The powers of darkness are considered the most dangerous power to obtain. It is often used by people who wish to weave chaos and destruction to fulfill selfish or dark desires. For them it is an easy power to wield for all it takes is to give into to the darker aspects of ones character which is all too easy to do. Often times though the more these creatures dabbled in darkness the more darkness consumed them and turned them into warped versions of themselves. It is the path of light to show even the darkest and meanest creature an ounce of mercy but how can anyone be merciful when faced with an individual who only lives to see others suffer?
Chapter fifteen: Midnight Moon
Twilight, Spike, and the ponies arrived at Midnight Castle. The castle was large and foreboding looking fairly decrepit. A large gate covered in thorns surrounded the gate and obscured the castle grounds. Fluttershy peeked over the gate to see scout the area. The grounds were covered with marionettes patrolling the area and guarding the entrance to the castle and the gates. Dozens of them were lined up no doubt waiting to be deployed.
“How does it look Fluttershy?” Twilight asked. “Bad. The whole front part of the building is heavily guarded by the marionettes.” Fluttershy said. “So what, we can thrash all those guys in ten seconds flat!” Rainbow Dash said smashing her hoofs together. “We could wear ourselves out fighting them. We need to engage as few of those things as possible so we can save our strength for Nightmare Moon.” Twilight Sparkle said. “So what would you have us do?” Rainbow Dash asked. “The back of the castle has no marionettes guarding the area.” Fluttershy said. “But there also isn't an entrance to the castle unless you want to drop people over the gate but then there still won't be a back entrance to get inside.” Rainbow Dash said. “Why don't we just make one?” Spike said. “Good idea Spike! Rarity do you think your Purification Beam can pierce the walls of this castle?” Twilight asked. “Hm, I cannot say for sure. I must get close. It would be easy to figure out if I could get a good look at it.” Rarity said. “Very well then we shall infiltrate the castle from the back.” Twilight said.
They moved around to the back of the castle gates and Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy picked up and softly dropped each member of the group one at a time, Once Rarity was let down she quickly inspected the castle walls. “Hmm, just what I thought. It's run of the mill building materials. Simple dimension stone, And seriously, what is with the castle design? Somebody was way into Gothic architecture, too much if you ask me.” Rarity said as she scoffed at the castle. She began using her beam blast to create a large enough hole for the ponies to get through. Fluttershy scouted the corners of the area to make sure no one was coming or that no one heard them.
Rarity finished creating a hole for them to enter the castle through. Twilight moved the slab out of the castle wall and gently placed it on the ground. With Fluttershy taking the lead they walked into the building. Twilight lifted the slab and placed in back in the wall so as not to raise suspicion from the guards outside if they pass by the area. They appeared in a room which was covered in dust and cobwebs. Rarity aghast at such a sight was ready to let out a scream but before she could Applejack muffled her keeping her screams from alerting anyone. Fluttershy quietly opened the door and peeked into the hallway. The hallway looked equally dusty and covered in grime.
“The condition of this castle is horrible!” Rarity said as she talked through her teeth. “I'm not much for keeping things neat but I reckon for a fancy castle to get this messed up it must have been sittin' around unoccupied for quite some time.” Applejack said as she wiped some dust on her hoofs.
There were a couple of doorways in the hallway. Fluttershy looked in each room checking to see if there was anything of interest. “You see anything Fluttershy?” Twilight asked. “Nope, Most of the rooms are filled with random junk. One of them looked like a guest room. The other was filled with barrels and other random things. And another room filled with rusty weapons. All of them decrepit and leading to no other places.” Fluttershy said. “See if you can search the end of the hallway without being noticed.” Twilight said. “I'll try...” Fluttershy said. She floated in the air and slowly peeked around the corner. She saw two marionettes standing in front of a double door. She quickly back away before they saw her. “An entrance is being guarded by two earth pony marionettes. The entrance leads further into the castle. The rest of the castle looks less dusty. The other entrances may lead to marionettes that are on patrol.” Fluttershy said. “Where should we go Twilight?” Spike asked. “Hm, that door is being guarded for a good reason. It may lead to the people who have been kidnapped by Nightmare Moon. Or it could lead to Nightmare Moon herself.” Twilight said as she tried to weigh the situations accordingly. “We won't know until we bust those marionettes and look inside.” Rainbow Dash said. “I reckon finding those hostages would take priority over fightin' Nightmare Moon. After all we don't know what will happen when we do. This whole place could go down.” Applejack said. “We can't even go into the hallway without being seen by those ponies!” Pinkie Pie said. “She's right. We'll have to take them out anyways. All right, I'll destroy the marionettes. Prepare to hide if my actions cause more marionettes to show up.” Twilight said. The group nodded.
Everyone backed up as Twilight charged her horn. She quickly jumped into the hallway and blasted the marionettes with her Sparkler Bomb blast. The blast destroyed the marionettes before they could react. The blast however caused some marionettes to enter through some of the doors but not the one the previous marionettes were guarding, everybody quickly scurried into the rooms, the marionettes looked in the hallway looking for anything in particular. After not seeing anything of note they walked back through the doors ways they entered through.
Fluttershy eased out of a room and looked around. She floated towards the hallway looking for any of the marionettes and saw no one. “The coast is clear girls. And Spike.” Fluttershy said calling out to the others. They all quickly gathered around Fluttershy who was opening the door trying to see what was on the other side. It leads to a spiral stairway which went down stairs. No marionettes were seen but loud noises ranging from roaring fires to objects being smashed and the moans and groans of creatures. “What do you see Fluttershy?” Twilight asked. “I see a stairway leading to the lower floor. And I hear what sounds like creatures in some kind environment. They may be building or breaking something I honestly have no idea.” Fluttershy said. “That sounds like where the villagers are being held!” Spike said. “It sure does! All right! We have the element of surprise! Let’s free those villagers!” Twilight said. “We have the element of surprise? That wasn't one of the elements Princess Celestia said we had.” Pinkie Pie said confused. “Just go ya nut!” Rainbow Dash said pushing Pinkie Pie through the door.
Twilight ran down the stair way and saw several dozen creatures all building something with marionettes surrounding them. Twilight started shooting at the marionettes as she ran down the stairs. Spike slid down the arm rest of the stairway jumping off once he reached the bottom. Rarity, Applejack, and Pinkie Pie ran down the stairs as well while Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy took off into the air once they got through the entrance. The marionettes tried to stop the ponies and Spike's advance but the civilizations took the rescue attempt as opportunity to revolt and break free. They started freeing each other and attacking the marionettes. The combined efforts destroyed the marionettes easily.
“I didn't think we would be saved by the very creatures who imprisoned us!” One of the villagers said. “We are not like Nightmare Moon and her allies. Please can you tell me if this is all the villagers that were in need of rescue?” Twilight asked. “I'm afraid not. Some are still locked in the dungeon below us and the Warriors of Light are contained somewhere in the castle.” The villager said. “We know where the Warriors of Light are!” A creature said. It similar to the type of creature Sun Wukong was but a lot mangier looking and with utility belts as the only form of clothing. “That's right! They are in the ballroom!” another creature very similar to the previous one said. “How would you know that?” Rainbow Dash asked suspicious. “Well uh. Ya see we kinda converted the ballroom into a makeshift prison for the Warriors of Light...” The creature said sheepishly. “Are you suggesting you did that of your own accord?” Twilight asked. “I wouldn't expect any less of the Gizmonks!” The villager said. “Gizmonks?” Pinkie Pie said quizzically. “We like to build and alchemize stuff. Especially if it's related to human technology, Nightmare Moon offered to let us build things for her. She even let us work on our pet project the Golem. I can't tell ya how many years we've been trying to get that thing started. She provided us with all the materials!” The Gizmonks said happily. “It case it slipped your mind, that monstrosity demolished our home! We are all here because of you two idiots!” The villager said angrily. “Yeah turns out she wanted to use those marionettes and the Golem for taking over the world. It honestly took me by surprise. When we wanted to move onto to a new project we became slaves just like everyone else.” The Gizmonk said.
“Do you know where Nightmare Moon is right now?” Twilight Sparkle asked. “Oh! She's probably talking to the floating head again! She usually does that when she's in the castle. You just have to head out of here and all the way down the hallway. Go up the stairs and go through the biggest doors you see! That's the throne room and that's where Nightmare Moon should be!” The Gizmonk said nodding happily. “Perfect! Now it's time to go pay Nightmare Moon a visit!” Rainbow Dash said as she slammed her hooves together. “Hold on for a second there! What about all these here villagers? I reckon we should herd them through this castle to make sure nothin' bad happens.” Applejack said. “By the time we do that Nightmare Moon will definitely get away! Who knows she might be gone right now!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed. “It would be uncouth of us to not give these people some form of protection while they free the rest of the people and escape this castle.” Rarity said.
“I'll watch over them!” Spike said. “Are you sure about that Spike?” Twilight asked concerned. “Don't worry about me Twilight, I can handle myself! Besides Nightmare Moon is your fight! After all you guys are the Paragon Ponies!” Spike said. “Very well then, I expect to see you later.” Twilight said with a smile. Spike smiled back at her. He turned to the Gizmonk. “All right guy! You've been through this place enough to know which place leads to which! You're going to guide me to the ballroom so we can free the Warriors of Light and get everyone out of this castle safe and sound!” Spike said with conviction. The Gizmonk nodded and lead the group downstairs to free the others.
Following the Gizmonk's instructions Twilight and the others headed to the throne room to confront Nightmare Moon.
They entered the throne room. Nightmare Moon was within view but she was very far away and preoccupied with the mysterious ball of dark energy. She appeared to be speaking to it. Noticing that they had gone unnoticed Twilight and the others slowly move forward so as to listen in to her conversation. “Your existence bores me thoroughly and I humbly await your downfall.” The dark energy said. “Enough of your insults, I did not summon you so you can belittle me!” Luna said angrily. “Ah yes. You wish to exploit more of my skills and abilities. Unfortunately you have exhausted that option. You do not have what it takes to wield the powers that I commanded.” The dark energy said. “Why not, I am the goddess of destruction! My rage fuels the fire that I use to destroy those who stand before me! Are you telling me that a creature of my stature cannot wield the powers you acquired?” Luna said. “Yes. You're spirit is but a fragment. You're mind and thoughts incomplete. You're future is as dark as the void itself. The fact that you have gotten this far is only thanks to my legacy and power. But you are not me. And thus you will fail.” The dark energy said.
“Ha! That's a lot of talk coming from someone who was destroyed by his own hubris! I am growing tired of your contempt! If you are withholding things from me than you are not holding up your end of the deal!” Luna said becoming very irritated by the dark figure in the energy. “I am sorry, but there is nothing more that I can offer you. You're fate is sealed. I await your death.” The dark energy said.
It then disappeared. Nightmare Moon was very angry stomping her foot and showing frustration on her face. She noticed the ponies coming up to her. “Celestia's ponies... how did you make it all the way here? My marionettes, my dark ponies, The Golem...” Luna said shocked to see them here. “They were all dispatched Nightmare Moon. You're takeover plans have been thwarted. We humbly request that you give yourself up and face time for your crimes.” Twilight Sparkle said. “Surrender, After all the work I’ve put into this plan? You'd think I would give up just like that? No! Never! I will never surrender! Not until Celestia pays for what she has done!” Luna said becoming very irate as dark energy surged around her. “What has Princess Celestia done to you exactly?” Twilight asks. “What difference does it make to you? If you understand will you stay your hoof? If I make you see things my way will you defect and rebel? I doubt it. I have no desire to satisfy your curiosity I only wish to tear you limb from limb for ruining my perfect scheme!” Luna said. The area shook as began charging her powers.
Twilight and the others readied themselves to fight her when suddenly energy surged through them. Suddenly they collapsed to ground. This confused Nightmare Moon who expected to fight them. She looked at them wondering what happened or that this was some sort of ruse. Their eyes opened up but they were no longer like they were before. Their eyes were glazed over and they moved as if they were puppets on a string. A bright light glowed around them as necklaces began to form around the ponies necks with Twilight wearing a tiara instead. A powerful energy began to charge as their bodies lit up. Nightmare Moon found this extremely threatening and shot a blast of dark energy at them but it couldn't penetrate the aura that was around them. The ponies who were wearing necklaces blasted a beam of energy into Twilight's tiara. It acted as a conduit and combined the energies into a single attack that took on the appearance of a rainbow.
The Rainbow Blast circled Nightmare Moon covering her in its power. She shrieked and screamed as the energy stripped the dark aura that was on her. Once the powers faded out Nightmare Moon's form was completely changed. She was no longer dark and evil looking and similar to any other pony. She fell to the ground knocked unconscious by the power of the Rainbow Blast. The ponies fell to the ground as well. Spike eventually returned to give assistance too Twilight and the others only to find them all knocked out.