She pumped her small wings as fast as she could, wind whipping at her mane and tears streaming down her cheeks.
She had to fly. She had to win.
There was a hiss and she bled off some speed to glance behind her. A giant wave of blackness came after her like a storm, consuming the color in the world and approaching at a blinding speed. She ripped her eyes away from the wall of terror and back in front of her to the distant finish line.
Ahead of her was the tape and the end of the race. The sky there was a deep blue with the sun shining brightly, warming her face and filling the air with color. Her friends were standing at the end, cheering her on, while her father smiled proudly. She just had to make it to them.
Suddenly the happy faces morphed to ones of horror as darkness started to creep in from all sides.
She looked around in confusion, she was so close to the end, so close to saving them, but she wasn’t moving. The frantic beating of her wings and the wind in her mane had stopped as she sat idly on a cloud, a mere hoof’s length from the end, watching as the world became slowly consumed by blackness.
She could still make it. If she just started flying again she could beat the darkness and save everything.
She didn’t move as the darkness consumed her loved ones and greedily surrounded her in its embrace.
Rainbow woke with a start from the unpleasant dream. The same one she had been having for over two weeks now. With a moan, the Pegasus rolled over and buried her face in the coarse blanket that was acting as her pillow. She longed for her soft bed and fluffy pillow in Nightmare’s castle as she shifted her body and tried to find a comfortable spot on the hard dirt floor.
Memories rushed back into her mind and all thoughts of sleep vanished as Rainbow’s head popped off the makeshift pillow. It took only a second for her trained eyes to sweep the room she had woken up in.
She was in a small room, more of a large closet, one that had wooden, circular walls. The ceiling was made of some type of plant that Dash couldn’t identify and looked to be hoof woven. Potions, masks, and other random objects surrounded her in an orderly fashion, though none were close enough for her to easily grab or knock over. The blanket-like thing that had served as her pillow seemed to be, and Rainbow hopped she was incorrect, some type of animal fur unknown to the Pegasus. As she had previously assessed, the floor was nothing but hard packed dirt which clung irritably to her fur and got in between her feathers. She no longer wore her armor, but that was no shock. She would’ve been more surprised if whoever had brought her here had left it on, as it contained a few hidden weapons and nasty secrets.
Most importantly, she could not see Pinkie anywhere in the small room.
Rainbow rose to her hooves and took a step towards the door only a few feet from her, intent on opening it any way she had to and finding her friend. She had only taken a few steps, however, when she was halted by a tightness around her foreleg and a light clicking sound.
Rainbow glanced back at the chain shackled around her foreleg and spiked into the ground. It seemed oddly out of place next to the wood and potions.
Rainbow Dash had never been in a situation like this, but she read many books and thought that she understood how these things worked. Especially the part where the captured pony always had to wait until the captors realized they were awake before anything happened besides staring at the wall. And that wait always went two ways, either you were so important the captors had been monitoring you and would arrive as soon as you awoke or you weren’t and you just had to wait until they came to check on you.
Rainbow, though, was never much one for following principles and if whoever had brought her here wasn’t going to show up on their own she would just have to make them show up.
She took a deep breath and screamed as loud as she could, impressing herself with the volume as a couple of the bottles around the room shuddered.
The scream had the desired effect as not a moment later the door to the room/closet burst open and a wide-eyed Zebra started yelling back at her.
“What is going on in here? What compelled you to kill our ears?”
Rainbow shrugged casually as she cut off her scream. “I got tired of waiting. This room is pretty interesting and stuff but I need at least a book or something if you want to keep me quiet for more than a couple minutes.”
The Zebra muttered something under her breath and rubbed her forehead with her hoof.
“So,” Rainbow started again, keeping her tone and posture light, “now we get to the point where you tell me exactly where my friend is or I kick your face in. Oh, and don’t think this chain will do anything to stop me from killing you if I find out you’ve harmed one hair on her head.”
The Zebra glanced up at her, clearly unimpressed. “Don’t speak to me with empty threats. Your friend is fine so don’t waste your breath.”
Rainbow narrowed her eyes, slightly confused by the rhyming, but she had seen stranger things. “They’re not empty. I’m a trained member of the Night Guard. Well, I guess not a member anymore, but I’ve taken on timberwolves with nothing but my hooves. Taking you down would be a cakewalk.”
The Zebra sighed, "I do not say I doubt your skill, but I am one you cannot kill. One thing you would consider well, it is here in Everfree that I dwell. Besides your friend is healthy and free, come here now, dear Pinkie."
Rainbow was caught off guard as the Zebra turned her head at the end of the sentence, directing the last word to another part of whatever building they were in, “You may come now, child, there is no cause for alarm.”
Slowly, a pink mane and frightened blue eyes peered around the doorframe, though the fear was quickly replaced by happiness and relief when they spotted Rainbow. “Dashie you’re alright!” Pinkie exclaimed, bouncing into the room and entrapping Rainbow with a hug, “I was so worried that there was a ghost or something in the hut because there was this terrible scream and Zecora got really upset and kind of spooked and I was spooked too but it was just you yelling for some reason but now you’re awake and everything’s alright again.”
“As you can see, she is completely unharmed,” The Zebra, Zecora probably, interjected, an amused smile playing on her lips as she watched Pinkie cling to Rainbow, “Though I must confess I whacked her with my stick, but when one is attacked from behind you have to think quick.”
Pinkie let out an embarrassed chuckle as Rainbow looked down at her in confusion. “I may have had a nightmare and panicked a bit when I woke up.” She suddenly jerked out of the hug, causing a soft grunt from Rainbow as she used the Pegasus’s chest as support. “But it was alright after that! We had tea and she asked a bunch of questions in her epic rhyme speech, (she rhymes every time she talks, isn’t that cool?) about us and told me you were still sleeping and then I ended up telling her all about us and Rarity and Twilight the Time Traveling Alicorn.”
She dropped back onto her stomach so that her muzzle was brushing against Rainbow’s ear. “I now realize that that might have been a tactical error, but she was so nice Dashie and had cookies.”
She perked up again and Rainbow let out another grunt as her chest was once more used as an impromptu springboard. “Then she asked if I ever talked about myself and I was going to reply but we heard a banshee and I hid under the table while she went to look but then she said it was alright and when I looked it wasn’t a ghost at all but you and then I hugged you and then…”
“OK, Pinkie I got it,” Rainbow interrupted, gently pushing her friend off, “I was there for that part.” She stood up and dusted herself off. “You know, Miss Sleep Darts, if you really are friendly you should probably get this chain off of me.”
The Zebra gave her an amused look. “Oh, were you not just screaming and threatening me to the utmost? Now you expect me to be a good host?”
Rainbow did not match her smile as she narrowed her eyes. “You did kidnap us and chain me up. I’m right to be suspicious.”
“Kidnap you? I was saving your life. But you are a guard for Nightmare. Suspicion was my right.”
Rainbow raised a brow. “I can barely understand your weird poem speech. Are you a good guy or not?”
Zecora chuckled, “Everyone thinks they are the good guy.” She took out a key and gently tossed it to Rainbow, who easily caught it in her forehooves. “But we are on the same side, you and I.”
Rainbow looked down at the key in her grip and then back to the Zebra. “So you don’t work for Nightmare Moon?”
“I am not her friend, I may even be her foe, but before more questions I need your tale of woe.”
Rainbow grunted as she slid the key into her shackle and unhooked herself from the ground, “Why do you need me to tell it? It sounds like Pinkie already spelled it out for you.”
“There is a saying we use down south: If you want the whole story, you must get it from the horse’s mouth.” With that, Zecora turned and trotted out of the room, leaving a very confused Rainbow Dash in her wake.
“Alright, something is definitely weird about that Zebra.”
“I like her!” Pinkie supplied, “I wonder if she’ll give me more cookies.”
Rainbow turned to her friend, a stern look on her face. “Alright Pinkie, what exactly did you tell this Zebra mare?”
Pinkie instantly shrunk down, looking pensive. “Nothing very important… She just asked why we were in the Everfree and I told her about being accused of treason and then I told her why we were accused of treason and then I had to tell her about the Alicorn and your race or the story wouldn’t make sense and then I talked about how you were such a great friend so she asked how such a nice pony got into the Night Guard so I had to tell her the whole tale and… um… yeah… that was all I think.”
Rainbow slapped a hoof to her face. “Basically, you told her every important detail didn’t you?”
Pinkie scuffed a hoof. “I’m sorry Dashie, but she was so nice and I didn’t think to keep things secret…” She trailed off and stared dejectedly at the ground.
Rainbow sighed and wrapped a wing around her friend, “It’s OK Pinkie, I’m not mad. Frustrated a bit, but it’s not like she probably didn’t have other ways of getting that information.” She frowned and gazed towards the door. “I guess we could leave, but without knowing where we are, we might end up walking straight back to Nightmare Moon, especially if the Zebra rats us out.” She turned her gaze back to Pinkie and gave her a small smile. “But hey, there’s also a chance she could be on our side and we could use this place as a safe house or something too.”
Pinkie perked up. “So… we’re going to stay and have more cookies?”
Dash rolled her eyes. “For a bit I guess. I’ve got to find out her motives anyway, so I guess cookies couldn’t hurt.”
Pinkie grinned and bounced out of Rainbow’s wing and towards the door. “Yay! This’ll be great Dashie, you’ll see, I can just tell that we’re all going to become great friends.”
Rainbow rolled her eyes again but followed her friend out with a smile, taking notice of everything she could on the way. The rest of the hut was very similar to the room she had been held in. A dirt floor, a thatched plant roof, bottles and masks for decoration, and circular styled walls. She noticed a bubbling caldron in one room they passed, and a quick glance out the window confirmed that Zecora had been telling the truth. They were still in the Everfree Forest.
Pinkie led her to a room that Rainbow assumed was the kitchen. A small stove was set off to the side where an ancient looking kettle sat. Shelves filled with different foodstuff decorated the walls, and a rather large table was placed directly in the middle. Zecora was already seated at the table and two other places had been set with tea and biscuits.
Rainbow sniffed, “Did you have that set out this whole time?”
The Zebra smiled up at her. “I was hoping to discuss in peace, so I thought I would make treats.”
Pinkie instantly jumped into her seat and starting attacking her biscuit. Rainbow approached her own chair more cautiously, circling it suspiciously and casting one or two glances at Zecora.
The Zebra, in turn, simply fixed her with a steady look and gently sipped her tea.
Eventually Rainbow, finding no fault or trick with the chair, grumpily sat down and gave Zecora an expectant stare.
Zecora set down her cup and nodded to the Pegasus. “So, would you like tea Miss. Rainbow?”
Rainbow said nothing for a good long time before shaking her head once. “Thanks, but no.”
Zecora smiled back at her. “Now that pleasantries are done I believe there’s a tale that needs to be spun.” She leaned forward. “What I want from you is just what you think is true.”
Rainbow frowned. “This riddle thing is really confusing. You know that?”
Zecora smiled. “I’ll rephrase it for you: show me your story from your point of view.”
Rainbow sighed, “Well Pinkie’s already given you everything so what the heck. What do you want to know about me?”
“The first question isn’t hard. How did you join the guard?”
Rainbow chuckled, “It wasn’t intentional I’ll tell you that much.”
“I know you were forced,” Zecora replied, “But why did Nightmare choose you over any other horse?”
Rainbow smirked. “Ever heard of a Sonic Rainboom?”
“A legend,” Zecora replied immediately, “It is said not to be true.”
Rainbow blinked at that. “Did… did you just rhyme with my last sentence?”
Zecora sipped her tea and looked at Dash expectantly.
Rainbow shook her head. “Anyway, you’re talking to the one pony that can pull off that legend. In theory.”
Zecora’s brows raised. “A spectacular sight to see. Why only in theory?”
Rainbow sighed and nibbled a biscuit absently. “Well a Rainboom happens when a Pegasus breaks the sound barrier, right? I’m the only Pegasus alive that can touch the barrier. I’ve just never gotten through yet.”
“And Miss Moon knew of this I assume?”
Rainbow nodded. “Yeah, I was actually in the reserves for the Wonderbolts before… you know.” She shrugged. “I hadn’t taken an oath yet and somehow Nightmare had learned about the almost Rainboom thing, so she wanted to recruit me.”
“But you told her you would never betray Equestria didn’t you, Dashie?” Pinkie asked, leaning into the Pegasus with rapt attention.
“Yeah, of course I did. She offered me power and money and stuff as if that would change my mind, but I just kept telling her off. Eventually, she stopped bugging me about it and I didn’t hear anything from her for months. But then, after a while, Nightmare Moon approached me again. Heh, she told me she had an offer I couldn’t refuse.”
“I have heard stories like this before,” Zecora spoke up when Dash hesitated, “I assume she found someone you would bargain for.”
Rainbow let out a sad chuckle. “Yeah, I guess you could call it that. My friend, my best friend since I was a filly. Nightmare threatened to hurt her if I didn’t cooperate. The First Rebellion had just happened, and I didn’t question that she would have gone through with it. There was no choice, at least to me. I had to join her.”
“And after what has and hasn’t happened yet, do you your decisions regret?”
Rainbow’s head shot up. “Regret?” She snapped at the Zebra, “What do you mean by that? Do I regret hurting ponies? Do I regret making the entire world go to crap and not doing a thing about it? Of course, I do. Who wouldn’t? But do I regret saving my friend? Do I regret keeping my head down so no one I love gets hurt anymore because of me? No. I very much do not regret that and I certainly don’t regret agreeing to Nightmare’s demands to save my friend. There was no choice and please don’t act like there was.” Rainbow’s shoulders slumped and her eyes watered. “And now it doesn’t even matter. Nightmare’s taken Fluttershy already and Rarity’s probably next. I’ve failed everyone I’ve tried to protect.” She lowered her head on the table and sniffed back tears. “Why can’t I protect anyone I care about? Why does everyone always get hurt because of me?”
Zecora sipped her tea. “If you want to help your friends might I suggest joining the rebellion?”
Pinkie giggled. “The rebellion doesn’t exist silly. Everyone’s too afraid to make one after the first one failed so spectacularly.”
Zecora nodded. “It is true that the first came at a great expense. But ponies will rebel no matter what the consequence.”
Pinkie’s eyes grew wide and Rainbow blinked up at the Zebra. “Are you saying that there’s some secret rebellion that still exists? One that Nightmare Moon doesn’t even know about? How the heck did that happen?”
“How the rebellion formed is a point moot. What I wish to say is that we could recruit.”
“No,” Pinkie said suddenly, her hooves falling over her face in horror, “No no no no. There can’t be a real rebellion. This can’t be happening. No, oh no.”
Rainbow sat back up and gave her friend a confused look. “Pinkie? What the hay are you talking about? A rebellion means that these guys are on our side and looking to kick Nightmare’s butt too. That’s a good thing.”
Pinkie didn’t seem to be listening as she rocked back and forth in her chair. “If there’s a real-life rebellion then Nightmare Moon will definitely find out and if she finds out she’ll think they started it and then they’ll get in trouble and then I’ll get it trouble.”
“Pinkie!” Rainbow cried, shooting a glance at Zecora who was watching the scene as if it was a mildly interesting show, “Cut it out would ya? You’re going to make Darts over there think we’re the enemy again.”
Pinkie gasped suddenly and turned to her Pegasus friend, shaking her by the shoulders. “But I’m already in trouble as it is so I’m dead. I’m plain old dead Rainbow, do you understand? Dead!”
“P-Pinkie, wh-what are you talking about? N-Nightmare’s not going to f-find us,” Rainbow stuttered as she was thrown like a rag doll.
“And she will never discover our rebel,” Zecora spoke up, taking a sip of her tea, “We have taken many precautions so I can assure you your sisters are well.”
Pinkie abruptly stopped shaking Rainbow and turned her wide-eyed stare to Zecora. “You… you… how do you know that? How… how do you know about them?”
“I am a scout, it’s my job to know.” Zecora gave her a sudden sympathetic smile and lowered her voice. “I understand you are scared, but please be calm and release Rainbow.”
Pinkie bit her lip and obediently released Dash. She then decided that the woven table was extremely interesting and stared shakily down at it.
Rainbow glanced between her friend and Zecora. “Alright, I’m completely confused now. Does somepony want to tell me what’s going on?”
Zecora nodded. “I would be glad to have the confusion end. Though I’m surprised this information has not been shared between friends.”
Pinkie visibly flinched and splayed her ears against her head.
Dash instantly leaped to her friend’s defense. “Hey, if she doesn’t want to talk about her past she doesn’t have to. It’s not like I need to know.”
Zecora raised a brow. “So quick to defend. I thought you wanted the confusion to end.”
Rainbow blinked. “I… uh… well.”
“Of the first rebellion, what do you know? The one that brought our spirits low,” Zecora interrupted, staring intently at Dash.
Rainbow started at the sudden change of topic. “What? I… um… I don’t know any more than rumors. You know, just what everyone hears.”
“Just tell us the tale as it was told to you,” Zecora said impatiently, “I want to hear the story from your point of view.”
Rainbow blinked and flicked her gaze between her silent friend and the slightly imposing Zebra. She licked her lips. “Alright, so the first rebellion. What I’ve heard is that this group of four ponies- sometimes siblings, or friends, sometimes they had never met before - it changes every version. Anyway, they all decided that they had to save everypony from Nightmare Moon and make a better life for others, one that they could never get with that dictator, and so they started to form a rebellion. They got a lot of ponies to go with them and almost took her down,” Dash swung her hoof in a jabbing motion for emphasis, “right when she was weak and didn’t know how to fight this new era of, uh, not a thousand years ago. But, heh,” Rainbow shrugged, “obviously they failed and no one’s been brave enough to try again.”
“And the leaders?” Zecora asked, “Those that dared Nightmare’s name desecrate? Do you know what was their fate?”
Rainbow scratched the back of her head. “I’ve heard ponies say that Nightmare crushed their spirits so bad that they actually started working for her or became mindless workers or something, as, like an example of how no one fights for long or whatever. Truth be told I just think she killed ‘em and then made up those rumors to scare everypony.”
“She didn’t kill them.”
Rainbow turned to Pinkie who was still staring down at the table. Now, though, her eyes were misted and her voice cracked when she spoke.
“They didn’t do it for that reason either,” Pinkie continued, “They didn’t fight because they wanted to save anyone or make the world better. They did it just because they were mad and they wanted to take their anger out on something, anything really. It was just dumb luck that ponies started to follow them.”
Rainbow reached out to put a hoof on her friend’s shoulder, realizing with a start that she was trembling. “Pinkie, you don’t have to…”
“Did you know Nightmare Moon reimbursed farms?” Pinkie spoke over her, talking quickly, “She wanted to make sure they could keep growing and that no one would actually starve. That was really smart of her and all but she didn’t think about the natural things and the nonpony races as much so they got hungry and desperate and started attacking the farms.” She sniffed and rubbed her hooves together, “The four sisters, they were sisters, by the way, their farm got attacked. They fought them off but in the battle their… their parents got k-killed.” Pinkie shuddered. “And they were so sad and so angry that they just wanted to fight, even if it was hopeless. So they fought and ponies followed even though they didn’t want them to because they knew they were going to lose and they knew they were going to die but they were just so sad that they didn’t care. But then when they lost Nightmare Moon didn’t kill them!”
Here Pinkie paused and rubbed her tear-streaked cheeks. Rainbow had moved to wrap a wing around her friend the moment the tears started falling. “They were prepared to die but Nightmare did something worse. She told them she was going to let all of them go and that they would tell everyone how rebellion was the worst thing and they would stop anyone else from rebelling by never doing anything even kind of like it again.” She smiled, just a little, “And then the oldest almost spat in her face and gave this really nice speech about how the spirit of the ponies would never die and she’d have to kill them to get them to stop or something, it was pretty good for being made up on the spot.” The smile disappeared and the haunted look came back as quickly as it had left. “But Nightmare just laughed and said they would if they didn’t want their sister to get hurt. A-and then she t-took me and showed my sisters wh-what would happen if… if…” Her sentence ended with a sputter and she threw herself into Rainbow’s arms.
Rainbow instantly wrapped her distraught friend in a hug though her mind reeled with questions, “Pinkie… you… you led the first rebellion?”
A painful whimper was her only answer.
Rainbow’s mind reeled. She tried to imagine the shivering ball of tears in her hooves charging into battle against Nightmare Moon when no one else would. She couldn’t imagine the pony who would chat about nothing for hours and sneak Rainbow cookies when she was having a bad day, leading ponies to fight a practical god. She couldn’t place her friend with the stories of almost heroes.
Rainbow did, however, know what Nightmare Moon did when ponies disobeyed her. It could be minor, a short time in the dungeon for a petty thief or something small, or it could result in your child getting physically afflicted for something much more major. Rainbow could imagine with terrible clarity just what the punishment would come to someone who tried to overthrow their dictator.
She squeezed her friend harder. “Pinkie, listen to me. No one’s ever going to hurt you again, alright?”
“B-but when she finds us…”
Rainbow remembered that Pinkie hadn’t been able to leave the palace the entire time she’d known her. She tightened her hug. “She’s not going to find us. We’re going to go with Darts here and be safe O.K? Nothing bad’s going to happen to you or your sisters, alright?”
Pinkie slowly raised her head out of Dash’s damp fur and fixed her with a hopeful gaze. “Promise?”
Rainbow smiled and flapped her wings. “Hope to fly.”
Rarity woke with a start, her eyes blinking rapidly in the surrounding darkness. Her head throbbed as if she had been hit with a blunt object right on the horn and a rising sense of panic bubbled up in her stomach. She instantly tried to move but found her hooves pinned down against something cold and hard. She gave out a panicked cry as her eyes continued to see nothing in the consuming darkness around her.
There was then a snort and a voice penetrated the silence, “Huh, wha? Whadda miss?”
Rarity froze her struggling. She recognized that voice. She had only heard it once before but she instantly recognized it.
“Oh crap, you’re up.” The voice came again, along with the skittering of claws on a hard surface, “Hold on, let me turn on the light.”
There was a click and Rarity suddenly had to squint from the harsh light flooding her eyes. The room she was in was colorful and seemed to sparkle as the light reflected off the crystal walls and ceiling. The chair she was strapped to was made out of the same colorful crystal and looking at it worsened her already throbbing headache.
The figure that had spoken was now standing in front of her, holding a clipboard and looking very serious.
“Spike!” Rarity cried as the sight of the small dragon brought the name back to her mind. The purple and green dragon looked almost exactly as he had in the palace, save for a fuzzy jacket that he looked adorable in.
The young drake almost dropped his clipboard at Rarity’s sudden exclamation, “What? How do you know my name?”
“You told it to me,” Rarity explained, calming down significantly now that there was a familiar face, “Well, the other you. The one from a different time.”
Spike frowned and jotted something down on his clipboard. “So you think you were visited from Twilight and me from a different timeline?” He glanced up at her with a bemused expression. “Was I an Alicorn too?”
“Of course not,” Rarity dismissed, tugging at her bonds in annoyance, “If you don’t mind me asking, where am I? And where is Twilight? Why did she bring me here?”
Spike ignored her questions and asked his own, “You claim also that Twilight’s destined to defeat Nightmare Moon, and that you want her to, and yet you work for Nightmare. Is that right?”
“Yes, but, I’m sorry what is happening right now? I demand to know where I am.”
“Why do you work for Nightmare Moon, if you don’t support her?”
“Why are you asking me this?” Rarity insisted, “I refuse to answer any more of your questions until I get some answers of my own. Now, what is going on? Why am I tied up? What happened at Twilight’s?”
Spike sighed and lowered his clipboard. “Twilight doesn’t… trust you enough right now for me to say anything. That’s why I’m interviewing you.” He held up the parchment in his claws for her to see, “We have to find out what your real motives are.”
Rarity frowned. “I see, and what side do you happen to be on?”
Spike smiled proudly, “We’re the rebellion! One of the groups, anyway, we’ve dedicated our lives to slowly but silently fighting Nightmare Moon.”
Rarity laughed, “Oh dear, what do you take me for? There hasn’t been a rebellion since the first one.”
Spike winked knowingly. “That’s why we’re so awesome, we’re a secret from everybody.”
Rarity raised a brow at the young drake. “Why would you tell me all about your secret operation if what you’re saying is actually true?”
Spike’s smile faltered a little. “Oh well, Twilight already drugged you and stuff so I assumed you already knew,” he shot a look to somewhere behind Rarity, “but it doesn’t matter if you know or not. I mean, it’s not like you can tell anyone while you’re a prisoner. Now, can I continue the interview?”
Rarity looked back down at the ropes that tied her hooves in place, “I don’t seem to have much of a choice do I? Being your prisoner and all.”
Spike shrugged apologetically. “Sorry, I don’t really make the rules. I’m just the buffer for these kinds of things. Alright, let’s see, why do you work for Nightmare Moon if you don’t support her?”
Rarity sighed, “It’s not quite a story and frankly not one I’m very proud of. It… it started with my parents.”
“They got a job for you?” Spike asked.
Rarity bit her lip. “Not exactly. Now, see I must make it very clear that my parents are good ponies, they just… do you know what happens to the families of those that displease Nightmare? Let me tell you, it’s not pleasant. And my sister, my dear little sister. Neither I nor my parents wanted her to even be threatened like that. So we did everything we could so she’d never have any reason to. Eventually, I managed to move up the ranks for no reason except that I was a hard worker and found myself a nice place in the palace working for Nightmare personally. I didn’t complain, of course, because that would defeat the whole purpose, but let me tell you that I’ve never been for her like those brutish guards or sycophantic servants.”
Spike scribbled furiously on his clipboard as Rarity stopped to catch her breath. “So you only work for her because you’re trying to protect your sister?”
Rarity nodded. “That’s the only reason. It is selfish, I realize that, but that’s all I thought I could do. Well, until I met the Alicorn, I suppose.”
Spike hummed, “Alright, I guess that makes a weird kind of sense. Hey, Twi, are we done yet?”
Twilight’s voice called out directly behind Rarity, making the Unicorn jump, “Spike, I told you not to let her know I was here.”
Spike pointed at Rarity. “But she told us everything we needed.”
Twilight tried to protest but a different voice interrupted her before she got two words in, “It’s alright, Twilight. I think we’re done here.”
There was the clip-clopping sound of hooves and a beautiful pink Alicorn walked into Rarity’s line of sight. “I believe her, and I think you two have a destiny to fulfill.”