• Published 16th Oct 2014
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PONY POV SERIES SEASON 8: FINALE! - Alex Warlorn


The finale of the Pony POV Series is here. Discord and Nightmare Diamond Tiara's end game is here. The Mane Six. Trixie. The Cutie Mark Crusaders. All have roles to play. Can they bring back the truth? Or will lies rule? Can hope pierce despair?

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Rebirth of an Alicorn Part 2
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Author's Note:

Pony POV Series Finale:
Finale Arc Part 44
Pony POV Finale: Rebirth of an Alicorn Pt2
By Alex Warlorn
Edited By Louis Badalament

Before the events of season 3, Discord's spirit manipulated the emotionally vulnerable Diamond Tiara, freeing him, and herself turning into a Nightmare. Together they've twisted the world into a Mishmash of all grim dark stories. But Cutie Mark Crusaders and their teammates have managed one by one to bring their friends and family back to their senses, pushing back the filth. Now the path for the fillies is cleared to find the cursed type writer that holds the power to restore the world completely.

But those who help you, can have a different agenda.

Former Nightmare Manacle, a Rainbow Dash of another world line, "Time to bring back Amcitia, Princess Twilight Sparkle. Good bye Shining Armor and the Lights."

Applejack, "You can't believe she'd want this!"

Razzaroo, "I only hope it's not too late to stop you..."

Starlight, "I've seen enough horrible things happen from good intention."


Discord, "Pass the chips."



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First Chapter: http://alexwarlorn.deviantart.com/art/Pony-POV-Series-Fluttershy-FlutterCruel-Pearls-260092460


FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE check out the ton of recursive fanfics of this fanfiction series. A lot of heart went into them! They also answer a lot of unaswered questions. http://mlp-pony-pov-series.deviantart.com/ For heaven sake they rock! Kendell2 and Oracle Mask and Richforce and Ardashir and Jawmax and Persona22 and Dragon of Twilight and ItsFromPeople and all the rest!!! http://alexwarlorn.deviantart.com/journal/Pony-POV-Series-Fanworks-fanmedia-By-Category-332817406 Seriously, they rock.



Cover art by Iguanodragon

MLP:FIM Copyright Hasbro


Don't forget the trope page. It's REALLY not been updated lately, at all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/FanFic/PonyPOVSeries

REMEMBER! I LISTEN TO THE COMMENTS!!!!

(And yes, I do pre-read my chapters.)

Starlight was a reaper. She didn't see faces, she saw souls. "You're the Spike who killed Abandon, and you're the 'Cousin Surprise' who was there when Apple Bloom almost killed Silver Spoon."

Several thoughts went through Starlight's mind at once. Time travel? But something was odd for that. Every experience and choice that ponies made shaped their souls. Even if a thousand lifetimes passed, those marks remained somewhere... And... while there were BIG similarities, some events had others inserted in their place.

"And you're Starlight," Pinkie Pie said.

Starlight collected herself.

"The one true original. Accept no substitutions. You're from the same worldline as the Half-Lights, aren't you? You met the 'me' in your world line?"

"Uh, MORE or LESS," Pinkie Pie admitted.

"How the heck did you get in here and find us?!" Rainbow Dash exclaimed. Starlight nearly had a 'heart attack' looking keenly on her soul. She was... she was in the flux between mortal and divine.

"I just came here because Peewee's time... is very overdue,” Starlight admitted. "I was instinctively was drawn here, just like the Wolf is instinctively drawn to distortions. And I got in here... because there's no hiding from death, nothing else to it."

"Now you show, Starlight?" Noon asked. "Why couldn't you've shown up sooner?"

"I don't understand it myself. It's like I could sense the protection you've been artificially extending over Peewee was going to vanish and- What in Megan's name is going on here?"

"You can't take poor Peewee! He's barely begun to live!" Fluttershy quivered.

Starlight sighed. "Can we please not do this? I beg you. Spike wasn't there to save Peewee, instead of trying to nudge events so he wasn't killed, the Half-Lights swooped in and stole his egg from his nest before the dragons came. WHICH by the way DIDN'T mean the dragons somehow DIDN'T trash the nest ANYWAY! You didn't so much as THINK about the OTHER chicks in that nest! You only cared about Peewee because Spike kept him as a pet in the heart world. But because they're alien gods, any direct action they take is like a bad organ transplant, just as HE'D be a bad organ transplant to any reality you'd take him. And trust me, as comfortable as you can make the between places, they're no substitute for being alive, or what's supposed to come after. I hate doing this, but it's this, or Peewee WILL spend the rest of his days being hunted by Wolves and be ERASED rather than just die. There's more to life than being alive. And... Dear Megan, that doesn't matter right now!!!! Dusk, what is going on?!"

Dawn told her, with no reservation, straight forward and direct. Starlight's eyes widened larger and larger.

"Why, didn't you even try to escape!? Why did you come back here knowing what she planned to do?!"

"We foolishly made promises that we had little choice in making if we were to save lives while we could." Dusk sighed. "And we are Spirits. As such, we're bound to our word for eternity."

As soon as Dusk had finished speaking, Starlight slashed her scythe right at Manacle's neck... only for it to stop a millimeter from her skin... owing to Starlight's muscles suddenly locking in place.

Manacle took a trot back, and saw the look of fury on Starlight's face, and then looked at her friends. None of them were stopping Starlight. The Half-Lights weren’t, either.

Then Starlight stopped struggling, and fell to one knee, and held her scythe like a staff.

"W-why? If you do this... it'll be WORSE than death to four innocent ponies… just to bring back one pony?"

"Not just one! All the ponies she's made up of! All their memories and feelings are a part of her! I'd say the math works out!"

"I'm sorry, Starlight," Spike said. "But I think I know what it is. You're an angel of death of this world. We're not from this world. And... I think this also means our number’s not up after all."

"Well, that's actually kinda a relief," Pinkie Pie said, look unsure and doing her best to smile.

"Well, that's too bad." Manacle said, grinning as she patted Starlight on the head. "This isn't a matter of life and death, you have no power here. None at all."

Starlight cried. The other ex-Nightmares looked at each other. Fluttershy gave Starlight a gentle hug. "I'm sorry."

Rainbow Dash went back to the spell book she'd been reading before being interrupted. It was thicker than her head, and older than Celestia's solo reign. The cover was written in an old form of high Equestrian. Rainbow Dash could appreciate how after ditching books for so long, now reading was the key to bringing Twilight Sparkle back. She wouldn't tell her friends where'd she'd gotten the book. 'You're better off not knowing.'

Granfalloon's body twitched all over again. "Oh! More company!"

"Your friends are coming?" Manacle instantly asked Starlight.

She saw no point in lying. "Why would my friends come here? They're safe in the afterlife. I'm the one who chose to become a reaper."

'Guess they didn't get deputized here,' Spike thought.

"No no no, I know this combo! It's Applejack!"

Rainbow Dash dropped the book. "Pinkie Pie... that's... that's impossible. We... we saw her spirit..."

"Well, it certainly IS Applejack."

"Rainbow Dash? I...I think she means this world's Applejack."

"But-but that doesn't make sense, how can- how can she even have found this?"

"Maybe by accident?" Spike suggested.

"Oh that's easy!" Pinkie Pie smiled and nodded. "When our Applejack got...broken... she joined with this world's Applejack, remember? Just like Twilight at the end of every..." Pinkie Pie realized she was going to bring up memories NONE OF THEM wanted to think about. "Uh, well, now this world's Applejack doesn't just have her power, she has all her memories too!"

"Oh no," The former Nightmare whispered. "That means... that means she KNOWS! That's why she's coming here!"

"Maybe she just wants to say goodbye?" Spike suggested, and was ignored.

"If you thought this was the right thing to do, you wouldn't be worried-" Starlight started, but Manacle shouted in her face.

"SHUT UP! I KNOW where I'm going for this! I'd be STUPID not to! I'm turning myself IN after I do this! I'm doing this for TWILIGHT! Pinkie Pie! Spike! Fluttershy! Go and keep Applejack busy!" Rainbow Dash ordered.

Nightmare Whisper's eyes widened. "Applejack was with Nightmare Eclipse longer than any of us, we don't KNOW how long. So she trumps us in experience."

"Not between all three of you, she doesn't! Don't worry, you won't need to beat her, just keep her away long enough for me to bring Twilight back to life. She's already worn out from beating Disco-Accordion's cousin, you'll be fine. I'd never ask you to if I didn't think you could. I'd do it myself but I have to finish the ritual." The rainbow-maned mare swore. Then, with a tired smile on her face, she said. "Don't worry girls, We're almost done. Then everything can finally be right, I promise."

"WAIT! WAIT! WAIT! There's somepony else coming too!" Pinkie Pie declared, her Pinkie Sense going off again.

"WHEN DID OUR SECRET BASE STOP BEING SECRET?!?!" The former rainbow Nightmare shouted in exasperation.

"Our next party guest is... is..." Pinkie Pie fell on her royal flanks and she did the hundred yard stare. "It's... Razzaroo?"

"Razzaroo?! What is SHE doing here?! Oh what am I saying, she's from the same universe as Pinkie Pie, of COURSE she's here somehow!" Rainbow nearly threw a fit. "DANGIT! Why can't we go five seconds without another complication or some extra stupid challenge throw in!? Ugh! Alright, girls, split up and do your best. Keep them talking, if you can."

The Nightmares-On-The-Outside looked at each other.

"Okay!" Pinkie Pie sprang back to life. "Applejack's coming from that way. And Razzaroo coming from that way! Let's give them a fun, fun, fun welcome party!"

Nightmare Whisper said nothing, her expression unreadable as she flew in the direction Pinkie Pie had pointed as Applejack's. Flashing sad for a moment, then smiling again, Pinkie Pie bounced off in the direction of Razzaroo. Spike looked in the two directions, back and forth, hesitant, before finally following Pinkie Pie.

+

Applejack sighed as she passed what looked like an Apple family reunion with her parents and grandfather, rolled her eyes at the giant monster version of Nightmare Whisper and flew through it, and snorted air when 'Apple Bloom' and her friends were seen tied up and being lowered into a boiling cauldron.

"Fluttershy, enough with the nonsense," Applejack said.

"S-sorry," Nightmare Whisper stuttered... flying in Applejack's way, only Applejack wasn't stopping, forcing Fluttershy to fly backwards so not to be run through by Applejack's horn. "Uh, can you please stop?"

"Ah really can't Fluttershy, sorry. Dash's gonna do somethin' really stupid and it's my job to stop 'er, as usual. Ah really, really wish Ah could stay and have a nice chat with ya Fluttershy, get to know ya like Ah know my Fluttershy. But Dash needs my help more than she needs yours."

"You're in no shape to take on three of us at once after your brawl with Nyarlathotrot."

"Too bad it's just you."

"I'm hiding the others with my illusions!"

"... No yer not."

"Sorry. But... you're still really tired, can you PLEASE just lay down and rest some?"

The air began to smell like hard cider. "Oh no, not happenin' again, forget it." Her pegasus magic blew the intoxicating fog away. "Funny how Discord and his pals and ya used the same trick to keep me from causin' ya trouble, huh?"

Fluttershy cringed at the cruel truth. She stopped flying backwards. She caught Applejack's horn and pushed her back in the air with her own earth pony strength. This actually slowed down Applejack. But Applejack was simply more physical than her, even to the point of being a stronger flier than her (Fluttershy could appreciate the irony of this). Fluttershy then intensified her push with her telekinesis, but AJ countered with the same.

Fluttershy turned into a hypnotized-looking Alicorn Trixie, while a dozen Nightmare Whispers dived from above. Applejack didn't cringe they all dove into her, ignoring the illusionary sense of them hitting her.

"Come on Fluttershy, ya know yer illusions don't work on me." The illusion of Trixie vanished to show the Nightmare Fluttershy again.
"Yah ain't got nothin' on that Trixie."

In the meantime, however, several vines had grown out of the ground and wrapped themselves around Applejack's wings, horn, and legs, pulling her down with a powerful slam.

'Credit where it's due. That was actually pretty clever.'

"Please stay put?"

"Good shot, Fluttershy." Applejack then sliced through the vines like her feathers were cutlasses. "But metal mirror wings, remember?"

The fog then reshaped into yellow-pink animal constructs with blue eyes that charged at Applejack. She kicked one and it exploded into a mass of the intoxicating fog. 'Usin' combos? Dang, she's smartin' up.'

Applejack teleported above the advancing horde. Then she charged up her horn and fired into her own wing. She then shot out some of her own feathers. Her blast came out of one of the her mirror-like feathers, shooting through one of the constructs, into another feather, out another, the resulting crisscross annihilating the horde, her pegasus magic still keeping the fog away from her.

"Just let me pass, Fluttershy, ya ain't got nothin' in yer arsenal that Ah can't counter. And before yah forget, remember who's memories are in here with mine!"

Fluttershy then conjured a knife and held to her own throat with her forehooves. "I'll do it if you take another step, Applejack."

AJ ripped the knife out of Fluttershy's grasp and tore the shoddy made construct to pieces. Apple Bloom had made better swords with cardboard. "Ah said stop with the nonsense! Ah know ya can't die if yer Element of Harmony ain't broken! And Ah know that Fluttershy ain't that much of a coward as tah do THAT!"

"I have to try!"

"Ya've thrown everythin' ya got at me! Now just stop!" 'Why is Fluttershy fightin' me alone? She's the worst match up for me.' "Who are the others dealin' with, Fluttershy?"

"... Razzaroo."

"... Mind if Ah go off and give'er some help?"

"Sorry, but I do mind."

"Yer lyin'."

"This is my redemption! Us not seeing her again, her not seeing us again, WAS ALL MY FAULT!!! This way, Twilight can know we're all alright, we can all say our goodbyes, have our hugs and kisses... and... and then she can split up again if she wants."

"They WON'T be the same Half-Lights and Shinin' Armor! It doesn't work like that, sugarcube."

"How would you know?"

"Ah know ya can't cram together four balls of clay into one big ball of clay, then split it up again, and expect them to be the same four balls of clay ya started out with!"

"Breath of Despair!" Applejack recognized this... it was the same breath attack her Nightmare Whisper had used a year ago that'd actually broke Rainbow Dash's Sonic Rainboom.

The former Nightmare was confused when the Alicorn didn't even try to dodge it as it just washed over her to no effect.

"One, ya ain't a true Nightmare no more... that was 'breath of existential dread' at best. Two, MY Fluttershy could only do that cause she took in all the junk the Sunny Towners were carryin' inside! Three, Ah really really REALLY THINK ya fightin' for the wrong side is DONE already Fluttershy! There ain't nothin' kind 'bout Rainbow's scheme!"

That cruel truth made the ex-Nightmare took a trot back and let out a sob.

"Ya KNOW ya can't stop me, Fluttershy! Ya should have switched with the others..." And in Applejack's brain, it all came together. "Ya... ya WANT to lose, even if ya can't admit it!"

"No!"

Fluttershy played her trump card. And Applejack was looking straight into the Stare. She felt the Truth instinctively rise up to prevent her will from completely crumbling under her proto-divine will.

"Now! We're BOTH going to JUST STAY HERE, until Rainbow has finished bringing Twilight Sparkle back, and everything will be alright."

"The truth is...Ya... ya don't actually believe that-"

"No talking, young mare!"

Applejack felt her jaw close on its own.

+

Mama Fluttershy told me to keep my mouth shut, Mama Fluttershy said to stay put. Ah couldn't look away. Ah couldn't raise a hoof against her. Ah felt mahself ta be the size of a mouse next ta her. Ah may've been an Alicorn, but Ah wasn't a Concept, Ah couldn't just shrug off The Stare. If Starlight and her friends couldn't, Ah couldn't neither. Ugh! Ah just hope Ah don't drown in Apple Mirror's memories. She had millions of years worth of memories, most of 'em lousy, Ah've got just a couple decades or so to work with.

Ah feel the Truth at the very core of me, refusin' to bend over for Fluttershy's Stare. Ah remember when Chrysalis sicced me on my friends, how fast work Ah made of 'em usin' the Truth to break 'em like cane sugar. Ah remember the wrongness grownin' in me, like it was what that sick nag wanted. Ah remember Fluttershy's Stare beatin' back the Truth.

But this Fluttershy wasn't under mind control. She wasn't corrupted by some evil magic. She wasn't usin' it to make herself a dictator, or any selfish goal of her own. And she had millions of years more experience usin' it than MY Fluttershy did!

Ah felt along the Truth, Ah couldn't defy Mama Fluttershy, but, maybe, maybe Ah could still do somethin'! Ah opened my wings, lettin' her look right in my mirrors.

"Reflect my Stare back at me? Really?" Mama Fluttershy frowned, indignantly incredulous. "You actually think THAT is going to work? Who do you think I am?!" Ah think Ah may have stepped on one of Mama Fluttershy's few sources of pride. Ah'm a bad filly.

"Who... are ya Truly?!" I gasped out. If this doesn't work Ah'm stuck. This better not work too well, or Ah'm my own bowlin' team! Ah feel bits of myself wigglin', shiftin' about... Ah encourage it. Okay girl! Ah ain't lookin' to explode twice! Keep calm, focus on the truth. This is happenin'! Hold on to yerself Applejack!

-

"Hey, Posey!"

"Oh! Applejack! I didn't see you there!"

-

"It's nice to see you, Bright Eyes."

"So what brings you here, Sweetheart?"

-

"Nothing much, Zipzee, but I do have an import favor to ask."

"What favor, Applejack?"

-


"Firefly’s gonna do something foolish, that she knows' bad, but thinks'll turn out good."

"Um...foolish as in..."

"Foolish even for me!"

-

"So what's the favor you need, Sweetheart?"

"I just want your promise to help Bright Eyes."

-

"Help you, Applejack? But I'm just one Breezie, what can I do?"

"You can help more than you think, Zipzee."

-

"Are-Are you sure you don't want someone else's help, like Megan, or Wind Whisper?"

"No, Posey, it's got to be you. You're the one with the power to change things."

-

"If that's the case then of course I'll help Sweetheart! We're friends!"

"Oh thank you, Bright Eyes!"

-

"I'm scared, but I'll be just as brave as you big ponies, Applejack!"

"No, Zipzee. Being scared is what makes you even braver!"

The Stare faltered, Fluttershy's heart wasn't all in it no more. Ah felt stronger. Ah pulled myself together. Ah was able to hold onto myself. Ah am Applejack. Ah am Applejack. Ah am Applejack!

"B-but our powers are equal!" Fluttershy stammered.

"Equal is for fancy mathematics and the love parents feel for their youngin's! And there ain't no thing as 'unbeatable,' neither! No ifs, ands, howevers, or besides!'"

The Stare broke. Fluttershy fell to her knees, her wings pressed against her, and her horn pointed at the ground. Ah readied myself... but she did nothin'.

She just laid there.

'She's not even trying to use an illusion to fool me.' Ah thought.

"I can't fight you, and I can't fight Rainbow Dash, I won't fight my friends again...I tried, that's all I promised to do...Please just go."

"... Fluttershy... thank you... Ah know this ain't easy. Ah'll save Shinin' Armor, the Half-Lights, and Rainbow, Ah promise." Ah nuzzled her and flew at fully speed. Ah considered just teleporting there, but these weren't MY memories, and Ah didn't wanna risk a mis-teleportation in this place. Just because Ah've got Alicorn healin' don't mean Ah'm in a rush tah try it out! No prob, Ah wasn't gonna let myself not be there in time.

+

Meanwhile, Razzaroo, and Granfalloon stopped at the sight of each other, both fidgeted uncomfortably.

"Hey, Pinkie Pie From Another World... Thank you for helping the Crusaders."

"Hey, Razzaroo From This World!...And it was my pleasure! Soooo, what brings you here?"

"I came here to stop Your Rainbow Dash from sacrificing Shining Armor and his sisters to recreate your Twilight Sparkle."

"Oh.... I was worried it was something like that." The ex-Nightmare shrank a bit from her. "Can we have a party instead?"

"I'm sorry, it'll have to wait till later... Pinkie Pie, I can't lie to you, you look terrible."

"Yeah, the Nightmare look kinda has been done to death. And of course you can lie to me, Razzy, remember my surprise birthday party?"

"I meant I can't lie about this, sorry."

"It's okay. Hey, remember when Minty got mixed up on your birthday book, and thought it was my birthday a day early and got everypony to paint the whole town pink?"

"Heheh, yeah, I do, good times."

"I'm sorry, I promised Dashie I helped her with this."

"... And you always keep your promises. That's always been something good about you, Pinkie Pie."

"Can we settle this with a game of Parcheesi? Or a cooking contest? Please?"

"I'm sorry, Pinkie, but there isn't time."

"Okay... it's just, we never fought in our world... I mean, REALLY fought, and I don't wanna ruin it when...it feels like we'd be going against what it stood for... when it's down to just the two of us... And the 'friends fighting friends' is an old chestnut by now too... want some nuts?"

"I'm fine, thank you."

"Okay. I Just, I REALLY don't want to play a game of 'keep away' at Twilight's house... " Pinkie Pie hugged herself, she looked ready to cry.

"It still hurts?"

"H-hey," Pinkie Pie stuttered, sounding a little scared. "It... that would be silly, right? I mean, for me it's been MILLIONS of years since that stuff. And we went off on a completely different continuity before that half of that episode of events even happened. So... it's not like that happened to ME. Just because the devil himself made me think my own friends thought I was some retarded pet to be laughed at... And then I beat to a pulp anypony who laughed... and showed I could still be warm by being a mother to Pound and Pumpkin, but then taught them to hate ponies laughing too... then I spent almost a thousand years as his thug... then I flipped to the opposite and millions of years destroying universes full of innocent ponies (including MY universe) and thinking it was all just a silly game and nopony was actually getting hurt... bad Twilight telling me my friends weren't being erased, just reset... even... if memories and actions vanishing from existence kinda IS death anyway... which I should have known from the beginning if I wasn't crazy... after... after what happened to our world... I'd be super duper STUPID to still be sad about THAT. wouldn't I?"

Razzaroo gave her a sympathetic look. "No. Some pains don't fade away, Pinkie Pie. You just get better at carrying them."

Pinkie Pie sniffled and wiped her nose. "T-thanks, Razzy." She gasped in horror. "Oh no! That long talk I just did! Was I trying to delay you with it?! OH, I'M SO SORRY! I didn't MEAN to do it! I Pinkie Pie Swear! I'm sorry! I'm free of Discord's brainwashing, of being a crazy Nightmare... I'M STILL doing bad things. I'm just a broken pony. Those ponies who erased us were right, I'm just defective! I should have been never-heard-from-again! I can't be fixed." Granfalloon took part of her party dress and blew her nose on it.

Razzaroo didn't know the WHOLE story, and had a feeling she didn't want to. But she didn’t want to see Pinkie Pie in pain like this. "Pinkie Pie... you're not defective... you're just hurt. You CAN heal. You don't HAVE TO keep doing bad things. You're free to make your own choices. Yes, yes, yes."

"Thank you, Razzy... that means so much from you... even if you're not my Razzaroo... I'm sorry, a promise is a promise. I just wish I had a way out of fighting you."

"Don't worry Pinkie Pie, I understand. No hard feelings," Razzaroo smiled as only a pony of the Lost Age could.

A bright yellow star flew out of Razzaroo's book. "Hi, Pinkie Pie, nice to meet you again." The little star waved.

"Twinkle Wish?" Granfalloon blinked in surprise.

"That's me! Sorry about this."

"About what?"

Twinkle Wish shined as bright as the sun. Dozens of little star shapes flew inside her as she momentarily grew larger. Shining and sparkling, she fired a wishing-star shaped beam straight at Pinkie Pie. The stock sound effect of a spaceship charging up and firing its laser beam was audible. The beam caused no damage to the reflections around them, but pushed Pinkie Pie with the might of a freight train until she was pushed up against the side of a building.

Pinkie Pie flayed about like a fish out of water, or somepony being sprayed by the world's largest hose. Finally the beam stopped, both the wishing star and the Alicorn smoking.

"That," Twinkle Wish explained.

"Oh... okay..." Pinkie Pie nodded, then fell forward, her tongue lolling out, her eyes spinning in opposite direction. She rose a little white flag in one hoof as she lay on the ground like a sack of potatoes.

"Wish granted." Twinkle Wish politely bowed to the pony.

"Looks like I flew too slow. Now it's my turn to fight." A purple dragon in some remade golden armor (with blue sapphires, Rarity's favorite), landed on two legs in front of the ponies. The earth shook from the impact, lifting everypony a few centimeters off the ground.

Spike breathed his dragon breath on Pinkie Pie; she turned into a green wisp of smoke that flew off to the reflection of Sugar Cube Corner. "Back to bed, Pinkie Pie, I'll take it from here."

"Are you all going to congo-line me?" Razzaroo asked, not bothering with introductions this time. She knew this wasn't her Spike, or even this world's Spike. She knew he'd saved Scootaloo and the others from Abandon and wanted to thank him, but she was running out of time.

"No. Rainbow is still doing the ritual, so you don't have forever, and Fluttershy is fighting Princess Applejack, don't ask. So I'm the last thing in your way from what I can tell. So let’s skip the formalities."

"As you wish," The wishing star said. "Razzaroo, you know I'll help you fight."

= 'I Am the Eggman' - Sonic Adventure 2 =

"And you know... neither of you can take me on."

Spike's view of Ponyville got higher and higher, while Razzaroo and Twinkle Wish looked smaller and smaller.

+

"Where'd that mountain come from?" Dawn asked.

"That's no Mountain," RD said. "Spike is a dragon and proto-Ryujin, and a million years old. How big do you think he really is?"

+

The little ponies looking up at him, Spike flexed his biceps. "I could arm wrestle Queen Tiamat herself in this form!"

A beam of intense starlight zapped Spike in the face.

"But can you hit one fast tiny target?" Twinkle Wish asked getting right in the dragon's eye, zapping him again, and fast as a shooting star avoided Spike's grasp and then zapped him in the neck, in the caboose, making him turn around to try and grab her.

"Stay still."

"I'm not granting that wish."

+

Alright, Razzaroo, you can do this. You're just facing a giant version of Spike, don't panic, don't give up, and you'll pull through! You didn't sign up to help here to be a fighter, but neither did Twinkle Wish and that's what she's doing!

Memory Magic, don't fail me now!

"Memory: Secret of My Excess! Fire Ruby!"

My journal flipped through its pages discreetly, (Twilight's friendship reports were added in, along with some other pages). A red jewel shone from the pages, then shot out like a bullet, hitting Spike. There was a faint glow, and Spike shrank down to an adorable purple baby dragon. "Glad that's over," I said.

Spike looked at himself in disgust, and before we had a chance to do anything, he grew back up his mountain-size! Oh, yes, yes, yes! (Unhappy face written next to sentence).

"Don't do that again. I hated being that size, and I still hate it," Spike said sternly.

"My apologies," I answered politely.

"What WAS that?"

"My own invented school of magic. After I save the Lights and Shining maybe I can teach it to you?"

Spike then spewed out not fire or smoke, but ink! The sticky stuff covered Twinkle Wish, making her fall somehow, and covering me in gunk, so that it was nearly impossible for me to move. Spike reached down for us.

"Memory! First Ponyville Flood!" And a wave of water poured from my book and rushed through the reflection of Ponyville, washing the black ink off us. Twinkle Wish flew up and began zapping Spike, like an endless parade of bug bites. Part of being miracles is how to turn bad things into good things after all.

Spike breathed a storm cloud out of his nostrils, and lightning struck down from it, but the flood had left none of the reflections wet (they were just a reflections, after all), and I made a poor lightning rod.

"Memory Whimsey Weatherbe: Clear skies!"

Whimsey's image appeared for a moment, and she blew away Spike's storm clouds.

Spike breathed his green flames next, and a cage formed around me.

"Memory The Perfect Swarm: Parasprites!" The swarm of parasprites escaped from my book and, being the memory of the parasprites from Twilight's spell, they promptly ate the cage. I recalled them once their job was done.

Spike said. "Alright. Enjoy the reflection gardens of Neighpon." Spike breathed his green flame right at me this time.

"Memory Discord: Teleportation Jammer!"

And the fires tried to dematerialize me, but I just reformed back where I started.

Didn't want to go on the offensive, but I didn't have a choice. "Memory Spike The First: Inferno!"

The transparent image of Spike's first ancestor appeared out of the book, startling him, before it breathed flames at him that could melt boulders.

Spike's dragon instincts kicked in and he breathed back. Spike the First's breath was incredible to see. But memory only lasts as long as it originally did. A limit about my magic I wasn't about to share with anyone. And Spike's fire-breath was like the sun was coming out of his mouth. I almost thought he'd melt the glass in every mirror in the real world.

I tried to think of what to do when the memory failed when Spike closed his jaws, and Spike The First's fire splashed him in the face. He cried out and covered his head. I didn't think the flames would hurt him that bad. Was he trying to lure me in? I had to stick with distance.

"Memory Whimsey Weatherbe: Storm and tornado!"

Spike flapped his wings in return as the memory of Weatherbe using her weatherdrake magic to create a whirlwind with enough force to knock over buildings. Here's another secret. My memory magic took up a LOT of mana, Twinkle Wish wasn't just my partner, she was also my reserve. Thankfully she had mana to spare and we both had thousands of years of building up our reserves.

Sadly it seemed Spike had stamina to spare. He wasn't a baby dragon anymore, after all.

I could technically play the memory over, but that requires me spending four seconds to call it forth again. But Spike’s wings suddenly gave out, and if everything here wasn't a reflection, he'd have annihilated half of Ponyville as he fell backwards.

Strike while the iron was hot! "Memory Windigo: Frozen world!"

Spike's mountain of a body was quickly all but encased in ice. That should hold him until I could save Shining and the others. Yes, yes, yes!

Spike breathed fire on the windigo ice, his flames changed hue, and the ice melted off him.

"Nice try. But I still have my friends who-"

"Memory: Look Before You Sleep! Lightning Storm!"

Spike didn't look very electrified sitting in the lightning struck giant puddle. "Melted ice and lightning, classic combo, but that isn't enough to-"

"Memory: Lil Miss Rarity! Button Mash Combo!"

The memory recording of Button Mash leapt up, caught the lightning, and stabbed it into Spike's hide. That one did shock Spike, a part of me was almost surprised it did, the sword must have hit a nerve.

I felt like I was a one-mare demolition team trying to bring down a crag.

"Memory Thistle Whistle: Pow."

The memory of Thistle Whistle landed a square headbutt to Spike's giant face.

"OOOH! SUCH INCREDIBLE POWER! I HAD NO IDEA WHO I WAS MESSING WITH! YOU REALLY ARE SOMETHING SPECIAL!" Spike declared in a voice so loud I was nearly made deaf and I was sure Rainbow Dash heard him all the way to Twilight's library.

Yes... that was the headbutt Thistle gave Strife (which was the only reason I expected it to hurt him, as tough as he is, Strife's Survival itself)... the one that cost her, her life... Thistle, I hope you got reborn into the world, and got to fly in the skies.

"Twinkle Wish! Regroup!" I shouted.

"Got it!" She flew back, landing on my shoulder. Spike braced himself, knowing I've got something big coming, and asked Twinkle Wish to get out of the way, he doesn't know I also needed her to give me a biggest mana boost to materialize a memory this big!

"Memory: Will Any Soul Get Through: MoonPearl Cherry Blossom Mode!"

My mana was used up as fast as Twinkle Wish could pump more into me, as the transparent version of the foal pirate's privateer ship appeared, all weapons bared. It unleashed an army's worth of shots and blasts at Spike. For any other opponent, I'd think it’d be overkill, but he'd proven already he could live through it.

With the first memory still going, I conjured again, I FELT Twinkle Wish's hurt as I pulled the mana out of her so fast. Sorry Twinkle Wish! You can have a big rest when this is all over!

"Memory: Pegasus Promise: MoonPearl Figurehead Fire!"

I saved mana by reconfiguring the memory already manifested. It changed shape to the normal Moon Pearl that fired the figurehead of Princess Luna direct into Spike's gut. The dragon cried out, I was knocked off my legs as the wind was knocked out of the giant dragon's lungs. He rolled over. He looked me in those eyes that I could see my reflection in.

"... It seems as the 'potential future' concept of miracles and wishes: it seems neither my strength as the Element of Generosity, nor as a dragon, can I overwhelm you. To try to resist you more would be futile. OOOOH! A DRAGON SUCH AS I ALWAYS HUMILIATED AND BEATEN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN, WHAT A HEAVY BURDEN I CARRY TO HAVE SUCH STRENGTH BUT NEVER A FOE FOR WHOM I CAN DISPLAY IT TO BE FOUND, SUCH STRENGTH THEN IS BUT A CURSE! IS IT NOT?"

"Still a dragon," I heard myself say. "At least you can say you survived something that killed an Outer Goddess, right?" I offered.

"... Would you like to wish for some acting lessons?" Twinkle Wish blurted out to Spike.

"Hey! I'm a tortured warrior!"

"I'm sure you are, but that was playing it up way too much!" Twinkle Wish quipped as I just stared disbelieving.

"Just making sure Rainbow Dash gets the message across."

"You're... LETTING us go?" I gasped out. After having to record so many nasty surprises, and cruel deck-stackings... I'd let this depressing world affect me way too much!!!! "THANK YOU SPIKE! THANK YOU!"

"Please don't mention it. I'm not the Element of Loyalty nor Honesty. I'm Generosity. I think of others before myself...But Half-Light Noon's right. I'm not a slave. I'm not a robot. I chose to let you pass. Hurry up before Rainbow finishes."

"Thank you, Spike! Thank you! I promise I'll never forget you!"

"I hope you get your heart's desire someday!" Twinkle Wish said.

"My heart's desire is gone. Make sure Cadence doesn't lose hers."

"You can bet on it!" I declared. "Memory: The Truth Liberates: Flash Pegasus Guard!"

And off to the library as fast as lightning!

+

There was no choice other than to have the ritual on top of the Golden Oaks Library, this had been the spot that meant most to Twilight Sparkle. Though if Rainbow was going to have unwanted gusts, the Fallen Alicorn wished that'd have jumped the gun and thought Rainbow Dash's cloud house or Ponyville town hall would've been the first choice.

She might be the fastest Alicorn alive, but even she couldn't speed up a ritual meant to fuse four pieces of a broken soul back together. And if she made one mistake, she wouldn't be the one paying for it. She re-read each line from the spell book before she performed it. It was probably the first time she'd ever devoted so much time to studying.

The sleeping Shining Armor and the Half-Light sisters sat in four circles arranged at compass points, with herself at the center. The runes around Shining Armor, Dawn, and Noon, were now glowing, while the ones around Dusk were not.

The ritual required chanting, dancing, in addition to the runes. Couldn't this've been one of those 'point and zap' spells? Oh no, that would have been too easy, and far be it for anything to be easy, especially where Twilight Sparkle was concerned!

Starlight had tried to cause trouble, of course, messing up the library, smudging up the runes... but the house tree was only a reflection, Starlight could do nothing to it, and RD had said messing with the runes or removing the ponies could hurt their souls, and Starlight had no way to know if Rainbow was lying or not. She had a much better poker face than Mirror did.

Rainbow herself could sense them now, Princess Veritas, and Razzaroo and her pet star were coming. Her friends had delayed them as long as they could. "Thanks girls, I'll take it from here." 'Didn't want to split up my magic like this, but better than a big fight.'

Peewee, perched on Dawn's head (having been left behind by the Nightmares and forgotten about -again-,) knew something bad was going to happen.

Her horn glowed spectrum colors. A spiraling wall of rainbow colored chains spun into existence around the library, reaching to the heavens. And, of course, warded against teleportation. It spanned a long spiral path to the center... then Rainbow thought better of it and sealed off the entrance with more chains.

She suppressed a shudder seeing Princess Veritas fly to the edge of the barrier in one direction. As fate had it, Razzaroo and her pet star arrived only a few seconds later. All three (four?) meddlers started at the sight of each other, shouting out names in confusion. This suited Rainbow Dash just fine, this gave her more time to finish her ritual.

"Razzaroo?!""Applejack?""Which Razzaroo?""Which Applejack?"

"The local one!" The three mares echoed.

"Starlight?!"
"Starlight!"
"Applejack! Razzaroo?! Since when are you an Alicorn? And what are you
doing here?!"
"Never mind me. I'm Twinkle Wish. Just go ahead and keep ignoring me."
"Sorry!"
"Sorry!"

"I'm here to stop Rainbow Dash and save Shining Armor and the Lights!" The mares all shouted together.

"Okay! That's all we need to know!" Princess Veritas shouted firmly.

"Nice to know there are ponies who care." Noon smiled. "Can ya just maybe hurry up before Rainbow finishes?"

"Too bad Miss Angel of Death here can't do a thing," Rainbow Dash said, hoping to bait them into a tirade.

"RD! Stop this nonsense right now!" Veritas snored.

"Not happening."

"AGH! Ah don't wanna fight ya again, Dash, but Ah can't let ya do this!"

"Go ahead and try," so said Fallen Alicorn Princess Fidelitas. “Feels like I’m right back at my utopia-Ponyville, doesn’t it, Razzaroo, ol’ ‘friend?’ You ponies just fly in and ruin everything good… like bees at a picnic!”

"... I think you have me confused with another Razzaroo."

The ex-Nightmare cringed.

Applejack tried to brute force her way through, as Twinkle Wish tried to zap it open. Razzaroo tried to use the tried and true method of heating and cooling over and over, but the temperature was quickly dissipated among the chains.

Peewee, unnoticed by everypony, flew and tried to pull the chains apart far enough for the ponies to get through, but he didn't have the strength. He tried to simply MELT the chains with his phoenix fire, but the chains of loyalty endured.

Applejack got an idea. "Razzaroo! Twinkle Wish! Get inside my wings!" The Alicorn spread her wings wide, showing the mirrors within. "I've got an idea!"

"But how will that work if we're already in the mirror world-"

"JUST DO IT!" The candidate concept and wishing star did so, flying inside the mirrors within AJ's wings. They found themselves in a reflection of Apple Pie's bedroom from the timeline Apple Mirror came from.

Razzaroo couldn't help thinking it reminded her of how Meadowlark's parents kept her room at home the same when she went to college and even when she moved out...a sense of nostalgic emptiness.

Then red fire covered Applejack, she grew a pair of feelers and a set of beautiful fairy wings. She shrank until she was tiny enough to fit through a peephole, or the links in a chain. She slipped right through, as Rainbow Dash tried to get her jaw off the library roof. Then she shaped changed back to her Alicorn self, opened her wings again, and Razzaroo and Twinkle Wish emerged unharmed.

"Horseapples," Rainbow said flatly. Peewee cheered.

They began to race down the spiral towards the center, AJ knowing better than to stay in Breezie form longer than vital.

“Only one card left to play," RD said. “It's almost too bad all the Nightmare Forces went poof, I'd have actually preferred to use them instead!”

Cracks appeared around the house tree. For a moment Razzaroo feared that the mirror world itself was breaking. But she felt that indifferent coldness that sucked life and warmth out of the world, and knew Rainbow Dash had taken advantage of the weakened state of reality, and had widened the cracks already there.

Thin translucent chains came from her heart and into the cracks. Her horn glowed as her magic traveled down them. Shadow of existence came, climbing on the chains out of the cracks. As the magic traveled down them, they were clad in Shadowbolt uniforms. A chain collar of Fidelitas' magic formed around the neck of each one.

Applejack would have to be blind not to see their ravenous look as they eyed the Half-Lights, Peewee, the heroes, Shining, and Rainbow herself.

Then the real bomb dropped. It was Half-Light Noon actually, breaking their silence who said, "They're... all you!"

Every last one of the horde of shadows of existence were Rainbow Dash. Starlight and Razzaroo had a STRONG feeling they didn't want to know how this was possible and none present was cruel enough to share.

Fidelitas commanded, "Hear me, my husks, you have answered my call of your own empty will, our Twilight Sparkle returns to us. Until then, keep away the meddlers....But don't kill them."

Razzaroo could see the imitation of disappointment on their masked faces, they KNEW what they wanted more than anything was to have to take their lights of existence for themselves, and the spiral path was practically flooding with them!

'She doesn't trust 'em not to turn on 'er without bein' restrained.' Applejack straight, 'Least that proves she's still sane!'

The Shadowbolts assaulted the heroes like a black wave.

"Ain't got time for this!" Applejack summoned a huge mirror for the Shadowbolt army to fly into, she'd dump'em back where they came from later.

Shadowbolts, "COMBINED SONIC DARK BOOM!"

Applejack, felt her mirrors shatter under the unified attack! Then she, Razzaroo, and Twinkle Wish, were banged against the chain wall, being pummeled by an entire herd of Rainbow Dashes! Was a bunch of Pegasi a herd, flock, or pack? Applejack's brain dimly wandered as she felt her body and brain jarred by the Shadowbolts.

"I kicked yours and Nightmare Eclipse and Pinkie Pie's flanks when I was a flesh and blood pony, AJ! How about a bajillion of me?!" Rainbow shouted. She just had Dusk left, just Dusk! Then Twilight would finally be back and save everypony!

Dawn was hugging herself, scared. "Eternal Celestia, whose love shines like your sun," the filly prayed.

(Notes: I Half-Light Dusk, continued to write down events as they happened, even to the end).

Starlight slowly looked at Rainbow Dash, then Amicitia's foals, then Peewee, then at Applejack, and the others.

She slowly stood up. "I've had enough. I won't let them stop your friends from knocking sense into you."

Rainbow didn't even look at her. "They don't exist, what power does death have over them?"

"You're right." If Dash wasn't in over her head in fundamental attribute error, she might have noticed the resolve in Starlight's voice.

Starlight touched the base of her throat. She cringed in pain. Her wings shined, then slide off her back, leaving no mark, but Starlight struggling against crying out. Starlight's scythe turned into a dull edged little short sword devoid of luster.

She said boldly, "I, am Professor Starlight Angel. Born year of Megan, August 2, 1979. Died year of Megan, April 4, 2015. Of First Ponyville, Ponyland. NOT Mayor Starlight Glimmer of Our Town, Equestria! I am of the Age of Wonders!"

She leapt into the herd, kicking, punching, biting, and stabbing with her sword, being careful not to break the chain collars around their necks as she fought.

"She just! She did! WHAT?!" Rainbow Dash was flabbergasted.

"GO! GO! GO!" Noon shouted.

Starlight had several seconds of wreaking havoc as they faded back into oblivion, the horde having been so focused on wailing on Alicorn Applejack that they hadn't given the blond pony a second glance. But as she began to cut a trail towards the heroes, the Shadowbolts turned upon her, falling upon her like vultures on carrion. Pinning her to the ground, only Rainbow Dash's order for them not to kill any of the meddlers bought her time.

"The Starlight I met had a lot more experience than you, and she had her friends with her. What chance did you have all alone?" Dash couldn't resist saying. Starlight pushed back at the spectral weight of the horde, earth pony strength against countless battle hardened pegasi.

Dash looked with satisfaction that the Shadowbolts would keep them busy in time for her to finally finish the ritual. Half the runes surrounding Dusk were now lighted. Once the last shined, the ritual would be done, 'And Twilight will come back, and she'll live happily ever after,' so thought Rainbow Dash.

Sonic Rainboom powered fists and strikes shattered Veritas' mirrors, the masks they wore filtered their eyes from looking into the truth of her, and the Shadowbolts would not give Razzaroo the three seconds she needed to cast her magic either mentally or verbally, and the Shadowbolts were no giant Spike, Twinkle Wish had to dodge constantly, and they wouldn't let her get close to the treehouse.

"Starlight, didn't we take vows to never be apart? What made you think I'd ever abandon you?"

Starlight heard a stallion's voice. Her sword, Slipknot, shined golden.

"I am NEVER alone!"

Her sword shifted into a large gold scythe, that seemed material only along its edge as she bisected and thus banished countless Shadowbolts back to Oblivion in one swing. She blasted them all aside in a bright explosion of force. The power of the scythe was only half the impact, the other half came from Starlight's own Earth Pony might. No surprise, husband and wife worked best united.

"You'd intimidate me, if you weren't just dressed-up empty shells!" The Shadowbolts flew at her like leaves might into a wood chipper for the good they did, Starlight raced to the heroes, the Shadowbolts turned to face her, giving the heroes the precious few seconds they needed to turn the tide and plowed through the army. "I've had to stare down some of the most vile beings in history and drag them to Hell. You don't scare me."

"You thinking you're more awesome than us! Just stop being adorable!" One snarled, as the army together sent inverted rainbow colored lightning at Starlight from all directions that Slipknot caught in all directions, and she sent back to sender.

"AND THAT'S WHY YOU LOSE!" Starlight snarled.

Several zipped around her in irregular patterns and then dove at her constantly changing angles, but before they could all hit at once, Starlight was caught in red glow of magic and tossed in the air, the Shadowbolts crashed into each other. Another zipped to her only for Starlight to kick her right in the gut, adding extra force from the Shadowbolt's own momentum. Applejack brought her back down before she got blind sided from a dozen different directions at once.

"H-How?! You just bloody shed your reaper powers! How the Tartarus are you doing this?!" Rainbow rambled.

"My best intentions destroyed two worlds! If that couldn't break me, what made you think anything you can throw at me can?!"

Razzaroo shuddered at those words. Starlight had visited her after becoming an Angel of Death, Razzaroo a pony who wasn't dead but still existed and yet didn't have a place in the world. She was the last unaltered pony from Starlight's creation.

Razzaroo had always been conflicted about her feelings about Starlight. On the one hoof, she and her friends were the only reason Razzaroo and her friends had ever exist, but because of their mistakes Razzaroo had ultimately LOST all those friends and that world they'd given her. Ironically, she didn't think that hard about the confusion and shock Meadowlark felt before becoming her, even if she didn't know if Meadowlark would have been happier knowing that a true paradise WAS waiting for her and her family, after all, Razzaroo had a vested interest in Starlight and her friends remaking the world to begin with.

It was a tale for another day, when she and Starlight had met, Starlight had apologized for failing her and Razzaroo's friends, wanting to help her somehow. Not there was really any way left TO help.

Razzaroo saw her, a ghost, but vulnerable here in the world of mirrors, if she was struck down, would Starlight just pop back to the afterlife, or would her light be recycled and her shadow fade into Oblivion?

Starlight had her back turned to Razzaroo. Applejack and Twinkle Wish were busy fighting the horde too. Razzaroo had a brief pause in the action, this chance would never come again. This mare who was why colts didn't exist in Razzaroo's world, why so many of her friends were declare too shallow to live in the new world... all she needed to do was aim and shoot.

"Memory: Shooting stars!" A pink, a yellow, a blue, and a purple shooting star, one for each color of the rainbows of Razzaroo's world, shoot from her book at the back of Starlight. And each one hit of the Shadowbolts converging on her. Razzaroo was struck in the back by a Shadowbolt who got a flying kick by Starlight who helped her up.

"Thanks Razzaroo."

"...It was the right thing to do."

Three-fourths of the runes around Dusk were glowing. Dash danced and chanted.

"Running short on time here!" Noon said, all the time she'd spent with her sisters flashing before her eyes.

Veritas tried to power on through, but was ground to a halt by Shadowbolts in hit and run moves like a shower of sadistic pinballs.

"PROTECT APPLEJACK!" Twinkle Wish said, creating a star shaped shield made from starlight. She zipped around the Alicorn, blocking off each hit by the horde as they came in.

A Shadowbolt shouted. "Every-Direction Sonic Dark Boom!"

"That's 'OMI-directional'!" Professor Starlight shouted.

The hit of that many Sonic Rainbooms at once would have smashed Applejack to pieces.

"Memory! Princess Rarity, Wand Teleport!" Razzaroo grabbed hold of Applejack while she used her journal, the twirling wand appearing.

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes. "Warded against teleporting remember?"

They vanished JUST as the attacking Shadowbolts would have hit, and once again, struck each other, blasting themselves back to Oblivion. This happened in a space of a moment as the heroes appeared right where they started.

"... Ya based this anti-teleport ward on King Sombra's didn't ya? It doesn't STOP teleportin', it just makes it so ya end up back where ya started."

Rainbow wanted to tear her mane out.

Applejack conjured a lasso with a thought, and roped one of the Shadowbolts, she used her as a chain mace, clearing a path for them.

"You backstabbing nag! I can't believe I'm losing to you AGAIN!" The tied up Shadowbolt snarled.

Applejack let go with a gasp, sending the Shadowbolt flying into one of the chain walls. Apple Mirror's memories screamed to the surface. "D-Dash? Ah-Ah sorry! I'm SORRY! Ah TRIED to save ya! Even as Nightmare Mirror Ah never wanted to hurt no pony! Ah didn't know what Nightmare Eclipse REALLY wanted! Ah... fought... Ah... Ah tried to stop her..."

"FAT LOAD OF GOOD THAT DID! Look at me now! Empty! Hallow! Not even remembered! While SHE gets my heart instead!" Snarled the Shadowbolt pointing at Princess Rainbow Dash. Applejack began to trot BACK as the Shadowbolt punched and kicked at Applejack's head, then brought out daggers and bolas made out of rainbow colored lightning tossing them at the mare's neck.

"Come on! Come on! Say sorry again! You want to show you're sorry?! GIVE ME YOUR LIGHT OF EXISTENCE! Give it to me! You don't deserve it! Give it!"

Twinkle Wish blasted the Shadowbolt square in the head, it fell over, twitching.

Razzaroo said, "Trust me, Applejack, that ISN'T your Rainbow Dash, not even close. I-" Razzaroo hugged herself and shuddered. "I've found out the hard way: Shadow of Existence are just that, not ghosts, shadows."

Feeling Apple Mirror's tears come down her face, Applejack nodded.

The flock took the cue of the other Shadowbolt and began creating more lightning constructs, spears, tridents, bolas, chakrams, Starlight began deflecting the constructs with Slipknot keeping the path open.

Dash danced and chanted frantically, four-fifths of the runes around Dusk glowed!

Twinkle Wish continued to shield Applejack, and pot shot Shadowbolts, but then got another idea focused her shield directly in front of Applejack.

The other got the same idea at the same time.

Starlight’s gold scythe cut through the flock twirling in front of her, opening a path to the end.

"Memory: Rainbow Princess' Crystal Carriage!" The memory appeared underneath Applejack and flew fast enough that it left an afterimage.

It could outrace a shooting star already halfway across the sky after all.

"Veritas! GO!!!"

The white carriage pulled by birds smashed into the reflection of the house tree, Applejack leapt up. Manacle fired chain after chain at the Alicorn but AJ saw them all coming dodged them all, the two stood face to face. They reared up.

"WAIT!!!"

The Royal Canterlot Voice echoed... the heroes, Halflights, Peewee, Shadowbolts, all turned to the source, only Shining Armor remained in dream land thanks to Fluttershy's strongest magic.

Half-Light Dawn fidgeted with all eyes on her. "I... I wanna do something first! I promise it's not a trick or anything! I just... I just realized I gotta do it. I'm not stalling! I Pinkie Promise!"

The runes stopped progressing. Nopony dared make a move.

"... Alright...Dawn."

"Rainbow, I think that's the first time you used my name." Dawn smiled.

Rainbow Dash couldn't respond.

"Peewee!" Dawn called out, the little phoenix chick fluttered down landed on her extended hoof. She nuzzled his beak, the firebird chirped. "Peewee... I love you, I really do but-" Tears formed in her eyes. "We STOLE YOU from your mom and dad's nest!"

The chick gasped in confusion and shock.

"I know you've heard us talking with Miss Starlight before, but...but that's the REAL truth... Miss Starlight is right... We didn't try to help your brothers and sisters be safe from the dragons. We could have given you back to your mom and dad, but we didn't. We're kidnappers..." She sniffed. "Our help made it so Spike knew about himself, so he never went on a quest, so he never saved you from other mean dragons...you're supposed to be dead Peewee... and it's OUR FAULT for not helping like we've helped ALL our other times!...We could've helped somepony else to save you, but instead we stole you... I... I'm sorry! I'm so sorry!!"

The bird was crying too.

"I... I DON'T want to see you get gobbled up by the Wolf... but I didn't want you to go with Miss Starlight neither... I thought... I thought I could keep you safe forever... but... But..." She looked at Rainbow Dash. "There is such a thing after all... as... as... helping a friend too much."

Starlight said, "Dawn... if there's a way to fix things... I'd have gladly taken it."

"Peewee... I'm through trying to cheat. This world has enough cheaters already!" Dawn looked at the claw marks on her back.

Rainbow Dash stumbled over her own words. "But! But you need Peewee to teach Spike how to care for some-creature smaller than him! And the pain of...of letting go..."

"Spike adopted a lost child and returned him to his rightful parents in the original worldline...what we did was kidnap...Spike will lack that lesson, until the Raise-Your-Own-Sea-Creatures incident...hopefully that'll teach him that lesson in Peewee's stead."

Noon sighed in resignation. "I hate to say it. But we can't keep Peewee on glorified life support forever. And when I'm the voice of reason between the three of us, you know I mean it."

Dusk said, "Peewee... I know you're too young to understand nearly any of this... when you've matured enough to make your own choice, I hope you can make it. But for now... I think it's best if you stay with Miss Starlight until that time."

Starlight startled. "Dawn, Noon, Dusk... I..." She and firebird locked eyes.

"He can't be with his real family because of our mistakes, he's not old enough to decide for himself, and we can't take him with us... can you be his family for now?" Dusk asked.

"...I'll do my best."

Dusk said. "While I wanted Spike to get the lessons he NEEDED to learn... I didn't recognize that I and my siblings had all made the same mistake. Peewee has been dead in the eyes of the reapers since that night...Baby Phoenixes can't reincarnate yet, especially if it's in their eggs, even that excuse wouldn't be satisfactory. I didn't want to accept that. We were never meant to be a deus ex machina. We're meant to HELP things along... and we FORGOT THAT! And Peewee had to paid the price instead."

Nightmare Manacle looked in absolute dismay and confusion, "How can you just GIVE UP on him like that?!"

"... because our 'help', wasn't help," Noon confessed. "We COULD have helped 'em a million different ways, but we chose the selfish one... that put his SOUL in danger instead of just his life."

"...Let's face it, he's an innocent little kid...he'd have gone straight to Heaven..."

"You... you SAVED HIM... how can that be a bad thing?! It's not like you're doing this just for yourself!"

Then Applejack struck. "And are ya gonna slice and dice the Twilight-she-is-then into a million pieces as soon as you bring her back? To bring back your Twilight, Mirror's Twilight, Spike's Twilight, Fluttershy's Twilight, and Pinkie Pie's Twilight? And all the rest? You SAID before how angry you were about all those Twilights got joined to Nightmare Eclipse, you certainly thought about THAT right?"

The rainbow Alicorn's eyes widened... her mouth silently opened.

Applejack waited for an answer, but one never came. "...Ya know that yer gonna get punished for this, ya thought about how this AFFECTS YOU Dash. Ya thought how this effects yer family?"

"...My family is erased."

"Don't even TRY to sell that horseapples... Is this the kinda pony ya want Scootaloo to look up to?! We BOTH know that's one bit of yer family yah still got!"

Rainbow Dash looked struck by lightning.

"Ya want Scootaloo to be workin' for Nightmare Eclipse?!"

"I'M NOTHING LIKE HER!"

"You don't see the Half-Lights or Shining Armor as people! Just PIECES to put Twili' back together!"

"She's not just raw material to make them!"

"No, she's a mother to gave up her life to bring 'em into the world! Ya say yer doin' this for Twili', is this what she'd want?"

"Being loyal isn't about what somepony else wants, it's about what they need, I should have realized that with Nightmare Eclipse."

"So she needs to have her brother and daughters sacrificed in some nutty ritual to bring back her existence? Yah sure that's what she needs?"

"Then what are you waiting for?! Take me on!"

"Because... because even if Ah DID just bust up yer ritual, Ah know ya WILL try again first chance ya get!"

Starlight took a step forward, Slipknot in hoof, Razzaroo gently put a hoof in front of her.

Razzaroo admitted. "They're going back, they... the Half-lights, the Nightmares, they're going back to their worldline when this is all done, win, lose, or draw... we couldn't STOP her again. And if Rainbow is that set on this...you think any prison will hold her forever?"

Applejack held a hoof to her heart. "Apple Mirror gave me everything she was to save me, Apple Bloom, our family, everything. Are ya gonna kill me next?"

Rainbow Dash shuddered in horror.

"If she was here... she'd understand! She understood! Pinkie Pie, Spike, Fluttershy, they've all understood!"

"The truth is, Rainbow...Mirror...If she were still here would want to be here to make sure yah can't lie to yourself and that this choice is YOURS choice to make...not because of any cockamamie lie or made up reason. The fact of the matter is if yah REALLY were doin' this to save the world and nothin' else, yah'd have DONE IT ALREADY...Yah know why yer REALLY doin' this, and so do Ah...So tell meh, to my face, is turnin' those four back into Twilight is worth what yer hopin' to get out of it? Ah won't tell ya if it's right or wrong, cause yah know yerself which it is. Ah just want to know: is it worth it?"

"I... "

"IS it worth doin' ALL OF THIS... just so ya can say goodbye to YER Twili'? Her savin' the world...is that really why yer doin' this? Is that why yer really followin' through with it? Is it?...Ah apologize, Dash... Apple Mirror, she'd been stuck as the cruel truth for so long... so horribly long... Ah think she'd forgotten how to say the truth kindly sometimes... Ah... Ah won't judge ya... Ah aren't got that right... but please... answer me that one question. Not just what it'll do to ya, but for everypony else ya love. Ah'm not askin' what'll happen to 'em 'cause of this, but if ye'll still be the pony THEY love, will ya? The one that worked so hard to crawl outta the muck and they loved ya for it? Answer me please, with the honest truth," Applejack said plainly.

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