Returning Home

by Arceaion

Chapter 3 - The Appleloosa Showdown

Authors note:
Holly shit! This story hasn't even been up for a week and has hit the top of the popular column twice. I don't know what to say but thank you.

Twilight grumbled as she walked through the crystal caves that were the domain of Generosity and Greed. From what Honesty and Deception had explained Generosity and Greed had the abilities to tap in to the precious metals of the earth and as such could summon anything from crystals to metals such as lead or gold, they had also explained that every Element had their own domain that reflected what they controlled.

That morning they had walked her to a snowy plain and told her to find the crystal caves and that at the heart of the caves was were Generosity and Greed were. What they hadn't told her was that the Crystal Caves were a labyrinth or that her connection to the earth would be severed.

Ever sense she had tapped into her abilities of the earth she had been able to sense everything around her, as long as it was attached to the earth she could since it. But ever sense she had entered the caves that ability had been cut making her feel vulnerable.

Suddenly black crystal shot from the ground forcing Twilight to dodge and evade the spikes that shot at her. A smoky figure appeared and charged her. Twilight dodged and tried returned the attack but instead of hitting the figure her fist went right through it. Twilight quickly flipped backwards before observing the figure more closely. It held a vague human shape and the only feature it had was its green eyes that gave off a purple vapor. Twilight stared puzzled at the figure as it seemed vary familiar, she just... couldn't place it.

The figure laughed and shot forward. Twilight evaded its strikes suddenly extremely grateful for Honesty and Deceptions training. A sound from behind her was her only warning she received before some form of liquid silvery substance shot past her before coming back and striking her in the chest. Twilight used the momentum to flip back and see who attacked her.

It was a female that appeared to be made of pure crystal around her orbs of the metallic substance floated. The shadow figure approached her as crystals began to levitate around him before shooting at her. Twilight closed her eyes and waited for the hit but it never came. Slowly she opened her eyes to see the Crystals had barely missed her and that the figures had changed. The shadow figure now stood wearing ancient silver armor and a red cape while the Crystal women now wore the robes of the an assassin.

Twilight quickly knelt down. "Greetings Generosity, Greed. I have come to train." She said.

"Hello dear, it is good to see you again." Generosity said.

"Tell me Twilight, why didn't you use you magic?" Greed asked.

Twilight looked at him in confusion. "My... magic?" She asked before her eyes widened. "Oh, I completely forgot about it." She said with a embarrassed chuckle. "I haven't flown or used magic in five hundred years."

Greed sighed. "We will be changing that." Greed said. "No apprentice of mine will only use a third of her arsenal."

Generosity nodded. "You have much to learn." She said as she approached her. "Have a seat and we will began your explaining what you will learn."

"First we will explain the skills and power you will be learning." Greed said. "To start with, as you saw there are two ways to use this power. The first is my way, I have the ability to control crystals and anything with a crystal like structure. This ability allows me to not only call upon crystals but also to fashion them into anything from weapons to armor with only my will. I can even create crystals from nothing when I add magic in to the mix. This is the ancient power of the Crystal Ponies." He explained.

Greed summoned several crystals and slowly they took the from of wings. "Now while I don't have wings I can do this. You will be able to do it as well but for you the crystals will orbit around your wings."

Generosity cleared her throat. "My power gives me full control of all metals. Like my husband I can control anything with a metal like structure, fashion it into anything from weapons to armor with only my will, and create metal from nothing when I add magic in to the mix. However I have an additional ability, I can exert a small amount of control on the magnetic fields of any metal. This is how I control most of the metals I use."

"I think I understand." Twilight said slowly.

"You will in time." Generosity said comfortingly.

"Do not worry Twilight, by the time you leave here you will be a true master of all types of Earth Pony magic." Greed promised.

"Their is one thing you should know however Twilight, unlike the Powers of Earth which require physical strength and will this power, the Powers of Ore, is controlled solely by the users strength of will. This means that there will be a large amount of meditation and more spiritual lessons than physical lessons. Generosity said. "As a result we have set aside three hours for you to practice what you have learned and so you might stay in shape."

"With all this explained it's time we go to where you will be training." Generosity said.

The three walked deeper in to the cave once they reached the center Twilight found herself in a large chamber that was open to the sky. Off to the left was a meditation garden and to the right was a small living space and an earthen field for her to train, at the center of the chamber was a crystal pit for sparing. The group walked over to the meditation garden and sat down.

"Your training begins now." Greed said.

Time dilation for Equus: 4 months, 22 days

Chrysalis sat examining a map of equestria. Baltamare and Fillydelphia had recently fallen to her swarm unfortunately that left the more troubling areas where the remaining Elements were stationed. After the battle of Dodge City Chrysalis had become weary of engaging them. She slowly raised her hand to were her right eye had once been feeling the patch that covered the socket, her tattered wings buzzing in agitation as she thought of the Pink one. What she had done to Twilight should have broken them instead it only strengthened them. If she could she would have avoided them till she had more troops but that unfortunately was no longer an option. At this point she had no choice, Fluttershy had been sighted in the Everfree Forest gathering aid from the animals there and she didn't want to risk bringing her army through that death trap leaving her only two choices. Manehattan or Appleloosa, she didn't have the forces to take both at the moment. Chrysalis growled.

Rarity had been spotted at the battle for both Baltamare and Fillydelphia and had retreated to Manehattan with hundreds of solders however Appleloosa was only guarded by Applejack. Earlier in the conflict Rainbow Dash had been there as well but both she and the Pegasus troops under her command had been recalled to Cloudsdale to defend it a week ago. Chrysalis smiled, Appleloosa would be weakened significantly from the loss of troops. They were weak and while Rarity had a large force that she couldn't hope to break she could break Appleloosas defense.

The queen rose from the chair and walked out of the house she had been using and spread he wings. "The enemy is weak! We go to Appleloosa to destroy them." She commanded as she rose into the air her swarm following behind her.

Applejack sat in the sherifs office. On the desk was her badge and a bottle of cider. In her hand was a picture taken shortly after Twilight had accended.

Applejack grabbed the bottle and took a long drink. It helped a little, not much but at least it took the pain away for a while.

Suddenly Braeburn burst through the door. "We got trouble cuz." He said his voice grim.

Applejack eyed him. "Changelings?" She asked.

Braeburn nodded.

Applejack smiled. "Bout damn time." She said as she garbed the badge and walked over to the door grabbing her shotgun as she stepped past Braeburn and exited the office.

Braeburn shuddered. The only time he had seen a smile like that was when that mad pony had come to town, to see it on his cousin was troubling.

With in the hour all the houses were boarded up and the troop were ready. They stood alert and watched as the black cloud drew closer. The minute the first wave landed they was hit with a wall of lead. "Rot in Tartarus ya snakes!" Applejack yelled as they charged the barricades.

The other Earth Ponies continued to fire popping up long enough to fire at the coming swarm. As the swarm drew closer Applejack smiled and pulled out a gun and fired it.

The flare rose high in to the air and far in the distance a Buffalo saw it. The buffalo turned and ran to the camp and approached the chief. "The signal has been sent."

Chief Thunderhooves nodded. "Gather our warriors the time to aid our pony friends has come." He said determination in his voice. In but a few minutes the warriors waved farewell to their families and charged from the camp Chief Thunderhooves at the head. The time for peace had ended now was time for war.

Meanwhile the Changelings had broken through the barricades and the defenders had fallen back to the town gunshots rang from the housed as the faces of the defenders was lit only by the flash of their guns. Only one defender remained out side, two pistols in her hands and a shotgun strapped to her back she fired at the changeling each bullet finding its mark in their brain. Applejack stood defiant refusing to give them even a little ground.

A changeling charged her and she rose her pistol to fire only for her to click empty. Applejack frowned and turned delivering a kick to the changeling as she holstered her pistols and drew her shot gun. "Not fast enough, not by a damn sight." She said as she pulled the trigger and blasted the downed bug.

Suddenly the swarm parted and Chrysalis walked forward, Applejack turned to face her. "So Pinkies surprise didn't kill ya? Good I wanted by shot at ya." She said with a smile she them flip cocked the shotgun and fired at the changeling queen forcing her to dodge. The queen charged her horn and fired. Applejack ducked behind a barrel before coming up and firing once again.

The queen cried out and jumped behind a pile of hay and examined her leg. Chrysalis stared in shock, with only one blast of the farmers weapon half of her leg was ripped off. Suddenly she froze and turned to the swarm. Behind them a herd of Buffalo warriors charged toward them smashing any changeling in their path and at the head was their chief, Chief Thunderhooves.

"You really think that we would simply role over and let you slaughter us?" Applejack asked as she walked out from behind the barrel. "Well you got another thing head'n for ya."

Chrysalis snarled and fired a blast at the farmer who dodged the blast. The defenders were charging out of there homes firing on the swarm which had fallen in to disarray. The apple farmer charged the injured queen delivering a kick to her midsection and knocking her through a wall.

Chrysalis coughed up blood and slowly looked up only to come face to face with the barrel of the farmers shot gun. "Gotcha." Applejack said before a changeling drove a its fist through her chest. Applejack gasped and turned blasting the changelings head off and ripping the arm off in the process. She then turned back to the queen only to be slammed into the wall and the broken off arm driven deeper into her.

Applejack cried out as the queen rose and approached her. "I'm going to enjoy tearing you apart piece by piece." Chrysalis hissed before the whole front of the house they were in exploded and Chief Thunderhooves charged in punching Chrysalis away from Applejack and driving a spear into her abdomen.

Chief Thunderhooves grabbed Applejack and turned running out. "Fall back to the train!" He yelled. The defenders turned and began a fighting retreat for the station. Chief Thunderhooves grabbed one of his warriors. "Return to the camp and tell them to head for Canterlot." He said The buffalo nodded and ran for the camp smashing changelings as he went.

Chief Thunderhooves turned and boarded the train with applejack passed out in his arms. As soon as he boarded he grabbed a pony. "Get your doctors, Applejack has been injured." The pony nodded and the train began to pull away. As it did Chief Thunderhooves saw Braeburn jump off the train. The chief ran to the windows. "Braeburn what are you doing!" He yelled.

The stallion turned to him. "I ain't let'n that bug get even one scrap of Equestrian land and I ain't let'n her take our homes." He said before turning to the town and running for it. Braeburn ran strait for the general store and grabbed a crate and hurrying out the back. He then walked to each house and placed the charges before rigging them to the remote. Once this was done he calmly walked to the center of town.

The changelings approached him hissing but didn't attack, slowly the queen walked forward till she was right in front of him. "You must be a fool to think you would leave alive." The queen hissed angrily.

"I don't plan on it." He said as he raised the detonator and pressed the button. He then looked the queen strait in the eye. "This is for Twilight." He said and released. Chrysalises eyes widened as the world exploded.

Chief Thunderhooves watched the fireball that was once the town debris rained down. A piece of paper slowly floated down caught in the trains wake. The chief reached out and grabbed. It was a picture of six smiling mares and a baby dragon, in the cornr the word forever was written.

Time dilation for the Void: 999 years, 12 months, 30 days

Twilight sat in deep meditation around her floated six spheres. Three were crystal, an obsidian shard, a diamond and a Fire Ruby. The other three were metallic, liquid Silver, a steel ball and wrought iron.

Suddenly a black crystal shot from the ground and slammed into Twilight. Twilight merely looked in the direction of the attack not a scratch on her. She rose and walked toward the center of the room were Generosity and Greed stood.

The three said nothing simply watched each other before greed charged his shadows form appearing as Twilight dodged him and a spike of the iron appeared and fired at him. it struck his form causing him to stagger back.

Generosity began to fire balls of silver at Twilight. Twilight dodged them before snapping her fingers and thin wires appeared and cut the remaining ones to pieces or deflected the shots. Greed charged again only this time summoning several crystal blades. Twilight summoned several steel and crystal blades blocking and parrying them, her wings extended and tiny iron needles fired from them striking Greed and making him turn corporal. Twilight then encased him in the black crystal before returning her attention to Generosity.

Twilight was barely able to dodge the strikes from Generosity as she appears closer and twilight summoned thousands of crystals forming rings around herself that she used to defect Generosities strikes. Twilight flipped backward using her wings to gain more distance and then fired all the shards at her opponent at once.

Generosity created a shield blocking the barrage. However she was unable to see as Twilight charged forward her body shifting into a stone and obsidian mix with her fist coated in iron. Twilight smashed into the shield and shattered it before using her magnetism to launch Generosity into a wall ending the fight.

"You have done well my student." Generosity said as she rose slowly and shook her head.

"Indeed." Greed said with a smile as he shatter the crystals surrounding him. "Had we been living, you would have defeated and slain us."

"And with that you have passed your final exam. Congratulations Twilight, we have nothing left to teach you." Generosity praised.

"Thank you, both of you, for all you have helped me with." Twilight said and bowed.

"It was nothing dear." Generosity said proudly.

"Now rest well tonight, tomorrow you go to meet the Emotion Twins, Laughter and Sorrow." Greed said

"What do they control?" Twilight asked.

"They are reality warpers and as such wield chaos and order magic, it's extremely powerful and can't actually be controlled." Generosity said on thought.

Greed snorted. "A better way to put it is they can use the power of Chaos and Order but it makes them... unpredictable."

Generosity nodded. "Indeed, anyway you had best rest Twilight, you have a big day ahead of you and you will need to be well rested for those two." Generosity said.

Twilight nodded. "I will finish my meditation and then retire then." She said as she turned to the garden only to find it destroyed, greed began to slowly back away. Twilight's eye twitched as she turned to him making him freeze in fear. "Greed." She growled and hurled a crystal at him.

Greed yelped and ran, Twilight chasing after him. "Come back her you no good fucker!" She screamed after him. Generosity sighed.