Celestia's sun hung low on the horizon, creating a dull orange glow that stretched throughout the forest. Twilight and her friends had just realized that they were lost. Being chased through the Everfree by Discord had thrown the group completely off course. Luckily Fluttershy knew the way back.
"So we passed this mountain and that group of trees..." Twilight pointed at a map she had drawn in the dirt, Fluttershy looked at it as well.
"Uh, Fluttershy?" A voice called out behind the two. Fluttershy turned to see Rainbow Dash.
"Yes Rainbow Dash?" She asked politely.
Dash was nervous for some reason. "Not that I'm trying to anger you or anything..." She shook her head trying to form a correct sentence. "But did you really have to bring it along?"
Fluttershy didn't understand. "It?"
"That creature!" She pointed.
Fluttershy looked at the Timberwolf lying beside her. It was the same one that she had punched, after she had comforted it and healed its bruise it hadn't left the group and wouldn't leave her alone.
"It's not my fault he likes me." She gave it an affectionate head rub.
"Uh, we have a problem." Twilight announced. Everyone quickly surrounded Twilight and the map.
"What is it sugercube?" Applejack asked cautiously.
"Well, unfortunately by my calculations we won't reach Ponyville until late at night."
She knew that no one would like what she said next.
"I think we should rest for the night."
"WHAT?!" Everyone shouted.
"Stay here for the night and let Discord do Chrysalis knows what?!" Mirror Edge asked.
"I don't like it any more than any of you do but we have to rest." Twilight explained. "The sun is already low in the sky and we're all exhausted from running from those monsters."
The Timberwolf whimpered at the memory.
"If we keep going then we'll be so tired that we won't stand a chance." She concluded.
Everyone looked at each other, as much as they wanted to dissuade Twilight from this idea there was truth in her words.
"We'll leave right in the morning."
Discord stumbled around; rubbing his head in pain.
"What's wrong Discord?" Celestia smirked, watching him from inside the dome. "Another ice cream headache?"
He glared at her. "I don't know what's happened while I was turned back to stone but these aren't the Ponies I knew."
"They have gotten stronger Discord." Luna explained. "In strength and friendship."
He groaned again. "Gag me with a spoon why don't you?"
He paced the ground, very specifically avoiding eye contact with his captives.
They're in the Everfree forest. He thought. what can you use to get rid of them in their?
He thought and slowly a grin grew on his face. With a snap of his fingers he was gone again.
"Okay, tell me how you did that?" Rainbow Dash asked again.
The group sat around a blazing campfire, Luna's moon was just peeking over the horizon. Pinkie had somehow found a bag of marshmallows and was cooking them with Copycat.
"Did what?" Fluttershy asked, the Timberwolf was curled up behind her away from the fire.
"She means, where did you learn to be so assertive dear." Rarity explained to the confused Pegasus.
"Oh, well you see while you and Twilight were away at that Wonderbolt show there was a self-help seminar." A small smile graced her lips. "I got self-help."
"Clearly." Twilight snorted.
Everyone continued talking; catching up on what had happened and reminiscing about old adventures. For a while everyone just watched the fire; sparks and embers floating off it and disappearing in the night.
Mirror Edge watched it with a sullen expression.
"I'm sorry." He apologized.
"For what?" Applejack asked.
"For everything; the royal wedding, the invasion..." He stared at the fire as if it was the one he was talking to. "If I hadn't come to Ponyville this whole thing probably wouldn't be happening.
"That's true!" Pinkie spoke up, bits of marshmallow stuck to her mane and face. "If you didn't come to Poniville this whole story wouldn't have been written!"
Mirror stared at her but decided not to ask.
"And besides!" She added. "If you didn't come here then Celestia wouldn't have told you about the Flutter Ponies!"
"Flutter Ponies?" Twilight asked.
Copycat looked at Pinkie. "How did you kno- you know what? Never mind."
"Flutter Ponies? How lame can you get? What are they, butterflies?" Dash chuckled. Earning a glare from the two Changelings.
"They're what we used to be." Copycat said quietly.
The Ponies went silent, even Rainbow Dash quieted down.
"What do you mean?" Fluttershy questioned.
The two Changelings looked at each other and nodded, it was time that somepony knew.
They started to explain; what Celestia had told Mirror, what Copycat knew from her ancestor and the reason why everything is why it is now. Slowly the Ponies faces changed from ones of amusement to horror to sympathy.
"...That's the reason why we are now Changelings." Mirror Edge concluded.
Everyponies expression was of mixed amazement and horror.
"I'm... I'm sorry." Rainbow Dash tried to apologize.
"Don't be, it wasn't your fault." Copycat said.
The fire had started to die down. No one wanted to speak.
"We'll help you." Twilight suddenly spoke up.
"What?" Mirror asked in confusion.
"We will help the Changelings become Flutter Ponies again." She concluded. "I'm the student of Princess Celestia, I'm sure I could figure out something."
"We'd help too of course." Rarity added. "In any way we could."
Everypony nodded in agreement, Mirror couldn't believe his ears.
Twilight looked up at the sky; the moon had begun its travel across the night sky. "We should all probably get some rest."
Everyone was too tired to argue, they said their goodnights and prepared for sleep.
Rainbow Dash found a comfortable cloud to lie on, Fluttershy curled up with the Timberwolf, Rarity, Applejack and Twilight fell asleep under a tree and Pinkie Pie and Copycat were sleeping side by side next to the fire, marshmallow still stuck to their faces.
Mirror Edge looked at each of them, one by one, the Ponies that promised to help them.
He couldn't believe it but it was true.
They were his friends.
He laid down near the fire and closed his eyes.
A loud sound stirred him awake; it was a repeating sound.
He slowly managed to opened his eyes and was greeted by a horrifying sight.
Canterlot, the capital of Equestria.
He could smell smoke. The buildings smoked and the banners and trees burned. Not a single Pony in sight.
It all smelled to real too be a dream.
"Sir!" He suddenly heard from behind him. He turned to see a Changeling general buzzing up to him.
"Sir! You've finally awaken!" He said relieved.
"I...I...what?!" Mirror stammered, he was horribly confused.
"Sir, take deep breathes, you were knocked out!"
"WHAT?!" Was all he could say.
"Is he awake?" Suddenly, Queen Chrysalis appeared over the rubble. She seemed relieved that he was okay.
"It's good to see that a magic blast from one of the most powerful being alive couldn't take down the hero of the Changelings." She chuckled. "Well, most powerful being not alive now."
Mirror was hyperventilating, everything looked completely real.
"Chrysalis!" He gasped. "What happened?!"
"The invasion happened, my little larvae." She turned to the commander. "He must have taken a harder hit than I realized."
"Where are we?!" He really wanted to be wrong on this one.
"Canterlot." She answered. "Once the greatest city this side of Staliongrad, now it's a graveyard for its occupants."
"Where are the Princesses? Celestia and Luna?"
She smiled darkly. "They're where they've been since the fight ended; under what's left of Canterlot castle. You took a shot from Celestia herself and you're still standing." She clapped her front hooves together. "Congratulations."
Mirror's breathing was sharp and quick. "The Elements..... Pinkie, Twilight.... Where are they?"
Her chuckling turned to full on evil laughter. "They're right over there." She pointed. "Well, what's left of them."
He took off in the direction she had pointed, not even bothering to say anything. All around him Changeling soldiers dug through the rubble for survivors or dead. When they noticed him they began to cheer.
"MIRROR EDGE! MIRROR EDGE!"
He ignored them, he ignored the tears running down his face, and he tried to ignore everything in the world.
And finally he reached the spot.
"Oh tartarus..." He sobbed.
Even though the bodies were covered by sheets he could still recognize each of them, splatters of bodily fluids and other things Mirror didn't want to think about were everywhere.
He stumbled weakly towards the sheets.
"No...No..." He mumbled, the realization of what happened making him retch. He kneeled in front of one of the sheets; strands of pink hair surrounded it.
Mirror Edge sobbed, tears falling freely from his face.
It couldn't be true... It just can't...
Chrysalis walked up behind him, flanked by the other Changelings still cheering for him.
"MIRROR EDGE! MIRROR EDGE!" The voices mocked him; he swore that they were getting louder by the second.
Chrysalis leaned down to Mirror.
"It's beautiful, isn't it?" She whispered in his ear. "It's everything you wanted, everything you planned."
"MIRROR EDGE! MIRROR EDGE!"
She chuckled evilly, almost hypnotically. "You're a hero."
Mirror Edge, having had enough of everything, spun around, focusing all of his power in his right hoof and brought it up to Chrysalis's face.
A hard cracking noise split the air; all of the Changelings had stopped cheering and starred silently.
Chrysalis staggered and to Mirror's surprise started to flicker in and out of view. Everything around him started to flicker and become transparent, things began to disappear altogether. Chrysalis began to flicker worse and then she disappeared leaving behind...
"Discord!" Mirror shouted.
Discord picked himself off the ground, an annoyed look on his face.
"I've had it up to here with you." He snarked but Mirror couldn't hear him over the rage and bloodlust building inside him.
Mirror roared and charged Discord, not caring for a second that it was a reality warper that he wanted to kill.
But before he could get the chance everything went white.
"Mirror? Mirror!" A voice called to him.
Mirror Edge shot up, he was in the forest surrounded by the Ponies and Copycat. Pinkie was above him trying to wake him up. Everyone had varying looks of concern.
Mirror leaped up and hugged Pinkie. She slowly acknowledged it and hugged him back.
His dream had been too real.
He would not let that happen.