• Published 3rd Jul 2013
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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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Let's Try This Again

Chapter 5: Let’s Try This Again

Twilight groggily opened her eyes. She could here voices, and see the blurry images of faces.

“She’s waking up!” Fluttershy’s voice cried.

Twilight’s eyes focused, and she saw Fluttershy, Zecora, and Tails bent over her.

“Wh-what happened? Where am I?” she asked.

Before she could receive an answer, she was suddenly tackled by a small, purple form.
“You’re okay!” Spike cried, tears running down his face. “I kept thinking you weren’t going to make it!”
Twilight gave a weak grin, and nuzzled her face against his as she put her hooves around him. “Well, somepony has to make sure you don’t get sick eating too much ice cream again.” she replied with a small chuckle.

“I feared I could not heal the harm, when Shadow brought you down in his arms.” Zecora stated.

Now Twilight sat up in surprise. “Wait. Shadow saved me? The same guy who tried to beat me up?”

“The same guy.” Sonic replied, striding up. “He might be a jerk, but Rouge is right. He does have a good heart. And I think your sacrifice helped change his mind.”

Twilight wobbly got to her feet, still feeling a major headache.
“You should rest.” Fluttershy pleaded. “You’ve been through a lot. You’ve been asleep for two whole days.”
“I’ll take it easy.” Twilight replied. “We’ve already lost enough time. Celestia gave me a mission, and I’m going to finish it.”
“Don’t push yourself, Twilight.” Spike said gently. “If you need anything, anything at all, just tell me.”
Tails strode up, a grin on his face. “Well, now that you’re awake, I guess you can hear the good news.”

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

“I’m exonerated?” Twilight said in surprise.

General Abraham nodded. “Please forgive G.U.N.’s actions.” he apologized. “While you may appear identical to the culprit, while you were engaged with our forces, the same criminal struck again, this time destroying a wing of the Solianna library, a secret one with important research.”

“That monster!” Twilight growled.

“The loss is tragic.” the general agreed. “Irreplaceable information was lost in the fire. But luckily for you, nothing could have proven your innocence better. Dozens of my men report that you and all of your friends were engaging them at the time of the break-in, including our top agents Shadow, Rouge, and Omega. While we may still have a few questions to ask you concerning this criminal, you are officially considered innocent.”

The other ponies, who were sitting nearby, gave a relieved sigh.
“Yeah, nice of you to tell us that after you clobbered us, and we cleaned up your mess with that robot monster!” Rainbow Dash snapped.

“Rainbow!” Twilight chided.

General Abraham raised his hand, shaking his head. “No, no, you friend is right. Our actions were highly regrettable, especially considering your new arrival to this world. So as recompense, G.U.N. will be paying for all expenses during your stay here. Also, you will be given suites at the Hotel Solis, one of the finest resort hotels in Mobius, and you will be treated as official ambassadors of Equestria.”

“Now that sounds absolutely divine!” Rarity said dreamily. “I’m glad that something good came out of all that unruly brawling!”

“On a side note,” General Abraham replied, a slight grin coming across his face, “You aided G.U.N. in suppressing a dangerous robot when you had the choice to escape, and you minimalized damage and injuries for both G.U.N. and the city, as well as protecting G.U.N. agents, and keeping any civilians from being injured. Princess Elise wants to personally commend all of you, including Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends.”

“Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!” Pinkie Pie squealed. “Fancy hotels and meeting the princess! Oh, I have so got to plan a party for later!”

“G.U.N. thanks you for your help, and hopes that we can overlook our past misunderstandings and achieve a better future relationship between Mobius and Equestria.” the general stated.

“I’m willing to let bygones be bygones.” Twilight said happily. “And I must admit, I can’t blame you for thinking that thief was me. I plan to be working with Tails to solve this problem, as well as the threat of the shadow that Princess Celestia warned me about.”

“G.U.N. will inform you if we think we’ve found anything to do with this possible threat.” General Abraham assured her. “In the meantime, our apologies again, and please enjoy yourselves.”

“Well!” Applejack stated as the general left. “Now that sure is one heck of a turnabout!”
“G.U.N. has had some really bad people in charge of it in the past,” Tails said, “but at least now, although they may have some trouble, they’re genuinely trying to protect Mobius.”

“Yeah.” Sonic snorted. “But they still have a habit of doing the wrong things for the right reasons. Which is why I don’t get along so well with them.”

Suddenly the doors burst open. “Hey guys!” Amy shouted, dashing into the room. “Check it out! We’re on TV!”

She switched on the wide-screen television on the wall, changing to a news channel.
“…reports show that legendary hero, Sonic the Hedgehog, engaged a Robotnik robot which G.U.N. had unsuccessfully tried to reprogram.” the reporter on the screen stated. “But what’s really interesting are these new allies of his.” The camera zoomed in, showing footage of the ponies engaged in battle.

“Sonic’s close ally, Miles Prower, better known to the public as ‘Tails’, revealed the names of these new heroes, and seems to speak very highly of them.”
The camera switched to show an interview with Tails. Sitting nearby, the real Tails jumped up and down excitedly.

“There I am! That’s me!” he cried gleefully.

“These ponies helped save Sonic when he was accidentally blasted though a portal to their world by Eggman.” the TV Tails said. “And they really helped us take down that robot. Now I know a few people have claimed that these ponies are in league with a similar-looking criminal who has broken into multiple G.U.N. bases and government property, but just yesterday, G.U.N. uncovered evidence which has fully cleared these ponies off all charges, and has shown them to truly be great heroes!”

“Y’all said that about us?” Applejack asked Tails, blushing slightly. “Sugarcube, y’all are so sweet!”

“Aww.” Tails said, shyly shuffling his feet.

“Reports show that these ponies are no pushovers.” the reporter went on. “The purple pony known as Twilight Sparkle was responsible for teleporting the remains of the robot away from civilian areas when it threatened to explode with a powerful bomb, a feat which nearly cost her her life.”

Everyone cheered, patting Twilight on the back and shouting their congratulations.

“This footage shows this pony, known as Applejack, delivering some crushing blows to that robot. Eggman doesn’t want to get on this cowpony’s bad side, because this Applejack sure packs a kick!”

“Yee-haw!” Applejack hollered above the cheers of the others.

“And it looks like Sonic and Shadow aren’t the only speedsters in Mobius now!” the reporter continued. “The colorfully-maned pony known as Rainbow Dash can be seen flying about at speeds excelling the speed of sound! On top of that, she seems capable of manipulating weather patterns and can be seen in this clip as she uses a storm cloud to strike lightning at the robot!”

“Oh yeah!” Rainbow Dash shouted, leaping into the air as everyone gave a cheer. “Look at me! I was sooo awesome!”

“And one can only wonder how this white mare manages to keep such grace and poise in such a heated situation,” the reported stated, “but the pony known as Rarity is full of surprises. Her telekinetic abilities can be seen in this clip as she protects a group of G.U.N. agents from a literal storm of incoming missiles!”

“Well, I certainly wish they could have caught me at a better time. My mane is simply a mess!” Rarity complained amidst the cheers, but she was grinning and bouncing in her seat like a schoolgirl.

“We don’t have any footage, but reports tell that the pony Fluttershy single-handedly, or should I say, single-hoofedly, stopped all hostilities between the ponies and G.U.N., who at the time had mistaken them for international criminals. Mind control, skilled diplomacy, or just too adorable to resist? We don’t know for certain, but we do know that she helped provide medical attention to injured G.U.N. agents, and that her kindness has already made her popular among the soldiers.”

As everyone cheered for her, Fluttershy blushed and hid behind her long tail, but she was smiling.

“We see Zecora the zebra here in this clip.” the reporter exclaimed. “Martial arts, magical potions, and shamanic magical talents make this one zebra that the Eggman Empire does not want to mess with! She is known to speak in rhyme, part of her unique culture, and is no stranger to traveling to distant lands. One of her friends described her as a ‘not-evil enchantress, who does not-so-evil dances.’ I’m not quite sure what that means, but it’s obvious that Zecora is obviously not to be messed with!”

“I wonder who it could be who said those quotes about me?” Zecora mused with a smirk, casting a glance in Pinkie Pie’s direction, who began whistling conspicuously.

“Reports show E-123 Omega being aided in the final blow by what Tails tells us is a baby dragon named Spike. I don’t know about you, but if that’s what he’s like as a baby, then Eggman had better watch out when he grows up!”

“Sweet! Twilight, didja see me? Didja see?” Spike asked as everyone cheered and Twilight gave him a hug.

“Our final hero, called Pinkie Pie, was nearly impossible to get any good footage of,” the reported went on, “because she very rarely stood still. Also, she seems to demonstrate some unusual powers. Video footage shows her moving behind an object, only to come out from behind an entirely different object. However, we were able to get footage of her using the weapon she dubs her ‘party cannon’, and she apparently was aware that she was being taped, as these scenes show.” Numerous scenes flashed by of Pinkie waving to the camera.

“Lookit, lookit! That’s me, that’s me!!!” Pinkie Pie squealed amidst the cheers. (And confused looks.)

As the reporter finished up, and a commercial for fur shampoo came on, everyone jumped up and began cheering.
“Hey, guys!” Sonic called. “We should get ready! The princess will be wanting to see us soon!”
“I’ll go pick out something!’ Rarity squealed. “Ooh! I’m so glad I planned ahead and brought some formal attire!”

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

As the heroes stepped up to the podium, the entire crowd was cheering. The cheering died down as the princess Elise formally thanked both Sonic and his friends, and the ponies.

“You all have done great service for Solianna.” she stated. “You have acted heroically, and are to be commended for your brave service.”

As they bowed, she personally draped a medal over each of their necks. As they turned, the crowd erupted in cheers yet again.

Rainbow Dash grinned. “Now this is a welcome.”

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

“Oh, I’m in heaven!” Rarity squealed as she entered her new suite. It was enormous, with a full walk-in closet, hot tub, a kitchenette with full bar, and the most lavish décor.

Applejack looked about the hotel, feeling a bit out of place. “I don’t care much for all this fancy, frou-frou stuff.” she told the hotel attendant. “Any way I could git something a little more… homey?”

“You could request some changes be made to your room, madam.” the attendant replied with one of those formal-sounding accents. “G.U.N. is paying for everything to make sure that you are comfortable during your stay.”

“I can do that?” Applejack asked.

“Of course, madam.” the attendant assured her. “We get celebrities here all the time, and we make certain that their rooms suit their personal tastes.”

“Well, that’s mighty nice of y’all!” Applejack exclaimed. “In that case, I’d like a real bed for starters. “I got entire fields back home smaller than the bed I got now! And if it ain’t too much trouble, I would prefer it if it were a bit more… rustic.”

“Ah, we can easily accommodate that.” the attendant replied. “Many country singers who come here have similar requests. I am certain we can find you a more suitable suite. Shall there be anything else, madam Applejack and Rarity?”

“That shall be all for now.” Rarity replied, obviously enjoying having a servant.

As the attendant bowed and left, the other ponies, Spike, Sonic, and Tails all came into the room.

“Anypony care for a drink?” Rarity asked, sidling up to the bar.

“I’m too young to have that stuff.” Tails stated.

“Oh, I asked them to stock this with non-alcoholic beverages.” Rarity reassured him. “I learned that you don’t yet have purified alcohol in this world yet, so it still has all the nasty side effects. How you can build robots and yet now know how to remove all of the physically affecting chemicals in a drink, when even the most rural earth ponies know how, is quite beyond me.”

“Did you all see everything you can do here?” Pinkie Pie asked, excitedly bouncing about. “There’s a really big swimming pool, and a tennis court, and there’s this huuuuge room which you can rent just for parties! Which reminds me, everypony… oopsie, I mean ‘everybody… is invited to a big party I have planned for tomorrow night! It’s kind of a super-special, welcome-to-another-dimension party to celebrate making new friends and beating a giant robot monster!”

“Trust me, Pinkie throws the best parties.” Twilight stated. “You don’t want to miss it!”

“Wouldn’t dream of it!” Sonic replied. “I’m sure this big guy here could take a break from his research for a little fun.” He gave Tails a noogie as he added this, and Tails laughed happily.

“Speaking of research, I’ve been doing a little digging.” Twilight stated, pulling out a few books. “And I think I’ve found something that might point us in the direction of our threat.”
She flipped through one of the books, stopping at a picture of an elaborate scepter, set with a black jewel.

“The book states that this is the Scepter of Darkness.” Twilight explained. “It is an ancient artifact that has been passed down through the royal family for generations, and has many unusual capabilities, although nobody has learned how to harness them. The Scepter was eventually locked away to keep anyone from accessing it. Legend says that an ancient evil is bound within.”

“Have you found anything as to what this ancient evil is?” Sonic asked.

“Sadly, no.” Twilight answered. “But we have a lead, at least. Perhaps I can speak to the princess of Solianna and see if she can’t offer some insight.”

“I’ll check with G.U.N. and see if they have anything useful on the subject.” Tails added. “And don’t worry. I’ll make sure to be there for your party, Pinkie Pie.”

“Wee!” Pinkie Pie cried. “I can’t wait! I’d better go get everything set up! See ya, everypony! Oops, everybody!”

As Pinkie Pie blasted out the door, she almost banged into a group of animals which were following Fluttershy through the hotel. There was a great deal of roaring and squawking and hooting and bellowing going on.

“Now, don’t crowd each other.” Fluttershy was saying. “And, if you don’t mind, could you pleeease be a little bit quieter? We want to be polite to the other guests here.”

“Fluttershy, what is going on here?!” Twilight exclaimed in shock, although she wasn’t exactly surprised.

“Oh, I thought I could let these animals stay here with me.” Fluttershy replied, turning about. “They were all at this zoo nearby. But everyone kept staring at them, and some of them had rather small houses. So I thought they could come up here, where I could look after them.”

“Er… you do know some of those animals are very dangerous, don’t you?” Sonic asked, looking warily at the creatures.

“Oh, that’s okay. They promised to behave nicely while they’re here.” Fluttershy replied. “I sadly had to leave a few in the zoo, because they were very rude, and I don’t think that they would have been very nice if they had gotten out, but I made sure that the zookeepers treat them very nicely and make sure that they don’t get lonely.”

“Does the hotel know about this, dearie?” Rarity asked, looking rather taken aback by the messy animals.

“Oh, of course.” Fluttershy assured her. “They said that with those G.U.N. people paying for everything, I would be allowed to do whatever I wanted. Although they did look a little stressed.”

“I can imagine.” Rarity murmured.

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

Rainbow Dash sat upon a short wall, her hooves folded across her chest. She was watching Sonic sign autographs for a group of fans.
She rolled her eyes. This was getting out of hoof. She had to do something about this.
“Hey, everyone! Check this out!” she shouted. Launching herself into the air, she proceeded to do a triple backwards loop. To her irritation, nobody even looked.
“Okay, time to get their attention.” she grumbled. Shooting past the crowd at high speed, she whipped about, streaking straight towards them. She stopped short, splashing through a puddle, sending a mist of water into the air that spread a rainbow above her head.

“How’s that for awesome?” she asked with a cocky toss of her mane.

The fans stared, now paying attention.

“Hey, that was pretty cool!” one fan said.

“Yeah, you’re fast!” another fan said, while Rainbow Dash basked in the attention.

“Almost as fast as Sonic!” a third cried.

Rainbow Dash’s basking stopped shot. “Almost as fast?!” she cried, zipping up and putting her face in the fan’s face. “Almost as fast?! I am THE fastest! I was the only pegasus to ever perform a Sonic Rainboom, and I’m top student at the Wonderbolts Academy, where only the bestest of the best get in!”

“Er, hey everyone!” Sonic called out, an awkward smile on his face. “Meet my new buddy, Rainbow Dash!”

“Oh, don’t you ‘buddy’ me!” Rainbow Dash cried. “Hedgehog? You’re a glory hog!”

“Hey, I’m just giving my fans some attention.” Sonic said defensively. “It’s not my fault I’m popular.”

“Oh, no. I’m calling you out on this one.” Rainbow Dash cried. “I can take the fame, and the fans. It’s no crime being popular. I can even take that smug demeanor.”

“Hey, I’m confident, not smug.” Sonic replied, getting a little irritated.

“Oh, yeah?” Rainbow Dash shouted. “You act like you’re unbeatable! But that’s not what bugs me! What really bugs me is that you and all your fans seem to think you’re the fastest thing alive!”

“Sonic is the fastest thing alive!” a bunch of the fans began to cry.

“Oh yeah!” Rainbow Dash shouted. “Well, I’m calling his bluff!” She crouched and pawed the ground. “You and me. Race. Right now.”

Sonic looked awkward. He zipped up to her side.
“You don’t have to do this.” he whispered, so the fans wouldn’t hear. “You don’t have to prove anything to them.”
“I’m not proving it to them.” Rainbow Dash growled. “I’m proving it to you, to wipe that arrogant smile off your face.”
“I’m not the one who’s acting arrogant here.” Sonic replied, finally getting irritated. “Don’t make me humiliate you.”
“Okay, that’s it!” Rainbow Dash shouted. She pointed her hoof into the distance. “End of the mainland and back. Whoever gets back first is the winner!”
As the fans cheered, Sonic shook his head. “Look, can’t we just settle this another way?” he whispered. “I don’t want to make you look bad.”

“You sound afraid.” Rainbow Dash said challengingly. “Wassa matter? Too chicken to race me?”

Sonic sighed, his face becoming resolute. “I’m not going to go easy on you, Rainbow.”

“Oh, I don’t expect you to.” Rainbow Dash retorted as Sonic crouched beside her in a starting position.

One of the fans pulled out a Sonic flag he had been carrying, using it for a starting flag.

“Ready… set… GO!!!”

There was a blur of blue and rainbow as Sonic and Rainbow Dash streaked off. The race was on.

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

Rainbow Dash noticed from the beginning that Sonic was obviously faster than she had given him credit for. He was keeping pace with her easily as they dashed across the beaches.

They streaked along, side by side, tearing past arches of stone and palm trees at blinding speeds. The edge of the mainland was coming up fast.

In what seemed like an instant, the land ended, and Rainbow Dash looped around. To her surprise, Sonic whipped about, making the turnabout almost instantly.

She flapped her wings harder. Faster, faster, she strove to pass Sonic. She finally began to pull ahead, a foot, two feet. Soon, Sonic was a few yards behind her. She laughed, turning back to look towards the rapidly approaching finish line. Faster, faster.

“Time to end this.” she said with a grin.

She blasted ahead, using the straightaway to build up speed. There was a tremendous boom, and a rainbow shockwave filled the sky behind her. She sped ahead, faster than the speed of sound. She grinned with triumphant determination.

But suddenly, there was a second boom behind her. A blur of blue streaked past her as Sonic shot ahead. Before she had even reached the city border, Sonic had crossed the finish line.

“N-no.” Rainbow Dash thought to herself. “He… he can’t be…faster….”

As Sonic skidded to a halt, his fans surrounded him, cheering him on. Only Sonic looked skywards, sadly watching the blue pegasus who shot off into the distance, her eyes tearful.

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

Applejack sighed as she approached Rainbow Dash’s room. After hearing about the race, she knew that somepony had to talk to Rainbow Dash, and despite their occasional rivalry, it might as well be her.
She knocked on the door.

“Go away.” Rainbow Dash grumbled from inside.

“Sugarcube, come on and open this door.” Applejack asked.

“No.”

Applejack sighed. “Rainbow, I heard about the race. Will you just let me in? I’m tryin’ to help you.”

Applejack heard an exasperated sigh, and a few moments later Rainbow Dash opened the door.
“What do you want?” Rainbow Dash asked sulkily.

“I just wanted to see how you were doin’, sugarcube.” Applejack stated, coming into the room.

“I’d be a lot better if you just left me alone.” Rainbow Dash sulked.

Applejack sighed and shook her head. “Rainbow, it ain’t the end of the world. You lost one race. So what?”

“So what?” Rainbow Dash cried. “Someone is faster than me, that’s what!”

“Well, you challenged him, and he asked you to walk away.” Applejack stated. “You kind of forced him to race you.”

Rainbow Dash scowled. “You been talkin’ to him?”

“He ain’t the enemy, Rainbow.” Applejack replied. “And I know your competitive streak is a mile long. And you sometimes give my stubbornness a run for its money. But I don’t give a rotten apple core how stubborn you are, it ain’t gonna make things any better by sulkin’ in here.”

“I can’t go out there!” Rainbow Dash cried. “I’m a laughingstock!”

“No one is laughin’ at y’all.” Applejack assured her.

Another knock suddenly came on the door. Applejack opened it a crack to see Sonic on the other side, looking sheepish.

“I… came to apologize.” Sonic said, shuffling his feet.

“Ain’t nothin’ to apologize for.” Applejack assured him. “You won, fair and square.”

“Yeah, but… well can I talk to her?”

“No.” Rainbow Dash griped.

“I think that might be a good idea.” Applejack said, letting Sonic in as Rainbow Dash groaned and turned her back towards him, looking out the window.

“Doesn’t anypony know what ‘no’ means?” she grumbled.

“Look, I know it’s hard.” Sonic said, approaching Rainbow Dash. “I tend to be really competitive myself. If you had beat me, I would be pretty bummed, too.”

Rainbow Dash grunted in reply.

“But I think you’re selling yourself short.” Sonic went on. “Sure I’m faster. But that’s only fair. I mean, I can’t fly, or control the weather. Heck, I can’t even swim. Just because I’m faster doesn’t mean I’m better. You’re still the fastest flier I’ve ever seen.”

“Really?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“Sure.” Sonic said. “Now look at my buddy Tails. He’s one of the best fliers I know. But you’re faster than him, and possibly a better flier. But you can’t build a plane, or a robot, or a laser like Tails can.”
Sonic put his hand on Rainbow Dash’s shoulder. “You see, we’re each best at something. But nobody, not me or you or anyone else, is best at everything.”

“But you’re still… the fastest.” Rainbow Dash sighed, although it pained her to say the words.

Sonic shrugged. “You know, I was thinking, maybe that race wasn’t really fair. I always win the straightaway races. But you’re a flier. Over rough terrain, you might even be faster than me.”

“Really?” Rainbow Dash asked, her face brightening.

“Tell you what.” Sonic said. “How about a rematch? Green Hills Zone, tomorrow afternoon. It’ll be a fairer race then.”

“But what if I lose again?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“Then get back up and try again.” Sonic replied. “You can’t win if you don’t try. Nothing starts until you take action. And if you have time to worry… then run.”

Rainbow Dash sighed. “Yeah, okay. Rematch at the Green Hills Zone, wherever that is. I’ll be there.”

“Good.” Sonic said with a grin. “I look forward to it.”

As he turned to leave, he looked back at Rainbow Dash. “By the way,” he said, “thanks for the race anyways. First time in almost forever that someone’s given me a challenge like you did.”
As Sonic left, Applejack turned towards Rainbow Dash.
“So, you feelin’ better?” she asked.
Rainbow Dash put her hooves on the floor, turning back towards Applejack. “I feel fine!” she replied.
“Great!” Applejack said brightly. “So, will you be comin’ to Pinkie’s party then?”
“Only for an hour or so.” Rainbow Dash replied. “I’ve got some wing workouts to do. Gotta stay in peak condition if I want to earn my rightful title!”
As Rainbow Dash put her forelegs behind her head and started doing wing-ups, Applejack smiled.

“Same ol’ Rainbow Dash.” she said to herself as she left.

Author's Note:

Whew! Twilight is fine, the ponies are exonerated, and now they've got themselves some seriously sweet treatment.

...Yeah. This probably means something bad is building up.

Also, this is pretty much how I see the whole Sonic vs. Rainbow Dash debate. Sonic is a lot faster, and can break the sound barrier with ease, but he can't fly or control weather. Also, I daresay Rainbow Dash is stronger, considering her powerful equine build against Sonic's lanky one.
Basically, I see the two of them coming out even, once everything is factored in.

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