93w, 5dWriting Gold
93w, 5dThe Writer's Group
93w, 6dGame Crossovers
93w, 20hArt for Fanfiction
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83w, 6dOther fans/ Ocs
81w, 2dTwilight's Library
27w, 1dSweetie Belle
52w, 3dSweetie Belle fans
15w, 3dEQD Story Compedium
27w, 1dTheGreatEater's Buffet
15w, 6dSweetie Belle is the best pony
5w, 6dMy BBBFF's Fan Club! <3
2w, 2dUnlikely Heroes
7w, 2dI'm going to be frank with you. 15 comments · 129 views
28w, 6dBroken Records 9 comments · 285 views
40w, 6dy 12 comments · 221 views
41w, 3dIGNORE ME!!!1111 16 comments · 278 views
49w, 1dMerry Christma- er, I mean Happy New Year! 5 comments · 148 views
54w, 5dWho likes Turkey? Sweetie likes Turkey! 10 comments · 124 views
58w, 1dHappy Almost-Halloween Everypony! 15 comments · 85 views
66w, 4dInstreamtive 7 comments · 90 views
70w, 3dThat thing everyone else is doing, so you want to do it too 39 comments · 68 views
71w, 5dUpdates, Apologies, and Someothersaxystuffyoumayormaynothaveheardaboutorseenyet 24 comments · 218 views
Finally... made it. Sweetie thought as she stood at the opposite door of the one she came in. She sighed, knowing that she was only half way finished capturing her friends... even less if she counted Applebloom, Scootaloo, and Spike. Sweetie had already had enough of the mansion, but she knew she had a long way to go before she could ever think of leaving. Sweetie wasn't sure how much longer she would hold out...
After retrieving her camera and Twilight's ghost, Sweetie saw it best to locate a mirror. The less of the mansion she had to traverse, the better. Sweetie could use her camera now to get back to the safe zone. The filly couldn't imagine how worried Applejack and Fluttershy were. In fact, since Applebloom was possessed around them, she hoped that they were alright at all. It had to have been at least an hour since she last saw them...
She took out her map to check out her location. As she expected, the map showed her on the other side of the library, still on the fifth floor. On the other side of the door was another hallway. This one seemed to have more bedrooms, like the last three she'd been through. Sweetie wondered how many bedrooms were in the mansion anyway. And what would Specter be doing with so many bedrooms? Do ghosts sleep? Did they belong to them when they were alive-
Sweetie shook her head. She was stalling, and she knew it. Somehow, she knew she wasn't going to like whatever was on the other side of that door. Sweetie knew better to put aside paranoia, but she felt she had to in order to convince her to head back into the darkness. The heat from the candles in the library, though faint, were comforting to the filly. It was the warmest she'd felt all night, aside from almost being burned alive in the theater.
Sweetie took a deep breath, whether to calm herself, or take in the last bit of heat she thought she was going to feel for a while, and pushed the door open. As the sound of thunder paused momentarily, she heard the sound of the library exit creak open, light seeping out into the hallway. It almost reminded her of when she first entered the mansion. How Spiffy had allowed her to enter the mansion... then, something occurred to Sweetie. By now, she was sure that any pony who was associated with the manor, butlers included, must have known about the ghostly presence... but she remembered that Spiffy had tried to drive her away. He didn't try very hard, but he did try. Was he trying to keep her away from the mansion horror? Shouldn't he have let her in without argument so he, or one of the butlers in the mansion could steal her soul?... or was he trying to warn the filly of the horrors of the mansion... maybe he was actually a nice ghost, like Madame?
Sweetie moved through the door, and into the chill of the dark hallway. She activated her flashlight, and shined it around the hallway, noting some of the landscape paintings. She recognized some of the paintings like the Everfree Forest she'd escaped just earlier that night.
The weight of the door caused it to close on its own behind her. Sweetie heard a click. She turned around and yanked on the handle of the door. It didn't budge.
"Locked. Of course." Sweetie grumbled to herself. The funny thing though was... that it wasn't cold. It was chilly, just like the rest of the mansion, but it wasn't a ghostly chill. It didn't feel like there was any ghost around. Sweetie remembered that Twilight said that the mansion changed... did that mean it could lock its own doors? And if so, when and why would that happen? The only circumstance Sweetie could think of was when some-ghost pony was lurking around...
"Well, what've we got here?"
Sweetie shined her light in the direction of the new voice in the darkness. Her heart pounded when she saw the yellow coat, and red mane of the filly she called friend.
"Glad ja made it this far. Thought mah friend Spike woulda killed ya fer sure." Applebloom said grinning. The light of Sweetie's flashlight shined on the filly's possessed yellow eyes. The flashlight also reflected off of the knife in her right hoof. "Hay, ya even managed ta git cha' little vacuum cleaner back together. I gotta say, ahm impressed."
"G-get out!" Sweetie yelled fearfully. "Get out of my friend!"
"Hmmm... le' me think... nah." Applebloom said. "This here filly's got a nice body, and ah ain't leavin' it till' ah can git a grown up's body."
Huh? I thought the ghost book said that ghosts preferred younger bodies? Sweetie thought.
"Tell ya what. Before ah kill ya, I'll letcha say hi." Applebloom said. She started to yell in pain, grabbing her head as she transitioned. She shut her eyes for a moment. Then, she opened them again. They were their normal shade of orange again.
"S...sweetie..." She whispered.
"Applebloom? I-Is that really you?" Sweetie asked.
"W...where are we?" She asked softly.
It's her. It's really her! Sweetie thought. She couldn't help but grin. She was finally looking at her real friend...
"Ah... don't feel so good." she said. "Sweetie... what's goin on 'ere?"
"Applebloom." Sweetie approached her friend. She put a hoof on her shoulder... then she remembered as she felt the cold shoulder of her friend. In her weakness, she fell into a trap.
Applebloom's eye changed almost instantly back to its possessed, crazed yellow. She swiped the knife in her hoof in an upward direction at Sweetie. The white coated filly jumped back, but not in enough time to dodge Applebloom's blade. The filly was cut around her left cheek, but she managed to avoid a critical cut. The cut was just enough however, to draw blood. Sweetie fell onto her back, looking up at the laughing filly.
"Ya always wer' gullablest filly ah knew!"
"Y-you don't know me. You're not Applebloom!" Sweetie yelled back.
"Maybe, but ah still got that filly's thoughts n' memories." She said. "Somethin' bout a dragon crush... git'n a cutie mark... and yer little group the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Aw, Sweetie. Ah know so much 'bout you, ya got no idea. Ah know how ya git on every pony’s nerves, how ya suck at magic, how ya mess up everythin' ya put yer little hooves on-"
"Shut up!" Sweetie said.
"...guess yer right. Let's quit the chit-chat and git this over wit. Now jus' hol'-" Applebloom started, but Sweetie had already scrambled up, and ran off in the opposite direction of the filly. "Ya always were a scardy filly Sweetie. Always runnin'." She said, putting her knife in her mouth, and running after the filly.
I've gotta hide! Sweetie thought. She went to several bedroom doors, all seeming to be locked. Why the hay is every door I find locked?!? She panicked, afraid that Applebloom would catch up to her while she was still in the open. Finally, she came to a door. It had the etching of a flame on it. Inside of the flame was a golden plate that said 'Madame- Second Bedroom- No Children'.
Sweetie broke the rule, and opened the door, quickly hiding herself inside. She shined her light around the room to investigate. As the sign said, it was a bedroom, with yellow curtains dressing a window, a grand hoof carved wooden bed, blood red carpet, and a dresser... A dresser! That would have a mirror on it right?
Sweetie shined her light on the dresser, as it bounced off of the mirror... but there was a problem...
"Oh no..." Sweetie thought as she looked at the many cracks and missing pieces of glass on the window. Some pony, or some ghost, had broken it. Sweetie took out her camera, and tried to take a picture. No luck, the mirror was broken, and therefore, she couldn't use it for transport. Who broke it? Applebloom? Or a ghost traveling from there?
Although the mirror on the dresser was broken, Sweetie noticed a book on the dresser. It was brown, and leather. It seemed like someone's special book...
"Oh, Sweetie Belle..." Applebloom called from the hallway. "Ya can't hide from me. Ah can feel ya."
Sweetie took the book, stuffing it in her saddlebags, and hid under the bed, turning her flashlight out, once again, being consumed in darkness. She heard hoof steps outside of the bedroom. They seemed to pass by the room, slowly fading away. Maybe she walked away? Maybe she le-
Suddenly, the door slammed open, hitting the wall of the room loudly. It was so sudden and surprising, it made the filly jump under the bed. As if on cue, a flash of lightning, and roll of thunder follow the filly's entrance. For that split second, Sweetie could see her sick toothy grin, holding her knife. Something told her the filly knew she was in the room. Then again, it seemed like it was the only open door in the hallway. Where else would she be?
Sweetie held her breath, much in the same way as when she hid from Applebloom down in the kennel. She could feel blood trickle down her face from the wound. Despite the rain, Sweetie was afraid that the sound of her blood hitting the carpet would bring attention to her. Maybe things sounded louder when you were trying to hide for your life...
"Ah know yer in 'ere Sweetie. Quit hid'n so ah can cut 'cha." Applebloom said through the knife in her mouth.
No more lightning came, so the filly couldn't see Applebloom in the darkness. At first she determined her distance from her taunting voice and hoof steps, but that was seconds ago. Sweetie was sure that Applebloom wouldn't wait around in one spot for long... she must have been moving silently around the room now. Now that Sweetie had no idea where her friend was, she knew she needed to escape the room soon. It wouldn't be long before the filly checked under the bed. Sweetie decided the next time she heard Applebloom, if she wasn't close to where the door was, she'd make a run for it. Applebloom had to make a sound eventually right?
Sweetie then felt something on her face, blowing the drop of blood in a diagonal direction as it went down her face. It was cold, like some pony had opened a window, and light wind was brushing on her face. Sweetie didn't hear any of the intense wind from outside in the room, so there was only one thing Sweetie could imagine it being: Applebloom's breath.
It was like she was right in front of her, crouching to her level. Sweetie imagined if it wasn't so dark, she would meet eyes with the possessed filly. Sweetie moved back further under the bed, in order to get further away from her. She had yet to attack... maybe she didn't know she was under here yet? As she silently moved further under the bed, the intensity of the cold breath didn't lessen. It remained the same, almost as though they were remaining the same distance apart. As she found herself getting closer and closer to the wall the bed was against, a realization hit Sweetie. Applebloom was moving with her, trying to force her against the wall. If Sweetie didn't do something soon, she would be cornered with the blade wielding filly.
The filly's heart thumped in her chest, seeming like the loudest thing in the room. Sweetie had to get out. It was now or never. Sweetie moved back further than she had before, making a shuffling sound along the floor as she moved back. Before Applebloom could attack her though, Sweetie charged forward under the bed, ramming her head into Applebloom. When she did this, she managed to push past Applebloom, and also having another brush with the knife along her face. It was deeper, and certainly much more painful, but still not enough to be fatal. Sweetie moved from out from under the bed, head throbbing from the impact with Applebloom's skull. She ran out of the room, reactivating her light so she could see where she was going. The filly dared not look back, but then again, she didn't hear any hoof steps pursuing her.
Once Sweetie had gained some distance between her and the bedroom, she finally slowed down. There was most definitely no pony trying to catch up to her. Sweetie found it peculiar for Applebloom to just give up so easily. She couldn't see her just lying under the bed as she escaped. Sweetie wondered... did the impact to the head hurt Applebloom more than it did her? Could she have some kind of concussion or skull damage that kept her from following Sweetie? Even though Applebloom was still possessed, Sweetie wouldn't forgive herself if she actually hurt Applebloom, or any of her friends for that matter. That was part of the reason she decided to run from them. Besides, it wasn't like she expected to win in a fight against either of them, possessed or otherwise.
Sweetie shined her light back the way she came. There was no Applebloom... but now, there were no doors. Sweetie remembered seeing doors on her escape, possibly leading to different bedrooms but now, they disappeared. Where there used to be doors and artwork, were now just blank tan walls.
Where are you Sweetie Belle.
"That voice..." Sweetie said to herself. It was ghostly and distant, but there was no doubt, it was her sister. Rarity was somewhere in the hallway.
"Rarity?" Sweetie called out. Since Sweetie had already caught Twilight, there was no reason that the voice could be fake, or that it was some kind of illusion. Now that Sweetie didn't feel the dizziness and loss of will power, she could safely assume that everything she saw was real. That didn't comfort the filly as far as the hallway went, but it did make her feel an odd sense of joy that her sister was somewhere close by.
Sweetie continued to walk down the changed hallway. "Rarity!" Sweetie called out, cold mist coming from her breath. "Rarity!" She called again.
Rarity's voice was fading away. Was Sweetie going the wrong way? The filly turned around and headed in the opposite direction supposedly where she just came from. "Rarity! Rarity! ...Rarity?" Sweetie continued to call out. Now, there was no answer. The voice was gone, and Sweetie had lost her sister again.
Rarity... where are you? Sweetie thought. Then, the hallway started to change again, right before the filly's eyes. Something started to seep out of the walls. It wasn't metallic like when she was transported to the mirrored hallway, but it was black, and much more wet and fluid looking. It was like black paint... but it had a strange depth to it, like she wasn't just looking at black paint, but out into darkness. The hallway seemed to be drooping around her to the floor as the black essence took over the walls, and eventually the floor around Sweetie's hooves. Within minutes, Sweetie found herself in an entirely new dark room.
The mansion changed again... Sweetie thought. Last time that happened, I heard Applebloom, who was around Fluttershy. Does that mean... that Rarity's here? Sweetie took out her map, but the odd thing was... that it wasn't working. The same question mark that was on the map when she was in the crypt was now in this new room. Sweetie could only assume she was underground in some basement level, because she didn't hear any thunder or rain anymore. All there was the sound of her own breathing to keep herself company.
Sweetie ventured further around the room to examine it, hoping to find some sign of her sister. Instead, all she found... were paintings. The paintings varied. There were landscape paintings, portrait paintings, abstract paintings, paintings of historical events Sweetie remembered learning in school. Until now, Sweetie assumed every painting she saw in the mansion, the Yields had bought from different places. Now Sweetie wondered if someone in the mansion painted all of these paintings.
There were many paintings in the room, but there was a certain majority of them that concerned Sweetie. They were of ghosts that she'd seen around the mansion. There were several butler ghost paintings, foal ghost paintings, and even a few licker ghost paintings. All of these paintings, unlike the ones that came out of the spirit printer, were of them in their glowing dead form. There was one other painting however, that made Sweetie gasp. It wasn't well made... in fact, it was downright poorly drawn in crayon. It was like it was drawn by a young filly...
"H-how the hay did this get down here?" Sweetie said out loud as she looked at her drawing. She remembered it well, as the drawing that brought Rarity to her senses around the time of the Sisterhooves Social. She remembered how Rarity had hung it in her room after the event was over... but she didn't remember the giant rip in the heart between the drawing of Sweetie and Rarity. Who the hay could have done this?
Sweetie Belle. Darling... you're here.
Rarity's voice was back, though still ghostly, louder than ever. It echoed through the gallery room.
"Rarity? Is that you?" Sweetie asked.
Who else would it be dear?
Sweetie looked around the room, desperately trying to find the source of the voice. She traced the voice vaguely to an extremely large diamond shaped frame in the room. From the outer edges of the inside of the frame, Sweetie confirmed it to be a mirror. Covering the frame was large splotch white ectoplasm. Was this where Rarity was speaking from?
Oh Sweetie, don't bother trying to look for me. I'm nowhere near you.
Sweetie's heart sunk. She was so high on the hopes of being able to catch her sister, and at least end one nightmare.
"W-where are you sis?" Sweetie asked.
I don't think that matters right now dear. All that matters... is you.
"Me? What about me?" Sweetie asked.
Simply that this all needs to end. Now, please stop fighting. My darling Specter would truly appreciate it, and so would I.
Darling Specter? Sweetie thought. She remembered how Spiffy had talked about Rarity 'catching the eye' of Specter. Could something have happened between Specter and Rarity? Sweetie shivered at the thought. "Sorry Rarity, but I can't do that."
Of course you can't. Rarity's voice sounds much more harsh and angry, maybe even a little annoyed. You can't do anything I ask you to. There's always something, isn't there?
You can't do anything right. At least not without breaking, burning, or doing something stupid.
Sweetie tried to remember that this wasn't her real sister. Sweetie did her best not to let the mare's words get to her.
Sometimes I wish I just let mom and dad just take you.
Sweetie shook her head at the words that her sister had said. She tried to get the words off of her head as they stuck to her brain. That couldn't be true, could it? Sweetie had heard the same thing over and over again all night. She was beginning to forget what her sister really thought of her.
Sweetie, I know how slow you can be, so I'll make this plain and simple. You're going to die here, and that's that. Please don't make this harder than it already is by fighting it ok? Maybe you can't do anything else right, but maybe you'll do that right. Good-bye my sister.
Ghostly laughter filled the gallery room. Sweetie whirled around, shining her light back on the paintings. Now, they were moving inside of them, as if they were laughing at her though some kind of window. Sweetie realized that she was now surrounded by ghosts. Several butler ghosts started to climb through the windowed paintings. As more did this, Sweetie's flashlight started to flicker. This didn't look good. From what Sweetie could tell, there was no visible exit to the room... then again there was the mirror. Sweetie could tell from the edges that, like the mirror she found in the previous hallway, it was broken. Still, the mirror was fairly large, and the cracks on the mirror, as far as Sweetie could tell around the ectoplasm, were fairly spaced apart. The mirror was large, so Sweetie wondered if she could use just a segment of the mirror for travel. It was worth a shot. She just had to clean off the mirror with the GCD.
Before Sweetie could start, she was rushed by the first free butler ghost. She dodged it, and shined her light on it.
Sweetie activated her GCD and proceeded with capturing it. The GCD counted down, and eventually notified the filly that it was capturing the ghost. The ghost was dragged in like normal, lighting the fourth light on the pack. It wasn't long however before more ghosts emerged from the paintings. Sweetie's flashlight went out, making the only thing she could see the ghosts as they approached her, and the faint glow of the ectoplasm on the window. Without her flashlight, things seemed hopeless.
Now's not the time to lose hope! A voice said in Sweetie's head.
"W-who-" Sweetie asked out loud, backing away from the ghosts as they got closer.
Madame. It's Madame. Listen to me. You can still fight back. You still have the Spectral Throwback. Use it! the voice said.
"But there's too many!" Sweetie said, her flank hitting a wall. "I don't have enough-"
Then hit more than one at a time! the voice said. Figure it out! There's always a way!
Sweetie looked at how the ghosts were coming after her. She saw two of the six that were out, in a bit of a diagonal line. If she shot them at a different angle, maybe... Sweetie moved to the side, so now she saw one butler ghost in front of another butler ghost. She switched to the nozzle's goo icon and aimed carefully at the two ghosts. She shot a green sludge from the GCD at the ghost. The GCD impacted the first ghost, throwing it back into the second ghost, effectively hitting both of them with the one shot.
As the ghosts wailed, and eventually disappeared, the flashlight flickered a moment before turning off. Sweetie's plan formulated in her head. If she could use her GCD's Spectral Throwback, and got enough ghosts away for a short time, maybe she could catch ghosts when there were few enough ghosts for her flashlight to work. The dual vacuum function she just recently discovered would definitely help in that department. Sweetie thought back to her fight with the lickers. Her flashlight worked when there were three ghosts near her... and it also worked in the crypt when she gained some distance from the other skeleton ghosts... distance wasn't in her favor in the closed off gallery, so her only hope was defeating ghosts faster than they appeared... though she probably wouldn't be able to keep that up forever. She would have to balance that, and cleaning the ectoplasm off of the window at the same time. That was her plan: shoot, light, vacuum, clean, repeat. Hopefully if Sweetie could keep that up, she just might escape the room... provided the mirror wasn't to shattered for her to escape...
Sweetie strafed to the side as a foal ghost shot its yellow slime at Sweetie. She shot back with her own purple novel ghost sludge, with much greater accuracy. Once that ghost was hit and disappeared, Sweetie's flashlight activated dimly, just enough to hit the incoming licker ghosts. One lashed out its tongue at Sweetie, who dodged to the side. The second one aimed to hit her face, but she swiftly ducked, narrowly dodging the tongue that would have hit her eye. She then swept the two ghosts with her flashlight.
Sweetie activated her GCD, catching the two ghosts in the gravity of the GCD nozzle.
"...5, 4 yank 3210. Magic depleted. Capturing Ghost." the GCD counted before giving the filly the 50 percent warning.
There was only one more butler ghost in the room, while other ghosts were still climbing out of the portraits. Sweetie took the opportunity to start cleaning the mirror. She moved over in front of it, and pointed at the sticky white goo. She activated the GCD nozzle and started the process of cleaning the ectoplasm. It was much thicker than the one she found on Applejack's door, therefore being harder to clean. Sweetie was only able to clear a small segment of the mirror, too cracked to use for transportation. Sweetie would just have to try cleaning another-
The ghostly laughter of a foal ghost came from behind. Sweetie instinctively jumped to the side, narrowly dodging its yellow sludge. She turned around to see a butler ghost just feet away from her. Out of surprise and fear, she blindly shot the butler ghost, lucky enough to manage to hit it. She missed the foal ghost, losing her chance for a double hit. Another foal ghost from the side of the filly's eye tried to catch her off guard, shooting her with another shot of ectoplasm. Just barely, she dodged it, getting her left side grazed with some of the cold sludge she was hit with. She used her flashlight, just before it went out to catch the foal ghost.
After the ghost was caught, Sweetie saw about six butler ghosts flying at her. She moved forward, ducking as they flew over her. Sweetie turned around and shot two of the six butler ghosts. Suddenly, the GCD stopped working.
"Warning. Only ghost left- Level Portrait Ghost. Unable to process Spectral Throwback command." the GCD said. Twilight was the only ghost left in the machine. Even if she wanted to use her spirit, which she didn't, the GCD wouldn't allow such a strong ghost to escape. Most likely some kind of 'safety feature' for the GCD. Sweetie was out of ghosts, and out of defense, unless her flashlight miraculously decided to work.
Sweetie took it out of her muzzle and started to shake it furiously. That method seemed to work sometimes when there were too many ghosts around. "C'mon... Come ON!" Sweetie yelled at the light device, as the butler ghosts approached her.
The light flickered a moment, but didn't stay on. "Work! You dumb flashlight! Please!" She said desperately. Finally, for just a couple seconds, the flashlight flickered on. Sweetie swept the incoming ghosts with its rays.
Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!
While the first two ghosts were disappearing, Sweetie managed to catch the second two in the GCD's vacuum. Once the next two appeared behind Sweetie, she heard their laughter. She turned around and jumped back, this time, determined to make every shot count. She moved around to the side, in order to get the two ghosts to look like they were behind one another. She shot the both of them with the GCD.
Once those last two ghosts were gone, Sweetie heard the laughter volume in the room increase. The ghosts would be coming full force soon, and Sweetie doubted she would be able to take them all on. She was tired, and her body was freezing. She felt numb all over, barely able to move correctly. The filly moved back over to the mirror and tried another section of cleaning. It was the same as the first. It was too broken for the filly to use.
Sweetie heard more laughter from behind. She turned around to see just about every painting in Sweetie's immediate field of view trying to climb out of their own painting. One licker had already escaped, and lashed its tongue at the filly. She didn't have the energy to dodge it again. It lashed across her coat, throwing the filly to her side onto the cold floor. As she lie there, she forced her fore leg up to aim at the ghost and shot it before it could do anymore damage. Sweetie got up, knowing she didn't have any time to waste, fear fueling her determination to escape.
Sweetie tried one last time with her cleaning, somewhere around the center of the mirror. This spot was also broken, but it was also the most intact spot she came across the entire mirror. It was her only chance. Sweetie took out her camera as she heard ghosts rushing for her. She snapped a shot of the segment of mirror. The world suddenly started to tremble under the filly's hooves. She started to spin, feeling the GCD take her back to the safe zone...
"It ain't any good..." Applejack said defeated.
"I'm sorry. I just can't get you out any further..." Fluttershy said in a similar tone.
For the last couple hours since Applebloom had dragged Twilight's unconscious body out of the safe zone to Celestia knows where, the two mares had been trying desperately to escape. Given the lower half of their body's technically weren't even made yet, it was a fruitless attempt. The mares had finally given up hope. Applejack hung her head sadly, and Fluttershy had finally stopped crying, as tears stained her face. The situation looked grim. There was no pony coming for them, Applebloom had gone crazy, Twilight was probably trapped somewhere... or even dead, and neither of the mares had heard anything from Sweetie. They could only assume the worst.
As the last bit of hope slipped from the mare's minds, they heard something from the far side of the room. A whirling sound.
"W-what's that?" Fluttershy asked.
"Is that... it is!" Applejack exclaimed happily.
"Who? What's going on?" Fluttershy asked.
Applejack and Fluttershy watched as green lights swirled around the area the sound was coming from. Within seconds, a filly materialized inside of that swirling light vortex. A hatted filly with a vacuum cleaner attached to her back.
"Sweetie? Is that you?" Fluttershy asked.
The filly still seemed to be getting her bearings after the disorienting transport. She shook her head.
"Huh? Then who are you?" Fluttershy asked.
"Ah think she's just tryin' ta git her head strait. Ya alrigh' there Sweetie?"
Sweetie looked at the orange coated mare, and then at the yellow coated mare. Her mind was coming back.
"Y... yeah. Just a little dizzy is all." She said.
"What happened to you?" Fluttershy asked concerned.
"You... I really don't want to... wow, I'm going to have to get used to that camera travel all over again, my head hurts." Sweetie said, lying on the ground. "Just give me a second."
"Sweetie... ahm sorry but..." Applejack trailed off. She saw how tired the filly was, and truly wanted her to rest, but that wasn't an option now. "Sweetie... somethin' happened while ya were gone."
After a few moments, the filly got back up, vaguely concerned. "What?" She asked.
"Well... while ya were gone, Applebloom... she-"
"Got possessed? Yeah, I know. She almost killed me." Sweetie said. "I think she also killed Twilight too, but I'm not really sure if that was her though..."
"You... you know about Applebloom and Twilight?" Fluttershy asked quietly.
Sweetie nodded. "Twilight got turned into a ghost, and Applebloom got possessed. Applebloom's now under Specter's control and stuff. Look, I know all of that, and I'll tell you all about it. Just give me a minute to..."
The filly lied back down onto the safe zone floor, listening to the hum emitting from the walls. She listened to it, making sure not to fall asleep. Just to rest for a second. Applejack and Fluttershy respected the filly's request, silently watching as she lie on the floor. After about 10 minutes of rest, the filly got back up off of the ground, sitting in front of the mares.
"Ok... now, what were you saying?" Sweetie asked.
"Ah... ya don't seem ta be worried 'bout any o' this do ya." Applejack said. "Ya mind tellin us 'bout where ya were all this time?"
Sweetie smiled weakly. "It's a long story..."
Sweetie started around the time where she first left the safe zone, after she dropped off Fluttershy.
"Um... S...sweetie?" Fluttershy interrupted silently and politely.
"Hm?" Sweetie asked.
"I... I'm sorry. I really am I..." She felt tears renewed in her eyes as they rolled down her cheeks. "I didn't want to... I would never want to... please forgive me..." The mare covered her face with her hooves, as she sobbed. She remembered much more vividly the thoughts that went through her ghostly head. Although she had her own thoughts, she also had the thoughts of a murderous ghost. The sheer fact she couldn't control herself to help the filly escape... she almost hated herself for the weakness.
Sweetie went over to hug the mare. "I'm not mad at you. I don't blame you at all. It wasn't you..." The mare embraced the filly for a few minutes before letting go. She wiped the tears away from her eyes. "I... I'm sorry for interrupting." She sniffed softly. "Please... continue."
Sweetie continued her story to when she entered the kitchen. She mentioned how there were supposedly two Twilight's: The first part of her spirit was one who could manipulate her mind, and the other was the one she saw get dragged out by Applebloom. She mentioned how, although she did see Rarity, she also met Pinkie, who lured her closer to Twilight's location, strengthening her grip, which led to her unconsciousness. She talked about how Pinkie wanted to 'play' with her, after stealing her stuff. She talked about the cage match with the possessed Applebloom and her escape through a kennel basement with some ghost dogs. Sweetie told the mares about the discovery of a friendly ghost named Madame, who gave her the magical box, and was aiming to help the filly. Sweetie then told about the search through the crypt, and the locating of her first lost GCD part. She told about how she was chased out into the church by a possessed Scootaloo. She told about the discovery in the dressing room of her second part, and the second appearance of the Pinkie Pie ghost. She told of how she found the third part, and how Twilight almost made her believe Scootaloo was dead. She told of her escape from Spike and the burning theater. She told of how she put her GCD together to capture Twilight's ghost in the library... and finally, she told of her second escape from Applebloom, and her first real encounter with Rarity's ghost.
Sweetie sighed once her story was finished. The two mares had a slew of questions they wanted to ask the filly, but they decided to ask about the most important one.
"So... you caught Twilight?" Fluttershy asked.
Sweetie nodded. "Wasn't easy, but I did it."
"Guess ya gonna print 'er out now?" Applejack asked.
Sweetie nodded again, heading over to the spirit printer. She stuck the nozzle into the machine.
"Processing..." The spirit printer said. The essence moved through the GCD into the machine. Twilight's ghost moved throughout the machine to finally be printed on the canvas in the form of a portrait. In the portrait, she wore a blue dress over her purple coat, tied together with a star button.
"Alrig' ya got her on that there portrait... now wha'?" Applejack asked.
"Well... now I've just got to bring her out." Sweetie said as she looked at the painting.
"But... I thought that Twilight had to use different spells to get it to work." Fluttershy said.
"Yeah, said somethin' bout them bein 'precautions'..." Applejack said. "Ya sure ya can do it?"
"I'm the only one here that's a unicorn. I'm the only one who can..." Sweetie said. She knew she wasn't good at magic, and doubted that she would be able to do the job alone... thankfully, she had Madame on her side.
Sweetie reached into her saddlebags and took out the golden starred box.
"Sweetie? What is that?" Fluttershy asked.
"It's the thing Madame gave me." Sweetie explained. "She said it would give me enough power to bring Twilight back."
"But... Sweetie... are you sure that's... you know, a good idea?" Fluttershy asked shyly.
"What?" Sweetie asked.
"Ya know, Fluttershy does 'ave a point. Ya don't know anythin' bout that ghost besides what she told ya. How'd ya know she ain't trickin' ya?" Applejack asked.
"I... I don't." Sweetie said. Besides the times in the crypt and the gallery room, Sweetie didn't know anything besides the fact she was Specter's wife... and that should have been a red flag for any pony. "But... we don't have a choice. There's no other unicorns in the mansion that aren't ghosts, and... and I don't have enough power by myself to do it. This box is our only chance."
Before either Applejack or Fluttershy could try to stop her, the filly opened the box toward her. She gasped as she felt an intense light surround her body. Magic flowed from the box into the filly, filling her to the brim... and more. Sweetie started to lose control of herself, feeling her horn start to sputter magic uncontrollably. She tried to block off the magic, but it was like an uncontrollably fire hose, moving magic through and out of the Sweetie's body. She was way too small to hold even a fraction of the magic of an alicorn.
Magic that came from the little filly's horn hit all edges of the room, even breaking some of its mirrors. One magic bolt hit Twilight's painting. When this happened, she didn't just come out. She shot out, hitting the ceiling before she could even grasp conciseness. She fell back down onto the canvas with a thud. The same thing happened with Applejack and Fluttershy, first hitting the ceiling, and then falling back onto the canvas.
The magic surge lasted about 10 seconds, but the loss of control seemed to last an eternity to the filly. She just wished it would end, screaming the entire time... and finally it did. The magic abruptly stopped flowing from the filly's horn, and she fell to the ground, unconscious...
When Sweetie finally came to, she felt dizzy again. Her vision was blurred, but she wasn't weak as though she'd just caught another ghost. She was helped up by some unknown figure she couldn't see through the blur. She blinked a few times, her vision returning. When it was back, she was face to face with the youthful face of Twilight.
"Sweetie. Are you ok?" She asked concerned.
"I... could ask you the same thing." Sweetie said, smiling weakly.
Sweetie got back up on all fours, standing firmly to show the mare she could stand by herself. She looked behind her to see that she wasn't the only one who was touched by her surge. Applejack and Fluttershy stared at the filly with a similar concern, and finally relieved to see that she was ok... but something was different about them... the three of them... something that Sweetie couldn't quite put her hoof on.
"Good." Twilight said smiling. The mare wasn't quite sure what to say to the filly she almost killed. Sorry? "You... you were very brave out there Sweetie. You've done so much tonight. I just wanted to thank you... for saving me... us... you know... and that, I'm sorry I almost..."
Sweetie gave the same treatment she gave to Fluttershy, hugging her, and telling her that she's not angry.
"Well... now that all of that's out of the way, I think I'll take that." Twilight said, levitating the GCD off of Sweetie's back. Sweetie, however, didn't let go of the nozzle, keeping the mare from taking it. "Um... Sweetie? You need to let go of the nozzle."
"N...no." Sweetie said. She couldn't let her go outside to do her job.
"Beg yer pardon?" Applejack asked.
"What's wrong Sweetie? You don't have to do this anymore. We can take over." Fluttershy said.
"No... you can't." Sweetie said.
"What? Why not?" Twilight asked.
"You should know. You were watching me. Right?" Sweetie asked.
"When I could." Twilight said. "So?"
"I... I made a promise to Pinkie's ghost..." Sweetie said, "...to get the camera back."
"Ya told us already." Applejack said. "Ya don't gotta promise that mare anythin'. She ain't Pinkie."
"I know... but I still made her a promise." Sweetie said. "That means I have to go out there myself."
"No you don't." Twilight said. "Sweetie... look at yourself. Just look."
Sweetie hesitated for a moment before going over to the mirror to get a good look at herself. What she saw... she wasn't sure if it was her anymore. Her coat and face was blackened by the smoke of the theater. Applejack's hat had gone from its normal brown, to a dark black. Her face was scarred with cuts from Applebloom's knife. The rest of the filly's body looked tired and worn, as though it were ready to collapse. The only thing that told Sweetie that she was looking at herself was her green eyes.
"You don't have to go-" Twilight started, but was interrupted by Sweetie.
"Yes I do!" Sweetie exclaimed. "If I don't go out there, one of you will. She... she can do things. She can't be caught unless she 'wants' to be caught. She's too strong, and if I don't honor her promise she'll... SHE'LL KILL YOU!"
Sweetie's exclamation caused Twilight's magic flow to break, and drop the GCD onto the ground. It was silent again in the safe room, besides the light hum that came from the walls. After minutes, Sweetie finally broke the silence as she picked up her GCD.
"Listen... I really want to stay here. I mean, I really really want to stay here... but if you go out there, you don't stand a chance now. Even with the ghost vacuum, you can't fight Pinkie unless she wants to be caught. That's what the book said anyway. And... something tells me Pinkie wants me to catch her... but I can't until I catch Rainbow Dash. I've got to do this. I... I'm the only one who can." Sweetie waited for a response, but didn't receive one. "Now... do any of you know where Rainbow might be?"
None of the mares wanted to tell the filly to go off on her own into the mansion by herself, especially after the ordeal she'd just managed to break out of. Finally, Fluttershy spoke.
"Um... I... I think I know." Fluttershy said quietly.
"Where?" Sweetie asked.
"She... she went up. To the seventh floor I think, to the outdoor dining place... or at least that's what I heard." Fluttershy said. "I was heading down to the mirror hall... I'm sorry."
"Great. I'll head there after I wipe all this soot off." Sweetie said as she went over to her cape, as it lie coldly on the ground. She started to wipe her body with the cape, revealing her normal white coat.
"Um... but there's one little thing about that." Fluttershy said.
"What?" Sweetie said through the cape as she wiped her face.
"The voice I heard say that... it wasn't Rainbow or Specter... or any pony really."
"Huh? Who?" Sweetie asked.
"Um... It was Gilda." Fluttershy said. The two mares looked at Fluttershy, their jaws dropped.
Twilight shook her head. "I'm sorry, I could have sworn you said 'Gilda'. Must have heard you wrong."
"N-no. I meant Gilda." Fluttershy said, looking down.
"Ya ain't talkin' bout Rainbow's friend are ya?" Applejack asked.
"Yes." Fluttershy confirmed.
"Fluttershy. You must have made a mistake. That couldn't have been-"
"No, I... I'm sure. I'd know that griffon's voice anywhere!" Fluttershy said surely. "Or... at least I think I would. Pinkie told you what she said to me when she first came to Ponyville right? I'd never... I'm sorry. I didn't mean to yell."
"Who's Gilda?" Sweetie asked. Sweetie had never met the griffon in person, only heard bits and pieces about her from her friends.
"A griffon who came to Ponyville a while back." Twilight said.
"Made Fluttershy 'ere cry too." Applejack added.
"That's horrible! What happened to her?" Sweetie asked.
"Well... she left. She wasn't from Ponyville and the only reason she stayed was to see Rainbow. We haven't heard from her since." Twilight said.
"She must have gotten caught by Specter and turned into a ghost."
"That's... the other thing." Fluttershy said.
Oh boy, there's more? Sweetie thought.
"She... she sounded alive." Fluttershy said softly. "She didn't sound like a ghost at least."
"That... that's definitely new..." Sweetie said. "Do you think she's possessed?"
"M-maybe. I don't know, I never got to look at her." Fluttershy said.
"Ok. There's a griffon out there that may or may not try to kill me. I'll keep that in mind." Sweetie said as she fanned Applejack's hat, knocking some of the soot off of it. "Well... I guess I've got to go back out now."
"Sweetie..." Twilight said.
"Be careful. Don't do anything stupid. I know, I know." Sweetie said annoyed. She moved to the door.
"And one other thing." Twilight said.
"What?" Sweetie asked.
"If... if you see Spike. Don't hurt him." Twilight said.
"Or mah sis, or Scootaloo." Applejack added.
"I know. If I find myself around them, I'll find another way that isn't violent. I couldn't hurt them." Sweetie smiled. "And I don't know how... but I'll bring them back somehow."
Twilight nodded and turned around to examine the spirit printer, wondering if she could possibly use it for some other purpose... it's then Sweetie noticed the difference in Twilight, and all of the mares in the room for that matter. It was their cutie marks... they were missing.