By Halfcrescent Time
No one had seen a Twilight Sparkle in years. One day she was there, and then the next she was not. Everypony believed that she had to move away to a different town. However, Spike remained in Ponyville. He said that they were simply forced to go their different ways, as he would not be allowed where Twilight was going.
Nopony knew exactly where she was, or why she left. Or at least, mostly nopony.
One day, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, all three of them now with their cutie marks, were in their clubhouse talking about her. Their conversation started off with memories of when they were searching for their cutie marks so long ago. First they were talking about how Rainbow Dash tried to help Applebloom get her cutie mark, then how they went to Fluttershy’s house to try there.
“You know, Twilight once tried to help me,” Applebloom said.
“When did Twilight ever help you?” Scootaloo asked in disbelief.
“It was shortly before I met you two,” Applebloom answerd.
“What did she even do?” Sweetie Belle added.
“She used her magic. It didn’t do much, though.”
The three of them fell silent for a few seconds, thinking about how long it had been since they last saw her.
“I wish she would come back to Ponyville,” said Scootaloo
“Hey, I know!” Sweetie Belle began. “If Twilight cannot visit us, why don’t we go visit her?”
“But we don’t know where she is,” Scootaloo noted.
“That’s why we ask somepony,” said Sweetie Belle.
“Ooh!” Applebloom called. “We could ask Applejack! She probably knows.”
“Yeah! See? We could ask Applejack, or maybe Rarity.”
“Well… Okay.” Scootaloo said. “I guess let’s go then.”
The three of them left their clubhouse to find one of Twilight’s friends. They were in Sweet Apple Acres already, so they figured that the first pony they would find is Applejack. Getting to the entrance of the massive farm would be their best best in finding her, so that is where they went.
They walked past many apple trees, and then began to notice that some of them had wooden buckets under them. Some of them were filled up with apples, but then others were not.
“Applejack must be close,” Applebloom pointed out.
It was not long after that that they heard what sounded like knocking on a tree, followed by the sound of apples filling up buckets. Applebloom stopped to look around, and then saw her sister in the distance bucking the apples from the trees.
“Hey, Applejack!” Applebloom shouted.
Applejack stopped bucking the trees and turned to see Applebloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo rushing towards her.
“Oh, hey Applebloom! What do ya need?”
“Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo and I were thinking, it has been so long since we last saw Twilight, right?”
After Applejack heard the name “Twilight”, her smile immediately faded into a suspicious look. “Umm, yeah, why?”
“We were thinking that we should go and visit her!” Scootaloo blurted.
“Oh, umm…” Applejack paused, “you, uh, we can’t.”
“What? Why?” her sister asked.
Applejack looked down at the ground, and then back up at Applebloom and her friends. She opened her mouth to say something, but then decided not to.
“Look, I have a lot of apple bucking to do right now. Why don’t we talk about this later?”
“Applejack,” Applebloom started. “Are you hiding something from us?”
“What? Me? N-No! Why would I hide something from you?”
“Well then why can’t we?!”
“Because you just can’t!” Applejack stomped her hoof.
The four of them stood there in silence, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo slowly backing away. After a few seconds, Applejack turned around and walked away.
“Applejack!” Applebloom shouted. “Listen to me!”
Applejack continued to walk away as her sister shouted her name.
“Applebloom, calm down,” Sweetie Belle said.
“Come on… Maybe we should leave Applejack right now,” Scootaloo insisted.
“But… I don’t get it. It’s not like Applejack to lie.”
“Well, maybe she wasn’t lying,” Sweetie Belle suggested. “Or maybe this was just a bad time. I mean, Applejack was closer to Twilight then we were.”
“I guess so,” sighed Applebloom.
Silence fell over them once more, causing an awkward feeling throughout all three of them. “Come on, maybe we could find out why we can’t visit Twilight if we ask somepony else,” Scootaloo said.
Sweetie Belle and Applebloom agreed, and then the three of them made their way to the entrance of farm. They exited the farm and headed out to the town.
“Hey,” Sweetie Belle began. “Let’s stop and get something to drink. I’ll pay.”
“Okay. That sounds good to me,” Applebloom responded.
“Yeah, sure,” Scootaloo added.
They walked to a building that was next to Sugarcube Corner and grabbed a table. Scootaloo put her elbow on the table and rested her head on her hoof. She looked out at the somewhat busy streets of Ponyville, looking for somepony that they could ask. She saw plenty of ponies, like Lyra and Bon Bon, but no one that Twilight who was close to.
Just then, the waiter came over to take their orders.
“How may I help you?” he said.
“Umm… I’ll just have a hay smoothie,” Applebloom told Sweetie Belle.
“I will have the same,” Scootaloo followed.
“Okay, three hay smoothies,” Sweetie Belle said.
“Three hay smoothies,” he repeated. “Yes, right away.”
The waiter walked away, and then the three of them began talking about who they could ask. “Let’s see, who were Twilight’s closest friends?” Sweetie Belle asked.
“Umm…” Applebloom paused. “There is Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Futtershy…”
“Don’t forget about Rainbow Dash,” Scootaloo quickly interrupted as if she was worried they would forget.
“Uh… yeah. And then Rarity.”
“So who should we ask first?” asked Sweetie.
“Well, we can check Applejack off the list,” Scootaloo remarked.
Scootaloo looked to the left of her at Sweetie Belle, and then saw that Sugarcube Corner was behind her.
“Maybe we should ask Pinkie next.”
“Why Pinkie?” Applebloom asked.
“Would you rather ask somepony else?”
“Pinkie is fine. I was just curious.”
“Oh, well, you know. Sugarcube Corner is right there, so…”
Sweetie Belle opened her mouth to speak, but before she said anything, the waiter returned holding a tray with three cups. “Three hay smoothies,” he started. “That’lll be six bits.”
Using her magic, Sweetie Belle opened her saddlebag, pulled out six bits and put them in front of the waiter. The waiter, dealt out the smoothies, collected the bits, and then left.
“Yeah,” Sweetie resumed. “We can ask Pinkie.”
“Did I hear my name?” Pinkie Pie suddenly popped up next to Applebloom, scaring all three of them half to death.
“Pinkie!” Scootaloo jumped back. “W-Where did you come from?”
“Oh, I was just walking by when I heard you guys say my name, so I thought maybe you needed me!” Pinkie said cheerfully.
“Where did you even… Nevermind,” Sweetie decided.
“So?! What do you need?”
“We were talking to Applejack about visiting Twilight, and…” Applebloom started, but then was cut off by Pinkie.
“Twilight?! Y-you can’t visit her,” Pinkie paused and looked down suspiciously at her feet. “Umm… She’s really busy!”
“Busy?” Scootaloo questioned. “But it’s been years since she left! What could she possibly be doing?!”
“Well. Um… I-I don’t know.”
“What do you mean I don’t know?”
“Well,” the pink pony paused, “whatever she is doing, it must be too important to tell. She left so quickly…”
Pinkie Pie stood there, unable to think of how to put it in words. Sweetie belle looked her in the eyes, and could see that something wasn’t right. It was now obvious that they were protecting some secret that was not meant to be released to the public.
“Oh… Okay,” she said. After a few seconds of awkward silence, she got up, followed by Scootaloo and Applebloom. “Well, thanks anyways, Pinkie.”
“What? Where are we going?” whispered Applebloom.
“Just let Pinkie be for right now.”
“Uh, yeah. No problem.” Pinkie straightened up, and tried to get back to her normal self. “Where are you girls going?”
“We have a lot of stuff to do,” Applebloom responded.
“Oh, okay. Have fun!”
The three of them walked off, leaving Pinkie to do her own stuff.
“…Did you guys notice anything… well, weird about Pinkie?” Applebloom asked once they got some distance away.
“Weird?” Sweetie responded. “I wouldn’t say that, but something was off. I could see it in her eyes. These ponies are hiding something from us. I just know it.”
“Well, what could they be hiding? And who all knows about it?” Scootaloo came in.
“Do you think that maybe something happened to Twilight?” asked Applebloom.
“What do you mean?” Sweetie asked.
“You know, like maybe something happened that they don’t want us to know about. Come to think of it, weren’t Twilight and her friends gone for a few days before she left?”
“Umm…” Scootaloo paused. “I don’t know. That was so long ago that… I don’t even remember how long ago it was! And besides, wouldn’t they tell us if something happened?”
The three of them carried on with their conversation, when suddenly a blue Pegasus swooped down right in front of them. She flew in a few circles, did a few spins, and then landed.
“Rainbow Dash!” shouted Scootaloo.
“Yeah? What do ya need, squirt?” Rainbow replied.
“Applebloom, Sweetie Belle and I were wondering… Well, do you know anything about where Twilight is?”
“Whenever we ask anypony they act weird, like they’re hiding something from us.” Applebloom added.
Rainbow Dash’s confident smile immediately turned into a look of concern, much like Pinkie Pie and Applejack. “T-Twilight?” she said to herself. “How many ponies did you ask about this?”
“Umm… just Applejack and Pinkie Pie,” Sweetie responded. “Why?”
Rainbow looked around for a while, debating with herself. At this point, they knew they were keeping a secret from them. If Rainbow wasn’t going to tell them, it they would soon find out.
“Uh, Rainbow,” Scootaloo spoke, “are you okay?”
Rainbow Dash looked around to make sure nopony was looking, and then finally said something. “Come with me.”
She led them away from everypony to where nopony would think of going to find them.
“Where are we going?” Applebloom asked.
Rainbow Dash said nothing, but instead kept on walking. She turned into a dark alley where nopony was. When they got to the end, Rainbow stopped and turned to face them.
“Look, we are not supposed to talk about this, but… Well you guys know too much already,” she said.
“Know too much?” Sweetie Belle repeated. “But we don’t know anything yet.”
“You guys obviously know that we are hiding something now, and I can’t just leave you out there asking everypony about it. I will tell you what really happened, but you have to PROMISE not to tell ANYPONY! Do you understand?”
“Okay,” the three of them said.
“It’s a long story,” she sighed,” but I guess I can give you the quick version. Long ago, we were all in a top secret research facility in space. Don’t ask how we got there. I am saying too much already. Anyways, it was called the Celestial Space Station. It had three wings to it, unicorn, pegasus, and earth. Fluttershy and I were in the pegasus wing when it all happened. Twilight was in the unicorn wing with Rarity.
“All I can remember was that after a while of being up there, the sirens went off, and everypony started to panic. Rumor was spreading that there was some sort of alien spaceship outside attacking us. Fluttershy and I went to the center of the space staion, where we came in. That is where we met up with Pinkie and Applejack. It wasn’t long after that the princess came with Rarity. Twilight was not with them, but the princess said that if we wanted to live, then we had to leave.
“Once we got back to earth, we saw that along with Twilight, there were other missing unicorns. Nopony knows who attacked us, or why.”
“So, wait…” Applebloom started. “Twilight is… dead?”
Rainbow stared down at her feet, struggling to find a way to answer. “I don’t know. Rarity is the only one who does,” she said. “DON’T ask her!”
“Why not?” Sweetie Belle asked.
“Because!” Rainbow scolded. “For the same reason none of us have asked her! Nopony knows what she could have witnessed. We don’t want to bring painful memories back.”
“Oh,” said Sweetie. “I see.”
“You must NOT tell anypony about this!”
Rainbow looked around once more, and then flew away, leaving the three of them alone. They did not know what to say to each other, now that they knew the truth.
“Well, I should probably go home now,” Applebloom informed.
“Yeah, me too,” Scootaloo agreed.
“O-Okay. See you guys later,” Sweetie Belle acknowledged.
Sweetie Belle went off to return home, but could not stop thinking about Twilight. How could this have been a secret for all of these years? More importantly, how could her own sister know and not tell her?
She walked through the streets, passing by several ponies. On the way there were many apple stands that she avoided, as well as the owners advertising. She eventually got to the boutique, where she saw Rarity working on a dress.
“Oh, hi Sweetie Belle,” she said.
Sweetie sighed as she walked passed her sister, “Hi, Rarity.”
“Is there something wrong?” Rarity asked.
Sweetie thought about asking her about Twilight, but then decided it would be better to keep her mouth shut. “No.”
“Are you sure?” Rarity put down her needle and thread to face her sister. “You can tell me, you know.”
“Yeah,” Sweetie reassured. “I am sure.”
“Okay. So, what did you three do today?”
“Well, you know. The usual stuff.”
“Is hanging out in that tree house the only thing you three do all day?” asked Rarity with a bit of sarcasm.
“Well, yeah. Kind of.”
Rarity picked up her needle and started working again. “Well, I need to get this done.”
Sweetie Belle started to walk into another room, but the thought of Twilight being gone was preventing her. “Actually…”
“What? What is it?”
“We were talking to Rainbow Dash…”
“Yeah?” Rarity replied. “About what?”
“Well… About Twilight, and the Celestial Space Sation.”
Rarity dropped her needle, as memories flooded back into her head. “A-About …what?”
“Rainbow Dash says that you are the only one who knows what happened to Twilight Sparkle. How could you guys keep this a secret from us? From me?”
Twilight Sparkle and Celestial Space Station were words that Rarity thought she would never hear again. Not after what happened. “For years I have tried to forget what happened on that tragic day. The princess told us to keep it a secret from everypony. ‘It is for the good of Equestria,’ she said. ‘Nopony must know about this’. But I think… I think it is time that I tell you.”
“Rainbow Dash told you about the space station, I assume she told you about the three wings?”
“Twilight and I were in the unicorn wing, doing research on how we could use magic to power machines. We heard a crash, but thought nothing of it. Not until the alarm went off. That is when everything went all wrong. Somepony came in to our room saying that everypony needed to get to the center, where we came in.
“We left as quickly as possible. There were ponies running everywhere, and we did not know where to go. We kept running in what we hoped was the right direction. At the end of a hall there was a door. We went through it, and it was another lab. On the other side was a window as big as the wall.
“Twilight went up to the window to see if she could find out what was going on. There was what looked like a ship of some kind. It must have been as big as the space station. An arm with a claw at the end came out of it and broke the window. Some emergency window started to close, but another arm broke that one too. We both put on our helmets, just before grabbing onto something.
“Twilight was holding onto a bar, but it broke off, and she was sucked out. I saw one of the arms grab her and take her away. I managed to save myself, but I could not do anything to save Twilight.
“So now you know what happened.”