67w, 3dAlicorn Twilight
63w, 3dTwilight is Best Pony
64w, 4dTwilight Sparkle
- Show All Groups
62w, 5dThe Hero... Nightmare Moon?
63w, 21hDaymare Sun
51w, 5dAlicorn Twilight
42w, 4dThe Usual
31w, 13hSt. Xavier Bronies
10w, 1dMLP: Motherhood is Magical
4w, 5dEpic Quality Fics
17w, 2dCompleted Story Compendium
13w, 4dX Becomes An Alicorn
12w, 5dthe creation center
The Empty Room
By Wanderer D
Spike sighed as he left the royal library. No sign of Twilight.
“This is what I am reduced to, an assistant without somepony to assist. What was she thinking going out without me? It's not like she has that many friends... well, unless we count imaginary friends that I dreamed up, that is.” he grumbled, earning a curious glance from a couple of students.
He shook his head. “Really. That mare. I don't know what she would do without me.” he looked down. “Or what I would do without her!” he shook his head. “Come on, Spike. Stop thinking like that. Twilight is not going anywhere, she just forgot to wake you up and got caught studying something. It has happened before.”
He grimaced. Despite everything he was saying he had a bad feeling. As if something was going to happen... and he wasn’t going to like it.
“I wonder where she is?” he whispered as he looked out the window, observing the castle around him. It was then that one of the walls exploded and the complete side of the castle he was looking at fell upon itself, leaving several halls and rooms exposed. For a second he thought he saw a cloaked figure peering down at the collapsed wall, but it suddenly vanished.
Worried, and feeling like he had eaten a chunk of ice, he rushed down the stairs. That section of the castle was where Princess Celestia's chambers were.
Luna's mind was reeling. As she concentrated in bringing up the moon, she feared the worst. She had already dispatched a group of medical ponies to the Crypt, as Rainbow Dash had asked. That, the explosion in the castle and the disappearance of Captain Lance all pointed towards an organized attack of some sort. But... why? And who was behind it? And why... why did this feel familiar? As if she had been through this before?
Was this all related to her discovery of the sealed room? Luna felt cold. If this was all her fault...
The moon rose in the horizon, a pale disk lacking its usual radiance, as it slowly started its trajectory, Luna's magic decorated the sky with most of the usual constellations... it was almost an afterthought... she did not want to be here doing this when her loved ones needed her.
“Are you ready to begin the Night Court, your highness?” the night steward, a friendly mare called Merry Ward asked, unaware of the events that had transpired that night.
Luna gritted her teeth. She had duties, true but... family came first. “I am sorry, Merry, but we have a family emergency right now... I cannot hold court tonight.”
Her steward looked worried. “I see... I will make sure that all minor matters are attended to...”
Luna nodded. “Thank you, Merry. I need to go now...”
Merry stepped out of the way as Luna galloped out of the court room. She looked around and sighed. “Well, it's not like we have that many visitors anyway.”
The guardian grinned as nighttime finally arrived. Now he could leave. Now he would be able to bring back the Nightmare. Shifting in place, it started to uncoil slowly but stopped when a faint, ghostly light hovered at the entrance to his temple.
Growling he slithered forward until he was glaring at the intruder... an image, sent by magic, of a pony under a cloak.
“Greetings, Guardian.” the pony said, kneeling down.
The Guardian did not speak, but smiled, rows and rows of sharp, pointy fangs glistening under the moonlight.
“We are your servants, the Council of Nightmares.” the pony said. “We are the descendants of those that first served you. We have grown powerful in the shadows, hidden, awaiting your return. We have succeeded on weakening the two Princesses... by the time you arrive, their willpower will be gone and they will be ready to accept the Nightmare once again.”
The Guardian laughed, pleased. “Both of them?” he asked.
When the pony nodded, he could feel a shiver of anticipation run down from the base of his neck to the tip of his tail.
“I will be there sssshortly.” the Guardian said.
“We await your glorious return.” the pony said, still kneeling submissively. The vision started dissipating soon after, but the Guardian had already left.
The female pony stood up, a bit shaken. Facing the Guardian was a challenging experience. To think she was the first to do so in a thousand years! Turning around, she faced the other three members of the Council of Nightmares that were in the room with her.
“We shall separate now. The others are doing their jobs and so should we. We will not reconvene until the Guardian arrives to lessen the risk of being recognized. We all know what we have to do. If we do our jobs right and get both princesses...” she shuddered with pleasure.
The three nodded and slowly walked out of the room, leaving her alone. She looked up at the moon. Soon... very soon.
o.0.o A little bit earlier o.0.o
The male unicorn grimaced. “I'm sorry Twilight, I wish there was another way.” His horn's magic suddenly flashed and flames enveloped his daughter.
Or would have, if Twilight had been there. Blinking into existence just behind him, her horn arched down, sending a blade made of purple energy towards him. He managed to roll out of the way.
“You raised me!” she shouted accusingly. “You said you loved me! I love you! Why?!”
Her father slowly moved to the side and she followed him, mimicking his movements. “I did! And I do!” he growled. “But this is bigger than you! Bigger than me! If that... if Celestia hadn't taken you under her wing things would be different!”
Twilight fought the tears in her eyes. She couldn't get distracted. “How would it be different?”
Her father growled. “When you started studying magic... I saw it as a chance... I knew you were smart, brilliant even, although I never knew the sheer power you possessed. I took the chance... I enrolled you in the Canterlot School of Magic... I knew you would meet Celestia, but... I always hoped it would be casual... I was going to get you to help me!”
“Against Celestia?!” Twilight asked, incredulity shining in her eyes. “Why would I do that?!”
“Shut up!” her father shouted. His horn flaring was the only warning she had before she had to run out of the way as one of the columns collapsed where she had been. Why was nopony coming to help?
“It's all her fault!” He shouted. “You would have been a part of the Council of Nightmares by now! But you had to fall in love with her! Not only did you betray me! You betrayed your lineage!”
“My lineage?!” she exclaimed. “Celestia is the kindest and most loving pony I have ever known! And yes, I love my teacher like a second mother. What did you expect? The moment I became her protege you two cut all contact with me!”
Her father seemed to deflate. “I... I'm sorry, Twilight.” he said. With his mouth he pulled on a chain until a medallion came out from under the cloak. It was made of silver or platinum, and it had several marks and diagrams etched into it. “This is your heritage. If it were not for Celestia, when you graduated you would have been inducted into the Council of Nightmares.”
“Is that where you learned all this battle magic?” Twilight asked, trying to stall for time. Surely somepony would come investigate. “You think it will be enough to defeat me?”
Her father dropped the chain and let the medallion hang around his neck. “That... and you're still young. Powerful, but young.”
“What does being young have to do with anything?” Twilight asked, trying to take a step back, but realizing to her horror that her feet would not move.
“Experience is a powerful tool, Twilight.” Her father said. “You have enough sheer power to defeat me, true, but you don't know how to use it.” a tear fell to the floor. “I'm sorry it has come to this.”
She didn't have a chance to dodge the next spell.
The shield protecting the hidden room sputtered and died, but the unicorn did not move. He stared, silent, at Twilight's body. Finally, after a few seconds he dropped the medallion next to her, and nuzzled her neck... he shook his head and looked at her, accusingly. “The day you were born... it was the happiest day of our lives!” he gritted his teeth as Twilight did not answer. “I'm so sorry.” he sighed. “Maybe, once the Nightmare has returned...”glanced at the room. “But for that, I need to find out what you were hiding.”
He turned around, but a slight sound made him look back, eyes going wide and a barrier spell just beginning to spark into life when everything around him was enveloped in flames.
“I won't let you!” Twilight shouted from her prostrate position, magic snaking out of her as the area shook. He dug his hoofs into the floor, trying to keep the shield up as the flames reached Twilight... how could she still be alive?! How could she have enough energy to continue when her own spell was eating at her? And then world exploded.
When Celestia, Rainbow Dash and the guards arrived, their eyes immediately fell on the cloaked pony that was staring down at where the wall and several stories of the castle had collapsed.
“STOP THAT PONY!” Celestia shouted, her horn flaring with magic.
Rainbow Dash was already on her way hoofs ready to make her opponent pay. However, her opponent was crafty. The moment that her hoofs would have connected, the pony disappeared.
“Twilight!” Celestia shouted, running into the room. She found it empty, just like she had left it, save for the neat stack of notes her student had left behind.
Celestia stood in the middle of the room, dumbfounded. She started stepping back, away from the notes. “No... no, no, no...”
“Princess?” Rainbow Dash called from outside the room. Her voice was full of fear. Celestia turned around, eyes wide.
“Did you see Twilight?”
Rainbow Dash shook her head and stepped to the side, picking up something. Carefully she laid the cracked unicorn horn on the floor, singed and burnt.
Celestia did not move.
Rainbow Dash gulped, fighting tears in her eyes. “This... this isn't her horn is it?”
Celestia did not answer.
“This isn't... it isn't...” Dash's tone turned accusing. “It's not! It can't be! Twilight wouldn't lose to some random unicorn! She's the Element of Magic! She has almost as much magic as an alicorn, right?! You must know! You're a goddess! You knew her all her life!”
“Rainbow Dash.” Luna's voice broke through her cries.
“Please... leave us for a few minutes... wait by the door to the hall... don't allow anypony in.” Luna said calmly.
“B-but...” Dash's hoof almost touched the horn. Almost.
“I know.” Luna said. “I will cast a spell to find out if it's her horn but... I need to talk to my sister... please.”
Dash took a step back. Then two. “O-okay... I'll be... I'll wait outside...”
“Guards, you should leave us two. We'll be fine.”
When the last of the guards had left, Luna turned to her sister, who was staring at the horn, a lost and pained look in her eyes.
Luna didn't dare touch the horn. But as magic enveloped it and it glowed as it spiraled up, Celestia's eyes followed it.
“Sister...” Celestia's voice was nothing but a whisper. “Tell me it isn't so...”
Luna closed her eyes. “I'm sorry, sister... I can only feel Twilight's magic alone in this horn.”
Celestia felt as if someone had stabbed her on the shoulder and then proceeded to drag the dagger down her chest all the way down to her belly.
“Sister...” Luna did not like the tone of voice... the desperation she heard under it.
“I. Said. LEAVE ME!” Celestia shouted. An aura of magic flashed around her creating a miniature storm inside the small room.
Seeing Twilight's notes about to fly off, Luna's magic caught them and with a last, fearful look in her sister's direction, she teleported out of the room as the doors slammed shut.
Alone in the room, Celestia picked up the broken horn with her magic, as well as the two dolls. Her aura flared and the room was enveloped in a rosy energy. Through a crack in the door a small fly made its way in, only to be instantly vaporized by Celestia's magic.
The princess lay down on the floor and cried.
Luna appeared just outside the hall, the guards and Rainbow Dash all turned to face her.
“Guards, nopony, absolutely nopony is allowed in there under ANY circumstances. Triple the guard here.”
“Princess...” Rainbow Dash hesitantly walked towards her. “was that...”
Luna gritted her teeth, closing her eyes. She couldn't look at Rainbow Dash's face. “The magic on the horn... it belonged to Twilight Sparkle.” she forced herself to look up to the horrified face of the pegasus. “I'm sorry... she's...”
“Don't say it!” Rainbow Dash shouted stepping back.
“She's gone, Rainbow Dash.”
“No! Don't say that! Twilight Sparkle can't be dead!” Dash shouted.
A gasp made them look to the small purple dragon that had just walked into the hall. “It's not true.” he said running to hold Luna's hoofs. “It's not true, right? Y-you're joking.”
Luna couldn't even say anything to the baby dragon. She just shook her head and looked away. Without letting go of her, Spike turned to look over his shoulder towards Rainbow Dash. “Dash... it's not true, right? This is a dream, right? I'm dreaming... just like... like I dreamed about you and... and Rarity and... she's not gone...”
Unable to hear any more, the pegasus took of and blasted out of a window, uncaring of the pieces of glass that cut her skin, flying as fast as she could into the night.
“Will he be okay?” Applejack asked the parapony that had finished up bandaging Captain Lance.
“He will live... for now.” the pony said with a sigh. “His wounds were... extensive. It's a miracle he's still alive, much less able to talk to all of you before we arrived.”
“I'm worried about Twilight.” Fluttershy said.
“I know dear.” Rarity said, nodding worriedly. “If what the Captain said is true, she could be in real danger.”
“Well, Rainbow Dash is the fastest flier around.” Applejack said. “And she went straight to the princesses. I'm sure they'll make sure our Twilight is fine.”
Fluttershy looked down at the unconscious unicorn an shivered.
“Whoever did this was certainly trying to kill him.” one of the medical ponies said. “As it is we'll have a hard time keeping him alive.”
“We know you'll do your best.” Rarity said.
“We should probably head back...” Applejack sighed, looking at the guards, who nodded in unison. “Come on, everypony, let's find Twilight.”
Big Macintosh silently considered the stage wagon that had just rolled up to him. Clearly, nopony was pulling it. In fact, had he not seen the stage wagon turn around and move towards him, he would have thought its owner had left it behind.
He recognized the name, obviously. Applejack had had a lot of words to say about Trixie, none of them kind. He had wondered, silently, if she had been that bad. She hadn't seemed half bad at all to him.
Now, facing fiery words floating in front of him, he was questioning whether to answer truthfully. Nothing good could come out of dealing with the dead. Or so one of their distant aunts was quoted to have said just before she kicked the bucket.
HOW CLOSE AM I TO PONYVILLE? The words asked.
“That you, Trixie?”
YES. HOW DID YOU KNOW? CAN YOU SEE ME? HAVE WE MET? YOU’RE CUTE I THINK I WOULD REMEMBER YOU
He coughed. “Your name is on the side of the stage wagon. And I remember you from your visit.”
“Can I ask what your business is in Ponyville?” the draft pony asked.
THE GREAT AND POWERFUL TRIXIE DOES NOT ANSWER TO ANYPONY
“That's fair, I reckon. But then you cannot expect somepony to answer either.”
The stage wagon was silent for a few seconds.
I NEED TO SPEAK WITH TWILIGHT SPARKLE
“Ah.” Big Mac considered again what to do. On the one hoof, he hadn't heard anypony say anything good about Trixie since the incident with the Ursa Minor. On the other hoof, he really didn't like leaving a pony in need without help. And since ghosts were out of his expertise... “I hate to break it to you, Trixie, but Twilight and the others are not around.”
“Eeyup. They left for Canterlot this morning. The princesses needed her.”
WHY WOULD THEY CALL FOR HER?
Big Mac blinked. “Twilight Sparkle is Celestia's personal apprentice?”
… I WAS UNAWARE OF THAT FACT.
He hadn't expected the ellipses.
I SHALL GO TO CANTERLOT THEN, CAN YOU POINT ME IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, HANDSOME?
The red-furred stallion felt himself blush. From what he remembered of the one show he had seen, Trixie was not bad looking at all.
“I-it's that way.” He stammered through his blush.
He felt something cold brush against his muzzle and blushed even harder as the stage wagon turned around and left for Canterlot.
Big Mac looked at the receding stage wagon and sighed as he started galloping after it. He just couldn't leave a ghost filly by herself against the unknown.
Rainbow Dash didn't care where she was flying. Luna's words kept echoing in her head. She tried gaining more speed, but she felt really tired. Gritting her teeth she looked up.
“Holy-” she shouted as another pegasus suddenly appeared in front of her.
The pegasus whirled to face her, surprise in her eyes. Both immediately broke off their trajectory, barely missing each other.
“Hey! Watch where you're going! That was dangerous!” The other pegasus shouted.
“Sorry! I... Spitfire?!”
The feiry maned pegasus floated closer to her. “Rainbow Dash? I haven't seen you since the Gala!” The Wonderbolt suddenly noticed how haggard the other pegasus looked. “Are you... okay?
Being in front of one of her heroes Rainbow Dash did the only thing she could think of. She hugged the surprised pony hard and cried on her shoulder.
Spitfire looked terrified for a second, but then returned the hug, letting the blue pegasus cry.
After a few minutes, Rainbow Dash stopped crying.
“Do you feel better now?” Spitfire asked, kindly, while still holding her. She felt Rainbow Dash nod. “Good, now, where are you staying? Are you by yourself?”
Rainbow Dash pulled back from the embrace. “No... I'm staying in Canterlot Castle... my friends are there... Oh... Celestia...”
“Spitfire... I need to talk to them... they'll find out and...”
“Say no more.” Spitfire said. “I don't know what happened, but I'm not letting a friend alone when she needs me.”
“F-friend?” Rainbow Dash asked.
“Sure! We didn't hang out much at the Gala, but I liked you! Now, let's go meet your friends. If whatever happened to you is going to affect them that badly as well, they'll you there.”
Rainbow Dash nodded. “Yeah.” she sighed. “Let's go.”
Together, the two pegasi flew back to the castle. One of them wondering how she was going to break the news to her friends.
o.0.o End Chapter 5 o.0.o