Twisted Metal: Equestria

by Lab Matt

17. The Darkness Strikes Back (Part 1)

"This is getting out of control, Sister!" Luna said while standing on the balcony of the throne room, looking down at Ponyville with an an unamused expression. Celestia was standing behind her, looking at her younger sister with a very worried look. "It's been eight months already. I do not believe that the Elements of Harmony or even the Wonderbolts are suited for this job."
"You couldn't be sugesting that--" Celestia started only to be interrupted by Luna.
"Yes, I am, Sister." she turned around to face the Sun Princess. "We beat Discord once, it wouldn't be difficult to beat him again."
"You forget that we are no longer connected to the Elements of Harmony like we were back then. The only weapon that can beat him, and we no longer have it. Also, you can't forget that one of the Elements is currently disconnected from the others."
"All we have to do is wish for Discord to sever the connection of the Elements with them and reconnect them with us."
"But Luna, you know what happens to a Bearer when the connection isn't undone naturally. This could crush their minds, their souls, and even their bodies!"
"It's a risk I'm willing to take. If the perish of few can save millions, I will gladly--"
A slap on her face snapped Luna out of her train of thoughts.
"What... What is the meaning of this?"
"Don't you even dare to repeat that ever again." Celestia said, her gentle aura completely outweighted by a severe one. "Every life is precious, no matter the gender, species or status. They are not tissues to be used and discarded, and I shall not let those dark thoughts roam freely in your mind!"
Luna touched the red spot on her cheek and, since it was still stinging, she flinched. "Forgive me, Sister. It's just that Discord drives me more crazy the more I think about him and the things he did. I can't even think straight anymore!"
Celestia wrapped a foreleg around her younger sister's neck and pulled her to a hug. "Yes, Luna, I know, the same happens to me. Try taking a deep breath and clearing your mind."
Luna did as she was told and took a deep breath.
"Are you calm now?"
"Yes. Yes, I am! Thank you, Sister."
"It was nothing, Luna!" she let go of her, who looked up and straight into Celestia's eyes.
"But it doesn't change the fact that we have to do something before Twisted Metal gets out of control, just like last time."
"Yes, Luna, I am aware of that." she closed her eyes and lost herself in thoughts. After a few moments of thinking, she sighed and opened them again. "I hate to interfere with the lives of my little ponies. I don't want Equestria to be a place where all its inhabitants rely on their rulers and nopony else to solve all their problems. That is why I send the Elements of Harmony whenever the situation calls for it; not because I'm a heartless monster who'd rather send others do to my job, like the malicious rumor says, but because I want my subjects to understand that you don't need to be an Alicorn Princess to make Equestria a safer place. After all, we won't be here forever to keep them safe under our wings!"
Luna groaned. "Don't tell me you still believe in what that half-baked gypsy said. That was a millennium ago, Sister!"
"You still don't believe in Chancellor Puddinghead's precognition powers, do you?"
"Of course not! How can anypony predict something will fall just because her tail was 'twitching'?"
"Sometimes you just have to believe, Luna."
"I will believe if you give me a reason to."
Princess Celestia chuckled. "You two are so similar!"
"Puddinghead and I? Not even in my dreams!"
"No, not Puddinghead. Twilight Sparkle!"
The massive doors of the throne room were opened and a Royal Guard quickly sprinted towards the Royal Sisters.
"News from Ponyville, Your Highness!" he said, sounding a bit winded.
"What is it, commander?" Luna asked.

* * *

A tall, dark blue Alicorn stood in the middle of Ponyville. Her irises were crimson red, her sclera were green and purple smoke flowed out them. In front of her, there were nine ponies lying on the ground, unconscious; those ponies were Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Fleetfoot, Fluttershy, Big Macintosh, Soarin', Spitfire, Rarity and Braeburn. She looked around at all the ponies who were staring at her, each with a different emotion, ranging from boiling anger to sheer terror.
"Anypony else dares to defy Us?" she yelled with a booming voice. No pony dared to take a step forward. "That's what We thought." With a flash of her horn, a crystal crown appeared on her head, as well as a crystal throne behind her, which she gladly sat on. "Citizens of Ponyville. May this day be remembered as the day the Greater and Most Powerful Trixie defeated not only those pitiful ponies who thought they could stand up to Us, but an Alicorn as well. Twilight Sparkle is no more, and now We claim our prize." another flash of her horn and crystal encrusted leashes appeared around the necks of every pony in town. "Bow before your new ruler!"
"Leave our town alone!" one stallion shouted before throwing a turnip at her. With her magic, she stopped the turnip from hitting her face and dropped it to the floor. It didn't took long before the crowd started whispering among themselves and shoting Trixie scornful glares.
Trixie smirked. "I expected this to happen!"
The population felt a growing discomfort in their necks. They then realized that their leashes were getting tighter. They were feeling lightheaded and breathing was getting harder. The commotion stopped soon after that and they all looked at her, their scornful glares now replaced by fear. Their collars stopped getting smaller, but they weren't loosening either.
"May this be a reminder that We are in charge here. Another insurrection like this, and We won't be as merciful." she shot a glare at the turnip stallion. "As for you..."
The stallion was magically pulled closer to Trixie by his leash. He was sweating cold.
"Pl-Please, forgive me, Greater and Most Powerful Trixie." he begged.
Her glare was replaced by a gentle smile and she slowly caressed his head with her hoof. "You see, you were the one who started all this, and We need to give them an example to what happens to those who go against the Greater and Most Powerful Trixie. You know, just to be sure that they're well aware that Our punishments are to be feared!"
His leash started to get tighter and tighter. He tried to free himself from its grip, but to no avail. His face was slowly turning blue and his struggling began to cease. In only a few moments, both his movements and his breathing ceased. She dropped his limp body to the ground.
All the ponies only watched in horror, most of them with tears streaming down their faces.
"Don't be afraid, little ponies." she said. "As long as all of you obey every single one of Our commands, you will be fine. None of you want to end up like this heretic. Do you?" not a single pony said a thing. Her smirk grew wider. "Now... Bow before your new deity!"
Most ponies bowed before Trixie, except for a few, who were looking up at the sky. Filled with curiosity, she looked up as well and saw two glowing figures coming toward her town, leaving behind trails of energy; the first trail was blue and the second was yellow.
She groaned. "Not those two..." her horn glowed and a white circle appeared around the whole town. From that circle, a dome made of white crystal began to grow.
Noticing the shield that was being raised around Ponyville, Luna and Celestia flew faster, but not fast enough; the shield was completely erected and they slammed themselves against it. Trixie laughed.
"You are not stopping Us. Not again!"
The Royal Sisters quickly recomposed themselves and started attacking the shield. Magic had no effect and physical blows didn't even got close to cracking it. Luna tried teleporting herself in, but was automatically teleported back outside before she could even realize she was inside.
"The guards said this is the work of an Alicorn." Luna said. "But I'm only aware of the existence of four Alicorns: the two of us, Mi Amore Cadance and Twilight Sparkle."
"It couldn't be Cadance." Celestia said. "I sent her to the Crystal Empire to study the circumstances that allowed its return."
"Do you think Twilight--"
"No, she would never do that! I know and trust Twilight!"
"Then there's only one explanation."
Celestia nodded. "Another Alicorn was born from Twisted Metal!"

* * *

Pinkamena slowly opened her eyes. Her whole body ached, specially her back and chest. She checked her surroundings and noticed that she was chained to a boulder located on a small rock in the middle of an ocean of lava.
"What... What is this place?" she asked.
"Welcome to my lair." a very familiar voice inside Pinkamena's head said. "And your new lair, too! Tartarus!"
"So I... Really died?"
"Yes. And no!"
"What do you mean?"
"Come. let us meet and I will explain everything!"
"I'm not sure I can. Two reasons: first, I'm chained here. Second, there's hot lava as far as my sight can reach!"
"It's no big deal, really. The chains here are like paper mache. A strong pull and they turn into dust! The real problem here are the bars."
Pinkamena grunted as she struggled, trying to free herself. And it was like the voice said, the chains snapped without much effort. "Now, what about the second obstacle?"
"My dear, dear Pinkamena Diane Pie. You're a tainted soul doomed to spend an eternity here on Tartarus. Do you really think this will do anything to you?"
She eyed the lava for a few moments, took a deep breath and jumped in.


Pain was the only thing she could feel. Her whole body burning, flesh melting, bones being scorched... She would have screamed, hadn't her lungs being filled with smoke. Smoke coming from her own flesh. The pain lasted for several hours, but Pinkamena felt like she had been burning for eons. Was she a living creature, she wouldn't have lasted more than a few moments in there, but being nothing but a tortured soul in Tartarus, every time she was burned to the bones, her organs, muscles, flesh, coat and mane would regenerate themselves, starting the process all over again. For a split second, before the liquid of her eyes were boiled again, she saw a shore not too far away from where she was. She climbed out of the flame lake and fell on the stone ground. Her injuries took their time to heal themselves, but she was soon completely mended.
"Believe me, I've been through worse. For one thousand years, I've been through worse! You have no idea what true pain is. You grow accustomed to it, though. Eventually!"
"You said this wouldn't hurt!"
"No, I said this wouldn't do anything to you. And you don't have any missing body parts, do you?" Pinkamena didn't said a thing. "Good!"
"Where do I find you?" she asked.
"Just follow the sound of my voice." he said, but this time his voice wasn't coming from inside her head.
She walked. It took around an hour to finally find the source of the voice: a dark cave with the entrance blocked by purple, glowing crystal bars. She peeked inside and saw a pair of glowing red and green eyes approaching.
"Nice to finally meet you face to face, Pinkamena." the owner of the voice said. When the light from the outside touched his body, she could finally see the stallion who freed her from Blackfield Aslum; an unicorn with a red, curved horn, a dark grey coat pitch black mane. His eyes were crimson red, his sclera were green and purple smoke flowed out of them. "My name is Sombra. King Sombra!"