"Back, forces of darkness! Or you will face the wrath of the Great and Powerful One and Only Co-Princess Trixie!" Trixie announced, her blue wings glowing right in time with the Element of Magic circlet crown upon her head. She wore regalia in addition to her usual cape. The citizens of the Kingdom of Hoofingtonia cheered the duo who'd saved them from the Ursa Major years ago.
"And Princess Loving-Bright-Shinny-Star Sparkling-Dawn-Flower The Eighty-Eigth!" announced her obviously-never-been-imaginary friend, the two doing their best to hold back the tide of Nightmare Forces. "We have ponies to save!"
Part of the Nightmare Force tried to slip into Princess Trixie, but Princess Star Flower jumped in the way... the moment they came in contact with Princess Star Flower they shrieked back from the mere touch of her, like she was on fire.
The two crossed horns and blasted them away with a swirly beam of rainbows and fireworks. "No matter how many more friends Co-Princess Trixie has, it'll still be my job to protect her!"
Come on kid! We're gonna make it to Cloudsdale, just hold on!" Daring Do huffed, flighting straight upwards. "You can do it Tornado Bolt!"
Next to her was a bluish gray pegasus filly, lime eyes, grayish indigo mane, and a cutie mark of a small purple tornado. The foal was huffing and puffing, the Nightmare Force ocean beneath them steadily rising. When the foal made the mistake of looking down, she could see giant FACES hungry in the dark smoke.
"I-I can't!" She called out, scared. Nopony spoke about her, nopony noticed her. Her mother had looked like her as a foal and her mother had looked like her as a foal. Her family had been on a trip to Canterlot to see the royal wedding when the changelings had come and she'd just hid until it was over. She'd been a fan of the Foal Free Press. She'd been in the Rainbow Dash camp when Mare Do Well had been on the scene . . . She knew she'd grow up to get a job as a weather pony, just liker mother had, and her mother had.
Now... none of that was gonna matter because the monsters were gonna get her... and even Daring Do coming to life before her eyes and swooping down to save her wasn't enough as the monster that had gotten Princess Luna and Princess Gaia was gonna get her.
"Yes, you can!"
"No! I'm sorry! I just can't! I don't!" Tornado Bolt's wings gave out, she literally had nothing left... she began to fall... Only for Daring Do to swoop in a U-turn and catch her again.
"Fine! I'll just carry you then! I'll hold you tight kid! We'll make it!" Daring Do swore.
=Eclipse of the Moon - Guitar Version (Hyrule Warriors)=
"Where nopony budges on their beliefs, everypony has divine power but no wisdom, no morals. Will that be your paradise, father? All beings in existence too selfish, too busy grinding against each other to ever unite against you?” asked the Nightfilly, standing in her room, a complex story written in High Equestrian covered the ceiling, walls, and most of the floor, in a closing circle around her as she continued to write. She faintly heard her uncle’s screams at the destruction of his Hound self, and continued her work. "Ponies, devour these spirits of dark who stole your bodies, take their power as yours, become true Nightmares. Almost there. Be proud, dad." She shouted. "Angry. Lonely. Sad. Scared. Hateful. Greedy. Vain. There are many who wish to play."
Seven masses of long, snaky arms with hands began to take form in the room.
"Listen to my story in full, and believe, and we'll make a kingdom of true Nightmare."
"One more room! I can FEEL IT! One more room! That's all!!! We're almost there! LUNA!" Crown shouted excited. That was enough to spur us on too.
And we came... to the library? Sorry about the knocked down doors. Okay. No way this was supposed to be here. None of us said anything. We just kept moving. I stayed in the air as much as possible. No sign of the librarian, or anyone else. Instead of sickly pink, this place looked kinda grimy purple.
Is this like in that one movie where we find the librarian and she turns out to be a scary ghost lady?
We were halfway through the room when the doors... they didn't repair themselves... instead every way out was suddenly blocked by walls of solid moonlight.
"OH, COME ON!" Golden Tiara snapped.
Once is event, twice is a pattern. Please don't tell me this is going to be a regular thing!
"Please don't go any further."
"Moon Dancer?" Golden asked. She stepped out from behind a book case.
Lunar Luminus Chosen Understudy
It was hard to tell. It was her cutie mark. But since when did she wear thick glasses with a tape bridge? I thought she wore contacts. What was with the thick black sweater? And she had her mane done up with a braid on top, not her normal style. She wasn't smiling.
She looked more like...someone else than herself.
We stopped dead in our tracks.
"If you try to go any further, I will kill you."
Since when do ponies use that word like that?!
Her face and tone was even and calm, not even threatening.
"OUT OF OUR WAY!"
Golden ignored Triangle Crown. "Moon Dancer, what is wrong with you? We're not the enemy! Why are you doing this?!"
Friends trying to hurt friends thanks to supernatural horror...this is way too familiar.
"Were you just in here waiting for us to come by and stop us?" I heard myself ask.
"Maybe." She said. She made Sugarcoat sound like Pinkie Pie. She shivered. "Queen Celestia wishes none to disturb her little sister. She's hurt and alone, others might upset her."
"That's stupid," Sunny Day said.
"We can debate it for the next few hours, all day if you like. The nap couches are over there, the pantry and bathroom are that way. Just don't come closer." Her eyes narrowed. Blades of moonlight formed on all four of her legs, followed by spiked armor over her whole body. "Or die."
"...Since when are you a killer?" Golden asked. "Not since last time I saw you, I know that for sure."
"You're naive. I wanted to kill Chrysalis. If I have to change my appearance to survive, I will. If I have to kill to survive, I will."
"Would it help if we got Lyra, Lemon Hearts, Minuette, and Twinkle Shine to reason with you?"
"Why? It's not like we're friends. We're just all... the Queen's toys," She shiver again.
Sunny got red in the face. "CELESTIA IS NOT LIKE THAT! She LOVES her ponies! She'd never HURT THEM OR USE THEM! They're what matters to her! They're family!"
"I DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT!"
I whispered to Golden. "Any advice on stopping a Gifted Unicorn with no scruples about killing?"
"None that don't involve me killing at least one of you before you put me down." We both gave small jumps as Moon Dancer spoke. "Eavesdropping Spell. Useful with Teacher Celestia."
"...Would you believe me if I told you the world isn't supposed to be like this?" I asked. "That something REALLY terrible has happened to change it? And we're trying to turn it back?"
"I would say I'll kill you if you get close. If what you say is true, then if you 'fix' the world, this version of me will cease to exist and another me will take my place."
Dang it, I didn't WANT to have to fight her! Plus she would probably kill one of us, and I didn't feel like taking that risk. Of course I didn't dang know her well enough to try and reach the 'real her'.
"You know, I've been in that situation," Golden said. "Where you become a you willing to kill...willing to do things you never would've done otherwise. And what that 'me' didn't know is how horrified the me who became her would've been if she could see her...but I also know that she couldn't be REASONED with...if you're like me, talk is pointless, isn't it?"
Triangle Crown suddenly flew off Sunny's back, and flew fast towards Moon Dancer. Her body gleamed and she passed through her moonlight blades and armor like they weren't even there, and touched her forehead.
Moon Dancer froze in position.
"Princess Celestia?" Moon Dancer's eyes went wide and bowed to nothing. "It's an honor!" She looked up. "Twilight graduating? Heh! Hard to imagine her not as your student." Then a look of shock on her face. "Your... your YOUR NEW STUDENT?!" She face become one of pure joy. "I-I-DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY! I! I! Of course I trust you!...Yes your eyes are beautiful... Y-your..." Her entire body then screamed fear. "Y-Your M-Majesty! I... good student... good cattle... " Her body went limp. "A slave... right, I'm not a person, so it can't be slavery. How silly o-of-NO! DON'T MAKE ME! STOP IT!" Her eyes rolled into the back of her head and she fell over. Her moonlight constructs and barrier vanished.
Triangle Crown flew off her head.
I rushed to check on her. She was breathing fine, but she was covered in sweat. She was unconscious.
"What did you do?!"
"I shut her down. She was going to kill you, or you were going to have to kill her, and we don't have any time left for any of that!" She pointed outside a window. She was right, I saw it, the Nightmare Force, I could see it slowly filling Canterlot.
Sunny Day quickly put Moon Dancer on a nearby couch and whispered, "I'm sorry."
"That... that was when Chrysalis enslaved her wasn't it?" Golden Tiara asked.
"I merely brought to the surface the memory she felt the most shame and unhappiness from. I didn't chose it."
I cringed. The way she said it, it was like a child explaining her chemistry homework. Too bad we didn't have time to tell her how coldhearted her doing that was.
"Will she be okay?"
"Yes, it was simply a night terror, nothing more."
"...Fine...Lead the way," I said frowning.
She did. We followed. The way became darker as we went. The world becoming like white lines on black paper, torches with blue flames. It was getting colder too. After everything we'd been through, there it came... everything, we've been...
"Triangle Crown," I said, "I just realized something. Except for us, and the monsters that've been trying to kill you and us: nobody has looked at you, spoken to you, or even reacted to you! You think a little pixie pony would get a lot more attention, especially if they're banned by Fake Celestia!"
"It's safer and simpler that way isn't it? If I was unseen by those creatures I wouldn't have needed you at all. But at least ponies under their control can't get in my way. My duty since I came into existence is to Her Nightjesty and nothing else."
"And you didn't mention you could do that?"
"You never asked."
On one hand, trusting the weird little fairy thing that just used a person's fear to knock them out suddenly seemed like a stupid thing to do...but I chose to trust her. One, because how the frick could this situation get any worse? And two...we'd come this far banking on it...unless she suddenly turned into some giant monster when we got there, we were just going to have to see this through.
"...If you could do what you did to Moon Dancer at any time, why didn't you use it to GET here?" Golden asked.
"Because the bad things don't have brains," she explained. "They don't have any fears to bring to the surface."
'Only a few thousand words more.' Thought the Nightfilly.
We encountered a few last mega buff mares in black, over antlered caribou, with extra size dolls, and one black teen dragon in armor... They didn't so much as slow us down. This mess was ending, we were too close to let anything stand in our way.
At the end of the white and black hall, was the double doors I recognized as the portal to Princess Luna's bed chambers.
My teeth were chattering, the temperature was dropping so fast. Sunny powered up her horn without being asked, but it didn't have any effect at all. It didn't help that I was wearing metal armor without any cold weather enchants.
We were just in reach of the doors!
"FINALLY!" exclaimed our impatient and slightly frightening horse-pixie.
That's when I heard the same unearthly howl that I've heard every Hearth Warming Eve play.
The entire hallway rumbled, and in a flash, everything froze over, it was white with black lines, the torches went out. A single light shined before us.
= 'One-Winged Angel' Final Fantasy VII =
It grew larger and larger... becoming as big as a house with no way to fit in the hallway but it did, and it got bigger, and bigger!!!
It was a ghostly horse without legs, glowing white eyes, and a pale blue body. Its mane going everywhere in the freezing wind that churned up around us!
"Windigo," Sunny Day said the obvious.
It howled at us. Around us appeared a twisting pattern of pale blues and whites, ever-changing, feeling like they were closing in. The monster floated in front of us, it could eat us all in one gulp.
I was facing one of the monsters that nearly drove ponies extinct... well, not the first time I met something that fed off hate. Only this time... I wasn't going to do nothing. I was going to see Her again and nothing would stop me.
"I'm not running away. Are either of you fine ladies?"
"Not a chance, I have a family waiting for me, and I'm not abandoning any of you."
"We've come too far to back out now, and I'll only run if both of you do first. Because-"
Around us a circle of purple, pink, and magenta flames formed, shaped like a heart of course. Little flames floated from each of us, congealing into a big heart-shaped inferno!
The fireball grew, and grew, and GREW until it was bigger than the Windigo!
The monster wailed in rage and madness.
"Three mostly strangers whose people had hated each other for centuries admitting they were the same species and didn't hate each other was enough to blow your relatives away. What chance did you have?" I said, cause it felt right.
The fires of friendship hit the monster without missing a beat, the monster shrunk away like a melting icicle, vanishing in the inferno.
And just like that, it was over. And we were back in the hallway, but it wasn't freezing anymore. The Fires of Friendship even warmed up my armor.
"Anypony complaining about that being easy?" Golden Tiara asked.
"NO!" All three of us replied.
No more games. We pushed the doors open then and there.
=Denouement (Hyrule Warriors)=
Inside, everything was still white on black... I recognized Her Nightesty's room, though I'd seen it only once. A horror buff and Halloween lover's dream boat wrapped up in a Dark Age, gothic aesthetic. It always made you feel like you were being watched. Probably because it came complete with decorative eyes.
And on the bed, sobbing, was Princess Luna, looking like she did when she was freed from Nightmare Moon. But somehow even more small, helpless, cute, adorable, sympathetic, and everything about her screamed 'feel sorry for me!'
On the walls were drawing signed, 'Pwencez Woona.'
She didn't evens seem to notice us.
"Princess?" I asked, I was the Guard after all.
She looked up at us with puffy cheeks and eyes red from crying. "O-oh! I'm sorry! Don't be mad! I didn't mean to! I just don't want to be banished to the moon again!"
"... Princess, sorry for what?"
"Whatever it is that big sister Princess Celestia is mad at me for."
Golden's vocabulary was at zero.
Sunny Day look horrified, ashamed, disgusted, sad, angry, hurt, dismayed, and everything in between.
"PRINCESS LUNA! Your sister isn't mad at you for anything! She loves you! Always has! Always will! She's half a pony without you!"
'Woona' cried out and hid under her covers.
Okay, this was the last thing I was expecting even though I'd kind of heard the rumors already.
"Princess...we're not here because you did anything wrong, we're here to help you," I explained.
"To save me from my big sister and establish the Luna Republic? Uh, can you tell me what that is?"
Triangle Crown flew onto the foot of the bed. "I will if you come out form under there."
'Woona' peaked her little head out looking at the breezie. "W-who are you?"
"You already know. You can never feel regret, no matter how hard you try... mother, master, goddess, creator... You shall never forget your sins as Nightmare Moon."
"Triangle Crown what are you talking about?!" I and Golden demanded.
Sunny Day hide her face behind her mane.
"W-what?! I WASN'T NIGHTMARE MOON! NEVER! That was an evil magic parasite thingie that came from... somewhere. The moon! Right! Came from the moon!"
"Who do the rumors say the Nightmare Forces first possessed?" Crown asked.
It took me a moment. Then it hit me. "Princess Luna."
Crown looked Luna in the eyes. "I said I could get rid of them...because it is my job to ensure Luna never allows herself to believe that lie is true."
"...Who gave that job to you?"
"What ARE you?!" I demanded.
"According to the lie about the Nightmare Forces, they are a parasite made of black magic... just as you created me to be, like fighting water with water. I suppose they needed me disposed of another way then. Trapping me in this helpless form, I feared I'd never return to you, creator. But I couldn't truly fight them either... So I needed ponies who had not been altered who could guard me here.
"I haven't forgotten the duty you gave me, the purpose, the REASON I was born! Even if you have now creator."
'Woona’s' eyes just kept getting bigger and bigger, she'd stopped crying.
"I just... wanted to spare her the pain," Sunny Day said. "I just wanted... nopony to judge her for a sickness she was free of. Her and Fluttershy... they were ill, and then well, but ponies wouldn't, couldn't see that, they'd just see the sickness they ONCE had."
Golden frowned at her, but said nothing, like she... understood?
I was in Canterlot on the Day of Innocence, so no extra foalhood for me... but it did help First Base, and I know Shy's good at heart... is she really saying...
"WAIT! Are you saying... the whole reason this Nightmare Force thing exists... is because you made it up?!" I exclaimed.
"... Yes. I wanted ponies to judge Luna for how she was as a SANE pony in control of her own actions, not when she was mad from magic gone out-of-control."
"... They'd have forgiven her," I said matter of fact. "They'd have forgiven her without it. I speak from experience." Then I remembered the red and blond example of that situation. "But... I know that it can take a real long time."
"...Luna had already suffered a thousand years imprisonment... I felt that was long enough."
"Now Princess Luna," Triangle Crown said, and turned into a glowing purple mass of magic with blue stars. "Remember! Remember you choice to side with Celestia's plan to release the windigos to stop the tribes from fighting that could have destroyed them! Remember when Discord's evil side devoured his good side that you and your sister loved and you did nothing! Remember cursing an entire village for this ignorance and fear and not even TRYING to teach them what they'd done wrong. When you created the Elder Horn, which was found by Nightmare Whisper and increased her power!"
My head was going dizzy at all I was hearing. I couldn't believe or make sense of what I was hearing!
"You can't be rid of me, creator, you declared I must never stop! And I shall never stop obeying that command! Even if you were turned to silver and left as a decoration by Discord I'd have stayed with you, never letting your mind escape into madness or ignorance! When your possessiveness of Pipsqueak grew too much, I gave you the nightmare as you give them to others to awaken them to the truth of their actions!"
"So long as you need me, I will never cease. Now wake up and remember!" Triangle Crown flew INSIDE Woona's head.
Moonlight gasped and fell to her knees. Her eyes widened as the ship continued to rock.
"Moonlight, are you okay?" Pipsqueak asked quickly.
"We… I'm fine, Captain... I... Captain, please know, I'll always be your loyal first mate."
"I know you will, Moonlight."
"And... thank you for calling me that, I want to stay as me. I really do enjoy it." She then whispered to herself, "and not an extension of Her."
"LUNA!" Sunny Day screamed, "How could! How could you do this to yourself?! Why?! Your sister loves you! She forgives you! Your friends love you! They forgive you! How could you...how could you want to punish yourself like this? You don't need this!"
Woona held her hooves over her head, crouching down and shaking like a leaf, her eyes shut tight for a moment. Then her shaking stopped. "... I never forgave myself."
A storm cone formed in an instant, engulfing Woona, the howling made me press my ears against my head. We shielded our eyes from the suddenly indoor storm. Golden was pushed back a few inches, while Sunny Day brought up a shield.
The entire room rattled. The storm twisted and turned as it hit the ceiling, drawings and anything loose being sucked in. Then like a reverse big bang, an explosion of darkness that left naught but midnight blackness for a moment. And in that one moment, I couldn't tell if I was awake or dreaming.
Then... there standing on the bed... was Princess Luna Nyx Selena Equestria, dark fur, starry mane, Her Nightesty, the moon goddess, the spirit of dreams and nightmares, in all her glory.
The room... it wasn't right, but it wasn't as before either, now it was black on white with finely details like a scratch drawing, making the place look even more gothic, the Princess looked right at home. She looked right at us. She looked at Sunny Day, her face changed quickly from excitement, confusion, concern, then surprise. She looked at me and Golden Tiara.
"Guard Flash Sentry, Mrs. Golden Tiara, Sunny Day... thank ye for escorting... thy charge to our person. This is a dark and terrible time not just upon Canterlot, but all of Equestria, the entire world. We commend ye for thin bravery and tenacity, we know thy quest was not an easy one."
"Princess...not to sound ungrateful, but can you fix the world?" I asked.
"We... cannot fix what is not broken, stay thy words! What we mean to say is, the very blueprint of what is and what is not has been violated. Tis not merely something superficial painted-over reality that can be simply washed away. Fear not, we are not claiming tis impossible for this evil to be thwarted. Just that tis not as simple as casting a failsafe spell."
"Princess Luna," Golden Tiara, "Please, tell me that was all a lie just to shock you out of it. Please tell me things aren't what they look like."
Her Nightesty just leaned down and nuzzled her. "We can never escape from our mistakes, even if we learn from it and realize what we did wrong. Those mistakes, and all it cost us, can never be truly undone. That is life. Just know that those mistakes don't mean us loving our subjects is a lie."
The room shook again. Crazy laughing echoed from outside.
Princess Luna sighed and went to her Moon Rising Balcony, opening it with her telekinesis. Feeling like we're gone from actors to audience, we followed.
Okay. I was actually, factually scared and wanted to cling to Princess Luna's legs and beg for her protection. The Nightmare Force was flooding over the streets and building of the twisted Canterlot below like a fountain. "The night will last forever," being shouted over and over by countless black ponies with constellation cutie marks.
I saw The Princess...you know how sometimes you know somepony is clopped off but their face isn't saying that? This was one of those times.
'Only a few hundred words left,' the Nightfilly's story to black magic itself was almost done.
The 'flood' twisted and churned right beneath us, then rocketed up like a gusher, Luna's horn glowed and a barrier appeared around us 'mere mortals.'
"And now I'll take your body again, little princess!"
And the sparkling smoke took the shape of the one, the only Nightmare Moon, looming before us, sharp teeth and fangs, and glowing red eyes. I'd never seen Nightmare Moon personally, I'd been in Canterlot helping keep ponies from panicking at the lack of a sunrise.
Luna didn't flinch. "This curse, itself, is little better than a mindless virus. Who are you really beneath that form?"
Nightmare Moon startled, then laughed. "Does it really matter?! I am Nightmare Moon! Who has evilly possessed ponies throughout the ages for my evil plans! You being just my latest victim. It is everything you wanted Princess Luna! This WORLD is everything you wanted! You are free! You have no crimes to answer for, no sins to carry, no burdens to bear! Isn't! Just! Wonderful!?"
"... A part of me has wanted 'you' to be real. To be a truly separate being from me rather than a part of myself I let control me... I do not blame Celestia for you being before me, she truly only wanted ponies to accept me. To see me and not Nightmare Moon. But I shall not run away from my own choices! Now that I've been 'Pwencess Woona', I see the truth: my mistakes and selfish choices also shaped me into who I am, taught me to fear those roads, and I can discard them no more than the night!...That's why all beings are created with free will...so they can grow from both their successes and their failures to become better. It took me a long time to realize that, but now that I have, I'm never going to purge them from me!"
"Pretty words. BUT THEY DON'T CHANGE A THING!" Nightmare Moon laughed.
= UnderTale - Toriel Battle =
"But these words will." And Princess Luna used the Royal Canterlot voice. "PONIES OF EQUESTRIA! WE KNOW YE CAN HEAR US! THE NIGHTMARE FORCE IS A SMOKE SCREEN! THE THING THAT ENSLAVES THOU IS A PART MYSELF I HAVE REFUSED TO ACCEPT BUT NOW I SHALL!"
"You think just telling the truth to the ponies in Canterlot will be enough? This lie covers all Equestria! We ponies nurtured it together!" Sunny Day shouted.
Nightmare Moon laughed.
"...WITH THE BARRIER BETWEEN DREAMS AND REALITY SO LIQUID, WE CAN TRY IT!" Princess Luna's eyes glowed white, her entire body went stiff.
For just a second, in my mind's eye, I was playing catch with First Base at night, and I saw Princess Luna's shadow appear on the moon.
"WE, PRINCESS LUNA NYX SELENA EQUESTRIA, SPEAK TO THE HEARTS OF ALL OUR SUBJECTS, I KNOW IN YOUR HEARTS THIS IS HARD MY LITTLE PONIES! YOU TRULY LOVE MY NIGHT. NIGHTMARE MOON WAS EVIL, I AM NOT EVIL, THEREFORE I CANNOT BE NIGHTMARE MOON. THE IDEA THAT A TRULY GOOD PONY CAN BECOME TRULY EVIL, SCARES YOU FAR MORE THAN THE IDEA OF A TRULY EVIL PONY RETURNING TO GOOD. WHAT DOES SAY ABOUT YOU? THAT YOU THEREFORE CAN ALSO TURN EVIL? BUT DO NOT BE AFRAID! YOU HAVE FREE WILL! EVERY CHOICE YOU MAKE IS YOUR OWN AND NOPONY ELSE'S! IF YOU CHOSE NOT TO BECOME EVIL THEN YOU SHALL NOT! THAT IS THE GODS' GREATEST GIFT TO YOU!
A brown, red-maned filly sat at the top of one of Manehatten's skyscrapers. She and her relative the Great Orange Crime Fruit Family had rushed to the top floor as the city began flooding with the Nightmare Force, but the flood was still rising.
She imagined herself sitting at a picnic with her sister Sunflower and the rest of the Oranges. She looked up and saw Princess Luna's shadow appear on the moon, then saw and heard,
"COME UP HERE AND TAKE ME IF YOU DARE, LOSERS! YOU THINK ANY OF YOU IS STALLION ENOUGH TO POSSESS RAINBOW DASH?" The rainbow maned mare shouted as the darkness reached for Cloudsdale, choosing to face it head on rather than run away, and maybe distract the flood with her awesomeness and a point-blank Sonic Rainboom as her fellow factory workers saved themselves.
She fantasied of doing one last try out for the Wonderbolts at night, and she saw Luna's shadow form on the moon.
Luna pointed at Nightmare Moon. "NIGHTMARE MOON MAKES NO SENSE! IF SHE WANTED TO RULE EVERYTHING THEN ENDLESS NIGHT WOULD HAVE LEFT HER WITH NO PONIES TO RULE OVER! WHEN IT WAS MY OWN BITTERNESS AND JEALOUSLY AT LEAST I HAD THE EXCUSE OF BEING INSANE! AND SUCH AN EVIL WOULD HAVE NEVER WANTED TO MAKE THE WORLD HAPPY FOALS AFTER FINDING A NEW HOST!"
Braeburn, trapped in his own Nightmare Forces possessed body, could only watch himself try to bring about eternal night, knowing what that would mean for his beloved (though it made his head hurt to imagine which one).
He thought of himself and Little Strongheart/Cherries Jubilee/Carrot Top/Derpy/ and many others he knew, on a date watching a rodeo before Luna's shadow flashed on the moon.
"YES! FLUTTERSHY OF KINDNESS TOO FELL INTO SICKNESS AND MADNESS. AND FOUND POWER THAT MADE HER MADNESS MORE DANGEROUS STILL! BUT THE ELEMENTS CURED HER OF HER SICKNESS AS THEY CURED ME! KNOW THAT THE ELEMENTS STILL FIND HER WORTHY BECAUSE SHE IS WELL AND IS NOW STRENGTHENED AND IMMUNE TO SUCH SICKNESS. AND SO AM I!"
"You dare think you can defile the kingdom of the Great and Powerful and One and Only Co-Princess Trixie?!" announced Trixie, she and Princess Star Flower combining their magic to push the Nightmare Forces back from their castle containing their family and subjects, the flood of Nightmares rising higher and higher, Princess Star Flower's unique magic burning the beings of corruption like fire. For every one she burned away, ten more took its place, even the great and really great heroines could only hold off the flood for so long.
Trixie imagined herself on a stage, with her siblings and her friends in the audience watching. The open air auditorium presented the full moon...and then saw Princess Luna's shadow appear upon it.
Nightmare Moon took a step back...she looked dumbfounded. Like Luna had just said the world is flat. "Impossible...you...how can you choose to...how can you just ACCEPT THAT?! Bad feelings are bad! Ponies shouldn't have them!"
"...Because I know more than anypony that all beings are made of light and a shadow. Better a world where they aren't NEEDED! I would go against my nature to claim darker emotions have no place in a ponies' heart. And that means so does guilt and shame...And that's what you are to me. It's time to come home."
Doctor Redheart kept her focus on what she and her family were doing, with Vendetta Mask's reluctant help, it was the only way she could think of to save her patients, and that was the most important thing.
She pictured herself helping heal ponies with her family...Saint Sweet Heart working with them.
Out the window, she saw the moon, Luna's image flashing before it.
I AM NIGHTMARE MOON! THE ONE AND ONLY! YOUR LOVE FOR ME, AND EACH OTHER, IS MORE THAN ENOUGH TO BURN AWAY THESE LINGER SHADOWS OF MY MISTAKES! I BELIEVE IN YOU!" Princess Luna collapsed in a heap.
Babs Seed and her family stood for a few moments. "...I believe in 'er too...I believe in yah, Princess! And I forgive yah!"
"So do I!" Sunflower called. She'd been a bit of a bully back in high school...ponies can change.
Rainbow Dash fell on her haunches, and laughed, looking at the moon, and at the darkness below. "If yer gonna confess what you did was yerself and nopony else... no matter what anypony else might do to ya when the truth comes out... no matter how much everypony will hate ya when it comes out... no matter how air tight your alibi is.. that's some SERIOUS GUTS... more than I have. Ya seriously got my respect there and... I already knew what ya did and... I forgive you too."
"We Appleloosans ain't perfect, the mess with the Buffalo proved that! Ah forgive ya Princess!" Braeburn screamed in his own head, not listening to the wailing of the now panicked Nightmare Force sharing it with him.
Trixie smirked. "Trixie always knew...LISTEN TO PRINCESS TRIXIE, EVERYPONY! EVEN THE GREATEST AND MOST POWERFUL PONIES MAKE MISTAKES! EVEN YOUR GREAT AND POWERFUL CO-PRINCESS HAS MADE HER OWN! LET US ALL ACCEPT OUR NIGHT PRINCESS' MISTAKES AND GIVE HER OUR FORGIVENESS!", the hammy Princess yelled to her royal subjects of Hoofingtonia, using the Royal Canterlot Voice. She was Trixie, Princess or not she knew how to make herself known.
The ponies, including her siblings, cheered.
"WE FORGIVE YOU!"
"SHE ADMITS IT?! SHE ADMITS IT?! BUT! HOW DOES THIS FIT IN!? I DON'T! HOW COULD?!" Vedetta Mask yelled at himself.
Doctor Redheart and her family looked to the statue of their Saintly ancestor. "Saint Sweetheart would forgive you, Princess..." Doctor Redheart said, seeming a bit out of breath.
Her family merely nodded and smiled in agreement.
Umbra Breeze and his fellow pieces of The One Who Was Many, cursed and hissed from the top villa of the World Tower as cries of forgiveness rang out across the kingdom, forgiveness and acceptance of an awful truth. Including from the erased hearts of those whose very pasts and presents had been rewritten and remade by the curse.
'Is this more proof?' Discord mused.
"...Impossible...how...how can they- these naive little creatures?"
Nightmare Mirror gave a chuckle, hearing Nightmare Granfalloon give much the same. "Well...Ah'll be...Well ya know what they say, the Truth will set ya free."
The Nightfilly for one moment hesitated... "They... all forgive her?"
Annnnnnnd next thing I knew? Giant golden shockwave. Spreading out in an eye-blink, leaving little twinkly stuff behind when it faded. The Nightmare Force went bye-bye, the ponies it'd possessed going back to normal. I was broken a little to see the twisted Canterlot still there after the giant golden shock wave.
And in a second, the golden shockwave reversed course, and hit Nightmare Moon.
"NO! Please! Don't!" Nightmare Moon cried.
"This is the role you chose, and this is how it ends. Don't be afraid my little pony. I know I hurt you once before. Let me make this tiny amends."
"If...if you pull me in, the darkness will corrupt you!" Nightmare Moon begged.
"How can darkness corrupt Darkness Herself unless she gives in?" Luna asked. "Now come along now.
And Nightmare Moon's dark shape turned to smoke and was absorbed into Princess Luna! And... there was the colored shadow of a pony, struggling and grasping at empty air as it was pulled towards Luna like a black hole. She was pink with darker shade legs, purple and pink hair, blue and light blue eyes, and her cutie mark a stitch pattern moon with stars that went down her legs. As the shadow got close... it, stopped struggling, looked, at peace, and floated into Luna, becoming one with her own shadow.
"P-Princess Luna? WHAT WAS that?!" I gasped.
She calmly turned to me, a smile on her face. "The spirit of a pony whose untimely end was not her fault. Since she took up the role of Nightmare Moon, her spirit could come to rest in me... She is free. She now exists."
In St. Sweetheart's Memorial Hospital, patients and doctors hugged each other and cheered. Vendetta Mask wondering what this odd feeling inside him was.
"It's called happiness," Tenderheart informed him.
Mjolnir swore to Odin.
Nurse Red Heart smiled dizzily at the vials full of her own blood she had pumped hoping to save her friends and patients, looks like she wouldn't need them after all. Now she just needed a nap and a cookie.
"So close," the Nightfilly remarked, dropping the pencil, the sentence half finished.
"You still want to play with us don't you?" asked the seven around her as they faded.
"Yes. I am sorry, father, I failed you."
'There there, have a nice pat on the back my little filly, and you don't need to pretend. I know that being one of a kind is great... and how lonely it gets.'
"Your Nightjesty... Where... is Triangle Crown?" Golden asked.
"Back in my nightmares where they belong," Princess Luna said.
"So...what now?" I asked.
Luna focused...then seemed a little confused. I think she seemed to be talking to someone.
The privateer crew cheered as the Nightmare Flood disappeared.
Moonlight jumped. 'C-Creator...p-please don't reabsorb my mind, I...'
'...You are good for Pip, I would never do such a thing... as I know sister will not do so to your new cousin, will you please tell me what you know?'
Princess Luna finally nodded. "...Thankfully, I believe we are not alone. There are others fighting this horror...and doing for others like you've done for me."
"...She is not doing the fighting...but if my...sources are correct, she is safer than most thanks to some little heroes."
"... Is First Base one? He's my little brother."
"... No, he is not."
That's actually a relief. Then it sort of just well, clicked in my brain. I grinned. "Hey, girls, we finished the quest. We got to Princess Luna. We did it!"
"Have you taken a look outside?" Sunny Day pointed at the twisted Canterlot.
"Yeah, reaching the Princess didn't fix everything like Triangle Crown implied it would, but hey, we beat some nasties! And we rescued the princess, and we stopped a wave of darkness from consuming the world! We got a win!"
I jumped in the air, flapped my legs and clicked by back hooves together.
"Sooo, sorry you weren't able to derail my rumor, take it over for yourself, and subvert my own creation to your own designs?" The dark Pharaoh asked evenly, he'd crushed his own scepter in his grip.
"Easy come, easy go. But I did not sense anything from Sweetie Belle the whole time. I do not understand how they were able to reach Canterlot and undo a curse of this scale so deeply rooted in the world. She doesn't have the knowledge, the wisdom, or will."
"So we have more than one group of virus' infesting our body... " The faceless sphinx spoke. Its entire body shook, looking ready to claw to pieces the next thing that incited its ire.
A black cloth hung on the wall, on it were runes that drove its reader mad. Translated, the runes’ words were: 'Angled Hound.' A wreath of blood feeding Une flowers hung around it.
'Cousin Beldam by the way went home. She was so looking forward to meeting your friends, my little filly. But she says some ponies ruined her playing house party... '
"Who?" Nightfilly and horror from beyond echoed.
'Well, she didn't give much description but- well, brace yourself, my little filly.'
-A few moments later-
" ... Father, your promise made it so only her name was the only thing the rumors could affect. Nothing should have provoked her.... she never fights unless somepony did her wrong."
"She was still a high society pony, it's just what high society ponies DO that changed. She must have not liked it. Guess that means Cloud Kicker and Thunderlane now act like elites eh?"
'... Oh dear.'
"... That was ignorant on my part. If I still had feelings, I think I would hate you beyond measure right now Uncle."
"Don't get too big for your saddle little one."
"Would not dream of it, or anything."
"They don't like Nightmares after all? ... I'll make sure they never have a nightmare again."
"Now, let us see if we can free our beloved sister from HER curse, and we all can work together to smite this evil!" But in the next moment Princess Luna's heart skipped a beat. Her eyes widened in alarm. "My little ponies! Stand close to me!" She said swiftly. The ponies obeyed.
"Listen to the words of your goddess, expect no mercy from what is coming! Be prepared to do what must be done to live! Or those you love will be next! Your strength and sanity is to be tested in ways never meant to be! Prepare yourselves!"
= Nyarlathotep - Persona 2 =
They came. The corrupt ponies couldn't even see them. Much as in another timeline, where the changelings were banished from Canterlot, the ponies of Canterlot went back to their 'happy' lives without missing a beat with the Nightmare Force undone. Many celebrating in the only ways they understood at the moment.
The enemy that came paid the corrupted ponies no mind. The MiB curse creations and other automations were worthless cannon fodder not to be even considered.
The ponies saw a dark storm spread across the pink inverted sky, spreading like ink in water, surrounding Luna's tower, in a perfect sphere.
"Maybe we should get somewhere safer?" Flash Sentry suggested.
"There is nowhere to run," Princess Luna said simply. "Beware their words. They NEVER reveal anything they didn't plan to. Tis their nature. The evil of a thousand masks."
Shapes began to form and drop out of the storm, landing on the towers and rooftops, crushing tiles under their weight. All made their way towards the tower: A blob of golden tentacles. A pitch black fur less, mane less pony. A faceless sphinx. An army of fleshy black trees. A pack of ghostly skeletal dogs. A morbidly obese unicorn mare on tiny legs with a fan. A giant hovering red veined jellyfish. A two headed bat pony. A ordinary looking zebra stallion carrying a saxophone and so many, MANY more.
They spoke with one voice, one identity, one being.
"""""""We won't pretend to ask you to surrender, Night. Just know the light in the sky isn't yours nor your sister's. You are already not at your true strength! You are cut off from yourself. You have no means to swiftly regain your magic. You'll not meddle in a single one of my masterpieces here. You'll never see the moon in this world again, Night!"""""""
"... I am at half strength, and yet you send so much of yourself and your spawn against me? You flatter me that you fear me so much cousin-in-law. We shall not waste breath on questions you won't answer! Come at us! See how fast you can lose to a half-powered Alicorn, a couple mere mortals!"
While naturally Flash wanted to wet himself in terror, he knew that wasn't what needed doing. Instead he took on as confident a look as he could. "You're not the first horrific monster from outside the world I've had to face. Bring it. No way I'm dying here."
Golden narrowed her eyes. "I've been insane, is this supposed to scare me? If you get between me and my family, I'll rip you apart too."
Sunny looked to Luna, then back to the horde. "...You know, Hoofcraft's work was scary because you don't know what the abomination is thinking...you've given that away before the fight even starts. This isn't about us meddling further is it? Luna said it herself, you're sending this much against us because you're nothing but a petty, vindictive prick. No better than a noble who's been slighted. It's practically my JOB to bring people like you down a few notches, so bring it on. No way we're losing to the likes of you."
While that was what the mare said, her mind spoke something different: 'Please, somepony, save us.'
Philomena stood, above the doors to her mistress' room. The guards, while corrupt, still obeyed their queen's order to the letter to not let her out, the chains of loyalty ensured they'd not falter in their duty. But she stood as another line of defense if she got free, or she lured some pony to her. Philomena had burst into flames, then been reborn from the ashes when the corruption had spread. And had quickly retreated when she had checked on her mistress. She had no means to fight this evil, it was beyond her, which infuriated her to no end. But at least she could protect her master from doing something she'd regret.
Then the firebird felt it. She was being called, the calling presence more familiar than the corrupted one in the room beyond. And she felt a great and horrible storm forming, as animals often could.
The firebird quickly left a wall of flame around the door and flew at her highest possible speed towards the calling.
"Sticks and stones babe, stick and stones, ain't gonna matter once yer toast, come on babe, let's see how loud Ah can make ya sing," said the Zebra stallion in a southern Equestrian accent.
Luna torn open her wardrobe and pulled out swords, shields, spears, axes, repeater crossbows, knives, and many other weapons all looking like they'd been forged from solid moonlight.
"These bear the blessings of My Father, they will harm the enemy, take your pick and do not die!" The Princess commanded. 'As long as his focus is completely on us, Apple Bloom and the others will be safer. Tis our duty.'
Then a bird shape titan of flames punched through the dark storm, the storm itself let out a cry of pain and anger and sealed behind her.
Philomena flew to the side of Sunny Day, the unicorn looked shocked to her core. "You... you're... you're Celestia's pet... did, did she send you to help?"
The bird shook her head, then tilted it, then nodded, then shook again.
"She has come to help! Tis enough!" declared Princess Luna.
Flash directed the group to form a circle around the edge, their mini armory in reach, Princess Luna approving. "No THING gets inside!"
"For Equestria!" shouted Luna floating silver spear around her.
Flash held one of the silver axes. "For Equestria!" 'And for you too, First Base, and Twilight!'
Golden took a fighting pose with what looked gauntlets. "For you, Filthy! And you too my little princess!"
Sunny Day levitated a bow and took aim. She wasn't sure why, but a bow and arrow instinctively seemed best suited to her. Philomena lit the tip of the arrow aflame and the fire turned golden. "For Equestria! And everypony in it!"
The two sides clashed.