blow over in a couple of days.”
“You don’t honestly believe that, do you?” it asked with the voice of a spiteful mare. “Have you seen the look in her eyes? She’s terrified of you, your own sister!” The voice’s anger seemed to worsen as it went on and with it, the pain in Luna’s head intensified. “They’ll be coming for you soon.. To take you away from here..”
“What!? Celestia would never abandon me.. would she?” Luna asked herself.
“Why not? She has turned on you before, she will do so again. Unless you.. stop her.” Luna flinched at the voice’s words. “S-stop her?” the young princess stuttered in fear. “All you have to do is let me in.. I’ll protect you.”
Luna blinked dully at the words. “L-let you in?” she whispered in a hurt tone.
“Admit it, you’re a monster.. I could make it all go away.. I could give you rest from the nightmares that have been haunting you for far too long..” the voice tried to convince her; Luna knew that she was not supposed to believe the deceiving voice but the voice’s promises were so sweet to her, so appealing... so beautiful music to her ears, a promise that her pain would finally stop..
She swallowed her fears as she slowly closed her eyes to the night sky. She could feel something beside her, tugging at her soul; she started slowly feeling fatigued as the evil entity drained her more and more both physically and mentally as it entered inside her. For a split second the pain in her head disappeared, only to be replaced by a sharp pain; her eyes shot open wide as she screamed in agony. Her wings and limbs started to grow in size, her dark blue coat turning to a pure black...
Luna shot up form her lying position, coughing up water as she did. It felt like somebody had just hit her over the head with something. She could hear the raging water in her ears, the wind roughing up the few patches of hardy grass that weren’t yet snow-covered. As her sight slowly returned to her and the world transformed from a haze, a blur, into something more clear, she became aware of her surroundings. She was greeted by the same landscape that Rainbow had woken to just a few moments ago.
The first thing she noticed was a certain rainbow-maned pegasus sitting beside her, holding a hoof to her shoulder. Rainbow gave the princess a worried look. “R-Rainbow? Where are we?” the princess asked, shivering from the low temperatures; it was now that she noticed that she was wet all over, her soggy mane hanging by her side. She blinked a few times, clearing the fog that clouded her view. “How did we get here?” she carefully inquired, not having forgotten how she left her ‘friend’ the last time they met.
Rainbow seemed to be just as exhausted as Luna herself was; they both panted heavily as water dripped from their manes unto the white ground. A thin blanket of snow graced the grassy hills that surrounded them. Dash lowered her gaze from the ground, looking straight into the princess’ eyes. “We have to find them,” Rainbow said, her voice brimming with the sheer determination that her eyes didn’t express.
Twilight clenched her eyelids shut as she tried to resist the idea of waking up. She snuggled closer underneath her soft, pink blanket in the hope of getting a few more solid minutes of sleep; a restful smile spread across her muzzle as she shifted in the comfort of her bed.
She could hear a strange dripping noise beside herself, like a drop of water hitting the floor, but she shrugged it off as yesterday’s rain trickling down her window. The first thing she noticed was the absence of the usual aroma of coffee that used to fill her mornings. Why hadn’t Spike prepared her daily dose of caffeine yet, was he snoozing again?
Twilight forced herself out of her morning fatigue, yawning sluggishly and stretching along with the yawns as she did. She slightly opened one of her eyes, squinting as the bright light of the room was too much for a half-awake egghead to take just yet. “Spike..?” she slowly drawled, fatigued, a hint of irritation creeping into her voice. After bracing herself for the inevitabe, the shocking bright light, Twilight forced her eyes wide open, a yelp escaping her muzzle as the light, oh so bright, made it downright painful for her to try and use her sight. Deciding that it was too much to bare, she quickly shut her eyes as tightly as possible before she cocooned her whole self inside her warm blanket, sheltering herself from the evil daylight outside that was coming to blind her.
Her senses started to gradually become more operational, namely her sight that was now adjusting to the light; she still regretted the fact that she opened her eyes in the first place. “Like mother used to say, I would like mornings better if they started later..” she chuckled softly to herself as a yawn escaped her muzzle. “Spike?” she tried to call out, with significantly more volume than last time. However, instead of her number one assistant’s voice she was greeted by the sound of a light-hearted giggle just above her head.
Fearing what was to come, she slightly opened her eyes once more, preparing for the light of day, but instead, she was greeted by the ever-smiling face of a certain pink pony, lying on top of her. Twilight’s eyes shot open in surprise. “Pinkie!? What the hay are you doing in my bedroom!?” she almost yelled, shocked, as the unexpected encounter with the pink party pony definitely awoke her, if she needed any more awakening.
Pinkie’s giggling turned into hysterical laughter, the grin on her face growing in size. “Bedroom? Equestria to Twilight Sparkle! Are you still asleep or something?” Pinkie asked, chattering away in her typical high-pitched, fast manner. With those words, Twilight's dreamworld crumbled around her, her soft pillows being replaced by cold, hard stone; the sound of water dripping off the ceiling was much more prominent now.
Once the blur in her mind disappeared she could feel the cold sensations running up and down her spine. She violently shivered, the sound emitted from it echoing through the narrow cave that had served as her sleeping place. Drops of water trickled down the stalactites that covered the ceiling of the darkened cave. Twilight raised herself from her sleeping position, supporting herself with her front legs, her hind legs still resting on the stone floor. Her mane looked like exactly the kind that would make Rarity shudder in disgust and the bags of exhaustion around her eyes had never been so prominent as now, even with her sleepless lifestyle as she often reading in the dark of night.
The frigid wind chilled her to the very bone as she slowly got up, causing a bubbly Pinkie Pie to tumble off of her. “Where are we!?” Twilight shouted, causing her voice to echo past the walls of the place as she looked into the icy cave’s far reaches, unable to even guess the depth and length of the icy cave. The pink pony’s smile turned to a look of confusion and then she furrowed her brows in a contemplative frown.
“You don’t remember?” she asked as she tilted her head. “I woke up on that cold shore a few days ago, and then I was like oh where am I but then I saw you and then I dragged you in here to keep you safe from the chilly chills out there, because I didn’t want to have you freeze as freezing is not fun, and it rhymes with sneeze!” she said in one breath, completing another impressive monologue; Twilight simply stared at her blankly, astonished.
“You did all of that!?” Twilight exclaimed with her hooves in the air. Pinkie merely nodded in response as her signature smile found its way back unto her face. This unnerved Twilight even more. “And none of this... upset you?” she asked carefully. Pinkie shook her head from side to side in frantic manner.
“Why would it?” she asked, not really expecting an answer from the studious mare. “OK, it was a bit chilly outside, but nothing to worry about,” she said, giggling ever so slightly. “I mean come on, it’s not the first time that I woke up in some random location without a clue of what happened last night! You silly filly, you worry too much!” she said before bursting into a fit of laughter, causing Twilight to facehoof out of frustration, letting out a heavy sigh as the pain in her head was making signals of a comeback.
Meanwhile, another pony was taunted by the grim premise of awakening. Rarity coughed a dry cough, a ‘smoker’s cough’ as some would call it on a far away planet, as the bone-dry, bone-chilling polar air slowly was ruining her lungs and throat. She hadn’t woken up in such a dreadful manner in ages. She would be whining uncontrollably right now if she weren’t so sure that nopony could hear her anyway. She would soon make the biggest mistake of the day: opening her eyes. Her eyelids shifted open ever so slightly. In a matter of seconds, all of her senses returned to her. The sound of the raging winds filled her ears, accompanied by the soft crackling of burning wood. For the first few seconds, all she could see was a bright, white light. After it faded, she was greeted by a dreadful sight: she was lying in a bed made out of twigs and hay, located in a camp on a high mountainside.
The snow, whipped up by the wind, danced around her, sticking to her usually well-kept mane. She could see an orange figure sitting by the unusually large bonfire that somehow was staying lighted in the middle of the camp. The pony turned her head to see Rarity stumbling out of her hoof-made bed; the earth pony’s eyes lit up in joy as she trotted towards her. “Rare! Yer finally awake!” she exclaimed, charging to Rarity’s side, attempting to help the alabaster unicorn trot to the fire, despite the slight disorientation; the voice was all to familiar to the fashionista.
“Applejack.. is that you?” she asked, squinting at the bright snow as she tried to recall what happened last night, but her mind was a complete blur. Her voice was hardly audible over the sound of the raging storm. “Where are we? How did we get here?” she asked intrigued, causing her friend to give her the strangest of looks.
Applejack’s eyes went wide as saucers in surprise. “Ya really don’t remember, sugarcube?” she almost shouted out in an attempt to be more audible than the raging blizzard that was assaulting them. “Ya were out when Ah found ya!” she exclaimed. “Ah tried everything but nothing could wake ya up!” Rarity was dumbfounded, she didn’t really know what to think of the situation before her; it took a while for her to internalize everything that the farmer pony had told her, and even when she finally understood the situation there were some questions she wanted an answer to.
“B-But..” she managed to stutter. “What about the others? What about the girls!? Where are they!?” Rarity exclaimed, her voice gradually experiencing a crescendo as panic settled in, causing the earth pony to look away, avoiding Rarity’s gaze as a look of worry grew on her face. “Answer me Applejack!” Rarity yelled, mildly vexed by her friend’s behaviour. She slowly turned her head to face Rarity, blankly staring at her friend.
“Ah.. Ah don’t know sugarcube..” she managed to utter in a pained tone, one that Rarity had not come to expect from her stubborn friend. It proved once again how little she actually knew about Applejack. With those words, Rarity could feel her whole world crumbling around her as she turned her head, trying to appear strong in front of her friend. Applejack could hear the soft sniffling underneath the raging storms. “Rare... are ya OK?” Applejack asked, her voice not being able to hide the undertone of concern that was in it.
Rarity quickly spun around and faced Applejack as tears of rage, frustration and sadness were rapidly escaping from her eyes. Her face was covered in teardrops, staining her normally pristine white coat. “No, I’m not OK!” she yelled, causing her friend to cower slightly. “Where is Shy!?” she asked in a mixture of panic and rage. “Where is she!?” Rarity screamed at the top of her lungs as she charged past her friend, causing Applejack to fall into the cold snow with a soft poof.
The earth pony flinched, partially due to physical and partially due to emotional pain, as she saw Rarity run off into the snowy wilderness that surrounded their camp. “Rarity! Wait! We’ve got to stay together!” she yelled in an attempt to calm the unicorn down, but to no avail. Rarity kept running through the storms, desperately looking for the one thing that she could not allow herself to lose.
Quickly, Applejack charged after her. Suddenly, Rarity felt her friend jump atop of her, pinning her into the ground, the frigid snow brushing past her coat. The two of them panted heavily in exhaustion as the winds continued to rage in their ears. “Applejack! Let go of me!” Rarity yelled, losing control of her temper.
“No!” Applejack said sternly. “Yer not thinking straight Rare! Get yerself together!” she ordered, but it was of no use. Rarity continued to struggle in her friend’s grasp, trying to kick her way out of the grip Applejack had on her. However, that was a wasted effort; Applejack, being a farmer was always going to outmuscle a fashionista like Rarity. “Ah’m not letting go of ya until y’all calm down!” After a good few minutes of angrily flailing her limbs about in an attempt to break loose, Rarity started to finally calm down as she was laying there in the snow, her back pressing down into the previously untouched snow around her: she started shivering as the heat was being transferred from her body into the snow, melting it gradually, only for it to refreeze moments later. Her anger was soon replaced by an overwhelming sadness; tears escaped her eyes as if her eyes were a fountain. She raised her back, wrapping her arms around the pony that still was on top of her.
“Ah promise we’ll find her sugarcube..”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Hello, it’s the new editor, Leader_Cherif here. If you have some complaints about the language or summut, in form of grammatical errors or changes or the extent of description, feel free to message me/comment about it here; I’m now responsible for the language side of the story, unless vozzle decides otherwise (which I hope he doesn’t). Peace out and enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed editing it.