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Hope and a Weapon

Chapter 18 Hope and a weapon

Twilight awoke with flickering eyes after a sleeping hard in her bed. Despite sleeping roughly 8 hours she hardly felt rested. Her eyes were still red and she still felt drowsy. But she also couldn’t get back to sleep, not that it would remedy anything, so she decided to finally get up. When she crawled out of bed, she noticed that Spike wasn’t in his bed. Assuming that he was already up, she decided to just get through her morning duties.

After taking a shower, brushing her teeth and mane, and other morning procedures she started to feel much better than she did when she first awoke. She made her way downstairs, there she noticed a, for a lack of a better term, nude Luna reading a book. She also noted that she had also bathed, as the evidence of yesterday’s emotional events was gone, and she was dressed in new bandages and merely looked a bit tired. She didn’t see Spike anywhere.

“Prin- Luna?” The lavender mare asked as she reached the bottom floor, “Um…did you sleep okay?”

In reality, she’d only gotten a few short hours, due to a restless mind. Taking away her night had affected her more internally than she wanted to admit. In fact, losing her night was more on her mind than her title. Actually, no longer being a Princess wasn’t even on her mind in the first place.

“Honestly, sleep was limited but we-I will make do.” She answered truthfully.

Twilight had a small smile on her face but she couldn’t shake the odd sight of an undressed Luna. Upon looking to the side, she noticed all of the royal garments were carelessly thrown to the side of the room, tiara and everything. She turned back to her ex-ruler, “Um, not to be rude but why did you take off your… well…”

“My attire?” She inquired to which she received a shy nod. “I have no desire to wear them,” She answered honestly.

Twilight blinked, “That’s it?”

Luna seemed a bit uncomfortable; she rubbed her hoof into the floor a bit lightly before looking back at the ex-student, “Twilight, honestly…” she looked away for a moment as her eyes gazed at the pile of garments with her tiara and what not, “I’ve never really cared being a Princess.”

“Huh?” Twilight’s surprise wasn’t of shock but more of interest, “Why? You took it so seriously.”

“Just because I never had interest in being a Princess didn’t mean I didn’t understand the importance of it. By law, Alicorns are to be royalty and while I have made regretful actions,” she shuddered at the thought of Nightmare Moon, “I do love my country, and if ruling by my sister was my way to prove it, than so be it.”

“Then…” Twilight paused for a moment, “Why were you so hurt when Celestia took away your title?”

Luna made a crippled sigh but she wasn’t going to shed any more tears, she’d moved past that, “I care not for that. If she merely banished me and relieved me of my duties as a ruler, it would’ve been easier. What hurt the most were losing the night…and my sister. I did have pride in helping ponies with their dreams and guide them to a peaceful rest.”

“Oh…” The lavender mare walked next to her and nuzzled her gently, “I’m sorry, I should’ve realized that.”

Luna nodded and took a step away, “There is nothing to apologize for.”

At this moment, she noticed a pile of a blanket and a resting stallion on a pillow in the far corner. Twilight walked past the Alicorn to approach the resting stallion.

“Starscream?” the lavender mare questioned.

“Oh yes” Luna answered as she merely watched from a distance, “As you were resting, Starscream came requesting a place to sleep.”

Twilight raised a brow, “But, he lives with Rainbow Dash, why didn’t he just return home?”

The former Princess turned remained silent. Being Princess of the Night, she had seen individuals with these kinds of problems and many preferred to keep them secret. She didn’t know if Starscream would take kindly of her just telling her casually his romantic problems with Rainbow Dash, not to mention she didn’t have all the facts.

“We’re…not entirely sure…” Luna answered hesitantly, “We- I believe it is best you ask him yourself.”

The lavender unicorn raised a brow but followed her instructions. She came to the sleeping stallion and very cautiously nudged him to wake him. The stallion stirred a bit as he slowly opened his red eyes to the mare facing down at him. He merely groaned as he slowly got to a sitting position.

“Um…sleep well?” Twilight asked casually as she could.

“Well enough.” He answered as he shook his head trying to get his mind straight. The mare took a step back giving him room to get up. “I suppose you want an explanation?”

“Well, yes. I mean, why didn’t you stay with Rainbow Dash? She did go home, right?”

“Yes.” He answered before turning his gaze to the side, a bit hesitant “As for why I’m here…well…we had a bit of an argument…” he paused, waiting for some reaction from Twilight or Luna but got nothing and so continued, “She made it clear she didn’t want to see me for the night.”

“What about?” She prodded.

The silver stallion really didn’t want to talk about it now. As of now, he felt grimy, hungry, and a bit foggy mentally. Heck, even getting angry or annoyed seemed too mentally exhausting and energy draining right now.

“I’ll…tell you later. It’s a bit of a long story,” He answered shaking his head once more before walking past her. “Besides, I can hardly process anything properly without performing my morning procedures.”

“Oh, of course. Bathroom is upstairs.” Twilight offered.

“Thanks.” Starscream said with sincerity but being exhausted made it seem a bit annoyed but Twilight seemed to know this.

“Make haste,” Luna said gently. “We are going out for Breakfast at Sugarcube Corner.”

“Understood.” And with that, Starscream went upstairs to take care of himself.

“I kind of expected him to be a bit of a grump in the morning.” The lavender unicorn internally giggled at the thought but at the same time, it concerned her.

“Starscream is clearly going through emotional turmoil. Ask him after breakfast, I’m sure he’ll be more than willing to speak with you. He always seemed to be more open with you about things.” Luna explained.

“Huh?” Twilight questioned, “What makes you say that?”

Luna smiled, “Twilight, I’ve noticed how much more open Starscream was with you. Every time you visited, I noticed Starscream was particularly fond of you.”

“Well…” The unicorn began. “We’ve gotten close. I mean, after I learned more about him when he first came and everything. Of course, we’ve became very close friends within the short time period with all the visits and everything but…” She noticed Luna’s smile wasn’t falling and even she had to think about what she was saying first, “…but clearly he’s closer to Rainbow Dash, I mean they were…” she stopped. She actually could remember several visits and moments where it was just the two of them. Mostly reading and educating one another about their respected science fields.

“…well surely Starscream was closer to Rainbow Dash! I mean they’re together!”

Luna continued to hold small grin, “Twilight, it may be true the Starscream is romantically involved with Rainbow Dash, but that doesn’t mean that you may not have inadvertently created a close connection to one another.”

“Uh…” she stuttered, “I mean we’ve… well I’ve never-” she sighed. She didn’t honestly know what Luna was saying. She was able to piece together that she was saying that Starscream and herself were very close, which was true, but also it seemed like Luna was implying that there was something more. Yes, she enjoyed his company, much to Spike’s annoyance, and often looked forward to meeting him for their next conversing over science and all the explorations/events of his long life…even the horrible ones…the ones she knew haunted him with regret of who he once was with the Decepticons. “Maybe…” that’s all she could come up with.

Luna nodded and merely moved to the center table. She didn’t want to press on the issue more than she had too. She didn’t know much about what they did outside of Celestia’s visits. She hoped she wasn’t implying that a romantic connection was between them, though that may be possible. She merely trying to point out that the stallion and herself may be closer than they know. She wasn’t sure about his relationship with Rainbow Dash; she never really saw them interact. For all she knew, Starscream was open to both of them.

From there both the Unicorn and Alicorn spoke about small things, nothing related to the ex-seeker in question or even about Celestia; the latter was something neither of them wanted to think about right now. In a short time period, Starscream was back; bathed and ready to take on the day. He actually looked a lot better, all things considered, compared to last night and this morning.

“Are we to depart?” Luna asked as Starscream wordlessly came down the stairs to meet up with the two mares.

“Wait, where’s Spike?” Twilight asked to either of them.

The stallion turned away but Luna answered, “Oh, he awoke earlier; he stated that he wanted to comfort Rarity after this ordeal.”

“I bet,” The black-maned stallion sneered.

“Okay, then let us get some breakfast.” Twilight stated a bit joyously but was a bit lackluster, “I think a bit of food will get us back to normal.”

--Canterlot--

Skyfire stood by the entrance of the castle with his blaster rifle by his side. He was surprised that Celestia actually accepted his offer to serve her. He supposed she gave them the option to serve her directly for a reason. He didn’t tell Optimus or anyone else that he was doing this. Mostly because he made this decision after they left through the Space Bridge. In some ways, he saw this as an advantage, since even the Autobots and the residents of the planet were totally unaware of his plan. Therefore, there was no connection that could be tracked as a plan. The downside of this plan however was the exact opposite, they was scared that they might see him as a traitor or something similar.

And…he wasn’t sure himself. Of course, he supported his own race hundred percent, but at the same time, eons of war were inexcusable. It seemed impossible for peace to occur if some kind of resolve had yet to occur. But he wasn’t stupid, being controlled by Celestia in turn meant also being controlled by Unicron. While not really too knowledgeable about Unicron (he had been frozen under the ice at the time of Unicron coming to Cybertron) he knew that he wasn’t one to be trusted.

Skyfire kept his optics forward, occasionally looking both ways. Most of the night had been a little quiet; only a small project was being worked on which only the most sensitive audio receptors would pick up. Now that the day was back, the Pony/Cybertronian hybrids were not as aggressive in their patrols.

From inside from a window, Celestia and beside her a quiet and surprisingly obedient Nightmare Moon was watching over the Cybertronian doing as she told when he arrived last night.

“I don’t understand.” The Unicron spawn said aloud, “If he truly did see your vision, why did he attack when you returned?” The spawn was trying not to aggravate the ruler.

“A factor that I haven’t forgotten,” She answered with no malice. “It is possible that he sees my plans for order for his race. If one like Starscream, once being brought back to his senses wanted escape from this war, it proves that they are not entirely lost.”

“And he escapes any form of punishment?” She pressed lightly, “I mean he was part of the assault upon you after came back.”

“I know. He turned back…that’s why I am having several Pegasi spy on him at all times. I don’t want to worry about betrayal at this moment.”

“So what if does turns on his word?”

“Then I may have to enforce a law I made for my sister and the Elements. I will banish him and if he is seen in Canterlot without my authorization…he will be terminated.” Celestia turned to the dark spawn, “Leave me be.”

“What?” the spawn growled, “Have I worn out my usefulness my Queen?” She growled.

The powerful Alicorn turned to her “I have had no use of you since I made the agreement with Unicron!” He glared at her eyes hard with a slight glow “Understand that I don’t like you! Just you remember that the only reason you’re still around is because of Unicron…without him…you would be paying all the crimes you committed.”

The dark Alicorn glared back, “Very well…” and with that the spawn turned away leaving the Princess to her own devices, which seemed to merely be watching the Cybertronian. The spawn was tired of this game. She figured that she would’ve totally changed by now. Just give up and destroy this planet…or at least the Transformers. But she was only ignoring or getting annoyed by her intervention. Unicron seemed to only control her emotions, which in turn, controlled her reasoning. But ultimately, Celestia was still Celestia, she wasn’t losing focus and she hadn’t slain anyone other than Bruticus (and it was up for debate whether or not ‘she’ had killed them). What was preventing Unicron from just controlling her completely?

“…Just you wait…Queen.”

--Sugarcube Corner--

It was still early morning but majority of the residence of the town were out and about. It was a bit surprising to see how they didn’t notice that their former Princess was out about normally. Perhaps the lack of attire and bandages seem to make them unaware or they didn’t seem to care. Luna didn’t seem to care about this…actually she was happy for this. There were a few ponies that walked by that seemed to notice or rather question the larger pony with both a horn and wings but still walked on by.

“It seems you’re a little popular,” Starscream pointed out walking next to the former Princess.

“We-I should’ve put on something.” Luna said to herself “I’m not their ruler anymore.”

“Don’t worry.” Twilight assured on the opposite side of the Princess “We’ll help you through this. Let’s just have some breakfast and we’ll talk about everything afterward.”

In a short amount time they arrived and saw that, surprisingly, all of them were there already, waiting for them. While Sugarcube Corner wasn’t necessarily a restaurant, they did serve morning pastries that could serve as a quick breakfast, since they served coffee and other things. In hindsight, Twilight wished she chose an actual restaurant, but with a foggy mind, she couldn’t blame herself and no one had objected.

“Mornin’ Twi!” Applejack greeted as they approached with a smile. “Ah was wonderin’ where Starscream was?”

Starscream raised a brow and turned away, “I’ll tell you later…”

“Huh?”

“Um…” Twilight interjected, “Let’s just get something to eat then we’ll talk.”

Applejack shrugged, “Alrighty!”

They all greeted one another and all purchased a small pastry and beverage of choice and took a set at a large table that could fit all of them. For a moment, Twilight lightly scolded Spike for leaving without her permission during all this. Big Macintosh also joined the group almost by instinct for his marefriend and Fluttershy seemed to enjoy his company. The place wasn’t super busy but business was moving. Conversations about what they saw yesterday over at Canterlot or just all the strange events from yesterday were a big topic.

Starscream seated himself next to Big Macintosh, trying his best to avoid both Twilight and Rainbow Dash. Across from him was the sky blue Pegasus he was trying to avoid. Surprising she wasn’t glaring at him or any such nature, but rather a slight sadness, same as he was feeling. At least he knew that they would be able to talk it out more comprehensibly compared to last night.

“How are you holding up, Princess? I know yesterday was very strenuous for you,” Rarity asked concerned as she drank her tea.

“Luna,” She corrected. “And we are fine. Our wounds are healing and with given time we-I have settled down.” She turned beside her, “Twilight and I have been able to…cope.”

“Remember, ya’ll ain’t alone in this.” The farmer mare said with kind smile, “We’re all in this together.”

“Yep!” A very much energetic and back to ‘normal’ Pinkie Pie called out as she took a break from her cupcake, she herself made. “You have all of us! And together, we can get Celestia back to normal and fix everything.”

“Yeah!” Rainbow exclaimed, gathering energy, “Just give it time and we’ll be back to normal, right Screamer?”

The ex-seeker was hoping to stay out of this, mostly because he was stuck in his own thoughts as well. Though sounding selfish, he was a bit more concerned with his relationship with Twilight and Rainbow Dash. However, he quickly put aside that train of thought. “Of course. We now have contact with Cybertron. The Autobots set up a communications array and I’m sure the Decepticons had one back at the Space Bridge. If Celestia doesn’t know about it, we’ll have an upper hand.”

“But won’t they um…kill her?” Twilight asked concerned.

“I’m sure they’re focusing more on Unicron. That’s an enemy we know how to fight,” He stated.

“Yeah…that Matrix thing right?” Rainbow asked for confirmation.

“Autobot Matrix of Leadership.” Twilight corrected for Starscream.

“Right,” He answered as he looked back down to his half-eaten pastry. The rest of the group seemed to be enjoying their little conversations as they ate there small meal. “But Celestia isn’t just going to let us attack Unicron. It’s the source of her new power.”

“He is correct.” Luna continued, “My sister will protect him…whatever happened to her. This can’t be her; this…Unicron must be doing something to her.”

The ex-seeker made a light groan. That was obvious. Even though Starscream never cared much for the Day ruler, he did know who she was. And her just stabbing them all in the back didn’t seem right with him. If anyone would know about backstabbing, it was him…

Obviously, Unicron played some role in this but he couldn’t tell how. It almost seemed like there was a third person in this. He was aware that Unicron could use some form of telepathy on Cybertronians, he had done this to Megatron and a few others during his attack on Cybertron before Megatron turned into Galvatron. Unicron had been able to trick Megatron and a few other Decepticons and they become new Transformers. Starscream himself hadn’t been affected, he had been trying to take advantage of the absence of Megatron to become leader and…that hadn’t turned out well. Fortunately, Megatron and the others were able to break out of Unicron’s influence and ultimately Galvatron and the others were destroyed in the process.

But could he do this with organics? Cybertronians made sense, he would be able control them to some extent. But organics? There had to be a third being in this, it didn’t make sense that Unicron could do this on his own.

“Starscream!” a voice called out, interrupting his thoughts. It was Rainbow Dash. He could tell that the conversation he'd been waiting for had come. The lack of calling him ‘Screamer’ hinted that this wasn’t going to go well “Can we talk outside?”

Starscream nodded before turning to the group “I’ll be waiting outside.” He stated to the group. He took the pastry, ate it quickly, and finished his beverage. Rainbow Dash wordlessly, and discreetly, did the same and followed him. Small conversation was still around the group and didn’t interrupt anything. Really, the only one to notice was Twilight.

Both of them made it to the exit with Twilight watching them. Luna was actually preoccupied as her friends were constantly talking the same thing, pushing out theories, and Pinkie Pie boosting morale. Luna noticed Twilight’s suspicion of the two but kept her mind on the others. Much like she was, they were scared, confused, and all wanted some answers. After a few moments, the lavender unicorn went to follow the other two, saying nothing to the others. The Alicorn did nothing to stop it.

--Outside Sugarcube Corner--

The stallion Pegasus brushed his black mane as he walked outside and went behind the building with Rainbow Dash a few seconds behind him. It was strange really; he was actually looking forward to this but at the same time he was relishing the few seconds he had left before they actually started their inevitable conversation. He wanted it done with and just let it out of the way and on the other hoof he was hoping to avoid it so and it would go away…a strategy that he seems to be paying for doing it all this time on this planet.

Starscream leaned against the side of the building and turned to the corner where Rainbow Dash would be appearing. He sighed, hoping that this would go smoothly and not be like it was yesterday. But both of them had calmed down, rested, and eaten to some degree, so it seemed more likely and less edgy more calm on both sides.

“Starscream,” she called out as she finally came from the corner and went to sit next to him. “Look, I know I kind of over reacted last night.”

Starscream sighed, “I did no better.”

“Hmm,” she said idly, “I don’t want to end it.” She turned to see Starscream looked a bit surprised when she saw that she got no reaction, “At least not like that…”

“What you said is right though.” He answered, “I really don’t have much of an explanation for my actions before all of this.” He blinked, turning to Rainbow Dash, “When I was adjusting to your planet’s ways, I spent a lot of my time with you as well as Twilight…but back then I thought it was just a temporary thing. I thought I was a prisoner…” He paused, taking a breath, “We went through a lot together when Megatron attacked the first time…but…”

“Why do you trust Twilight more than me?” she asked gently. Starscream visibly flinched at the question. He turned to her, she wasn’t glaring at him, and there was no venom in her tone.

“…” he turned away, staying silent for a moment. “She was the first to trust me…”

“Huh?”

“She was the first to reason with me. She wanted to learn from me, and she treated me no different than she did any of you. I suppose that’s what made me open up to her more so…” He turned back to her, “I felt more comfortable telling her who I once was.”

Rainbow Dash actually remembered that. She remembered she treated him so poorly when they first met. It was for a good reason and she knew Starscream knew it was too. He nearly killed her and took away her ability to fly for a time. It had taken a few days for her to actually look past that. She vividly remembered their first real moment together, when she was teaching him how to fly as a Pegasus. To this day, she found it pretty impressive that he had learned so fast.

“Do you like her?” She asked plainly.

Starscream remained silent. He liked her of course, but he didn’t know in what way. Was it simply a close connection or was it romantic? He spent so much time with her that he was more comfortable with her than he was Rainbow Dash. To be fair, majority of their time together was because of Celestia. But even when they weren’t in Canterlot he often would spend time with Twilight over Rainbow Dash (*). He did think she was an attractive mare but really, romance was a thing he was trying to avoid overall. Even when Rainbow Dash was the only one, he tried to keep it to a minimal.

“How do you mean?” He asked stupidly.

“You know what I mean.” She said firmly but kept her voice at an equal tone.

“I…I don’t know.” He answered as honestly as he could.

Rainbow let out a long sigh, “I don’t want to end it this way.”

“…I don’t either. Perhaps a hiatus is in order.” Rainbow seemed to panic for a second. “Just till all of this settles down.” He sighed, “We’ve been through too much together to simply end it.”

Rainbow Dash sighed and frowned but nodded “Yeah…”

Both were being completely honest and it just made it all the more difficult. Starscream wasn’t comfortable exposing himself to her and that wasn’t good in a romantic connection. Really, Starscream didn’t know much about Rainbow Dash either. Though ironic, her boasting only signified her ‘better’ qualities. A tract they both shared but in the end, that told them nothing.

Starscream said nothing as he walked by her and started his way back inside. Rainbow remained alone for a moment a bit saddened. She was glad that he was being honest with her and that at least he was still willing to talk to her civil, but it didn’t make the end result any easier. She shook her head, starting to feel annoyed and depressed at the same time.

“Curse you Celestia…” And with that, she walked back inside as well.

At the back of the building was the previously addressed mare who heard most of the conversation and she too was saddened. On top of that, it only made her question her relationship with Starscream further. She shook her head as well trying to keep her head straight; they would have worry about Celestia and Unicron first before they worry about this.

Twilight turned around with her head down only to bump into a vividly bright Pinkie mare. “Twilight! I’m surprised at you!”

The lavender unicorn shook her head as she looked up at her “Huh?” She really didn’t want Pinkie in the middle of this with Rainbow Dash and Starscream. “Look Pinkie it’s not what it looks like.”

“You know how rude it is for a pony to spy on other ponies!”

Twilight internally sighed, thanking the creator that Pinkie didn’t have all the facts like she thought she did. Twilight quickly recovered and made a small nervous chuckle “No no, it’s not like that. I went to go see what they were doing and by the time I got there they finished their conversation.”

Pinkie gave a sly smirk “Sure. I bet it was a conversation.”

“Huh?”

“Oh nothing. I just know you wanted to see them go at it?”

The unicorn mare didn’t even bother and just started her way back, trying her best not to let her mind figure out what Pinkie was trying to say.

--Cybertron--

It took a great deal of time and effort but eventually, the few Autobots and Decepticons that knew of Unicron were able to create at least a temporary ceasefire. The message that broadcasted both Optimus Prime and Megatron announcing the threat helped spread the message quickly and effectively. Unfortunately, it only stopped them from shooting each other, not necessarily work together.

Both Optimus and Megatron expected these result however. After eons of war, one could only hope things were going as smoothly as they were. Of course the two leaders were having troubles themselves. Megatron wanted to attacked and be rid of Unicron directly as Optimus wanted assist the planet. Neither of them had all the facts, all they knew was that Celestia the planet’s ruler somehow gotten hold of the power of Unicron and now they controlled that planet and was planning on controlling theirs.

The faction leaders were in the Decepticon hanger bay and were over looking the Decepticons and Autobots alike prepping and repairing one of their many star ships. Aside from themselves, several trusted Cybertronians on both sides were watching to ensure no more violent outbreaks would occur. Both leaders were on an upper stairwell over looking the event.

Megatron smirked “It truly is a moment is Cybertron history.” He noticed Optimus turning to him and continued on “The combined efforts of Autobot and Decepticon truly are a force to be reckoned with.”

Optimus knew what Megatron was saying but decided to play along “Yes. Our race united as would definitely make a very powerful and prosperous planet.”

“Yes” he started his way up with Optimus following him “After all, our combined efforts were ultimately what saved our race and defeated Unicron before.”

“As well as other disasters.” Optimus pointed out which Megatron could recall. There were a number of occurrences where they teamed up and it was entirely necessary. Once was when was the Insecticons went rouge. Another time was when Starscream attempted to destroy the planet Earth with the Exponential Generator to collect the energy from it and other disasters on their own planet and Earth.

“Exactly. It’s a pity that such powerful unions can only be temporary.” Megatron pressed as they both were in the middle of the walkway and turned to see the two factors doing repairs and building a star ship.

“Indeed. It is a sad truth.” The Autobot leader kept his optics on the workers.

“Should they be limited to-”

“Enough.” Said firmly turning to Megatron with a hard glare “I loath this war more than you can imagine.”

Megatron remained silent as his smirk lost some of its integrity.

“But I am not naïve. When this is over, and you’re willing to compromise…I’ll be listening.”

--Outside Sugarcube Corner--

The ten of them exited the place after having their light breakfast. All of them seemed to be in a bit higher spirits than before. They didn’t have a plan so they could only hope to free Celestia and somehow get rid of Unicron. (Conversation or purify of Unicron came up but Starscream assured it was a lost cause). But it didn’t mean they were without hope. All of them were determined to get things back to normal and be rid of Unicron weather they have support of the Cybertronians or not.

The group was heading back to Twilight’s library. Surprisingly, there was little conversation between the eight of them. Aside from the clear problems between Starscream, Rainbow Dash, and Twilight, but town was in clear distraught, many of them were talking about Luna’s presence for one and many theories being thrown as to what happened. Surprisingly there were no guards to keep it in line, though this could be because Ponyville really was a very quiet and peaceful town therefore having harsh government control would prove to be unnecessary and a waste of resources.

“Twily!” A voice yelled out from a distance.

Twilight’s attention hit its apex. “Shining!” she couldn’t believe it. She shook her head as tears came from them as she heard his voice. She almost forgot about him, not intentionally, but with everything else piling on top if each other, she simply forgot, perhaps intentionally due to her already broken emotional state. She looked around frantically till finally noticing three stallions coming from their left. Shining Armor in front and in the middle with the other two stallions behind holding a large box.

Twilight immediately ran over and tackled her brother with a hard hug, “Oh Shining Armor! I was so worried…I had no idea what happened to you!”

Her brother seemed to be a little out of it but hugged her back, “Yeah, I missed you too. I’m just glad to know you’re alright.”

“Do you know what happened?” Twilight asked, wanting to know if he had been updated since she never saw him in the battle with the Decepticons and Autobots.

At this point the large group approached them in order to be part of whatever was unfolding. “Shining Armor,” Starscream stated plainly to no one particular.

“Did Celestia send him here?” Fluttershy asked timidly next to her colt friend.

The red stallion only shrugged but understood what she was trying to say. However, while being with the girls, they filled him in on what actually happened at Canterlot so he was pretty sure that if it was anything more than personal for Shining was unlikely.

“How did you get here? Does Celestia know?” Fluttershy asked a bit boldly for her considering Twilight and her brother were still having a moment.

The siblings let go and the elder sibling began “No. I was unconscious.”

“It is true.” Luna stated idly “He tried to defend the city with a shield spell. Unfortunately, this didn’t falter them. But your best was more than appreciated.”

“Yeah…” the Captain seemed a bit bothered before walking to the former Princess and bowing “I apologize my Princess. I should’ve trusted-”

“I am no longer a Princess. Please do not address me as such.” Luna asked and explained gently. This was getting irritating but it wasn’t like Celestia made a huge announcement about it except for perhaps in Canterlot itself.

“Oh…well my Lady. I…viewed you in a bad light. I wish I hadn’t.” he felt he had to apologize since he had treated the previous night Princess so poorly since her return.

Luna shook her head, “It may have hurt, but all the distrust from everypony is justified. I accept your apology.”

“What’s in the box?” Starscream asked, walking to the side of the three ponies and getting a better look at the large box being held by the completely silent guard stallions.

The young purple dragon jumped off of Rarity and onto Starscream’s back, “Is that what I think it is?” Before he could continue he was harshly pushed off by the stallion he hopped onto. Spike glared at him with him returning it an annoyed look. Safe to say Starscream found this small reptilian creature annoying.

“Yeah. It’s the Elements of Harmony.” He said with a nice jump in his tone.

“No way!” Rainbow Dash yelled out flying above all of them to see the box. At this moment the two stallion guards put the box down and opened it and revealed the artifacts. “Oh yeah! Awesome!” The other Elements of Harmony and the others went to take a look at the contents and all of them cheered excluding a skeptical Starscream, and a grinning Luna and Big Macintosh.

Twilight smiled and looked back to her brother, “How did you get them? Luna said that the door was protected with a spell that only the two of them together could break.”

“Well that’s partially thanks to Luna. I put in the underground shelter under the castle for emergency like this. A few others along with me stayed there the whole time and we learned about what happened to Luna and Celestia.”

“Of Course! I forgot that the shelter had an exit outside the city.” Luna remembered able to follow the story fairly well.

“Yeah, but how did you bypass the spell?” Spike inquired.

“We didn’t have to. The Underground Shelter was made for a scenario like this and one of the rooms we can enter from underground is the room with the Elements of Harmony. We knew we may need them so we took them and headed to Ponyville.”

Luna’s smile stayed strong with nod, “Excellent work Captain.”

“Looks like we have a chance after all!” Pinkie yelled out happily collecting her Element necklace. “And when we free Celestia we can save all of Equestria again!”

“Yep! Things are finally lookin up!” Applejack agreed also taking her Element.

“Thank you so much Shining Armor! You helped a lot!” Twilight thanked “Let’s head back to the Library, we need to strategize a plan.”

Author's Note:

Hold it! Before you guys start pulling guns on me wait one more chapter! Just one more chapter. The readers have spoken and I have complied. That's all I'm saying and just wait one more chapter just one more. Anyway, Editor is going to take about four or more weeks to get it. And Chapter 19 about half way done as well. So Anyway, hope you enjoy.

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