-Cutie Mark Sentai Crusader!-
Meanwhile back inside the Temple, the fighting was fierce. Utopian’s forces seemed to have the upper hand in numbers, but that advantage dwindled as the fight continued.
“Why?” Wonderwing shouted at his father, blocking another slash attack that was sent his way. “Why would you attack Equestria? Why would you make ponies hurt each other against their will? Why would you try to hurt Mommy?” Wonderwing asked, evading a horizontal slash from his father’s sword.
“Why? Why else Task Force.” Utopian scoffed, glaring at his son. “Equestria is a disease riddled nation with a pair of rulers who only listen to the bureaucrats that are in power. They’re weak, and do not see the glorious new world that I have planed for ponies everywhere.” The unicorn used his magic to bring the blade down on top of the pegasus, only to watch him roll away. “Your mother is one of those pathetic foals that did not see the truth even when it stared at her in the face and stabbed her in the back. She’s a weak one, and will never truly understand what it means to be a ruler.”
“You’re sick you know that?” Scootaloo snapped, bringing the blade of her saber down on Utopian who blocked it with a magical barrier.
“And you’re wide open commoner filth!” Utopian roared, swinging the blade at Scootaloo’s exposed chest. She flipped away just in time, narrowly avoiding the deadly edge of the weapon that Utopian was using before charging back at the unicorn. Utopian, still recovering from the miss of his first swing, hastily threw up another barrier to block Scootaloo’s attack until he was ready for her.
“And what about me Daddy?” Wonderwing asked. “Why did you try to kill me and my friends? Why are you doing it now?”
Utopian laughed, bringing the blade back around to his right where Wonderwing stood and narrowly striking the foal with it. He glared angrily at Wonderwing before continuing his mad tirade. “You are being punished Task Force.” He snapped, swinging the blade over his body and bringing it down into the altar. “You have deliberately disobeyed me. This commoner trash has convinced you that this world is supposedly worth saving, when parasites like the gryphons or the bulls or even the ram all still live. You let your naivety get to you, and this is what happens to ponies like you.”
“But this world is worth saving!” Wonderwing snapped, avoiding another attack that his father sent his way before charging the unicorn. Utopian didn’t have too much time to react, as the foal closed the gap within a matter of seconds and slammed his shield right through his own barrier before plowing Utopian into a wall. “If you would stop this and see that what your doing is wrong, then you can appreciate all that this world has to offer.”
The pegasus was met with a magical blast at point blank range which caused him to fly back and slam into the altar, which was smashed into several pieces. The other crusaders and the Elements of Harmony watched with horror as Utopian began to glow a dull green, his mane and tail erupting into blazes of Green flame as his robe was burned away.
“Uh Twilight,” Applejack began, witnessing the spectacle but not believing her eyes. “Can unicorns do that?” She asked.
“It’s called rage shifting Applejack.” Rarity explained, panting a little as the battle began to take it’s toll on her. “A rage shift is something that happens to unicorns when they are in times of extreme stress, or are in need of more power. Nopony can control it, it comes naturally and goes as it wants to.”
Rainbow Dash, who was holding Crimson Heart with a sleeper hold, blinked and looked down at the scene. “Anyone wanna explain what’s going on to mister green eyes here?” She asked.
“Simply put, Utopian just took the kiddy shoes off.” Twilight answered, her own rage shifted form not as impressive as Utopians. “Though I have to say this is really impressive.”
“Great, now she’s complimenting the guy?” Rainbow Dash moaned, watching out of the corner of one of her eyes as Pinkie Pie merrily skipped back into the temple before proceeding to blast a group of Utopian’s soldiers with her party cannon.
“This is the end of you Task Force.” Utopian said, his voice echoing due to the increase of his magical power. His horn began to glow a bright neon green which began to become consumed by an all black energy. Utopian looked down on the pegasus, who tried to reach for the shield before smiling crookedly. “I hope you enjoy oblivion. Your stupid mother will be there to join you shortly.” He said, unleashing an extremely large wave of black and green energy.
“WONDERWING!” Everypony shouted.
Before anypony could react, before anypony could see anything at all, there was a resilient flash of bright light as the energy wave impacted something. Wonderwing sat up and blinked a little, watching as Scootaloo was giving her all to hold back the blast with her saber.
“Glad to see you back!” Scootaloo cried, straining herself against the energy attack with all her little might. Wonderwing rushed over to her, planting his shield against the energy wave and holding firm.
“Thanks for the help Scootaloo.” Wonderwing said gratefully.
“A Cutie Mark Crusader never leaves one of their own behind.” Scootaloo replied.
Utopian scoffed as both pegasi struggled to hold his beam of magic back. “You think that another foal makes any difference? I am Utopian, future King of Equestria! You are all maggots before my hooves!”
“We’re right here with you guys!” Sweetie Belle shouted, using her hooves to hold back the barrier.
“Ya’ll taint gonna hurt mah friends while Ah’m still buckin!” Applebloom snapped, following Sweetie Belle’s example. The combined effort of the four foals seemed to have an affect on the wave of energy, which caused it to slowdown significantly to slower than a snail’s crawl.
“The Cutie Mark Crusaders are going to stop you Mr. Meanie head!” Dinky shouted, following the other foals and planted her hooves on the energy wave next to Scootaloo.
“A true gentleman wouldn’t dare stoop to this level. Any less is just appalling sir.” Pipsqueak added. “You sir, ‘ave no ‘onor, an’ need to be taught a lesson in humility.” He said before putting his hooves on the demented unicorn’s attack.
“Thith one’th for everypony in Equethtria!” Twist said, planting her hooves on the energy attack and effectively stopped it from moving at all.
Everypony stopped fighting, staring at the battle of wills that was currently happening. Utopian, who clearly had the advantage in every way, was being held back by the Cutie Mark Crusaders and he didn’t like it.
“What sorcery is this?” Utopian snapped. “There is no power greater than a rage shifted unicorn’s own magic!”
“That’s where you’re wrong Father.” Wonderwing said from behind the blast of energy. “This power that we have, this unbreakable bond that we all share is stronger than any of the darkest magicks in all of Tartarus.” Taking a step forward.
“Our light will defeat your darkness.” Sweetie Belle continued, taking a step forward.
“We learned a lot from this trip. And from everything and everypony that had pushed us to this point. We wont lose here!” Scootaloo roared, stepping in time with Sweetie Belle and Wonderwing.
“Ahr friends and family are countin’ on us ta come home safely, you ain’t keepin’ me from mah big brother and sister!” Applebloom shouted, taking a step forward with the other foals.
“Momma says that I’m extra super special every day, I don’t want her to lose me because of a big dumb pony who doesn’t know what having friends is supposed to mean!” Dinky snapped, following the other foals in front of her and taking a step with them in turn.
“We’re all ‘ere on Equestria once, an’ the friends we make now are going to make an impact on our futures!” Pipsqueak shouted. “You sir aren’t going to have an impact, because you won’t win today or any other day from this day on!” He took a step forward, keeping up with the other foals.
“We all may not be big ponieth in your eyeth, but we have heart!” Twist added, taking a step forward with the other foals. “And that heart ith what we’re gonna beat you with!”
The foals then began to advance, pushing the energy attack back at Utopian. The Elements of Harmony watched with wonder as Utopian’s horn glowed brighter than a blazing inferno and stopped their steady advance for only a few seconds before they started again. The unicorn maintained his stoic face even as the gap of the attack got shorter and shorter.
“Father, you were robbed in your life.” Wonderwing began calmly glaring at the unicorn from both behind his visor and his shield. He knew that he couldn’t see his father, but he could feel that he was beginning to get desperate. “You lost your mommy and daddy when you were really little, but that doesn’t give you the reason to do what you’ve done. I’m sorry for you, I really am.”
“WHO ARE YOU TO SCOLD ME WHEN YOU ARE ABOUT TO DIE BRAT!” Utopian roared, getting increasingly frustrated. “YOU DON’T KNOW HOW I’VE SUFFERED, HOW I FELT! YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE TO LOSE YOUR MOTHER AND FATHER, YOU HAVEN’T EVEN LIVED YET, AND YET YOU THINK THAT YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO SCOLD ME?”
“And that’s why I’m sorry for you.” Wonderwing said firmly. “You spent your foalhood trying to get revenge and look what it’s got you, no friends. No family, you’ll be alone for the rest of eternity.”
“YOU THINK THAT I WILL BE ALONE?” Utopian roared, watching the wave of energy continue to shrink until it got down to the size of a giant ball. “MILLIONS OF PONIES FROM EVERYWHERE WILL LOVE AND ADORE ME, I WILL BE THE RULER OF THIS WORLD! DO YOU HEAR ME? I WILL RULE ALL, ALL WILL BE UNDER MY CONTROL! YOU’LL SEE, I’LL SHOW YOU ALL!”
Wonderwing shook his head gently before turning his head to the other Crusaders.
“You guys ready?” Scootaloo asked, watching as the other foals nodded. With a mighty heave, they pushed the energy attack as hard as they could, watching as the spell touched Utopian’s horn. The adult unicorn screamed in pain as the blast of energy returned to his horn as an explosion sent the crusaders flying backwards. As it happened, the undead ponies that were currently in battle with the Elements of Harmony immediately collapsed, turning into dust before they hit the floor.
“Applebloom!” Applejack cried, rushing over to the fallen foals all of which were no longer in their jumpsuits.
“Oh my dear Sweetie Belle!” Rarity followed, rushing over to the unicorn.
“Oh crap, Scootaloo!” Rainbow Dash cried, descending on the fallen foals.
Crimson Heart looked across the Temple floor and saw that Utopian lay on the floor, neither moving nor breathing. He flew over to the fallen unicorn and checked his pulse before snorting angrily. “It figures something like that would happen.” The pegasus snapped, turning to face the Elements of Harmony who were all glaring at him. “I’m never one to run from a fight that I know I can win, but this isn’t winnable. We’ll meet again Elements of Harmony.” Crimson Heart snapped. Before anypony could make a move, he flapped his wings powerfully once blinding the grounded ponies before taking off through one of the temple’s skylights.
“That coward, why I oughta...” Rainbow Dash snapped, taking off a little before being dragged down by Applejack. “Hey AJ, what gives?” She asked, looking down at the cowpony.
“We don’ need ta be fightin’ that Crimson Heart feller after he’s ahlready flown th’ coop.” Applejack replied. “ ‘Sides, we got younguns to git outta here.”
“Oh, right.” Rainbow Dash said, dropping down to the ground as the foals stirred. “Hey, they’re okay!” She exclaimed, watching as one by one everyone of the foals tried to rise on their wobbly hooves, almost like newborn foals.
“Did we...” Wonderwing began, clutching his head with his hooves. “Did we win?” He asked.
“You could say that.” Twilight answered.
“You mean we beat Wonderwing’s dad?” Scootaloo asked.
“It looks that way squirt.” Rainbow Dash reported.
“Ehehehe, well we won’t be doin’ this anytime soon.” Applebloom said, getting back to her hooves first.
“Ah should expect not. Ya’ll could’ve been hurt or killed jus’ now!” Applejack scolded.
“And I should have expected better from you Sweetie Belle, I mean coming after us was flattering and all but we could have handled ourselves nicely.” Rarity added.
“Says the pony who had herself tied up and captured...” Sweetie Belle mumbled.
“So, what do we do now?” Dinky asked.
“Do we have Super Hero Cutie Marks?” Scootaloo exclaimed, which caused all the blank flanked foals to look down
and still see that their flanks were bare.
“You mean that after all that work,” Sweetie Belle groaned, hanging her head in defeat with the other crusaders.
“Ahll of that time,” Applebloom added.
“And all of that energy was wasted?” Pipsqueak moaned.
“Thatth a real bummer.” Twist moaned.
“Don’t worry guys, at least you can try and get another Cutie Mark when we get back home! Well after your done with your groundings, and your recovery, maybe after a Saved the World Party Because we’re awesome-”
“Pinkie!” Everypony shouted, causing the party pony to giggle a little before falling silent.
“Don’t... Count... Me... Out... Just... Yet.” A voice groaned from behind them. Everypony stared in shock as Utopian staggered to his hooves, a wicked smile forming on his lips as he limped and stumbled over to where the ceremonial knife was.
“B-But that’s not possible!” Rarity exclaimed.
“That much magic returning to your horn should have killed you!” Twilight said, tensing up a little.
“Maybe for those who do not wish to become gods like myself Twilight Sparkle.” Utopian rasped, weakly picking up the dagger with his magic.
“Uh, guys... Maybe we should stop him?” Pinkie Pie said, watching the demented unicorn closely. “Uh guys?”
Nopony said a word, the other Elements of Harmony were too disturbed and shocked at the sight of Utopian still standing after his struggle with the Cutie Mark Crusaders. “With the power of Harmony, and the dark entities of Necromancy... I sacrifice this soul whose innocence is peerless to others. May the powers of the great Grimclaw the Terrible, Sphinx God of the Griffons descend into this mortal shell and grant me immortality!”
Just as Utopian finished the incantation, Pinkie Pie and the Crusaders charged at him. They all stopped in mid-charge however as the blade was thrust into Utopian’s own chest, which caused him to drop onto the shattered altar. Wonderwing couldn’t help but scream as the life drained away from Utopian’s eyes, leaving a shattered body behind them.
As soon as his blood touched the shattered altar, the room started to shake violently. Pinkie’s tail began to twitch, and almost a hair of a second later she tackled the Crusaders and shoved them all out of the way as a gigantic section of the roof came crashing down on where they were standing just seconds later.
“The Temple is coming apart!” Twilight shouted, leaping out of the way of another piece of the ceiling. “Everypony out, NOW!”
With Pinkie Pie leading the group together, and her tail keeping them all safe, both the Elements of Harmony and the Cutie Mark Crusaders all began to make their escape. Wonderwing could only steal one last glance at his father’s corpse before following everypony else.
“Come on you guys, Let’s move it!” Rainbow Dash shouted, far outpacing the group of land bound ponies. She stopped, watching as several pillars began to crash down on top of their group before diving to action and keeping the pillars off of them.
“You guys! We’re in the Load Bearing Boss segment of the story!” Pinkie shouted, galloping ahead of everypony else.
“Pinkie Pie, this is not the time for you being you!” Rarity snapped. “It’s life or death here and frankly I’d appreciate it if we all could make it out in one piece!” She added, avoiding another boulder that came from the ceiling.
“Come on Everypony!” Twilight shouted, using her magic to form a shield around them. “We’re almost there!”
“Uh... Um... Oh my... Girls?” Fluttershy asked.
“Not now Fluttershy.” Twilight said.
“Girls?” Fluttershy repeated, looking over her shoulder and seeing an all black miasma ooze from behind them where
the altar was. It seemed to creep closer and closer, and by her count it didn’t look friendly.
“Fluttershy, this isn’t the time!” Rarity snapped, continuing to run.
“Uh, you may wanna see this...” Rainbow Dash said, seeing the black miasma that made Fluttershy so nervous. Everypony else chanced a glance over their shoulders, seeing the cloud of inky blackness that was steadily gaining ground on them. They all let out a scream, before beginning to run faster.
“What in tarnation is that Twi?” Applejack asked, continuing to run as fast as her hooves could go.
“I don’t know but what ever it is, don’t let it near you!” Twilight shouted back, seeing the blasted remains of the front
door just a few more yards away from them. “Come on Everypony! We’re almost there!”
With Twilight’s encouragement, foals and adults alike continued to go faster. When it seemed like the foals weren’t
going to be able to keep up, Rainbow Dashed swooped in and began planting foals on each one of the escaping pony’s
backs. When everypony was on safely, she flew back above them to keep the stone pillars from crushing them all.
With hope in their hearts, and their goal in sight, the Elements of Harmony and their foal passengers pushed even harder. Even when they made it outside and well beyond the reach of the griffon statues they continued to run. Only when Twilight looked over her shoulder and stopped did everypony stop and follow suit. The black miasma appeared to only be collecting from within the temple as none of it threatened where they were outside.
“We should be safe for now.” Twilight said, hearing a chorus of cheers from everypony else.
“IT SEEMS THAT EVEN A SMALL VICTORY HAS CLOUDED THE ELEMENT OF MAGIC’S JUDGEMENT...” A booming voice called out from inside the temple. Everypony gasped, watching as a gigantic all black claw reached out from the inside of the temple, before reeling back inside in pain.
“What in the hay was that?” Scootaloo asked.
“Ah don’ know, but we ahll need ta be ready for anythin.” Applebloom replied.
“Whatever it is, you kids aren’t getting anywhere near it.” Rarity ordered.
“But-” The foals all moaned.
“You heard me, you will not be endangering your lives trying to play super hero. Is that quite clear?” Rarity snapped.
“Ah’d hate to say it, ‘specially since ya’ll saved ahr lives and practically Equestria, but Rarity’s right. Ya’ll need ta stay back.” Applejack said, hearing grumbling from the other foals.
“It won’t matter...” Wonderwing said quietly. “Dad’ll just try to kill us next if he beats you guys.”
“And what makes you think that’s your father in there?” Fluttershy asked.
“Because...” Wonderwing said somberly, glaring at the temple with hate. “He likes to make things clean. He’s going to
take no prisoners. That’s how he taught me to act, and that’s how he acted most of the time. And he’s not the kind of pony that would be beaten so easily in a fight. Or at least that’s what he told me.”
“So, your saying that we could get killed either way?” Dinky asked.
“No, I’m saying that for anypony to stand a chance we need to work together.” Wonderwing replied. “We started this
fight, we can help finish it.”
The older ponies stared dumbfounded at the little foal’s declaration. Before any of the adults could react, Scootaloo stepped forward. “Well then, let’s do it together. You aren’t going in there alone.” She said.
“Hey there squirt, maybe you need to-”
“Sorry Rainbow Dash,” Scootaloo said calmly. “But we’re just as involved with this as you are.” She smiled. “And do
you honestly think that we’re going to stay back after doing something so cool not ten minutes ago?” She asked.
“Ah’m in.” Applebloom said, watching her sister’s face shake her head. “We taint got much choice. You need our help an’ we have a bully to stop.”
“You guys aren’t going to have all the fun without us are you?” Sweetie Belle asked, as she, Dinky, Pipsqueak, and Twist all stepped forward.
The adults all gave the foals serious looks, which were returned by the foals. No pony wanted to budge an inch on the issue until Twilight coughed to get everypony’s attention.
“We all know that you would like to help but-”
“Sorry Twilight, we’re going to help you with this monster here.” Scootaloo said, glaring at the adults. “You saw what we did the first time, didn’t you? I’m sure that everything’s going to work out just fine in the end.”
“It usually does in these types of situations at the end of movies like this.” Pinkie Pie replied.
“That’s not helping Pinkie.” Rarity snapped.
“Trust us, we have an ace up our sleeve.” Wonderwing said, smirking a little.
“A PITY THAT THOSE WOULD BE YOUR LAST WORDS MORTALS!” The voice, which sounded a lot like Utopian’s, scoffed. “FORGET ABOUT KEEPING YOURSELVES APART, YOU WILL ALL DIE TOGETHER!” The voice roared, as a massive explosion of black energy erupted from the temple which leveled it and knocked everypony onto their backs. As they all got up to see what had hit them, they were met with the most disgusting looking creature ever to be seen in Equestria ever. Instead of a Sphinx like the one depicted in Utopian’s book, the creature was everything that was far from it. An all black carapace covered most of its hard body with the exception of its black bat like wings and its face. The face, which didn’t remotely resemble a human’s, appeared to be the cross of a stag beetle’s and a unicorns with the horn resembling another mandible that didn’t grow properly. The monstrosity’s legs ended in talons as opposed to hooves, and a gigantic hairy scorpion tail swayed from side to side as the stinger oozed out a poisonous venom. The beast, however intimidating it was, was no bigger than an alicorn and a remotely small one at that.
“YOU WILL ALL SUFFER AT MY NEW POWERS!” The beast snapped, roaring at the crowd of ponies.
“You guys ready?” Scootaloo asked the other crusaders.
“Ready!” The other foals shouted.
“ACTIVATE! CRUSADER CHANGER!” They all cried, lightly tapping their hooves against the glass of their
wristwatches. The Elements of Harmony all had to shield their eyes at the flashes of light, watching as the foals were all now clad in their super suits, each with a look of determination that could not be seen from the outside of their helmets.
Scootaloo reared up on her back legs before beating her wings. “Red Pegasus Crusader!”
Sweetie Belle made to flick a bang from her mane from out of her face with one of her hooves. “Blue Unicorn Crusader!”
Applebloom cracked her shoulders slightly as she began to stretch and warm up like she was ready to rumble. “Yellow Earth Pony Crusader!”
Dinky smiled, spinning on one of her hooves before falling lightly to the ground. “Pink Unicorn Crusader!” She said after climbing back up.
Twist followed Applebloom’s example and began stretching a little before dropping back on all fours. “White Earth Pony Cruthader!”
Wonderwing stood back on the back of his back hooves before bowing. “Black Pegasus Crusader!”
Pipsqueak drew a small pirate cutlass from its holster and ran one of his hooves around the dull end. “Brown Pirate Crusader!”
“We are the defenders of the blank flank,” Wonderwing began.
“We protect those ponies who found out how they were special,” Dinky said proudly.
“We are always on the quest for our own marks,” Sweetie Belle added, taking an aggressive stance along side her friends.
“Ahr cause is noble and just,” Applebloom reported, following everypony’s suit.
“We thtop bad ponieth like you,” Twist added.
“We’ll never stop our journey,” Pipsqueak said, as every one of the foals looked towards Scootaloo.
“Because we’re the Cutie Mark Sentai!” Scootaloo paused as everypony was on the same page.
“CRUSADER!” The foals all shouted at once, ignoring a series of small explosions from behind them in their own respective colors.
“TRANSFORMED OR NO, IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE. YOU WILL DIE!” The beast roared, firing a blast of venom from its tail. The Cutie Mark Crusaders all rolled out of the way, avoiding the attack as quick as they could. They then charged the beast, each of them drawing their weapons as they did so before commencing their attack on the monster.
“Come on you guys, they can use our help!” Pinkie Pie said, galloping after them. The other Elements remained stunned for a few moments before snapping to their senses and following the pink mare into the fray.
“Take this!” Scootaloo shouted, bringing her blade down on the beast. Her attack wasn’t fast enough as one of his
talons slashed at her and knocked her backwards.
“Scootaloo!” Sweetie Belle shouted. “How dare you!” She roared, twisting the knob on her megaphone before letting out a high pitched scream. The beast staggered back for a moment before throwing its tail at her. The attack was blocked
by a purple energy shield, which caused the beast to look up.
“You keep your filthy tail off of my sister!” Rarity roared, using her magic to pick up a modestly sized piece of rubble before chucking it at the beast. It let out an angry roar, using its mandibles to catch and crush the boulder before turning her attention to her.
“Oh no you don’t!” Scootaloo snapped, leaping back at the beast and sticking her blade right into its tail.
“All right squirt!” Rainbow Dash cheered, diving down to grab the foal before the beast’s claws could grab her.
As the fight continued, Wonderwing blocked attacks from the beast as Applebloom and Applejack tripped up its legs. They gave a temporary cheer but moaned as the beast got back up and swiped at them with its tail.
Dinky, Twist and Pipsqueak were on the beast’s right side, protecting Fluttershy with a healthy stream of energy blasts
and strikes as the pegasus recovered from getting kicked in the face, jumping back as the beast swung its tail a second time to keep them off of its side. It tried to swing its tail a second time, only to see that it had been severed at the base of the stinger which caused it to howl in agony.
The constant effort of the Elements of Harmony and the Cutie Mark Crusaders had significantly weakened and hampered its attempts to kill them all, until it let out an agonized roar that sent a shockwave which knocked back all of its assailants and gave it space to move around.
“YOUR EFFORTS HAVE BEEN SLIGHTLY IMPRESSIVE...” The beast commented as the Cutie Mark Crusaders staggered together. “BUT THEY ARE FUTILE. YOU WILL DIE NOW!” The beast roared, firing several blasts of energy from his eyes at the Crusaders, knocking them to the ground in a hail of explosions.
Rarity and Applejack both let out screams of terror at the sight of the merciless bombardment, watching their sisters fall before they were obscured by the smoke. The beast began laughing, watching the misery that he was causing. As both Rarity and Applejack mourned for a moment, a small blast of energy erupted from the cloud of smoke and struck the beast dead on in the chest.
“WHAT? BUT THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE!” The beast roared. “I KILLED YOU!”
“Somepony doesn’t read a lot of fiction stories then.” Scootaloo said confidently. “The thing is, the good guys are supposed to win. And the bad guys are supposed to lose.”
“And we’re the good guys here.” Sweetie Belle snapped.
“Ya’ll taint gonna believe what Wonderwing cooked up on our way here fore you shot us down!” Applebloom said happily.
“How about we show them instead of tell them?” Wonderwing asked. The other foals nodded before their hooves clutched their weapons again.
“Let’s go guys!” Scootaloo declared.
“ASSEMBLE! CRUSADER BAZOOKA!” The foals all shouted, tossing their weapons into the air. A flash of light blinded everypony on the battlefield for a few moments, before an extremely weird looking cannon descended into their hooves.
The cannon, which appeared to have Pipsqueak and Sweetie Belle’s weapons as the base like the stock of a rifle, Scootaloo Twist and Dinky’s weapons like the barrel of a rifle, and Applebloom and Wonderwing’s weapon’s as both a sight and a hoof handle, had spots for all of the foals to grab on to. Scootaloo stood in the back, with Sweetie Belle and Applebloom on her left and right, Dinky and Twist on their respective sides, and Pipsqueak and Wonderwing kneeling in the front on their respective sides, who all kept the weapon trained on the beast with deadly proficiency.
“YOU THINK THAT TOY WILL SLAY ME? YOU REALLY ARE FOALS. I AM AN IMMORTAL! I CANNOT DIE! I-”
“You need to shut up and stop underestimating your opponents.” Scootaloo commented. “Especially when you’re about to lose. Is everypony ready?” She asked.
“Ready!” The foals all shouted together in unison.
“CRUSADER BAZOOKA, FIRE!” They all shouted, lurching backwards as a wave of golden energy erupted from the cannon and slammed into the beast. He tried to struggle, and was successful for the first few seconds but as the attack continued it proved to be too much, and punched a hole right in the dead center of the creature’s armor. The beast let out a gurgling roar, groaning as his life began to expire a second time before dropping to his knees.
“BUT I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE... URGH... THE KING OF EQUESTRIA... I WAS SUPPOSED TO RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLE!” The beast roared, falling over on his side before being engulfed in a fiery explosion.
“All right!” Scootaloo cheered, as she and the other foals reverted back to normal. “We won!” She exclaimed.
“Oh my gosh! Are you alright!” Twilight exclaimed, galloping over to the crusaders.
“Totally cool you guys. I’d have to say about fifteen percent cool.” Rainbow Dash commented.
“Really Dashie?” Pinkie Pie asked, trotting over to the pegasus. “Wouldn’t you say that it was more than twenty?”
Rainbow Dash shook her head. “Nah, they’re still kids. When they get older I’ll admit it then.”
“Hey!” Sweetie Belle snapped. “We saved your feathery butt!”
“Sweetie Belle, calm down. What you did was very cool indeed.” Rarity chided. “Though don’t expect to ever do it again. It’s not happening.”
“Same goes fer you Applebloom.” Applejack scolded. “You don’t need to be gettin’ in ta somethin like this again.
“Yes ma’am.” Applebloom replied.
They all turned to hear a quiet sniffle from behind them, watching as Wonderwing was sitting down near where the monster was destroyed.
“Wonderwing... Wonderwing, what’s wrong?” Twilight asked, trotting over to the crying pegasus.
“Why...” Wonderwing uttered, a small set of tears dropping onto the ground. “Why did daddy do it?” He asked, looking up at Twilight. “He had every chance. He could have been a good pony, why did he have to throw it away?”
“Nopony could say why he did what he did.” Twilight said as the everyone else ran over to him.
“Your daddy wasn’t all right in the head Wonderwing.” Scootaloo said.
“He’s not somepony that you would have convinced easily anyways.” Sweetie Belle said. “Besides, you have us.”
“Yeah, we’re all here for you Wonderwing!” Dinky exclaimed.
“Ya’ll don’ need ta be sad anymore. You’re a Crusader, and bein’ one means ya’llre one fer life.” Applebloom said,
lightly bumping Wonderwing with a hoof.
“You also have a mommy back home who loveth you too. Remember that.” Twist reminded.
“We’re not leavin’ you an’ you aren’t leavin’ you. You remember that.” Pipsqueak said.
Wonderwing wiped his eyes and looked back at all the other foals that were comforting him. They were all right, and
after sighing he smiled and got to his hooves. “You guys are right. My daddy may not have been somepony who loved me, but I have Mommy and you guys who love me. And that’s all that matters.” He said, smiling.
“It seems that you guys have really gained something from following us.” Twilight commented.
“Ah’d sure say so.” Applejack said.
“I concur.” Rarity added.
“You guys are really going to go far you know.” Pinkie Pie complimented.
“Ah’d hate ta be the stick in th’ mud though... We don’ have a ride ta git back home.” Applejack commented, turning to
Utopian’s battleship and seeing the holes that were punched in the hull of the balloon of the airship. “Dang thang dun’ shot
holes in his own airship...”
“I could fly us home.” Rainbow Dash offered.
“That seems unlikely.” Rarity commented, getting the pegasus angry at her. “Not to offend your skills, but you could hardly make the trip by yourself. How are you going to transport nine foals and the six of us by yourself?” She asked.
“Hey I could do it!” Rainbow Dash snapped. “But how about you count everypony again. I only see seven foals.”
“What about Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon?” Fluttershy asked. “They escaped the temple before it collapsed.”
“Oh, they’re fine.” Pinkie Pie reported. “They’ve been hiding by that pillar there ever since we got back.” She said, pointing at the first set of pillars that were closest to Utopian’s warship. They poked their heads out ever so slightly, trembling as they nervously approached them.
“Oh.” Rainbow Dash commented, watching as the foals approached their group.
“Well what are we going to do now?” Wonderwing asked, his eyes scanning the temple grounds and finding nothing that would get them home.
“Guys look!” Pipsqueak shouted, pointing a hoof to the sky. Everypony watched as an entire fleet of Equestrian Battleships had appeared into view, with Princess Celestia and Luna’s own Flagship The Faust as though they had come out of thin air. The ponies and foals all moved out of the way as the fleet descended onto their reunion, making everypony nervous, but glad to see some familiar faces.
-Aboard the Faust, several hours later.-
As both the Elements of Harmony and the Cutie Mark Crusaders recounted their tale for both Princess Celestia and Luna, none of them tried to show any fatigue of any kind. The Princesses both listened to their tale, attentive to every detail and asking very little to almost no questions at all. When all of the foals and ponies had finished speaking, Princess Celestia remained silent.
“You all have been through a lot this past week and a half.” Princess Celestia began, her gentle gaze never changing as both they all remained silent. “Yes... You all have been through a lot. And once again you and your friends have saved Equestria Twilight.”
“I’m sorry Princess, but we didn’t actually stop Utopian.” Twilight replied.
“Yes, I know.” Princess Celestia answered. “But you did help the foals that did stop him from making his plan a possibility.” She turned her gaze to the Cutie Mark Crusaders. “Without them, I think that there would have been a different outcome.”
“Sister, dost thou know what thou art saying?” Princess Luna asked. “The masses would be upon the foals like beasts would to a piece of meat! They would get no reprieve, and-”
“That’s why we’re not going to expose them to that kind of attention.” Princess Celestia said, turning to the Night Princess. “They are heroes just like Twilight and her friends, but like you said they do not need the attention of the media.”
“I’m not following.” Rainbow Dash commented, causing both Alicorns to turn towards her.
“What Princess Celestia means is that we need to take all of the credit for what the Crusaders have done.” Twilight answered. “They’re too young for all of that publicity, and don’t need that much attention.”
“Hey, we can speak for ourselves too you know.” Scootaloo said proudly.
“Well then Scootaloo, what do you and your friends have to say in the matter?” Princess Celestia asked, intrigued by the foal.
Scootaloo smiled, looking to the other six crusaders before returning her gaze back to Princess Celestia. “We may all not be fully adult Ponies like Twilight or Rainbow Dash, or Even you your highness, but we were still good at what we did this past week.”
“We went through dozens of obstacles, hundreds of dangerous monsters, and even helped save an entire kingdom on our way to the Temple. Not to mention of fighting off Utopian’s forces every step of the way when he tried to keep us from following him.” Sweetie Belle added.
“An’ what’s even more is, we saved the World!” Applebloom said. “Now Ah no Ah don’ much like the spotlight, but credit needs to be given when its due. If you’ll pardon mah sayin’ so.”
“I see...” Princess Celestia commented.
“We couldn’t have done this without each other, there wouldn’t have been an Equestria tomorrow without us all together trying to make a difference.” Wonderwing commented. “We don’t want to be showered because of our success, but we want to be recognized. Nothing more than a little foot note or something that can make us all smile when we look back on this past week and a half.”
“We also don’t want it to sound like we’re being too ungrateful though your highness.” Dinky said trembling a little with the other crusaders. “I wouldn’t want to have traded this experience, or these cool powers we have for anything. This was the best crusade ever!” She squeaked getting a laugh from everypony, including the light chuckles from both princesses.
“We’ll always be there to help when we’re needed. You can count on us for sure!” Pipsqueak said happily.
“There will alwayth be ponieth that need the Cutie Mark Cruthaderth. Just like there will always be timeth when Equethtria needth The Cutie Mark Thentai Cruthader.” Twist added, bowing low. “We’re not going to be one only all the time any more. Ethpethially when we have the chanthe to be both.”
Everypony remained silent as Princess Celestia and Princess Luna weighed on their words. The seven foals remained silent as both Princesses mentally deliberated for a few moments before nodding with each other in agreement. “Cutie Mark Crusaders, we have heard all of your statements and weighed them based on your actions on the past week and a half.” Princess Celestia began in a gentle but authoritative voice. “Your actions, which endangered your lives for the sake of not only Equestria but every walk of life on this world, have also been dually noted and have been taken into consideration. Please approach line up and approach the throne before you.”
The bridge of the Faust remained silent as the seven foals all approached the Equestrian Diarchy as instructed. Both Princess Celestia and Princess Luna then rose from their thrones, advancing on the group of nervous foals until they quite literally had to look up at them. Both of the Alicorns cast a last glance at each other before turning to the foals proudly. “Kneel, Cutie Mark Crusaders.” Princess Celestia commanded, watching as the foals all knelt down on their front knees. She could see that the foals weren’t the only ones nervous, watching as the Elements of Harmony trembled at the sight but otherwise didn’t make a move or protest at anything that was going on. “And Arise, Cutie Mark Sentai Crusader.” She said, her horn glowing with a golden aura.
The foals froze for a second as if they were trying to understand the command. After a few moments, their watches began glowing which caused them all to stand back up to get a better look at them all. The watches, which continued glowing the same golden light as Princess Celestia’s horn, began to change into elongated bracelets each a different color and sporting the Cutie Mark Crusader’s symbol.
“What’s going on?” Twilight asked, watching the light die down and seeing the change from watch to bracelet. “What happened to their watches?”
Princess Celestia smiled, as the foals all examined the bracelets. “Why Twilight, those are their watches.”
“They are?” Scootaloo asked.
“They look pretty.” Sweetie Belle commented.
“These are the true forms of your morphers.” Princess Luna began. “They will always be with you, as long as you stay true to your creed as Crusaders.”
“These morphers have great powers, used to defend Equestria from evil. Seven warriors like yourselves wielded them and the weapons they used to defend Equestria when they were needed.” Princess Celestia said proudly. “The Greatest Crusader was the last member left alive who still had his morpher and still followed the creed that you all now share.”
“The Greatest Crusader was a Cutie Mark Crusader?” Sweetie Belle asked.
“You could say that.” Princess Celestia answered. “They were more the kind of exploring the world in search of adventure and treasure kind of crusaders. They’re your predecessors, and they were the ponies that helped make
“This sure seems like a lot ya’llre askin of us your highness.” Applebloom began.
“Would that be a problem for you Applebloom?” Princess Celestia asked.
“Aw naw, ‘taint a problem!” Applebloom answered. “Yer trustin’ us more than Applejack trusts me back home, an she’s mah sister!”
“I see.” Princess Celestia said, looking up and seeing the farmpony blush. “Well then, are there any more complaints or questions that you all would like to ask?” She asked. After meeting with general silence from the foals, she nodded before smiling. “Well then, you all can leave.” She said watching as all of the foals bowed to her before leaving. Princess Luna, who more seemed worried about them getting into things that they weren’t supposed to get into followed them, leaving the older Alicorn with the other Elements of Harmony.
“Princess Celestia... That was... well...” Twilight began.
“Unexpected My faithful student?” Princess Celestia asked.
“Sounded darn right crazy ta me.” Applejack said under her breath, watching Princess Celestia smile.
“My little Ponies you must understand, there are some things in this world that not even the Elements of Harmony are capable of defeating.” Princess Celestia explained. “The powers that the Cutie Mark Crusaders have earned during their journey will only be called upon when the situation is dire. There will be tough battles ahead of them, but their friendship is as strong as yours is. My advice is to believe in them, they may just surprise you.”
Twilight and her friends remained silent at the Sun Princess’s words, trying to take it all in. Well, with the exception of Pinkie Pie who was currently drawing up plans for another party in mid-air and mumbling to herself. Princess Celestia smiled as what she was trying to say dawned on the Lavender unicorn, who nodded.
“So, when things we can’t handle do happen we need to trust the Cutie Mark Crusaders to handle it... Like when you count on us when we use the Elements of Harmony?” Twilight asked, watching Princess Celestia nod.
“What if they don’t make it though? What happens then?” Rarity asked, watching Twilight smile before turning to her.
“They’ll make it work out. Trust me, it may not be the way you expect it to be but it will work out in the end. Princess Celestia knows what she’s doing.” Twilight replied.
“Ah’ll go along with it if it don’ mean mah sister gits killed.” Applejack said. “Ah wouldn’t want to have to tell ma and pa about it, it would break there hearts so much...”
“Hey, there gonna be fine!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed. “Because if they wouldn’t then the princess wouldn’t let them become super heroes, and she would have stopped them in the first place, and-”
“Breathe Pinkie.” Every pony on the bridge said at the same time, causing the pink mare to calm down and take a deep breath.
“I’m just afraid that my dear Sweetie Belle is going to get hurt from those battles. I couldn’t bear to think about what could happen.” Rarity commented.
“Princess Celestia said she would be fine didn’t she?” Rainbow Dash asked. “If the Princess knows that they’re gonna be fine then they’re gonna be fine. It’s like a total gimme, like when I can do a Sonic Rainboom now.”
“Though I wouldn’t recommend you do it now Rainbow Dash.” Princess Celestia said, watching as the pegasus blushed a little before settling down. “I see that you are all wary from your journey, the rest of the trip will be uneventful I expect so please get some rest. We will be back in Equestria sometime by the end of the next week.” She said, watching Twilight and her friends bow before excusing themselves from the bridge and leaving the Sun Princess alone. She was confident that the Crusaders could handle their new abilities like Twilight and her friends could handle the Elements of Harmony, and she was proud that they did just that today. But she couldn’t help but worry though, what kind of dangers did she really throw them in?
“I shouldn’t worry about that now...” Princess Celestia commented, spinning her throne around to admire the sunset around her nation’s capitol fleet. “We’ll cross those bridges when we come to them.” She added with a yawn, smiling at the beautiful view in front of her.
-Back in Equestria, a Week and a Half Later-
Just as Princess Celestia had predicted, the ride back to Equestria and to Ponyville was more or less uneventful. While the masses cheered and roared about the victory that the Elements of Harmony had over the tyrant unicorn Utopian, nopony really paid any attention to seven little foals that had somehow mysteriously appeared in the crowd.
As the victory party that Pinkie Pie had came up with wound down, and foals had apologized to parents, the Cutie Mark Crusaders had found themselves all sitting at the same table they had all met at just weeks ago when Wonderwing had first arrived to Ponyville. A new foal was among their number, trembling nervously as she sat in her chair and remaining silent amongst the sounds of the other foals telling stories of how they attempted to earn their Cutie Marks.
“All right, that was a nice one Pipsqueak.” Scootaloo said, smiling as she and the pirate wanna be bumped hooves.
“Yeah, but it wasn’t as cool as yours was.” Pipsqueak replied.
“So, who wants to go next?” Sweetie Belle asked, watching as every foal at the table shot their hooves up into the air except the new comer. “What about you?” Sweetie Belle asked, staring at the foal. “Do you have a Cutie Mark Story that you wanna tell us?”
The foal shook her mane, strands of silver falling out of place as her glasses threatened to fall off of her snout. She continued to tremble, but stopped only to feel a reassuring hoof on one of her own. She looked up to meet the face of Wonderwing, who was smiling just as the rest of the table was, and immediately felt extremely calm.
“Hey, you don’t need to worry.” Wonderwing said reassuringly. “We’re all friends here. It doesn’t matter where you came from before, all that matters is what good you can do now. In the present.”
“Wonderwing’s right.” Scootaloo said. “You may have been a bully now, but if you wanna be a part of the Crusaders you need a great cutie mark story plus you have to show us that you really mean that you want to turn your self around. This is just the first step.”
The foal, after hearing other words of encouragement from the other Crusaders, adjusted her glasses and took a deep breath. “Well, this was before meeting Diamond Tiara for the first time...”
Just as Silver Spoon was beginning to tell her story, Wonderwing felt a gentle hoof tap his shoulder. He turned and saw his mother standing behind him, a gentle smile on her face even though there was enough stress to even make Pinkie Pie miserable as she stood over him. Wonderwing leapt onto his mother as they both hugged, right in front of the other crusaders at the table.
“Mommy... I’m sorry.” Wonderwing said quietly, feeling his mother gently stroke his back.
“I know my little Wonderwing.” Flower Petal replied. “I know.” She then held Wonderwing out in front of her and put her sternest face on that she could muster against the foal. “But don’t you ever do that again. Okay?” She asked, watching Wonderwing nod.
“I promise.” Wonderwing replied, receiving a smile from his mother.
“Good.” She said, before hugging the foal again.
It didn’t matter where Wonderwing had came from. It didn’t matter that where he was from her was a second rate
nopony. He had friends that loved him, a mother that loved him, and was a part of the best, “not so secret but secret anyway society,” ever. Or at least that’s what Pinkie Pie said. And that’s all that mattered in the end. At least that was all that mattered to Wonderwing, except for maybe his next Cutie Mark Crusade.
-Somewhere, millions of miles below the surface of Equestria-
“SO... UTOPIAN HAS FAILED... EVEN WITH THE POWERS THAT I HAVE GRANTED HIM...” A loud voice boomed from a swirling vortex in front of the now battered form of Crimson Heart.
“It would appear so my lord.” Crimson Heart replied. “Only the purest of hearts can hope to wield your magnificence to it’s true potential.”
“SO it would seem...” The voice replied. “Are my armies prepared Shift Click?” It asked, as the pegasus known as Crimson Heart disappeared revealing a beige unicorn with a tan mane and tail and a black rainbow for a Cutie Mark. The unicorn used his magic to sling a simple bag over his shoulder before giving a polite bow.
“But of course master Tirek. You have spent tireless eons toiling over your resurrection, and I your humble servant seek to satiate that goal.” Shift Click responded to the swirling vortex.
“Then the war begins. And Equestria shall fall!”
Or is it?