Hero Souls: Awakening

by SvenFoxx

43. Risky Romp

Metropolis had been fairly quiet for once, Twilight found herself thinking. Even as she coasted through the skies of the great city, none of her enhanced senses were picking up on anything that really needed her attention.

Maybe she’d have a chance to relax for once. While her unique biology prevented her from needing to sleep all that often, it still felt nice and had a rejuvenating effect on her psyche.

Of course, having just thought that, she had invoked Murphy quite badly.

With a clap of harsh thunder and brilliant flash of light, a Boomtube opened in front of Twilight, and from it stepped Darkseid.

“Kal-El,” he said, before uncharacteristically starting the fight. By blasting her point blank with his Omega Beam.

Twilight pinwheeled through the air, but managed to straighten herself out easily enough. She looked up just in time to see Darkseid on the approach.

Only for him and everything around her to freeze, and then shatter like glass. Twilight blinked at the void she found herself standing in, where swirls of dark blue, rose red, and yellow mingled and danced among themselves alongside bright dots of white.

“I apologize for extracting you so harshly, Twilight,” came a voice from behind her. Twilight turned and found Princess Luna descending towards her. “However it is a bit of an emergency.”

“Princess?” Twilight asked in confusion, before her mind finally made the connection. “Oh. I’m dreaming.” She blinked again. “Wait, emergency? Has something happened at Canterlot?”

Luna reached her level. She shook her head. “Not quite that bad, my friend. However it involves one of your friends.” With a wave of her wing, Luna made a door with mirrors for a frame appear.

“You’re friend Rarity has awakened her own Hero Soul tonight during a confrontation with the thief Shifter,” Luna explained, opening the door. “However, Miss Belle has wholeheartedly rejected the Hero Soul she reincarnates from.”

Twilight paled, and tried to rush through the door, only to find herself held fast by an invisible force. “Why are you stopping me?!” she demanded of Luna.

“We are in the realm of dreams, Twilight. Here the mind is unfettered by physical limitations. If you were to leap into the deeper realm lost in your worry for your friend, the realm will respond to such worry. Even I do not know how it will respond, but it will be entirely too easy for your soul to become lost forever in the twisting labyrinth that it spawns.”

“Then why tell me Rarity’s in trouble?”

Luna frowned at Twilight, before Twilight felt an invisible wing knock her alongside the head. “You must control yourself, Twilight Sparkle, or you will be unable to help her. I came to acquire your aid in saving your friend, but if you cannot control you impulses I will simply look elsewhere.”

Twilight took a moment to reign in her worry and annoyance at being held back, drawing on the meditation techniques she learned while studying under the AI designed to mimic her biological father. She relaxed. “I’m sorry, Princess Luna. I’m just worried.”

Luna nodded. “Quite understandable, but we are about to venture into the second level of the dream realm, the Shifting Sands, and I cannot let you go there ruled by passion.

She beckoned Twilight to follow, and they both walked through the doorway.

Twilight found herself standing in a pure black void, but it only lasted a moment. From where her hooves touched solid nothingness, wood flooring appeared in what could only be described as a slow shockwave, spreading outwards.

Then shelves began appearing, alongside tables, walls, doors, and windows. Before long the duo found themselves standing in a library they could not see and end to.

Luna chuckled. “I should have guessed that the student of my sister would shape the Shifting Sands into a library.”

“This is my doing?”

Luna nodded. “Aye. I am not technically asleep, therefore my mind is still constricted by its physical limitations. The Shifting Sands do not perceive me because of this, and therefore does not react to my presence.” She looked around. “Generally, any doorway you find will lead you to the dream of another entity, provided they are asleep. The doorways will appear closer to your own doorway depending on the closeness shared between the two of you.”

She turned and pointed behind them. Twilight looked and found a bevy of doors on both sides of her own blue, red, yellow, and purple door. A small green and purple door with a green flame on the front, obviously Spike’s. A white and lavender door with a purple quill and star, her mother’s. A blue and white door with a shield on it, her father’s. A two toned blue door with a purple shield on it, her brother’s door, and a pure white door with a stylized sun on it, Princess Celestia’s door.

Luna took up explaining again. “The Shifting Sands is where all dreams connect to one another, and the means by which I traverse dreams. It also is an immaterial plain, forging itself based on the surface thoughts and desires of those who entire. If you come here with nothing but chaotic emotions controlling you, the Shifting Sands will become a landscape of pure chaos, with no sensical direction to take and no way to return. It is why you cannot enter this level of the dream realm without the aid of a dreamwalker, such as myself, and why I refuse to take a pony ruled by passion into it.”

Twilight continued to look around, and found five doors grouped together, each with a familiar Cutie-Mark on them. Said Cutie-Marks informed her that these were the doors to her friends’ dreams. Her gaze soon fell on a specific door however.

It was a white ornate door with purple swirls on the frame, and had Rarity’s three diamond Cutie Mark painted on the front of it. Curiously, an illegible leather bound book that was ripped and torn up sat behind the Cutie-Mark.

The door was also cracked severely in multiple place, and more cracks were appearing periodically.

“Miss Belle has seen what lays in the beginning of her newly awakened memories, and has chosen to deny them. This immediately put her mind and soul at severe odds and caused her conscious mind to shut itself down in a last bid to save itself,”

Twilight frowned. “But… it took over a week for me to reach that point. Didn’t you say Rarity just awoke her Hero Soul?”

Luna nodded. “This is true, but you had not consciously chosen to deny your birthright. It was a subconscious fear that slowly built up a backlash.” She opened Rarity’s door. “Rarity made the conscious choice to deny them.”

They walked through the door, and found themselves standing at the edge of a volcanic crater. Within the crater they saw a large stone platform at the center, and at the center of it was Rarity. They also noticed a massive metallic owl flying around the platform, occasionally dive bombing the platform in an attempt to hit Rarity.

Rarity would scramble out of its way, sometimes nearly failing, but the owl would then hit the platform with a tremendous amount of force, causing large chunks of it to fall away and into the lava.

Luna was the first to leap into action, conjuring what Twilight could only describe as a cage of pure force around the owl and stopping its assault. Twilight also acted, blasting her way towards Rarity.

As she approached, more details became apparent. Rarity was rolling around on the ground, seemingly struggling with something. Twilight landed on the platform and it became clear that Rarity continuously ripping off a blue long-sleeved shirt and black cloth mask over her eyes, only for the garments to repair and re-affix themselves to her body. “Rarity!” Twilight shouted.

Rarity stopped struggling and looked up. “Twilight! What are you doing here? And… what are you wearing?”

Twilight blinked, then looked down. “Huh… wasn’t expecting that,” she noted, seeing the blue kryptonian battlesuit adorning her body and… yep, there was the red cape as well. She was not, however, wearing the red boots, and the S she was so famous for back on Earth adorned her flanks where her Cutie Mark would normally be displayed.

“It’s… well, I want to say an eyesore, but it actually seems to fit you rather well, for some reason,” Rarity commented, sounding slightly confused.

Twilight shook her head, and came forward to help Rarity. “Listen to me, Rarity. You have to accept the memories. You’ll die if you don’t!” she urged.

Rarity growled, actually growled, at Twilight. “I refuse to become a thief, Twilight! I will not become the very thing I despise more than anything else!” She gripped the blue shirt and tore it off completely. It promptly reattached itself to her and repaired.

Twilight grunted and decided to help Rarity so they could talk in peace. She grabbed the shirt and shredded it. Or… she tried to, but it didn’t even so much as budge. Frowning in confusion, Twilight gripped it with both hooves and tried to tear it with all her might.


Luna floated down beside her, her horn glowing with the continued spell holding in the giant metallic owl in place. She watched as Twilight continued to struggle to even move the outfit, whereas every time Rarity went to tear it off it tore easily. Of special interest to her was how the outfit repaired itself and reappeared on Rarity.

She placed her hoof on Twilight’s shoulder. She shook her head when Twilight looked at her. “Miss Belle alone must resolve this,” she said, making Twilight blink in confusion. She motioned towards Rarity. “The outfit represents the memories of her Hero Soul attempting to mesh with her own as they were supposed to when she awoke. However, because your friend chose to reject them, her dream avatar is in a continue battle to remove them.” She reached forward and tugged on the outfit. As with Twilight’s attempt, it failed to budge. “Only Miss Belle has the power to remove it, and even then it persists.”

Twilight frowned. “Then what was the point of coming here?” she asked heatedly. She almost immediately deflated. “I’m sorry, Princess. I just… isn’t there anything we can do?”

Luna smiled at Twilight. “Soul of Hope indeed,” she commented. “We cannot solve this for Miss Belle. In order to save her she must choose to accept her memories. All we can do is help her make that decision.”

There was a crash from above and the light around Luna’s horn burst apart. She stumbled backwards as if she had been struck. Twilight spun around and found the metal owl now diving for them. “Go away!” she growled, rearing back.

“Twilight, no!”

She struck at the owl, hitting it square on the beak. To Twilight’s great confusion, and pain, this did nothing. In fact, the owl kept right on going and slammed into her, sending her flipping over the lava. She hit the wall of the volcano in a shower of stone and obsidian. “Ow…?”

Luna appeared in a flash of light to catch her as she fell from the wall. “That owl is a part of the memories of the Hero Soul Miss Belle awoke. Just as with her outfit, we cannot stop it from getting to Miss Belle, at least not for long,” she explained.

Twilight groaned. “Good to know. Thanks for telling me,” she managed to sound sarcastic.

Luna set Twilight down on the lip of the volcano. “I was hoping your presence would help Miss Belle accept her memories, much as you have, but she seems particularly stubborn.”

“She said something about becoming a thief. I thought only heroes could be Hero Souls?” Twilight asked.

Luna frowned. “While that is indeed the case, you must remember that what is good and what is right are not always the same thing. Sometimes a hero must work from the wrong side of the law to accomplish their goal.”

Twilight frowned, recalling a few members of the JLA who were similar, or had similar backstories. Heck, even Bruce had started off with Gotham believing he was a villain. “True.” She looked around at the landscape. “Is there anything we can actually do here, besides speak to Rarity?”

Luna hesitated. “There is plenty we can do. Whether or not we should is another matter. If you mean in regards to saving Miss Belle, then no. Anything else would do more harm than good.”

Twilight nodded. “Then let’s go home. I need to do some research, and contact Princess Celestia.” She looked at Luna. “If you could, can you please get a hold of Doctor Tender for me? Let him know what’s going on?”

Luna nodded and formed a doorway into the Shifting Sands. “I’ve already had word sent to him. Miss Belle and her sister should be on their way to Ponyville’s clinic now.”

Twilight nodded in thanks, then walked through the doorway. Determination flowed through her, as well as a bit of anger at the situation. She would not let Rarity down, even if she had to research every memory spell she could find.

The Shifting Sands shuddered at her entrance.

Luna paled. “Oh Stars no…” she muttered, just before the doorway behind them vanished in the sudden raging winds.

Twilight was not in control of her emotions.