Spectra looked into one of the Crystal walls and could see events unfold before her, as sorrow and concern covered her face. The royal guards that were under prince blue bloods command had managed to take control of the Crystal Empire, the crystal guards had been turned to stone, and the Crystal Ponies now hid the best they could from their new oppressors, any attempt to contact the royal family was being intercepted, except from Steel to Prince Blue Blood. "I had hoped to have more time for him to master all the armors abilities." Spectra turned and looked at another scene of Orion fighting several titan class monsters at once. "But it seems I do not have a choice." As Spectra's horn started to glow Orion appeared before her, slightly stunned at the change of surroundings but then smiled at Spectra.
"You summon me madam?"
"Orion it would seem our time for training as shorter than I thought, the Crystal Empire needs you, it seems Prince Blue Blood has sent his royal guards to take over the empire." Spectra motioned to the image of the Crystal Ponies hiding from the royal blue guards.
"Seems a little pointless, once Princess Celestia finds out she will most likely beat his flank with an asteroid belt."
"It is not the empire that he wants but the location of Crystal Shard's old lab, it contains countless spells and inventions created by him that have been lost over the ages, the armor you now wear was only one of his creations, should his lost devices fall into the wrong hoofs Equestria would be in a great deal of trouble."
"Where is the lab?"
"In a place that Blue Blood and his minions will never be able to find it, but that doesn't mean that they won't harm innocent ponies to try and achieve their goal." with that Orion nodded and Spectra smiled. "Now I know you haven't mastered everything about the armor but even the small amount you have learned should give you an edge against these forces."
"Haven't mastered? I've been training for years."
"In the Nexus it felt like years, but in truth you've only been training for eight hours, you have yet to scratch the surface of what you wear, but what you know now should still give you an upper hoof in this." with that Orion nodded and Spectra teleported him out of the Nexus where with a simple thought the armor seemed to vanish and leave a plain Crystal pony. "Once you have freed the captured Crystal Ponies send them to the Palace I will put it into defense mode."
"Another bit of information lost to the ages, now go they don't have much time left."
"To your right, the guards are accumulating the captives at the edge of the empire." with that Orion started to run in the direction that Spectra indicated. "Oh dear,... Orion you have to hurry i just saw the latest letter Blue Blood sent to Steel, he just gave him the order to do whatever it took to find the lab." Elsewhere at the edge of the empire Steel walked between a group of caged adult ponies, and a small group of foals.
"Now then we don't want to hurt anypony here, but you ponies have information that I want." Steel said, as he turned to the adults and gave them a slightly annoyed look.
"But we don't know anything honestly." one of the Crystal Mares said, as she nuzzled close to her husband.
"That's where you're wrong, you see my lord wants the location of Crystal Edge's lab, and he has just given me permission to obtain this information by any means necessary." Steel turned his head and pulled a foal from the other group. ignoring the screams from the child wanting to be let go, and the gasp of the adults as well as their demands to leave the foal alone.
"GEMINI!" the mare from before screamed as her foal was levitated off the ground.
"RELEASE MY SON YOU MONSTER!" the Stallion demanded as he glared at Steel.
"Then tell me what I want to know or watch as you colt learns the meaning of pain." with those words Steel's horn started to glow red changing the magic around the foal just before it let out a scream of agony, before Steel changed it back. "Now tell me what I want to know or little Gemini here will be only the first one to suffer for your refusal to help."
"YOU MONSTER!" Gemini's father yelled, as he slammed his fore hoofs against the cage. "You'll never get away with this, the royal family will never let this stand."
"If you haven't noticed I'm a royal guard, I'm doing this under orders and." Steel was cut off as a bolt of magic struck his horn breaking his concentration on holding Gemini who quickly ran to his caged parents for comfort. "WHO DARES!"
"SIR IN COMING!" on of the guards yelled, as he pointed at Orion running towards them. "IGNORE HIM I WANT TO KNOW WHO JUST ATTACKED ME!" Steel rubbed his horn feeling the attack had managed to crack it slightly.
"It was him sir."
"He's a Crystal Pony he can't cast magical spells. Just capture him and cage him with the others." As several Royal guards charged forward Steel watched as Orion seem to make short work of them in hoof to hoof combat, causing the general to face hoof. "HE'S AN EARTH PONY USE YOUR MAGIC YOU IDIOTS!" As another group of Royal Blue guards attacked from a distance Steel watched as Orion was hit with a barrage of attacks kicking out a large cloud of dust filling the street. "Well that was a short lived rebellion." Steel said as he turned and looked at Gemini who was still in tears from before. "Now where were we?" As Steel's magic started to pull Gemini away from his parents the colt screamed in terror, while both parents started to plead for Steel to release their child, but their begging was only answered a second later as Steel slammed against the cage way for an instant before he was turned to face his attacker only a split second before he found himself on the receiving end of a volly hoof strikes and kicks. As his fellow royal guards ran to his aid they soon found themselves being pulled into the assault and unable to counter or defend against the attacker. "I WANT WINGS IN THE AIR NOW!!" Steel yelled when he got a moment away from the assault and smiled as he small a small group of Pegasus guards flying overhead. "DROP HIM!" As steel pointed as Orion a group of the pegasus swooped in and snatched Orion up and started to fly into the air, but to their surprise even once they cleared the skyline he didn't stop assaulting them. After Steel rubbed the blood from his mouth he turned to the adults and smirked. "Alright you better get a good look because this is what's going to happen to these brats if one of you don't start talking." High above the empire the Pegasus guards flew the best they could as Orion continued to struggle.
"Hey I wonder if Crystal Ponies go splat or if they shatter?" one of the guards asked as he laughed at his fellow flier.
"Let's find out." with that both guards let Orion go watching as he fell back to the empire.
"Well guess it's now or never." with that Orion's disguise vanished before Red Crystal like wings appeared and he slowed his decent until he remained hovering only ten feet off the ground with his forelegs crossed as he looked down at Steel.
"SHOOT HIM, SHOOT HIM DOWN!!" Steel ordered only to watch as his fellow unicorn guards open fired to have no effect before beams of light shot from the eyes of the armor and encased the guards in a crystal like prison. "W-what?"
"Prism beam, it's a way I can capture my enemies alive." Orion explained as he landed and his wings vanished as he got up on his hind legs and started to walk towards Steel two Crystal like blades extended from his forehoofs. "You attacked the Crystal empire, you imprisoned its subjects, and abused them, just one of these would be a declaration of war." Orion stopped as the two pegasus guards that had dropped him before landed in front of Steel wings flared and ready for battle, getting Steel to smirk slightly but as Orion seem to teleport past the two guards Steel watched as a second later they both fell over encased in a crystal prisons each.
"Th-this can't be?... what are you?"
"I am Orion, and you Steel are my prisoner." with that Orion swung one of the blades at him, as Steel felt intense pain from his horn he fell to the ground as the sensation of his body slowly being encased in crystal started to wash over him he looked up slightly and saw just at Orion's hoofs what looked like a horn, as the realization washed over him he started to let out a scream of anger and agony before the prison silenced him. As the crystal blades retracted Orion went to all fours he walked over and broke the cage door. the first two to get out was Gemini's parents that quickly ran to their foal and held him close.
"Thank you, I don't even know how we can repay you." Gemini's father said, as he looked at Orion.
"Get everypony to the palace, find anypony in hiding tell them that the palace is safe."
"But you beat them, isn't it safe?"
"This could only be the first wave." with that information Gemini's father nodded and started to get the other ponies to head for the palace. "Spectra?"
"You're right to send them to the palace, there is a train heading for the Crystal Empire with all of Blue Blood's forces, seems Steel requested it in his last letter to the prince."
"What are we looking at?" there was no response. "Spectra?"
"Concentrate on getting the ponies to the palace right now."
"How long do we have?"
"At the rate of the train and the march from the station, an hour, but once the ponies are in the palace I can condense the shield to the inner sanctum."
"What will that do?"
"I can prevent anything from coming in or going out."
"Why couldn't you do that before?"
"Because the shield was to large, it was able to keep out a certain evil but not all, with the smaller shield I can prevent anything from entering or leaving."
"Sounds like a plan." with that Orion started to head for the palace. "Now let's find out what happened to the Crystal guards." As the crystal ponies found their fellow ponies and started to head to the palace, Orion entered the throne room and found that it was filled with stone guards. "Spectra?"
"They're still alive."
"Can you undo this?"
"I'm sorry but no, if they were inside the Crystal Nexus I could."
"Why is that?"
"My magic is more powerful inside the Nexus, and I can't leave it without risking my life." Orion nodded then looked out the window. "You said I can't face them alone."
"Not without knowing the true extent of the powers you can unleash, you haven't had enough time to learn all the armor can do."
"But I know enough to at least stall." with no response Orion knew Spectra knew what he was thinking, as he started to pace back and forth he looked at the guards. "Spectra is there a way to let them have mobility again?"
"I believe so, what are you thinking about?"
"The last line." Just then Gemini ran in and slid to a halt before saluting Orion, getting Orion to look down at him slightly confused.
"You're supposed to salute back." Gemini instructed getting Orion to salute him. "All Crystal ponies accounted for sir."
"Gemini." Gemini's mother called out as she noticed her son in front of Orion. "I'm sorry he got away from me."
"It's alright miss." Orion said, as he turned from the mare to her colt. "You should stay close to your family."
"Yes sir." Gemini saluted again getting Orion to do it again. "Are you going to kick the bad ponies flanks?"
"Gemini!" His mother blushed slightly and Orion only smirked under his helmet.
"It's alright miss, and yes I'm going to kick flank." Orion then turned to Gemini's mother. "You have a good colt, and I promise I will do everything in my power to keep this empire safe, please spread the word." As the two left Orion turned back to the statues. "Alright let's get started." While Orion followed Spectra's instructions, back in Canterlot Twilight's number one assistant was walking around the halls of the castle as all the princesses sat in a meeting talking about stuff he mostly found really boring.
"What do you mean all the Royal Blue guards are gone?" a mare of the royal guards asked, as she looked at her fellow guard.
"Just what I said ma-am, they all left a few hours ago." the mare gritted her teeth slightly and glared at the guard.
"Then go and find out why, I want to know why 10% of my day guard decided to leave without something crossing my desk."
"Y-yes ma-am." as the guard took off running down the hall the mare turned and spotted Spike and smiled slightly.
"Spike how have you been doing, haven't seen you in a while."
"Not bad, but I see somepony got a promotion since the last time I saw her, Noon Day what was that all about?" The Mare's smile vanished as she rolled her eyes.
"The royal blue guards decided to take a holiday and not one piece of paper crossed my desk."
"Royal Blue?... oh you mean Blue Bloods guards."
"Oh come on Spike I know it's been a while since you've been here but don't tell me you've forgotten that."
"How can I forget it was some of those jerks that picked on me when no pony was looking, until Philomena started to set their manes on fire."
"Yeah, well some of those jerks haven't changed, When shade was here." Noon Day stopped as she saw Spike flinch slightly and a look of sorrow spread across his face. "I'm sorry Spike I didn't mean to."
"It's alright, I mean it's not really alright, and." before Spike started to ramble Noon Day pulled him into a hug and smiled slightly. "Little dolt he didn't have to do it."
"He did what he thought was right, And if Blue Blood opens his mouth one more time about there being a statue in the royal garden dedicated to him." Spike smirked slightly as he started to hug Noon Day getting her to stop.
"Careful scales hug her any harder and I'll think you're trying to steal my wife." a guard from the night court said, as he landed behind Spike.
"Oh don't be silly Mid Night, besides shouldn't you be asleep right now?" Noon Day said, as she broke off the hug and walked over to her husband and nuzzled him slightly.
"I over heard about the royal blue's pulling a vanishing act, so I came to see if I could help."
"Sure you can help, find out where those insults to the armor are and leave a few of their heads intact so I can bash them in."
"I already have some of my informants looking into it, movements like this have to leave some kind of paper trail, that and I was on my way to their barracks to see if any of them might still be around."
"Can I come along?"
"I don't know scales this could be dangerous." Spike fell to his knees and wrapped his arms around Mid Night's right foreleg.
"Oh please, this place is so boring and Twilight said I can't leave the palace grounds, and she has all the gate guards keeping an eye out for me."
"He's right, per princess Twilight's request he is not aloud to leave the grounds." Noon Day confirmed and she smiled at her husband trying to shake Spike off his leg.
"Alright you can come, just get off my leg you're starting to cut off circulation." as the trio headed to the Royal Guards barracks, both Noon Day and Mid Night knew it might not be easy. As far as royal guards go the Royal Blue Guards only followed orders from Blue Blood and to both of the commanders now walking towards the barracks they didn't cut the mustard when it came to being a true Royal Guards, on many occasion both Mid Night and Noon Day had caught these so call guards abusing their power, and when Blue Blood found out he would always overturn any kind of punishment that they had set down. It was one of the reasons that Celestia and Luna had agreed to break up the Royal Blue guards and put them with the day guard and night guard thinking it would correct the, and show the group what a real guard was supposed to be like.
"Well I'll be, look Noon it's a Royal Blue, care to explain why you aren't at your post?" Mid Night asked, as he spotted a Royal Blue guard standing at the entrance of the barracks.
"I was given orders from Lord Blue Blood himself not to let anyone in."
"Lord Blue Blood, when did he become a lord?" Noon Day asked, as she looked at her husband.
"I think the same day Discord made pigs fly, but to my knowledge he's still known as Prince Blue Blood."
"If you want to be respectful so that dung heap." Spike added getting the Royal Blue Guard to glare at him. "Yeah I said it, serves him right for what he did to Rarity at the gala." As the Royal Blue guard reared up and prepared to stop on Spike, Mid Night darted forward and slammed the guard against the barrack doors.
"Listen I like the little guy, so you're not going to touch him, and in return he won't call Blue Blood all the things a lot of ponies think about him." the guard glared at Mid Night. "Look into my eyes and tell me I won't break you and bury you in a shallow grave at the bottom of Rainbow Falls." the guard glared a little more but then backed down. "Good, now we want to know where the rest of the guards are."
"On a special mission."
"In that case you won't mind if we take a look around, because to be honest I really don't trust you ponies."
"I was ordered to let no one into the barracks."
"So what you're saying is that you refuse to let us in?" the guard looked at Mid Night confused by the question, then rolled his eyes.
"Yes I refuse to let you in, what are you deaf you old goat?" Inside the barrack it was pitch black, until the room was bathed in sunlight as the Royal Blue Guard came crashing through the door and flying half way through the building.
"Remind me never to call you an old goat." Spike said, as he looked at the damage done.
"Oh he wasn't mad about that." Noon Day said, as she walked in and started to light up the barracks.
"Then why did he just buck that guard through the door?"
"He insulted my hearing." Mid Night said, as started to look around.
"And that's why you bucked him?" Spike asked, before getting pulled close by Noon Day.
"The greatest insult to a bat pony is to insult their hearing." Noon Day whispered, as she smiled at her husband.
"Still heard you." Mid Night informed as he looked to his wife. "Now enough messing around, there has to be something around here that will tell us where they went." For half an hour the three searched high and low but found nothing. "Well this was a bust."
"You're telling me." Spike said, as he kicked one of the bunk beds as the end of the building, only to watch as the lower mattress lifted up, and the floor under it dropped down. "Uh, I think I found something." As Noon Day and Mid Night went down Spike remain above to keep watch. As the two guards found themselves in an underground tunnel system Noon day started to explore, until she stopped in an area that looked like it was flooding.
"What happened here, it looks like they hit a water line." Mid night looked down and then looked up.
"It's not that but I have an idea of what it is." As he pointed up Noon Day noticed what looked like a wooden floor about 5 feet above her head, leading up to it was a lot of scaffolding.
"Oh that better not be."
"Those drills where rough today, I can't wait to take a nice hot shower." a mare's voice said, as hoof steps could be heard above before the sound of a shower turning on and a bit of a water started to fall.
"Looks as if the used a sound suppression spell to prevent your mares from hearing the water falling." Mid Night said, as he flew up and started to examine the wood, only to have his tail yanked back down and found himself facing an angry wife.
"When we get home we are going to talk about this, but when we find those perverted little Colts, I'm going to."
"HELP!" Spike yelled, from the entrance getting both guards to rush to the opening in just enough time to see Spike laying on the ground the Royal Blue guard reared up ready to trample him, just before Spike spit out his green fire and sent the Royal Blue guard away.
"You alright scales?"
"Yeah, the jerk jumped me when I turned my back on him. I yelled for help and that's when he tried to stomp me and."
"We saw kiddo." Noon day said, as she patted Spike on the back. "but I am curious where did you send him?"
"WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS!!!!" Came the Royal Canterlot voice from not only Luna, but Luna, Celestia, and Cadance.
"Well that answers that." Mid Night said, as he looked at his wife.