A Sweetie Dreamland

by Lucar

Chapter 35: The Fallen World

They jump out of the portal, and land on snow, the temperature going from the extreme heat of the volcano to really cold. Barely they take their first step on the snow and they are already shaking, some of them even having their teeth clacking. Dedede and Sweetie Belle are the less affected by the cold, the king thanks to his and cloths and the fact that he is a penguin, and so is naturally resistant to the cold, and the filly thanks to both her fur and her cape, that she still wraps around herself.

Waddle Dee crosses his arms, trying to warm himself. "Brrrr... I don't know what is worst. Almost melting in the heat, or freezing in the cold. Sweetie Belle, can I borrow your fur?"

The filly deadpans at him. "I'm not sure if you are trying to be funny, or if you really think that I can give you my fur just like that. And no, even if I had a mean to shave my fur, I would not give it to you, or to anyone."

"Besides, I don't think I want to see how Sweetie would look without her fur," says Adeleine. "It would probably be no better than seeing a naked Mr Frosty."

"Ugh... Please, don't give us images like that," says Dedede in disgust. "Let's just go and find the shards in this world as quickly as possible, so we can go to a warmer place."

They all nod and look at Ribbon for a direction. Once she gives it, they start to walk, Kirby eating in the way some bird made of ice to gain the ice ability, giving him a greater resistance to the cold, to Waddle Dee's envy. After a small and rather uneventful trek, they reach the base of a small cliff that they can climb with the help of ladders installed on the wall. They just have to watch out for the flying enemies while climbing them, and they find some foods in small holes. At the top, they find something nothing else then bobsleds, all in range, ready to be taken and used to slide!

Adeleine is the first to take one and to start making it slide, Ribbon jumping in it with her. Dedede takes another one and jump in it, Kirby going with him, to his displeasure. This leaves Sweetie and Waddle Dee to take a third one before following the others.

During the ride, while they have fun, they still have to avoid many obstacles, like tree trunks, or holes. At a moment, they even pass through an igloo, and they see Adeleine and Ribbon jump on another where they catch the first crystal shard of this world. Sweetie and Waddle Dee prefer to slide around it, and after a few more holes, they reach the end of the slope, Kirby and Waddle Dee crashing into a big rock while the others are able to avoid it. Kirby finds himself propulsed above the rock and right inside a big igloo that is just behind it, and the others quickly follow him.

Inside the igloo, they discover another shard trapped in ice under the ceiling. However, there is also a big Chilly with a few ice birds that they have to eliminate first, so they can melt the ice in peace. While Sweetie shoots at the birds with fireballs, Kirby, Dedede, and Waddle Dee knock out the Chilly in a few seconds. Once done, Sweetie uses a shield to go closer to the trapped shard and shoots fire at the ice, making it melt. Once the ice has melted enough, the shard falls, and Ribbon catches it, and nods at the filly. The shard obtained, they exit the igloo by a second entrance that the Chilly has been guarding, finding themselves in front of a frozen lake.

Ribbon points at the lake. "I think that the next shard is under the water."


"So... Someone will have to jump in this probably extremely cold water?" asks Waddle Dee.

"Seems like it," says Sweetie Belle. "But I'm sure it will be nothing for Kirby thanks to his ice ability."

"And I could go in too. Cold water is nothing to me," says Dedede.

But Kirby decides to go in first. He spots a hole in the ice at the surface and runs toward it before jumping in. Dedede simply huff at this before he decides to continue their journey, thinking that Kirby will rapidly join them. So he goes on the lake, having no problems to walk on it, followed by Sweetie Belle who know how to keep her balance on it. However, Waddle Dee and Adeleine decide to walk around the lake, not wanting to risk a few painful faceplants. As for Ribbon, she flies above the lake, beside Sweetie and Dedede.

After about one minute, Kirby jumps out of another hole in the ice, holding a shard that he gives to Ribbon, and not long after, they reach the other side of the lake, where they wait for Waddle Dee and Adeleine to join them. Once they are all back together, Ribbon looks at the light in the crystal and raises an eyebrow.

"Is there a problem, Ribbon?" asks Waddle Dee.

The fairy looks up. "It says that the next shard is up there, in the sky."

"So, in the clouds, I guess," says Dedede, crossing his arms. "Now, how are we going to get up there?"

Sweetie puts a hoof under her chin. "We can try to fly."

Adeleine nods. "We can try. But... We should try at first to find if there is not a way to get up. We will fly if there is nothing."

"I can search around," proposes Ribbon.

Kirby nods. "Poyo."

At this, Ribbons flies away, scouting in hope of finding something that could help them go to the clouds. She priorities searching in the direction pointed by the light. A few minutes later, she comes back to the group with a big smile, and points in the direction she comes from.

"Over there. I found one of those floating green balls that can propel us like cannons. I asked it if it could propulse us to the clouds and it accepted. Now it is waiting us at the top of that mountain."

"This mountain?" asks Adeleine, pointing at a mountain in the direction shown by Ribbon.

"Yes. However, in the way, we will have to pass a field full of small mount of ice, and there are some small cracks and cliffs too."

Dedede chuckles. "That's nothing new."

This makes Sweetie giggle. "That's true. Let's go, everyone."

As Ribbon has warned, the way is full of small amounts of ice that they either climb or walk around, with a few small cracks and cliffs to jump. The problem with the mounts of ice is that all of them have at the top some sort of green worm with a big head and a yellow horn that push boulders at them if they get too close. In those cases, Dedede is always there to break the boulders with his hammers, so they don't have to jump out of the way constantly.

Soon, they pass the field, and after a small walk, start to climb the mountain. Thankfully, the flank of the mountain is just a big slope, so they just have to walk on it to reach the top, with a few big crystals in the way that are, sadly, not the ones that they search. At the top, they find a hole with the green blob waiting for them inside. Once it sees them, the blob nods, indicating that it is ready.

Ribbon bows her head. "Thank you."

Kirby is the first one to jump in, and they watch him being propulsed toward the sky, until he reaches a hole in the clouds. Sweetie is the next one to jump, joining Kirby on the clouds. She lands just beside him, and remarks that the clouds here have more of those crystals on them, without counting the stars patterned everywhere. She remains beside him to wait the others, just as she sees Dedede come.

"That's strange. They walk on a cloud, and yet, I haven't seen her cast the cloudwalking spell. I don't think she even knows how to cast this spell," says Twilight in confusion.

Discord turns toward her to answer. "They can walk on clouds for the same reason they can breath underwater. It's just a thing in this dimension."

"Is there even something in this dimension that is impossible?" asks Rainbow Dash.

"Good question. Mmh... Surviving a bath of lava, maybe?"

"Yeah, probably. Clearly, they didn't want to fall in it."

"Or maybe they can survive falling in it for a time, but it still hurt," says Pinkie.

"I don't think we will even know unless we see somepony fall in it," says Applejack.

Spike looks unsure. "I don't think I want to see what would happen if Pinkie is wrong... This actually makes me think of all those creatures that were in the volcano when the lava started to rise. The majority of them must be dead now..."

Celestia sighs. "That is the risk with volcanoes. They are deadly. How about we stop thinking about this and we go back to watching Sweetie Belle and her friends? They have started their journey on the clouds, and I think they found another shard."

They all look back at the portal, and can see that Celestia is right. The whole group is now on the clouds, and Ribbon is flying under one, just catching a shard floating under it. At the same time, the rest of the group reach a serie of small flat clouds with strong currents going up, helping them to jump higher and further. After those clouds, they reach a really big cloud with a tunnel going through it. After the tunnel, at the other side of the cloud, they find another one of the green blobs, and one by one, they use it to go up through three clouds toward another green blob, and from there, even more blobs until reaching another cloud, finding a second shard in the way.

Now they are in a very cloudy area of the sky, with some round clouds of different colors like pink or green that shrink and grow back and forth.

This makes Rainbow giggles. "Colored clouds. They must be made of fruit juice."

Pinkie licks her lips. "Fruit juice flavored clouds? This needs to happen! It would be the best thing ever for summer!"

"Hum... I don't think it's possible, unless using magic..." says Fluttershy in a small voice.

Rainbow looks at her. "Actually, it would be possible. We create a normal cloud, and we put in the fruit juice or our choice. It would just have to be a lot of fruit juice for it to propagate to the whole cloud."

"Or I just have to snap my finger and tadaa!" Discord snaps his claw, and makes two colored clouds appear, one yellow, and one purple. "Lemon, or grapes? Unless..." He snaps again, making appear a brown cloud. "you want the classic chocolate milk?"

"Chocolate milk!" shouts Pinkie.

Discord puts a straw in the cloud and gives it to Pinkie. "Maybe I could open a business with that stuff."

"I would be your first customer!"

Meanwhile, Sweetie Belle and her friends have jumped a few small clouds to reach the layer of clouds just above them. On this layer, after a small walk, Waddle dee almost get eaten by a blue enemy constituted of a round body with a big crocodile-like mouth, and an eye on each side. He has been jumping above a hole, when one of those things has suddenly jumped out of it to trap him in his mouth. Sweetie Belle has saved him just in time, shooting a beam at the creature to force it to spit her friend before sending it flying through the clouds to who know where. They encounter some more of those creature, alongside many spherical white beings that jump out of the clouds at the approach of the group, before they reach an entrance leading inside the cloud.

Surprisingly, the inside of the cloud is pink, and they have to fight one of those white balls, but bigger, with those enemies flying thanks to a propeller. Of course, they don't last long against the full power of the heroes, who leave the cloud with a new shard after breaking some big cube that has been trapping it. Outside the cloud, they walk a little before reaching the edge, and everyone has their mouth opening in awe at what they now see beyond the edge, back at the surface : a city. A city with skyscrapers, like Manehattan, and totally covered in snow. And being this high in the sky, they can see that the city is big, very big. Maybe even bigger than Manehattan.

"Wow... So, there is a real civilization in this world?" says Waddle Dee.

"Maybe they have found some of the shards. We can ask the locals, or the guards, or even the mayor of this city," proposes Sweetie Belle.

Adeleine starts to paint something. "But first, we have to go down there, and I think that I know how we will do." She then finishes painting, revealing a balloon carrying a basket. Once it gets out of the canvas, it is actually big enough to carry all of them at the same time. As Adeleine jumps in the basket, she shouts "All aboard!"

At this, they all jump in the basket, and the balloon starts to lift them toward the city.

Rarity turns toward Twilight. "You said that this is Earth. So, does this mean that this is a human city, darling?"

"Yes, I think. But in the mirror world, humans are the only sentient species, and they can't walk on clouds or breath in water. But this world clearly possesses other sentient creatures. So this may be Earth, yes, but a very different Earth where humans aren't alone, and where some of them seem to possess some powers, like Adeleine."

"Uh... Twilight."

"Yes, Pinkie?"

She points at the portal, more exactly, at the streets below the balloon. "Where are the humans?"

"Hey. That's true!" says Applejack. "If this city is like Manehattan, then the streets should be as full as the waiting line at the start of the apple cider season, and yet, I see no humans."

"Maybe they are in their home because of the cold?" proposes Fluttershy.

Rarity shakes her head. "No... Even with the cold, there would be a few of them still out, either going to their job, visiting a friend or a family member, or playing in the snow. The streets shouldn't be empty like they are..."

Twilight nods. "Rarity is right. Humans always wear clothes, and I'm sure they have clothes against the cold." She frowns. "Their absence worry me. Something is going on."

She is not the only one worrying about the absence of sign of life in this city. Sweetie Belle and the others are looking down at the empty streets, not seeing anyone that they could speak to.

"Why don't we see anybody?" asks the filly.

After a moment of silence, Adeleine says "I will get us down, and we will search."

So she makes the balloon go down, and they land in the middle of a snow covered street. They jump out of the basket, and the balloon disappears. Dedede then approaches one of the building and knock at the door.

"Hey! Anybody?!"

But nothing. After a whole minute, he goes to another building to try the same thing, only to have the same result. The rest of the group disperses to help him. Most of them simply decide to do like Dedede, in vain. Ribbon however decides to fly to the windows, trying to see through them if she can spot anyone. But nothing.

Sweetie has the luck to find a door that is not closed, and enters the building. "Hello? Is there anyone?"

But nobody comes...

Despite this, she decides to continue inside the building. She passes the small entrance hall, and see that she can either take the stairs, or an elevator to go up. She decides to take the stairs, so she can search the floors one by one. But before that, she knocks at the doors of the first floor, nobody answering her.

Second floor, same thing.

Third floor, idem. Annoyed, she tries to open one of the door, and to her surprise, she is able to open it!

Rarity raises an eyebrow. "I don't know what surprised me more. That Sweetie would open the door of a stranger's house, or that she has been able to open it. In a big city like that, ponies tend to close their door to avoid the risks of a stranger, or a thief entering."

Sweetie opens the door more, and says "Hello?"

Nobody answers her.

She enters the apartment, entering a small hallway. She then hears something approaching, seemingly on wheels, and soon see a robot with a broom appearing from one of the rooms connecting to the hallway. It is a white, cylindrical robot about the size of sweetie Belle, with two metallics blue arms ending in claws, two round, yellow, glowing eyes, and a rectangular mouth that flashes red when it starts speaking.

"I'm sorry, visitor. The masters aren't home right now. Do you want to leave a message?"

Her brain rebooting from the fact that a robot is talking to her -even if she has seen robots before, it is the first time that she hears one talk-, she asks "Who are you?"

"I am UHA500614913, or as my masters name me, Waly. I am a robot programmed to take care of the master's home."

"Alright. When will your masters come back?"

"Unknown. The masters have been gone for 427 years, 3 months, and 15 days. They haven't precised when they would come back."

Sweetie looks at the robot, insure. "Erh... Why are they gone?"

"The masters have gone in a journey to another world."

"With a spaceship?" she asks with a doubt.


She sighs in relief. "So they have just moved to another world. Alright. What about the other inhabitants of this city?"

"I have heard the master says..." The voice of the robot becomes more deep, like the one of an adult stallion. "It's time to go Eva. The spaceship is ready." The voice then become similar to the one of a mare. "Everyone is really going with us? They have really been able to build a spaceship big enough for everyone to go in?" The voice turns back to the deep one, getting excited. "Yes! I have just seen the photos in the computer. It's like a giant flying city! And they built them all over the world! Every single humans on this planet will be able to go!" There is a small silence where the person with a deep voice takes a big breath, then says "It will be a new start for humanity. We will find a better world, and hopefully, not do the same error than our ancestors..." The robot then starts to talk again in its own voice. "End of recording. I conclude that the masters have gone in their journey with everyone in the city, and in the world. Time of their return: unknown."

Sweetie Belle is silent for a few minutes, bitting her lip, looking down, then says "Thank you. I will be going now. But... hum... Do you know how long a human live?"

"Human's average lifepan is of one hundred seven years as stated in the last medical report."

"And you said that your masters have been gone for 427 years, right?"


"Then... Don't you know that your masters will never come back, because they are probably dead of old age by now?"

The robot is silent for a few seconds, then drops the broom. "Confirmed. The time since the masters' departure is superior to the masters' lifespan. Conclusion: they are dead."

"So, what will you do?"

"Without master to serve, I have no purpose. So I will shut down until I have a new master to serve."

"Are... Are there other robots like you, in this city?"


"So they would shutdown too, if they learn that their master won't come back?"

"Some units don't need masters to have a purpose, and will continue to work even if they learn that they have no masters anymore."

"I see... Well, here is a purpose for you, Waly. Go find the other robots, tell them that their masters aren't coming back, and together, you can take humanity's place. Have friends, a home, like, this one, maybe a job if you want, anything you would like to do, not necessarily about taking care of homes. You can even try to find another robot that you like, and together, build a baby bot! Just, go tell what I just said to the other robots, make them spreed the message, and start a new life. You don't have to wait for a master that could never come."

Again, the robot is silent for a few seconds. "Affirmatif. I will spreed the message." It then passes beside Sweetie Belle, and exits the apartment. Just as it passes the door, it stops, and looks at her. "Thank you."

She smiles. "You are welcome. By the way, my name is Sweetie Belle."

"And so..." suddenly says Discord. "Sweetie Belle helped to form a new civilisation. She will be worshiped by those robots like a goddess, forever known as 'The Sweet One'."

Rarity looks at him. "Don't go too far, Discord. They will probably be thankful to her, but they are still robots. I don't think they understand the concept of religion."

"One day, maybe they will."

Twilight looks down at the book from the mirror world still in her hooves. "It's so hard to believe... Those humans were superior in technology than the ones in the mirror world, but they had to abandon Earth because it was starting to freeze for some reason. Is it what will happen to the Earth of the mirror world?"

"You can talk about this to Sunset Shimmer once you have the occasion," says Celestia. " I'm sure that her and her friends would be interested to learn about this other version of their world. And together, you can discuss of the possibility that their version of Earth may freeze too in the future. However, I'm not sure they could do anything to change it if it was the case."

"Yes. I will."

Sweetie Belle exits the building, and finds her friends waiting for her.

"You are right in time. We were thinking of coming to search you," says Dedede. "Have you found anything?"

"Yes. I have found what happened, and even made a new friend. There was a robot, and it told me that the inhabitants of this world left it to go live elsewhere."

"So there is nobody?" asks Ribbon.

"Beside robots and creatures like we encountered wandering around? No. Beside, Adeleine, you will be interested to learn that the ones living in this world were humans."


"Yes. Do you know anything about where the humans of Popstar come from?"

"No, I don't know. I always thought that Popstar was our homeworld."

"it's still possible," says Waddle Dee. "After all, there are Waddle Dees living in Popstar, and there are Waddle Dees also living in other worlds."

"But there are some species that seem to live in only one world," says Dedede. He then points at Ribbon. "Look at her for exemple. Have we encountered any fairies yet beside her in all the worlds that we have visited? There is a possibility that all the humans of Popstar, and the universe, originate from this world."

Adeleine crosses her arms and sighs. "The two are possible. But we aren't there to question my origins, we are there to find the crystal shards. We will go back to this once Ribbon's world is saved."

They all nod.

"But I wanna know..." complains Pinkie.

"Sorry Pinkie. Another time," says Applejack.

Dedede crosses his arms. "But that means that there is nobody to help us find the shards. We will have to find them in this abandoned city by ourselves."

"That's nothing new," says Adeleine. "but it's true that I wouldn't have minded some help."

"If we find robots, we could ask them," says Sweetie Belle.

Waddle Dee rubs his arms against each other. "Hopefully, there aren't robots that will shoot at us with rockets or lasers..."

Sweetie huffs. "Me and Kirby took on the Heavy Lobster, twice. If we end up fighting a robot in this city, we will be more than ready."

The light leads them through the abandoned city toward one of the buildings, where it points slightly up. To enter the building, they pass through what was probably some small park with a path going through it to the building, star-shaped lamps at both sides of it.

Luckily, the door is not closed, so they enter the building without problems. Inside, Sweetie Belle discovers that the building seems to be a giant mall. A mall specializing in toys, if she judges by the toys that she can see being sold everywhere in the first floor. Conveyor belts lead to each floors, each selling even more toys, and they find also a shard above the last one. Surprisingly, or not, many creatures seem to live in this mall, because they have to fight their way through a great diversity of them, from Sir Kibbles to those worms that push rocks from the top of the conveyor belts, passing by Poppys, and even Gordos.

Once at the top, they find an elevator working with a winding key that help them climbing to another floor, in a separate section of the mall. They traverse a first room with what looks like Kabus jumping out of holes hidden under big leaves to spit bubbles at them. Strangely, the holes disappear once they are defeated. In this room are also three basin full of pink, orange, and blue liquids, with small pillars circled by weird-shaped colored rings that look like stars at their center. Whatever is the purpose of those things, they can only guess.

At the end of the room, they enter another elevator with a winding key that lead them to the floor above. Getting out of it, they are now in a room full of giant blocks of various shapes, squares, triangles, cylinders, some of them with holes. Suspicious, Dedede approaches the first of those holes and puts an arm in front of it before rapidly getting out of the way as one of those frog creatures gets its head out of it to gobble him. Dedede crushes it with his hammer before it goes back in the hole, and from there, they make sure to avoid getting in front of those holes.

Another elevator waits them at the other side of the room. Climbing to the next floor, the new room is, this time, full of small pathway above the floor connected to each other and going in all direction, for kids to walk on and work their balance. For the fun, Sweetie decides to walk on them, followed by Kirby and Waddle Dee, while Dedede and Adeleine simple walk around of jump above them.

Another elevator, another floor, another room, this one simply having big tilted pillars, and there are some of those one eyed green blocks that are very easily avoided, along with a few Gordos. the room after the next elevator is more problematic, because while the room just possesses what seem to be round tables, there are Shotzos on some of them that immediately start shooting at them once they enter. By running, jumping, or taking cover behind the tables for the smaller ones, they are able to avoid their projectiles and reach the exit, while making sure to avoid being blown up by the Poppies that are in this room.

After a small hallway, they reach a ring-shaped indoor garden, with a big Pupa hanging above the center, and some little black balls with two white eyes floating around. A good beat down later, and they exit the garden with a new shard. After the garden, they end in a room with a big glass, someone having painted in white on it a couple of Cherries, a Peach, and a Melon. Seeing this, they look at each other and all raise an eyebrow in confusion.

"This smells like another puzzle to obtain a shard," says Waddle Dee.

Sweetie Belle nods. "Probably." She looks at the painted fruits to memorize them, and goes to the next room, followed by the others. In it, they find colored buttons on the ground, the colors. Again, they raise an eyebrow at this.

"I thought that it would be buttons with fruits painted on them," says Dedede.

Adeleine puts a hand under her chin and tilts her head, thinking about what to do. "Let's see... Cherry... Peach... Melon..." She looks at the buttons. "Wait... They are colored buttons. Colors! Of course!" She goes beside the first button, which is colored red, and pushes it. "Cherries are red!" She then pushes a pink button. "Peaches are pink!" And she pushes a green button. "And melons are green!" Once the green button is pushed, a shard appears above it.

Kirby applauds while Sweetie Belle facehoofs. "Of course! That was so obvious!"

"I'm sure you would have found out with some time. It's not hard to guess."

Ribbon takes the shard and looks at the light of the crystal, seeing it pointing down. "I don't know if the next shard is in this building, but I can already tell that we have to go down."

"So, do we continue?" asks Waddle Dee.

Dedede nods. "Just in case there is an elevator going down."

And so they continue. They pass through a room full of plants, some of them trying to eat them ; a second room full of furnitures, some of them threatening to crush on them by falling of them ; a third room where they have to go in a big aquarium with some of those frog-like creatures ; a fourth room full of giant screws and bolts where they have to avoid some enemies that are just a purple sphere with four metal claw surrounded by electric sparks trying to ambush them ; and a fifth room with fridges, televisions, and yellow vertical poles going from the floor or the ceiling with those yellow, electrical round beings like there was in the spaceship on that desert world.

They are now in a dome-shaped room with walls made of glasses. At the center, there is a height pointed hollowed green star floating above the ground, with three Shotzos on three of its points. Shotzos that know how to aim! They perfectly intercept their position, always shooting at the exact place they would be if they don't change direction or speed. Thankfully, there are floating colored glasses that they can use as shields, and Sweetie is of great help to stop the projectiles too. They circle almost the whole room before reaching a new elevator. However, this one goes up instead of down, and they end up on the roof of the building.

"Well, at least, we are sure that we will not go more up," says Sweetie Belle with a giggle.

Ribbon looks at the crystal. "And now, I know that the next shard is not in this building. The light points over there." She points down over the edge of the roof.

Waddle Dee sighs. "Well, time to go back down." And so, he starts to walk back to the elevator.

"Where are you going?" asks Sweetie Belle.

He looks at the filly and raises an eyebrow in confusion. "Back inside to take the way back to the streets."

Sweetie Belle stares at Waddle Dee, then looks at Dedede and Kirby before the three for them laugh. We don't need to go back inside the building to go down."

"There is another way?"

Dedede suddenly puts him on his back. "Of course!"

Adeleine starts to rub between her eyes in annoyance. "I think that I see what you are talking about. I suppose that this is faster this way."

"Uh?" At this moment, he sees Kirby running toward the edge of the roof... and jumping. "Oh... Of course..."

Sweetie Belle and Dedede then look at each other, nod, and follow Kirby. While falling, Dedede inflates to slow down, and Sweetie Belle wraps her whip around him. Once they land, they look up and spot Adeleine floating down with a parasol, Ribbon flying beside her. Once the human and the fairy have joined them, they follow the direction of the light.

They have to traverse the whole city, the streets starting to fill with robots, much to Sweetie's joy. Soon, they leave the city, anf after a small trek through a field full of fir but without grass or snow, they reach a lonely dome-shaped building surrounded by a small wall that seems to be made of puzzle pieces. There is a chimney spitting smoke at both side of it, and they can see three turning gears and a piston moving up and down some metallic thing shaped like an anchor on the roof.

However, the light doesn't lead them to the building itself, but to a hole in front of it, that look like the entrance to a sewer, with a small wall circling three quarters of it, and a ladder leading down. They look at the hole, nod to each others, and take the ladder one by one. The way down is rather long, and there are a few Gordos going back and forth in the way. They can already see that the place seems childish, because like the wall around the building, the walls and floors here seems to be made of puzzle pieces, but they see also many boxes, and machines lifting them from one place to another. When they reach the end of the ladder, they also spot gears almost everywhere, and there are lamps lighting the place. They can hear the clangs and thumps of more machines, coming in particular from below.

This reminds Sweetie Belle that futuristic world, and she doesn't like it. That world was very dangerous, so who know what kind of dangers there are in there. Well, she still hopes that this place will not be as problematic.

They still go down, jumping from a few platforms while avoiding some kind of blue living rockets or torpedos shooted from canons in the walls. They have to jump from more platforms beside small tunnels, and with Shotzos on them. Following Ribbon's instructions, they go in the first tunnel, only for it to lead to a dead end. Only the last one leads to a boxe that seems to be more fragile than the others. So Dedede destroys it with his hammer, revealing a ladder going up, exactly where Ribbon points. However, there are more boxes in the way, and Sweetie destroys them with explosive balls while Kirby climbs the ladder, until he reaches a shard that he gives to Ribbon.

Now in possession of the shard, they jump from a last platform, and land on a green conveyor belt going in the opposite direction than the one where they have to go. Beside it is another conveyor belt that goes to the right direction, and jump on it to make their journey easier. However, after a small passage, the conveyor belt turns to the left, which doesn't seem to be the right way, because the light show the right. So they go back, much to their annoyance, and take the first one, forcing them to run on it to advance.

After the small passage, they see that this one turns to the right, but has many gates blocking the way, with squeaky hammer machines slamming their hammers on it. So, rather than continuing on the conveyor belt, they jump on the floor under it and go directly to the exit. This lead to a new room with more conveyor belts, red ones going back, and green ones going forth, all the while above a dark gulf, so this time they have no choice but to walk on them. But something disturbing stop them before they even step on the first conveyor belt. At their left, there are many pipes, and they start from some aquarium full of water... with what seems to be a weird pink hippo floating in it. they can see another aquarium a little further, but from where they are, they can't see if there is something in there.

"Why is there an animal trapped in there?" asks Ribbon in shock. "Is it even alive?"

"I-I-I don't know. That... I don't understand," says Sweetie Belle. "But we must save it!"

"But how?" asks Waddle Dee.

He is answered by Sweetie shooting an explosive ball at the glass of the aquarium, only for the glass to remain intact. She frowns, and jumps on a shield to get closer. Once beside it, she accumules energy in one of her hooves, and punches the glass, but this leaves not even the start of a crack. She then throws a Vulcan Jabs, hitting the glass at least a couple dozens of time, only to do have no results. The hippo doesn't even move to acknowledge her existence.

"Come on!" she shouts in anger.

She hears Dedede sighs. "Seems like we will have to find something more powerful to get this animal out of this aquarium."

"But... We can't leave it here..."

She feels someone taps on her shoulder, and looks to see Kirby, inflated, flying behind her with a sad expression.

Then, Dedede talks again. "Actually, seeing all those machines, I wonder if there is not something else behind its presence."

"Like what?" asks Waddle Dee.

Dedede waves around. "We are in a factory. Why would they trap animals in aquarium?"

"Good point," says Adeleine. "You know, with this factory, and this whole world, being technologically advanced, with robots and all, maybe this is a clone."

"A clone?!" shouts Sweetie Belle. "You mean that this factory could be producing clones?!"

"Among other things, I think. Again, this is a theory. But this is the only reason that I see why there is a weird hippo trapped in there. What is in this other aquarium?"

"Uh... I'm gonna look. Wait a minute." Sweetie flies to the other aquarium, and sees in it some white and round creature with a white needle-like beak, blue wings, and a blue tail. "Seems like some bird that look like ones made of fire or ice that we have fought previously, but it's normal, and white! And it's really big! it's a little bigger than Kirby!"

"A hippo and a bird, but different from all the ones that we know..." thinks Dedede. "Were the humans trying to create new species of animals from old ones?"

Waddle Dee rubs his left arm in incertitude. "I... I propose that we continue, and that we think of those animals, or whatever, later. This place gives me the creeps, and we can ask the robots back in the city if they know something."

Sweetie Belle sighs in resignation. "You are right... And I hope that you are right, Adeleine."

Dedede steps on the first conveyor belt, and starts to walk on it, having to lower himself to pass under some big metallic tubes with valves on them. "Urg... I feel that I will hate this room..."

"Don't complain," says Adeleine behind him. "I'm forced to lower myself too."

"Watch out guys!" shouts then Sweetie Belle. "There are Gordos floating up and down between some tubes!"

"Neat!" shouts back Dedede with sarcasm.

They pass beside more aquarium, those ones empty, one of them with a turbine while the others are cylindrical. Midway through the room, they pass under a really big machine with a black section constantly illuminating with colored square lights, prods all around it, and with giant screws under it with the one eyed green blocs between them. After this machine, they pass beside another turbine, and reach a new aquarium with some black cat-like creature the size of Dedede inside it. The cat only has a big head with the ears, the eyes, and the whiskers, an oval body, and a tail, but no legs.

They can clearly see it blink its yellow eyes.

After this one, they reach another aquarium with... an orange cat-like creature in a black cloak with a red bow, only the head and the ears visible, with some blue hairs, and big, round black eyes. This one really makes them question what has been going on in this factory, because this creature, judging by the cloak, isn't, or wasn't, just a simple animal.

That's with big relief that they leave this room, only to end in a big cylindrical room with lava below them. They spot a cage hanging from the ceiling at the center, with a shard in it, and there is a big bird of fire charging at them. While Sweetie flies to the cage and tries to melt the chains suspending it with the hottest fire that she can summon, Kirby freezes the bird with his ice, quickly getting rid of it with the help of Dedede and Waddle Dee. Soon, Sweetie Belle is able to melt the chain, and makes the cage fall on a platform suspended above the lava. At this, Dedede jumps on the platform and hits the cage with his hammer, bending the bars. Some more hits, and he opens a hole big enough for him to put his arm through and catch the shard that he gives to Ribbon.

The next room is just a very long path. The problem? There is a big press going constantly up and down on this path, making it clear what fate it reserves. Thankfully, the press doesn't seem to be shaped like the path, leaving some holes. So like in that cave in the previous world, they go in one by one, starting with Kirby, then Sweetie Belle following him.

She waits for the press to go all the way down, and to start to go back up. Once this is the case, she starts to run, is able to reach the end without needing to stop in one of the holes, only to discover that there is another press, and Shotzos are shooting at her. Like before, she waits for it to start getting back up, using a shield to protect herself against the Shotzos, and run, before stopping just before reaching the end, where there is a hole.

She does the same thing for the following press, but the next one is more problematique. She is forced to stop at the first hole, and rapidly run to reach the end before it go back down. The last press is the more risky, because there is only one small hole toward the end. Sweetie can already imagine Dedede and Adeleine being forced to crawl in this hole because of their size.

She joins Kirby, and wait the others, taking the occasion to look at the machines that look like big heads with sharp teeth, and that seem to be pumping. Pumping what, she doesn't know. And after seeing the animals, or whatever they where, in the previous room, she is not sure that she wants to know. And all those gears... And all those flashing lights... And not a single person to make them work. This factory really creep her out.

Once they are all back together, they continue to the next room, with there are more of those pump machines that look like creepy faces, but smaller, and they are relied to a small machine with a thermometer. Again, she can only guess the meaning. however, this seems to be a dead end, until they see that they can reach the level above by passing through a hole. However, once they are there, some yellow transparent wall lifted by some green big robot star to advance toward them, and they are forced to run.

This goes like this for a few more levels, where they find a shard in the fourth one, at the end. At the fifth level, they have to stop on a small metallic wall in the middle of the hallway, because in addition to the yellow wall chasing them, there is another one coming from before them, and the metallic wall is the only way for them to not be crushed. Once the two yellow walls are against the metallic one, the robots start to step back, giving them the occasion to continue and reach the level above, where there are no walls chasing them this time. beside a few of those lightning creatures on clouds, the only thing in this level is actually another machine that look like the pumps, but the 'sharp teeth' are replaced by a black section with the flashing colored square lights, and it is relied by cables to two other machines that Sweetie guesses are two supercomputers. Things that only exist in sci-fi stories. So the machine at the center must be some generator.

Destroying it would probably stop the factory.

But she decides to do nothing. It may cause the whole building to explode.

So she continues with the others, and after a few more rooms without much obstacles, they reach a big room that seems to be a big hangar with what seem to be white vehicles big enough for all of them to go in. They have the shape of a cone, the top covered in glass, with reactors at the back, and four flat red 'legs' with round ends. At their side are entrances on top of slopes.

Waddle Dee points at one. "Wherever the next shard is, we could use one of those things to go to it faster!"

"And do you know how to use one?" asks Dedede.

"We... can always learn. It must not be hard. Come on, my king, please."

"Please," repeats Sweetie Belle, doing her puppy dog eyes.

Adeleine sighs. "We can try..."

And so, they enter one of the ships. In the cockpit, Dedede, Kirby, and Ribbon sit on the back seats while Adeleine, Waddle Dee, and Sweetie Belle go to the front to see how it works.

The filly raises an eyebrow. "Wait, that's all? I thought that there would have been more buttons. There are only a few ones, a lever, and a wheel."

"Even if there are only a few buttons, we don't know which one to push. I guess that the wheel is to steer the vehicle, and the level may be for the speed, but which button starts it?" asks Adeleine.

"Maybe the big, green one beside the wheel?" proposes Waddle Dee.

Adeleine nods. "Alright, I'll try. Get a sit you two."

They nod and sit on the seats at Adeleine's left and right. Once they are seated, Adeleine sits down on the driver seat and pushes the green button. At the moment she pushes it, the floor around the vehicle starts to rise, and the ceiling above them opens. After a few seconds, they reach the surface, not far of the dome-shaped building, and the vehicle suddenly floats up, the 'legs' turning into wings, with the round ends revealing to be turbines. Adeleine then takes the wheel, and with her right hand, pushes a little the lever, and the ship -because this is clearly a ship- starts to move. She then sees that she can pull or push the wheel. On an intuition, she pulls it, and the ship goes up, flying above the firs, and leaving the factory behind.

"You are actually right Waddle Dee, this is not hard! Which direction Ribbon?"

"Turn to the right."

So she turns the wheel to the right, making the ship turns in the same direction until Ribbon tells her to stop. Once she is sure that this is the right direction, Adeleine smiles widely and pushes the lever a little more, gaining speed.

"That's so cool!" shouts Waddle Dee.


"Now I wonder what the other buttons do," says Sweetie Belle. She then pushes a small button below a screen.

Adeleine tries to stop her, but too late. As Sweetie pushes the button, music then starts to play. They all look at where the song comes from, Adeleine quickly looking back at where she is driving to make sure that they don't fly into a mountain, before they all start bobbing their head at the song.

"Hey. I like it," says Waddle Dee.

"At least, the ride will not be boring," says Dedede.

Sweetie Belle laughs. "Rainbow Dash would love this song! Maybe I should write the lyrics so I can sing it once I'm back to Equestria."

"Yeah! That song must come to Equestria!" shouts Rainbow.

Rarity takes a big breath. "I'm so glad they are out of that awful place. If such a thing existed in Equestria, it would definitely close. There are so much dangers that there would be more ponies dying in this place than in the Royal Guard. What were the humans thinking?"

"To be fair," says Spike. "Sweetie Belle and her friends haven't really taken the intended path. Ponies, or people, aren't supposed to go on conveyor belts in those factories. From what I learned, factories like that are everywhere on Earth. Of course, this is the first one that I see producing clones, if their theory is right."

What he says gives her goosebump. "Oh yes. Those clones. Just... why? And how?"

Twilight answers her. "I don't know how this technology works, so I can't answer how. I would have to ask Sunset, she probably knows more about this, or could do some research to find out. As for why... There can be many reasons. My theory is that when this version of Earth started to freeze, many species of animal must have gone extinct. So the humans cloned them in the hope than if Earth goes back to normal one day, then they could put them back. Of course, they gave up the project once they left Earth."

"What we miss is what caused their world to freeze in the first place," says Luna. "When Sweetie Belle spoke to that robot, the recording said something about some error caused by their ancestors. Maybe there had an accident."

Applejack raises an eyebrow. "An accident that could cause a whole planet to freeze?"

"Maybe they had a big winter factory, and it exploded, causing winter to fall everywhere," proposes Pinkie.

"That is not possible Pinkie," says Twilight. "The humans don't control the weather and the seasons like we do. Their whole planet is like the Everfree Forest, so they don't need anything like a winter factory."

Rainbow Dash looks at her with big eyes. "Say what now?"

Discords laughs. "Such a chaotic world. Maybe I should take some vacation on a version of Earth one day. A version where it is not freezing, of course."

Rarity looks back at the portal, seeing Sweetie now singing a song about some 'thriller night' that is not so bad too. However, she remarks something. "Since when has the nightfallen?"

"Oh, since a couple of minutes ago," answers Discord. He then raises a paw and materialises above it a small version of the frozen Earth with the moon. Half of it is covered in shadow. A dotted red line then appears at the surface, starting in the half not in shadow, before ending in the other half. "They have joined the night side of this world."

"That fast?" says Rainbow Dash.

"Yes. Their ship could leave you in the dust."

"What did you say?!"

"Do you mean that you could go in the other side of Equus in a few minutes?" Rainbow opens her mouth to retort, only to say nothing. "Thought so." She crosses her hooves and pouts at this, to his amusement.

They are now above a really giant city, the skyscrapers dwarfing the ones of Manehattan or of the city they have visited previously, and going for miles and miles. However, this city is much more gloomy, and not just because this is the night of because there is not a single living being to see. The buildings are all made of metal, with a few black lines and some red lights the only features that they can spot at their surface, but no apparent windows, or colors. It's just... metal... and empty... and soulless... Among the buildings, they also spot a few metallic roads suspended high above the surface, stretching in straight lines for miles.

Ribbon then starts to speak. "The next shard is somewhere down there, but... but it seems to move. I think that someone, or something, is in possession of it."

Sweetie Belle frowns. "I hope that we will not have to fight something like that living lava back in the volcano."

Adeleine sighs. "Knowing our luck..."

"I'm telling you, this will be a robot!" shouts Waddle Dee.

"If it's a robot, then maybe I could ask it to give the shard to us." says Sweetie Belle.

Suddenly, a yellow laser pierces one of the left wings, causing the ship to start to lose altitude, Adeleine losing control of it, and making the whole group panic.

"Waaaaahhh!!! We will crash!" shouts Adeleine.

Waddle Dee takes a device that looks like a micro and shouts at it. "SOS! SOS!"

"Idiot! There is nobody in this world to save us!" yells Dedede.

Kirby then points at one of the metallic roads. "Poyo!"

"Of course!" says sweetie Belle. "Adeleine, try to land the ship on this road!"

"I will try!"

Hands on the wheel, Adeleine turns it slightly to the right, turning with difficulty the ship so it go above the road. Once close enough, she makes sure that the ship remains above the road while it continue to go down. At the same time, she pulls the wheel so the ship remains as parallel to the road as possible, so it doesn't crash nose first on the road, which could be bad. Another laser piercing one of the right wings almost causes her to spin the ship, but she is able to use it to regain some balance and make the landing easier. After a whole minute, the ship bounces on the road, destroying one of the right wings and forcing everyone to cling to their seats to not be propulsed by the shock. The ship bounces again, and starts gliding on the road, going slightly to the right and threatening to go over the edge of the road. Thankfully, it stops gliding just as a part of it is above the chasm, but is able to remain on the road. But for how long?

Kirby quickly opens the door, and everyone run to exit the vehicle, Adeleine leaving at the last second just as it starts to tilt, and it falls. A few seconds later, they hear an explosion below, illuminating the area for a very short period, before smoke starts to rise.

However, they don't have time to breath. A giant robot appears at the other side of the road, flying and seemingly looking at them. It possesses a cylindrical white body, bigger at the top, and smaller at the bottom, with two yellow diamond-shaped parts that look like eyes, and a red part at the bottom between the two 'eyes' and two reactors that it uses to fly. There are two other reactors behind it, and they have a red triangle drawn on them, and possess a few holes at the top. There is a fifth, cylindrical reactor under the main body that looks like one of the Halberd. It also possesses two white arms that look like paddles, blue at the end, and linked to the main body by black 'shoulders'. The parts main body under the arms are actually black with a green light, revealing that the white part is actually an armor and above it, there is also a cone-shaped black head with a single yellow glowing light.

Ribbon looks at the robot in fear, and then at the crystal. "It... It's the one possessing the crystal."

"And it shot at us," says Dedede angrily, hammer in hands. "Seems like it want a fight."

Sweetie Belle gulps, and starts to speak to the robot, waving at it. "Uh... Hello? You don't need to fight us! We only want the crystal that you possess, and we will be gone!"

The robot 'looks' at her for a few seconds, and raises its left arm, sweeping it across the road and forcing everyone to jump above it to not be slapped.

Dedede smirks. "Well, we have our answer. Let's turn this robot into a pile of scraps."

The reactors suddenly open, shooting missiles at the group, easily dodged. Sweetie Belle is the first to attack by shooting an explosive beam at the robot, only tp cause no damages to it.

She frowns. "That thing is solid, even more than the Heavy Lobster."

"We will have to target parts that are not armored," says Waddle Dee.

Adeleine studies the robot. "So, the head, the parts under the arms, and maybe the blue end of the arms. I wonder if the yellow and red parts are weak points too."

The robot attacks again with another sweep, this time of the right arm. While they jump above it, they take the occasion to attack it with everything they, effectively damaging it. Sweetie then shoots at the yellow and red parts of the main body to test if they are weak points or not, only to do no damages. However, when she shoots at the head, it works. Speaking of the head, it suddenly shoots a laser from the yellow light, sweeping the road with it, forcing them to jump again. It follows by slamming both its arms on the road, trying to crush Kirby and Dedede who run out of the way before attacking them.
Sweetie decides to jump on a shield and fly around the robot, not stopping shooting at the head. She gains its attention, and the robot shoots another laser at her that she dodges. It tries to slap her, then it tries again, and again, and again, the robot totally forgetting the rest of the group. taking the occasion, Dedede grabs Kirby and throws him toward the head of the robot. Kirby clings to it, and starts to breath ice at it. To get itself rid of him, the robot starts to fly around around, turning on itself at great speed, trying to use the centrifugal force to make him fall. Knowing that he can't last, Kirby releases the head and inflates himself to fly away and quickly go back on the road.

While he flies, the robot shoots at him with another laser, only for Sweetie to protect him with the shield, the laser powerful enough to break it, but it has given time for Kirby to get out of the way and land on the road. Not paying Sweetie Belle attention, the robot charges toward the road at the group on it. Seeing it approach, they quickly run away just before it breaks a part of the road by crashing on it. Ribbon counterattack by shooting crystals, only to be slapped like a fly, making her crash into Sweetie Belle as she has been flying toward it.

At this moment, the robot being close enough of the road, Dedede does a big jump, and when he starts to fall toward the robot, he prepares the hammer, and violently hits the head, making the robot tilt. His action accomplished, he jumps again and lands on the road.

The robot seems to have enough, because it suddenly flies above the road, and opens itself from the bottom. The head enter the body, and the two parts fuse back from where it was, changing shape to give the body the shape of a cone similar to the ship they have used to come here. The armor that has been the front of the body has too fused with the one of the back, the red part now above the nose, leaving the front and the nose unprotected. The reactors are still at the bottom, the ones at the front having not followed the armor when the robot has started to split. The black 'shoulders' go down beside the green lights at the side, and the arms turn around, the blue end now beside the 'shoulders', and the white parts splitting open to form claws. The robot then lies down on the road, the black parts that were in the front now at the bottom, nose pointed at the group, and it starts to advance toward them, snipping at them with its claws while firing more missiles, and the road behind it breaks into pieces.

Because of the claws, they are forced to run away from it, and they can't approach to attack the exposed bottom part. frowning, kirby gives up the ice ability and sucks one of the missiles, before spitting it back at the black nose of the robot. At this moment, Sweetie Belle and Ribbon come back, and the filly shoots many explosive balls at the bottom while the fairy shoots crystals from the other side. The robot counterattack by shooting more missiles at them, but they are easily dodged, and it can't shoots its laser anymore in this form.

Whoever has designed this robot wasn't really smart.

A door then opens under it, and out of it come a missile bigger than the others going straight in front of it. Kirby sucks it, only to inhale the top part while the body of the missile is not inhaler and continue its course. Taken by surprise, Kirby is hit, but he doesn't let it stop him and spits the top of the missile back at the robot.

It suddenly flies up in the sky, taking back its first form, and starts to fall back toward them reactors first in a clear attempt to crush them. Kirby then looks at Dedede, Waddle Dee, and Adeleine and nods at them, before he opens his mouth and inhale them, to their surprise. Once they are all in him, Kirby looks up toward the approaching robot, and once it is close enough, he spits his friends at its main reactor under the body. The collision throws the robot back up before it crashes on the road a little further, and Dedede, Waddle Dee, and Adeleine land back beside Kirby.

Dedede punches Kirby on the top of his head in anger, flattening him. "You could have warned us!"

Kirby rubs the spot where he has been hit. "Po-poyo..." He then spots at his feets a shard, and smiling in joy, he takes it. "Poyo!"

"Yes!" shouts Adeleine. "The robot musts have dropped it after that attack!"

"Speaking of the robot, it has stopped moving," remarks Waddle Dee, staring at the robot.

Sweetie Belle joins them with Ribbon, and while the fairy takes the shard, she say "That's it? No big explosion? When we defeated the Heavy Lobster, it exploded."

A part of the road under the robot then breaks apart, and because of its weight, the robot tilts, and fall in the chasm, disappearing in the darkness. The only thing showing what become of it is a big sound indicating it crashing at the surface, but still no explosion.

Dedede huffs. "It's less fun when they don't explode."

Leaving the breaking road, they fly to the roof of a nearby building, and Ribbon lets the crystal open a portal. Once open, the portal shows a heart-shaped pink world with a face and three smaller hearts around it. there is also a ring with two yellow bows that turn around the big heart. However, they can see darkness spread everywhere at the surface.

Ribbon gasps. "It's Ripple Star! It's my world! It's almost covered in darkness!"

"So it's time," says Sweetie Belle.

"But the crystal is not complete."

"The crystal is leading us to Ripple Star despite not being completed?" ask Dedede. "Then that means that there are shards that have somehow fallen back in this world."

Kirby looks at Ribbon and nods in determination, raising his arm and shouting a fierce "Poyo!"

They all nod, and Adeleine says "This is the last step of our journey, and the more dangerous. But we are ready! We will find the remaining shards, and beat the Dark Matters!"

"Hopefully, this time once and for all!" continues Waddle Dee.

"And nothing will stop us!" shouts Sweetie Belle.

"Now let's go! We have a world to save!" finishes Dedede.

Ribbon looks at all of them, and smiles. "Thank you, everyone. I don't doubt that we will win."

At this, they enter one by one the portal, ready to fight the darkness.