Adventures on the Friendship Express

by GreenS21

Central City


Upon their return to the Friendship Express, Tails got to work preparing the train to resume its journey while Pinkie Pie followed the rest of the group as they left the engine and headed back two cars. The pink pony and Rainbow Dash stood as the others took the seats they had been in when they first boarded the train, Sonic and Spike sitting across from Twilight and Rarity on the left side of the car and Shining Armor and Cadance sitting across from Applejack and Fluttershy on the right side. It wasn’t long before they felt a jolt that told them the train was moving again.

“At last, a chance to properly sit down for a moment,” Rarity sighed as she relaxed into her seat.

“Yes indeedily, Rarity! We’ve been pretty much doing nothing but running around since this expansion started!” Pinkie grinned.

Some of the others looked at her strangely at that, Rainbow asking, “What are you talking about, Pinkie? What expansion?” The party pony just giggled in response, garnering a few more stares.

After a moment, Applejack shrugged, “Well, at least we’re on our way ta Canterlot again.”

Shining sighed, “I don’t suppose we could just keep moving at the pace we’re going rather than trying to rush it and run into trouble like we did earlier.”

Cadance glanced over at him, smiling as she raised an eyebrow, “I thought you said when we were in those ruins earlier that you actually liked some of the places we’d been.”

Shining replied, “I do. I just didn’t like that sudden stop the first time followed by being thrown off the train while it was moving as fast as it was.”

Spike shrugged, “Yeah, nobody liked that.” He nudged Sonic in the leg with his left elbow, “Right, Sonic?” After a moment of not getting a response, he turned his head to look at the hedgehog, “Sonic?” He looked up and saw that the hedgehog was staring out the window, his chin resting in the palm of his left hand. “Hey!” Spike exclaimed.

Sonic started at that, sitting up somewhat and uttering, “Huh? What?” He then saw everyone looking at him and said, while looking down at Spike, “Oh, uh, sorry Spike. I wasn’t paying attention just now. What’d you say?”

Spike groaned and said, “We were talking about that sudden stop earlier. I said nobody liked it and asked if you agreed.”

Sonic replied, “Oh yeah, that was rough. Stops like that definitely aren’t fun.” He then turned his head to look out the window again, hoping to see something interesting to look at (in other words, something, anything that wasn’t completely white).

Rarity asked, “Sonic, is something wrong?”

The blue hedgehog shrugged, “Eh, no. Just missing the sky. And thinking about stuff.”

Twilight cocked her head to the side, “What kind of ‘stuff’?”

Sonic looked at her and said, “Like the Moon. Lots of things seem to happen with it in both of our worlds. You know, Nightmare Moon was banished to your Moon and our Moon got blown in half by Eggman… Different events and different worlds, but I think there are some constants if you look hard enough.” Twilight nodded in understanding.

Fluttershy cleared her throat softly and spoke up, “Um, Sonic?” The hedgehog, along with the others, looked over at her, the shy pegasus saying, “Applejack mentioned that earlier after… after Dr. Eggman’s, um… robot dragon crashed, that he blew up part of your Moon. How did he…? Did he really?”

Sonic replied, “Yeah, he did, Fluttershy. We got to see it happen again earlier.”

Rainbow spoke, “Oh yeah, that’s right; you stayed behind with Cream and Cheese during that, Fluttershy. It’s probably better you didn’t see it.”

Spike muttered, “Yeah. Seeing that ARK cannon thing just blow half of the Moon up… That was crazy.”

Shining Armor raised an eyebrow, "'ARK cannon thing'? What's that?"

Sonic replied, "He means the Eclipse Cannon on Space Colony ARK."

Pinkie piped up, "Ooh! Twilight and Rainbow Dash were talking about an ARK earlier! Are you talking about the same one? I don’t think I heard them mention anything about it having a cannon. Hey! Wouldn’t it be great if it had a party cannon?!”

Sonic gave a wry smirk as he replied, “Something tells me that would be impractical in space, Pinkie.”

Rainbow grinned, “And no party cannon’s gonna be enough to destroy an entire comet!”

Pinkie just rolled her eyes, “Oh, ye of little faith!”

Cadance asked, “What do you mean, Rainbow Dash? What comet are you talking about?”

Rainbow Dash was about to answer, but before she could, Pinkie spoke up, “Hey! We’re slowing down!”

Everyone looked at her and realized she was right; the forward momentum they’d been feeling up until now was disappearing as the train came to a much gentler stop. “Why are we stopping?” Twilight wondered.

Sonic looked out the window and saw a glowing hole in the ground off to the side of the train, just ahead of where the window was. “Is that a portal over there? The way it’s positioned, it almost looks like a sewer entrance,” he commented.

The door heading towards the train’s engine slid open a moment later, revealing Tails behind it with his radar in his left hand. The fox stepped into the car and Pinkie hopped to the side as Applejack asked, “Hey Tails, what’s goin’ on? Why’d we stop now?”

Tails answered, “I stopped the train because I saw some kind of purplish-black wall floating in front of the tracks up ahead, Applejack. The color makes me think of the creature responsible for all this.”

Twilight asked, “Do you think it created that wall as another attempt to stop us?”

Tails replied, “Most likely. That’s the main reason why I stopped the train; I don’t think we can just drive on through it.”

Sonic shrugged, “Hm. I’m gonna guess there’s a way to make it get out of our way, right?”

Tails nodded, “Yeah, I checked my radar when I saw it. I’m not exactly sure why we’re seeing a wall now; maybe there were walls earlier and we just never got close enough to see them or something, but I don’t know what to make of the readings. Regardless, it seems the wall is connected to a nearby portal.”

Rarity spoke up, “Sonic said he saw one outside just before you came in.”

Tails looked at his friend, the blue hedgehog nodding and raising his right hand to point out the window. Tails moved past Pinkie and looked, holding his radar up as he looked towards the glowing hole in the ground. After a couple of seconds he said, “Well… that was easy enough. That leaves only one thing left to do, then.”

Spike sighed, “Great, another unexpected detour…”

Twilight and Rarity looked at the baby dragon worriedly while Rainbow shot him a sideways sympathetic look, but decided not to open her mouth. “Spike, dear, are you getting exhausted from all of this adventuring?” Rarity asked.

“If you want to stay behind and rest, I-I could stay. Or maybe Cadance and Shining Armor, or Fluttershy could…” Twilight said worriedly.

Spike interrupted her, “No, that’s not what I was saying! I’m not tired; I’m still good to go! I’m just a bit annoyed by all the unexpected stops we’re having, that’s all! Really!”

Before Twilight could answer, Shining looked at her and said, “And what do you mean Cadance and I could stay behind, Twilight?! I’m not staying behind on this train and letting you and your friends get into dangerous situations on your own! I’m here and you’re not leaving me behind that easily!” Twilight actually shrank back a little at her brother’s words, noticing that he actually sounded angry with what she said. If he was angry, that must’ve meant…

Sonic noticed Twilight seemed to be trying to squeeze as much of herself as she could into the corner of her seat and looked over at Shining Armor, saying, “Hey, relax, dude! She was just throwing that option out there for Spike!”

Cadance nodded as she sidled up next to her husband, “He’s right, Shining. I would gladly stay behind if Spike or anypony else didn’t want to go. But if he is fine and wants to keep going…”

Spike spoke up, “I am! I do!”

Cadance said, “Then yes, you’re right. We should be there to help everyone deal with whatever lies on the other side of that portal so that we can continue on to Canterlot.” Shining seemed to settle down at her words and looked down towards the floor, not entirely sure why he got riled up when his sister was just trying to help.

While Twilight relaxed in her seat, Rainbow nudged Spike with a wing and smiled, “Spike, I gotta say, you’re one tough baby dragon!”

Pinkie nodded, “Yes, indeedily!” Spike smiled at that.

Sonic looked over at Tails and shrugged, “Well, I guess we’re all in agreement, huh?” Tails nodded back.

Applejack said, “Well, c’mon then, y’all! Let’s get in that there portal and seal it up!”

Fluttershy spoke up, “Um, Tails?” When the fox looked at her, she asked, “I was just wondering, do you know where that portal goes?”

Tails replied, “No, I’m afraid not, Fluttershy. I couldn’t see its surface from the engine, and I don’t have any guesses to go on this time. We’ll just have to go through the portal and see where it leads.” Fluttershy nodded while Sonic looked out the window, looking at the glowing hole in the ground.



Sonic landed neatly as he was deposited from the portal, the ground feeling firm beneath his sneakers. Looking up, he saw the portal pulsing up above, seemingly attached to the ceiling of wherever he had ended up. His eyes widened slightly a second later as Tails emerged from it, quickly moving to the side so that the fox did not land on him. Tails moved after landing as well, and soon everyone had come through, all of them standing close to underneath the portal.

“Hey, it’s kind of dark down here,” Spike commented, noticing the dim lighting made it a little hard to see the nearby walls.

“That’s true, Spike, but at least it seems to be relatively safe for the moment,” Cadance noted.

“I agree with you, Princess,” Rarity nodded. She then took a sniff of the air and gagged, “A shame it doesn’t smell nicer, though.”

Applejack shrugged, “It ain’t that noticeable, Rarity. Relax.”

Shining spoke up, "Let's get a little light in here." He turned to his left and closed his eyes, channeling his magic into his horn and creating a ball of magenta light that lit up the area somewhat. Opening his eyes, Shining saw a wall made of dark gray stone. Turning his head to look straight ahead, he found that the ground was dark gray cement with what appeared to be water flowing from several pipe openings in the wall up ahead, the water flowing into a stream to the group's right. "What is this, an underground river?" the stallion wondered.

"I think the technical term for it would be 'sewer', Shiny," Twilight remarked. Shining gave her a sidelong dry look at that while Cadance giggled.

Sonic glanced over at her and grinned playfully, "Whoa, easy there, ‘book sheriff'." Twilight glared at him, though she did have a small smirk on her face, and Spike, Rainbow, and Applejack snickered quietly.

After a moment, Spike asked, “So this is a sewer? I’ve never been down in one before.”

Tails answered, “Yeah, it sure looks like one. It doesn’t exactly tell us where we are, but it’s a start at least, right?”

Pinkie smiled, “Totally, Tails!” She suddenly grinned a second later, a thought coming to her head. “Hey, I know! We should have a party down here! We can check out these pipes and find a nice big room for it and then order pizza and get a dance floor and a couch and…”

The party pony was interrupted when Rarity firmly stuck a hoof into her mouth, the fashionista’s face indicating she did not share the same enthusiasm as her friend. “As WONDERFUL an idea as that sounds, Pinkie, this is neither the time nor the place for a party. In fact, I’d prefer if we got out of these sewers as soon as possible.” She looked over at Sonic and asked, “We can get out of here, can’t we, Sonic?”

Sonic shrugged, “Yeah, sure, Rarity. Sewers aren’t exactly the way to travel if you aren’t used to them anyway.” He glanced up at the portal and added, “We’re gonna have to spend a little time down here, though, since we can’t get out that way.”

Rainbow flew above everyone’s heads and pointed a hoof past Sonic, saying, “Look, there’s a ladder over there! That’s gotta lead to a way out, right?” Sonic and the others turned to look and saw the ladder in question a couple of feet ahead of where they were, the light coming from Shining’s horn being just enough to make it visible.

Tails spoke, “Hm, well it looks like it’s attached to the wall, so… I’m gonna say yes, Rainbow Dash.”

Rainbow grinned, “Yes!” She flew over to the ladder and looked up as she flew up the side of it at a slower pace, the rest of the group walking over and standing near the ladder as she reached the top. There she found a circular opening that was being covered by something, closing it off from the outside world. She raised her forehooves up and pushed at it, but it didn’t move. She pushed a few more times with extra force, but still it wouldn’t move. “This cover isn’t moving!” she called back down to the others.

Sonic saw Tails beginning to spin his namesakes around and moved towards the ladder. Putting his hands on it, he called up to Rainbow, “Hang on, we’ll come help you.” He then started climbing up the ladder while Tails flew up, the fox reaching Rainbow Dash first and wedging himself next to her, helping her push up with Sonic joining in a second later. Despite all of them pushing, they still couldn’t move whatever was covering the opening. After a few seconds of trying, Sonic groaned, “Man, this is no ordinary manhole cover.”

Tails nodded as he Rainbow moved down a bit, “Yeah. I can’t tell because it’s still a bit dark, but I’m pretty sure it’s not an actual cover. It’s probably something like a car sitting right over the hole.”

Rainbow asked, “So what? We need to hit it harder to get it to move?”

Tails replied, “Maybe, but if it’s a car, I’m sure it belongs to somebody. They might not take too kindly to us…”

He was cut off when Pinkie let out a loud gasp that caught everyone’s attention. “What, what is it, Pinkie?!” Rainbow asked. A second later, the ground suddenly started shaking, catching everyone except the pegasus and Tails by surprise. Spike grabbed onto Twilight as she and the other ponies tried to stand their ground (Shining even extinguished his light so he could focus on standing up). Sonic, however, was caught totally by surprise and lost his grip on the ladder, flailing his arms as he tried to stay balanced!

Tails and Rainbow quickly flew up behind Sonic and pushed against his back, pressing the hedgehog towards the ladder. He quickly grabbed the ladder and held on tightly, the two flyers staying with him as the rumbling continued for about ten seconds. The shaking soon stopped, but everyone remained as they were for several seconds, waiting to see if there was any more. When nothing happened, they all let out a sigh of relief. Twilight muttered, “That… was unexpected.” She looked up at the slightly shadowed forms above her and called, “Sonic? Are you okay?”

The blue hedgehog called back, “Yeah. I’m cool now.” He looked back at Tails and Rainbow Dash and said, “Thanks.” They nodded back to him, taking their hands/hooves off of his back to let him stand on his own. Sonic glanced down and asked, “Everybody else okay?”

Applejack answered, “We’re fine, Sugar-hog. What about that opening?”

The three of them looked up and saw that the heavy object was still sitting directly over the sewer opening, looking as if it hardly moved during the shaking. “It’s still blocked. I think we’d better find another opening,” Tails said.

“Yeah, good idea, Tails. Let’s leave it alone,” Sonic replied.

“Yeah. We could totally move it ourselves, but like you were saying earlier, someone’s probably not gonna be happy if we do, especially after that quake,” Rainbow nodded. Sonic began climbing back down the ladder while Rainbow and Tails lowered themselves down with him.

When they were almost down, Rarity screamed, “AH! SOMETHING TOUCHED ME!”

Soon after, Spike yelped, “Ah! Something furry!” Because he was close to Twilight, she also felt it, but she managed to refrain from screaming and instead let out a gasp.

At this, Shining’s guard training took over and he channeled his magic into his horn, creating a beam of light that he shined down at the ground near Twilight and Spike. The light revealed several small furry creatures that ran into the darkness ahead of the group. “Ooh, rats!” he said, a bit disgusted.

Fluttershy gasped, “Rats?! Where?! Are they hurt?! Do they need help?! Are they scared?!”

Cadance, having seen the rats when her husband shined his light on them, said, “No, they didn’t appear to be hurt, Fluttershy.”

As he reached the bottom rung of the ladder and stepped down onto the stone, Sonic added, “If they can run off like that, I’m sure they’re fine, Fluttershy. They’re probably just as surprised by that earthquake as we are.”

Rainbow nodded as she and Tails landed, “Yeah, they probably have some turtle friends or something down here to keep them company.” Her thoughts briefly turned to Tank at that, wondering how her pet tortoise was doing back in Ponyville.

“Can we follow them?!” Pinkie asked, bringing Rainbow out of her thoughts.

“Can we NOT?” Rarity groaned.

Tails turned his head to look behind the group; after a second, he turned back around and spoke, “We might as well keep going in this direction.” Rarity began making whimpering noises at that, indicating she was getting ready to let out a complaint, so Tails quickly clarified, “If we go backwards, I think we’ll hit a wall sooner and have to wade through the water. We should have some dry land to walk on, at least for a little while, if we keep going forward.” Rarity stopped her whimpering as he finished, so he guessed she was satisfied with that explanation. No one else had any objections, so they started moving forward again with Shining Armor taking point.


As the group continued walking, Shining’s horn light sweeping the path in front of them while Twilight lit up her horn to provide a little extra light, Cadance spoke up, “So… Rainbow Dash, remember back on the train you mentioned a comet?”

The rainbow-maned pegasus had to take a couple of seconds to think back, but she soon said, “Oh yeah, the Black Comet! Yeah, that Eclipse Cannon thing on the ARK was designed to destroy it. Tails told me and Applejack earlier.”

Cadance asked, “Why? Was it going to crash into this planet or something?”

Rainbow replied, “Uh, no, but…” She looked at Tails and asked, “You want to take it, Tails?”

The fox nodded and explained, “The Black Comet passes, or rather passed, our world once every fifty years. Naturally, its appearance is a huge astronomical event that makes the news. On the day of its most recent appearance…”

Sonic interjected, “Which ironically was its last appearance.”

Tails continued, “It brought an invading race of aliens known as the Black Arms that were looking to turn our planet into a source of food thanks to an agreement made the last time it passed by the planet.”

Pinkie exclaimed, “What?!”

Rarity asked, “Who would agree to such a thing?!”

Tails answered, “Professor Gerald, though I bet he didn’t know exactly what he was agreeing to at the time…”

Fluttershy asked, “Who is Professor Gerald?”

Sonic spoke, “Eggman’s grandfather. He made contact with the comet and got Black Doom, the Black Arms’ leader, to help him in exchange for the Chaos Emeralds the next time the Black Comet passed by.”

Cadance asked, “What was he doing that he needed to contact aliens for help?”

Twilight answered, “Project Shadow.”

Shining Armor stiffened up at the sound of that name and he nearly stopped dead in his tracks. “‘Project Shadow’?” he muttered. Although he kept walking, he looked back over his shoulder at Twilight and asked, “Does that ‘project’ have anything to do with the black hedgehog we met earlier, Twily?”

Twilight, despite being surprised by her brother’s reaction, answered, “Uh, yes, Shining.”

The white stallion looked at Sonic, the blue hedgehog walking close to his right side with his arms behind his head, and asked, “So Shadow is an extraterrestrial creation?”

Sonic shrugged, “Yeah, Shadow’s part alien. So what, dude?”

Shining nearly fell over right then. “So what?! That’s all you have to say?!”

Sonic replied, “Well, what do you want me to say? He may be part alien, but that’s not who he is.”

Shining grunted, “Well, he sure seems like he’s not afraid to become that. You saw that whole thing earlier.”

Sonic shrugged, “Yeah, I did. I also told you to leave him alone and you pushed me aside. So I don’t think you have any room to talk, Shiny.” Shining looked more exasperated at that.

Rarity spoke up, “Forgive me if it sounds like I’m being ungrateful, but I have to agree with him somewhat, Sonic. Shadow may have helped us force the changelings out of Ponyville, but what he was about to do to Shining Armor earlier would have been inexcusable. And even you were going to try to stop him when he looked like he was about to.... how can I say this nicely… depose Queen Chrysalis.”

Sonic replied, “Just because I wouldn’t normally do some of the things he’s shown himself to be capable of doing doesn’t mean I’m against him in any way, Rarity. Sometimes you’ve got to be willing to push it in order to help more people. The fact that a spirit of chaos had to be turned into stone by your Elements of Harmony to help Equestria should be proof of that.”

Rarity thought about that for a moment before starting, “Well, yes, but…”

Shining interrupted her, “Look, since you know so much about the guy, why don’t you tell me why you find him so respectable? Because from what I’ve seen and heard, the only thing great about him is whatever power he has, and he nearly turned it on me before.”

Sonic replied, “That’s because you didn’t stop talking. Even I try to curb the jokes and stuff when I’m around him.”

Tails commented, “The keyword in this case being ‘try’.”

Sonic continued, “And he’s not really someone you can talk about and expect other people to get it. You have to see him in action for yourself to really understand.”

Cadance spoke, “Well, I guess that’s true. He did seem rough around the edges, so to speak, but I could sense that his emotions were pure.” She smiled softly, “Whatever happened to him may have scarred him, but he’s still a good… person deep down.”

Shining Armor tried not to show it, but he could hardly believe that his wife said that. “Cadance too now?” he thought to himself.

Suddenly, Pinkie Pie exclaimed, “Look, there’s a ladder!” She pointed past Shining Armor and Sonic, the rest of the group looking to see said ladder attached to the wall and leading straight up just like the first one.

Rainbow brought her hooves down on Sonic and Tails’ shoulders and said, “Let’s check it out!” They both nodded and the three of them ran over to the ladder, Sonic climbing it while Tails and Rainbow raised themselves up beside him.

While they were climbing up, Shining, just like the others, was watching them, but he was thinking to himself while he watched. “I’m kind of starting to get why Sonic is respected, but this Shadow guy? What has he done that’s so heroic or great?” he wondered.

At the top of the ladder, the three investigators found that the opening had a different cover than the first one they tried. Reaching up and pushing against it, they found that it moved! “Yes! Hey, we got a winner here!” Rainbow called to the others. They all began to gather around the ladder while Sonic and Tails pushed the cover up enough to make sure it wasn’t blocked and peered out from underneath it.

The two couldn’t see much from where they were looking, obviously, but they could see that it seemed to be quiet outside and they could make out some minor details. “Kind of looks like an alley, doesn’t it?” Tails asked.

“I’d have to agree, buddy. It should be okay to poke our heads out,” Sonic replied. He pushed the cover off to the side and climbed out onto the pavement, Tails and Rainbow Dash flying out and landing by him.


They looked around; they could see everything in the alley, but it appeared to be very dark and gritty. A quick glance up shed some light on that; the sky was red and filled with similarly-colored clouds.

“What the hay…?” Rainbow Dash muttered at the sight of the sky.

“Sonic? Tails? Rainbow Dash? Is it safe to come out?” Cadance called from the sewer.

Sonic called back, “Yeah. It’s not very inviting, though, just as a heads-up.” Although confused, Spike and the ponies made their way up the ladder and joined the trio in the alley.

After they all had their initial shocks to what could be seen of the area, Fluttershy murmured, “W-Where are we?”

While looking at one of the buildings around them, Twilight said, “Look at the size of these buildings. This looks like that city we entered through the portal in the Carousel Boutique.”

Applejack nodded, “You’re right, Twi’. This place does look familiar.”

Rainbow asked, “So why does it look so… dark now?”

Rarity nodded, “Indeed! How dare a portal leading to such a dismal reflection of Manehattan appear in my Boutique?” She then realized what she said and looked at Sonic and Tails, saying, “Er, no offense.”

Tails replied, “None taken.” Sonic nodded; Tails then looked up and said, “It doesn’t normally look like this. There was only one time I can think of when the sky and the city looked like this.”

Sonic nodded, “Yeah, if things are this dark and ominous-looking, there’s only one point in time that this could be.”

Before anyone could ask, they suddenly heard a sound coming from the alley entrance. Everyone looked towards the other end of the alley, where they saw a four-wheeled vehicle drive past. They all moved towards the alleyway opening as more vehicles drove past, some looking similar to the first one that passed, others looking bigger. As best as they could tell, it appeared to be some kind of convoy

Sonic, Tails, Twilight, and Shining Armor reached the alley opening first and peered around the corner to the right; they saw the last vehicle in the convoy going straight for a second before it made a left turn. Before it turned, they saw a stylized ‘G’ emblazoned on a tank on the back of the vehicle.

“What was that?” Twilight asked.

“That was a car, a G.U.N. jeep to be exact,” Sonic replied.

“‘G.U.N.’? What’s that?” Shining asked.

“It’s our world’s military force. G.U.N. is short for ‘Guardian Unit of Nations’,” Tails answered.

Sonic continued, “We’ve been involved with them before, particularly when Eggman released Shadow from the military base and they thought I was him, and during the Black Arms’ invasion.” Looking up at the sky, he added, “And from the look of it, we landed somewhere in the middle of the latter.”

Rarity complained, “Oh dear, and I thought those sewers were bad enough! I think we should leave this place right now!”

Fluttershy murmured, “I wouldn’t mind leaving either…”

Applejack looked at Rarity and asked, “Rarity, what’s with you? Ah know ya got yer fanciness and whatnot ta think about, but ya never said anythin’ like that when we reached the Changeling Kingdom!”

Rarity protested, “Our sisters were being held captive, Applejack! I wasn’t going to leave Sweetie Belle to Queen Chrysalis’ mercies any more than you would Apple Bloom, but we’re time traveling right now! What reason is there for us to get involved here?” A second later, several loud explosions were heard nearby, coming from the street that the G.U.N. convoy had turned onto!

Sonic dashed out of the alley at that, saying, “That’s all the reason I need to get involved!” Tails and Rainbow Dash were quick to fly after him, the rest of the group, including Rarity and Fluttershy, following after them as they headed around the corner. Once they all reached the street, they saw the scene that awaited them.


The street and the sidewalk sported smoking craters in multiple places over two blocks worth of street, and the convoy had been broken up. The jeeps, while still on their wheels, were scattered and the larger vehicles, which were blue G.U.N. transports with the ‘G’ on their sides, had taken the worst of whatever just happened. The closest one to the group was on its side with a soldier lying in the street nearby, the second was partly stuck in one of the craters, and the third had crashed into the side of one of the buildings. They couldn’t see much from where they were, but it seemed that all the remaining G.U.N. soldiers were out in the street.

Sonic ran over to the soldier in the street and checked him to make sure he was alive as the others came over. The soldier began to stir as Sonic shook him; as he raised his head up a bit, Sonic asked him, “Hey, are you all right?!”

The soldier muttered, “Sonic…?”

Sonic persisted, “Yeah, are you all right? What happened?”

The soldier groaned, “The transport fell over on its side… I got thrown out when it did…” He suddenly seemed to remember something as he forced himself up into a sitting position and grabbed Sonic’s shoulders while saying, “It was the black aliens! They fired their lasers from above! They… They might be sending troops to this location now! They want the other transports!”

Tails got next to Sonic and put a hand on the man’s shoulder, saying, “Hey, calm down! What are in the transports?”

The soldier answered, “Ours was carrying the assigned backup for the unit, but the others… There are civilians in them!”

Tails and a few of the others gasped, “What?!”

Sonic looked at the transport and dashed over to it, getting around to the back of it and getting one of the doors open. Inside, the soldiers were all sprawled out and dazed, some looking injured. One of them groaned, “Medic…”

Sonic looked and saw two square-shaped medical kits that had survived the crash. Any others in the back had burst open, their supplies lying amidst all the soldiers. Sonic grabbed the kits and looked over the soldiers. He thought for a moment about what to do before stepping out of the transport and yelling, “Fluttershy, get over here!”

The shy pegasus flew over to him after a moment, stopping just above him. “Y-Yes, Sonic?” she stammered.

The blue hedgehog handed her one of the medical kits and said, “Do what you can to help these guys. I’ll go help the other guy.” Looking down at the red cross on the kit, Fluttershy felt the veterinarian part of her animal caretaking come to her and she gave Sonic a determined look as she nodded. She then flew into the transport while Sonic carried the other medical kit over to the soldier, whom Twilight and Cadance had already moved onto the sidewalk at Fluttershy’s insistence. Taking a look at the front of the transport, Sonic saw that Tails was already working on saving the other soldier who had been in the front before the fall. Sonic knelt down near the soldier and asked, “How’s he looking?”

Twilight looked at him and said, “He doesn’t seem to be too bad, but he keeps saying you should go check on the rest of the soldiers and the other transports.”

Cadance’s magic wrapped around the medical kit in Sonic’s hand and took it from him, the Princess of Love saying, “Twilight and I will treat his injuries along with any his friend might have, Sonic. You and the others should do what he says and make sure everyone else is all right.” Shining Armor opened his mouth to say something, but Cadance silenced him with a stern, “That includes you, Shining Armor. You may be a prince now, but you were still Captain of the Royal Guard before you married me, and you still technically are. Go do your job!”

Now cowed, Shining Armor felt his time spent training take over as he answered, “Y-Yes, ma’am! Er, Cadance!” He, Sonic, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, and Rarity then took off, running past the first transport and leaving Tails, Spike, and the other ponies to work.


The soldiers in the jeeps and the other two transports seemed to have come out fairly fine, though the soldiers that had been in the transports were focusing on making sure the civilians were okay first. The rest of them were using wrecked cars along the side of the road and debris from the buildings for cover as approaching them was a horde of Black Warriors. The G.U.N. soldiers had rifles and submachine guns, but it seemed that the weapons that the Black Arms had were keeping them from coming out and wrecking their cover.

The remainder of the group sprung into action. While Applejack and Rarity went to help the soldiers with the civilians (the soldiers calming down somewhat once they learned that the ponies were with Sonic), Sonic, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Shining Armor moved to help the soldiers fighting off the Black Arms. Sonic leapt into the exchange of projectiles with Rainbow Dash staying close by above him, and Shining Armor and Pinkie Pie joined the other soldiers, Shining using his magic to attack like the soldiers were while Pinkie brought out her party cannon.

Although the new additions to the fight took the G.U.N. soldiers by surprise, it also surprised the Black Warriors and G.U.N. was able to take advantage of that. Sonic and Rainbow Dash weaved between the black aliens, occasionally striking when they had a chance but mostly leaving them confused to give Shining and the soldiers a chance to attack. Pinkie’s party cannon, while its loud noise threw both sides off, did help distract the Black Arms for Sonic, Rainbow, and Shining Armor to get some attacks in.

It wasn’t long before all of the Black Warriors were lying on the ground, trying to recover. Seeing this, one of the soldiers called to Sonic, “Clear out! We’ll take care of them from here!” Going off the soldier’s tone of voice, the hedgehog could guess what he meant. He quickly got Rainbow Dash to come with him and they, along with Pinkie and Shining, went to go check on Rarity and Applejack. Once they were safely away, the same soldier called, “Frag out!” as he threw a grenade at the recovering Black Arms…

A few minutes later…

“Thanks for the help, Sonic. Things could have gotten really messy if you, Tails, and your new friends hadn’t shown up,” the soldier the group had rescued earlier told the blue hedgehog, his buddy nodding as well. It had taken a little time, but thanks to some unicorn and alicorn magic and a little cooperation, the group had helped G.U.N. secure the area, get the transports back up, and move the injured soldiers. Most of the convoy was ready to start moving again; only the last transport, its escorts, and the soldiers that hadn’t been badly injured didn’t seem ready to go.

“Sure, no problem, but what’s going on?” Sonic asked as the other two transports and their escorts started up and began to pull away.

The two soldiers looked at each other before the first one looked back at Sonic and explained, “We got our orders from the Commander. After the Black Comet appeared, we received orders to locate any civilians unaccounted for and get them to the shelters.” He looked to the left and said, “Look, you can see it from here.” Everyone looked in the same direction, and sure enough, they could see a huge, meteorite-like structure floating above the top of the buildings with what looked like roots coming off of it.

“Whoa… That’s the Black Comet?” Rainbow Dash gaped.

“It’s so… so massive. But how did it get there?” Twilight asked.

Tails explained, “The Black Arms… They teleported it down using Chaos Control.” He held a hand to the side of his face, “That must’ve been the rumbling we felt earlier. It wasn’t an earthquake; it was the Black Comet securing itself.”

The soldier nodded, “Once we saw that, we knew exactly why the Commander sent those orders. We managed to rescue all the citizens that were on those transports, but intelligence suggests there may still be more in the city.”


Shining Armor asked, “Is there still time to rescue them?”

The soldier answered, “There should be, but after that attack from above earlier, we could use a little help.”

Sonic looked at the others and asked, “What do you guys think?”

Applejack nodded at Rarity, “Yeah, Rarity, ya got any objections now?”

Rarity huffed, “No! Now that I know what’s really going on here, of course I’ll help! What do you take me for?!”

While the ponies thought about that one, Sonic and Tails turned back to the soldier, the former saying, “All right, what do you want us to do?”

The soldier replied, “All of my available men will go with you to help in the search and so we can maintain contact. Because of that, we’re not really going to have someone available to help with any injured you come across. If you can spare a, uh… person or two to help, that would really help us all out.”

Fluttershy spoke up, “Um, I’ll stay behind to help, if that’s okay with everypony.” Everybody turned to look at her.

The G.U.N. soldier spoke after a moment, “Well, you did do a good job helping with our injured men earlier, ma’am.” He looked at Sonic, “Is that all right, Sonic?”

The blue hedgehog replied, “Yeah, sure. I figured she might want to stay behind anyway.” After about a minute more of talking, it was decided that Spike and Pinkie Pie would stay behind with Fluttershy to both help with the injured and help the soldiers track everyone’s location/progress. Tails, Shining Armor, and Princess Cadance went with one of the other soldiers in one of their jeeps, Twilight and Applejack went with two other soldiers in the other jeep, and Sonic and Rarity went with the rest of the soldiers with Rainbow Dash flying above to get a birds-eye view.


It wasn’t long before word was sent to Tails’ group that there was a nearby sign of human life. As their jeep neared the four-way intersection that they had been pointed to, they saw a large black alien wielding a big purple sword standing in the middle of the intersection! “What is that?!” Cadance exclaimed.

“It’s one of the larger black aliens! They’re pure muscle!” the soldier said.

The four of them then heard a scream coming from their left, where they saw a car sitting in the middle of the left street. “Someone’s trapped in that car!” Tails gasped.

Stopping the jeep, the soldier grabbed his submachine gun and said, “It’s going after whoever’s in the car! We’ve got to distract it!” Climbing out of the driver’s seat, he loaded his weapon and ran towards the alien (a Black Oak).

Shining Armor looked at Tails and asked, “Tails, if I help him distract that alien, can you get whoever’s in that car thing out?”

Tails nodded, “You got it!” Shining nodded and jumped out of the jeep, joining the soldier as he opened fire on the Black Oak.

Tails readied himself to fly, but Cadance placed a hoof on the fox’s shoulder and, when he turned his head to look at her, said, “I’m coming with you. There may be more than one human in there.” Tails took a moment to look at the Black Oak; seeing that it had turned its attention to Shining Armor and the soldier, he nodded and both he and Cadance took flight, flying over the alien and landing near the car.

The car itself had suffered some damage, as was to be expected. It had many scratches and dents, but the frame seemed to have survived well enough. This was a good thing, seeing as there was a little kid in the backseat and his mother was as terrified as he was at the sight of the black alien. Upon seeing Tails and Cadance running towards the car, the mother cried, “Help us! Please!”

Once they reached the car and saw the mother’s reaction, Cadance said, “Don’t worry, we’re going to get you out of here!”

Tails went to the left back door and tried to open it, but saw that it was locked. He looked at the mother and called, “Your doors are locked!” Although she was scared, the mother understood Tails and Cadance were trying to help and released the lock. Tails then grabbed the handle again and, after a few seconds of pulling, got the door open. While he comforted the kid and helped him out, Cadance mimicked his actions and got the driver’s door open with relative ease.

As the mother started to climb out and Tails held her son in his arms, Shining yelled, “Cadance, Tails, look out!” They all turned to see the Black Oak lumbering towards them, the alien having blocked the earlier shots with its hand and now intending to finish what it started despite Shining Armor and the soldier’s continuing attack.

Focusing her magic into her horn, Cadance wrapped it around the mother and said, “Hang on!” She then spread her wings and Tails started rotating his namesakes, both of them taking off as the Black Oak swung its sword down at them. They avoided it and flew back to the jeep while the alien’s sword slammed down onto the car’s engine, which caused it to explode in its face.

Cadance and Tails landed by the jeep a second later and helped the mother and her son into it as Shining Armor and the soldier ran over. Not wanting to know if the black alien survived, they all piled into the jeep and the soldier turned it around, driving away before anything else could attack them.

Elsewhere in the city, Sonic and Rarity had found a pair of abandoned Air Saucers and were using them to cross a part of the city that was covered in green toxic liquid while Rainbow Dash helped the G.U.N. soldiers find a way around to their target. Upon reaching the other side of the liquid safely, they continued riding their saucers through a tunnel, getting off of them when they got out of the tunnel and running up a nearby slope.

At the top of the slope, the road flattened out and they found a Black Oak with its back turned to them. The message the soldiers had received indicated there should be a survivor at the top of the slope, but they couldn’t see anyone besides the alien. “Where is the human? Did we go up the wrong slope?” Rarity wondered.

Sonic started, “I don’t know. Maybe…” A scream from in front of the alien stopped him. He then said, “Nope, we got it right!” He then ran towards the alien, shouting, “Hey, tall, dark, and ugly, leave ‘em alone!” The Black Oak heard him and turned around to face him. In its right hand was a large club, and in its left hand…

Sonic gasped and slid to a stop when he saw the man being held in its left hand. If he’d kept going, he might’ve hit the man by accident! The alien raised its club over its head; Rarity saw this and called, “Sonic, look out!” The blue hedgehog managed to backflip out of the way in time and slid back across the ground. He then dashed towards it, but it held the human up again, causing Sonic to break off and try to run around it. He managed to get behind it, but after attacking it, it swung its right arm back and knocked him into the nearby building. Rarity gasped and ran to his side after he landed on the ground. She was relieved to find that he was okay, but then the Black Oak raised its club, aiming for both of them…

A loud shout filled the air and suddenly, a cyan blur followed by a rainbow trail struck the side of the Black Oak’s head, making it turn to the side! Rarity and Sonic looked up to see Rainbow Dash with one of her back hooves firmly planted in the side of its face. She shot them both a look and Sonic and Rarity nodded. Sonic leapt to his feet and performed a Homing Attack on the alien’s left arm, causing it to drop the human it had in its grasp onto Rarity’s back, the unicorn having run over to catch him while Sonic attacked. She then took off, quickly running back down the slope.

Sonic and Rainbow then backed off, both landing near the slope next to each other. Sonic looked at Rainbow and said, “Thanks, Dash. I owe you one.” Rainbow just gave him a knowing wink.

The Black Oak roared and looked ready to attack them, but then the sound of gunshots filled the air. Sonic and Rainbow Dash ran down the slope as the G.U.N. soldiers Rainbow was helping reached the top, all of them unloading their bullets on the black alien. Unlike the one Tails, Shining Armor, and Cadance had encountered, this one could not block their bullets with its hands, so it ended up taking the rain of bullets for a couple of seconds before it finally fell.

In another part of the city, Twilight, Applejack, and the two soldiers they had come with hid behind some debris. On the other side of the debris, a small group of humans were being circled by a group of Black Warriors looking to take them back to the Black Comet to feed their young. One of the soldiers whispered, “This is a dangerous situation.”

The other soldier nodded, “Yeah. If we try to take down those aliens while those civilians are there, they’re bound to get hit too.”

Twilight suggested, “There might be a way for us to get them out of there quickly.” She looked back at Applejack and asked, “Applejack, do you think you could…?”

The orange earth pony smiled, “Sure thing, Twi’. Just find me an opening.”

Twilight went back to peering around the edge of the debris at that with Applejack at her side, watching as the Black Warriors circled their prey like vultures. When she could see a straight shot, just when it looked like the aliens were about to move in, Twilight yelled, “NOW!” At her signal, Applejack leapt out from behind cover with a lasso in her mouth. Just as the Black Warriors were starting to react to their surprise guests, Applejack threw her lasso and caught all the humans in the hoop, giving a sharp tug to pull them out of the middle of the circle.

Twilight caught the humans in her magic and, while she held them, Applejack gave the debris they’d been hiding behind a sharp buck, sending pieces flying at the Black Arms. The flying bits of stone were enough to cause them to shield themselves, giving Twilight and Applejack time to get away with the humans. While they were getting the humans to safety, the two soldiers stepped out of cover as well, opening fire on the aliens when one of them shouted, “Light ‘em up!”

All three parties managed to drop their charges off soon after rescuing them, and they were able to rescue a couple more surviving citizens before they were called off. While Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, and Spike treated the wounds of the last survivors brought in, the rest of the group stood close to the front of the transport, the ponies listening in as the driver talked to Sonic. “Once again, we can’t thank you and your friends enough, Sonic. I don’t know how you and Tails came to be here, since the last word was that you were both on the Black Comet, or where you met your new friends, but we won’t forget this,” the soldier assured them.

Sonic replied, “Hey, we were glad to help out.”

The other soldier in the transport leaned over and asked, “Hey, what happened on that Black Comet anyway? And what happened with Shadow?”

Sonic and Tails looked at each other before Tails answered, “Don’t worry. It’ll all become clear soon.”

The two soldiers looked confused, but suddenly, a beeping came from the computer built into the transporter’s dashboard. Both soldiers looked at it, the second one saying after a moment, “We’re getting some kind of transmission over the G.U.N. network!”

The first soldier said, “Patch it through!” The soldier did as he was told; static filled the computer screen for several seconds before the flickering image of a man with a white, familiar-looking mustache appeared on it.


Everyone in the area, including the other soldiers, then heard a voice say, “Shadow, my son.”

One of the soldiers outside asked, “What the…?”

Twilight asked, “What’s going on?”

The voice continued, “If you’re listening to this, then the worst has happened… You need to know the truth. The government plans to shut down this research facility. The government plans to cease all of our research… and imprison all who know about you. I made a terrible mistake, Shadow. It’s all my fault… making contact with that comet.”

Tails breathed, “Professor Gerald…”

Gerald continued, “Now, listen very carefully… In fifty years, the Black Comet will return… They plan to harness its powers to destroy this planet! The only way to stop them… was to develop a way to use the very power they intended to use against them.”

Sonic murmured, “And you did.”

Gerald went on, “Shadow… It’s up to YOU and only YOU can stop them! I developed the Eclipse Cannon… It’s the only weapon that can destroy that Black Comet. Shadow, you are the only hope… to save mankind as we know it. The future of this planet depends on… YOU!”

The two soldiers saw a girl join the Professor on the screen, followed by her saying, “Don’t worry, grandfather. Shadow and I will protect this planet. Right, Shadow?”

Silence ruled the air for several moments, nobody sure what to say. Finally, Sonic looked at the soldiers in the transporter and said, “You guys had better get going. Get these people to a safe place and all that.”

The driver muttered, “Uh, yeah, right…” He pulled the door closed and spoke into his radio, “Mount up! We’re moving out!” The order brought the other soldiers back to their senses and they complied, either climbing into the jeeps or into the back of the transporter with the rescued survivors. Sonic, Tails, Spike, and the ponies stood on the sidewalk, watching as the vehicles started and drove off, likely going to wherever the other vehicles had been ordered to go.

Everyone watched as the vehicles drove away. After they disappeared around the corner, Twilight looked at Tails and asked, “Was that really Professor Gerald Robotnik?”

Tails nodded, “Yeah. That was his final message to Shadow before the ARK was shut down.”

Sonic added glumly, “Before he went insane when he lost his granddaughter Maria and tried to get revenge…”

Everyone, especially Shining Armor, was silenced at that. “Maybe… Was I too hasty in judging Shadow?” the white stallion wondered.


A bright yellow flash appeared in the sky a few seconds later, catching everyone’s attention. Amidst the thick red clouds above, they could see a devilish-looking creature and a smaller, yellow figure flying/hovering in the air. “What’s that?!” Applejack asked.

After a moment, Tails said, “It’s Super Shadow and Black Doom. We’d better leave.”

Pinkie whined, “Aw, can’t we stay and watch?”

Sonic looked at her, “No, we can’t. Black Doom is going to do whatever it takes to stop Shadow, including pull parts of this city out of the ground. If we don’t leave, he might just pull us up too!”

Shining grunted, “That’s a… good point.” He followed Sonic and Tails off the sidewalk onto the street along with the others, Tails reaching into his namesakes to retrieve the Warp Ring.

Before he could pull it out, Twilight exclaimed, “Wait!”

Everyone turned to look back at her and saw her frozen in place, one hoof in the air and a shocked expression on her face. “Twilight, what’s wrong?” Cadance asked, concerned.

“I… I can’t move!” she struggled to say.

Rainbow Dash laughed, thinking it was a joke. “Good one, Twi’! Is this like that time you were planning to stand in one place for a week?” As she was speaking, she flew over to the unicorn. She then tapped Twilight on the side of her head with a hoof, only to watch in shock as Twilight fell over easily. “Uh, Twilight?” she asked.

She turned her head to look back at Sonic as he gasped, “Uh…! Hey… I’m freezing up too!” Applejack and Rarity soon started to freeze in place as well.

“What’s going on?!” Spike cried.

As he looked his friends over, Tails soon came to a conclusion that scared him. “This… That gas from the Black Comet… How long have we been breathing it in?!” he cried.

Cadance looked at him worriedly, “What are you talking about? What gas?”

As he brought the Warp Ring out, Tails explained, “There’s a gas that the Black Comet gives off. It’s a nerve gas. If you’re not at least part Black Arm, it’ll paralyze you once it enters your system.” He tossed the Warp Ring and it grew to its full size; he then said, “We’ve got to get out of here, away from the Black Comet.” He ran over to Sonic and grabbed him by the shoulders, dragging him towards the ring. Shining Armor, Cadance, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Spike likewise did the same for Twilight, Rarity, and Applejack, the ring vanishing once they had all gone through it.

The group reappeared in a dimly lit metal hallway, the design seeming modern yet futuristic. “Where are we, Tails?” Rainbow asked once she saw their surroundings.

The fox replied, “Space Colony ARK. There’s plenty of fresh air here, and we should have enough time for that gas to get out.”

Cadance asked, “Is there anything we can do to make it go quicker?”

Tails shook his head, “It’ll get out on its own. As long as they keep breathing normal air, it shouldn’t take long.”

Sonic could feel some movement return to his eyes, allowing him to look around a little. “Hey… aren’t we near the control room?” he asked.

Tails looked around and, after a moment, said, “Uh… yeah, we are.”

The fox put his right hand on his chin, seemingly thinking for a moment before turning and running down the hallway. “Tails, where are you going?!” Spike shouted.

Tails called back over his shoulder, “I’ll be right back! There’s something I want to check!” Before anyone could say anything else, the fox disappeared. Left with no other choice, everyone decided to keep an eye on Sonic, Twilight, Applejack, and Rarity.


After a few minutes, they began to regain full movement of everything. As they were shaking off the remaining stiffness, Shining asked Sonic, “So this is a real space colony? Like, actually in outer space?”

While shaking his left leg, Sonic replied, “Yeah, it sure is, dude.”

Shining’s eyes became starry, the stallion holding his hooves up to his mouth as he whispered, “Wow… So awesome…”

While Cadance gave him a flat look, Sonic looked at him with a raised eyebrow when he looked back at him. Twilight leaned over to him and whispered, “Shining is kind of a dork, just so you know.” The blue hedgehog snickered at that.

Tails returned a few seconds later, panting slightly. “There ya are, Tails! Where’d ya run off to?” Applejack asked.

The two-tailed fox replied, “I went to go check on the Eclipse Cannon. Just as I thought, it’s already charging up. All Shadow has to do is teleport the Black Comet back into space and fire the cannon at it.”

Shining asked, “That’s what you were doing?”

Tails nodded, “Yeah. I was curious, and I was sure everything would be fine since we were already paralyzed by that gas once.” He pulled the Warp Ring out and said, “So we should go now.” He let the ring fall and it grew to its full size.

Before anyone could move, Rainbow Dash asked, “Wait, what about Shadow?”

Sonic spoke, “Don’t worry about him. This is his fight against his own darkness… and he’ll see it through to the end. Because that’s who he is.” Although Spike and the ponies were still concerned about the black hedgehog, they accepted this explanation and everyone went through the Warp Ring, returning the inside of the ARK to silence once again.

Although they were not around to see it, when Super Shadow teleported onto the ARK a few minutes later after teleporting the Black Comet back into space, Tails’ earlier check-up ensured that the Eclipse Cannon was fully charged when he arrived. Like the fox had said, very shortly after the comet was returned to space, the cannon was fired at it, destroying it and wiping out most of the Black Arms, leaving only a scattered amount still on Earth that would soon be destroyed as well when Shadow began his training.

And despite what others might say to them, the G.U.N. soldiers and humans that the group had saved on this day would never forget the ones who helped them. This was another day that would be remembered by the people of Earth for a long time to come, and those who had been saved from being killed by the Black Arms would not forget their saviors.