• Published 12th Dec 2013
  • 8,726 Views, 559 Comments

A Friend In Need - sopchoppy



Something has happened and Twilight finds herself in a strange and dark new world. The Bipeds here have strange magic, advanced technology, and a lot of problems. She needs a few friends, and they just might need her. WORM crossover.

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8 - Endbringers (Part 2)

Tumbling uncontrollably through the air Twilight cried out in pain as something tore through one of her wings shredding feather and bone alike. Twilight clenched her eyes and mouth shut against the pain and disorientating spin. With a mental wrench she pulled herself away from the physical world, falling back on Celestia’s lessons she boxed up the parts of her mind that were focused on bleeding, screaming, falling, and recklessly pulled magic to herself.

Her mind reeled and distantly she felt her physical body dry heave in sympathy as she embraced a magic field a thousand times more noxious than the taint that had heralded Leviathan’s approach. Leviathan’s darkness was all but lost in the overwhelming malignancy that spread out from the new arrival and pervaded everything it touched.

Precious moments were lost suppressing her aversion and forcing the malformed field around her into a usable state. She had no idea how much time had passed since the air-barge had been attacked, her only clue being that she was still able to think and thus drawing the conclusion that she had not yet fatally impacted the ground.

’Think Twilight, THINK!’ Twilight mentally yelled at herself. She needed to save her friends, she needed to save the city, she needed stop the endbringer, she needed….TIME.

A dozen feet from the ground the glowing, tumbling purple meteorite disappeared. Her disappearance was accompanied by an agonized screech, that while not picked up on any microphone or recording device, was nevertheless heard by every living thing within a thousand miles of Brockton Bay.

Twilight reappeared five thousand feet higher and 15 seconds in the past already holding her hoof to the communicator around her neck.

“..is Eidolon.”

Still tumbling uncontrollably and unable to extend her injured wing to correct her flight, Twilight once again focused on the senses that weren’t affected by what was happening in the physical world. She bent all her will to sliding back into the state of mind she’d had moments before the barge had been attacked. Racing against two separate yet equally fatal deadlines she reached until her mindscape was once again illuminated by the glowing spiderweb of relationships spread out below and around her..

Horror suffused her as she saw the effect the being that attacked the air-barge was having on the beautiful tapestry, strands being severed and crudely resown, dark malformed threads being worked into the weave. When Twilight drew her gaze to the creature at the center of those foul threads she came to a sudden terrible understanding.

The frightening intelligence at the heart of that darkness understood harmony, and in understanding it, truly understanding it, had found a way to become it’s terrifying antithesis. Not as chaos is the opposite of harmony, but harmony’s dark reflection. A macabre and perfect order that used all the dark currents in nature and sentience for its own ends.

Twilight felt the entire weave respond to her revulsion, and the tapestry sang in sympathy with her. Newly added black threads fell away and the creature shuddered and paused in it’s work. As it cast it’s attention towards her Twilight knew with a deep certainty that there would be no victory, no peace, no Harmony on this world as long as it continued to exist.

Tiara resting firmly on her head, time running short, and purpose coursing through her entire being Twilight simultaneously cast three spells and vanished back into the future.



…And plowed at terminal velocity into a lake of feathers.



‘In retrospect,’ Twilight thought as she struggled to pull her bruised and bleeding body from the insidious sea of scratchy quills, ‘transmuting the street into a lake of writing implements was perhaps not one of my brightest ideas.’ Just as she was considering a blind teleport to anywhere else feathers swirled and a strong arm wrapped itself around her barrel. Twilight bit her lip to suppress a pained cry as she was lifted out of the feathers and back into the rain above.

Aegis, blood dripping from a small cut in his forehead but otherwise looking okay quickly flew her to a roof top a few blocks away where the rest of the passengers from the ill fated air-barge sat, stood, or lay in various states of injury. Despite the dreadful seriousness of the situation Twilight couldn’t contain a half-hysterical giggle at the fact that they were all to some extent covered in feathers.

Her countenance turned serious again when they landed and she saw the true extent of their injuries. Gallant appeared was missing his right leg below the knee, someone’s belt functioning as a tourniquet. Leet unconscious, a cape she didn’t know cutting his ridiculous furred costume into crude strips and wrapping them around his chest and arms, Vista crouched in the far corner one hand pressed to a bloody bandage covering half her face.

“Twilight!” Flame Dancer, looking the least injured of everyone, ran over and wrapped her in a gentle hug. Twilight wrapped a foreleg around her as tears filled her eyes. She closed her eyes and leaned her weight into the girl, needing just a moment of rest, just one selfish moment away from what she had seen. Just a momen….

“…Twilight!” Twilight jerked out of Flame Dancer’s embrace and looked up at Aegis who had obviously been trying to get her attention for awhile. She hissed in pain and looked to her right to see Skitter trying to gently bandage her ruined wing. A shredded wreck of feather and bone that was now a third shorter than its companion. A small puddle of blood had formed beneath her in the time she had been standing there.

Those not caring for the injured had all turned their attention towards her and Aegis. The building shuddered as something very large exploded in the distance.

“Twilight, I know you're injured, but I need to know if you can pull off another group teleport, we have to get out of here, fast.” Twilight struggled to pull her thoughts back into focus, adrenaline, blood loss, and the pain from Skitter bandaging her wing making it difficult to concentrate. ‘..she’d had a plan, hadn’t she?’

“What, what’s going on?”

Uber looking up from where he was kneeling over Leet interrupted, his tone absent all its usual flippancy. “The fucking Simurgh is what’s going on. After your announcement that Leviathan’s one true love is Eidolon, he freaked and was last seen fleeing east over the ocean. Alexandria, Legend and a couple of the other heavy hitters are tied down with Leviathan and there’s pretty much no one left on the scene that can do anything useful against an endbringer. Ziz meanwhile, after fucking our shit up has begun to telekinetically pull apart downtown in the worlds worst urban renewal project. If history is any guide whatever she’s building will probably make us all very dead if her singing doesn’t turn us all into walking psychopathic time bombs first. Which by the way, is still less terrifying than the 15 seconds she spent doing nothing but staring in our direction after the crash.”

‘Singing?’ Twilight thought, ‘What singing?’

Aegis shot Uber a look and spoke up again, “Long story short, there are hard and fast rules to how much exposure to the Simurgh someone can have before their considered too dangerous to be allowed back into society. The government is probably starting to setup roadblocks and checkpoints as we speak. If we don’t get out of here soon, we won’t be getting out at all.”

Irrationally Twilight’s first thought was how this was going to totally disrupt her plan to rebuild the port and necessitate rewriting over 200 checklists. Shaking her head to clear it she looked past the group towards the center of the city where a swirling vortex of cars, buildings, and debris obscured several blocks.

She thought back to the fleeting glimpse she had of the winged being at the heart of that destruction. Waif-thin, unclothed, hair platinum-white and as long as she was tall. A myriad of asymmetrical and illogically placed wings coated in blinding white feathers. And underneath that unequine and harsh beauty the most terrifying mind Twilight had ever encountered.

She couldn’t leave, she couldn’t abandon the people of this city to the hideous machinations of that thing, but she couldn’t leave her friends her either. She had no way to know if she could succeed against it, and even if it cost her time, even if it cost her everything, she had to get them to safety.

Twilight swiveled her head to take in the entire group and then the surrounding area. “Teleport to where?”

Still clutching the bandage to her face with one hand while the other was cupped over the opposite ear, Vista stood up and spoke. “The PRT is telling citizens and capes whose attacks are not effective or are too injured to retreat to a list of schools in the suburbs, where they’re setting up evacuation points. The nearest one is about 5 miles southwest of here.”

“Five Miles?! There’s no way I could teleport everyone that distance safely, especially the ones with serious injuries..” A little hysteria crept into Twilight’s voice as she trailed off. Skitter finished bandaging her wing and gently placed her hand at the back of her neck.

“Easy, ok, so we can’t teleport - what other options do we have? No one hesitate to speak up.”

“Steal some cars?”

“Take to long and there is no telling what condition the roads are in, besides the one below us, which is still a giant river of feathers.”

“Call for strider?”

“An option, but listening to the response channel it sounds like he already has his hands full evacuating other groups and ferrying capes in and out to keep their exposure time to a minimum.”

“Twilight,” Skitter said, “I saw you lift ships that had to weigh hundreds of tons. How fast could you move something like that? How long could you keep it up?” Twilight spun abruptly and gave Skitter an excited hug. Then let out a pained gasp from twisting her wing.

“Ahgh, Tay-Skitter that’s brilliant!” Twilight quickly looked around the roof. “Okay, okay I can do that, alright everyone sit down and hold on to each other, this first part might be a little rough.” Seeing the gleam in the unicorns eye, and the intense purple glow that suddenly surrounded the entire roof everyone standing quickly scrambled to the ground and helped braced those too injured to move. The building gave a loud moan, then sharp jarring screech before the top eight feet tore itself from the floors below and with a harsh jolt sprang into the sky, racing to the west.


Behind them a huge twisted trail of destruction ranged through the city as the few capes left that could fight tried to keep Leviathan contained or get enough distance to disengage, Eidolon’s absence clearly felt.


And in the city center the ominous swirling cloud of materials grew larger by the moment.

————————

The roof slid across the athletic field, shedding bricks, plumbing pipe, and the upper ten feet of a fire escape while leaving a deep uneven furrow in its wake. The frantic evacuation going on in the school’s parking lot paused as everyone momentarily forgot their terror of the Simurgh to watch. Twilight, woozy from blood loss struggled to hang onto the spell and barely managed to stop most of the roof’s momentum before it plowed into a large metal post.

With a sigh of relief Twilight released her spell and decided that where she was standing looked like a perfectly good place to lay down for a while. Everyone still on the roof scrambled for a handhold as it lost its remaining cohesion and finished disintegrating into a loose pile of bricks and twisted metal. Twilight heard a few startled explicatives and several people cry out in pain, but found herself lacking the energy or will pay attention to them. The small part of her holding onto logical thought insisted that the rough roof tar and broken bricks she was laying on could not possibly be as comfortable as they seemed, but the rest of her was in no mood or state to pay attention to logic at that moment. Heavy lids slid the rest of the way over her eyes.

She faded in and out of consciousness, the worried voices of her friends wafting over her, and the occasional spike of pain jolting her as she felt someone lift her and start to carry her away from her comfortable bed of stone. Lights flashed bright enough to shine through her closed eyelids and she moaned uncomfortably as someone laid her down on something soft. She felt gentle hands probe her body and distantly heard an engine start. The gentle vibration carried through whatever she was laying on and brought her closer to actual sleep. Something painful pricked her skin, and suddenly the pain was like a distant echo instead of a constant roar. Sleep claimed her fully.

————————

…Someone was running towards her, they were upset, they were reaching toward her, speaking, but Twilight wasn’t close enough to hear…

————————

When she woke up, she was tumbling through the air and on fire. Pain suffused her whole being and all coherent thought fled her mind. There was only pain and fire, until suddenly the fire was gone. Through the pain she felt a pair of arms wrap around her and what rational mind she was able to retain cataloged what felt like a crude and disturbing teleport. Slowly thoughts and actual consciousness began to return to her and she was able to look up into the shimmering eyes of Flame Dancer.

With a pained gasp she weakly squeezed her charred fore legs around Flame Dancer in the best approximation of a hug she could give before slowly turning her head so she could see beyond her friend. Something was wrong with one of her eyes, but the other beheld a horror-scape. Nothing recognizable was left. Buildings lay collapsed all around and seemingly everything that could burn, was. In what might have been the former school parking area, buses and ambulances lay scattered and overturned. Beside the vehicles; oblong shapes laid, smoking and unmoving.

Twilight’s breath hitched and a rattling cough came from her throat, the spasms from which nearly causing her to black out again. Then she saw her, just beyond the end of what might have been the field they had landed in and slowly drifting closer, Simurgh. Something had shorn the lower left hand side of her body off in a clean arc starting below her elbow continuing through her torso and including most of her left leg. Several of her wings were missing, others abbreviated. Beyond the Simurgh, the whole of Brockton Bay burned.

‘…What happened…wha..’ A half remembered idea surfaced in her thoughts and horror overtook her face. ‘…I’d had an idea…something..a bubble…time…oh no, no NO….it was impossible!’ ‘but,’ whatever was left of her rational mind insisted on being heard, ‘what if whatever the Simurgh had been doing involved some kind of oppositely polarized dimensional mechanics?!?…photonic reversal..cascading…’

A low miserable moan issued from Twilight’s throat and Flame Dancer gripped her a little harder and nervously kept an eye on the approaching endbringer. A sudden thought occurred to Twilight and she frantically glanced around, but try as she might, she couldn’t see any of her other friends. Then she looked once more towards the smoldering shapes.

…’No,….’

“NO!” She screamed through her ruined throat as she heaved her burned body back onto her hooves, Flame Dancer scrambling to avoid getting stepped on in the sudden move. “THIS ISN’T RIGHT, THIS ISN’T HARMONY, THIS SHOULDN’T BE!” Her horn started to glow and she stepped fully around the partially collapsed wall Flame Dancer had been leaning against to stare at the Simurgh.

“YOU SHOULDN’T BE!” She screamed not sure who she was directing the scream at. Once more she felt the weight of a Tiara settle on her head and power flooded her being. She felt the tug of something, somethings, ponies, people both close and impossibly far away. Trying to tell her something, maybe..but they were so quiet, and this ALL OF THIS, it was so wrong, everything WRONG. A giant pillar of rainbow colored light shot from her body into the sky.

She could fix this, things would be BETTER. SHE would be better, IT could be RIGHT. More and more power filled her, and she fell to her knees in pain and ecstasy. Soon, a little more, a little…

The sky ripped open in front of her. Lightning crashed and without warning night descended over Brockton Bay. So caught up in the spell, Twilight noticed none of this until a silver shod hoof crashed into her face and threw her off her hooves to slide across the rough asphalt. The pillar of light snapped out and in her daze she heard a voice boom.


“IF THOU SEEKEST OBLIVION TWILIGHT SPARKLE, ASK NOT OF HARMONY. THAT IS NOT ITS DOMAIN, 'TIS OURS ALONE.”

Twilight whimpered in pain and shock, her accumulated injuries all crying out due to her tumble and the aborted use of the Elements. Her ears rang, and Princess Luna’s voice still.. ‘Luna’s voice…LUNA’S VOICE…PRINCESS LUNA…she was here, here in this place, standing right there, if she was here…that meant…she could go home! Home!…where ponies made sense and things weren’t awful and friends didn’t die..and…and…what have I done?!?…what did I do?…oh Celestia what was I going to do?’

She broke down into uncontrollable wheezing sobs of emotion, relief, regret, loathing, everything, emotions beyond her ability to categorize. Through her sobs she heard the sturdy clop of shod hooves of pavement approach and looked up with her good eye to see Princess Luna standing over her, but facing away, facing the sheared form of that horrible white thing.

“Many things we must discuss Twilight Sparkle,” Luna spoke in a quiet, at least quiet for her, but firm tone. Her face could have been carved from stone as she stared at the Simurgh, who for the moment seemed content to simply stare right back. “But a battlefield is no place for discussion. Yon alabaster creature is whom thou have declared foe.” Luna stated with cold certainty. “Do others gather under its banner?” The Princess asked casting a glance at the still crying Twilight.

Twilight managed a shaky nod and a rasping “..Levia..Sea Monster.” Princess Luna’s horn lit and then settled.

“We sense not thine other foe, Perhaps 'tis wiser than the one before us. THOU!” Princess Luna exclaimed and pointed a hoof at Flame Dancer who had been slowly crawling towards the prone alicorn. “ASSIST THY LIEGE TWILIGHT SPARKLE AWAY FROM THIS PLACE, WE KNOW NOT HOW MUCH SHALL STAND ONCE BATTLE COMMENCES!”

Flame Dancer froze and looked bewildered, and Twilight started to speak

“..Princess, she can’t underst..” But stopped as Luna was already striding confidently towards the Simurgh. The thunderclouds that had grown on Princess Luna’s arrival started to swell larger still. Lightning arced through the clouds and the rain that had begun to taper off turned once more into a torrential downpour, snuffing out some of the smaller fires.

Flame Dancer seemed to have gotten the gist of the command anyway, as she hurried over and gently helped Twilight stagger back to her hooves. She kept an arm around Twilight’s Barrel and with gentle pressure started to lead Twilight away from the departing form of Princess Luna and the endbringer in the distance. Twilight paused and cast one last look over her shoulder, her emotions roiling, before allowing herself to be led away.

They had only traveled a few blocks when Twilight’s hoof came down on something crunchy…and sticky..and gross…looking down she was confronted by the disturbing scene of thousands of cockroaches moving in formation down the broken street..an arrow, they were forming an arrow…Relieved joy surged so powerfully through Twilight that it briefly washed out all other emotion.

“..Taylor!..” Twilight and Flame Dancer cried in unison following the direction of the roaches and picking up their pace as much as Twilight’s injuries would allow. It was at this point that they both toppled to the ground as the earth shook forcefully beneath them, a tremendous boom echoed through the streets, and the front wall of the building across from them gave a groan and then collapsed into rubble. When the earth stopped moving and the echo faded a voice like thunder replaced it. The voice seemed to resonate in her very bones.

“FOUL WRETCH, THOU SEEKEST TO MANIPULATE US?! THOU WHO ART NAUGHT BUT A NIGHTMARE WROUGHT FROM DEATH AND DARK AMBITION?! THY DREAMER’S ENDLESS HUBRIS SHALL NOT SERVE THEE. WE ARE THE NIGHT AND RULE ALL THAT IS BORNE FROM IT. THOU DOST BUT EXIST AT OUR FORBEARANCE AND SHALT CEASE BECAUSE WE SAY IT SO. FOR ALL DREAMS MUST END, AND THINE ENDS NOW!!”

The storm above exploded, clouds disintegrating as though having never existed. The moon shone bigger and brighter than Twilight had ever seen.




She felt the entire magical field ring the same note as a shaft of blinding light descended from the sky.

Author's Note:

And...were back.