I-I don't know where to begin! The place was bigger on the inside than it ever should have been than on the outside! The walls ran for what looked like a third of a mile or more, but every time I focused, it seemed to get longer!
No doors, no hallways, no stairs, just one big room, it didn't match the shape of the outside at all!
My blood was turning to ice.
There were simple lamps hanging from the ceiling everywhere turned down low.
There was a faint humming coming from who knows where.
The only major thing here were the bunk beds. Hundreds of them, running across and deep, two beds each stacked on top of each other.
They were nearly identical, all looked fancy and ultra comfy. Not the type you'd expect to find in an orphanage. The mattresses were all clouds.
Carved on the front of the beds were numbers. I randomly looked at
299,980. Then 299,981. I skipped to 300, 201 but that wasn't the end, ugh! Looking at the numbers were making my head hurt more!
Some of the beds were occupied, some weren't. I didn't want to focus on the beds that had somepony in them. N-no! I didn't want to!
I look at the beds aren't being slept in...each of the empty ones has a black rose on the pillow.
Only the bed at the very end with the highest number was both empty and didn't have a black rose.
W-who w-were sleeping in the b-beds? I-I I don't wanna look. I don't wanna!
WHAT AM I AFRAID OF DAMMIT?! Why am I afraid? Why do I keep folding back?
I'm scared of being nothing. I'm scared of not living up to my dreams. I'm scared of not measuring up to those I look up to. I'm scared of letting down my friend. I'm scared of being laughed at.
I'm scared and I don't even know why, and I feel like I don't want to know.
There's the nice pretty door, just run out, fly out, that's all there is to it.
Whose sleeping here?! Me? Applejack? Dad? Twilight? Celestia? Luna? Gilda? I won't run away! You hear me!
I take my head in my hooves, and force myself to look at the closest bed. Sleeping there peacefully is
The name comes crashing down in my head. I remember. It's her. It's her! It's Scootaloo! My number one fan! The filly who always saw as me as great as I thought I was! The one...the one I ignored at worst and treated as an ego boost at best... Scoots I'm sorry, I promise as soon as we're out of this mess, I'll make it up to you, I swear.
I check out the other beds.
The beds. All of them. Sleeping.
Over and over and over and over!
Some curled up hugging herself. Others flat on the bed drooling. Some with her legs tucked underneath. Others spread out like they're flying. Some face first in their pillows.
My entire body stiffened as rigid as a rock, my heart beat hammered in my ears, my eyes getting wider and wider. My brain was shutting down.
Scootaloo. Always Scootaloo. Blank flank. Adorable. Peaceful. Dreaming.
Was the entire world something they were just dreaming up?
I sit down on a bed without thinking (numbered 300,010) trying to figure this all out. The bed doesn't try to eat me. That would have been simple, they would have been something I could fight.
Instead I face a lot worse: she wakes up.
The Scootaloo on the bed I just sat down the bed stretches and yawns like a spell's been broken. I don't feel like a handsome prince.
Not knowing what else to do I turn around and kneel next to her as she opens her eyes and looked at me.
"Oh Rainbow Dash! It was just a bad dream!" She hugged me.
"W-What was?" I stammered out.
"N-nothing! It was nothing." She looked at her flank. "Guess that would be a dream too." She looked a little scared. "Dash...I'm not dreaming this right? That was the bad dream before, and this is real right? You're real?"
Dammit. I hugged her. "I promise Scootaloo, I promise, you're not dreaming."
"Thank you Rainbow Dash!"
- 'You Have To Forgive Yourself', Pony POV Series Adaption -
She begin crying. I wrap my tail around her. "There kiddo, it's alright. I'm right here."
She doesn't respond first, she just nuzzles me in the chest.
"Dash, you're the best pony I've ever known! I-I-I-, you're just-I, thank you!" She hugged me tighter. I didn't mind.
I'm reminded of when I'd sleep in bed with my mom to chase away some nasty bad dreams of my own. "Don't worry kiddo, I promise your bad dreams won't be coming back. They'll have to go through me first."
I lean down and nuzzle her.
"Oh, oh my, don't you know little fillies need their rest?"
Both me and Scoots look up, a gentle mare looking at us politely. She was a white mare with yellow eyes and green mane. Most of her body was covered up in a simple brown robe.
"W-Who are you?" I said putting myself between her and Scootaloo.
She bowed. "I'm Posey-Nice, I'm the nanny of Chains-Of-Love Orphanage, I'm sorry, none of our fillies are available to be adopted right now."
"Or-Orphanage?" Scootaloo's eyes suddenly got wide, her body was shaking.
"Now now, that's not anything you need to worry about. Would you kindly get back to sleep?"
"Get back to sleep," Scootaloo echoed and her eyes fluttered closed.
"NO!" I snapped. Startling her back awake. "Scootaloo! Stay awake!"
"D-Dash? I-" Scootaloo looked like she was the one with a headache now.
"Be careful please." Posey-Nice pleaded. "We have 171,015 fillies here at Chains-Of-Love Orphanage! And it wouldn't do at all for you to go waking them up!"
"A hundred-seventy-one-thousand, fifteen fillies?" I echoed back.
She shook her head. "Yes. Sadly we're never able to save everypony, but we save who we can."
I keep my hooves on the squirt. "Why do they all look like Scootaloo?!"
"Look like me?" The kid looked around, like she was still waking up from a dream, finally noticing the crazy place she was in. She was scared. This isn't where she wanted to be. But she said, "Dash, what are you talking about?"
I looked into her huge eyes with mine that can keep track of everything on the ground below while in the air. And I see it reflected, the foals she sees, aren't Scootaloo.
Am I the one under the lie?
No. The way she moves, the way she talks to me, the way she feels, this isn't some parlor trick. She's Scootaloo. And...so are the rest of the fillies here. They don't look like Scootaloo, they are Scootaloo, why else would you have a lie on her so she doesn't notice everypony in here is her?
"Dash, what are you saying?" Scoots persists.
"It's nothing dear, she's just pulling a prank. Don't worry about it, would you kindly?"
"Don't worry about it." Scoots repeated like a tape recorder.
"STOP THAT!" I snarled!
"Please!" Posey-Nice takes a trot back. "You're going to wake them! Just let them sleep! Waking them up wouldn't be good for them at all!"
"Don't you want them to just rest? They've been through so much! Please just let them sleep!"
"S-sleep? I was sleeping too?" Scootaloo asked. "How long was I asleep? Dash how did I get here? Who put me in this place?!"
"I don't know Scootaloo."
"Would you kindly not think about any of that," asked the nanny.
"Not think about any of that."
"I SAID STOP IT, YOU WITCH!" I stomped my hooves and flare my wings. She squeaks and cowers.
"P-pl-please s-stop! It'll be horrible! Please!"
We all froze then looked up.
The Scootaloo on the top bunk had woken up. Her bed number was 169,998.
"Dash would you keep it down? I was trying to...trying to...Dash? Where am I?"
"Scootaloo, please, just go back to sleep, would you kindly?"
"J-just go back to sleep."
"NO! Stay awake, Scootaloo!" I shouted at her.
"Please! You don't know what you're doing!" Posey-Nice said. "You don't want what'll happen!"
I yelled in her face. "I'll be the judge of that! Why is there more than one Scootaloo?! And who put them all here in this lifeless place!?"
She stared at me, trembling like a deer in headlights.
She whispered. "You did."
And all the world came crashing down.
"Hey! Isn't anypony going to tell me what's going on? Anypony?!"
"Dash, you're here! This place is nuts!"
"This...isn't like the dreams I've been having at all."
"Well, this is super a lot better than my dreams."
"Dash! Is it you?"
"Whao! OUCH! Why aren't my wings working?!"
"Come on Dash, say something, please!"
All around us, Scootaloo was waking up. She'd blink her eyes open, or maybe she'd yawn, or she'd fall out of bed...And all of them, calling my name, asking for help.
All of them... just... Wanting somepony to acknowledge they existed.
All of them...just... Just wanting to be loved.
"Scootaloo, don't listen to a word that mare says," I mumble out in a slur rolling an eye at Posey-Nice.
"Dash!" "DASH!" "Dash please!"
I didn't answer Scootaloo.
"You know Dash too?" "Of course I do!" "How?" "She's my hero!"
I wandered out of the orphanage drunkenly. I hit myself on the door frame as I stumbled out.
The orphanage sure suddenly didn't look all that abominable now. Just wood and windows.
I push out against the gates of the 'electric fence' with my muzzle, not caring if it was real or not. They swung open with a squeak and fell off their hinges with a crash. Heh, freedom to the fillies.
My head was swimming, no, it was drowning. I heard Scootaloo crying out for me. I wanted to go to her. But I couldn't. I didn't dare. I felt like a flame to her moth.
Why did I know what Posey-Nice said was true?
I hear fillies running out into the rain. I don't turn back, I keep walking in a broken trot. The joints in my legs and wings feel like the screws have been taken out.
I move like a broken doll through the mud and rain, not even trying to fly. No direction in mind.
It feels like the grass and trees make way for me. The rain beats down on my mane. My hair in my eyes becomes a slurry sludge of colors. All you get when you mix all the colors together is mud.
Like a wind-up toy, my body pushes itself forward. The gears in my head grind and groan, like they're pushed in the wrong directions. My whole body feels heavy. Scoots' cries become distant.
The entire world blurs forward with every hoof step I take. Limping like I had a broken leg. Broken. Hurt. Injured.
. . .
There was no way Pinkie Pie or me should have been able to shrug off the hits we took while pounding each other.
I look at my wings. How the heck had I flown after losing that many feathers during our fight? Full feathers. None missing. But how?
I look around. I'm back at Sweet Apple Acres. Everything looks good as new. Like the fight hadn't even happened.
My Sonic Rainboom was able to give Twilight a magic surge and split that rock of Rarity's in two from MILES away...but...I haven't even thought about all the damage Pinkie and me had been able to dish out or the tricks we pulled out of nowhere.
No sign of the Apples out in the rain, not even that dog of theirs.
Winona. Gummy. Opalescence. Owlowiscious. Angel.
When had I last seen any pets?
There's no sign of Daisy Jo and the cows or the sheep, or the pigs either.
Could what was controlling everypony not effect animals and so they were thrown out of Ponyville?...That didn't make a lick of sense. Ponies were animals. Did it only affect self-aware creatures? I think about how smart Owlowiscous and Angel act...that answer made even less sense.
"We can't leave Ponyville. No pets. Town gets repaired when my back is turned. Half the town acting like zombies. A zillion Scootaloos in a orphanage that isn't supposed to be here. Is this all a dream, after all?!" I bite into my own leg, I don't wake up. I feel pain and taste blood while looking down at my own bite marks.
I grow cold as I watch my hide seals up, not even leaving scars.
I howl and rip my own feathers out, the pain shoots through my wings but it's like I've done it a million times before, new feathers grow back without missing a beat.
I scream and create a lightning blade stab my own leg. It heals before my eyes.
I wail and ram my head into a nearby tree, hitting it again and again, the tree breaks in two, I look in a nearby puddle. I don't have a mark on me.
. . . I fly up...and up, then I fold my wings, and dive head first to the ground below at terminal velocity...I leave a crater. I push myself back up. I don't have a scratch. I flew straight out the hole.
My brain's feels like it's gonna split in two, what am trying so hard not to remember?!
I look myself over. Everything looks normal. My mane. My tail. My hooves. My cutie mark . . .
Pinkie Pie. Applejack. Fluttershy. Our cutie marks:
I realize what was wrong this whole time.
"So..." I bump into the one orange tree in Applejack's orchard. "I'm not even Rainbow Dash anymore, am I?" Weight of the world. I'm crawling. "But...but how did..." Lightning strikes as I scream at the heavens: illuminating my cutie mark, a black cloud with a photo negative rainbow bolt. "When did I become a Nightmare?!"
Rainbow Dash And Friends' Totally Awesome Radical Ponyville Adventure
Pony POV Series
Nightmare World: Rainbow Dash
By Alex Warlorn
I'm in a void falling towards my own face. Falling into my own eyes. Drowning in the centers like tar.
'A weighty choice is yours to make,
The right selection or a big mistake.
If the wrong choice you choose to pursue,
The foundations of home will crumble without you?'
"ATTENTION ALL PEGASI! ATTENTION ALL PEGASI!" ~
"I AM DISCORD THE GREAT AND REALLY GREAT LORD OF DISHARMONY AND CONFUSION! BESIDE ME IS RAINBOW DASH! ONE OF THE SIX KEEPERS OF THE ELEMENTS OF HARMONY, IN HER CASE LOYALTY! AND SHE HAS PROVEN HER LOYALTY TO YOU, THE PEOPLE OF CLOUDSDALE..."
"BY EXCHANGING YOUR SAFETY WITH DOOMING THE REST OF THE WORLD!"
"NOW WHAT DO YOU FEEL FOR THIS PEGASUS WHO IS YOUR HERO? WHO SAVED YOUR HOMES AND LIVELIHOOD BY DOOMING THE LIVES OF ALL OTHER LIVING THINGS?"
~ "Oh don't worry, they're all about to become too insane to care. ~ That was all for your sake my dear."
~ "BUT YOU SAID-"
"I said the foundations of home would crumble without you ... I never said I wouldn't improve the locals ~!"
"DON'T YOU DARE!" Discord's tail wrapped around me before I could complete my charge at him. Then he produced a small white glove and slapped me in the face a few times.
"Oh my my my. Aren't you a spoiled little pony. First I give you your wings back, I spare your home, I let everyone know you're the reason they were spared so they'd know what a great and loyal hero to your own people you are, and then when they aren't being appreciative, I decide to give you a gift by making them stop being able to care that you betrayed almost all of Equestria. You need some manners."
They stared like zombies for a couple of seconds ... then some fell down to the clouds drooling and soiling themselves as they dragged themselves along on their front hooves babbling random noises. Others broke out laughing, their eyes crossed as they flew in chaotic patterns, crashing into each other and cloud buildings but not showing as if they felt it. Some locked their legs together and began to fly around in rigid square patterns, making sounds like engines. Others fell trying to fly with their hooves and trot with their wings while giggling at everything. One little pink filly I think I knew whose name began with 'C' actually began gnawing at her own wings!
I couldn't bear to look at it any longer. I fled like a coward. Maybe that's what I've been this whole time. Fluttershy's always scared but faces her fears, but when I get scared, I just run~.
~ As I flew back to Ponyville to get back with the others ... I saw at a distance exactly how they were acting ... and what they looked like. Their colors were muted like mine (except Twilight) and they had their wings and horns back.
Fluttershy was acting like ten Gildas! Pinkie Pie looked like Pinkamina The Bad Remake! Twilight didn't look too happy either. AJ looked sour. And Rarity was ranting about a boulder she was carrying around that she insisted was a giant diamond named Tom.
I had done all this. I had done it all. Everything was my fault!
I had to get away again, I had to fly away -again-. So I flew away from my now mostly insane friends as fast I could. I didn't even THINK of approaching Twilight who was still sane and asking for her help. Since when do I ever think?
Soon enough I found a nearby cloud, crammed into it like it could make me vanish, and threw-up over the side. ~
And I just stayed there. Feeling sorry for myself and reminding myself what a self-serving backstabber I was.
I watch the world twist and rot around me. I keep wishing to just vanish. To just cease to exist.
"Hello my little pony, I have something I'd like you to do."
"Oh? I'm so sorry, did you just say 'Please please PLEEEEEEEASSSEEEE find that orange fan filly of mine and made her wings grow so big she's crushed under their weight?'"
"Are you SURE? I could have sworn it was what you just said."
"Then listen carefully."
"That...that's my Element..."
He points it at my chest where my heart is. "And I'm giving it back to you! Aren't I swell guy? Now hold still! This will hurt a tiny, teeny, itsy little bit for a LITTLE bit!!"
"AAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!" I felt like my soul was being ripped out from the outside in!
"Look at me, Rainbow Dash."
I do. I realize what I just did. "W-wait!"
He drops a giant dictionary on the head of a poor green pony with a yellow mane. I look down.
"Look at me, Rainbow Dash."
I do nothing.
"Look at me, Traitor Dash."
I look up.
"Very good." He pat me on the head like a pet and gives me a dog treat.
~ "I am Traitor Dash, Element of Treachery, I serve Master Discord." ~
"Faker! Rainbow Dash doesn't snivel like a filly!! She'd bite it before rolling over and playing dead!"
Would Master think Gilda made a better Element of Treachery? No! I couldn't, let that, happen, to her!
"Dash..." Scootaloo gasped in horror, "What's, what's happened to you? You're a monster!"
"I know," I answered, my voice dripping with shame.
A thousand years as Discord's minion. Forgive me!
"You know. I think I've gotten sick with all of this. Again. Pst. Maybe I should just go into basket weaving or flower arrangement. Still, let's make this interesting my little Dashie. How does that sound?"
"I'll undo everything, with My Parents as my witnesses I will even if I have to unmake myself to do it, and never bother ponies again. All you need to do, is murder the pony you care about the most."
I keep telling themselves, this'll be it. But I can't do it. I'm too cowardly to do what needs to be done for everypony.
In her sleep would be easier. But. . . she's my friend, I can't do it like...like the common murderer I am.
I end up crying every time, every week, this time was no different. Looking at the house plants that are her parents. I can't do it, not in front of her parents. Not when even when Discord twists her so far, she STILL takes care of them after a thousand years!
She doesn't ask questions anymore even after I start crying. Even with her heart turned off, even with her memories of our friendship blocked, she still comforts me when I hurt, how many ponies can you say that of?
"Twilight Tragedy," I call her by the name I've been taught to like a good dog. "Master promised he'd put everything back the way it was before, -everything!- Every detail, every memory: except mine...all," I sob."All I need to do," I hiccuped, is murder the pony I care about the most!" I shudder in her forelegs. "I can't do it Twilight! I want AJ to be honest again! I want Pinkie to laugh again! I want Rarity to be sane again! I want Fluttershy to be FLUTTERSHY again! But…but…I CAN'T DO IT! It's for the sake of everypony, it's for the sake of everything! But I can't kill my best friend…I'm…I've always thought I was strong, ya know, deep down...I'm not…I'm weak...I'm a traitor...I'm a traitor…I'm a traitor..." I look into her eyes. She tries so hard to understand, we've done this dance so many times now, but she hasn't given up. She won't stop. Not now. Not ever. Discord's torn away everything inside her...but she'll still be there for me if I let her, and she'll never go away.
Her heart is gone. Her memory is at the bottom of an ocean. And she still has a saintly soul. Discord MADE HER so the only thing she can IS obey, I'm the one who can't ever make the right choice. And she's in there somewhere, this impossibly noble mare.
Discord promised to fix everything, if...if become the eager and willing killer he's turned Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy into. My hooves are stained with blood. And...I just need to murder a mare who with her heart gone STILL is doing what little she can to help me, who couldn't mean me less harm unless Discord's programming made her to!
I grit my teeth. And a dam breaks. "I'll kill Twilight… when Pony Hell freezes over!"
"Traitor Dash?" Tragedy looks at me confused.
I gently nuzzle her. "No...Not Traitor, not anymore." Let Discord rip the world apart. I'm done dancing for him. I wrap my wings around her. "My name is Rainbow Dash."
"Traitor Dash, I don't understand."
"It's okay Twilight. You don't need to yet. I won't let that bastard Discord ever hurt you again. His nightmare has gone on for too long, we're going to end it and him, all of us together."
She blasted me through walls and out of the castle.
"You have threatened master, you must be eliminated."
I've memorized Twilight's powers and fighting styles. Except I wasn't going to kill her. No matter what. I'm DONE killing!
"You only defend. Your strategy doesn't make sense. What are you planning?"
"I'm planning to save you!"
Our fight took us right through Derpy's jog path around the castle.
Twilight zapped with every spell she had, delivering them with machine like precision and efficiency.
Thankfully being so efficient and precise made her more predictable!
Teleporting a mana-bomb into my stomach and teleporting my Element of Chaos out of me and into a mini-black hole would have both finished me off if I hadn't spend a thousand years memorizing her every move.
I think bastard Discord keeps her like this so his chaos kingdom will have contrast.
"I suppose you are only being true to your Element of Treachery."
"NO! I'm doing this because I'm loyal to YOU, Twilight Sparkle!"
"I am Twilight Tragedy. If you are loyal to me, submit to Master's will."
"No! Loyalty is what YOU CHOOSE TO BE LOYAL TO TWILIGHT SPARKLE! It's what you chose to believe in! It's who you chose to protect and stay true to those choices when they get tough! Loyalty isn't about obligation! It's being faithful to those around you even when the going gets rough or you're offered the easy road! And I understand at last!"
A black jewel in my soul, turned right side up, and I felt for a moment like I had two souls. And two voice echoed in my heart for one moment.
'Be faithful to your friends, darling.'
'And if that's being trapped with them, then, skittles, then that how you're finally free!'
And the black jewel in my soul, became a beautiful red ruby.
-Free Will- -Loyalty-
And it was like it was my chains that were gone.
I moved faster, and lighter than ever before, maybe I had finally gone crazy, I'd say I didn't care, but I had too much on the line to not care!
I dived straight for Twilight, too fast for her telekenesis, and I just vibrated my body through her barriers, being immortal helps sometimes.
Twilight braces herself, but she isn't ready for what I do next...I stab myself with her horn, so it touches my Element.
She rolls her eyes at me in shock and confusion.
I'm betting everything on this. That freedom is stronger than slavery. That loyalty is stronger than treachery. That friendship is stronger than tragedy, stronger than dominance. I'm betting it all on one lone prayer.
One random spark of magic is all it takes, and we both scream, black and red lightning dancing around us, cutting through our immortal bodies.
My cutie mark formed as a glowing symbol on each of my wings.
Element of Free Will, give my best friend back her mind, Element of Loyalty, please give her back her heart!
I hear every possible voice in my head telling me to just surrender to the darkness, let the chaos win, be selfish, be apathetic, be indifferent, be self-serving, and that loyalty means nothing. And that's horseapples!!!
Twilight's eyes roll in back of her head, and she stops screaming as she keels over backwards. My body regenerates.
I don't know what's going on in Twilight's heart right now. But I can see the colors slowly returning to her. Flickering, like she wasn't sure what she wanted to be.
I swore. I'd free all my friends' souls. All of their minds, all of their hearts. I wouldn't let them live as monsters anymore. I swore I'd free them of what Discord turned them into, and they've LIVE. I swore it.
"Hey Rainbow...want some help?"
I looked up to see a certain cowpony wearing her signature hat looking out of the hole we'd made in the castle.
After stupidly nearly mangling each other because I thought AJ was still talking backwards and was still Discord's little minion, we both teamed up to help Twilight. Turns out Apple Bloom's ghost had given Applejack the talking to she needed to finally be herself again. Oh and she might have said something about meeting pony-god, but I kinda didn't get those parts.
And Applejack's cutie mark glowing as a symbol around one eye. She said she was now Honesty and Fantasy, and could balance both the way I could Loyalty and Free Will.
We were more surprised when Derpy came with us. And her cutie mark was also appearing as a glowing symbol on her back.
"My Muffin, she wouldn't want me, I think she doesn't want me, to not do anything when I can help you."
We had to deal with a horde of black angry birds. I'd been training to take on Twilight Sparkle herself for a thousand years. I knocked 'em clean away.
Applejack took us to Sweet Rock Acres, should have guessed, it was still her home after all these centuries, these were still her family.
Discord sent Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Fluttershy all at once to bring us back even if they had to cut out or Elements of Chaos and drag us back to Discord.
And they had the black crows with them as cannon fodder.
The Apples and Pies defended us, as family will...they were willing to die for us, and some did. Twilight woke up halfway through the fight.
With and Twilight working together as a team, oh yeah, and I guess AJ and Derpy covering our flanks, we were able to bring Rarity and Pinkie Pie back to us with a my Elements of Loyalty and Free Will, and Twilight's Friendship and memory-spell.
Courage and Laughter.
Desire and Generosity.
When she used it on Fluttershy...she got her cheap chopped off. We got a look at Fluttercruel's REAL cutie mark, that heart shape made out of curved swords.
Fluttershy...Fluttershy had never even been there. This...horrible creature that Discord had brought into the world by violating Fluttershy.
"So in other words, I don't have to hold back," I said darkly. She was immortal, she'd live. No matter what I did.
But the fight even continued she pulled out her dad's dog whistle. 'Turn on your friends, or Cloudsdale and Sky Ocean DIE!"
I was done killing. But I was also done being Discord's lackey.
For the greater good.
"Screw you. Bring it." To the shock of everypony.
Instead of Sky Ocean or Cloudsdale's end, Fluttercruel threw a tantrum. I was confused. When did Discord not follow through on threats?
She retreated, saying how she was going to tell her dad on us like she was a filly instead of a psycho.
Rarity and Pinkie Pie however, instead of wanting to end the monster's existence, wanted to hopefully just nullify her as a threat. Maybe turn her into a baby foal with age magic that Twilight knew, and raise her as Fluttershy would have wanted her to be raised.
I thought they were nuts. But I was out voted. And Rarity and Pinkie Pie reminded I wasn't the only one who loved Fluttershy and was enraged at Discord's crime.
We all knew who'd have a lot to make up for when this was all over. Our sin weren't going to magically go away just because we stopped Discord. A thousand years of sins didn't go away that easily.
Derpy and I had a LOT to talk about and a LOT to apologize for a thousand years overdue.
We used the Elements to restore Dinky. We made sure the girl stayed safe on the rock farm.
We also used the Elements to turn the crows into peaceful white doves, who were spreading harmony wherever they touched anything. Even restoring Discorded ponies.
It was freaky how AJ and Rarity were sane and free again, but AJ was acting like a lady and Rarity the down to Earth mare giving tips to the rock farmers. But... I accepted it. AJ was still the most dependable of ponies who said she wouldn't mind racing with me again when this was all over.
Rarity resisted taking a bath worse than a five year old, but she still found beauty in the rocks. Including her golems...which it turned out contains the souls of ponies from a thousand years ago and between. That made for some very awkward but happy reunions. Scoots and Gilda weren't in her 'ark'.
After a hot debate, we decided now that they were out of Rarity's fantasy world, and they WERE all dead, it was kinder to let them join their families in the afterlife than keep them trapped here. Applejack warned something BAD happened to ghosts who tried to cheat death not even trying to finish their business. Not all left, Some insisted that helping Rarity beat Discord was their unfinished business.
With me as point mare, the castle's defenses didn't last long...neither did its legs when it tried to run away. We blasted the castle with the Elements, but it seemed Discord and his brain-dead stooges were shielded on the inside. Looked like we couldn't skip this fight.
Our big stumbling block was, surprise surprise, the Valeyard himself. Except he wasn't alone.
He had Spike with him, under remote control. "I have the best toy any foal could hope for and it isn't even my birthday!" flank-hole gloated.
Fighting Spike...that was a fight I wish I could just forget. Fighting a thousand year old dragon? Not easy. Fighting a thousand year old dragon who could teleport stuff into the fight on a whim: nasty. Fighting our friend? Painful.
We were all desperate to avoid Spike's flames, none of us wanted to find out where Spike under the Valeyard's control would teleport us. My bet was volcano.
I don't want to wish what Twilight felt during that fight on anypony. Fighting her last family that was flesh and blood? You have no idea of her pain.
Derpy however...well, I think her Element of Kindness drove the Valeyard crazy! He began screaming and arguing with himself. Which gave Twilight time to use the memory spell on him. And nearly get turned into a replacement Valeyard. When she begged me to destroy her head to save her...it wasn't pleasant.
But our combined efforts sent the Valeyard into a new regeneration, gave us some cryptic words, before falling into his blue box and vanishing.
Twilight trashed the remote control the Valeyard had been using.
Everything would be fine then right?
I swear I could hear Discord and Fluttercruel laughing at us all the way from the castle.
And Spike kept getting bigger as the fight went on, his greed running wild. More savage, more feral, more intense, more powerful, with all six of us, it wasn't enough, not against him.
Rarity was the one to save him.
"Spike, I know how you feel."
One heart greed eaten to another. She gave Spike what he wanted more than anything. Herself. What Rarity said to Spike, was more than a little personal. And where Twilight's magic failed, Rarity's didn't.
Spike was still a titan of a dragon. He admitted he still wanted everything, but what he wanted most of all was Rarity's approval, and his friends.
Spike tore an opening in the castle wall for us.
Our Elements restored Twilight's parents, at my request. We weren't going to leave Discord any hostages. Spike would be their protector. We all knew raw strength meant nothing fighting Discord, so we weren't going to try.
Spike asked one thing. "Please, protect Twilight."
I said stepping in front of the others, "Cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye, I WILL protect Twiley Spike!"
We restored Derpy's eldest daughter, Sparkler, from a crystal statue, when we went through the gallery, so Discord couldn't use her as surprise pony shield.
Ran into a seapony, confused when zapping her with the Elements didn't do anything, she left with a gold and silver feather.
We restored the Princesses...or tried to...they were fillies. Luna was herself, but Celestia thought 'Dissy' was her coltfriend. Blech. We had Sparkler take them both to the Rock Farm, to look after them and Dinky until we came back.
"Putting all our eggs in one basket is a death sentence," Twilight said.
Not just Futtercruel was guarding Discord's throne room, but Screwball and Mad Tiara too. Discord had brought them out of retirement.
Two against one, should have been easy. Except Discord had given part of his own magic to his family. Even compared to what they'd been able to do before, it was bedlam and a fight for survival.
Never thought Discord would give anything to anypony except misery and corruption.
Then…Scoots came to me. Don't ask me how that makes sense, or why she came then, something about me not accepting answers until that time. I still think my favorite fan picked a dumb time to come back to give me advice as a ghost.
She told me, "Be true to what you promised, don't cross the line again, not even towards him, he's not worth it. And Dash, I forgive you."
With the Elements, we petrified Fluttercruel. Rarity said, "Just until we could get her away from her father's bad influence."
We left Mad Tiara and Screwball depowered and reharmonized. Except they didn't stop. They were still willing to die to protect the devil. If anything, they fought more frantic and desperate.
"They're still victims too," Rarity said.
We left them tied up next to Fluttercruel's statue and entered Discord's throne room. Inside noise makers, confetti, an acid floor and falling spike ceiling were waiting for us, and a wall of ballistics aimed right at us.
Twilight's failsafe spell ended all of that.
Then came the main event. Our fight with Discord.
For a while, I felt like the universe was gonna implode on us. Maybe it did a few times.
In the end, we were having a quick debate on whether to use the Elements on Discord to turn him to stone, or it'd be best just to execute him.
Discord looked eager for the answer, but didn't seem worried about dying.
In the end, I was the 'deciding vote'. Was I tempted? More than you can imagine. Was it what I wanted? Almost more than anything. But then I remembered what Scootaloo's spirit had told me. "I said so already Discord, I'm done killing."
We blasted him to stone.
His last words were, "I knew you had it in you this time, Rainbow Dash. You're your own little pony. You broke the script to the very end, thank you. Please don't falter now."
And a spell scroll that would reset time fell in our laps.
I was all for accepting help from my friends. But I'd learned that there was no such thing as a free meal. And I knew bastard Discord. "Why the heck would he have a spell that undid everypony's misery?!"
"That's easy!" Twilight said, "So if he was beaten, one of his minions could undo his defeat!"
I was about to say that made sense when Pinkie Pie said, "You know what? Let's ask one of them!"
Between cursing us and crying over bastard Discord, they'd said they never even heard of that spell. AJ's truth eyes made sure they weren't lying.
Rarity said it first, "If it was for his minions to undo his defeat… WHY did NONE of US know about it?!"
That made us pause.
I said, "This scroll is a trap."
You could hear a pin drop (Pinkie tested).
"Princess Celestia didn't reset time after beating Discord… and I won't either!" Twilight stamped her hoof. "Thanks 'Rain."
I think we were all disappointed that the scroll was fake. But I was happy I didn't have to give up the new memories I'd made with Twilight and my friends. I'd atone for my sins the old fashioned way.
All that left was using the Elements to heal bastard Discord's damage to everything.
Then Twilight's shadow... grew. It just got bigger, and then it grew wings. It actually rose up like something alive! Then it dove into the floor. Entire pieces of the castle broke away. Like a tumor, pieces of Discord's castle began to clump together, bleeding. They shifted and warped about. Turning into...turning a purple version of Nightmare Moon, but her armor was white, and her mane was fiery instead of nighty. Her cutie mark...it was a color reverse of Twilight's. The worst part was her face, that pretty face, it was shaped like an Alicorn's, but I recognized Twilight's all the same.
What came next, I'd hear hundreds of thousands of times over. Hundreds of thousands of ways. Whenever Twilight Sparkle dared show free will.
After being around as long I'd come to be, I now appreciate that even the tiniest thing can change the world in big big ways, everything and everypony is connected, like links in a chain. Eclipse never wanted to see that, it was a tape recording to her.
Eclipse's soap box speech. Twilight realizing the truth. Infinite loops. Eclipse making it clear she didn't see us as people, ponies, or living things.
Eclipse revealing she had 'gotten rid of' the Doctor. The greatest mind in the universe, beaten by a cheating time looping nag who was anything but his equal.
Me, all of us, begging and pleading for the Twilight Sparkle inside Nightmare Eclipse to see reason. Instead she wanted our Twilight to see 'reason', and not be 'distracted by delusions' of seeing us as people.
In the end, like all before and after us I'd learn, we had as much luck as Princess Celestia reaching the Luna inside Nightmare Moon.
Then as an after thought, she slithered one of her chains around Fluttercruel's petrified neck, then wrapped her chain around Discord's statue, and used him like a sledge hammer, and shattered her.
"COUSIN!" Mad Tiara screamed.
"W-why?! She wasn't a threat anymore!" Rarity stammered out.
"Y-you… you murdered her!" Derpy gasped horrified.
"Oh, silly Derpy." She patted her on the head. "That wasn't alive. It was a statue. It was just some fake personality Discord created using his magic, it wasn't a person. And didn't you see? It was Discord who broke it, weren't you paying attention? And because Discord wouldn’t like me doing it, why not do it? And besides, its role in the game is over."
Oh yeah, that's when negotiations stopped.
I don't remember who cut Mad Tiara and Screwball loose, but I'm happy they did. We needed all the help we could get.
Oh right silly me, heh, I forgot after...after all this time. Back then she wasn't even calling herself Eclipse yet, Back then, it was 'Nightmare Dusk.' I can only guess she kept changing names out of boredom. Whatever name she picked, she was everything Twilight Sparkle was, and everything she shouldn't have been.
Our battle reduced the castle to ruins, but hightlights include:
"Clinging to imaginary friends isn't healthy, Twilight!" Dusk shouted as she reshaped the stones of the castle like it was her own body into a pair of hands that was meant to squash us flat.
AJ instead jumped up between them and gave them both one solid kick, the stone of the palm exploded, the shock wave carrying onto the blocks nearest it setting off a cascade! AJ just smirked at the Nightmare.
"How about I get rid of the one of yours toys that isn't immortal!" Her flaming spear chains struck like serpents at Derpy. A ring of Rarity's golems used their own bodies as shields.
Dusk grunted in agitation and stomped the ground.
The vibration traveled along her chains and shatters Rarity's golems.
"Forgot Earth Pony Magic is a part of me?" she smirked.
Derpy responded by sending lightning BACK THROUGH her chains, electrifying the Nightmare. "Evening Fear lose Postage Feathers have pegasi sparkles as building blocks double?" Derpy asked, smirking.
AJ's illusions kept her off balance while negating any of Dusk's own illusions, while Rarity with Desire and Generosity continue to heal Derpy, Mad Tiara, and Screwball, so they could stay in the fight.
"You contain opposing Elements of Chaos and Harmony in the same souls? You're all monsters! Twilight! Can't you see these things are NOT YOUR FRIENDS?!" Dusk exclaimed.
I dove in straight at her, stabbed her with a lightning weapon, then caused it to branch out inside her, sticking out in places. It was harder than I liked to admit to attack this monster with Twilight's pretty face. She didn't return my sympathy.
"You little forgery!" She gagged as I was suddenly caught in her telekinesis and she began to crush my Element of Chaos into dust. But Mad Tiara and Screwball broad sided her melee style, I guess she didn't consider them even worth considering! I took the chance to bash her in the face unless she unleashed a sphere of raw magic...Rarity simply regenerated the missing legs Screwball and her daughters were now missing, and right back into the fight they sprang. Didn't they know the definition of pain?
Nightmare Dusk flew up in the air, and summoned several salvos of missiles like those two-legged aliens had used, and fired right down at us.
Moving faster than their eyes could track, I kicked and swung them around so they were facing back towards Dusk. The barrage hit the surprised Nightmare dead center, obscuring her in smoke.
Twilight teleported me out of the way before the Ursa sized laser blast that burst from the cloud of smoke could vaporized me.
After she regenerated, the witch stomped the ground, splitting it open and launching pillars of hellfire at us, but Pinkie pulled out a Santa hat and a sack and opened it, firing out a blizzard that put it out.
The Nightmare summoned a rain of flaming swords at us, but Rarity's golems blocked for us, catching the swords and allowing Pinkie Pie to retaliate with a barrage of party cannons.
"Turn to oranges!" She fired the nasty nasty spell at us.
Pinkie Pie took out a giant mirror that reflected the spell right back at her.
A spell within sliced the orange in two, splitting it open reveal a giant and gaudy sized Element of Magic.
And Twilight said those fateful words. "Formation!"
Maybe we should have aimed to free Discord instead, enemy of my enemy after all, but we didn't.
Our Elements awakened, our friendship joined us together, and our combined inner strength formed a rainbow to splash down on the Nightmare.
Her eye appeared like a ghost in front of her vulnerable Element of Magic.
Inside the eye were now tiny hands of a clock. "Time stop." Everything froze.
The hands on the clock began to spin backwards. "You will wander forever."
And we were back after Pinkie Pie just reflected the orange spell. Nightmare Dusk teleported out of the way, to right above us.
Destruction. There was no other way to describe it. It was just mass destruction. More power than even an Alicorn has a right to have. I'd call it cheating, but for her, that was par for the course.
I didn't have an outside view of the world, like I would the other times I'd see it. I didn't see what happened to...to...to everything else...it was...it was horrible!
She didn't have six Nightmare Elements to power herself up. If she couldn't do something one way, Twilight could always use her big brain to figure out another way.
It was...oh Celestia...the sky, the sky was torn to shreds, I don't think the universe was splitting apart, but the blue in the sky was torn apart and leaving the blackness and stars behind like it was becoming night in all the wrong ways.
She...she...with the Nightmare Elements she could turn the world to dust in ten seconds flat. Back then, she, she used piacemeal methods. I'm not a genius, I don't know how she did it.
Later, I’d learn we weren't the first to challenge her script's ending, and oh boy, we wouldn't be the last.
Twilight was an accepting and welcoming mare, so Eclipse accepted all of Twilight Sparkle, she never deemed any of them rejects. "That would be like calling a FRIEND a reject!" She said. Even the ones that rejected everything and anything she stood for, she just dragged them into herself anyway. Is it any wonder she was crazy even for a Nightmare?
The atmosphere fell apart, because so did the planet that was holding it together. Maybe she just drove concept killing rods into the planet's core. Maybe she just borrowed one of those weapons the two legged aliens used. All I knew was that the world torn apart beneath our hooves.
We didn't stand there politely as the world ended.
Neither did the Nightmare. She called them. She didn't bother with calling out names or titles. They didn't bother with introductions or quips. They just attacked.
One from her right, another from her left. Nightmarish Alicorn versions of Applejack and Pinkie Pie. One clad in armor so polished it was like a mirror, and the other one wearing an over the top version of Pinkie Pie's party dress. I'd find out their names later: Nightmare Mirror, and Nightmare Granfalloon. They used their moment of surprise for all it was worth.
Mirror wrapped up Rarity in their reflective wings of hers like a cocoon, I have no idea what she was shown, but when she was let out, she was bug-eyed and drooling.
Granfalloon sprayed Derpy with rubber from a hose, turning Derpy into a living balloon pony. As Derpy was still looking at herself in shock, Granfalloon pulled out her nozzle, deflating her.
The monster clown came up behind me when I blinked and wrap Derpy's rubber body around me. Slapping a 'Don't Open Till Hearth Warming's Eve' stick over my mouth she said, "Be careful, you might rip her!"
Mad Tiara and Screwball double teamed Mirror and struck with enough force to shatter her mirror wings, instead they passed right into them. Mirror moved her wings so they were facing themselves, mom and filly came out of the mirror wings right at each other like two freight trains....Their skeletons shatters on impact, and with both our healers already down.
That left only the Nightmares' counterparts against themselves.
My...my friends...they...they put up a brave struggle...but the world was literally breaking apart around us. My friend tried so hard...they didn't give up...but...not giving up and trying hard, doesn't change the outcome when...when you're fighting a reflection of yourself that exists outside, no, that VIOLATES the rules of what's supposed to be. Fighting something that had more experience than you could ever have, that had fought you hundreds of times, but this was your first time fighting them, using overpowered spells and unbalanced techniques that you'd never seen before, but they'd seen all of your moves until they were boring. It was the most hideous thing I'd ever seen, it made Discord's games look fair!
"It's so adorable you thought you could win!" I hear Granfalloon laugh and clap.
I know what Pony Hell's gonna be, seeing what came next, forever.
"The world is dead. Your friends are dead." Mirror snorted at Dusk's words. "The future is dead. There isn't hope for anypony to save the day. This movie is over. It's time to leave the theater and get back to real life."
"Ooooh." Nightmare Granfalloon laughed. "Maybe maybe maybe she wants to float her all alone for eternity surrounded by the pieces of her home she couldn't save! Naw. That'd be just silly! Tee-hee!"
"Look at it this way, sugar, maybe the next Twilight Sparkle will get lucky where ya didn't," Nightmare Mirror sighed.
"You always did know how to joke, Applejack," That Thing said. "Now come along my little pony, there's nothing left for you here."
I watched the spirits of black magic surround my friend who gave me hope when she didn't remember what a friend was. Wrapping themselves around her. I could see her soul bubble over with darkness. Countless black threads like thin arms getting their claws into her.
And...that THING...as Twilight began twisting into something horrible as she drowned in her own shadow, pulled her into itself, absorbing her.
Derpy, the most determined pony I'd ever known, with a deflated cursed body, managed to pull the sticker off my mouth.
"Dash, I'm sorry." Derpy managed to whisper in her cursed state.
It was over anyway. The Nigtmare's own force field was the only reason there was an atmosphere around us now.
Now I knew despair. I couldn't win. I wouldn't. I never had a way to win. There never was a way to win. I wasn't alive, I wasn't a person, I wasn't a pony, was a recording, a memory, something made to play over and over…
"YOU'RE WRONG!" I screamed! "I am not what you say I am! Discord knew! He knew I had the power to break your stupid script! If we were as static as you say you wouldn't need to buckin' ex machina us so much! Screw you! We're not as predictable or preset as you say we are! You say yer the goddess of infinite loops? I'm swear I'll become the Alicorn of breaking cycles, just you watch!"
"Delusion and nonsense," fake Twilight said bored. "This movie is over, time to rewind the film."
"If Twiley's really a part of you, you won't! She gave me heart when she didn't have one! Twilight! You don't have to do what she wants! There's more worlds in the universe than ours! We don't have the right to erase them all out there just to give ours another chance!... If Discord was really being forced to be evil, then maybe he can clean up HER mess."
Mirror lowered her head.
Granfalloon yawned. "I'm bored."
"Me too, bye," Fake Twilight said. Her horn glowed and...nothing? "Huh? Why can't I reset this timeline? This doesn't make sense! Oh I see. It's you. Heh. As long as she holds onto the lie that you're a person instead of just a potential person, she refuses to let go of this movie set...A good mare knows when to take away her little sister's toys!"
Twilight, Every time I've stopped and stumbled
in doubt and darkness
I close my eyes and think back to you.
We made a vow, a promise,
To carry onward,
I'll see it through.
We'd all forged a promise when we defeated Nightmare Moon, and we forged a promise when Twilight and I woke each other up. This Rainbow isn't afraid to bear her heart.
When ponies sing, we now the lyrics from each other simply by feeling for each other. Ponies love to sing.
To put a fine or tax on it would be like a tax on hugging.
I didn't get it, but I think the Elements wanted us to win too. Maybe our friends all needed to agree inside I was our last best gamble. Maybe when ponies sing, a miracle can happen, after all, friendship is magic, and magic doesn't care if you get it or not. And this song? It held every drop of my friendship for her!
All I knew was that we weren't done!
A colored light rose from the chest of each of my friends, becoming a swirl of colors.
A rainbow of power came from each of my friends, and poured into me. Even out of fake Twilight herself, I knew it was from our real Twilight.
Derpy was finally pulled free of me, and I spread my wings.
I felt them all: AJ. Rares'. Twiley. Ditzy. Pinkie. Like they were all right besides me, naw, it was like they were a part of me, or maybe I was just the vessel and I was all a part of them. Ah who cared?! What happened next rocked!
I had the most awesome mane ever! My wings were all the colors of the rainbow! And my cutie mark went all the way down my leg! My tail and my entire body screamed 'rainbow lightning!' Unlike the power from my Element of Chaos, all the colors of my body were shining bright! I would have felt like I was going to burst if I wasn't busy feeling like I was a pony shaped container for harmony itself!
I didn't dwell on it or ask questions. I had fake Twilight's flank to kick and get my real Twilight back.
"But… this didn't happened before," fake Twilight whispered.
I sped at Sonic Rainboom speed on the spot right at the black witch.
"When I was young, the sky shone clear and bright and blue,
And I smiled through every day, knowing that all my dreams would come true."
My dreams of being a Wonderbolt flashed before my eyes, of being remembered as the fastest pegasus to ever live.
Dusk freaked and teleported away with her others, but not far enough away, at my my speed!
She tried to crush me with her telekinesis but I just powered on through.
Mirror then flew in front of the others and clapped her hooves together.
"Now that ya've grown, that sky fades dark and disappears
And the future ya once dreamed dissolves
before yers doubts and fears."
Suddenly, I was surrounded by mirrors on all sides, and several layers of reflective glass between me and the Nightmares.
I looked at myself in the surfaces, and I saw every horrible thing I'd done as Discord's pawn and all the selfish things did as a filly and mare. I saw all the short comings of my entire life and that of my friends, every time we all fell short and others suffered for it, and all the times I never learned a thing.
Then all the reflections turned towards me accusingly, and threw knives made out of reflective silver right at me from every angle. I became a blur of after images as I deflected them all back where they came from. Nightmare Mirror creating new mirrors for every one I smashed just by reflecting another mirror's reflection off another.
I let out a flash of light strong enough to block out the reflections, and I zapped passed the mass of mirrors but still had several mirror walls stopping me.
I closed my eyes. And thought of Twilight's hug that night her bedroom when I'd come to kill her.
"Then you came to me,
Took me by the hand,
And the strength you shared helped me to rise and stand.
Let the clocks tick by,
Let the days fade away,
'Cause I've found the path my heart will
"Closein' yer eyes to the truth? Typical RD!"
I slammed my wings together to created a Sonic Rainboom. The shockwave went in every direction, shattering the mirrors, and the mirrors behind those mirrors, and so on.
Nightmare Mirror herself cracked in spots.
I noticed similar cuts appearing on Twilight's Nightmare's body, she didn't even look at her own injuries.
"Applejack! Get back! You're hurt!"
This AJ, this Pinkie Pie this...this Twilight...they had they had their Rainbow Dash too didn't they? Their Spike, their Apple Bloom. And they were all gone now. Maybe they were the ones giving me the strength to do this too.
"Good luck," Mirror said, looking right at me as she was pulled back inside the body of Twilight's Nightmare, How strange. It was almost like she'd said good luck to me, not Twilight's Nightmare.
Dusk summoned a bajillion shadow monsters, cockatrices, weird wall monsters, (they're called Nurikabe? Thanks!) tentacles thingies I can't describe, and creatures that could have been changelings disguised as red bat ponies, except the harmony inside me screamed these things weren't ponies. Fine by me, just meant I didn't have to play nice!
"When I was young, my friends were always by my side,
If I faltered, they would hold me tight,
push my wor-ries a-side." It was like Twilight, Derpy, and all the rest were there fighting alongside me, even Fluttershy! All the adventures we'd had in Ponyville flew through me.
I created living afterimages, creating different lightning constructs for each other, ripping through the horde. Dusk just kept summoning more. This got worse when Granfalloon began firing a barrage of party cannons into the melee! That she was hitting some of Dusk's summons meant nothing when she could keep summoning more. Dusk sang.
"The years go by and friends faded further
day by day.
Now there's none left you can trust, and all alone
you fall and pray."
I thought of Twilight, my Twilight, this Twilight, all of them, having to go through Discord ripping us away from her one by one until she collapsed inside herself. And me, left alone with no friends as Discord kept me mostly sane as the others twisted more and more into mockeries.
Whatever power I'd been given, something told me it wasn't limitless, and I had a feeling that's what the Nightmares were counting on too. I could feel it burning out.
Granfalloon laughed. "Stop being so serious Dashie, we reset things, and boom, you're just back where your started. No loss! And all those ponies are alive again, big gain!"
"Pinkie Pie! That'll be ANOTHER Rainbow Dash! It won't be me!"
"Heh, stop being a stick in the mud Dashie, it won't kill you to just enjoy everything! This is a comedy!"
"There's nothing funny about this!"
"Now now Dashie, this is Twilight's story she's writing, what she says goes, go write your own story Dashie if you're that upset."
Dammit! This hurt! More so than the army of monsters trying to petrify, block, molest, violate, or dissolve me! That was Pinkie Pie talking, even if she was now a monster. It wasn't like Angry Pie where she was turned upside down from everything she was. Here it was like, she was pressed flat and taken over by a cancer!
Tentacles grabbed me from behind as one of the 'ponies' came at me with an obvious intent in her eyes grinning. I grabbed her by the neck with my back legs and slammed her into the tentacle thing behind me. My after images and constructs were burning out.
If...if Granfalloon was still Pinkie Pie somewhere inside...what about all the Twilights that made up the big Nightmare?
I look right at Dusk right in the eyes, and I sang, TO HER! To my Twilight still inside her.
"Then your voice resounds,
Shining like a light
And in har-mon-y our song endures the night
Though the mount-ains fall,
Though the world fade to dust,
Still in you I've found a strength that I can trust."
And for a few seconds, her magic sputtered out (also her magic being the only keeping most of her summon alive in the vacuum of space). This made Granfalloon stop her barrage and look at her confused. Bingo. I zoomed at the distraction, and jack hammered my rear legs into her head with enough force to make AJ proud, of course she'd squeak. Dusk also cried out as she felt Granfalloon's pain.
"Can you see me now? I'm racing
Into that blue sky,
Free and faster than ever before!"
I did some business and zoomed back before she threw a pie the size of a house at me. I dodged to find all her party cannons aimed right at me and fired all at once. She didn't notice I had clogged them with Dusk's own summons when her head was spinning.
"Over the walls
and boundaries of this darkness prison
Into the light."
The resulting explosion left Granfalloon's eyes spinning in different directions with her tongue out. I flew at her intending to go THROUGH her, Dusk pulled her back within herself before that happened.
I sang at the Nightmare as she summoned fireballs the size of buildings in the vacuum of space.
"With your help my hope is rising,
I was nothing, but when I'm with you I fly."
The fireballs flicked out.
"We can make it through this night,
If we con-nect." Dusk sang and covered her mouth. My heart leapt.
"I won't let you erase what Twilight and I have made!"
Dusk created crystals that fired laser beams along with one from her horn and eyes. I dodged, GRABBED THE FREAKIN' LASERS AND BENT THEM BACK TOWARDS HER!
"Lasers and rainbows, are both light beotch!"
Dusk summoned concept killing rods and tried to second-guess me, but I was too fast, too wild, and Twilight was giving her trouble!
She screamed. "Why can't you just give up? You have nothing left to fight for!"
"For my friends!"
"We're one now! You're attacking a friend!"
"Then I'll fight my hardest to stop you from doing something horrible as a friend should!"
Dusk darkly sang back at me.
"Here you stand: a world of ruin,
No path to guide you onward."
I sang right back.
"Still I smile and face the day;
With you I'll find my way."
Even if Twilight's soul was torn to shreds and remolded, I knew she wouldn't forget this song.
Dusk teleported around me, firing flame, lightning (heh), ice, sonics to flay my bones, razor sharp winds, creating an atmosphere just so she could use half of these techniques! Girl forgot that for a pegasus, that gives me more advantage than her! I could dodge them in my sleep.
"Thousand years memorizing your fightin' style, remember Twilight?"
"Several hundred thousand years memorizing yours."
I'd call it a bluff, but she's likely killed me more than times than I can count. But her attacks were getting more wild and off center. She grew to giant size, and forgot that just made her a big target and shrank back down after some good smacks!
"Now my heart's alive, and racing
Towards the future,
There's no doubt that
Could dare hold me back."
She created some dark spiritual double of me, I beat in ten seconds flat. I panted.
"I'm gonna fly on forward into a blue sky, bound-less and bright."
I could tell the Nightmare was trying to teleport again, maybe out of the solar system and make the sun go super nova, it would fit with her style.
But I had a feeling a friend was messing with her.
"I still pray and know
That one day we'll be together
I'll ride onward
And see you again, my friend."
The Nightmare croaked out,
"I won't stop until the end,
I won't give in."
Her horn glowed, a pulsing sphere of red light formed at the tip, aimed straight at me. "BE UNMADE!" She fired a column of red light at me.
I didn't try to plow through it, I flew around it, she expanded it like an umbrella, getting wider, obliterating anything still around us, I was faster through, and zoomed in behind her, she tried to turn around but I was too fast.
She kept firing that spell for way too long, and finally, as I think my reserves of this power were finally giving out, her own reserves gave out first.
And I swear, we both sang.
"To-mor-row's look-ing bright …"
I dove straight towards her, vibrating my hoof to increasing it's mass for a good socking in the face, then I'd use my Element on hers and that should-
"Rain'!" She turned into…
"Rain'!" She was crying.
And in that one moment, I hesitated.
"Get away!" She screamed. The next, she was driving a summoned sword into my chest...right in my Element.
Twilight looked at me heart broken.
The power inside me shuts down.
Suddenly she was Nightmare Dusk again, and Nightmare Granfalloon and Nightmare Mirror reemerged at that exactly moment, grabbing me and holding my limbs like a vice.
"There… that helped break her out of her fantasy should get her to listen to reason," the boss Nightmare said like she had just helped Rarity arrange her dresses.
The sword still in my Element, she put a hoof on her chest and assumed a pose. "Ahem. Dear Princess Celestia, though our friends can trap themselves in illusions and fantasies, we shouldn't let them stay there. As friends. It's our responsibility to drag them out of these lies and help them face reality.
Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle."
Dusk smiled at me like I'd just gotten out of the hospital.
Mirror whispered, "Sorry Sugarcube, ya lose."