TIME: Early Afternoon.
It was an unprecedented turn of events. The moment Princess Celestia had returned from Ponyville, she had cancelled all court appointments until further notice. It didn't take a genius to understand why. Nopony could possibly miss Thundercracker being carried in by the Pegasus guards. The Princess suspected that only her assurances that matters were being dealt with prevented a mass panic.
Now, however, there were more pressing concerns. Both Princess Celestia and Princess Luna had been in constant meetings with their military commanders, only pausing to raise the Moon and Sun. At first, a lot of progress was made. Battle plans had been drawn up for possible attacks in locations as far away as Appleloosa. Unfortunately, things began to fall apart once it was time to hammer out the details. Some of the commanders wanted to spread the military all over Equestria, so no one place was ever undefended. Others wished to consolidate their forces in a few centralized locations, so that they could respond quickly to any incursion. The arguments were fierce, and after the first couple, Princess Celestia decided it was simply best to let them run their course.
Another such argument was taking place, this time over whether or not to ask other nations for aid. General Farsight argued for sending an official request to the Griffon Dominion and the Ram Republic, while General Icewing believed that their troops would be more a burden than a boon, since they had not been properly trained.
As their argument ended, Princess Celestia breathed a sigh. "I believe that we've planned all we could." she said. "Until we know where and when the attack will be, we can do nothing."
"So, is that the conclusion of this discussion?" asked General Firebolt, head of the 2nd Unicorn Battalion.
The Princess nodded. "Until My student and Gyvon return from their mission, there is very little progress that can be made here."
As if on cue, there was a blinding flash of light at the entrance of the room. When it faded, Twilight Sparkle and Dinobot took it's place. The unicorn was panting from exertion, while the 'Con was having trouble standing straight.
"Twilight Sparkle!" exclaimed Princess Celestia. "Where's Gyvon? Is he alright?"
Before Twilight could respond, Gyvon crashed through one of the stained-glass windows, followed soon by a sonic boom. "Mach 2.8, a new record." said Gyvon, having transformed back into human form.
Princess Luna cleared her throat, gaining everyone's attention. "So, were you successful? Have you found out what the enemy is planning?" she asked, a little louder than necessary.
"They're moving on Canterlot." said Gyvon. "They attack at Dawn."
The resulting silence was deafening. After a moment, one Unicorn spoke up. "Evacuate the city."
Princess Celestia called for a messenger and relayed the order. Once he had left, she turned towards Gyvon, who had joined Twilight and Dinobot. "Do you know where the attack is coming from?"
"My best guess is from the mines. They're headed there to free the prisoner." replied Gyvon. One of the Generals left the room when he had finished.
"How could they know about the prisoner?" asked Luna. "You said that it's been in there for over ten thousand years."
"You also told me that the prisoner couldn't communicate easily with the outside world, that the nature of the 'Faraday Cage' prevented it from doing so." added Princess Celestia.
"You're right, Princess. There should be no way that Galvatron... GOD DAMNIT!"
"What is it?" asked General Icewing.
"The Faraday Cage. It was breached three weeks ago, when Princess Luna and I went to investigate." said Gyvon. "There was a short window where an SOS could've been sent."
"But, how could that thing know about Galvatron?" asked Luna. Gyvon shrugged in response.
"I don't think it did." said Gyvon. "It probably just sent out a general broadcast."
"How Galvatron knows about the 'prisoner' is immaterial." said Princess Celestia. "All that matters is we have a plan for the defense of the city." As she finished, a loud siren sounded, signalling the citizens to evacuate
Gyvon and Dinobot joined the planning session, while Twilight left to find her friends. Now that the enemy's objective was known, the meeting progressed swiftly. The game-plan hinged on the three walls of Canterlot; the Perimeter wall, the Inner wall, and the Palace wall. Their first stand would be at the Perimeter Wall, although they fully expected to lose it before the day was over with. However, when they fell back to the Inner wall, they were to leave a few nasty surprises behind. Over the past week, the Unicorns at the palace had developed a magical land-mine, one that could not be set off by ponies, and they had built a few dozen. Along with the mines, there was the C4 that Gyvon had purloined from the Decepticon base. He had a specific plan in mind for it.
The only foreseen problem with the defense plan would be Predacon and Decepticon fliers, although the Pegasus Generals promised that they could keep the skies over Canterlot friendly.
By the time they had a solid plan, it was nearly dusk. Luna excused herself so she could raise the Moon, while the Generals each headed for their barracks to brief their troops.
Gyvon and Dinobot were invited to dine with Princess Celestia and Luna, along with Twilight and her friends. It was a subdued meal, each of the participants only picking at their plates, although Pinkie still managed to finish two helpings before any of the others could finish their first.
Before long, a Unicorn barged his way into the dining room, the same one that interrupted the meeting with Princess Celestia three weeks ago. "I must speak with the Princess." he demanded
"Archivist! What are you doing here?" asked Princess Celestia. "All civilians should've been evacuated by now."
"I apologize, Princess." replied the Unicorn. "I got caught up in my work. I believe I have translated the writing on the Structure in the mines."
"THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE!" yelled Gyvon. "That language hasn't been spoken for over ten thousand years."
The Archivist was visibly shaken from his outburst. "Well, yes, but it has many similarities to an ancient Draconic dialect." he said. "It took me a while, but I believe I have a rough translation." He floated a scroll over to Gyvon, who took it and read aloud.
And a hero will arise, a rainbow will be on his head, and his feet will be as pillars of fire...
And the hero will cast down the Disciple of Darkness...
For in the spark of an enemy, there will be salvation.
"It sounds like a prophecy." said Princess Luna. "Though I can not fathom what it means."
Princess Celestia bowed her head graciously at the Archivist. "I thank you for bringing this to me. Now, you must evacuate the city. We are preparing for an imminent attack."
The Archivist bowed and left swiftly. Princess Celestia turned to Twilight, who was sitting to her right. "Any idea what the words could be referencing?" she asked her student.
Twilight shook her head. "No, but the 'six fragments' lighting the darkness sounds like the Elements of Harmony, but the prophecy mentions a seventh." She looked up to Princess Celestia. "Has there ever been a mention of a seventh Element?"
Princess Celestia thought for a moment. "No, I do not believe so." she said. "The Elements have 'lit the darkness' several times in the past, and there was never a seventh involved." She looked over to Gyvon, who appeared to be deep in thought. "What do you have to say about this, Gyvon?"
He was startled out of his thoughts. "Huh? Oh, well, normally I wouldn't pay any heed to a prophecy. Most of the time they're just plain nonsense."
"However?" asked Princess Luna.
"However, since I joined NEST, I've learned that Cybertronian prophecies are usually relevant."
LOCATION: Canterlot Palace Towers
Gyvon stood in one of the many towers of the palace that overlooked the city. It was dark in the streets below. Most of the citizens had left. Some headed south for Ponyville. Others headed to other cities to be with family. The ones who couldn't leave the city took shelter in the palace.
Behind him, he heard a set of hooves climbing the stairs. "Hello, Twilight." he said without turning around. He'd been around her long enough to recognize her gait. "What brings you up here?"
"Couldn't sleep." she responded. She took a seat next to Gyvon.
"Me neither." he responded. "Worried?"
He got a nod in response. "Yes. I've never been this afraid. Not even when facing Nightmare Moon." She began to tear up. "What's going to happen tomorrow, Gyvon?"
Gyvon sighed, and looked off in the direction of the Mines. "I'm not gonna lie, Twilight, we're severely outmatched. Even if we win, a lot of good ponies are going to be killed." He turned back to face Twilight, who was on the verge of crying. "By the way, it's John."
"What?" she asked.
"My name, my real name, is John Kelley."
Twilight smiled and leaned into his leg and nuzzled him affectionately. As she did so, Princess Luna flew in and landed next to them.
"So, John, what do you think our chances tomorrow will be?" asked the Night Princess.
Somepony's been eavesdropping. He turned to Luna. ""If it were just the Decepticons, we'd have a good chance, but the Predacons are a different matter. They're easier to defeat individually, but their sheer numbers can turn the tide in their favor." he said. He looked up to the night sky, admiring Princess Luna's work. "At least it's a beautiful night."
"Thank you. I just hope it's not our last." said the Princess.
"It won't be." replied Gyvon, smiling as he did.
"Are you always this confident?" asked Luna.
"Only when I have to be, Princess." he replied, grinning even wider.
Princess Luna couldn't help but laugh, and soon Twilight and Gyvon joined in.
TIME: Before Dawn
It was nearly time. The Guard was swiftly roused from their beds and took their positions along the Perimeter wall. The mines covering their escape route when they fled to the Inner wall were placed to inflict as many casualties as possible. As an afterthought, a few were also placed between the Inner and Palace walls.
Twilight and her friends, each wearing their Element of Harmony, were standing with Princess Celestia and Luna in the Palace. They each wore their own Elements of Harmony, ready to be used should the need arrive.
Gyvon and Dinobot had taken position at the wall.
"It's time." said General Icewing. Princess Celestia nodded, and raised her head high. Channeling ancient and powerful magic through her horn, she began her task. Slowly, but surely, the sun began to rise. It was dawn, on what could be the final day for Canterlot.
LOCATION: Lost Prison
"Lord Galvatron, the sun is rising!" called out a Predacon. They had breached the prison the previous night, and a lookout was placed outside to tell of the coming sun.
Galvatron nodded in acknowledgment. "Very well." He turned to his Predacon army, an army that numbered in the thousands. "Predacons, begin the assault! Destroy that accursed city! Leave none alive!" The Predacons gave a mighty shout and stormed off to begin the battle. Under Galvatron's orders, however, the Decepticons remained behind. He was fully confident in the Predacons' ability to destroy a primitive city.
When the last Predacon marched out of the Prison, Galvatron turned towards the Prisoner. Nemesis Prime, formerly known as Nova Prime. He reached over to grab the sword that had been plunged in the Cybertronian's chest. With a mighty effort, Galvatron pulled the sword free, and the ancient machinery of Nemesis Prime's body began to start up.
LOCATION: Canterlot Palace
"AAAAH!" screamed Princess Luna in agony. She thrashed around as a dark mist began to engulf her. The Night Guards rushed in to assist their Princess, but were blasted away by a gust of air.
"Luna, are you alright?" gasped Princess Celestia. "What's wrong?"
Princess Luna stopped thrashing and began to laugh. It was a cold, heartless laugh. Soon the dark mist began to fade, revealing not Princess Luna, but another mare instead. A mare as black as a moonless night, wearing teal armor and looking at Princess Celestia with turquoise, viperous eyes.
"Nothing's wrong, dear sister." said Nightmare Moon, her voice dripping with venom. "Nothing at all."