Chapter 7: The Worst Possible Thing
Rarity sighed. It was a delightful day, and people everywhere were stopping to stare at the beautiful mare from another world, while she relished every bit of attention. There had been quite a few celebrities at the beach near the hotel, all of which were interested in meeting her, and Rarity had impressed them with her knowledge of fashion. Some of them had even requested outfits, a fact which tickled Rarity to no end.
“Now, Ms. Mongoose prefers teal and purple for her colors, and likes a trendy, modern look.” Rarity murmured to herself, designing the ensemble in her head. “Perhaps setting those colors against some black, with perhaps a….”
A giant splash interrupted her thoughts. Rarity used her magic to shield herself from the great splash of water as it crashed around her.
“Oh, goodness! Whatever caused that tidal wave?” Rarity loudly grumbled. But as the waters finally subsided slightly, she shrieked. Out of the water, a hideously enormous robotic crab was crawling forth.
“How do you like my latest and greatest creation, Miss Rarity?” a voice called out from the sky.
Rarity looked up. Hovering near the crab, in a flying, round vehicle, was Dr. Eggman.
“I thought I should give you and your friends a little welcome party!” Eggman cried gleefully. “I would love to see you all in action!”
“You ruffian! Get out of here with that monstrous contraption!” Rarity shouted.
“Not until I have what I came for!” Eggman shouted. “And what are you going to do about it? Style my moustache? Sew me into a dress?” He guffawed loudly.
Rarity spun about, to where Spike stood, staring in utter shock. “Spike, go fetch the others!” she cried. “I’ll keep this brute occupied until then.”
“But Rarity….” Spike began.
As Spike dashed off as fast as his short legs could carry him, Rarity dove to avoid a swiping claw that tried to grab her. The claw struck the beach, and a flurry of sand flew everywhere.
Rarity stared up at her mane, and shrieked at the sight of it; it was filled with sand, and a bit of seaweed was dangling from it.
She turned towards the robot, her face livid.
“Oh, it is ON!”
Applejack and Rainbow Dash were in a middle of a game of volleyball, while Fluttershy was peering into a tide pool at the little crabs and anemones inside. Pinkie Pie was at the snack stand, filling up on soda and candy.
“Hey guys! Check out all the types of candy they have in this world!” Pinkie squealed, her mouth dripping with chocolate and caramel. “Mmm! I love these Snickers things! But M&Ms are awesome, too! And Skittles are delicious, although they taste nothing like a rainbow. And whoever thought of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups was a genius! And then there’s Twix and Junior Mints and those marshmallowy orange peanuts! But the best part of all was white-chocolate-coated cupcake batter bits! Why didn‘t I think of that?”
Rainbow Dash spiked the ball, and Applejack dove for it, just missing it as it smashed into the sand.
“Oh, yeah!” Rainbow Dash whooped. “I’m the champ!”
“Y’all got a lucky shot.” Applejack replied with a snort, but she was grinning. “Care to test your luck again?”
“Oh, you lookin’ to lose again?” Rainbow Dash challenged.
Suddenly, the figure of Spike came over on of the dunes. He was running as fast as he could, and he looked out of breath.
“Oh dear! You shouldn’t run like that in this heat!” Fluttershy concernedly told Spike. “You could get sick.”
Spike drew to a stop, panting heavily. “R… Rarity… danger… g-giant crab… Eggman….”
Applejack’s face grew serious. “Sounds like Rarity need our help. Fluttershy, go get Sonic and his pals. Rainbow, Pinkie, let’s go help Rarity!”
“I’m… coming too.” Spike panted as Fluttershy galloped off.
Applejack shook her head. “Y’all need to stay here and rest….”
“I need to protect Rarity!” Spike cried, grabbing Applejack’s fur in desperation. “And I left a letter to Twilight back there! It could be important! I can’t let either of them down!”
Applejack sighed and tossed Spike on her back. “Suit yourself.”
Grabbing a rope from a nearby pier, she began to gallop down the beach. “Sweet Celestia!” she thought to herself. “If’n this is what Sonic has to deal with all the time, I reckon I haven’t given him enough credit!”
A crate slammed into the robotic crab as Rarity hurled it through the air with her magic. The crab flinched, but kept coming.
Rarity’s keen mind was observing the environment. She needed something to work with. Lots of boats were around, but she couldn’t lift them. Perhaps they had something useful on board.
Leaping onto one of the ships, she desperately looked for some form of defense.
“Champagne, telescope, cooler, fire extinguisher.” She noted as she hurriedly looked over the items. She hurled the fire extinguisher at the crab, creating a cloud which blinded it for a short while.
She leapt onto the pier again, diving out of the way just in time as the boat was snapped in half by the crab’s claws.
“Enjoying my new toy?” Eggman guffawed, sitting up in his hovercar. “Give it up! You can’t defeat my mighty creation!”
“Not like this, I can’t!” Rarity thought desperately. “Think, Rarity, think! There has to be something you can use!”
As she galloped down the pier, she suddenly stopped and looked inside a group of sailboats that were in for repairs. Lying within them were large needles, coarse rope, and heaps upon heaps of canvas.
Rarity grinned. An idea had already formed in her mind. Magically levitating the sail-repairing materials, she hurled a sail over the robotic crab to blind it. As it struggled with the sail, Rarity grabbed a nearby pair of giant shears, meant for cutting canvas.
She began to snip at the floating sails that surrounded her, cutting them into patterns and shapes. It was crude, but the outfit she was designing wasn’t made for style this time.
As the giant grab finally tossed off the sail covering its eyes, it was suddenly enveloped in swirling cloth. Large needles stitched and sewed the cloth into place, forming an unusual outfit.
Eggman threw his head back and laughed. “Those sleeves are impossibly long! What are you trying to do? Make a dress for it?”
“Hardly!” Rarity cried in return, not breaking her concentration for a moment. “I’m making the only outfit suitable for a madman like yourself!”
The crab was now clad in an outfit of tough canvas tied together with thick twine and rope, and its sleeves were twice the length of its arms. Rarity pulled the sleeves around behind the crab, crossing them over to that the crab’s arms crossed in front of each other.
Eggman suddenly stopped laughing as he realized what Rarity was doing. She was making a giant straightjacket!
Rarity tugged with all her might to pull the sleeves into place, but she suddenly realized that the strain of pulling those giant pneumatic arms together was far beyond her capabilities. She was about to simple give up and run when suddenly, somebody caught the sleeves.
To be specific, somepony.
“Applejack!” Rarity cried in delight.
Applejack didn’t respond, for her mouth was full of canvas as she struggled and strained. With a mighty heave, she finally pulled the sleeves back. Rarity swiftly tied the sleeves into place, stitching them to the coat for extra security.
“Wee-hoo! Now that’s what I call a rodeo!” Applejack hollered.
Eggman angrily beat the side of his hovercraft. “Well, this rodeo isn’t over yet, partner!” he shouted with rage. He hurriedly pressed a button on his hovercraft’s control panel.
The crab’s shell suddenly opened, and a huge arsenal of weapons folded out from the mechanical behemoth. Suddenly the ground was strewn with bullets and lasers, while missiles whistled and exploded all about them.
Rarity dove in front of Applejack, using her telekinesis to stop a stream of bullets.
“Where in tarnation did that thing get those from?” Applejack shouted.
A barrage of missiles soared towards the ponies. Rarity braced herself to catch them, but she wasn’t certain she could hold them all, not while blocking the machine guns.
An enormous plume of green fire suddenly leapt through the air, causing the missiles to explode in midair.
Rarity turned about. “Spike!” she exclaimed with an elated smile as the young dragon raced up to her side.
“Always here to help, my lady!” Spike replied. “I just had to get this thing from the fishing shop before I could show up.” He pulled out a large harpoon gun. He aimed the weapon directly at the crab.
“Hey, crab cakes!” he shouted. “Eat this!”
He fired all four harpoons in rapid succession. Two of them merely glanced off the metallic shell, but one found a power cable, sending sparks everywhere, and one hit a coolant pipe on one of the lasers, which began to smoke and overheat.
Now the crab’s full attention was on the two ponies and their dragon companion. It began to focus all its firepower upon them. They dove for cover behind some metal shipping crates, but they knew it wouldn’t last for long.
“We’re doomed if we can’t find some way to get that dreadful beast to stop focusing on us!” Rarity moaned.
“I could try to teleport you with my fire.” Spike suggested. “You would get a bit burnt, but that’s better than being caught by that thing.”
“But what about you, Spikey?” Rarity asked concernedly.
“I’ll think of something.” Spike said, trying to sound nonchalant, but it was obvious that he was scared.
“No.” Applejack stated firmly. “I’m not leavin’ anyone behind. Rainbow Dash And Pinkie Pie are still waitin’ to strike. We still got a chance.”
But even Applejack’s heart sunk as the crates were smashed away, and the giant mechanical crab charged through, aiming all of its weapons.
Applejack stood firm, ready to charge against the behemoth. Rarity wrapper her hooves around Spike, staring fearfully at the monstrous robot.
“Rarity?” Spike gulped. “In case this is it, I just want you to know. I’ve always lo….”
Suddenly, a bolt of lightning crackled and stuck the ground near the crab, cutting Spike off mid-sentence.
“Need some air support?” Rainbow Dash called down, giving a cocky grin.
“Sugarcube, you‘re a lifesaver!” Applejack hollered joyfully.
The robot turned its attention to this new threat, and began focusing its fire on the blue pegasus who was dashing through the sky, expertly avoiding its shots.
“Ha ha! Yooou can’t caaatch meee!” Rainbow Dash taunted, whirling about.
Applejack shook her head. “Rarity, we’ve got to take out those guns! Rainbow can’t get in for a clear attack while they’re firin’ at her!”
Suddenly, Pinkie Pie popped up from behind a shipping crate, wearing a glittery pink army helmet.
“Sound like it’s time to bring in the artillery support!” she cried.
Bouncing up on top of a pile of large metal shipping crates, she whipped out all three of her party cannons.
“Commencing party barrage!” Pinkie shouted. "Fire at will! I mean the crab, fire at the crab, not Will. What did Will ever do to us?”
Before the giant robot could react, it was being blasted by a storm of confetti and cake. Its guns and missiles began to clog as the were filled with frosting and glitter.
What?” Eggman shouted, his face livid. “Impossible! How can this be?”
“You villains always seem to say that!” Pinkie laughed, and Eggman barely dodged a large chocolate cake that soared past him.
“This is not over yet!” he screamed. “Egg Crab! Charge!”
The giant robot dashed at Rarity and Applejack. Rarity began to run, but Applejack stood her ground. She had a plan.
As the robot barreled down upon her, Applejack pulled out her rope. As the crab raised one of its legs, she tossed a lasso around it, drawing the noose tight. She dug her hooves into the sand and tugged.
The crab crashed to the ground, sending a spray of sand onto the air as it landed with a metallic crunch.
“Rarity, Pinkie, Rainbow Dash! Help me pin this thing down!” Applejack shouted, tying her rope to a nearby pier and grabbing another one from nearby.
Applejack began to struggle with the crab, pulling it down and tying it up with her ropes. Rarity found a few fishing nets, and began securing them over the crab. Pinkie Pie dashed about, tossing cakes and pies into whatever looked vital, clogging up the robot’s limbs. Whenever the crab tried to rise, Rainbow Dash would slam it back down again.
Finally, the robot crab was secured to the beach, unable to move.
“Rainbow Dash, do your stuff!” Applejack cried, smashing one of the few operative guns with a hard buck. “Everypony else, take cover!”
Rainbow Dash shot up into the sky, soaring higher and higher. Just when the crab was a small speck on the white strip of beach below her, she whipped around, soaring towards the earth at top speed. The wind whipped through her mane as she went faster, faster. Her face was set in an ecstatic, determined grin. A sense of euphoria and exhilaration had overcome her. She was in her element.
She could feel the air building up in front of her.
It was tightening, about to break.
There was a sudden boom, and a flash of color filled the sky. Rainbow Dash soared towards the earth, unable to hear her own elated whoop, which was far behind her as soon as it left her lips.
Down she came, like a rainbow-colored laser. She targeted the crab, and her face set with her signature cocky determination.
The ground came rushing up, and she slammed full-speed into the crab.
A mushroom cloud of color filled the sky as the shockwave of Rainbow Dash’s landing blasted the robotic crab into smithereens. Metal shards flew all about.
As the air cleared, the figure of Rainbow Dash came into view, standing in a smoldering crater, pawing the ground challengingly.
“That all you got, Egghead?” she shouted up at Eggman.
There was a sudden rush of wind as a streak of blue appeared beside the ponies.
“Woah.” Sonic said, looking at the robot’s remains with an impressed expression. “Nice work.”
“We’ve got this covered, Blue.” Rainbow Dash stated.
Rarity, Spike, Applejack, And Pinkie Pie all popped out from behind a pile of metal shipping crates.
“Yee-haw!” Applejack hollered, tossing her hat in the air. “We did it!”
“We did it! We’re alive! Ah ha ha ha!” Rarity squealed with gleeful relief, prancing about and joyfully hugging Spike in her hooves, while Spike hugged her back, laughing with relieved joy. (And a little bit of glee at Rarity’s embrace.)
There was a blast of confetti as Pinkie Pie shot into the air, wildly waving her hooves. “We won! We won!” she cried. “This calls for another party right after the one I just threw!”
Sonic walked up to Rainbow Dash, observing the surroundings.
“Nice work, everybody.” he said with a grin, then he gave a little chuckle. “I mean, everypony.”
He turned to look at Eggman. “Looks like I’m not the only one you have to look out for!” he shouted up. “You ready to give up, or do you want to lose again?”
“On the contrary.” Eggman replied with a smug grin. “I won.”
Suddenly, from the clouds, a giant Egg Carrier came into view, looming over the city. From it, hundreds of hovering robots emerged, surrounding Eggman.
“I had hoped that the Egg Crab could have acquired me some pony prisoners, but ultimately it was a decoy.” Eggman explained gleefully. “The real target was something I wanted to lure everybody away from. Something far more valuable than any prisoner.
As Eggman spoke, a different blue blur shot past, flying to his side.
“Ah, Metal Sonic! Do you have the items in question?”
Metal Sonic wordlessly presented Eggman with a chest, a chest that the ponies recognized all too well.
“The Elements of Harmony!” Spike shouted.
Rainbow Dash was in the air in a flash, but she was tackled by Metal Sonic. In the sky, more robots surrounded Eggman, guarding him as he soared up to the Egg Carrier.
Sonic was in the air faster than the eye could follow. Propelling himself off of the flying robots, he went in pursuit of Eggman’s hovercraft.
“Not so fast, rodent!” Eggman shouted, activating a smoke screen.
Sonic gasped and choked, fighting to stay in the air as he leapt from robot to robot, trying to avoid that one fatal slip that would send him falling into the surging sea below. By the time the smoke had cleared, Eggman was gone.
On the ground, Rainbow Dash wasn’t down for long. Applejack had kept her wits during the whole situation, and while Metal Sonic had tried to retrain Rainbow Dash, it hadn’t noticed the orange earth pony until it was too late. Now Metal Sonic sputtered after Eggman’s airship, with two serious, hoof shaped dents in its metallic body.
Once free, Rainbow Dash was in the air before anyone could blink. She didn’t think about the size of the Egg Carrier, or the number of robots that were defending it. All she knew was that the hope of Equestria, and the only hope for her and her friends to get home, was in the hands of the enemy, and she would not let it stay that way.
Turrets lit up the sky with gunfire and laserfire as Rainbow Dash twisted and turned. She beat her wings as fast as she could, building up speed.
She crashed into the deck with a multicolored explosion. Before the robots on deck even had time to aim, she had streaked past them, leaving them to be shattered in the wake of her Sonic Rainboom.
But Eggman had spent most of his later years learning how to fight the swiftest warriors, and the Egg Carrier was his flag ship. It was more than prepared for Rainbow’s assault.
Turrets began to pop out of the ground, emerging from secret places to take a shot at the speeding blue pony. Rainbow Dash dodged and spun, but eventually a laser grazer her wing, and she crashed to the deck.
There was no time for thinking. Robots were closing in all around her. She knew that she couldn’t get to the Elements with her wing injured. So she did the only thing she could.
“I sure hope somepony’s there to catch me.” she thought to herself, vainly flapping in an attempt to slow her descent.
The waves came closer and closer as she plummeted downwards. She closed her eyes.
“At least I hope those swimming lessons Pinkie gave me pay off.” she thought to herself.
Suddenly, something gently caught her, easing into a gentle, horizontal flight. Rainbow Dash looked up to see a large pair of gentle teal eyes and a long, pale pink mane which flowed in the wind.
“Nice save, Fluttershy.” Rainbow Dash said, giving a grim smile. “Not that I couldn’t have made the swim back, of course.”
“You’re hurt!” Fluttershy exclaimed. “We have to get you to a doctor!”
“No! Eggman’s getting away!” Rainbow Dash shouted, wincing as she moved her wing.
“Twilight put a spell over the chest so that nopony can open it, remember?” Fluttershy reminded her. “Don’t worry! Sonic says he has a plan! We just need to get you healed up.”
Meanwhile, in Blaze’s world, Twilight Sparkle was worrying about the information she had just learned. “So, how do we stop this Mephiles?” Twilight asked.
Blaze shrugged. “The Scepter of Darkness was used to bind him, but we don’t really have much knowledge about him.” she stated. “Perhaps G.U.N. or the royal library of Solianna may have some information.”
“And what about these Sol Emeralds? Princess Celestia wanted to make sure that they were safe. She seemed very concerned that this Mephiles could get his hands on them.”
“Rest assured, the Sol Emeralds are safe for now.” Blaze told Twilight. “And I intend to make certain that they stay that way.”
“I just don’t see why Princess Celestia didn’t lock them away in the Canterlot vault or something when she realized this threat.” Twilight mused.
Blaze sighed and took a sip of her tea. “I’m afraid it’s a bit more complicated than that. You see, the Sol Emeralds are tied to this world. If they remain away from it for too long, this world would eventually crumble and be destroyed.”
“So where are they?” Twilight asked. “They are in a secure place, aren’t they?”
“Each one is hidden in a different place, each one very secure, that only I know of.” Blaze assured her. “And even if someone managed to acquire one of them, only all seven together can become truly devastating. Alone, they are still capable of great power, but nothing like they are together.”
“Like the Elements of Harmony.” Twilight mused. It suddenly occurred to her that the Elements of Harmony also took the form of gemstones. “Could the Chaos Emeralds and the Sol Emeralds be akin to the Elements?” she mused to herself.
“There are others who used to have knowledge of this Mephiles.” Blaze added. “But… well, I seem to be the only one who remembers those events. I’m afraid much of the knowledge anyone had of Mephiles is lost. He was very secretive before the Solaris Project began.”
Twilight got up and began to pace, thinking hard. “This Mephiles has an unknown past and origin. Even Princess Celestia wasn’t really sure about his beginning or earlier actions.”
“And you say that this Princess Luna was controlled by the same dark power that came into our world?” Blaze asked concernedly.
“I think so.” Twilight said, shaking her head with surprise. “She let him possess her, in a moment of jealousy and grief, but… he corrupted her mind. When she became Nightmare Moon, the pony that was Luna was lost, overcome by a dark copy of herself.”
“Mephiles is a doppelganger.” Blaze stated. “He impersonated Shadow the Hedgehog in the forgotten past. He is a shapeless shadow who must draw from the shadows of others to take form. It would make sense that Nightmare Moon would possess Luna’s traits. And if Mephiles was possessing her, it is possible that her own personality merged with his own. While the real Luna was trapped inside, Nightmare Moon would be walking about with her memories, her skills, and perhaps even some personality traits.”
“I don’t believe Mephiles is a complete being.” Blaze went on. “He needs something to draw from; a personality, a mind. He can think, and is indeed very cunning, but he doesn’t have any traits, any personal strengths, other than his unyielding desire for power and destruction. As the Mephiles we knew, he was basically an evil copy of Shadow the Hedgehog. That is why he had powers over time and space. In Equestria, he, or she, manifested as Nightmare Moon. Mephiles is not masculine or feminine. He is only a shade, a shadow filled with evil will. And so he cannot exist without something to draw from. He has the will and the capability for cunning, but very little thought processes to do so. He needs a host to draw from, or else he cannot fully exist.”
“He’s like that doctor in that book, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” Twilight exclaimed. “Only he’s just Mr. Hyde, with no Dr. Jekyll. And he can’t be whole without a Dr. Jekyll.”
Blaze looked confused, but she guessed that Twilight at least understood her meaning. “Balance is the way of things. We cannot have light without shadows. We cannot have shadows if there is no light to cast them. But Mephiles is a shadow with no light. He is… well, I know it may sound ludicrous, but I believe he is an incarnation of evil; a force of pure malevolence that both is his host, and yet isn’t. He is their evil side, but it isn’t their evil side, so to speak.”
“So without a source to draw from, he becomes basically powerless.” Twilight stated, pacing furiously now. “But how does one stop him from taking on someone’s form, or revert him to his original?
Blaze sighed. “I don’t know. Other than the Scepter of Darkness, the only method I could think of would be to get him to willfully revert, although I have no idea how you would accomplish that.”
Twilight stomped her hooves. “Then we need this Scepter of Darkness at all costs! The fate of both Equestria and Mobius are at stake here!”
“I wish you the best.” Blaze stated with a small smile. “I must stay here and guard the Sol Emeralds, as is my duty. I feel my protection is becoming all the more necessary now.”
“Of course.” Twilight exclaimed. “And I have a plan!”
She galloped at full speed out of the palace. She had to find Tails and Vector. Finally, the game was ahoof.
“So, how’s my wing, Zecora?” Rainbow Dash asked worriedly. “Will I… ever fly again?”
Zecora laughed and shook her head. “Of course you will, don’t be silly. So don’t worry, my little filly.”
“I’m not a filly.” Rainbow Dash grumbled.
“Your feathers were singed, inhibiting your flight.” Zecora explained. “But a few potions and feather transplants set it right. By tomorrow’s dawn, you can once again fly faster than any of the other pegasi.”
“We don’t have ‘till tomorrow!” Rainbow Dash shouted. “Eggman has the Elements of Harmony! Who knows what he could do with them!”
“Dash has got a point.” Knuckles stated, turning to Sonic, who was anxiously tapping his foot. “Anything powerful in Eggman’s hands is bad news, and I don’t like him holding on to these Elements of Harmony for even a second.”
“And if these ponies were planning to use these Elements of Harmony to stop this evil shadow, then how are they going to without them?” Amy queried.
“Now, now, y’all just settle down.” Applejack calmly stated. “The Elements of Harmony won’t work for Eggman. They can only work for us, or at least somepony… er, somebody that embodies their traits: Honesty, Generosity, Kindness, Laughter, Loyalty, and Magic.”
“Eggman doesn’t have a single one of those.” Amy assured the ponies. “I mean, he does like to laugh a lot, but it’s not like fun or joyful laughter. It’s more like gleeful, evil laughter.”
“And that is totally not what the Element of Laughter is about!” Pinkie Pie cried out, shaking her head vigorously.
“And don’t forget that Twilight sealed up the chest so that nopony could open it.” Applejack went on. “Eggman won’t be able to get it open.”
“I say, what about that letter for Twilight?” Rarity asked. “Did you manage to find it, Spike? Perhaps Princess Celestia has something helpful to tell us.”
“She sent it before the Elements were stolen.” Applejack pointed out. “And even the Princess can’t read the future.”
“True, but she might have given us some instructions of how to go about our quest, at least.” Rarity replied. “So, where is it, Spike?”
Spike shuffled his feet, looking like her felt awful. “I… lost it.” he mumbled.
Sonic suddenly grinned. “Lost what? This?” He held up the letter in his hand, waving it about.
Spike’s face lit up. “You found it!” he cried. “How did you do it?”
“Saw it blowing down the beach, and I saw some sort of royal seal.” Sonic replied. “It was already broken, and I didn’t see an addressee on it, so I read it. Found out it was to Twilight Sparkle, and from what I read, it sounds pretty interesting. Not to mention, I think it may help with our little problem.”
“What? What does it say?” everyone cried out.
Sonic cleared his throat and began to read.
My dearest Twilight Sparkle,
I realize that there is a lot at stake here, and I want you to know I have faith in you and your friends. The heroes of Mobius are known for overcoming insurmountable odds, and will be valuable allies in your journey.
In the case that the worst should happen, and the Elements are somehow lost or stolen, there is still a way to return to me. The Chaos Emeralds can be used as well to create a portal to return you to Equestria. If possible, I recommend collecting all seven. You will need them in the fight you are about to face.
Once you are in Equestria, there is still one place in Equestria where a gateway to Mobius can be formed. However, only a certain individual can open this gateway, so you will have to locate them. If you for some reason need to return to Mobius by this route, then I can help direct you towards where they were last detected.
Again, I have faith in you. I know you will overcome.
Your dear friend and former teacher, Princess Celestia
“All seven Chaos Emeralds?” Knuckles shouted. “Do you have any idea how long it would take to find them all?”
“Not as long as you might think.” a sultry voice stated.
Everyone turned to see Rouge and Shadow entering the room.
“We heard about the Elements.” Rouge stated. “And G.U.N. doesn’t like it when the Doctor gets new toys.”
“The Doctor?” Pinkie Pie asked. “You mean Eggman? Or that funny pony with the hourglass Cutie Mark and the disappearing blue box? What does G.U.N. have against sonic screwdrivers?”
“She means Eggman.” Amy assured her, looking a little confused at Pinkie’s remark.
“Anyways,” Rouge said with a smirk, “jewel hunting is my specialty. And this time, we have an ace in the hole.”
Rouge turned towards Rarity. “Ready to go gem hunting, honey?” she asked.
Rarity grinned. “Always!” she replied.
“Just let me pack my things.”
Twilight Sparkle dashed into the library where Tails and Vector were browsing over the library’s collection that described the Sol Emeralds and Iblis.
“Guys, we have to go!” Twilight whispered. Even when the world was in danger, she still remembered that she was in a library, and crisis or no, she wasn’t about to defy the sanctity of a library.
“You found something?” Vector asked.
“No time to explain!” Twilight said. Her horn sparkled with magic, and she touched its tip to Tails’ forehead.
Tails went rigid, then blinked a bunch.
“Sonic…!” he murmured.
Tails was out the door in a flash, with Twilight and Vector close on his heels.
“What the blazes did you do to him?” Vector cried out as Tails leapt onto a nearby speedboat and began to hotwire it.
“I tried to use a memory spell.” Twilight huffed, straining to catch up with the flying yellow fox. “I don’t know what happened!”
“I remember everything, that’s what happened!” Tails cried, revving the boat as Vector and Twilight jumped inside.
Twilight had never seen Tails like this. Normally he was pretty dauntless, but now, she saw him working with a fury, his eyes a mixture of terror and pure rage.
“Tails, somepony owns this boat!” Twilight cried as Tails roared out of the dock.
“We’ll return it later!” Tails cried.
“Tails, what’s gotten into you?” Vector shouted above the roaring engine.
“We have to get back now!” Tails shouted, not taking his eyes off the sea ahead.
“You remember Mephiles?” Twilight asked.
Tails’ face became set with determined rage as he blinked back fearful tears.
“Yeah.” he said quietly, so quietly Twilight could barely hear him.
“What do you remember?” Twilight asked.
“…I remember he killed Sonic.”
“Okay, so here’s how it works.” Sonic told everyone. “G.U.N. already knows where four emeralds are. And we’re gonna go get them.” He turned towards Spike. “Spike, you stay here and try to contact Tails and Twilight. Charmy, Cream, you stay with him and give him all the help he needs.”
“Aww, I wanted to go have some fun!” Charmy whined.
“Rouge, Rarity, you’re our Emerald hunters. Find the three missing Chaos Emeralds.”
“Good as done.” Rouge stated with a smirk.
“I can’t wait to see what a Chaos Emerald looks like.” Rarity enthused. “I wonder if they would make good accents….”
Sonic turned towards Knuckles. “Knux, you have a connection to the Chaos Emeralds, so that could be handy. There’s one in the Shifting Sands ruins. You and Applejack have the task of retrieving it.”
“Got it.” Knuckles answered.
“Can do, sugarcube.” Applejack stated.
“Now one of the Chaos Emeralds is being held in the Casino Night Zone.” Sonic went on. “An old enemy of mine is holding it as a trophy.” He turned towards Pinkie Pie. “Now normally I don’t like cheating the house, but this is an emergency, and Mogul doesn’t play fair anyway. Your job is to bankrupt the casino. Mogul will then be forced to either part with the Emerald, or give you the entire Casino Night Zone. Your… Pinkie sense will help you win the Emerald. Shadow, you’re her bouncer.”
“What?!” Shadow said angrily.
“Hey, this is Mammoth Mogul we’re dealing with.” Sonic reminded him. “There’s some pretty rough characters there, and where Mogul and his friends are involved, I’d like to count on someone who knows about Chaos energy.”
“Very well.” Shadow said, folding his arms in sullen submission.
“Plus, it’ll give you and Pinkie some time to catch up!” Sonic said with a devious grin.
“Ooh, ooh, this’ll be so much fun!” Pinkie Pie squealed. “We can talk and maybe sing a few songs and become the best of friends!”
Shadow glared at Sonic. “You do realize I am going to make you pay for this.”
“Yeah, I’ll bet you will.” Sonic chuckled. He turned towards Espio. “Third Emerald is in the jungle, guarded by hordes of Eggman’s forces. We need stealth, and your our guy for that. Zecora, think you can keep up with him?”
“Indeed, I could be of some use.” Zecora answered. “I’m very skilled at creating a ruse.”
“Omega, you’re on back-up. If anyone gets into trouble, I want you there faster than lighting.”
“Affirmative.” Omega confirmed.
“Amy, you’re with me. Fourth Emerald is in Hang Castle.”
“You got it, sweetie!” Amy replied with a flirty grin. “No spooks there will be a match for us!”
“Hey, what about me?” Rainbow Dash asked hotly.
“You are going to stay here until your wing heals.” Sonic told her. “I’m not going to send an injured buddy onto the field if I don’t have to. Fluttershy, you stay here and look after Rainbow.”
“Oh… okay.” Fluttershy replied, looking relieved that she didn’t have to go.
“Don’t worry, sugarcube!” Applejack told Rainbow Dash. “We can handle things here.”
“Another way of saying you don’t need me.” Rainbow Dash grumped.
Sonic turned towards the others. “All right, teams! Let’s do it to it!”
The speedboat crashed into the shore as Tails leapt into the air, soaring towards the Star Rod portal.
“The kid… must be really… worried.” Vector said dizzily, shakily climbing out from the boat.
Twilight shook her head to get her eyes uncrossed. She was still seeing stars.
“He said that this Mephiles killed Sonic. Although I have no idea what that means. Sonic is still alive and well, by my count.”
“Well, Tails isn’t about to slow down and explain it!” Vector cried, dashing towards the portal.
As Vector and Twilight came through the portal, they saw Tails furiously typing away on one of his computers.
“Great! Sonic and everyone else is gone for some reason!” Tails cried. “Sensor logs show they left in different directions.”
“So when you say everyone, do you mean my friends, too?” Twilight asked.
“Well, I am picking up two lifeforms that match pony physiology at the hospital.” Tails stated. “But I can’t tell….”
Suddenly a transmission flickered to life on the screen. Charmy and Spike’s faces crackled into view.
“Finally! Where were you guys?” Charmy cried. “I’ve been trying to contact you for hours!”
“Woah. Can they see and hear us?” Spike asked, looking a little shocked at the transmission.
“Yes, we can Spike!” Twilight replied. “We have a situation! We know what the evil is that Princess Celestia sent us to banish!”
“That’s no good!” Spike cried. “Eggman came and stole the Elements of Harmony!”
“Princess Celestia sent a letter, telling us that we can use the Chaos Emeralds to get back to Ponyville, so everyone went to find them!”
“Who’s in the hospital?” Twilight cried out, feeling more stressed than she had in ages.
“Rainbow Dash.” Charmy piped up. “Fluttershy is taking care of her. Don’t worry, it isn’t serious.”
“But why isn’t everypony trying to get the Elements back?!” Twilight shouted.
Tails was looking thoughtful. “If Eggman has the Elements of Harmony, regardless of whether or not he could use them, he may be able to perform a temporal inter-spatial flux signature scan on them.”
“Um… meaning?” Vector asked, scratching his head.
“Simply put, Eggman could find out how to get to Equestria!” Tails replied.
Twilight was furiously pacing the floor. “Oh, no. No no nonononononono! This is bad! This is really, really bad!”
“Calm down, Twilight!” Spike told her. “Look, once we get back to Ponyville, we can tell Princess Celestia, and she can help. As for Eggman, I think even he’ll me in for a surprise if he messes with the princesses.”
“But what could happen? He could take over all of Ponyville! And what about Mephiles, the evil shadow? It could strike at any minute!” Twilight was frazzled with worry.
“Maybe we should tell Princess Celestia.” Spike suggested. “She could help us!”
“But then she’ll know I failed her!” Twilight cried.
Tails whipped about. “Look, you haven’t failed her.” he stated firmly. “Eggman is a match for anyone. She’ll understand. But if we don’t get help, you will fail her, and both our worlds could be destroyed!”
Twilight shook her head. “You’re right.” she agreed dejectedly. “It’s like in the Crystal Empire. My friends come before my image, regardless of what the princess thinks of me.”
She sighed. “Spike, take a letter.”
Spike pulled up a piece of paper and a quill.
“How are you going to write to the princess in time?” Tails asked.
“Trust me.” Twilight assured him. She cleared her throat and began.
Dear Princess Celestia,
I am sorry to say that I have failed you, and me and my friends really need your help.
The Elements of Harmony have been stolen by a human called Dr. Robotnik, better known as Eggman. My friend Tails believes that he might be able to find out how to get to Equestria, even though he cannot use the Elements himself.
My friends are trying to collect the Chaos Emeralds, and I have unearthed a great deal of information about the evil you sent me to destroy, but we need help. Ponyville could be in danger, and I fear that Eggman poses a great threat to Equestria. We could use any help you could offer.
I’m so sorry for failing you.
Your friend and former student, Twilight Sparkle
Spike rolled up the letter, then blew on it with his fiery green breath.
“What? You burnt it up!” Vector exclaimed.
“Nah, dragon fire is magical.” Spike stated. “That letter should appear in front of the princess any minute now!”
“Then we have to move!” Tails cried, leaping from his seat and hopping into the Tornado.
“But what about Rainbow and Fluttershy?” Twilight asked. “I have to see them! Maybe I can help use my magic to heal Rainbow Dash!”
“You go help them!” Vector cried. “Tails, you go after Sonic and the others. I’m going to alert G.U.N.!”
Large bay doors at the far end of the warehouse opened as Tails revved the Tornado’s engine. As he roared out into the open blue sky, Twilight and Vector dashed out of the door.
“I have to find a way.” Twilight said over and over to herself. “I must.”
The hospital door burst open, startling Fluttershy so that she gave a frightened squeak. But when she saw who had come through the door, she almost cried with delight.
“Twilight! You have no idea how glad we are to see you!” she squealed, throwing her hooves around the lavender unicorn in a big hug.
“Twilight! Thank Celestia!” Rainbow Dash said happily.
“Good to see you both, too!” Twilight replied with a small, tired smile. “I heard what happened.”
“And that Eggman chump winged me!” Rainbow Dash cried out. “And then that Sonic had the nerve to make me wait here while the others went looking for the Chaos Emeralds! I can fly! My wing is a little stiff, but I’m not gonna let that stop me!”
“Here, let me see it.” Twilight said. Unbandaging the wound, she looked at the damage, which had already healed some from Zecora’s potion.
“Looks like it will heal fine.” Twilight stated. “But it will take time. Time we don’t have.”
Her horn glowed and sizzled as she strained to cast her spell. Slowly, then more rapidly, Rainbow Dash’s wing began to heal at an incredible rate, until it was as good as new.
Twilight wiped her brow as she finished the spell. “Time acceleration spells of that strength are tough.” she mumbled.
Rainbow Dash leapt out of bed. “All right! I feel like I could take on Eggman all by myself!” She turned towards Twilight. “Now what? I assume you have a plan as usual?”
“Not really.” Twilight stated honestly. “We have to find Eggman and get the Elements of Harmony back. I’ll have to come up with a plan as we go.”
Suddenly, the door burst open, and G.U.N. agents swarmed the room, lead by E-123 Omega.
“You chumps again?” Rainbow Dash said angrily.
“My apologies. They are here for my protection.” a soft voice stated.
The ponies turned to see Princess Elise walking into the room. “I came to see Miss Twilight Sparkle.” she explained. “I’m afraid that I have some bad news.”
“What now? What happened?” Twilight asked in worry.
“G.U.N. has told me about your research, and they asked that they might see the Scepter of Darkness, the item you thought may have some connection to this threat you spoke of. But when we opened the chamber, we found that it had been shattered.”
Twilight’s heart felt as if it had stopped for a moment. “But… I just found out that that might be our only hope at binding this evil away!”
“I know.” Elise replied. “We in Solianna have always thought that it would save us from evil. But in the raid that occurred on the library, it appears that the scepter was broken.”
Twilight shook her head. “No… it can’t be….”
“There is something else.” Elise stated. “It appears that someone urgently wants to see you.”
“Who?” Twilight asked.
“An old acquaintance, who I think he has the best chance of helping you now.” Elise replied. “He just said that he needed your help, and to tell you that the fate of Equestria depended upon it. He‘s waiting outside. He specifically asked that I ask you. Apparently he hoped my royal status would persuade you better than his own.”
Twilight looked towards Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. “But… we have to get the Elements of Harmony back. Without the Scepter of Darkness, they‘re our only hope!”
“No problem.” Rainbow Dash replied, throwing a hoof around Fluttershy’s neck. “Me and Fluttershy got it.”
“W-we do?” Fluttershy stuttered nervously.
“Dash, you can’t take on Eggman with just the two of you.” Twilight told her. “Last time you got hurt, and Fluttershy isn’t much of a fighter.”
“She’s right, I’m not.” Fluttershy squeaked.
Rainbow Dash smirked. “Then it look like somepony need backup.” she said, turning towards Omega. “Care for a chance to settle the score with Eggheadman?”
Omega retracted his hand, extending a large, heavy-duty machine gun in its place.
“Affirmative.” he replied.
“Then let’s do this.” Rainbow Dash said, pawing the ground. “Twilight, go help your blind date. We’ve got an egg to crack.”
As Twilight dashed out onto the street, she saw a shadowy figure in an alleyway.
“Hello? Are you the person who wanted to speak to me?”
“Princess Twilight Sparkle.” the figure said. “Come with me. We can’t be seen here.”
Although Twilight didn’t like the idea of following a stranger through a dark alley, she knew that her magic would probably be more than a match for any enemy, so she followed the figure until they reached an abandoned shipping yard.
“Who are you, and what do you need my help with?” Twilight asked.
The figure stepped out of the shadows. He was a white hedgehog with spines that stuck up into the air. His golden eyes were set with determination.
“I am Silver the Hedgehog.” he stated. “And I need your help to defeat Sol Umbrae.”