*****Third Person POV ~ Canterlot Prison*****
Silence reigned upon the cold, stone walls of Canterlot’s prime penitentiary. Under Princess Celestia’s leadership, these cells were normally empty. Their existence was only meant to scare those days, not to be used. Now, five of these one hundred cells were occupied. Five ponies, left to rot within those walls. There was a sixth, however. A sixth that had shared that prison with the five. A sixth that no longer was among the living.
Twilight sat in silence in her cell. Her entire world had crashed down, quite literally. She and her friends would spend the rest of their days in these cells, never to be free again. Not only that, but they would always be incomplete. She looked longingly to the empty cell across the way where only the previous morning a close friend had laid her head.
“I never even got to apologize,” Twilight whispered to herself. Those walls, however, carried sounds much better than those of plywood and drywall. The deafening silence didn’t hurt the sound either.
“None of us have, darling,” spoke Rarity from the next cell over. Twilight glanced in that direction, even if she couldn’t actually see her friend. “We’ve all been fairly horrible to each other as of late.”
Twilight leaned her head slightly through the cell door, trying to look at Rarity. She was able to catch a small glimpse of the fashion mare lying on her bed, simply staring at the ceiling. She retracted her head and resumed her sitting.
“Yeah,” Twilight heard Pinkie on the other side of her cell. That had been the first time she had spoken since… she still couldn’t think about, it hurt so much. “We all used to be the bestest best buddies there ever were. Now look at us.” Twilight she swore she heard Pinkie sniffling. “We’re broken.”
“Broken don’t even begin to cover it,” Applejack groaned out. Twilight looked at the farm mare’s “accommodations” across the way, next to the abandoned cell. Applejack was occupying her time through exercise, a way of distracting herself from the morning’s events. “At the rate we were goin’, we’ve matched Discord in terms of chaos. Goin’ down a dark path, we were. Eeyup!” She completed another set and moved to the other hoof as she continued her push ups.
Twilight glanced over to the other cell adjacent to the empty one, where Rainbow sat with her back to the group. Like Pinkie, Dash hadn’t said a word since that morning, seemingly content with a grieving silence.
“Rainbow?” Twilight gently called out to her pegasus friend.
“What?” she nearly growled out.
“I know you’re upset, but please talk to us. I don’t want our friendship to continue to falter.”
“Didn’t stop you from breaking it in the first place.”
Twilight froze. Then she lowered her head and sniffled as another tear fell to the cold, damp floor. “You’re right, Rainbow. You’re absolutely right. I let my own anger control me and it turned me into a monster. I threatened all of you and turned my back on our friendship. I just wish I could take it back and maybe then…” More tears and a sob escaped her lips. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.”
Rainbow sighed and turned to finally face the group. Her eyes were bloodshot and deeply red, showing how much she had truly been crying. Twilight had to hold back a gasp at the sight, never having seen her friend cry before. Rainbow’s fur was still matted and stained from her tears, making her truly look like a mess. Then she spoke three words that resonated deep within Twilight.
“I forgive you.”
Twilight was shocked to say the least. When she was finally able to find her voice again, all she could do was to ask, “W-why? Why do forgive me?”
Rainbow Dash looked at the lavender mare with a wry smile. “Because we’re friends, egghead. Friend’s forgive each other for their blunders. And of course, I never turn my back on my friends.”
Twilight looked at Rainbow Dash again, only this time with a smile of her own. New tears were building in her eyes. The first signs of joy the mare had felt in days.
“Ah suppose Ah forgive ya too, sugar cube.”
Twilight snapped her head back to Applejack, her mouth agape. “W-wha?!”
“Ya may’ve been actin’ more like a mule than a pony lately, but that don’t mean we ain’t friends. Ah stuck by Kat because she was bein’ stupid and needed somepony to keep her on the right track. So, Imma stick by you too. Get that flank going the right direction again,” she said with a small laugh.
“Applejack….” Twilight mumbled happily.
“That goes for me too, darling.” Twilight stuck her head through the bars, looking over to see Rarity doing the same. “You are a true friend, Twilight. I feel as if we’ve been friends for a long time. For the life of me I don’t know why, but that is how I feel. And I know that a few mistakes happen in friendships, but helping eachother move past them is what makes those bonds even stronger.”
“Rarity…” Twilight whispered in awe and happiness.
“Yay!” Pinkie squeed. “We’re all still the bestest of the bestest buddies!!” Twilight looked over and saw Pinkie bouncing up and down with her head through the bars. “Hugs!!”
“Pinkie,” Twilight chuckled happily, “We can’t hug, we’re not in the same cells.”
“Air hugs, silly,” Pinkie said in a ‘duh’ kind of tone.
The other mares giggled, but did just that. It wasn’t quite the same as their usual group hugs, but it made Twilight feel warmer inside. Even as her happiness grew, she couldn’t help but glance at the vacant cell across the way. There was still something missing, or somepony missing that is. Twilight sighed, truly missing Fluttershy. She noticed out of the corner of her eye that the others were watching the cell too, longing in their eyes.
Suddenly, their whole world was shaken, the five mares jumbled about the massive quake.
“What was that?” Twilight yelled as the shaking stopped.
“Sounded like an explosion,” Rainbow said, trying to look out her window. “Nothing else could break the sound barrier like that.”
“How do ya know it broke the sound barrier?” asked Applejack.
“Trust me,” Rainbow said with a cocky grin. “I know.”
“That, ladies, is the beginning of your escape.”
Each of their heads snapped to the source of the voice and they gaped at the sight. Standing at the end of their cells was a little, purple, baby dragon, spinning a key on one of his claws.
“SPIKE?!” they all yelled in surprise.
“Who were you expecting? Derpy?” Spike walked over to each cell and unlocked the doors with the keys. Once the last door was opened, Spike found himself in the midst of a massive group hug. Even got a kiss on the cheek from Rarity.
“Oh Spikey! We’re so glad you’re ok!” Rarity gushed, now keeping the drake to herself. Not that he minded in the least.
“But what are you doing here? It’s dangerous!” Twilight nearly yelled, rather than asked.
“Rescue detail,” Spike said simply.
“Huh?” they all responded.
“Garble and the others are waiting outside, we need to go. I’ll explain everything on the way out.” Spike reluctantly freed himself from Rarity’s grasp and started to run down the hall. “Come on! More guards will be here soon!”
That was all the encouragement they needed and they followed the drake with a rushing pace. “So what’re y’all doin’ here, Spike?” AJ asked as they ran.
“The Dragon Emperor dispatched us, Pacolytese, and another dragon to avenge Fluttershy and to help Kat however we can. Turns out Flitter was a dragon ambassador after Kat was sealed. She’s a beloved pony in dragon history. As such, the murder of her descendant had really ticked off Paco.”
“All because of Fluttershy?” Twilight asked in surprise.
“Yep.” Spike looked over his shoulder and smiled at his caretaker. “We’re gonna avenge her and make things right.”
Twilight was surprised by the fiery fury in Spike’s voice as he said those words. They kept running, hoping to catch up to the other dragons.
“There’s the exit!” Spike said as they neared a light up ahead. “Garble, TK, and Tiny should be right outside. From there, we find Raven and kick her butt!”
Twilight was the only one who remained silent, she was stopped by something on the wall near the exit. It blended in so well with the dark corridor she nearly missed it. Twilight walked right up to the fairly large object and, with determination in her eyes, she ripped it from the walls with a levitation spell.
“Come on Twi!” Applejack called from door. “We gotta go!”
“Coming!” She ran to the others with the object in her telekinetic grasp. When she caught up, they all gasped at what she had.
“Yes it is, Spike. And we’re going with you.” Now the fire was in her eyes too. “No one messes with our friends.” Everyone smiled at her and then walked out of the prison, determined to do what they could to help.
We were finally nearing the throne room. Along the way, we had been attacked several times after that first Hulk. There had been roughly six more a little further ahead. Kat had Extinguished each and every one of them. Later, we had come across one of the rarer forms of nevi: Spike Bombs. Simple nevi that explode with spikes, then retreat back into its eye form. Kat had walked right through the field of spikes and, with one punch, shattered its existence.
There were no words as Kat continued to take on more and more nevi as we walked the path to the throne room. We faced Stars, Spearquines, Squids, and even a Long Leg. What’s a Long Leg? The tallest of the nevi, Long Legs are nearly twelve feet tall and have the appearance of a large mawed beast. The only advantage to them was that they were fairly skinny legged, making them easy to trip. Which Kat did before brutally kicking in its eyes.
When we rounded the corner, guarding the throne room doors was at least twenty Minions, lead by a lone Hulk. They spotted us quickly and the Minions rushed forward, jumping into the air in hopes of crushing us beneath them.
They never stood a chance.
Kat simply raised her hand and Extinguished the entire group in an instant. I was wide-eyed at the sight, looking at Kat in shock. They were the most recent of her victims. Kat had Extinguished at least three of each nevi we had come across. This was a forbidden technique, but she just kept using it over and over again. It was...disconcerting to say the least. With each one, though, Kat would get stronger, taking on the nevis’ strengths and abilities.
The Hulk roared at us for destroying its army, but Kat ignored it and started walking again as if nothing was wrong. The nevi didn’t like being ignored, it seemed, as it rushed right at Kat. She just kept walking, making it three-fourths of the way to the doors before the Hulk was bearing down on her.
Kat stood straight as the nevi attacked her, its arm raised to crush her. The arm swung and I nearly cried out, but just as the arm got near her, it moved slightly to her left and smashing into the ground next to her. I swore that the Hulk’s front eye blinked in surprise.
“My tun,” Kat said simply. She cocked back her fist and let it fly! The Hulk’s eye shattered on impact and its whole body was thrown back through the door. When it hit the floor, there was so much pressure and power behind the strike, that the back eyes shattered as well and the monster dissipated into nothingness. A stamina crystal remained behind, and Kat summoned it to her hand, crushing it and restoring her energy.
“Well, well, well, look who’s here.”
Kat and I looked up to see Raven sitting upon Celestia’s throne, smiling down at us. “If it isn’t Kat, come to exact her vengeance it would seem.”
“Raven,” Kat replied simply.
“Do you like what I’ve done with the place?” she asked, spreading her arms wide. “The nevi really tie in the castle, don’t they?”
“They make things interesting, I’ll give you that.” Kat’s glare never once lessened.
“They do, they really do.”
“Where are Celestia and Luna?” Kat demanded.
“Who? Oh! You mean my servants.” She swept her arm to the side, having us follow her line of sight. Standing off to the side was Celestia and Luna, both wearing French maid uniforms. I was frankly quite surprised at their new… ‘attire’. Though Celestia did pull it off quite well….
….She would kill me all over again if she ever knew I even thought that. Neither looked very happy to be in uniform though as they were both scowling quite hard.
“Quite fetching, if I do say so myself,” Raven commented as she walked closer to us, stopping only about ten feet away. “Suits those animals just fine.”
“You never did grow out of that stupid fetish,” Kat said emotionlessly. “You and your messed up reasons for needing to see everyone in a maid outfit.”
“Oh don’t be like that,” she said poshly. “I remember you quite enjoying wearing the one I put you in all those years ago, Ally–”
Raven’s sentence was cut off as Kat practically teleported in her face and decked her into the wall behind the throne. I took that moment to mist myself over on to Celestia’s back. She noticed and nodded a greeting to me, same with Luna. I responded with a polite nod myself.
Raven groaned as she picked herself out of the wall and back on her feet. “Good punch,” she complimented.
Kat just stood there, glaring daggers at the other shifter.
“What? No snarky comeback? No insults? I was expecting banter of some ki--”
“Shut up!” Kat growled at Raven and, for once, she looked surprised. “You will not call me ‘Ally’. I am not her anymore. I am Kat Shifter. And you!” She pointed right at Raven. “Are not Rita. You are Raven Masters, my enemy. My target. My victim!”
Celestia looked surprised, before narrowing her eyes at Kat. She gasped at what she saw.
“You see it too, then,” I said quietly.
Celestia nodded her head. “Her eyes. Those cold, calculating, deadly eyes. That is not Kat standing there. That is General Shifter, the greatest military leader in Equestrian history.”
“So it is true,” Luna added. “I never joined Kat in battle, but I had heard the stories. How her eyes would become the color of blood and her personality changes.”
“Yes,” I nodded. “Kat is much more violent like this and will have no mercy. This is Kat at her most deadly.”
“This will be a dangerous battle indeed,” Celestia commented. “But one I wouldn’t miss for the world.”
Raven stared at me in shock and then started to laugh. “Ahaha!! Oh, so this is the great Kat Shifter I heard so much about.” She started to walk around me, eyeing me with interest. “The great general who took down dragons, decimated minotaurs, ripped apart griffins, and obliterated the changelings. You finally show your true colors. As a ruthless murderer.”
“A ruthless protector,” I corrected. “Enough talking, Raven. We are going to end this fight here and now. And one of us isn’t walking away in the end.”
“So sure of yourself now,” Raven said mockingly. “You’re finally going to give me a proper fight? Can you really kill your own sister?”
“You are not my sister. Rita was a kind and caring girl, who would never do what you have done. We are not sisters, not anymore.”
Raven glared harshly at me, no doubt realizing how serious I was. “No matter what you think, it is the truth! We are who we --”
“Enough!” I shouted, interrupting her for a third time. Raven just stared daggers at me as I continued. “It ends here, Raven. Your tyranny, your threats. You. End. Here!” My whole body suddenly was ablaze with energy and I shot forward at Raven.
She recognized the threat immediately, encasing herself in her blue-black aura. I put my feet forward and plowed forward with a powerful Gravity Kick. Raven covered herself by crossing her arms out in front. My foot slammed right into her guard, creating a shockwave that put a crater in the tile flooring.
Raven glared as the dust settled and the shaking stopped. She threw out her arms to send me away in a massive wave of energy.
I was thrown several feet, but righted myself against the far wall. I reached out with my powers and ripped two chunks of rock out, one on either side of me, and fired one at Raven. It shot like a bullet, only to have my opponent punch it out of existence upon reaching her. I saw my opportunity and had fired the other almost immediately, slamming into Raven hard.
She picked herself up off the floor, growling in anger. “You’ll pay for that, Kat!” she spat at me. In her hand, her sword appeared through a portal and she ran at me. “Die!!” She began to thrust her rapier at me with such speed that it was extremely difficult to dodge.
I avoided a particularly deadly strike only for Raven to smirk and kick me in the gut.
I staggered back and she blasted me into the wall. I felt a ton of pressure fall against me and I realize that Raven had pinned me into the wall. I had difficulty just moving my head to look at her, those cold eyes focused on me in hatred.
“This wasn’t how you were supposed to die,” she told me as she slowly walked towards me. “Your death was going to signify the beginning of a new era for this world. It would have struck fear into the nations of the world that even the great Gravity, the strongest this world possessed, could defeat me. And you just had to ruin that! You always ruin everything!” She pointed her sword right at my neck. “No more. You will never hurt me again.”
Dammit! Move Kat, move! I shouted to myself. But it was no use, with my powers only still recovering, she had the advantage in that scenario. That didn’t stop me from doing my best to break it. I felt the blade leave my throat, glinting in the light of the morning sun as she raised it behind her head.
Raven thrust forward and…nothing but the sound of metal on metal.
I looked in shock to see my shield floating in front of me, blocking Raven’s lethal blow.
“What the?!” Raven cried out.
“Get away from our friend!” Applejack and Rainbow Dash yelled as they punched the Gravity Master away from me. She was sent flying back into the air, righting herself above us with a sneer.
“Putrid farm animals!” she snarled.
“Takes one to know one,” Rarity shouted back as she, Pinkie, and Twilight helped me out of the crater.
“Are you alright, Kat?” Pinkie asked with concern.
“Yeah, I’m good,” I answered in surprise. “Why are you all here? I thought….because of….”
Twilight put a hoof to my mouth with a sad smile. “You’re our friend. I’m sorry, for everything.”
I could feel a twinge of tears piling up behind my eyes as I gave her a smile. “I’m sorry, too.” Twilight and I hugged, confirming our friendship was rekindled.
“Disgusting!” Raven yelled out. We all turned up to her, glaring harshly. “I’m tired of all of you! This time,” her power began to radiate even brighter as the castle began to shake, “I’ll kill each and every last one of you!” The entire ceiling above us shattered into a storm of rubble and debris. Raven screamed and an army of nevi, including two, count ‘em, two Nushi!
“Shit,” I cursed. I felt something land in my lap and I saw that Twilight had given me my shield.
“Focus on Raven,” she told me. “We’ll take care of the nevi.”
“What?! Are you insane?! How are you going to take those things on?!”
“With them!” Pinkie pointed to the sky and I saw two dark figures in the distance. Faster than I could track, the blurs became much larger and slammed into the Nushi, causing the nevi to cry out in pan. Twin roars were blasted from the massive monsters that attacked the Nushi, lighting the nevi ablaze. They crashed into the massive army, obliterating on contact. From the fire, two massive dragons appeared. I instantly recognized one as Paco, but the other was unknown to me. The girls, however, let out a gasp.
“Ah don’t believe it,” Applejack said with a slack jaw. “It’s that dragon from before! The one Fluttershy convinced to move before his snorin’ covered all of Equestria!”
“Yep.” I looked over and saw my dragon team there, along with Spike. “That’s my old man. The ferocious Fire Fang. The greatest dragon warrior in millennia.”
The massive red dragon let out a roar into the heavens, rattling the very ground below us. “For harming such an innocent soul,” he shouted, “you will burn!!” He made this true by lighting up many of the nevi monsters.
Spike walked over to me and put a claw on my shoulder. “We got them nevi covered Kat. Go get her.”
I looked to all of my friends, each and everyone of them nodding in agreement with solemn faces. I reverted back to General Shifter, placing my shield in its proper position. “Keep them off and away from us. Keep an eye out for her bird as well. If you see it, shout it to me. I’ll take it from there. Am I understood?”
They all saluted the best they could. “Ma’am, yes ma’am!”
“Good.” I took off into the air, to join the stunned Raven.
As soon as I was on the same level, she turned to me, trembling in rage. “You. Ruin. EVERYTHING!! I’ll kill you!!” Her sword suddenly disappeared and was replaced with….aw shit! Raven then swung mjolnir at me, forcing me to duck back as the massive warhammer swung by. “I’ll destroy you with the very weapon Celestia had made to kill you! How fitting that its destiny will be fulfilled after all! Now die!”
I braced my shield against the next swing.
And the next one.
And the one that followed after that.
One after another, the hits kept coming. Raven’s extreme strength made it easy to swing such a dense weapon. I could feel my teeth chattering with each and every blow.
Then, the impossible happened.
Her last strike had been enough to send me back to the wall, but I had braced my body against it and used it to propel me even faster at her.
Raven swung mjolnir…..
I put my shield directly in front of me….
And we collided. The force of the collision racked the battlefield below with a massive shock wave. But the more surprising thing was….both of our weapons had shattered!!
Mjolnir was blasted into oblivion due to the ferocity of the strike, while my shield had shattered into several pieces.
Thankfully, my staff had survived the attack. I grabbed it from the ruble, causing it to extend.
While I was shocked, Raven was dumbfounded. Her eyes had that thousand-yard stare and her body tremble. Then her eyes focused into fierce pools of hatred. She yelled out bloody murder, reappearing her rapier and struck at me.
I defended with my staff, each of us parrying the other. Blow, after blow, after blow, we clashed high above the field of battle. The fires roared around us as the dragons burned away her monsters, while my friends defended the princesses.
It was the fiercest battle in Equestrian history.
Eventually, I grew tired of our constant back and forth, so I parried her last blow, then wormholed up above Raven and slammed my staff into head. Like a cement block, Raven dropped out of the sky and onto what remained of the castle floor. I floated down not too far from the groggy shifter. Using my powers, I lifted up the remaining pieces of my shield from the floor and began to have them orbit my body. Round and round they went, their speed increasing with every revolution.
Raven must have picked up on my trick as she began to fire rocks and rubble at me. For each one, I shifted a shield piece and blocked them. No matter how many she threw, I was perfectly defended. I moved closer to her, forcing her on the defense with my perfect technique.
As I struck, my “shield” would form to protect me from any counter attack as well be sharp and agile enough to be a weapon themselves. Raven parried time and time again, getting more and more frustrated that she couldn't attack me.
Then out of nowhere, “Kat! Look out! The bird!”
I turned to Spike in a second of confusion. That one bit of hesitation was enough for Raven to fire a Push, breaking my concentration on my shield. She opened up several portals, causing the pieces to disappear into oblivion.
I would have cursed if not for the screech that assaulted my ears...and the talons that suddenly clawed my face. I shrieked in pain as Raven’s bird began to attack me. I growled at the pest and struck at it with my staff, sending the damned thing into the far wall.
Turning quick, I did the same to Raven but with my boot instead and sending her in the opposite direction. She slammed into the pillar, causing it to collapse behind her as she slumped to the ground.
I walked over to my enemy and stared down at her from. “Get up, Raven. I will give you that honor. Now stand and face me.”
Raven groggily shook her head, groaning as she put a hand to her head. “Ugh...where, where am I?” Her voice was suddenly softer and much more….like I remembered. She looked up at me and I instantly noticed that her eyes were much softer and full of warmth. Raven gasped when she saw me. “Ally?” she asked like an innocent child.
I was at a loss for words as she suddenly flung herself up at me and hugged me around the neck. “Oh my god!! Ally it is you!! I’m so happy to see you!!” she shouted out in happiness and glee.
I was stunned, all I could say was, “....what the fuck!?”