Hiii!! I'm Neatly Spell! Nice to meet you! Do you know my friend, Diamonds? Can you help her get rid of the bad thing she said she had to go away forever to get rid of? Maybe then she can come back. Oh? You know some friends who can help? Thank you!
You wanna know about my family? Sure! My big sister is Arcane Spell, and Prince Blueblood is her coltfriend! Isn't that cool? I don't get why anypony ever said the Prince was mean. Once they get married, she'll be a princess and I'll be a princess too... won't that make dad and mom king and queen? No? Okay! My family is a lot healthier now, thanks for asking!
Big Sister says she's not gonna be a maid anymore. I don't know why she doesn't wanna. Making everything clean and orderly's so nice. We have a new majordomo, too! He's just as stern but a lot nicer than the last one! I heard the old one is in the hospital learning to be nicer or something.
Have you been to Ponyville Dream Park? It's really, really cool! The rides are fun, the gardens are pretty, food's great, and all the ponies are so nice! They're like angels from Elysium! I wonder why ponies don't talk about it more. I should take Diamonds there when she comes back. I bet she'll really like it too!
I'd like to help keep the park clean, but then I'd hafta move to Ponyville instead of cleaning the castle where Big Sister is gonna live!
When the Elements of Harmony woke me up? That sure was weird, and came completely out of nowhere. It was like I was in a bed, but I couldn't feel the bed, and I couldn't feel warm. I kept dreaming I was in this gray desert where it was always night, and ghosts kept chasing me, wanting this flower I had.
Blue Twilight Sparkle was weird and loud. Then I met a Celestia with a purple mane, and a pink Celestia, a blue Celestia, an orange Celestia too. A yellow Celestia scared away the ghosts and took me on a sleigh ride, and that's where the dream ended.
It's funny that I woke up and suddenly there were bug ponies around who wanted to be loved, and Princess Cadence is now married and queen of the bug ponies. But how did they get a baby zebra? She's adopted? Okay!
It was nice talking with you. I hope Diamonds comes back in time for Big Sister's and Blueblood's wedding! We can both be flower fillies!
= 'Make A Man Out Of You' - Mulan =
We bid a fair welcome to you all. As you well know, we are Her Nightjesty of Nightmares and Dreams, Princess Luna Nyx Selena Equestria.
We welcome ye to hear our words, in these last days before the final battle against Discord. 'Tis an honor to speak with ye, and we hope that when we part that there are no hard feelings between us. 'Twas an honor to share our thoughts and words with ye. We know thy task will be done at last with the conclusion of this battle to come, so we shall bid ye good fortune. How much we know and how much we do not know shall be a riddle left to the ages.
Dear Apple Bloom, in her capacity as the Architect, wrote thus: 'After the wedding, the princesses decided that Twilight Sparkle and her friends needed to be taught basic tactics as a unit for their own protection.'
We debated, my sister and I, what would be the best means to accomplish this. We considered Twilight Sparkle's brother, but he was still on his honeymoon at the time. Even if he weren't, even if he acted as a true soldier should and put his personal feelings aside while training his sister, he might end up teaching military solutions to diplomatic problems. The same would hold true for any member of the Guards.
Our sister considered teaching them herself, but we both felt she was too soft in this matter, and too close to Twilight. We proposed, then, that I would teach the Bearers, but Sister believed that my lessons would be too archaic or harsh, and reminded me that I sleep during the day, while the Bearers do not.
There was no perfect solution, but it had been written thus, and thus would and must be. So, after our sister set out very strict guidelines, we... well, 'tis not truly cheating. We empowered our avatar Selena, which we created during the Tulpa curse, to act in our stead. We told ye we are good at avatars. Even Twilight Sparkle could not tell the difference.
We did not know it at the time, but dear Apple Bloom had been certain Trixie would get at least one training day before the battle, so she'd know what to expect from her new herdmates.
At sister's explicit instructions, we bade the Bearers:
"Drill this into thy skulls first and foremost, little ponies! As the Elements of Harmony, thy true strength shall always be as teachers, ambassadors, negotiators, and healers, not warriors or soldiers! Thy duty shall be to prevent wars, not fight them. What we are about to teach ye shall ensure ye live long enough to bring forth thy true talents!
"The bravery ye showed during the wedding was commendable, and we would not have asked ye to contribute to the battle were ye not able, but please always remember ye are our greatest means of preventing fires from becoming infernos. There will be times when ye shall have to fight, but remember what our sister warns thou, Twilight Sparkle, never let this be anything but thy last option."
We could tell Trixie was not happy to be there. The mare wished to do things her own way, even as part of a herd. Much like Miss Diane Pie, Trixie's unpredictability was one of her greatest strengths. But they both needed to understand how to function as a herd ahead of time rather than flying by the seat of their flanks as they were accustomed.
"Trixie doth need her beauty sleep!" She still wore her sleep mask and was hugging a teddy bear.
"Yeah, couldn't we just do this in our sleep?" Miss Diane Pie asked.
"Hey, why I didn't think of that!" said Lady Rainbow Dash. "That would be so cool!"
Selena sighed and covered her face. "'T'would be possible, but such a dream is not true sleep, and ye would wake rested in body, but mentally exhausted. 'Tis best to reserve such training as that for a truly desperate occasion."
While we did instruct them in basic fighting formations and avoid typical tactical common sense blunders, Sister's instructions included us teaching them some of the more confusing truths most ponies in Equestria did not have to face.
"While we are certain most of ye understand that the world is not always broken into black and white, one must understand that solutions, not just problems are not always cut and dry."
Rainbow Dash snorted, crossing her arms. "Believe me, I know. I nearly turned into a demon figuring that out."
"... True, but 'tis not always a matter of sacrifice. Remember the tales of Megan Williams from the Age of Myths. The ponies she aided against numerous foes... Tirek, Grogar, Arabus, The Flores, Squirk, Beezen, Queen Bumble, the witches of Mt. Gloom, Catrina, Lavan, King Charlatan, the Gizmonks, Somnambula..."
"Don't forget the direct-to-play sequel where she fought the Headless Horse with Daisy Happy Flower," Miss Lulamoon said, bubbling with sarcasm.
Selena did glare at her for her impudence. Trixie just so happened to be struck by lightning... on a clear day, without a cloud in the sky. She came out black as a silhouette. Smoke sizzled off her as she silently blinked her eyes.
Selena cleared her throat, flashing a smile more fitting our sister. "Now listen and understand. The ponies of the Ages of Myth did not simply banish their villains to somewhere else, or imprison them, for that was not always an option. Many they were able to reason with and turn from their dark path, but some could not be saved, disempowered, or contained. Some had to be destroyed. We do not mean that they were never heard from again, or that they died refusing to be saved. These foes were eliminated by the hooves and spells of ponies who knew very well what they were doing, so great was the danger the enemy posed."
Rainbow Dash and Rarity were the only ones that didn't cringe at this.
"As the Elements of Harmony clothed in flesh, you must often make snap decisions on when to use force, when to put villains down," Again they looked thankfully uncomfortable. "When to capture, when to simply let them go, and when to bargain, it is not one or two solutions in your arsenal."
"Wait wait wait! BARGAIN? With bad guys?" Applejack asked honestly.
"She means so they can see how good it is to be friends, right?"
"... No Twilight Sparkle. I do not. Bargain with them, so they are no longer a threat."
"But... But aren't they then a threat to whoever they go after next?!"
"It depends upon the enemy. We shall explain. The ogre Niblick was given what he wanted, a companion who was as ill tempered and horrible to be with as himself, someone he could relate to. So he reversed the damage that his magic coins had indirectly caused Ponyland. He remained ill tempered and selfish, but he never sought to harm ponies.
"Queen Rosedust permitted Queen Bumble to harvest flowers from Flutter Valley, so there would be no need for her to steal the Sun Stone again. Queen Bumble remained a irritable glutton, but she now had a vested interest in keeping peace with Flutter Valley, with her most competent officer keeping her in check.
"As Nightmare Moon, I was a mare whose jealousy and spite had caused me to lose touch with reality. But this is not always the case, there are not always enemies who can be cured.
"The Flores left a desert in their wake, and felt no empathy for animals, or any living thing except their own kind. They could not be reasoned with. But they were also fugitives, subject to punishment according to the laws of where they came from.
"The Smooze created by the witches of Mt. Gloom was a living, thinking, feeling plague to all but the witches themselves, it had to be unmade.
"King Lavan consumed the magic of the Princess Ponies' wands to become an abomination whose very existence was disastrously unbalancing Ponyland's magic. He had to be destroyed.
"When the Gizmonks learned that ponies were not docile captives to be used or cowed, they knew better than to cross the Paradise Ponies again.
"And Tirek... his ultimate victory would have been the death of the world, as least for anything that could be meaningfully called 'life.'
"Queen Porcina was a naive pawn unaware she was being used, she COULD be reasoned with. King Charlatan, for all his xenophobia, still loved his son more than he hated other species, HE could be reasoned with. Crunch the Rockdog was an incomplete being who needed to be given a heart, he could be saved! Squirk was mad with power, he could NOT be reasoned with.
"What made Megan excellent was not her skill as a warrior, no matter what comic books or movies say, it was knowing when to bargain, when to use force, when to put a villain down, when to capture, when to just let them go, and when to show mercy. Treat EVERYTHING on a case by case basis!"
"But Princess..." Twilight Sparkle protested. "Those things happened ages ago."
We'd question how there are ponies still who think of these villains as myths, but then again, ponies thought me to be a mere trouble maker dressing up as the 'boogie mare' Nightmare Moon.
"Back then, ponies were struggling to form a place in the world." Twilight continued. "Certainly in these modern times, there's no need for that. We don't need to lower ourselves to their level, do we?"
Selena narrowed her eyes. "Ye have great power, Twilight Sparkle, and a great mind, one with a gift for always finding a desirable solution. But ye must understand there is a difference between slaying a foe already defeated, and stopping an enemy that will bring violence upon others if ye do nothing. Tis GOOD thou art afraid of that option, that is the option you wish to use the LEAST. But judge not too harshly ponies without thine power forced to make that choice, theirs is a terrible burden."
"I do not wish to use it at all!" The others all boldly nodded. Good.
"As the Neighponese Samurai would say, tis much a good thing for a mare of thy power Twilight Sparkle, to be aware of thy real power."
Rainbow Dash put a wing over Rarity's shoulder.
Hello again. Ahem... I am Twilight Sparkle, student of Princess Celestia and Bearer of the Element of Magic.
Bon Bon The First's journal is now in Bon-Bon's possession. It felt like the right place for it. Even if I still have so many questions, especially about Razzaroo's book.
"H-how ... How did you get this book-?! Who are you anyway?! Who are you really-?! Hey! You can't just walk away! Answer me! Stop!" But the visitors to Twilight's home were gone as mysteriously as they'd arrived.
Interviewer's notes: You will know soon enough, Twilight Sparkle. You will know soon enough.
So when exactly is 'soon enough?' After I learned the convoluted history of my soul? That Pony civilization had been destroyed at least twice? That there were technological marvels we ponies had that we're still struggling to get back? That my beloved mentor made a deal with Discord's mother to release the Windigos on Ponyland to stop the Three Tribes from destroying each other? That she and Discord used to be FRIENDS? Or after I was turned into Chrysalis' slave and my sister-in-law fought an evil version of herself? Or when I had a nightmare of a billion possible worlds where I became the villain until Spike helped me see how absurd they were? When? How much more world-shattering revelations do I have to learn before I find out?
= 'A Ballad For You' - Dynamite Headdy =
(Interviewer's Notes (Earth Pony): A lotta stuff happened that we didn't think was gonna happen first. We thought we'd be tellin' ya right after ya saved Fluttershy.)
(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): We thought that our duty to interview you all would be already done. What happened with the wedding and you finding out Equestria's past was... unexpected.)
Unexpected? You're the ones who gave me Razzaroo's book!
(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): ... We didn't think Celestia would tell you THAT much... that opened doors, and let more things in we had to record before our job was done.)
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): That's a fancy way of saying that we told you 'you'll find out soon enough' to be all cool and mysterious and we thought we'd be done by now. It feels like five years and eleven months past where we were supposed to stop. But a promise is a promise, so we'll give you the gist of it, before we leave Ponyville.)
... Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but you didn't technically promise.
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): 'Don't swear at all. Have your yes mean 'yes,' have your no mean 'no.' A very wise person said that once.)
So when are you leaving Ponyville?
(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): ... At the most, the day after tomorrow.)
Oh. Well, I'm certain Pinkie Pie will want to throw you a farewell party! You've been with us for so long, it wouldn't feel right for her not to.
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): ... Trust us Twilight, it's better if we just politely bow out when our job is done. We were never meant to get involved in anything.)
But you ARE involved. You've listened to our stories, to our fears and hopes. That makes you part of this story!
(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): This is YOUR story, the story of you and your friends, and your friends' friends, and their friends' friends. The moment we try and treat it like it belongs to us, we destroy what makes it beautiful to begin with.)
I'd say you count as friends' friends at this point.
(Interviewer's Notes (Earth Pony): I'd stay if I could.)
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): You've got your friends and family. We have friends and families waiting for us that we haven't met yet, and we've kept them waiting way too long as is. And, we've got responsibilities waiting for us back home.)
Maybe I can visit you someday.
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): Yeah... someday... right.)
(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): This is a complete and total cheat, what I'm about to tell you, but please listen: store the books which you keep for sentimental reasons in the library's basement. Just trust me.)
"And so we name Spike the Great and Rarity the Beautiful, the new monarchs of Icecreamlestria. May your ice cream never melt, and may peace remain between our kingdom and that of fair Princess Celestia of Caketopia! You may kiss the-" The gumdrop guards began to march, drowning out the rest.
"Wait, where are you going?" King Spike demanded. "Come... back?"
Spike woke up in his basket bed, disoriented, confused, and feeling cheated. He wanted to go back to his wonderful dream. But upon hearing frantic pacing below, he felt obliged to investigate.
He walked past the guest bedroom, plainly hearing Trixie's snoring through the closed door. 'I bet the library could blow up, and she wouldn't notice,' Spike thought.
Spike hesitated at the top of the stairs. 'Please don't be a Twilight Moment,' he prayed. He peered down into the library proper, and there was his guardian going round and round, frantically pacing. Spike just sighed. 'It's a Twilight Moment.'
Amazingly, Twilight spotted Spike right away, despite her insane focus. "Spike! Glad you're up! You can help Owlowicious organize these emergency notes!"
"Emergency?! What's happened?"
"This!" Twilight showed him a calendar.
Spike yawned and scratched his head fins. "Uh... Did we forgot to celebrate Arbor Day?"
"I don't think we'd miss Fluttershy parading dressed as a tree," Twilight said straight-faced. Spike glanced at a clock... three in the morning. What had Twilight so freaked?
"Spike, remember when all those evil monsters escaped from Tartarus?"
= Darkest Dungeon OST - Town in Chaos =
A giant golden lobster clacked its claws menacingly, sending more Ponyville residents stampeding away in fright. King Lavan laughed, promising bright sparkly crystal doom for all ponies. Dragon Lord Crown stole forty cupcakes from Sugarcube Corner when nopony was looking.
"Hey, you put those back!" shouted Pinkie Diane through a megaphone. "That's as many as four tens, and that's terrible!"
Then a scaly red dragon pressed against a rooftop, claws shattering windows, and Smaug the Golden stamped down, crushing the hastily evacuated house.
The monstrous villains roared with laughter, advancing deeper into Ponyville... until another dragon brought them up short. A purple and green titan, with a white, blue-maned unicorn riding on his back!
"Stop right there, fiends," boomed Spike, absolutely loving how big and deep his grownup dragon voice sounded. He'd have to thank Twilight for the super-growth spell later. "You're up against Spike the Brave and Glorious now!"
Shining Armor laughed, patting him on the back. "Spike, nobody calls you that!"
"After this, I bet they will!"
"Keep dreaming, little buddy!" Shining Armor focused his magic, conjuring up glowing violet battle armor for Spike, and an enormous war hammer for himself, all made from pure magical energy. "Oh yeah! You guys are gonna be sorry you postponed my honeymoon... again! Roll for initiative, punks!"
Somewhere in the distance, Trixie's voice shouted, "Stunning-Brightly-Special-Flare-Technique-Trixie-Shall-Never-Do-Again-Fire!" A titanic explosion lit the horizon behind Spike. The mighty dragon roared and started racing towards Smaug the Golden, picking up momentum like an oncoming freight train..."
With the epic clash happenings, none noticed a pathetically scrawny centaur skulk away from the battle.
= Lunar 2: Eternal Blue - Crowded Street Corner =
Spike grinned from ear to ear. "How could I forget!? I still can't believe something that awesome happened in real life, and not in some crazy alternate dimension!"
Twilight chuckled. "I can believe it, Spike. I was there dueling Hydia, remember?! The point is, we spent so much time disaster proofing Ponyville afterwards, that I forgot to include any time in my monthly schedule to plan for my next monthly schedule!"
Spike would have thought that being held captive by an evil queen would have done more damage to Twilight's checklists. Knowing her, Twilight had keep right on making schedules when she was under mind control.
"... I'm going back to bed," Spike said in a final tone that left no room for arguments, leaving Owlowiscious to his fate.
Twilight had just started to pace again when she was startled by a knock on the door. "Ugh, I don't need any more Filly-scout cookies." Twilight squinted through the peephole, then gasped, quickly opening the door and bowing. "Princess Luna! Sorry about the mess! I was just scheduling!"
"Actually," Luna touched her horn to Twilight's forehead, and the mare fell asleep on her hooves. "You're just dreaming that you're scheduling. You fell asleep. You should go to bed and rest."
Owlowiscious looked confused between his master and his goddess but did not meddle.
"Oh, I fell asleep? I guess I am tired. Goodnight," Twilight said, her eyes closed, as she perfectly sleep-walked upstairs to bed.
"And Celly said that wouldn't work," said Princess Luna, smirking. Then she sighed with a grim face. "Now I must away to my own rest..."
Twilight Sparkle woke bright and early the next morning, feeling better rested than she had in years. She’d dreamed of reading a brand new Daring Do adventure with an orange, blue-maned pegasus stallion while they lay in front of a cozy fire, his wing draped over her flank. She wondered briefly if he was a real pony she’d met someplace, or some amalgamation of her subconscious desires... Oh right, they'd fought side by side during the battle for Canterlot, she wondered what his name was. But for once, Twilight decided to enjoy her good mood and not overanalyze things or immediately write to Princess Luna.
She'd actually beaten Spike to waking up, a rare occurrence indeed, and Owlowiscious was just settling on his perch to sleep when she passed by. Twilight Sparkle trotted down the stairs like a school-filly, ready and eager to greet the day.
Twilight had just started sorting and ranking the different breakfast meals they might have with their current supplies, when a brilliant light blossomed in the library's lobby, as if a miniature star had been born right before her her eyes. She quickly dismissed that possibility due to the lack of intense heat or gravity. No, this was magic, powerful magic!
As the magical field grew brighter and brighter, kicking up serious gusts of wind, Twilight prepared to throw a force field around it, then teleport Spike, Owlowiscious, and herself to safety, but in one final flash of light, the 'star' collapsed.
= Simple And Clean -Ray of Hope MIX- KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue - =
Blue lightning crackled around the unicorn mare who had appeared in her library. She had a lavender coat, and a dark purple mane with violet and magenta streaks. She wore a golden suit of armor with star patterns that reminded Twilight of the custom armor Rarity had made for her and their friends during the final battle of Canterlot with the changelings.
But this armor was unlike any Twilight had ever seen before. The plates fit together as smoothly as a dragon's scales, covering most of her body. The crown of Magic was atop her head, fitting seamlessly into the armor, and the armor itself seemed to pulse glowing lines of magic as if it was alive.
"What's going on?" Twilight Sparkle gasped, "You... you're me!"
The other Twilight Sparkle took only a moment to get her bearings. "Twilight! I used Starswirl's time travel spell! Use it to come back here after you're ready to fight! You know this spell barely lasts a minute so just listen!"
Twilight couldn't help but open her mouth, though, a million questions already on her lips. "How do I even know you're really-"
"We were Minty and Clover and her family in former lives and you love O&O!"
"Okay! You're me!" Twilight blushed. "Are you from the distant-"
"I'm from later today! You're in for an epic battle, because Discord is loose! Don't panic, just keeping listening. At precisely six minutes after two in the afternoon, you and your friends will fight him in the Canterlot Statue Garden! Diamond Tiara has become a Nightmare, and she'll be there too! She's been working with Discord for months! Don't let them get away! Be sure to bring the Elements! I repeat, do not let Discord or Diamond Tiara escape!"
Wind began to swirl. Both Twilights remembered reading about Clover The First's meeting with Clover The Clever and knew what that meant.
The Twilight in armor shouted, "Ask Apple Bloom for details! She knows more than she's letting on! You can trust the deer doe! And DON'T WASTE TIME WORRYING ABOUT THE FUTURE!"
The armored Twilight Sparkle vanished in another brilliant flash, gone back to wherever and whenever she'd come from.
Twilight Sparkle stood there overwhelmed, still processing what had just happened for nearly five whole seconds. Then she used her spell copy of the Royal Canterlot Voice and shouted, "SPIKE! TRIXIE! WAKE UP!!!" And they did, along with half of Ponyville.
My name is Golden Tiara. Not Spoiled Milk or Golden Skates, those names belong to my past. And it's not Spoiled Rich or Screwball, never again. Golden Tiara is the pony that my family needs, the pony I choose to be.
We'd been staying in Canterlot, ever since we learned that this was the place where Diamond Tiara had last been seen. Filthy had been running his business via mail, and Shiny Star and Randolph were keeping the house ready for all three of us to return.
Once, Nurse Tender Loving Care had been the only one who could keep me in line, because only she could match Screwball in a brawl. Funny how she was now a dear friend.
TLC didn't need to be constantly by my side now that I was legally sane. But with Doctor Hoof Wave recovering at last after they'd finally exorcised 'Legion' out of him, she could finally afford to take some built-up time off.
That morning, when I felt it... I wondered for a moment if I was going crazy again, even if the doctors had sworn I was saner now than I'd ever been in my life. And everything in me screamed in a way that existed beyond reason. Every instinct, every impulse, I felt it. I felt my baby. My own flesh and blood.
I felt my head turn to look the windows, seeing nothing, but nothing knowing there should be something, like a cut out in a picture, a faint sight of a shadow fleeing.
"Diamond!" I called out. My sudden movement knocked a glass off the breakfast table, and it hit the tile floor, shattering.
Was this how dragons felt when thieves came for their treasure? Or griffons, when their hatchlings were threatened? My Diamond... my precious filly was in danger!
"Golden?" Tender Loving Care asked, instantly alert.
"I felt her! I felt Diamond Tiara! I know! I swear to Celestia, I know where she is!"
"Honey, are you feeling okay?" Filthy asked, concern stronger than worry in his voice.
I looked him in the eyes. "You don't need to worry about my sanity. I'm serious, Filthy. It's like I could feel her through the earth. For a moment, it's like a veil was pulled away, and I could feel my little filly!"
Yo! Ponyville's most eligible dragon at your service! Well, more like everypony's service! After Twilight woke me, Trixie, and every pony else up with her shouting, I was dragon-mailing messages left and right!
Cadence and Shining are still safe and sound on their honeymoon with Kifuko. Surrounded by half the Royal Guard and the entire graduating seniors class of the Schools of Gifted Pegasi and Gifted Earth Ponies. Celestia, Luna, and Twilight have all agreed that Shining and Cadence have earned their rest, and if the very worst happens at the castle, Equestria will still have one Alicorn to rally around.
There was a quick debate on whether to bring Trixie's family in on this or not. The truth was, none of Trixie's family had fighting experience, except her dad, who'd hit mandatory retirement age a while ago. And I think a big part of Trixie didn't want to have to go running to mommy, when her mother had just gone through so much just to prepare Trixie for trouble.
And that was nothing compared to the rapid-fire craziness thrown our way about the rest of the Crusaders. Twilight had excused the girls' school absence to Cheerilee, saying they were 'helping her with important royal business' and not much else. I guess 'Chaos Itself has returned and the local bully has become a demi-goddess' isn't news you want to share if you want to avoid widespread panic.
"I take that back!" I said to Twilight. "It really seems stupid! If Discord is loose and Diamond Tiara's gone Nightmare Moon, then how about we tell ponies! Get them to evacuate!"
"Evacuate to WHERE? What DO we tell them to keep them from panicking and stampeding?"
"Evacuate to ANYWHERE!"
"And have just the ponies of Ponyville evacuate? And not Canterlot and Cloudsdale? No place in the world is safe. There's no time."
"Then why THE HECK didn't Future You come back and warn you MUCH EARLIER?!" I said waving my arms jumping up and down.
"If I knew that I'd already be Future Twilight!"
Right, we were talking about Sweetie Belle and the rest.
At the same time Golden Tiara felt the presence of Nightmare !$*(!@(!(
My name is Sweetie Belle! Sweetie Belle! My special talent is singing! I have a big sister named Rarity! My oldest friend is Scootaloo! I'm a Cutie Mark Crusader! I have a secondary gift for helping ponies realize their true selves. I haven't had my cute-ceañera yet! I love my family and I love myself! I believe there's always hope for ponies and the world! I am Sweetie Belle...
Sorry about that... I don't think I'd had a connected moment with Diamond Tiara since we defeated the curse. We all made our plans, well as we could, and prepared for tomorrow to save her.
I got up at dawn. Rarity was already awake, packing her sharpest jewels and needles in her saddle bags along with her strongest cloths.
"Oh, Sweetie Belle! Go ahead, dear, make yourself breakfast!"
That's when I knew Rarity had already found out. I don't know how. Apple Bloom didn't remember how Rarity and her friends would find out, only that they would. I should have felt scared or maybe upset. After all, we'd already done our part, hadn't we? Shouldn't we just let Rarity and Twilight and the rest save the world like they're supposed to? But we'd handled big quests before. And Diamond Tiara needed saving from her corrupted cutie mark.
Silver Spoon was there to walk with me to school. I liked that, it was something safe and normal. At least, I was happy until I started wondering if it was really a coincidence, her showing up today of all days. Calm down Sweetie, Apple Bloom wouldn't have written anything bad.
We'd done everything to make sure Silver Spoon didn't have to learn about what happened to Diamond Tiara. But was all that for nothing? Was Silver Spoon going to be there during the fighting anyway, because she was Diamond Tiara's friend?
When Silver Spoon saw my worry and hugged me, it was like fireworks went off. Don't ask why. We'd hugged before. I don't know why this one should be different. Except in a moment I did know. Diamond Tiara had opened the doors just a little in a moment of weakness, while looking at her mom.
And Silver Spoon had hugged me at the same time, and the shock wave that existed between the exchanged pieces of our body/soul/spirit/mind, whatever it was, traveled like a ripple to her, and then the backlash hit me like the Friendship Express.
And in that second, I was Diamond Tiara... I remembered the original world before it broke and Apple Bloom patched it back together. I'd seen visions of Diamond Tiara's life in the tower before, but now I remembered how I'd gotten my cutie mark, how I was humiliated at my party by three brats where mom and dad didn't even show. The private party that was a ticking time bomb with mommy's 'problems.'
How guilty I felt for causing mom to go crazy, how she'd come so close to hurting me, to snuffing me out, how I'd blocked it all out rather than face it. How I hated daddy for going out with other mares. What Discord promised to do for her. Discord, keeping his word, but the real memories coming back, and a heart that hadn't realized its virtue, to become an extreme of nothing, an exaggeration of not even nothingness or oblivion, just literally a meaningless idea, hollow, empty. Like one of Button Mash's games where he glitched past the part where the hero was asked his name, and cut-scenes played with characters missing or dialogue with big holes in it. Like a paladin that didn't have an oath. I'm something ugly, hollow, drenched in sin, best left abandoned and effort to help spent elsewhere.
No! No! I! Am! Sweetie Belle!
I! Am! Loved!
I swayed lightheadedly on my hooves, the next thing I knew, I was lying in Rarity's chaise longue, surrounded by my sister's magic.
"Sweetie Belle!" Rarity came running. "Are you okay!?"
I could tell her I was fine, but I could tell from the look in her eyes that lie wasn't going to fly.
"Sweetie Belle, please?" Silver Spoon asked, next to Rarity.
"I'll be fine, Silvy."
"... What did you call me?!" Silver Spoon's eyes widened. She knew only one pony who had ever used that nickname.
I tried to think of a convincing lie, but stopped myself. I think I'm just sick of having too many secrets, I'm not you Chryssy. And I know how to forgive. Let the cards fall and let's save the world.
"Silvy... I know where Diamond Tiara is."
Back to Best Dragon? Sure thing. Twilight had Applejack bring her sister in. Apple Bloom didn't once ask why she was there. She looked, well, like when we'd been about to set out in the battle for Canterlot.
But before Twilight could even ask Apple Bloom anything important, Rarity, Silver Spoon, and Sweetie Belle showed up.
I told them everything. What REALLY happened on the Day of Chaos, how me and Diamond Tiara both turned into dolls and exchanged parts as we danced together, just a pair of happy little playthings, until the magic rainbow turned us all back to normal. And how me and Diamond Tiara now had a link like identical twins are said to have.
"Sweetie Belle! For the love of Celestia, WHY didn't you tell us before?!" Rarity begged.
"... I didn't even realize what was going on until the big nightmares," I said honestly. After all, that's all that was left of the rumors.
"And WHY didn't you tell us THEN?" Rarity pressed.
"Apple Bloom got her cutie mark. My cutie mark changed, Scootaloo's cutie mark changed, I confessed what really happened with Chrysalis to mom and dad and everypony. All those ponies visited school on the same day. I guess so much has changed, that one just... slipped my mind?"
This dragon is proud of himself for not saying, 'That's creepy' when Sweetie Belle told us what happened with her and Tiara.
What was creepier was the black magic books Sweetie had in her saddle bags. And the war paint Scootaloo was wearing. Oh yeah, Scootaloo showed up too. It was Apple Bloom's request. She said if Twilight wanted to know more, then she wanted all her friends together so they were all on the same page. Applejack and Rainbow left the fillies there to make their own preparations.
"And this last vision... you learned that Diamond Tiara was a Nightmare, you know where she's planning to be, and that she's with Discord?" Twilight asked.
"Yes," I said to the last part. Twilight frowned at how calm Scootaloo, me, and Apple Bloom were acting, while Silver Spoon was crying and hugging Rarity next to us for all she was worth. I felt like slime.
"My future self told me to ask Apple Bloom, that you know more than you're letting on. Well, Apple Bloom?"
I bet Bloom was happy that Applejack wasn't there.
"The truth is that yer takin' us with ya," said Apple Bloom with a straight face. "No ifs, ands, or buts."
"That's a bad joke."
"Ah'm not jokin'; we faced Nightmare Diamond Tiara together during that big bad dream! We're sure it was the 'real' Nightmare Diamond Tiara. We've seen how she fights. Ah know her original 'her''s still in there somewhere."
"And we're not letting you face her again!" Twilight snapped. "You are not soldiers! You are not warriors! You're not knights! You're foals! And this isn't a video game!"
Apple Bloom's face didn't even twitch. "We've SEEN things, FACED things you can't imagine, and we have as much right to be there at the end as you."
Twilight and Rarity both had something very harsh and stern to stay to that...
"Girls! Listen to me! I know that you think you can handle anything when you're together, but you can't-" Twilight stopped. She saw the looks in our eyes. We weren't foals anymore. I think it scared her a little. As Apple Bloom, me, and Scootaloo all thought about the living lies we'd taken down. What Miss Maud Pie said about us losin' our foalhoods.
"Apple Bloom, Sweetie, Scootaloo, what happened to you?"
Apple Bloom said matter of factly, "Ah got mah cutie mark in my dreams. Ah saw the face of the world. Ah saw where it's all come from, and where it's all goin' to. This ain't some movie where you can just shoo away the funny and playful ponies when things get serious, you can't just sweep us under the rug! We're all connected."
"... Every time you girls have been in danger, it's because danger came to you! The wedding! The outbreak! I'd be a monster for letting foals march TO mortal danger!"
That's when Apple Bloom had me show our trump card. We were all wearing our Crusader capes, and it wasn't just for show. We all remembered how Miss Maud Pie had taken her cloak around us when the curse had twisted everything, and it turned into the capes we have now.
Apple Bloom was the first to notice how they never got damaged any more, or even dirty, not while we had them on. We'd gotten curious. We'd DARED cut them with scissors but nothing special happened, and then when Apple Bloom put her cape back on, the cuts mended instantly. Then we tried to cut them while wearing them, and the scissors broke. After that... we began to get... kinda extreme in our testing.
Everypony thought I'd gone crazy when I shot a bolt of dark magic at Apple Bloom. It wasn't any trick or illusion, either... I used enough power to chill the whole room. Their jaws all dropped when the spell hit her cape and vanished without a trace.
"We... are protected," Scootaloo said, as tough and stern as she could muster, while looking up at the most powerful unicorn in the world.
I don't know if I should be grateful or sad that Featherweight didn't keep his lantern, and Button Mash didn't keep his video game powers. We'd been cheated out of foalhoods, they didn't need to be too.
Featherweight would really come in handy if he could still sense Diamond Tiara and sneak past her, but gettin' Miss Twili' to agree fer us to come along was gonna be as impossible as it was already. They'd come along if asked, which is why we DIDN'T. And... maybe Ah'm a bit worried they'd take Featherweight along and leave us behind.
...So it took a while for Twilight to confirm that our capes only worked for us, and only worked while we were wearin' 'em. She'd blast a hole in 'em, and we'd put 'em back on, and they'd fix themselves up in a wink.
"And Twilight, we need Silver Spoon to come along too," Ah said.
Silver Spoon looked up from Rarity's side. "... I'll do it for her."
"NO!" Twilight snapped.
"We're not askin' her to fight! We're askin' her to be there, so she can help bring Diamond Tiara back to her senses!"
"Apple Bloom! Nightmares are insane! They're BEYOND reason! It just doesn't work! Nightmare Moon! Nightmare Whisper! It never works!"
"... So yer sayin', there's no chance of it workin' at all? Of a Nightmare whose big thing is that she's empty inside... that if anythin' can fill that... wouldn't it be her best friend?"
"Do you actually think Silver Spoon's parents are going to agree to this?"
"You don't have to tell them." Silver Spoon said.
"Like fun I don't have to!" Twilight snapped. "Silver Spoon this is not a game!"
"I KNOW IT ISN'T!" Silver Spoon said in tears. "I don't care if it's you, mom, dad, or CELESTIA! I don't care if it's a hundred or a million to one chance if I can help! I don't care if I'm just there to cheer everypony on! I LOVE DIAMOND TIARA AND IF THERE'S EVEN A TINY CHANCE I CAN HELP SAVE MY BEST FRIEND I'M GOING TO BE THERE!!!!"
Twilight Sparkle hung her head in defeat. "Fine. On your heads be it. And curse me for caving in."
After Silver Spoon spent all her tears with Rarity... she had a few things to say to us.
"Girls... I had some dreams Diamond Tiara too. And I don't think anymore it was just a dream. I dreamed it was a while into the future, Diamond was back, my body was acting like my bully self, and we recruited a cousin of yours Babs into our gang of bullies. And-"
What is she talkin' about?.... OH RIGHT! NOW AH REMEMBER! SO MUCH HAPPENED WE FORGOT ABOUT THAT! Ah... Ah thought maybe that was just a rumor. Ah'm lyin'. Ah totally forgot about it! And... so did Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle. Things went different in the new version of the day, so she never told us 'bout her dream with fallin' in the pig pen! Well, she told us in our 'dreams', but ponies didn't remember everythin' of that, like most dreams.
Ah confirmed that Ah did have a cousin in Manehatten named Babs Seed, that Ah'd never met, and neither had Silver Spoon, but the description Silver Spoon gave sounded a spot on. Twilight rambled about 'prophetic collective unconscious dreams or some junk. (Until Silver Spoon got to the next part.)
But then she told us the parts she hadn't had the chance to before. Silver Spoon apologizing to Babs, the dream stoppin'... Silver Spoon meeting Diamond Tiara in her dreams, who wanted Silver Spoon to hate her or join the dark side. And this Diamond Tiara in her dreams, had wings and a horn.
Silver tellin' her the better way things could've gone in the dream she'd been forced to have, with Diamond Tiara a part of it. Diamond said she could make us Crusaders wish we never existed if she wanted (But then why didn't she durin' our fight?). Silver Spoon dared Diamond to do it to her, knowing Diamond could do it, but Diamond wouldn't drive her own best friend into despair in the end, and ran away. AND THIS HAD BEEN ALL BEFORE THE WEDDIN'!
"She's been a Nightmare for at least that long?" This left Miss Twilight bewildered and surprised.
"The poor dear!" whispered Rarity.
Miss Twilight shivered. "This is shocking. Nightmares aren't known for being patient... and how the Tartarus did she get past Princess Luna's dream patrols?!"
We didn't tell'er that Diamond and Discord had 'made their move' before.
Scootaloo made us huddle.
"Couldn't make Silver hate living? It didn't stop 'er from putting Silver Spoon in that booby trap bubble, remember?" Scootaloo whispered.
"Maybe that was Umbra Breeze... and he didn't tell her?" Sweetie suggested.
"At least this explains why Diamond Tiara didn't come and help Umbra Breeze when AJ beat'im," Ah whispered in the huddle.
"How do you know?" Scootaloo asked.
"... Ah just do."
After learnin' all this, Twilight stopped lookin' so glum 'bout bringin' along Silver Spoon to save Tiara. We gave Silver Spoon a Crusader group hug. She'd faced Diamond Tiara without super powers, and gotten inside her heart better than Ah did with the Truth in my eye!
But Silver Spoon did keep givin' Sweetie Belle odd looks. Not angry looks… if anythin', Ah think she's a mite confused given she now knows Sweetie and Diamond now have connected hearts. It wasn't till we were 'bout ready to leave for Canterlot that she built up the courage to ask.
"Sweetie Belle, I need to ask... is our friendship really ours?" Silver Spoon's eyes quivered.
"Silvy, I swear, I didn't become friends with you because there was a piece of Diamond Tiara in me... I became your friend because I worked for it, and so did you!"
Silver Spoon had some more tears in her after all, but they weren't the sad kind. She gave Sweetie a nuzzle. "Thanks."
As we were all freakin' out at my fellow Cutie Mark Crusaders (hey, dragon or not, I own the cape, even if mine for some reason isn't an invincible magic barrier cloak, dangit! That would have been so cool to have!)... Trixie... was being Trixie.
"Now Trixie," Twilight had explained. "You don't have to come along on this, in fact, it might be better if you don't, as the only other Element of Magic known, it'd be more logical for-"
"For Trixie to be there in case something happens to you? That's fine! Don't worry! Trixie shall be there!"
"Wait, no no, that isn't-"
"Trixie understands! Don't worry! Trixie is not afraid! To death or glory, but preferably glory, Trixie will march with her friends!"
"So... you're not scared?"
"Trixie is terrified! But Trixie owes that patchwork chimera a good hoof to the jaw!"
"Technically he isn't a chimera."
"Not now, Twilight! This shall be the show of Trixie's life!"
"Shows have SCRIPTS, Trixie!"
"This one will be improv!" she insisted.
"No plan in battle survives contact with the enemy!"
"Which for once puts us on even footing with Discord! And we have an ex-Nightmare of our own in our arsenal, and a half-chaos-god-pony-spirit! And who better against a monster that can do anything than a mare who's average at everything, and therefore not below average at anything?"
"... When did you learn logic?"
"I've always known logic, Twilight, I just use it when it suits me."
"AGH!" Twilight cringed.
Then Trixie had a cup of salted sake for the road.
I climbed up on Trixie's back. I'll admit, I did it because I knew Twilight would take me off hers on principle. Trixie just gave me a flat look.
"Come on, I know you don't mind having an indestructible dragon on your back and a free magical flame thrower," I said like a salespony.
"No, Spike!" Twilight said stamping her hoof, feeling like things were spiraling out of control before her very eyes. Heh. I bet she was wondering if the Cake's twins were gonna try to come along next.
"Hey, I... maybe I wanna do better than when ... when I chickened out before on everypony..."
"SPIKE! You were scared! Nopony blames you for what happened when the Elements didn't work against Discord! Don't put yourself in danger to make up for something that WASN'T YOUR FAULT!"
"I'm not. I'm going because I'm your number one assistant, where you go, I go, you need me Twilight, whether you like it or not."
Then Twilight looked me in the eyes, pleading... okay... now that was hurting, super hurting. It took everything I had not to jump off Trixie, apologize, and promise to look after Fluttershy's animals in the meantime.
"Spike, the reason we leave you behind? Because you're a BABY dragon! We don't want you to get killed! Why do you think we make sure Apple Bloom and her friends don't sneak along? It isn't for our safety it's for theirs!"
The fillies started, and Twilight blushed.
Only one weapon left. THE PUPPY DOG EYES! FULL POWER! Ugh! Still makes my eyes hurt! Time to see if every lesson Apple Bloom gave me about these eyes works!
What surprised me was when TRIXIE turned on the puppy dog eyes too! I wonder who taught her.
"Well... I... that is... " Twilight began to cave.
Then Trixie struck. "If you don't Twilight, I will."
"... FINE! Now excuse me! I need to completely rework my tactical planning!"
"Planning? Against Discord?" Spike asked. "Isn't planning kinda nuts with Discord?"
Then she gave us all a smile. "That's what all of you are there for isn't it? Isn't counter-chaos what you all do best?"
We all chuckled.
"SPIKEY-WIKEY!" Oops. Right. Rarity. Perfect. Beautiful. Divine in spirit if not in form Rarity. She was here. Sweetie Belle was right. All this stuff can make you lose track of the obvious.
"Uh... yes, Rarity?" I cringed. Trixie knew better than to get in her way.
"... Do you promise yo'll come back from this in one piece? I swear by Celestia, I shall never forgive you if you do not!"
I shrank under her gaze, enough to make me want to go crawling back inside my egg shell. I gathered up all my courage, and stood proud and strong as a dragon should. "Cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye, I shall return from this battle sane, alive, and whole."
"I have never known a pony who has ever broken a Pinkie Pie, or dragon for that matter, I will be disappointed if you are the first, Spikey-Wikey." She kissed me.
After that, I felt like I could take on a whole army of Discords, at any size!