• Published 15th Mar 2012
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End of the Line - Wheller

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Chapter 6

Chapter 6

‘Faster!’ Apple Bloom called out. ‘We need ta go faster!’

Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo nodded as they fiddled with the diesel engine’s controls, attempting to get the maximum speed out of their transport. Every minute they weren’t at Ponyville to fight to free their town from the control of the Fillydelphia chapter was one that they had to prepare for their return. Sweetie Belle looked up at the speedometer and the engine temperature gauge. They were running pretty hot, but they were also pushing a hundred and thirty kilometres an hour, far above what the engine had been rated for. Sweetie Belle looked up and saw something out in the far distance. Light was shining off something metal. She took a closer look, and a look of horror grew on her face.

‘There’s another train on the tracks!’ Sweetie Belle cried out.

Apple Bloom and Scootaloo’s faces turned to horror as well. Scootaloo took off running towards the back of the train. ‘Out of the way! Out of the way!’ She cried as she darted through the passengers that lined the rail cars. ‘This is an emergency!’

The back cars had become much more crowded since leaving from Vermillion Mesa with nearly a hundred count of reinforcements of Nephite rifle ponies, and Cultus Mechanius Templars spread between three cars didn’t leave Scootaloo much room to manoeuvre but that didn’t matter. Scootaloo pushed her way through. She finally entered the caboose and leapt into the air, throwing her full weight against the break lever and slamming it to the ground. The breaks of the train began to screech loudly, and the laws of physics began to take over. Objects in motion want to stay in motion, causing a number of ponies to fall over from the sudden shock of the attempt to stop, along with a number of unsecured objects.

Up in the control cabin, Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom held on for dear life as the train came close to the other one that was parked in the Ponyville train station, they were going too fast. Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom held on to each other and hoped for the best. Scootaloo had hit the brakes. That was all they could do.

Suddenly the train stopped, Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle looked up, and climbed to look out the window, only to discover that their train and stopped mere centimetres from the other one. Both breathed a sigh of relief, Sweetie Belle then mashed a button on the control console. Back in the other cars, indicator lights began flashing green. Signalling everypony to disembark and take back their town.

At the car just behind the engine, Twilight Sparkle looked up at the light and nodded to her friends. ‘This is our town, and we will be taking it back!’ She said. Everypony else nodded. The doors opened and Twilight and company leapt out of it.

Only to discover that things were not quite as expected. There had been signs of recent battle.

‘What?’ Twilight asked in confusion as she looked around. She then noticed the disabled flakpanzer parked in front of the train station, and that there were several schäferhund pioneers making field repairs to the damaged vehicle. ‘Schäferhund?’ Twilight asked again.

The reinforcements brought from Vermillion Mesa all looked around in confusion.

‘This is very strange!’ Mister Happy called out as the combot rolled out from the train car. ‘I wonder if there is anything on the network that can tell us what happened?’ Mister Happy asked rhetorically as he accessed FutureTec’s network. Suddenly, Mister Happy powered down and leaned forward slightly. The combot rebooted, however, this time, it did not appear with the face of Mister Happy. Instead, Emerald Sparkle popped up on the screen.

‘You? Returned here?’ Emerald Sparkle asked. ‘Took long enough’.

Twilight blinked. ‘You... what happened here?’

The combot powered down again, after rebooting, Mister Happy’s face reappeared on combot’s telescreen. ‘I’m sorry about that! Here is what happened! After we left for Vermillion Mesa, the network downloaded a back up copy of me to another combot. That back up copy under the leadership of the Great and Powerful Trixie, Lyra Heartstrings, and Bon Bon, along with several spritebots, and another combot under the control of Emerald Sparkle fought back against the Fillydelphia chapter! Detachments of the Schäferhund Panzer Lehr Division arrived in Ponyville to help! Archimedes has been killed, along with Doctor Nightly who betrayed the town to the Fillydelphia chapter. Also the Fillydelphia chapter have been routed from Ponyville, they are at a significantly reduced strength, and will not be able to challenge any one for years to come!’

Twilight blinked in confusion. She couldn’t believe it.

‘Ah Sparkle! You finally decided to show up!’ called out a voice from above her. Twilight looked up to see Trixie was sitting on top of a building with her shotgun resting on her shoulder. ‘While we appreciate you bringing help, we’ve got it all under control’.

Trixie enveloped herself in a telekinetic field, jumping off the roof of the building and allowing herself to gently float down. ‘You all can start by helping us clean up the town and repair damages!’ she said, pointing towards the Cult reinforcements. They all soon enough began to filter through into the town, helping out where they could.

‘Wow Trixie... I’m impressed’, Twilight said.

‘I had help’, Trixie said with a grin. ‘I’m glad that the Schäferhund showed up when they did, otherwise we couldn’t have won, we certainly weren’t going to get help from anypony else’, Trixie said, pointing up at Canterlot. ‘Certainly not from them!’

Twilight turned and looked up at Canterlot, as did the rest of their friends. ‘You haven’t heard ANYTHING from Canterlot?’ Twilight asked.

‘Nothing’, Trixie said. ‘Apparently, Princess Celestia doesn’t think it’s her responsibility to protect her people’, Trixie said with annoyance.

Twilight’s ear twitched in anger. This could go on no longer; a leader that could not protect the people was not a leader that deserved to lead. Princess Celestia had done nothing, once again, in response to a crisis. Twilight Sparkle had made up her mind.

She was going to kill Princess Celestia.

‘Twilight?’ Rainbow Dash asked. ‘What’s wrong?’

‘What’s wrong?’ Twilight asked gritting her teeth. ‘Princess Celestia, my mentor, my teacher, our ruler did NOTHING! So you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to march up that mountain, and I’m going to kill her!’ Twilight said pointing towards Canterlot.

Everypony gasped. ‘Twilight! Ya can’t do that!’ Applejack cried out.

‘Can’t I? A leader who won’t lead is no leader at all’, Twilight said. ‘And Princess Celestia has been doing a whole lot of nothing lately’.

Rainbow Dash nodded. ‘Twilight’s right! When was the last time that Princess Celestia ever did anything to help us!? Where was she when Legion came around? Where was she when Emerald Sparkle invaded Ponyville? I’m going with you Twilight!’

‘No you’re not Rainbow Dash’, Twilight said with a sigh as she looked back towards her friends. ‘None of you are coming with me, I need to do this by myself’.

‘Twilight! Are you crazy!?’ Pinkie Pie called out.

‘Probably’, Twilight said with a nod. ‘But I need to do this myself, if I fail; only I can bear the consequences’.

‘But Twilight...’ Rainbow Dash began.

‘Rainbow, stop’, Applejack said. ‘Twilight’s doin’ this fer us. If she needs ta do this herself, we can’t force her not ta’.

Twilight looked at Applejack with a smile. ‘Thank you Applejack’, she looked at all her friends. Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Fluttershy, Vinyl Scratch, Surprise, and Rarity all gave her a smile of encouragement.

‘Good luck Twilight’, Vinyl said. ‘If any one of us can do this, it’s you’.

‘Thank you all, I won’t fail you, I can’t!’ Twilight said with a smile. ‘When I walk back down that mountain, I will be victorious!’

Twilight turned, pulling her revolver out of her bag and marching towards Whitetail Wood. She passed the train cars and then spoke aloud. ‘Legion?’

‘Yes?’ the grey Pegasus asked as he landed on the ground behind her.

‘Can I talk to Whirlwind?’ she asked.

Legion stared at her for a moment. ‘That was not part of our agreement’.

‘Then let’s make it a part of our agreement! Whatever you want, it’s yours!’ Twilight said.

‘Anything?’ Legion asked, cocking his head to the side.

‘Anything’, Twilight said.

Legion nodded, and closed his eyes, allowing his consciousness to sink. His eyes popped back open, Whirlwind gasped for breath. He started to look around frantically in confusion. ‘T... Twilight?’

‘Hello Whirlwind’, Twilight said as she pressed her revolver against Whirlwind’s head. ‘Sorry Whirlwind, I’ve made it my mission to destroy the influence of the royal family, forever, and... well, you know what that means’.

Whirlwind took in a deep breath and nodded. He began to relax. ‘I understand’, he said.

‘You do?’ Twilight asked.

Whirlwind nodded. ‘I may be my own pony now, but considering who I am? Who I’ve got inside my head? If you’re overthrowing the monarchy, I can’t be left alive. While I’m alive, Legion will always be a threat. Overdrive will always be a threat. So go ahead, pull the trigger, I’m okay with it’, Whirlwind said with a smile. ‘It was an honour, Twilight Sparkle’.

‘Likewise Whirlwind’, Twilight said.

Whirlwind closed his eyes, preparing himself for the end. Twilight began to pull the trigger.

Whirlwind’s eyes popped back open. ‘NO!’ Legion shouted.

The gun went off.