• Published 24th May 2015
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My Little Pony Bizarre Adventures - Part 1: Ponyville Central - LateBronyWriter



One Thousand years ago, the saints Celestia and Luna drew upon the power of the Red Stone of Aja to defeat the demon Discord. Now one thousand years later the Stone is destroyed, beginning the tale of six ponies and their quest to redeem the world.

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Chapter 38-Hollyhoof Undead- Take 5

Hollyhoof Undead- Take 5:


Meanwhile, off on a hill overlooking a portion of downtown Ponyville, two twisted and evil ponies so disturbed that it would Discord wretch in his grave, plot the best way to despoil the town of Ponyville.

With their respective Stand powers at their disposal the two members of Melodia employ nothing short of their best skills, tactics, and formidable abilities towards nothing less than the destruction of our fair heroes.

Truly, who could be more formidable than these two enemies who were capable of razing an army and bringing a town to its knees in a scant few hours?

Who are these mysterious stallions working for?

What are they after?

Will they be stopped?

And why…….

Why is one of them writhing on the ground, while throwing up and slobbering like a rabid dog?

“BLUAHAKAHIDKOOOLAA!!!” Caramel moans as he scoops fresh dirt into his mouth, doing everything in his power to scrub the taste of decaying flesh from his tongue. The brown stallion’s coat is matted in dirt, his mouth foaming and his face is still several shades whiter than normal as the stallion weeps at his own misfortune. And though the original kiss had disgusted the Applejack to her very core, even she has to admit the previously stuck-up stallion’s reaction is nothing short of priceless. And the fact that it is happening to the pony that had tormented her the entire night only makes it better for the mare of apples as she struggles with actual pain from having to suppress her laughter this much.

Noteworthy, however, seems unamused as he reaches into the pocket of his priestly garb, pulling out a golden pocket watch to glance at the time, his mood growing even more sour with every second that passes. “Are you done yet?” Noteworthy asks in a tone implying that his joke has lost its humor. “Need I remind you that we have a schedule to keep?”

“NOTEWORTHY!!” The brown stallion snaps upright, his rage suppressing his inner disgust. “This is all youzes fault! If it wasn’t for youze, Ize wouldn’t have…. Ize wouldn’t have….. URP!” The stallion falls to his knees, his mind unintentionally recalling his horrific experience as he shovels more dirt into his mouth.

“Yes, yes, you kissed a corpse.” Noteworthy rolls his eyes. “If I had known that you were going to freak out that much I might have reconsidered it. Just consider us even for all those necrophiliac comments you’ve made.”

“EVEN!?!” the stallion explodes as he presses further into the blue unicorn’s face, “Youze an me ain’t even CLOSE TO BEING EVEN!! Ize swear on me mother’s grave that….”

The blue unicorn slaps the stallion curtly on the cheek. “Get over it, remember we have a job to do.”

“Ferget the job! just because youzes some creepy necrophiliac doesn’t mean youze had ta force others ta make out with some dead broad!”

This time it is the blue unicorn who explodes in anger as he begins to push his forehead back against the brown coated stallion. “For the last time! I am not a necrophiliac! I do not derive sexual pleasure from death, unlike how you force ponies to obey your twisted fantasies!”

“Really? Youze kill an Ize kill, looks the same ta me.”

The blue unicorn opens his mouth to no doubt give the stallion a stinging lecture. However after a few seconds of intense staring he only sighs while looking out into the empty sky. “How can I make a corrupt soul such as yourself understand?” Noteworthy asks the stars in the sky with tears in his eyes.

Meanwhile Caramel, realizing where his partner is going, slowly backs away from the unicorn stallion like the plague. “What I do is a privilege! A sacred art! Not some form of business!” Noteworthy gets to his knees in prayer as if to give thanks for the very concept of killing. “Life is full of pain, corruption and evil. Yet when one dies, all of life’s burdens, all their suffering is thrown aside, it is the ultimate form of purification. To bring this endless peace to everypony is tantamount to SALVATION!”

The silence that falls over the hill from the fanaticism of the blue unicorn is almost physical; his devotion and charisma alone capable of swaying the ideologies of the sentient ponies despite the twisted nature of his ‘religion’. Slowly the silence becomes longer and longer as the blue unicorn prays on the hill, his closed eyes a sign of his intense thought and focus. Finally, after what seems like hours, Caramel shakily opens his mouth.

“Ize understand….” The brown earth pony gapes as he looks over the field of devastation before him. Noteworthy practically leaps out of his skin in glee as he takes pride in another soul saved.

“Ize understand…….” The brown stallion slams his hooves into the ground. “That youze are a complete nut-job!”

“How dare you insult the words of our lord and savior Discord!” Noteworthy explodes as he stares down Caramel’s mocking gaze. It looks like the two are once again on the verge of combat when the deacon turns away from Caramel with a scowl on his muzzle. “I was foolish to believe that a heathen like you could ever understand the brilliance of his words! That you could learn of the intricacies of life and death!” Noteworthy is about to quit his lecture when his eyes land on the captive orange farmer. “But perhaps there is a pony here that can understand the magnificence of what I am trying to accomplish.”

Applejack might have suspected that Noteworthy was talking to her were it not for the fact she knew that the unicorn was completely insane. However, over the course of a half minute the multiple gestures the dark priest makes in her direction slowly convinces the farmer that the pony he is trying to refer to is….. “…ME!?!”

“Of course, maid of Apples!” Noteworthy gazes deep into Applejack’s eyes before pulling away and pacing on the ground in front of her. “Just consider it! All your effort on your farm, all your love for your family, is a shallow patch for the loss of your parents. You try so hard because you know, no matter how perfect your farm is, no matter how good of care you take of your family, you can never see them again in this life.”

The blue unicorn pushes further in, as if sensing the mare’s unease and reluctance to admit any truth in what he is saying. “Now wouldn’t you like to be reunited with them? To see their loving faces once more? To have lasting and permanent peace that transcends anything you could find on this broken world?!” Noteworthy practically screams as he reaches the crescendo of his argument. “Well that is what death is for! It is to liberate the soul from the confines of flesh! It is deliverance! It is purity! It is…..” The stallion shudders as he takes a deep breath. “….SALVATION.”

“For as it is said in the holy scriptures of all who believe in our Church,” the stallion recites from memory. “Death is the only constant; pain our only succor; suffering, the fate of all life. For all in this world must crumble away before his wrath at our defilement of the Holy of Holies. Let our deaths be filled with agony for the sins that we have committed, let the impurities of our flesh fall from our souls, and our spirits pass into the bosom of the mother,” Noteworthy recites in a chilling tone as he crosses his chest with his hoof. “In the name of the mother of light, the sister of bone, and the brother of burning fire.” The dark priest stamps his hooves. “AMEN!”

The stallion stares down the cowering orange mare, his wicked, sick smile a contrast to his normal calm demeanor. Applejack looks up at him, her mind tumultuous and confused as she tries to refute the twisted priest’s doctrine of death, her breath ragged and shallow. Yet as the stallion continues to bear down on the mare with his powerful presence, it is the orange farm mare who lowers her head in defeat. “Yer right……Ah would give anythin ta see them again.” the orange mare admits shamefully, her head hung low.

“Exactly what I thought.” The blue unicorn smiles in satisfaction. “Then just say the word and I’ll make your passing….”

“Ah miss em, Ah can’t deny that. But…….” The mare swallows back a heavy lump in her throat. “But Ah have a family here, an not just Applebloom an Big mac an Granny.”

“What?” the blue unicorn scoffs, “And I thought you were an honest type, Applejack. I checked your records, you don’t have any other family and you certainly don’t have any other…….”

“They’re pretty unexpected, Ah'll give ya that,” the mare continues talking over the blue unicorn, much to his frustration. “An they are pretty weird fer family, fer sure. Ah have a sister, one who is faster than the wind and more reliable than the harvest. A have one who fills mah life with happiness and is always there ta brighten mah day. Ah have a sister who acts all meek, but is far stronger than even she believes. Ah have a smart, beautiful mare who never puts herself before others an is obsessed with fashion. And Ah have a bonafide magical master, who has the ability ta keep us together through even the darkest storm.”

The mare chuckles to herself. “Yeah, Ah even have a little sis who boasts an brags like there’s no tomorrow.” The mare smirks to herself. “But…… Ah’ve never known a more stubborn mare in mah life, she’s the kind a pony who pretends she doesn’t care, but really she fights harder than anypony Ah know when there are lives on tha line.”

Realizing where his victim is going with her conversation, the twisted priest can’t help but grimace at Applejack’s sudden defiance and uplifting mood. “They are without a doubt, tha most special, tha most interesting, most carin’ ponies Ah have ever had the pleasure of knowin, an they all have one thing in common…” The mare stares down the blue unicorn with such a fiery gaze that even a pony as cold as him falls on his rump in fear. “….An that’s that they all never give up or leave a friend behind, an that’s the truth!”

Now the mare has literally turned the tables on the unicorn with the dark blue mane, as the previously confident stallion sits with his rump in the dirt staring up at the fiery mare before him. “So, bring it on! Cause Ah know that even now, when the world looks ta be ending, whenever Ah'm in trouble…..”

BANG!

The hill explodes in light and sound as a burst of magic blows back the manes of the three ponies standing there. Noteworthy and Caramel, surprised by the sudden explosion, back away from the circle of singed grass with cautious fear. Yet more surprising than the explosion are the six mares that have arrived in the middle of it, their faces contorted in a mixture of battle readiness and rage as they manifest their Stands one by one. The six ponies though independent stand as a unified force, defiant in every sense of the word as they prepare their bodies and minds for conflict.

The orange mare grins ear to ear as a she looks upon the faces of her best friends in the world. “… Ah know that they’ll always be by mah side, cause that’s what family’s for!”

The six mares however look less than pleased to have arrived, their throbbing heads and broken posture a sign of a less-than-stellar teleportation.

“Twilight, what was with that lame teleport?! You said ‘hold on’ and it took you like an hour to teleport us out here!” Dash complains. “So, what the heck?!”

“Well excuse me for wanting us to arrive safely!” the unicorn shouts back. “Maybe next time you can teleport six ponies two miles to a place you aren’t intimately familiar with! Oh, that’s right, you can’t!”

“Will you two stop bickering? This time it’s Trixie who you’re giving a headache!”

“Um, we’re supposed to be saving the town, right? I think it's best that we don’t fight each other…….”

“Yeah these super menies are going DOWN! Like down town! Cause we’re overlooking downtown! Get it? Cause we’re on a hill overlooking downtown! I’m SO funny!!”

Rarity and the rest of the group roll their eyes. “Yes, Pinkie, I presume we all get the joke; however, if you could refrain from ‘cracking wise’ the rest of the time we are fighting for our lives, that would splendid, thank you. After all, we currently have a job to do and we don’t need any more of your….. improvising, if we’re going to save our Applejack.”

Both Carmel and Noteworthy, having recovered from the sudden shock of their guests arivian prepare themselves for battle as well.

“Well, Caramel,” the blue unicorn says as he rises to his hooves, glancing over at the stallion behind him. “It looks like I owe you those ten bits, they did come right to us.”

Caramel grins as he extends his hoof, catching the bag of bits thrown to him by his compatriot. “Heh! I told ya! All Ize had ta do was hold that orange minx hostage an they’d come right to us! An youze doubted mane plan!”

“Shut up, corpse-kisser,” The blue unicorn snaps, more sore at the fact that Caramel was right than his loss of bits. Caramel noticeably greens as he holds back what remains of his dinner while Noteworthy takes center stage. “I applaud your courage,” Noteworthy begins as he addresses the newly arrived group. “Not many ponies would go out of their way to walk headlong into their own executions. However, I appreciate the fact that you no longer wish to prolong your fate, and will give you a proper funerary procession.”

“What’d he say?” Dash scratches her head while she hovers in the air. “Twilight! I think that guy’s trying to insult us or something.”

As if anticipating the pegasus’ response Noteworthy rolls his eyes. “And will you look at that, another genius to add to our merry band.”

Twilight puffs up her chest. “Thank you!”

Noteworthy facehooves. “I was being facetious, you dolt!”

“Wait, were you being facetious to me, or Twilight?” Dash asks, “because all I heard was ‘look at me, I’m a scary priest guy, I play with dead ponies, I’m a huge egghead nerd’.”

“Youze an me are speakin the same language now, minx!” Caramel comments, punching the blue unicorn harshly in the shoulder. “Ize hear the same thing whenever this necrophiliac opens his mouth!”

“I am NOT a necrophiliac!” the blue unicorn shouts.

While the two ponies and one necrophiliac blue unicorn continue to argue pointlessly about sexual orientation and preferences, Twilight wisely seizes the opportunity created by their bickering. Taking stock of the graveyard-covered hill around them Twilight gestures to her friends, pulling them quickly into a huddle. “Wow. I’ve got to admit, Dash did a great job with distracting those two. I didn’t even have to tell her to create a diversion so we could come up with a plan.”

“Um, Twilight?” Fluttershy raises her hoof. “I don’t think Dash is trying to distract them… I just think that she’s being Dash…… not that that’s a bad thing.”

“I know, Fluttershy. But more importantly,” Twilight pulls out of her huddle to look at the battlefield around them, instantly processing the strengths and weaknesses of her opponents. “…..we should use this time to come up with a plan.”

“Plan?!” Trixie scoffs, “The Great and Powerful Trixie says there is no time for a plan. We have the advantage in numbers, let’s simply push our advantage and attack!”

“That sounds like a swell idea Trixie!” Pinkie cheers, “We’ll all team up and hit them with a super wonder ultimate…..”

“No, Pinkie!” Twilight lightly slaps some sense into the mare as she looks at the field around her. “Did you forget about the hordes of zombies and infected ponies surrounding the hill?! If we rush in we’ll be surrounded and crushed! We’re the ones outnumbered, that’s why we need a plan!”

“All the more reason….” Trixie pushes back with her rhetoric, “…why we should take them down before they knew what hit them! If we hit them fast and hard there is no need for another plan!”

“And I say we can’t just rush in against two ponies without some form of tactics.”

“For once I agree with, Twilight, darling,” Rarity remarks as she looks over to the two dense and completely oblivious dunces, and Noteworthy. “One does not simply rush into battle all helter-skelter! It is a pony’s ability to control their baser instincts and direct this primal fury in a way….”

“Heyz Noteworthy!” Caramel yells, pointing to the group of ponies. “Theyz huddling around that white minx with the ugly mane an talkin all secret like! Theyz are comin up with a plan!”

The temperature in the huddle grows ten degrees colder, a dark and frigid shiver passing through six mares. All heads turn over to the white fashionista, her eyes blazing like the fires of an exploding volcano as she looks up from the huddle at the brown, gaudy-clothed stallion. And then she takes a step towards the stallion, her hoofstep still as dainty and well controlled as before, but harboring untold malice.

And so it is that, for a moment, the Stardust Crusaders did not fear the thousands of undead, or the horrible infectious disease that can cripple them and control their bodies. They are not even afraid of the two ponies responsible for the very atrocity that is destroying their town. For a single moment, no fear on that green earth can hold a candle to the mind-crushing levels of terror that every mare huddled in the circle felt, seeing the malice radiating from Rarity’s dark, fiery eyes.

“I beg your pardon?” Rarity blinks in confusion as she slowly approaches the stallion. “Excuse me, my good sir, but I fear there’s been some form of confusion.” The mare laughs in a way that sends shivers through the bodies of her six friends. “You see, you said you saw ‘a white minx with ugly mane’ and, for a moment there, I thought that you were talking about little old me.”

With less commons sense than a louse and more disinterest than a corporate banker being asked for a loan, the stallion promptly reaches up his nose and flicks a booger off to his side. “Yeah Ize did. So what, youze want me to apologize fer youze havin no fashion sense?”

The stallion laughs along to a joke that only he finds funny as the mare steps closer. “Ize mean, youze might be stupid enough ta think it looks cool. But it looks like youze glued youze butt to youze head!”

Caramel laughs again as Rarity steps closer. “Ize can’t believe there are minxes as stupid as youze that think that looks cool! Ize mean, culled manez are like from the seventies, an youze still think it looks cool! Bwa ha ha ha ha!!”

The pale white unicorn doesn’t make a single sound as she stands, not ten feet away from the laughing earth pony stallion, save the ominous sound as she cracks her neck.

“….give me a break…..” Applejack gulps in fear, rooted to the ground.

If one could compare the wrath of a scorned mare to something easy enough for, say, a pony like Caramel to understand, an erupting volcano would be a good simile. Insulting a woman’s acquaintances and livelihood is fine as long as it is done in the ‘society-proper way’ (“Have you seen that new mare Janice? Darling, however do you keep yourself occupied all day?”), with apologies immediately offered should things turn sour. However, insulting a mare’s looks and appearance is tantamount to standing at the mouth of that erupting volcano. And for Rarity, a pony who had dedicated her entire life to beauty and perfection, you might have better luck throwing yourself into said volcano than facing her fury.

Applejack knew that simple fact better than anypony. Applejack had been there when the three bullies that had tried to pick a fight had dared to insult Rarity’s mane. And from that day on, the bullying problem that had plagued Ponyville elementary for years stopped completely. The three bullies in question soon moved to another town entirely, unwilling to admit to their parents how each of them had managed to break all four of their legs at the same time. Little did the bullies know that the little filly that they had dared insult was the reigning junior judo champion for the district of Canterlot, and had studied since she was six on how to dislocate and shatter pony bodies with as little strength as possible.

In a flash of silver light Rarity’s Stand lashes out, living up to its name of Quicksilver as a beam of hardened metal smashes into the offending stallion’s face. The stallion recoils back as his gums begin to bleed profusely. However the mare’s assault does not cease as she slams the stallion’s head into the ground with the flat of a newly-formed silvery hammer. Caramel yelps in pain as the force of the hammer’s blow shatters six of his perfectly pearly whites and sends a small spurt of blood over the ground from his mouth. The stallion flails about as he struggles to recover from the sudden savage assault, his senses reeling as the hammer smashes into his unprotected ribs, cracking several painfully, powerless to do anything but yelp in pain. Then before the stallion can even recognize what is happening he is hit with a spinning buck kick from the ivory mare, sending him skidding against the ground and into a nearby tombstone. Smashing into the stone with enough force to break it Caramel slumps to the ground, hacking profusely as he attempts to clear the blood pouring out of his mouth and eyes.

Rarity’s friends can only gape as the mare telekinetically circles the heavy silver hammer in the air, laying it to rest gracefully on her shoulder.

“I’m dreadfully sorry there, sir; if it wouldn’t be too much trouble, would you be so kind as to repeat what it is that you just said?” Rarity blinks cutely. “Because in case you were too stupid to understand, NOPONY, I REPEAT NOPONY CAN SAY BAD THINGS ABOUT MY MANE!!!”

For a moment it doesn’t look like the stallion can even move, his badly battered face a testament to Rarity’s powerful combination. Yet, defying common sense and demonstrating legendary earth pony toughness, the earth pony Caramel rises shakily to his hooves, blood leaking from his mouth and eyes. “The minx broke mah nose!” Caramel screams as he tries spit the copious amounts of blood from his mouth. “IZE GONNA WHACK THAT MARE!!” the stallion shouts as he spits out his loose teeth with a feral growl.

With razor precision the two stallions manifest their Stands. Noteworthy’s bony projection ripples out of his skin, its sharpened hooves and rainbow-string-covered body swaying in the wind in anticipation of a fresh kill. Caramel, his anger ignited, growls as hundreds of sharp toothy maws cover his body like a horrific tattoo, each one gnashing to devour the flesh of the offending white mare.

As the two stallions ready their Stands Trixie can’t help but smirk at the change in the situation. “Well, Twilight, it looks like your plan is shot, because our local fashionista has finally taken the initiative. Good for her!”

Twilight can’t help but sigh at the situation. “B-But I like plans….”

“Well it doesn’t look like Rarity’s going to follow a plan, now does it?” Trixie smirks with snarky flare.

“PLAN?!” Rarity turns her head around, leveling her gaze on her friends. “I’ll tell you what our plan is! Our plan is to beat those two ponies that dared insult my mane INTO THE DIRT! That is our plan!”

Rarity paws the ground like a wild bull as she readies her horn to impale the two ponies in front of her, snorting in rage. However, much to Twilight’s dismay, Rarity’s plan finds a great deal of support among her other friends.

“It’s about time somepony came up with an awesome idea!” Dash cracks her hooves as she lands right next to Rarity. “Rarity’s right! There’s no time for your egghead plans now, Twilight, let’s just beat them up!”

“Yeah!” Pinkie states as she bounces right next to Dash. “It’s better not to have a plan so when Twilight does come up with a plan it will be a surprise! Now that’s a plan!”

“Um…” Fluttershy taps the shoulder of the white fashionista in an attempt to assuage her wrath. “If it’s any consolation, Rarity, I don’t think that you’re mane is…..”

“The plan, Fluttershy,” Rarity growls, her eyes locked on the offending brown stallion. “WHAT. IS. THE. PLAN?!”

“Beat them down?”

“Beat them down.” Rarity nods with a dark twinkle in her eye.

Realizing that she is outvoted, the lavender library mare sighs as she trots up to the front line. “Whatever, but just to be clear, this was my idea!”

“Attack, my Great and Powerful underlings!” Trixie shouts with her normal fanfare. “Show those two fools what happens to those that cross the Great and Powerful Trixie! And I suppose save Applejack and the town while we’re at it.”

With their doubts swept aside the six ponies rapidly close the distance, rushing towards the two stallions. However, despite the six-pony rush, Noteworthy remains undaunted. “You may think that you are the ones who hold an advantage, but as you will see, you are the ones who are hopelessly outnumbered.” Noteworthy’s Stand cackles incessantly as it slams its bony hoof into the ground with a sickening crunch.

Suddenly, as if coming from the depths of Tartarus the ground explodes in front of the six ponies, halting their charge as more decrepit corpses paw their way out of the ground. “….or did you neglect to notice that we are in a graveyard, by chance?”

The dead ponies moan horribly, decay radiating off of their very bones with enough force to flatten a lesser pony with the stench alone. “And since Ize don’t like takin back seat…” Caramel grins as he raises his jawed hoof into the air, its mouths gibbering with horrific effect as dark vacant eyes emerge from the dark around our heroes. Suddenly, to their great horror, the six ponies find themselves completely surrounded by the pained screams and slobbering maws of the infected as they close in around the group.

“In fact, Ize think a little friendly get tagether is in order, doncha say….” The stallion turns back to Applejack, who lurches forward against her will. “….minx?” Applejack tries to resist the Stand’s power, however she quickly finds her strength taken over as she is forced to move in to attack her own friends.

Waving his hoof forward, Caramel laughs as his legion of followers charge in from all sides. Noteworthy, taking the initiative, sends his own legion of the damned forward as the Stardust Crusaders find themselves running out of empty space.

“Well, Trixie?” Twilight laughs sarcastically, “This is your plan, so what do we do now?”

“Easy, Twilight,” Trixie says as she cracks her hooves and ignites her horn. “We do just like Rarity said, we push our Stands to the limit, beat them down and ATTACK!” With a war cry that would be impressive were it not coming from a twenty-something showmare Trixie charges into the fray, directly towards the two stallion as she blows the a hole in the ranks of the undead menace with a ball of arcane fire.

Inspired by her courage and leadership by example, the five mares look at each other for only a second before joining the showmare mare herself in charging directly into enemy lines. As they clash they enter battle in a frenzy, hitting the enemy from every direction at once.

Pinkie leaps through the fray like a whirlwind, attacking with everything from party poppers to the kitchen sink, which she swings erratically around like a flail.

Dash, coating her hooves in her Valkyrie power, eschews any weapon for the satisfying crunch of her enemies beneath her hooves as her shockwaves of pure force throw her enemies like ragdolls in a windstorm.

Fluttershy’s narrowing gaze, focused and powerful, send no small number of enemies screaming like little girls back to the safety of their homes, or back within the deep earth where they belonged; the fury at having her town targeted by these monstrosities adding fuel to her power.

However Fluttershy’s fury was perhaps eclipsed by Rarity, who moves like a river through the battlefield, attacking one moment only to flow away and attack again. Already she has piled dozens upon dozens of bodies on the field, knocked senseless by the flailing steel which is Rarity’s Stand.

Trixie, always the master of misdirection, uses her power flawlessly, luring her enemies in with an illusion of herself only to blast them to pieces with pyrotechnics or direct attacks from her Stand. So far the mare hasn’t even suffered a scratch, her attacks always hitting an enemy from their blind spots before they could even manage a blow.

Applejack, powerless in body, is only able to pin herself to the ground with her Stand not far from where her friends are fighting. Yet even then she fights in spirit, warning her friends about attacks from behind, shouting words of encouragement as her ‘family’ fights on her behalf.

And standing in the center of this carnage like a pony in the eye of a hurricane is Twilight Sparkle. Never once does she stop shouting encouragement or advice to her friends around her, as she uses her magic and her Stand to protect them from harm. With flawless distribution and multitasking one would expect from the Princess’ protégé. Lashing out with her stand, Twilight flattens the infected with her Stand F.R.I.E.N.D.S., causing the them to fall into a deep slumber, affording her the opportunity to attack the automatic Stand The Monster Within with her stand’s power. The mental feedback quickly shuts down the simple mind of the maws so that, even though the sores are still festering on many a pony’s body, the Stands themselves are shocked senseless by her blows. Meanwhile, she conserves her own magic and deploys it sparingly, but efficiently, to destroy Noteworthy’s undead. And better yet, every time Noteworthy tries to pull another of his twisted creations from the ground, Twilight calls out to her friends and the beast is pushed back into the earth before it can even attack.

The result of the six mares working in tandem is undoubtedly a sight to behold. Six untrained mares holding back an entire attacking army while beating said army into the ground, bodies piling up around them. In their fury the two stallions push their own Stands to the limit as they work overtime to pump out more soldiers; yet even as more and more of the army congregates around the Stardust Crusaders they redouble their efforts, dispatching their foes with supernatural ease. Thus a pattern is formed, that is the more soldiers the two villains send in, the faster they are beaten down by the mares and the shorter the distance grows between the vengeful Crusaders and the two generals.

“This is impossible!” Noteworthy shouts in disbelief as he watches Pinkie send another of his undead flying with a blow from her party cannon. “They should be dead by now! How could their will to fight be this strong?”

Caramel smirks as he dodges a stray magic bolt from the Great and Powerful Trixie. “Well if Ize had mine guess it’d be that youze undead are slackin! The boss should have known not ta put youze in charge when I clearly outrank youze!”

“Well, from where I’m standing…..” Noteworthy narrows his gaze at the stallion at his side. “…..you haven’t infected even one of them with your power! At least I’m hitting them!”

“Why you little necrophiliac!” Caramel shouts, “I’ll have youze know..…”

However, the sound of the two once again arguing was cut off by the enormous din coming from around the six ponies. Twilight flings another of the dead ponies like a flail as she encourages her friends around her, knowing that even though the enemy’s numbers are thinning the battle could go either way if their exhaustion gets any worse.

“Remember, guys!” Twilight yells over the din of battle, barely managing to dodge as a zombie erupts from the soul underneath her “That pony ‘Horseshoes’ can control your movements if he bites you, so don’t let him!” Twilight cries as she blasts another corpse into dust with a bolt of magic.

“Please, Twilight!” Dash shouts as she beats down another one of the stallion’s infected. “As if I’d let this loser’s slow attacks get to me! In fact….” Dash narrows her gaze at the offending stallion. “I think I feel like ending this guy, right NOW!”

With speed that could only be achieved with years of hard work and dedication the pegasus launches off a nearby tombstone, hugging the ground as she races towards the brown stallion like a lightning bolt. Her hooves resonate like thunder as she smashes through obstacle after obstacle, crushing them before they even have a chance to attack as she beats her way through the crowd of enemies. Suddenly, just as a veritable wall of the infected surrounds the intrepid pegasus she leaps into the air and towards the stallion, preparing to come down right on top of him in a rainbow arc.

Smiling in anticipation of the victory she is about to see, Dash braces herself as she preps her hooves for impact. “Game over,” she declares as she falls directly on top of the gaping brown-coated stallion. With an explosion of color and sound the mare smashes into the mobster’s body, slamming him into the ground with enough force to create a deep crater in the soft soil. The ground explodes in a cloud of dirt and debris, forcing even the Stardust Crusaders to shield themselves from the blast until the dust settles. However, one mare does not look away, and as the dust clears on her battle Rainbow Dash stares dramatically forward in an impressive pose that conveys her excitement and elation at her own victory. “Heh like I always say, I can wipe the floor with anypony in Ten Seconds Flat!”

Brushing back her mane the rainbow mare fawns over her own awesomeness as she stares intimidatingly at Noteworthy. “And guess what necro-whatever, you’re next, so if I were you I’d throw in the towel before you really make me mad!”

Noteworthy however seems completely undaunted by the mare’s threats. “Really?” He asks “Because from where I’m standing I don’t think that you’ll be backing up your boasts any time soon.”

“DASH! Look out!” Applejack cries out in urgency. “Yawl need to get away now!”

“Hunh? Why?” Dash asks as she cranes her neck to look back to her orange friend, ignoring the hideous orange mouths covering her coat to glance into her dark green eyes. ”I mean, the bad guy’s defeated, problem solved, right?”

“Dash, look at me!” The mare writhes on her knees as she tries to present her black blisters to the oblivious blue mare. “All those horrible maws are still on me, an Caramel said that as long as he was conscious the maws wouldn’t go away! That means that he’s still kickin! Git away before he bites yawl too!”

At this Rainbow Dash flares her wings in surprise. “No way! I hit him full force! There’s no way that he’s….. alive?” Looking down at the pony beneath her hooves, Dash sees a dark brown pony dressed in the gaudy brown coat that she had seen on the obnoxious pony that had hurt her friends. However, on closer inspection the rainbow hued mare realizes that the pony beneath her hooves could never pass for Caramel in open sunlight, given that the pony’s face was rotten and decaying from years of being buried underground. Looking down at the undead pony that is clearly not Caramel Cider, Dash recoils in a mixture of both surprise and fear “You're not…”

CHOMP!

The rainbow mare screams in pain as she clutches her left hoof desperately, the jagged bite mark already festering and turning black under the light of the moon. Recoiling back off of the long-dead corpse, the stunt mare looks on in shock as the evilly-grinning pony with a cutie mark of three horseshoes pulls himself out from behind the tombstone to her left. His body, naked of its normal dark brown coat, presents his bulging muscles and horrible toothed maws popping out of his pelt as he walks over towards the broken corpse Dash stood on not a moment before.

“Impressive, aint it!” The evil pony laughs with glee, savoring his victory as drops of blood from his broken teeth drip onto the ground. “All Ize had ta do was take of mine impressive coat an get one of Noteworthy’s flunkies ta wear it an youze fell fer mine bait hook line an sinker!”

The stallion grins as he trots over the broken corpse and rips his torn coat off of the body of the now twitching zombie, only for the cheap fabric to fall apart in his hooves. “However, youze did mess up mine coat. Ize will have ta take it out on yer hide, after youze are listenin ta my commands!”

Rainbow Dash opens her mouth to tell the stallion off, to tell him that she’ll never surrender and obey a freak like him, when her arm explodes in pain. Dash clenches her jaw shut and watches powerlessly as a large mouth with serrated teeth appears on her left foreleg, grinning like a predator cornering its meal.

“Iiiimmmmmmppppprrrrrreeeeeeeeessssssiiiiivvveeeeee!!!!” the mouth whines as its jaw lurches forward to bite the rainbow mare with its unnatural strength.

Only Rainbow’s keen reflexes and her physical strength keep the hungry jaw at bay as it presses forward to eat her. Reflexively in order to avoid attacks from her own arm she leaps into the air, dodging her own hoof as she rolls around in the air, avoiding the bites and gnashes of the infectious Stand. Dash’s unorthodox flying allows her to constantly dodge the predictable movements of her controlled arm as she flies higher and higher out of sight flailing against the dark maw on her hoof, shouting curses with every thinly dodged attack.

“She’s getting away!” Noteworthy shouts as she gestures to two pegasi corpses behind him. “Quick, you two, go after her and finish her…..”

“Ferget about it!” Caramel says good-naturedly as he wipes his bloody mouth with remnants of his torn jacket “Ize got her, didn’t I? Now it’s only a matter of time till she’s covered in maws! Once she runs outta steam she’ll be swarming with mah Stand! Fer now we should wrap up on finishing off tha other minxes.”

Caramel glares hatefully towards the panting ivory fashionista. “Sides, Ize gots me a score to settle with that not-impressive minx! I’ll make her suffer fer what she did ta mah impressive muzzle!”

Rarity prepares herself as she watches the hateful stallion step towards her. “In fact…” The stallion grins “Ize know just how to pay this minx back fer darin ta injure me!” Turning back to the orange mare he yells with a loud dominating voice. “Hey Minx! Come on over here!”

However, despite his cry the mare stands rooted to the ground, defiant of the stallion’s wishes. Seeing the disappointment on the stallion’s face, the mare smiles. “Heh, nice try ya varmint, but thanks ta mah Stand power I ain’t goin anywhere!”

Yet the stallion’s disappointment soon gives way to a confident expression that Applejack can’t quite place as Carmel refuses to break his hateful gaze directed at the Ivory mare. Just before Applejack can voice her concerns to her friend, she feels a heavy tearing beneath her hooves as her body plods forward against her wishes. Crying out in surprise the mare looks down to find giant clods of earth hanging out from below her hooves.

“Impressive, aint it?” The stallion laughs as Applejack is forced to trot up to the stallion’s side. “This here mare’s power may have kept her glued to the earth, but that doesn’t work if she’s strong enough ta pull the earth out of the ground.” The evil maws lick the orange mare’s coat sensually and Applejack shivers in a horrible mixture of disgust, at her situation, and fear for her friend as the stallion rants on. “After all, what could be better than getting a mare’s best friend ta whack er?! Nothing, that’s what! An given that this minx was strong enough ta tear the earth out of the ground roots an all, Ize says that youze are gonna be gettin a pretty one-sided beatin, ya ugly-maned minx!”

With a contorted moment that should not be possible for anypony, Applejack vaults off the ground in a cartwheel as her body’s power is thrown into one attack. However Rarity, though stunned initially by her friend’s forced compliance and the situation, responds just in time with a back step, landing a pony’s-length away from the earthen crater created by Applejack’s brute strength.

Rarity lands shakily on the ground from the mere shock wave of her friend’s impact, yet Applejack continues her assault, slamming her hooves into Rarity’s hastily-constructed metal shell made from her Stand. Blow after blow hammers into the metal shield as Applejack’s amazing strength tears it to pieces under her flailing hooves. However Applejack’s sudden assault leaves her grossly off balance, a weakness Rarity quickly exploits as she grabs the mare’s hoof with her telekinesis to temporarily immobilize it and then, throwing her entire body weight into her shield, she slams it into the farmer’s body.

Feeling her opponent slam into the ground through her sensitive hooves, Rarity reforms her metal shield into a heavy, spiked flail as she reflexively swings her weapon for a finishing blow on her attacker. Yet as the orange mare turns her head Rarity’s senses recover, her mind floods with memories of fond times with her friend Applejack and in less than a millisecond the mare realizes that she is trying to crush her friend with a lethal attack. With a loud cry the mare swings her flail wide, missing Applejack by a margin as the orange mare’s head dodges the fatal blow.

And though in any normal situation Applejack would be enormously grateful to Rarity for such an act, the orange farm mare knows that her body is currently not her own. As such Applejack can only look on in terror as she feels all her muscles in her back tense up like a coiled spring. With a single shed tear the orange mare closes her eyes as she feels her strength in both her rear legs slam into the mare’s white coat pounding her flesh with the force built up from years of applebucking. Applejack winces as she feels two ribs snap like kindling as the white mare lands and rolls over the ground like a broken wagon wheel, landing in a heap at the base of a broken tombstone.

Rarity, unwilling to be beaten down, attempts to rise shakily to her hooves only to fall back on the ground with a sickening thud, clutching her side to suppress her desire to scream in pain. And standing over her friend, tears streaming down her face, stands Applejack, her black-toothed maws crying out for the white mare’s blood. And as if a dark contrast to the two mares is Caramel laughing like a maniac as he contemplates his revenge against the mare who wronged him.

“HE! HE HA! That’s what a minx like youze gets fer makin a fool of me! Now, my little slave….” The stallion points to the white mare writhing on the ground. “Do meze a favor an finish the minx off impressively, an make it as slow an painful as youze can!”

The orange mare’s body shakes erratically, her nerves and muscles tense as she tries to use all the vestiges of strength in her to disobey, to keep her body from making a mistake that would no doubt haunt her the rest of her life. Yet to no avail the dark maws gnash, her hoof poised to strike as the orange limb is swung down with her entire body weight directly where Rarity’s head is. For the scarcest of moments everything moves in slow motion: Applejack’s tears pouring down her face; Rarity staring up in horror as the finishing blow falls; and Caramel laughing in victory as he flaunts his power over the two horrified mares.

Like a bolt from the heavens, a bright flash erupts over Rarity, and suddenly a large, purple object stands over the prone fashionista. And there standing protectively over her friend, Twilight’s eyes glare upwards at Applejack with a force that would give Fluttershy’s Stare a run for its money. Applejack’s blow stops, her hoof frozen in space as the lavender unicorn stares back at her, causing her to slowly back away from Rarity, an action that greatly confuses and infuriates a certain brown-coated stallion.

“What?” Caramel shouts in disbelief at the scene before him. “How?! My commands are absolute, youze little friend should be ripping ya to pieces! Why ain’t she obeyin me? CRUSH HER!”

“Oh, THAT,” Twilight remarks nonchalantly as she straightens her hooves, standing straight up in front of her injured friend Rarity. With Applejack’s hoof hovering not three inches from her muzzle Twilight steps forward, Applejack forced to retreat away from the confident purple mare as Twilight draws closer to the fuming Caramel. Trotting around the controlled mare without fear Twilight walks behind Applejack as she stares down the stallion with a confident smirk. “That’s just a little effect of my power, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. I thought that you knew all my powers? Or perhaps your information is incomplete, otherwise you would have heard about my ability, ‘Friendly Fire’.”

“F-Friendly Fire?” Noteworthy asks as he watches Applejack’s quaking arm refuse to injure her friend. “How? A Stand should only have one power, to possess two….. is that possible?”

“No, you’re right, a Stand can only have one power,” Twilight confirms with a nod from her head as she continues to circle around the frozen Applejack. “Think of it as a side effect my Stand’s mind-link ability.”

Clearing her throat in a way that would make a pony believe that the librarian has sat in front of a mirror practicing clearing her throat in a condescending way, the mare launches into yet another of her long scientific tirades. “It’s simple really, after all a mind does all it can to keep from injuring itself, just like the body keeps from accidentally injuring itself by holding back it’s strength. it’s an ingrained natural reflex to do whatever we can to keep from hurting a ‘part’ of ourselves, if you’ve ever gotten a shot you’d realise just how strong a body’s impulses are to prevent harm from being inflicted on it.”

“Excuse me for a moment,” Noteworthy tries to interrupt. “But shouldn’t we be fighting? What does this have to do with…...”

“And since during a mind-link two ponies become one…” Twilight continues, conveniently ignoring the blue unicorn’s moot point, “…even after the link is severed the two minds are still linked in the form of an invisible bond. It’s like how a transplanted liver will always acknowledge its host as friendly and compatible in a way that prevents the body from attacking it like a foreign invader. And because of that, a pony I’ve linked with is incapable of harming me in the same way that they are incapable of harming themselves!”

The Lavender unicorn concludes as she trots around her orange friend, who stands completely still and unable to attack. “It also keeps me from being hurt by my friends’ Stand powers, since a Stand is an extension of a pony’s psyche. Otherwise, when me and Rainbow Dash fused that one time, I would have been blown to pieces along with my library wall by her own Stand’s destructive force.”

The entire hilltop stands silent, perhaps in awe of Twilight’s new power - or perhaps it is the result of her long winded speech - before Applejack clears her throat to interrupt. “Uh Twi? It may just be cause Ah'm a simple country farmer an all, but that makes as much sense as a chicken rollin around in mud.”

Shooting the immobile farmer behind her a dirty look, Twilight continues, “You just don’t have the years of scientific training and research into Stand powers to understand that it does not make sense.” Twilight suddenly finches from her own freudian slip. “I mean that it DOES make sense! My power ‘Friendly Fire’, which I need remind you again is an amazing name for a Stand power, makes complete and total sense! You just think that it doesn't!”

“….Twi, did you just call me dumb?”

“And now…..” With a smirk of satisfaction at the dumbfounded expression on Caramel’s face, Twilight manifests her Stand. “And now that Applejack can’t attack me, I can put my Stand’s true power to its most efficient use.” Raising her Stand’s hoof the mare touches Applejack’s body, its hoof combining with Applejack’s Stand as the two become one. “And boost her power beyond its’ limits!”

Twilight’s eyes igniting with the full power of her Stand, the two ponies begin to combine their powers, Applejack’s Stand finally manifesting past her frame as the power of Caramel’s Stand becomes mitigated by her sharp power increase. Yet just as it looks that the battle is turning it her favor Twilight finds herself slammed back by the body-rush of an undead corpse, her power interrupted as she falls to the ground with a heavy impact. Sliding from the body-rush the mare quickly rises to her hooves, her eyes turning back to their normal hue as she prepares to fight.

Wiping a cold sweat from his neck Noteworthy closes in on the lavender mare, driving her back. “That… that was too close, had you managed to use your power to boost Applejack’s strength further….” The blue unicorn gulps. “…Not even I could tell what would become of it.”

“Caramel!” Noteworthy shouts, “don’t let them fuse together! That purple mare can boost Stand powers; if you let them touch then we may be the ones to lose tonight!” Manifesting his Stand, Noteworthy slams his hoof into the ground, and more and more undead pile out into the land of the living. “Remember the strategy: swarm and overwhelm them! No more messing around.”

Combing his greased black mane back into position the stallion gestures with his muzzle, causing his loyal ‘followers’ to once again swarm around the desperate mares. “Yeah yeah, youze made it clear the first time, let’s just get this over with. These minxes are getting ta be more trouble than they’re worth!”

With nervous eyes Twilight looks around as her friends form up back to back, their retreat cut off by even greater swarms of enemies than they had fought off before. As the mares look around at their enemies, the hundreds of rotten undead and hundreds of controlled ponies circle around them like a ring of death. Even Rarity, rising shakily to her hooves, looks nervous as the swarms of undead cackle and moan while they close in on our intrepid heroes, their jaws snapping and opening like a chorus of gnashing teeth.

“Tch.” Twilight looks around at the scene before her. Her mind, unlike her friends’, is unclouded by the fear of the situation or the evil of her foes, as she pushes her intelligence to the limits and frantically strategizes. ‘Alright, Twilight, think, what do we do now? Or rather what can we do? Trixie thought that if we could finish these guys fast enough then there wasn’t a need for strategy.’ Twilight looks around her as the zombies march in. ‘And look where that got us!’

Twilight looks at her friends behind her, their breaths heavy and their shoulders sagging. ‘At this rate we won’t survive another wave, so our options are retreat or surrender, and surrender is not an option. True, I if I had enough magic I could attempt a teleport. But my magic is too weak now to get us far, and even if it wasn’t, these two won’t stop attacking the town, so by the time I could muster enough magic to teleport us back there’s no telling what they would do without us to hold their attention.’ Looking around as the circle closes even tighter the mare begins to lose hope, as the situation around her looks even more bleak.

‘Can we really escape while surrounded? Only Fluttershy can fly so we can’t go up. And this circle keeps us from leaving on hoof. That means the only way we can escape is if we could….’

With expert timing Pinkie pulls out a lightbulb and places it directly over Twilight’s head, just as a surge of inspiration hits the unicorn. The lightbulb flickers on and Twilight grins ear to ear as a brilliant idea enters her head. “That’s it!” Not willing to waste a second the purple mare rushes over to Rarity, grabbing her with a hoof as she manifests her Stand. “Hold on, Rarity, I’ve got an idea! We need to fuse now!”

“Wait, what?” the fashionista protests, “B-But is that really necessary, Twilight? I-I’m not the most comfortable with fusing, not to say we aren’t a pinch but…”

“Rarity! I don’t have time to explain, but the moment we fuse you’ll know the plan and why it is so important that we fuse. Now mare up and fuse already!”

Without even giving her time to respond, Twilight’s Stand touches Rarity’s Quicksilver and their eyes fill up with light. With almost sentient will, the silvery, amorphous Stand begins to flow over Twilight’s F.R.I.E.N.D.S., coating it in a solid metal shell, a silvery sheen covering and highlighting the Stand’s gleaming saddle.

“They’re fusing!” Noteworthy shouts with a sense of urgency. “Hurry, attack now before they have a chance to use their power!”

With killer intent the passively advancing circle surges in, the zombies and infected converging on the six mares, the hundreds crying out for blood. Only to run headlong into a giant metal pillar. Raising their eyes to the heavens, even the mindless undead look on in awe as a large metal figure towers over the undead horde. The figure, a silvery set of armor four pony-widths in height from hoof to head stands over the mares like a guardian angel, its’ embossed steel plates covered in cascading etched designs of varying complexity. Rising above the six mares like an animated suit of armor fit for a giant, it eclipses the battlefield, its large metal legs surrounding the mares on four sides. Suddenly, with a swing of its mighty hoof, the attacking undead find themselves swept away, their bodies cracked and broken by the mildest sweep of its hoof. The undead recoil as their rotten brains begin to recall terror, and even the infected maws flee in fear from the metal monstrosity.

“Don’t youze stand there's!” Caramel shouts over the din, “That big lug’s slow as heck. Surround them an bring it down!’

Obeying their master’s orders the two legions reform and charge in from both sides, approaching the mares from every direction. Changing effortlessly, the silver titan melts like hot metal as it reforms into a large razor-tipped funnel surrounding the group of ponies in a protective shield. Slowly the metal funnel spins around like a top, its momentum increasing by the second, each revolution of its metal body kicking up more wind and turning its sharpened spikes into a whirling dervish of flashing blades. The result is a cycling hurricane of razor sharp blades that spin around with incredible speed, dicing any undead unfortunate and stupid enough to approach the silver tornado. The infected halt in their tracks as the remaining undead back up, a dark cloud of dust swept up by the hurricane filling their fields of vision as they collectedly hunker down to endure the artificial storm.

Dust flies and circles through the air as every quadruped falls, or is blown to the ground, by the sweeping winds that circle around the hilltop. The air swirls around in a terribly powerful current, even the lightest touch from the winds biting into the surrounding solders with terrible force. And then, as suddenly as the wind came, the cyclone of death vanishes into thin air, the wind from the storm dies down, lingering on for only a few seconds before dissipating. As the swarms surrounding the top of the hill pick themselves off of the ground, the dust slowly falls down upon them like drifting snow, covering their bodies in a thin layer as it settles. The suddenness of the tornado’s conjuring and disappearance is only half as surprising as its intended effect, for as both of generals look around the open field to find with no small amount of surprise they find that the Stardust Crusaders are…….

“They’re……“ Noteworthy looks around, open-jawed. “They’re gone!” Looking around with his keen eyes the blue unicorn scans his surrounding to find that the five ponies have indeed disappeared into thin air, right in front of his nose. “They’re gone without a trace to follow. They must have used the dirt storm as a smokescreen to escape.” The stallion looks around at the carnage before him, his decimated undead a testament to the power of their Stands “And this was them trying to escape. I am loath to admit it, but their teamwork is incredible.”

Caramel’s pupils shrink to pinpricks as he looks around to find that another pony of his is missing. “HEY! Where’s the orange minx!? She couldn’t have vanished inta thin air! Where are those cowards?” The stallion looks around the hill, only to find no sign at all of the group’s passing. “Where did those minxes go!?”

Author's Note:

To Be Continued→

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