• Published 17th Nov 2011
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Twilight Then, Twilight now - Paradise Oasis



From across time, Two different ponies named Twilight are drawn into a mystery transcending the ages

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chapter 14

Chapter fifteen-

now...

The six mares trotted back towards Dream Castle, quiet for most of the trip. They six of them were lost in their own thoughts, each of them fearing for their own families, and the danger all of Ponyland was in.

Twilight had had a lot of time to think things over as well. She thought of her own husband, Tornado Firehoof, and her little adopted filly, Ember. She thought of the well-being of her kingdom, and of the friends she now traveled with. If Tirek didn't didn't finish them off in the present, then Grogar would finish them off in the past. As she looked back at applejack, these thoughts turned over and over in her head.

"Life is too short too hold onto painful grudges." Twilight thought to herself. "I need to talk to her about what happened."

Twilight galloped back to where Applejack was, and cleared her throat. "Listen, Applejack... about those things I said..." She struggled hard to get her words past her stubborn pride. "I-I'm sorry about everything I said. I'm sure you had your reasons for not telling me, and I should've respected your decision."

"It doesn't matter anymore, Twilight. Don't worry about it, I forgive you." Applejack said coldly. "Very soon, none of this... Tirek, you, the other four, Dream Valley... none of it will matter anymore, once the past wipes all of this out."

"Applejack! What are you saying?" Twilight's eyes went wide. "I can't believe you, of all ponies, are giving up all hope!"

Applejack looked back over her shoulder. "Who says I'm giving up hope?" the orange earth mare replied ominously. The other five mares only stopped an stared at Applejack, cconfused, as the nigh- immortal pony continued to trot forward.

"What bug crawled into her feed bag?" Glory grumbled.

"Aw don't worry about it." Firefly replied. "It's just Applejack being Applejack."

Bow Tie nodded. Then looking over to her left, the blue earth pony thought she saw a glowing glint the horizon.

"Hey, girls?" She Asked. "What's that over there?"

The other four galloped up to the top of the outcropping, and were shocked by what the saw. There, gathered several thousand strong and fully armored, was the entire army of Dream valley. The Earth pony stallions, and their human knight partners, the Pegasus corps, and their elven sky riders, and the Unicorn Mages with their Gnome riders. They were packing up, and looked like they were getting ready to march off to battle.

"By the great horsemaster!" Twilight shrieked. "It's our stallions!"

"What in the name of Celestia are they doing here?" Bow Tie asked in shock.

"Majesty must have called the grand army up to deal with Tirek!" Firefly yelled. "Man, she is taking this seriously!"

As the five mares approached the armored stallion encampment, the stallions bowed in respect, to the mares from Queen Majesty's court. It was then, that several of the officers in the corps broke rank.

"Bow Tie!" Sunburst, a yellow male earth pony, ran into Bow Tie and hugged her. "We heard you had left Dream Castle, and we feared the worst!"

"Sunburst, you big lug!" Bow Tie greeted her mate with a grin. "We went on a mission for the queen! You know fully well Twilight and the rest of us can take care of ourselves!"

"Firefly!" A lavender Pegasus stallion dive- bombed Firefly, knocking her to the ground, and started licking her face. "The others said you were dead... but I knew you were ok!"

"Down, hubby, down!" Firefly replied, laughing. "Not in front of the other mares, Thundercloud!"

"Hi Medley..." Ice Crystal, a timid Green Pegasus said, pawing at the grass with his hoof. "It's... good to see you again. Is Baby Medley okay?"

"Oh, hi Icy!" Medley replied, smiling gently. "Our daughter is all right, she's safe at the Castle."

Seeing the other mares with their spouses, Twilight looked around. It wasn't very often the mares got to even see their mates, let alone spend any time with them. "Hey... has anyone seen Tornado?"

"Sorry, Lady Twilight." Sunburst told her, as Bow Tie nuzzled him. "The Queen sent your husband on a mission to the human kingdom."

"Oh, I didn't know that." Twilight sighed sadly, trying to hide her disappointment. "I suppose I'll see him later."

"Hey, has anybody seen Applejack?" Lightning, an orange earth pony with a blond mane, asked. "I can't find my wife anywhere."

"I think that was her I saw heading off towards the Moochick's home, when the other girls arrived." Ice Crystal replied, his hooves cradling Medley.

"What in Ponyland could she want at that old wizard's house?" Thundercloud asked, as Firefly licked him.

Twilight thought for a moment... then she remembered their conversation about time at the Royal paradise. "By the great Horsemaster... she wouldn't..."

Twilight galloped off at top speed, racing towards the Moochick's mushromp.

...

It didn't take long to catch up to Applejack, she wasn't trotting very fast. She stopped as Twilight came to a stop behind her.

"Applejack! What do you think you're doing?" She asked, nearly out of breath.

"I'm going to have the Moochick cast a spell, that will let me talk to my old self in the past." Applejack replied coldly. "I gotta warn Twilight Sparkle and the others what's gonna happen, so Equestria won't fall."

"But you'll kill us all!" Twilight shrieked. "Your daughter... your husband... Bow Tie... Medley... all of us, we'll all be erased from existence!"

Applejack moved so quickly, that Twilight never saw the kick to the head that sent her tumbling to the ground.

"I'm sorry Twi, but I can't risk you casting a spell to stop me." She looked down at the barely conscious Twilight.

As she slipped in and out, Twilight remembered how Applejack had been tainted by the rainbow of darkness the last time they had faced Tirek.

"Applejack... stop... you're... not yourself..."

"This generation doesn't deserve to live, Twilight." Applejack snorted. "Equestria was a golden civilization, with more depth than this shallow society. There the graves of your kin aren't desecrated, and monsters don't roam freely while an ineffective queen does nothing. This dark age has gotta end, Twi, and I'm gonna be the one to end it."

"And what would Twilight Sparkle say about that, AJ?"

Applejack turned around quickly, and saw aa small purple dragon standing there.

"Spike?" She asked in shock. "But... how do you know bout-"

"You're not the only survivor of Equestria, Applejack." The small dragon crossed his arms. "I've been playing dumb for years in front of all these Ponyland ponies, but I will stop you any way I have to." Smoke came out of the tiny dragon's nostrils. "Twilight Sparkle...Rainbow Dash... Pinkie Pie... Rarity..." He choked that last name out. "None of them would have wanted this. This isn't right Applejack, and you know it."

"Get out of mah way Spike." Applejack snorted, reverting to her old accent. "Ah don't wanna hurt ya'll."

"Trust me AJ, I won't be the one to get hurt."

Applejack galloped towards the dragon at top speed, but was stopped by a quick stream of the dragon's fire. Applejack reared up, and galloped back, only to find Twilight awake again.

"ENOUGH APPLEJACK! I'm sick of hearing how great and glorious Equestria was!" She yelled, her horn glowing with magic. "I don't care how amazing the Equestrian ponies were, or how much better you think thier generation was than we are... OUR GENERATION OF PONIES DESERVES TO LIVE!"

As Twilight's horn charged up, Applejack swore she could see Twilight Sparkle's refection in the young unicorn's angry eyes. It stopped the earth pony in her tracks. A mighty blast of energy fired out her horn, and sent the orange earth pony flying back several yards, and slamming into the dirt.

"AJ!" Twilight shrieked, running up to her. "I'm so sorry, Applejack!"

"Is she all right?" Spike asked, rushing to the fallen earth pony's side.

"She's all right, just unconscious." She checked Applejack with her horn. "Remember how when we first faced Tirek, how Applejack was one of the ponies the Rainbow of darkness turned into a dragon?"

"Some of the residual darkness was still inside of her, imparing her judgement." The dragon finished, shaking his head. "I really hate mind control."

"So you were playing dumb with us for years, huh?" Twilight looked over at Spike. "Let me guess, you're a Equestrian survior too, huh?"

"How long do you think a baby dragon lives, considering the fact our kind can sleep for over a century?" The baby dragon chuckled. "Tirek held me prisoner for hundreds of years, until you ponies and Megan rescued me. Where do you thnk I learned to play dumb in the first place?"

"You put on a convincing act." Twilight told her with a smirk. "Now, help me get Applejack up. We need to get her back to the army encampment."