A Mystery Just Waiting to be Solved!
"Captain's Log, Stardate 44161.3: The Enterprise has been ordered to the Horsehead Nebula to investigate a rather unusual system. Observation probes dispatched to the area have been recording events that appear to defy many of the laws of physics as we currently understand them.
One of this system's unique features consists of a planet whose natural satellites in orbit appear to be a miniature sun facing opposite to a single moon. They appear to be in geosynchronous orbit, yet every half-cycle, an unidentified object launches from the surface, reverses the location of the sun, while a second object appears to control the moon in a similar fashion. Sensors have detected a Class M environment capable of supporting life. Signs of intelligent life on the surface have been discovered as well.
These life forms appear to be a pre-warp society of quadrupeds. In this regard, I have reminded the crew of the Prime Directive, and while we are investigating, we must take every precaution to prevent the contamination of their culture. Especially for non-humanoids, any accidental first-contact could result in disastrous consequences. Commander Riker has been tasked with putting together an away team to visit the surface discreetly and investigate some of these phenomena. I have granted the use of low power cloaking devices for individual and ground site protections."
"Dear Princess Celestia,
Today I learned that friendship is important even for ponies you don't always want to be around. When a friend is sad for a long time and is no longer fun to hang around with, you need to be an even better friend and be there to help them never feel alone until they've fully healed. Sometimes "Leave me alone!" is actually a cry for help from a friend who feels so lonely, they honestly believe they should be alone. And nothing could be less true. Patience and understanding are needed to maintain a long lasting friendship.
On a different note, I received your letter from Spike about the disappearance of the Discord statue. This greatly concerns me. I have not witnessed any strange events that would suggest he has been freed, however I shall hop on the very next train to Canterlot and investigate as soon as I get there. I've told my friends about this incident, and they've all agreed to join me and help solve this mystery. (Pinkie Pie even packed her Sherlock Hooves hat, magnifying glass, and bubble-pipe!)
Don't worry your majesty. We'll get to the bottom of this.
Your faithful student,
"Come on ponies! Where going to miss the train!" Twilight called over the noise bellowing from the steam engine.
"Hold ger britches there Twi. I'm a comin'," came the voice of Applejack from the end of the platform.
Soon everypony was making their way towards Twilight and Spike, whose mind had just left his body and floated over toward Rarity, who was styled in her latest "Canterlot-worthy" ensemble. Today she dawned a more Victorian style dress with blue sapphires and green emeralds. She sported a matching umbrella to keep her out of the sunlight. As Spike's body started to float after where its mind had already departed toward, Twilight quickly used her magic to keep Spike from floating away, giving a little smirk and a roll of her eyes as she did so.
Rarity was followed by Pinkie Pie who, as usual, was so hyper she was jumping and bouncing while humming to herself. Twilight could not quite place the tune, but had long since learned it is best not to ask Pinkie Pie what she is humming. Rainbow Dash was purposefully stalling so she could race to the front at the last second, before the rest of the gang got inside the train.
Flutteryshy was still issuing orders to her animal friends when the whistle started blowing loudly from the train.
"All Aboard!" the conductor shouted.
"Fluttershy we need to go now!", Twilight yelled.
"Now you make sure not to go near that Bear Cave again little birdies," Fluttershy continued. "He's just starting to go to bed for the upcoming winter months, and your singing is keeping him awake."
Twilight turned to Spike, “Okay Spike, remember to feed and take care of Fluttershy’s animals for her. Dr. Hooves has agreed to look in on you from time to time, though sometimes his timing can be rather…erratic. Just be good and don’t overwork yourself. You are a baby dragon after all.”
The train was starting to pull away from the station.
"FLUTTERSHY!!!", Twilight bellowed.
"Oh dear, oh dear!" Fluttershy started chasing after the train, which was picking up speed, but she started to fall behind. She was never able to flap her wings past 2.3 wingpower. "HELP! ...", she cried, "I mean... if you could...if you want to."
With a roll of her eyes, Rainbow Dash flew out to meet Fluttershy and give her the extra boost to catch up to the train as it pulled further away from the station.
"Thank you Rainbow Dash," Fluttershy sheepishly muttered once she was safely aboard the train. "I...um...needed to...that is..."
"It's fine Fluttershy, just save it," Rainbow Dash retorted now moving away from Fluttershy's quiet apologies and over toward Twilight, who was waiting for everypony to gather so she could go over the details of the situation.
"Okay ponies. Princess Celestia has requested our help to investigate the disappearance of Discord's statue. So far there have been no reports of chaos in Canterlot or Ponyville, however that does not mean that Discord has not returned.
"Discord's statue disappeared two nights ago from the palace statue garden. The guards on duty have been questioned, but did not see any trespassers on the grounds. Our job is to look for any signs the guards may have missed and if necessary, find and stop whoever is behind this, even if it is Discord himself!"
At those words, simultaneous expressions of fear from Fluttershy, determination from Applejack, indifference from Rarity, excitement from Rainbow Dash, and laughter from Pinkie Pie appeared on everyponies' faces.
"The princess has granted us permission to retrieve the Elements of Harmony, just in case they become necessary during the course of this investigation," Twilight continued. "Our first task when we arrive is to obtain the elements and keep them with us at all times."
At that comment, Rarity's ears finally perked up. "Oh how lovely! It will be the perfect companion to my outfit. I will probably attract the eye of every colt in Canterlot!" Rarity's eyes sparkled the same diamond shape as her element.
"NO!" Twilight quickly replied. "We must keep our element on us at all times, but we must also keep them a secret so they do not attract any unnecessary attention. Do I make myself clear?" Rarity's eyes quickly returned to normal as the rest of her face fell into a frown upon hearing this news.
"Don't be sad Rarity," Pinkie chirped. "If Discord has returned it could mean more cotton candy clouds and chocolate rain! And ooh! What if he makes chocolate ice cream snow flakes for the winter? We could have an ice cream snowball fight! Hee hee!"
As Pinkie continued to ramble on about which dessert weathers she would like to see, the train rolled on up the mountain pass and into the station at Canterlot.
"....And gum drop hail too! Ohh! We're here guys!" she shouted looking out the window. She hopped along the car to the exit and continued right through the station. The other ponies were just grateful that Pinkie finally stopped talking and followed her out into the square.
"Captain, the away team has finished establishing a small base of operations just outside a smaller village," Lieutenant Commander Data began reciting, in his usual matter-of-fact way of speaking. "Intelligence has reported the name of the planet is Equestria and the town, Ponyville. The society appears to be built on three main subspecies; winged, horned, and neither. They are a monarchical society whose ruler appears to be a hybrid of the three subspecies."
As Data continued his report, the captain struggled to remain focused on the details. Even as fascinating as encountering a non-humanoid race of quadrupeds was, Data never failed to explain it in the dullest possible way. The captain was very used to this by now, however he still couldn't help sometimes flashing back to his academy days with Professor Kfetch whose lectures were likened to having to listen to warp engine coils for three hours just to hear when the two second variance in the alignment occurred.
The Enterprise had been in orbit for seventeen hours now and thus far witnessed a world that seemed to be in perfect balance with the complete chaos of its physical anomalies. It seemed where mother nature should have played the biggest roles, members of the community were fulfilling those duties in her place.
For daylight and nighttime, the royal family themselves would rotate the sun and the moon around the planet. The Enterprise could not determine how they were capable of reaching high orbit without a ship of some kind, let alone how they could breathe or reposition the orbiting satellites single-handedly.
On the surface, the 'winged ponies' were observed to have direct control of the weather, causing it to rain or snow when needed to water crops or even provide a sunny day to enjoy. The 'regular ponies' appeared to be the food growers and tradesmen. But the most peculiar phenomena observed were the 'single-horned ponies' who are able to levitate and transform objects with no discernible technology to accomplish said tasks.
As Captain Picard reviewed this info in his head, he shuddered at the thought of the natives’ ability to manipulate matter at whim with no observable technology. To date, he had only encountered a small handful of beings with similar capabilities; one of which happened to be the Q Continuum. Q would play with the universe like it was his own personal playground and toy with the lives of innocents on mere whim. The captain quickly drove that thought from his mind as he had realized Mr. Data had finished his report.
"Thank you Mr. Data," the captain said, reaching for his communicator badge. "Picard to Riker".
"Riker here Captain. Go ahead," came the reply.
"Commander, have you been able to determine if the power of the single-horned members of the species stems from any form of energy source?" the captain inquired, anxious to see if there had been any developments specifically in this area.
"Not yet sir. Geordi has setup several dozen cloaked sensors around the village to try to detect various energy outputs and wavelengths, however they haven't been able to detect anything out of the ordinary. Counselor Troi is assisting to see if there is an emotional connection to the phenomena that might tie it to the beings themselves rather than technology based."
Captain Picard was a little disappointed to not hear better news, but that would never show on his face. "Very good Commander. Keep me apprised of any developments. Picard out."
Turning to his Security Chief he said, "Mr. Worf, I'll be in my Ready-Room. You have the bridge."
"Aye Sir," came the reply as he took his station in the captain's chair.
The captain headed for his Ready-Room and made a straight line for the replicator. "Tea, Earl Grey, Hot." He issued the order to his personal replicator. At once, his favorite tea for relaxing materialized; steam rising from the cup as though it has just been freshly brewed.
Taking it back to his desk, he sat down and breathed in its gentle aroma before taking his first and only sip. For at that moment came a voice that instantly caused the captain to release the cup from his hands, sending it crashing to the floor:
"Good evening Jean-Luc. Always a pleasure to see you again."
Discord and Q
“Q, What the devil are you doing here?" Captain Picard barked. "We had an agreement! You were not to disturb us again!”
Q, who had flashed into existence lying on the couch, was dressed in his typical Starfleet uniform leaning back with his feet propped up on the arm rest.
“Quite right you are, mon capitan!" Q sang. "Quite right indeed. However, this time it is you who are disturbing me,” Q's face sported a smile spread wide like a cat who knew exactly where the canary had mysteriously run off to. “You see, this planet is under observation by the Q Continuum, and you decided to pay us a visit for a change.”
“Why would you be observing this planet Q?” Picard inquired of the infuriating being lying before him. “What possible interest could it serve for the Continuum?”
Q swung his feet around to the floor. Standing upright he replied, “That’s none of your concern!” His demeanor had changed. His smile was still as wide as ever, but there was something behind his eyes that made the captain wary. He knew Q was being less cavalier and with a seriousness that made him think twice about the situation.
“If you are here to observe, then we share in that objective,” Picard spoke delicately trying to derive as much information as he could. “Perhaps we could…”
“Perhaps not, my dear captain,” Q interrupted. “I’d warn you to leave, but we both know you could never resist the temptation of exploration and possible danger!”
“What do you mean ‘possible danger?’” Picard asked, knowing already that anything with Q meant danger.
“Why Captain… where would be the fun if I just told you?” Q responded. “But I should stress your presence will have, shall we say, consequences. Leave, Captain. Get your people back to the ship and leave.” Q still had a smile on his face that suggested he was deliberately hiding something.
“You know we won’t just turn tail and run,” Picard said, standing his ground. “We are explorers, and we will not be bullied around! We have as much of a right to observe the unusual phenomena occurring in this system as you do, which I assume is the reason you are here.”
“So you think I’m here because a few laws of physics are being bent around a bit? …Hardly.” Q had now returned to his usual flamboyant self. “Physics are just laws you humans and others like you are bound to. Like a government. It keeps you in line. The beings before you don’t have any need to follow such a mundane path. They are destined for something much greater.”
“Greater you say?” Picard had been listening patiently to Q’s rant, but that last line centered his thoughts. “Are you saying these creatures don’t have to follow the laws of physics?”
Q’s face was unreadable. He continued on as though he hadn’t even heard the captain. “Very well Jean-Luc, I shall let you stay. But let me remind you again. You’re interference here will have consequences.” Before Picard could inquire further, Q had vanished.
Leaving the shattered cup and spilled tea as is, he left his Ready-Room and headed straight onto the bridge. Opening a channel on his communicator, the captain gave the order: “All Senior Staff including those in the landing party; report to the briefing room immediately. We have unexpected company.”
Several Nights Earlier...
Lightning flashed as a dark figure strolled through the castle gardens. It had been raining heavily only an hour before, leaving the grass damp and the ground soft. The rain had now diminished to a cool mist that made it difficult to see more than a few yards away.
Walking along the rows of statues, the figure ignored them all save for one: a tall statue of a very strange creature stood in the center of the garden. The creature looked as though it was made of parts of many different creatures ripped into pieces then sewn together into a Frankenstein’s monster. It was also unusual in that it was the only statue in the garden that required a guard to protect it.
The guard stood at attention, his eyes darting back and forth, looking for any signs of trouble. He wore a complete suit of armor with a single horn protruding from his helmet. He held a single spear with his front right hoof close to his chest. The dark figure walked right up to the statue as though the guard wasn’t even there.
“Halt! Who goes there?” the guard called to the mysterious stranger, who appeared to be walking on only two legs. The stranger said nothing. “I must insist you identify yourself! If you do not, I will be forced to arrest you for trespassing on the royal grounds!” The guard had now lowered his spear towards the intruder, who still remained quiet.
The guard’s horn started to glow a bright blue. He lowered it towards the dark figure, who raised his front hoof in return. The stranger's hoof was unlike anything the guard had ever seen. It appeared to have digits stemming from the end. Before he could get a better look, the guard collapsed to the ground unconscious. He would awaken in a few hours remembering nothing of what he saw.
“Well, well, well…” spoke the dark figure to the statue. “My how the mighty have fallen… Q!”
The statue said nothing.
“Or do you prefer to be called ‘Discord’ now? …And such a face you’re making! You always were so melodramatic.”
The statue continued to say nothing.
“I warned you didn’t I? I said, ‘Be careful, Q. These beings are not pushovers like simple humans, Q.’ But would you listen?... No.”
The figure waved his hand toward the statue whose face had suddenly been reanimated. It was no longer made of marble but living flesh; contrary to the rest of his stone body.
“Oh ha ha, Q.” said the statue. “Get me out of this thing already!”
The mysterious stranger stepped out into a beam of moonlight that was poking its way through the dark storm clouds. He lowered his hood allowing his slick blond hair to reflect an almost silver glow in the light.
A member of the Q Continuum, this blonde-haired Q had been sent there to free their brethren Q, locked away in the statue before him. This Q was most well known as the expert on humans among the Continuum. The blonde Q was holding back a smile, but it was beginning to crack.
“Pfft… pff ha ha ha! I can’t believe you let a bunch of ponies seal you away in a statue! Ha!”
“Look, I needed to test their current abilities, and I think I did just that!” said the Q in the statue. “Now let me out so we can end this pathetic species already!”
“Not so fast, Q," the blond Q quickly interjected. "The Continuum feels this species may be a real threat to the Q. However, they also show a unique ability to contain their power. They do not appear to use their abilities for power, greed, or war. We need to see if the species as a people are a threat to the Continuum and not just their abilities.”
“And locking me away in a statue, to rot away in a garden, doesn’t show that?” The face on the statue squirmed and struggled to free the rest of its body.
“No. It doesn’t,” said the blond Q, “but it would seem an opportunity has presented itself. The Enterprise is heading for this region of space. Perhaps you could utilize their presence to… provoke… a situation?”
Both Q started grinning together. “Oh you know me too well, Q. I always enjoy seeing my favorite starship captain.”
The blond Q reanimated the rest of the statue. Discord stepped off the pedestal onto the soft grass. “This is going to be so much fun,” he said as his shape began to contort and transform. Where Discord had been standing a moment before, there now stood a familiar figure in a Starfleet uniform. As the pair began walking away, the blond Q said, “Just remember, Q. This isn’t just some random species to be toyed with. Any species RELATED to the Q, can KILL the Q!”
With that, the two Q vanished from the castle gardens leaving an empty pedestal and a very sleepy and confused guard behind.
“Aha!” cried an overly enthusiastic Pinkie Pie. “I think I know who’d dun dooded it!” The other five ponies looked at Pinkie half seriously, half bemusedly. Pinkie Pie, who was now wearing her Sherlock Hooves Hat and holding a bubble pipe, was circling around the empty pedestal. Her eyes darted quickly back and forth as though she would be attacked at any moment…by a flying pie!
“Well?” said Rainbow Dash staring at Pinkie Pie, trying to see whatever it was she saw but to no avail. “What do you see?”
Pinkie jerked her head up with a smile of pride and accomplishment.
“It was none other than…”
They all leaned in closer.
They leaned in more.
“Professor Apple! In the orchard! With the Apple Smasher!”
The leaning ponies all fell over on top of one another having heard such a ridiculous postulation. Nearby, a very startled colt, with a green apple cutie mark and wearing glasses, started to look around nervous and confused.
“Pinkie Pie, we talked about this,” Twilight said when she recovered. She walked over toward where Pinkie was standing. “We gather the clues first, BEFORE making accusations. Right?”
“Okey-Dokie Lokie Twi,” came Pinkie’s response.
“Now,” Twilight continued, “the first things we should look for are any out of place hoof-prints. The guards said no one has been allowed to walk near the pedestal since the statue went missing.
The sun was shining down on the Castle Gardens. There were only a few small clouds drifting listlessly across the sky. After heading from the train station to meet with the princess, each pony took their corresponding Element of Harmony from the gem-encrusted case were it was stored and hid it away from view. Rarity, still wanting to get her hooves on that beautiful chest, started to try to pack it into her bag before putting it back after the glare Twilight gave her. The princess provided all the details her guards had given to her and sent them off to have a look in the castle gardens and see what they could discover.
Grabbing the magnifying glass from Pinkie, who was using it to make her eye bigger and smaller in the lens while making a “WooOOOh WOOooh” sound, Twilight started to look at the ground for any unusual tracks.
“Hey everypony, come over here and look at this,” Twilight said, looking at the ground a few yards away from the pedestal. “Look at these bizzare tracks. I’ve never seen anything like them. It looks as though something other than a pony was here. They walked up to the statue and…” Twilight continued to speak, following the tracks with the magnifying glass as the others walked behind her looking at the tracks.
Fluttershy stayed towards the back of the group. She started quivering in fear upon hearing this news. “N-N-N-o-o-t-t-t a-a-a p-p-pony?” she stuttered.
“Yes,” Twilight replied. “In fact, I’ve never seen these tracks before. They appear to make two grooves in the ground with each hoof: one long and oval, with the other behind it, like half of a circle. They walk right up to the pedestal and stop. Then…it looks like…OH NO!!!!” Twilight turned a shade paler at what she saw.
The other ponies looked at the spot she was looking at directly in front of the pedestal until they could see it too and gasped in unison. On the ground next to the pedestal, laid two distinct prints; one hoof-print, one dragon’s footprint.
“Discord’s Tracks!” they all cried.
Shaking her head to regain her focus, Twilight resumed her investigation and looked closer at the prints in the ground. “It looks like he was freed by whomever made the first set of prints, and then they walked off together, but…” Twilight was now even more confused.
While she looked carefully at what she was seeing, Rarity was busying herself trying to put on a scarf. Rainbow Dash and Applejack were glued to Twilight's investigation. Fluttershy was so terrified now she decided to blend in with the trees so they would think she was one of them. Pinkie Pie on the other hand seemed to be strangely happy. Her head kept looking up at the sky with her mouth open and her tongue swaying back and forth. She was apparently waiting for the cotton candy clouds that rained chocolate milk to reappear over her eagerly awaiting oral cavity.
“I don’t believe this!” Twilight exclaimed.
Applejack, who saw it too, also commented, “I don’ reckon I never seen tracks do that before.”
Rainbow Dash, who wasn’t much for details, still couldn’t see what the pair of them were staring at. “What?" she asked. "What is it?”
“Discord’s prints…” Twilight explained, “...they appear to change as he walks away from the pedestal. They seem to change into the same unknown shape as the prints of the creature that freed him. And then over here…”
Twilight walked a few yards further away from the pedestal, and pointed to the tracks. “Over here, both sets of tracks just stop. This patch here is still muddy from the rain earlier this week. How could the tracks just end here?”
It was Fluttershy who seemed to have an answer for that. Poking her head out from behind one of the trees she said, “um…Maybe they flew away?”
Twilight looked over at Fluttershy, reading her face. “Flutteryshy you’re a genius!” she proclaimed. “But then that means the trail ends here. Where do we look now? We can’t just sit around waiting for him to start spreading chaos throughout Equestria again, but I’m shocked he hasn’t already done so now that he’s free!”
“Maybe he’s changed since he was frozen in that statue,” Rarity chimed in. “Maybe he no longer wants to bring chaos to everypony.”
Shaking her head, Twilight said, “Somehow I think getting Discord to stop looking for chaos, would be like getting Pinkie Pie to give up cupcakes!” She looked over toward Pinkie Pie, who had somehow found, and was eating, a cupcake despite not having carried any bags with her to the garden. For some unknown reason, Rainbow Dash flinched as Pinkie took a big bite.
“Well since Pinkie Pie has already started chowin’ down, I reckon we should probably break for lunch too,” Applejack said. “No sense getting’ everypony all worked up on a empty stomach now. How ‘bout we go relax over by those there apple trees. Might help us think a’ somethin’.”
Rainbow Dash became very excited at the idea of food as she hovered over the group. “Sweet! I’m starving. What do we have for lunch?”
Twilight, using her magic, took out several sandwiches from her bag as Rarity gently laid a white cloth sheet with decorative patterns knitted into it. “I brought dandelion sandwiches,” Twilight said. “And Fluttershy brought salad.” Rainbow dash zoomed into the blanket instantly snatching up one of the sandwiches. The rest of the group gathered around the shade of the apple tree and began to eat their lunch.
As lunch began to wind down, Applejack said, “That were some great sandwiches and salad there Twi, Fluttershy. How ‘bout I rustle us up some apples for dessert?”
“That’s a great idea!” Twilight said.
Applejack positioned her back to the tree, readying to buck some apples down from the branches above them. “Alright everypony, mind your heads. Don’ wan’ an apple knocking you on your noggins now. Hi-yah!” she cried, kicking her back legs hard into the trunk of the tree.
Each pony caught an apple that fell from the tree except for one. Flutteryshy, who was sharing some of her salad with a local Canterlot bunny, missed the announcement and wasn’t paying attention. But instead of an apple, something much larger and heavier fell from the tree and struck Fluttershy right in the head…
The Apple That Fell On The Tree
Two hours earlier…
Lieutenant Commander Geordi LaForge beamed down into the heart of the city of Canterlot to set up additional cloaked sensors around the city. With his holo-camo suit rendering himself invisible, he was able to walk about the city with the locals blissfully unaware of his presence.
He set up several sensors next to several shops and hid them in areas unlikely to be discovered. Each unit was equipped with its own personal cloak to mask their presence. After setting up several on the city streets, he made is way over to the palace grounds.
He scouted the area for optimal positions to set up additional sensors that would return the best results and have the least chance of being discovered. Looking up at the castle, he saw the towers sticking up high into the air. That would definitely provide the best possible range, but the number of locals moving in and out of the palace and the number of guards stationed throughout would make it too challenging to avoid detection.
Instead, Geordi decided to setup a few sensors around the palace gardens first and come back with a strategy for setting up more sensors in the towers later. He made his way towards the gardens carrying his equipment in a large cloaked bag.
The palace gardens were vast. There were areas containing thousands of different types of flowers blooming in so many different colors that it would often take many visitors' breaths away. A labyrinth in the middle of the gardens would also often take many ponies' breaths away; though for an entirely different reason. Just outside the exit of the labyrinth, Geordi spotted an elder pony resting on a bench panting and clutching his chest.
Another area contains an ornate statue garden. Many different statues of historical ponies and mythical creatures were spread out with plaques in front of them explaining who or what each statue depicted. Just beyond that was a long stone brick fence surrounding the gardens. Lining the fence were tall apple trees, whose bright red apples suggested they were perfect for eating.
Geordi decided to place a sensor unit up one of the apple trees and made his way over to them. He climbed up one of the trees, which was no easy feat inside the holo-camo suit. Pulling the equipment out, he began setting up the device.
This was the most difficult part of the installation as the device, once taken out of its bag, would not be cloaked until it could be powered on. Geordi hoped the branches of the tree would be enough to prevent anyone spotting the device while he completed the installation. He took a second look around to be sure there was no one nearby. He spotted a small group of ponies over by an empty stone pedestal in the statue garden.
“Just stay over there, and I’ll be done in no time,” he thought aloud.
He positioned the tripod stand into the first main split in the tree trunk and fired two peons into the wood to lock it in place. Carefully attaching the main unit to the stand, he then positioned the sensors facing outward toward the castle. Switching the unit on, the device gave a small whirring sound indicating he had installed it successfully. Flipping the switch for the camouflage cloak on the device, he watched it blend before his eyes into the background until he could no longer see anything but the tree.
Breathing in a sigh of relief now that the danger of being spotted was finally over, Geordi looked down to find his footing and start climbing back down. Before he could move however, he had to stop in his tracks. The very ponies he spotted earlier in the garden appeared to be walking straight towards him.
“Have I been seen?” he thought nervously, watching them head straight in his direction. He watched as they walked right up to the very tree he was squatting in. A white horned pony used her power to spread a blanket over the ground. A second started pulling out sandwiches.
“Just great,” he thought. “Of all the trees in all the garden, you had to pick mine to have a picnic under.”
Geordi's comm badge was set to be inaudible to anyone but himself. Tapping it, he whispered, “LaForge to Enterprise, unable to return to rendezvous point. Locals nearby are preventing me from moving. Requesting direct beam-out.”
Captain Picard, on the bridge of the Enterprise looked over to Lieutenant Commander Data. “Mr. Data, lock on to Commander LaForge. Can we beam him out of there without giving away his position?”
Data quickly assessed the situation from his terminal and responded. “No sir. At his proximity to the indigenous life forms, they would immediately become aware of his presence, followed by his sudden disappearance into the matter stream.”
Responding to Lieutenant Commander LaForge, Picard said, “I’m sorry Geordi, you’ll just have to wait until you can get to a more secluded area. We cannot beam you out in your current situation.”
“Acknowledged,” Geordi said. “LaForge out.” He sighed silently, settling himself into a seated position on one of the larger branches. He would have to wait for the ponies below him to finish their lunches.
After a while, an orange pony with what would seem like a tattoo of apples on her flank starting standing up. “Finally,” he thought. “I was starting to get a cramp up here.”
He overheard the orange pony talking to her friends.
“That were some great sandwiches and salad there Twi, Fluttershy. How ‘bout I rustle us up some apples for dessert?”
“Eat your apples while you pack up and leave!” Geordi thought, the cramp in his leg began to pulsate. “Just hurry up already!”
He watched as the orange pony headed, not for her bag, but right up to the very apple tree he was sitting in. Turning away from the tree, the pony readied herself to kick down a few apples from it. Realizing what the pony was about to do, Geordi gripped one of the branches tightly just as the pony kicked hard against the tree.
The sensor, which was lodged firmly into the trunk, stayed completely in place. Geordi, however, did not luck out so well. The branch he gripped broke as the kick landed against the trunk. He plummeted right towards one of the ponies; a yellow pony with wings, who was feeding a small rabbit, and didn’t even look up as he fell right onto the top of her head.
Tears started forming in Fluttershy’s eyes as she squeaked softly in pain. Her tears quickly turned into a flood of sobs. The other ponies knew something had just landed on Fluttershy, but they couldn't see what it was.
Geordi opened his eyes. Quickly realizing the situation he was in, he scrambled up as fast as he could and tried to get away from the scene. However, he failed to realize that one of Pinkie Pie’s cupcakes had squished into the back of his suit. The ponies watched as a squished cupcake suddenly got up from the sheet on the ground and started bouncing in mid-air away from them.
Upon seeing Fluttershy cry out in pain, Rainbow Dash became enraged and charged straight at the flying cupcake. “Oh no you don’t, Discord!” she shouted, tackling the cupcake to the ground. “You will pay for making Fluttershy cry!” But the cupcake said nothing. Geordi realized he must be partly visible and struggled to reach his communicator for help.
Rainbow started thrashing at the invisible being she had tackled. Biting something that felt like a bag of sorts, she tugged and gnawed at it with her teeth until it finally popped off. Dropping the suit’s hood to the floor along with her jaw, Rainbow Dash stared at this strange head she had never seen before floating in the air before her. It definitely was not Discord.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” Geordi yelled as three more ponies arrived staring down at him angrily . “I didn’t mean to hurt your friend. You just surprised me when you kicked the tree I was in and I fell.” Geordi said, figuring the truth might need a little embellishing in order to minimize the damage he had caused.
As Rainbow Dash continued to pin him to the ground with her hoof, Twilight spoke to the creature before her. “What are you? And why can’t we see the rest of you?” Her voice was both stiff and demanding, with a tone of authority that almost sounded to Geordi like Captain Picard.
“I’m… from out-of-town,” he frantically thought. “I was enjoying some apples from the tree when you kicked me down suddenly. I can make myself unseen so as not to disturb anybody.”
“Anybody?” said Applejack, looking quizzically at the stranger.
Geordi realized there must be a small gap in the universal translator’s interpretation. Thinking back, he remembered one of them say ‘pony’ instead of ‘body’. “Any..pony?” he restated, hoping that would work.
Applejack seemed to realize something in her head. “Then I rekon it’s as much my fault as yours you landed on top ‘a poor Fluttershy.” Her cheeks got a little red with embarrassment. “But you should ‘a told us you were up there. Heck we might ’a even invited you to join us!”
“But something about this isn’t right,” Twilight spoke just as stern and angry as before. “There’s no reason to hide yourself in the palace gardens unless you’re up to no good. There are plenty of apple trees and places to buy apples that aren’t in the palace garden. And why were you hiding in a tree that’s right by Discord’s statue?”
Geordi was searching for ideas, but the name ‘Discord’ threw his train of thought. “Discord? Who is that?” he asked.
“How could anypony not know who Discord is?” said Rainbow Dash confused. “He’s only one of the biggest villains in all of Equestria!”
“I, uh… I’m just not from around here.”
Rarity just caught up to them after first tending to Fluttershy. “I’ve gotten the poor girl to calm down a bit, but I don’t like the way she looks,” she said worryingly. “Something is definitely wrong. We need to get her to the hospital right away.”
Twilight’s expression softened a little but she continued to gaze at the creature before her.
“Let’s get her to the hospital,” she said. “But we’re taking the stranger with us! Rainbow, fly up to the hospital and tell them we’re bringing in an emergency patient.”
Rainbow Dash soared off at once up to the castle.
“Applejack, Pinkie Pie, you two will escort our ‘guest’.”
“Can do!” said Applejack.
Pinkie Pie, the bubbliest and most vocal pony in Equestria, merely nodded with a stiff grunt, keeping her eyes on the stranger. She was not happy that this creature hurt one of her friends.
“Rarity and I will use our magic to float Fluttershy carefully up to the hospital,” said Twilight.
Geordi was amazed at this pony’s authoritative command and could almost swear he saw the captain in pony-form standing before him. He reminded himself to NEVER let the captain in on this particular thought!
The orange pony prodded him with her snout from behind, pushing him toward the hospital. He followed obediently as they transported the injured pony to the hospital.
As they made their way through the gardens and up towards the castle, Geordi felt he had better say something. “Would it be alright if I turned off my-err... made my whole self visible? A floating head might disturb other people,” he said.
“Please do!” Applejack replied. “Ima bit disturbed myself! But what are ‘people’? You say some funny words mister.”
“Ponies. Sorry. My kind are called people the way yours are called ponies.”
Applejack seemed to understand. She said, “Ah, and what exactly are you ‘people’ anyways? I ain’t never seen your kind in Canterlot before; or even Ponyville where we come from.”
Geordi tried to tell them as much of nothing as he could. The most he could answer without giving away too much, the better. Switching off his holo-camo suit he said, “We come from a great distance away. I had traveled here just recently.”
They were able to see Geordi properly now. He was taller than each pony, but that was only because he stood on two legs instead of four. He was smaller in stature and was wearing clothes that Rarity nearly fainted just from the sight of. The de-cloaked suit was dark maroon when visible and was made of a material similar in look and feel to a bio-hazard suit.
“What is that horrid thing you’re wearing?” she quietly whispered, because she really didn’t want to know the answer.
In addition to the suit, the ponies also noticed the strange item that covered his eyes with small amounts of light flashing from the sides.
“What’s that doo-hickey on your face?” said Pinkie Pie curiously. While still upset with the stranger, she couldn’t help but let her sense of wonder get the better of her.
Geordi had been asked this question many times before. He always kept a few preset responses ready. Which he went with depended on who was asking the question. In this case, he decided to go with, “They're sort of like glasses to help me see, only my eyes are really bad, so they’re much stronger than regular glasses.”
Despite the oddity of the look of his visor to the ponies, that answer seemed to help them accept it without further inquiry.
When they reached the hospital, the staff had a stretcher waiting for Fluttershy. She wasn’t looking well at all. Her face looked very pale and her eyes were in a daze. She wasn’t talking nor crying anymore. Her injury appeared to be serious. Her head had swollen around the wound, and the skin had split open slightly causing bleeding that was beginning to stain her soft pink mane and yellow fur. Geordi realized that the doctors might not be advanced enough to help her the way Dr. Crusher could.
They rushed Flutteryshy into surgery. The Unicorn doctor took an x-ray with his magic. The doctor and the nurse were looking back and forth from Flutteryshy to the X-Ray as they discussed what needed to be done.
In the waiting room, everypony was anxiously waiting to hear the doctor's prognosis. When he emerged from the operating room, he held a tight poker face that was unreadable. It almost resembled someone trying to hold back a laugh. As he looked into each of the ponies' and Geordi's faces, he finally said, "I'm very sorry..."
Where Nopony Has Gone Before
“I’m very sorry...” he started to say, which made everypony’s face instantly drop into a look of shock and tears. “Flutteryshy’s skull has a hairline fracture and she’s bleeding internally. We need to operate immediately to repair the tissue damage and relieve the pressure building up, but this is a very difficult surgery, with a very low rate of success.”
Everypony started crying for their friend. They couldn’t believe it. They all started looking from face to face for answers and finding none. Finally Geordi arrived at a decision.
“I can help her,” he said.
Everypony’s face snapped to Geordi with the sharpest look of simultaneous hope and doubt.
“How?” Twilight demanded while cocking one eyebrow. She had even more reservations about this creature than the rest of the group did, but she was desperate to save her friend.
“I… I… I have a magic of sorts,” Geordi quickly made up. He realized that, with the unusual circumstances of this world, he might just be able to explain it in such a way that wouldn’t necessarily damage their culture any further.
This was most unusual behavior for Geordi. By now, he would have already beamed back the moment he had been spotted, and the mission would have been scrubbed. Instead, he found himself still on the ground, wanting to help their injured friend.
In the back of his mind he was arguing with himself over what he should do. But a voice deep inside him kept telling him, "You can't just leave them. They're too cute and innocent to leave them with their friend in this state that you caused."
“Give me one hour," he said out loud. "You’ll need to leave us alone for that time, but I promise I can fix this!” He spoke very sincerely and pleadingly.
“How can we trust you alone with her?” said Twilight distraught, tears running down her cheeks. “You’re the one who caused this in the first place!”
“I know, but I didn’t mean to, and I want to fix this. Give me a chance. Please."
When he could see their doubts still lingering, he added, "Lock us in if you don’t trust me. Then give me one hour.”
Twilight looked from Applejack, to Rarity, to Pinkie, to Rainbow, looking for some sort of sign. They all seemed to want to give the stranger a chance. Even the doctor seemed to be looking toward the stranger, knowing the odds as he did.
“Do it!” she said with a tone of almost disgust.
“Geordi. That’s my name: Geordi LaForge.”
“Tw-Twilight Sparkle,” she replied, wiping away some of her tears. “Please help her.”
The doctor showed Geordi into the operating room. Closing the door behind him, Geordi approached the unconscious pony lying on the operating bed. He knew he needed to act quickly, and any request to bring her onboard the Enterprise would almost certainly be denied.
Tapping his comm. badge he said, “LaForge to Transporter Room Two: Two for emergency transport to sickbay!”
The glow of the transport beam wrapped around both Geordi and the pony. When it completely engulfed them, their bodies disappeared into the matter stream, rematerializing in sickbay.
Dr. Crusher rushed over, and before Geordi could even begin to explain his actions for bringing the pony aboard, she had her medical tricorder already out, examining the patient.
“Her skull is fractured… Slight hemorrhaging near the frontal lobe... Cranial fluid pressure is building rapidly. Let’s get her on the bed.”
Dr. Crusher worked on the winged pony repairing the tissue damage, followed by the cranial damage. While this was in progress, Captain Picard arrived to discover the situation. Geordi debriefed, explaining the circumstances to the captain, including his attempts to minimize the damage caused by this violation of the Prime Directive.
The captain was furious at Geordi for bringing the pony onboard. He not only violated the Prime Directive by this incident, but by refusing to follow protocol and beaming out at the moment he was discovered. This was a serious lapse in judgement that was unexpected from his dutiful Chief Engineer. However, he decided that any punitive measures would be discussed at a later date.
“We will keep the creature under sedation,” said the captain. “She is not to be revived at anytime while onboard the Enterprise. Mr. LaForge, you will transport down with the creature alone and revive her once back on the surface of the planet.”
After fifty minutes, Dr. Crusher had completed the repairs to the pony's injuries. She carefully wrapped up the its’s head in bandages as a guise to prevent overexposure to their technology. When she was finished, she and Geordi readied the patient for transport back to the hospital room down on the planet.
“Something’s wrong,” Rainbow Dash commented, pacing in the air outside of the operating room. “I haven’t heard any noise coming from that room, and it’s been almost an hour already!”
“We agreed to let him try,” Twilight said. She found herself pacing as well, with a rate that was causing grooves to form in the floor. “We promised to give him the full hour.” Twilight tried to keep herself calm as well as everypony else, but even her patience was razor thin.
A clock on the wall nearby ticked away loudly. Each tick echoed in their ears like somepony banging on a large drum.
Rarity, normally less concerned with affairs that didn’t concern fashion or beauty, was so distraught that her mascara had run from her tears down her cheeks. Her silken hair started fraying and curling. She hadn’t even noticed.
Pinkie Pie’s hair had also changed, falling from its usually bubbly and curly mane, to its straight and smooth hair that only ever occurred in times of deep sadness. Applejack held her hat in her hooves with her head looking down to the floor in deep thought. Rainbow Dash was flying in a circle overhead so fast she was starting to create a wind tunnel in the waiting room.
“Rainbow, quit it!” Applejack yelled.
Rainbow stopped circling, but her face had twisted. It contorted with rage at the situation: trusting a complete stranger with one of her best friends and not hearing any news or even sound coming from the operating room. She lost her will, and her patience had completely run out. Screaming, she charged straight through the operating room doors, bursting them open so fast they nearly popped right off their hinges.
At that moment, a bright light seemed to be emanating from the center of the room. Rainbow looked around, but saw no pony in the room. But in the next second, both Fluttershy and Geordi LaForge spontaneously appeared within the light. All anger was shocked away from her face as her jaw fell to the floor.
The other ponies quickly followed into the room to see what was happening. They saw the look of shock from Rainbow but not what would cause her such a look of surprise. Fluttershy was lying on the table with her head covered in bandages. Geordi stood beside her.
“Where were you just now?” Rainbow demanded. “And since when can you teleport?”
That statement hit Geordi in two ways. Firstly, that he was caught transporting in, and secondly…
“How do you know about teleporting?”
Rainbow didn’t seem nearly as concerned with how he teleported so much as where he teleported from. “Twilight’s teleported us tons of times,” she said, “but where did you just come from and why did you go there?”
Geordi felt trapped. These ponies seem to be more insightful about concepts they shouldn’t have even conceived of yet.
“I… I took her to get the help she needed,” he thought quickly. “I teleported her back to my people for help. She’s fine now! All she needs is a few days of rest.”
Hoping they would focus on their friend more than his background, he used a hypo spray cusped in his hand, so they would not see, to revive the pony. “See?”
Fluttershy shyly fluttered her eyes as though she had awoken from a pleasant dream. “Good morning,” she said softly. “Where am I?”
That was the last phrase anypony could hear her say as five ponies suddenly drowned out her quiet voice with cheers and hugs.
“Thank goodness you’re doing better!” said Rarity.
“It’s good to see yer O.K.!” Applejack cheered.
Pinkie Pie’s hair instantly popped back to its usual shape, and her smile was so big, one could wonder how she wasn’t splitting her jaw open.
“Ooh thank goodness, thank goodness you’re okay Fluttershy! We were so worried about you, but now you’re okay! Yippie! Yippie!” said Pinkie, bouncing up and down all around her.
Twilight simply smiled warmly and patted Fluttershy on her shoulder. “It’s good to have you back with us."
Rainbow Dash had taken an extra minute or so to soak in the situation. Still confused about what she had just witnessed, she shook it off upon seeing Fluttershy’s eyes awake and alert. She dashed to her bedside with tears in her eyes. She didn’t say anything. She just rested her head on Fluttershy’s waist and cried. Fluttershy smiled warmly and stroked Rainbow's mane reassuringly, letting her know everything was okay.
In fact, she felt better than okay. She felt happy and pain-free. She recalled something hitting her in the head, but felt no residual pain whatsoever. Happy to know she was well and her friends were also okay, she relaxed on the bed while she spoke with her friends.
Twilight wanted to thank Geordi, but as she turned to find him, she saw him apparently trying to slip away from the scene. She had just caught a glimpse of him as he turned into the hallway.
Knowing her friend was now alright, this suspicious behavior allowed Twilight to return to her usual inquisitive nature, and she followed him. There were a great many questions that needed answering. One of which was, and she wasn’t sure why, but his shoes seemed to flash into her mind for some reason.
She trailed behind him discreetly, trying not to alert him to her presence. He headed off in search of a more secluded area of the hospital. This was difficult for him as every pony he passed in the hall stared at him, never having seen anything like him before. Eventually, after walking down several wings of the hospital, he found a small hallway off to the side that was unoccupied and the lights were off.
Once he believed he was alone, his tapped a strange pin on his chest.
“LaForge to Enterprise: one to beam up,” he said aloud to nopony.
Twilight watched as a light started to appear, like the one that had emanated from the operating room when Rainbow had burst in. A sudden realization dawned on her that he was about to teleport again. Running straight at him, she tackled him just as the light enveloped them both.
Discord’s Prime Directive
Twilight opened her eyes. Lights appeared to be coming from everywhere. She looked around to see another ‘person’. He was standing behind a desk. As soon as their eyes met, he tapped his chest pin and said, “Security to Transporter Room 2!”
Not fully sure what he had said, but recognizing the urgent tone, Twilight started to get up off of Geordi, whom she had pinned to the floor. By the time she recomposed herself, several more people had appeared, including a tall one with dark skin and ridges in his forehead. He was pointing some sort of small box at her.
“Worf wait!” Geordi yelled trying to diffuse the situation. “She’s unarmed and not a threat.” Twilight was very scared now. There were so many questions burning in her head. She didn’t know what to say or do. “Um… hello?” she spoke softly, trying not to further anger the tall one who seemed so stern, she doubted even Pinkie Pie would stand a chance at making him smile.
“LaFordge to the bridge, we have a situation in Transporter Room 2,” Geordie said into his communicator. “You’d better come down.”
Within a few minutes, Twilight saw these great big orange doors off to the side of the room open by themselves, and another person walked in through them. His mane was silver and all but gone from the top of his head, which could explain why he looked so grumpy. The thought of Cranky Doodle Dandy suddenly sprung into Twilight’s mind.
“Mr. LaForge, explain yourself!” the captain demanded.
“Sir, I thought I had beamed out from a point where no one could see, however, this pony must have followed me and jumped into the matter stream just as I was beaming up,” Geordi explained. “This is Twilight Sparkle.” Twilight gave a weak smile and a small bow, still shaking in fright.
Looking down at the young pony with a stern, dissappointed expression on his face, the captain said, “Well young lady, it appears we have a problem."
Twilight looked away from the captain’s eyes. She instead looked at his shoes. She couldn’t think. She wanted to…
“Wait a minute. Your shoes!” Twilight suddenly burst out, looking back up at the captain.
“My what?” the captain replied with a look of confusion.
“Your shoes! – They are the exact same shape as the tracks we found near the empty pedestal of Discord!” She looked back at Geordi with confusion. “Geordi, your hoof prints match those found by the stone pedestal where Discord was freed. That must mean that your people freed him! Why would you release such a horrible creature!?” Twilight’s fear was still present as ever, however this clue to her investigation acted as a talisman against it.
Captain Picard and Geordi both looked confused. The captain responded, “I’m not sure who this ‘Discord’ is, but I can assure you that no members of my team would have done such a thing. We have a strict policy of non-interference in other cultures. You were not supposed to have even been aware of our existence. We were only observing your culture. That’s our mission you see.”
“Mission?” Twilight looked at the captain inquisitively. “What mission? What are you doing here in Equestria, and where do you actually come from!?”
Captain Picard took a moment to think. Staring down at this creature before him, he could see the fear in her large violet eyes that accented her violet mane and purple fur. However, he could also feel the determination this young pony had, with a thirst for knowledge and getting to the truth, much like himself. He had arrived at a decision.
“We are peaceful explorers,” he said calmly. “We come from another world and explore the universe looking for other species and cultures. We learn about them and from them. We try never to disturb those cultures, so that they may continue unaffected by our presence. That’s our Prime Directive you see.”
Twilight was soaking in this new information. She was much more perceptive than other ponies and learned in astronomy, so she found herself able to grasp a hold of what Picard was saying a little easier.
“From another world…” she thought aloud. “Is this your world?”
She gazed all around the transporter room. She was standing on some sort of white platform with hexagonal shapes. Bright lights were shining down from the ceiling, but Twilight couldn't see any candles producing them. Light seemed to be coming at them from all directions, yet not a single candle could be found. There were white lights in the ceiling, yellow lights on the walls, and all different colored lights flashing on top of the desk of the person who called security.
“Not quite,” said the captain. “You see, we are currently on a ship that travels across the stars to visit other worlds like this one. There are many crew members aboard who come from many different worlds. The world where I come from is called Earth.”
In Twilight’s thought processing, she came to a sudden realization. “Is this ship in space now? Can I see?” Her fear had started to diminish as her excitement grew about the thought of where she was standing.
The captain gestured towards the door. “Follow me Miss, uh…”
“Twilight Sparkle,” she answered.
“I am Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and this is my ship: the Enterprise.” His expression had softened and he even smiled warmly toward Twilight making her feel a little more at ease.
Picard escorted Twilight to the nearest viewing area. As he gestured toward the window, Twilight looked out and saw the planet below her. the pupils in her eyes widened as far as they could manage. From the window, she saw the main continent surrounded by the great oceans covering much of her world. The ship was currently drifting at just the right angle to see both the sun and the moon together, hovering in orbit around her world.
“This is absolutely incredible! That is my, my…” She couldn't get the words out.
“Yes,” said the captain. “That is your world, ‘Equestria’, I believe you called it.” Twilight soaked in the incredible view for a bit, before the window itself caught her attention. She always had the greatest attention for details.
“This window,” she said. “There’s no…”
“Glass? No,” Picard finished her thought. “You see it’s a…”
“Force field, yes,” Twilight completed the thought for Picard now. “But if it surrounds the whole ship, who could possibly generate such a large field?”
The captain’s face expressed more confusion and shock than Twilight's, when she first arrived on the transporter pad. “How could you possibly know about force fields?” he asked.
“Well duh! Any Unicorn can generate a force field, see?” she stated as her horn started to glow with a purple aura. The captain suddenly found himself encased in a large purple bubble.
Lieutenant Worf, who had been monitoring from the doorway, immediately grabbed his phaser and pointed it directly at the tiny purple horse.
“Release him!” he demanded.
Twilight quickly released the captain and curledd into a ball on the corner of the room from fear.
“I’m sorry!” she screamed.
Her fear had returned and now doubled. These ‘people’ were clearly violent and probably responsible for freeing Discord. She grabbed her tail in an effort to make herself even smaller.
“Mr. Worf, please. It’s okay,” said Captain Picard, gesturing for Worf to lower his phaser. “I apologize, Miss Sparkle. This is my security officer: Lieutenant Worf. He is responsible for the safety of this ship and its crew. Your demonstration, while its intentions were benign, could have been perceived as a threat.”
Twilight slowly looked back up from her curled position. Still shaking, she slowly unraveled herself and stood back up. Picard waited for her to approach him again.
“That is quite an amazing ability you have Miss. Sparkle,” he said, smiling down at her. “On this ship, the force field is generated by technology. The ship itself generates the power for the force field. But it would seem that you have this ability in your species without technology.”
Twilight started to understand, but her curiosity was waning. She had enough and wanted some real answers.
“Captain Picard,” she started, “I am investigating a serious crime, and my only clue as to who freed Discord is your hoof prints at the scene of the crime! I want you to explain what your people were doing in the palace gardens in the first place!” she looked straight at Geordi.
“Allow me, Captain,” said Geordi. “You see, as the captain has said, this ship powers the force field that protects it from any enemies. However you have the same power without using any form of technology. There are very few species in the universe with such abilities. That's why we came to learn about you. I was setting up some our technology in the garden that would help us learn more about your powers.”
Twilight followed everything Geordi explained to her. She didn’t understand all of it, but she understood enough. Finally, she looked back at the captain.
“Then with this ‘technology’, if you really didn’t free Discord, then you can help us recapture him.”
The captain's smile faded from his face. He debated how best to respond to this request.
“Miss. Sparkle, while I can appreciate your situation, our Prime Directive prevents us from interfering. We’ve explained all this to you in the hopes you would understand why it’s necessary to not let our presence do any more harm to your community than it already has.”
Twilight started to get angry. “You don’t understand! No pony could have released Discord without an immense source of power, and your ship appears to be the only thing around here powerful enough to free him!”
That statement made the captain’s expression turn rigid. His jaw locked. He tried very hard not to allow any concern over the situation be legible from his face.
Unclenching his jaw he asked, “Who is this – prisoner – I take it?”
“He is an ancient being who thrives on chaos. He plays games with everypony and makes their lives miserable. It took a great ancient magic and six ponies, myself included, to imprison him. And now he’s on the loose again! I need to– What is it?”
Twilight could very clearly read the captain’s face now; a deep serious look of frustration, anger, and perhaps even a twinge of fear?
“I have never heard of this 'Discord' before, Miss. Sparkle,” he said in a subdued tone, “but your description of him is very familiar to me, and this person has already made one appearance to us since we’ve arrived... Q!”
“Did I hear someone call my name?” called a voice from nowhere.
“Discord!” Twilight shouted, recognizing the voice.
“Ah! Now I’m hearing BOTH my names,” said the voice ending with an evil chuckle.
A cloud of smoke appeared from the center of the room. A tall creature stepped forth from the smoke. Its body had the appearance of a Frankenstein’s monster stitched together from the bodies of many different creatures. Twilight had expected him to make his appearance at some point, but was hoping she would have had her best friends by her side when it had.
“What the devil is this, Q?” Picard demanded. “I know your flare for costumes, but this is beyond even your level of ridiculousness.”
“My dear, dear Jean-Luc Picard,” said Discord. “Do you think I always take my human form for all the species I play with?” Snapping his fingers, he instantly changed into his human form. “There, does that make it better for you?”
Twilight watched as Discord had changed to look exactly like one of Geordi’s ‘people’. Staring at Discord she asked, “How could you know this Captain Picard, Discord? You’ve been locked in a statue for over a thousand years!”
“Do you really think I would spend a thousand years sitting around locked away in a statue?” Q commented lightly as he laughed while holding his sides. “I have far better things to do with my time. You’ve been staring at an ordinary statue this whole time! Your dear Princess Celestia and her runt of a sibling may have thought they locked me away forever, but I was free as a bird the very next day!”
Twilight did not know what to make of this situation. Turning to the captain she yelled, “So you DID free Discord from his imprisonment!” The fact that Discord was here and talking to this ‘Captain Picard’, and looking exactly like one of them was all the proof she needed.
“Sowing the seeds of distrust already my dear Twilight?” said Q. “How wonderful! But alas, in this case, you are quite mistaken. You didn’t think I liked to cause chaos on just one world did you?”
Laughing he turned back to the captain and gave him a look of amused anger.
“Well, well, well, Captain. I warned you not approach this world, did I not? I said there would be consequences! And here they are. You have successfully told this poor little filly about the outside universe and even used your technology to heal their injured. Tisk, Tisk. What happened to your precious Prime Directive, Captain, eh?”
Picard’s anger was growing rapidly. “As I am sure you are well aware, since you’ve obviously been observing us, we’ve had a small incident that has been dealt with. We are taking the measures needed to minimize the damage. If you leave us alone and don’t interfere with your typical ga-…” The captain tried to cut-off his last word so that Q would not hear, but Q’s smile clearly showed otherwise.
“Games? …Games! What a wonderful idea captain! You always know just what to say to make a girl feel special!” Q said, giving the captain a hug around his arms. “A game yes, but we need to make this a very special game! I will give you three days to get to know one another before the games begin. And don’t even think about leaving, captain. I took the liberty of disabling your ship for the duration our time together. In the meantime, I suggest you make friends with the locals. You wouldn’t want to have two enemies to fight now, would you?” He gave himself a maniacal laugh.
“Q, don’t do this! You know our Prime Directive! We must not contaminate their culture!”
Still laughing, Q transformed back into the shape of Discord. “You have your Prime Directive, and I have mine. You have three days. Oh, and just so you know, I’ve taken the liberty of decloaking all of your equipment as well as your outpost in Ponyville. Looks like you’s got’s some s’plaining to do, Captain!”
Laughing, Discord walked toward the window, while simultaneously, his body slowly turned transparent. Before he reached the window, he was gone.
The Legend of Hearth’s Warming Eve
“Captain’s log, Stardate 44162.6:
What was once a small containable breach has now turned into a very serious violation of the Prime Directive. Thanks to the actions of Q, we are left with a world now fully exposed to our presence. The Enterprise has been disabled and is currently unable to leave orbit. All Cloaked devices on the planet below have been deactivated including the outpost set up by the landing party.
Q has revealed he has had prior dealings with this planet’s inhabitants and has masqueraded himself as a supposed ‘God of Chaos’. Twice now, he has expressed an unusual interest in this world, which begs the question, why?
His interest in humans lay in the danger they posed for the future if they were to continue on their present course with such a violent past. Through trials and games, we were able to prove our worth as a civilization. As of yet, however, I am unable to find a similar violent past for the ponies of this world.
The pony civilization, thus far, appears to have a far more peaceful historical background than humans, preaching love and tolerance for all living things. It is puzzling to understand how they might pose a significant threat large enough to merit an investigation by the Q Continuum. At this point, I believe the strange disturbances to the temporal and spatial surroundings within this system must also be the root of Q’s Interest.
Q has given us a three day time frame in which to rectify and mitigate the damage he has caused before his ‘games’ are expected to take place. Q’s games have proven to be fatal at times in the past . As a precaution, I have ordered all children and civilian personnel to relocate to the saucer section of the ship. While the ship as a whole has been prevented from moving, Engineering reports there doesn’t appear to be anything preventing the saucer section from separating and leaving the system.
In the effort to deal with the cultural damage on the surface, I have been working with one of its local inhabitants, a Unicorn named Twilight Sparkle, who has agreed to help us prevent widespread panic. I’ve sent her back to the surface to work with their local government and Commander Riker in dealing with the situation.”
The transporter beam glowed brightly as it appeared, in the middle of the hospital hallway, causing some witnesses to run away in fear. As Twilight Sparkle rematerialized, she tried to call out to them.
“Wait!” she shouted out.
It was clear that panic was already beginning to set in. Ponies could not comprehend the things they were seeing and were scared by it. It had only been two hours since she had left the hospital, and everything had changed. Doctors and nurses were running down the corridors and emergencies were piling up. Fear was triggering mass hysteria and causing accidents everywhere. Ponies were getting hurt left and right.
Twilight thought she should try to find her friends fast; then go straight to the princess and give her report. She went to front desk to try to find out which room Fluttershy would have been moved to after she left the operating room. The pony at the front desk was flapping her hooves so fast, she appeared to have six of them.
“Um…excuse me?” Twilight tried to get her attention, with no success.
“Pardon me, I was wondering which ro–“
“Just a minute!” the front desk pony cut across. After several minutes, she finally turned and looked back at Twilight. “So what’s your emergency?” she spoke with a tone of exhaustion and frustration.
“I just wanted to know which room Fluttershy was in,” Twilight gently requested.
“Fluttershy… Fluttershy…” she muttered aloud, flipping through dozens of papers spread out all over her desk. “I’m sorry. Fluttershy has already been discharged. The doctor noted, ‘miraculous recovery with no sign of original injury,’ whatever that means. Anyway she’s no longer here. Now if you don’t have an emergency I must ask you to leave!”
She pointed her hoof toward the exit doors. Twilight felt she had no choice but to postpone finding her friends until after she reported to the princess.
“Spike would have been helpful at a time like this, but unfortunately I left him behind in Ponyville,” she thought to herself, “but I wanted to keep him safe and still do. I’ll just have to hoof it!”
She made her way from the hospital toward the palace. The streets of Canterlot were ludicrous. Ponies were throwing their belongings into carts and taking their families away. Shops were being closed and boarded up. Everypony had panic in their eyes as they ran every which way down the city streets. At one point, a little filly was crying in the middle of the road.
“I want my mooooommmmmyyyyy!!!”
Don’t worry little one,” Twilight said, looking kindly at the little pony. “We’ll look for your mommy together.”
Twilight took a hold of her little hoof before another pony screamed out, “STAY AWAY FROM MY FILLY YOU MONSTER!!!” The mother of the little pony snatched her from Twilight’s hoof and ran off into the crowd.
Twilight could not understand why there would be so much panic already. She didn’t pretend to understand everything that was explained to her aboard the Enterprise, however the only effects that should’ve been seen in Canterlot were small devices suddenly appearing all over the city. She quickened her pace in an effort to reach the palace.
As she made her way up toward the castle, she spotted a group of colts off to the side of the road, smashing a box that was making sparks and was on fire. “Looks like they discovered one of Geordi’s ‘sensors’,” Twilight thought.
At last she spotted a group of guards, standing in front of the entrance to the palace, who were fighting back a crowd of angry ponies. She tried to get close to one of the guards, but could not make her way through the mob. She nearly reached one of the guards and tried to call out to him.
“Please, I need to see the princess. I have urgent information for her! Please!–OW!”
Something hard struck Twilight in the head. The last thing she saw were the guards’ feet as she hit the ground with a thud and blacked out.
“Oww…I…wuh…?” Twilight puttered as she regained consciousness. She found herself lying in a large luxurious bed with golden silk sheets and bed posts that appeared to be hoof-carved. Straight ahead of her was a large painting depicting the view of Canterlot from the sky. The furniture appeared to be very old but shined like new. Sunlight was shining through a window as tall as the room itself, with large red curtains bound by silk bows.
Quickly realizing she must be in one of the palace's guest rooms, she sat up from the bed rubbing the top of her head. A large bump had appeared where she had been struck. She tried to recover quickly, but her throbbing head significantly slowed her pace. She clamored her way to the door and walked straight into a guard standing out front.
“Sorry,” she said, looking up at the guard she bumped into. “I need to speak to–Shining Armor?” Focusing her eyes she realized the guard before her was none other than her brother. “Big Brother! What are you doing here?” she asked.
“I came to check on how my little sis was doing,” Shining answered. “A guard by the gate recognized you after you were accidentally clobbered by another guard, who feels really bad that he hit you. Many ponies are scared right now, and we had a duty to protect the princess at all costs.”
Twilight cut across, “I have information about what’s happening that I need to explain to the princess immediately!” She tried to express her urgency.
“We know,” Shining said. “A lot has happened while you were unconscious, Twi. Follow me. I’ll take you to the princess now if you feel up to it.”
Nodding, Twilight followed her brother through the halls of the palace over toward the throne room.
When she reached the large oak doors to the throne room, the guards on either side pulled them open to allow Twilight and Shining Armor entrance. As she stepped into the room, Twilight saw Geordi standing next the princess.
“Geordi? Why are you here?” Realizing her rudeness to the princess, she quickly corrected, “Sorry your majesty. I meant to say, thank you for seeing me.” She bowed her head in respect.
“That’s quite alright Twilight. You’ve had quite a day I hear,” said the princess smiling down at her star pupil.
Turning back to Geordi, Twilight again asked, "Geordi, I wasn't expecting to see you now. Aren't you still supposed to be on your ship?"
Geordi explained, “A little over an hour ago, word had reached the ship that widespread panic had sunk in thanks to Q... err... Discord’s message,” he said to a thoroughly confused pony.
“What message? How long have I been out?”
“You’ve been unconscious for about three hours now,” Shining Armor said. “About thirty minutes after you disappeared from your friends, a voice spoke from nowhere to the whole of Equestria. The message was aimed at causing widespread panic, to which it succeeded with flying colors.”
“What did the message say?”
“‘You have been invaded’,” he quoted. “‘Creatures from another world are here to destroy everything you hold dear. Behold the devices they use to spy on you...’"
Geordi continued. “At which point all the devices my people had setup became visible, including the outpost in Ponyville. Panic quickly overwhelmed everyon... err... pony. Within two hours, the outpost was discovered, and Commander Riker, who you were supposed to meet up with, was forced to setup a force field to keep the villagers from attacking them. They apparently can no longer transport out.
“He communicated his situation to the captain. We attempted to get in contact with you through the communication device we gave you, but there was no reply. We’ve been unable to transport anyone from the surface back to the ship since the announcement, however we found that we could still send people down. So I transported to the location of the device we gave you and was immediately arrested by the guards.”
Shining Armor chimed in, “I was in your room waiting for you to regain consciousness when he spontaneously appeared right before my eyes. Heeding the words of the voice, I took this as an infiltration and quickly disarmed him. I reported the incident to the princess who demanded to see him.”
The princess picked up the story. “I recognized Discord’s voice immediately when he had spoken to everypony. When Shining Armor told me of the invader, I decided to speak to this stranger and hear his story. He told me of his ship and their own dealings with Discord, whom they call ‘Q’ and the game he is to play with all of us shortly. I am tempted to believe their story. I take it you would agree with this Twilight?”
“Yes your majesty,” Twilight responded. “I’ve spoken to the captain of the ship, and he was desperate to prevent the panic that appears, unfortunately, to now be happening. We need everypony to calm down and work together if we are to defeat Discord.”
The princess looked around the room. “I would like all the guards to leave the room at once!”
The guards looked confused. “Your majesty…” Shining Armor rebutted, “our princess must be protected at all times. We cannot possibly leave you alone with this stranger.”
“As your princess I must insist. Leave this room, so that I may confer with Twilight and the stranger privately. Now!” the princess said with an increasing seriousness in her tone.
The guards, including Shining Armor, bowed and quietly departed from the throne room. As Shining Armor made his way out, he gave Geordi a look of deep mistrust. However, as he trusted the princess wholeheartedly, he left the room with no further objections, closing the doors behind him.
“Now then, ‘Geordi’ right?" the princess confirmed. "Have your sensors been able to pick up the Monoceros particles yet?”
“No we haven’t ye–wait a minute!?” Geordi looked at the princess in shock. “How could you possibly…”
“You need to modify your sensors to detect particles at the sub-Higgs level. You will need this information to help us,” said the princess as casually as ordering a cup of tea. Turning to Twilight she said, “Twilight, there’s something I need to explain to you. And it can NEVER leave this room, do you understand?”
Twilight, whose brain was well beyond processing anything that was being uttered anymore, softly nodded and made the motions of a Pinkie-Promise.
“Twilight, you know from your studies that Equestria was founded when the great pony tribes united together to build our world,” the princess said.
“Of course,” Twilight said. “We put on a play every year to teach it to the young filly’s and colts. Why?”
The princess nodded and smiled. “If Equestria is our world, and this world is the planet you witnessed from the stranger’s ship, then where did the pony tribes come from before Equestria was founded?”
Twilight thought for a moment. In all her studies, she never once connected the dots that would lead to this conclusion: “You mean, we came from another planet originally?”
“Correct,” said the princess. “Our species roamed the galaxy many millennia ago, exploring the universe, but the four great races, who once worked together, began warring with one another.”
Twilight looked confused. “Four? There are only three races that I know of: Earth, Pegasus, and Unicorn.”
“Alicorn,” the princess replied. “Alicorns were once a full race with as many as any other pony. Sadly, war triggered great battles in space, and millions were killed. The Alicorn race was all but extinct.
“Alicorns were a genetic combination of all three races, created to unite everypony. But a side effect of this genetic manipulation was a form of immortality. The other races grew jealous of our immortality and temporary alliances were formed. They worked together to destroy my kind and nearly succeeded along with themselves. A small group of rebels separated from their own tribes and formed a small united rebel group. They smuggled myself and Luna away from the battle when we were little and fled to a new planet far away from the warring.
“They found this planet, barely habitable, but the energy fluctuations made it ideal for hiding. Since Alicorn’s magical abilities are superior to that of ordinary Unicorns, Luna and I used our abilities to create a small paradise in which to live.
“We superheated one of its moons, creating a miniature star that would burn for only two million years; a short life for a star, but more than enough for us. Working together with the rebels that saved us, a community was formed that would work together to control the weather, grow food, and build a more peaceful society focused on Love and Friendship…Equestria. History became legend, and legend became the fable of Hearth’s Warming Eve.”
The princess finished her story and looked at Twilight who was deep in thought. After a few moments, Twilight finally responded. “So what happened to all the other ponies who were still fighting?” she asked.
“Dead... Most of our ships were broken down and used to help build our new home, but we saved one small scout ship. After several years, we sent the ship to see what had come of our species. They found whole planets destroyed. No signs of anypony left. Our new colony was now our only home.”
Twilight was still absorbing all the information. This morning, her perspective on the universe was so miniscule compared to what she now knew. Discovering that her people were once, not only as advanced as the strangers, but that they had not even originally come from this planet, was overwhelming.
While Twilight continued to silently contemplate things in her mind, Geordi decided to ask some questions now. “Um…your highness?” Geordi asked looking from Twilight to the princess. “If your species once had the ability to explore other star systems and planets, is that why Q–Discord has such an interest in you now?”
The princess stared at Geordi with a warm smile but stern eyes. “Alas, I do not know,” she said. “The first time he appeared to us, he brought such chaos to our lands that it took years to undo the damage he brought us. This is now the third time he has brought disharmony to our land, and I do not yet know why.”
“The first thing we need to do,” said Geordi, “is to calm the public down and unite our peoples before Discord starts his games. I know you have little more than our word your majesty, but I–”
“I understand Geordi,” the princess cut across. “You see, I took the liberty of having your ship’s databanks scanned when you were brought here, which your captain has no doubt discovered by now. I have already learned of your peaceful mission of exploration and your prior dealings with the being known to you as ‘Q’. I shall speak to my subjects here in Canterlot and then travel to Ponyville to help your friends.”
Geordi started looking around for any sign of technology that could have scanned the Enterprise. The princess added, “We still have a little technology left Geordi. It’s hidden carefully away. Only a small handful of guards in all of Equestria know about it at any one time.”
Twilight snapped out of her trance to speak up. “Before you leave, princess, do you know where my friends are?”
“Of course Twilight, they ran into your brother while they’ve been looking for you. He brought them into the palace. They’re waiting in the next room for you to finish your audience with me. Just remember Twilight Sparkle, Geordi,” she said looking from Twilight to Geordi and back again. “Everything that has been discussed here must remain secret. Our race has learned to grow and prosper in peaceful ignorance of our past. History has become legend, and it is best for it to stay that way.”
Twilight bowed her head to this command, and Geordi nodded his head in agreement.
Princess Celestia looked back to Geordi saying, “Geordi, I realize you will need to give a full report to your captain, but I ask two things: Keep as many details as you feel are unnecessary out of the report, and while you and your team are here on the planet, do not mention anything at all.”
“Understood princess. I will keep this information safe,” Geordi agreed to the terms.
Looking back to Twilight, the princess said, “Twilight, you may go reunite with your friends now and get them ready. I need to address the fears of everypony here in Canterlot, first. Then we will travel straight to Ponyville. The Royal Air Colts shall get us there posthaste.”
Twilight left the throne room and went to reunite with her friends thinking, "What in Equestria am I going to tell them?”
Welcome to Ponyville?
“Twilight!” everypony cheered, running up to her when she walked into the room.
“Where'd ger run off to?” asked Applejack.
“Long story,” Twilight tried to explain, “I–”
“How’s your head, darling?” asked Rarity.
“It’s sore, but fine. I–”
“How come everypony’s hitting their heads today? Is it the new fun thing to do? Here let me try!”, Pinkie Pie said taking a book from a shelf and giving herself a good whack. “Ow!” she said as her eyes circled around from the dizzying pain. “That wasn’t very fun at all.”
“Listen,” Twilight yelled. “I just spoke with the princess, and she is going to make a speech shortly. Then we’re going back to Ponyville to help out some new friends.”
Applejack looked up at Twilight, concerned. “New Friends? These wouldn’t happen to be the same friends as the one who landed on Fluttershy; the same ones who Discord just warned us about, would it?”
Twilight needed to explain the situation as best she could. “Yes, but do not believe Discord. They are our allies and even Princess Celestia knows it. They are here to help us fight Discord.”
They all listened to Twilight explain her sudden disappearance, her little excursion to the Enterprise, how the strangers came to their world to explore and learn, an how they became caught up in Discord’s meddling. She was careful not to mention anything she had learned from the Princess about their own past.
“Discord is trying to get everypony into a panic by using the strangers as easy scapegoats,” said Twilight.
Applejack looked at her quizzically. “An ‘Escape Goat’?” she asked, picturing a goat with a black mask breaking out of prison.
Twilight rolled her eyes. “Do you need Sweetie-Bell or Apple Bloom to explain it to you? It means he’s blaming them for what he's actually doing himself! The princess will explain this shortly to everypony in Canterlot. We need to help the strangers in Ponyville and then work together to defeat Discord.”
“So you actually were on their ship?” Rainbow Dash cut in. “You were even higher than I’ve ever flown?”
Twilight could tell Rainbow’s voice had a mix of excited interest and bitter jealousy mixed in.
“Yes, but I didn’t get to see too much,” Twilight innocently lied. “Their captain kept a very close eye on me. I just saw a lot of rooms and hallways with candle-less lights in the ceilings and on the walls.” She deliberately left out the part about seeing Equestria from space. She didn’t want Rainbow to be too jealous of her.
“Well I feel much more comfortable with my hooves on the ground, thank you,” said Rarity.
She no longer cared for flying after her short-lived flying experience in Cloudsdale. Plummeting out of the sky, after having her wings melt off, would make any pony think twice about it.
Twilight gazed over at Fluttershy, who was already standing and walking around with no apparent difficulty.
“How are you feeling?” she asked.
“Much better,” Fluttershy calmly responded. “I need to thank that stranger for helping me.”
Smiling, Twilight turned around, motioning towards the door with her muzzle. “Then follow me. He’s still with the princess.”
They made their way over toward the balcony where the princess was about to begin her speech. Everypony but Pinkie Pie seemed apprehensive about the situation. Despite the chaos outside, she appeared to be upbeat and chipper, with all smiles showing.
The other ponies did not share Pinkie’s upbeat attitude. They had heard Discord’s message and were deeply concerned. In many ways, Pinkie’s quirky behavior actually helped reduce the tension in the room. Twilight thought to herself how Pinkie Pie may actually be the strongest pony out of all of them.
From the balcony, the princess could be seen getting ready to deliver her speech. She used her magic to amplify her voice, reaching the whole of Canterlot. Many of the citizens were too scared running around to notice her until she stood out on the balcony and began to speak:
Ponies of Canterlot, hear me! Your princess demands your attention at this difficult hour. You are being
driven to panic by a voice who speaks from the shadows and says little but lies. This voice is none other
than the voice of Discord! Do not be deceived my little ponies! He is our enemy and will do anything to
cause disharmony throughout our land of Equestria!
The enemy he speaks of is in fact our ally! They come from a far away land to learn all about us and
become our friends. It is Discord who is our common foe! We have defeated him before!
We will defeat him again!
Now my friends, take your families home. Do not panic, and do not let chaos get the better of you. I will
protect you as I have done for millennia. Be well.
The princess finished her speech and stepped back from the balcony. Turning back towards Twilight and her friends, her face revealed she was not as confident as she had just broadcasted herself to be. Twilight walked up to her and tried to offer a hoof of comfort, but the princess quickly regained her composure into a frame of strength and determination.
Looking down at Twilight she simply said, “Now we go to Ponyville.” Twilight was taken aback by the princess’s gaze. Her eyes were vacant; cold even. Twilight felt a chill come over her as she looked into the princess's eyes.
The Royal Air Colts stood ready to transport everyone back to Ponyville. The princess stepped onto the chariot, which was large enough to carry all of them. Geordi and the ponies boarded quickly and they were underway.
By air, the trip would only take about thirty minutes.
As the chariot flew over the town of Ponyville, the damage from Discord's message was easily viewed. Though it was not raining chocolate milk, many windows in houses and stores were either boarded up or smashed. Twilight could not believe her eyes. Ponies had broken into the hardware store, stolen shovels and rakes, and were gathering around what appeared to be a flashing pink bubble.
Commander Riker and his team were sheltered beneath a force field being tested quite frequently. Each time an angry pony jabbed, poked, or whacked the field with a tool, it would distribute the energy across, glowing pink. Counselor Troi was desperately trying to appeal to the angry mob, but she could sense their anger and fear was beyond any attempts at reason or logic. Lieutenant Worf had been beamed down before the field was put in place to boost security. The force field wasn't just keeping the pony mob out, but also stopping Worf from his increasing desire to battle with these four-legged beasts.
The Royal Air Colts hovered just over the field in view of the entire mob. The crowd immediately stopped their attack upon sight of the princess and bowed.
“Ponies of Ponyville hear me!” she started reciting her Canterlot speech almost verbatim at first.
As the princess gave her speech to the ponies of Ponyville, Twilight noticed her voice seemed to have changed in tone. Her words to the town changed from encouragement and comfort to disappointment and disgust. Twilight had never heard the princess speak in such a manner, and neither had any other pony, who kept their heads bowed low in fear.
“…We ponies are a proud race! We are a peaceful race! We have not had a single war since Equestria was founded, and I will not see our world sink into the abyss from fear of the unknown!”
Finishing her speech, she had the guards lower the chariot down to the ground in front of the away team. She stepped off the chariot and looked at Commander Riker, who switched off the protective field.
“Thank you, your highness,” Riker said. “We will try to help in any way we can.”
The princess nodded appreciatively. She looked back at the crowd, who remained frozen, not sure what to do. Her demeanor returned to a warmer, friendlier gaze. She walked up to one of the ponies in the crowd, Lyra, who started to sob, staring at the pitch fork she had dropped upon the princess’s arrival.
“There, there,” the princess cooed softly at Lyra. “You did not cause any permanent harm.”
Lyra gazed up at the princess’s face, tears streaking down her cheeks. “I’m so sorry your Majesty! I-I-I didn’t mean… I was afraid….”
“I know, I know,” said the princess, patting her softly on the head.
Looking back at the still bowing ponies she said, “Everypony, do not be afraid. A long time ago, a wise pony once told me, ‘Do not fear. Fear can only drive hate. Hate brings nothing but sorrow and suffering. I do not want my ponies to suffer. So please, do not be afraid. I am here to help; as are our new friends.”
The crowd picked their heads back up. They were thankful for their monarch’s forgiveness and understanding. They piled the tools they stole onto a wagon and would be returning it to the owner’s shop shortly. Many ponies had done as the princess requested and went to go look after their families.
Some ponies like Derpy, trying to hide the sack of muffins she had been hurling at the strangers, wanted to help.
“I’m really sorry princess,” she said. “Everything happened so fast. I just don’t know what went wrong.”
“Princess,” said Geordi, approaching her, “we need to make a plan with the time remaining. I wanted to ask you more about the particles you mentioned.”
The princess nodded. “Yes, I believe with your help, we might be able to combine our magic with your technology.”
Turning to Twilight she said, “Twilight, I can’t have you in two places at once, but I need both your magical abilities and your organizational skills. Is there anyone you could delegate the responsibility of securing the town while you work with Geordi and I?”
Twilight looked at her friends, mulling over who would do the best job. After a brief pause in contemplation, she smiled. Turning back to the princess she nominated...
Several jaws dropped and Derpy tripped falling to the ground. Rainbow was the first to respond.
“Pinkie Pie? Are you kidding? Wouldn’t me or possibly Applejack make a better choice?”
Twilight shook her head. “No. Pinkie is unusual and has weird ways of getting things done. And maybe, just maybe, it's best to fight chaos with a little chaos of our own!” she said smirking at Pinkie who was bouncing on her tail with excitement.
“Okie-Dokie-Lokie Twi! Leave everything to me! Derpy! I need you to fly over to Mr. and Mrs. Cake and start baking muffins! We need at least 100?...No… 200,000 muffins!”
Derpy snapped to attention and saluted, before shooting off into the air… in the wrong direction.
“Applejack it’s Zap-Apple harvest day tomorrow, right?”
Applejack replied, “Yes indeed! The rest of the Apple family are getting everything together for the harvest as we speak… Why?” Applejack had a gut feeling that she was not going to like what Pinkie was about to say.
Pinkie smiled with a devilish grin, “Good, we’re going to need every last drop of Zap-Apple jam you can make!”
Applejack's gut was right. Zap-Apple jam was the family’s most profitable harvest of the year. Looking from Pinkie to Twilight, she replied “Twi, I trust you. If you trust Pinkie Pie’s decision, then I’ll go help my family make as much jam as possible and have it ready for you by the time that 'game' you mentioned is set to start.”
Twilight nodded and Applejack took off toward her family farm.
“Fluttershy!” Pinkie called out looking over at Fluttershy, who was trying to make herself smaller so as not to be picked. “I need you to gather every animal in Ponyville and hide them in the Ever-Free Forest.”
Fluttershy started shaking her head in protest of having to go into the Ever-Free forest.
“Fluttershy, tell the animals what happened, and that they will be safer there together.” Putting her hooves on Fluttershy’s shoulders she added, “They will be safer, and you will be safer with them.”
She looked Fluttershy in the eye, almost mimicking Fluttershy’s staring ability.
“Okay…” Fluttershy nodded in agreement and left to return to her home where most of the animals in Ponyville already resided.
“Rarity,” Pinkie continued. “I need you to make a giant sheet made out of sky!”
Rarity had no idea what Pinkie was talking about. “What? How can you have a sheet made out of sky? It’s impossible, unless you mean stitching clouds together, in which case wouldn’t Rainbow be better suited…”
Pinkie leaned in and whispered something in Rarity’s ear. With a sparkle appearing in Rarity’s eye, she smiled and said, “It will be the most spectacular sheet made of sky the world has ever seen!” She ran off to her store to start the preparations.
“Rainbow, I need you to gather the Pegasi and make a cloud as big as Ponyville with no rain!”
Rainbow gave Twilight a look of ‘Are you really sure about this?’
Twilight nodded and said, “Remember the parasprites...”
Rainbow gave a sigh before flying off to Cloudsdale.
“All set Twi! I'll take care good care of things!” Pinkie said, starting to make a list. “I’ll get some of the other things we're going to need: balloons, fireworks, streamers…”
Now Twilight was also starting to doubt her decision. “Uh… Pinkie… You know this isn’t a party we're preparing for, right?”
Pinkie grinned. “Of course not, silly. Trust me. This is all part of the plan!” She grinned even more and ran off into town to hunt for her needed supplies.
Let the games begin!
"Captain's Log, Stardate 44165.1:
It has been three days since Q’s announcement of the game he intends to play, and he has at least kept his word by giving us the full three days to prepare. In the past, Q has never allowed such time for preparations, which leads me to believe that his game will be that much more challenging. I have done all I can to prepare short of going to the surface myself.
All civilian personnel and their families have been evacuated to the saucer section, which was successfully detached from the rest of the ship. Despite Q's hold on the Enterprise, preventing it from leaving orbit, the saucer section was successfully able to break orbit and start heading for Starbase DS4, where they can arrange for a tow back to the starbase. We will rendezvous with them at DS4, once we are able to do so.
After detecting a scan of our ship coming from the surface, we had begun a preliminary investigation into the energy source of the scan until Lieutenant Commander LaForge informed me of the technological level previously held by the pony society, and how they had given it up for a simpler, more peaceful lifestyle.
The princess has provided Geordi with usable information regarding the source of the unicorn’s abilities and how to manipulate them. She has been working with Geordi, in communications with Engineering, to modify the sensors to detect these ‘Monoceros particles’. When the sensors were brought online it revealed a fascinating discovery. Monoceros particles are actually quite abundant in space but are heavily concentrated in this particular system and on the planet below. This could account for the ‘anomalies’ that have been observed here.
The unicorn ponies appear to collect these particles via their horn in order to use their ‘magical’ abilities. The particles are found throughout the environment, however higher concentrations appear to radiate from the unicorns' horns in an almost glowing effect when they're being used. The particles also tend to follow the unicorns in their wake, leaving a trail behind them. In addition, we have detected the same wake in all the areas of the ship where Q has been recently.
This leads to a correlation which would suggest that the source of Q’s ‘god-like’ powers may be the very same as these unicorns. Our Engineering team is currently working on a way to negate the particles, potentially rendering Q powerless.
The research, thus far, has led to the development of a Monoceros Particle Shield, which we believe is capable of preventing Q from eavesdropping any further. All plans, meetings, and communications are now being conducted under these fields and similar fields have been created by the unicorns on the ground for their own preparations.
It would appear that the details of the ponies’ preparations are rather vague and at best, almost whimsical. I am not entirely sure what their intentions are, and I believe that certain details are being deliberately kept secret even under the field for an as of yet unknown reason. We will know within the next few hours whether either of our preparations will be effective or even relevant to Q’s game.”
Captain Picard finished his log entry and turned off the particle shield he had been using while making his entry. He then headed for the battle bridge. Entering the bridge, the captain ordered, “Report.”
“All preparations in place here and on the ground, sir,” Lt. Cmdr. Data replied.
“Good, good. Now we’re just waiting on…”
“Me?” Q said stepping onto the middle of the bridge from nowhere. He was in his human form wearing his matching Starfleet uniform. Today his pins reflected the rank of Admiral.
“You,” the captain continued finishing his sentence; his tone matching the look of anger that had instantly appeared on his face. “Well Q, let’s get this over with, but first the rules if you please. And they had better be fair and surmountable!”
“Now since when have you known me to play fair Jean-Luc?” Q answered with a puzzled look on his face. “I don’t see any reason to start now.”
The captain was already starting to lose his patience. “Damn it Q, your games have been known to cost lives! I will not stand by and watch one of my officers be killed for your amusement!”
Q gave a small laugh. “Come now, Picard. You know I haven’t actually killed any of your crew. They died in their service to God, King, and Country!” Q stood at attention saluting the fallen heroes.
The captain was growing weary. “Alright Q, let’s get this over with. What are the terms?”
Q’s smile didn’t lower a muscle. “Now, now Jean-Luc. Remember this isn’t your game…It’s theirs!” he said gesturing toward the main viewer, which currently had Equestria’s view from the ship displayed. “And we should really have this conversation in person with them, no? But first I think I need a change of wardrobe, don’t you? As much as I love looking like a soft pink mammal in uniform for your delight, I’ve always preferred a certain amount of randomness in my attire. After all, you creatures are all interchangeable anyway, right?”
As he finished his sentence, his body started morphing into the creature known as Discord to the locals, with one exception. He was still wearing his Starfleet uniform over his now furry chest. “There we are,” Discord said admiring his chaotic form. “Now I’m ready for the Ball! And Picard…kudos on the new particle shield. I won’t say if it will be of any use, but you may have finally found one tiny miniscule piece of the grand scheme of the Continuum...or not!”
With a flick of his fingers, Discord and Captain Picard vanished from the battle bridge and off the ship entirely.
The princess had been working side-by-side with Twilight and Geordi almost non-stop over the last few days. It was unheard of to have the Princess interact regularly with lower subjects for an extended period of time, let alone doing manual labor.
Secretly though, the princess enjoyed these rare opportunities where she could work like a commoner for a short while without her guards demanding, "Such work should never be done by royalty!" These unusual circumstances allowed her room to insist on helping directly. Twilight also relished the past several days getting time to work side-by-side with the princess...like equals...like friends even.
Their plans were being coordinated in the outpost that had been previously set up by Riker and the away team, prior to its discovery by the town. Geordi had been using Twilight’s magic to record, collect, and manipulate the monoceros particles. Troi had left the town with the evacuees to ensure their safety and maintain contact.
Pinkie Pie and Commander Riker had exchanged their coordination efforts and plans, much to the chagrin of Riker, who was not amused by Pinkie’s childish and hyperactive nature.
Several communicators were lent out to specific ponies to assist with communications. Based on the circumstances, the added damage to their culture in providing these communicators was minimal, as they could be locked onto and beamed away at the conclusion of Q’s game.
The princess also recommended bringing in the Red Guard to help. The Red Guard was Equestria’s Elite force of guards hand-picked by its captain. They were the closest thing to warriors that the palace could provide. The guard consisted of Earth, Pesagsi, and Unicorn ponies working together as one unit. They were a secret to the general public and the only guards who were allowed to be trained in lethal combat. Its unicorn soldiers were the only unicorns in Equestria entrusted with the secret ability to kill using magic.
The princess never wanted a standing army. To maintain such an army could only result in war. However, this small squad of around twenty ponies would be kept at all times in cases of emergency. As the princess could not be sure of Discord’s true intentions, the Red Guard had been called in to lend its support if needed.
Its leader, a tough bulky unicorn named Captain Orilius Torus, was on average two heads taller than any other pony, with thick black fur and a silver mane. His eye color was a deep crimson. His cutie mark was anything but; two crossed unicorn horns over a curved blade.
The Red Guard arrived in Ponyville and had setup their own positions and strategy independently from the rest of the group. When Riker first met the captain of the Red Guard, he knew right away this captain did not trust them and wanted to protect Equestria on their own. While Riker would have preferred a more open collaboration with the Red Guard, they settled on providing Capt. Torus with a communicator to stay in contact once the games began.
The princess, Twilight, Pinkie Pie, Geordi and Riker were all continuing to work under the protection of the particle barrier, when Discord and Captain Picard appeared before them. “Well well, my little ponies! My have we been busy. Would you care to lower your shield and talk, or shall I just…” He took a step right through the barrier. It appeared to have zero effect on him. “…walk right on through,” he said with a wide grin.
“Discord!” grunted the princess, her nostrils flaring upon seeing him enter through the barrier. She beat her hoof on the ground to further express her frustrations with the creature before her.
“Yes indeed, princess. Would you care to go for the bonus round or just bow out now?” he mockingly asked, relishing in the princess’s anger.
“Twice you have brought chaos to my lands, and twice you have been thwarted! No matter what, this ends today!” the princess bellowed at him.
“Temper, temper your highness. But you are quite right in fact. Today IS the final day for one of you!” Discord’s laughter was growing louder and more agitating to those who were present.
“The game goes as follows, Celestia: Two teams will do battle. One will win the right to exist; the other shall be wiped from existence. Sound fair?” he asked gingerly strolling around the outpost as he spoke.
“You can’t expect us to fight each other!” Twilight suddenly shouted out to Discord, “We’ve bonded together now! We are allies, NOT enemies! You’re little trickery didn’t work!”
“Oh-ho Miss. Sparkle! So lovely to see you again. I don't know how true your statement actually is, but yes, you are quite right in that I will not be pitting you against each other. It would be too boring to the point of cliché. So…meet your new enemy!”
With a wave of his hand, an army of around one thousand soldiers appeared all around them. Their faces were sunken with slimy gray skin and four small, beady black eyes set apart in groups of two on an inward angle down towards the slits where their nose would have been. There was no hair to be found on the tops of the heads of those not wearing helmets. They had two thick hairy legs with hooves at the ends, like a monstrous version of a faun. Their bodies were lined with thick, heavy armor each individually decorated with anything from blood stains, to bones, to painted symbols across their breast plates. They were a warrior species, much like Klingons though much more primitive; bred for battle.
“Behold your enemy!” Discord yelled into the crowd of soldiers. Many of the soldiers laughed and started sharpening their weapons, most of which were large swords and battle axes. Discord looked back to Picard, Twilight, and Princess Celestia. “You see, one of you two races will be extinct by the end of the day,” he said with a cold calmness as though he were talking about picking which cake he wanted to partake in.
A sudden realization struck the captain. “You mean, these creatures are not your creation, Q?”
Discord laughed again. “Why should I need to do all the work? These handsome fellows call themselves the Bratak, a species which probably should be eradicated from the universe. They currently reside on a world slated for destruction by a massive meteor on its way in a few days. I decided to take a page out of your book Picard, and try to be more noble and help a poor helpless species. I offered them a chance to continue living their pathetic existence in exchange for a small favor: eliminating all of you!”
“Q, or Discord, or whatever you’re calling yourself these days. You cannot do this. These ponies know nothing of war! It would be a slaughter!” yelled the captain, desperate for a change to his game plan.
“I’m afraid the pieces are already in motion. Now, allow me to introduce you to the Bratak Leader, Ramzel 127,” he said pointing to an empty space instantly filled by an even larger and more grotesque warrior who looked as though he could have completed this task entirely on his own.
“Incidentally, you may want to note the 127 is a title to match his personal kill count as it were.” Discord smiled again in such a way that made Picard have to restrain himself from breaking his jaw.
“So the rules are simple. The two armies will start at opposite ends of the map, by which I mean Ponyville. Your leaders will remain in their home bases. Princess your home base shall be the Ponyville library, which I believe is Miss. Sparkle’s current residence. The Bratak home base has been setup on some rotting old farm on the outside of town. I didn’t have enough concern to see if there was anyone still living there, so I do hope there’s nopony there when the Bratak arrive.”
He gave a maniacal laugh that sent shivers down Twilight’s spine. She hoped Applejack and her family were all safe.
“Each leader must remain in their home base at all times. For this particular game, I’ve decided to make it more fun and make the leaders NPC’s or ‘Non-Player Characters’. You won’t be able to contact your people, and they won’t be able to contact you. If either leader is captured or killed, their people will be eliminated. And his includes you too Picard!”
The captain looked confused. “I thought this wasn’t my game?”
Discord stared at the captain. “Ah yes, captain, quite true. However since you decided to stay rather than taking my earlier advice and leaving, and since you have so graciously allied yourself with these ponies, you are considered fair game. It wouldn’t be very fair if your people didn’t play for similar stakes, right?”
Picard did not like the sound of that. “What do you mean Q?” he demanded.
“Just that if you are captured or killed during our little game, you will need to pay a price as well.”
“You can’t mean to wipe out the human race, Q? The Continuum would forbid it!”
“Quite right you are mon capiton, however since you are not the main leader as we’ve already established, perhaps a lesser penalty would be more prudent? Shall we say, all the men, women, and children currently on-board or docked at Starbase DS4?”
The captain had to step back. “Q, why are you doing this? This level of violence is too much even for you! You are intentionally starting a war!”
Discord’s smile finally faded. Leaning in so that he was mere inches from Picard’s face, he very quietly whispered, “This is beyond my control Picard. I’m afraid you don’t have a choice.”
Stepping back, he renewed his crooked smile. “Now that we’ve established the rules and met the contestants, I think we’re ready to start the fun! Let the games begin! ...And may the best pets win!”
In a flash, the soldiers vanished, probably teleported to their home base. Picard and Princess Celestia had also vanished, most likely to the Ponyville library. Twilight, Pinkie, Geordi and Riker remained behind at the outpost. Looking at one another, they nodded in agreement. Each tapping a comm. badge they carried, they began to issue orders.
“Twilight to Rainbow Dash,” Twilight called into her communicator.
“Rainbow here, go ahead,” she replied.
“Looks like Discord’s plan is to get us to battle another race. We’re going to need massive air support. How fast can you change our mega-cloud to produce lightning strong enough to bring down about a thousand buffalo-sized warriors?”
Rainbow dash took a few seconds to reply. “That’s a tall order Twi. But leave it to me and I’ll have our cloud plan with 20% more lightning bolts in 10 seconds flat!”
Twilight let a slight chuckle escape from her lips. “Heh, Sounds good. Twilight out.”
Riker meanwhile had contacted Worf. “…Worf, they mean to have us fight! These ponies are not prepared for this kind of fighting. We’re going to need more experienced fighters to assist.”
“Understood,” came Worf’s reply standing by a pavillion not too far from the forest. Tapping his communicator, he said, “Worf to the bridge.”
“Bridge here sir. Go ahead.”
“I require six security teams to beam down heavily armed, throughout the town. Tell them to be expecting a war and do not transport down anywhere near the farm just outside of the town.”
“Yes sir, I’m on it. Is there anything else you need sir?”
“Now that you mention it…”
Within a few moments, a Klingon Bat'leth had materialized directly in front of Worf. Grasping the handles with both hands, he slowly maneuvered the weapon around himself, warming up before the battle was to begin.
The Battle of Ponyville! (Part I)
Applejack and her brother, Big Macintosh, were collecting the last two barrels of Zap-Apple jam to bring to Pinkie Pie. As Applejack pushed the last barrel onto the cart Big Mac was pulling, a thousand grotesque creatures carrying heavy weapons started appearing all over their farm.
As soon as the creatures saw the pair of them, they drew their blades. Some even licked them, salivating at their first catch of the day. Applejack had never seen anything like these creatures before. Thinking quickly she bucked the clasp attaching Big Mac to the cart, freeing him, and yelled, “RUN!!!”
The creatures charged after them. The sound their stomping hooves made against the hard ground thundered across the field. Their vibrations shook every last apple on the farm from their trees.
“Twilight to Applejack,” Twilight’s voice came through the communicator.
“I’m a little busy at the moment here Twi,” she yelled back over the din.
“There’s an army of creatures that are about to invade your farm!”
“You’re a little late on that! We’re running away from ‘em right at this moment!”
Twilight was afraid of this. “Who’s left on the farm? Do you need help getting away?”
Applejack replied, “It’s just me and Big Mac left. Everypony else was evacuated early this mornin’.”
“Good, can you make it to the far end of the farm where the apple trees are thickest?”
“I think so, but there’s no way out ‘a there! It’s right up against the mountainside!” Applejack said beginning to pant.
“Trust me. Get there as quick as you can and signal me back,” Twilight ordered.
Applejack didn’t understand what Twilight had in mind but she trusted her friend with her life any day of the week. “Big Mac!” she called out to her brother who was only a few feet behind her. Several dozen warriors were still behind them nipping at their heels. Their only advantage was having four legs over the creatures’ two. “Follow me!” she said as she started to change direction heading toward the mountainside.
As the trees started to cluster closer together, it became more difficult to maneuver around them. It started to slow their pace, but it also slowed their pursuers. Finally reaching the end of the orchard, Applejack turned around to face them. Even though she could not yet see them, she could see the trees rustling as they closed in on their position.
Smacking the communicator pin she said, “Alrighty Twi! We’re good and trapped right up against the mountain. I hope you got a plan to get out us out ‘a here!”
“Standby Applejack,” said Twilight.
The trees parted revealing the warriors rapidly approaching. Their beady black eyes stared at their prey as they raised their weapons ready to swing. Applejack shut her eyes tight and waited...
She felt the wind wrap around her body. She felt like she was floating. “Ima goin’ to heaven,” she thought. “I must ‘a died and I’m being carried away. I’m glad I didn’t feel no pain. But my stomach feels sorta strange. It feels like I'ma being pulled around by my waist for some reason.”
She cracked open one of her eyes. She was surrounded by clouds. She opened her other eye and looked up. The Wonderbolts had wrapped a rope around her waist and were carrying her up into the clouds. Looking around, she saw her brother also being carried away. She breathed a sigh of relief and relaxed as her rescuers carried her away from the farm over toward the outpost where her friends were waiting.
Princess Celestia and Captain Picard found themselves inside the Ponyville library. They quickly realized Discord must have transported them there to start the game. Picard immediately tried to open the front door, but it was locked, and he was unable to contact anyone with his comm. badge. The princess, seeing little alternative, had calmly settled herself in, patiently awaiting the outcome. Captain Picard did not remain quite so calm.
“Q, dammit! Where are you? I refuse to sit here and do nothing! Do you hear me?” the captain yelled at the walls.
The princess had made herself at home and even found a small kitchen. Using her magic, she started preparing some tea for herself. Quickly heating the water and soaking the leaves, she returned to the angry captain still shouting in vain.
“Well captain, I guess this is an odd set of circumstances to meet for the first time, but here,” she said floating a steaming cup of tea over to him. “The situation may be quite serious, but we must remain calm if we are to succeed.
The captain stopped his ranting momentarily to look over toward the princess. She appeared so down-to-earth to him, considering she was royalty. Taking the tea from the air, he gently breathed in its subtle aroma. He could almost swear he was breathing in the pleasant vapors of his favorite Earl Grey tea with just a hint of some kind of sweet berry.
Taking a sip and breathing out some of his stress he looked into the princess’s eyes and said, “Thank you. This is quite delicious your uh Majesty.”
“You’re quite welcome captain, but since this is hardly the formal environment, I feel no need for such titles. Please, call me Celestia.”
Picard was taken aback. “No. That would be quite inappropriate. I-“
“If I am the princess, and I have given my permission, than there is nothing that could be more appropriate,” the princess said smiling warmly at him.
Sighing and taking another sip he said, “Very well, Celestia. Then it would be terribly rude of me if I did not allow you the same courtesy. You may call me Jean-Luc.”
“It’s nice to finally meet you in person Jean-Luc.”
Smiling to each other, they gently sipped their tea in silence if only for a moment…
“My my my…Jean-Luc. I had no idea you had such exotic tastes!” said Discord interrupting their silence. “Would you like me to give you some privacy so you can give her Majesty a good bucking?” Sunglasses had appeared on his face as he danced with a hip-thrusting motion.
The princess’s face had turned at the sight of Discord as though her tea had suddenly become vinegar in her mouth.
“Q!” Picard screamed. “Enough of your vulgarity! I demand to know what is going on out there! You cannot expect us to just sit here in ignorance while our people may be giving their lives out there!”
“Take it easy, captain. I had every intention of letting you watch the big game from here, see?” he said as a projection screen appeared out of thin air. Video glowed from the screen depicting an apple farm.
“Looks like you’ve just missed kick-off, but let us see who’s got the ball, shall we?” said Discord.
Applejack and her brother could be seen on the screen running from what looked like several dozen warriors. Running right into the wall of a mountain, they appeared to be cornered.
“Ooh! Looks like the game is up for these two!” Discord said chuckling with an evil grin.
The princess did not want to let her worries show on her face, but was not able to do a very good job.
“Worried you might lose one of your ‘precious six’ on the first play, Celestia?” He laughed again.
Watching the screen as the warriors were mere feet away from the pair, they saw the Wonderbolts swoop in and carry them off up into the clouds that had formed just over the trees.
The princess looked back at Discord, smiling herself now, saying, “It looks like the ‘play’, as you put it, isn’t quite over just yet!”
“Did you really think these creatures, whom have been bred for war, would be defeated by a little flying?” he said still laughing. As the three continued to watch the screen, the warriors had pulled bows from their backs and were aiming up through the trees into the clouds. Releasing all together, a barrage of arrows soared up into the sky.
As the perspective on the screen changed to the fleeing ponies, the arrows could be seen piercing through the clouds all around them. The Wonderbolts twisted, ducked, and dived to maneuver around the incoming arrows. The flyers carrying Big Macintosh were able to steer clear of them. However, Applejack’s rescuers had greater difficulty. Twisting and turning, one of the arrows successfully struck one of the Wonderbolts directly in her wing. She buckled in pain releasing her rope and plummeted with Applejack out of the sky.
The princess had lost herself gasping at what she saw. Discord relished in her fear as he smirked and continued to watch with them.
The other member of the Wonderbolts had immediately dived after them, but there was no possible way for him to catch and carry both of them. As he nearly caught up to them, a flash of rainbow zoomed across his view taking Applejack with it. The shockwave of the Sonic Rainboom spread across the sky.
With only his partner still falling, the Wonderbolt was able to grab her just before she hit the ground. He quickly zoomed off before a second volley of arrows was able to be launched.
Both the princess and the captain breathed sighs of relief. Discord’s smile however had momentarily dipped into a frown. This did not last long before regaining his composure. “Oh well done! Well done indeed! I’m so glad to see you aren’t making this boring for me princess. You must be so proud of your little ponies.”
“I am very proud, thanks,” the princess replied with a smile of confidence.
“Indeed…Well I’ll be back in a bit. Enjoy the show! I’m just stepping out for a bit to make a few…adjustments.” Walking away Discord disappeared after a few steps.
The princess and the captain looked at each other worryingly. They did not like the sound of that at all.
Throughout Ponyville, small skirmishes started to break out. Some fights took place between the Bratak and Starfleet forces; others against pony volunteers. All non-volunteering civilian ponies had been successfully evacuated over the course of the last few days.
“Security Team 4 to Cmdr. Riker.”
“Riker here, go ahead.”
“Sir, this is Ensign Ryne. We’re currently under attack near the town’s bakery shop. So far the warriors appear to be primitive and no match for our phasers. We’re able to hold are own for now,” the ensign spoke over the communicator.
“Very good ensign,” Riker replied. “Notify me if the situation changes.”
“Yes sir, we should be able to-…”
“Ensign?...Ensign Ryne are you there?”
“Ensign Ryne is dead sir. We’ve got a problem,” yelled another member of the security team.
“What’s the situation?” Riker asked now getting nervous.
“Their shields, sir. We thought they were just a simple metal alloy, similar to steel, so far as we could tell. Our phasers were able to cut right through them up until a few moments ago. Now they appear to be able to block every setting!” Riker could sense the fear from the cracking voice of this young ensign as the sound of phaser fire could be heard in the background.
“Standby. I’ll send reinforcements over to your area,” said Riker
“Hurry sir, we’re down to two and there are dozens of soldiers appro-…”
The signal had once again been cut off.
“Riker to Security Team 5. Get to the town bakery ASAP. Be alert. The enemy’s shields are capable of withstanding phaser fire. Report on the status of Security Team 4.”
“Security Team 5 here. Acknowledged.”
Riker was starting to get more reports of attacks. With their phasers no longer having the upper hand, he feared even more so for the pony fighters who carried little but farming tools with which to fight.
“Riker to the Red Guard,” he called.
“Captain Torus here.” This pony’s voice echoed a deep male voice with a greater tone of seriousness than the average pony Riker had met over the past few days.
“Discord is altering the balance of the fight. Be prepared for unexplained advantages in battle for the enemy!”
“I’ll inform the men. We’ll handle it ourselves! Out,” Capt. Torus barked back into the communicator.
Riker did not like the Red Guard Captain’s overconfidence bordering on arrogance. He sounded to Riker like someone with no experience who thinks he knows everything and considered working with humans an insult. Riker could do nothing but hope the captain’s overconfidence would not end up hurting him on the battlefield.
Capt. Torus looked back to his men and said, “It’s time. You all know the plan. Let’s get ready.” Each guard member stomped a hoof in acknowledgement and readied their weapons preparing to join the battle.
Cmdr. Riker, Twilight Sparkle, Cmdr. LaForge, and Pinkie Pie directed the battle from the landing party’s original outpost. Pinkie was busy setting up her plan, which most of them still knew little to nothing about. After seeing Applejack and Big Macintosh safely arrive back at the outpost, she then sent them to begin setting up the Zap-Apple Jam Plan and was directing Rainbow Dash and the Pegasus team to start putting her clandestine plans into motion.
“Pinkie to Rainbow,” she called out playing with her communicator pin. “How’s Operation Muffins coming?”
“Rainbow here, the clouds are all set up covering most of Ponyville accept by the edge of town. Pinkie, I still don’t get why this plan is called Operation Muffins…”
“You’ll see. General Pinkie Out!” Pinkie said ending the conversation.
“General Pinkie?” Rainbow thought sighing as she started to get ready for…whatever Pinkie had in mind. Twilight had asked Rainbow to make the clouds shoot lightning and that plan made a lot more sense. Rainbow continued feeding the clouds growing them into nice dark thunderstorm-brewing clouds.
“Pinkie to Derpy!”
“Hey Pinkie!” Derpy replied.
“Have the muffins all been delivered to Cloudsdale yet?”
“YES MA’AM PINKIE SIR!” Derpy said, smiling. She always enjoyed any plan involving muffins!
“Good,” said Pinkie making an evil smirk. All was going as planned. “You, and only you, know what needs to be done. Make sure you see to it.”
Twilight, who had been listening, was very confused. Pinkie Pie didn’t even SOUND like Pinkie Pie anymore.
“Um…Fluttershy to Twilight? Is that right?” asked Fluttershy holding her communicator in her hooves, looking at it in confusion.
“Twilight here, Fluttershy, what’s going on?” she asked confused as to why she would be calling.
“Um…The animals are...there’s a large group of…THERE ARE BIG SCARY CREATURES COMING THIS WAY!!!” Fluttershy screamed.
“Oh no! Fluttershy hold on! I’m going to get help over to you!” She looked to both Riker and Geordi who said their security forces were nowhere close enough to be able to help in time. Lieutenant Worf was the closest to the forest, however was currently engaged in a battle of his own. Twilight quickly double-clicked her communicator and shouted “Twilight to Capt. Torus!”
“Yes?” the captain responded curtly.
“Captain. Fluttershy and the animals of Ponyville are hiding in the Ever-Free forest, but they’ve been spotted. They’re defenseless! Can you get there in time?” Twilight asked desperately.
There was a small pause. “…We’ll get there!” the Red Guard Captain responded with a comforting confidence.
Twilight quickly responded, “THANK YOU! Twilight out!” Returning to Fluttershy, she called out, “Twilight to Fluttershy! Hang on! Help is on the way!”
“Um…Please Hurry!” Flutteryshy nervously squeaked as the soldiers closed in on the forest.
Before the battle began, Fluttershy did not want to wander too deep into the forest. So she and the animals hid a few hundred feet into the trees. From this position, she could still make out her house and her yard now both completely empty.
The animals were all gathered together in a large group. Some animals had even come out of hibernation to help Fluttershy keep all the animals safe. The bear was quite grumpy to be awoken, however Flutteryshy offered to crack his neck and back for him again if he could help. All the animals were helping each other stay calm and hidden.
Fluttershy’s pet rabbit, Angel, was doing his part helping her keep the animals calm. A few of Fluttershy’s hens were trying to make a break for it, but Angel jumped in font of their path pointing back to the group. The hens didn’t seem to care. They tried to walk around him. Angel stomped his foot and pointed again back to the group. The hens started to get angry and tried to push their way past him. He jumped back into their paths and gave them ‘the Eye!’ Staring deeply at the chickens, they slowly started backing away from him, before turning and running back toward the group.
Angel had apparently mastered his owner’s most powerful skill. Smiling with pride in his accomplishment he turned toward the treeline. He spotted it immediately. Running to Fluttershy, he quickly got her attention and tried to warn her.
“What is it Angel?” Fluttershy asked looking at the overly excited rabbit jumping up and down in front of her.
Angel rigorously pointed to the treeline.
“I’m sorry Angel. I know you want to go back home, but we can’t right now. Be a good rabbit for me now, and I’ll make you your favorite super-duper special salad later, okay?”
Angel tried to shape with his paws the outline of the big creatures. He swung his arms as though he were swinging an axe. He made an ugly face to match the mugs of the approaching horde.
“You want to hit a piñata? That’s only for birthday parties, not now.”
Angel smacked his paw to his face. He jumped onto Fluttershy’s back, grabbed her head, and pointed toward the creatures.
“Oh NO!” Fluttershy cried. Looking beyond the treeline, Fluttershy could now clearly see the creatures approaching. They all carried big heavy weapons that her and her animal friends wouldn't stand a chance against. They were now roughly 10 minutes away from the tree line. Fluttershy scrambled to find the communicator to call for help.
Six minutes had passed since Fluttershy had called for help. The creatures were getting nearer all the time. “Um Twilight?...Is help coming?” she nervously asked, her fear now bringing tears to her eyes.
“I don’t understand,” Twilight said. She clicked her communicator fast. “Twilight to Capt. Torus…Capt. Torus, are you there?” No response was coming back.
“Twilight to Rainbow,” she called smacking her communicator harder and faster to a point one might wonder how it had not already broken.
“Rainbow here Twi, what’s wrong?” she asked noticing the tone in Twilight’s voice.
“Flutteryshy is under attack and the Red Guard said they would get there, but there’s been no word!”
“I saw them a few minutes ago, but I lost track of them,” Rainbow said. “Last I saw, they were over by the schoolhouse.”
“That’s nowhere near the Ever-Free forest!” Twilight yelled now very scared. “Rainbow, our cloud plan…I need you to implement it right now by Fluttershy. Can you do that?”
“I’m on it!” Rainbow shouted and snapped into action. Commanding a team of twelve Pegasi she shouted, “Everyone, we need to pump out as much lightning as we can right now just outside the Ever-Free forest. Is everyone ready?”
All twelve immediately agreed and flew into position. They quickly started jumping on the clouds pushing the energy through to create the bolts large enough to strike the soldiers.
Back on the ground Twilight was still trying to contact the Red Guard to no avail. “I don’t understand! Where is Capt. Torus and the Red Guard?” She started to panic.
“Looking for us?” Capt. Torus said appearing with his men from behind the outpost. His horn glowed blood-red as he fired a beam straight at one of the Enterprise crew. The beam shot straight through the crewmember leaving a hole behind in his chest. He lived long enough to realize what had happened before collapsing over a table, dead. His blood blended in with the red of his uniform.
Pandemonium broke out as everyone/everypony scattered from the surprise attack. Geordi and Riker, quick to their phasers, managed to take down three of the attackers before running for cover. The attackers too died with burns through the red fabric they wore under their armor.
“Capt. Torus! I don’t understand!” Twilight screamed. “Why would you do this? You swore an oath to protect us!”
Capt. Torus turned, smiling, and shot a beam straight at Twilight that hit her right hoof as she tried to evade it. “Aaahh!” she screamed in pain as she tried to limp to safety. However the pain was too much and she fell to the ground. The Red Guard captain aimed his horn straight at her, ready to finish the job.
Shining Armor jumped in between the captain and Twilight. He kicked Twilight's attacker straight in the horn so hard it caused a chip to break away flying off.
“Big Brother!” Twilight screamed happy and frightened to see her brother save her. He was joined by three members of the Royal Guard.
“GET HER OUT OF HERE!” he screamed aloud as he continued to kick at Capt. Torus. Their horns interlocked causing sparks to fly in every direction.
Geordi and Pinkie quickly grabbed Twilight around the front shoulders. They quickly pulled her to safety as Riker yelled, “We need to evacuate! Regroup at the Town Hall!”
Every man and pony started to retreat, fighting with other members of the Red Guard as they did so. The Royal Guard ponies stayed behind to hold them back while they evacuated.
“Big Brother! Come on!” Twilight screamed as tears flowed from her eyes. She watched, as she was carried away, her brother fighting head to head with the Red Guard captain. As they turned a corner around a grocer’s shop, she saw her brother, impaled by Capt. Torus’s horn.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!” Twilight screamed trying to free herself to save her brother. But the pain in her hoof was too much for her and Pinkie and Geordi held her back as they made their way over to the town hall.
Fluttershy watched as the angry horde of warriors closed in. Above them, dark clouds had been moving in their direction. Lightning could be seen starting to flash within the clouds. Rainbow dash and the other Pegasi were fast at work building up as much energy as they could, to produce the lightning bolts needed.
The warriors on the ground had never seen weather act so peculiar before. They saw the clouds follow their path and had grown darker more quickly than anything on their planet. As lightning began to flash, some of the warriors had slowed their march toward the forest looking up at the clouds.
One soldier, staring straight up at the sky, saw a jet-black cloud forming just over his head. Lightning flashed, striking down directly onto the warrior. He fell over unconscious; his body limp. Other warriors started to take notice as lightning continued to strike dozens of targets on the ground. They broke their formations in an effort to evade the strikes.
Rainbow prepared to strike what looked like one of their leaders. She backed up several yards above her cloud and thrust hoof-first into the cloud to trigger the bolt. However, the bolt did not appear. Instead, a long skinny balloon appeared, which floated back up into the cloud and right past Rainbow’s snout.
“What the?...” Rainbow said as the balloon drifted further up the sky. All of the bolts that were being triggered by the Pegasi where now turning into balloons mid-strike and floating back up.
“Oh I do love a good balloon storm!” a voice echoed over the storm.
“Discord!” Rainbow screamed. “You can’t do this!”
“I can, and I think I just did!” said Discord, who had appeared relaxing on a white cloud floating just above the storm below their hooves. “I want the playing field to be even after all, heh heh…”
Rainbow was furious. “How could this possibly be even!?” she screamed. Enraged, she charged straight at Discord who simply snapped his fingers. At once, Rainbow’s wings disappeared. She started falling toward the ground.
Still laughing, Discord snapped his fingers again disappearing. Two of the Pegasi saw Rainbow falling and grabbed her before she struck the ground.
The warriors on the ground, upon seeing the ponies dip below the cloud line, now realized the winged ones were responsible for the lightning. Taking their bows out, they began firing arrows up into the clouds. The Pegasi had to abandon their posts to avoid getting struck.
The leader that Rainbow had tried to strike now turned his attention back toward the forest. Taking an arrow from his quiver, he aimed carefully releasing the arrow into the trees. Fluttershy could see the approaching arrow and knew it was meant for her. Shutting her eyes, a tear fell to the ground as she waited for the arrow to strike.
But the arrow had not struck.
She opened her eyes. There was no arrow in her chest. Smiling at the thought the creature must have missed, she looked around to see where it did land. On the ground just behind her to the left was Angel, lying on the ground. The arrow had pierced through his stomach. He had jumped directly in the path of the arrow to prevent it from hitting Fluttershy.
Fluttershy was in shock. She closed her eyes as thoughts frantically raced through her mind:
“It didn’t happen. Angel is fine! He is greedy and persnickety and alive and demanding the perfect salad to eat. He’s not dead!”
She opened her eyes again. Angel was still on the ground, but he was moving.
Not knowing what else to do, she picked up her best friend and favorite pet rabbit in her hooves and cradled him like a baby. He opened his eyes and looked up at Fluttershy. He tried to reach out his paws looking for one last hug, but his strength failed. His arms fell to their sides. The light from his eyes faded away into nothingness. He was gone.
The Battle of Ponyville! (Part II)
On the eve before the battle began, moonlight shined down onto the Castle Gardens in Canterlot. A tall unicorn could be seen leaning against the empty pedestal where the Discord statue once stood. The unicorn had thick black fur and crimson eyes. He was leaning against the stone flipping a bit coin lazily as he waited. Captain Orilius Torus was a patient pony. He continued to do nothing but flip the coin and stare into the darkness for almost an hour.
“Looking for me?” came the voice of Discord, as he appeared behind the captain whispering in his ear.
Capt. Torus did not like having his personal space violated, but held his cool. “I wanted to have a little chat,” he said turning to look at Discord.
“I see,” said Discord. “And what exactly would you like to chat about? Hmm?”
“Your little game,” the captain replied. “How would you like my help to win?” Both players’ faces were unreadable. They stared into each other’s eyes trying to gauge one another.
“And why would you do a thing like that? Aren’t you sworn to protect the princess with your life?”
“I am sworn to protect the life of the princess at all cost, and to ensure the survival of the throne,” Capt. Torus said as a smirk appeared to grow on his face. “The oath said nothing about keeping Celestia on that throne.”
“I’m intrigued!” said Discord. “Oh do go on! I would love to hear your plans.”
“Simple,” the captain replied. “My colts and I help to make Celestia lose this game of yours, and in the chaos that will follow…which I know you will enjoy…I will seize control of the throne and confine Celestia to a small dark dungeon cell for eternity.
“Your plan is a bit cliché for an over-the-top-good-guy-turned-traitor scenario,” said Discord, “but I do enjoy the irony of the princess losing to her own trusted guards. However, why should I entrust you with the right to rule Equestria instead of her?”
Capt. Torus smiled wide showing all his teeth. “Because I am a pony who enjoys that which chaos can bring. Chaos demands control through power. You will supply the chaos, I will supply the power!”
Discord looked at the warrior before him, contemplating. “This warrior could be exactly what I need for the Continuum to determine whether this race should be eliminated, once and for all!” he thought.
“I think we have a deal,” he said extending his claw to the captain. Capt. Torus extended his hoof. Grasping together, they shook, smiling at their mutually dubious plans.
“Before you leave,” said the captain as Discord started to turn, “what is the nature of the game you intend to play?”
“Ahh, I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise for you. However, I think a warrior such as yourself shan’t be disappointed!” Turning again he faded into the darkness.
“Arrrgh!!! Shining Armor fell back against a tree recoiling from the stab wound made by Capt. Torus’s horn. Narrowly missing his heart, it had pierced through his left shoulder. Shining’s blood covered the captain’s horn.
He quickly regrouped and despite the pain, stood on his legs with his head raised to his opponent. “How could you do this!?” Shining yelled. “How could you betray everything you swore to protect?”
“Let’s just say I saw a different vision for the future of Equestria,” he replied. “One with ME as its rightful ruler!” He shot a beam of energy towards Shining.
Dodging, the beam safely struck the tree behind him. “You’re mad! What was wrong with a world at peace?”
“Peace is a weakness!” said the captain. “Look around! A bunch of peasants, who have never known violence, are up against an army of born and raised soldiers. What good is peace if it means becoming enslaved!?” Capt. Torus threw two more volleys of magic at his opponent.
“Ha!” Shining forced a laugh infuriating the Red Guard leader. “You want power through violence to protect us from those who would rule us with violence? What would be the point?”
The captain charged at Shining Armor locking their horns together.
“The point,” he answered pushing Shining back, their horns clashing causing magical energy to fire off in various directions, “is that I would be in charge and not some bitch who’s long surpassed her time to rein!”
Capt. Torus thrust Shining and himself apart and charged up as much energy as he could into his horn. The blood red glow from his horn grew until it had reached its maximum ability to hold magic. He dipped his horn to release the torrent of magic at his opponent.
Shining Armor’s horn had been thrust directly into Capt. Torus’s chest. As the shock reached the captain’s face, his eyes widened. His head jerked upward releasing the energy he’d built up into the air.
Shining had never been taught any spell that could kill, nor did he want to know, so he used the only thing he could think of. He sent a thought of magic through his horn directly into the captain’s heart.
Capt. Torus knelt down, rapidly losing his ability to stay conscious. He quickly succumbed and fell to the ground in a deep sleep that he would not wake from for a long time.
Panting, Shining looked around to see how his guards were faring, fighting the other members of the Red Guard. He saw one by one, the Red Guard fell in defeat. Some even surrendered upon the fall of their captain.
Smiling briefly in their achievement, Shining Armor too succumbed to the pain from his wound and collapsed to the floor unconscious. He would be alright, after a few days rest.
The animals in the Ever-Free forest held their heads in mourning as Fluttershy carried Angel to a nearby bed of bright blue flowers. Gently laying him down in the flowers, she knelt on the ground in silence. The sounds of the soldiers marching toward their position were growing rapidly. They would be there in less than three minutes.
Despite the loss, Fluttershy had not shed a single tear. There would be time for mourning, but this was not that time. Leaving her dead friend to rest, she grabbed a handful of the blue flowers. These flowers were commonly used as stains and dyes for fabrics. Rarity often came here to collect some for her shop. Standing herself up, Fluttershy crumpled the flowers in her hooves and smeared them across her face in a line. Her bright yellow fur turned blue from the dye.
Turning to face the animals, they jumped back upon seeing her expression. There were no tears. There was anger. There was fury. She stared at every animal, directly into their souls, as she spoke:
No more. NO MORE!!
NO MORE will we run and hide while others fight to save us!
NO MORE will we stand idly by while our friends and family are hurt!
NO MORE will we be everypony's doormat!
NO MORE will fear rule our lives!
I’m telling you; each and every one of you. For every time a pony has helped you in this world;
for every kindness done to protect our ways of life; for every time they suffered so we would
not; let us return that kindness and protect them now in their time of need!
The animals cheered Fluttershy and snapped to battle formation. From the porcupines, to the snakes, to the bear, to the squirrels in the trees, to the birds in the sky; all animals stood ready to fight at her order.
An arrow flashed through the trees and landed only a foot from where Fluttershy stood. Looking down at it sticking in the ground, she whispered to herself, “No more Miss. Nice Pony!” Turning to the battlefield, she screamed, “FOR ANGEL!!!!!”
Princess Celestia, could do little but cry at the screen before her. From the Red Guard’s betrayal, to the animals brought to war, to men and ponies being slain across Ponyville, the princess wept at the end of two thousand years of peace.
Captain Picard attempted to console her, with little success. As they sat on a couch in the main room, they stared at the video screen watching a war unfold before their eyes.
The captain was also mortified at the level Q had brought this ‘game’ to. In his personal dealings with Q, Picard had learned that even though Q’s sinister tricks wreaked havoc on the Enterprise crew, they also held a higher purpose despite his cavalier nature for individual life. Thus far, the captain could not fathom what higher purpose this impromptu war could serve to teach anyone.
And then there was what Q had said, ‘This is beyond my control Picard. I’m afraid you don’t have a choice.’ “Could the Continuum be responsible for this senseless bloodshed?” he thought. “If so, why? What threat do these peaceful ponies pose to the near god-like Continuum?” The captain continued to think, keeping his eyes on the progress outside.
“Good news!” Discord shouted as he popped into the Library. “The game looks to be nearly over!”
“What do you mean? Have our people reached the farmhouse?” Picard asked hopefully looking back and forth between the screen and Discord.
“On the contrary, no pony appears to be anywhere near the farmhouse. But some big fellows are readily approaching the Ponyville library it would seem.”
Discord changed the picture on the screen as though he was changing channels. The picture showed several hundred warriors in formation marching straight for the library.
“Q, put an end to this,” said the captain. “No one else needs to die. What point are you trying to prove? That innocent farmers are little but cannon fodder to seasoned warriors? Why is the Continuum putting these ponies at war?”
Discord changed into his human form. Walking over to the couch where they were sitting, he squeezed between the captain and the princess, having a seat. The princess immediately stood and left the room. She would not share a seat with such a despicable character. She retreated up the stairs and headed for Twilight’s bedroom and closed the door.
Instead of shifting, Q remained in the middle of the couch keeping the tension in the room uncomfortable for the captain. “Very good Picard,” he said in a hushed tone. “This IS a test from the continuum; one that can only be as violent as this. I’m terribly sorry for your lost crewmen Jean-Luc, but I gave you the only warning I was allowed to give. And you didn’t take it.”
The captain’s jaw clenched. To see Q describe himself as merely a messenger for the Continuum meant all bets were off. “If we lose this game,” he asked, afraid of the answer, “do you intend to follow through with your promise to eliminate an entire race of beings?”
“Keep watching, Picard. The game isn’t over just yet.” Snapping his fingers, he disappeared.
The captain breathed out heavily, trying to vent his frustrations. From upstairs he heard the bedroom door open. The princess walked back down the stairs.
“Jean-Luc”, she started. “Tell me about this ‘Continuum’.”
“SHINING! SHINING!” Twilight screamed over and over again, tears flooding out of her. Pinkie and Geordi had to drag her the entire way to the town hall. She tried to resist in order to return for her brother, but the pain from her leg wound prevented her from putting up much of a fight.
As they reached the Town hall, they saw it had been transformed into a makeshift hospital. Wounded ponies and crewmen alike were being brought there. The hospital was too small and too far away for the emergencies coming in. Some of the pony volunteers had been previously trained in first aid and offered their help. Dr. Crusher had been beamed to this location after reports of the injured started to come in. As they were still only able to transport down, she beamed down with some of the medical staff and began treating the wounded.
The town hall was filled with patients. All benches were pushed to the sides, tables made into operating beds, and sheets had been spread out on the floor for the injured. Many patients had minor injuries, others more serious. In the far corner, there were ponies and persons with sheets draped over them. They could not be helped.
“Dr. Crusher!” Geordi called, laying Twilight down onto an available empty sheet. The doctor came over with her tricorder examining the wound. It was large, but not too deep. No skeletal or muscle tissue needed to be regrown. Using her portable medical instruments, Dr. Crusher was able to heal her injuries within a few minutes before she needed to move on to more serious patients.
Twilight was still shaken. She was no longer giving orders nor leading the team. She was beside herself, muttering and twitching.
“Twilight!” Rainbow Dash called upon seeing her friend. She walked over to Twilight, unable to fly as her wings were still missing. Twilight hadn’t even noticed.
“Big Brother…Red Guard…betrayal…need to…muffins…” Twilight’s words began to fray into bits of nonsense.
“Uh. Twilight? Are you okay?” Rainbow asked, scared to see her friend in such a state.
“Twilight will be alright,” Geordi said. “She’s just in shock.”
Pinkie Pie spotted them and walked over. “It’s super-duper to see you Rainbow!” Pinkie Pie said, giving her a big hug.
“Uh, yeah…you too,” she replied lightly patting Pinkie’s back in return. “But what do we do now?” she asked releasing the hug. “With Twilight in this state, who’s in charge?”
“You’re looking at her!” Pinkie said smiling. “Ready to win this?”
“Are you nuts!? Win this!? We’re getting our apples kicked out there!”
“Then let’s get ready to make some apple sauce!” Pinkie said. Tapping her communicator, she said, “Pinkie to Derpy! Are we ready?”
“Private Derpy ready sir!” came the reply.
“Stand by,” said Pinkie. “Pinky to Rarity”
“I’m here Pinkie. Is it time?” Rarity’s soft voice echoed through the communicator.
“Almost, get your unicorn team into position. Wait for my command!”
“I’ll be waiting.”
“Pinkie to Applejack, are you in position?”
“Applejack here, Pinkie. We’re ready to go.”
“Geordi,” Pinkie yelled. “Can you help me connect us together with your talkie-thing?”
Geordi made his way across the room over to where Pinkie was, and bridged the connections for her. Derpy, Rarity, Applejack, and Pinkie were all linked together via the communicator so they could hear everypony at once.
“Derpy, commence ‘Operation Muffins’ Phase One!” Pinkie yelled.
“Roger!” Derpy saluted, even though no pony could see her do it.
Waving to her own team of Pegasi, everypony lined up spread across the clouds. The cloud formation now covered most of Ponyville. However, unbeknownst to the warriors on the ground, the clouds had been following the primary formation of soldiers as they marched toward the library.
Several dozen Pegasi carrying large sacks of muffins began dropping them through the clouds. They fell down to the ground like giant raindrops right on top of the soldiers. A pleasant aroma of spices and fruits radiated from the muffins causing the warriors to salivate with hunger.
Many of the soldiers had not eaten in days. With an asteroid hurtling toward their planet, food was becoming more and more scarce. Too tempted by this gift from the sky, nearly a third of the soldiers grabbed a muffin or several and bit into them.
“Derpy to Pinkie, Phase One complete!” Derpy called over the communicator.
“Awesome! And the result?” Pinkie asked.
Peeking through the clouds, Derpy watched as several hundred soldiers began violently vomiting upon the ground. Many of those that didn’t even consume any of the muffins began getting sick from the smell of their compatriots’ expulsions.
“Success!” said Derpy.
Applejack, not too far from the embattlements, also watched Pinkie’s plan come to fruition. “Pinkie! What in tarnation did you feed ‘em?”
“Why an upgrade from your infamous recipe, Applejack!” Pinkie replied. “I call them. ‘Baked-Bads Version 2! Sweet and pleasant aroma; not so pleasant reaction. And now, Derpy if you please, Phase 2! I like to call these: Baked-Bads Version 3!”
“On their way!” Derpy yelled. Waving a second time to his team, they all pulled up a second sac of muffins and began delivering the packages. This time, instead of soft rain, the muffins plummeted down like hail, banging hard on the heads of the remaining soldiers.
These muffins were harder and heavier then many rocks and hit twice as hard. The warriors continued breaking formation losing their structure as they attempted to evade the lethal muffin hailstorm.
Finally a warrior pointed to an area where the sun was shining through. There was a break in the clouds. Many of the soldiers ran for cover where there were no clouds overhead.
“Phase 2 Complete, Pinkie! They’re all running towards Rarity!” said Derpy happily.
Reaching for a celebratory muffin, a nearby Pegasus flicked it out of Derpy’s hoof before she made the mistake of biting into it.
“Woo Hoo!” Pinkie cheered. “Operation Muffins Complete! Rarity, Targets are locked! Release Operation Chicken Little!”
“Darling you really should rethink these names,” said Rarity. “My work deserves more style than such a crude codename.”
Pinkie rolled her eyes and said, “Fine…Release Operation Diamond Sky.”
“Much better. Releasing Diamond Sky!” Rarity announced into the communicator.
Rarity had been situated in a balloon above the cloud line since the battle began. She protested having to once again fly, however the idea of using a balloon was a little more palatable. Besides, she needed to be present when her work would be unveiled! Working with a team of unicorns in twenty balloons, a giant sheet covered almost a full open field's worth of the sky.
The material was made of diamond silk, a rare fabric that only Princess Celestia herself had significant enough quantities to create a sheet so large. The princess had given Rarity permission to use her supply under the condition that it be cleaned and returned afterward. She had to use every last scrap of cloth the royal tailor had.
Its unique feature allowed sunlight to pass through and reflect down creating a mirror of the sky above. Normally, this fabric would be used for formal summer dresses that would make the princess shine as though she was a part of the sky. Its downside was its weight. In order to hold the sheet in the air, it had been tethered to twenty balloons each with a unicorn using their magic to hold a portion of its weight.
The warriors were regrouping under the cloudless portion of the sky. Their number was significantly smaller, but still quite a formidable force.
Rarity waved at the other balloons who in turn waved to more balloons spreading the word. All together, they snapped their tethers and let go of their magical ties to the sheet.
A giant shadow appeared on the ground. Several warriors noticed and looked up to see what would cause such a massive shadow. Gaping upward, the sky itself was falling down upon them. As it collapsed on top of the warriors, the balloons carrying the unicorns returned to the ground. Before the soldiers could tear through the material or find an edge, the unicorns combined their magic together to create a force-field from which the warriors could not escape.
Smiling at her work going perfectly to plan, Rarity tapped her communicator pin and said, “Rarity here. My fabulous ‘Sheet of Sky’ was a complete success!”
“Good work there Rarity!” said Applejack. “Looks like I’m next. Pinkie, I got another group coming this way!”
“Okie-Dokie-Lokie!” said Pinkie Pie. “You ready for ‘Operation Jam-”
“Yeah, yeah. ‘Operation whatever’, the Jam trap is ready and a raring to go!”
The Battle of Ponyville! (Part III)
“Errrgh!” Worf growled, flinging his opponent to the ground with his Bat’leth.
His team had been attacked by a Bratak squad just outside of town looking towards the apple farm. They managed to kill two of Worf’s men thus far, with himself and two others remaining. His team members were laying cover fire with their phasers, which were promptly reflected off of the shields the soldiers carried in their hands.
An arrow soared through the fight striking a female security officer through the neck. It had been sent by the squad’s leader who was monitoring the fight from behind. Worf, switching readily between his Bat’leth and phaser, fired repeated blasts towards the leader who shot the arrow.
One of the shots struck another Bratak warrior in the face where there was no armor to protect him. He fell to the ground dead. Worf had switched his phaser setting to lethal due to the vast size of the creatures. Stun had zero effect on them.
Just behind Worf, stood another soldier poised to strike. He swung his axe down, straight at Worf’s head. Worf saw the warrior’s reflection on the blade of his Bat’leth. Reacting swiftly, he stopped the swing of the warrior’s axe by thrusting his blade between them. Turning to face him, he then jabbed the long edge of the blade at the Bratak warrior’s chest sharply pushing him backward, followed by smashing the right end of the Bat’leth across his jaw breaking it, and finally stabbing him in the abdomen.
The soldier fell to the ground at the same time Worf’s last remaining team member fell to one of the enemy leader’s deadly accurate arrows. The Bratak warrior had already lined up his next shot with Worf’s chest. Reacting quickly, Worf pulled his blade out of his former opponent, swinging just in time to smack the arrow off course breaking it apart so that it struck the ground in pieces. The arrowhead itself, sliced one of Worf’s fingers as it was deflected. It started to bleed, but it was not serious enough for Worf to even notice it dripping down.
It was down to the two of them. The leader looked around at Worf’s work of his men with respect. He threw his bow and shield off to the side. Worf reciprocated, placing his phaser on the grass below him.
“I like you, warrior!” the leader spoke. “I am Bot’nar, Chief Ogrum under the Bratak Emperor. Let us settle this the way proud warriors should!” He unsheathed a four foot double-ridged sword. It was made of a bluish metal with a two pointed silver hilt in the shapes of faces screaming. Worf could see the blade had been sharpened to be razor thin at each ridge along the blade. It had the distinct signs of having fought many battles, yet shined like new. The soldier had put a lot of love into this weapon.
“I am Lieutenant Worf of the United Federation of Planets. There is no need for us to fight. However, if necessary, we should fight and die with honor!” He raised his Bat’leth which showed just as much love and care. He spread his hands across the handles with the blade horizontal in front of his chest. He began twisting it around in a mesmerizing dance.
Bot’nar too began spinning his blade, building momentum. They approached each other, slowly circling around, sizing each other up. Worf stood about one foot taller than the Bratak warrior. However, Bot’nar was at least a third larger in muscular girth. Their overall strength looked to be an even match.
When they reached five feet from one another, they rushed in, thrusting their blades over their heads colliding between them. Sparks flew out where the blades had met. They pushed into each other in a show of strength. Worf appeared to have the upper hand as he pushed down against Bot’nar’s blade.
Realizing this, Bot’nar pushed his hoof into Worf’s abdomen thrusting them apart. He quickly raced forward with his sword pointed out attempting to stab his opponent. Worf used his Bat’leth to hook the sword through one of its holes and twist it forcing the point to stab into the ground.
Bot’nar stepped on Worf’s blade pulling his sword back out. He immediately thrusted it into Worf, stabbing his right arm as he attempted to dodge. Worf kicked Bot’nar separating them, pulling the blade from his arm and freeing his Bat’leth.
Their blades quickly met again with Bot’nar striking down and Worf defending, the Bat'leth held horizontally in front of him, holding up his opponent’s strike. His right arm weakened from the wound, Worf quickly used his legs to compensate and give extra strength as he thrust his blade upward. He then spun his blade to the left, smacking Bot’nar across the face; which was immediately followed up with the other side; finally slicing the Bat’leth across his neck.
Bot’nar’s severed head rolled in the grass. His body immediately followed, collapsing to the ground.
“You fought honorably,” Worf said to his now deceased opponent. Turning towards the open field leading to the farm, he saw a tremendous battle unfolding. Hundreds of animals were charging out from the forest, towards a large group of soldiers. They were being led by a yellow pony with a pink mane and wings. Leaving his fallen teammates behind for now, he headed out, to join the battle.
Arrows soared across the sky towards the animals charging out from the Ever-Free forest. The deadly projectiles headed straight for their targets, one striking a large brown bear in the shoulder. The rest never landed. Birds in the sky began zipping down and snatching them right out of the air. The bear simply brushed the arrow off his thick fur as if a small annoying bug had bit him. The animals continued forward unimpeded.
The soldiers got into formation to deflect the incoming enemy. Their swords pointed out from their shields to strike the first in line.
As the animals charged with Fluttershy leading in the front, flying with at least 5.6 wingpower, small furry balls started soaring just over the heads of the front line. A dozen flying squirrels had been launched by several larger animals ahead of the charge. Upon reaching the front line, they released their payload of acorns onto the enemies’ heads, quickly veering away from the other soldiers.
While not being able to do any real damage, it had the perfect effect of getting the warriors in the front line to look up just as the animals plowed into them. Their guard down, the front line was decimated in an instant.
Fluttershy jumped onto one soldier, grabbing his helmet and pulling it down over his eyes. “You hurt my friends, YOUR TIME ENDS!!!” She screamed in a sudden resurgence of Iron Will’s ‘New Fluttershy’ persona. She dodged the soldier’s blind axe swings, grabbed it from him, and spun it around striking the soldier in his helmet. It echoed inside like a bell ringing so loudly the soldier collapsed to the ground unconscious.
Snakes slithered through the grass striking soldiers in areas with no armor. Each bite released large doses of venom into them. Their bodies fell to the ground paralyzed, unable to move.
The brown bear continued plowing through soldiers swiping his big arms lifting them off the ground and throwing them into the air landing on top other warriors.
The birds in the sky continued to deflect any arrow that was launched and dove at warriors caught unaware, scratching their eyes, rendering them blind.
One soldier managed to catch Fluttershy unaware as she lashed out at another. He swung his axe down with enough force to slice her in half.
A Bat’leth blocked the strike at the last second. Worf threw the axe with his blade back at the soldier striking him in his helmet. The warrior was knocked out cold by the blow.
Fluttershy turned, nearly striking Worf, before realizing who he was.
“You fight well, pony,” Worf curtly complimented.
Flutteryshy’s rage was momentarily interrupted by Worf’s words. “Oh…Um…Thank you…,” she said with a small shy smile. It did not last long however, as a soldier pushed Fluttershy down to the ground unintentionally, while backing away from a fight with a particularly angry bull.
“You get me bruised, I MAKE YOU LOSE!!!” she screamed, grabbing the warrior by the back of his pants.
She lifted him a foot off the ground with her wings and hurled him towards the bull, who used his horns like a shovel to scoop him and fling him off into the distance. Steam blew out of his nostrils as the bull grunted in triumph.
Worf had never seen anything so…‘cute’…be so formidable. He proudly fought alongside Fluttershy throughout the battle.
The Bratak soldiers were rapidly overwhelmed and were eventually completely overrun as Fluttershy, Worf, and the animals charged toward the area the soldiers were coming from, Applejack’s family farm.
The last group of Bratak warriors in town was now within sight of the Ponyville library. They ran straight towards it with no obstacles blocking their path. Within twenty feet of the door, the entire front line, all of the sudden, stopped mid-run, tripping over and falling to the ground.
Looking at what literally stopped them in their tracks, they saw their hooves glued to the ground in a rainbow-colored gel. It took their full strength to pry themselves off and stand back up. Once again beginning the charge toward the library, the same rainbow gel struck several warriors in their faces.
Behind large fake bushes that had been setup next to the library, fifteen “Pinkie-Cannons” were hiding, armed with pie-tins filled with Zap-Apple Jam. Zap-Apple Jam may be most well known as ‘The best tasting jam in Equestria’, but it is also well known as ‘The stickiest, hardest to get out, jam in Equestria’. With faces full of jam, the soldiers were blinded. Their hands became glued to their faces, trying to pry the jam away.
The five or six warriors who made it through without being pie'd were again impeded by a second line of jam hidden in the ground. Applejack, a few volunteers, and the rest of the Royal Guard who remained at the library to protect the princess, simply walked up to the soldiers on the ground and slapped jam pies into their faces.
“Applejack to Pinkie,” she happily called into the communicator. “Your crazy plan worked! They’re all stuck! Yeeeee-haaaaahh!!!!!” She threw her Stetson hat into the air in celebration.
“Yay, Applejack!” Pinkie said over in the town hall. “Now we need to get to your farm and make that big baddy smile!”
“We’re on our way now!” Applejack replied laughing.
Pinkie’s smile quickly faded when she looked over at Twilight, who was still beside herself. She was lying on a sheet, hugging her tail, crying.
“Doctor! We need help over here!” one of the Royal Guard called out, as the doors to the town hall swung open. Two guards had brought Shining Armor in and laid him on the first available empty sheet on the floor.
Dr. Crusher rushed over examining the wound. “He’s going to be okay, all his organs are intact. I’ve sedated him for now. He’ll need to be operated on to close up the wound, but for now, the nurse here will cover him with bandages.”
The pony nurse standing next to the doctor started to wrap Shining’s shoulder with cloth she had made into bandages from donated sheets. There were not enough bandages available to help so many patients, but the ripped cloth would suffice. Dr. Crusher had only enough time to make quick assessments on the incoming wounded, as so many critically injured patients required her immediate attention.
Pinkie saw the commotion and spotted Shining Armor.
“Twilight! Your brother is here! He’s OK! Shining’s OK!” she said shaking Twilight, trying to get her attention.
“Shining…No…Dead…My brother is dead…” Twilight cried and hugged her tail tighter.
Rainbow Dash saw Shining too and went to Twilight to get her to snap out of it.
“TWILIGHT LOOK!!!” she screamed, grabbing Twilight by her head and picking her up off the sheet. The pain it caused was enough to break Twilight’s trance.
“Ow ow ow! Rainbow, stop! You’re hurting me!” She said trying to pry Rainbow’s hooves off her head. It was just long enough for Twilight’s eyes to catch sight of her brother.
“Shining?…SHINING!!!” she screamed at the sight of her brother. She raced to his side and hugged him. “Is he…Is Shining going to…” she tried to get the words out.
“He’s going to be fine, Twilight,” the nurse pony said.
The nurse happened to be one of the same ponies who cared for Rainbow Dash when she had broken her wing. Twilight thanked the nurse again and again. Tears of happiness streaked down her sides dripping onto Shining’s bandages.
“Twilight…you okay now?...” Rainbow hesitantly asked.
Twilight quickly wiped her tears away. She stood up from her brother’s side and turned to face Rainbow and Pinkie Pie. “Let’s end this horrible war once and for all!” She said with renewed confidence.
Pinkie quickly got Twilight up to speed on all that had happened. Geordi heard back from Worf and explained how Worf and Fluttershy, with the help of the animals from the Ever-Free forest, were on their way to the farmhouse.
“Pinkie…You’re incredible!” Twilight said in awe of how much she accomplished. Pinkie simply shrugged and laughed, Twilight joining in the laughter.
Twilight did not know what to make of Fluttershy joining the fight. Nor did Pinkie or Rainbow, but with the last of the warriors to fight all located at the farm, they got themselves together and started to make their way over. Rarity and Applejack headed over from their positions as well.
Captain Picard and Princess Celestia continued to watch the progress of the game on the screen Discord had set up for them in the library. They were happy to see that the tables had turned, and it looked as though the game would be coming to an end soon.
“What a show, what a show!” Discord sang with his hands raised in the air, dancing in celebration. He wore a lei around his neck and a Pink flower by one horn to add to the flair.
“Q, do you realize how many beings died today? How many of my men? How many ponies? This has to stop!” Picard raged at Discord, who finally stopped dancing.
“Oh, you’re no fun!” Discord frowned, crossing his arms. His costume decorations vanished. All that remained was the Starfleet uniform he enjoyed wearing so much.
“Discord, we have already beaten you!” said the princess. “End this game now and do no more harm to everypony else. I beg you.”
“Hmmm…a princess begging me is a rare thing indeed! ...” He leaned over to Picard whispering, “Well…not THAT rare!” He winked at the captain who scoffed at him, as he was in no mood for his oafish jokes. Speaking to the group again Discord said, “You may be close to the end of this game, but the real test has just now started!”
Without explaining what he meant, Discord once again vanished leaving the pair of them with naught to do but to continue watching the screen.
Everyone/everypony gathered just outside the farmhouse. The last of the guards were quickly subdued, leaving only the leader of the Bratak residing inside. Commander Riker recommended trying diplomacy first.
He called out to the leader inside, “Your men have been defeated! You are alone. Surrender and we promise to negotiate for your people’s survival!”
No sound could be heard coming from the farmhouse.
With a nod from Commander Riker, Lieutenant Worf approached the front door slowly. He found the door to be unlocked. He started to slowly pull the door open keeping his phaser at the ready. It had barely opened an inch, when the entire door burst off its hinges, taking Worf with it. He flew several feet back smacking the ground hard with the door landing on top of him. Geordi rushed over and lifted the door off of him. Worf was knocked out cold.
The Bratak leader stepped forth from the farmhouse. In one hand was a massive spiked metal ball attached to a chain. It was large enough and heavy enough to take out the door and Worf in one hit.
Riker and Geordi reached for their phasers, firing at him. With his other hand, he quickly maneuvered his shield in front of himself, easily deflecting their shots with it. Swinging his massive war flail around, it flew across Riker and Geordi’s path, shattering both of their arms, in a single swipe. They fell to the ground with massive injuries to their hands and forearms. Dr. Crusher would have to repair them from scratch. Their phasers were completely destroyed.
Looking at the animals and ponies before him, the warrior let out a massive roar that sent every last animal fleeing in terror. Only Twilight and her friends remained present and unharmed.
“You won't scare us!” Twilight screamed. “No matter what, we will stop you!”
The leader roared again. His voice echoed through the trees creating a stadium effect that made it all the more terrifying to hear. Five of the ponies shrank backward in fear. Fluttershy remained. She hadn’t even flinched.
Despite all that had happened, Fluttershy's fury and animosity had passed. She stared at the warrior, not with hate in her eyes, but compassion.
“You have nothing to fear from us!” she called out to him. “Why must you continue to try and kill all of us?”
The Bratak leader wouldn’t speak. He continued to growl as he swung his weapon around trying to hit Fluttershy. She swiftly dodged his attack using her wings with no difficulty.
“You’ve lost the fight already… Why not return home to your family?” she continued to try to reason with the warrior.
Finally he spoke. His voice was deep, loud, and gurgled, like a bull frog talking into a megaphone. “Go home? …MY FAMILY!? ...Thanks to you sick creatures, my home will be destroyed, and my family with it!!!” he screamed, once again swinging his massive war flail at the yellow Pegasus. Fluttershy quickly dodged again, the spiked ball slamming into the ground, shaking the earth beneath everypony.
“Why would that happen?” Fluttershy asked genuinely concerned.
“That creature showed us! A massive burning rock is going to hit our world, killing everyone!” His anger was peaking. With his options diminishing, he was becoming even more dangerous.
Geordi who had heard about the meteor when Q explained it to them, struggled to regain enough composure to call out.
“..we…We can help!” He was too weak to get up off the ground.
The Bratak leader looked at the wounded human. “What can YOU do?” His anger and distrust made him wary. But with his men defeated, his eventual defeat was now inevitable.
“Our ship…we can…destroy…meteors…save your people!” Geordi explained panting from the blood-loss.
“Why would you help me human? We just killed your people, and I just smashed your hand!”
“Because…it was Discord… who did this…not…you…We can…help!” Geordi continued to get weaker. He and Will needed medical attention fast.
“Will you swear it with your blood human?”
“I haven’t got much left, …but… I swear it!”
The Bratak leader looked around. Everypony looked at him with hope in their eyes. Seeing no alternative, and a possible hope for the rescue of his family and people, he finally said, “I…sigh…yield” in a subdued, defeated voice. He let the handle of his weapon fall from his hands to the ground.
Twilight and her friends cheered, thanking the Bratak leader. They hugged each other and rejoiced at the end of the war.
“Well done! WELL DONE, my little ponies!” Discord cheered, appearing alongside them, clapping. “You’ve captured their leader and doomed their people to death. Oh well done, indeed!”
“No, we haven’t” Twilight said. “Geordi and Riker will save them and their world!”
“Oh they better not!” Discord warned. “If they do, you will have lost this little game and you yourselves will be eliminated in their place!”
“NO!” everypony cried in unison.
“You can’t do that!” Twilight said “We made a promise!”
“And no pony breaks a Pinkie-Promise!” Pinkie Pie yelled.
“I’m sorry, but you need to make a choice, girls: them or you; you or them.”
They all stared daggers at Discord. The Bratak leader stealthily picked up the handle of his flail and swung it at the infuriating monster. Discord swiftly phased out and back again, allowing the spiked ball to fly straight across without hitting anything. It quickly wrapped around the Bratak leader finally smashing into his own skull. He fell to ground, dead.
“NOW MAKE YOUR CHOICE!” Discord screamed, his eyes turning red.
Twilight looked from Rarity, to Pinkie, to Rainbow, to Applejack, to Fluttershy. They all nodded simultaneously in silent agreement. All of them hastily grabbed their Elements of Harmony they had hidden away and put them on.
“Oh not this old thing again…” Discord faked a sigh loudly. “You know that never really worked right?”
Twilight, after putting on her crown, clicked her communicator pin. “Twilight to Data! Are you ready?”
“Data here, ready when you are.”
“Fire!” Twilight screamed.
She waited…and waited…but nothing happened.
“Fire…what exactly, my dear Twilight?” Discord asked smiling. “Having trouble talking to the ship?
“Twilight to Data…Data…Respond!...”
Twilight looked at everypony nervously. Their plan didn’t work. “Now what do we do?” they all thought.
Out of the corner of her eye, Twilight saw Lieutenant Worf, who had regained consciousness, crawl up to Discord with something in his hand. He looked at her and winked.
Clicking her pin again, she yelled, “Twilight to Data, Fire!”
“Acknowledged,” Data successfully answered.
“WHAT?” Discord yelled, genuinely shocked. “How could…?” He turned around to see Worf holding one of the MCP Shielding devices they had created. “Give me that you…” He struggled to pry the device from Worf’s hand with great difficulty. The device had successfully rendered Discord powerless.
Discord turned to face the mane six just as a massive beam of energy struck them from the sky. Tens of trillions of monoceros particles, which had been collecting in the Enterprise’s Main Deflector Array over the last thirty-seven hours, were now pouring directly into Twilight’s horn.
The energy instantly activated the Elements of Harmony; all six ponies glowing with a massive aura unlike anything anypony had ever encountered in living memory. Firing directly at Discord, his body started turning back into stone. He struggled to free himself and get away.
“Wait! Let’s talk about this! Stop!…DON’T!!…NO!!!...PLEASE DON’T KILL ME!!!” he screamed just as his head returned to a marble state. But the energy flow did not stop. It kept pouring into Discord. His marble body started to crack. Lines started appearing all over his stone body, spreading like branches of a tree.
Twilight heard Discord's plea. She saw the cracks spreading throughout his marble body. She struggled to end the spell but found she could not. The cracks continued to spread until the they finally interlocked together and...
The Discord statue exploded, sending marble debris flying everywhere. The Elements did not cease, but continued to remain active; the aura surrounding the six ponies steadily growing.
Riker clicked his communicator with his left hand. “Riker to …Data…Shut off the Deflector Array!”
Despite Data’s attempts to shut off the beam, more and more particles continued to flood into Twilight’s horn. “Data to Commander Riker, unable to comply. There is a feedback loop in the array that is preventing me from shutting down the flow of particles.”
Twilight began floating even higher above the group. Magical energy could be seen emanating out of every orifice of her body. Her eyes were lit up like spot beams. She started screaming in pain.
In a bright flash of light, Twilight vanished from the sky.
The Discord Continuum
Twilight opened her eyes. There was nothing; nothing but emptiness surrounding her. She realized she was lying on a floor, but there was no floor. She tried to stand up. As she did, the ground beneath her hooves started to feel more real.
She turned in every direction looking for something; anything. There was nothing to see but blackness. She tried to take a step. As she did, the ground she was standing upon started to paint itself in before her eyes, spreading outward. She found herself standing on a road.
The road appeared vast. She could see nothing but miles of endless road. Seeing nowhere else to go, she started down the path it laid. She walked on and on.
"How far have I walked?
How long have I been walking?"
Twilight could not answer the questions she thought. Time didn’t feel quite ‘real’ here.
Finally she spotted something more than the road itself. It appeared to be a Bed-And-Breakfast. A sign hung in the window: “Never Closes”.
As she approached the old building, she discovered an elder stallion, rocking in a chair, reading a large leather-bound book; “The Old”. Leaning on a post, stood a young mare reading a magazine; “The New”. A third pony could be seen playing on a game machine. He was a grey stallion with a blonde mane. His cutie mark was infinity (∞).
In fact, when Twilight double-checked, every ponies’ cutie mark appeared to be infinity. She walked over to the young mare trying to get her attention.
“Hello? My name’s Twilight Sparkle. …Where am I?” she asked. The young mare did not even look up. She simply continued to read the magazine.
“Um…Hello?” she tried again. “What about you sir, can you hear me?”
The elder pony too, did not acknowledge her standing there.
“Hello? …Anypony!? …CAN ANYPONY HEAR ME!!?” she screamed getting frustrated.
“I can hear you just fine! There’s no reason to shout,” The grey pony, with a blonde mane said standing directly behind her. He was so close, that he startled Twilight when he spoke, making her jump.
“AH! UH!...uhm…Hi. You scared me!” Twilight said still jittery.
“Sorry about that,” he replied. “Welcome Twilight Sparkle. We are both surprised and so pleased you could come.”
“Come where? Where am I? What happened to me?”
“You did the very thing we were afraid you might one day do. Yet, at the same time, you did the very best possible thing you could do, all at once!” he said without answering any of her questions. “You and your friends are remarkable ponies, Twilight Sparkle.”
“Huh? I don’t understand. Where are we?” she repeated the question.
“Welcome to the Continuum!” he said, waving his front hoof as though he were unveiling a vast city, instead of an endless road and an old building.
Twilight was still lost. She recalled Geordi mentioning something about the Continuum, but couldn’t recall. However, she did remember that the Continuum was related to Discord.
“As in…Discord’s…” she tried to ask but was becoming more nervous at the thought where she might be.
“Discord’s…yes…I suppose you could call this, the Discord Continuum!” he said, chuckling to himself.
Now Twilight was very nervous. If this was where she thought she was, then she was in terrible danger. “Wh-Why was I brought here?” she asked, nervously. She started to backpedal away slowly.
“My dear, WE didn’t bring you here. YOU brought yourself here! And might I add, you’re the first species to do it, besides the Q! It was truly, a remarkable feat, and exactly what we feared most about your kind.”
“Feared us?” Twilight asked now confused. “Why would you fear us? We’re simple peaceful ponies!”
“Ah, but you weren’t always. Your kind went out into the stars millennia ago and fought massive battles, combining magic and science.” The stallion looked up at the sky, which had suddenly filled in with stars.
Twilight remembered the Princess’s story of their violent past. “But we’re not like that now!” she pleaded. “We’ve been at peace for two thousand years!”
“True, True. Yet you just fought a war that left dozens of ponies, humans, and Bratak soldiers dead.”
"We tried not kill anypony!” she shouted, tears forming in her eyes. “Everypony we fought, we would not kill!”
“Indeed. We noticed that. Which is why you are being welcomed, instead of executed, for being here now!”
Twilight gulped. Her mind started drifting towards Discord.
“He died because of her…” she thought.
“I’m so sorry about Discord!” Twilight burst out. “I didn’t want to kill him. I tried to stop it from happening! I didn’t want anypony to die!”
“And that’s why you and your kind are safe now,” he replied. The Continuum pony was walking around Twilight in a circle, checking her out from front to back. Twilight squirmed with discomfort as she was scrutinized.
“Despite the horrific things that happened to you and your friends," he said; "despite a scenario where lives were at stake; despite leaving you with no alternative but to choose who should live and who should die; you pushed, beyond hope, for an alternative that would not involve killing. As did all your other pony friends. That is why we are so proud you could come here.
“But the Red Guard on the other hand…,” he continued, lowering his face in disappointment. “Here, we have a problem.”
Twilight gulped again. She had personally witnessed Captain Torus kill one of the Enterprise crew. “Please! You mustn’t judge us all based on the actions of the few! We preach love and tolerance. We are peaceful ponies!”
“You certainly believe that.” the blonde stallion sighed. “Do you understand what the reason was for testing you?”
“No. I don’t know what possible reason you could have playing a game that left many of my friends wounded or dead!” she screamed at him.
“You are the only beings in the universe currently capable of reaching us here without our help. And you could have killed Discord, but you chose not to.” He explained.
“Discord’s still alive?”
“INDEED Miss. Sparkle!” an ethereal voice called out from behind her.
“Discord!?” she shouted in shock, as she turned and spotted him. He wasn’t quite right, though. He didn't appear whole. He looked partially see-through, almost like a ghost.
“My dear Twilight!” he said, spreading his arms and smiling warmly. He looked positively serene, which made Twilight even more concerned. She stared at him questioningly, with one eyebrow cocked.
“Oh don’t give me that look. You did it!” he said, still holding his arms out, like Twilight was suddenly going to run into them and embrace him in a hug.
She did not. Twilight just continued to stare at him.
“Don’t you see Twilight, that’s why these old fogies were scared of you!”
“I wasn’t scared of them,” the blonde pony interjected, giving Discord a sour look. "Merely trepid, is all!"
“Of course not. You were simply concerned that they might one day kill you.” Discord looked back at Twilight, who was becoming more and more confused by the second.
“Why would we ever try to kill you? This doesn’t make any sense!” Twilight said.
“Let me break it down for you then,” Discord said, putting an arm around her shoulders. Twilight could sort of feel his arm, but it didn’t feel solid. They started to walk slowly around the area in front of the building. “You see, in the beginning of time, there were not that many beings in existence. The Continuum was one of the first species to evolve.
“Back then, we had physical bodies just like every other species. We used animals for labor as we progressed as a society. Eventually, we shed our mortal forms and evolved into the existence you see before you now. But our animal laborers continued to evolve their physical forms, eventually growing into fully sentient beings, with tools and animal laborers of their own. Can you guess who they were?”
“Ponies,” Twilight answered.
“Ponies, yes,” Discord continued. “You ponies are related to us and, with your abilities, have the potential to one day reach the Continuum and even possibly destroy us! We could never allow such a thing. Which is why we eliminated all of your kind two thousand years ago, or so we thought.”
“YOU killed our ancestors!?” Twilight screamed jumping away from him. “You killed billions of my kind?”
“No. They killed themselves mostly; fighting a war so devastating, it destroyed whole planets. Their technology and magic was reaching a level, along with their violence and hatred, that was deemed a threat to the Continuum and therefore, eliminated.”
Twilight was in shock. She couldn’t think of any way to possibly respond to such a horrid statement.
Discord, seeing her stuck in her thoughts, continued to talk. “They were beyond salvation, and would have done it themselves anyway, but might have also taken us with them, which we would never allow.
But then we discovered your little world of Equestria. You slipped past us by hiding in the dense particle cloud in this system. When we finally discovered you, we saw you had reverted to a simpler society with no computers and technology and weapons. You appeared to be at peace. It was determined that we would not just blindly destroy you. We, instead, would evaluate you to see if you would one day become a threat again.”
Twilight stopped walking, standing in the middle of the road. She was trying to process everything she had just heard.
“So this war… was a test?” she asked.
“Yes. And you passed Twilight! Your people are safe now. I’m sorry for your losses, but we needed to bring you to the point where killing was the only option. You still refused, and even when you had me beaten, fair and square, you did not kill me; which I thank you for, by the way.”
“Are you sure you’re not dead?” Twilight asked curiously, looking through the translucent creature, at the restaurant behind him.
“Well, you certainly could’ve killed me, but instead you just made me a little more ‘detached’ from the physical realm for awhile. Don’t worry, I’ll be back to my old self, soon enough!” Discord smiled and did a twirl of his ghostly self.
Twilight continued to think of all that had happened, including the many injured and dead.
“Can you bring them back?” She asked, looking straight at Discord. “Everypony who died… can you bring them back?”
“Well…” Discord tried to avoid answering the question.
“I saved your life! You admitted it!” Twilight yelled.
“Yes…but…well…ugh! Fine! All of your precious ponies are alive.” He said waving his hands. His demeanor and smile suggested this had been his intention all along, but was simply teasing her.
“And the others?” she added looking at Discord sternly.
“…Fine….the animals and humans are fine too.” He said waving his hands a second time.
“And the Bratak?” Twilight was not going to let him go until all the damage was undone.
It was the blonde pony who spoke up this time. “I’m afraid we have a problem there.”
“What problem would that be?” Twilight asked looking even more sternly at the stallion.
“You see, the Bratak’s planet is set to be destroyed by a meteor. Nothing can change this.
“That’s not fair!” Twilight screamed. "Even if they lost your game, they don’t deserve to die! You have the power don’t you? Save them!”
The stallion sighed. “I’m sorry, but the best we can do for them is send them back and make them forget. They will go out in blissful ignorance.” He waved his hooves just as Discord had. “Done.”
“That’s not good enough!” Twilight protested, tears starting to form in their eyes. “What about the Enterprise? They could help them!”
Discord replied, “No, they can’t. The Bratak were wiped from existence four hundred thousand years before you or the Enterprise crew were even born!”
Twilight was furious at their refusal to help them.
Seeing the anger on her face, Discord added, “Twilight, hundreds of sentient species, throughout the universe, have come to such untimely ends, due to natural events, like meteor impacts. It happens all the time. It's part of the universe and it would be terribly rude of us to change the whole universe around!”
Twilight didn’t know what to say. Her ears lowered and she shed a tear for those people who died, even though it was so many thousands of years ago.
“Ohhh there, there.” Discord said almost comfortingly. He tried to hug Twilight, but she still would not let him hug her, quickly backing away from him.
She had another burning question in her to ask. “Are the tests over? Will you finally leave us alone?”
Discord smiled again, this time a little more crookedly. “That entirely depends on you. If we have no need to test you again, you won’t be tested!”
He looked at the clock with no hands on the wall of the building. “Well, it’s probably time for you to be going back to your friends, Twilight. Why it’s almost, zero o’clock!”
Twilight looked from Discord to the blonde pony and back again. “How do I get back?”
“Just keep following the road until you find where you belong,” the blonde pony said, pointing his hoof down the road.
Twilight started down the road. After she walked several yards, she turned back to look at the pair of them. They both waved at her, smiling. She walked a little further and looked back again. They were gone. The old Bed & Breakfast was gone. The stars were gone. Just the road remained.
She continued walking down the road, looking for whatever she was supposed to find. Slowly but surely, she too faded away.
The Unexpected Guests
Everyone stared up at the sky, where Twilight had vanished. As Rarity, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy had returned to normal and drifted back to the ground, they searched for signs of their friend.
The particle beam had ceased, and the Elements of Harmony were no longer active. Rainbow’s wings reappeared on her back. They all expected Twilight to reappear, but the longer they waited, the more it began to seem hopeless. They started to lower their heads in mourning, as tears flowed for the loss of their friend.
Geordi and Will had lost too much blood and would die if they did not get treatment right away. Worf quickly tapped his communicator badge.
“Worf to the bridge,” he said.
“Bridge here,” Data replied.
“Q has been defeated. Medical emergency. See if you can transport Commander Riker and Commander LaForge to sickbay immediately.”
Geordi and Will disappeared into the matter stream and successfully transported to sickbay.
The moment the Discord Statue exploded, the projector screen and the image disappeared in front of Princess Celestia and Captain Picard. Realizing what must have happened; Picard quickly raced to the front door and attempted to open it. He met no resistance as the door swung open.
As soon as they were outside, the princess stretched her wings as wide as they could go pushing the blood through them, loosening them up. The captain had already started to make his way over to the farm, before she called out to him.
“Quickly Jean-Luc, there is no time to waste!” she said, gesturing with her snout for him to get up onto her back.
“Celestia, that isn’t necessary. We can simply-“
“NOW! Hurry!” she gestured again more urgently.
He sighed and went back over to her. He climbed up onto her back as gently and quickly as he could. As soon as he was situated, she spread her vast wingspan apart and thrust off the ground, high into the air above Ponyville.
Captain Picard was trying to say the transporter might have been faster if it was working now. However, as they soared toward the farm, he couldn’t help but feel the serenity and majesty of riding through the air. He loved to ride horses, but this was better than anything he had ever experienced before.
He felt the wind wrap around him and almost knocked him clear off. He latched his arms tight around the princess and they flew over toward the farm.
The ride only lasted two minutes, landing by the group gathered outside the farmhouse. They were quite shocked to see the captain riding on top of the princess. Rarity's jaw dropped from the sight of such an indignity befalling the princess, but bit her tongue. Geordi and Will had been beamed away moments before they arrived.
“Well done my little ponies!” The princess called smiling at them. “Especially you, Twilight Sparkle! …Twilight?”
She had not seen Twilight vanish from the sky after the projector had disappeared. The five other ponies looked up at the princess, tears flowing down their eyes in rivers.
“No!” the princess cried, upon the realization Twilight was gone. “What has happened?” the princess asked, tears of her own starting to form.
They told her what had happened leading up to Twilight bursting out of existence in a bright flash of light. The princess held her head down in mourning if only for a brief moment.
She quickly regained herself and lifted her head with an air of authority. “Gather up all the dead. Bring them to the funeral home. We will hold a mass funeral for them tonight. Take all the injured to see the doctors in the Town Hall.
Their victory was anything but sweet. All of the ponies regrouped to obey her Majesty’s orders, but none felt like a victory had been achieved. Picard had more crewmen brought down to assist with the funeral preparations.
They gathered the bodies of men, women, and ponies throughout the town, yet not a single Bratak warrior could be found. Even those that had been captured had simply vanished.
Members of the Royal Guard placed the Red Guard ponies in irons and stood guard outside of the Town Hall.
Preparations for the funeral had been made. Most of the town would be in attendance as would many of the Enterprise crew. They agreed to hold a mass service together, before the Enterprise would leave orbit.
There weren’t nearly enough coffins readily available for such a tragedy, so most of the dead were wrapped in white cloth and laid on tables with their names and a picture of them. Since Twilight had vanished, a picture of her had been placed on an empty table with her name and a violet flower.
While preparations were being made, a mint green hoof had slipped out its wrapping and dangled toward the floor. Derpy saw it and quickly pushed it back in. She was shaking as she did. She looked at the picture of Lyra staring back at her smiling. Tears poured out of Derpy's eyes. She paused only a moment longer, to leave a muffin for her, before going to assist more with the preparations.
The viewing began just after Celestia had finished setting the sun. The hall was filled with ponies and people looking for their loved ones. Standing next to Angel's little body, Fluttershy was beside herself crying. She still couldn’t believe Angel or Twilight were gone. She even tried to make Angel his favorite Super Salad, but cherries were out of season. She placed the bowl in front of him bawling her eyes out.
Spike sat on the floor in front of Twilight's picture with his head staring at the floor. He wouldn’t respond to anypony. He was holding a book. The last book Twilight ever gave him for his birthday. He had never read it. He hugged it tight to his chest and stared at the floor in silence.
Princess Luna and Princess Cadence had been brought in for the funeral. Princess Cadence cried into her husband, devastated at the loss of Twilight. He hugged her tightly tears streaking down his cheeks as well.
Princess Luna considered Twilight her first and only friend since she returned. She was raised to never shed a tear, but her eyes were so watery, she struggled and failed to prevent them from eventually leaking out.
Princess Celestia stood at the head of the room. She spread her wings wide for everypony to face her.
“Today has been a difficult day for Ponyville. It has been a difficult day for Equestria. It has been a difficult day for us all.”
She projected her voice across the room, but it was clear where the lump in her throat was, from the tears she was holding tight inside.
“A terrible creature unleashed a terrible war and brought a level of violence and devastation unlike anything we have ever known. The ponies before you stood tall and defended our ways of life with their lives. The people before you gave their lives to help ponies they’ve never known. We will never forget them. They will be a part of us forever.”
As the princess continued her speech, every pony and person listened intently to her words, soaking them in to help alleviate their sorrows.
Outside the Town Hall, the Royal Guard stood watch over their prisoners. One of the Red Guard suddenly screamed out in pain. The Royal Guard snapped his attention to the prisoner who appeared to be struggling. He was trying to clutch his chest while writhing on the ground in pain.
All of the Red Guard started jerking and bucking from an unknown pain. Within their bodies, all of their hearts were being crushed by an invisible hand squeezing them. One by one, their hearts burst from the pressure. Within moments, every one of them was dead.
As the princess continued her speech, a small crackling noise started to appear. Few could hear it. But Fluttershy, who would not leave Angel’s side, started to look around for what was making that crunching sound. The salad in front of Angel’s body was being munched upon.
Fluttershy was about to rip out the tongue of whoever would dare eat her gift to her dead friend, when an ear poked out from the bowl. It was long, with white fur and a pink inside. A second ear poked upward, as Angel’s head popped up through the salad, chomping away at a carrot.
Every pony and person looked at Fluttershy and saw the rabbit munching away. Then all of the deceased started sitting up on their tables and taking off their wrappings. The commotion rose until it became cries of joy as their loved ones were all returning to life. None of the dead appeared to have any injuries. Even those who were injured noticed their wounds healing before their eyes.
The princess’s speech had been cut off, but she didn’t mind in the slightest. She happily stared in awe at the miracle before her.
Fluttershy was kissing and hugging Angel so tightly, she almost killed him again. He gave her a soft smack and then hugged her back.
Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, and Rarity started to look around for Twilight. They searched up and down, but realized, there was no body for her to revive from. Amongst all the cheers, the four of them still carried their sorrow.
The princess too, quickly realized Twilight’s absence and started to search around. As her heart started to sink again, a small bubble popped right next to her. Twilight was standing right next to the princess as though she had been there the whole time.
“Oh!? Hi your Majesty.” Twilight said, noticing where she was standing. The princess lost all control of her royal dignity. She grabbed Twilight and hugged her tight.
Pinkie Pie spotted the pair of them and screamed out “TWILIGHT’S BACK!!!!!!!!!!!” Cheers erupted in funeral home in celebration. All the ponies and humans lost in the battle were now alive and well. What started as a funeral, was rapidly turning into a party.
Pinkie quickly ducked behind a cabinet and pulled out a Party Cannon she had hidden away. She looked over at Rainbow, who saw her pulling out the Cannon. “I keep them stored throughout Ponyville in case of emergencies!” She said with glee.
“Why would there ever be an emergency party needed in a funeral home?” Rainbow asked. As soon as the words escaped her lips, reality dawned on her. “Pinkie you may be the most random pony in Equestria, but you also happen to be a complete genius!” Rainbow said laughing and helping her pull out the cannon.
They pushed the cannon out into the open to have the best spread. Together, they fired the cannon, launching balloons and streamers out into the crowd. Vinyl Scratch quickly ran out to grab her sound gear. Within minutes, the mass funeral had been completely converted into a massive party.
Twilight was being bounced from pony to pony, hugging or shaking hands. She started getting dizzy from all the attention.
Rainbow and Pinkie were dancing it up with Will and Geordi, who were up and about thanks to Dr. Crusher. Technically, they were supposed to be in bed, but were now happy they had convinced the doctor into letting them attend the service.
Princess Celestia and Captain Picard had renewed their more professional tones, but were chatting together on the sidelines of the party.
“I can’t thank you enough, captain, for helping us out,” she said.
“It was nothing, your Highness. I’m glad everything worked out well.”
“Before you leave captain, I was wondering if one of your crew would be willing to have a look at some of our old technology. They are getting on two thousand years old and require quite a bit of repair.”
“I think I have just the person in mind. I’ll see to it he looks at it first thing in the morning,” said Picard.
“Thank you captain.” She smiled at him and looked out into the crowd enjoying themselves.
Lieutenant Worf had struck up a conversation with Fluttershy who, after twenty minutes of hugging and kissing Angel, finally let up and started to mingle.
“Thank you for saving me today,” Fluttershy said.
“You are a very brave warrior, for one so…” He could not bring himself to actually use the word, ‘adorable’.
Fluttershy could read his thoughts though. She smiled and whispered something into Worf’s ear.
“No. That would be inappropriate,” he quickly retorted, his eyes wide. The very idea had made him uncomfortable.
“I think you’d like it. Pretty please?” Fluttershy blushed as she asked Worf.
Worf was struggling with himself. Finally, he sighed and nodded curtly. Fluttershy led him through the crowd, hand in hoof.
Applejack was handing out leftover Zap-Apple jam that had not been used during the battle. The princess let her know that the royal family would be taking care of the bill for the Zap-Apple jam this year, much to Applejack’s delight.
Rarity was busy trying to catch the eye of one of the Royal Guard at the party. He was busy keeping an eye on the royal family, but that didn’t stop her from trying.
Twilight was dancing with her brother and Princess Cadence. She was still a terrible dancer, but no one seemed to mind one bit.
Everyone and everypony were having the best time of their lives.
Geordi, who had been dancing, suddenly spotted Worf and Fluttershy together on a couch in the corner of the room. He couldn’t believe the position he was seeing the pair of them in.
Fluttershy was laying her head on Worf’s lap. Worf was stroking her soft pink mane. Both seemed to be in sheer bliss. Worf even growled in an almost purring effect as he smiled.
As Rainbow and Pinkie danced, a question dawned on Rainbow. “Pinkie? How could you think of all those traps you setup if you didn’t know what Discord’s game was going to be?”
Pinkie stopped dancing for a second and thought. Shrugging, she replied, “I guess I just get how Discord thinks!” She laughed and started boogieing to the music again. In the back of Pinkie’s mind, Discord could be heard laughing maniacally.
The party lasted until Princess Celestia and Luna had to leave to bring the dawn.
The following day, as Captain Picard made preparations to leave, Lieutenant Reginald Barclay had been beamed down to have a look at the princess’s old technology and make repairs. One of the guards escorted him down to the secret room, hidden within the palace.
“Th-Th-Thank you…um…Private,” he said to the guard, nervously. He couldn't stop staring at the guard. He had never spoken to a pony before.
“Thank you, Reg. And please, call me Crystal,” the guard replied. “It’s not often we get company down here.” She smiled at Barclay, making him so nervous he dropped his tricorder.
“I…um…okay…C-C-Cr-Crystal,” he finally got out. As he worked on the repairs to their sensors, he started to think to himself of a good holodeck program he could create from this experience.
"Captain's Log, Stardate 44166.8: The Enterprise is ready to break orbit as soon as repairs can be completed to Princess’s aging equipment. She is looking to eventually open relations with the Federation, but only after their society is ready, which may not be for a long time.
Q has yet to make an appearance following his defeat. However, the Unicorn, Twilight Sparkle, has stated he is alive and well and just unable to appear in the physical realm for some time. While time is irrelevant to the Q, I hope that in our timeline, it will be a long while before we cross paths again.
All material related to monoceros particles has been mysteriously wiped from our databanks. All Mcp. shield devices have also vanished. Our sensors have been reset so the particles can no longer be detected. No evidence has been found as to who may have tampered with the logs, nor how the logs were tampered with.
It is my opinion that the Q Continuum does not wish us to possess this technology. We could attempt to recover that information. However, I believe the log tampering and vanishing equipment was a warning, from the Continuum, not to pursue this scientific area of exploration. I would take that warning seriously.
We will break orbit in the next hour and head for Starbase DS4 to rendezvous with the saucer section of the ship.”
“Dear Princess Celestia,
The Magic of Friendship has taught me, that peace and friendship have the power to stop wars; the power to learn and discover the universe; the power to protect your loved ones from harm.
Whether it’s standing in front of an arrow to save your friend, showing caring and kindness to those left with no alternative to violence, or saving an enemy’s life; friendship is more powerful than any magic or technology could ever hope to be.
I will be sad to see Geordi and the Enterprise people leave, but am now happy to call them my friends.
Your faithful student,
Deep in the Ever-Free forest, where the parasprites could roam free, a mysterious creature had appeared. It was nothing more than a living ball of fur. But it purred softly. One of the parasprites took notice and flew over to it.
The parasprite purred back to its new found friend. They chatted with each other merrily as they feasted together on any food they could find.
The following day, Fluttershy had ventured into the forest to find some rare vegetables to treat Angel to, now that he was alive and safe again. She hummed merrily as she frolicked through the trees. She was too content to even be bothered by the fact that she was in the Ever-Free forest.
As she came to a small brook, she saw some of the radish roots she was looking for, growing by the water. She started to pull them from the ground, when a purring noise startled her.
“Oh my!” she said softly. Before her eyes, was a small little ball of brown fur. It appeared to be moving. It purred again.
“Aren’t you cute!” Fluttershy examined the little creature. The fur-ball turned to face her, opening its eyes and looking at her. Its eyes were eerily similar to that of a parasprite. It purred at her smiling with an extremely tiny mouth.
“Awwww!” she swooned over the animal. “Are you hungry? Would you like to come home with me?”
The ball of fluff bounced into the air, happily squeaking, which Fluttershy took to mean ‘yes’. She scooped up the little creature and put it in her bag to take home…
Our Story Continues...
DisQord Continuum 2: Friendship is Futile