• Published 3rd Jul 2013
  • 3,521 Views, 93 Comments

Sol Umbrae - Dream Bolt



Twilight Sparkle is sent to a new world to face an old threat, only to find that this new world shares a lot more history with Equestria than she suspected.

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Oh, It Is ON!

Chapter 4: “Oh, It is ON!”

“What?!” Twilight Sparkle gasped. She could barely render the accusations. This was ludicrous. Somepony had set her up. It was obvious that this Shadow wasn’t joking.

“Hey, Shadow, I think you have the wrong person.” Tails said, trying to help. “Twilight Sparkle here has only been in this world a few hours. And either Sonic or myself was watching her the whole time. And anyways, she helped save Sonic from….”

“I heard about the spatial disruption.” Shadow interrupted. “G.U.N. analysis showed that it was an interdimensional breach… that came from another world. This Twilight Sparkle demonstrated the ability to break into this world twice. She could easily have done it before. And the alleged rescue of Sonic could have been an initial probing of our world and its inhabitants and warriors.”

Twilight was aghast. “My friends and I helped Sonic out of the goodness of our hearts! And I didn’t even know of the spell to reach your world a few days ago! I was just sent here to help you!”

“We have video footage of you and a second individual engaged in multiple break-ins on G.U.N. property, as well as the destruction and thieving of a large amount of top-secret materials.” Shadow pulled out a tablet screen and showed them the clip.
Twilight couldn’t help but gasp. There, clad in a black jumpsuit, with her matted mane tied back with a bandanna, was herself.

“But… I didn’t do that!” Twilight pleaded. “It wasn’t me!”

“The evidence strongly suggests otherwise.” Shadow replied coldly.

Twilight was shaking with a mixture of fear and shock. “But I can’t even get to this world alone! I need my friends, and the Elements of Harmony! Ask them! They can confirm it!”

“One’s accomplices hardly make compelling witnesses.” Shadow replied.

“Ask Applejack!” Twilight pleaded. “She’s the Element of Honesty! She wouldn’t lie! Heck, she’s the worst liar I know!”

“Your argument is irrelevant.” Shadow said with finality. “You are now a prisoner of G.U.N., your friends are suspects, and these Elements of Harmony will be confiscated as G.U.N. property.”

“Shadow, maybe we should try to work this out….” Tails began.

“I told you to stay out of it!” Shadow shouted. “Otherwise you may be considered a suspect. Your affiliations with Sonic have already shone poorly on you image. Dealing with those who have previously openly defied G.U.N. and the government is not looked upon well.”
Shadow turned and aimed his rifle at Twilight. “These are tranquilizers.” he stated. “If you refuse to come quietly, I will use force.”
Twilight stared about in surprise. Everyone in the library was staring at her. “Look, take me. Just let my friends go!” she begged.
“This is not a negotiation.” Shadow replied, aiming the gun. “You and all associated personnel are under arrest. Any attempts at resistance will be considered an act of defiance.”

“But I… DIDN’T… DO IT!!!” she shouted.

Shadow cocked the gun. “You are uncooperative. And my patience has run out.” He pulled the trigger.

“Shadow!” Tails cried.

There was suddenly a rapid, pinging sound as the tranquilizer bullets ricocheted off of the magical shield which had just appeared around Twilight.

Shadow stopped firing. “I told you any attempts at resistance will be considered defiance.” Shadow said coldly.

Twilight glared angrily. “And Princess Celestia told me that there was an evil shadow that threatened this world. Maybe shadow was not what it was, but a name. I came in peace, but I will not let you hurt me, and especially not my friends!”

Shadow gave a smug snort. “I am the ultimate lifeform, master of the Chaos energies. Do you really think you can beat me?”

“I’m an alicorn princess, and I took down the spirit of chaos.” Twilight Sparkle replied, giving a challenging snort. “Now, we can discuss this civilly, like I suggested….”

There was a sudden flash, and Shadow appeared behind her, delivering a powerful kick to her back. Twilight went sprawling on the ground.
Before Shadow could strike again, there was a flash of pink magic, and Twilight appeared on the library roof. She began to try to fly away, but she still wasn’t nearly the flier Rainbow Dash was.
There was a quick flash of blue light, and Shadow appeared on the roof. His hand glowed, and a spike of light formed in his fist.

“Chaos Spear!” he shouted, hurling the bolt of light.

It hit Twilight’s wing, and although it didn’t damage her, her entire wing felt paralyzed.

Quickly, she teleported to a nearby rooftop before she could crash. As she turned about, she saw Shadow leaping across the roof tops, coming towards her at an amazing speed.
She knew she couldn’t keep running; escape from someone with this hedgehog’s capabilities would be nearly impossible even for her.

“Time for plan B.” she said to herself.

She whipped about, sending a beam of magenta energy from her horn. It struck Shadow’s gun, which, to Shadow’s surprise, turned into a blossoming branch.

Shadow performed a homing attack, slamming into the ground, but Twilight had already teleported out of his way. Before he could react, Shadow felt himself struck by a beam of cold that froze him in his place.

“Told you not to mess with me.” Twilight exclaimed, grinning smugly.

But Shadow wasn’t about to go down just yet. He had underestimated his opponent; it would not happen again.
Flexing his muscles and letting the Chaos energy pour though his veins, he shattered the surrounding ice, then directed a kick at Twilight, knocking her down. Twilight quickly teleported away again, and began to strike the rooftops with bolts of magic as she strove to subdue her attacker.

Shadow swiftly dodged the magenta bolts, returning fire with more Chaos Spears, but Twilight blocked them with a magical shield.

But even her magical shield had difficulty withstanding the barrage as Shadow crashed into it with his homing attack. Again and again he bashed at the magical construct, while Twilight felt her strength waning.
She teleported away yet again, breathing heavily. “Celestia help me.” she gasped. “I could really use my friends right now.”

*************************************************************************************************

Shadow’s communicator bleeped. He answered it. “Make it quick, General. I’ve engaged the suspect.”
“Couldn’t help but notice the fireworks.” General Abraham replied. “Do you need any backup?”
“Negative.” Shadow responded. “I can deal with this.”
“Very well.” General Abraham replied. “Call us if things get hairy. We’re already sending in G.U.N. agents to apprehend the other suspects.”
“Understood. Shadow out.”
As Shadow turned off his communicator, he watched the purple alicorn as she caught her breath. She had powerful magic, but her training had covered a wide area of skills, while he had spent fifty years specifically perfecting his skills as a warrior. In combat, he knew he had the advantage.

*************************************************************************************************

Twilight Sparkle knew this, too. For such an intelligent pony, it hadn’t been difficult to deduce that her assailant was someone with a great deal more combat experience.

“Got to have a plan.” she told her self. “When in doubt, resort to the unexpected.” This attacker had the home advantage, but he also probably didn’t know unicorn magic. She had to play upon that. She knew she wasn’t going to match this Shadow as a fighter, but as a thinker, there were few who could rival Twilight Sparkle.

Shadow watched as Twilight teleported down to the beach. She began to summon a blanket of magical smoke, shielding her from view.

“She’s changing tactics.” Shadow mused. “Best be careful.”

As Shadow leapt down onto the beach, he began to carefully look about, watching every motion in the smoke.
Suddenly, he saw Twilight’s silhouette. In the blink of an eye, he teleported towards her, striking with a karate chop.

And hitting a unicorn-shaped pile of sand.

Shadow whipped about realizing he had been tricked.

Too late.

A magenta ray of magic lit up the smoke, hitting the sand. Instantly, flowers grew around Shadow’s feet, tangling him up and ensnaring his legs.
There was a loud crashing of metal, and Shadow saw one of the nearby shipping crates had opened and was flying towards him, surrounded in a pink glow.
The crate scooped him up, and the door slammed behind him. Twilight jumped out of her hiding place, locking the crate and quickly placing a magical spell that would prevent Shadow from teleporting out.

“Whew!” she exclaimed, mopping her brow as she dispersed the smoke, letting the sun shine through. “That was an ordeal! I’m just glad it worked!”

Suddenly, the crate shook. A large dent appeared in the side. The another. And another.
Finally, with a horrible ripping sound, the side was torn away. Twilight gasped to see Shadow shredding the metal with his bare hands.

Before she could react, she was struck by a homing attack and went sprawling. Before she could recover, she was hit by a shocking bolt of Chaos energy. And another. And another.
Shadow landed a kick that sent her flying. As she landed, Shadow teleported on top of her, his fist held ready to strike.
Twilight tried to teleport, but Shadow struck her horn with a Chaos Spear, making it feel numb and preventing her spell.

“You are under arrest.” he said with grim satisfaction.

Twilight tried to struggle, but she didn’t have much strength left after the Chaos spears had hit her, and while she could feel the magic returning to her horn, she knew it wouldn’t be in time.
“You’re coming with me, conscious or not!” Shadow said, raising his hand for the knockout blow.

But suddenly, something in the sky behind Shadow caught Twilight’s eye.

A flash of color.

She gave a weak grin.

“Ever seen a Sonic Rainboom?” she asked.

Shadow looked confused. “What?”

Before he could react, he was struck by a blinding blur of color, a blur that went soaring with him across the entire mainland.

In ten seconds flat.

*************************************************************************************************

Shadow had faced many foes, including some very fast ones, but even he could barely fend off the hard hooves which struck him like rain.

“YOU… DO… NOT… HURT… MY… FRIEND!!!” Rainbow Dash shouted between blows. Her heart had jumped into her throat when she had seen Twilight lying injured at Shadow’s feet, and now she was in a battle rage. Nopony in Ponyville had ever hurt somepony like that, except for the most evil villains. And right now, that was what Shadow was to her.

As they crashed onto the beach, Solianna now distant upon the horizon, Rainbow Dash slammed Shadow into a cliff face.

At that speed, anybody else would have been knocked unconscious, and probably received a few broken bones. But Shadow was made of tougher stuff than most people. Though stunned, he quickly recovered, kicking off Rainbow Dash and throwing a hail of Chaos Spears.

The bolts struck Rainbow Dash, giving her an unpleasant shock, but not doing nearly as much damage as they had to Twilight. “He’s using lightning on a pegasus?” Dash chuckled grimly to herself.

“You call that lightning?” she scoffed, shaking to get rid of the slight tingly numbness in her body. “This is lightning!”

She soared up to the sky whipping the clouds up. They grew darker and darker, and came lower and lower. Finally, Rainbow Dash gave the storm clouds a strong buck.

Thunder pealed, and the sky lit us as bolt after bolt of lightning struck the ground that was always just behind the speeding form of Shadow, the air resonating each time with a crack like a giant whip.
However, Shadow was swift, swifter than nearly any other creature. He dashed out of the way of each bolt as they seared the ground.
“Got to get back to Solianna.” he thought to himself. The first suspect could have escaped by now, and shadow was beginning to rethink his earlier refusal for backup. The first suspect had been trouble enough, but with this second one to deal with, things had gotten out of control. And he refused to let it stay that way.

He activated his communicator. “Team Dark, I’m requesting backup, ASAP. Report to the beachfront near the library. First subject is injured, but may have already escaped. Approach with extreme caution.”

Much to his chagrin, the storm cloud followed behind him, matching his speed as the blue pegasus soared along, pushing the cloud and striking it repeatedly, sending lightning crashing at Shadow wherever he turned. Had he not had to return to deal with the first suspect, he would have leapt up the surrounding cliffs and struck down the blue pegasus, but for now, he decided to let her follow him, right into his trap.

Rouge and Omega gave one another uneasy glances. Nobody else had overheard the transmission Shadow had sent them, and they had a feeling that things were about to get hairy.

“Omega, you stay here and keep an eye on the suspects. Don‘t let them leave this library.” she said, quietly enough so that the other’s couldn’t hear. “I need to contact G.U.N.”

“I thought that we had intended to resolve the dispute, and that is why we hastened to reach this library.” Omega stated.

Rouge shook her head. “Only one way to resolve this, and it isn‘t diplomacy. Check the data feed. There’s video footage of this suspect openly destroying and stealing G.U.N. property. She‘s dangerous.” Rouge tightened her gloves. “Looks like we’re doing this the hard way.”

“What if Sonic or his allies attempt to interfere?” Omega asked. “That is a viable possibility.”

Rouge sighed. “Wouldn’t be the first time Sonic had defied G.U.N. And his friends would follow him no matter what.” She sighed, and pressed her communicator. “General?” she said, trying to keep her voice down. “I need ground and air support. And something in case a certain blue hedgehog decides to interfere.”

“Confirmed.” General Abraham replied. “We will deploy troops to your area, along with M.S. Alpha 001.”

“What?!” Rouge cried, a little louder than she had meant to. “That thing is a prototype. Worse, it isn’t our prototype. How do you know it won’t have a glitch? This is a highly populated area, and I will not condone the endangerment of civilians.”

“Relax, Agent Rouge.” General Abraham replied. “The entire computer system has been replaced, and we’ve had some of our best engineers go over it.”

Rouge shook her head. “I’m not to blame if something goes wrong here.”

“Your protest is duly noted.” General Abraham replied.

As Rouge turned off her communicator, she shook her head. If Shadow was requesting backup, they would need a lot more than just a few gun agents and an untested prototype.
She turned towards Knuckles and the Chaotix. “It looks like I have some persuading to do.” she murmured.

*************************************************************************************************

Twilight opened her eyes to see a fuzzy image of a yellow face over her. As her vision cleared, she saw that the face itself was rather fuzzy.

“I am so sorry about this.” Tails exclaimed. “I have no idea what Shadow is talking about. Just lay here for a bit. You’ve been rather roughed up.”

Twilight looked around. She was in some sort of laboratory. “Where am I?” she asked.
Tails shuffled uncomfortably. “Er… before I answer that, I’m afraid I have to ask you a few questions. You know, just to confirm you really are a good guy.”

“I am!” Twilight exclaimed.

Tails sighed. “Look, if you are, my machines will let me know if you’re telling the truth. That way, if Shadow comes around again, we can at least have some evidence that you aren’t the criminal.”

Twilight sighed and gave a shrug. “Well, go ahead. I have nothing to lie about.”

Tails nodded in confirmation, and started up a couple strange devices.
“Please look at the camera.” he asked politely as he attached a few wires to her foreleg. Twilight did as she was told.

“Now, have you ever been to this world before?” Tails asked.

“No.” Twilight responded.

Tails observed the machines’ readouts, and gave a satisfied nod. “Did you steal any G.U.N. property?”

“I haven’t stolen a thing!”

“Did you damage any G.U.N. property?”

Twilight shrugged. “Not that I know of, and definitely not on purpose!”

“Did you break into G.U.N. headquarters and Royal Solianna property?”

“Of course not!”

Tails gave a nod, and detached the wires from her foreleg. “Well, you’re telling the truth.” he stated. “I suspected you were, but I had to confirm it.” He turned towards her. “And before you ask, I considered the possibility that you would try and use magic to change the readings. But while I don’t know much about your type of magic, I was at least able to determine that your horn emits energy and glows when you use your magic. My recordings have shown that you didn’t do any such thing. And most importantly, I saw it myself.”

Twilight got down from the cot which she had been lying on. “So, will that guy… Shadow, was it? Will he stop chasing me?”

Tails shook his head. “A lie detector test won’t be enough to convince Shadow or G.U.N.” he sated. “I’ve had some experience with lying thieves.” Here, his ears drooped slightly. “I know how well they can deceive you, and get you to like them. So I know what I’m talking about when I say I can tell you’re a good person. But Shadow and G.U.N. don’t care about hunches or unexplained feelings. They only care about cold, hard evidence. Which brings me to the problem of that recording Shadow showed us.”

Tails tapped a few words into a nearby computer, and the screen lit up with the footage of Twilight breaking into the G.U.N. base.

“That’s uncanny.” Twilight said. “Despite the way she’s dressed, that looks exactly like me.”

“That’s what I need to solve.” Tails said. “But I have a more immediate problem. Did you see that flash of color in the sky, just before I rescued you? Do you have any idea what that was, or if it was dangerous? All I know is that my sensors showed that something came at high velocity and took off with Shadow in tow, traveling to the other side of the mainland in approximately ten seconds!”

Twilight suddenly gasped. “Rainbow Dash! That Shadow person could hurt her! We’ve got to….”

Twilight was interrupted as an alarm began to blare. Tails quickly tapped a few buttons, trying to figure out the problem.
“It’s a powerful incoming storm!” he exclaimed. “And its coming in faster than any storm I’ve ever seen, following the mainland! Wait a minute!” He tapped a few buttons, and a satellite image popped up on the screen. They could see the cloud pursuing a small, black figure that was moving as extremely high speeds.

“That’s Shadow!” Tails exclaimed. “But why’s that storm following him?”

“That’s Rainbow Dash! She has him on the run!” Twilight cried, relieved to know that the blue pegasus was okay.

Tails looked concerned. “Uh-oh. This could be trouble.” he said.

“What? What is it?” Twilight asked.

Tails pointed towards a bunch of blips on the screen. “G.U.N. is sending in reinforcements. And your friend is flying straight into them.”

*************************************************************************************************

The doors to the library burst open, and soldier poured in. Some were coming down from the roof on ropes.

“G.U.N.! Everyone clear out! Evacuate the area!” the G.U.N. agents cried. “Apprehend the suspects!”

Sonic shook his head. “Guys! This is a library! You’re supposed to be quiet!” he joked, but he was tense. He knew he might have to move fast at any moment. “Of course, that’s my specialty.” he thought to himself.
The G.U.N. agents surrounded the ponies, aiming their tranquilizer guns.
“Sorry to say this, girls, but you are under arrest.” Rouge exclaimed, sashaying up to them.
“Stand down or we will employ force.” Omega stated in his flat, metallic tone.
Fluttershy promptly fainted, while the others looked shocked. “What?!” Spike shouted irately, wisps of smoke curling up from his nostrils. “On what charges?”

“On conspiring with the thief and criminal known as Twilight Sparkle.” Rouge replied.

“CRIMINAL?!” Spike spluttered. He would have tackled Rouge right there had Rarity not restrained him with her magic.
Sonic stepped in front of the ponies. “Hey, I can vouch for these girls. They’re cool. And anyways, let’s see what evidence do you have before you start scaring the librarians some more.”

Rouge pulled out her tablet and showed the footage of Twilight in the G.U.N. base. “Clear video footage of the suspect stealing and damaging G.U.N. property, and trespassing on top-secret G.U.N. territory.” she replied smugly.

“That don’t prove nothin’!” Applejack cried. “That could be a Changeling, or something!”

Rouge smirked. “You expect me to believe a flimsy story like that?”

Sonic rolled his eyes, his vexation showing a little through his cool. “Um, hello? Robot duplicates? Alternate universes? Time rifts? I thought you G.U.N. people kept up on this kind of stuff. I mean, how many doppelgangers have I had, including that black-and-red faker?”

“She resisted arrest.” Rouge replied flatly.

“Something tells me she wasn’t the one who fired the first shot if this is the person you said Shadow was after.” Sonic retorted. “That guy has no social skills and a tendency to use force at any given occasion.”

“You don’t catch criminals by being nice.” Rouge said.

“Yeah, well you might not have so many enemies if you didn’t make so many!” Sonic replied hotly. “These girls saved my tail back there. I think we should give them the benefit of the doubt. Don’t you, guys?”
“Absolutely, Sonic!” Amy cried out, but the others shuffled uncomfortably.
Amy whipped about. “Are you guys ditching out on Sonic?” she asked in a mixture of shock and menace.
“Well… the evidence is against them.” Vector said slowly.
“And we don’t even know a thing about them.” Knuckles added. “And did you hear how that white one kept talking about the Master Emerald, like she wanted it?”
“I have a name you know, you ruffian!” Rarity shouted. “And just because I’m an aficionado of jewels does not make me a thief!”
Espio shook his head. “This is not a decision to rush heatedly into.” he stated calmly. “There is not enough evidence to either confirm or deny these accusations. I recommend that we meditate on the situation, and try to uncover the truth.”

“The truth’s already been uncovered!” the G.U.N. commander replied. “Soldiers! Arrest them!”
The soldiers advances, aiming their tranquilizers.

Sonic shook his head. “This is an injustice.” he said firmly. “And you know what I do to injustices. I right them.”

Rouge motioned to the others. Knuckles stepped forwards, standing next to Rouge, and silently raised his fists. The Chaotix stepped back with sorrowful look upon their faces.

“We’re prepared to take you down if we have to, Sonic.” the G.U.N. commander said coldly.

Sonic gave a cocky grin. “Willing? Sure. Prepared? I don’t think so.”

“Very well.” the commander replied, gesturing to his men. “Take them.”

Shadow suddenly crashed through the window, landing commando-style next to the commander.

“Reporting as ordered, sir.” he replied.

Sonic grinned. “Hey, faker! It’s almost a fair fight now.” he quipped.

There was a peal of thunder, and Rainbow Dash burst in through the skylight.
“And now it’s not again.” Sonic chuckled.

The G.U.N. agents moved in. Shadow picked up a pair of tranquilizer pistols.
Sonic and the ponies stood back to back.

The G.U.N agents fired.

*************************************************************************************************

Now up until now, Applejack had tried to reason with these people. But when she realized they weren’t interested in reasoning, she remembered what Granny Smith had said when they had told her about the Changelings.
“Some ponies just ain’t reasonable. They’re like stubborn apples. The only thing to loosen them up is a few hard bucks.”
There was a crash as Applejack followed her grandma’s advice. A pair of G.U.N. agents went soaring into a bookcase, and crashed to the floor.

“Sorry, pardners!” Applejack said as she dodged a stream of tranquilizer darts.

Fluttershy woke up at the noise, and then shrieked and dove behind the librarian’s desk, hiding beneath it.

“Hey, nopony bullies Fluttershy!” Rainbow Dash shouted, whipping about in a blur of color and knocking the soldiers off their feet.

Rouge dove for Rarity, but she had underestimated the refined unicorn’s power. She suddenly found herself caught in midair in a haze of blue magic.

“So sorry, dear!” Rarity laughed. “You might be stylish, but you have a lot to learn.” Rouge suddenly found herself soaring into a broom closet, which abruptly locked as soon as she was inside. She shook her head. The lock would be easy to pick, but she hadn’t liked being caught unawares. She told herself she would not let it happen again.

Back in the main hall of the library, Applejack was flailing her hooves left and right. She didn’t like hurting people, but she wasn’t about to let anyone hurt her friends.
Suddenly, she was tackled from behind by the commander and four other agents. “Gotcha!” the commander cried, pinning her down.

Applejack suddenly heard a strange sound, unlike any she had ever heard before.

Piko!

There was an audible whump and gasp. She no longer felt the soldiers on her back. As she turned around, she saw Amy Rose, grinning and wielding a hammer almost as big as herself.

“Th-thanks.” Applejack stuttered, a little surprised.

“No problem!” Amy said with a grin. “I told you any friend of Sonic’s is a friend of mine!” Then she dashed off, her grin instantly changing into the crazed look of a maddened berserker as she chased the G.U.N. soldiers, who were running as if all of Tartarus had opened behind them.

“That’s a mighty big hammer.” Applejack muttered to herself as she ran on.

*************************************************************************************************

Omega was chasing the one pink pony, who had identified herself as Pinkie Pie. She was giggling and bouncing down the halls, seeming to think that this was all some fun game. But despite her silly, playful demeanor, she dodged each and every tranquilizer dart that was shot at her.

“Wee! You’ve got some big guns, Mister Robot!” she squealed as she danced out of the way of his shots. “How about I show you mine?”

She cartwheeled behind a bookshelf, and Omega followed her, but as he turned the corner, he found himself looking down the barrel of a large, shiny blue cannon.

“Say hello to my little friend!” Pinkie squealed.

Before he could even question where she had acquired the cannon, Omega was knocked backwards by a blast of confetti and cake batter.
“Unconventional weaponry.” he noted, getting to his feet. But as he cleared his visual receptors and looked around, the pink pony was nowhere to be seen.
“Over here, silly!” Pinkie cried out sticking her head out from behind a pillar. But when Omega dashed over, there was nobody there.
“Nope, over here!” she cried, diving inside a closet and shutting the door. Omega abruptly broke down the door, but when he looked inside, Pinkie was gone.

“This does not compute.” he said confusedly.

Pinkie Pie suddenly popped up behind him and put her forelegs over his shoulder. “Yeah, Twilight said something like that about me the other day, too.”
As Omega whipped about, he suddenly was struck in the face by a projectile which covered him in a gooey substance. He scanned the contents of the substance.

“Banana cream pie.” he stated. “Highly unconventional weaponry.”

*************************************************************************************************

Tails was flying towards the library, with Twilight Sparkle close behind.
“How can you fly?!” she asked for the fifteenth time. “That isn’t even physically possible for your tails to spin like that!”
“I told you, I’ll tell you later!” Tails replied, his eyes fixed on the screen of his scanner. “Right now, we’ve got a crisis to avert!”
As Tails and Twilight Sparkle flew over the library, they could see and hear the battle in full heat.
“Oh, this is bad. This is very bad!” Twilight exclaimed.
Beside her, Tails watched through a pair of binoculars. “Sonic’s fighting in there!” he cried. “He’s helping your friends!”
“Then we’re going to help him!” Twilight exclaimed. “Tails, have you ever teleported before?”
“Sure, lots of times.” Tails replied.
“Then hang on.” Twilight said. “We’re going in!”

*************************************************************************************************

In a flash of magenta magic, Twilight and Tails appeared inside the library.
“There’s the thief!” Shadow shouted.
“She’s not a thief!” Tails shouted, pulling out a handful of small discs. “Now stop this fighting!”
“So the fox kid is in on it, too!” a G.U.N. agent shouted. “Get him!”
As the G.U.N. soldiers surrounded Tails, the yellow fox threw the discs, which homed in on the soldiers. When they struck them, they latched on, then released an electrical charge, stunning the soldiers and making them go limp.
Twilight was relieved to see her friends were still fighting strong, but she stared in horror at the state of the library. Many books covered the floor, and some were badly ripped.

“How dare you!” she cried, firing bolts of magic all about. “How dare you threaten my friends, and how dare you damage these wonderful books!

Tails whipped out an unusual looking weapon, and fired a ray at the nearest group of G.U.N. agents. The agents themselves were unaffected, but their guns melted like wax, as did any metals they wore.

“Wow!” Twilight exclaimed. “What is that?”

“Microwave emitter.” Tails replied. “I’ll show it to you later!” He fired another blast as another group of agents came towards them. “As we Freedom Fighters say, ‘let’s do it to it’!”

*************************************************************************************************

Rouge finally managed to get the door to the closet open, and quickly set her eyes on Twilight Sparkle.

“We’re getting clobbered here!” Knuckles shouted to her as he dodged a barrage of books that Rarity had hurled at him. “I thought you said you had that prototype thing! Where is it?!”

Rouge looked at the surrounding battle. Things were indeed getting ugly. “We’ve got to get to the commander.” she stated. “He’s the only one with the codes.”

As they dashed through the fight, there was a sudden explosion of smoke, and they were enveloped in a cloud that rendered them sightless.

“You attempted to hurt my friends.” Zecora’s voice called through the clouds. “But now your warmongering ends!”

Knuckles was suddenly struck by a series of unseen blows. He struck blindly, trying to avoid his assailant.

Rouge, however, did not need her eyes to fight. Her radar sensed the approach of the zebra behind her. Swiftly, she spun about with a martial arts kick, but Zecora deftly dodged, apparently somehow able to sense Rouge’s movements through the smoke as well. She returned with a flurry of skillful martial arts moves of her own, now spinning and sweeping her leg, now striking with her front hooves. Rouge parried them, but was driven back. She hadn’t expected this level of combat skill. “Time to pull a few tricks of my own.” she thought.

Sensing Zecora’s position, Rouge threw a series of small bombs. They exploded, stunning Zecora, as Rouge followed up with a series of well-placed kicks and punches, knocking Zecora to the ground.

“I admit, you have great skill.” Zecora coughed. “But can you use magic as well?”

Through the smoke, Rouge saw Zecora’s eyes flash with yellow light, and her hooves burned with green fire.

Suddenly, ghostly shapes formed in the smoke. They swirled around Rouge, catching her, spinning her about. They would dash towards her, passing through her and knocking her down like a powerful wind.

“I prefer peaceful negotiations,” Zecora’s voice called, “but enemies beware my incantations! You seek to hurt these ponies who did nothing to you, so now you shall see just what I can do!”

Rouge suddenly heard a cry like an eagle, and was struck by a giant, winged shape. As she flew out of the smoke cloud, quickly twisting and landing on her feet, she looked towards where the commander lay, still dazed by Amy’s blow. Hurling a few bombs in Zecora’s direction, Rouge soared up to the commander’s side.

“We need the M.S. Alpha online now!” she said urgently. “I’ll try to get you to it.”

“It’s in the truck outside.” the commander said groggily.

*************************************************************************************************

Twilight looked about herself at the decimation that had been done to the library. This was getting out of hand, and she had to do something about it.

“Tails, cover me! This spell is going to really weaken me!” she cried.

“Gotcha!” Tails said with a nod.

Twilight gathered her magic. Her horn shone with a pinkish-purple light, like the twilight of a setting sun.

“We’re taking this fight outdoors!” she cried.

A flash of magic enveloped the entire library. Everyone looked around as Sonic, Amy, and most of the ponies now all stood in the middle of the street, along with Shadow, Knuckles, Rouge, the commander, and a good deal of G.U.N. agents.
Twilight fell to the ground, exhausted. “Tails….” she said weakly. “I’m sorry I caused this fight for you and your friends.”
“You helped Sonic.” Tails replied, firing his microwave beam and melting more weapons. “In my book, that makes you one of my friends.”

*************************************************************************************************

Fluttershy heard that the noise had died down somewhat, although it was still very loud outside. She dared to peek out from behind the desk. The library was empty. Everyone who hadn’t been teleported outside had dashed out quickly to join the fight.
Fluttershy slowly stood up, looking around.

“Somepony needs to make them stop.” she said to herself.

“Somepony like you.” a little voice in her heart said.

“No! I can’t! I’m just too scared!”

“Your friends are in danger.”

Fluttershy began to cry. “I… I can’t. I want to, but I can’t.” she sobbed.

“You can. You must.”

Suddenly, there was a crash, and Fluttershy saw Rainbow Dash smash into the ground outside the window with a sickening thud. She was dirty, and covered in scratches and bruises. She shakily got back on her hooves, but as she turned, for a moment, her eyes met Fluttershy’s, and Fluttershy remembered all the times when Rainbow Dash had stood up against bullies for her.
She gave a little sob, but she lifted her hooves, and began to trot towards the door.

*************************************************************************************************

Shadow slammed Sonic into the pavement, clutching his neck in his hand, while the other raised to strike.

“Wassa matter, faker?” Sonic said with a grim smile, dealing a dozen kicks to Shadow’s stomach with the speed of a jackhammer and twisting out of his grip. “You and G.U.N. are scared of some little ponies?”

“I should have known you would side with them.” Shadow growled, hurling a barrage of Chaos spears as Sonic deftly dodged them. “You’ve always been rebellious against G.U.N.”

“I just don’t like bullies.” Sonic retorted, raising his fists.

Shadow aimed his gun. “I’m going to end this.” he said coldly.

“STOP!!!”

Everyone turned in surprise. Atop the stairs, standing stoically, although tears were streaming down her cheeks, was Fluttershy.
“Stop hurting each other!” she said firmly. Her eyes were set, and she glared specifically at Shadow. “Drop… your… weapons… and stop… hurting… my… friends.”
Shadow tried to raise his tranquilizer gun, but he couldn’t. He couldn’t bring himself to strike another blow. And suddenly, for a reason he couldn’t understand, be began to feel sorry about his harsh actions.

The others felt it, too. Although it was not nearly as strong for Sonic and the ponies, they could still feel the silent, unbreakable strength of that will, a will which, though perhaps meek and shy, strove for kindness and peace with every fiber of its being, with a determination so unbreakable that nobody present could defy it.
The G.U.N. agents all dropped their weapons. Rouge lowered her fists, and Knuckles let his hands drop. Even Shadow threw down his gun.
Twilight sighed, getting to her feet. “I’ve never been happier to see her use the Stare, not even with that cockatrice. Thank you, Fluttershy.” she said gratefully. Then she turned towards everyone present. “Now, I suggested earlier that we settle this civilly. Any care to listen to me now?”
Now feeling a little awkward, everyone shuffled about, not sure how to respond.
All except one.
The commander, still weak, had been inside the truck during Fluttershy’s appearance. As he entered the final code, the thing in the back of the truck hummed and came to life.
The back door of the truck slid open, and from inside it, a pair of red eyes glowed.

“Hold it!” Rouge shouted. “We’ve agreed to a ceasefire!”

The commander shook his head. “We’re brining in these criminals if it’s the last thing I do!” he cried.

From the depths of the truck, the red eyes moved forwards. And a hulking robotic figure stepped out of the truck.
It was apparently meant to resemble Sonic, but it was ten feet tall, and packed with all manner of weapons. It was painted black and silver, and the G.U.N. emblem emblazoned its forehead.

“Metal Sonic Alpha, online.” the robot said in a cold, metallic voice. “Objective: subdue Sonic the Hedgehog and equine compatriots.”

Sonic threw his arms in the air. “Now you guys are making robots of me? Who’s next? Ixus Naugus?”

“That wasn’t designed by G.U.N.” Rouge stated, looking wary.

Tails jumped up. “Look, I put Twilight Sparkle through a lie detector test, and she checked out!” he cried. “That at least warrants further investigation!”

The commander looked thoughtful. “All right!” he huffed. “But only because this fight has gone on too long!” He typed in the robot’s shutoff code into the truck’s controller.
But the robot didn’t shut off.
The commander tried again. But yet again it didn’t work.

“Who did you say designed that?” Sonic asked, looking worried. “Please don’t tell me it was….”

Suddenly, the screen where the robots eyes were located flickered, and began to project a video. In the image stood a bald, rotund man in a red jacket with black pants. His eyes were covered by a pair of dark glasses, which rested upon his unusually large nose, and he sported an incredibly impressive moustache.

“Greetings, Sonic the Hedgehog!” the man chuckled. “I had a feeling G.U.N. would use this against you someday. Those fools actually think they stole it from me! Gah ha ha ha! I knew they would try to replace the computer core! That’s why I hid wafer-thin microcomputers throughout the robot’s structure, just in case I ever required this unit’s service again, or in case G.U.N. got cold feet and decided to try to call off the attack, I could regain control!”

“Eggman!” Sonic shouted. “I should have known this hunk of metal was your doing!”

“Well, who else has this kind of technology? Definitely not G.U.N.!” Eggman laughed. “Maybe this will teach them not to take things that don’t belong to them! As for you, I shall enjoy watching you perish as it crushes you with its awesome might!”

“Not if we have anythin’ to say about it!” Applejack hollered, setting her hooves firmly upon the pavement.

“Ah, Applejack, the country bumpkin.” Eggman said coolly. “Don’t worry. You’ll get your chance to challenge me yet.”

Applejack started back in shock. “H-how do y’all know my name?” she asked.

“I know all your names.” “Eggman replied with a gleeful grin. “Rarity, the vain, backwater girl who aspires to be a fashion designer. The obnoxious Pinkie Pie and her terrible songs. That wimpy crybaby, Fluttershy. That full-of-herself Rainbow Dash, (there’s something about her which reminds me of something I hate, but I can’t place my finger on it.) And the dorky little nerd, Twilight Sparkle. I learned a lot from my little probe.”

“Pretty high and mighty calling Twilight a nerd when you play with computers all day!” Sonic jeered.

“Yeah, Egghead-man!” Rainbow Dash added. “At least Twilight isn’t a fat, bald bully who’s only friends are a bunch of tin soldiers!”

“I have plenty of friends!” Eggman retorted. “Like Snively!”

“He’s actually more of a slave than a friend.” Sonic pointed out.

“Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.” Eggman replied with a dismissive wave of his hand. “What matters is that today is a very special day.”

“Ooh, ooh! What day is it?” Pinkie Pie squealed excitedly.

“The day that Sonic the Hedgehog PERISHES!!!” Eggman shouted. “Metal Sonic Alpha, attack!”

“What? That doesn’t sound like a very special day.” Pinkie huffed as the robot powered up.

The giant robotic hedgehog smashed its fist down, shattering the pavement, but Sonic was already out of the way of its blow.
“Come on!” he called to the others. “Let’s take this thing down before any civilians get hurt!”
The G.U.N. agents switched out to their ordinary bullets, but before they could get a chance to fire, the robot fired a stream of shock mines, electrifying the soldiers and knocking them unconscious.

“This isn’t your average Metal Sonic!” Sonic exclaimed. “Looks like Eggman packed him with a couple surprises! Stay on your toes!”

“Or hooves!” Pinkie Pie added.

Everyone scattered as the robot unleashed a barrage of missiles, which exploded all about.

“Everyone, we need a plan!” Twilight Sparkle shouted. “Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, get those soldiers to safety! Knuckles, Applejack, go for its legs! Tails, Rainbow Dash, try and distract it from the sky!”
She turned towards Shadow, Rouge, and Omega. “Can we put aside our differences for now?” she asked.

Shadow snorted. “For now.” he grudgingly agreed.

“Good, then I need Shadow and Sonic to draw that thing’s fire! Omega, cover Amy as she goes for the head! Rouge, try to flank it! Zecora, give Knuckles and Applejack some cover! Rarity, Spike, help me cover the soldiers from any attacks!”

“Who put you in charge?” Shadow griped.

“No time to argue.” Rouge told him. “Sounds like a good plan to me.” She soared into the air, trying to stay just behind the robot at all times.

From above, Tails tried to blast the robot with his microwave gun, but a well-targeted laser beam destroyed his weapon.
“Guess we do this the old-fashioned way!” he said to himself, blasting towards the robot with a spin dash.
Lightning crashed down from above, striking the robot, as Rainbow Dash bucked her storm cloud.

“Oh yeah! You want some of this?” she laughed as she deftly zipped away from the barrage of machine gun fire.

Zecora pulled out a couple of her brews and hurtled them at the robot. One exploded with a shimmering smoke, while the other covered the robot in a luminescent paint, making it glow so that Applejack and Knuckles could easily target it while remaining hidden themselves in the smoke. The robot was soon struck by many powerful blows to its legs. It crashed to its knees, but as it did so, it released another barrage of missiles.

But the missiles halted in the air as Twilight and Rarity caught them with their magic, then hurled them back at the robot. The few they missed were destroyed by Spike’s fiery breath. Applejack and Knuckles dove out of the way as the missiles exploded against the robot.

The robot’s paint was now badly scratched, and the G.U.N. emblem has been torn away, revealing the signature symbol of the Eggman Empire.

Sonic and Shadow began a tag-team pummeling of the robot’s midsection, while Rouge and Zecora stayed behind it, pelting it with bombs and potions. Omega was blasting away, keeping Amy covered as she dove for the robot, her hammer raised. There was a loud, metallic clang as she swung, and the robot crashed to the ground. Spike and Omega both immediately proceeded to torch it, while Rarity and Twilight magically hurled what remained of the truck at the mechanical monstrosity.

There was a crash, and then a stillness. As the smoke cleared, they saw the smoldering remains of the robot, still sparking. In the library, Fluttershy was tending to the injured soldiers, while Pinkie Pie was zipping back and forth, making sure that she had gotten everyone inside.

“Well, that went well.” Sonic said, grinning and brushing himself off.

“Perhaps, but we still have one problem to deal with.” Shadow said, pointing towards Twilight.

Twilight turned to offer a rebuttal, but as she did, she saw the screen of the robot’s eyes now displayed a countdown timer. She didn’t have to know what a time bomb was to know that when the counter reached zero, something terrible would happen.

“Look out!” she cried, pushing past Shadow. Without a thought, she leapt past her friends, old and new, and threw herself upon the robot. Her horn flashed with magic, and she and the robot disappeared.

High in the sky, Twilight and the robot reappeared. Twilight felt the wind whip past her face. She briefly thought of trying to stop the detonation, but she didn’t even know where to begin. Helplessly, she watched the counter drop to zero.

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

“Celestia, I’m sorry I failed. Tell the others… I’ll see them in the Summer Lands.”

There was a deafening boom, and a wave of heat engulfed her. She vaguely felt herself being limply thrown through the air. Everything was a blur.
There was a brilliant flash of blue light. She suddenly felt arms encircling her, to carry her off to the Summer Lands. She looked up, but instead of warm sunlight, she only saw two red eyes, not angry or cold, but stern, and filled with such pain and sorrow she thought her heart would break at the sight.

And then she shut her eyes, and her consciousness slipped away.

Author's Note:

It may be poor form to praise my own work, but I really like Sonic's reaction to seeing yet another robotic duplicate of himself. And yeah, his statement, "Willing? Sure. Prepared? I don't think so.", is pretty apt. I mean, Sonic fights armies of robots. A few guys with guns sure aren't going to scare him. And he's got the heroes of Equestria on his side.
And, sweet Celestia, they're trying to capture Pinkie Pie.
Their efforts are so doomed.

Yeah, this is also how I usually pictured Zecora. Ever since I saw her wave her hoof and refill her cup in "Magic Duel", I've always pictured her as a shaman with powers over nature and spirits. After all, she comments that few could surpass her magical prowess. Also, she's just so awesome with those powers.

And yes, the Summer Lands is a reference to that amazing fanfic, "It's a Dangerous Business Stepping Out Your Door." Go read it. It's long, but very well done. In it, the Summer Lands are basically depicted as the pony version of Heaven or something, and since I didn't have any canon ideas to base Twilight's thoughts off of, I decided to go with the best fanon idea I have seen.

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