A Second Chance

by DullDragon2070

Chapter 5: Trouble in Ponyville


Twilight, Spike and the rest of their friends quickly covered their ears as they were assaulted by the force of Godzilla's bellowing roar, narrowly sparing their eardrums from rupturing. Over the years, they had heard loud roars from many fierce creatures, from Cerberus to an Ursa Minor, but they had not expected such a fierce cry to come from the behemoth pony. Granted, Spike had told them what had happened in the Everfree, and this wasn't your garden variety pony, but it was still a shock... and a terrifying one at that.

Fluttershy fell to the ground, giving a frightened scream of her own, but it was drowned out by Godzilla's. Applejack, having used both her front hooves to cover her ears, was unable to save her beloved Stetson from being carried away by the buffeting wind. Pinkie, being closest to the kaiju, got the worst of it, the force of the roar blowing her bubblegum tresses back; the same thing happened to her lips, being blown back to reveal her clenched teeth.


Finally, after what seemed like minutes, but was really just mere seconds, the roaring ceased. As the last of it faded away, the ponies removed their hooves and looked up at the grimacing Godzilla with wide eyes, some in shock, others in fear. The other ponies that were gathered had similar expressions on their faces. Parents grabbed hold of their foals, while others started taking cautious steps back, prior experiences having taught them that something like this was not going to end well.

Pinkie, on the other hand...

"Wow!" she exclaimed, overlooking the immediate danger. "Spike was right, you really can roar! I thought Princess Luna was loud when she used the Royal Canterlot Voice during Nightmare Night, but now-ooh, glow-y!"

Pinkie and the others watched with trepid fascination as Godzilla's mane, tail, and even his beard, did indeed suddenly start glowing with blue light, growing brighter by the second. The streamers and confetti stuck in his hair were instantly burned to ashes. The large pony opened his snarling maw, revealing the same light gathering in the back of his throat.

"No, wait!" Spike shouted, instantly recognizing the attack, and knowing what was about to follow. "Godzilla, stop!"

At the same time, Twilight, remembering what Spike had told her about this particular phenomenon, quickly ignited her horn. A second later, she, Spike and her friends popped out of existence, and reappeared a few meters away. Most them looked a little disoriented by the sudden teleportation, but didn't have time to dwell on it, because in the next instant, there was a bright flash of blue, followed by an explosion.

The ponies looked to where Godzilla was standing, to see a huge cloud of smoke had enveloped the monster stallion. The next moment, they had to duck their heads as debris started raining down around them. Some of it was clumps of dirt, the rest was smoldering fragments of various sizes.

"MY CANNONS!" Pinkie Pie gasped, gawking a damaged wheel that landed near her.

A few seconds later, the smoke cleared, revealing Godzilla. The ground in front of him was now a small crater of melted earth almost two feet deep and nearly five feet across. On either side of the hole, were the burning remains of the party cannons, completely reduced to scrap.

"Okay, I believe it now," Rainbow Dash muttered in shock. "He can breathe fire."

By this point, Godzilla looked up and spotted the ponies. He growled dangerously when his eyes landed on the pink pony, angered that his attack had missed. He stomped forward, his hair lighting up again. Acting quickly, Twilight summoned up a barrier spell, enveloping her and her friends in a purple, transparent bubble, just as the giant stallion launched a column of blue fire from his mouth. The attack collided with the shield, the impact sounding like a gong being struck.

The ponies breathed a collective sigh of relief, having avoided the same fate as Pinkie's cannons. However, their relief slowly gave way to panic, as cracks began to appear in Twilight's shield from the constant pummeling of Godzilla's attack. The alicorn tried to funnel more magic into the shield to try and strengthen it, but due to the continuous pressure from the powerful torrent, she realized it was futile.

Twilight quickly redirected the majority of the magic to the front of the shield to reinforce it, while at the same time creating an opening in the rear.

"Everypony... RUN!" she yelled, straining to keep the smaller barrier up.

Not needing to be told twice, her friends quickly galloped through the opening. The second they were clear, Twilight cut off her magic and followed after them. Less than a second later, Godzilla's atomic breath destroyed the what was left of the shield and hit the spot where she had been standing. While Twilight had managed to avoid a direct hit, she was close enough that the resulting shockwave sent her flying several feet before she hit the ground.

"Twilight!" Spike cried out as he and the others moved to help Twilight. Before they could reach her, they stopped when they felt ground beneath them start rumbling. Looking up, the ponies gaped in horror to see Godzilla charging towards them, his glaring sight set on Pinkie. Sensing this, the party pony gave a cry of fright, turned tail and galloped away. The others barely had time to leap out of the way as the roaring behemoth thundered past.

Quickly regaining her wits, Rainbow Dash got to her hooves. Thankfully, the rest of her friends seemed unharmed and were slowly picking themselves up. The group of onlookers from before had scattered and were running for safety. She looked in the direction Godzilla had run; he was hot on Pinkie's tail, and both were heading deeper into town.

"You guys check on Twilight," she said, turning to her friends. "I'm gonna help Pinkie!" With that, she flapped her wings and took to the air, immediately giving chase. As she did, the others galloped over to Twilight, who by now had gotten back to her hooves.

"Twilight, are you okay?" Spike asked worriedly.

"Yeah, I think so," replied Twilight, rubbing her head with her hoof. She looked at her friends, and noticed that two were missing. "Where are Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie?"

"Godzilla's chasing Pinkie into town, and Rainbow flew off to help her," Applejack quickly explained.

"What do we do?" Fluttershy asked frantically.

"We need to go after them, and stop this, before somepony gets hurt," answered Twilight.

"Well, what are we waiting for? Let's go!" Spike exclaimed, taking off towards town. He hadn't taken three steps before his body was enveloped in a purple aura and stopped in his tracks.

"Not you, Spike," Twilight said firmly, pulling the little dragon into her waiting hooves. She looked to the others. "Girls, go and help Pinkie and Rainbow."

"What about you, Twilight," asked Rarity.

"I'll get there as quick as I can," she replied as her horn lit up. A second later, she and Spike teleported away. Once they were gone, Applejack instantly took charge.

"You heard her, gals," she said, getting the other two's attention. "Let's get moving!"

In a flash of purple, Twilight and Spike reappeared in Spike's room. The instant Twilight set him down, the young drake quickly turned on her.

"Twilight, what are you doing?" he protested.

"Spike, stay here," instructed Twilight. "I'm going to go help the girls."

"But I wanna help, too!"

"It's too dangerous, Spike! Just stay here, I'll come get you once we've stopped Godzilla."

"Twilight, don't hurt him!" Spike pleaded, quickly latching onto Twilight's foreleg before she could disappear. "Please, this is all a mistake!"

Just then, there was an explosion from outside, followed by Godzilla's angry roar. Twilight looked at Spike sternly. "Mistake or not, I need to make sure that he doesn't hurt Pinkie, or anypony else for that matter! But I can't be worrying about you getting caught in the crossfire."

"Please, Twilight, just listen," begged Spike, tightening his hold on Twilight. "Let me try to talk to him. He might listen to me. Just give me a chance to try and calm him down."

Twilight paused, contemplating Spike's suggestion. He had a point, she recalled how docile Godzilla seemed to be when Spike was around him. Perhaps he could settle the giant pony down. She then looked at Spike's bandaged wounds, immediately reminded of how close she came to losing him. She closed her eyes and shook her head.

"I'm sorry, Spike," she said, contritely, "but I can't risk it." She used her magic to gently pry Spike off of her leg, and levitate him towards his bed. As her aura around him faded and he plopped onto the soft pillow, Twilight swiftly turned and ran through the door leading out of his room. She turned back to see the baby dragon scramble off his bed and run after her, so she quickly closed the door. Then, summoning her magic, she cast a sealing spell on the door to prevent Spike from opening it.

Satisfied that the little dragon was secure, Twilight turned from the door, trying to ignore the sound of Spike beating on it while calling to her. She then lit her horn and teleported back outside.

"Twilight!" Spike yelled, yanking on the knob with all his might to get the door open, but to no avail. Huffing in frustration, he looked around his room for another way out. He beamed when he came across the open window. He ran over to it, jumped onto the windowsill, ready to fling himself out... only to gasp when he looked down. There were several meters between him and the ground, reminding him that most of the rooms, including his and Twilight's, were not at ground-level.

"Ugh," Spike moaned, carefully climbing down from the windowsill to the safety of his room. "I keep forgetting how big this castle really is."

...Moments earlier...

Pinkie galloped as if her life depended on it, which, ironically, it did. Suddenly, a shudder ran through her body, and, in response, she jumped to the right. A second later, a blast of blue fire smashed into the ground where she had been, tearing a hole into the dirt. Once again, Pinkie's Pinkie Sense had kept her from ending up a crater herself. An angry roar prompted the party pony to look over her shoulder while she ran. Godzilla was still on her tail, and, much to her dread, he was gaining on her.

Her eyes darted to and fro, frantically trying to find some way of escaping her enraged pursuer. Finally, they fell upon a small stack of hay bales. With a smile, Pinkie switched from galloping to bouncing. After three small hops, she bounced just high enough to avoid another blast. The shockwave propelled Pinkie through the air, towards her intended target. As she descended, she curled herself into a ball, took a deep breath before covering her mouth and nose with her hoof, and splashed down-literally-into one of the bales as if it were water; yet, despite cannonballing into it, she only disturbed a few straws.

Had he been in his right mind, Godzilla would have found the display very odd. However, in his rage-induced state, all he was aware of was that his prey had trapped herself. He skidded to a halt in front of the bales. Rather than using his atomic breath, he instead raised himself onto his hind legs, and, with a vicious roar, brought his front hooves down upon the stacks. The straps holding the hay together instantly snapped under his tremendous weight, sending several pounds of dried grass flying in all directions as they collapsed.

Giving a growl of satisfaction, Godzilla backed up a couple steps so he could look at the results of his stomping. He blinked in confusion when he saw nothing but hay scattered all along the ground. Where was the pink mare? Grunting half in anger and half in bafflement, the kaiju looked around for his enemy, but saw no sign of her. He dipped his head down and sniffed about the hay, trying to pick up her saccharine scent.

A few feet away, unnoticed by the monster stallion, a lone barrel jostled, and then it lifted a few inches off the ground. Sticking out of the bottom were four pink hooves, which preceded to tiptoe, quietly carrying the barrel away from the behemoth. Unfortunately, Godzilla caught the movement out of the corner of his eye. Turning his head, he spotted the barrel, as well as the hooves carrying it. Growling loudly, he swung his massive tail, striking the container.

A high-pitched cry emanated from the barrel as it spiraled through the air. The flight was short, as it crashed into the side of a house. The wood cylinder shattered upon impact, revealing Pinkie, flattened against the wall. A couple seconds later, the party pony lost her adhesiveness, and belly-flopped onto the ground amongst the debris; the wall now sported a vaguely pony-shaped imprint, a few cracks webbing out here and there.

Pinkie lay there in a daze, her blue eyes spinning wildly in their sockets. A large shadow fell over the prone pony, making her blink, her eyes resetting. She looked up to see Godzilla standing threateningly above her, raising a massive hoof, which was aimed for her head. Giving a frightened yelp, she quickly covered her eyes with her hooves, not wanting to watch her head get squashed like a grape.

Suddenly, just as Godzilla brought his hoof down, a large rainbow streak flashed by, temporarily blocking Pinkie from view. That didn't stop Godzilla's hoof from thrusting through it, a satisfying crunch filling the air. However, as the multicolored streak faded, Godzilla was once again bewildered when all that was crushed was some of the wood from the barrel; again, his prey had disappeared.

"You okay, Pinkie?"

Godzilla turned to the sound of the raspy voice and saw the rainbow-maned pony, hovering in midair several meters away, holding the pink one in her hooves.

Descending lower, Rainbow gently placed her friend on the ground. Pinkie uncovered her eyes and immediately moved her hooves all over her head. "Rainbow Dash," she said urgently, turning to her hovering friend. "Please, tell me my head wasn't squashed like a grape?!"

"No, Pinkie," Rainbow replied dryly. "Your head wasn't squashed like a grape."

"Phew! Thank goodness," Pinkie sighed in relief, wiping her brow. "Do you have any idea how hard it is to eat sweets when your head is squashed like a grape?"


"Well, neither do I," replied Pinkie cheerfully, which had Rainbow Dash rolling her eyes. Both of them were startled by a loud growl. They turned to see Godzilla glaring at them menacingly, pawing at the ground with his massive hoof while giving an angry snort. Rainbow glared right back at him.

"Listen, you jerk, nopony tries to stomp on my friend!" she exclaimed, smashing her front hooves together.

Godzilla roared in retaliation before charging. Rainbow answered his challenge with a battle cry of her own, shooting towards him like a rocket. Her incredible speed helped her cover the distance between them quicker, and before the monster stallion could react, she had already spun her body around, and delivered a flying kick to his snout. The blow was enough to make Godzilla stumble to a halt. Capitalizing on her opponent's dazed state, Rainbow swooped in close and started punching him in the face.

"Take that, and that, and that!" she shouted, thrusting her hooves out in rapid-fire succession, striking the kaiju in the muzzle, the mouth, the eyes, anywhere she could reach. For a moment, her attacks were having an effect, but eventually, Godzilla snapped out of his daze, and turned toward the pegasus with open jaws. Rainbow barely pulled her hooves back in time before his teeth snapped together. Two more times he tried to bite her, but she was able to float back just enough to avoid getting caught in his jaws. Unable to take a chunk out of her, Godzilla glared at the pony as his hair started glowing again.

Recognizing the signs, Rainbow shot high into the air. The monster stallion turned his head up to follow her, spewing forth his atomic breath a second later. The nimble pegasus swerved to dodge the destructive heat beam, but Godzilla turned to follow her flight path, trying to catch her with his fire. Fortunately, she was able fly fast enough to stay ahead of the flames, until, finally, the kaiju was forced to cut off his attack in order to take a breath.

"Ha! Missed me!" crowed Rainbow, blowing a raspberry at her grounded opponent. The taunt made Godzilla's fur bristle, an angry growl emanating from his throat. Immediately, his hair started glowing blue again, prompting her to go on the evasive again.

Meanwhile, Applejack, Rarity and Fluttershy had finally arrived at the scene, and, upon seeing Pinkie, the three enveloped the party pony in a group hug.

"Oh, darling, thank goodness you're okay," Rarity said, relieved.

"We were so worried," Fluttershy added, hugging her pink friend tighter.

"Glad you're still in one piece, Pinkie," Applejack said warmly. She then broke from the embrace to look at Godzilla. Thankfully, the behemoth stallion was focused solely on Rainbow to notice the three of them. "I really wish I had my lasso right about now," she lamented.

"Ooh!" Pinkie exclaimed, reaching into a nearby bush. After rustling around for a couple of seconds, she pulled it out a coil of rope that was hanging around her foreleg. "Here you go, AJ!"

Applejack blinked at the proffered rope, before slowly taking it. She then looked at Pinkie. "Where did you...?"

"Eh," Pinkie shrugged nonchalantly, "I've got ropes stashed all over Ponyville. You know, in case of rope emergencies."

The farm pony stared bemusedly at Pinkie, before turning to Rarity and Fluttershy, who both just shrugged. After a moment, Applejack shook her head, putting the matter out of her mind, instead returning her focus to the two battling ponies before her. "All right, y'all stay put. I'm gonna help Rainbow bring him down."

"Wait, AJ, here!" Applejack's vision was blocked by a familiar Stetson that she had lost earlier. She cast a glance at Pinkie, who asked cheerfully, "What's a cowpony without her hat?"

Applejack opened her mouth, but promptly shut it again, deciding to not question Pinkie. Instead, she simply took the hat and placed it atop her head. "Thanks, Pinkie."

Back at the fight, Rainbow dove towards Godzilla, hoping to get some shots in now that he wasn't using his breath attack. However, the massive pony didn't give her a chance, swinging his tail to swat her out of the sky, forcing her to abandon her attack and evade it.

Catching movement in the corner of her eye, she looked to see Applejack now within a few meters of Godzilla, though the monster horse didn't seem to notice her presence. The earth pony was twirling a lasso over her head. Their eyes locked, and within a moment, a silent message passed between the two friends. Giving a nod, Rainbow flew down to where she was a few feet above Godzilla.

"What's the matter?! Can't ya reach me?!" she mocked, swinging around to tauntingly wiggle her flank at him. "Come on! I'm right here!"

This has the desired effect she was hoping for. Godzilla bared his teeth in a snarling grimace, a dangerous growl rumbling in his throat. He then pushed his forelegs off the ground, standing on his hind legs and putting his now open jaws within reach of the cocky pegasus. At the last second, Rainbow gave her wings a strong flap, lifting herself up a couple feet just as Godzilla snapped his jaws shut. A second after his teeth clacked together, a rope looped around his muzzle, immediately going taut.

With a mighty yank, Applejack pulled him backwards. Godzilla fell, slamming back-first into the ground. Before he could even start flailing, Applejack and Rainbow Dash were already upon him. Using a combination of Applejack's inherent earth pony strength and rodeo experience, and Rainbow's athletic prowess, the two were able to force all of Godzilla's legs together, so the farm pony could loop her rope around them. In a matter of seconds, both ponies had the giant stallion's limbs and muzzle tightly bound together. Godzilla struggled to break free, but the rope held fast and all he managed to accomplish was falling onto his side.

"Yee-haw!" Applejack cheered, bumping hooves with Rainbow. "That's how ya git 'r done!"

"You know it!" Rainbow crowed. She then turned to Godzilla, giving him a smug look. "Hah! In. Your. Face!"

The kaiju's eyes narrowed as he let out a muffled growl, renewing his struggles against his bonds.

"Bravo, girls!" Rarity said as she, Pinkie and Fluttershy trotted over to join their triumphant duo. "That was a superb performance!"

"Yep," Rainbow boasted, turning to her friends while rubbing a hoof against her chest. "It's all part of being awesome." This got a round of eye-rolls from the group, but before anypony could comment, motion behind Rainbow caught their attention, and their eyes to widened in alarm.

While Godzilla was restrained, his tail wasn't.

"Rainbow, look out!" Pinkie Pie cried, just as the tail started descending.

Startled by her friend's outburst, Rainbow quickly looked over she shoulder. When she saw the tail coming down on top of her, she let out a yelp, quickly covering her head with her hoofs, and closing her eyes. She tensed, waiting for the inevitable pain. After a few seconds, however, she realized that the pain hadn't come. She slowly reopened her eyes, and saw the tail mere inches from her head. Blinking a few times, Rainbow noticed that there was a purple aura around it.

"Rainbow Dash, are you okay?"

The pegasus looked up at the source of the voice and saw Twilight slowly descending from the air, her horn aglow. She looked back at Godzilla, seeing that Twilight's magic had encompassed the stallion's entire body, not just his tail. The monster pony in question was completely immobilized, except for his eyes, which were darting around in bewilderment.

Letting out a relieved sigh, Rainbow took a few steps away from the frozen tail looming her, before turning to purple alicorn as she touched down onto the ground next to her. "Thanks, Twilight," she said gratefully. "That was a little too close."

Twilight gave her a smile, relieved that her friend was all right. She cast a quick glance to the others, all looking a little shaken, but otherwise unharmed. The smile shifted to a frown as she turned to Godzilla, whose wild eyes were now trained on her. She cautiously approached him, stopping a couple feet away from his head, lowering her neck until she was eye-level with him.

"Look," she said sternly, "I don't know how, or why things escalated like this, but I won't have you hurting my friends over some kind of misunderstanding. Now, because you saved Spike, I'm willing..."

Whatever she was saying was lost on Godzilla at this point, as he was more focused on why he was unable to move. He noticed that his vision was filled with the faintest purple glow, the same light that enveloped the horn of the pony before him. Memories from a particular battle flashed through his mind: a blue-scaled clone of him; massive shoulder crystals emitting a bright glow that surrounded Godzilla's form, immobilizing him; being thrown through a building by telekinesis. These memories prompted the kaiju to double his efforts to break free.

"Hey!" Twilight snapped, feeling the increased pressure on her magic, as well as seeing Godzilla visibly struggle against his bonds. She poured more magic into her spell. "Stop fighting me! I'm not letting you go until you calm down!"

Her words once again fell on deaf ears, as the stallion's mane, tail, and beard started to glow blue again. The rope around his muzzle suddenly caught fire from the heat emitted by the lit facial hair. Within seconds, the burning coils snapped, allowing Godzilla to open his jaws a bit with a menacing growl, light pouring out from between his fangs.

"Twilight!" Applejack said alarmingly.

Instead of responding, the alicorn focused on her spell, grunting as she slowly forced Godzilla's jaws closed. A small part of her mind couldn't help but marvel at how he was able to resist this much. Her magic was strong enough to immobilize half a dozen ponies. Now, it was taking that same power just to try this one monster pony from launching his attack.

Suddenly, to everypony's surprise, the light in his mouth quickly receded back down his throat, and the glow in his hair faded to nothing. For a minute, they were relieved, thinking that maybe Godzilla had finally yielded. That relief quickly turned to confusion as they saw a faint glow coming from the center of the stallion's body. Confusion turned to concern as the ball of light grew in intensity and started spreading outward, until his entire body was glowing blue.

Twilight, meanwhile, had gone from concerned to panicked. As the light grew brighter, so did the intense pressure push against her magic. "G-girls!" she stuttered, trying to hold back the power that was building. "Get... back! I think... I think he's going to-"

Just then, before anypony could do anything, the light coming from Godzilla exploded outward, the shockwave destroying Twilight's field and causing her to black out from the magical backlash. She, along with the rest of her friends, were knocked off their hooves and thrown several meters, before crashing haphazardly to the ground.

A minute later, Godzilla rose to his hooves, his restraints incinerated by his nuclear pulse, and he let loose a triumphant roar. As the cry echoed, he turned his attention to the fallen ponies strewn along the ground; they were slowly starting to stir. His eyes fell upon the purple pony who had temporarily trapped him; she was still unconscious. Eyes narrowing, he stomped towards her, a snarling grimace forming on his lips.

Applejack, being one of the most durable of the group, was the first to shake off the daze from the shockwave. Blinking her eyes, her vision cleared, letting her see Godzilla making his way towards Twilight. Gritting her teeth, she forced herself onto her hooves, ignoring her body's protest. Staggering for a moment, she quickly righted herself as she charged the behemoth. Not far from her, Rainbow was next to regain her senses. Seeing the same thing as the farm pony, she frantically flapped her wings, getting herself airborne. She swayed a bit with the sudden change in altitude, but she shook it off and made a beeline for the stallion.

Seeing motion in his peripheral vision, Godzilla turned his head to see the two ponies barreling towards him. Seeing Rainbow was closest, he swung his tail in a wide arch. Rainbow, seeing the attack coming, veered out to avoid it. Unfortunately, she hadn't fully recovered from that last attack, so she wasn't able to fully clear his tail, which clipped her wing, sending her into an uncontrolled spin. She hit the ground with a couple of bounces. Godzilla then turned his attention to Applejack, his hair lighting up, but the smaller earth pony, putting on an extra burst of speed, closed the distance between them, and threw herself into his broad foreleg. The force of the tackle caused his leg to buckle, bringing his upper body closer to the ground.

Before he could push himself up again, Applejack was already introducing her hind legs, Bucky McGillicuddy and Kicks McGee, to his face; the power behind the kick was enough to make him see stars. The farm pony didn't stop there, delivering buck after buck to the stallion's head, intending to knock the stallion out. The kicks left bruises, light cuts on his skin, and even a few cracked teeth, but Godzilla had yet to lose consciousness. After nearly two dozen kicks, Applejack was starting to lose momentum. Having barely recovered from that shockwave, combined with pouring every ounce of strength she had into each kick, she was getting tired.

Finally, Applejack faltered, having to pause a moment to catch her breath. That was all Godzilla needed, because when she threw another kick at him, he was able to get his jaws open and snap them onto one of her legs.

Applejack screamed when she felt his sharp teeth pierce her flesh. She desperately tried to pull her leg free, whilst kicking at his mouth with her other leg, but Godzilla's jaws were like a steel trap; they could not be budged. With nothing impeding him now, the kaiju-turned-pony was able to push himself back up to his full height, pulling the farm pony off her front hooves. She hung from his teeth by her now bleeding leg. She tried to pull herself up, to try and pry his jaws loose with her hooves, but, seeing this, Godzilla started shaking his head violently from side to side, flinging the poor pony around like a dog does with a chew-toy. Applejack cried out in agony as she was flung back and forth, each jerking motion bringing a fresh wave of pain through her leg. If this kept up, her leg would be dislocated... if not completely torn off.

Thankfully, for Applejack, Godzilla's thrashing came to a halt, courtesy of a blue beam of magic striking him in the neck. He looked at the white unicorn who assaulted him, letting Applejack hang limply in his teeth.

"Release her, you beast!" Rarity screeched, firing several more blasts at his head, making him flinch. The stallion obliged her, roughly flinging the apple farmer aside. Applejack bounced along the ground a few times, leaving bloody splatters in the dirt, before coming to a stop. Moaning painfully, she weakly clasped at her wounded leg, not getting up anytime soon.

Godzilla turned his attention back to Rarity, whose sudden bravado was nearly squashed by the wrathful glare directed at her. She felt like prey cornered by a predator, which wasn't too far from the truth. Her inner pony instincts were telling her to flee, to gallop as far as her hooves could carry her. But to do so would mean abandoning her friends, and she wouldn't allow herself to do that, no matter how frightened she was.

Behind her, Pinkie was desperately trying to revive the unconscious alicorn in her hooves. "Wakey, wakey, Twilight!" she said, shaking her friend by the shoulders, while looking back and forth between her and the approaching behemoth. "We could really, really use some powerful alicorn magic right about now! Pretty please, with extra sugar on it?!"

As Godzilla stomped closer, Rarity swallowed her fear and kept herself between him and them, although she couldn't keep her legs from trembling. She kept her horn lit, for all the good it would do. She knew that she was nowhere near as strong with magic as Twilight, but she would do her best to protect those she cared deeply for.

Godzilla stopped a few feet before her, his hair starting to glow. He opened his mouth, the light building in the back of his throat promising death. He then reared his head back, and then brought it forward-


-He froze, the light from his attack quickly diminishing as he found himself staring into a pair of intense-almost frightening-turquoise eyes.

"You stop hurting my friends, buster! And I mean now!" Fluttershy fiercely scolded. She now hovered in front of Godzilla's muzzle, unleashing the full power of The Stare on him.

Rarity heaved a sigh of relief as she let her magic fade. Godzilla had gone completely still, even his tail had frozen in mid-thrash. His eyes were wide, the pupils contracting to the size of pinholes, no doubt thanks to the effects of Fluttershy's ultimate weapon for misbehaving creatures.

"Whoo-hoo! Yay, Fluttershy!" Pinkie cheered, still cradling Twilight with one foreleg, while hoof pumping with the other. "Way to show the big meanie pants who's boss!"

"Pinkie, dear, please don't break her concentration," Rarity gently warned. "Just focus on waking Twilight, and I will see to Applejack and Rainbow Da-"

A sudden growl and a surprised gasp cut her off. She looked back to Fluttershy and Godzilla, and what she saw made her eyes widen.

Godzilla's eyes had narrowed slightly, and his pupils were slowly returning to normal size. His tail had started swaying again, but the biggest shock to the ponies was when he raised a shaky hoof, and took a step forward. At the same time, Fluttershy slowly floated backwards a bit with a small whimper.

"Uh-oh," Pinkie squeaked.

"That's... impossible," Rarity whispered, horrified.

By now, Rainbow was back on her hooves. She watched in shock as Godzilla took another trembling step towards Fluttershy, who bravely kept eye contact with the monster pony, even as she slowly retreated to keep distance between them.

"Damn," Rainbow cursed. "Not even The Stare is stopping him." She roughly tapped a hoof against her head, trying desperately to come up with a plan. So far, everything she and her friends threw at this stallion failed to keep him down. So, the only thing that could save them now, was to knock Godzilla out. But the behemoth had proven to be pretty tough, able to withstand even Applejack's barrage of bucks hitting him in the face. They would need something stronger to...

Rainbow's eyes widened, a smile breaking across her face as it came to her. "That's it!"

With that, she snapped her wings open, ignoring the lingering sting from the one that received the tail-whip. With a single beat of her wings, she shot into the air, and she immediately made a beeline for the clear blue skies above.

"Where is she going?!" Rarity asked alarmingly, watching as Rainbow Dash continued flying up, her form shrinking rapidly, until she was gone from sight. "In case she has forgotten, we still have a crisis on our hooves!" she pointed out, looking towards the still approaching Godzilla.

"Don't worry, Rarity," Pinkie replied. "Rainbow Dash will be back reeeeeaaaaal soon!"

Rainbow flapped her wings furiously, flying higher and higher into the sky. She cast a glance over her shoulder; by now, Ponyville was a mere speck on the ground below.

"Okay, tough guy," she muttered through gritted teeth. "Let's see how you handle this!"

With that declaration, Rainbow veered up, pulling off a couple of loop-the-loops to increase her already incredible speed, before going into a dive. Extending her hooves, while pulling her wings in close, she rocketed back towards Ponyville. Within seconds, she was surrounded by a growing cone of air.

Fluttershy did her best to ignore the burning in her eyes, which were dry by now, as she continued to stare at Godzilla. The large pony's face had regained its snarling grimace, but she still managed to maintain eye contact with him. She didn't dare risk blinking, otherwise the trance the behemoth was barely in would be broken, and then she and her friends would be in trouble.

It was well known by now, that the main effect of The Stare, was to overwhelm those caught in it with paralyzing guilt, making them feel bad for past wrongs they had committed.

What wasn't known was that there was another effect, one that affected Fluttershy directly.

It is said that the eyes are the window to one's soul. While using The Stare, Fluttershy was able to "see" into their soul, and feel their emotions, just like she was doing with Godzilla now.

Of course, the overall emotion she was felt from him was rage. It practically engulfed her like a beast swallowing a morsel. It was all she could do not to run far away, find someplace to curl up into a ball and cry. But underneath the violent anger, there were other emotions, one's that greatly contrasted with the overpowering feeling.

There was pain, loneliness, and... loss.


Recent loss.

This caused Fluttershy to finally blink.

She was faintly aware that she had tears trailing down her cheeks, but that was not her immediate concern at the moment. Godzilla, free from The Stare's effects, shook his head violently. While terrified, Fluttershy noticed droplets flying from the massive pony's face. However, she didn't have time to dwell on it, as her vision was soon filled with serrated teeth. The timid pegasus cried out, both of the frightening sight, and of the tingling sensation that suddenly enveloped her body.

With a quick mental yank, Rarity pulled her friend, who was now safely secured in her magic, away from Godzilla, his teeth snapping mere inches from her nose, and into her waiting hooves. The unicorn didn't have time to inquire if Fluttershy was okay, though, because Godzilla was once again focused on them, his hair began to glow. Rarity quickly summoned her magic again, preparing to do what she could to prevent the attack the behemoth was preparing to unleash.

"No!" Applejack cried, seeing her friends in danger. She desperately tried to get to her hooves, but as she put pressure on her injured leg, the pain caused her to buckle, and she fell to the ground again. She could only look on, helplessly, as both sides prepared to fire.


Godzilla and the ponies paused at the sudden, resonating sound. They turned their attention skyward, where they immediately saw an expanding ring of rainbow colors. Even in his enraged state, the kaiju couldn't help but stare in awe at the beautiful sight.

He was so entranced by it, that he didn't notice the rapidly approaching multicolored stream. What he did see, was a pair of cyan hooves as they slammed into his muzzle with incredible force. The impact knocked his head back, making him take several staggering steps backwards, a screech of pain escaping his lips. By the time, he was able to stop himself, a super accelerated Rainbow Dash had already veered around and was delivering another speed-enhanced blow to his body. Not giving him a chance to recover, she followed up with another, and another, and another, striking him on the head, legs, and body, multiple times, keeping him off balance.

Finally, after actually bringing him down to his knees, Rainbow pulled straight up into the air. After climbing over a mile in a matter of seconds, she shot a U-turn, leaving an arching rainbow trail behind her, and she gave a battle cry as she dove towards her dazed opponent.

"Okay, Spike, you've got this."

The young dragon repeated this mantra as he stood on the windowsill. He had one claw gripping the side of the window to keep his balance, and in the other, he held his basket. Being unable to escape from the room through the door, Spike's only option was the window. His plan was simple: jump and use his bed as a cushion for the fall.

Now, as he looked down from the dizzying height, he was having doubts.

However, the sounds of battle occurring in Ponyville helped strengthen his resolve. "Come on, Spike, you gotta do this! For your friends, for Godzilla," he reasoned with himself. With that he took a deep breath and leaned out the window. "Okay, on the count of three. One... two..."

Before he could get the last number out, a huge tremor shook the castle, startling Spike, and making him lose his grip on the window. He screamed as he plummeted towards the ground. As he fell, he quickly remembered his basket still clutched in his other claw. He managed get it under him just as he hit the ground. The combination of the impact, the height of the fall, and Spike's weight caused the basket to splinter into pieces, but it did its job of softening the little drake's landing... somewhat. Even with the cushion, the fall was still pretty jarring for Spike. He laid there for a couple minutes, waiting for the pain to pass, before pushing himself to his feet.

"Piece of cake," he groaned, gently rubbing his head. He cast a mournful glance at the remains of his bed, before picking up the tiny mattress, which was leaking stuffing from newly formed rips. "Don't worry, my friend," he sniffled somberly, "I'll make sure your sacrifice wasn't in vain."

Letting the remnants fall to the dirt, Spike set to locating his friends. He quickly spotted a rainbow-colored mushroom cloud over the rooftops a few blocks away.

"Definitely Rainbow Dash," he said. With a clear direction to go, he made his way to where he was sure he would find his friends and Godzilla. It wasn't as fast as he would've like, however, because of the fall, and his previous injuries, his movements were greatly impeded. Nevertheless, he hobbled as quickly as he was able, pushing past the pain.

He could only hope that he wasn't too late.

Twilight awoke with a coughing fit, the taste of dirt in her mouth. She cracked her eyes open, only to close them again as dust got into her eyes. Swiveling her ears, she could hear her friends close by, coughing like she was. She opened her eyes again, blinking rapidly to clear the tears that had formed. When she could finally see again, she saw that she was being held by Pinkie, and Rarity and Fluttershy were standing a few feet away, holding hooves to their mouths. In front of them, the air was filled with dirt and multicolored smoke.

"Wha...?" she croaked, getting Pinkie's attention.

"Oh! Hey there, sleepyhead!" the party pony cheerfully greeted.

Hearing Pinkie's words, Rarity and Fluttershy turned around. Seeing Twilight awake, they gasped and quickly came to her side.

"Twilight! Oh, what a relief."

"Are you okay?"

"Ugh... not really," Twilight moaned. Now that she was conscious, she became aware of the splitting headache she had. She gingerly rubbed at the base of her horn. "My horn hurts. Magical backlash from... whatever Godzilla did." Mentioning the monster pony's name reminded her of the situation. She looked about. "Where is Godzilla? And Applejack and Rainbow Dash?"

Instead of answering, the rest of the ponies returned to the dissolving smoke. A minute later, it completely cleared, letting them see the epicenter.

Godzilla was flat on his stomach in the center of a mini crater, his massive legs splayed out around him. His head was on the ground, and his eyes were closed; he appeared to be unconscious. All along his body, there were dark patches on his fur, indicating the multiple bruises he received from Rainbow's assault.

Sprawled out on his back was the pegasus in question, who groggily lifted her head to survey her handiwork. Seeing the behemoth out cold brought a triumphant grin to her face. She flapped her wings, dizzily lifting off of his back before flying over to her friends.

"My goodness, Rainbow Dash," Rarity said in awe. "You did it!"

"Of course, I did," Rainbow replied, her usual cockiness already front and center. "I honestly don't know why you're surprised." She set down on the ground, and she instantly gave a hissing wince. She lifted her front hooves, letting everypony see that they were chipped and bruised. "Though, I have to admit, the big guy's got some seriously tough skin."

"Hey, if y'all ain't too busy..." The group of friends turned to see Applejack still on the ground. "I could really use a hoof here." Instantly, Rarity and Fluttershy rushed to the farm pony's side. Working quickly, the former used her magic to rip some strips of fabric from an awning of a nearby vendor's table, which the latter used to make an impromptu bandage to wrap around Applejack's injured leg.

"So, can somepony fill me in on what happened?" Twilight asked, looking to Pinkie and Rainbow, while casting an occasional glance to the fallen behemoth.

"Do you want the long version or the short version?" Pinkie asked.

"Uh, the short?"

"After Big G did his 'explode-y' thing and you passed out," Pinkie started, "Applejack tried kicking him like he was an apple tree, but that didn't work. Rarity blasted him with magic, but that didn't work. Fluttershy tried The Stare, and it kinda worked, but not for very long. I tried to shake you awake so you could use your magic on him, but that didn't work. Then, Rainbow used her Sonic Rainboom and-"

"And it totally worked!" Rainbow finished smugly, flapping her wings to hover, keeping pressure off of her bruised hooves. "So, what now, Twilight?"

"Well, we should probably get yours and Applejack's injuries treated," Twilight suggested. "But we also need to contact Princess Celestia and Princess Luna and ask for them to come here, as soon as possible. There's no telling how long Godzilla will be unconscious, and we might need their help containing him."

"Twi, please," Rainbow scoffed. "I hit him, many times, using a Sonic Rainboom. There's no way-"

A faint, audible growl filled the air, causing the ponies to freeze.

"There's... no... way," Rainbow muttered in shock, slowly turning, along with her friends, towards the giant pony.

Much to their horror, Godzilla's eyes slowly blinked open, his golden irises locking onto them. He lifted his head up and shook it, another growl escaping his throat. He pulled his legs under him, and preceded to push himself up. About halfway, however, he grunted in pain and fell back down.

"Looks like the he's getting tired," observed Twilight, noticing that he was breathing a little heavier now. When Godzilla attempted to rise again, she tried casting a spell, but all she got were a few sparks from her horn, and her headache flared up again. "Ugh, it's no use. I can't summon any magic yet."

"Don't worry, Twilight," Rainbow said, eyes narrowing in determination. "Another Sonic Rainboom should knock him out for sure."

"Rainbow Dash, no! Your hooves-"

"My hooves are the least of our problems right now," she argued, cutting across the alicorn's words. "As long as this guy's conscious, we're in trouble!"

With that, Rainbow was off like a shot, flying straight up into the sky above.

Little did she know, Godzilla's eyes followed her as she took to the air. When she was gone from sight, he once again attempted to lift himself. His body protested the movement, but he ignored it, pushing further onto his legs than in his previous attempts. As he rose, the kaiju's hair began to glow.

Recognizing the light as a warning, Twilight turned to Pinkie. "We need to run!" she said. She then turned to where the others were. Rarity and Fluttershy were on either side of Applejack, supporting her body with theirs. "Girls! Take cover!"

They nodded in acknowledgment, turning as one, the unicorn and pegasus helped their injured friend move in the opposite direction of the monster pony. Seeing this, Twilight turned, and locked eyes with Pinkie. The party pony nodded, receiving the unspoken message, and the two turned tail and galloped away. The young princess looked over her shoulder and saw that Godzilla had risen to his full height, his mane and tail still glowing blue. But he had yet to launch an attack.

What is he waiting for?

A few seconds later, Twilight got her answer, when another rainbow ring appeared in the sky, signifying the Sonic Rainboom. Godzilla watched the phenomenon carefully, and this time, he spotted the colorful trail blazing towards him. Throwing his maw in the direction of the approaching target, he unleashed his atomic breath, and the column of fire collided with an unsuspecting Rainbow Dash.

The prismatic pegasus screamed in pain at the intense heat that had engulfed the front half of her body. Acting on instinct, she flung herself to the side and was able to escape the blue fire. Unfortunately, thanks to the Rainboom, she was still flying at a high speed, and she had closed her eyes to avoid getting them burned, so now, she was flying blind.

Thus, she was unable to prevent herself from flying face-first into the ground at breakneck speed, kicking up a huge cloud of dust.

"RAINBOW DASH!!" Pinkie Pie screamed. Still galloping away, she stuck out her hoof, immediately grabbing onto a tree she was passing, and used it to turn herself around. She zipped past Twilight and made a beeline for the dirt cloud.

Twilight herself had come to a complete stop, but did not follow her pink friend. She stood there, frozen in horror at what happened to Rainbow.

Reaching the cloud, Pinkie twisted around and spun her tail rapidly, giving it the appearance of a pink fan. With it, she blew the dust away, giving her a clear view of Rainbow Dash... except she wasn't there. Instead, there was a pony-sized hole in the ground. Pinkie ran up to the hole; it looked as though it was several feet deep, because she couldn't see her cyan friend. She stuck her head in and screamed, "Rainbow Dash!"

All that answered was her echo.

Nearby, the rest of her friends, fearing the worst, quickly gave into despair. Fluttershy collapsed onto the ground crying into her hooves. Rarity covered her mouth with her hoof, muffled sobs escaping her lips as tears formed in her eyes. Applejack gritted her teeth and squeezed her eyes shut, trying to keep herself from losing it. Even so, the earth pony was unable to stop the tears trailing down her face.

Meanwhile, Twilight remained rooted in place, numbly looking at the hole that Pinkie kept calling down. She stared at it, hoping for Rainbow Dash to emerge any minute now, letting everypony know that she was okay. But the longer she stared at it, with no sign of the pegasus, the more her hope began to give way to dread. What if Rainbow Dash was...?

Twilight tried to banish that thought, not wanting to think it, nor to believe it. After all, Rainbow has had more than her fair share of crashes and survived every time. But, this time, she had been flying twice as fast due to the Sonic Rainboom. Even if Godzilla's beam had slowed her momentum, hitting the ground at such a speed, there was a high probability that Rainbow Dash was...

She turned her to Godzilla with narrowing eyes. The large pony was lightly huffing, showing that he was still winded from Rainbow's last assault. The numbness Twilight felt before was soon replaced by anger.

"How dare you...?" she whispered, her words carrying an edge, like tempered steel.

The last time she felt such anger, was in her fight against Tirek, right after he cruelly destroyed the Golden Oak Library, her home. But the behemoth before her did something far worse than the evil centaur did.

He hurt her best friends.

"HOW DARE YOU?!" she screamed, inadvertently triggering the Royal Canterlot Voice. Her purple eyes glowed white, and her horn glowed even brighter as she summoned her magic. This caused her headache to flare up even worse, but she ignored the pain, her focus on one thing.

Her powerful words echoed across the area, gaining everypony's attention, including Godzilla's.

Before the stallion could do anything other than look at her, the alicorn had already launched a concussive spell. While it may not have been as powerful as when she had the power of four princesses combined, the blast that impacted against his shoulder was strong enough to knock him back a few feet, and tear out a small chunk of his flesh.

Godzilla let out a loud shriek of agony as blood flowed from the freshly made wound. Not giving him a chance to retaliate, Twilight flapped her wings and got airborne, already firing another spell. This one packed the same punch as the first, putting a bloody gash on the pony's thick leg and causing it to buckle. He was able to catch himself before he fell, but let out another pained roar as another beam hit him, this time in the side. Gritting his teeth, Godzilla pushed back the pain, igniting his own power and looking for his opponent. Spotting the purple pony in the air behind him, he managed to spin around and launch his own attack.

Before it could hit her, Twilight disappeared in a purple flash, the beam striking nothing but air. She reappeared behind him, and the monster stallion was quickly enveloped in her magic. Then, with a strained grunt, she threw her head skyward, and, in an incredible show of magical strength since the Ursa Minor incident, the bewildered beast was tossed straight up into the air. When he was several meters up, Twilight teleported again, this time appearing above Godzilla, and with her horn already ablaze, she launched another concussive blast that sent the stallion rocketing back down. He slammed into ground with such force, that it kicked up a huge dust cloud.

Twilight landed nearby, her legs nearly buckling. By now, the young alicorn was breathing heavily from using so much magic in her condition; it was a wonder she didn't pass out right then and there. Her eyes continued to glow, and she watched as the dust settled, revealing Godzilla at the bottom of another shallow crater.

A moment later, much to Twilight's anger and frustration, the monster pony stirred. He then slowly brought his head up from the ground and matched her glare with his own. His body trembled from exhaustion and his breathing was just as haggard as hers. He appeared to finally reach his limit.

This ends... now! Twilight thought with finality. Summoning all the magic she had left, she quickly gathered it into her horn. A tiny, purple ball of condensed energy formed at the tip of her horn, slowly growing in size. She saw Godzilla's hair ignite, but it was a dim glow that seemed slower than before. Most likely, his body was still recovering. Realizing this was her chance, Twilight concentrated, her magic gathering quicker in response. This, of course, caused her already painful headache to shoot up into an excruciating migraine, but she endured, intending to put an end to this fight now.

By the time she finished, the energy sphere at the tip of her horn had grown to the size of a beach ball. Believing it to be enough, she reared her head back and then forward, launching the massive blast at the monster stallion...

"Twilight, stop!"

...and at the tiny purple dragon now in front of him.

The light in Twilight's eyes blinked out, revealing her violet eyes, which were wide in horrified shock. Spike, who seemed to appear out of nowhere, had thrown himself between her and Godzilla, who now also looked shocked by the young drake's sudden appearance.

Time seemed to slow to a crawl as Twilight helplessly watched the energy she just unleashed barrel towards her little brother.

When Spike finally made it to where his friends and Godzilla were fighting, he quickly realized that he had been too late.

He saw Rarity and Fluttershy huddled around an injured Applejack. All three of them were crying in sorrow. He spotted Pinkie, who had her head down a hole and shouting into it. A couple seconds later, the party pony jumped into the hole, disappearing from sight. Rainbow Dash was nowhere to be found. He saw Godzilla standing, covered in bruises. And finally, he spotted Twilight, seemingly frozen in place, a faraway look on her face.

Then, Twilight suddenly screamed out, her voice reaching a level he'd never heard from her before. In the next instant, she was on the warpath, striking Godzilla with magic, actually making him bleed. To say that the little dragon was shocked by this was an understatement. Never before had he seen his big sister attack so violently.

Finally, he couldn't take anymore. He had to stop this. When Twilight started charging up a huge ball of magic, he started running towards her and Godzilla.

His plan was simple: put himself in the middle. He knew that Twilight didn't want him to get hurt. So, by putting himself between her and Godzilla, she would either stop her attack, or divert it away from both of them.

Logically, it was a good plan.

However, as he threw himself in front of Godzilla, arms wide in a shielding motion as he called to Twilight, he quickly found out that, once again, he was too late... for Twilight had already unleashed the magic.

Having no time to lament his mistake, the pulsing ball of energy quickly closing the distance between them, Spike pulled his arms back in, putting them over his head protectively. He squeezed his eyes shut and braced himself.

When the sphere impacted, it exploded in a blinding flash of light, forcing Twilight to shut her eyes. The shockwave that immediately followed the blast instantly knocked her off her hooves. She laid on the ground, temporarily winded, her ears slightly ringing from her close proximity to the explosion.

After a few minutes, she blinked her eyes open, her vision going through various levels of blurriness. When everything finally cleared up, all she saw was a billowing cloud of smoke in the place where she last saw Godzilla, and-

"Spike!" she cried out, panic overcoming her senses. Ignoring her body's protest, she forced herself onto her hooves. She was fatigued, and her magic was all but completely drained. It was a miracle that she was still conscious. But her own well-being was not her immediate concern. She watched on bated breath as the smoke began to disperse, both hopeful and fearful of what she would see.

When the smoke finally cleared, she gasped in horror.

Spike was a little confused.

Barely a second after closing his eyes, he heard the magic explode, and he even saw the flash through his eyelids. A few seconds later, his lungs were filled with smoke, causing him to choke. But he didn't feel the intense pain he had been expecting.

As he coughed to clear his lungs, he just barely heard Twilight call his name. The little dragon sniffed the air, noticing the smell of smoke was already beginning to fade. But there was something else he smelled that made his nose crinkle; it smelled like something was burnt. He slowly peeled one eye open, then the other, and looked down at himself, but aside from the injuries he already had, he didn't appear to have any new wounds.

It was as he looked around that he noticed the four massive hooves that surrounded him from all sides. Looking up, he saw, and recognized, the huge, charcoal-gray torso they were attached to.

"Godzilla!" said Spike, a smile breaking across his face. The young drake instantly surmised that the behemoth pony had protected him from the blast. "You saved me! Again!"

The response he got in return was not in words, but in a slightly gurgled chuff.

"Godzilla?" Spike asked, growing concerned. He then noticed that the giant pony's breathing was heavy and ragged. The dragon waddled out from under his protector, moving around to get to his front side. "Godzilla? Are you ok-" The last word died on his tongue as he gaped in shock.

Twilight's spell had left a huge, circular gash in Godzilla's chest. The circumference of the wound was roughly the size of a wagon wheel. The outer edge of flesh had been cauterized, while the center was still soft, gelatinous and gushing blood.

Barely able to tear his eyes from the grotesque sight, Spike looked up at Godzilla's face. More blood seeped from the corners of the stallion's mouth as he breathed, staining parts of his light gray beard red. The pony let out another choked chuff, more of the red fluid flying out of his mouth and splattering onto the ground.

"No," Spike whimpered.

Godzilla turned his head at the voice, locking his golden eyes with Spike's emerald ones. The little drake saw that the rage and fury was gone now. All that remained now was the calm and gentleness that Spike had seen before this whole mess happened.

A few seconds later, the colossal stallion cracked a small, albeit bloody, smile.

Then his eyes rolled up into his head, and, with a low groan, Godzilla keeled over.

Spike could only gasp in horror as the large pony collapsed into a heap on the ground.