Lost in the Storm

by PonyPixel

Strange New World

Gallus woke to find he was in Ponyville, but something was weird. Half of the town looked normal and lively, while the other half look abandoned and partly destroyed. The griffon figured out that the first was his home and the other one was the world he was in now. He looked down and saw a line that divided the two halves.

"What are you doing here?" asked a voice. He looked and saw Sandbar, but it was the one with an eyepatch. Gallus sighed but then noticed the other Sandbar from his world in the peaceful Ponyville. He also noticed Yona. He looked back to see another Yona, who was wearing what seemed to be armor with the Storm King emblem on her shoulder plates.

"There you are." The three (or rather five) creatures look and saw the king's dragon, changeling, and hippogriff charging towards them. Sandbar braced himself but when Smolder charged him with a punch, she just stopped in mid-air. Her wings weren't even flapping. Gallus look and Smolder, Silverstream, and Ocellus on the peaceful side.

To add to their confusion the ground shook as a giant crystal tree grew out in between the two worlds. When it started taking form with six different colored gems on what looked like branches, Gallus knew what this was. "The Tree of Harmony," he gasped.

Just then, right in front of the tree, a transparent Twilight Spark appeared, much to every creatures' shock. "Hello, Gallus."

"Hey... Tree," Gallus said awkwardly, "Do you mind if I call you that?"

"That doesn't matter right now. I know you don't belong here, but you can help these creatures."

"Those two lines kind of contradict each other."

"I don't have much time to explain. You won't last long in this world. But there are a few creatures that could help you."

Gallus looked to the five doublegangers of his friends. "You mean them? They don't even know me. Well, they do, it's just someone who's following a heartless king. And that's..." He couldn't finish as his heart felt like it was being crushed. "What's going on?"

"This is what I feared. Find your friends, before it's too late for you." The tree's pony form stomped on the ground as the divider opened the ground up making Gallus fall in and woke up.

The griffon felt his heart beating, it hurt for a second but after a few beats, it felt fine. "I wish it did it differently. What did it mean?" Gallus could think of it too long as Applejack burst into the room, startling him and Sandbar.

"Time to get up you two," she said. "Time to eat."

"Right," Sandbar said following the farm pony. Gallus followed suit still thinking about his dream.

Rarity and Pinkie were helping give out breakfast for the rebel team. It wasn't anything too fancy, but it was good enough to get anyone threw til lunch. Sandbar decided to introduce Gallus to his family, the mother looked a little on edge, while the father had a couple of battle scars.

"So... How do you play your parts?" Gallus asked.

"Well, I'm a nurse," Sandbar's mom said. "Which is good since somepony here keeps getting injured."

"I can't help it," the father said.

"Can we not talk about fighting against the king?" Sandbar begged.

"Then what do you want to talk about?" the mother asked.

"Well, I had this weird dream last night. Ponyville was split in half, one of the parts looked pretty good. Plus, there some members of the storm fleet, and a second me."

"That's weird," Gallus said. "That's the same thing I dreamed. Did you also see Twilight Sparkle?"

"You both saw the princess of friendship?" the father questioned.

"Sort of. She was just standing in front of the Tree of Harmon-EEK!" He was caught off guard from an angry Rainbow Dash.

"How do you know about the tree?" she questioned looking Gallus dead in the eyes.

"Rainbow," Fluttershy said pulling her friend back. "He's just a kid."

"A terrified one at that," Gallus added. Dash just put the griffon down as she floated away with her friend.

"I just... We could've done something," the rainbow mane pony groaned clenching her teeth.

"I know, but getting angry isn't going to help," Fluttershy said.

"You okay?" Sandbar asked.

"Yeah, just fine," Gallus said taking a bite out of his breakfast.

"So, you had the same dream as me?"

"It's what it seems. The Tree said I won't last long here."

"You know we're sitting right here," Sandbar's mom said.

"Sorry, mom," Sandbar apologized. "We'll talk about what happened later, Gallus." The griffon nodded and they just continued with their breakfast.

Meanwhile, the griffon general was checking on his troops. Some dragons were practicing their combats skills with some changelings. He smiled at them doing as they were ordered. "General Gallus," Smolder said running up to him along with Ocellus and Silverstream.

"This better be important," he said.

"Well, kind of," Ocellus said. "The three of us had the same dream..."

"Don't care."

"But it was the same one," Smolder said.

"Well, you go tell your mommies about what you dreamed of." Silverstream whimpered after hearing this. "Oh, your's is still alive." Gallus turned around to leave but Smolder had something else to say.

"If it's important, we saw your doubleganger."

The general stopped and turned back. "...Alright, now you have my attention. Do you know where he is?"

"My only guess is that he's somewhere in Ponyville," Ocellus said. "The Clears rescued him, so he must be a part of them."

"If you're so sure about this, go and check it out."

"What...? I haven't even eaten yet."

"Well, get you a feast if you and the yaks search Ponyville again."

The changeling just sighed. "Yes, sir."

The general then looked towards the dragon and hippogriff. "You two, go with her."

"Yes, sir," Smolder said as she flew off to join the attack, while Silverstream was feeling a little less keen.

In less than half an hour, Ocellus, Smolder, Silverstream, and several yaks got an airship and set off towards Ponyville. The yaks were all armored up, boots, shoulder plates with the Storm King's emblem, and helmets with eyeholes that looked like the emblem.

"The general has given us orders to find the rebels in Ponyville," Ocellus said. "I would suggest that you capture them, alive." The yaks nodded as the changeling held her stomach. Hungry was quickly getting to her, but she just pushed it off. "Be ready to attack."

Back to the rebel hideout, Gallus decided to look around. He felt a little nervous considering how low the ceilings were. Claustrophobia would be the least of his worries. He still had no idea how to get home. Gallus then heard the sound of a baby crying, along with a voice.

"Flurry, stop crying." Gallus followed the sound and found Spike trying to calm Flurry Heart down. The baby alicorn flew out of the dragon's claws and she flew right into Gallus's face. "Sorry about that."

"It's fine," Gallus replied picking up the alicorn. "You're looking after Flurry Heart?"

"Yeah." Flurry appeared to be interested in Gallus. She giggled as played with his wings. "I think she likes you."

"Good to know. Hey, Spike, have you seen any spells that let you travel between different worlds?"

"Sort of, why do you ask?"

"Because I'm not from this world. In mine, Princess Twilight is still alive and even opened a school where I got to meet Sandbar and other creatures."

"Really? She's still alive in yours?"

"Yeah. Do you know any unicorns that can open a portal to new worlds?"

"I think you're out of luck. Starlight's the only pony I know who could do that, but her horn was broken turning the king's attack."

"Seriously? What about Discord?" Spike didn't say anything to this. "Wh... What happened to him."

"...The Storm King lured him into a trap involving Fluttershy. Before anyone knew it, he was turned to stone... And shatter. It really took a toll on Fluttershy."

"Sorry I asked. I'm just trying to find a solution."

"I understand." Spike took Flurry from Gallus, who left leaving behind some awkward silence.

"Well, I feel like an idiot. I've got nothing."

"Gallus," Sandbar cried running up to him. "You wanna talk about that dream?"

"Go ahead."

"Who was that other pony that looked like me?"

"That was you from another world."

"Keep talking," Starlight said walking up to them.

"I told her about what happened," Sandbar explained.

"Explain me your world."

"Okay," Gallus said. After a quick explanation of what happened yesterday. "And after that, I got chest pains."

"The tree is very powerful," Starlight said, "It should have a good reason for calling Sandbar. As well as your friends. Even if they don't know you."

"So, let's just go out there and..."

"I'm stopping you there." Starlight reached her hoof out and blocked the griffon's path. "If you get caught by the Storm Army..."

"They'll beat me up and blah, blah, blah. Look, I need to get home." Using his wings, Gallus to fly over to unicorn with a broken horn.

"Gallus, stop," Sandbar cried chasing him down.

The griffon nearly got to the exit, but Zecora was there stopping him in his tracks. "I'm glad I stopped you before you got ahead," she said, "If I didn't, you might end up dead."

"Thanks, Zecora," Starlight said. "Gallus, what were you thinking?"

"Trying to get home," the griffon replied. "I'm trying to find a way."

Just then, a pegasus flew through the exit and towards Shining Armor. "Sir. Sir!" he cried. "The storm army is heading to Ponyville."

"Stay calm," Shining Armor replied. "Did you see what the army consisted of?"

"It was all yaks, except for a changeling, a dragon, and a hippogriff."

"Applejack, we'll need you as well as the flight and ranged units." Applejack raced off to find her team. "What reason do they have for searching Ponyville? Nopony lives in the main area since this place was built."

"I think it might have something to do with me," Gallus said. "Since I was wondering around, they think I must be here. I'm sorry."

"No, it's alright. We'll hold them off. The spell should keep everpony here hidden." Applejack's unit was ready for action. They, as well as Shining Armor, set off. Gallus didn't hesitate and followed the unit. Sandbar wanted to go after him, but his mother stopped him. The earth pony couldn't do anything to stop the griffon.

Right above Ponyville, the warship was hovering over the abandoned village. "Alright," Ocellus said, "The second we land we'll search the entire area, even if we have to destroy everything. Silverstream, scout the area."

The hippogriff took flight and searched around the area. Just then, a lightning bolt struck the airship, causing them to crash to the ground, destroying some buildings, and sending parts of the army overboard.

There were several injuries, but Smolder and the yaks stood strong. Ocellus had turned into a flying squirrel to avoid the crash, but she quickly changed back when he stomach growled. She looked and saw that a third of her army was no longer able to fight, the other third was just trying to fix the ship. She then saw several ponies heading towards them, along with a captured Silverstream. "What in tarnation happened?" Applejack asked.

Ocellus quickly hid so the ponies didn't see her. "Someone shot us down," Smolder explained.

"Ponies must be smashed!" a yak cried. Before Ocellus could come out of hiding and stop them, the armies charged at each other. The yaks had the strength advantage, but the ponies' magic and flight help even the playing field.

Ocellus was going to fight on, but she then saw something blue hiding around the corner. She flew around the buildings so no one could see her, then she transformed into Rainbow Dash.

"What are you doing here?" she questioned the griffon.

"Rainbow Dash?" Gallus gasped falling on his back. "What are you doing here?"

"Trying to get you back. Come on, you'll get..." She could finish as a yak got thrown into the building they were hiding behind, causing a part of the building to collapse. Dash moved the griffon out of the way. "Let's go."

"Hold on, how can I trust you?"

"Look, do you want to smashed by these hairballs?"

"Well, what about the Tree of Harmony?"

"The Tree... Of Harmony? Was that what was in the dream?" Gallus tackled the 'pony' to the ground. She knew her cover was blown. She would've turned into something, a cheetah to run off, a bear to smack Gallus away, anything, but her hunger prevented her from fighting back. Ocellus held her stomach in pain.

"Look, I don't want to fight you. I just want answers." The changeling didn't know what to think. Both of them were taken by surprise as Smolder grabbed Gallus by his tail and tossed him away.

"What did he do?" the dragon asked.

"Nothing," the changeling replied.

"Seemed strange, he waisted his chance." Smolder grabbed Ocellus and flew away from the broken building. The dragon quickly flew back into the battle, with the ponies and yaks. Gallus got up a look towards a tied up Silverstream. She was just lying on the sidelines trying to escape.

"Silver, are you okay?" Gallus asked. The hippogriff didn't reply, she just looked confused at the griffon who she thought was the general. "Can you talk?" Silverstream nodded but stay silent. "Look, you don't have to follow the Storm King's orders. Just let me help you and we can take care of him."

"No," she said quietly. "I can't disobey him."

Gallus was then smashed to the ground by one of the yaks. The yak looked to be a bit smaller than the other ones, and though its face was covered by the helmet, its voice sounded a bit familiar. "Why griffon look like general," the yak said.

"Hold on," Gallus groan as the yak sat on him. "Yona?"

"How does griffon know name?"

"Look, just get off me."

"Not a chance," Smolder said landing next to the pinned griffon. She appeared to be charging up her fire breath that she was going to use on him. Gallus's heart was started to beat against his chest as he tried to move away. Yona saw she might get burned too, so she jumped out of the way and Gallus got out of the way before he got cooked by Smolder's fire. The dragon was furious at the yak. "You made me miss!"

"Yak doesn't want to get burned," Yona protested.

"Plus, they want him alive," Silverstream said.

"The general gave me the permission to beat him up," Smolder protested as she cut the hippogriff free. Suddenly, she got hit in the arm by a beam from Shining Armor before being be bucked by Applejack. The dragon was sent flying, but she recovered with her wings and flew away. The farm pony had managed to break her arm as if being shot by a beam wasn't bad enough.

Even with her injury, Smolder wasn't giving up. She let out a large blast of fire, which Shining blocked with a shield spell. This distracted the dragon from a pegasus smashing her to ground, injuring her even more, but not much. Yona was kicked across the ground but the yaks smashed the pony that kicked her in the first place.

"Yaks retreat," she cried making a run for it. The rest of the army followed suit, grabbing some other yaks that couldn't move on their own. They lowered some of the cages of the now flying airship so the other yaks could get up and escape.

"Get back here you cowards!" Smolder ordered. After nearly getting hit by some beams, the dragon decided to fall back. With the army gone, the only one that was left was Ocellus. The changeling's legs couldn't support her anymore and she collapsed.

Shining Armor was about to charge up a spell, but Gallus stopped him. "What are you doing here?" the unicorn questioned.

"Look, don't hurt her," Gallus said. "I don't she's injured. We need to help her."

Ocellus felt very weak, she could barely open her eyes. When he did, she was trapped in a bubble that Shining Armor was keeping her in. "Where am I?" she asked weakly.

"You're in the base," Shining explained. "Explain yourself."

"I'm Ocellus. I'm one of the changeling spies... For the Storm King."

"Tell us something we don't know." Ocellus was struggling just to keep her head up, but that wasn't what the unicorn saw. "Tell us!" The changeling flinched at the stallion's outburst.

"Yeah, you're doing great," Gallus said sarcastically.

"Please... Don't hurt me," Ocellus begged.

"We won't. He might, but I won't. Just tell us what we don't know about the Storm King."

"So... Hungry." Ocellus passed out again from her hunger.

"We'll keep her in there until she's ready for questioning," Shining said. He walked away, leaving the changeling in a bubble floating there.

"Wait, we're just leaving her there?" Gallus questioned.

"She won't get out. No spell can be used in there, and any living material can't phase through." Shining walked off to the dining hall, with the rest of the ponies following him. Gallus looked towards Ocellus, who holding her stomach in pain. He could've sworn he saw her crying, but he was called to follow the ponies to the dining hall.

Pinkie had limited ingredients, even with Applejacks help. They had to ashen out the food and everyone only got one serving. "I wish Sweet Apple Acres wasn't so far away," Sandbar said as he sat next to Gallus. The griffon didn't reply and just stared at his food. "Gallus?"

"Huh?" the griffon questioned. "Sorry, I've just be thinking about Ocellus."

"The changeling?"

"Yeah, that's her name. Shining didn't any of his bubbles cause pain, do they?"

"Of course, not," Sandbar's mom said. "I've been a couple when I needed to patch up some ponies."

"So, then maybe..." Gallus paused as he looked down at his plate. He picked it and flew away, leaving Sandbar and his parents confused. Ocellus was still in pain, thanks to her stomach. The blue griffon walked up the changeling in a bubble and got her attention. "Hey."

"What?" she asked with her eyes lightning up when she saw the plate of food. It wasn't much, just some bread, apples, and a little bit of some herb that was from Zecora.

"Listen, you look really hungry, so I'm giving you this."

"Really? Even when I helped with the attack?"

"You fainted from hunger." The changelings growling stomach agreed to this. "I might be in your position later, but you need this more than I do." Gallus managed to push the plate through the bubble and the prisoner quickly started scarfing it down. He could see tears of joy sliding down her face, which made him feel happy.

As he started to walk away, but Ocellus stop. "Wait." Gallus turned back to her. "Thank you." The griffon gave a thumbs up before walking off.

Later, Gallus found the base's library. He looked at some spell books and was trying to find anything that would help him. He could make much progress, but he quickly threw that to side as he heard some scream down the hall.

Out of curiosity, he decided to check it out. He could Ocellus be hounded by Shining Armor, as well as Rainbow Dash with Fluttershy trying to calm them down.

"How did you get the plate of food?" Dash cried at Ocellus. "Did you use your mind shift magic?"

"Rainbow," Fluttershy cried. "She's only a child."

"Changelings are known for their deception," Shining said. "She could be lying to us right now." Gallus thought for a moment before flying off to get the creatures he knew who could help.

"Look at her," Fluttershy cried as the changeling was on the break of crying.

"Fluttershy, you've seen changelings in action," Rainbow Dash said. "Ever since the Storm King took over their hive, they been back to their old ways of tricking ponies about who they are. We might as well just keep Chrysalis as their queen."

"Please," Ocellus begged. "I never wanted to hurt anyone."

"Lies!" Without warning, Dash kicked the bubble across the room. It crashed against the wall, causing the changeling pain. The yellow mare tried to calm her friend the guard down, but she wasn't succeeding.

Suddenly, a shot of green fire nearly hit them. The flame had come from Spike, who was with Starlight, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, and Gallus.

"Rainbow Dash, that was completely unnecessary," Rarity cried.

"She can't do anything while she's in there," Starlight explained.

"But she could lying to us," Rainbow protested.

"And what exactly did she say?" Applejack asked.

"Not wanting to hurt anyone."

"And she didn't," Pinkie said. "I mean, she didn't where she was and she didn't even try to escape."

"That's because of Shining's bubble."

"But I didn't know that," Ocellus said. "I thought I was just being levitated."

"Plus," Gallus added, "She was out cold when we brought her here."

"He's not wrong," Shining said.

"Plus, don't you remember what I said about changelings?" Spike questioned.

"You think I'm going to take advice from you!?" Dash shouted. "You and the king both destroyed places that ponies live in."

"Ah... Thanks for opening that wound again."

"Rainbow, that was uncalled for," Rarity said.

"Like so is getting dirty, or messing up your mane," Dash scoffed.

"What is your problem?" Applejack questioned.

"Is that changeling. She as well as Thorax could've done something to stop him."

"You know they tried," Spike said. "The storm king overpowered them."

"How hard is it to turn into some not suspicious and stab him in the back? They and even maybe the dragons teaming could've stopped him, but no, they had to be cowards and get taken over, lose their king and dragon lord, AND OUR FRIEND CAN JUST DIE IN VAIN!" The pegasus's anger swiftly turned into sadness. "Just thought... I do what Twilight... Would want."

The room went silent for a while. Pinkie walked over to her crying friend. "Dashie, you know that they tried their hardest," the pink pony said. "You know how powerful he is."

Dash was starting to choke on her words. "We know you try your hardest," Applejack said. "Just use your common sense."

Rainbow's friend comforted her as Shining walked up to her. "I know how it feels," he said. "Twilight was a great mare. We still have each other." They turned to Ocellus, who they released from the bubble. "We're sorry about your treatment. I don't have the best history with changelings."

"I understand," Ocellus said. "Honestly, this just makes me feel like the king is still ordering me around." Nothing was said for a while.

"Gallus, darling," Rarity said, "Can you take this changeling to your room?"

"Of course," Gallus said. He and Ocellus walked away leaving the friends behind.

"That was... Something," Ocellus said not know to describe what just happened.

"I know. It must be hard being in their position." The griffon and Changeling walked into the room, where Sandbar was sitting. He was a bit surprised to see his new roommate.

"No, it's okay, I'm friendly. I haven't stolen anyone's love since Thorax became... King." The changeling went quiet. Gallus simply gave her a hug to help cheer her up.

"It's okay," he said.

"I appreciate this, but... It's going to take more than a hug to fix everything he's done."

"You mean the king, right?" Sandbar asked. Ocellus nodded.

"I think I'll be the first to ask you this," Gallus said, "Why were you so hungry when you and your army attacked?"

"It's how he gets the other changelings to follow his orders," she explained. "We're kept separated so we can't share love. After we do a mission, we get food if succeed, if not, we just go hungry."

"That's... Terrible," Sandbar said.

"You have no idea. Thanks for the food, Gallus."

"I'm glad I could help," the griffon replied. Ocellus smiled then looked at the symbols on her shoulder plates.

"You want to do something that'll make you feel better?" Sandbar asked. He had the changeling's attention. "Rip them off, and smash them." Using her magic, Ocellus ripped them off and stomped on them, when she finished, she breathed heavily. "Feel better?"

"Yeah, I do," Ocellus said. Sandbar surprised her with a hug, which she embraced. "You guys sure do love hugs."

"You get filled with love, so I think this might help." Both chuckled as Gallus sat on his bed. "Something wrong."

"Nothing," Gallus answered. "It's just... We spent practically the entire day in hiding. I still don't have any way of getting back to my world. It's nothing against you guys, it's just... If we can't find anything in here, why don't we try and look outside."

"It's too dangerous."

"He's not wrong," Ocellus said. "They'll come looking for me, and when they find me..." She looked at the remains of the emblems.

"Maybe that wasn't such a good idea."

"No, it wasn't," Gallus said, "It's nice to get things like that off your chest. They'll find us, but instead of hiding like cowards, no offense, we head out there and try and find something that can stop the Storm King."

"But how?"

"Well, Chrysalis's throne was made of stone that cancels out magic," Ocellus said. "I think if we find something like that, we could stand a chance."

"Yes, something like that," Gallus agreed.

"Guys, we could get killed," Sandbar said. "And I just met her."

"My name's Ocellus," the changeling explained.

"Right, but we can't survive on our own out there."

"Ocellus," Gallus said, "Can you show us what you can turn into?" The changeling showed off the multiple forms she could transform into, ponies, dragons, bugbear, seapony, etc.

"Okay, but there's no way they're going to let us out."

Gallus thought for a moment. "How many ponies are awake at night?" Knowing he wasn't going to talk him out of it, Sandbar told Gallus what the Clears did around the base.

Meanwhile, at the Storm King's castle, General Gallus was giving orders for the night watch. Outside of the door, he heard some arguing outside. The griffon opened to the door to find Smolder arguing with the yaks. They all went quiet as they saw the general.

"What's going on in here?" he asked.

"Ponies overpowered army," Yona explained.

"I could've taken them on," Smolder complained as she held her arm. "I only retreated because they forced me."

Gallus looked at the dragon's broken arm. "You get to the medic hall," he ordered. Smolder walked off as the general glared at the yaks. "You were given orders to find their base."

"Ponies too powerful," one of the yaks protested which only made the griffon angrier.

"The king will hear this."

"Already have," the Storm King said walking over to them. The yaks were scared as he looked down at them. "I know just the thing for one of you to do. General, you know the room, take your pick of which yak get to do what you know what."

General Gallus nodded and picked the five yaks he wanted to follow him. He took them to a room where a dragon was beating up a changeling. "Oh, general," the dragon said.

"Hello, everyone," the griffon said. "How's the traitor."

"Having a better time than following you," the changeling said before being smacked by the dragon again.

"What changeling do?" Yona asked a bit scared.

"He tried to backstab the king, literally," Gallus said. "Finish him off." The dragon nodded as he gave the changeling a punch to the eye, skull, all before stomping on his head so hard, it cracked, and then, it broke. Yona raced behind corner after seeing the smashed head. She removed to her helmet so she could vomit. "Great, you're a lightweight. Look, I'll give you a second chance. Find the griffon that looks like me."

"Yak, won't let general down. Get started right away."

"Good, and find that hippogriff that was with you." Yona raced off to find her. "And put your helmet back on." The general threw the helmet back to yak, who promptly caught. "I'm not taking any chances. He didn't come here on his own. He and whatever did that, must be stopped."

Back to the base, the other Gallus, along with Sandbar and Ocellus waited until everyone was asleep. When that happened, they snuck out with some gear that they needed. "I'm really don't think this is a good idea," Sandbar said.

"Ocellus said that the king is looking for me," Gallus said. "If I stay here, they'll find everyone else."

"Not to mention the things they'll do to me," Ocellus said. "We'll need to head to Sweet Apple Acres to get food."

"I think I know the way," Sandbar said. The earth pony walked away and his friends followed him to the farm.

"Okay," Gallus said as he picked some of the apples, "They already got some food, right?"

"A while after we ate," Sandbar explained as he bucked one of the trees. They now had all their food and placed it into their bags. "So, where now?"

"The Storm King is in the Crystal Empire," Ocellus said, "He likes the weather there."

"Makes sense," Gallus said. "It's going to take days to get there."

"And the train's been out of service for a year," Sandbar said. "Good thing we brought gear for camping out."

"You've got to be smart if you're going undercover," Ocellus said. "Come on, we better get going." The three started what was going to be their long journey.