-The Second Ascension Sign, Sacrifice-
-Sometime later, on Utopian’s ship. In Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon’s cell-
Quick and efficient, that was how the foals needs were taken care of. If they were hungry, a plate of some very good looking food appeared on a silver platter from underneath the floor. If they needed to use the little fillies’ room, a set of walls rose out from the floor on the other side of their cell and created a complete bathroom within them. The only thing that they couldn’t get service on was to get a door to appear on the outer walls, or find something to end their ceaseless boredom.
Currently Diamond Tiara was lying on the bed, glaring at the white washed wall off to its side that she currently faced. Silver Spoon was still in the corner, and hadn’t even touched the food that was given to her for fear of it being poisoned and refused to eat even after Diamond Tiara cleaned her plate.
“I’m bored...” Diamond Tiara moaned, continuing to glare at the wall. She was met with only silence, and a few gentle sniffles from Silver Spoon as she continued to glare at the wall. “Im soooooooooooooooooo boooooooorrrrrrrrred. B O R E D.” She thought, burying her face into the mattress of the giant bed. Even the pillows that she and Silver Spoon used for a near non-existent pillow fight seemed boring to the foal as nothing seemed to cry out for her to be used to entertain herself with. “If I don’t do something fast, I may go just as crazy as that pink nut ball that helps at that lame-o sweet shop what’shername.” She said mentally before flipping over and staring at the ceiling. The design and the pattern of the fabric on the ceiling of the bed seemed to make her boredom worse, and made her sleepy on top of being bored. She groaned inwardly, trying to fight against the effects of the hypnotic looking fabric but was out faster than a light before she even got the chance to yawn.
“Wh-Where... Where am I?” Diamond Tiara asked, looking at the vast landscape before her. Everything and anything that she ever dreamed of was in one place, mountains of bits, trees that bore diamonds for fruits, even a simple river that rushed underneath her was flowing with the purest of crystal clean water.
The foal rushed forward, her greed taking the better of her as she leapt into a smallish looking mountain of coins. Unlike what someponies would have her believe the coins scattered easily, almost like a pile of leaves in the fall. This place, this wonderful place was all hers. Everything, from the fanciest of clothes and shoes to the best meals a foal could ask for were at her beck and call.
“Enjoying ourselves are we?” A gentle voice said from behind her.
Diamond Tiara snapped around faster than a comet, blinking as a beautiful pony stood before her. She wasn’t as pretty as Princess Celestia by a long shot, though Princess Celestia didn’t have diamond studded purple Butterfly wings either, but she was beautiful in her own rights. A long and elegant bright white dress flowed down from her body, obscuring what appeared to be a beautiful shimmering tail. The pony’s mane concealed the base of her horn, fluttering a little as a gentle breeze began to flow through the area. She smiled, her amber eyes full of the most warm and gentle thoughts that a Diamond Tiara could have imagined.
“Wh-Wh-Who are you?” Diamond Tiara asked, watching the beautiful pony closely.
“My name is Genesis young Filly. And this is the home of the Pony Rider.” She said.
“Pony Rider? What’s a Pony Rider?” Diamond Tiara asked. “And why do you look a lot like Princess Celestia?”
“Oh no my dear, Princess Celestia is a goddess. I am just a humble servant crafted from her image.” Genesis explained. “And you young filly are what I have been searching for. You are a Pony Rider.”
Diamond Tiara blinked, still not knowing what Genesis was talking about. She set her knife and fork down before facing the bigger pony directly. “Okay, first off my name is Diamond Tiara not young filly.” She said, watching as Genesis nodded.
“Secondly you still haven’t told me what a Pony Rider is.”
Genesis smiled, staring at the foal who was giving her a stern look. “Well, a Pony Rider is one who will defend others from evil-doers. Using the powers of the things that they believe in, they can do many things. You’re still young yet you have enough power to become the true hero that Princess Celestia wishes you to be.”
“Hero? Me?” Diamond Tiara asked. “You have got to be kidding. That kinda stuff doesn’t happen to foals, I haven’t even gotten out of Elementary school yet. How do you expect me to be a Pony Rider or whatever it’s called?”
Genesis just continued to smile, looking down on the foal with a seemingly gentle patience. “You will fulfill your role soon. My creator said that I am to awaken you to the truth, and that you are to take up arms as Equestria’s first Pony Rider. Are you prepared?” She asked, watching the foal stare nervously at her.
“You mean I’m going to have to fight somepony?” Diamond Tiara asked.
“Only when it’s necessary.” Genesis answered. “And do not be afraid, your powers as a Pony Rider will protect you, just as they protect all Riders in all of Creation.” She said, her horn flashing brightly. Diamond Tiara could only shield her eyes for a brief second, watching as all around her, weird creatures that appeared to stand on two legs instead of four all surrounded her and Genesis. The one that stood close to Genesis was all green, and wore a white scarf around what she assumed was its neck. A pair of orange bug-like eyes stared at her, as it made a fist with its appendages and nodded vigorously at the foal.
Diamond Tiara couldn’t explain it, she probably wouldn’t have been able to even if she tried, but some how she could feel like she was apart of these strange beings. One by one they made the same gesture, which made her more and more confident in herself until finally she could contain the confidence in her no more.
A golden flash of energy consumed the foal. After the flash of light died down, Diamond Tiara blinked and looked herself over and nearly squealed at what she saw. Her entire body was covered in a pink suit of very comfortable and very fashionable armor. Her mane and her face was invisible from behind a helmet, which somehow was incorporated into her crown which glowed a bright pink. The eyes of the helmet looked similar to the other beings, bug-like but they were blue in color and she could see out of them. A small pink bow was worked into her tail as she swung it around almost happily.
“The transformation is complete. Welcome Pony Rider Tiara.” Genesis said, as the other beings began chanting the same thing.
“This... This feels amazing, like I can do anything!” Diamond Tiara said happily.
“Yes, but the transformation will be waiting for you as I will be back in Equestria.” Genesis said somberly.
“What? Why?” Diamond Tiara asked, watching as the suit faded away along with the strange beings.
“Because the distance away from home is too great, and a good portion of my power was stolen when I made the call to awaken your inner Pony Rider.” Genesis said. “I’m sorry that we can’t stay together, but my time grows short. I leave you now Pony Rider Tiara, with the hopes that one day we may meet again.” She said, her voice getting faint as she began to disappear.
“No! Don’t leave!” Diamond Tiara cried, running over to Genesis’ fading form and trying to grab her.
“Do not worry Diamond Tiara... I am always with you... As is the power and the fate of all riders...” Genesis said before completely disappearing, leaving Diamond Tiara alone.
“But I don’t want to be alone...” Diamond Tiara said, looking down at her hooves and beginning to cry.
She felt a gentle touch of somepony’s hoof several moments later and opened her eyes to see Silver Spoon sitting on the bed next to her. “S-S-Silver Spoon?”
“I’m here Diamond Tiara. I’m here.” She said, before being tackled by Diamond Tiara and feeling her begin to bawl in her chest. “Don’t worry... I’m going to be here. Right here for you...”
-On the Crusader Airship, Two Days after arriving at the Wayshrine of Beginnings-
The crusaders all were quiet. The Airship was almost at a dead stop, parked somewhere above the Jungle of Silent Cries as the only sounds that could be heard from down in the cabins were the sounds of things being clicked together and short fizzling noises. Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle had decided to slow their approach down, not only to keep quiet from the flocks of Dragons that were said to fly over head from Wonderwing’s Dad’s book but to listen to what exactly Wonderwing was doing in the small passenger cabin they had down stairs.
“Uh, does anypony volunteer to check up on him?” Sweetie Belle asked, watching as the other foals all shook their heads nervously.
“How about you go see what he’s doing Sweetie Belle.” Scootaloo offered, turning to the unicorn.
“Now you know that Wonderwing asked us not to mess with him while he’s down there.” Sweetie Belle protested. “Why would I want to make him mad at me?”
“Will somepony just go down there and check up on him?” Pipsqueak asked. “I mean, I like Wonderwing and all but he’s messing with our weapons by himself.”
The foals all muttered and nodded, noting as they were all transformed but had their helmets off. Nopony decided to make a move however, until Applebloom stepped forward and gulped. “Ahll right, Ah’ll go down there an’ see what he’s doin in there.” She said, heading to the trap door before a, “Yes! It finally works!” Applebloom jumped back watching as the trap door flung open revealing Wonderwing from the other side with an extremely happy smile from the other side of the trapdoor. He stopped however as the other foals began to give him worried looks.
“Uh, what’s up guys?” He asked, watching as they all began to give him skeptical looks.
“Uh... Maybe the fact that you took all of our weapons and began fiddling with them for some reason that we don’t know.” Scootaloo said calmly.
“Well, there’s a reason for that. You see I listened to your stories about the Pony Rangers and how they would beat the bad guys and stuff, and I came up with something very cool. Scootaloo, could you put the airship on auto pilot and come with me and everypony else. There’s something that you all need to see.” Wonderwing said, watching as Scootaloo nodded, flipping the switch and following the other crusaders down into the deck.
After a quick explanation of what he did, and after he returned their weapons back to them, Wonderwing smiled as he saw the looks on his friends faces.
“You mean with these adjustments we can do that?” Sweetie Belle asked, holding a megaphone gently in her hooves.
“Yeah, but we need to save it for when things get really serious. I mean really serious, like we’re all in trouble serious.” Wonderwing answered.
“And when’re we gonna know that kind of trouble’s going to come after us?” Dinky asked, resting an Hourglass shaped hammer on her shoulder. “Won’t we need to use it before that kind of trouble happens?” She asked.
“It kinda defeats the purpose of a weapon of last resort Dinky.” Pipsqueak answered. “This is something we use when and only when we need it.” He said, twiddling a small pirate’s pistol in his hoof.
“Yeah, Ah sure don’ wanna make none o’ these here fights any easier...” Applebloom said in an annoyed manner, a hula hoop with a very sharp edge on the inside resting around her.
“I know this whole matter of using this as a thing of last resort may sound like a bad idea, but trust me when I say that it will be better that way than if we use it when the fight starts.” Wonderwing said confidently.
“Besides, the thing takes a while to charge up.” Scootaloo said. “We can’t wait for the thing to charge and beat bad guys at the same time now, can we?” She asked.
“No, and Ah see yer point but couldn’t yeh jes’ make it easier?” Applebloom asked.
“Like How?” Wonderwing asked.
“Ah don’ know, maybe make it come with a full charge right from the get go?” She asked.
“And how are we going to do that all the time?” Sweetie Belle asked. “We only have to generate enough energy for one shot according to Wonderwing. And we charge it by fighting with our weapons. That’s how it works.”
Applebloom nodded. “Ah know, but Ah was jes’ wonderin’ if we could make it easier ta use you know?”
“Sorry Applebloom if I couldn’t make it easier, but I didn’t want to break it or punch any holes in the airship.”
Wonderwing apologized, watching as Applebloom waved him off.
“It’s okay Wonderwing, if it don’ work that way it don’ work that way. No sense in forcin’ it to work that way if it can’t.” Applebloom said.
The foals all murmured in agreement until Wonderwing took another deep breath. “So, how do you guys feel about changing our name?” He asked.
“What?” Scootaloo snapped angrily along with the other foals with her.
“No, no... I didn’t mean it like that, I mean when we transform.” Wonderwing said calmly.
“Well what would we change it into?” Sweetie Belle asked.
“Well, you can thank Dinky for this Idea as it’s a doozy. You know of the Nieghpaneze Pony Rangers right?” Wonderwing asked.
“Yeah, those guys started the Pony Rangers in Equestria.” Scootaloo answered.
“Well, what if we added just one little word to our roll call when we announce who we are? And we don’t have to do it if you guys don’t want to. I mean it’s just a thought for an idea.” Wonderwing continued.
“Well, what is it?” Dinky asked.
“What if we called ourselves, when we transformed mind you, the Cutie Mark Sentai Crusader?” Wonderwing asked, watching as the name slowly mulled over in the others minds.
“I like it. It sounds nice.” Dinky said quietly.
“What’s Sentai supposed ta mean anyways?” Applebloom asked.
“It means Squadron, or Task Force in Nieghpaneze.” Sweetie Belle answered. “This doesn’t have to do anything with
your other name does it Wonderwing?” Sweetie Belle asked.
“No, I just thought that Sentai would sound cooler when we transformed when we said who we were.” Wonderwing answered.
“Well then that’th fine. I like the thound of that word.” Twist said.
“Then we need to make it official.” Scootaloo said proudly. “A show of hooves, who all likes the old name?” She asked, seeing nopony put up their hooves. “Alright, who likes the new name? Now remember, this is for only when we transform. Only when we transform okay?” She asked, watching as everypony’s hoof shot immediately into the air and caused her to beam. “All right then it’s settled. We’re now the Cutie Mark Sentai Crusader! When we’re transformed of course.”
“Of Course!” The other foals said.
-On board Utopian’s ship, nearing the Lake of the Four Kings-
Utopian calmly trotted to his throne behind the central console. After a generous night of sleep, he felt refreshed and ready to begin the capture of the dagger blade that was in the Wayshrine of Sacrifice’s possession. A magical screen appeared from in front of him, revealing a very small, almost shack-like, hut in the center of the massive lake which was guarded by a full army of griffons.
“Milord, the locals have been alerted by our attack on the last Wayshrine, and are preparing to defend themselves.” The voice of Tuff Stuff met his ears as he and Serene Grace walked out from the same door that Utopian himself came from before kneeling in front of him. “What are your orders?” Tuff Stuff asked, causing the unicorn to nod.
“Those animals think that they can stop me do they?” Utopian asked confidently. “It’s a pity that they already have lost, especially since Crimson Heart has done his job.” He said, using his magic to pull out another pouch from the throne and revealing the blade of the Dagger. “Have the main guns target those hideous looking statues though.” He said, staring at the screen as four stone statues of very regally decorated griffons wielding swords that pointed to the heavens were all in his screen’s sights.
“You heard him. All main cannon engineers, target the statues.” Tuff Stuff repeated the orders over a small communication device in his ear.
“But how, I... How did he get past the defenses Milord?” Serene Grace asked, staring wildly at the blade.
“Apparently he didn’t appear to get enough of the thrill from the first Wayshrine.” Utopian answered. “Before I realized it, he already had the blade in his hooves and replaced it with a decoy just before we arrived.”
“B-b-b-but, h-how... He hadn’t even seen it before!” Serene Grace exclaimed.
“There’s just good and great. It depends on how you look at it.” A voice replied as a door on Utopian’s left opened. “I’m glad that you are enjoying your gift a little earlier than expected milord. Perhaps I should fetch you the Elements of Harmony now?” Crimson Heart asked, calmly trotting into the room and bowing low to the unicorn.
“No, that won’t be necessary Crimson Heart. You have done very well these past few nights.” Utopian answered as Tuff Stuff looked up.
“Milord, the cannons are primed and ready to fire.” Tuff Stuff said, watching as Utopian nodded. “Plus I am receiving reports that an Aurora class Battle cruiser has appeared on our radar and is heading towards us at a high rate of speed. They should be on us within the hour.” The pony reported, which caused Utopian to nod.
“Excellent then tell the gunners that they may fire when ready.” Utopian said, watching Tuff Stuff nod.
Outside, down by the lake the griffons watched as four extremely large and very dangerous looking cannons extended themselves from the hull of the balloon on Utopian’s airship. With a loud, ear-splitting crack and the sonic force of a nuclear explosion a house sized fireball erupted from each of the four cannons, colliding into the ancient statues and causing them to explode and fall over. The griffons, shocked in disbelief watched as the airship’s cannons remained out of the hull as the engines started moving the behemoth over across the lake.
Back on board the Airship, Utopian smiled and looked down on his three trusted advisors. “Now that’s been taken care of, on to the Mountain where the next and final stage of my plans can be put into action. All engines ahead at half power. I want the Elements of Harmony to see us, but not to catch completely up until it’s too late.”
Tuff Stuff nodded, relaying his commands to the engine room.
“Milord, I don’t mean to pry but how do you intend to capture the Elements of Harmony and sanctify the Dagger all at the same time?” Serene Grace asked.
“Ah, you see my dear that is a question that will be answered in due time. It will be answered all in due time.” He said, staring at the screen that now showed the airship that carried the Elements of Harmony following them. “Excellent, you have fallen into my web just like the fly to the spider. Foals, you will all soon bring me to god hood!”
-On board the Star Blaster-
“There’s the destruction,” Twilight said, seeing rubble where the statues of the four griffon kings used to be. “And there’s Utopian’s airship!” She exclaimed, which caused her friends to look at the gigantic gray mass that was already across the other side of the lake.
“Utopian, you’re gonna get it...” Rainbow Dash said darkly, glaring at the mass with her friends.
“This is little more than being just a ruthless barbarian! How can you destroy history like that?” Rarity asked aloud as she continued to see the griffons mourning over the fallen statues.
“Ah hope fer’ his sake he comes quietly.” Applejack said coldly. “Somepony must’ve not taught him no manners.”
“That was a mean thing to do, blowing up there statues.” Pinkie Pie said, doing her best to imitate a fierce voice. “I mean he wouldn’t like it if we went to his house and broke his stuff now, would he?” She asked.
“Let’s just get this guy and be done with it.” Rainbow Dash asked, turning to Fluttershy who was saying something in griffin. “Hey Fluttershy, what’s the matter?” Rainbow Dash asked, watching as a small tear dropped from her face.
“O-Oh me? N-Nothing.” Fluttershy lied. “Let’s get him and stop him from doing any more bad things.” She said, getting a shake of a head from Rainbow Dash.
“You need to work on that ferocity Fluttershy...” Rainbow Dash said, shaking her head as the Star Blaster crossed the lake.
-On the Crusader Airship-
“This is the Lake of the Four Griffon Kings?” Dinky asked, looking at the rubble from the leftovers of Utopian’s assault.
“There were supposed to be statues of the Ancient Four Kings here... It’s not looking too good for your dad Wonderwing.” Scootaloo said, watching Wonderwing nod.
“Yeah, but I know that there’s a good pony somewhere inside of him.” Wonderwing said with not as much confidence as the others. “Hopefully we can get to the last Wayshrine and convince him before he does something really bad... And it becomes too late for him...” He said, watching as the other foals nodded.
“Well at least there’s some good news.” Scootaloo said, smiling a little.
“What?” The foals all asked.
“We’re finally catching up to Twilight and the others, look!” Scootaloo said, pointing out the shape of the Star Blaster from the other side of the lake. The foals all cheered as Wonderwing continued to steer the Airship in that direction, determined to reach his father before Twilight and her friends did.
“Hang on daddy... Hang on...”