• Published 17th Nov 2011
  • 4,532 Views, 128 Comments

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 2

TWO;

Then...

"Girls, I don't like this one little bit. This place is even creepier than usual."

"Aw yer just imagining things, sugar cube. Y'all have nothing at be afraid of."

Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, and Fluttershy had entered the Everfree Forest to visit Zecora, and return a baby bird to it's mother. At first, the place seemed as normal as it ever did. But the farther they went in, the more and more foreboding that the forest seemed to grow.

As the three ponies trotted their way through the endless sea of trees, everything seemed unnaturally quiet. It was almost as if all the life in the forest around them had been sucked out of it. No wind blew through the trees, and no animals could be heard for miles.

"Normally I'd agree with you, Applejack." Twilight Sparkle replied nervously. "But this time Fluttershy is right. This is unnaturally quiet, even for the everfree forest."

The little bird Fluttershy had brought with her- a baby blue jay- hid in the yellow Pegasus's mane, shivering in fear. Fluttershy herself was shivering as well, barely able to continue to move forward. The other two ponies did their best to urge her forward.

"Don't worry, Fluttershy, we're right here." She then whispered over to Twilight Sparkle. "Would y'all just try not tah say anythin' ta set her off Twi, please?"

"Sorry, AJ, I wasn't thinking." Twilight Sparkle whispered back. "It's just this all this creepiness is really getting to me."

It was then that what looked like a green mist seemed to fill the air all around them. Suddenly, all three ponies felt as if they were unable to move, frozen in place as if by some magical spell. Fluttershy tried to whimper, and Twilight Sparkle tried to cry out, but even their mouths and vocal chords would not obey them.

It was at that point that three translucent, ghost-like ponies…. One green Pegasus, one pink unicorn, and one yellow earth pony began to approach. Their steps made no sound, and they seemed to flicker in and out of existence.

The three frozen ponies hearts began to race, terrified at the sight of the three ethereal specters approaching them. Suddenly, the three of them could hear whispers on the wind.

"Glad we….here….nyville rui….earby."

"Too bad….. Megan…. ouldn't join us….today."

"We…eed to….areful….Strydon nest…. Near…"

The three ghosts didn't even seem to notice the three frozen ponies, and came closer and closer …. until they passed right though three frightened mares. Then, the terrifying specters quickly vanished as mysteriously as they had come.

Twilight Sparkle, Applejack and Fluttershy suddenly found they could move again. The three stared at each other for a few seconds in shock, before all three reacting in unision to what they had just seen…..

"Yahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"

Three mares, scared out of their wits, ran as fast as their legs would carry them.

...

It was quite a surprise to Zecora when three screaming ponies raced up to her door, flung it open, and ran inside. It took nearly five minutes to get them to stop screaming, and another five to let them catch their breaths. Finally, The Zebra alchemist was gradually able to get their story out of them.

"So not let me see if I get this straight." Zecora asked, in her usual manner. "You saw three ghastly specters, then ran to my gate?"

"Yes, that pretty much covers it." Twilight Sparkle replied, sipping some tea Zecora gave her to calm her nerves. "I never really wanted to believe in things like ghosts, but after what I've seen tonight….."

"Ah never seen spooks before, Zecora," Applejack said, still shivering. "An' after tonight, ah never wanna see them again."

Flluttershy was still whimpering incoherently. Zecora took the little bird from her.

"Worry not about the little one, my Pegasus friend." The Zebra said with a Smile. "I will see him to his parents, with his wing on the mend."

Fluttershy nodded weakly, thanking Zecora. The Zebra then looked at all the ponies, and Spoke.

"I believe what you saw was not a ghost….. But something else you ponies should surely fear most."

"So… those weren't ghosts?" Twilight sparkle asked, confused.

"It is said these woods show visions that leave folk aghast." Zecora replied. "Giving ponies the sight of both future and past."

"So we could've been lookin at the future…..or the past?" Applejack said in Awe. "But why'd we see it?"

"This forest was once the home of the Princess Celestia and princess Luna…. The ruins of their palace, where we found the elements of harmony, are at the very center." Twilight sparkle replied. "It is still strong with the sister's magic…. And what we saw could've seen a warning about something from the past."

"I think it's from the future, Twilight." Fluttershy said softly, finally speaking up.

"Oh Fluttershy." Twilight replied. "Why do you say that?"

"Because one of those Ghosts…. If I didn't know better… I'd say it looked exactly like Applejack without her hat…."

Now…..

"So you want my permission to go to the pony land ruins, do you?"

Queen Majesty was seated on her throne in Dream Castle, staring down at Twilight. The Queen of the ponies of Dream Valley, she was a white unicorn with a blue mane with a white streak going through it, and five glittering blue flowers as her cutie mark. She wore a Golden-yellow crown, and a set of four golden horseshoes. Considered to be a kind and just ruler by the dream valley ponies, she was a descendant of the ancient unicorn royalty that predated Equestria itself. As she sipped from one of her crystal goblets, she listened to Twilight's request.

"Yes, great Majesty." Twilight replied respectfully. "I believe the ruins may hold some clues as to what cataclysm destroyed the Equestrian civilization five centuries ago."

"Our records from that period are sketchy." Majesty considered. "But you are talking about disturbing a scared place, the ruins in which our ancestors lived before this dark age began."

"Such ruins have been used by our people before, my queen." Twilight argued. "Was not your very own Dream castle rebuilt over the ruins of the palace of the Two Sisters?"

"Yes, Dream Castle…a castle that some my subjects freely gave away to the Grundles, while I was away on a diplomatic visit. I had to pay those creatures off with a quarter of the royal treasury, to get my home back!" Majesty scowled.

Twilight looked away sadly. The Queen quickly apologized to her subject. "Oh, I'm sorry Twilight, I know you weren't there when they pulled that stunt and moved to Paradise Estate. Of course I grant you leave to search through the ruins."

Twilight grew excited again. "Thank you, your majesty! You won't regret it!" She bowed quickly and galloped out of the room.

Queen Majesty smiled. Once again she was reassured of her decision three years ago, to make Twilight her court Sorceress and second in command at Dream Castle. A direct descendant of Twilight Sparkle, the greatest pupil of Princess Celestia in the waning days of the Esquestria civilization, Twilight had handled herself well as the leader of the Castle's ponies during the Tirek crisis. Although her magic was still weak, the Moochick, dream Valley's resident wizard, was teaching her new spells every day. Majesty was certain that with the proper training, Twilight could become an even greater Mage than her ancestor ever was.

"She okayed our Journey!" Twilight yelled, galloping into Applejack's orchard outside the palace. "Applejack, we're going to Ponyville!"

"Yeah, yeah….that's great Twilight." Applejack replied in a tone that deflated Twilight's enthusiasm. "Listen, Twi…. The Big Brother Ponies annual around the world race will be ending soon…. The males will only be back here in Ponyland for a month before heading off again, leaving us mares run Pony society, as always. Don't you want to stay here and see Tornado? I know that windy bookworm really wants to sit and read books with you again!"

Twilight did her best to cover up her blush. "And I know you can't wait to see Lightning again! Why are you trying to get out of going to the Ruins, AJ?"

Applejack just Scowled. "It's nothing, Twi…. Ah'll go and get the girls, and we can head for the ruins as soon as their ready."

As the frustrated Applejack trotted off, Twilight could've sworn she had heard her friends voice slip into what Megan would call a 'southern accent' for a minute or two, before returning to her normal nasally-sounding voice .

"Huh, I must be hearing things." The pink Unicorn thought to herself.

...

Canterlot…. Once capital of the Kingdom of Equestria….a place of art, learning, magic and culture….a beacon of hope and light for all of Ponies everywhere…. Had long been abandoned by Ponykind. Evil now dwelled there… Diamond Dogs, Trolls, and Goblins now infested it's homes and shops, dwelling in the ruins of a civilization greater than any they could build. Deep beneath the ground, lava demons churned the magma, creating boiling hot pools, and a moat of lava surrounding the city. In the skies overheard, Dark Dragons called Strydons patrolled the skies, ready to incinerate any intruders who approached. Inside the Castle itself lived the dark master of all these monsters, the most powerful creature in all of Ponyland. The dark one plotted his revenge against those who had defied his malevolent will.

Those accursed ponies! They and their human wench had nearly killed him with that infernal rainbow of light! But he had survived the destruction of his chariot of night, and it had taken him an entire year to collect enough hate, suffering, and negative emotions in pony land to re-create the rainbow of darkness. He had taken refuge here, in the castle that had once been the ponies capital millennia ago, and had surrounded himself with many the ponies had defeated…. His rainbow of darkness restoring the hate of many of those the ponies had 'turned good'. They were willing and eager to aid him in destroying the ponies…. And sealing Ponyland forever in a night that never ends!

As he was contemplating this, his second in command, the cat-woman sorceress Katrina, burst into his chamber. "My lord! A group of Ponies have left Dream Valley, and are headed for the ruins in the valley below!"

The Dark figure on the throne scowled at her. "Aren't you forgetting something, Katrina?"

Looking up in fear, she kneeled before him. A once powerful mage, Katrina had herself been beaten and humiliated by these ponies, and wanted her revenge, as well.

"That's better." Katrina wasn't much of a replacement for Scorpan, his last second in command, (who had returned to human form, and now ruled his own kingdom in Ponyland), but at least she was loyal.

"Excellent! Send a Squad of Troggles and Strydons out to greet them, at once!" The evil one said with a dark smile.

"Yes master, as you wish." She replied, bowing and leaving.

As she left, Tirek, master of the rainbow of darkness, merely looked on. The dark lord stared grimly into the shadows, as the bag that lay beside his throne throbbed like a beating heart…..