Forest – The Blackened Gem
I was nighttime in Forest, and most of the village was asleep. Seer Celestia hadn't been able to get a good night's sleep since what happened in Medieval. Knowing what happened to the Chrono Trigger caused Seer Celestia a lot of anxiety. She didn't know how much Luna was affected in this world, but she had her suspicions.
Luna always seemed so distant, even more so as of late.
Celestia knew from her Medieval self that the Chrono Trigger's group would be coming soon, so she decided to head to the pond in order to wait for them. Luna was already asleep, so it was better safe than sorry. When she arrived at the pond, she sat down on a nearby stone and pulled out her brush, deciding to do a little grooming before they arrived.
“My my, what a lovely night for stargazing, darling.”
Seer Celestia froze when she heard that voice. It sounded familiar, but deeper, older than usual. The Seer didn't even need to turn around to know who it was.
“Traveler,” Seer Celestia said, closing her eyes somberly. Behind her, a shadowy figure with long hair leaned against a tree with her arms folded.
“It's dangerous to be alone at night,” the person behind Celestia stated, “You never know who could be lurking in the shadows waiting for you.”
“You not have to do this,” Seer Celestia said, trying to control her breathing, “Killing me not change fate.”
“Oh, I know. I'm not here to kill you,” the figure said, stepping out and sauntering over to Seer Celestia, wrapping her arms around the now fearful Seer, “I'm just here to solidify my best friend's rule, and to cause you as much pain and suffering as possible. Now… why don't we go on a little trip.”
Seer Celestia looked to the side and saw the shadows form into various demons that slowly approached her. Her screams echoed through the whole village as the demons lunged at her.
Twilight and the group emerged entering the Warp Gate. It had been decided that for the time being, Twilight would assume Rarity's role as the leader, until they brought Rarity back to her senses.
The interior looked a little different now. The walls were still translucent, showing outer space, but now the ground was bigger with a few benches spread throughout. The four portals leading to the other worlds were still present, but now they seemed to be spread out in an X formation in the room, with another portal in the front center of the room. This portal had a platinum boarder, and was in front of a small staircase. Unlike the other portals, this one showed no image, appearing instead to be a stone wall. The holographic globe was still in the middle of the room, but was bigger and raised a little.
DASH-379 ran over to the new portal and scanned it, “This portal appears to be inactive,” DASH stated.
“Yep yep,” Pinkamena said walking behind DASH-379, “That's the way to the Land of the Gods.”
“It wasn't here before,” Applejack said, now looking around, “Actually, this entire place looks new.”
“This room is different than the warp gate you were using before,” Queen Celestia said, sitting down at a bench near Medieval's portal, now wearing a long fancy white and golden gown and holding a golden scepter in her hands, “The new Gate Key connects you to here, which is the only pathway to the Land of the Gods.”
“Will you be okay here by yourself?” Twilight asked.
“I'll be fine, Twilight,” Queen Celestia stated, “I have my own clothes now, and this place has pretty much everything I need to sustain myself for a little while. I already shared my knowledge of you coming with myself all over the universe.”
“So Seer know we coming?” Fluttershy asked.
“Sadly I haven't heard back from my Forest alter,” Queen Celestia said, “Nor can my Machine self respond.”
“That doesn't bode well,” Applejack stated, “She's probably still in that coma.”
“DASH, you're still able to contact Discord, right?” Twilight asked, “Let him know that we'll be stopping by later.”
“Affirmative,” DASH-379 stated, “I will send Discord an email. In the meantime, I suggest we begin making our way to Forest.”
Fluttershy nodded, and then turned to glare at Pinkamena, “I not want her to come.”
“Aw, I thought we were besties now, Flutter Butter,” Pinkamena said, pretending to be hurt, “Don't you want to introduce me to your family?”
“You send wolves to destroy village, and send Greymane to capture me!” Fluttershy seethed, tightening her fists, “Never forgive you!”
“You need to really think about who's at fault there, Fluttershy,” Pinkamena said with a shrug, “I mean, okay, I did give Greymane a bit of a power boost in order to help him fight the Chrono Trigger, but that's it. Everything he did was on him, and if I recall, you killed him already.”
“I kill him, but I still not kill you!” Fluttershy said, pulling out a dagger as both Twilight and DASH-379 got in front of her and held her back.
“Come on Fluttershy, we already talked about this!” Twilight fussed, “We need her help!”
“Please calm down, Fluttershy,” DASH urged, “It will not assist our situation if this in fighting continues. She is our ally now.”
“Your ally,” Fluttershy said, pulling away from Twilight and DASH, sheathing her dagger, “I never work with that woman.”
With that, Fluttershy began making her way to the gate to Forest. Twilight and DASH-379 sighed and turned to Pinkamena.
“Um… I don't know what you want to…” Twilight asked slowly.
“This world doesn't have a statue anymore,” Pinkamena said with a shrug, “I could stay behind if you want. Without the Gate Key, I won't be able to come help you guys if you need me though.”
That was true, Twilight thought. They didn't know what to expect anymore, and without Rarity traveling with them, they were down a fighter. Most of the wolf tribe members were Red adepts, and with Pinkamena being a natural Blue adept she'd be a great help. The only issue was Fluttershy, who actually had even more of an aversion of working with her than Applejack, who seemed to take up the mantle of tolerating the demonic jester.
“Honestly, I really don't think that's a good idea,” Twilight said, “I know Fluttershy is uncomfortable with it, but we can't afford to leave anyone behind. Just… keep your distance from her, okay?”
Pinkamena squealed happily clapping her hands, “Thank you thank you THANK YOU!!!” Pinkamena said jumping into Twilight's arms and hugging her, “I knew I could count on you, bestie!”
“N-no problem…” Twilight said, lightly patting Pinkamena on the back before turning to DASH-379, “Could you stay close to Fluttershy? I think she'll calm down with you nearby.”
“That was my plan from the start,” DASH stated.
“You're like, the best Dashie!” Pinkamena said. She was going to hug DASH, but stopped as the robot held up her hand.
“I am not comfortable being that close to you yet,” DASH-379 said, “It is nothing personal, Pinkamena, but Fluttershy is my friend and I am loyal to her first.”
Pinkamena sighed, “It's alright, Dashie,” Pinkamena said, sounding as disappointed as she could, “I'll survive without your loving embrace.”
DASH-379 raised an eyebrow at Pinkamena, but then walked over to Fluttershy. As Pinkamena skipped after them, Applejack walked over to Twilight.
“You sure about this, Twilight?” Applejack said, “It is Fluttershy's world after all.”
“True,” Twilight stated, “And I can imagine Fluttershy is going to be giving me the evil eye for a bit, but this is really the best option. I just thought, what would Rarity do, you know?”
Applejack nodded, “Alright then. I support it.”
Twilight walked over to the group, naturally Pinkamena stepping next to her. Just as she thought, Fluttershy glared at both of them before jumping through the portal. Twilight turned to Pinkamena, who just shrugged.
I really hope this doesn't bite me in the ass, putting so much trust in this woman.
The group made it to Forest, surprised when they didn't see Seer Celestia.
“I thought the Seer was waiting for us here,” Applejack asked.
“The Queen did say that she hadn't heard back from her,” Twilight said, “I hope nothing happened to her.”
“I am detecting temporal energy within the area,” DASH-379 said.
“That's not good,” Pinkamena said walking up next to DASH, “That means Nightmare Moon might have been here already. But… she wasn't able to fully connect to this world's Luna.”
“Oh, we're already taking care of that.”
Everyone looked ahead and saw a shadowy figure leaning against a tree, completely covered in the shadows. That voice sounded familiar to Twilight.
“Who are you?” Applejack asked.
“Oh, darling, don't you remember me?” the figure asked, “Or… now that you've gone and replaced me with that clown you've gone and forgotten about me.”
“That voice…” Twilight said slowly walking forward, “Is that you… Rarity?”
“Rarity? Rarity is dead,” the figure said, slowly stepping out of the shadows, “Remember? The universe just decided that she's not worth keeping, and that her life only matters when it's expired. No… “Rarity” is long gone,” she fully stepped out of the shadows, revealing her new sinister form, “You may call me… Nightmare Crystal.”
Nightmare Crystal looked quite a bit like Rarity still, but a few years older. She wore a long black dress that accentuated and showed off an almost indecent amount of cleavage and opened on the right showing off her leg, long black gloves, and black high heels. Her purple hair was much longer and fuller, flowing behind her back and white highlights as front bangs. Her make up now consisted of dark blue eye shadow and black lipstick, and her eyes were now demonic red.
“DNA scans show that she is indeed Rarity,” DASH-379 stated, “But I am detecting a larger amount of temporal energy surrounding her.”
“Rarity? What happen?” Fluttershy asked, “Why do you look so…”
“Do you like it?” Nightmare Crystal asked spinning around, “Luna granted me a lot of new powers, and this form came with it. I'm so much stronger now thanks to her.”
“Rarity, please tell me this isn't real,” Twilight asked, “You're not actually with Nightmare Moon, are you?”
“I told you,” Nightmare Crystal's eyes narrowed, “My name is Nightmare Crystal. As for your question,” she held out her arm, summoning a gothic looking spear and getting in a fighting stance, “Maybe this will answer it!”
Nightmare Crystal charged up her black element, and then held out her arm as darkness formed behind her and hundreds of cat eyes peered from the darkness. She then launched Feral Cats, causing all the cats to shoot out and hit everyone.
“Rarity! What's going on?!” Twilight asked, “Why are you attacking us?!”
“Luna told me that you'd all come here to stop us!” Nightmare Crystal said, “I'm not going to let any of you get in the way of us becoming the new gods of this universe!”
Pinkamena shot up and rushed at Nightmare Crystal, spinning around and swinging her hoop fighting Crystal close quarter. After a second, she jumped back and charged up her blue element. Underneath Nightmare Crystal the ground began to glow, and icicles shot out from the ground, doing moderate damage to her. (Ice Wall)
“What are you doing?!” Twilight asked running to Pinkamena's side as she got in her usual fighting stance.
“Do you wanna get to Celestia or not?!” Pinkamena asked, “Because she's clearly standing in our way!”
“I hate to say it, but Pinkamena is right,” Applejack said getting in her fighting stance, “We have no choice right now! We have to get past her!”
“I not want to hurt friend,” Fluttershy said pulling out her daggers, “but need to protect village!”
“I apologize for this, Twilight,” DASH-379 said, “But right now she will not listen to reasoning.”
“So this is how it is then?” Nightmare Crystal said looking down, visibly hurt, “Fine… none of you were my real friends anyway! I'll kill you! I'll kill ALL OF YOU!!!”
Nightmare Crystal rushed at the group, swinging wildly with her spear to fight all of them close quarter. She spun her spear over her head to knock all of them away, but they all flipped to their feet.
Applejack charged up her red element and used Vigor on herself. She then rushed at Nightmare Crystal and slashed with her blade, but all of her attacks were blocked with ease.
“I bet you never thought this would happen,” Nightmare Crystal taunted, “Having to fight your “Teacher”?”
“You're not my teacher!” Applejack seethed.
“That's right, I'm not, am I?” Nightmare Crystal said pushing back against Applejack's blade, “Your teacher, the Rarity of your world already died, didn't she?!”
She then kicked Applejack back turned to Fluttershy, who immediately began slashing her. Nightmare Crystal jumped away, and then charged up her black element again, this time creating what looked like a shadowy aura around her. (After Image)
Fluttershy charged up her green element, deciding to use a new one herself, casting what looked like a larger and stronger Wind Blade. (Air Thrust) Sadly when her attack hit, Nightmare Crystal seemed to instantly appear next to the attack out of the way as Fluttershy hit a shadow.
DASH-379 held out her arm cannon and fired continuously at Nightmare Crystal, who used her spear to knock all of the attacks out of the way. DASH then looked at Applejack, and both of them charged up their respective elements. They used their double technique Beat Rush, but sadly the After Image was still active, causing the two powerhouses to miss each and every attack.
“This is not working!” DASH-379 exclaimed, “Her element is not deactivating!”
“That's After Image!” Pinkamena called out catching everyone's attention, “The only attacks that will hit her are black and white elements now!”
“Twilight, that means you!” Applejack said turning to the frozen teen, “You need to attack her!”
“M-me…?” Twilight asked, “Attack… Rarity…?”
“Don't even think about it!” Nightmare Crystal shouted, slashing with her spear and sending a large black shock wave at everyone currently fighting, knocking them to the ground, “She's not going to do anything. She can't do anything.”
“Rarity… no…” Twilight pleaded, backing away as Nightmare Crystal slowly walked over to her.
“The two single attacking elements she has are too weak to make a difference at all,” Nightmare Crystal taunted, “Twilight here… is nothing but a weak, helpless, child.”
“W-what…?” Twilight asked, hurt beyond belief by her words.
“Care to prove me wrong, darling…?” Nightmare Crystal asked, standing over Twilight with a dark and sensual smirk, “Are you going to do it? Will you attack me?”
“Didn't think so,” Nightmare Crystal said, slapping Twilight hard and knocking her to the ground. Twilight looked up helplessly as Nightmare Crystal raised her spear to impale her.
“RARITY!!!!” Twilight screamed. Before she could do attack, an odd howl was heard. It sounded like a wolf, but almost otherworldly. Nightmare Crystal stopped and looked around confused.
“What in the world…?” Nightmare Crystal asked, “Where did that…?”
Something shot past Nightmare Crystal quickly, knocking her away from Twilight and onto the ground. Twilight looked in front of her and was shocked by what she saw. It was a black wolf with purple highlights on it's fur. It was larger than a normal wolf, coming up to Twilight's waist, and had piercing green eyes.
“What in the world…?” Twilight asked, “What is…” she stopped when the wolf turned to her.
What are my orders… Mistress?
“O-orders…?” Twilight's eyes went wide, “Wait! Was that voice… you?”
My name is Spike. I have been sent by the one known as “The Entity” to protect you.
I will follow whatever you command.
Twilight looked at the wolf, and then at Nightmare Crystal as she slowly rose to her feet.
“Please Spike…” Twilight said, tears falling from her eyes, “Help me.”
Spike nodded to Twilight, and then glared at Nightmare Crystal barring his teeth and growling.
“So, got yourself a new pet I see,” Nightmare Crystal said with an arrogant smirk, “It doesn't matter though. My After Image is still active after all. He's not going to make a difference.”
Spike howled charging up what looked like a black element. He then hunched forward turning into a black shadow, and charged past Nightmare Crystal actually hurting her. Nightmare Crystal slashed Spike with her spear, but the mysterious wolf creature jumped away, rolling into a ball, and rolled away from Nightmare Crystal, who rapidly fired Shadow Balls at him.
While that fight went on, everyone gathered around Twilight.
“Hey, you okay?” Pinkamena asked helping Twilight up.
“Y-yeah, I think so,” Twilight said.
“You have guardian beast?” Fluttershy asked, “Why never summon before?”
“Honestly, I've never seen him before this,” Twilight admitted.
Nightmare Crystal braced herself as Spike rolled over to her and thrashed about in an attempt to bite her. The two of them fought close quarter for a bit, eventually jumping away from each other.
“That's enough Crystal,” A familiar voice called out. They looked at the direction of the village and saw the Chief walking up to them, only now she looked like Nightmare Moon, “This world belongs to us now.”
Pinkamena charged up her blue element and shot an icicle at Nightmare Moon, who held up a hand to block.
“So this is the choice you've made,” Nightmare Moon said, “You know the land of the light won't accept you.”
“Even if the light forsakes me, I won't let the darkness rule either!” Pinkamana said stepping in front of Twilight in defense, “If you want her, you have to go through me!”
Nightmare Crystal gritted her teeth, but Nightmare Moon placed a hand on her shoulder to calm her.
“Their time will come, Crystal. Come, my friend.”
Nightmare Crystal scowled at the group, and then turned to Nightmare Moon and walked over to her.
“Is this true, Rarity?” Twilight asked, stopping Nightmare Crystal, “Are you… really our enemy now?”
“This universe is my enemy,” Nightmare Crystal said darkly, “As is anyone that this universe loves.”
With that, both Nightmare Moon and Crystal walked into a dark portal and vanished. Twilight fell to her knees as the realization hit her. That was Rarity, and she truly hated all of them now. Realizing this, Twilight broke down completely, crying harder than she had cried in ages. As she sobbed, Spike walked over to her, and on instinct Twilight embraced the large canine. Her friends all looked at her in sadness, unable to really say anything as they all felt the same as her.
Their chances of bringing Rarity back just got a lot slimmer.