• 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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Interstellar Finale, Pt. I

“Hey, Sonic! Enjoy your future! It’s gonna be great!”

Sonic smiled to himself as he remembered saying that to his past self before he and Tails’ past self went into the Passage of Time and Mewtwo did whatever mind trick he did to lock their memories away so that, like Riolu, they wouldn’t know too much about the future. The Genetic Pokémon had then disappeared through the Warp Ring immediately after the passage closed to return home and get away from all of them. There had been some words exchanged to assure the others that he and Fluttershy and everything between them was all right, and afterwards, they left Empire City and got back on the train. Tails and Pinkie were up front once again as they ate their Oran Berries while everyone else was back in the passenger car.

Thinking back to it, Sonic seemed to recall things getting fuzzy briefly before he realized that he and Tails had returned home, at which point he remembered that they had dropped in to deliver the good news about Eggman’s original Death Egg and get a little R&R in before they set out again. The rest sure did them some good, both at the time and further on down the line. While they initially did get the chance to do what they had always wanted to, things did become very manic sometime after the Death Egg’s final fall for him, Tails, and Knuckles, leaving them with little time to themselves.

He gave a nod as he looked away from the window to pull himself out of his memories and finished off his Oran Berry while Spike and the ponies did the same, all of them feeling the restorative properties of their berries rejuvenate them. “Mmm, wow! I’ve had my share of Pinkie’s cakes, pies, and cupcakes and I don’t think any of them have ever given me a kick like this!” Rainbow commented.

Spike held the half of his Oran Berry in both claws as he said, “Mm, yeah it definitely has that. It’s still just a berry, though; now if it was a gem…”

Applejack added, “Don’t know about that, Spike, but Ah agree about the berry part. It ain’t the same as an apple; this would barely be a snack! Ah’m glad we ate somethin’ earlier.”

Rarity delicately took a few bites of her berry and said, “Well, I must say it’s just perfect for me. It’s small, so I don’t feel as though I’m overeating, and it’s surprisingly not as messy as I thought it would be. It hasn’t dripped or sprayed anything.”

Twilight wiped a hoof around her mouth before saying, “I should’ve saved a little bit to take home. I would’ve loved to study it and find out what’s in the berry’s juice that gives it such amazing properties.”

Shining finished his berry and chuckled, “Yeah well, Equestria will probably be better off if you didn’t figure it out, Twily.” When the lavender unicorn gave him a look, he added, “I mean say you did find out all there is to know about an Oran Berry and whatever other berries can be found in that world. That would probably put a lot of doctors out of a job. Why pay bits to see somepony when you could just eat a berry and feel better right away?”

Twilight blinked, “Oh… yeah, I guess so.”

Sonic looked at the lavender mare and asked, “Speaking of which, how’s your eye feeling, Twilight?”

Twilight stared at him a moment before raising her right hoof to what was left of the bandages over her right eye and slowly pressing down. She did this a few times, getting a little bolder with her presses each time, before admitting, “It doesn’t feel sensitive…” She moved her hoof to the edge and carefully tore the coverings away, stopping when her eye was exposed. It took a moment but the eyelids carefully parted, revealing that her eye looked normal underneath. The skin around it also appeared to be normal; there didn’t seem to be any swelling or discoloration there. “I can see fine, but does it look bad?” she asked after a moment with her eye half-open.

Sonic replied, “Nah. If I hadn’t seen it earlier, I would’ve said you never had a black eye at all.”

Twilight looked at the others and they all agreed with Sonic’s assessment. “There’s not a trace of the earlier injury, Twilight. It looks like a full recovery,” Cadance said.

Spike grinned, “I wonder which did more: the berry or the cream.” He earned a few laughs for that joke.

As the laughter died down, Rainbow suddenly said, “Hey, I just thought of something.” Everyone turned to look at her at that. She slowly said, “We’ve had a lot of encounters with other worlds recently. Like, really recently. We even encountered Sonic and Tails from the past and they helped us…”

At her pause, Applejack asked, “Yeah? So where are ya goin’ with this, Rainbow?”

The cyan pegasus looked up, “Isn’t it kind of weird that we met the Sonic and Tails of the past… but not ourselves? Seriously, we never saw younger versions of ourselves in all this.”

Everyone finally got what the speedster was getting at. “I hadn’t thought about that, Rainbow, but you’re right. That is strange…” Twilight said.

Sonic spoke up after a moment, “Well, I’m sure there’s a reason for that, but hey, that’s not a bad thing.” When everyone looked at him, he explained, “From the sound of things, no one really got involved with fighting off bad guys until you all met, so this must mean no one here was thrown into fighting early and had to live with some horrible trauma that was repressed by a mind wipe that would come out to haunt you in your dreams, and here’s the really important part: this means the first time you all met really was the first time you all met, so that makes it even more special.”

Everyone considered what he was saying and found that it made a lot of sense. “You know, that IS a good point, Sugar-hog. We’ve been connected ever since we got our cutie marks at the same time, but we didn’t all meet until we were supposed to. Not even this monster we’re after could take that away from us,” she said.

Rainbow grinned, “You know, if we tell Pinkie this, she’s probably going to want to throw another party to celebrate our friendship.”

The pink pony in question was currently in charge of keeping the train going while Tails was behind her, resting his arms on the windowsill and leaning to the side slightly. The fox hadn’t been hurt as badly as his friends had been, but he couldn’t deny that his Oran Berry had given him a burst of energy and relieved some of his stress and anxiety. Pinkie, meanwhile, was back to her usual exuberant self due to both the berry and everything regarding Terios having been cleared up. “…And then they were all surrounded in a rainbow, and then they both changed colors, and then that one reformed around the jewel, and I was all like ‘WHOA!’!” the party pony was saying.

“Mm-hm,” Tails nodded, not entirely paying attention.

“And I know you and Old-Timey Tails weren’t surprised, but everyone else was! Twilight, her brother, her foalsitter, Linky… even the Legendary Doggies were surprised! Or are they Legendary Kitties?” Pinkie droned on.

“Your guess is as good as mine, Pinkie,” Tails shrugged.

“Anyway, they were all like SHOOM, straight towards that monster! And all those other Pokémon monsters were there to help, trying to pocket it in! But the best part is when Fun-Timey and Old-Timey shiny Sonics rushed that big rock and managed to stop it before kicking it back! They must’ve been really strong in order to be able to do that! Do you think that’s a good way to stop a giant rock, Tails? And do you think ‘Pokémon’ is short for something else?” Pinkie asked.

Tails shook his head. Now Pinkie’s wild blabbering was starting to mess with him. He started, “Whoa Pinkie, one question at a time. First of all, I guess it would be if the rock is hurtling at you and you’ve got the strength to stop it, otherwise I think getting out of the way would be the better choice. I haven’t used the Chaos Emeralds’ power as much as Sonic has, so I don’t have as much experience with just how strong they can make someone, which would be important for me to know since I like to think things through. And second…” He was cut off by a beeping sound coming from one of his tails, causing him to glance down at the appendage. “Oh, of course,” he uttered, somewhat irritated and somewhat relieved for the distraction. He pulled out the handheld, flipping it open to check it.

Pinkie trotted over next to the fox and looked over his shoulder, seeing four spots lighting up ahead of the train. “Uh-oh! Looks like we gotta make four stops to keep moving!” she said. She hopped back over to the train controls, “Better stop the train now so we can take care of that!”

Tails nodded and sighed while still looking down at the two screens. “And just when we’re almost to Canterlot too,” he muttered before peering up and looking out the window, the city so close now and still so far. He closed the radar and tucked it away a moment later, already sensing that the train was slowing to a stop.

As it came to a complete stop, the door to the adjacent car opened and Sonic stepped through, Spike and a few ponies coming up behind him. “More trouble?” he asked, even though he already knew the answer. It was the only thing that ever stopped their trip.

Pinkie piped up, “Yep! A quadruple threat! Tails says there are four portals open up ahead!”

Spike snorted and shrugged, “Four? Well sure, why not throw them all at us right away?”

Tails spoke as he stepped away from the window, “I don’t think it’s all bad, Spike. I’ve been getting minor notifications this entire trip about more portals opening up around this white world, but even though we haven’t been back on the train that long, I haven’t gotten a single one yet. Maybe Dialga and Palkia’s repairs have kept them from popping up. And it’s only a minor thing, but there’s something familiar about the readings I was picking up.”

Cadance asked, “What do you mean, Tails?”

Tails replied, “Well, I can’t immediately recall why they look familiar, but they look like something I picked up before, in which case we might be heading somewhere we’ve already been. That could make closing them go a little faster than normal.”

Sonic said, “Hey, sounds good to me, buddy. Let’s get to it.”

________________________________________

Everyone felt a hard surface underneath them immediately after they stepped out of the other end of the portal and looked around. From the looks of it, they were in the middle of the inky blackness of space, but all around them, much closer than the blackness and stars, was a large number of neon-lit ships flickering with a number of colors, mostly different hues of orange and purple. It didn’t take everyone long to realize that they were standing on the deck of one of the ships. In the midst of the apparent fleet of starships were what appeared to be different types of statues or floats that had the same lighting as the ships.

“Wow! What is this place?” Rainbow Dash asked as she looked around in wonder, the other ponies and Spike doing the same.

“Ooh! We’re in the middle of a fleet! It’s a star fleet! Do we get to be space pirates?!” Pinkie exclaimed.

Tails waited until the party pony was finished speaking before he started, “Actually Pinkie, if I’m not mistaken…”

He was cut off by a familiar voice coming out of a nearby loudspeaker on the starship, “Attention ladies and gentlemen, please make your way to the main viewing area, where the Light Speed Electrical Parade is about to begi.. Oh, and that concludes our Light Speed Electrical Parade.”

Applejack looked in the direction the voice had come from with a raised eyebrow, “Wasn’t that Eggman’s voice?”

Sonic spoke, “Yep. We’re back in his Interstellar Amusement Park.” He pointed down at the deck of the starship with both fingers, “He called this area we’re in the Starlight Carnival.” He glanced over at Tails, “Guess now we know why the readings looked familiar, huh?”

The fox shrugged, “Yeah, I guess so.”

They both turned to see that Pinkie had moved closer to them, a serious look on her face. “So let me get this straight,” she started. “This is a carnival… on bright, festive ships… in SPACE.” Both Sonic and Tails turned to look at each other for a moment before nodding. The pink pony held her serious stare for a moment before it was replaced by an overjoyed look. “That is AMAZING! That’s even better than being pirates or part of a fleet… in SPACE! Space Eggman, this is the greatest thing EVER!” she cried as she alternated between trotting excitedly around and in place.

Rainbow caught the party pony while she was trotting around and smirked at her, “I thought Sweet Mountain was the greatest thing ever, Pinkie.”

Pinkie stared at her friend for a moment before raising and waving a hoof, “Oh Rainbow Dash, that is SO main story.” The cyan pegasus gave her an odd look while Spike and the other ponies kept looking around.

“Look at all of these spaceships… I’m geeking out here!” Shining Armor smiled as he stared up at the fleet awestruck.

“Well… that makes two of us,” Twilight said as she looked around in wonder.

Spike soon noticed that Rarity looked a bit nervous as she looked around. “What’s wrong, Rarity?” he asked.

Everyone looked at the white unicorn as she said, “I, er… This area is rather spectacular, I must say, but… well, I feel cold for some reason and I don’t think it has anything to do with the temperature.”

Applejack nodded, “Ah think Ah know what ya mean, Rare. As bright and happy as they are, these spaceships make me feel funny.”

Tails spoke, “I’m betting it has something to do with the sheer scale of it all. I think the announcement we heard from Eggman when we originally came here said something about that.”

Sonic said, “Yeah. Let’s get moving, see what we can find. There’s a lot of not-quite ground to cover.” The Equestrians wondered what he meant by that as they started following him and Tails down the deck of the ship.

As they were walking towards the stern, they all heard another announcement, “Rocket your way to the Lunch Pad for a fine dining experience! You'll have a blast! It's fun for the whole family. Please no old people or children."

Shining made a face before saying, “Wow, he really went all-out with the amusement park jokes, didn’t he?”

Sonic rolled his eyes, “You have no idea, Shining. And when he’s trying to do puns and sound threatening at the same time, it gets even worse.”

Twilight looked at him, “When did he start doing that?”

Sonic asked, “We did mention how Eggman’s park plan fell apart, right?”

The lavender unicorn thought for a moment before saying, “No, that didn’t really come up, nor did why Dr. Eggman was capturing Wisps for their Hyper-go-on energy. I seem to recall we kind of dropped it after Baldy McNosehair came up.”

Spike, Rainbow, and a few other ponies, including Shining Armor, laughed for a few seconds at that before Rainbow said, “Still the best thing I’ve heard today.”

Tails suppressed a giggle before saying, “Yeah, I guess it didn’t really come up again after that. Well…”

Before he could say more, Pinkie suddenly said, “Ooh, something shiny!” The party pony suddenly ran on ahead of everyone, her eyes fixated on whatever had caught her attention. After a couple of seconds, they caught up and found her using a hoof to play with the end of a long gray stripe on the ground. After a moment, her hock got caught on the end of the stripe and pulled it up and away.

“What is that, Pinkie? It kind of looks like tape,” Cadance noted.

Pinkie tried to shake the strip off of her hoof, but it refused to let go and she ended up pulling more of it away from the starship. She stopped and stared down at it after a moment before looking up at Cadance and saying, “It sure is, Princess Cadance! It’s some tough, shiny tape!”

Twilight spotted a narrow crack underneath where the tape had been and said to Pinkie as she looked down at the tape again, “Um, I don’t think you should be playing with that, Pinkie.”

Before Pinkie could respond, a nearby loudspeaker buzzed with Eggman’s voice, “Please refrain from peeling off the special space-age polymer holding the starship together. It may look and feel like duct tape, but it’s not. It’s called… er… space tape! Very advanced stuff. Thank you.”

Rainbow deadpanned, “Yeah, that pause wasn’t noticeable at all.” Pinkie, meanwhile, had decided to heed Eggman’s words and was busy trying to pull the tape off of her hoof with her other hoof, which only resulted in more of it peeling away. Growing annoyed as it stubbornly refused to come off, she finally planted one of her back hooves down on the tape and pulled hard, managing to get her hoof free.

Spike noticed that the crack hidden underneath the tape seemed to stretch for quite a bit behind Pinkie and began to get nervous. “Okay, uh, maybe we should move onto another ship. How does that sound, guys?” he asked.

Shining pointed out, “Um, we’re basically in the middle of space here, Spike. None of the other starships are all that close to us. How are we supposed to get to another one from here?”

Sonic spoke, “Oh, that’s easy. There’s some kind of invisible rainbow road in places here that connects the spaceships. We just have to find one of those.”

Tails added, “There are also railings that are similar to the paths here. I’d say they’re more like energy paths than rainbows, but they are pretty bright and colorful when you can see them.”

Rarity spoke up, “Well, let’s find one of these paths and get going then.” She fanned herself a bit with a hoof, “I feel like my breath is going out of me for all of the wrong reasons…” Everyone began moving at a much faster pace towards the spaceship’s stern at that as they searched for viable way off of the starship.

They managed to find a path when they were almost out of ship to run on, the path having one of the rails that Tails mentioned next to it. Both Sonic and Tails leapt onto the path and took off running while Spike climbed onto Twilight’s back and everypony save for Rainbow used the rail to follow after them. The rail and the path both twisted and turned for a bit before it led them to an opening along the side of one of the larger starships. As they approached it, they heard Eggman’s voice cutting in and out from a loudspeaker, “Remember for your safety, please avoid- as well as- never under any circumstances- as it is actually a living being and will bite your face off.” The path and rail came to an end when the announcement finished and they all found themselves being tossed inside of the starship.

They all landed after a few seconds of falling, some touching down more composed than others. Fluttershy stumbled a bit after landing on her hooves and looking around, uttering, “Um… Is it kind of dark in here or is it just me?”

As they got their bearings, everyone noticed that the inside of the ship was lit up like the outside of the ship, though the intensity was turned down. Despite that, it actually did seem a little dark inside the ship. “I think you’re right, Fluttershy. I’m glad Eggman toned it down on the inside, but he might have toned it down a bit much,” Shining said.

Twilight looked at Sonic and asked, “Speaking of which, what did he say just now? I could’ve sworn I heard him say something about having your face bitten off…”

Sonic shrugged, “Yeah, I don’t know. I think his mic got messed up when he was phoning that one in.”

Pinkie began bouncing forward as she said, “Come on, let’s get going! Maybe we can figure out how to control this ship and take it for a ride!”

As if on cue, another announcement came from just ahead of the pink pony, “Just a reminder, please refrain from pushing buttons on the starship; occasionally one might eject you into space. If this happens, your next of kin will be billed for the replacement hatch.” Pinkie stopped bouncing and blinked at that.

As the others came up behind her, Applejack groaned, “So what the hay are ya supposed ta do here? Just sit on one o’ these ships and look at the stars? Ain’t much of a carnival if ya ask me!”

Pinkie fell in step behind the others as Rainbow agreed, “Yeah, at least Sweet Mountain had some attractions, and who knows what he was gonna put on Planet Wisp! It sounds like there’s nothing fun here!”

A new announcement came from a loudspeaker shortly afterwards, “The Hyper-Sleep Ride is now open! Remember, the Hyper-Sleep Ride is not recommended for pregnant women, or people who aren’t willing to be asleep for three years.” Not long after, they heard a second announcement, “Attention: the Muscle Atrophy Simulation will not be open today. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we were not able to find the strength to open it.”

After a moment, Sonic said, “You called it right, Rainbow.”

Shining almost incredulously uttered, “Three years? I-I get it of course, but a ride that lasts three years? Is he serious?”

Tails said, “I’m sure he is.” He looked back at Rarity, “How are you feeling, Rarity?”

The fashionista took a breath before saying, “I think I’m feeling better now, Tails. I don’t know why I was feeling strange earlier, but it seems to be gone.”

A new announcement suddenly came from one of the ship’s loudspeakers, “Attention: the anti-gravity toilets on this level are out of order. We are sorry for this inconvenience and hope that you can hold it for another 20,000 light years.”

Rainbow said, “Good thing you’re feeling better, Rarity. That would have to be the longest wait ever!”

Twilight said with a raised eyebrow, “It would be, technically, but I don’t think he was saying it THAT way.”

Rainbow looked at the lavender unicorn, “What are you talking about, Twilight? He said 20,000 light years! That is a ridiculously long time to have to hold it in!”

Twilight deadpanned, “Light years doesn’t measure time, Rainbow. It’s a measure of distance.”

Tails added, “And even if we’re factoring in how far the Starlight Carnival is from the Tropical Resort, that’s not even close to how far it is to terra firma.”

Rainbow groaned, “Okay, whatever! Eggheads…”

Sonic spoke up, “Speaking of eggs…” Everyone looked ahead and saw that several Egg Pawns were approaching them. All of the robots were dressed like they were in a marching band, the apparent leader even carrying a trumpet in its hands. Initially they kept trying to act festive, the leader even stopping to act like it was playing its trumpet, but then they started rushing towards the group.

As the group braced themselves, Shining commented, “They’re still terrible with their hospitality. I’ll stop the leader!” His horn began to glow with magic, as did Cadance and Twilight’s, and they shot bolts of magic from their horns at the Egg Pawns before they could reach the group, the shots throwing them off-balance as they tried to keep running. Sonic, Tails, and Rainbow gestured at the robots before they moved, each aiming for a different one and rushing at it to attack, finishing them off.

Pinkie gasped suddenly and shot forward to grab the trumpet, the hat the Egg Pawn had been wearing landing on top of her mane as she landed on Tails’ shoulders, causing the fox to almost fall forward. “Looks like these ‘bots just got done over easy!” the pink pony chirped, playing a familiar silly tune with the trumpet afterwards.

As the others came over, Pinkie continued to sit on Tails’ shoulder as she messed around with the trumpet. Twilight used her magic to pick the pony up off of him and set her down. Standing up straight afterwards, Tails said, “I guess some of Eggman’s robots are still around here.”

Sonic added, “Not a lot of Wisps, though. Wonder if they’ve all been set free.”

Cadance looked at him, “Speaking of which, I think Tails was about to tell us more about what Dr. Eggman planned to do with those little aliens before Pinkie brought his shoddy engineering to our attention.”

Tails nodded, “Oh yeah. Well, basically, he was using them for a mind control scheme.” As they started walking again, Pinkie held the trumpet in the crook of her right foreleg like she was carrying a rifle, her bouncy walk allowing her to keep up with the others.

“Really? He wanted that crazy-powerful energy for mind control?” Rainbow asked.

“Well, it was going to be a planet-wide mind control. Turns out the cannon was built above the Tropical Resort, so it had a straight shot down at Earth. With enough energy, he probably could’ve put the entire planet under his control,” Tails explained.

“And that’s why he was capturing the Wisps?” Twilight asked.

Sonic and Tails nodded, the former saying, “Yep. No idea how he learned about the aliens in the first place, but that’s what he did. Something must’ve gone wrong, no surprise, since when he tried to fire it up, it ended up creating a black hole that destroyed the Tropical Resort and the space elevator instead.”

Shining plainly stated, “A black hole. How did you stop that, much less get away from it?”

Sonic shrugged, “Well, I didn’t get away from it. Never would’ve happened if I’d been pulled down by gravity, and I only stayed ahead of it for a little while running. I’ve got the Wisps to thank for getting me out of that one.”

Tails nodded, “And for stopping the black hole as well. When all the Wisps came together and joined their power together, they were able to restore the ones that had had their energy drained and stop that lightless black. They saved us, Earth, and all of the planets Eggman had stolen for his amusement park.”

Applejack let out a whistle, “Hoo-whee! And Ah thought they were crazy powerful before when that one was in me. Just a small amount of power fer sure!”

Cadance noted, “A small planet with an orbit that brings it close, time travel, gems with the power to manipulate time and space, a cycle of planetary destruction and rebirth, aliens and black holes, now interacting with other worlds… Sonic, Tails, you two and your friends live in a world with a colorful history.”

Sonic said, “Right. Just now we’re experiencing that…” He gave a knowing wink at Tails, receiving a smile in reply.

The fox then replied, “You know, I guess I haven’t really thought about it, but considering how long the Chaos Emeralds have been around, it’s actually not out of the question that their power could have come to light long before Knuckles’ clan tried to claim them. If so, then yeah, it is a wonder our world isn’t like a delta hub or GCS for other worlds. Still, I’m sure Equestria has more to its history than what we’ve been told about.”

Before anypony could respond, an announcement came over a loudspeaker, “We seem to be losing pressure on level seventeen. Please hold your breath against the harsh vacuum of space until you pass out from oxygen starvation. After that, you won't care. Enjoy the ride!” A second announcement blared out a few moments later like as an afterthought, “Please note that this ride is not safe for children under twelve, or over thirteen. …It is also not safe for thirteen-year-olds.”

Twilight looked worried at that. “Level seventeen is losing air pressure? Which level are we on?! Is this ship going to implode?!” she asked.

“Relax, Twilight. Look, we’ll just go somewhere else,” Sonic said.

Rainbow spoke, “Yeah, let’s see some other stuff. Are there any other rides worth checking out here, or are they all still under construction?”

Tails thought for a moment before saying, “Well… there’s one area that’s pretty much entirely dedicated to a ride. I don’t know if it’s finished, but we went there and…”

Rainbow cut him off, “Yeah, let’s go there! We only saw part of the park last time; let’s see if we can get a whole tour in before it gets destroyed!”

Tails looked a bit hesitant, but said, “Well… okay.” He brought the Warp Ring out and activated it, touching it to set the destination. Everyone then walked into it, the ring shrinking once they were all through.

Upon exiting the ring, they found themselves on a metal walkway with large pointy spikes/claws along the sides in some sort of cavern with a fluorescent green liquid coming out of the walls and collecting below. After Tails collected the ring, Cadance asked, “Where are we?”

Before Sonic or Tails could, an announcement answered the pink alicorn, “Welcome to the Asteroid Coaster, accident-free for 45 minutes! Now with 32% more asteroids.”

Twilight asked, “The Asteroid Coaster?”

Sonic deadpanned, “Oh yeah, I forgot about the roller coasters here.”

Rainbow looked at him, “How could you about roller coasters? They’re the best part of a park!”

Sonic replied, “Eh, partly because this place reminds me of Eggmanland a little too much, and also because we found out this is where he drains the Wisps, turning them into the Nega Wisps.”

Shining asked, “Really? He does it right here? What, does he do it in plain sight?”

Tails answered, “No, it’s supposed to be behind-the-scenes. We did have to do a little searching to find it, but aside from the Egg Pawns and the natural dangers here, there wasn’t a lot of security to stop us from looking around.”

Rarity peered over the side of the walkway at the green liquid below, looking disgusted before she turned back to Sonic and Tails and asked, “What is that green stuff down there?”

Tails answered, “It’s acid, I think. It spills out of the volcanoes around here.”

Fluttershy asked, “There are volcanoes here?”

Sonic nodded, “Yeah, volcanoes, fossils, bones… He had some kind of ancient theme going here too.”

Spike asked, “Do you think we could ride some of the roller coasters while we’re here?”

Sonic shrugged, “Sure, as long as we remember to pay attention. The tracks here are either supposed to drop off or they’re not finished.”

Applejack nodded, “There’s another good reason not ta recommend this place ta anyone.” With that, they started making their way down the walkway.

As they were walking, they spotted pieces of broken glasses littering the walkway that seemed to have large teeth marks at the edges. “Yep, we’ve definitely already been here. This is definitely the work of the Purple Wisp’s power,” Tails noted as they all carefully stepped around the glass shards. As they got to the end, they looked up and saw five red robots dancing up ahead, each one wearing a cap of some sort and waving something in the air. “More Egg Pawns!” Tails called.

Shining raised an eye as he looked at what the robots were holding. “Are they holding swords? They look like they’re holding swords,” he said.

“I think they’re supposed to be clubs, but… yeah, now that you mention it, they do look like swords,” Tails agreed.

When the Egg Pawns began to run towards the group, Pinkie threw her hat away and jumped in front of everyone, standing up on two legs and holding up her trumpet as she screamed, “YOUR CLUBS ARE NO MATCH FOR MY TRUMPET!” Despite her battle cry, the Egg Pawns kept coming and she dashed forward, swinging her instrument and dodging out of the way of their clubs once they reached each other. After several long moments of banging metal and flying robot pieces, Pinkie stood huffing in the middle of a mess of robots innards as she dropped her utterly mangled trumpet on the ground.

“Wow. What got into Pinkie?” Tails managed as he and the others stared in shock.

“I’m not sure I want to know…” Sonic uttered.

Pinkie soon dropped back on all fours and cheerfully called back, “Come on! It’s safe to keep going now!” Despite some apprehension amongst them, everyone caught up with her and they continued on.

Not long afterwards, a new announcement started, “Every visitor to the park gets a free blue hedgehog!”

Almost immediately, Sonic felt a sudden weight on his back at that, pink legs wrapping themselves around his front. “I call this one! This one’s mine!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed.

The announcement continued, “If you catch one, please feel free to take it home with you, or destroy it. Our choice.”

Pinkie looked up in the direction the announcement had come from and yelled, “Nuh-uh! I caught it! It’s my choice, and I’m keeping it!”

Sonic deadpanned, “Pinkie, get off of me.”

Pinkie responded, “Oh no, you’re not getting away from me that easily! I’m taking you home with me, and nothing is going to make me- HEY! Look, a roller coaster! Come on, let’s get up there!” She suddenly shot off of Sonic’s back and in the direction of a roller coaster that was starting to slow to a stop on a track overhead. A few looks were shared before everyone hurried to catch up with her.

It didn’t take long for them to find Pinkie, who was gleefully shuffling in place as the dragon skull coaster came into the stop. As they stepped onto the platform, they heard an announcement say, “This coaster is not for small children. Or big babies.” A few looks were sent in Spike’s direction, which the dragon returned with an annoyed look. By the time they reached Pinkie, the coaster had come to a complete stop and was seemingly ready for new riders. Before anyone could move, another announcement said, “Please beware of the spikes on the asteroid coaster! They are sharp! …Really! We have to warn people about spikes! Like they won't notice the spikes! I mean, come on! The cars are nothing but spikes! Unbelievable! Wha...! Uh... My... my what is still on?”

Cadance looked up at the loudspeaker for a moment before saying, “Well, we’ve come this far. We can squeeze in one more roller coaster ride, can’t we?”

Sonic shrugged, “Yeah, sure. Just remember what I said earlier.”

Pinkie piped up, “I remember, and don’t worry! My eyes… are PEELED!” She used her hooves to hold her eyelids up to make it look like her eyes were really open for emphasis. She then let go of them and trotted over to Fluttershy, pushing the reluctant pegasus towards the coaster as she said, “Come on, Fluttershy! We’ll sit together in the front car!” Despite Fluttershy’s struggles and protests, Pinkie seated her in the front car and promptly sat down next to her to keep her from jumping out. She then called to the others, “Come on, everypony, buddy up and get in!”

Tails looked at the others and murmured, “She’s forgetting that there are eleven of us. Someone’s not going to be able to ‘buddy up’.”

Shining looked back at Spike as he said, “Maybe Spike can squeeze in between two ponies.”

The baby dragon complained, “Aw, come on! I wanted to sit next to…”

Sonic interjected, “Look, I’ll be the odd one out. I don’t have a problem sitting by myself.”

Twilight asked, “Are you sure?”

The blue hedgehog replied, “Look, I don’t really fancy being cramped on a roller coaster like we were in Twinkle Park, but there aren’t enough cars for everyone to have their own seat. We might as well fill them all.” Much as everyone wanted to argue with him, they also didn’t want to keep Pinkie waiting, so they all started to climb into the coaster, being careful to avoid the spikes.

Tails and Rainbow squeezed into the car behind Pinkie and Fluttershy, with Sonic getting into the one behind them. Twilight and Applejack were behind him followed by Spike and Rarity and, naturally, Shining and Cadance. As she tried to get comfortable next to Spike, Rarity uttered, “Ooh… I wonder if it’s a good idea to be doing this so soon…”

Before Spike or anyone else could say anything, they all heard Eggman’s voice once again, “Please be sure your safety belt is properly buckled, or you at least have a really good grip on something.”

Tails looked at the sides of the car before saying, “I don’t think this thing even has safety belts…”

Sonic said, “Right, so we don’t have to worry about unbuckling them if we have to jump ship.”

Before they started moving, Eggman gave them one last word of advice, “Please keep your hands and feet in the car at all times, because there are tiny asteroids travelling at incredible speeds, hurtling through space. Keeping your hands and feet in the car won't prevent you from being hit, but our lawyers tell us we have to say it anyway.”

Rainbow looked at Tails with a raised eyebrow, “Bad guys have lawyers?”

The fox shrugged, “Apparently.” A second later, they all felt a jolt forward as the coaster began moving forward towards an opening in the cave wall.

“Whoo, this is going to be so much fun! I can’t wait to start moving! AAAAAHHHHH!” Pinkie exclaimed in anticipation.

Before they could get outside, they all heard one last announcement from Eggman, “In space, nobody can hear you scream… except for the person sitting next to you, so please be considerate of others. Nobody likes a screamer.” At that, Pinkie let out a whimper as she slapped her hooves over her mouth to keep her screams to herself.

The coaster began picking up speed once it got outside, everyone now able to see where the coaster got its name from as they saw the asteroids floating around. “This is 32% more asteroids? Come on! I thought when he said that, there would be loads of asteroids out here!” Rainbow said.

“I don’t know how he can say that, considering the park was never open to the public in the first place,” Tails noted. The coaster kept going at its fairly fast speed as it followed the tracks, even going through a shuttle loop.

As the ride continued, Rarity began to feel worse and Applejack was starting to feel it as well. “Uhh… Ah’m startin’ ta feel a bit queasy,” the orange earth pony groaned, both Twilight and Sonic turning to look at her with concern.

“Is the ride almost over yet?” Rarity moaned.

Suddenly Pinkie began to cry out, “Mmph! Mmmph mmph mph! Mmph mmmph!”

Rainbow asked, “What’d you say, Pinkie?!”

Pinkie turned her head around and, with her hooves still around her mouth, cried, “MMPH! Mmph mph!”

Sonic said, “Use your words, Pinkie! Take your hooves away from your mouth!”

The pink pony shook her head, adamantly refusing to scream. Fluttershy started, “Pinkie…”

She was cut off when Tails placed his left hand on the front of the car and leaned forward, pointing ahead as he yelled, “Drop-off, dead ahead!” Everyone looked where he was pointing and saw that the track did suddenly make a 90-degree downward drop, and there was no more track after it.

“W-We have to get off this coaster! We need to bail out!” Twilight exclaimed.

Applejack put a hoof on her should and said, “Yeah, but… where are we gonna jump out to, Twilight?” She looked around, “Ah ain’t feelin’ so light right now, and there ain’t nothin’ around us!”

Tails pointed to the asteroid field ahead of the drop, “If we can get past those asteroids, we should be able to find solid ground!”

Sonic stood up in his seat, “I can clear us a path through those asteroids, as long as everyone has a way to follow me!” Tails held up one of his thumbs while Rainbow and Cadance spread their wings.

As the coaster approached the drop, Rainbow shot forward and grabbed both Fluttershy and Pinkie with her hooves, pulling them out of the coaster while Tails leapt back to Twilight and Applejack’s car. Sonic soon placed a foot on top of his car, causing Shining to realize he was going to jump. “Wait, Sonic!” he called, jumping forward several cars to get to the hedgehog while Spike made his way back to Cadance.

Sonic soon felt an even heavier weight against his back and glanced up to see Shining hanging onto him. “Oof! Okay, dude. If you want to jump with me, I’m good with that.” The stallion wanted to try to talk him out of whatever he was planning, to consider a different plan, but the track ran out before he could say anything, causing Sonic to jump with him while Tails lifted up Twilight and Applejack and Cadance grabbed Rarity with her forelegs while Spike sat on her back.

As he approached the first group of asteroids, Sonic’s eyes locked onto a lone brown asteroid amongst the gray asteroids and shot forward in an improvised Homing Attack, holding his feet forward as he flew. The attack wasn’t as strong as it usually was, but it was enough to cause the weaker rock to break apart and bounce him up. Looking up, he saw another brown asteroid nearby and aimed for it, using the weaker asteroids to navigate the field as Tails, Rainbow, and Cadance flew after him and Shining.

It didn’t take long for Sonic to reach the other side of the asteroid field and he dropped down onto a flat portion of rock, stopping after he ran to the end of it and dropped down onto a metal platform. He then knelt down and allowed Shining to slide off of his back as he asked, “You okay, Shining?”

The stallion relaxed as he felt his hooves beneath him again and replied, “Yeah. Sorry about that, Sonic. I guess that was a bit… reckless.”

Sonic shrugged, “Eh, no problem. Long as I was able to jump and attack asteroids, it wasn’t a problem with me.” While they were talking, Rainbow, Tails, and Cadance caught up with them, Pinkie finally taking her hooves away from her mouth once she was on solid ground again.

Rarity spoke, “Well, I’m glad we got out of that rather easily, but… I still feel a bit sick.”

Applejack nodded, “Me too, Rarity. Ah wonder why?”

They all suddenly heard another announcement, “The space sickness you will eventually get is not the responsibility of Eggman's Incredible Interstellar Amusement Park or its subsidiaries. Send any complaints to the inventor of space. Thank you.”

Spike asked, “Is that why Rarity and Applejack are feeling like this? Space sickness?”

Tails shrugged, “I guess it could be?”

Cadance said, “Well, we have been surrounded by the blackness of space pretty much ever since we left the train.”

Rarity groaned and asked, “Can we go somewhere else until Applejack and I feel better? Somewhere where there’s less space?”

Tails fished out the Warp Ring as he said, “Yeah, we can do that, Rarity.” He activated the ring and placed his hand on it to set the destination.

Before anyone could go through it, they heard another announcement echo out from the nearby cave, “Remember to try one of our new space pops! All the flavor of outer space with only half the radiation.” Tails made a face as he looked away, his brain connecting the nauseous feeling that rose up in him at that with something else in the park that he lingered on for a few moments. All too late he realized he had thought of a different destination, everyone having already gone through the ring while he was lost in thought. Wincing, he leapt into the ring after them, hoping they wouldn’t be too mad at him.

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