It was quiet. Nothing moved in the deserted town. Only the soft steps of Twilight could be heard, trotting through the town. Loneliness. Nopony was around to make idle chatter, there were no ponies galloping through the central square, or buying things, or even simply sitting and enjoying the weather. It was complete desertion.
After the war and the devastating explosion, Ponyville had met its doom. Only Twilight had survived a battle of that proportion, and now she was all alone. She looked around, Ponyville looked different without its inhabitants around. Twilight was strong, she knew she had to keep moving forward. Without her pillow, she was unable to sleep the previous night. Soon, the lack of sleep would become a pillow. She needed to find her pillow.
The only problem was, she had no idea where to find her pillow. She had checked every building in Ponyville, every scrap of pillow on the ground, and every corner of the battlefield in search of the stained pillow, but found nothing. Every room of every building had been ransacked in search of the pillow, but the effort was futile. Twilight felt like she only had one other option. Her eyes drifted toward the large castle in Canterlot. It was her last option. She didn't know why, but she could feel that her pillow was in Canterlot, and she would stop at nothing to get it back. With Canterlot in mind, she trotted to the train station.
Surely enough, the empty train station had a train ready on the tracks. Before getting into the train, she thought it would be best to bring along a few pillows. She galloped back to Ponyville, where she found a couple stray pillow laying on the ground. She looked out to the field, the site of the battle. A tear dropped from her eye as she relived the horrors, but now was no time to mourn. The pillows floating near her, Twilight ran back to the train station, leaving a tear on the ground as her final mark on Ponyville.
Twilight trotted inside the train, dropping the pillows around her. She hoped the books she had read taught her enough to drive it. The gears looked foreign, but all of their purposes had been described in the books. Using her magic to maneuver the different levers and mechanisms, the train began to move forward. Within a few minutes, the gears were turning and the train was moving faster. Twilight was on her way to Canterlot.
"Yes?" The princess looked down at one of her royal guards from her throne, he seemed distraught.
"We have gotten news that Ponyville underwent a devastating explosion. We aren't sure of the cause," he said.
Celestia's eyes widened, something like this hadn't happened in a thousand years, and she had spent months burying the evidence the last time it happened. "Send a group of guards to scope out the area. Also, we don't know if whatever caused the explosion is coming here next. Put every guard on high alert." The guard nodded, and galloped out to notify the others. Celestia trotted up the steps of her castle, arriving at the balcony. From here she could see all of Equestria, Canterlot's ideal position on the mountain allowed it to loom over all the other cities. She looked for Ponyville, and sure enough there was nothing stirring. At least, almost nothing. In the distance, Celestia could see a small speck moving through the trees.
A train was coming.
Trees passed by in blurs, the sound made by the tracks was louder than it should have been. It was the only noise Twilight could hear in the silent train. Canterlot came closer and closer as the moments passed, and Twilight was planning her search. First she would check the Canterlot Square, then the outskirts, and finally Canterlot Castle. Maybe Celestia will have an idea as to where the pillow is, thought Twilight.
Twilight had brushed up on her spells before leaving, learning some new enchantment spells in case she would need them. She hoped that she wouldn't need them, but it's better safe than sorry. Canterlot definitely would have heard that Ponyville had just been in a devastating war, and if anypony found out that Twilight had caused it she would be ruined. The princess might even banish her for such a thing.
Now was not the time to worry about that, what really mattered was retrieving the pillow. Canterlot station was in view, the train ride was coming to a halt.
All of Canterlot had heard of the war by this point. They were afraid, afraid of the force that could cause such a thing. The city was placed on high alert, guards positioned at every corner. If anything suspicious was to happen, the guards would take care of it. Celestia herself stared over the town from her high balcony, looking for any signs. She hoped that the guards she had sent would come back soon.
The ponies had went back to their houses, shutting the windows and locking the doors. Many of the doors were boarded shut in anticipation of a war breaking out. Nopony was wandering the streets besides the guards, all stone-faced. They heard a train, screeching wheels. Something had just arrived.
The ears of the guards perked at the sound, and with a nod to one another, they galloped to the train station.
The wheels screeched as they brought the train to a stop at the station. Twilight looked out at Canterlot, all its tall buildings and elegant architecture. She had always admired it. Now at a complete stop, Twilight stepped out of the train, bringing her small stack of pillows with her. Before she knew it she was surrounded by guards, but they recognized her. Realizing that it was just the princess' prized student, they trotted away back to their positions.
Twilight, slightly confused, walked toward the central square, bringing her pillows with her. Once arriving in the square, she immediately knew something was going on. Nopony was seen trotting or selling, it was just like Ponyville.
I need to see the princess, immediately. Twilight galloped off to the castle, pillows close behind her. Having lived in Canterlot for quite some time, Twilight knew her way around. Within a minute, she was outside the castle doors. Something was different, the castle was locked up and all entrances were being guarded more than usual. Three or four guards stood outside each entrance, and even more at the main entrance. Twilight hoped that her fame as the princess' pupil would allow her access inside.
Surely enough, the guards recognized her instantly and, on request, opened the doors. After Twilight had entered the castle, they closed them shut quickly, afraid that whatever was one the loose would get into the castle if left open too long. Of course, that fear just became a reality.
Twilight had been in the castle multiple times, visiting the princess or looking for some scroll or book. She knew her way around, and the guards knew her, too. Had it been anypony else galloping through the hallways of the castle carrying pillows with them, they would've been restrained and kicked out.
Twilight entered the throne room, where Celestia usually was. The throne was vacant, raised up so that the princess would be above anypony who trotted into the room. Twilight frowned, she'd have to keep searching. The next place the princess spent her time would be the bedroom, so Twilight trotted off to search there.
More guards watched her, confused as Twilight galloped through the halls with pillows following her. The royal bedroom was located on the other side of the castle, as far away from the throne room as possible. The doors blew by Twilight as she galloped through the hall, dodging guards and making sure she didn't lose any of the pillows or hit anypony with them. She had galloped for a long while, and then she saw a room with three guards standing outside a single door. Twilight approached the door, certain that it was the royal bedroom.
"Halt, nopony is allowed in here. The princess is sleeping." The guards moved closer together to block the door.
"I am the princess' prized pupil, and I have a very urgent matter to talk with the princess about."
"You can wait until she awakens."
Twilight thought for a moment, wondering if it was the best idea. Should I mention the war? After contemplating, she decided it was imperative that she talk to the princess right away. "It's about the incident in Ponyville."
The guards looked at each other, then they stepped aside. Twilight smiled at each of them before entering the room. It had been a long while since Twilight had been in this room. She had only been in it once before by accident when she was lost in the castle. The room was large and a very deep shade of pink. Not the bright shades that caught the eye, but the mellow kind that soothed. It was more white than red. There were unlit candles around the area, and a lovely rug with an intricate pattern in the middle. Most of the room was empty, as it was made only for resting and sleeping. Against the far wall was the bed. It was large, with a canopy looming over it. Thin, brittle slivers of silk hung from the canopy, giving the bed an elegant feel.
In the middle of the bed laid the princess, resting peacefully. Twilight's gaze softened; sleeping ponies were always so peaceful. She watched the princess' stomach rise and fall for a few moments before remembering the task at hoof.
She called out to the princess, but not too loudly as to startle her.
"Princess Celestia, I must speak with you."
The princess' eyes opened at the sound of the voice and she lifted her head slowly, yawning. She stretched out her legs and turned to face the voice that had awoken her. Upon seeing her pupil, her own widened. The one pony she didn't want to see.
"Twilight! What are you doing here?" she said, trying to block the pillow from view. Years of experience had taught her how to keep a calm face, but that didn't stop her mind from being nervous.
"I just came to check on things. I'm sure you've heard of Ponyville." She stopped talking abruptly, a tear forming in her eye.
"Yes, I heard about it. I've sent out a team to figure out what exactly happened."
Now it was Twilight's turn to be nervous. She could feel a shiver run down her body and sweat starting to form. She decided to change the subject.
"Well I'm sure you'll find out. Anyway, I just came to the castle looking for my pillow. I've been looking everywhere for it and I can't seem to find it. Since Canterlot is under lock-down the only place I could check was the castle."
"Well, no pillow here but mine, you should check the other side of town." Celestia's horn lit up as she opened the door behind Twilight. "Off you go!" She continued to hold her calm face, but her mind was racing.
"Well, alright. I must say however, I love the bed. It's quite elegant."
"Yes, yes it is. It's very comfortable, too. You should go lay down on yours, I'm sure that will make you feel better about the Ponyville situation. Now off you go in search of your pillow!" Celestia gestured to the open door.
"Wow princess, you're bed seems so lovely. I haven't slept in a day, do you think I could lay down for a few minutes? Please?"
"Please?" Twilight wasn't lying, her eyes were red from the lack of sleep, and couldn't fall asleep due to the lack of her pillow.
"Well, I guess your word is final." Twilight lowered her gaze, looking at the ground, trying to put on her saddest face to get into the princess' bed.
[Enhancement music for an epic experience: Listen to make your experience better than it already is.]
"Yes it is. Now out you go." Celestia used her powerful wings to help her out of the bed. She trotted over to Twilight, nudging her toward the door with her head. "I really need to get some sleep, Twilight. Terribly sorry." Just before Twilight exited the room, she looked behind her toward the elegant bed.
In the center of the bed was a pillow. With a stain. On Celestia's bed. Twilight's eyes widened. "You stole my pillow!"
Celestia looked behind her, realizing that the pillow was in full sight. She galloped back to the bed to try and block the pillow from view, but the effort was futile. Twilight stared in disbelief at the princess, and the princess stared back. They locked stares for a while, neither of them moving. Then, Twilight's brow furrowed.
"Give it back."
Celestia looked at the pillow and then back at Twilight. Both of them loved the pillow, but Celestia couldn't give it up again. It was the reason she had taken it back in the first place.
"No." Celestia stood her ground with certainty that Twilight would listen to her superior.
Twilight thought of all her friends lost in the war because of the pillow. The lack of sleep, the journey, everything that had led to this moment. She wouldn't just give up now.
"Then I'll take it back." Celestia realized that Twilight wasn't going to back off. She narrowed her eyes. She never thought that it would come to this.
"You're going to have to go through me first."
"That won't be hard." Twilight levitated one of the pillows she had brought with her. Truth was, Twilight didn't think it wasn't going to be hard, she just said that to sound tough.
Celestia levitated one of the pillows from her bed to her side. Both ponies stood still, eyes interlocked.
The pillows floated close to their bodies, their power ready to be unleashed. Both ponies could feel sweat rolling down their face. Neither of them had prepared to fight, but this was what it had come to.
"Guards!" Celestia smirked, she had Twilight outnumbered. The guards filed into the room at the sound of the voice, surrounding Twilight. There was at least ten of them, and more were on the way.
Twilight looked around her, guards everywhere. All she had was a pile of pillows, and they had a group of armored stallions.
Twilight looked at the pillow lying on the bed in the distance. She looked back at the guards. Memories played in her head. Rarity's painful death, Fluttershy's death by tree, Rainbow Dash and Applejack dying in the effort to fend off Team Brown, Pinkie just randomly dying, matching her personality. All the ponies that had come to the event falling victim to the evil pillows, all because Twilight needed to find her pillow. She wouldn't let her friends die in vain, even if that meant fighting her way through hundreds of guards to get to her pillow.
It was more than a pillow though. Now it was a symbol. More importantly Twilight was really tired and just wanted some sleep. Her mind was racing, she wasn't sure of her abilities. But now was not the time to second guess herself, now was the time to get the pillow.
"I never thought it would come to this, but here we are. Now Celestia, I've looked up to you ever since I was a filly, but now I view you only as a thief. This is for justice. This is for my friends. This is for Ponyville. This is for," she paused.
[I recommend you stop listening to the previous song at this point and listen to this now: Listen]
"THIS IS FOR MY PILLOW!" Without warning Twilight whipped her pillow at one of the guards, hitting him directly in the face.
As the guard fell to the ground, the other guards froze in fear. Twilight wasn't hesitant though, another pillow flew through the air and hit another guard. He let out a scream as the plush pillow hit him in the face, causing him to fall to the ground.
"Tell my family...I love them. And that the milk is in the cabinet." His face hit the ground, eyes closed.
Seeing their friend drop to the floor, the guards rushed forward. Twilight lifted a pillow, using it as a held weapon. She smacked the nearest guard across the jaw, sending him flying into another guard. They both hit the floor with a thud. Another guard jumped over the fallen pair, leaping for Twilight. He was done for, Twilight swung the pillow upwards, uppercutting the poor guard into the ceiling. He hit the roof hard, leaving a crack in it before falling back to the floor. Another guard lashed out from behind her, trying to use his hind hooves to kick her.
He missed, and the result was a pillow from underneath into the gut. He flipped once in the air before hitting the ground. Twilight quickly threw the pillow like a throwing star at another guard. The corner of the pillow hit the guard directly in the forehead, and his eyes were wide as he fell silently to the ground.
More guards were upon her now. Twilight swung the pillow with skill using her magic, landing a hit on the guards and sending them to the ground.
Another guard tried to jump for Twilight, but he received a pillow to the stomach. The pillow pushed into his gut, lifting him over Twilight's head and smashing him on the ground on the other side. He hit the ground with a loud metal clang.
Twilight continued to bludgeon the guards, sometimes hitting them so hard the pillow that it would burst into a thousand feathers. She simply levitated another pillow and continued her work.
She thought that they had all been defeated, but more guards were filing in. The pile of pillows was diminishing.
A guard galloped toward Twilight, his head leaned forward. Another guard stood behind him, ready to back him up. Twilight flung a pillow, hitting the running guard in the head. She then jumped toward the guard, and used his head as a springboard. Pushing a hoof off the top of his head, Twilight jumped high into the air, a hoof cocked back. The other guard stared at the flying Twilight, unable to react in time. Her hoof came forward as she descended from her jump, landing a devastating punch to his face. Both guards fell to the ground.
More guards were coming. Twilight levitated another pillow, enchanting it. Five guards were in the hallway, about to enter the room, but Twilight wouldn't allow it.
"THIS IS FOR RARITY!"
She flung the pillow at them, and they could only watch as their fluffy doom came toward them. A flash of light and a deafening boom, and then feathers were floating everywhere. The blast knocked Twilight back, but it sent the guards flying out a large hole made in the side of the castle. They fell down, off the mountain, their screams becoming less and less audible as they came closer to the river below. The explosion had created a small crater in the middle of the hallway and a large hole in the wall.
Another guard came galloping into the room and stood before Twilight. She levitated a pillow, swinging it low at the legs. The guard's legs went out from underneath him, and as he fell to the ground, Twilight raised the pillow high above her head. She swung it down like an axe, delivering the finishing blow to the guard.
She took a deep breath and looked at all the fallen guards.
Celestia couldn't believe her eyes. "Twilight, where did you learn to fight like this?"
"I read a book."
Twilight turned toward the princess.
It was her turn.