“No,” Celestia whispered. “Not now, not yet...”
“Orders, your highness?” Shining Armor asked.
“Wreck the city!” Reiziger said to the thestral and the mythicorn. “Bring it all down!” They swooped down toward the bustling metropolis below.
“Let's go!” cried Twilight, fluttering up, horn ablaze with magic. “We're not afraid of you! Princess Celestia, you-”
Twilight's mouth dropped open. “What?”
“Luna, the teleport projector spell,” said Celestia. “Go through the city and fire it. Get everypony out of here!”
“Ha ha ha!” cried Reiziger, blurring in a blackened smear right towards them. Celestia flew up and caught him as he streaked, catching up his antlers in her horn. Her wings whirled as she spun, once, twice, three times and she flung him out and down into the city.
“The Crystal Empire!” Celestia answered finally. “Teleport everypony there! And when you're done, go to Ponyville and do the same! Twilight, you assist her!”
“That is a royal order, Twilight Sparkle!” With that Celestia tucked in her wings and dove, hurtling down toward the city where Reiziger had crawled from his crater and now streaked right up at her. They met in a tremendous red and golden clash, the power shattering windows, knocking down badly-supported towers, sending both of them now out into the sky.
Twilight turned to Luna. “I-”
“We must do as she requested, Princess Twilight Sparkle. Hurry!” Luna flapped her wings and soared off of the balcony. Soon she swept over the city, firing out bursts of silver magic. When they hit the crowded clumps of ponies, ponies who now screamed and ran and panicked, those grouped ponies vanished in great sparkling bursts. Twilight growled in anger, but complied.
“Shiny,” she said o'er her shoulder, “get Pinkie and Fluttershy out of here!”
“Got it!” he replied, already slinging Pinkie on his back. “Hold on to me,” he said to Fluttershy. With a final glance at Twilight, she complied, and Shining Armor took a step and vanished. Sighing, Twilight flapped off of the balcony and swooped down to the city far below.
With another crash of red and gold Celestia and Reiziger crossed horn and antlers. He grinned at her, manic in his glee. “So weak,” he muttered, shoving hard against her, “so weak, even you, the strongest of all! Ponies truly are a pathetic race.”
Celestia merely growled and bathed him in golden, burning solar light. Reiziger, however, shrugged it off and lunged, white teeth snapping razor sharp. Celestia reared back but not in time for now the monster's teeth were on her side and she cried out as they found purchase sinking deep into her alabaster flank. In that moment, the sun above turned red. Only for an instant- only for a moment's blinking eye- but still for just that moment all the world was bathed in crimson light. Wrenching free Celestia fired yet another blast of magic, but Reiziger caught it on his antlers and he bounced it harmlessly away.
“Again and again you try, again and again you fail! Have you not realized that I am beyond you now, pathetic pony goddess?” He bullrushed her and caught her up within his antlers, swinging her around with massive force. Celestia flew out and smashed against a nearby mountainside, Reiziger wound up the power in his antlers and he fired-
Twilight Sparkle, whirling when she heard the sound of magic, gaped in horror as a whole entire mountain was destroyed, vaporized in burst of dust and ash. “Got to... got to... got to focus,” she muttered, flying low toward a huddled, shivering cluster of Canterlot ponies. They were backed against a crumbled tower, scared out of their minds. “I'm here!” she cried. “Hold still, everypony, I'll teleport you away!”
“What about our homes?” a unicorn asked desperately.
“The dark lord is finally taking everything!”
“No! Listen, we'll... we'll...” Twilight felt like crying, “we'll do something, I promise we will! For now, hold still!” They stopped their shivering. Twilight fired out a purple burst of magic; it hit them all, and with a blast of sparkles they all disappeared. Twilight breathed out, turned, searched with magic pings for more survivors as the city rocked and crumbled all around her-
With a crash the mythicorn came landing near her. The thestral then wheeled overhead. Twilight gasped and felt despair, for all reports were true: the thestral did indeed have mane and tail of rainbow stripe, while all the mythicorn's unblackened hair was violet hued. Despair- despair! It blossomed in her chest, and she, who had such hope, who had so often thought that all the love and friendship of the Elements of Harmony would finally prevail- the poison, the cancer of despair was in her now.
“R-Rarity... Rarity!” she cried up at the mythicorn. “Rarity! Rainbow Dash! I know you're both in there, somewhere! You have... you have to fight! We'll help you, please, please!”
The mythicorn now paused. Its graceful black head tilted to the side, empty blue eyes pausing for a moment to regard the little pony princess standing just before it. It blinked those empty eyes, hissed perhaps a silent breath. Twilight Sparkle started to smile- but then the mythicorn reared back its head and charged its horn. Twilight dodged in time to miss its blast of battle magic. The thestral whipped its wings and flung a twister at the city- this touched down and started shattering and sinking homes throughout the upper levels. The whole city was shaking, quaking with the fights outside and in. Twilight felt a spike of wrath. Eyes filled up with sparks, she snarled and blasted battle magic at the ponies who had been her friends and nearly vaporized them in her fury. In that moment all she heard was Fëanor: The Herd Lord is like no enemy you have faced. He does not kidnap princesses, he does not steal gems or harvest love. He wages war. Can you withstand him?
“No, no!” cried Twilight. She flapped and flung herself into the midst of those black ponies. She crossed horns with the mythicorn and knocked her back, then fired battle magic that sent that black pony reeling. The thestral blasted her with lightning but Twilight turned and she blocked it and she sent up lightning purple lightning of her own that snarled and snared the thestral til it howled. “Do you think you can beat me?” Twilight cried, cycling her wings, eyes aglow, suddenly a terrible thing. “Do you think I'll let you beat me?”
“Princess Twilight Sparkle!”
Eyes ablaze, Twilight turned round to see Luna approaching. The thestral and the mythicorn took that chance to attack, but Luna raised a silver shield to block their blows. “I can handle this!” cried Twilight.
“There is no more handling to be done,” said Luna. “The city is empty. We must retreat!”
“No! No no no no no no NO!” Twilight stomped her hoof. “I'm tired of running! I'm tired of retreating and settling for stalemates! We fight here!”
“No we do not, Princess Twilight Sparkle,” Luna sharply said. “We retreat to a more stable posit-”
“More stable? More stable?! This is Canterlot!” Twilight screamed at Luna, eyes wide open, trailing tears. “This is our city! If we don't fight- if we don't hold it here- what good are we?”
The city quaked and rocked and shook. Towers crumbled. Streets cracked, showing open air for half a mile down. Shops and homes and alleyways were ground to dust, lives and livelihoods that stood for centuries were pounded into rubble. The thestral and the mythicorn had turned by now and kept on smashing up the city, throwing down all buildings they could reach. Far overhead, Reiziger sent Celestia careening through the Palace of the Sun, smashing up its tallest tower.
“We can't leave!” cried Twilight. “We can't, we can't-”
Luna's hoof snapped out and cracked Twilight upon her cheek. “Princess Twilight Sparkle,” Luna snarled, “thou mayst be babied by my sister, but I shalt not tolerate thy insubordination. Stay if thou wishest- but stay and perish. I'll have no part in thy delusions.” Luna's horn now twinkled as she dropped her shield. She flapped into the air, wheeled once then twice, and flew away.
Twilight looked upon the city yet again, this city she had known from infancy, this city that, though she now lived in Ponyville, would always feel to her like home. There, if she squinted, she saw the small park where she and Spike had played while Shining Armor watched. Up on the near-highest level she saw Donut Joe's beloved shop. She could sniff and smell, through all the dust, the sweat and fresh-baked bread and hustle of the city that she'd so long grown to love.
But the ground cracked up beneath her, and she felt a blackness in her chest. “Agh!!” she roared, but flapped her wings and rose into the air. She pumped those wings as hard as she could manage, soaring up into the sky, following with sadness in old Luna's wake.
In the Palace of the Sun the throne room had been ruined. Celestia panted, gasped, streaked with dust and soot, aurora mane and tail now shining shades of red and orange. She tried to stand- but Reiziger put down a blackened hoof upon her back, pinning her into the crater where she'd landed. “Now, my dear, dear goddess,” he said, smiling, “any last requests? Let us hear the Sun's epitaph.”
Celestia glared at him with all her hate. He merely smiled. But she fidgeted- she twitched- and then she vanished. She appeared again miles away up in the sky. Pumping her white wings she wheeled about, steadying herself, and then began to fly away, heading for the north.
“Hmph,” huffed Reiziger. “Pathetic.” He raised his head. Crimson fire blazed upon his antlers, and he rose off of the ground. Dirt and dust and chunks of rock and marble stone began to rise up with him. Then he sharply dropped and slammed into the throne room floor, shaking the whole city like an earthquake or the world's end.
Twilight was now several miles away. Hearing the great crash, she turned and hovered, watching from afar. The city shook. A few long minutes passed, and then the city shook again.
This isn't real, she thought.
The city shook once more.
This is just a bad dream. I'm going to wake up now, and I'm going to be in my bed in the library in Ponyville, and all of this will be a nightmare.
The city shook a third time. Now the highest towers tumbled down. Now the lowest level sank at a strong angle from the higher portions of the city.
It's just a dream!
The city shook again- and broke. With a horrible, awful, terrible CRACK, Canterlot came unstuck from the mountainside. The city tumbled downward in a horrifying crash, towers, levels, roads and houses smashing to the ground below and raising up a cloud of dust for miles everywhere.
“No!” cried Twilight, weeping openly. “No!” But she could not stop it. Crying, weeping, bawling, she wheeled about and flew away, joining now Celestia and Luna in their swift retreat.
Yes, run! Run! Run to the ends of the Earth, for all the good it will do you! Ahaha! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!