• Published 2nd Dec 2013
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Adventures on the Friendship Express - GreenS21



Spin-off story to "Sonic Generations: Friendship is Timeless", taking place during the train ride to Canterlot.

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Sonic and the Secret Rings, Volume Three

They soon caught up with everyone save for Fluttershy a little deeper inside the jungle, where they could see cacti and various jungle plants growing on the ground. They appeared to be inside of a cave, judging from the way the sunlight was filtering in through various places and the large almost plant-like columns jutting out of the ground. As Sonic, Shahra, and Badoura caught up with Spike and the ponies, they all turned to look at them and Sonic said, “Hey. Where’s Fluttershy?”

Shining Armor answered, “We kind of lost track of her, but we’re pretty sure she came this way. As you probably noticed, there’s enough evidence to suggest that those giant lizards charged through here.”

Sonic shrugged, “Yeah, kind of hard to not notice the prints and the things that got trampled.”

Badoura said, “I’m rather impressed by Fluttershy’s display. To think that she was such a fast flyer…”

Applejack nodded, “Uh-huh. Trust me, when she sets her mind on somethin’, she can nearly fly as fast as Rainbow Dash.” The cyan pegasus shot her a look at that, but the apple pony didn’t seem to notice.

Shahra said, “As long as she didn’t get in front of that herd of triceratops, I’m sure she’s fine, but we’d better hurry before she finds anything else.”

Twilight looked at Sonic and asked, “You call them triceratops in your world?”

Sonic nodded, “Yeah.” He then faced forward and said, “We’d better keep moving. This path leads straight to where the World Ring was, so as long as Fluttershy stayed on it, we’ll find her.” The group started moving again, Sonic leading the way down the jungle path, not noticing anything that seemed out of the ordinary as they walked. Nothing at all…

As they were walking, Twilight came up alongside Sonic and asked, “So the triceratops was the first… dinosaur you and Shahra encountered on this island, Sonic?”

Sonic nodded, “Yep. Dropped down onto a path, only to find out a whole herd of them was right behind me. I must’ve made them mad somehow or something else happened, since they did not stop until I tried to cross a bridge in front of a waterfall and it got smashed by a log coming down.”

Badoura commented, “Goodness, it’s no wonder hardly anyone has ever seen the World Rings. One protected by a massive scorpion, another hidden away on an island full of beasts… So many dangers are involved for anyone who would dare try to abuse their power.”

Sonic nodded, “I’m sure that the ‘tying this world together’ and ‘need a sacrifice to gain their full power’ things help with that as well.”

Applejack said, “That one part about ‘em; Ah just can’t… Ya really gotta sacrifice somepony to use these World Rings? There ain’t no other way ta use their power?”

Sonic replied, “Like I mentioned before, it is possible to use a small amount of their power without the life sacrifice, Applejack. For Erazor Djinn, though, that wasn’t enough power. That’s why he wanted me and Shahra to collect them for him.”

Spike asked, “So he was going to use you both as the sacrifice?”

Shahra murmured, “Well, he meant for one of us to be sacrificed…”

Rainbow grunted, “What a jerk. Good thing you guys kept the rings away from him when you found them, right?” A moment of silence passed before she asked, “Uh, Sonic? Shahra? Right? Yes?”

Another moment passed before Shahra admitted, “We… searched for the World Rings to give them to Erazor Djinn…”

Spike and the ponies were not expecting that answer. “WHAT?!” Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, and Rarity exclaimed as the whole group came to a stop, everypony looking at Sonic and Shahra.

“Are you saying… Do you mean to say you looked for the rings in order to give them to him?!” Shining asked, beating Twilight to the punch.

“Yes. Shahra and I traveled all over the world of the Arabian Nights to find the World Rings to give them to Erazor Djinn,” Sonic answered with a straight face.

“Wh-Why?!” Shining demanded.

“Sonic, did you know you would have to be sacrificed when you were searching for them?” Cadance asked.

Sonic replied, “Yeah, I did. Shahra told me about it after we found the Yellow World Ring.” He then crossed his arms and added, “But let me tell you, I wasn’t doing it out of choice!”

Rainbow grunted, “Sure doesn’t sound that way, considering you said you were going to give them to this Erazor guy!”

Sonic asked, “And not planning to give him the rings would’ve changed things how? Collecting the rings marked me as the collector, so even if I hadn’t been planning to give them to him, he still could’ve killed me and gotten their power! As if he didn’t have me marked for death after our first encounter.”

Twilight asked, “You mean he started sending his spirits out to kill you following that confrontation?”

Badoura spoke, “Not quite. Shahra has told me the tale before, and while the spirits under Erazor Djinn’s command did try to stop her and Sonic, there was a more urgent threat hanging over Sonic’s head: the Flame of Judgment.”

Applejack asked, “What’s that?”

Shahra brought her hands up and created another projection, this one appearing to be a small flame. “When I was bringing Sonic into this world, Erazor Djinn attacked us in the gap between worlds. When I told him I would not gather the World Rings for him, he attempted to fire this Flame of Judgment at me as punishment, but Sonic took the flame for me.” The flame projection moved over slightly as Shahra created a projection of Sonic, the flame shooting over and striking the projection’s chest a second later.

Spike and the ponies gasped, Twilight turning to Sonic and asking, “You took a flame to the chest?”

Sonic shrugged, “Yeah. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but even if I did, I’m sure I still would’ve protected Shahra anyway.”

Rarity looked at Shahra and asked, “What is this… ‘Flame of Judgment’ exactly, Shahra?”

The young genie replied, “It’s a very powerful magic spell, the kind Erazor Djinn could easily use.” She brought the flame projection back as she explained, “When the flame strikes someone, it becomes tied to that person’s life. It’s called the Flame of Judgment because when the flame goes out,” the flame projection shrunk until it disappeared completely, “that person’s life goes out.”

Twilight gasped, “They… die?”

Sonic nodded, “Exactly. Erazor Djinn got interested when I took the flame myself. He told me he would remove it if I collected all seven World Rings before it burned out. Even though I was in danger of becoming a sacrifice by collecting the rings, I figured they were my best chance at avoiding death. That’s why I agreed to collect the rings for him. I wasn’t just gonna sit around and let my life tick away without fighting for it.”

Cadance sadly said, “It sounds like it was a no-win situation for you, Sonic.”

Sonic shrugged, “Yeah, I guess you could call it that.” Turning around, he resumed walking as he said, “Still, it wasn’t all bad. We got to see a lot of the Arabian Nights as a result. Managed to foil some of Erazor Djinn’s other plans too.”

Shahra followed after him, Badoura, Spike, and the ponies resuming walking after Sonic as well. “You mean he was up to some other stuff as well as erasing the stories?” Spike asked.

“Well, he did say that a hundred nights had been erased when we first ran into him. Some of it might’ve been related to stealing the words. He did try to kill King Shahryar after he shot me with the Flame of Judgment after all,” Sonic replied.

“That probably wouldn’t have been good for this world,” Twilight said.

Sonic nodded, “Yeah, that’s pretty much what Shahra said.”

The genie in question looked back at Badoura, noticing the princess kept looking behind her warily. “Princess, is something wrong?” she asked, getting everyone’s attention.

Badoura stole one more look over her shoulder before replying, “I thought I heard something behind us.”

Applejack asked, “Ya sure about that, Princess? Ah didn’t hear anything.”

Pinkie chimed, “Me neither! Maybe you’re hearing things because you’re a teensy bit nervous!”

Badoura’s eyes shifted back again for a moment, not noticing a shadow hiding behind a nearby column, before she uttered, “Perhaps…”

Twilight began to get a little nervous at that. She looked at Shahra and Sonic and asked, “Is it possible there could be dinosaurs lurking around here?”

Sonic replied, “There might be. I don’t know what’s where now that the spirits are gone.”

Spike uneasily asked, “There’s nothing that we couldn’t handle… right?”

Before Sonic or Shahra could respond, the group heard some kind of trilling sound behind them. They all quickly turned around and found the source of the noise. It was a two-legged dinosaur with long arms, both its hands and feet sporting sharp claws. It was kind of an odd sight, as the whole thing seemed to be covered with feathers, the feathers appearing to be silver-white with burgundy spots. The dinosaur was not much bigger than most of the members of the group, but while Badoura, Spike, and the ponies seemed a little wary of the creature’s claws, Sonic and Shahra’s expressions indicated that they didn’t like the sight of it at all.

While the dinosaur creature looked at the group curiously, Pinkie exclaimed, “Ooh, look at that! It looks like a big bird!”

Rainbow asked, “What is it? It looks like a turkey or something.”

Shahra nervously said, “It’s a velociraptor!”

Twilight asked, “Raptor? Doesn’t that mean ‘bird of prey’?”

Sonic answered, “Yeah, big time. We should get out of here. Like now.”

The others turned to look at him and Shahra, Applejack asking, “Why? It ain’t doin’ nothin’. It’s just standin’ there.”

Rainbow added, “Yeah, and Twilight said it was a bird just now, right? A bird wouldn’t be interested in us.”

Twilight started, “Well…”

Before she could go on, Spike and the ponies suddenly heard a loud screech followed by a shout from Badoura! Everyone looked and saw that the velociraptor had leapt onto the cat while her back was turned and now it had the end of its snout on the back of her cloak!

Seeing her struggle, Shahra exclaimed, “Princess Badoura!”

Wasting no time, Sonic ran back to her, saying as he ran, “Pull your arms out of your cloak!” Amidst her struggles, Badoura heard him and pulled her arms out of her cloak’s sleeves, pushing them out through the neck of the garment as Sonic got closer. He grabbed her hands and pulled as hard as he could. He managed to pull her free after a few moments, the cloak being torn both by the raptor and her being pulled out of it, but her outfit under the cloak, a gold necklace, a short white and pink laced cape on top of a violet sleeveless shirt with a dark pink hemline, white pants, and dark pink high-heeled shoes that exposed part of her feet, were undamaged.

After Sonic helped her stand up, they took a few steps back and, along with the rest of the group, stared at the velociraptor as it remained hunched over, shaking the cloak in its mouth. Shahra floated over to Sonic and Badoura after a moment and asked, “Princess, are you all right?”

Badoura, her eyes still fixed on the velociraptor, replied, “I’m fine, Shahra. But it just…”

Sonic finished, “It tried to attack you.”

Pinkie spoke up, “Well, wait. Maybe this isn’t what it looked like. Maybe it doesn’t see us as food. Maybe it just wants to have fun with us…” A moment later, the raptor dropped the cloak from its mouth and looked up at the group, opening its mouth and baring its sharp teeth at everyone. “…Or not.” Pinkie quietly finished.

Badoura recognized the look in the raptor’s eyes, and as it was about to take a step forward, she held her left hand out in front of her, small orange specks of light coming from her hand as she said, “Stay back!” A second later, her cloak burst into flames, surprising the dinosaur! It gave a startled screech and turned, running away from the group. After it disappeared from view, Badoura pulled her hand back and the fire went out, her cloak now badly burnt. “Looks like that scared it off,” she sighed.

Sonic said, “For now, anyway. It might’ve run off to regroup, and maybe get help.” He let her go and turned around, “I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to stick around and find out.” Badoura did not argue with him, instead turning and running after him and Shahra, the ponies doing the same.

As they ran, the group heard what sounded like cawing noises coming from somewhere behind them. Shining glanced back; seeing nothing, he asked, “Is that the…?”

Sonic answered, “Yeah, pretty sure that’s the raptor. I’m gonna say it’s definitely calling for help!”

Twilight spoke, “It sounds like the call of a bird. Is that really how they communicated?”

Sonic replied, “Probably. They were said to be really smart when they were alive. Like problem-solving smart!”

Applejack dryly commented, “Well, ain’t that just dandy?”

Cadance looked back over her shoulder after a few seconds and gasped, “There’s three of them now! And they’re gaining on us!” The others glanced back and saw she was right. There were three raptors a fair distance back, but they were slowly closing the gap.

“Geez, these things are fast!” Rainbow exclaimed. A moment later, Badoura planted her shoes against the ground, sliding to a stop and turning to face the dinosaurs, the others coming to a stop just past her at this action. “Hey, what are you doing, Badoura?!” Rainbow asked.

Badoura crouched down on one leg and placed her hands on the ground in front of her, both giving off the specks of orange light from earlier. As she slid them towards each other, she said, “Let us see if they can stop as fast.” Once her hands met, she stood up and held her arms up, a wall of flames erupting from the ground at this action!

“Whoa, nice!” Sonic exclaimed.

“It’d be cool if I could learn to do something like that,” Spike muttered to himself.

Suddenly, they all heard the cawing noise coming from the other side of the flames. “What’s going on over there?” Twilight wondered.

Both Rainbow and Shahra flew up above to look over the wall of flames. Rainbow soon grinned, “Nice going, Badoura, they’re leaving! Guess they’re not smart enough to get past your fire!” She started to lower herself down.

A moment later, Shahra said, “Wait, the leader is coming back!” Rainbow flew up next to her and saw that the first raptor was moving back towards the wall of flames, though it was walking instead of running. The other two had seemingly run off somewhere.

Applejack asked, “If the other two are gone, why is that one comin’ back?”

Sonic said, “That’s a good question, Applejack.”

Shining Armor looked up at Shahra and Rainbow Dash and asked, “Can either of you tell what it’s doing? We can’t really see it from here.”

Rainbow replied, “It’s just pacing in front of the flames! It’s not doing anything!”

Shahra uttered, “It’s acting like it has us cornered…”

Badoura grunted, “I need to focus or I’ll lose control of this spell…”

Pinkie suggested, “Maybe that’s why the other two ran off? To mess with Princess Badoura?”

Twilight said, “But they didn’t know that before they left, Pinkie. Unless…” She got a worried expression on her face, “They already figured it out… But how could they take advantage of that?”

Sonic thought about what she said and about where they were for a minute before turning his head up and to the left. His eyes widened when he saw a familiar figure walking along the cavern wall while looking at the group. “INCOMING!” he shouted as the raptor leapt from the wall towards the group, everyone looking startled at his shout until the dinosaur landed directly in front of him, Applejack, and Rarity.

Twilight, Pinkie, Shining Armor, and Cadance turned to look to the right, seeing the other raptor leap onto one of the columns before jumping down and landing in front of them! “My Pinkie Sense didn’t tell me about this!” Pinkie cried.

Badoura turned to look at the others, her focus slipping from her flames as she exclaimed, “Oh no!” She then remembered what she was doing and turned to look back at the now nearly diminished flames, only to see the lead raptor crouched down and preparing to pounce. A moment later, it leapt over the smaller flames, Badoura quickly turning and diving to the ground to avoid having it land on her. Unfortunately, the raptor landed on its feet, and it was right behind her now…

Shahra gasped at this, looking down at Sonic while Rainbow flew down to her friends and saying, “Sonic, quick!” She turned into her ball form and shot down into her ring, Sonic realizing what she meant.

Sonic glanced behind him and said, “Shining, Twilight, somebody get a shield ready!” He then turned and ran towards Badoura, the princess trying to get up as the raptor prepared to attack her. Sonic balled his right hand into a fist and held it up in front of him as he ran, saying, “TIME BREAK!” It was not really noticeable to anyone else, but Sonic could see that the world took on a grayish hue and time had slowed down dramatically. It messed up the raptor’s lunge, giving Sonic a chance to reach Badoura and pull her up, turning and running back to the rest of the group.

As the flow of time returned to normal, Shining finished charging his force field spell and unleashed it, Sonic and Badoura just slipping in as the magenta field surrounded the group, the raptors on the other side of it. As they all caught their breaths after the sudden shock, Badoura commented, “Good timing. It looked like they were just about to attack.”

Shining blushed, “Yeah. Good thing I’ve gotten good with that spell.” Both Twilight and Cadance gave him smiles at that.

A moment later, Rainbow exclaimed, “What the hay happened just now?!”

Shahra emerged from the ring in her normal form and said, “I think Twilight was right. The raptors already knew Princess Badoura was responsible for the flames, so the leader distracted us while the other two circled around to try and get us.”

Sonic looked over at the leader and muttered, “Clever girl…”

Rarity asked, “Now what do we do?! We’re trapped in here and they’re waiting for us out there!” Suddenly, the raptors, who had been examining the field curiously, started slashing at it with their claws! “And now they’re trying to get in!” Rarity cried.

Sonic asked, “Is there any way we could switch positions? You know, get them in here and us out there?”

Twilight held a hoof to her chin, “Actually… there might be.” After glancing at the raptors outside the force field, she gestured for the others to come closer and whispered her idea to them. Once she was done explaining, they all stood up straight and nodded to each other in understanding.

They all then turned and looked at the raptors outside, the force field starting to look like it was beginning to weaken due to their continued assault. Shining then closed his eyes and focused his magic into his horn, the force field beginning to disappear a moment later. Although surprised, the raptors prepared to attack as the field went down, leaping at the group when it was low enough.

What they missed, though, was that Twilight’s horn had begun glowing as the force field was going down, the entire group vanishing just as the raptors were about to strike! The group reappeared a little further down the path, Shining immediately recasting his force field spell almost as soon as they reappeared, a new force field appearing around the raptors!

“Hah! Turned your idea back on you, you dumb lizards!” Rainbow called as the raptors realized what had happened.

Cadance noticed Shining was rubbing his forehead after his second spell and said, “Let’s not worry about rubbing it in their faces. They’re going to get out sooner or later, and they’re not going to be happy when they do.” The others agreed with her and Sonic and Shahra took the lead again, the group moving on while the raptors began to slash at their prison.

After running for a short while, the group began to slow down as it looked like they were coming out of the cave. Upon exiting the cave, they found themselves standing near the edge of a cliff while the path the triceratops had likely followed kept going to the right. Shining sighed as they stepped out, “Whew, we’re finally out of that cave.”

Sonic nodded, “Yeah.” Looking towards the cliff, he said, “Check out the view.” They all moved a little closer and looked. They could see water below, along with various plants coming out of the water, some large dinosaurs with long necks, and a few solid pieces of ground that were sizable. There was an opening near the largest piece of ground where the water most likely became a river that went even further.

Pinkie chirped, “Ooh! Look at the ancient ponies!”

Sonic asked, “You mean the brachiosaurs?”

Shining looked at him, “Your world’s name?” Sonic nodded.

Twilight asked, “It’s all very nice, but where are we in relation to where we need to be?”

Sonic pointed to the large piece of land, “Over there, where the brachiosaurs are feeding. That’s where the Green World Ring was.”

Badoura and Shahra looked carefully at the outcropping of land, the latter saying, “I don’t see anyone over there… Are we too late?”

Rarity added, “I hope Fluttershy is okay…”

Sonic looked over at where the path continued and said, “I don’t like the idea of her being alone on this island either, Rarity. So unless she’s somewhere around here…”

Pinkie interrupted him, pointing a hoof while exclaiming, “There she is! Over there!” The others looked and saw the shy pegasus standing on a small outcropping of land across from them that had grass and rocks on it. They were relieved to see that she seemed okay, but something else caught their attention: she was standing over a hedgehog that was lying on the ground, the hedgehog’s white fur looking very familiar…

Sonic squinted, “Is that…?”

Badoura and Shahra exclaimed, “Aladdin!” Shahra summoned the magic carpet, Badoura quickly climbing on it before gesturing for the others to get on as well. They all climbed on it and Shahra directed it over to the outcropping, Badoura leaping onto the land once they were close enough and running over to Fluttershy and Aladdin, the rest of the group climbing off once the carpet stopped moving.

Once they were closer, the group was able to get a better look at Aladdin. As Sonic suspected, he did look like Silver, but in addition to his boots having pointy toes, the other difference was he was wearing more clothing. He was wearing a light brown belt around his waist, a vest that was tan in color, a burgundy fez that sat on the back of his head, and his gloves, though they had the same lines as Silver’s, had white wrappings going around his palms. He seemed to be unconscious, his body only moving slightly as he lay on his front.

Badoura was standing over him as the others came over, Fluttershy having backed off slightly when she saw the princess. She then noticed the others and waved to them, “Hi, everypony.”

Rarity went for a bit of dramatic flair as she said, “Oh Fluttershy, darling! Are you hurt? Were you scared? Should we start running again?”

Fluttershy was confused, oblivious to what the others had gone through, and simply replied, “Um, no, Rarity. I’m fine.”

As Badoura bent down next to Aladdin on one knee, Sonic gestured to him and asked, “What happened to him?”

Fluttershy answered, “I don’t know. I found Silver like this and thought he was hurt.”

Twilight said, “Actually, Fluttershy, that’s Aladdin.” The shy pegasus’ eyes widened slightly at this.

Badoura pushed Aladdin over onto his back and moved to his front, where she grabbed him by his vest. She then began shaking him, “Wake up, Aladdin!”

Fluttershy chimed in, “Um, Princess? I don’t think you should be doing that.”

Badoura ignored her, shaking the white hedgehog harder as she said, “Aladdin, wake up this instant!” She stopped her shaking when the hedgehog let out a groan, though she continued to hold him by his vest.

Aladdin’s eyes soon opened, his yellow pupils moving around slightly before they settled on Badoura. “B-Badoura…? What’s going on…? Where are we?” he groaned.

Badoura let out a sigh of relief before saying, “We’re on the island where the Green World Ring was located. We were hoping you would tell us what’s happened to you and why you’re here.” Her expression darkened, “And what that man did to you.”

Aladdin uttered, “World Ring…? Man…? What…” He shut his eyes and held his left hand against his forehead as he rolled onto his side. “Oh, my head…” he groaned.

Sonic tilted his head, “You okay?”

Aladdin grunted, “I think so. But I can’t remember…” His eyes shot open a moment later, seemingly remembering something. “Wait, that man! He’s…!”

Suddenly, laughter rang through the area, the nearby brachiosaurs seemingly noticing and beginning to leave the area. As everyone looked around, a geyser of lava suddenly erupted from the water below! Although startled, everyone tensed up in case any of the molten rock came down towards them. There was no need to, though, as the lava quickly cooled and formed a small mountain that stood above everyone’s heads, a cloud of steam coming off of the top of it.

As the steam cleared, they saw someone standing on top of the rock. It was the man in the red cloak, his cloak and its hood hiding most of his appearance from view, but they could make out a few details. He was wearing red shoes that had pointy toes and white gloves, he held a golden staff in his right hand that, near the top, looked like a snake wearing armor that had arms clutching some sort of blue crystal between its hands, and he had the cloak of his hood up, hiding most of his face save for his pointy blue sunglasses, pink nose, and white mustache.

The man looked down at them and spoke, “I see you’re still in the land of the living, ‘Prince Ali’. Did you enjoy your nap?”

Aladdin rolled onto his front and climbed to his feet as he exclaimed, “Haman!”

Twilight raised an eyebrow, “Haman?”

Badoura stared at what little of Haman’s face she could see for a few seconds before saying, “That face… I know you!” She pointed up at him, “You’re the one who tricked me into trading you Erazor Djinn’s lamp!”

Haman made an exaggerated bow while saying, “A pleasure to meet you again, Princess Badoura.” As he stood up straight, he smirked, “How’s that old palace of yours doing these days?” Badoura let out a growl at that.

Shahra spoke, “What are you after, Haman? What did you do to Aladdin?!”

Haman looked down at her, “Ah, Shahra, the inferior Genie of the Ring. I can’t expect you to understand my goals, especially after your new master ruined everything for me. As for Aladdin, I got him to aid me with the help of some… magical persuasion.”

Shahra glared, “You… You hypnotized him!”

Haman smirked, “What of it?”

Applejack spoke up, “Okay, now that we know the guy in red is responsible for Aladdin’s behavior, could somepony PLEASE tell me who the hay is?!”

Shahra answered, “Haman is the sorcerer from Aladdin’s story, Applejack.”

Sonic asked, “The same one that wanted him to retrieve the magic lamp?” Shahra nodded in confirmation.

Haman looked down at Sonic and said, “Ah yes, the Legendary Blue Hedgehog himself. I’ve been waiting a long time to meet you.” He scowled, “I have nothing but contempt for you, rodent. You have been nothing but a detriment to my plans ever since you first came to this world.”

Sonic half-smirked, “I’m not exactly sure what you’re talking about, but I figured we wouldn’t get along because you’re, well, you.”

Rainbow said, “Well, I have no idea what this is all about, but you’re the one who messed with Aladdin and the World Ring, so you’re going down!” After she finished, she spread her wings and shot up towards Haman in less than a second.

Although he was surprised by her speed, Haman took his staff in both hands, holding it up in a defensive stance. Rainbow figured overpowering him would be no problem, so she grabbed the staff with her forehooves and used her wings to hover as she wrestled with him. He proved to be stronger than she expected, however, and after a few moments, he managed to push her back slightly. He then quickly pointed his staff down towards the water and shot a red-orange beam from it as he said, “You think you can stop me, pretty pony? You must have rocks on the brain!”

Just as Rainbow was about to charge at him again, a large slab of rock in the shape of a fist suddenly shot out of the water and nailed her from underneath her chin! The sudden impact caused her wings to lock up as she was pushed up and back, falling towards the others. Sonic caught her, but her momentum from falling transferred to him and caused him to land on his rear with her in his arms. Haman then spoke, “Ah, a fine catch, blue hedgehog. Let’s see if I can trump it!” As he was speaking, he raised his staff and fired a beam at the ground in front of the group, a large metal cage magically appearing around everyone a second later!

Although they were surprised by the cage's sudden appearance, everyone soon began to try to break out, Rainbow quickly standing up and ramming into the bars along with Applejack, Aladdin, and Badoura. Sonic got to his feet, but before he could join them, Shahra placed her right hand on his shoulder as she said, "Sonic, wait."

Sonic looked at her and asked, "What's wrong, Shahra?"

Rainbow stopped, as did Aladdin, Applejack, and Badoura, and looked at Shahra as well, "Yeah, what's the problem? It's a cage! This guy doesn't know who he's dealing with!"

Haman spoke, "Oh, I wouldn't be so sure of that, rainbow one. And I wouldn't break those bars if I were you."

Applejack grunted, "Yeah? Why not?" Haman didn't respond, instead tapping the bottom of his staff against the rock he was standing on several times, a wave of magic passing down into it on the last tap.

Suddenly, the rock began to undulate as electricity sparked across it, the rock suddenly turning into a giant black cobra! The cobra lowered itself and looked into the cage, hissing and flicking its tongue as it stared at the group. Haman, still standing on top of it, then said, "My pet here happens to have quite an appetite, and it's not picky about what it likes to eat. So unless you want to find out for yourselves, I suggest you all behave." Everyone glared at him at that, but Aladdin, Rainbow, Badoura, and Applejack backed away from the bars a bit.

Haman nodded in satisfaction, “That’s better. I wasn’t planning to make a mess of things earlier, and I’d rather not make a mess with you lot right now.”

Twilight raised an eyebrow, “What do you mean by that, Haman?”

Haman replied, “The blue hedgehog is very lucky he dragged all of you into this world with him, my dear. Were it not for all of you and my little servant finding what I was looking for in the desert, we would’ve met a lot sooner.”

Sonic spoke, “So you’re the one who summoned me back here. I had a hunch when King Shahryar and Shahra mentioned you.”

Haman smirked, “Naturally. My apologies for not being present to welcome you back, ‘O legendary hero’, but Aladdin located that scorpion’s nest sooner than I anticipated. Ah well, I suppose it matters not. I’m still on the path to getting what I want.”

Badoura growled, “And I suppose that path involves brutally murdering a scorpion and tampering with one of the World Rings, Haman?”

Haman held his left hand to his chin and turned his head slightly upwards, seemingly thinking for a moment before he replied, “Well, you may be right about the scorpion, Princess, but I’m afraid you’re mistaken about the World Ring. Those things are still off in whatever corners of the world they’ve been since the blue one found them, and they’re not necessary anyway.”

Rarity said, “Then perhaps you’d like to explain to us what that imprint we found back in the desert in the shape of a ring was! If you’re saying the World Ring was not there, then how did that end up there?”

Aladdin added, “And what did you make me do? What part of your plan did you force me to take part in?!”

Haman stood up straight, looking down at everyone as he spoke, “Your involvement was trivial at best, street rat. I don’t need you to do anything besides be present for the final stages of my plan in order for it to move forward.” He smirked, “I simply thought a few mind games and forced labor would be a nice start of my revenge against you and the other rat for taking and destroying what should have been mine.”

Aladdin crossed his arms and said, “Like you having Erazor Djinn’s lamp first would’ve made all the difference! If anyone had gotten a hold of it, they could’ve released him the same way you did!”

Haman held up his left index finger and wagged it, “Ah, ah, ah! If I’d gotten it first, no one else would’ve EVER been able to get their dirty, worthless hands on it! But I digress.” He lowered his left hand, “As for the World Rings’ involvement in my plan… Have any of you noticed that the color of the World Rings corresponds to where they used to be found in this world?”

Most of the group shot him confused looks, though Shahra soon said, “The Yellow World Ring was located in the desert, and the Green World Ring was found on this lush island… Their colors do match where we found them, but what does that have to do with anything?”

Haman replied, “It’s no big mystery, my dear. It’s not some coincidence; the World Rings are the color they are because they’ve been bound to their respective lands for as long as anyone can remember. The only reason anyone regards them as a myth is because no one from this world can physically touch them, as you well know. But they’ve always been there, and they’ve made this world the way it is today.”

Rainbow spoke up, “Uh, yeah, we heard about the rings from Sonic and Shahra earlier. I’m with Shahra on this; what’s your point?”

Haman looked at her, “Clearly, the act of explaining through words is lost on some of you, so allow me to demonstrate a magic trick and show you all why I am the most powerful sorcerer this world will ever know.” He turned to his right and gestured with his staff, the cobra letting out a hiss before turning and rising up into the air, seemingly flying over not to the nearby patch of land, but to the one after it.

Sonic gasped as the snake hovered over a particular spot, “That’s where the World Ring was!”

Haman heard him and called, “Indeed! Now watch and behold!” He held up his staff in his right hand, red-orange energy coursing through it before he pointed it towards the ground fired a red beam from the snake. The beam struck the ground, burning into it like a laser for several seconds before a white light shot up out of the ground and into the sky. Even from where the group was, they could see what looked like a cloud of dust rise up into the light after a few seconds, hovering just above the ground.

Shahra gasped, “That looks like…!”

Haman interrupted her, “It is the Essence of the World Ring!” He thrust his left hand into his cloak and pulled out a vial, using his thumb to pop the stopper off. He then held it up high, the essence in the light swirling for a second before shooting up and going into the vial, Haman capping it as the light died down. As he stared at the green dust inside the vial, he murmured, “How fitting that I should get the gift that Hatred bestowed upon this land at the same time that I meet the Legendary Hedgehog…”

He then turned back to the group and said, “What I hold is the part of the World Ring that was left behind, the part that allows this land to keep living without the presence of the genuine object! It flows through this land, sustains it, allows everything you see to live! There’s still a little bit left over, just like back in the desert, but this is the majority of it. There’s no longer enough left to compensate for the World Ring’s removal.” His tone turned sinister, “Now what do you suppose will happen to this land now that its source of life has been removed?”

Sonic, Shahra, Twilight, Cadance, Aladdin, Badoura, Shining, and Applejack all gained looks of shock as they thought about what he was saying. Images of King Shahryar’s palace and the town being caught in the middle of a desert wasteland and everything on the island, even the dinosaurs, slowly dying soon flashed through their heads. As Badoura thought about these potential consequences and Haman was doing, her shocked expression turned to one of rage and her right arm shook as her fingers clenched into a fist, motes of orange light flashing around it as the fire in her really began to burn.

Haman had turned away from the group, seemingly reveling in his actions until an explosion and a clanging sound behind him caused him to turn back around. Badoura had used her power to get out of the cage, the somewhat burnt pieces of several bars lying on the ground with the princess standing over them, four fireballs floating around her in a circle as her hands glowed brightly. She glared, “Haman!”

The sorcerer merely smirked, “My, my. Looks like you’re not such a helpless, conceited brat anymore, Princess.”

Badoura let out a growl at that and began making her around towards him while the others got out of the cage. Aladdin was the first one out and he called out as he ran after her, “Wait, Badoura!”

Haman noticed this and held up his staff as he said, “You stay out of this, rat! The princess is giving me a private showing of her powers! You’re not welcome!” He then thrust his staff forward, “Get the point?” As he said this, multiple sabers materialized out of thin air and shot towards the white hedgehog, the blades flying over Badoura’s head as she leapt down to where Haman was. Aladdin froze as he saw the sabers rushing towards him and got pushed backwards moments later, two blades catching his vest and pinning him to the rocky wall behind him with the rest just narrowly missing him.

By this time, Sonic and most of the others had gotten out of the cage and had noticed Aladdin’s predicament and Badoura getting ready to engage Haman. “We’ve got to help Aladdin and Princess Badoura!” Twilight exclaimed.

As he started to move, Sonic called to Rainbow, “I’ll help Aladdin!”

The pegasus replied, “Right! I’ll help Badoura distract that creep!” Just as they were about to move to help, a stream of fire shot in front of both of them, stopping them in their tracks. They looked to see Haman holding his staff up, the sorcerer having launched the attack while he was leaping off of his cobra to dodge an attack from Badoura.

“Don’t think I’ve forgotten you, my friends!” the man called, holding his arms up and out afterwards and creating a cloud of magic a short distance overhead. From within the cloud, multiple creatures that were mostly green in color and had angry-looking white faces came forth and shot towards the group!

“What are they?!” Shining asked.

“They’re djinns, spirits! They look like the ones that served Erazor Djinn! But how did he summon them…?” Shahra wondered.

When they got close to the group, several djinns that had red foreheads breathed fire at everyone. After he and Rainbow leapt back, Sonic turned back to the others and called, “Somebody do something about that cage! If they’re all this angry, we’re gonna need all the room we can get until we get past them!” Twilight and Cadance quickly complied, both of them grabbing the cage with their magic and lifting it up, breaking it down while Shining Armor and the others began to attack the Kri Ma Djinns.

Once they were done with the cage, Twilight and Cadance joined in while Shahra moved Fluttershy and Spike back, keeping them from getting hurt by accident. While Fluttershy and Spike watched the others fight back against the swarm of djinns, Shahra’s eyes wandered to Badoura and Haman, watching the cat stand her ground against the sorcerer and his cobra. As Haman raised his staff, Shahra eyed the crystal it was holding and raised an eyebrow. “That crystal seems familiar somehow…” she thought.

Haman fired a red-orange beam of magic from the mouth of his staff, hoping to catch Badoura off-guard while she unleashed a burst of fire on his cobra. The cat saw it out of the corner of her eye and performed a backflip, narrowly dodging the beam. She spun around when she landed and threw a fireball with her right hand at Haman. He stepped to the side to dodge it, but he looked back in surprise when it exploded against a rock. Badoura noticed and smirked, “Surprised, Haman?”

The sorcerer turned to her and smirked back, “Perhaps, Princess. I was just thinking, wouldn’t it have been nice to have this magic back then? Then again, I suppose your palace didn’t need any help burning down, did it?”

Badoura growled and, after dodging a snap from the cobra, leapt at him, “You dare mock me?!”

As he used his magic to levitate and avoid her tackle and deflect the fire she threw at him afterwards, Haman replied, “Oh, not at all, Princess! I have to admit, you’ve made excellent progress! You command your magic quite well! I guess you could say,” dodging one last fireball, he raised his staff and unleashed another red-orange beam from it, “it leaves me breathless!”

Badoura gasped when she saw the beam coming, but she wasn’t quick enough to dodge this time and it struck her. She shut her eyes when it hit, but she opened them again when, instead of being thrown back, she heard wind around her. A quick look revealed that she seemed to be at the center of a wind vortex. “What? What is this? What are you…?” She began to wobble, raising her right hand to her throat as she stammered, “Ack… It’s hard to… I can’t breathe…”

Back with the others, Sonic kicked away the last djinn in front of him, the swarm of Kri Ma Djinns having thinned out heavily, and ran towards Aladdin. Rainbow Dash was already at his left side, having taken advantage of a gap in the swarm a minute earlier, and had her teeth around the handle of the saber holding his vest against the rock, flapping her wings as she pulled at it. Sonic quickly grabbed the handle of the saber on the white hedgehog’s right side and began pulling it while saying, “Hang on!”

As he wiggled, Aladdin grunted, “Thanks. Hurry!” Sonic planted a foot against the rock to get better leverage as he pulled the saber, the others starting to move towards him and Rainbow now. As he wiggled, Aladdin looked forward… and his eyes widened when he saw Badoura fall forward onto the ground. “Badoura!” he cried, Sonic beginning to turn his head to look when the saber suddenly came loose and he fell onto his back with it in his right hand. Rainbow Dash, meanwhile, glanced in the direction of the fight before flapping her wings rapidly, managing to pull the saber out in seconds.

Aladdin dropped down to the grass a moment later. His knees bent forward for a second before he reached down and grabbed the saber out of Sonic’s hand, standing up and running forward afterwards. Rainbow saw this and said (around the saber still in her mouth), “Hey, wait up!” She then flew after him while Sonic flipped himself over, standing up and running after the two with the others a second later, all of them seeing Haman standing over Badoura.

Haman turned his head to the right, seeing Aladdin and Rainbow Dash coming towards him. He looked back down at Badoura a moment later and then waved his staff in a circle, a red-orange sphere surrounding the still somewhat conscious princess and lifting her off the ground. “STOP!” Aladdin and Rainbow shouted, Haman turning slightly to see the two coming with their sabers. The sorcerer held out his arms in response, generating another red-orange sphere, this time around himself that both Aladdin and Rainbow Dash bounced off of. Haman then held his arms up and began to float up along with Badoura, the sorcerer’s barrier disappearing as he landed on his cobra’s head.

Aladdin looked up, first desperately at Badoura and then angrily at Haman. “What have you done to her, Haman?!” he yelled.

Haman smirked, “A little lack of fresh air to help her sleep, of course. I thought she could use it; she’s a bit high-strung if you haven’t noticed, Aladdin.”

Sonic, Shahra, Spike, and the rest of the ponies joined the two as Rainbow shifted her saber to her hooves and yelled, “Why don’t you just let her go?! You and your venom snake or whatever can’t handle all of us!”

Haman replied, “Yes, it would appear that the numbers are against me, aren’t they? However…” Before he could continue, everyone heard what sounded like a bird call coming from nearby. “Eh? What’s that?” Haman asked.

Sonic and the others looked towards the ledge where the group had entered the area and saw a familiar silver-white dinosaur come to a stop at the ledge. “Oh boy…” Sonic grunted as two more raptors appeared at its sides.

“The raptors! They tracked us here!” Shahra gasped.

Haman smirked, “Oh~! Old friends of yours? This works out perfectly!” He waved his staff in a circle, his cobra rising off the ground high above the group’s heads.

“Come back here!” Aladdin shouted, both him and Sonic jumping up after the cobra, aiming for its tail. They both were close to grabbing the end of the tail when it moved its tail up out of their reach, causing them to fall back to the ground front first.

“Rainbow Dash!” Cadance said as she spread her wings.

The cyan pegasus nodded, “Right!” She shifted her saber back to her mouth and both she and Cadance shot up after the cobra.

Haman saw them coming and pointed his staff down at them while saying, “Oh, no you don’t!” He fired a pair of red-orange beams from the staff’s eyes, both Rainbow and Cadance getting hit and being knocked back towards the ground.

“Cadance!” Shining cried as he dashed forward, diving to catch his wife. She landed in his forelegs while Applejack ended up catching Rainbow in a way when the pegasus crashed into her, both of them ending up on the ground as well.

Haman spoke, “Well, this has been a LOVELY get-together, but I’m afraid I’m a busy man. I believe I’ll be shoving off now!” He shook his head to his right, his cobra turning in that direction before it began to move.

“Haman, stop!” Shahra cried as Twilight and Rarity’s horns flared up, both of them releasing beams of magic up at the sorcerer. Haman barely noticed their attack, stepping out of the way before the beams could hit him.

As Sonic, Aladdin, Cadance, Shining Armor, Applejack, and Rainbow got up, Aladdin grabbing his saber as he stood, Haman said, “Now, now! Don’t be rude! Your old friends went to all this trouble of finding all of you and you’re just going to ignore them?” Sonic and Aladdin looked forward as one of the raptors landed a short distance away, letting out a shriek at them, causing them to start backing up.

Twilight looked to her right and saw that the other two raptors were once again moving around the group. “They’re trying to surround us again!” she exclaimed, causing the others to notice as well.

Shahra looked up at Haman as he spoke to Sonic and Aladdin, “Don’t disappoint me, rats. I’d rather not have to come all the way back here for you two… or call you up by accident.” As he finished speaking, Shahra noticed the crystal in his staff’s hands glint in the sunlight, and her eyes widened in realization. She didn’t get a chance to say anything before the cobra suddenly shot off into the distance with a crack of its tail, the sound being similar to the crack of a whip.

Left alone with the velociraptors, everyone grouped together, the three velociraptors moving closer to them, one in front of them, one behind them, and the other on a rock off to their right. As everyone looked around, Fluttershy asked, “Wh-Why do they look so mad?”

Spike replied, “Uh, we might have had to… trick them… to avoid getting eaten by them?”

Aladdin added, “I might have run into them earlier when I was under Haman’s spell as well. My memory’s still a bit hazy, but… they look familiar.”

Rainbow spoke, picking up her saber in her hooves, “Who cares! Call up that rug and let’s go after that sorcerer creep!”

Shahra turned to look at the ledge where they’d found Aladdin, “I left it on that ledge! I’ll go get it!” She hovered above the group and began to move towards the ledge. As she did, the raptor on the rock realized what she was trying to do and crouched down, leaping up to attack her!

Rainbow responded by flying up to intercept it with her saber, managing to get the blade caught on top of the claws on both of its forearms. The raptor, however, responded with a caw and quickly moved its claws out from under the blade, bringing them above it and swinging downwards, knocking the saber clean out of Rainbow’s hooves! Rainbow’s eyes widened and she stopped flapping her wings, falling as the raptor brought up its hind legs to try to attack her with those claws! It missed and she hit the ground hard, but as she climbed to her hooves, she noticed that Shahra had gotten past the raptor.

That was only a small comfort, however, as the attacking raptor was now closer to the group, just about even with the ground they were on, and it was likely they were all more wary of any sudden movements. As he and the others were waiting for Shahra to bring the carpet around, Sonic suddenly felt the ground rumble slightly. Then again, though a little stronger. “Hey… does anybody else feel that?” he grunted.

There was another rumble a moment later, even stronger this time, and even the raptor behind the group seemed to notice it. “It’s, um… It’s an impact tremor, that’s what it is,” Twilight said.

Pinkie gasped, “It’s getting closer!”

Applejack grunted, “Well, if it’s gettin’ stronger, then whatever’s causin’ it probably is gettin’ closer, Pinkie.”

Pinkie replied, “No, I mean that raptor is getting closer!” Everyone looked over to see the raptor behind the group beginning to move towards them, its claws pointing towards them. A few seconds later, the raptor crouched down, everyone bracing themselves as it leapt into the air… and then suddenly it was caught by a pair of jaws full of sharp teeth! The group looked up in surprise to see a large biped dinosaur with magenta scales, short arms with two fingered hands that had sharp claws, and a number of horns sticking up on its head. They couldn’t see how big it was due to its legs being partially submerged in the water.

As it dropped the raptor in its jaws on the ground between the group and where the land ended, Rarity screamed, “What in this world is THAT?!”

Sonic answered, “That’s the big dinosaur, the T-rex! It must’ve heard the commotion!”

Rainbow glanced around and said, “Looks like they’re more interested in it than us!” Indeed, the two remaining raptors had their attention focused on the rex rather than the group. She looked down and saw a circular slab of land near the rock the one raptor was standing on. It looked big enough for all of them and it was probably low enough for them to get out of sight. She pointed, “Quick, let’s get down there!” Everyone noticed where she was pointing and they all quickly got down onto the slab, neither the raptors nor the rex paying them any attention.

Looking up, they saw the other two raptors charging at the rex, the larger dinosaur letting out a growl as they latched onto it, one on the side of its head and the other on its neck, both on its left side. It began trying to shake them off, the third raptor trying to get up despite the injuries caused by the rex’s teeth. “What are they doing?” Aladdin asked.

“I don’t think they get along, but I don’t think that’s the only reason they’re fighting,” Sonic guessed.

Fluttershy nodded, “Exactly. It’s just like with the chupacabra and the vampiric jackalope: they’re fighting for dominance over the rights to eat us.” She smiled, “Nature is so fascinating…” Sonic and Aladdin glanced over at her with raised eyebrows while Spike and the other ponies morbidly watched the predators tangle with each other.

Shaking his head a second later, Sonic turned and called, “Shahra!”

Moments later, the genie came back to the group, guiding the carpet with her magic. “Sorry about the wait! Let’s get out of here and go after Haman!” Aladdin tucked his saber into his belt before jumping on the carpet, Spike and the ponies also jumping on save for Fluttershy, who Sonic had to drag away from the spectacle, and Rainbow, who again chose to use her wings instead. Once they were all set, they set out from the island, Fluttershy continuing to stare at the T-rex and the raptors until they could no longer be clearly seen.

Rainbow Dash and the magic carpet were flying over the ocean, the carpet managing to keep up with the pegasus as they left the dinosaur island behind. As they were shooting across the ocean, Twilight pointed forward, “Look at that castle! Do you think that’s where Haman went?”

Sonic nodded, “Definitely. We found one of the World Rings there. Since he’s going after their Essences, that’s where the next closest one is!”

Aladdin grunted, “We have to hurry! We have to save Badoura from Haman and stop whatever he’s planning!”

Spike asked, “Sonic, Shahra? Do either of you have any idea what that guy is planning?”

Sonic shook his head, but Shahra responded, “I can’t say for sure myself, but that crystal his staff is holding… It’s involved in his plan somehow, I’m sure of it!”

Rainbow looked over and asked, “Why? What’s the big deal about it?”

Shahra replied, “I’ve seen a crystal like it before. I’m certain it’s part of a magical artifact from this world! Whatever he’s planning with the Essences of the World Rings, he’s going to need that crystal as well! If we can get it and the Essences from him…”

Sonic said, “Gotcha, Shahra. Don’t worry, we’re not gonna let him get away with this!”

Applejack nodded, “Yeah! No matter how much of a head start he’s got, we’ll get him!” Everyone nodded and faced forward, both Rainbow and the carpet putting a little extra speed in to get to the castle sooner.

After a short while, the exterior of the castle began to become clear, various details on its exterior becoming easier to see. “Okay, we’re almost there. Where did you find the World Ring, Sonic?” Shining asked.

Before Sonic could reply, Cadance gasped, “Oh no, look!” She pointed ahead, everyone seeing Haman’s cobra taking off from the palace and shooting up into the sky.

Sonic grunted, “It ended up right in front of the palace because it was inside a bomb! Of course it would probably be the easiest one for him to find!”

Rainbow said, “He’s heading up into the sky! Come on!” She quickly changed her course, flying up after Haman, the magic carpet’s trajectory changing to do the same.

“Where’s he going now?!” Aladdin asked.

“The next closest World Ring was on a Rukh!” Shahra said.

“Ooh! What’s a Rukh?” Pinkie asked. As she was speaking, both the carpet and Rainbow Dash burst through the cloud layer, and not long after that, they all began to see giant manta-like creatures flying up ahead, many with structures on their backs.

“Are those…?” Cadance started.

Shahra nodded, “Yes. Those are the Rukh. They’re living fossils.”

As they got closer to the school of Rukh, Fluttershy said, “They’re incredible…”

Twilight nodded, “They are, but… where was the World Ring up here?”

Shahra said, “It was on the back of one of the Rukh, but… I can’t remember which one…”

Sonic shook his head, “Me neither. But Haman’s gonna be looking for it, so let’s focus on finding him.”

Rainbow soon called, “There he is! He’s down there!” Everyone looked to see the cobra flying alongside one of the smaller Rukh, Haman’s head turned towards it. A second later, he faced forward and the cobra moved on, heading for a much larger Rukh. At this, Rainbow grunted, “Come on! Let’s knock him off that smug snake!” She then shot after Haman, Sonic and the others following behind her.

As he got closer to the larger Rukh, Haman glanced down at the cobra as it let out a prolonged hiss. Raising an eyebrow, he looked back over his shoulder and saw Rainbow Dash speeding towards him. “You again?!” he grunted, moving to the side slightly to avoid a collision.

Rainbow flew a short distance ahead, coming to a stop over a path on the Rukh’s back before she turned to face Haman. “Think you can keep that up, fat man?!” she called.

Haman growled, “I’ll have you know that I’m pleased to know you and the rest of your merry band are still among the living. At the other end of the spectrum, however, you’re starting to annoy me.”

Rainbow replied, “Then get ready to be REALLY annoyed! You’re going down!” She then shot towards him again.

Haman simply sighed, “This tired technique again? You should really try something new.” He raised his staff and unleashed a beam of magic from it, “It’s really not worth beating your head against a wall over!” As he was speaking, a stone wall formed floating in front of the cobra, Rainbow letting out a gasp at this and trying to stop, but to no avail. She crashed into the wall head first and, after a second, slid off it and fell down to the path below.

Chuckling, Haman turned around to face the rest of the group and said, “And here comes the rest. Like lambs to the slaughter.”

Pinkie heard him and gasped, “Lambs?! Where?! We have to help those poor lambs!”

Rarity sighed, “It’s an expression, Pinkie dear.”

Aladdin yelled, “Give it up, Haman! We’re obviously too much for you to handle!”

Haman replied, “Perhaps, street rat, but I’m afraid that simply won’t do. I’ve put too much time and effort into this plan for you to ruin it now.” He then thrust his staff forward and said, “Try not to go to pieces on me!” He unleashed another beam from his staff, but this one was aimed at the carpet rather than the group. When it came into contact with the fabric, the rug shook for a moment before suddenly turning into a sheet of glass!

“The carpet! No!” Twilight cried as its trajectory quickly angled downwards, crashing into the side of the Rukh. As soon as it did, the front of it shattered into shards and everyone was knocked for a loop, all of them save for Shahra starting to roll downwards. Sonic was the first to go over, but he managed to grab onto the side of the Rukh. When he saw the others coming, he reached out his right hand and managed to grab Shining Armor’s right hoof, both of them being held up slightly by the strong wind blowing and allowing Cadance to grab onto Shining’s hind legs followed by the rest of them.

“Sonic! Be a dear and PULL US UP!” Rarity screamed from further along the chain.

“Ngh…! Need my other hand for this, Shining!” the blue hedgehog told the stallion, Shining wrapping his free hoof around Sonic’s legs before the hedgehog let his right hoof go and he wrapped it around his legs. With both hands now grasping onto the Rukh, Sonic grunted as he began to pull forward, pushing against the wind blowing in his face.

Before he could make much headway, however, Sonic noticed a shadow appear over him and looked up to see the cobra leering down at him. Haman smirked cruelly down at him, “I apologize, my dear rat, but my pet here hasn’t had a single bite all day. I do hope you’ll forgive me.” With that, the cobra parted its jaws, its tongue flicking out as it leaned back slightly and let out a hiss. It then lunged downwards, aiming for Sonic (or rather his hands)! In desperation, Sonic let go, the cobra missing by mere inches as they fell behind the Rukh! Haman grinned widely as the wind carried them off, “Hee hee hee! Enjoy your flight of fancy, fools! It certainly won’t last long!”

Author's Note:

Um... hey, everybody. Just a moment of your time. I know this is INCREDIBLY overdue, and I admit I just stopped about halfway through this part of the chapter due to school. I made a small additions here and there, but I really didn't get any closer to completing this part until recently. I hate to be using school as an excuse, but after what happened during the Fall, I wanted to get back into the groove, show that I was really serious about my future. So while I tried to continue writing, I admittedly just blanked out partway through here, and I feel like the wait wasn't worth it. Things feel very clunky between when I stopped writing and when I got back to this, and this part came out longer than I was expecting. Hopefully I can make up for my inactivity during the remainder of this chapter. I hope you all understand.

Also, something I was going to mention at the end, but I feel I should address it now. I gave Silver the part of Aladdin partly because a fellow storywriter did it first and I really liked her idea. I also did it because I thought it would be confusing having two hedgehogs who could claim to be the Legendary Blue Hedgehog. That's why I did it, not because of fan shipping reasons.


"Create your own path. Let nothing get in the way. Your fate, your future."

-Olympia, Pokémon X and Y

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