If you haven’t seen my pledge to three reviewers in the comments section below then I shall say it here. If you’ve been wanting a good Kingdom Hearts/MLP crossover fic where it’s not just Heartless attack, Sora and crew come to mop up, Keyhole gets sealed, and everybody leaves happy…don’t come here. Everypony can still be happy at the end of the Equestria world and all, but I get characters off of their butts and out of their worlds to help save the damn universe and fight the bad guys. My Sora and Kairi eviscerate the concept of World Order. If you want them to stay in Equestria, go somewhere else. Otherwise, pack your bags, hold onto your hats and prepare for Kingdom Hearts and My Little Pony, SHIRE FOLK STYLE!
Disclaimer: I’ll take “Things I Don’t Own” for $400. What are Kingdom Hearts and My Little Pony? Captain Cloudhammer is also property of Cloudhammer.
Ponyville woke sleepily in the sun’s morning rays as it always did. The light washed the town in its warm glow, reflecting brightly off the walls of the inhabitants’ homes and filtering golden light through the many hay-thatched roofs. Robins, jays, chickadees, and other birds sang their songs in the dawn’s light, greeting those waking ponies with their morning music.
One such pony, a young unicorn mare with a pale mulberry coat and purple mane with a pink highlight running through it, rubbed sleep from her eyes with her hooves as she sat up in her bed. She yawned loudly, stretching out her forelegs, and turned to look out the open doors to one of the balconies in her home. The sun’s warming rays greeted Twilight Sparkle with a touch she always felt was semi-personal. It was Princess Celestia who raised and set the sun every morning and evening, and Twilight Sparkle always took personal pride in being the Sun Princess’ hoof-chosen apprentice. Every morning it felt as if Princess Celestia were raising the sun just for her, her star pupil, even though Twilight knew that it was one of her royal duties and it was for all little ponies.
Twilight threw the covers off of her bed and got onto her hooves so that she could stride out onto the balcony and soak in the sunlight. The leaves that grew from the branches of her home—a library on the inside of a hollow, yet still very much alive, tree—rustled slightly in a breeze and shone like emeralds with their dew still clinging to them. Twilight sighed and smiled, turning around again to return to the inside of the second floor loft she and Spike shared as their bedroom in the library.
The lavender unicorn laughed quietly under her breath as she looked down at Spike’s sleeping form. The baby dragon was still in a deep sleep under his blankets, and Peewee, the phoenix hatchling, was snuggled up against his lilac-scaled cheek close to his rounded green spines. She considered waking up her number one assistant, but thought better of it. He and Peewee had been up late playing last night; and Spike even later scrubbing the soot off the floor when Peewee accidentally enveloped himself in fire.
“I’ll let them sleep a bit longer,” Twilight whispered to herself, trotting towards the stairs. She had thought that she had it bad when Spike hatched for her after she’d unleashed a strong surge of raw magic when she was just a little filly being tested to enter Princess Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns, but Spike was just a baby dragon taking care of a baby phoenix! Twilight had accidentally turned her parents into potted plants in her uncontrolled burst of magic and grown Spike from hatchling straight to a hundred-hoof tall dragon! It was that event, though, that had sparked the Princess’ interest in her, and being made Celestia’s personal protégé as well as her cutie mark of a sparkling pink and purple star appearing on her flank was still one of her happiest memories; and she was sure that Spike would remember standing up to that gang of teenage dragons during the Great Dragon Migration in order to protect Peewee’s egg for the rest of his, hopefully, very long life.
She was in the middle of making haycakes, levitating a spatula in a magenta cloud, when she heard Spike’s footsteps on the floorboards above her. Peewee was chirping and Spike was talking, but Twilight couldn’t quite make out the words until he called loudly through the house for her. She couldn’t help but laugh a little. “I’m in the kitchen Spike,” she shouted in reply, simultaneously flipping the cakes in the frying pan. Twenty seconds later the baby dragon entered the room with Peewee flying close to his shoulder. Twilight and her friend Fluttershy were still amazed by the baby phoenix. At a mere two weeks old the little bird’s wings were already strong enough to let it fly. The phoenix hatchling settled itself down on a perch they’d gotten for him.
“Aw, why didn’t you wake me Twilight?” Spike asked while the unicorn grabbed the haycakes with her magic. “You know that cooking is one of my chores.”
Twilight giggled at the annoyed look on his face. “I know that Spike,” she answered, setting the haycakes down on two plates she’d also picked up before setting them down on the table. “But you’ve been so busy with Peewee lately that I thought I’d let you sleep in a little. Besides, you both looked so cute that Princess Celestia would make it a crime to wake you.”
“Now Twilight,” Spike argued even as he filled Peewee’s bowls with water and lily petals with grasshopper legs, “how am I supposed to be your number one assistant if you won’t let me do my job?”
“Oh Spike,” Twilight countered patiently, pulling her chair back with more magic from her glowing horn, “you’re still my number one assistant, but you have more chores than just cleaning, cooking, organizing the library, and helping in my studies and research now; you have Peewee to take care of, and that’s a big responsibility.”
“It’s okay Twilight, I can handle it.” Spike ran one of his claws down Peewee’s head, getting a pleased croon out of the phoenix before the magical bird dug into its breakfast.
“Even so,” Twilight said kindly, “I want to give you a helping hoof whenever I can too Spike. We’re family; and Owloycious too.” As if hearing his name, there came a faint “hoo” from outside in the tree’s canopy. Twilight couldn’t help but giggle a little and Spike sat down at the table across from Twilight.
“But I’m still your number one assistant, right?”
“Don’t worry Spike,” Twilight assured him, “nopony could ever take your place there.” Spike picked up a fork with a smile on his face.
“Then all is right with the world,” he said, sticking the fork into a haycake.
Princess Celestia’s hooves descended with purpose onto the lawns of the Canterlot Castle gardens, her younger sister just behind her. Luna was tired after the previous night’s events, but she refused to acknowledge it and get some sleep until the two alicorns had come up with some sort of explanation for what had occurred.
“They just disappeared?” Celestia asked.
“Yes,” Luna answered, watching as a white Pegasus Guard flew overhead. The Royal Guards had run into ten other creatures in the city, and had dispatched them without much difficulty, but all of the ponies who had encountered them reported that the creatures did unnerve them to some degree. “Instead of leaving a body behind or some type of substance, they just turned into wisps of smoke and faded away. I cast a detection spell in the area after I’d seen to two of the students, but they hadn’t left any trace of their presence in the area that my magic could detect. Celestia, it doesn’t make any sense.”
Princess Celestia frowned as she continued on towards the sculpture garden. “No, it doesn’t make sense, and that’s what I’m afraid of.” Luna looked around, recognized where they were going, and issued a slight gasp.
“You don’t think?”
“I sincerely hope not, dear sister,” Celestia told her anxiously. “Discord should still be locked away since the Elements of Harmony imprisoned him once again, but I’m not taking any chances. If this is somehow Discord’s work, we need to make sure so that we can act accordingly.”
“But what if it is?” Luna asked worriedly. “We’d imprisoned Discord for nearly three and a half thousand years before he broke out five months ago. If the seal the Elements placed on him has already weakened…Twilight Sparkle and her friends worked so hard to return harmony to Equestria.”
“I know Luna,” Celestia sighed, stopping and looking up at one particular marble statue on a pedestal. It was of a creature few had ever seen the like of before. A mad scientist’s experiments at cross-breeding could hardly create a stranger creature, or a child’s imagination for that matter. A bipedal winged animal that was a cross between pony, dragon, bat, ram, deer, and gryphon just to name a few of its odd limbs. Chaotic was the closest possible definition of the creature, and Celestia and Luna both feared it. “However, I cannot think of another explanation. If something has happened to Discord’s seal, we must know and assemble the Elements of Harmony at once.”
Her horn glowed with soft pink light as the Sun Princess cast a powerful detection spell. The same glow enveloped the stone Discord had been turned into, and Celestia probed every aspect of it. Tiny fluctuations appeared in the light as the princess turned her attention towards one spot and then another, or changed the definition of her detection spell and searched for different methods the spirit of chaos and disharmony could have used to circumvent the spell that kept him imprisoned. He’d been able to escape once after the Elements of Harmony had changed hooves from the princesses to Celestia’s pupil and her five friends just because nearby ponies got into a heated argument; surely he’d had plenty of time to examine his prison and come up with ways to attempt to break free in his thousands of years imprisoned.
Finally, though, Celestia lowered her horn and ceased the casting of her spell. “Celly?” Luna asked cautiously. It was a sign of how close the two alicorns really were to one another when the older sibling dropped onto her knees and gave her junior a defeated look. Celestia would never appear so distraught or weak in front of anypony else.
“The seal is perfect,” she said, shaking her head. “Discord is not responsible for the appearance of these creatures, and I can think of no other explanation for them to even exist.”
Luna placed her muzzle against her sister’s white cheek. The last time she had seen the white alicorn so emotional was when the two had reunited after the Elements had set her free from being Nightmare Moon. “Celly, I’m worried too,” she said, “but I do not believe we have the time or luxury to be as lost as we are now. We may not have the answers, but we do know what we must do, don’t we?”
Princess Celestia inhaled deeply and exhaled slowly. She opened her eyes, her multi-hued mane flowing in a non-existent breeze as it always did. “Thank you, Luna. You’re right. We may not know what these creatures are or where they come from, but they are posing a very real danger to the ponies of Equestria.” She stood up and extended her wings. The larger alicorn turned her head and gave her younger sister a faint smile. “Come, Luna. We must mobilize the guard.” Princess Luna nodded her head, and the two royal alicorns took off.
In just under an hour, the most prominent officers of the Pegasus Royal Guards and Unicorn Royal Guards (collectively forming the entirety of the corps) had assembled in the audience chamber of Canterlot Castle, giving a large table that had been brought in a noticeable berth. With them stood three unicorns who were not wearing the brightly polished golden armour of the Royal Guards. Two of them were Starshine and Moondancer, each with bandages on their bodies where they’d been scratched by the creatures the previous night, and the third was a weathered unicorn with a mauve coat and sharp green eyes. His mane was short and white, and growing from his chin hung a snowy beard, but his tail was long and swept almost to the ground; a golden stripe ran through the left side of his tail. On the unicorn’s flank was his cutie mark, that of a wide, upwards-pointing golden crescent with a golden circle in the space between the two points. He was the headpony of Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns, and the leader of the most powerful unicorn spell-users in Equestria. Some even said that he was as strong in magic as the legendary Star Swirl the Bearded or Marelin. Both students who were close to him seemed at the same time to be trying to distance themselves from the much older stallion, but it appeared as though it was mostly due to them being in awe of their headpony.
Princess Celestia nodded approvingly of Coltinster’s presence. She had requested personally for him to attend, and was glad that the old pony had been able to make it. She and Luna had been unable to come up with an explanation for the creatures, but if they worked in concert with the school then Celestia was certain that they’d be able to find an answer to their problems.
Celestia began to cast a spell, her horn suddenly glowing with yellow light. The act alone attracted the attention of most of the ponies in the room, but the booming sound of the doors slamming closed and the gentle whoosh of curtains being drawn over the windows managed to gather the others’ gazes to her and Luna.
“Please everypony, take a spot at the table,” she said, now descending from her throne to take her place at the table’s head. The Royal Guard officers and Coltinster and his two students all approached the table so that all could look equally at Celestia and Luna while also being able to observe the map of Equestria that had been placed upon the table. The Sun Princess waited a moment before withdrawing a little. “Luna, would you like to begin?”
“Certainly, Celestia,” said the younger alicorn. She looked up at the ponies assembled at the table. “As many of you have heard the report from Captain Crimson Horn and your juniors, last night these two unicorns were assaulted by dark creatures in the Canterlot gardens.” There was a nodding of heads and Coltinster looked at his two charges with questioning eyes, to which they both nodded quickly. “Later we discovered ten others of this same type of creature in various places within the city.” Her horn glowed with midnight blue light and a burst of magic summoned a translucent image on the tabletop. Several ponies gasped as they stared at the creature with its jet black hide and piercing yellow eyes, and Coltinster eyed it curiously.
Luna waited for only a few seconds before capturing their attention again. “Currently, we have no idea what these creatures are or where they come from, but we can only assume that their intentions are hostile from their previous actions. What we do know, however, is that their bodies can become as two-dimensional as a shadow on the ground, emerge as fully three-dimensional creatures from their shadow, and that when they are defeated they simply…disappear in smoke.”
Eyes shifted towards Moondancer and Starshine, and then back to the princesses. A round of muttering began, and was soon silenced as Princess Celestia spoke up. “Luna and I have both examined the area in the gardens where the creatures appeared, and the statue of Discord.” Absolute silenced reined as the name of the spirit of chaos was mentioned. “We have been unable to detect any trace of the creatures’ presence where they appeared, and the seal on Discord has not been tampered with or weakened in any way. Whatever we are dealing with, it is not connected to him.”
Another round of muttering began, and Celestia and Luna let it continue for a minute, sharing a look with one another, before Celestia spoke up again. Quiet recommenced as she spoke. “Therefore, we must take immediate action in order to safeguard everypony from these creatures. Princess Luna and I task the Pegasus Royal Guard to form teams to bring word of these creatures to every city, town, and village in Equestria. Everypony must be warned and made aware of this threat so that they may take appropriate steps to protect themselves. Therefore, Luna will give each team a letter providing them with all details we currently know about these creatures and our recommendations on ways to prevent personal harm; the letter will also empower each team with the authority to take any reasonable measures to ensure public safety should these creatures appear in their location. Captain Cloudhammer will organize these teams. Furthermore, I ask for the Unicorn Royal Guard’s full cooperation and assistance with the Pegasus Royal Guard’s operations. The floor is now open for discussion on this pressing issue. Captain Cloudhammer, Captain Thunderspark, Coltinster of the School of Gifted Unicorns, please come with me; Moondancer, Starshine, you may accompany us as well.”
Princess Celestia turned away from the table just as firestorm of voices erupted from around it. She tuned out the voices of each pony trying to get a word in edgewise and stopped at her sister’s side. “Try to keep them civil will you?”
Luna half-smiled at her. “When is the Guard ever civil behind closed doors about anything that gets them worked up?” Sighing in resignation beneath the cacophony of voices, the strongest belonging to General Arrow of the Pegasus Royal Guard and Major Bright Flare of the Unicorn Royal Guard, Celestia motioned to the ponies she’d named and walked towards a door set behind her throne. An aging white pegasus stallion followed loyally next to an ash unicorn mare. Coltinster and the two students were only a hoof or two behind.
Once the door had closed behind them, Celestia silently led the five ponies through the corridor to a small antechamber, furnished to be a lounge of sorts for the Princess when she needed to take a break from holding court during the day. She sealed the door behind them with her magic, and released a pent-up sigh she’d been keeping in. “Thank you for coming. Captain Cloudhammer, Captain Thunderspark, there is another task I have for you.”
“Anything you ask, Princess,” replied the aging white pegasus, immediately followed by the unicorn nodding silently. Celestia smiled at them both.
“Captain Thunderspark, I need you to assign a Unicorn Guard that will go with each of Captain Cloudhammer’s pegasi teams. Luna’s report is as accurate as can be given the limited contact we have had with these creatures. Unicorn magic and its versatility appear to be the most effective weapon against them at this time. I also task you to divide the remaining Unicorn Guards into teams that will scour and patrol Equestria on hoof. If your superiors are as they were when I promoted them, then they should be able to coordinate with aerial surveillance from the Pegasus Guards.”
“It will be done, Princess,” the ash-coloured mare answered, nodding her head again.
“In addition,” continued Celestia as she turned back to the pegasus, “once your teams have been organized, Captain Cloudhammer, I would like you to assemble another team and a chariot large enough for six ponies. Bring the Bearers of the Elements of Harmony, and the dragon Spike, here to Canterlot. Luna and I will explain the situation to them personally.”
“The Elements?” asked Starshine, the student finally getting the courage to utter a syllable in the presence of the Princess.
“But why would Twilight Sparkle need to come here?” wondered Moondancer.
“Don’t you see?” Captain Thunderspark asked them. “Equestria’s never encountered anything like this before. Princess Celestia isn’t going to take any chances.”
Captain Cloudhammer nodded once more and dipped into a slight bow. “As you command.” The Sun Princess nodded her head and turned towards the other unicorn in the room.
“Coltinster, what are your thoughts on all of this?”
The bearded unicorn smiled mysteriously at the princess. “I think that the appearance of these creatures signify that Equestria sits on the verge of a monumental and pivotal occurrence in its history,” he said whimsically. “Think on it for a moment everypony. Creatures that have not once been seen in memory of our dear Celestia, who has lived the lifetimes of many, many ponies, are now suddenly popping up out of the shadows and vanishing just as quickly into them. There is no precedent for their like, and we have not even a body to examine in order to understand just what they are. Creatures of this kind cannot possibly be natural in occurrence; else we would have seen something like them before, and certainly if they are appearing in the middle of Canterlot itself. No my friends, what we are dealing with is something beyond the current comprehension of ponies, for it is not in the natural order of life.”
“Headpony Coltinster, what do you know?” Starshine questioned, awed out of his mind.
“Know? Know!? I know much more than you colt! I’ve lived these last fifty winters knowing more than you and learning more with each passing day. In the last sentence you spoke I’ve already learned something new, even, that you are like those young ponies that are so impressionable and awed whenever some old ass like me makes a profound statement. What do I know indeed!” He coughed, quite tickled at the looks on Starshine, Moondancer, and the two captains’ faces. Celestia quietly giggled to herself. He had said that he had lived fifty winters on several separate occasions in her presence, one eight years ago, another twenty, and even another over fifty years prior.
Coltinster continued. “Now, what I know about these…erm, ‘Shadows’, I suppose we can call them, is very little. However, what I have said is just what I have thought, as Princess Celestia asked for. I believe that these Shadows are not from Equestria, and are as unrelated to the animals of Equestria as dragons are to dragonflies.”
“I agree,” Princess Celestia told him. “However, as you have stated, I have lived a long life and my memory is not the clearest thing at times. I cannot recall having seen creatures like this before, but that does not mean that they have not appeared in Equestria’s history before. It is possible that a pony may have come across these creatures before, in the time of Discord or while exploring on their own. My sister and I cannot be all places at once, nor can we see all that occurs in our realm. Therefore, I ask for the School of Gifted Unicorns to search the Archives for any clue we may find within to solve the riddle of these…‘Shadows’.”
Coltinster bowed. “As you say, Your Highness.” He turned sharply towards his two students. “Well? What are you waiting for? The Princess gave a royal command. Get those hooves in motion and move!” Startled out of their wits, the two students cantered off, completely ignoring their sore and healing muscle tissue after the scratches the Shadows had given them. Coltinster turned back to Princess Celestia. “If you’ll excuse me, Princess Celestia, I have a faculty to inform that all their classes and experiments are to be halted by your command. It’s a good thing too; Hoofer was trying to propose the building of a machine that would drain ponies of their pigmentation to create rainbows. The old coot’s a raving lunatic I tell you, pity that he’s a genius too.” Coltinster’s mauve horn glowed white, and with a flash he had teleported away.
Captain Thunderspark chuckled as soon as he was gone. “We should hire him to train new recruits. He’d sure whip them into shape faster than old Blue Moon can.” Celestia could not withhold her grin.
“By your leave, Princess Celestia,” Captain Cloudhammer then said, “Thunderspark and I need to get started on assembling our teams. I’ll return as soon as I can with the Bearers.” He and Thunderspark saluted smartly before leaving the room.
Now alone, Princess Celestia sighed once more and slowly placed one hoof in front of the other. She was dreading returning to the throne room. Captains Cloudhammer and Thunderspark she had known longer than any of their superiors, and trusted that if they’d just accept the promotions she kept offering every year that they wouldn’t have let the power of their new positions turn them into blustering foals concerned more about escaping the desks they flew to play golf than about matters important to the Royal Guards. Although, when the reputation of the corps was at risk or Equestria in a crisis, they all certainly shaped up and reminded her just why she had promoted them in the first place. Over half of the Wonderbolts had been members of the Pegasus Royal Guard, after all.
Celestia’s body stiffened instantly as she felt the magical energy roll against her as soon as the back door opened. She had only to gallop a full two lengths of her body to bear witness to what was causing the disturbance. The scene in the throne room that awaited her was not the one Celestia had expected at all. Instead of abrasive voices or enthused impromptu speeches or arguments, everypony was standing in anxious silence in front of a swirling mass of blue and black cloud. Lightning skittered amidst the cloud, sparking every so often with a crackle that raised the hairs of manes and tails across the room.
Luna turned her head and spotted her sister. “Celestia! It appeared from out of thin air. It gave no warning to its appearance, and—” Celestia frowned the same moment her sister stopped speaking. The cloud began surging with energy; the sheer wind being expelled and blown around the room could attest to the agitation in the air. It pulsed with light, and Celestia’s horn quickly illuminated with soft pink light as she cast a detection spell.
Something was coming out.
Far away from Equestria, a tall humanoid mouse was laughing at three figures that were staring at him with stunned expressions. One of these three was a white-feathered duck, another was a dog-man, and a third another black-furred mouse, except this second one stood only about the height of the duck at barely over two feet. The duck was dressed in a blue jacket and hat that resembled a beret, the dog in a green turtleneck, black vest, yellow pants, orange hat and white gloves with goggles over his forehead; and the smaller mouse was garbed in a jacket of two colours, red on the lower half and black on the upper, red pants with yellow pouches on the front, and yellow shoes. The tallest mouse was in an outfit similar to the smaller mouse, though his jacket was gold and orange, and his pants were a pale, sandy yellow.
“Ha-Cha-Cha,” laughed the tallest rodent, twirling a purple device in his right hand. “Looks like none of those bozos are gonna be messin’ with us for a while now.” The mouse stopped twirling the device in his hand and blew at a rod that was sticking out from a concave piece of metal, dispersing the smoke that came out of the rod’s bulb. A faint ping sounded from the rear of the device, and the mouse smiled pleasantly and opened up a compartment. He withdrew a steaming muffin in his hand and bit into it. “Mm. Taste that Mick? It’s the sweet, sweet taste of my victory. Ha-Cha-Cha!”
“What did you do to them Mortimer?” the smaller mouse growled, flexing his white-gloved right hand. White light flashed into existence around it, and suddenly the mouse was gripping a dark-coloured handle surrounded on four sides by a silver guard. Extending on one end of the guard was the blade of a sword-like weapon, though it was a cylindrical rod made of gold. Where the blade left the hilt was a band of red and at the other end a block of gold extended out, the shape of a three-pointed crown apparently cut out like a cookie-cutter had been put into the metal. Overall, the weapon was in the shape of a giant skeleton key, and extending from the opposite end of the hilt was a chain of golden links, ending in a golden three-circled mouse head.
‘Mortimer’ grinned and kept his questioner waiting a moment as he chewed on his muffin. He opened his mouth and spoke, the dog, duck, and smaller mouse able to see partially chewed food escaping off his tongue. “I just sent ‘em someplace else where they can’t interfere with the boss’ plans,” he replied, “and good luck finding them, Your Majesty.”
“Where are they?” demanded the duck, anger making the white feathers near his eyes turn red as his blood boiled.
Mortimer laughed. “That’s the beauty of this little beauty; I have no idea where it took ‘em! But you can bet that wherever they are, it’s plenty far from here!” The smaller mouse lunged forward, his overlarge skeleton key swinging out in front of him, but Mortimer jumped back and looked out the window he was standing near to. It was a long way down.
“Gosh Mickey, I’d love to stay and get my tail kicked by you three ninnies,” he said, turning back to them, “but I’ve got bigger and better things to be doing.” A pool of darkness suddenly appeared beneath the mouse, and a surging mass of black, dark blue, and purple enveloped him. A moment later, the swirling hole of darkness shot back into the ground and vanished in wisps.
“Get back here!” the duck roared, shaking his fist at the empty space where Mortimer had stood only seconds before.
“He’s gone, Donald,” the dog said regretfully. Donald tapped his foot repeatedly in frustration and folded his arms over one another.
“What do we do now, Your Majesty?” the dog asked, turning towards the small mouse. Mickey suppressed a sigh and turned towards Donald and Goofy, his Court Magician and Captain of his Knights. The King’s Keyblade vanished from his hand in a shimmer of light.
“Welp, much though I don’t like it, Mortimer’s right. We can’t do much right now besides look for them. Rei’s the only one who knows who the Keepers are, and if we can’t find them all, or if the Horned King finds them first, I don’t even want to imagine what’s going to happen to the worlds. Donald, when we get back to the ship, you might want to tell Daisy you’re going to miss that date of yours.”
The duck groaned. “I’d rather fight Xehanort’s Heartless again than tell Daisy that,” he muttered under his breath.
Sorry everypony. No Sora this chapter, but we did get a minor villain, a major villain, a couple of cameo appearances, and hey, look! Mickey, Donald, and Goofy!