Mass stampedes of ponies evacuating Ponyville, Canterlot, and its surrounding countryside clogged all roads and paths leading away from the area. The Nightmare had even destroyed certain parts of Equestria’s railroad system. It shut down any locomotives and prevented mass transit away. Even the Pegasi found themselves trapped within the Nightmare’s intended blast zone. The smoke and ash from the burning cities of Manehattan and Fillydelphia made it difficult to fly quickly or breathe when above the clouds. It made the sky an artificial overcast brown and gray.
Unicorns were unable to teleport themselves or others due to the interference of the anti-magic. There was simply not enough time to get out of the Nightmare’s blast range within 24 hours on hoof or carriage, though still, many fled.
The air was becoming thinner, the pollution of nuclear fallout continued to degrade the ponies’ health. The sun, unbeknownst to the public, was raised by Luna for the first time in more than a thousand years.
The Nightmare knew its message had been delivered. It allowed some of Celestia’s soldiers to survive for that very purpose.
Though, it struck the Nightmare as odd that Celestia or Luna had not made a public appearance since the attacks began. But, perhaps it was for that very reason, so they would not put themselves in danger while they plotted against the Nightmare.
Perhaps they deserved a bit more time than a day, but there was no negotiating at this point. It was all or nothing: Surrender, or total annihilation of their nation’s capital and populous areas. Either way, the Nightmare was about to assume rule of Equestria.
The Nightmare had not been seen since it’s last appearance, but the sphere of dark magic containing ancient human thermonuclear warheads remained. Many brave unicorns attempted to dispel it, and dispose of the weapons. Despite their best efforts, each one that tried and failed was struck with a paralyzing bolt of lightning, while the orb continued to crackle and surge with magical energy.
“Mommy?” a pegasus colt, who had recently walked all the way from Manehattan to Ponyville, looked up at his mother.
“How much longer do we have?”
The mare looked up at the clock tower in Ponyville’s town square.
“Not much longer, darling.”
“Is the world going to end?”
"I don’t know, sweetie.”
“Where is Princess Celestia and Princess Luna? And what’s a ‘human puppet?”
“…I don’t know, sweetie.”
Princess Luna yawned as she entered the meeting room again. Lieutenant Black Sword had begrudgingly informed the Elements and humans of Luna’s presence.
Lieutenant Black Sword, currently Luna’s most trusted advisor, remained present during this meeting.
“Um,” Patrick leaned backwards in his chair. “Sorry about your shoulder.”
Lieutenant Black Sword snorted in resentment.
“If it makes you feel any better,” Patrick pulled up his sleeve, showing the entry and exit wound of a 7.62mm round. “Now we have something in common.”
“The time has finally come,” Princess Luna sighed. She was tired, everypony could see it in her eyes that it was not just physical exhaustion. The mental and emotional burden of losing her sister, and using such powerful magic over a short period of time was obvious, and she knew that.
“I did not think that it would be this soon. Nor did I ever think we’d have to face it without Celestia, but the Nightmare must be stopped. We have a mere 16 hours to plan and ready ourselves.”
“We all whole heartedly agree,” Jose nodded.
“Including you, Patrick?” Luna asked him.
Patrick paused for a moment.
“Yes,” he said. “That includes me. I can never take back what I’ve done, but at least I can still do something right as long as I’m still breathing. Let’s do it.”
“I’m very glad to hear you say that, Patrick,” Luna replied.
Jose winked at her, mouthing “Told you.”
“Now then,” Patrick twiddled his thumbs. “What exactly do we have to do?”
“You must possess the Elements of Harmony and challenge the Nightmare,” Luna responded. “Girls, if you please?”
One by one, Twilight removed her tiara, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Rarity, and Fluttershy removed their necklaces, laying them before the Princess.
She turned her attention to the six humans looking on.
“I give these to you, in the hope that you may save our kingdom from destruction and genocide,” she spoke. “Please claim your element.”
Each of the humans, except for Patrick, seemed to know exactly which one they were supposed to claim.
They slipped the Elements of Harmony, still in the form of necklaces, around their necks. Louis, the human element of honesty; Ryan, the human element of kindness; Spencer; the human element of laughter; Joe, the human element of generosity, and finally Jose; the human element of magic.
Patrick looked before Luna, where only one more necklace was remaining; the red, lightning-bolt shaped gem that Rainbow Dash wore.
…And thankfully, not the tiara.
“Obviously, as you have demonstrated to us all, Patrick,” Luna said. “You are the element of loyalty.”
He glanced over at Jose, stifling a laugh as he wore the golden tiara bearing the element of magic on his head.
Jose leaned in close and whispered in his ear.
“Patrick, put on the fucking necklace before I beat your ass.”
Patrick did as he was told. Immediately all necklaces, and the tiara, began to glow. They were each engulfed in a bright, white light, shifting and changing into the Human Elements.
When they stopped glowing, they were no longer pieces of golden jewelry with colorful gemstones. They had changed into dog tags; hung by a golden ball chain, and each pair of tags the same color as the gemstone before.
The tiara on Jose’s head had changed into dog tags as well, but his were unique. His tags were a clean, pearlescent white; but it gave off a pinkish glow, making it clearly different from the rest of the elements.
Patrick examined the dog tags hanging around his neck. They were a crimson, metallic red. But what stood out to him was that they were blank, featuring no inscription on either side.
He began to feel something different inside him. Words couldn’t really describe what he felt, but it suddenly came over him. He felt as if he were connected to his friends, through the elements around their necks.
It was as if he could feel his heart; not from a physical point of view, though. The heart is always used as a metaphor for where you feel your emotions, for love. In a spiritual sense, he could feel it very strongly, and it felt as if it pulled towards his friends.
Twilight, awestruck, stepped forward to examine the elements hanging around the humans’ necks.
“I-I don’t understand,” Twilight stammered. “I did so much research on the Elements of Harmony since we last used them, but I’ve never read about anything like this. How can they change, just like that?”
“These are the Human Elements of Harmony,” Luna explained. “For ponies, because of how our society, your hearts, and our mindsets are, they became jewelry. These boys, and their world, were more militaristic. You are not the first, nor the last to use them. However,” Luna turned to the group of humans again.
“You will be.”
“Pardon?” Louis asked.
“Yeah, wait,” said Rainbow Dash. “I thought this was just going to be like ‘ZAP, Nightmare’s done,’ and then they just give them back.”
“Celestia artificially made you all the most powerful incarnation of the Elements. The fact that you’re humans will make you stronger, more so than the Nightmare, if I’m not mistaken. But the Elements were not made for you. They were made for ponykind. If what Celestia informed me is correct, you will destroy the Nightmare, as well as the Elements.”
“The elements are going to be destroyed?” Rainbow Dash cocked her head to one side.
“Considering how much Equestria needs them on a regular basis,” Twilight started. “What are we supposed to do the next time we need the Elements?”
“Well,” Luna bit her lip. “The Elements of Harmony are tools given to us by the gods to combat the Nightmare should it ever threaten Equestria, through direct or influential means.”
“…Those who came before?” Twilight asked.
“Yes,” Luna nodded. “If the Nightmare is destroyed, then we no longer would have need for them.”
“Alright, well,” Jose shugged. “If you’re okay with that; we’ve got the Elements, we’ve got Patrick on board, let’s go fight. I’ve been ready for thousands of years to finally kill this thing.”
“Please,” Patrick jingled the dogtags around his neck. “Who are those that came before?”
“Long, long story, man,” Louis said. “But in short, after humanity ended, they recreated the world, and put certain boundaries and limitations on the planet.”
“They gave the alicorns roles to make society more dependant on them, by having to raise the sun and moon. They gave the Nightmare a role, too. But it’s been corrupted, and can no longer be trusted to exist. That’s where we come in.”
“Patrick,” Jose shushed him. “I’m really sorry to keep even more secrets from you, but some things you are better off not knowing.”
Jose gestured at Luna and the former elements.
“All of you.”
“Is the Nightmare going to be able to go into my head, like it did to you?” Ryan asked Patrick.
“I don’t know.”
“Ryan, please, we have to plan-“ Luna started, but Ryan was still curious.
Luna tapped her hoof in frustration, until Rainbow Dash spoke up.
"Actually, I'm kind of curious, too."
“Yes, what did it feel like, Patrick?” Twilight asked him.
Patrick took a deep breath.
“It felt like…” Patrick almost remained serious, but then just decided to speak his mind.
“It felt like Eddie Murphy drilled a hole in the back of my head and started skull-fucking my brains into jelly with his big, black dick.”
Joe let out a roar of laughter that made Fluttershy shrink back.
“That-” Joe wheezed between laughter, giving Patrick a high five. “That wouldn’t have been so funny if I hadn’t seen Dr. Dolittle and the Nutty Professor, like, twenty times each.”
“Or maybe just because you’re black,” Spencer chided.
“You guys have existed for thousands of years, and you still haven’t matured?” Rainbow Dash teased.
“Knock it off, Rainbow,” Applejack barked.
“Um, I just wanted to remind everyone that we have sixteen hours until the end of the world, again,” Jose raised his hand to get the attention of everyone.”
“Thank you, Jose,” Luna declared.
“I trust that you will be able to take care of this situation,” Luna addressed the humans seriously. “The Fate of our entire race rests in your hands.”
The clock in Ponyville’s town center struck noon, while the streets were hushed in a lonely silence. The wind rustled through the leaves as the clock tower continued to chime. Each deep note rung and resonated across the village.
It felt like Equestria’s funeral. Most ponies fled through the countryside, knowing that they would not be out of range of the Nightmare’s greatest attack. With no word from Canterlot, Equestria had assumed the royal sisters abandoned them in their time of need.
A loose collection of ponies fearing death assembled in the town square.They begrudgingly lowered themselves in submittance to the Nightmare in the hopes that they may be spared.
The Nightmare hovered above the crackling orb of magic with its doomsday device. Each step of its plan had been taken so carefully, and now it all paid off patiently executing it. Attacking Canterlot head-on would have been catastrophic. By playing with Celestia, and using the chaos of the assassination attempt, the Nightmare had effectively confused them. What was its plan? Where would it attack next? The anti-magic kept anypony, including the alicorns, from teleporting out of the vicinity, and the radiation weeded out the weak that didn’t even deserve to submit to the Nightmare, anyway.
The Nightmare was lost in thought as the bells kept chiming, when it sensed movement. Scanning beyond the crowd, the Nightmare saw it.
It was the human that Celestia summoned, standing alone. He wore his black, textile motorcycle jacket, and a black object was holstered to his hip. The bells stopped chiming, and the human continued to stare at the Nightmare, having a standoff.
It was like the calm before the storm, the only sound audible were the leaves blowing away with the wind. Not even the birds were chirping.
Ponies began craning their necks, seeing Patrick standing there by himself.
The Nightmare was the first to speak. It was so giddy with excitement and anticipation, it’s tone sounded different; almost demonic.
Patrick did not reply.
“Where is Luna? Where is Celestia?”
Patrick did nothing other than make"eye contact" with the Nightmare to acknowledge its presence. His heart was beating rapidly, but he kept his cool. From the Nightmare’s spiritual perspective, his eyes burned red with malice; with the experience and desire to end life.
“Have you come here alone?”
“No,” Patrick shook his head.
“Well, look around,” the Nightmare began to creep closer to him. “It sure looks that way.”
“Actually,” Patrick smiled, crossing his arms. “I brought some friends.”
He unzipped his jacket, revealing the human element of loyalty hanging around his neck.
Instantly, five humans became visible just behind Patrick. Around each of their necks were the rest of the Elements of Harmony in their dog tag forms. Princess Luna appeared adjacent to them, her horn dimming its glow and ceasing the invisibility spell that cloaked the extra human company.
The crowd of ponies that were once bowing and submitting in front of the Nightmare began whispering frantically to themselves. And this angered it.
“So,” the Nightmare said. “We have the expendable weakling that is the moon princess, and then the Human Elements of Harmony. May I ask where Celestia is, then?”
“I killed her,” Patrick responded. “And now, we’re going to kill you.”
The Nightmare laughed. It laughed so loud, that Patrick could feel the bass of it in his chest.
“Then you’ve saved me a lot of effort, young man. I thank you for that. But I’m afraid it’s a little too late to stop me. My weapons are armed to go off in about, oh, ten seconds now.”
The Nightmare tore a hole in reality and began to move through the portal to safety.
“So, I’ll be seeing you.”
The ponies that had given up on fleeing the town to surrender the Nightmare gasped, realizing that it was abandoning them now. They dispersed from the town square in a panic. The ponies that feared death stood and wept. Families hugged each other, while some accepted their fate, closing their eyes and sitting still.
Before the Nightmare could disappear through the portal, it felt itself being pulled back out.
Luna groaned, dragging the Nightmare back into reality. She closed the portal and confined the Nightmare to the Earth, preventing its escape.
Two unicorns, the very same that defeated it as Nightmare Moon, stood next to Luna.
Luna’s horn shined brightly. She moved towards the sphere of magic that the Nightmare used to safeguard the human warheads, and encased it in a blue glow. Rarity and Twilight followed, assisting her and freezing whatever magical timer they were on.
“As long as we hold it here, it won’t detonate!” Luna shouted. “Do it, now!”
The Nightmare fired a bolt of dark magic towards Luna and the unicorns holding off its timer spell, when it was stopped in midair.
The humans, their eyes all glowing a radiant orange, a bright pink, a lively blue, a royal purple, a burning red, and a hot white, stood offensively before the Nightmare.
Patrick didn’t know how, but it he knew exactly what to do. It was as if the Element he bore took over him, directing him to use the magic that coursed through his body from the dog tags around his neck.
Normally, Patrick would be nervous during a battle with a supernatural being about to obliterate everything in a several-hundred-mile radius.
He looked to his left.
He looked to his right.
As long as he had his brothers by his side, nothing really mattered to him right now. Patrick felt a new drive, a new determination: It was the Nightmare that caused Celestia to do what she did. It was the Nightmare that ruined his life, not Celestia. That killed his true family and ruined his biological one. It was the Nightmare that ruined his life, and threatened countless more lives.
He saw the ponies panicking, believing their lives, their very existence was at an end. Patrick may have ruined any chance of saving the human race, but he could still save this one. He was not about to let these innocent, peaceful beings succumb to the tools that killed his people when they didn’t even know what he was, or where he came from.
And the way he saw it, he and the people it killed were holding a gun to its head.
The Nightmare felt something it hadn’t felt genuinely felt in a long time: Fear. Apprehension. Doubt. Its confident ego deflated from its normally confident standpoint, to a defensive and frantic one. They really did have the potential to ‘kill’ the Nightmare.
The Nightmare shook itself out of the Elements’ grip. It was not about to go yet. It had to act fast. Before the Elements could focus their power on it, a violent wind cyclone suddenly appeared in the town square, causing break-neck winds to tear through Ponyville. It threw market stands and anything not rooted to the ground into the air.
Luna enveloped her and her two unicorn allies in a protective bubble of magic to keep them from blowing away or being hit by debris.
Patrick felt himself lift off the ground. While he was airborne, a ceramic flowerpot struck him in the side of the head, bursting into fragments and drawing blood.
He and Jose slammed into the side of a building hard. He fell flat on the ground, growling and clenching his teeth to distract him from the pain. Jose tumbled on top of him, grabbing Patrick and holding onto a door handle to keep them from being blown away again.
Joe, Spencer, and Ryan were quick to react, and held onto a street lamp bolted to the ground to keep themselves from going anywhere. Louis smashed into a wooden cart before smacking against an iron fence, his arm getting caught in between the bars and bending unnaturally. He howled in pain, trying desperately to free himself.
Suddenly, a yellow and cyan blur raced through the small village being assaulted by the Nightmare’s windstorm.
“Okay, ready?” Rainbow Dash shouted through all the noise as she hovered in mid-air.
“I’ve only done this once!” Fluttershy cried. “And I still didn’t do very good!”
“You’ll be fine!” Rainbow Dash replied. “We gotta’ do this now, they’re really taking a beating down there!”
“Oh, alright!” Fluttershy said. “Just- Please don’t let me hit anything this time!”
Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy flew past each other round and round, forming an artificial tornado circulating in the opposite direction of the Nightmare’s storm. They plowed right through Ponyville, negating the winds and neutralizing the windstorm completely, while taking out a few buildings in the process.
“Ha!” Rainbow Dash halted to a stop. “See? I knew you could do it!”
Fluttershy continued to fly in a slow, erratic circle. Her eyes spun around in her head dizzily.
“I-I think I’m going to be sick,” Fluttershy squeaked.
Jose stood to his feet and helped Patrick off the ground. Joe, Spencer, and Ryan safely put their feet on the ground as the winds ceased.
“Fuck! Oh fucking-shhhhit!” Louis screamed in pain.
“Ffffffffuck!” he cried through clenched teeth. He rolled over in agony, clutching his left wrist. “I forgot how much physical pain hurts!”
Rainbow Dash zipped around the Nightmare, distracting it from attacking any of the humans recovering from the windstorm.
Jose grabbed Louis’s uninjured hand and lifted him up.
“Are you good?” Jose asked with concern.
“Ugh, yeah,” Louis clenched his right fist. “My left wrist is broken, and I’m left handed! I’m totally good!”
“You alright, Louis?” Ryan called as they regrouped.
“No, I can’t even jack off properly now!” Louis shifted his angry gaze to the Nightmare. “Let’s just kill this fucking thing, for god’s sake!”
The Nightmare burst forward in its cloud form, sending Rainbow Dash hurtling across the sky and through the roof of a two-story building.
Fluttershy fled, flying through the hole in the roof to Rainbow’s aid.
The Nightmare loomed over the human Elements, ready to strike them before they could focus quickly enough to use the elements again.
“Open fire!” Pinkie Pie screeched.
Before the Nightmare could cast its own spell, its focus was broken by a shrill voice.
Pinkie Pie and Applejack stood aboard a cart of apples, along with cupcakes and other deserts. They began hurling the apples and pastries at the Nightmare, causing it to chuckle audibly, but distracting it enough to where they could get Louis to safety.
The apples and cupcakes simply phased right through the Nightmare. It struck the two earth ponies with another bolt of magic, painfully throwing them both to the ground.
“Ugh,” Applejack groaned. “That probably weren’t the best idear’.”
“Fools!” The Nightmare thundered. “Do you think you can beat me that easily? You really think I’m just a pointless entity that is evil for no cause?”
The humans paid the Nightmare no mind, and grouped together. Their eyes began to glow again, getting brighter and brighter.
“You may have the potential to defeat me, but do you realize what I really am? What those who came before created me for?”
“I AM SIN!” the Nightmare boomed with a voice even louder than Patrick’s motorcycle.
The Nightmare encased Patrick in black magic, disrupting the Elements. Patrick struggled, but he wasn’t able to get out of the Nightmare’s grasp.
His vision darkened. He could hear the shouts of his friends, he knew he was still in Ponyville, that he was still alive but the Nightmare had shrouded him in its darkness.
And then, Patrick felt the familiar, agonizing presence of the Nightmare descend upon him. It seeped into Patrick’s mouth, eyes, ears, and nose, making its way into his mind again.
“Shit! Patrick!” Jose cried.
“Hey! What the fuck do we do?!” He screamed to Luna.
“I can’t help him!” Luna called back. “If we stop holding this, it’ll detonate!”
“You’re kidding me!” Jose replied. “So what can we do?”
“I don’t know!” Luna continued to hold the spell steady. “He’s on his own…”
Meanwhile, inside Patrick’s mind, there was calm. The Nightmare was not ripping his brains apart, or going through his memories. Patrick saw a room with a single table and chair. There was no entrance, and no exit. The walls, floors, and ceiling were all perfectly white.
Sitting at the table was a humanoid form dressed in an elegant black suit and a matching tie. Its skin was uniformly black, and it lacked any facial features to speak of, including a mouth. The only defining feature this being had was a pair of glowing turquoise eyes.
“Have a seat,” it spoke. Patrick simply stood there, studying the figure.
“Yes, I am the Nightmare. I’d kill you right now, Patrick, but you have the Element of Loyalty around your neck, so I can’t.”
Patrick looked down. Even in his mind, the red, glowing dog tags hanging from a golden chain still remained on his neck.
“Please, let’s chat. I think we may be able to settle this, between one life ruined by Celestia, to another.” Cautiously, Patrick stepped forward and sat in the chair. It was a generic, folding metal seat. The table was of modern design; a sheet of thick glass held up by four rectangular posts.
The Nightmare, in its current form, put its hands together in front of it and gently set them on the table, as if it were just doing a casual business deal.
Patrick crossed his arms, being wary of his surroundings. The Nightmare’s turquoise eyes blinked, looking as though they could stare right through him.
“You see Patrick,” the Nightmare explained. “Those who came before, the same entities responsible for creating Equestria after your people ruined this planet and became extinct, created me. They were gods in a sense; they created the first alicorns, and set the rules of the world as we know it today. The two alicorns that ruled Equestria have always been the light, metaphorically speaking, while I have always been the dark.”
“I accepted my role for this world. My purpose was to be the darkness that balanced the light. The alicorns purpose was to bring the day and night, and give a sense of devotion, love, and care to their subjects by controlling the sun and moon. Those who came before did not want the same thing that happened to your race to happen to Equestria, so they minimized the questioning and conflicts of authority by making magic so influential in our everyday lives. But once pony life began, they left us, never to be seen again. I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction? For each and every force, there is an equally opposing force?”
“I am that opposing force. You could say that I am comparable to the devil for Equestria, while Celestia is similar to your Jesus Christ. After all, she was martyred.”
Patrick rolled his eyes.
“Really though, I am the physical, yet spiritual, embodiment of sin for ponykind. Celestia felt her influence was more than mine, and ruled how she saw fit and against my wishes. All I want to do, Mr. Wilcox, is to release the world from the blanket of ignorance Celestia wrapped it in. I only wish to make this world a better place, by weeding out the weak and pursuing the knowledge she hid from us.”
“You know, there was a human who tried to do that same thing,” Patrick crossed his arms. “His name was Adolf Hitler. He’s widely considered to be the most evil human being that ever existed. He had good intentions, he tried to create a master race. But he did so by the genocide of millions who he considered weak, and sparked the greatest conflict humanity ever knew before the nuclear war that made us extinct. You’re exactly like that madman, and I’m not going to negotiate with the insane.”
“Then I’m afraid we’ve come to a stalemate, Patrick,” the Nightmare said. “However, you want to save humanity, and I want to recreate Equestria in their image.”
“I see that got your attention,” The Nightmare twiddled its thumbs.
“All you need to do is forsake your friends. You require all six Elements’ cooperation to defeat me. And if a single one doesn’t, then your elements are useless. Do this, and I will save humanity, prevent the nuclear war from occurring, and send you back to where you belong. I can give you your life back. I can even make you a rich and powerful man, Patrick. I can make you and give you whatever it is you desire in the human world.”
“You’re bluffing,” Patrick scoffed.
Immediately, an impossibly thin square popped into the room, floating to the Nightmare’s right.
On the square, images of a much younger Patrick with his mother and father lying together on a sandy beach appeared. Images of growing older, falling in love and marrying a beautiful brunette.
Patrick watched a young girl that greatly resembled Patrick ride on his back as they ran together around a backyard, while his spouse recorded them with a video camera.
Patrick contemplated this, breaking eye contact with the Nightmare.
“No mortal lives forever, Patrick,” the Nightmare persuaded. “And it’s my understanding that every human that ever existed isn’t going to be very happy to see you in the afterlife. So, choose wisely, Mr. Wilcox, what’s it going to be? The human race, or ponies?”
“Patrick!” Jose tried desperately to save Patrick as he levitated in the air. His body was lifelessly still, and the Nightmare had completely covered him in a black shroud of magic.
“Why won’t these fucking things work?” Spencer shook his dog tags violently, clinking them together. “Why can’t we use them to snap him out of it?”
“Because,” Jose said. “He doesn’t want to. He and the Nightmare must be talking to each other. And he’s listening to what it has to say.”
“Oh you gotta’ fucking kidding me!” Joe complained.
“And we need all six elements to stand together for them to work,” Jose finished explaining.
“We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”
After what felt like an eternity, the humans anxiously looked up at Patrick’s figure covered by the Nightmare. Finally, something happened.
There was a thundering crack, and the blackness that was enveloping Patrick was torn off of him in a crimson glow. It reformed into the Nightmare’s gaseous form, dizzily churning just above the ground.
Patrick’s eyes gleamed, giving off a deep red. His dog tags levitated a few inches from his chest and glowed as well.
“Fuck yeah, Patrick!” Spencer cheered. “Let’s kill that motherfucker!”
With no more interference and the Nightmare weakened by Patrick’s sheer loyalty, the rest of the Human Elements’ eyes lit up their respective colors, until their eyes all shined a scorching white that put even the sun to shame.
Patrick was levitated into the air with his friends, and all six shot forth a bolt of pure, white magic, fueled by the Elements of Harmony they wielded. Each streak of magic combined into one powerful thunderbolt, striking the Nightmare.
The Nightmare’s dark cloud swirled, becoming smaller and smaller, before it flashed a bright white and exploded into a thousand fragments of pure evil, and faded out of existence.
It was finally over. Patrick collapsed to the ground. The rest of them did the same, each suffering from a spell of exhaustion after using such a large amount of foreign magic.
Patrick lifted his head off the ground, looking around to see the aftermath. Ponyville looked as though it had been trashed by a frat party. Windows were broken, doors blown in, trails of debris scattered everywhere, while unconscious civilian ponies lay in the street.
“Jose?” Patrick rose to his knees and waddled forward to him, watching him slowly breathe in and out. He shook him awake. “You alright?’
“Yeah,” Jose opened his eyes. Patrick rose to his feet and helped Jose up.
“Thanks,” Jose smiled. “I… I think we did it.”
“Ugh,” Joe sat up. “My head.”
“You’re telling me,” Ryan commented.
“At least you don’t have a migraine and a broken wrist,” Louis coddled his left arm, keeping it bent at the elbow.
“Shit, how much did I drink last ni -“ Spencer opened his eyes and looked around. “Oh, yeah, ponies in the future. So, did we win?”
Jose looked towards Luna, Rarity, and Twilight. He expected them to be filled with joy, but instead, they continued to hold back the timer the Nightmare had put on the warheads. Luna wore a panicked expression, and Twilight and Rarity exchanged nervous glances.
Louis and Spencer helped Applejack and Pinkie Pie up. They suffered a few burns and bruises, but were otherwise fine.
Fluttershy lowered Rainbow Dash onto the ground, the handle of a first aid kit in her mouth. Rainbow Dash had a bandage wrapped around one of her legs and her back, but she still smiled happily knowing that the Nightmare had been defeated.
Patrick flashed her a thumbs up, and then turned to see Jose speaking to Luna, her horn still glowing.
“Hey!” Patrick jogged over to them. “We did it! We killed the Nightmare, it’s finally over! …Why are you three so bummed out?”
The rest of the gang followed, while civilian ponies began to come-to, looking on curiously from their hiding places. Patrick noticed their stares, but dismissed it. They could be told the good news later, this required his immediate attention.
“I don’t quite know how to say this,” Luna looked to the floor.
“We’re not strong enough to stop the countdown,” Twilight blurted out.
“But, we just destroyed the Nightmare!” Patrick gaped in disbelief. “What do you mean you’re not strong enough?"
“The countdown is up. We can delay the blast, but not forever. The Nightmare cast a very strong spell over those things, and alicorn magic is only able to negate the Nightmare’s spells when both are present. I didn’t really plan for doing this part without Celestia, only for the destruction of the Nightmare.”
“Does anyone here know how to defuse a nuclear bomb?” Spencer looked around questioningly.
“No? Well, we’re fucked then.”
“…Not quite,” Luna looked at each of the humans necks. “The Elements… they weren’t destroyed.”
Patrick looked down. The element of loyalty still hung around his neck.
“So, what does that mean?” Jose clinked his dog tags together.
“The moment we stop holding it off, it will explode,” Luna explained. “It’s a little risky, and a little unorthodox, but if you used the Elements to hold off the explosion for a little longer, perhaps…”
Luna rubbed her chin in thought.
“No, that’s mad. That would never work.”
“What?” Twilight said, finding it hard to keep feeding magic into Luna’s spell.
“We can’t last much longer, Princess,” Rarity protested. “Tell us, what’s your idea?”
“Well,” Luna sighed. “There’s a good part, and a bad part.”
“What’s the bad part?” Louis continued to cradle his wrist.
“All six of you die.”
The six humans exchanged surprised glances.
“Oh,” Joe scratched the back of his head. “What’s the good part?”
“I can gather a large amount of unicorns, and we could cast a confining spell over this small area. Then, you let the weapon detonate while we confine the blast under a magic field, killing you all in the process, but saving Canterlot and Ponyville from total obliteration, and Equestria from the radiation.”
“Hey, yeah!” Twilight exclaimed. “Princess, you’re a genius!”
“…Yeah,” Spencer griped. “That sounds like an awesome plan.”
“Oh,” Twilight deflated. “Sorry, I didn’t really think about the part where… Yeah.”
The six humans were quiet for a few moments, until Louis broke the silence.
“Ah, fuck it!” Louis spoke up. “I’ve been dead for thousands of years, and I’ll die again some day. I’m in.”
“Me, too,” Ryan raised his hand. “I think it’s time to go back to where we belong.”
“I’m just a dead person in a dead person’s body,” Joe shrugged.
“There’s no alcohol here, anyway,” Spencer stated. “That’s reason enough to kill myself.”
Jose nodded to his comrades, when all five looked at Patrick.
“So,” Jose looked him in the eye. “All six of the Elements need to cooperate for this to work. Are you with us?”
Patrick’s knees began to shake at the thought of death.
“Uh,” Patrick stammered. “I…”
“Hey,” Jose put his hand on Patrick’s shoulder. “It’s really not that bad. I know it probably sounds frightening, death being so unknown to you.”
Patrick nodded to acknowledge him.
“But if we don’t, then millions, even billions, are going to die.”
“Besides,” Joe added. “We’ll be right there with you, Pat. To the end.”
“Please, Patrick,” Rarity pouted sticking her lower lip out.
“This is our home,” Pinkie Pie looked up at him with puppy-dog eyes.
“We’re begging you, Patrick,” Fluttershy pleaded.
“Mah’ farm is all mah’ family’s got left,” Applejack took her hat off. “But Ah’ know y’all’d be payin’ the ultimate price.”
“Patrick,” Twilight, still assiting Luna, looked over to him. “After seeing all the sacrifices you’ve made, I…” The small unicorn stammered.
“I forgive you for killing Celestia. I know you wouldn’t have done it if you knew her true intentions all along.“
“Really?” Patrick said, surprised. “You really mean that, when I executed her right in front of you?”
“Yes,” Twilight nodded. “You’re very brave, and very strong to have been able to bear all this pressure. I don’t blame you for any of it. After all,” Twilight smiled.
“You’re only human.”
Patrick felt as if a weight had dropped off his shoulders, hearing that come from Twilight.
“Ah’ would have cracked a long time ago,” Applejack patted him on the shoulder. “Ya’ get a heapin’ of credit in mah’ book just for pressin’ on, in my book.”
“You’re not a bad person, Patrick,” Rainbow Dash said. “And you’re probably the most awesome human I’ve ever meet.”
“You’ve only met six,” Patrick replied.
“Still the most awesome, by far. Since you appreciate speed almost as much as me.”
“I think the APD could say Patrick appreciates speed a lot more that you do,” Jose put his arm around Patrick.
Patrick let out a small chuckle.
Even his heart, chilled by the horrors of war and so much suffering in his life, wasn’t untouched by their pleas.
“Okay,” Patrick sighed. “I’ll do it.”
“Thank you, Patrick,” Luna murmured softly.
Patrick, Jose, Louis, Joe, Ryan, and Spencer all readied themselves to transfer control of Luna’s spell while she and the former Elements would go recruit as many unicorns as they could for their task.
“It was nice meeting you,” Ryan smiled sheepishly as he gave Fluttershy a goodbye.
“And you,” Fluttershy smiled as she rose into the air. “Good luck!”
“Sorry we all can’t stay longer,” Joe said to Rarity. “Duty calls.”
“It’s understandable, darling,” Rarity shook his hand for the last time.
“Party on,” Spencer looked down at Pinkie.
“I really wish you could make it to the totally super fun-tastic the-world-didn’t-end party we’re going to be having after this,” Pinkie Pie frowned, but then she perked right back up. “Ooh! Can you come back as a ghost and come to it? I have a bed sheet you could wear! Wait, can you come back on Nightmare Night? I have this prank I really want to do and I need a real ghost for it because-”
“-So, who else feels ready to die? Anyone?”
“You did a good thing,” Jose knelt down to Twilight’s eye level. “I’m sure it wasn’t easy to forgive Patrick.”
“I’m sure you think it’s probably just because I want to save Equestria,” Twilight remarked. “But I truly meant what I said.”
“Then she taught you well,” Jose gave her a small hug. “Take care, it was great meeting you.”
“Why do I feel like I already know you from somewhere?” Twilight asked Jose.
“Because,” he stood up. “Friendship is magic.”
“Well, I guess this is it,” Rainbow Dash flew at Patrick’s eye level. “I know we probably drove you crazy, but I hope you won’t forget us, or me.”
“I won’t. Believe me, I won’t,” Patrick smiled.
“And one more thing,” she beat her wings, ready to take off just before whispering in Patrick’s ear.
“Thanks for saving our world, dude.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Patrick replied sarcastically. “The way I see it, I was going to die anyway. Might as well do something good before that.”
Patrick fist bumped her hoof, and she shot off into the sky.
Using the elements once more, the six humans took control over holding the blast at bay and released Luna, Twilight, and Rarity from tending to it. The strain varied from that of riding a bicycle to pushing a car up a hill.
For more than 12 hours, the human elements kept the Nightmare’s doomsday device from detonating. Gradually, a mixture of recruited civilian and Royal Guard unicorns began showing up, led to the scene by Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, and Rarity or teleported by Luna and Twilight.
Luna refrained from raising the moon, only this once, as daytime hours would make the operation run much more smoothly.
The humans, their eyes lit with the color of their element, formed a circle around the stockpile of the Nightmare’s nukes. The moment they’d cease using the Elements, they would be vaporized.
Finally, there were enough competent spell-casting unicorns to complete the spell. Shoulder to shoulder, hundreds of unicorn mares and stallions, young and old alike, formed a ring around the humans in the center of Ponyville. When Luna gave the signal, all of their horns began to glow.
A transparent umbrella of magic gradually crept from the ground up, forming a protective dome to protect the outside world. It was much like a larger scale of the magic bubble Luna had cast around her, Twilight, and Rarity earlier. But in this case, it was meant to protect everything outside of it.
Once the confining spell was complete, it was time.
Patrick’s heart began to pound, instinctively becoming afraid of death. His mind raced around a million questions. Was it going to be nothing like he thought it was? Did every human being that ever existed still have it out for him? Humans were now going to be completely extinct, was there really no more hope for humanity?
But then, he found himself accepting it. He’d faced death quite a few times since he fell to Equestria, but this was the only time he was able to choose when. It was finally time to have some rest from all the problems that plagued him for so long. To finally get away from all the drama. To get away from all the flashbacks, and finally start living in the present. As ironic as it was, in order to start enjoying life again, Patrick chose to die.
He took one last look around at the ponies that surrounded him, to remind himself why he was doing this. They were innocent. If giving his life would spare them from humanity’s fate, if he could save an entire race by taking his last breath, then there was no more important purpose for Patrick’s very existence. This was his purpose, this was his destiny. His job was over, and now it was time to go.
He caught one last glimpse of the six ponies that saved his life all standing next to each other. Patrick waved, and then turned his eyes forward.
“It’s gonna’ be a good day,” Jose assured Patrick.
They dropped the spell that froze the nuclear warheads mere feet from them.
“I can feel it.”
The most brilliant flash of light engulfed Patrick.
He felt his skin, his muscles, his internal organs, his skeleton, all burn away instantly, and then there was nothing left of him.
There was a high-pitched whine as the light continued to blind him. At first, it was incredibly bright. But then it got dark.