Disclaimer this author gains nothing from this work
My Little Pony Friendship is Magic is property of Hasbro and Developed by Lauren Faust
All non-original characters are property of Hasbro
“I shall tell you a great secret, my friend. Do not wait for the Last Judgment. It takes place every day.”
~Albert Camus La Chute
“You seriously want to hear that story? Why in the world would want to hear that story? Out of any tale you could chose from, you chose that story. Very well, very well young fillies you shall hear that story,there is no need to go all weepy on me. It all began on a midsummer's eve in Canterlot ...”
The night guard had just taken over from the day guard just before sunset.
“All right colts, we are the royal guard of Canterlot,”announced Sergeant Sunshine Smiles. “Tonight we must have constant vigilance so that the commander may have his honeymoon in peace. Hold yourselves, what was that? It feels quiet... too quiet.”
“Um,”one of the guards interjected.
“Yes, Private Smartplot?”
“Sir, silence is the absence of sound, one can't feel quiet nor can one hear quiet as there is nothing to be heard.,” Private Smartplot Replied.
“Private, have I ever told you that YOU! ARE! AN! IDIOT! Don't answer that. Can you not, err... not hear the ponies down in town or beasties in the gardens. Everything has gone silent.”
At that point knockout gas silenced their now heated debate on the properties of sound and what was going to happen.
“Why did we have to use your gas rather than my magic?”
“Because it is easier to detect your potent spells then my surgical anaesthesia.”
“Don't argue. Be quieter.”
“WHY IS EVERYPONY WHISPERING?”
“War be quiet!”
“Tia, why did thou have to awaken me so early, thine sun has yet to set for a time,” Luna whined, trotting into the dining room.
“Why we never spend quality time together anymore,” Celestia replied, already seated. “So I thought that it would be nice for us to spend so more time-” Celestia stopped abruptly.
“Sister, is something wrong?” Luna asked, moving to Celestia’s side.
“Luna do you sense a fell presence. It feels familiar, but I can't quite put my hoof on where from.”
“We are here to stop you tyrant!” a voice shouted. A blood-red magical barrier was set sealing off the chamber from the rest of the castle.
“For our friends!”continued a second voice. A scythe was thrown, separating the sisters.
“Be sealed now within the sun!”said a third voice. With that a spell was cast, sealing Celestia within the sun.
“What did you do to my sister!?”
“YOU GUYS TOOK ALL THE GOOD LINES. AW WELL SUPREME DEMON CANNON!”Finished a fourth voice. With that Luna was kicked into the moon.
“Time for the message.”
“Oh yes, thanks for reminding me. Just a moment, have to cast the spell; we should be broadcasting in three... two...one. Greetings sentient beings of the world we are the embodiments of the End of the world . War,” The speaker gestured to the scarred red Earth Pony with a flaming mane on his right.
“Famine,”this time the speaker gestured to his far right at a dun Pegasus who looked half starved with a mane made of leaves.
“Pestilence,” the speaker gestured to his left to a white Unicorn with a stitched face and mane of blood.
“and I am Death.” Death gestured toward himself: an Alicorn clad in black armor from head to hoof, leaving only his horn and skeletal wings bare.
“Our message to the world is that we shall cast the absolute and eternal Final Judgment upon the world. You will have exactly one hour to prove to us that life deserves to continue. We shall be in the freed lands at the castle of Nightmares and Daydreams...” At this, War held up a sign saying the Everfree Forest and the Palace of the Two Pony Sisters.
“What are you doing?” Famine whispered to War
“WELL DEATH IS USING OUTDATED PLACE NAMES AGAIN THIS SIGN STOPS PONIES FROM GETTING CONFUSED!” War replied in the exact opposite of a whisper
"You two realize that we are still broadcasting?” asked Pestilence, breaking up the conversation.
“ ... to conclude this is your only chance to save the world from its end and any who undertake this trial will displayed to all. Well that could have gone worse, we were only interrupted once and didn't go off on a tangent at all.”
“ CUE HAPPY THEME SONG!”
“What in the world are you talking about War?”
“Oh, Twilight darling, these four old stallions with these evil black eyes appeared in all my mirrors talking about destroying the world!” Rarity cried coming in to the library.
“First off, calm down, you're actually the second to last one to get here. Second, as soon as Pinkie gets here...” Twilight replied
“Twilight, Twilight, Twilight somepony built a giant crystal castle in the middle of the Everfree Forest, we should go throw them a party!” Pinkie Pie said popping up from behind Twilight.
“Pinkie they're very bad ponies,” said Twilight with a hint of disdain. “Now come on you two, I was just about to explain the plan to everypony. What are you two doing?” Twilight asked walking into Applejack and Rainbow Dash in a rather compromising position.
“Just hoof-wrestling,” Rainbow Dash answered.
“Rainbow, normally you use your front hooves in that game.”
“This way is way more radical than normal!”
“Ok then... to the plan. I'm going to teleport all of us to the castle and we make it up from there.”
Everypony reacted in relatively similar ways: Rarity had a dramatic fainting fit, Fluttershy collapsed making a distinct goat-like noise, Pinkie Pie seemed cheerfully optimistic, Rainbow Dash's jaw had hit the floor, and Applejack summed up almost all their thoughts,
“Sugarcube Ah hate to be the one to say this, but HAVE YOU GONE BAT-SHIT INSANE *beat* again?”
Rainbow was next to regain her composure. “Can't we go get the Elements of Harmony and use them to stop the bad guys?”
“Rainbow we could do that, if we could get to Canterlot, get the vault open without Celestia to unlock it, and then get to the Everfree in one hour,” Twilight explained.
“Um, why wouldn't Celestia help us?” Fluttershy asked, still laying on the ground.
“It appears that Celestia is incapacitated because the sun was due to set five minutes ago.” 'Unless something worse happened to her' “Now unless there are any more questions is everypony ready?”
“Ah'm ready as I'll ever be; it's not like we do this every summer.”
“It-is ON, darling!”
“You can count on me!”
“Okie dokie lokie!”
“Um, I'm ready,”
“Alright fillies, lets go!” With that the heroes of harmony disappeared in a flash of light.
In the heart of the Everfree Forest the six Elements of Harmony appeared in a flash of light.
“We made it and nopony is on fire.” Twilight said weakly
"Did they just bypass the entire dungeon set up?"
“Who are you, show yourselves!” Rainbow Dash said looking around for the source of the voices
“ I believe we should put the trials in motion.”
“AGREED" "Agreed " “Ageed” With that Rainbow and Pinkie burst into flames, the ground crumbled beneath Applejack and Rarity, and Fluttershy started to evaporate. Within moments the five of them had disappeared.
“W-What did you do to my friends!?”
“Were you not listening, they are being tested as shall you. Now sleep!” Twilight was surrounded by a dark purple glow and quickly lapsed into unconsciousness.
A brief note from the author on voices and perceived plot holes
Sunshine Smiles R. Lee Ermey toned down 15%
Smartplot Jonathan Frakes If I told you more but it would be spoilers
Death one part “avalanche”, two parts Darth Vader, one part Mufasa
Pestilence Hugh Laurie plus Christopher Lee times creepy monotone
Famine The Highwaymen (Cash, Jennings, Nelson, Kristofferson)
WAR BRIAN BLESSED AFTER SEVERAL POTS OF COFFEE
Things that seem inconsistent may just be plot points.
I will answer all your questions.
Thanks go out to the great proofreader MrMinimii
Disclaimer this author gains nothing from this work
My Little Pony Friendship is Magic is property of Hasbro and Developed by Lauren Faust
All non-original characters are property of Hasbro
There are many different thoughts and a variety of states of mind. Once you can recognize the value of good states of mind, you can increase or foster them.(Paraphrased)
~14th The Dalai Lama
“Where in tarnation am ah?” Applejack said as she looked around seeing only the trees of the Everfree Forest around her, except for a path that lead to the crystal castle in the distance beyond. “Another hedge maze, don't these villain types have any originality. Might as well go in.”
After wandering around for what felt like hours, Applejack found herself back at the beginning.
'What just happened? There was only one path. Huh, that sign is new it says: ‘This is a test of honesty based around a series of questions you may pass as long as you tell the truth the whole truth and only the truth. First Question: Are you a fish?’ am Ah just supposed to say the answer? No, Ah am not a fish.”
In response to her answer a section of the hedge moved away, revealing a new path. Applejack followed this new path to find the next sign which read: ‘Are you a silly pony?’ “At times yes, I can be a bit silly”she answered opening another new path. Applejack quickly entered into a routine of answering questions and going down the new paths however, her next questions was the first to actually phase her.
Do you think that Twilight Sparkle has been up staging you ?
“Now at times Twi can be an insufferable genius but she is the smartest one of us and usually gets us out of jams.”
Is Pinkamena Diane Pie insane?
“We all have our mad moments and Pinkie only brokedown that one time.”
Is Fluttershy worthless and weak?
“Regardless of what she thinks of herself, Fluttershy is one of the toughest ponies Ah know. She just needs a push every now and then.”
Do you think that Rarity hates you?
“At times Ah can be a bit too country for her fru-fru tastes, but she is still my friend.”
Final question, get it right to reach the castle and claim your prize; What are your feelings for Rainbow Dash
Applejack had to pause and search her soul for the answer. “Ah follow my heart.” Upon exiting the maze, Applejack found herself only a few hundred feet away from the castle. After running for a few moments she felt a sudden weight on her neck. “The Element of Honesty? What in Celestia’s name is it doing here?”
Applejack then saw something she hoped never to see.
“What happened here... Twilight you better not have gotten yourself killed.
Rainbow Dash appeared in the middle of a clearing with the castle just visible past the tree tops.
“Alright those guys said something about a test at least they're open about it, so I just have to stay loyal to my friends and resist temptation.” The sound of a large machine erupting from the ground and caused her to leap into the air.
“Starscream lives!” The machine shouted to the heavens
“What are you?” Rainbow asked.
“I am the once and future king of the Decepticons, the great and powerful STARSCREAM THE IMMORTAL!” The speech would have been far more intimidating if Starscream’s already scratchy voice didn't raise an octave.
“Ok then ... do you need help or something and what do you mean by ‘once and future king’?” Rainbow asked, slightly unnerved by the screaming metal giant.
“LITTLE PONY CREATURE, I WILL GIVE YOU POWER OR EVEN YOUR HEART’S DESIRE IF YOU TELL ME WHERE IN PRIMUS'S NAME I AM AND TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION I BECAME KING WHEN I KILLED MY IDIOT OF AN LEADER. BLAST IT MY VOCAL PROCESSOR TO STUCK ON SHOUT.”
“This country is called Equestria, wait you betrayed your leader, so you could be called traitor. As you're a traitor and I’m the Element of Loyalty I would be justified in doing this BUCCANEER BLAZE!”
“WAIT! WHAT ARE YOU DO-”
“Well that settles that. What the hay? My Element of Harmony, what's it doing out here? Better take it.”
Rarity awoke within a rather spartan-styled hut.
“Hmmm, Zecora must have found me. Oh Zecora Darling, thank you for finding me.” Rarity said in a singsong voice.
“Zecora? This Zecora you speak of, who is, hmm? Green Loon, the hermit of these woods, I am.” An wrinkled green Unicorn with a balding mane, long pointed ears, and a brown robe walked slowly into the room.
“Well I am Ra-”
“Who you are, I know,”Green Loon interrupted “Your quest too I know *herh herh herh*. Take this elixir to solve your problems, you must. Cause wonders, it can. Defeat the old ones, it shall help. This sword as well, need it, you will.” Green Loon said levitating over a flask and saber.
“Very well then Mr. Loon, thank you for the help; now if you would kindly point me in the direction of the castle of the royal pony sisters.” Rarity said
“Follow the great bear in the sky north, you must. Yes, hmmm..”
“Thank you Mr. Loon!” Rarity shouted trotting away “ Great bear... why would there be a bear in the sky?” Rarity asked looking up “Those stars look somewhat like a Ursa, so might aswell go that way. Hmmm what is that dreadful noise... Zecora darling what in the world happen to you!?” Rarity asked concerned.
Zecora was suspended from and wrapped up in a spider's web.
“An Acromantula caught me unaware,” Zecora said slurring her speech, “My little pony friend you must beware! Soon the spider will be back. To eat his little zebra snack!”
“Zecora listen to me; I'm going to cut you down now, so don’t move.” When Rarity had managed to get Zecora down, the Zebra immediately collapsed shaking.
“Rarity your efforts are in vain; there is poison in my veins.” Zecora managed to blurt out.
“Zecora stay with me! Is there anything I can do?” Rarity cried, tears already forming on her eyes
“To save me it would take a wonder. For soon the ground I shall be under. Please hold me.” Zecora's voice was getting weaker by the second.
“A wonder... quickly drink this it should help.” Rarity said pouring the potion into Zecora's now limp mouth.
“WHAT HAVE I DONE?!” Rarity shouted tears freely flowing from her eyes
“Worry not Rarity the potion is already working on me.” Zecora said getting back on her hooves.
“I thought you had died.” Rarity said blinking
“I must ask where did you get that potion from?” Zecora inquired
“A hermit Green Loon.” Rarity replied
“Hummmmmmmm... never in all my many moons have I met a Green Loon. Also I must ask what animosity caused you to bring you, Element of Generosity?”
“Wait what?! This whole thing is getting stranger by the second..”
Fluttershy found herself at the back of a cave surrounded by darkness.
'Where... where am I?' Fluttershy asked herself 'There's a light! I hope it leads out of here!'
Fluttershy felt her hooves hitting off of various gemstones, but unfortunately she did not realize where she was until the gems gave out from under, her sending her for a tumble. “Owww...” Fluttershy gave herself a quick once over “Nothing seems to be broken and... there's the exit!” Fluttershy cried out in joy. As she exited Fluttershy saw a wounded dragon thrashing right in front of her.
“D-dr-dr-DRAGON” Fluttershy managed to stutter before dashing back into the cave
“WhatamIgoingtodo?WhatamIgoingtodo?WhatamIgoingtodo?” Fluttershy asked herself
'You should help him.' a small voice in her head implored.
'Or you could do nothing.' another voice countered.
'He is going to die if you do nothing.' the first voice continued
'And he'll eat you if you help.' the second voice rebutted
'You must show kindness and help him.'
'No one will ever know you did nothing.' The two voices finished at once.
“I... I would know,” Fluttershy said meekly. “Thats why I going to help that dragon,” Fluttershy said with more strength, before walking up to the dragon. “Ummm Mr.Dragon could you please hold still?” Fluttershy asked still determined.
“And what are you going to do, puny pony?” the dragon growled.
“I'm going save to your life.”
Fluttershy quickly set to work resetting a dislocated wing and binding the various cuts and stabs. “Mr.Dragon, I've done everything I can. Although, if you have any friends that could help you you should see them, but you shouldn't fly for a few days at the very least.” Fluttershy instructed.
“I shall do that. And for aiding me, I will not eat you and take your necklace for my hoard.” the dragon rumbled.
“Th-thank you?”Fluttershy said, returning to her usual self.
Pinkie Pie found herself looking into the predatory golden eyes of War.
“GASP!” Pinkie said out loud. “You're one of the bad ponies! *beat* I was expecting someone smaller.”
“WAIT, WHAT!? NORMALLY PONIES SAY THE EXACT OPPOSITE. OH SHIT, I WAS GOING TO SAY SOMETHING EXTREMELY IMPORTANT, AND NOW I CAN'T REMEMBER WHAT" War exclaimed, frantically pacing in a circle.
“Well when I forget what I was going to say, I say the first thing on my mind: like how lemons are great for starting fires. Say would you like some lemonade?”Pinkie asked
pulling out a pitcher of lemonade from somewhere.
“WHY THANK YOU,” War said slightly softer. “NOW LETS SEE, FIRST THING ON MY MIND... WAR'S OUTRAGEOUS ADVENTURE TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH! NO, THAT TIME I MOVED A MOUNTAIN FOR THE HECK OF IT! NO, DISCOOOOQOOOORD!! NO, DAAARKNESS! YES! DARKNESS HAS CLOUDED THE MINDS OF MY FRIENDS. YOU MUST HELP THEM.”
“IF YOUR FRIENDS HAVE CLOUDS IN THEIR HEADS, WHY DON'T YOU GET A PEGASUS TO KICK THEM AWAY!?” Pinkie shouted.
“I’M BEING SERIOUS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 2112 YEARS, AND WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING?” War asked
“SHOUTING IS FUN!”Pinkie answered
“WELL STOP SHOUTING, IT'S MY BIT!” War shouted. “NOW YOU NEED TO TAKE THIS ELEMENT OF HARMONY. OH AND ONE MORE THING- THE NEXT TIME WE MEET, THE DARKNESS WILL BE CONTROLLING ME AGAIN SO... BASICALLY RUN.”
“Oki doki loki” Pinkie said bouncing off to the castle.
It was a bright and beautiful dawn in Ponyville. Twilight's eyes snapped open; it took her a few moments to realize that she was at home in her bed.
“That was a terrible nightmare.Strange to it was so vivid and it didn't involve me being shaved or failing a test... I better not dwell on it. I have things to do and ponies to see.” Twilight said, climbing out of bed. “Now where did I put that checklist? Ah, here it is, now lets see... Number one: talk to Rarity about a graduation gown.” Twilight put her list in her saddle bag and looked up ready to begin her day only to find herself face to face with the door of the Carousel Boutique. “Wait, how did I get here? That’s odd, I must have teleported by accident,” Twilight said, walking in the boutique.
“Oh Twilight, you're early,” Rarity said looking up from her work. “I only just finished it now. Take a look and tell me what you think.” Rarity levitated up a black gown with scarlet trimming, honor cords, and two medals.
“It looks perfect Rarity,” Twilight replied wholeheartedly. “ Wait a second... why are you not freaking out about me not doing my mane, and for that matter why is your mane so messy?”
“What ever are talking about? Our manes looks the same as ever,” Rarity replied nonchalantly.
“Ok then... can you hold onto my dress for a while: I have to go deliver a book to Fluttershy,” Twilight said, walking out the door only to find herself already at Fluttershy's cottage.
“That was weird: I know I didn't teleport that time. I probably just didn't get enough sleep last night... Yes, that must be it. No I just have to give Fluttershy her book, then I can get some sleep.” Twilight walked around the cottage into the backyard. “Fluttershy there you are; here's that book on veterinary medicine you wanted.”
“Oh... thank you Twilight, but you didn't need to come all the way out here just to give me a silly little book on growing plants, it is my talent after all.” Fluttershy said before picking up the book with her mouth.
‘That isn’t right, but I’m probably just imagining things.’ Twilight thought already trotting away. 'I just have to make it home and get some sleep, and then everything will be alright.' As Twilight finished her internal monologue, she found herself at Sweet Apple Acres.
“No... I didn't want to come here! Something must be wrong!”
“Howdy Twilight, is something wrong?” Applejack asked, walking up to the distressed mare.
“Yes I'm either under some sort of mind control or...” Twilight trailed off as something struck her. “Applejack, since when is your hat pink?”
“I do not know what you are talking about.” Applejack hastily replied.
“Your accent just slipped and you’re wearing a pink hat, Rarity made me a graduation gown before I submitted my dissertation to the committee and her mane is an absolute mess, Fluttershy got her own talent wrong, and now that I think about it I didn’t see her wings at all, Pinkie Pie hasn’t done anything crazy or spontaneous today, and Rainbow Dash would have had to get up well before sunrise to clear all the clouds. I've got this all figured out now: this is all just a dream from a spell! Now I just have to break it with a spell of antimagic and WAKE UP! Twilight's horn began to glow a violet aura.
Applejack was the first to return to the castle. She saw Twilight lying motionless in the threshold.
“What happened here... Twilight you better not have gotten yourself killed.” Applejack was walking up to check on Twilight when she heard something coming from behind her.
“HEY APPLEJACK LOOK OUT!” Rainbow Dash cried out right before crashing into the bewildered mare.
“Oh dear... I hope neither of you are hurt,” Fluttershy said arriving right behind Rainbow Dash.
“I am late again am I not?” Rarity said galloping to the castle a minute later “Hmm what is wrong with Twilight?”
Fluttershy was the one to answer “She appears to be in some sort of magically induced sleep and we tried to wake her up normally but it didn't work..”
“Ooo I know what we can do,” Pinkie said appearing from apparently nowhere. “ We can use the power of our friendship to boost that spell Twilight is casting!” She drew their attention to Twilight's now glowing horn.
“It's worth a shot but how exactly do we do it?” Applejack asked
“Ummm we could try gathering around Twilight and think about our friendship.” Fluttershy answered meekly
“Well as we all have our respective elements that may just work.” Rarity said
The five friends gathered round Twilight and thought of all their fondest memories of their friend. After a few moments the Elements began to glow and then waves of magic,in the shapes of their cutie marks,shot into Twilight's horn amplifying her spell allowing it the break the enchantments.
“Girls... you saved me-” Twilight began
“What's a little life savin’ between friends?” Applejack interrupted. “Now come on, we got baddies to beat up with five necklaces and a big crown thingy.”
“Big crown thingy? Big crown thingy! This makes no sense; what are the Elements doing here, they shouldn't have just appeared!? Twilight inquired.
“Well of course they came to us silly they knew we would need them.” Pinkie oddly enough answered.
AN on music and voices
Green loon: Yoda he is
Music is The Lonely Man Theme by Joe Harnell
Disclaimer this author gains nothing from this work
My Little Pony Friendship is Magic is property of Hasbro and Developed by Lauren Faust
All non-original characters are property of Hasbro
“What is past is prologue.”
~William Shakespeare The Tempest
The Elements of Harmony had gathered in the crystal castle's gatehouse to discuss the new plan.
“Now the layout of the castle seems to have been completely changed, so does anypony know where in the castle they might be?” Twilight asked.
“I think I saw a few big dark shapes and some glowy stuff in the big tower thingy when I flew here,” Rainbow answered.
“Great, that means that the big destroy-the-world spell that we have to use the elements on is most likely in the keep, which is the best defended part of a castle. Now the only route would be to cut through the courtyard enter the tower, and from there find a way up,” Twilight said.
As the six friends exited the gatehouse they saw in the center of the courtyard a dugout arena, and in the center of that War sleeping.
“Err Twi can you teleport us to the tower door?” Applejack whispered into Twilight's ear.
“No. I probably don't have enough power to teleport all six of us, and even if I did the flash and noise would wake him.” Twilight whispered back “We have to be very quiet and careful not to wake him.
The elements sneaked across the courtyard managing to reach the far end of the crater when *CREAK* Fluttershy stepped on the charred remains of a branch.
“Oh...um I-I'm s-s-sorry,” Fluttershy said shaking.
War had managed to wake up. “WHO DARES TO AWAKEN WAR BRINGER OF ENDLESS DESTRUCTION?” War paused to look over those that dared to wake him. “YOU, WITH THE WITH THE WHITE COAT. DO YOU FANCY YOURSELF A SWORDSMARE?”War asked.
“On occasion.” Rarity answered.
“VERY WELL THEN, A DUEL!” War said grinning.
“Very wel-” *oomph* Rarity was pulled away by the tail by Applejack.
“What in Celestia's name are you doin'? You are goin' to get yourself killed!? And now that I think about it, ah never once seen you use a sword, let alone against a pony more than twice your size,” Applejack ranted at Rarity.
“Applejack I appreciate your concern, but if you must know I was the best in my fencing class when I attended finishing school. The main reason I am doing this is to give everypony else a chance to go on. Besides, if things become bad Twilight can just teleport me out,” Rarity responded.
“But Rarity...” Applejack started.
“Go. I have a duel to fight.”
“I TAKE IT THAT YOU ARE READY?” War asked.
“Yes I am ready,” Rarity answered.
The two fighters took their positions at opposite sides of the arena with Rarity drawing her simple saber, and War drawing a massive seven foot long great sword attached to his front left leg by a chain. The two duelists circled each other until the light from the still setting sun compelled Rarity to shut her eyes. War took advantage of this with a jumping slash, forcing Rarity to roll to the side when she heard his shout. From there Rarity was forced onto the defensive, guarding and evading an unrelenting fury of berserk blows, constantly in retreat. Rarity quickly figured out that despite the speed of her own weapon she would not get any blows in normally, and that her opponent had fallen into an exploitable simple pattern. Eventually she saw her chance with an overexertion of the leg the sword was attached to, creating a hole in the offensive; Rarity brought down her sword with all her might into War's shoulder. The strike left barely more than a scratch. The entirety of the fight lasted little more than two minutes.
“I GROW TIRED OF THIS.” War sneered making a quick yet powerful strike that forced Rarity to guard snapping her sword in the process.
“Oh dammit,” Rarity quietly swore
“ULTIMATE INFERNO FIRE BLAST!” War took a deep breath.
“TWILIGHT I NEED A TELEPORT!” Rarity shouted as Twilight appeared next to her and both disappeared just as War breathed out an inferno that consumed the entire courtyard.
“THAT PROBABLY GOT THEM. NOW BACK TO MY NAP.”
Twilight and Rarity had teleported into the vestibule of tower where the others were waiting for them.
“Twi, Ah thought that you didn't have enough power to pull off another teleport?”
“The power needed for that spell increases exponentially with mass and distance so it takes a massive amount of energy to teleport six ponies the distance of the courtyard but a tiny fraction for two ponies half that distance,” Twilight explained. “Now those doors probably lead to the great hall and there should be a stair case either in it or nearby.” Twilight pushed open the large double doors revealing a ballroom tiled with alternating black and white marble squares and at the far end a staircase being descended by Famine. Within a heartbeat Famine had appeared in front of the elements.
"Hello there. I could destroy you. That would be no fun. I know. A game of chess. You win you go. I win you die. Don't have time so 5 minutes each.”
“Twilight you have to know how to play this egghead game, right?” Rainbow asked her voice filled with worry.
“No I don't,”.
“Um, I know how to play,” Fluttershy mumbled.
“Good.” While the Elements were talking Famine had erected a giant set of black chess pieces each the size and shape of various types of pony peasants being pawns, Pegasi with chariots as knights,Unicorns dressed in robes in place of bishops, Earth Ponies clad in armor for rooks, an Alicorn queen and Famine himself taking the place of the king.
“Your friends shall be pieces. Chose wisely. You must play the king.” Famine ordered.
“Oh ok. Rainbow and Applejack the rooks if you don't mind, Twilight the queen's spot please, um... Rarity and Pinkie the king's side bishop and knight if its ok with you,” Fluttershy requested walking to her square. As everypony took their spots the rest of their side was filled with white pieces.
“I um have the first move… pawn to D4.” The pawn in front of Twilight walked forward two spaces.
“Pawn D5.” The black piece mirrored Fluttershy's move
“Pawn to E3” The pawn in front of Fluttershy advanced one space.
“Pawn E6.” Again Famine made a mirrored move
“Um Rarity could you move to the space between the two pawns- D3?”
“Of course Darling.”
The game continued in a similar fashion; each player struggling of dominance, neither taking any pieces until...
“Rarity could you go to the space diagonal from Famine to put him in check?” Fluttershy asked. Unfortunately Famine had set up a trap that Rarity had just walked into.
“Knight takes Bishop.” A stone Pegasus slammed into Rarity's side, knocking her into the wall with a sickening crunch.
*Gasp* “Pinkie take the knight!” Fluttershy said, shock evident in her voice. Pinkie ran up to the knight and toppled it.
“Knight takes Knight.” Famine had sprung another trap, his other knight flinging Pinkie into the wall where she connected with a crack.
“Rarity... Pinkie...” All emotion faded from Fluttershy's voice. “I. Will. Crush. You!” She said staring into Famine's eyes.
“Something wrong? That look is unsettling.” Famine said blinking between words.
“Twilight put him into check.”
“I hate my defence.” Famine grumbled moving to one side.
“Rainbow Dash move to the far end of the board”
Famine realized far too late what Fluttershy had set up “A pincer.”
“Applejack end this go directly across from him for checkmate.”
“I lost... you may pass.” Famine said, crumbling into dust.
Fluttershy immediately ran to where both Rarity and Pinkie lay.
“Rarity... Pinkie... please be alright” Fluttershy pleaded.
“What is it Darling... time to go to the spa? Why Darling, you're surrounded by stars.” Rarity said stirring. Seeing that Rarity most likely had concussion Fluttershy started to check for any other injuries.
“That hurts Fluttershy,” Rarity said through her teeth as Fluttershy touched her side.
“Good news, you only have a mild concussion and a few bruised ribs so you should be good for now. Now on to Pinkie.”
“Um Pinkie that's not how you snore so... could you get up please?” Fluttershy asked.
“Oki doki loki!” Pinkie exclaimed springing up from the cracked section of the wall.
“Um, you don't seem to be hurt at all,” Fluttershy said meekly.
“Well duh! I took a nice long rest,” Pinkie said smugly.
“That's not how healing works,” Fluttershy said confused.
“Fluttershy, I thought we all have given up on explaining Pinkie,” Twilight reminded. “Now come on you three we have work to do.” Twilight started up the stairs and the others following behind. The six friends emerged from the staircase and found themselves on the edge of a perfectly circular grassy island.
“What the buck?” Applejack said summing up their thoughts. “Is there some sort of way up from this rock?”
As if to answer Applejack's question, a spiral stairway appeared on the far side of the island and upon the bottom step Pestilence.
“How did you get this far?” Pestilence said in a monotone voice. “I probably should get the others, but for now something to keep you busy.” Pestilence's horn glowed red for a second before he teleported away, leaving in his place exact copies of Twilight, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy,and Pinkie Pie.
“What the hay?” Rainbow Dash said raising into the air “Eat this cheap knockoffs!” she shouted, dive bombing toward the copies only to crash head first into her counterpart who attempted the same; both had a less than soft landing at their respective Twilight's hooves.
“Rainbow we need to think this situa-EPPP” Twilight said jumping after Pinkie attempted to crank her tail.
“Pinkie!” Twilight snapped turning around. “What do you think you're doing?”
“Dashie hurt Dashie so I was going to use the Twilight Gatling maneuver.” Pinkie answered while pulling out her party cannon.
“Er sugar cube, why would the other you jump?” Applejack asked. “Ah mean it serves no-” Applejack was interrupted by a well placed punch from Rainbow Dash’s double.
“Purpose” Applejack finished shaking off the punch with a wry grin before turning around to retaliate with a quick bucking. Looking over to the other side she saw that her duplicate had done the exact same same thing to Rainbow Dash.
“Girls!” Pinkie was wantonly firing her cannon. “Girls!” Fluttershy was holding back Rarity who had been hit by a stray chocolate cake. “GIRLS!” Twilight stopped lecturing Rainbow Dash on the values of not rushing in to attack and everypony turned to look at Applejack. “We don't need fight these copy things. If we just go 'round the outer edge of island they will just go on the other side and we'll get to the stairs.”
They carried out Applejack's plan, and surprising enough it came off without a hitch. As the six of them were ascending the spiral stairs they each saw their copies eerily walking around in mid air. In time the sky above the lake was replaced by an empty void and the six friends climbed and climbed for what felt like miles until finally the stairs stopped at a doorway of almost blinding light. Emerging the doorway the Elements of Harmony found themselves back in the castle in a crystal chamber at the top of the highest tower.
“Does anypony else hear music? Because I hear boss music.” Pinkie said.
“How in the world did you make it this far?!” Death shouted. “Do not answer for it matters not, for I am Death the Endless.” Death said while shattering the runes.
“You're going to monologue about your evil plans, how all our efforts are futile, and explain every little detail on the way that you are going to destroy us, aren’t you?” Twilight said sarcastically.
“No I'm going to skip right to the destroying you part.” Death said as he beat his wings, forming two tornadoes.
“Rainbow-” Twilight began.
“I'm on it!” Rainbow Dash already spinning around the cyclones in the opposite direction that they were going canceling them out.
“Naive weaklings!” Death's horn glowed before unleashing a foul miasma which Twilight countered by creating a shield bubble to isolate it.
'Why haven’t the elements activated yet?' Twilight's thoughts were interrupted by the room filling with pale smoke.
“Death, those six interlopers shall be here soon.” Pestilence said.
“Wait, there are MORE of them?” Death asked with a touch of sarcasm.
“Ah they are here already... odd that trap was rated to take twenty minutes to escape.”
“LESS TALK MORE FIGHT!” War roared leaping at the much smaller ponies only to get a face full of force field.
“War has a point,” Famine muttered after throwing his scythe to scatter Twilight's protective spell.
Twilight felt some power coming from her crown. 'Finally they are working,' she thought. “It's time to put a stop to this!”
The Elements of Harmony began to shoot off beams in their shapes while Twilight's horn began to glow.
“What's happening?” Pestilence asked bewildered.
“EMERGENCY PLAN ETA!” War shouted far louder than usual.
“Emergency Plan Eta...” Death said “Ahem. Elements of Harmony, serve your masters!” Three amulets taking the form of a burning sword and shield, a scythe and field, and drops of blood, phlegm, and two colors of bile appeared on the necks of War, Famine and Pestilence and a Crown framing an ankh appeared on Death's head. The two sets of the Elements of Harmony both formed rainbows of light that canceled each other out. Everypony was stupefied at what had just happened for various reasons ranging from the Elements not working to the other group having a set. Death began casting a spell purely on reflex forming a massive ball of pure white light.
“Descend perfect ligh...” Death started to say but then his entire body language changed as he stopped casting the spell. “So we meet again Heroes of Harmony.” As Death spoke the other's expressions changed as well.
“Wait wait wait, what in the world just happened and who exactly are you?” Twilight asked.
“It is a long story.” Death replied.
“We have time.” Twilight countered.
“Unfortunately we do not as we must unseal Celestia, retrieve Luna from the moon, and fix the assorted damages the each of us have wrought tonight so we shall have to speak at a later time.”
The room appeared to fade away depositing the six mares at the edge of the Everfree Forest.
“But what the how that this doesn’t even… I need a drink...” Twilight managed to sputter out.
I know... I reckon we all do,” Applejack said, “So ciders are on me.”
“Silly Applejack, you'd make a horrible table and I wish someone would turn off the music. It no longer fits the mood.” Pinkie said.
Four days later Twilight had just finished organizing the groceries she had bought that afternoon and double checked her checklist when she heard four knocks on her door. Opening the door Twilight saw nothing out of the ordinary, but still she leaned out the door to take a better look. As she did there was a small series of hoofsteps.
“Pinkie this had better not be some sort of weird prank!” Twilight shouted.
“I do not believe so. May we come in?” Twilight heard the voice of Death coming from the empty space next to her ear.
“You're under some sort of invisibility spell,” Twilight quickly deduced “Oh and yes you can come in.” Twilight felt four brief brushes of wind as her guests walked around her. “Now I need to go get my friends so I’ll be back in a minute; if you need anything ask Spike. but turn visible first.
True to her word Twilight was back with her friends in tow within the minute. Rainbow almost instantly dashed up to the older ponies who were sitting at one end of a table.
“A question? Please sit,"Famine said before Rainbow Dash could even open her mouth.
Rainbow Dash slowly floated down into a sitting position in which time the others had walked to the table. On the way over Twilight had grabbed a list off of a lectern. “Alright first two questions: who in the world are you, and why in the world are you here?”
“We are the spirits of war, famine, pestilence, and death, or rather those are just what the Precursors thought we were. It only accurately describes myself and War; we only kept the names out of convenience.” As Death paused Twilight wrote a new question at the bottom of her list. “As for your second question; I could go on a long monologue about life, everything’s place in the world, and how it is a mystery that is impossible to solve, but that would take too long.”
“Okay... now let me be a specif-” Rainbow Dash cutoff Twilight having finally regained her composure.
“Just who in Tartarus do you think you are and why in Celestia's name do you think we're going to trust you?” Rainbow asked harshly.
“Didn't you just answer that question Death?” Pestilence asked.
“It feels like I did, and as for your second question you have no true reason to trust us,” Death said using his eyes to make what could be considered a smiling gesture.
“Alright then... back to my questions. Now let me reword my second question- why did you come out of nowhere to try to destroy the world?"
“Someone, or rather something, created the illusion that Discord had triumphed over you six and had plunged the world into eternal and irreversible chaos.”
“Discord? What's he have anything to do with this?” Applejack asked.
“Discord was once our friend, but then he snapped. Changed his name and began to upset the balance of the world by creating immense amounts of chaos. We tried to stop him and with the aid of the rest of our friends we seceded, but we gave him a second chance which he used to stab us in the back. Killed all our friends and imprisoned the four of us for the past two thousand one hundred and twelve years,” Pestilence answered bitterly.
“That there is harsh,” Applejack said.
“On to my next question,” Twilight said adjusting her list. “How can you you use the Elements of Harmony?”
“Long long ago we watched over the world in penance for what we did to it the Elements came to us, and on occasion we used them to combat certain threats. Oddly enough your connection to the Elements is far stronger than ours. I must ask how many times have you used them?” Death said.
“Three times now,” Twilight answered, “Now who are the Precursors that you mentioned?”
“The Precursors lived here. We destroyed them. Happened one million years ago. Two universes collided. Denial of fixed point. Idiot killed Destiny. Woke us up. Did our job when we shouldn't have. Restarted.” Famine replied tersely.
“Why did you call us the ‘Heroes of Harmony’?” Twilight inquired.
“ I can not tell you or I risk causing some sort of temporal abnormality,” Death answered.
“I don't have any more questions. Does anypony else have one?” Twilight asked.
“Um, are there any other ponies that you know of that could destroy the world?”Fluttershy asked a tad louder than usual.
]“I HATE TO BREAK IT TO YOU, BUT YOU LIVE RIGHT NEXT TO THE MAIN GATE TO TARTARUS WHERE THERE ARE THREE GROUPS THAT ARE AS STRONG OR STRONGER THAN US. AND THAT'S NOT EVEN COUNTING THE VARIOUS ELDRITCH AND THE ONE ABOVE ALL.” War said, speaking for the first time.
“If it is alright with you, we shall take our leave now. Oh one more thing, there is darkness on the horizon.” With that the four teleported away in a flash.
Why do I get feeling that we are going to have a horrid year?” Rarity thought aloud
AN music is Night on Bald Mountain composed by Modest Mussorgsky